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Apathetic? Disillusioned? Tell Me About It!

By Phil Martin :  22/10/2008 :  Comments (0) :

Before I start, this isn’t a rant about investment, Moyes, Kirkby, or Bill Kenwright, just my current thoughts and feelings as an Everton fan.

I work with loads of Manchester United fans and they often take the piss out of my passionate loyalty to Everton FC. None of them are from anywhere near Manchester which does annoy me somewhat. However, when it comes to a debate their standard line is, “When was the last time Everton won anything?”

I know the answer (and so do they) but it’s a putdown that I have to let go.

I’m so proud to be a supporter of our great club but I do feel an increasing amount of apathy towards it all!

I honestly thought at the end of last season we were on the verge of a return to the big time. Four high-quality players — that was all we needed! More fool me. 11 games into the new season and Moyes is already talking about a complete squad rebuild. I can’t believe last year’s better players are all under-performing so much now.

The investment (or selling out) debate is another thing. Surely without investment we will continue to go through the motions for ever more, a good run in the league, plucky but inevitable defeats against the Big 4, hoping for a decent cup run. No trophies for another year! It’s all becoming the same — year after year. Sure, no one wants Everton FC to lose its identity and spirit but there have to be some huge positives to being owned by a super rich person(s). People who would allow us funds to compete (genuinely compete) with top clubs for top players.

I hear rumours about Randy Lerner supposedly wanting Everton more than he wanted Aston Villa. Yet he was given no-encouragement from Kenwright to follow up his interest. If this is true, how can Kenwright ever say he is a fit and proper person to find us a new fit and proper owner, especially given the sterling job Lerner has done so far at Villa? But Bill is looking 24/7...

I read some posts on this site yesterday too about the state of the playing team and people holding Villarreal as an example of breaking into the top 4 with limited budget. To be honest, this isn’t a realistic example. They made the massive leap by making the most of their first Champions League campaign by buying quality players. We didn’t (because we didn’t have the funds). Villarreal were than able to maintain their momentum and continue to push for top places for following year. Even during this summer our budget was half that of Sunderland’s. Yet we expect the club to compete with Arsenal and Liverpool.

Sure, the Villarreal story is an inspiration for any club that has ambitions to compete at the highest level. However, it’s amazing they are still there now. CD Alaves, a club who "did a Villarreal” 10 years ago spring to mind. They soon imploded when their big names started to move on.

I guess I’m just fed up. I still go the games and I still get disappointed when we lose but every time I hear another Kenwright “watch this space” quote, or another class player evade our grasp because we can’t afford him, or another reference to Kirkby being our only salvation, I just feel a little more disillusioned by it all.

Here’s hoping for Randy Lerner II turning up before January and giving us some real funds to spend on quality players. Otherwise the best we can ever hope for is top 6, a cup run, none of our better players being bought by ‘bigger fish’, and a new low-value stadium in a retail park out of the City boundaries.

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