Time To Move On

James Lauwervine 06/07/2021 88comments  |  Jump to last
I don’t think many people will like this article, or agree with it. You might hate me for it. 'Time to move on' means what it says – and it’s what I’ll be doing.

Like many ToffeeWebbers, I have been supporting Everton since I was a youngster. When I was 7 years old, my family moved to Liverpool, though I was already a confirmed Blue by then thanks to my Dad, who had previously lived in Liverpool from 1958 to 1966.

My Dad likes to tell the story of how he came to Liverpool as a young man (from Belfast) and went to watch Liverpool one week and then went to watch Everton the next and sensibly chose the latter. He said Liverpool just didn’t feel right, plus they were in the Second Division and shite, which made the decision even easier.

I went to my first match in 1978. I do remember it was versus Tottenham and we drew 1-1, so evertonresults.com tells me that’s 30 December and Mick Lyons got the goal. I was 10 at the time and in the Top Balcony and I remember being blown away by the stadium, the noise, just everything about the experience.

I was a 100% confirmed Evertonian then, but wasn’t allowed to go to the match by myself until the age of 16 in 1984, which was perfect timing to enjoy the golden period of the mid-80s. I was always in the Street End, as directly behind the goal as I could get. There were some truly brilliant games then, most notably the Bayern Munich semi-final which I had the fortune to be at.

Anyone who was there for that period knows what it felt like to have Everton back at the top. It didn’t feel strange or temporary, it felt like we were where we belonged, and I had total faith in the team that Howard Kendall had assembled. I foolishly thought it would go on forever. Whilst 1985-86 was ultimately a season that ended in unbearable fashion, we were still an excellent team and proved it the following season.

I left Liverpool in 1988 and haven’t lived nearby since – my parents went back to Belfast and I moved south. I still followed the team and tried to get to a game when I could, plus I made 100% certain that my three sons are Blue through and through - though they don’t thank me for it.

There’s my personal mini-history as a Blue. I’ve been a keen Evertonian and am well known for it in my workplace and the small town where I live. I’ve argued with and irritated a lot of other teams' fans over the years. I was passionate and proud to be an Evertonian.

I’m sorry to say that I’m certain now that things have changed. I’ve come to realise over a period of time that I just don’t enjoy it anymore. I don’t feel that pride or affinity I once had; I just feel increasing alienation, disappointment and disillusionment.

There have been glimmers of hope and false dawns over the years, but this summer has made it clear to me it’s time to move on. When the news was released that Benitez was to be our next manager, it hit me that I simply didn’t want to be part of this anymore. The decision-makers at Everton clearly don’t give a shit about the fans, so why should we keep giving support and paying money and encouraging more of the same?

It’s sad, because I have really enjoyed the Euros, they’ve been great entertainment and have reminded me why I spent so much time over the years following the game. It’s also sad because I have loved Everton and had some great times and met fantastic people. However, club football is fucked; it’s just completely driven by money and media bullshit and I know I’m better off without it in my life. There’s no other team I would support, of course, but club football is no longer for me.

No doubt I will be criticized and ridiculed – fair enough, go ahead. Of course, I’ll miss aspects of it but, like when I quit smoking a few years back, it’s only a sense of relief I now feel. I know my life will be better without this. Maybe one day I’ll feel differently again, but I will certainly not be following any club football this season.

I won’t miss the biased bullshit on TV, the tiresome Sky coverage, the pile of crap that MotD has become, the inane and incessant wittering by intellectually and grammatically challenged pundits, the ridiculous over-inflated self-importance and entitlement that so many involved in the game display – it’s just all so boring, destructive and depressing. The absolute disgrace of the attempted Super League breakaway just shows how bad it’s gotten, and they got away with it. As for the World Cup in Qatar, words fail me…

Maybe one day when we get some pride and identity back into Everton, that will change, but I’m afraid I don’t see that happening. Maybe the financial bubble really will burst and football will return to a game of the people, but there are too many vested interests.

The final straw, thanks to Moshiri and Co, was the Benitez appointment – that was it for me. I couldn’t actually believe it was true until I saw that jarring picture of him with the scarf. I just might have clung on for another season if it had been Dunc or Potter or Galtier, or someone that felt right. But Benitez… no fucking way – and it’s nothing to do with the ‘small club’ remark, which never bothered me (in fact, I always thought it was quite funny).

I wish you Toffeewebbers the best of luck. Sorry if this article pisses you off – you probably think I’m a dickhead or full of shit. No problem. I think the passion and intelligence on this site can be inspiring, though there’s plenty of imbecility on display in the comments too. This website is superb and probably the best thing about Everton in the modern era.

So, all the best; thanks for the good times and the laughs, it’s time for me to move on.

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Reader Comments (88)

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Alan Rooney
1 Posted 06/07/2021 at 12:53:54
For me, being an Evertonian is an incurable addiction without any possibility of rehab. So I simply can't relate to your dilemma!
Rupert Sullivan
2 Posted 06/07/2021 at 12:56:23
James - I understand completely with your comments... I had a similar 'experience' as you when the club appointed Allardyce - a proven cheater and liar... I even went as far as writing to the club to tell them that I could no longer support an organisation that threw all of its morals out of the window just to stay in the 'money'.

I don't remember the halcyon days to which you refer but, in the last 2 years, I have seen football become a moral vaccuum – the examples you list are perfect Qatar the Super League and now the EUFA VIP list of people who won't have to quarantine for the final!! But then hat do you expect from people who preach the importance of fairness and health and ho accept sponsorships from betting companies and sugary-drinks manufacturers! All while division is actively being sown between the fans of clubs by the likes of Sky – in the name of ratings. I no longer even watch international football – the players are physically all over each other in the penalty boxes and they dive at the first opportunity.

It is hard to stop supporting a club – you miss it for a while... as my occasional presence on ToffeeWeb can attest!!

Shame that it is left to the supporters to show the morals that the owners do not.

Good luck to you, mate!!

Rupert Sullivan
3 Posted 06/07/2021 at 13:08:35
Last 20 years (not 2)
Alex Gray
4 Posted 06/07/2021 at 13:27:49
I understand your reasoning to be honest. I won't lie, this summer has been a straining one to be an Evertonian.

The reason I can't quit despite the pain, despair and utter frustration is that this club means more to me than the players, managers and owners. My old man took me to my first game when I was 4, during the early nineties, and we were awful. I still loved it. The lads who went the match with my dad took me under their wing and taught me all about football and why Everton meant so much to them despite us being awful. I was taught about the '80s team and got shown the Bayern Munich match on videotape.

This club gave me a place to belong and I view a lot of the fans I know as family. I hope to bring my kid to a match one day and, despite us constantly failing and the false hope and the inept decisions the club makes, fall in love with the club all over again.

Chin up, it might not be the best time to be an Evertonian, but at some point things will get better.

Our day will come!

Peter Mills
5 Posted 06/07/2021 at 13:29:36
James, find a local team who are much further down the food chain. You’ll see a decent game without all the associated nonsense, I think you’ll enjoy it.
David Pearl
6 Posted 06/07/2021 at 13:30:59
James,

Seems to me you need counseling. EitC should already have something set up but, if not, we could petition the club to provide help to us bewildered Blues while Moshiri makes a pig's ear of turning us from European challengers to mid-table.

In defence of Moshiri, he has said that Moyes would have taken over from Silva but he listened to the fans! This time, he didn't listen to the fans because he is probably disappointed that Moyes has shown he wasn't finished after all.

Alan McMillan
7 Posted 06/07/2021 at 13:39:21
I completely agree with the sentiment and I empathise with how you feel. We've all been through it. But, as they say - you can divorce your wife, but you can't divorce your football team.
Dennis Stevens
8 Posted 06/07/2021 at 14:05:46
Sad to read, James, but a lot of it rings true. Hopefully, It'll prove to be merely a trial separation!
Bill Griffiths
9 Posted 06/07/2021 at 14:10:03
I get where you're coming from but like Alan (#1) there's no way I could give up supporting the Blues. Peter (#4) gives you a good alternative.

As well as supporting Everton, I also (at least until Covid struck) used to go and watch Bangor City in the Welsh Premier League. You can watch from more or less right by the touchline and you get a great view of the game and can hear more or less everything the players say.

Some clubs will have a social club where you can have a drink before and after the game you can even chat to the players.

Kevin Molloy
10 Posted 06/07/2021 at 14:19:42
Hate to say it, James, but I think that 'one day you may feel differently' will arrive in a few weeks time once you hear about the new signings.

You don't get away that easily.

Alan McGuffog
11 Posted 06/07/2021 at 14:24:20
James,

First of all, we feel your pain and nearly all of us will be able to empathise. I don't think you're a dickhead at all or any such thing, come to that.

I doubt though that you will ever give up loving the club. It's like a stone in your bloody shoe. Good luck, bud!

Derek Moore
12 Posted 06/07/2021 at 14:24:30
I hear you, James. My own brother Ashley has gone through the exact same process, albeit a few years earlier. He still looks for the scores, hopes we win, hopes the other lot do badly. But he just can't be bothered watching or handing over his hard-earned anymore.

Ash lives in Australia and I'm in New Zealand so it's no doubt a host of different considerations to UK and Liverpool based Blues. I've just cancelled the streaming service I watch games on because DILLIGAF about Benitez Everton. (Spoiler – I do not.)

I'll just watch the highlights and read the match reports on my phone next season. I suspect I'll save myself a large amount of time money and wasted energy. The prospect of succeeding with Benitez is almost too absurd to even consider, and should he succeed I actually don't even really care that much. It would be the punchline on this joke of an era in some ways.

I'm not sure how many fans the club has, or how many have been similarly impacted by Benitez's arrival such as yourself, James. But I am pretty sure the club isn't really in a position to be alienating long-term supporters. It'll all come home to roost eventually.

Barry Rathbone
13 Posted 06/07/2021 at 14:29:22
Fully understand.

If you could take a pill to forget about Everton without any side effects or impact on friends and family the proposed capacity of BMD would be halved.

Supporting a football club defies any sort of analysis it is self-flagelation as practiced in various Christian and Islamic communities.

Really it's akin to cult membership so I'd take 2 pills just in case.

Shane Corcoran
14 Posted 06/07/2021 at 14:30:31
Seems a bit extreme to me.

I've learned to separate the game from the sport.

The former excites me as it always has. I don't remember when I had any respect for the latter in my adult life.

I've learned to mostly laugh at the cheating players, the ridiculous songs the fans sing (“Your support is fucking shit” – a modern classic) and all the other stuff that makes football a laughing stock.

I've also decided to watch less of Everton and more of other games as last season (and this one, I expect) sucked the enjoyment out of it with the style on display. And just looking at Richarlison's whingey puss would make you reach for the remote.

Best thing that happened was backing Benitez to get the job. It's only football, after all. It's not like it's the Ulster Championship.

Alan J Thompson
15 Posted 06/07/2021 at 14:37:28
There was a time, James, when I would watch any sort of football from the local park to internationals but now there is only my first and only football love, Everton, and even they now seem, to say the least, apathetic towards the spectator and supporter concerns.

However, I have to agree, I am most disillusioned with the corruption and greed that seems to have become the driving force for those supposedly looking after the management and morals of the game.

From a World Cup in atrocious and dangerous conditions for physical exertion to inconclusive investigations into corruption and the endless pursuit of the biggest dollar which is making some outcomes an almost foregone conclusion.

Christine Foster
16 Posted 06/07/2021 at 14:41:03
James,

I know it's disheartening to see all the values you once held dear get trodden under the rush for money. Gone is the tribal challenge of hearty full-blooded challenges, replaced by no-touch, souless parodies of a great game.

It's not just Everton, James, it's the top leagues in every country. All Everton are doing is what all others did years ago and hence we got Moshiri. Fans the world over but passion is now borne of frustration.

Apathy, frustration, despair and anguish common bedfellows for fans of our club… but it is our club, for better or worse; we are married to it.

I understand your plight, but I for one may as well stop living without the hope Everton bring to me, no matter how deluded I may have become.

James, you are better off here with us in this asylum than out in the cold world. You may venture out but demons await, will you deny us three times as well? Hang in...

John Zapa
17 Posted 06/07/2021 at 14:55:58
I can totally understand your disillusionment and feelings. When any organisation ignores the thoughts and feelings of its most important stakeholders, takes them for granted and actually does things knowing that it will immediately upset many, then it's going in one direction only – and it's not up.
Danny O’Neill
18 Posted 06/07/2021 at 15:01:48
James, no ridicule and no criticism from me. Just sadness.

We share oddly similar life trajectories. My Grandfather on my mother's side was from the Antrim Road area of Belfast. The family moved to Portrush and he later made the journey to Liverpool, where he settled. I was born in Liverpool but we moved away and then later came back in the 80s. Like you, just in time to stand on the Gwladys Street and at Wembley to witness first hand that glorious period. I then moved away again as an adult, came back in the mid to late 90s before going away again before eventually settling in London through work.

My first game is one that confuses me. I think we are a similar age (49). I can never remember if it was a friendly against Braunschweig in Germany where we lived at the time (got beat 6 - 0) or another friendly at Goodison against Home Farm. Can't remember the score of that one. Think they were both around 1976 or 1977.

Where we differ is that I am to Everton what a gullible fool is to a cheating girlfriend who wants the best of both worlds. I can't give them up and will keep coming back no matter how badly they treat me. They're my Everton. Not Moshiri's, not Benitez's. I survived Allardyce so I can tolerate this despite how uncomfortable I am with it. They come and go. We are the consistency that make the club.

Well in my own warped mind that's how I see it. As someone said above, maybe we need counselling, but I get that from my poor dogs most mornings.

You'll be there. In spirit, if not at the forefront of your mind. It can't leave you. It's f@*cking well engrained in me. I wish I could hate them sometimes. I can't even do that. My midlands wife gave up long ago asking if I loved her more than Everton. My total see through, non-committal politician type answer was always "it's just a different type of love".

I hope we see and hear from you next season James.

Billy Bradshaw
19 Posted 06/07/2021 at 15:25:04
Not really a bad thing thing this Benitez appointment, seems were getting rid of all the not really Evertonians.
Tim Welsh
20 Posted 06/07/2021 at 15:47:49
It is at times like this when the club – not the owners, players or manager – needs us more than ever.

Eddie Dunn
21 Posted 06/07/2021 at 16:00:40
James,

A very sad departure. I am a little older and have enjoyed the "good times" but put it in perspective. Imagine supporting Pompey, Champions in 1948-49 and 1949-50. A fall from grace, a brief return to the top flight, a Cup win, various disastrous owners, and now trying to get back up. Yet they still have a tremendous support.

We have had darker days. We won at Anfield, Spurs, and Arsenal, and Leicester; with better effort and tactics, we could have slipped into Europe or even the Champions League.
Perhaps this pragmatic appointment will work out okay. We shall see...

See you anon!

Phil Bellis
22 Posted 06/07/2021 at 16:02:02
I could no more give up Everton than I could music; bedrocks of my life growing up, and still now.

Before we were saturated with televised football, I'd watch any game available; not now. I don't have a second favourite team etc and only take a passing interest in an international if there's an Everton player involved.

Matt Hunter
23 Posted 06/07/2021 at 16:02:55
If only it was that easy to escape this club. Sorry James, Everton will be punishing you until you take your last breath on this earth.
John McFarlane Snr
24 Posted 06/07/2021 at 16:09:48
Hi James,

I share your dislike of the many changes that have taken place in the game of football, but I feel that the lure of the game outweighs the distasteful elements that exist today. I have long since held the view that on match days my world is 120 yards long and 70 yards wide, and for the best part of two hours, the outside world with its gas and electricity bills, rent, and mortgage repayments etc, can be completely forgotten.

While I agree that there are many aspects of today's game that leave a lot to be desired, I also believe that there is still sufficient enjoyment, elation, despair, and desperation, to justify my involvement, therefore explaining my choice to renew my season ticket

I would rather see Everton lose than not see them at all. Everton winning the League Championship and my not watching them do so, would give me no pleasure whatsoever, but I accept that we are all different.

Mal van Schaick
25 Posted 06/07/2021 at 16:23:59
To some extent it's out of the fans' hands, unless you talk with your feet which you are doing.

Personally, I'm not letting the owner, the board or the manager stop me from supporting a club that I've supported for 52 years.

I've seen the good times, bad times and mediocre times. Nevertheless, Everton have remained in the top flight albeit not lifting silverware for a good while.

I'm hoping that all that will change, if not with Benitez, the next one or the one after that and so on. A new ground beckons, and I have a feeling with this owner that Everton will make progress, and be winning a trophy soon or qualifying for the Champions League.

Tony Abrahams
26 Posted 06/07/2021 at 16:33:08
You might have a good point Billy B, but maybe this appointment of Benitez, is just the final straw, and the one that’s broken loads of Evertonian backs.

I’ve heard he won’t be getting to much money, because of our unsustainable wage bill, and maybe that’s why Marcel Brands, was at the first training session yesterday, possibly hoping “Brutal Benitez” is going to help him try and offload, a load of pony, who are obviously helping to drain the club’s finances?

Kunal Desai
27 Posted 06/07/2021 at 16:47:34
We've fallen a long way from the relative success we reaped in the 80's, what we'd like to see is a glimmer of that replicated over the years and sadly that hasn't materialised due to many factors. I don't think in 30 odd years there has been anything to cheer about on the field other than the FA Cup win in 1995. What makes it difficult is that the incumbment over those years and equally recent years haven't given fans any confidence that they are willing to make any signs of progress. If a club is progressing fans will buy into them and will believe in the journey. Far too many false dawns at Everton and can wholeheartedly understand why people would walk away.
Those glory days compared to now being just a middle table club.
Dale Self
28 Posted 06/07/2021 at 16:56:55
Right on James. No judgement, I think we get it. For some it can be a health thing others feel voting with your feet is important. Both are valid and I'm sure well thought out positions, nobody gives that relationship up easily.

As your retarded American (English) football friend let me just offer that I truly believe the club will give you reason to come back and we all hope you will at that time.

Barry Hesketh
29 Posted 06/07/2021 at 17:06:12
I think that many fans, paricularly Evertonians, go through this phase of "i've had enough, it's supposed to be enjoyable, but it only serves to make me angry, sad etc" every few seasons, I know it's happened to me at certain times during the last 30 years. Usually it's a bad cup exit, or a failure to take advantage of a promising situation, or a terrible derby loss that precipitates those kind of thoughts.

Unusually so many Evertonians have had these thoughts due to an appointment of a new manager, obviously a divisive choice due to his historical links with the neighbours and the apparent negative football that he serves up.

I understand the reasoning but I can't agree, we've had lots of bad managers over the years, with teams playing football that's been at times unwatchable, so there's nothing new in that, although we've never had a former Reds manager in the hot-seat before.

I think that the whole atmosphere surrounding Everton right now is because there has been an accumulation of "Everton that" moments which by themselves wouldn't move the dial too far, but coming so close together they have helped to raise questions about the club and its leaders.

The distance between the fans and the players started to grow exponentially shortly after Moyes left and there hasn't really been a time since when that distance has shortened.

Then there is the arrival of Moshiri and his wealth, which allowed Evertonians to dream about rejoining the English elite but has sadly led to us standing still and as far off the rich and famous as we were when we had little cash to spend.

The super league, the agents fees the noise of the less than impartial pundits the worship of the neighbours by the press and everything else hasn't helped to make Evertonians happy this last couple of years, so it's very understandable that people may wish to remove themselves from a situation that makes them feel both angry and sad.

Those that come to this decision shouldn't think that they have escaped the clutches of the club, it will find you when you're sleeping, it will enter into your thoughts when you least expect it, it will taunt you with an unexepcected result or run of results, it will drive you mad that you left just when it was ready to turn good.

That isn't what happened to me when I thought I could turn my back on Everton, it was exactly the opposite, I stopped going shortly before the premier league began and what did 'My Club' do? They tried to get relegated and I couldn't stand idly by and watch from afar as the unthinkable might happen and it might be partly my fault for leaving, so I did what we all would do, I went back to offer my support to the dying patient and miraculously it worked and better still I had a day out at Wembley the following year as the Blues lifted the FA Cup and so far I've been back ever since.

Any of those thinking you're out of it, you're wrong, like Arnie, you'll be back! hopefully for the right reasons.

Michael Lynch
30 Posted 06/07/2021 at 17:06:22
Yeah, I get it. I've drifted away from the game at times over the years - maybe just keeping an eye on the scores rather than getting involved in the endless nonsense of the club like I do at the moment.

The thing we all have to remember is that Everton belongs to the fans. Without us there is nothing. Players and managers, even owners, come and go, but we are the only constant (or fairly constant anyway!).

I often ask myself whether football is any better for the huge amounts of money that have inflated the economics of the game. Is it more fun to watch Everton now than it was in the '60s, '70s, or '80s? I guess it's more fun when we're winning, whatever the decade. But I don't think the huge amount of money in the game has made much of a positive impact. The players earn more, the agents earn more, but football is football.

I probably have less respect for the players now than at any other time in the past. I mean, Psycho Pat may well have thrown away all his money on gambling, drugs and wild women, but I reckon his passion for the club was greater than any player in the squad now.

I keep going to the match because I'm with my mates, and because of blind hope that things will improve. Every time I see that bright green turf is a new dawn, and I still get that tingle of excitement and anticipation that today might be a cracker of a game.

And then we kick off.

Tony Abrahams
31 Posted 06/07/2021 at 17:14:59
The biggest concern about what you've just written, Michael, is that it wouldn't surprise me if Pat van de Hauwe, has still got a greater passion for the club, than 99% of the people involved at Everton right now.
Tony Everan
32 Posted 06/07/2021 at 17:22:02
James,

No you are not a full-of-shit dickhead. To varying degrees, I would bet most Evertonians feel the same desperation you have.

I'm 55 and I have seen some pure shite as a young teenager going to Goodison in the very early eighties. I remember thinking at the time, “When the club is down, it needs its supporters more, not less.” I still enjoyed being part of something and having a sense of belonging. Then, the emergence of our mid-eighties team and its brilliance still warms my heart.

We are the club, not the players or owner or manager, they are transient. The club is nothing without us supporters. So, James, dig a trench and hunker down, remain resolute; we can come good again… even now.

Danny O’Neill
33 Posted 06/07/2021 at 17:29:52
Great emotional discussion amongst Evertonians and good to see someone can put up an emotive view point and not be slated. Although divisive, this appears to be generating understanding.

I'll start with a dramatic one and one that resonates with my claim that we fans are the consistent. The Taliban always reminded us that whilst we have the watch, they have the time. When we are gone from Afghanistan, they will still be here. Recent news has shown that. Tim @20, us Evertonians will be here long after any player, manager or owner has departed and always have been. They are temporary, we are for life.

Eddie @21. Yes, there have been much darker days. We have just frustratingly missed out on Europe, have a Billionaire owner and the first spades have hit the ground at Bramley-Moore Dock. Much to look forward to.

John Senior. When (not if) those Evertonians who have not yet witnessed it get to see us lift a trophy and the league title, the pain will instantly evaporate.

Dale @28. You are not a retard. You are just as insane as I am in believing we will get there. We may need therapy, but we believe.

We'll be back Barry.

Jerome Shields
34 Posted 06/07/2021 at 17:46:02
I am actually more optimistic. I do think that mediocrity is finally running out of road. Fans now are more informed by their own devices, the club has been distant from the fans for some time. The sop they were previously feeding us rings hollow and now has to a large extent disappeared. We only get the new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock now and luckily someone has money to pay for it.

I do think there is a plan and employing Benitez was in the interests of continuation. I don't think things are as comfortable as they were and have been for too long.

James, it is your choice… and Good Luck.

Jason Li
35 Posted 06/07/2021 at 17:47:43
However we feel and view things with so many valid points made on TW, I think plenty will be back to find out how Pickford handles Van Dyke on the corners and Benitez having a verbal with the hyper Klopp in the explosive derby, in fact both home and away. With Carlo here, there was the respect with Carlo. This time with full crowds, I'm thinking the players will face the biggest noise in years.

As much as we believe the squad needs additions, we all know the squad was only one or two wins off a very good league position last season. So don't give up. Benitez is not the perfect choice, but he's going to push this squad and the club harder to battle and give him more than anyone we've had in years. Clubs like City push hard at everything - just listen to the unsatisfied Guardiola speak about wanting more and better, and their players when they are 3 nil up. Isn't that what we want when we sit back and think about it?

Personally, I think we are moving up using league points as a guide last year, year-on-year. Anyway, let's see how this plays out.

Barry Hesketh
36 Posted 06/07/2021 at 17:55:06
You might have to scroll down a couple of tweets to find it.

Smile you know you want to

Tony McNulty
37 Posted 06/07/2021 at 18:36:01
Hi James,

You've spent an awful lot of time carefully crafting your post. Perhaps a little too much time if you really no longer care??

The disappointments of the last 10 games were enough to put anyone off. However, the Everton virus is a strong one and can pull anyone back. Will you be able to resist by October, once Rafa (takes sharp intake of breath) has got things organised and we are sitting in the Top 4?

I suspect we have far from seen the last of you on this site. In the meantime, look after yourself.

Bill Hawker
38 Posted 06/07/2021 at 19:09:13
I didn't choose Everton, Everton chose me. Nothing I can do about that but continue to support them. I completely understand your dilemma though and won't be throwing rocks from the cheap seats at you. At the end of the day, you have to do what's best for you. Maybe we'll have you back one day, who knows?
Martin Mason
39 Posted 06/07/2021 at 19:13:29
I keep trying but I've given up smoking, sugar, drinking and tried Heroin without getting addicted. I try constantly to give up Everton and Soccer but it's far tougher.
John Boon
40 Posted 06/07/2021 at 20:06:58
I have been watching Everton since 1948 and it is so ingrained in my heart and in my soul that I could no more leave Everton than I could my family. I also dislike much of what has been happening for far too long, but I still eagerly look forward to next season despite not agreeing with the new manager and so many other things.

You may be right but I will admit to having a disease, mainly : "An irrational need to watch my idiotic team with idiotic players dressed in Blue play any other team in the world at any time of the day. At that time for ninety minutes I will remain a bag of nerves until the game is over. If we lose I will blame anybody around me including the cat. I will threaten to never watch Everton again. If we win I will rationalise all my common sense reasons for supporting my team till I die.I am an Evertonian and I could NEVER leave. I just cannot.

YOU are SANE. I am IRRATIONAL and Blue forever

Scott Hall
41 Posted 06/07/2021 at 21:19:02
I tried giving it up when we appointed Allardyce. I was just lying to myself. It can’t be done. Love is love, and there isn’t a damn thing you can do about it.
Stan Schofield
42 Posted 06/07/2021 at 00:05:59
James, I don’t think you have a choice, and that you will never cease to be interested in Everton, that even if you determine not to watch the games you will still not resist viewing the results and feeling an inner warmth when we play well and win.

Benitez is a passing phase, and if and when Everton start winning things again your attention will likely be revitalised, and the joy will return.

In many ways elite football has been spoiled by money and the corruption, cheating and biases that accompany it. But when Everton start winning, all of that corruption will recede into the background.

You didn’t choose to be an Evertonian, the choice was made for you, and cannot be unmade. It is both a curse and a joy, and is in your blood. That’s all there is to it.

Nicholas Ryan
43 Posted 07/07/2021 at 01:57:16
Perhaps my elder stepson [who is a Blue] got it right, when he said to my younger stepson [who is a Red]

" Anyway, you could never be an Evertonian; ... you just don't know how to suffer..."!

David Ellis
45 Posted 07/07/2021 at 03:43:06
James,

C'mon you're kidding yourself. You'll fall off the wagon in 3 months tops!

I've felt like this many times, the one I hang on to is 1983 when I just saw nothing but decline decline decline stretching on forever. Fortunately I was completely wrong as 1984-87 just came out of nowhere.

Had the same issue with England over the years but Southgate brought me back in 2018.

Raymond Fox
46 Posted 07/07/2021 at 09:11:41
Stop kidding yourself, James, you are hooked for life.

You might lessen your interest in Everton, but you will still be peeping at the results when we play.

Paul McCoy
47 Posted 07/07/2021 at 09:21:10
James, I fully understand where you coming from. Football nowadays is a rigged system where the likes of Everton will never really be successful again. The 'punishment' for the clubs that tried to join the Super League are what has killed the love of football for me (along with the Champions League changes that achieve the same thing). The Benitez appointment was the final nail in the coffin.

I'll still catch up on Everton results, but my days of watching and attending games and letting football ruin my weekends are over.

Dave Abrahams
48 Posted 07/07/2021 at 09:56:55
James,

I understand you completely. If you really want to say goodbye to the Blues, it can be done… although you will never really say goodbye completely: it's in your blood.

However, I knew quite a few Bluenoses who stopped going during Howard Kendall's first spell here and stopped being the fanatics they were. Even though they came back now and again, they had broken the spell that Everton have over you. I've never had the spirit, or wanted it, to break that spell… but it can be done. It's up to you.

Once you have broken the spell, I imagine it's hard to come back to being the Evertonian you once were. Good luck and best wishes for your future.

Peter Gorman
49 Posted 07/07/2021 at 10:36:13
James – we've probably all shared your feelings at one time or another. (I wrote pretty much the same recently as we snatched a 10th place finish from the jaws of European football.)

The trouble is, Everton will always be my team, I think I am just not into football anymore. It is a rigged game with little sportsmanship played by posturing morons who don't seem committed to earning their preposterous wages. Everton are failing to emulate all that is ugly about the sport as it seems to be the only way to succeed.

I used to check TW often: to banter, to see the opinions of some knowledgable characters and to be informed by the excellent club history articles but lately I found it was just to vent, so I've almost stopped altogether.

I've watched only one game of the Euros, I just no longer care.

Peter Mills made an excellent suggestion. The best matchday experiences I've had of late were in League Two. I'll never stop looking out for Everton but I've no interest in the Premier League.

Simon Dalzell
50 Posted 07/07/2021 at 10:51:57
Well said, Billy (#19).

Being an Evertonian is a lifetime thing.

Danny O’Neill
51 Posted 07/07/2021 at 11:19:17
I won't repeat from earlier, but none of us will walk away. Never. I'd be the kid who stomped of the park in a sulk, taking my ball to my nan's only to be the first one there the next day waiting for everyone to turn up.

To pick up on watching alternative football. Its healthy to broaden the horizon.

I used to regularly watch Hayes & Yeading in the conference and mainly conference South when I coached in their youth set up. You see,and more interestingly, hear different things at that level. You also realise that for many players the margins are fine and it's about opportunity for many. Some get the break, many good players don't but still play to a decent standard.

I also enjoy my trips out to Germany to watch Schalke in the Bundesliga (Bundesliga 2 next season). As well as the passionate atmosphere, one of the highlights is being able to walk into the open and publicly accessible academy on a matchday morning and watch the youth teams in action from the side of the training pitches before the senior team play later that day.

Nothing beats the feeling and emotion of watching Everton, but I do find it educational and interesting casting the net.

Brian Murray
52 Posted 07/07/2021 at 11:47:54
Simon.

The Blues really push you, so I'll sit in the fence regarding James. I imagine, if not from the city, it might be easier to ease off them. Out of the question if it goes through generations like mine and countless more families.

As for Benitez, if nothing else, he's supposed to be ruthless and can spot a phoney 200 yards away. Someone tell the Teary One the clock's ticking and time to focus on the shiny lamp crew.

Stan Schofield
53 Posted 07/07/2021 at 13:21:07
James,

Although I said @42 that you really have no choice because Everton is in your blood, the same is not true of non-Everton football. Particularly with respect to cheating and bias in the modern elite game; I have increasingly lost interest over the years.

Not deliberately, but naturally, through generally not even thinking to watch non-Everton games. For example, in the Euros, I've watched only the 2nd half of the Ukraine match, and only because my daughter wanted to watch it. I watched the 1st half and 5 min of the 2nd half of last night's Italy vs Spain match, but got easily diverted by something else and turned the TV off.

Even while watching, I'd turned the sound off to avoid the painful drivel of the commentators and pundits. I can't see myself watching the England game tonight, unless my wife wants to, which is very unlikely.

Generally, elite football is fairly unattractive, and keeping an interest in Everton, and using ToffeeWeb, is simply because that's akin to a drug.

James Lauwervine
54 Posted 07/07/2021 at 14:06:16
Thanks for your comments, everyone, some of which brought a lump to my throat. The messages of support and empathy are much appreciated. Criticism has been tamer than I expected and I'm fine with being called 'pathetic', because I am.

Some reckon I'm a plazzy scouser / supporter – fair enough. Compared to some of you, that's true. There've been comments that have really made me think about whether I can actually do what I've said, or do I really, truly want to move on. I'm still mightily pissed-off, though. I do agree I should get along and support a local team.

Maybe one of the problems which has led me to feeling so negative about football and Everton is how rarely I get to the match and experience the people and the atmosphere. John McFarlane Snr sums it up beautifully in his first paragraph. Even pre-Covid, I hadn't been to a home game for at least 3 years and that disconnection has been reinforced by the other issues I have with the modern game which I've already mentioned.

I'd started watching Everton in bizarre ways, nearly always with no commentary (sometimes syncing from the OS site), or recording the game and speeding through it, or simply checking the score online, or just ignoring it completely when I know the result will be terrible, eg, last game of the season. What way is that to follow your team and your favourite sport?

My apathy grew with this behaviour and I came to realise that I was getting virtually no enjoyment or satisfaction from any of it. My wife has pointed this out countless times. A fair part of this I can put down to the media coverage and, more recently, every game being on TV, with the crowdless games and dire football of last season compounding things. The false dawns wear you down too and we had yet another one of those at the start of last season.

Maybe I'm full of shit after all and I'll be watching the opening game. Maybe I should pull my finger out and actually get to a fucking game!

Anyway, it's you Evertonians and this website that make me want to stay involved, and (as some of you pointed out) the fact that managers, players and owners are transient, but Everton is forever.

But watching a game and seeing Benitez in our dugout… I just don't know if I can handle that.

Danny O’Neill
55 Posted 07/07/2021 at 14:14:05
I will quote you word for word what I said to a red cousin who asked me how I felt, James. Her husband and son are season ticket holders and were at Istanbul on that fateful night. Her dad (my Uncle) was a massive Evertonian. I think she was genuinely concerned about both me and them!!

"I'm in Allardyce and Sammy Lee territory. I'll support them, want them to win, I just won't be able to look at the dugout."

Andrew Ellams
56 Posted 07/07/2021 at 14:24:05
Stan @ 53, I'm the same as you. I very rarely watch any non Everton football because I have such a low opinion of the game as it is now. Although I have watched the Euros pretty religiously and that has restored my faith a little bit.

But I'm pretty sure that will be dampened again come August when I'm stuck with Carragher and Redknapp etc focusing all their energies on that small set of teams they obsess over.

Tony Shelby
57 Posted 07/07/2021 at 14:38:17
Christ, this is becoming Evertonians Anonymous!

Tom Bowers
58 Posted 07/07/2021 at 15:15:31
I agree with some that watching the game these days is really boring. Most teams play like robots with the players having no control over what they want to do.

It's a case of sideways, backwards and don't go foward with the risk of losing possession.

It really is a sad indictment of the coaching particularly of the teams who are lacking in real playmakers.

The Italy game yesterday was a breath of fresh air with both sides having the creative talent to attack on a regular basis.

That of course may not happen in the final as finals never live up to expectations.

The England game against Ukraine was typical of what I mean when England scored so early and Ukraine didn't have a clue how to pressure England. The game was over once England scored.

Matthew Williams
59 Posted 07/07/2021 at 15:16:45
A truly heartfelt article there, James. I kinda feel the same way too in many ways. I'll still be checking the final scores this season like, but that as is all!

I kinda neglected the Championship show on Quest last season. I won't for this season and of course the Welsh Premier games shown live on S4C will no doubt keep me very entertained. (Real grassroots footy!)

As for the Blues?... I still love 'em and will go on buying up old shirts down the years (a hobby), but I am done for this season. I'm not arsed who wins what. Biased pundits, sad rule changes, and the general greed that has infested the once "Beautiful Game" and I know deep down that the appointment of RedShite Rafa will bring only more misery and disappointment to the best supporters in the land.

I just wish all our current board members would just fuck off, as they just don't get the general feeling of utter frustration and anger many Blues feel… and our transfer policy is pathetic too.

Sir John Moores would spin in his fucking grave... a totally clueless club now, sadly... going absolutely nowhere.

Bill Hawker
60 Posted 07/07/2021 at 15:19:34
"Hi, my name is Bill."

Group: "Hi Bill."

"Well it all started 20 years ago when I met a Scouser in the USA…"

Danny O’Neill
61 Posted 07/07/2021 at 15:31:23
I have a similar conversation with my dogs most mornings, Bill.
Matthew Williams
62 Posted 07/07/2021 at 15:36:55
Lol, Billy... top post. Us scousers are like the Mafia...

We get everywhere!

Pete Clarke
63 Posted 07/07/2021 at 16:19:23
James.
You probably need a good night out in town with the lads I used to go the game with. We could have a great night even after getting beat miserably at home by some other shit team.
We’d talk about the players being shit, the coaches being shit, the manager being shit and then that the beer and pies were shit but we’d end up pissed and singing Everton ( and Irish songs ) all night.
Not just my mates but ask a few of the lads from ToffeeWeb if they fancy catching up in town and they’ll get you back on track.
I took the easy way out and moved to Australia to escape but by the end of each week I pine to be home at the match and having that night out with the boys despite my moaning about the club.
Football in general is crap and that’s the hardest part to take. Too many ponces trying to cheat and the theatrics do my head in. Throw in Var and all the ex red shite on Tv and it’s enough to make you walk away for sure.
I reckon I’ve been through what your feeling about 10000 times so get into town with some of the boys 🍻
Bill Hawker
64 Posted 07/07/2021 at 16:29:52
Well I'm glad I met this one. He passed away a few years back but was responsible for introducing me to Everton Football Club. I've never regretted a day of it since and was glad he didn't support the shite or United or some such.
John Boon
65 Posted 07/07/2021 at 16:42:35
James you seem to be on the right track to becoming a fully fledged Evertonian again. The main sign is that you are talking to yourself to try to convince your suspicious brain that it may not be pushing you in the right direction.

TRUE Evertonians spend most of their lives talking to themselves. They also go on Toffee Web to further convince themselves that THEY and thousands of other Blue Nutters are blessed by being Everton supporters.

James you are back on the right track. The next sign is when you go to sleep and dream that you score three goals for Everton against the RS. I am sure you just cannot give up being an Evertonian. We are a rare breed and twenty five years of suffering has just made us even stronger. You only have to focus on one game namely the first game of the new season. Just have to convince yourself, by talking to yourself, that we will win 6-0. WELCOME BACK.

Peter Fearon
67 Posted 07/07/2021 at 16:56:00
Frankly I think you'll be back within weeks if Rafa is doing well. If he is not he'll be sacked and you'll be back to see the next chapter. Football is all about catharsis and it should not be difficult to brush the irrelevant bullshit aside and focus on the unfolding drama. I found that the Euros and Copa America have only whetted my appetite for the coming season and that Rafa's emergence as the new manager will make 21/22 full of drama one way or the other. It should be a fascinating season. The first derby is November 30th. By then we will know how the season is developing. Either Everton will score first and we will be taunting them by chanting Rafa's name, or they will score first and ignorant kopites will be taunting us by chanting his name.

Tense. Toxic. Terror. (Assuming it is not 0-0.) How can anyone turn away from that?

Dale Self
68 Posted 07/07/2021 at 17:01:48
Good to see the Fearon name on something here. And fine spirit on our situation Peter.
Ian Riley
69 Posted 07/07/2021 at 19:09:47
Managers come and go but Everton fc remain. I respect your choice to move on but I don't understand it. Rafa was interviewed and his CV was proved to be the best. I believe Rafa will be loyal and work hard to make Everton a better team. I can't ask for more. The owner has pumped millions into our club and kept season tickets at affordable prices for all.

Everton are part of my life like my family with very similar emotions! Can you really move on after so many years of Everton in your life? If you can good on you. My thought is when you view our results the delight or sadness will still be with you. That's not moving on, that's Everton fc!!

Christy Ring
70 Posted 07/07/2021 at 20:04:41
James,

It's your choice, and I respect your decision. I never liked Benitez but, after Koeman, Silva, Sam and Carlo doing the dirt, I said, even with Rafa it can't get any worse? I hope for his sake I'm right.

Paul Kernot
71 Posted 07/07/2021 at 23:44:21
To quote Rick Astley, I'm never gonna give Everton up. As bad as it may get, I'm a dyed-in-the-wool Blue.

Monday mornings at school during the '70s was worse than now for me when the Red Shite won pretty much every Saturday, we were average at best and I got constant arseholes from my red mates, and there were plenty of them.

I'm still playing, coaching and reffing at 60. I just played my first game of walking football, for God's sake, so I'll never give up footie in general either.

Jerome Shields
72 Posted 07/07/2021 at 00:01:28
James #54,

I went the same way regarding how I watched Everton. I also find ToffeeWeb has helped a lot. I think there is not that big a difference between how you and I feel at times.

I just don't believe that Everton as they are being run can continue. So, after 20-plus years, change may be about to happen. That is why I stick in there.


James Lauwervine
73 Posted 08/07/2021 at 09:19:39
John #65, thanks for that, I'm not quite there yet but appreciate your confidence in me. Pete #63 you're right. Working from home all day, sat on my todd, too much time to dwell on stuff, so a night out with the lads would go a long way to getting my head straight. This has been a heartwarming and cathartic experience. Evertonians really are the best.
David Midgley
74 Posted 08/07/2021 at 18:02:24
Bill, a bit harsh on James.

30/31. PVdH. Great minds think alike. He'd put the wind up Hannibal Lecter.

James just be careful, sometimes I'd slip out of a club with a pass out. When I went back later, some cracking girls had come in and copped for some right divvies. Stay away too long and you just might miss some action.

John McFarlane Snr
75 Posted 08/07/2021 at 21:52:54
Hi James [54] thank you for your kind words.

I no longer have the passion that I had in my younger days, and I have learned to accept that there are more important things in life than football but, as I have written, for the best part of two hours, my world is 120 yards long and 75 yards wide on match days.

I have renewed my season ticket because I'm programmed to attend games when Everton are at home. I have been attending games at Goodison since 1948 and as I will be 83 in a week's time, the decision to call it a day may be taken out of my hands.

I can't imagine a day when I refuse to go to the match. My philosophy is that every game is unique, having never been played before, and will never be played again, and the uncertainty is what draws us like a magnet.

I hope that you will have a change of heart, and that the good times are around the corner, and it's my wish that the younger fans can experience what we older fans have enjoyed. Don't be too hasty.

Tom Bowers
76 Posted 08/07/2021 at 22:10:03
To each his own (or her own) but I will always follow the team I grew up with as did my Dad. Sure things have changed but nothing stays the same in any walk of life.

Football has become much more boring than it used to be thanks to big money and coaching tactics designed to keep clubs in the hunt for success or survival.

We have the right to disagree with club's appointments at any level, on or off the field but the fact is it is a business and they will hire and fire people as they see fit just like any firm in the country.

We have had many unpopular hirings and firings, signings and transfers over the years but some work out and some don't.

Let's go with the flow and see what transpires.

Brendan McLaughlin
77 Posted 08/07/2021 at 22:34:10
Not really aimed at James's dilema but my experience is that a lot of people grow up (mature?) differently and, for some, supporting a football team just loses the appeal.

For some reason, however, a lot of those people feel the need to find a particular justification for walking away from their team. Me... Everton... I'm fecking Peter Pan!

Christine Foster
78 Posted 09/07/2021 at 11:17:10
Brendan,

I grow older but I never grew up. Everton have been with me since my earliest memory, a blue scarf and rattle. I used to sit and watch the crowds walk up past the Rotunda going to the match, thousands and thousands of them, when attendance was 40, 50, or even 60,000... never will I see it again, but never will I forget it either.

I watched Albert Dunlop save a penalty between his legs. My first game, I had tears in my eyes standing 20 feet away from Alex Young as he had his shirt in tatters. Watching a magician, sat on my school wall (Holy Ghost Annexe) on the cinder path on Bootle Golf course as Roy Vernon. Brian Labone and others chatted and gave me their autographs. I learnt to write copying the Pink Echo match reports. I stood in the rain on my wedding day cheering. I had a season ticket for 6 years after I left the UK... couldn't give it up. I went to the 1968 FA Cup Final on my own. I went to the 1995 FA Cup Final too.

I've seen the good, the bad, and the ugly. Have lived all over the world, had a good career, brought up a family, been loved, been hurt, but I am still a kid with Blue eyes only. Despite everything the world throws at you, a place in your heart is forever Everton. Welcome home, James, the table is laid.

Jimmy Salt
79 Posted 09/07/2021 at 12:07:10
I agree with everything James says and feel all the frustration and trepidation.

But I'll never let go.

David Midgley
80 Posted 09/07/2021 at 14:08:52
James,

I you've been an Evertonian for most of your life, and many have, it would be like losing a finger. You could manage but it wouldn't be the same.

On the road to Sainthood, all are tested.

Si Cooper
81 Posted 10/07/2021 at 02:25:23
My Blue allegiance seems as natural to me as breathing. I grew up in a non-partisan household with antecedents of either stripe and we got to pick for ourselves (or not at all); my brothers picked Red and I picked Blue. It was a choice for life though. In my mind, you don't flip-flop on your sporting choices. Then you'd just be a ‘glory hunter'.

But sport isn't the be-all and end-all. It's a useful distraction and can be thrilling and entertaining, but it gets relegated when other priorities rise. That may be what's affecting James more than me; it's hard to justify hours spent watching your team if there's lots of other things that really do require your attention and the release / boost you get from spectating is dubious because the team is doing little to inspire / improve your mood.

James, you must be pretty much the same age as me and your match-going history seems near identical. May be the easy come, easy go nature of that mid-eighties trip to the top of the heap – it came almost from nowhere, seemed like it would last forever, and then pretty quickly faded away – has softened some resolve. We don't have the sense of ‘it's our rightful place' that the older guys have, and our craving for success isn't like those who came after and have nothing but stories from those of us who have been lucky enough to have participated in those great celebrations.

Paul Birmingham
82 Posted 10/07/2021 at 08:40:07
Hope eternal, in life and all matters Everton.

It's a religion, born, living and I'll die a Bluenose, like my Dad and his Dad.

Frustrations, disappointments have been the main offerings on the Everton menu, but I believe they can achieve success again. How this is achieved and importantly sustained will be the challenge.

James, you're right in your assessment of the modern game and it's dictated by money, and the teams that win the most bar a few exceptions, win the trophies and success.

But hope and belief, and you never know, but hopefully soon Everton, will achieve success. That will be some day.

Steve Greir
83 Posted 10/07/2021 at 09:25:25
Bill (60), Matthew (62), this one's for you, though frankly I am amazed no one got in before me

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G29DXfcdhBg

James, great article and follow-up post. Quitting is easy mate. I've done it hundreds of times.

Bob Parrington
84 Posted 10/07/2021 at 13:22:13
James - Mate! Reckon I can understand to an extent what you're going through. I was wondering how to respond and then I read Christine Foster's #16 post and was blown away by the way she expressed a true Everton supporter view.

Please read Christines posting @ 16 again. I hope it might help you come back in to the 'fold'.

Christine Foster
85 Posted 13/07/2021 at 03:09:51
Bob, *84,

I wish I could lay claim to be a brilliant Evertonian, but there is no such thing. Once Everton has touched you, as they say, then you are consigned to fate. But you are never left without hope, the thread that is woven into every Everton shirt.

Know to that no matter where you are from, once touched, no matter your age of birthplace, the effect is the same. Coming from the tribe around Scotland Road and Everton Valley, I was left touched at an early age, as a result endured more than most, lived with the gods and defended the indefensible because they were Blue, but drew lines for myself when those in charge of our club stepped over the line and forgot why they were there.

It's our club… your club. So to James and those who tire, go and wander this earth but remember where your love is, remember the joy, the smile and no matter how long you are away, you will be welcomed on your return. (You can check out but you can never leave)

Mark Murphy
86 Posted 13/07/2021 at 07:47:57
I gave up Everton when Benitez was appointed.
It lasted a week.
UTFT
Danny O’Neill
87 Posted 13/07/2021 at 07:58:00
I've given up a lot of things in life. Made sacrifices, had to unfortunately put the family second for several months. That's not a boast, far from it and something I'm not proud of, but I had no choice.

One thing I've never given up on is Everton. On that you could argue I did / do have a choice. But I don't. It's Everton.

Jim Lloyd
88 Posted 13/07/2021 at 09:32:31
Hello James,

Like many of us, I was stuck in the house being what they call "shielded". For months, it was go for an early morning walk, then stuck in for the rest of the day and the bloody phone bill was enormous.

Through that time, I had long discussions with myself about what was important in life and the temptation to give up going to the match and get off to see the country wasn't 'alf strong.

I thought of all the nice places in this country, that I haven't seen and compared that to the dire tripe I listened to on Radio Everton during the 2nd half of the season.

If you've been stuck in the house doing your job and having little escape from it, then it's no wonder you've had an attack of miseryitis! I don't know how you came to be an Evertonian but think back, mate. Think of all the good times, bad times, mad times and sad times and the one thing you've got, through all of them, is a bond as strong as family. It's just that you don't know most of us.

The stories on here, of how we became Evertonians, are just brilliant and heartwarming and we've all seen the duff times, and many poor youngsters have only seen the duff times.

Most of the kids in our junior school were Reds, so I joined the Blues when we played football at dinner times. Playing on the 'oller was the same, Blues against the Reds. Going the first match, when I was about 5, with my dad; going the Boys Pen when my dad let me go on my own.

Seeing Roy Vernon score a hat-trick when we beat Fulham and were presented with the League Trophy. Watching my biggest hero, among all the heros, Alex Young, weaving his magic. Being 2-0 down at Wembley with about half-an-hour to go, Then Mike Trebilcock scoring a couple of beauts, before Derek Temple blasted the net apart for the third, in one of the most dramatic cup finals ever.

At the other end of the spectrum, sitting in a crowded pub and we all went mad when we escaped relegation after beating Wimbledon after being 2-0 down.

Going delirious again when we escaped relegation yet again, after winning the match at Goodison, and hoping our rivals didn't win, or we'd be relegated.

So many shared memories throughout a life time, some great times among them. But we have a future to see what happens.

As for our new manager. Well, the way I look at the appointment of Rafa Benitez, was at first, I thought "No, not possible." But, after the way Ancelotti sneaked away, I think we were left in a terrible mess. Players that we need to sell, but probably can't. Players who we'd like but probably can't afford because of this bloody FFP.

So, for the position we're in, I think that Benitez is our best hope of getting a well organised group of players of varying abilities, pulling their tripes out in every match they play. That's what I think Rafa Benitez will give us.

What I'd dearly hope for is him get us to Wembley and win a cup, but if we become a team that's hard to beat, that will fight for 90 minutes every match, that we bring in better players as and when we can, well... that'll do for now.

James, I hope, like so many on here, that you get over your miseryitis because we make daft decisions when we're feeling low. There is always hope... it keeps us going.

James Lauwervine
89 Posted 15/07/2021 at 16:12:17
Thanks Jim. And Christine for that matter. I came back and read your posts so I guess I'm sticking around. Still not happy but it's not so easy to move on after all, despite how logical it might seem at the time.
Sukhdev Sohal
90 Posted 25/07/2021 at 16:38:56
I don't think I could ever lose love for this club, but I have only supported us since 2013. I think Rafa is better suited to our players than Carlo. Yes they went against our fans but he's probably the best and most safe option.

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