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Being in Yesterday mode

By Terence Leong :  13/08/2009 :  Comments (26) :
Fellow Evertonians, take a step back and look at the whole picture - we've been in the yesterday mode for generations already. I am no friend of Tony Marsh's, but you gotta give it to the guy that he is generally right. What bugs me, as per people like Tony is not that we are not thankful for progress, but how we are losing opportunities to build on things when it is there for the taking e.g. if our main rivals are losing people, that means they are weakened, at least for now. Rather than celebrate with confidence that we are alright, we should be upset that we didn't push on.

If my understanding of our history is correct, we've been missing out to kick on since the 1970 Championship. Most of our first billing e.g. 1st to play with numbers on our back, most games in top flight, modern stadium with underground heating, getting the cream of the land as "Mersey Millionaire"...

We were only really overtaken after the 70s. We had 7 championships by 1970. Who else had more then? None I believe. We were overtaken by Liverpool only through their rise to domination in 1970s; by Man Utd and Arsenal by the late 1990s. And we are still the 4th most successful team in English football.

We've been blaming people (eg, Heysel) for missed opportunities. Rather, we failed to kick on while we were strong. What did Catterick do when we won the 1970 championship? We sold Alan Ball to Arsenal (for short-term profit) who did the double in 1971. And we never really recovered from that.

While Shankly was already in full flow, Paisley built on Liverpool's success after 1974. Paisley is known for strengthening while they are successful. That's why they could have more than 10 years of unqualified success. We lost our 1970s because we were complacent and didn't build on success.

Given that we had at least two fourth places (losing steam only towards the end of the seasons), what could have been if we had built on things? Yes, we bought a couple of big names, but only after we lost our foothold.

Yes, our 80s success was disrupted by the European ban and we've always blamed Liverpool for it. But Liverpool's stars of the 90s were Everton fans as boys (Carragher, Owen, Fowler, Gerrard etc) in the 80s. What did we do? We let them slip through the net; somehow our scouting network must have gone to sleep.

We had way too many managers in the 1990s to have stability. And that is our own doing. Perhaps it was wrong to have Kendall II and Kendall III. But nobody forced us to do it. By Sir David France's own admission, we missed out on Owen Hargreaves.

We lost Trevor Birch even before we could benefit from him. I won't go through our recent history; that's all clear for us to see how we've messed up King Dock's, 4th placing in 2005, kicking on after our 5th placing in 2008. We've got to stop blaming others and thinking we have a divine right to be accorded status.

We lament that there is a media bias against Everton. I thought so too initially, but why is the Media not keen on us? Because they know that Everton is not kicking on. Our success in recent seasons is interpreted as us punching above our weight. They don't see the potential because they don't see the investments or the plans to take the club forward.

We had Li Tie from China and he did a decent job. Yet we didn't follow through with our efforts to tap into what is potentially the biggest market ever — 1.3 billion people! China has got more internet users than US has people.

Instead of tapping in to the Chinese market for new sponsors or partnerships, we get Chang Beer from Thailand. Nothing against Thailand, as being a Singaporean, I admire Thai football. But seriously, a sponsorship from a company in Thailand versus upcoming companies (whichever they might be) in China is a no-brainer. Then again, we are so slow in tapping into the Asian market. I think many people know a lot more about the pathetic state of our Everton stores (based on what I read).

Thus, my point is — yes we could still be 5th this season, but what a waste that we could have kicked on and taken off. This has been happening, and unless there is a change of leadership and ownership, we can expect a downward spiral soon.

Reader Comments

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Dave Lynch
1   Posted 13/08/2009 at 16:19:11

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Terence.
The voice of truth and reason in a world full of vitriol. Well put, sir. But wait for the apologists to reply.
Richard Osborne
2   Posted 13/08/2009 at 16:53:15

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Dave, FFS just because peole are not as polarised in their opinions as you, does not make them apologists. I’d love you to march round the Chepstow or Orry’s telling people they are ’apologists’. By the time you woke up, your clothes would be back in fashion!!!

I happen to agree with a great deal of what people like Tony Marsh, yourself and others write here, I just don’t like the patronising way in which you guys often decide to present your point. It gets people’s backs up and prevents a sensible discussion taking place. Jesus, I even find myself being suckered into it!

For what it’s worth, Terrence, I agree with pretty much everything you write here. A good piece written with a reasoned and balanced view.
Dave Lynch
3   Posted 13/08/2009 at 17:26:54

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Richard.
How else am i supposed to air my concerns ?
Dress it up so as not to upset people ?
We all have different ways of expressing our opinions and mine is somewhat akin to TM’S, but i really do try to be honest and non-abusive.
Apologist is not an insult, it is a label for fans who will not accept what is happening with our club.
I am honestly distraught at present after seasons of hope being dashed by this board.
Dave Wilson
4   Posted 13/08/2009 at 16:41:51

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Well said that man

Evertonians have much to be proud of, a rich history, a terrific fan-base, a manager who is slowly putting together the best team we have had for years.

But we are handicapped. We are handicapped by the contented, the unambitious. ,The mustn’t grumble brigade, The "realist".

The realist is a deeply depressing individual, he’s happy with his lot and he will be scaything of the ambitious. He’s comfortable, improvement requires effort and desire and any attempts by others to improve will be dismissed as being "unrealistic".
He will tell anyone who has the nerve to want more, to get into - yes you’ve guessed it - "the real world"

All realist have one thing in common, their unquestionable devotion to our chairman, he can do no wrong. The realist doesnt hear the lies, He ignores the escalating debt, he turns a blind eye to the chairman’s inability to provide his manager with a transfer kitty, Hes completely unaware of the seemingly unbridgeable divide in the fanbase and he doesnt recognise the missed opportunities.
the realist is a fucken albatross around Everton FC’s neck.

As long as these people accept or worse condone, the shortcomings of the chairman on the grounds that "hes a blue and he means well" this great club will continue to operate in a straight jacket,
and the snail paced progress we are making will eventually turn to decline
Alan Kirwin
5   Posted 13/08/2009 at 18:15:11

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Wilson, get help before it’s too late. Start with anger management, vocabulary and social awareness. You’ve lost it, big time.

I worry for you. You pollute rather than contribute.
Richard Osborne
6   Posted 13/08/2009 at 18:18:09

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To both Dave’s. Fair comments both.

I too am completely fucked off with what has or hasn’t happened this summer. I try to temper my disappointment with the hope that Moyes will pull something out of the hat. He has done it before after all.

However, I agree completely that the board, not just Kenwright but the whole bunch of them are collectively responsible for our stagnation.

I’m not calling it demise as we do still, against the odds, seem to be moving in something of a positive direction. But that is more through the sheer hard work and doggedness of the players and manager rather than the business acumen and triumphs off the pitch from our board.

It is almost as if the board have panicked that DM has brough us this far, as it has now raised expectations far beyond the levels anticipated by the board. They know they can’t maintain success without investment so they want us to slip, slowly back into the shadows of mid-table obscurity. To me it is this which is unacceptable but it is the board, not just one individual who is to blame.
Geoff Edwards
7   Posted 13/08/2009 at 18:50:18

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Great article Terence, pretty much sums it up. Our history’s been littered with little ’if only’ moments.

But I believe that the day will come when we eventually get it right, and then the sky’s the limit!


www.worldfootballcolumns.com
Tom Fearon
8   Posted 13/08/2009 at 19:41:40

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It is surprising that realism is considered a term of abuse. The non-realist ignores facts and is influenced by fantasy and his/her vivid imagination. Perhaps Dave should go back to a dictionary. There is no reason why realists should be lacking in ambition and/or satisfied with inferior quality. Recognising the difficulties of breaking into the top 4 and living in the real world makes sense.

I think the main problem we face is that we are not seen as an attractive investment to the billionaire(s) we want to attract. Of course, it is easy to ignore what I see as this reality and curse the Chairman and the Board. But is this solely where the responsibility lies? Perhaps the realist sees this as a more complicated problem than TW contributors who rely heavily on emotion.

Dave Wilson
9   Posted 13/08/2009 at 20:08:38

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Al

Thanks for the advice, its so much better to get along innit, perhaps you can help me with my voccabulary ?
lets start with . . . "vissssisssitude" what does that mean ?

Tom.
you seem to be having a little difficulty distinguishing the difference between the realist and "The Realist"

Never mind, I’m off to work, I’ll look in on you in the morning Al . . . . Now that we’re friends
Dave Lynch
10   Posted 13/08/2009 at 20:54:49

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Richard.
Now we are both singing from the same songsheet. I don’t think I have (though I might have) blamed BK as the sole protagonist of our problems. What is worrying me and you said it, is "Against the odds".

Sooner or later, the odds will go against you and I don’t for 1 second like that scenario. They are playing russian roulette with our club. That is unforgiveable. Because it is us that will suffer, not the bastards who run the club and take us for mugs. Because that is how i feel. Like you and countless others, I have invested a lot of my life following Everton.

It breaks my heart to see what they are doing to it. So yes, I do get animated at some of the posters on here. But at the end of the day I suppose, as my wife says, "It’s only a game."
ps: She has been warned: one more comment like that and she’s out on her arse.

Richard Osborne
11   Posted 13/08/2009 at 21:12:47

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Ha Ha! Excellent Dave, you get her told.

Everton is a passionate and emotive subject for anyone associated with it because it penetrates the heart so deeply. I hope you understand why I take umbage at certain people who try to polarise other Evertonians with inflamatory articles on web sites.

I don’t get to spend that much on EFC these days as I live in Canada. However, I’ll be in the pub at 12pm to watch on Saturday.

I just hope that despite our blatant failings off the pitch, the boys do us proud on it - even if they do have an eye on a move down the East Lancs!!
Neil Pearse
12   Posted 13/08/2009 at 21:10:25

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Dave, I think you are getting a bit confused now with this Realist kick of yours. Realist does not equal ’unambitious’. It simply means that our ambition starts with our current situation, and looks to do the best we possibly can with the club from where we actually are. Not from some fantasy about ourselves or where we would like to be.

Speaking for myself, I am very far from being in favour of doing nothing. I am passionately in favour of a groundshare, because I think that, in our current situation, that would be the best way forward for the club. I am moderately in favour of Kirkby as a second best because I don’t see any other alternatives that will spring us out of our current trap and get us new revenues and new owners.

I am not in favour of Kenwright continuing as owner because he simply does not have the resources for the modern game. But I am very wary of getting a new owner (as so many other Premiership clubs have done) where the cure will be worse than the disease. So I am happy, to some extent, to wait until we can get the right guy. I am not going to thank Kenwright for selling out to the likes of Hicks and Gillet, the West Ham Icelanders, Shinawatra, Portsmouth’s Russians, or Mike Ashley.

So, Realist as I may be, I am far from being in favour of sitting on our hands and doing nothing. Indeed I endlessly ask the question of the non-Realists what you guys are actually in favour of doing - but rarely get much of an answer. Except perhaps that we really should have got the King’s Dock (thanks, we know), and that ’anything would be better than Kenwright’. Which I don’t believe even you guys can believe (or I sincerely hope not), given a number of the other examples we have seen.
Dave Lynch
13   Posted 13/08/2009 at 21:34:14

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Totally understand mate.
Distance does not weaken the blue fire.
It’s with you for life.
But rant on i will. Without trying to be inflamatory.
NSNO.
Keith Glazzard
14   Posted 13/08/2009 at 21:42:47

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Terrence - I have skimmed the Dave-othon above and hope I can’t add to that.

To me, it is a simple matter of fact that EFC — dear as it is to many hearts — is a business. And they come and go. Microsoft and Tesco are powerful in their fields, but won’t last forever. EFC bumps along.

What did you want? World domination? Pele played at Goodison Park. Would we have signed him then? Not according to the ’play the white man’ comments I heard at the time. We can’t rewrite history (although it's always being reinterpreted) and today is where we start from. Moyes is very good at that.

Realism is where you start from.

Unless, of course, we are referring to the Cartesian/Marxist debate. Oh no — back to the Daves.
Paul Conatzer
15   Posted 13/08/2009 at 23:39:20

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I think I can sum up my feelings by saying I am getting tired of hearing things like "Watch this space" or "We are going to move much earlier in the transfer window this season", but, yet again, here it is the eve of the season’s start and there hasn’t been any photos of anybody new holding up their jerseys.
Ciarán McGlone
16   Posted 14/08/2009 at 09:48:39

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This should be good... [pulls up a seat, crosses legs and waits for fireworks].
Gavin Ramejkis
17   Posted 14/08/2009 at 10:19:41

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Neil as often as people such as yourself negate the impact of certain buyers into the EPL your fail to subjectively show pros and cons.

The Sky four all have big money men behind them; Man U have the Glazers and despite astronomical debts still achieve a choice of league title, cups and CL football guaranteed year after year, Chelski have Abramovich and as with Man U cups and CL every year, the RS despite the best efforts of Waldorf and Stadtler Hicks and Gillett now appear closer to the EPL title than ever and still guaranteed CL every year. And finally Arsenal, with a billionaire looking to take over from the inside, are still guaranteed CL every year.

No matter how hard "the best of the rest" or what ever pundits want to call us, Villa, Spurs et al we are just supernumerary and unable to compete. Man City’s new found abhorrent wealth would be gratefully accepted by a lot of Evertonians after decades in obscurity if they thought it gave them a chance of gate crashing the wealth trough the top four dine at.

I’ve happily said, any other than BK and I stand by it; 8 years and still nothing, I’ve no more time for him.

Andy Duff
18   Posted 14/08/2009 at 10:24:35

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Great article one that sums up exactly how I feel. It is so frustrating to see us yet again fail to deliver and push on. I guess though when you look at history we seem to do this quite often. Maybe it is the real Everton way or maybe this is just the true cyclical nature of football. Where were Man U in the 80s?

In fact you could argue this article makes a mockery of the long serving Nil Satis motto maybe "Si tantum nos pulsus in", "If only we pushed on" would be more appropriate. (Please feel free anyone who speaks the dead language to correct).

It is obvious to me and probably the majority (despite which side of the BK fence they are on) we need a change at board level to help us push on. If this change is a new owner, or just investment it is definitely needed.

How we get this? I don’t profess to have all the answers I am not a paid member of the board. The board themselves not just BK need to look at this.

At the end of the day we all want the same success for Everton.

Roll on Saturday when we again will all be arguing about the merits of Pip, Ossie and Hibbo. Now before this turns into another mud slinging match please all stand and join me in one of our anthems…. "It’s a grand old team to play for…."
Ciarán McGlone
19   Posted 14/08/2009 at 11:43:58

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The board do something Andy? You serious?

Here’s a little nugget of information....Our richest board member - Robert Earl - hosts his company BCR Sports in the British Virgin Islands...and yet he’s never actually invested in improving the club!

I wonder does tax evasion pass the fit and proper person test - it’s certainly doesn’t pass any moral obligation tests.

Andy Duff
20   Posted 14/08/2009 at 12:24:18

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Ciaran, we can but dream. You have reconfirmed the point I was trying to make. The whole board need to act and sort this mess out. BK despite all the ridiculous sound bites and lies is only one small part of the problem. I do feel he is on occasion unfairly singled out for criticism. The whole lot need to be made accountable not just the puppet on a string who does the talking.
Ciarán McGlone
21   Posted 14/08/2009 at 13:31:58

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Accountability? Now there’s a word...unfortunately these big spenders are not even accountable to the rest of the shareholders anymore.

The People’s Club, eh!
Dave Lynch
22   Posted 14/08/2009 at 13:50:58

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See they have taken down that stupid peoples club banner from the back of the park end.
Mind they have replaced it with.

Nil satis...........
What a fucking laugh
Alan Kirwin
23   Posted 14/08/2009 at 15:10:50

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Dave Lynch - you’re surely not complaining about taking down the People’s Club nonsense are you?

The People’s Club moniker was a sublime piece of PR & politiking by Moyes. But until the club does something tangible to empower that kind of concept (fans co-ownership, membership, that kind of thing) their hijacking of the term always looked ridiculously cheesy and cack-handed.

The club’s motto has been around for a very long time. Why not display it?

I find it odd that so many fans who hate any injection of realism & ridiculously view it as undermining a proud club, should then complain when the club publicly displays collateral designed to accentuate that pride.

Far from being a "fucking laugh" it’s clearly the best attempt by people not involved in player transfers to make our stadium from a bygone era look as proud & inviting as possible.

Why does everything have to be sneered at?
Dave Lynch
24   Posted 14/08/2009 at 15:37:14

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No Alan.
I am actually glad the banner has been taken down as i hated the sight of it.
It was nonsense that i am in no doubt of.
As for sneering at the moto ?
That was not my intention. I was having a pop indirectly at the way things have gone this closed season. You know. Transfers in place early etc.....
If the powers that be want to live up to the moto they so proudly display on our behalf,
then they are doing a poor job of it that you must agree on.
It’s called sarcasm, the lowest form of witt i agree.
But then i can’t get much lower in my mood at present.
Alan Kirwin
25   Posted 14/08/2009 at 15:48:57

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Dave, you’re not the only one frustrated with lack of new faces. We’re all looking for an injection of new blood, good blood, at least one but preferably more.

But there were mixed messaged from the club. Elstone appeared to suggest we had funds & targets in place. Moyes then suggested it was Bosman’s & loanees only. Then we had the bizarre non-article about Phil Carter applauding our buying strategy, when he was simpoly saying he remembers the excitement of the ’80’s close season.

I’m pissed off about Naughton, but I blame Sheff Utd entirely. Hypocrits almighty. But if the money isn’t there then it isn’t there. There’s plenty to get down about about, if that’s how you deal with things. Then again, I am amped by the prospect of getting Arteta & Yakubu back and to see if we can continue the quality and control of our game that we ended last season on.

I think the partnership of Jo and Yakubu could be fantastically productive. And I think the partnership of Pienaar in this form with Arteta could be spellbinding. I just don’t see the point in getting pissed off at every stop. Last time we started a season with this level of inactivity & discontent we finished 4th.
Dave Lynch
26   Posted 14/08/2009 at 17:02:29

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Alan. If we have no money then let them come out and say so. I can deal with that. It’s the dishonesty and spin I cannot stand anymore.

It’s the same season after season. This, other than with mates in the pub, is the only sounding board to talk to blues, worldwide as well as local. So on here I will rant and rave if need be.

I consider myself to be an honest person and hate being lied to and taken for a mug. THAT is what I feel we are being treated too. I still feel as a fan of over 40 years a part of this club, but that is being eroded as time goes by.

I am not asking for miracles or millionaire buyouts, just a little bit of honesty... that I can respect.

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