In modern culture, people in all walks of life seemingly believe they are deserving of more, of better, with barely any justification or semblance of self-reflection. Entitlement abounds and, in recent years, the bastard has been decked out in Everton blue.

John Daley 01/04/2022 67comments  |  Jump to last
In modern culture, people in all walks of life seemingly believe they are deserving of more, of better, with barely any justification or semblance of self-reflection. Entitlement abounds and, in recent years, the bastard has been decked out in Everton blue.

Despite the old maxim ‘the table never lies’, I am positive nobody at the club –whether they be player, coaching staff or board member – believes they deserve to be down at the bottom, or that such a lowly position is a truly precise representation of their prolonged turgidness. Rather, the current situation is seemingly viewed, internally, as being caused by the coalescing of a calamitous set of circumstances beyond their control…

Ancelotti’s unanticipated arrivederci; the departure of James, Digne and the Icelandic Invisible Man; injuries to key personnel; Benitez being a stubborn and vainglorious bad bell; VAR victimhood etc… This belief has been dangerously allied to a sense that things are simply bound to change soon, that something will suddenly click into place and the points will surely come.

I sense a faint smell of danger

Moshiri gave a glimpse of this behind-closed-doors mindset back in December (following a 1-4 drubbing in the derby) when blithely dismissing concerns over a disastrous run of results that had brought 1 win from the previous 11 games:
“Football is about crisis one day and glory the following day. Rafa is a good manager and underperformance is largely due to the injuries… (Over the) next two weeks, we will get to a full squad and, in the meantime, results will improve”. All he was missing was the red fez and Tommy Cooper catchphrase to finish off.

If this club were to go down, you can imagine Moshiri reenacting Gene Hackman’s final scene as ‘Little Bill’ in Clint Eastwood’s Unforgiven, just as he’s about to be blown away by Will Munny: "I don't deserve this… to die like this. I was building a ground!” The thing is, Farhad, in football, just as in life, or a revisionist western classic, “'Deserves' ain't got nothing to do with it”.

You do not deserve anything unless you work your damndest for it. You need to be fully focused on the task at hand, put in the time, the sweat, the graft, the thought, give it everything you have got and a few dregs more if necessary. Only then do you earn the right to obtain and achieve. You don’t just go through the motions and expect what you desire to be handed to you without merit.

This is a man who stated upon his arrival that “There has never been a more level playing field in the Premier League than now”, and from that erroneous starting point has singularly failed to give this club the full focus it deserves. He purchased his shares and has mostly sat back thinking “This shit can run itself”, his only actions being to put his hand in his (or his mate's) pocket and make a complete arse of himself on occasion.

A man who bought a football club but didn’t want to bother with it unless he must; a man who set himself up to fail from the off by allowing a proven bullshitter who refused to budge to remain in his role of Chairman; a man who saw overpaying on the ordinary as ‘opportunity’.

A man with a mounting back-catalogue of disastrous managerial choices; a man whose every attempt at communication with the fans has been alarmingly amateurish and embarrassingly cringe-worthy; a man who spunks more money on severance packages than he does on putting a system of competent people in place.

A man whose reign during the self-dubbed “level playing field” era has resulted in Everton reaching its lowest ebb for decades. Prior to the Newcastle game, his “level playing field” saw Burnley pick up 9 points in the previous 6 weeks and Everton 9 points in the previous 6 months. 9 points from a possible 60.

You look to the very top for leadership as that is where it begins to trickle down…and what do Evertonians see? An incompetent at best, a wide-eyed money-washing meff at worst.

Kenwright may be a cretin but Moshiri is the fucking Kraken, dragging Everton down to the darkest depths with ludicrous decision after ludicrous decision. Like the mythical sea creature, he lays low, only surfacing when suitably disrupted, tittish tentacles flailing all over the place, before pissing off and leaving a chaotic whirlpool in his wake. The fact he’s chucked millions at it is meaningless when spent on a load of old mullock:

“Ungrateful you lot. I spent over £500M, me. Bought half a billion pounds worth of inflatable pricks for your benefit. I let Billy the Bozo doss in the Big Top. Even hired a ‘Director of Balloon Dickery’ and a ‘Floaty Cock Coach’ to get the best out of those bouyant bellends – both of whom had absolutely stellar previous experience in the fields of telecommunications and goat-herding, by the way – and this is the thanks I get? Disgusting. Absolutely disgusting. What else do you want me to do, you bunch of bad dossers?”

Somehow, Bill managed to find the only billionaire accountant in the world who thinks the wank movie Brewsters Millions was a workable business model.

The half-measures ‘hobbyist’ approach from the top has found its perfect avatar in the hapless on-field performances of the players this season. They go through the motions in a ‘professional’ manner. It’s not that they don’t try or don’t put in any effort, but they don’t dig deep. They don’t go to the limit. They have no resolve or fortitude.

Despite the many embarrassments this season, we have still to see a response, a railing against potentially slipping out of the Premier League in the most meek manner possible. We can’t even respond to going a goal down…

The only people associated with this club who do not deserve the shame of relegation are the supporters – and they’re the ones who are going to suffer the most. To borrow more words from Will Munny, “We all got it coming, kid”.

These players are in precisely the position their performances merit, yet still talk repeatedly about ‘the quality within the squad’ as though that will be enough minus mettle. Lampard spoke recently of the team lacking ‘the bollocks to play’. For me it goes deeper than that. Truth is they can’t find the motivation to rouse themselves because they don’t care, not deeply, not to the degree that they’ll give every last drop, nor do they fear the consequences of failure.

I don’t believe for one minute that Allan, for example, will be laying his muzzied head down on a moistened pillow at night, with a roll of Andrex at the ready next to his converted Alvin and the Chipmunks children's bed (and if he is, then it will be for reasons entirely different to drying his eyes over Evertonian dire straits).

Take Calvert-Lewin, one of the very few players to have visibly improved during the last 5 years, and one who has actually earned a place in the team, rather than being there purely on reputation or price tag. In his most recent appearances, he’s trotted about like he hasn’t got a care in the world, other than keeping his hair in place.

He may have been injured earlier in the season, he may not have been match-fit, but in a time of great crisis for the club which has helped progress his career to this point (despite his finishing being about as lethal as Face Man from the fucking A-Team for the first 3 years) he should still be busting a gut and trying his damndest to at least make a nuisance of himself.

Again, I would claim the truth is he probably doesn’t care. Not really. Not beyond it being ‘a bit of a shame’ and a sting to professional pride. He doesn’t have to care because relegation will not affect him or his career too adversely. He’ll just get a plumb move somewhere else and probably at a discount. After all, he deserves to play in the Premier League.

Then there’s Michael Keane, an Everton player symptomatic of all that is wrong with this club under Moshiri. Massively overpriced, piss-poor return for the wage packet he picks up, a handful of decent performances scattered over his period at the club heavily outweighed by utter wank, week-after-week, yet still a shoo-in to start most games, suspect in mentality and loses all composure following a cock-up.

I’m utterly sick of seeing the sort of badly soul-shaken look on his mug normally sported by a porn starlet sixteen shots into a mass bukkake session. Motherfucker can’t run, can’t turn, can’t jump and has a head made of marshmallow. He’s been shocking for 5 years and still has people ‘sticking up for him’ because he had a sore foot for a bit several years ago and doesn’t drop quite so many bollocks if his deficiencies are mitigated by playing a low-block.

Everton have made more errors leading to goals than any other team in the Premier League and have conceded more own-goals than any other team in the Premier League. Keane has been a big part of the problem for a long time now… yet, in his mind, he deserves to be in the England squad and got on the blower to Gareth Southgate to say so, wanting to know why he was left out last summer. If only he’d open his mouth and show such nerve on the pitch.

It makes it worse when you see a gaunt Peter Reid sat there watching grim-faced in his big space hopper of a hat, looking like the bad guy from Poltergeist 2. He serves as a reminder that Everton's most successful side ever was stuffed full of men who wouldn't hesitate to hand out a few mid-game home truth's to anyone they thought was hiding, being a bit half-arsed, or whose muzzy/mullet combo was way too Miami Vice for a night out in Maghull. Now we have sealed lips, shakes of the head, and dressing as a schoolgirl for photoshoots.

The squad is utterly bereft of leadership. There appears to be no communication on the pitch, no organising, no cajoling, no arguing, no words to ‘Wake the fuck up’. Every setback is met with the sort of head-sunk shambling silence the Chief from One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest used to mop up mentalists shite in.

Coleman is seemingly captain by virtue of being the longest-serving but he’s not an ‘organiser’ or particularly vocal. He’s more the type who ‘leads by example’ and, unfortunately, the example he’s currently setting is ‘struggling to keep pace’ and ‘soon to be robbing Roger Murtaugh’s Lethal Weapon line’.

I heard Neil Warnock ask recently, “Do you think they’ve got a John Terry at the back? Do you think they’ve got somebody that’s going to grab hold of somebody by the shirt? I don’t see that in the squad. Frank needs help on the pitch. He needs one or two leaders. He needs people to help him in that dressing room”. Now, I know he’s a nob… but this time he’s a nob pointing in the right direction.

Rewind to the Great Escape Wimbledon game from 1994 and look at the team sheet:


That was a poor side. A mix of ageing stalwarts and journeymen. A team that had, prior to Judgement Day, managed a paltry 3 goals in 9 games while conceding 17. A team that had won 4 games from their last 25. Yet, backs to the wall and on current form, when taking into consideration character and fight, I don’t think I would replace one of those players with a name from our present-day squad. Not a single one.

They don’t deserve it.

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Reader Comments (67)

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Barry Hesketh
1 Posted 01/04/2022 at 13:18:26
John, it is sobering how little 'panic' or even mild concern that there is within the club about the possibility of Everton getting relegated. There's six weeks to do something about it, but given past opportunities this season to clamber away from the drop zone, the portents don't look good.

It's not impossible of course, indeed it should be, given the talent in the squad, somewhat of a formality, but without the right attitude, the will to at least not get beat, there is the distinct chance that this squad will slide down to the lower division without too much of a fight.

The silence from the boardroom and the owner speaks volumes, but they'll still expect us all to be at Goodison next season, regardless of which division we are in, they will act as if nothing was wrong; it will be, as you point out, due to circumstances beyond their control, fate, luck etc.

When it has been obvious since the start of Novemeber, if not earlier, that this squad is quite capable of dropping points in any given game against any given opponnent, and this squad finds it almost impossible to beat any team, without a struggle – a perfect recipe to almost guarantee relegation.

Jon Harding
2 Posted 01/04/2022 at 13:44:38
Brilliant, John, especially the film analogies. (Love Unforgiven.)

I sense you started typing fairly calmly but then became ever more furious as your article progressed, climaxing in total rage with the priceless line "dressing as a schoolgirl for photoshoots".

I hope publishing this was at least a little therapeutic for you because you're entirely right and there's bugger all else we fans can do.

I was struck in Howard's Way by how much the 80s team challenged each other, even the captain copping abuse from Reidy: "You turning up today or what, Ratters?".

Keep posting John, whatever happens.

Kieran Kinsella
3 Posted 01/04/2022 at 14:13:58
Brilliant John. This attitude started under Martinez with 16-year-olds called 'diamonds' and unproven players called 'phenomenal'. Since then, they've adopted that attitude and every loss is a mishap and there's always tomorrow. We are almost out of tomorrows…
Duncan McDine
4 Posted 01/04/2022 at 14:28:29
Thank you, John Daley. The Alvin and the Chipmunks bed was leftfield even for you, but I got a kick out of it. Beautiful.
Paul Cherrington
5 Posted 01/04/2022 at 14:29:49
Agree with what this article brilliantly says and also the other comments about it above. it is clear there is no leadership amongst this group and certainly not out on the pitch.

We wouldn't have conceded the 4th goal against Palace in exactly the same manner as the 3rd one if there was.

Lampard needs to shake the club out if its complacency by picking some different players who might have some urgency, passion and bottle. After his post-game Palace comments, I sense he will.

People still seem to think games in hands means we will automatically be fine - not so sure if things don't change soon.

Ken Kneale
6 Posted 01/04/2022 at 14:56:09
John - very readable - sadly true
Lynn Maher
7 Posted 01/04/2022 at 15:21:39
Could not agree with you more, John. I'm not even sure we could reach the heights of mediocrity with the current squad, set up, etc. we have at Everton.

In Lampards latest press conference, he says Dominic Calvert-Lewin is “in a really good place”. What does that even mean?

I'm in a really good place at the moment, the sunny Algarve... but I still wouldn't be able to put a shift in for Everton!

Please someone just show them the basics. It would be a start.

Stu Darlington
8 Posted 01/04/2022 at 15:29:21
John, verging on a rant this, but very enjoyable and very true.

What we need is a “Big X” to take control, like in the Great Escape. What we got is a Big Bill!

Nick White
9 Posted 01/04/2022 at 15:30:41
Great article, John, passionate, funny and sad at the same time, loved reading it and a sad summary of where we currently are. Agree about the Wimbledon game team and the current team, not a patch (and that team was bad)!

Lay off the criticism of Brewster's Millions though, classic film that.😂

Danny O’Neill
10 Posted 01/04/2022 at 15:59:12
I keep repeating myself. The malaise and resting of laurels set in decades ago. We stood still and failed to build or progress.

Those in charge have led a good life by existing rather than trying to win and challenge.

That's been the mentality of the club. Exist and feed off the scraps of a couple of decent runs or wins.

Don't play up expectation or that will make the white collars feel pressure. Play it down so the masses accept a DVD over an Andy Johnson inspired rare derby victory.

Finn Taylor
11 Posted 01/04/2022 at 16:08:25
Brilliant piece John, refreshingly true.

Have to agree with Kieran - the blasé attitude of 'there is always tomorrow' is horrifying.

I actually think that Lampard hasn't got a clue what he is doing.

Tony Abrahams
12 Posted 01/04/2022 at 16:33:22
What I’d do to have this Everton team, have someone with the brains and the character of The Chief. He kidded everyone, but like the article says, the present Everton squad are kidding nobody but themselves, so let’s see how they respond to the manager telling the truth, by claiming they lack bollocks, because if they don’t really care, we are fucked
Dennis Stevens
13 Posted 01/04/2022 at 16:42:17
To think that most of that team from the last day of the 93-94 season went on to win the Cup the following season! Tbf, I think it a bit cruel not to have mentioned Barlow coming on as sub - his impact was immediate as Stuart scored the winner within a minute of his introduction, or maybe that was just a coincidence. :-)
Dale Self
14 Posted 01/04/2022 at 17:04:32
Nice John! Good to read you again. I would offer a colonial take on this by referencing 'Brewster McCloud' - synopsis:The film follows a young recluse (Bud Cort, as the title character) who lives in a fallout shelter of the Houston Astrodome [Goodison for our purposes here], where he is building a pair of wings in order to fly.

Keep it going, by the way I think enough of them do care but have been failed by leadership that simply switched things up too much out of a desperate effort to meet expectations that were beyond them.

Gerard McKean
15 Posted 01/04/2022 at 18:00:08
In a a sense, I wish I didn't have to say this, John, but your article is bang on the money. The cinematic references were spot on, too, enjoyed them.

I was sitting having a pint with an old friend last night and I asked him a question, to which I already knew the answer: Did you ever go out onto a football pitch not believing 'We're going to win this'?

To us, it would have been anathema even to admit defeat was possible. Of course we did not win every game, but we certainly gave our all in every game.

Unfortunately, the malaise that Danny speaks of and the call for a change in culture that Colin Ellis wrote about recently are not confined to the pitch, and as you, John, and they point out, the problems run throughout the club.

Again, something else I wish I didn't have to say: the club across the park is a well-run football business with a ruthless focus on the thing that matters most in such a business, success on the pitch.

We have no such focus, we are hapless amateurs in comparison. The monkeys are running the zoo.

Everton has become a zombie club of the Premier League, forever hovering between the life of a very occasional cup final appearance and the the death as another mediocre mid-table season meanders to a close. The very real worry now is that even that zombie status is threatened and I'm not sure we'd recover from relegation for a long time.

Jay Harris
16 Posted 01/04/2022 at 18:10:16
Great post John. think the complacency set in a long time ago.

I remember a former player saying none of the directors took an interest in the players so all they had to keep happy was the manager.

I wonder with our tax exile owner and London based chairman whether an increased interest from them might make the playes buck up a litle

Dave Abrahams
17 Posted 01/04/2022 at 18:27:01
If one incident, and there have been dozens throughout this season, that showed a complete lack of bollocks and aggression watch Spurs third goal a few weeks ago which started on the half way line, Keane is almost apologising to Kane for trying, patheticly, to make a tackle on him, like he sorry to be getting in his way.

And yet in the Newcastle 1-0 victory Keane had a very good game, he showed plenty of aggression, wanted to win the ball, let the Newcastle strikers know he was there throughout the game, glad they never tested him for being on something after the game, because that altar boy Michael wasn’t there he was replaced by, his normal standard, an Hells Angel on a motorbike.

Why the fuck can’t he play like that every game along with another half a dozen of the other dozy, wish I wasn’t here bastards, if you can’t do it for us then pretend your mam is watching and do it for them for the rest of the season then at the end when we are safe fuck off and take Billy Boy and his mates with you.

Jeff Armstrong
18 Posted 01/04/2022 at 19:43:00
As ever, a fantastic analogy John, pity this article couldn’t be put up in a certain home dressing room, sadly, it’s the supporters that will carry this disgrace with them for the rest of their days, I’m 59, never seen us relegated ( lots of older supporters not seen it either ) I’m currently embarrassed on a daily basis by RS know nothing’s, older than me Mancs who didn’t even know who their skipper was when they went down in 74, Geordies who think they’ve hit the jackpot ( tee fuckin hee ) all due to my work location.
Nothing would give me more pleasure, yes,...even some of those trophies in the 80’s, than to stay up this season.

Our record staying in the top flight is worth a few cups imo.

Andy Crooks
19 Posted 01/04/2022 at 20:00:27
Brilliant, John.

There is not one excuse left for any of them. Possibly the worst mixture to ever walk on to represent Everton. All the stars have aligned to produce this monumental pile of shite.

They have no shame.

Jamal Hassim
20 Posted 01/04/2022 at 20:06:09
Thank you John; brilliantly vocalising how the poor suffering fans have been feeling for a very long time. I've been saying to those who have been listening for some time now what the Chief Exec of the current league leaders told me a few years ago: "Everton's management don't have a winning mindset and that sets the tone for the whole club The Club's benchmark for success is getting one over the Reds in the derby." Cant't argue with that statement. Sadly I think that the only way to shake this club to the core is relegation. A kick up their backsides from the lack of significant tv money will wake them up! Get them back to the to basics of picking players from the lower leagues who will give "a shit" about the Club, and bleed to wear the jersey. EFC has never been a glamour club, we should pick players who represent what the Club and the fans are all about. I suspect most of us here will be absolutely ok with the Club not being "flash" but instead be all about fielding players who wear their hearts on a sleeve and give 100% every match day. Give me stick, but I always felt it was the right time to bring Moyesy back for his second term to give the current players the kick they badly needed, rather than Frank. But alas Frank is who we got. Let us perhaps stop stressing because the weekly "Jackle and Hyde" performances on the field are going us mini heart attacks and depression...for what?? Let's look forward to end of the season and the much needed reset and rebuilding. Survival from relegation this season I suspect will lead us to very much of the same in the 2022/23 season.
Gerry Morrison
21 Posted 01/04/2022 at 20:21:00
Thanks for putting it so well, John. Hard to argue with any of that.
Jon Harding
22 Posted 01/04/2022 at 20:40:49
Gérard @ 15 - zombie club
That is a horrific phrase
But sadly rather apt
Paul Birmingham
23 Posted 01/04/2022 at 20:54:41
Great summary John, and spot on.

I've said previously that the board are not connected to the club, in their capacity of the chief stakeholders, as their business decision-making in all matters of football, has brought Everton to its knees.

Seriously the most poorly managed dysfunctional football club at the business level in the Premier League, and possibly Europe.

Absolute disgrace and Everton can't last on a hope and a prayer forever.

Survival plan for this season, and starting at West Ham, who according to some West Ham fans I've spoken to this week, are dipping in form.

Let's hope Everton can lay the ghost of 2 weeks ago.

Howard Sykes
24 Posted 01/04/2022 at 21:08:57
I remember when I was a lad in 1969 opting to support Everton over the other possibilities. I remember from a local sports shop buying an Everton bag that had two nicknames on it: The Toffees and The Millionaires. Laugh out loud.

In all that time, three First Division titles, two FA Cups and one European Cup-Winners Cup. Coming second in 1986 in both the 1st Division and the FA Cup to Liverpool who had ensured by their behaviour at Heysel that we didn't get our chance of a crack at the European Cup that year.

Jack Convery
25 Posted 01/04/2022 at 22:11:56
Great piece and says it all for me. I still have nightmares after losing to the RS kids. That game told me the players didn't and still don't give a flying you know what for the club that gives them a great living. Then when BK came out with the line - we've had some good times - I wanted to scream. That statement should have sealed his end with EFC but no, he's still hanging around like Marley's ghost. If we go down we will do a Leeds / Sheff Wed / Sunderland mark my words. The Championship is a dog eat dog world and we longer have the dogs of war just the dregs of yore.
Paul Kernot
26 Posted 01/04/2022 at 22:12:03
You want the truth Moshiri? You can't handle the truth.
Ben Howard
27 Posted 01/04/2022 at 22:30:34
What a great read, John. Damning as hell but brilliantly entertaining. It was worth the admission price for this alone:

"I'm utterly sick of seeing the sort of badly soul-shaken look on his mug normally sported by a porn starlet sixteen shots into a mass bukkake session."

Tony Everan
28 Posted 01/04/2022 at 22:43:54
Top post, John, enjoyed it. Cuts to the heart of our players' shortcomings. The hunger for it from many of them just isn't there, is it? They give the appearance of it, but it's only skin deep.

The weekly white flag submissive reaction to going a goal behind says it all. Where's the leaders? Where's the real men? Who cares about what's happening enough to act in real time and do something? Who will step up to the plate and shake some of them out of their brain-fogged torpor?

Frank Lampard has got his work cut out to realign the players' mentality; he is going to have to prove he is a real manager and not just a name.

Don Alexander
29 Posted 01/04/2022 at 23:29:10
Ranting on about Lampard, Benitez, Silva, Allardyce, Koeman, Martinez, Unsworth, Ferguson (and I apologise if I've missed one) "having to do the business of a manager" completely misses the point of the article, folks, which expounds massively on what other savvy posters, myself included, have been saying for years, namely that the poison embedded within the whole club is the entire responsibility of the Chairman and his bizarre choice as owner.

Kenwright is as valid as a nine-bob note in any capacity, chock full of shit as he is. His sycophantic ex-player "coaches" all know they're on Easy Street whilst he's in-post and this is transmitted to the players, all of whom diminish in their profession having been signed on for absurd money by the spiv who openly boasts that we're the go-to club for advice when things go pear-shaped.

If we avoid relegation this season, I expect another dismal season, and the season after that, as a minimum. That's how badly we've been run for decades, despite half a £billion having been splashed against the wall by our self-proclaimed "maestro" who's still in the top job since Usmanov's gopher took alleged charge.

Mike Corcoran
30 Posted 01/04/2022 at 00:09:02
Owner Valerie Singleton
Chairman Melvin Hayes
Manager whoever - David Brent
Squad - Late Vegas Elvis

Looking grim John Daley. Great writing as per though.

Danny O’Neill
31 Posted 02/04/2022 at 06:15:54
Dave Abrahams @17, my take on your "why can't he play that every game".

Acceptance of responsibility and leadership. He is our oldest and by default, most experienced central defender. But he is always looking to be led rather than lead. Like too many in our team.

Like a rudderless ship, we have no leader. Allan is the closest we have. It might not make a difference football wise, but it is so important on the pitch to have leaders, not just a captain wearing the armband.

Bobby Thomas
32 Posted 02/04/2022 at 09:21:25
Absolutely nailed Michael Keane to a tee.
Eddie Dunn
33 Posted 02/04/2022 at 09:26:19
John- you always get to the truth and you lightened my mood. Sitting here with Covid and I still have to work all day, unlike our pampered millionaires.
I watched Lampard's presser and I got the impression that he has lost all hope. He is banking on Domenic suddenly being fit and our wingers actually putting in some crosses.
The thing is, Frank looks frightened. He hasn't got the bollocks to throw the youngsters in and still hopes that somehow these frauds will conjure up a clean sheet. there is more chance of a clean sheet in a colostomy ward.
If Frank plays a back five and only two midfielders in the vast prairie of the London Stadium, then he will confirm that he is as stubborn as Benitez.
I don't care who he selects but he has to play three.
Seamus will be exposed if Bowen is fit and Antonio also likes that left wing, so double jeopardy there.
Lampard keeps mentioning how many games are left and how many points are still to play for.
15, 14, 13, 12, 11 but it means nothing unless we start picking them up.
I fear that Frank cannot get a tune out of them and he is running out of ideas and excuses. He can't jump ship so late in the campaign, but I bet he wishes he'd stayed in London.

Niall McIlhone
34 Posted 02/04/2022 at 11:58:23
Great stuff as ever John, but on the subject of our chairman, I would like to offer a perspective from a friend of mine who worked for some years in theatre in the West End of London, in a backstage job.

He worked on quite a number of productions for Kenwright's production company and basically, what he told me was that Blue Bill's persona as Everton's chairman is actually very different from his reputation in the theatre world?

Apparently, Kenwright is absolutely ruthless when things don't go to plan, and he has sacked lots of people in the process. He's also regarded as something of a skinflint, and was or is always foraging for ways of squeezing an extra dollar out of theatre punters.

Contrast that with Bill's sentimental, home-boy, nostalgia sodden persona as Chairman, and it cuts quite a sharp one doesn't it? Is Bill simply therefore just, well, playing an actor's role as the club's Chairman?

The fact is, for all Kenwright's currency in stabilising Everton FC after the Park Hampers bloke left us in a puddle, he is now a very, very rich man through his gains from EFC but whose tenure has been one largely of mediocrity, and ultimately, abject failure. He must step down now, and take Denise Barrett-Baxendale with him.

Jerome Shields
35 Posted 02/04/2022 at 12:33:27
John your article reflected the foundations on which I base my Everton to avoid relegation theory.

That bad things do not happen to bad uns.

It is a matter of luck and rather than design to survive. There is no way this team is putting the necessary preparation in. Why? because they believe don't have too, as you say. There is a prevailing sense of entitlement that Premier League status is assured. Even Frank seems to buy into this with ' enough games left to recover'.

I also have long held the view that Internwtional Breaks are seen at Everton as a jolly , rather that periods for serious redress and work.

It is difficult to understand the sense of entitlement unless you think in terms of there being three ways of doing things.

The right way

The wrong way

The Everton way.

The Everton Way ignores the first two.

Dave Abrahams
36 Posted 02/04/2022 at 12:50:49
Eddie (33),

If the story is true that Everton can review Lampard's position at the end of the season without having to honour the rest of his contract, then they have given him a way out before he even started the job. Maybe that's why he looks like he is bewildered with how to get us out of the position we are in and doesn't know how to fix it.

Jamie Crowley
37 Posted 02/04/2022 at 13:29:30
Back from the break and finally getting a bit of joy in my footy, watching the incredibly talented, young, energetic USA squad qualify for Christmas World Cup, yet still struggle to reach their potential. [sidenote - any bets on who wins the Group?]

First thing on TW I see John Daly has actually submitted an article. That's an auto-click for me, like death and taxes it's just gonna happen.

I’m utterly sick of seeing the sort of badly soul-shaken look on his mug normally sported by a porn starlet sixteen shots into a mass bukkake session.

Only one TW contributor could come up with that.

Everything written smacks true. We're absolutely in the poo and deserve to be due to a host of poor decisions, the singularly most glaring one the hiring of Rafa the Red.

I looked this morning, and for me this is all now very garishly simple. We must beat:

Twleve points with those four wins, puts us on 37 points which should see us to safety.

Great article John. I can't remember any post of yours or any submission that didn't intertwine that hyper-intelligence, humor and wit you possess. Warmed the cockles of my heart to read this first on TW after a 1.5 to 2 week hiatus.

But fuck me, it's grim.

Brian Murray
38 Posted 02/04/2022 at 13:42:32
Jamie. I worked out 32 points. Probably not enough. We drop to eternal obscurity and Kenright resigns or is ousted. Still, every cloud, eh...?
Jamie Crowley
39 Posted 02/04/2022 at 14:24:03
Brian -

What did you go with? Wins against Burnley and Watford with a draw against Brentford and a loss against Palace?

Or, darkly, does it even matter??? Seven points from remaining games and thirty-two total absolutely sees us down.

Hope against hope, maybe we win those twelve points I've said and pick up an American upset-style win and a few hard fought draws and reach 40 points?

One can dream.

The really conflicting part of this for me is that I truly like Frank Lampard and want to see what he can do if we stay up. God, please.

Jamie Crowley
40 Posted 02/04/2022 at 14:34:55
One other note, there's a lot of comments about players not caring, or going through the motions, or simply not up for it.

I'd say the following players are up for it, have given their all, and need to be the leaders in this relegation battle:


The above players may not be perfect, but by God they're busting their tails to do everything they can to keep us up in my opinion.

But I could only think of four off the top of my head. That's not good enough.

Others are on one day, off the next, or simply aren't showing up / go hiding. They all need to step up in a major way.

Barry Hesketh
41 Posted 02/04/2022 at 14:47:59
Dave @36
More importantly they have given the players a way out, they don't have to perform for someone who may not be here beyond the middle of May. How can a manager have any authority and why would the players listen to his ideas. if he is on such a short leash?
Derek Moore
42 Posted 02/04/2022 at 17:39:03
I usually love your stuff John - your prescient article on Benitez was the single greatest piece I've perhaps ever read on the internet - but I think Stu Darlington (#8) and Jon Harding (#2) got it about right. This was a lengthy rant from an increasingly angry man.

I hope you found writing it cathartic. But I certainly think this is many levels below your usual standard. (Even if the comments from fellow TWers BTL disagree). I didn't think this was interesting, illuminating or even mildly amusing to be honest. But it did convey a level of deep frustration and anger many Evertonians can directly relate to. For that, I thank you for writing it.

Ian Hollingworth
43 Posted 02/04/2022 at 22:49:06
These tossers don't care. We all are dreading it but we know what's coming.

On 30 minutes, as the 3rd goal goes in, Mordor will erupt with going down, going down. Yet Boys Pen Bill will still claim we had some good times.

Fuck off, Bill, please.

Si Cooper
44 Posted 02/04/2022 at 23:15:18
I agree with Derek (42), didn't find the (gallows) humour I expected to find in this piece and don't see what the ‘message' is. There is no revelation here so it seems a waste of John's creative skills.

Either enough of the players will ‘wake-up / grow a pair' to mount a rescue mission or they won't; if they don't then the hierarchy will revisit things with Frank Lampard and make a decision on whether to stick or twist then. Why does that last bit make things easier for Lampard?

Surprised that some people have already written off Lampard. I actually think he really does get the bigger picture and has the makings of a good manager but the problem is getting the players to react sufficiently (which is a great deal compared to their usual complacency) without over-reacting and getting jittery.

If we go down, then the post-season review will have to decide whether he never had and never will have it in his locker to massively improve us or whether the players simply let him down, and then take it a step further and decide whether he is capable of what will likely be root-and-branch rebuild, no matter how this season ends.

Derek Thomas
45 Posted 03/04/2022 at 01:23:30
John - and Eugene (stop lurking) - have their own unique style, John's is darker, more acerbic, and I know from experience when you start a piece, sometimes, at the end, it isn't what you set out to write... but, once the words start flowing, all you can do is hang on.
Short version... as far as I can tell... You seldom get what you deserve, but you often deserve what you get.
Jamie Crowley
46 Posted 03/04/2022 at 03:32:13
Just hang on a second

Firstly, the critics here saying this isn't John's best piece -

Here's a Porsche, Mercedes, and ('Merican style) decked out Ford F150. One might be better than the other, but they're all fuckin' great.

Secondly there's a stupid amount of good points in this article, framed with fantastic analogies and puns, that are all spot on. I've read thousands of articles on this site, and criticizing John is like asking Our Lord Jesus to "do a little better".

That Sermon on the Mount was good, but your Prodigal Son parable doesn't stack up...

C'mom people.

The only criticism I'll agree with is DT's: Eugene, stop lurking.

Derek Moore
47 Posted 03/04/2022 at 06:25:20
Sorry, Jamie. I'd wager the great John Daley himself would tell you this is a rant that falls flat. It says nothing new, interesting or different. Many of the references are obscure, tired or dated and the humour isn't there at all. Bukkake jokes and calling Michael Keane a "motherfucker" is pure cringe, and from a wordsmith as talented as Mr Daley, rather disappointing lowbrow rubbish to be honest.

I'm glad you enjoyed it, but it's a rambling rant mate. If this piece is a Porsche it's one that's been stolen and burnt out for insurance purposes. If it's a Ford F150 it's one that's been rusting in a field on flat tires for about a decade. In other words, a sad example of its type rather than best in class.

I love John's stuff, he's one of the few people I'd love to be able to match with the written word. There are numerous examples of his stuff that I know I could never possibly approach in terms of quality.

This really isn't one of them.

Phillip Warrington
48 Posted 03/04/2022 at 07:36:59
The problem is people have been saying the same thing for the last 3 years, but what has changed???
Eddie Dunn
49 Posted 03/04/2022 at 08:59:48

If true, and known by the players, then this is a big error on behalf of the board. Can our players really be so difficult to inspire and instruct?

I think Frank looks worried because the methods he and his coaches have tried to instill have failed to work. I think it is undermining him in the eyes of the players, who will want to get results, just like the rest of us. If his methods don't work, the players blame the methods, not each other.

Today, we will discover whether the lads can roll their sleeves up and put in a shift against a side that has gone off the boil a little of late, and has an important Europa League tie midweek. If we do our usual 20 minutes of bright play and 70 minutes of disjointed crap, then we will go on to Wednesday for the relegation decider with Burnley, with our confidence even lower. Get a point in London and we will travel up to Turf Moor with renewed hope.

However, if Frank plays only two in the middle at the London Stadium, then the players would be right to have little faith in his methods.

Len Hawkins
50 Posted 03/04/2022 at 12:44:36
I think yesterday was a big turning point in the Everton Almanac for 2022 newly promoted Brentford, who many think we might overhaul in the relegation battle, played Chelski off their own midden they know how to spend money wisely they signed ONE player who has single handedly turned their fortune.
What price Everton doing similar today I'd say about 10,000-1 (yes I'd be the first bookie to go broke on their opening day).
I'm sorry but this club has finally ripped out hope enthusiasm heart pride from my knackered old frame and unless Putin bombs every Premier League ground mid-match except GP or where EFC are playing then this scenario will be played out every year in Kenwrights production of Groundhog Day. £millions spent at used car lots by a £billionaire that just loves one vicars wife owner players at vastly inflated prices clubs really did see him coming.
I don't know the answer the rich owner we craved has along with the greatest Evertonian turned the Club into a laughing stock the only thing is the people who have given their all financially and timewise following this club are seemingly the only ones who are suffering the dire straits and the possible demise of Everton in their broken hearts.
Moshiri will still be a £billionaire Kenwright will be counting the profit he has made investing little and taking lots that should cushion the result of their stewardship of Everton FC Ltd.
Nicholas Ryan
51 Posted 03/04/2022 at 17:10:07
On the subject of Brentford;... Why, Why, Why were we not [apparently] in the market for Christian Eriksen? Okay, there was a risk from the health point of view but, if he got over that, he was always going to be a star.

You don't need to motivate a guy who thought he was never going to play again, because he was dying!!

David Peate
52 Posted 04/04/2022 at 08:59:46
I note that you say that you are utterly sick of seeing blah blah blah. Well, let me tell you that I am utterly sick of people like you who fill their narratives with foul language. You should be ashamed of yourself. If you cannot find an appropriate word, go and buy a decent dictionary.
Mick O’Malley
53 Posted 04/04/2022 at 10:49:43
Michael Keane is a motherfucker among other choice words we could be calling him.
Michael Kenrick
54 Posted 04/04/2022 at 13:59:31
I've heard that strange remedy for foul language before (#52), this seriously mistaken theory that people use naughty words because they lack the knowledge of broader wordpower hidden in their dictionaries.

I prefer to embrace it as a fuller embodiment of the English language, totally genuine in its depth and purity, no holds barred – these bad words of which you speak after all have a tremendous heritage and etymology that is a direct reflection of our culture and background, they should be celebrated – not prissily obfuscated by asterisks.

But calling Michael Keane a 'motherfucker' is really quite deplorable.

John Daley
55 Posted 04/04/2022 at 15:44:17
My actions prior to the 17th defeat of the 2021/22 league campaign were shocking, painful, and inexcusable. The list of those I have hurt is long and includes David Peate and his Puritan peeps, Michael Keane….Captain Michael Keane…his mother, many of my dear friends and loved ones, and all those unfortunate enough to stumble across filth of my making and accidentally carry on reading far enough along to fall victim to eyeball violation via alliterative use of Link

I betrayed the trust of the Editors. I deprived other contributors, readers and…well, I can’t say winners, so I’ll just say players… of their opportunity to celebrate and be celebrated for their extraordinary work this season. I am heartbroken. I tried to pen an ascetic piece but because of my Lilliputian sized lexicon, I just c**t.

I want to put the focus back on those who deserve attention for their non-profane words and allow ToffeeWeb to get back to the incredible work it does to support creativity and artistry in fan comments. So, I am resigning from membership in the ‘Academy of Writing About How Wank Everton Are And (School Of) Sciences’ and will accept any further consequences the Board deems appropriate.

John Daley
56 Posted 04/04/2022 at 15:47:26
Michael (@54), I considered using ‘Mumble-Crust’ instead, but thought better of it because basically calling Keane ‘toothless’ would be taking things too far. With hindsight I’m glad I never went there….what with the way he’s been firing into challenges lately.
Brent Stephens
57 Posted 04/04/2022 at 16:06:20
John #55 "slapstick" at its best.
Derek Moore
58 Posted 04/04/2022 at 16:25:19
You're a genius with language John (#55). One of the few people I've ever encountered online that I've genuinely been envious of their ability and talent.

But if I'd written this. I'd have reread it and hit delete. That's how bang average it was. My Australian based bluenose niece lurks here sometimes and read it. She asked me on whatsapp if you perhaps have a problem with women?

There's no end of ways one can respond to critics. A dignified silence? Thanking the majority of posters who greatly enjoyed it? Being passive aggressive because some of us had the temerity to think it was actually pretty shite was not the response I expected from you, but it's been a surprising few years I guess. Expect the unexpected.

Never meet your (virtual) heroes is the lesson I'm taking from it all. One might assume someone so acerbic with the written word would have a reasonably thickish skin of their own. Who knew?

There's a silver lining in every cloud. I no longer have to wonder why someone so brilliant with the written word is banging out gems on an Everton blog for one. And I'm much less in awe of your talent than I was even a few minutes ago. There's probably more, but you get the point.

If you're doing resignations then I suppose this is where I submit my own. Would the "John Daley wrote this so I must read it" ToffeeWeb society please accept my resignation with immediate effect?

Ta and tooroo.

John Daley
59 Posted 04/04/2022 at 16:49:45
Derek, it was obviously a piss take regarding my use of ‘prafanity’, using Will Smiths recent Academy resignation as a template. How that can be taken as anything approaching a serious response or failure to take ‘criticism’ is beyond me. Then again you are also extrapolating from a post on a football forum that I ‘have a problem with women’, so I shouldn’t be in the slightest surprised.

As for your own resignation (and slightly worrisome expressions of equal parts past admiration/present abhorrence), then far rather that than follow any further down whatever weird Robert Ford trajectory you seem to be on.

Frank Kearns
60 Posted 04/04/2022 at 20:06:07
I fear they are all wondering around, secure in their £millions, that another club will snap them up.

Unfortunately, having shown no backbone, interest, belief or talent, they will be spending their £millions, chasing the dreams they didn't have the bollocks to achieve. Sad, but self-inflicted.

Jacques Sandtonian
61 Posted 04/04/2022 at 21:28:13
That was a fun, if sobering, read. Our club is poisoned by delusions of grandeur. Part of me thinks that Rafa’s objective at the club was to prove his “small club” comments true. I have winced every time over the past several years that anyone associated with the club, usually the manager, has mentioned pushing for Champions League football. We thought that because we had money we were somehow entitled to it with nothing more than expenditure. Now we are suffering the same sort of entitlement with premier league survival. “Surely we can’t go down! We’re such a big club!” We’re not a big club. And whatever our fate when the final whistle goes at the end of this season there will be a much needed and much belated reconfiguration of our self-perception. Next season, if we’re in the premier league, will have no pretensions of European qualification. We’re all going into that season braced for a relegation scrap. If we’re in the Championship it’ll be even more girding. If we don’t come straight back up we will have legitimate existential worries with our finances the way they are and the new stadium almost certainly doomed.
Barry Hesketh
62 Posted 04/04/2022 at 21:40:35
Jacques @64,

Everton Football Club is a major club and should be knocking on the door for prizes, but the management team for over 25 years haven't shared that ambition. If Everton do get relegated, it won't change the attitude of many of its fans, we will still demand the best, even if we can't achieve it.

If people in the early 1950s viewed the club in the same way as you do, we'd have remained in the lower divisions, but I do agree that the financial mismanagement is bordering on criminal and how any of the board can show their faces in public is beyond my comprehension, they should be totally ashamed of themselves.

Ben King
63 Posted 04/04/2022 at 00:37:12
Superb article. Thank you!

Someone that has managed to articulate my own frustration!

The Brewster's Millions being a workable business model has me chuckling.

‘I'm utterly sick of seeing the sort of badly soul-shaken look on his mug normally sported by a porn starlet sixteen shots into a mass bukkake session' might the the best sentence I've ever read in my life. I do not say that lightly.

You've managed to capture Keane's 'rabbit in headlights' demeanour which such clarity, it's poetic.

Everton players…. this is what you're doing to us. You're literally breaking our hearts.

David Peate
64 Posted 05/04/2022 at 11:01:37
Michael 54. What a load of tripe. Are you suggesting that it is the norm whether at home or outside in public to use such language to express oneself? Do you mean that this type of language should be limited to ToffeeWeb? I stand by what I have written. There is no place for such on this or on any other site.
Ben King
65 Posted 06/04/2022 at 00:29:37
David #64

You’re welcome to your opinion but being objective, reading the comments; enough people enjoyed the article, and the flamboyant language, to justify its inclusion

Hence, on this one, I’m afraid you’re wrong

Larry O'Hara
66 Posted 06/04/2022 at 02:39:19
I certainly think some phrases in the article were a touch risque. However taken as a whole it is very worthwhile and a heartfelt expression of the angst we supporters feel. So, John Daley, more of similar when the urge grips you would be just fine…
Christine Foster
67 Posted 06/04/2022 at 05:02:39
John, my first impression on reading the article was that some of the language and sexual descriptions went too far, in fact to myself I thought, "thats not on, no need for that"
I am no prude and the posts in ToffeeWeb are littered with expletives born out of sheer frustration and the venting of anger. I get that, and I guess there are times in my life when I drop into the depravity of my growing up and the odd word of condemnation is muttered. I get it too that this is a 99% male dominated site and the handful of Everton ladies in here are a hardy bunch, not shocked by the rare references to sex or gratuitous use of expletives I have admittedly used one or two over the years myself, but the most I go to is the occasional "F" word but used with stars not actual words. The sexual gratification / description is of a demeaning nature to women in your post, frankly was an attempt at base humour that didn't work for me at any level. But thats me, and I understand the utter futile dross of a club that has driven you to it. But like most things Everton this season, the post was a new low for me, there was no need as you are far better a wordsmith.

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