Not a sexy headline admittedly, but germane to where football always has been and where we’ve now been belatedly, at Everton, for decades.
I started supporting Everton when we were amongst the few teams with more Championship trophies than all but three or four other clubs, with whom we were level. To this day, no club has won more points in England’s top division than Everton. They were my local team. I was engulfed by them.
I’m now 66. When I was in my early and mid-teens, I was buoyant with our School of Science success. Our football culture suggested, wrongly as it happened, that it’d last more than a year or two. Then there was a 14-year hiatus until Howard Kendall delivered the only other worthwhile team to celebrate in my lifetime. I was 30 then, and optimistic. Our football culture made the world of football take notice at the time – until Heysel, days later.
Heysel was a disaster for progression, for every English club, but none more than us as a young team of Champions with plenty in the tank. We conspicuously failed to deal well with the ramifications of Heysel. Our squad disintegrated instantly, to be supplanted with lesser but, courtesy of those at the top of our club, expensive players.
Despite this we were just about included amongst the five elite clubs (the others were Arsenal, Spurs, Liverpool and Man Utd) to set-up the Premier League – when modern-day football allegedly began. Alone among the other five, we’ve staggeringly failed to become adequate ever since. The Premier League culture has engulfed and by-passed us from the outset.
Everton is not a psychological enigma, as the media seem to regard us with understandable reason given our mundanity for decades. It is a football club, despite the huge inadequacies of those in charge. It has vast numbers of dedicated, knowing, fans.
Our greatest but perhaps worst quality is surely stoic, fundamentally silent endurance though, in the face of an enduring culture whilst we’ve suffered 30 years of stagnation and hopelessness.
Is there anyone in the boardroom or above minded to at last grasp this nettle of engulfing culture, strangle it, burn it to dust, and then scatter the dust into some hellish vortex?
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1 Posted 19/05/2021 at 10:58:12
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