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The mindset of the supporter

By Kunal Patel :  23/10/2009 :  Comments (18) :
I want to gage the opinions from our very own supporters as to how they see Everton Football Club at this present moment in time. Watching and supporting Everton for over 20 years, I would say they have been a club with great success of the 80s, a top '4' club and more importantly a 'big' club. In the 90s the trend swung in the opposite direction. With the exception of 1995, they never won any silverware and for most seasons flirted with relegation and finished below half way. To sum up, they were a team who'd gone from the top 4 to a below average/mediocre team. Since the Moyes era we have achieved stability. Again we've won nothing but more often than not, we've finished in good positions in the league. I want to ask supporters the question:

A - Do you view Everton as a big club, whereby you accept from time to time that on more than one occasion a season they will take a huge pasting from the opposition?

B- Do you view Everton as no longer a big club, one where they accept from time to time that beatings on large scales will be dished out now and again.

Just my opinion and it is an opinion, I sense many fans on here that believe Everton are a huge club but are all to readily accept when the team capitulates they back the club with excuses.

My views are that top teams don’t take big beatings by other clubs, whether they be in England or from any other country. The ‘odd’ debacle then fair enough, but let’s be fair — Everton over the last five or six and years under Moyes have recorded all sorts of lows and unwanted statistics and have taken a fair share of beatings, which — for a ‘supposedly’ big club — is humiliating and embarrassing.

I stand by that Everton are not a big club, they once were but are not anymore, they don’t have the squad, the manager, the finances or the board to be at the top anymore.

The tannoys on match days, the giant screens and our chants all reminisce of the glory days of the 80s. IT’S HISTORY!! For crying out loud.

Why are we still holding on to something which surpassed 20+ years and yet believe the club is still big??!! I know opposition fans who say, "So fucking what, how many years ago was that????"... All we ever do is go on about our history!!

Where have we been since the Premier League began?? Where’s our history since then? One FA cup!

My point is you fall into either one of these categories :-

A) You view Everton still as a big club but do not defend the club when the club acts poorly as there is a standard of a ‘big’ club to maintain, therefore the batterings of recent years just won’t do hence the board/managers/players come under scrutiny.

B) You no longer see Everton as a big club, in which case mediocrity is something you're used to and you accept that’s the way things will always be at the club.

There cannot be supporters where they still regard the club as being big but then defend them when the errors and downfalls of the club are all too easily accepted by the fans and bide by the club’s excuses that humiliation and beatings are part of it. You can’t have your cake and eat it. You're one or the other.

Reading articles and mailbags there would appear to be many of these in-betweeners on ToffeeWeb. Far too many fans perceiving Everton to be big yet the service they are being provided with is down right poor but that will still make people defend the club…

So which is it: A or B?

Reader Comments

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John Sreet
1   Posted 24/10/2009 at 05:55:55

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Good question Kunai, here’s my take on it. From my own time watching Everton:

50s — nothing to shout about but a team with a History.

60s — became School of Science, Moores money helped us become one of the bigger clubs, we won stuff.

70s —remained amongst the elite, yes big club.

80s — first 7 years, the Best in the league over biggest club by a mile, only a ban stopped us from becoming Euro kings.

90s —somewhere in here we died everything we lost our crown, Joe Royle brought fleeting glory but we were down and out in the hands of Johnson the clown.

00s — revival then resurrection but way behind the elite, only a 21st century Moores with big bucks can restore our elite status.

Some examples of BIG CLUBS (in the eyes of their supporters): Newcastle, Sunderland, Derby, Nottingham Forest, Villa, Leeds, and from their history those who would say they need to get back to where they belong... Sheffield Wednesday, Ipswich, Norwich, Southampton.

Everton is a tough place to be if you ’lived’ the history, the ranters all have a point at times but beggars can’t be choosers, and currently we are beggars.

By the way thumpings come to all sorts of teams, didn’t Lpool Thump United 4-0 at Old Trafford last season, didn’t Arsenal murder Liverpool at Anfield? It’s not nice to see though I grant you that... so my conclusion is... Not a big club, maybe a sleeping Giant.

Steve Pugh
2   Posted 24/10/2009 at 07:45:26

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When the FSW called us a small club I got really riled. I don’t like the fact that we are no longer a big club but thinking about it now.....

Financially we are definitely not a big club.

Successwise, in my opinion, over the last 20 years we have not had enough to be classed as a big club.

Our attendance is not high enough for a big club. But how much of that is down to the ground?

So whilst my heart says we are a big club, my head says we are not.
Matthew Lovekin
3   Posted 24/10/2009 at 08:48:12

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I’m afraid it’s B. Two batterings already this season, and it’s still only October. How many more by May?

We haven’t slipped, we have stayed still whilst others like Man City, Villa, Spurs and even Sunderland this season have improved and overtaken us.
Robert Daniels
4   Posted 24/10/2009 at 08:42:07

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In my eyes, we're still a big club but to most other people were not. I think though we the fans are partly to blame — we are accepting shite performances and tactics, we dont know if DM is a good manager or a bad one.

Point is, if we continue to put up with this situation and it carries on as before, ie the last eight years, we only have ourselves to blame. I for one would make this Moyes's and Bullshit Billy's final chance.

When all our players are back, see how we fair, and if we're still shite, get rid of them both. And before anyone starts giving all the usual shite about money/ new manager? ... we're better under Moyes, we might be better than pre-Moyes but it's still not good enough. A bit like saying Neville's a better right-back than Hibbo; he might be, but neither are good enough.
That's the difference — how long a club's supporters put up with shite.

Craig Wilson
5   Posted 24/10/2009 at 10:29:12

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Matthew — While I am not suggesting it will happen again, lots of people said the same about the likes of Villa last season; it's far to early to make that type of prediction.
Ray Robinson
6   Posted 24/10/2009 at 10:54:05

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Don’t believe this question is as simple as it seems: financial clout, ambition, stadium, trophies = no longer a big club;
Tradition, history and fanatical fanbase = big club.

I remarked on seeing the 6,000 or so fans in Lisbon that the potential for this club is still huge if only the investment was there. But as each year passes, the potential diminishes. Tragic really...
Tony Williams
7   Posted 24/10/2009 at 11:41:03

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We are not a big club anymore, haven’t been for some time now. We like to kid ourselves that we are... but we aren’t.

We are an average team that has been placed well in the last few seasons, that is all... but us fans that have actually seen success in the league and cups, it is harder to accept that we are no longer amongst the elite.

Historically we are OK but that fades into the background.
David Hallwood
8   Posted 24/10/2009 at 11:48:05

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Man City is now considered to be a ’big club’ by all and sundry despite winning jack shit since God knows when. Therefore in the eyes of the media and football fans et al a big club has more to do with being quoted on the stock exchange than what happens on the field.

By this measure we are a small club, however as I’ve stated before, why should an industry — any industry — have to rely on a sugar daddies to prop it up when that industry’s awash with cash. Something about Titanic and iceberg comes to mind...

Ian Tod
9   Posted 24/10/2009 at 12:08:55

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In terms of great support home and away, ambition from our team and manager and fans not accepting just being a top 6 team and wanting to go back into the top 4 we are a big club. However in terms of finance compared to other teams like City, Chelsea and Man Utd, we aren’t a big club. It depends how you look at what is required to be a big club. Personally, I think my first notion is what is needed.
Phil Paulson
10   Posted 24/10/2009 at 12:15:11

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Well, we have barely recovered from the profound disappointment of the Heysel ban.

But allied to that, and arguably more important, there seems to have been nobody at the club during the Seventies and Eighties who was looking at the medium-to-long term future of English football and planning for it.

In the last five to ten years, people have been doing that, but many fans don’t like the plans in place.

Whether you would or wouldn’t say we are a big club doesn’t matter — it’s just a form of words after all.

We are part of the furniture of English football, and that is not about to change. But, a more difficult question is whether the structural changes in English and European football in the last 15 years mean that Everton can never again enjoy the success we have had in the past.
Martin Mason
11   Posted 24/10/2009 at 13:10:37

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We are a big club where it matters in our history and wonderful fan base. I would also have thought that we would be number one target for any investor wanting to buy a FC with potential which we surely have in spades, I can offer no reasons why we are so unattractive. The spirit seems to be leaching out of the club from the top, through the manager to the supporters, and once the rot sets in it can become an unstoppable juggernaut.

In the end, it is the supporters who buy merchandise, tickets to watch, and subscriptions to Sky, which finance the club and we can and must have our say. Rather than simply moan though we should perhaps have organised action such as petitions or some kind of action at the ground where we at least make our feelings known. In the end voting with our feet is better than the frustration that is inherent in watching modern day Everton.

In the longer term, Moyes has rescued us and taken us to a plateau which is perhaps as good as we can ever expect to be... but remember our Motto? Only the Best will Do.

We won’t progress with the present board, I’m not sure that Moyes is ever a top Premier League manager and I don’t believe we have a squad capable of taking us further than the odd flukey 5th place. In the very worst case, we have the potential to be relegated. Do we become forever a small club or can we get back to our rightful place?

Phil Bellis
12   Posted 25/10/2009 at 00:14:11

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We are Everton, no more, no less...
"the history of Everton Football Club is the history of Association Football in Britain"

Tiocfaidh ár lá
John Clarke
13   Posted 25/10/2009 at 03:18:29

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Phil Bellis, you are a poet.
Peter Rogers
14   Posted 25/10/2009 at 10:52:32

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Most of the comments have said it, we need investment to get us to a position where we can say we are a big club again, winning trophys is the only way to be measured in football.
We have the manager some of the players and soon maybe the ground but without big investment teams are just overtaking us at a scarey pace Birmingham could be the next and maybe Pompey if they get things sorted. No i dont want there investers but we do need somebody and very soon.
Colin Fitzpatrick
15   Posted 25/10/2009 at 13:23:48

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Peter, you say, “We have the manager, some of the players and soon maybe the ground.” I’d partially agree, maybe we have the manager, he’s relatively untested at the top table primarily due to being starved of funds and certainly we have some players who could hold their own, but we also have our fair share of journeymen and others that I’m amazed get into the ground never mind the team. But it’s your thinking that the proposed stadium being a piece of the jigsaw is the bit I can’t take on board.

All our peers, sky four, Spurs, Villa and of late City, although anathema to me, have opted for city based super stadia, either now or in the future, what we’ve opted for is an £80m facility that needs to be rammed in order to deliver, well, let’s hope we never find out.

Football is a dynamic business on and off the field, clubs have one eye on the future; if you take a quick look at the keioc website, www.keioc.net, you’ll see an article, the second in recent months, explaining the new regulations that will be coming into force over the next couple of seasons; this article contains extracts from a KMPG report; if gives you an insight into the forward thinking of other clubs and the mindset of ours. The possibility of an £80m stadium, on the balance sheet at £130m encouraging organisations or individuals to beat a path to our door is, in my opinion, preposterous; as preposterous as claiming Kirkby is the only show in town so we have to accept it. That’s like a guy in court for incest offering the defence that his sister was the only bird available!

Phil Bellis: Let’s hope it does fella, let’s hope it does.
Peter Rogers
16   Posted 25/10/2009 at 15:07:23

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Colin at no point have i said that i agree with or am against moving to Kirkby. What i do know is that we do need a new ground or a vastly improved Goodison. Like many supporters i will follow the blues no matter where we play but will leave the politics to other people who are far more qualified to deal with the issues at hand and whom i imagine would do a lot of studies to gain all the facts and not just assume they new all the answers.
Richard Jones
17   Posted 26/10/2009 at 09:33:57

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I don’t think you have to have a Ph D in stadium business studies to know that DK will be a white elephant if it goes through... and I, like many Blues, will not hang around to see all my fears come true.
Colin Fitzpatrick
18   Posted 26/10/2009 at 23:04:04

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No need to go all defensive, fella; I never said that you had, one way or the other, I was responding to your suggestion that we maybe had the ground which, in my non-expert opinion, is highly unlikely to provide us with anything towards making Everton competitive.

Everton has produced a whole host of experts, £4,000,000 worth I’m told, and one by one, property, transport and the stadium expert who keeps a straight face whilst he asks you to believe steel, concrete and labour cost four times more in Walton as they do in Kirkby.

With reference to your little act of petulance at the end — people far more qualified – I remember you now — didn’t you actually support the stadium in Kirkby and believe the clever people in Everton knew what they’re doing?

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