I?m going to be 16 later this year and thinking about GCSEs. I love football ? playing it and watching it and totally love the club I was ?programmed? to support by my dad.
I attended my first match at Goodison in 2000 aged 3 and made one appearance for the U9 Everton academy team of which I?m very proud.
The fact is, however, that I have never seen Everton win a trophy. I don?t see how we can ever win the Premier League and we look to be a club on the slide financially ? nevertheless it?s my team and I intend supporting them forever.
In the U15s Manchester Cup Final this year we lost to a team with 7 ?academy? players (they are in the final of ESFA ? National English Schools) ? including their captain who plays for City?s under 18s. We played well, we tried hard and we were beaten by the better team; we didn?t bottle it, not try hard enough or freeze - and our manager didn?t get the tactics wrong; we just don?t have the players the opposition had.
Chelsea spent the most on wages in season 2009-10 (Â£174m) with Manchester City (Â£133m) replacing Manchester United (Â£132m) as the next highest spender. Liverpool at Â£119m and Arsenal at Â£106m were still more than double Everton at Â£54m.
Being able to choose the best players DOES matter in football. I reckon that a Â£150 million wage bill should be able to assemble a squad better and stronger than one with a Â£50 million bill. If these teams play 10 times, then the big bill should win 7, maybe draw 2 and lose 1 to the smaller bill. Some Everton fans call this ?a top 4 inferiority complex? but I think it?s a reality.
Every season before the first game I?ve talked to dad about where we hope or expect to finish. A few years ago we honestly targeted 5th or 6th ? but as each year we passes we have to adjust as City, Spurs, Newcastle, Stoke, Aston Villa etc. all get stronger and spend more on players and squads. This year I hoped we?d finish 9th as we have the 14th biggest wage bill. Next season we?ll do well do be top 10 given our resources.
In my lifetime of supporting a club that isn?t in the ?European top 20? I?ve been proud of our over performance ? for me we?ve won our league 5 out of the last 7 years. I?ll keep supporting Everton and if we pull off 7th this year above Liverpool, Villa and Sunderland then I think we will have done really well.
Walking out of Wembley on Saturday and listening to dad and his mates moaning about the way the team played was more depressing than the result. I don?t understand why so many older Everton fans think we have some God-given right to finish above teams with double the resources. History and passion count for nothing when a 20-year-old rising star is choosing his next club ? money talks.
Given the rich history of Everton, I can only assume that this once great club has been totally mismanaged for the last 20 years ? how else do you explain the opposite direction that Everton and Arsenal have gone since 1993? I don?t know what?s gone on behind the scenes for the last 20 years, but it can?t have been good.
On Saturday, a Â£54m wage bill played a Â£125m wage bill. One manager was given nothing to spend at the beginning of the new season and had three quality players sold ? the other has spent Â£115m on players in 18 months. However, the manager of one team has done such an amazing job of over-performing in the last 10 years that the majority of fans (certainly those on the match report thread) expected the Â£54m bill to win.
I think David Moyes will only be appreciated once he?s gone. I think whoever takes over has the hardest act to follow; working for a board with no strategy, no business plan and dwindling resources whilst expected to perform better than clubs with double the resources. I was devastated walking out of Wembley on Saturday but still proud of supporting Everton. Liverpool aren?t crap; Carroll won everything in the air and the midfield dominated ours. We lost to a much stronger squad.
Who do I blame? Whoever has been responsible for taking the club from League Champions before I was born (1987) to where we?ve been since 2001 when I started going ? which is going nowhere.
How can I blame a manager who has given the fans of a middle tier club hope and at least some expectation for ALL the years I?ve been watching Everton?
Once a blue, always a blue.
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984 Posted 17/04/2012 at 21:17:37
All I can offer is (like the relationship option on Facebook) 'it's complicated'.
Oh and at 52, I've no doubt I'd have been agreeing with your dad and his moaning mates.
(nb: doesn't make us right though - all just opinion - stick with it!).
990 Posted 17/04/2012 at 21:15:55
I don't think I'll ever see Everton break the British transfer record again in my lifetime and I'm getting worried that I won't live long enough to see them win another trophy.
It's a far different world now - when Everton broke the British transfer record with Latchford it was by about Â£5,000 and it wasn't that long after that Trevor Francis became the first million pound player.
These days the disparity between clubs who can afford huge transfer fees and those who can't is a much greater margin and it's getting harder to imagine Everton ever breaking into that group.
However, don't give up - even as I write this, Bill Kenwright might be sitting opposite a Texan oilman, an Arab prince or a Russian mafia don and putting pen to paper to sell the club, which will furnish us with the greatest players in the world (but... I wouldn't hold my breath on that one).
You never know what will happen in the future - rule changes to flatten out the disparity between the clubs, some sort of draft system - you never know.
All I can say is following Everton has given me personally some really memorable times, and they weren't all connected with trophy wins - they've also let me down on more occasions that I can recall - and that goes with the territory of being a blue.
But remember one thing - where ever you go in the world, whatever town, city, country - if you meet a blue - you're meeting a brother. Because only another blue can understand what it means to be a blue.
Good luck lad
993 Posted 17/04/2012 at 21:38:01
I would be interested in your views on why we can beat Chelsea, Manchester City and Tottenham at home by playing aggressively but play so timidly on Saturday?
998 Posted 17/04/2012 at 21:45:02
The one thing with Moyes is he usually beats the teams you would expect us to beat bar the early season blip - fairly consistently wins over the ten years. Football is a sport and I guess most fans are fed up with the expectation of losing to the top teams when others do from time to time win those games.
Your article points out the resource issue and bar the odd exception (Newcastle), the top 8 teams are fairly predictable on the resources spent over the last 3,5,7 years. The top 7 look set with us staying or falling away, but not moving up.
999 Posted 17/04/2012 at 21:36:06
Everton are NOT a big club to people below 30 odd years of age. They just see a skint club playing in a run down stadium in a poor city, second to Liverpool FC.
Apart from the top 4 and city, what's the point? We're exactly the same as most other clubs.
003 Posted 17/04/2012 at 21:53:45
A club exists on blind faith but thrives on success, we aren't leeds or newcastle without competition.
The 2 most successful clubs in england are on our patch with possibly a 3rd entering the fray.
Think Bolton, Blackburn even Preston and that's where we are heading, when all us aul' arses are pushing up the daisies who will step into our shoes?
Of your mates who will join you and who will go to anfield or elsewhere?
Drifting as we are is not an option, we already can't fill Goodison (why do we need a bigger stadium?) so yes the aul' fellas moan - but it's not just for themselves.
008 Posted 17/04/2012 at 22:10:23
I agree Calum. Over the last 10 years there has been a direct correlation between money spent on players and league placings. Everton have broken (or at least struggled against) this trend more than any other club over that period. Putting shite football aside i still think that is a commendable performance.
Moyes has set a bar (Wally Smith could never match as Everton manager) in which we now expect a top 7 finish. All while using Bill's winnets as transfer fodder.
The major issue for us now, as you say. Is that Bill has milked the cow dry. Everton is now a crusty, old beast dying a slow death. Until we have new investment. We can never achieve top 5 or expect major trophies. As our best players are continually sold off and profits go straight to the banks.
Interesting that Everton's shite starts have only become a factor since we've been unable to strengthen in the summer. I dont think it's outrageous to suggest if we ever had a summer in which we brought in 3-4 quality players (without further sales). We'd have a sharper, fresher, more competitive squad resulting in a better start.
God help the next Everton manager if Bill's still about.
013 Posted 17/04/2012 at 22:21:15
When I talk to him, he almost repeates what I have drilled into him. He could have chosen to follow the shite like his gramp or his uncle, even manure like his big brother (gloryhunter) or even chelski like his other uncle, but no, he knows that we do things the right way and believes in us.
Your article lends a little more credance to the "why", that I would not have seen for myself. It is nice that you shared your story and I am glad that at least it really isnt just about winning, but about how you go about it. Thanks, I dont feel quite so bad for helping him becoming one of the chosen few. NSNO
019 Posted 17/04/2012 at 22:57:23
As a parent who is currently 'programming' his lads I can certainly relate to a few things you mention.
Its bloody scary that you were not even born the last time we won anything by the way..
If I may be so bold, in your time as an Evertonian - who has been your hero as a player ?
021 Posted 17/04/2012 at 22:53:57
I had the same experience with my father as you did with yours.
He told me all about the 80's when he was a season ticket holder.
The history of the club. Everything.
I should have known it was going to be a tough ride when my first FOUR Everton games were ALL nil nil draws.
I'm quite a bit older than you(30). But have the same lack of expectations. I started in the 90's. I was there against Wimbledon. I suppose I think finishing 6th is quite impressive. At least nobody makes fun of us anymore. Not as much anyway.
You make some valid points........but the problem most of us have with saturday isn't that we lost. It's that we didn't seem to believe. No conviction. Just timid.
That has nothing to do with wage bills or transfer budgets.
If the we had given it EVERYTHING and we'd lost 5-2 nobody would have complained so much.
Even so, I'm glad you got to see us at Wembley. I've never been lucky enough to do that.
028 Posted 17/04/2012 at 23:16:38
At issue here with regard to Saturday's agony is the fact that in a one-off, do-or-die cup tie that is to be decided on the day, such disparities can be overcome by sheer determination, application and will-power. It's why the FA Cup always throws up such giant-killing drama. It's why Cardiff came within a couple of penalty kicks from beating Liverpool in the Leagueq Cup.
Now, in Everton's case, despite having spent a tiny fraction of Liverpool's outlay, they came into the semi final as the better team in terms of form and momentum. They were two very evenly-matched teams and, though it was stupid errors on our part that lost the game, we also beat ourselves by not playing to our strengths... Or really playing at all in the second half. One solitary shot for Brad Jones to save in the second 45 minutes speaks for itself.
THAT is why the older heads were so disappointed in the result, not the disparity in wage bills (I'm sure we've all come to accept that) - we had a golden opportunity to bridge that gap on the day and we blew it.
029 Posted 17/04/2012 at 23:11:02
I can just about recall the 1963 team, Labone, Young, Vernon etc but the great days were around 69/70. Kendall, Harvey and the greatest Everton player of my lifetime, Bally. The hairs on the back of my neck still rise when I see clips of that man.
We had the most money, the best players and the future seemed eternally bright. A lot has happened in 40 odd years! Some great highs (Rotterdam principally for me) and many many lows including last Saturday but as you say once a blue always a blue, I wouldn't change any of it if I had my time again. Even for the prospect of five European Cups!
It's part of our fabric, our personalities and what generally makes us better people than the fans of the RS! Not all of us and not all of them, but most!
But if we ever do get another Alan Ball or win the bloody Carling Cup then it'll all have been worth waiting for
087 Posted 18/04/2012 at 09:08:42
On a personal note I would commend the initiative employed by Everton this season in offering junior season tickets for Â£95.00, I will be taking up the option for my two boys aged 7 and 9 who have been well programmed and indoctrinated in all things Everton. We need serious investment, my fear is that with Kenwright at the helm we will continue to romanticise about the past, the boys pen, the Mersey millionaires, the world cup games of 66 and the cup win of that year, the halcyon days of the mid 80's but absolutely nothing to shout about in today's glorious technicolor HD.
088 Posted 18/04/2012 at 09:15:13
You must remember we have the smallest squad in the P.L. and some accounts if not all include wages for the whole club. For instance, imagine the staff required to run the Emirates or Old Trafford. Add to that our commercial & catering operations are sub-contracted so those costs will not show on our wage bill.
You are right when you say wages have a direct link to your finishing position in the P.L. but most of our first team players are on a comparable wage to Spurs or Arsenal. They have had a wage cap for years, in fact, Arteta took a wage cut to play for Arsenal.
Even if you take Lescott, he doubled his wage going to City, did that make him twice the player ?
I would like to take a look at Bayern's wage bill compared to Real, look who had the most passion and who won that game last night. Blackpool had a Â£5k wage cap and gave everyone a fright in the P.L.
Keep the faith Calum, football always works in cycles, our day will come around again, and good luck with your exams.
092 Posted 18/04/2012 at 09:28:15
I feel that the relative ease that getting FA cup tickets (though I know mates who couldn't get one - did you see the thread on here, they were going for Â£500!) is also because the competition has lost value in the eyes of the media and some football teams.
So, it's a bit misleading to suggest the fact you were easily able to get a ticket is indicative of decline at Everton - more a suggestion in the decline of the FA cup - in my opinion.
095 Posted 18/04/2012 at 09:42:37
096 Posted 18/04/2012 at 09:51:44
Or a change in style of play,costs nothing.
097 Posted 18/04/2012 at 10:01:21
098 Posted 18/04/2012 at 09:49:57
I, like others, believe that there's more to being a member of the blue fraternity than just winning trophies - though it would be nice to win some!
I don't believe any more that football success comes in cycles. The Champions League and Sky have put paid to that. To me that's just a fatalistic approach that almost justifies doing nothing.
However, I do believe that some time soon, there will be an implosion in soccer that may well lead to less fashionable clubs having a chance again.
So keep the faith!
102 Posted 18/04/2012 at 09:51:12
I'm in more or less the same boat as you. I'm 18 now, so know EXACTLY where you're coming from. Although I was born when we won something, I can't remember it so I begrudge counting it. We see a 7th place finish as excellent because all we've ever known pre-Moyes was shite.
I remember going to my kopite Grandad's (on my Mum's side, Dad's side ALL blues) and every week he'd say in his thick scouse accent, 'So son, how've you got on this week...' knowing full well we'd lost. Then I'd leg it out the front room, into the kitchen and just cry my eyes out and question why the hell I still supported Everton. And this happened nearly every bloody week under Walter Smith!
But I stook with it, and when Moyes came and we finished 7th after years of the crap I'd put up with, it felt like we'd won the league to a 10 year old! We had Thomas Radzinski (remember him?!) and an emerging Wayne Rooney! Life was so different to how it had been a couple of years back.
This explains why we have a completely different perspective to the older lot! They've grown up with success, be it our grandparents in the 60's or our fathers in the 80's. All we've had is a cup final and a 3-0 win over the shite, so any success is enough to make us happy.
I left Wembley in tears. Walked down Wembley way surrounded by reds, with happy smiles singing 'We're on the march with Kenny's army' - btw who sang that 1st because I've never heard them sing it before!- and it didn't hurt me any less than anyone older. It just meant that after the dust had settled, I'd have a different view on it to my Dad, who when he was my age a cup semi-final was the norm and Villa Park and Wembley were our second homes.
Good luck in the exams mate, though you'll miss them when you do A-levels. GCSE's seem a piece of piss compared to these buggers!
If I see you in Crofts at the back of the Gwladys Street I'll get you a beer! Although I've been drinking in there since 14 so getting served isn't a problem mate ;) Top tip for ya there!
Keep the faith man, COYB.
103 Posted 18/04/2012 at 09:57:53
The last survey (that I know of) of trends in football support that took place 3 years ago suggested that the average age of a supporter in 1985 (when we were successful - and still couldn't fill the ground most of the time) was early 20s - These days it's early 40s; which is very worrying for the future.
Everton FC has been proactive in trying to challenge this by reducing prices for youngsters - but in my view, it's too little too late.
104 Posted 18/04/2012 at 10:00:56
And Kevin S, Chelsea fans also have a proper semi final tonight with Barcelona. I'd imagine most of them couldn't give a toss about the semi final on Sunday, giving it an importance only for the chance to beat Spurs at Wembley.
310 Posted 18/04/2012 at 21:04:44
It is not about demanding success nor is it about having a god-given right to success, it is simply about being ambitious and wanting the best - Nothing but the best - for our club.
I don't care if all you have known before Moyes was abject shite, that is no excuse to accept our place as some sort of curio from a football age gone by that should be happy to just be in the division as the mass media (and the club at this moment in time) would have you believe.
You mention finishing above Villa as being something to be proud of, do you think Villa are a bigger club? Same with Tottenham? What have either of those clubs done to justify anyone thinking they are better than us.
I found this a very demoralising read, the following comments even moreso, if we're all accepting mediocrity, we may as well not bother at all.
340 Posted 18/04/2012 at 22:35:34
As to us not demanding success...
Okay - I demand success.
Right... what happens next?
345 Posted 18/04/2012 at 22:54:33
And the above article, from the next generation of fans, says we've 'won our league' by finishing 5th! Is that not accepting mediocrity?
As for your demand for success, not really sure what your point is, but good luck with that, I hope it materialises.
354 Posted 18/04/2012 at 23:36:25
I was fortunate to be at Goodison in 1985 for the Bayern Munich game. I was also there in 1985 when we beat QPR to win the league and I was at Norwich in 1987 when Psycho Pat scored to win us the league too. I was also at Goodison in May 1994 when we pulled off the great escape by beating Wimbledon and all these games rank as some of my better moments but perversely it is the Wimbledon game that sticks out here most.
The reality is that winning trophies for us is the exception rather than the norm. We simply don't have the winning mentality of other clubs. We are usually 'also rans' but that's not what being a supporter is about. That's not why we are Everton fans. Life would be far easier if we all chose to support Man U or the Shite but we don't choose who to support, we are chosen.
428 Posted 19/04/2012 at 11:16:10
This is a very American way of looking at things. I just watched "Moneyball", a movie about the baseball coach who takes his team on a winning streak on smaller budget compared to rivals, but they choke in a crucial game (sound familiar?).
English football has come a long way in the last 20 years but there was a time when any one of 5-6 teams could win the league, not 1-2 as now.
It will be a sad day for your generation Callum, the day our finances make it impossible for you to dream of our beloved blues lifting a major trophy.
439 Posted 19/04/2012 at 11:48:09
This Board simply sees success as staying in the Prem and not having the crowd baying at them
Calum, our day will come - a quote to look-up and on which to reflect
"we are all in the gutter...."
444 Posted 19/04/2012 at 12:23:03
It's not just players who need a winning mentality ? it's the fans as well. I really don't see the point in supporting a team, regardless of what league they are in, and just being happy with their lot... why bother supporting them at all?
I don't honestly expect us to win trophies for the forseeable future (in fact I think we will go bust within the next 5 years) but I do expect us to 'have a go' and play the best football we can along the way. For the most part, Moyes doesn't have a go and doesn't encourage good football because of the apathy that is spreading throughout the club.
459 Posted 19/04/2012 at 13:16:28
1. I totally agree that over a 38-game League season we should not expect to finish above the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Man City, Man United or Tottenham. They have, as you pointed out, far greater financial resources than Everton. I am sure that there will be some Kopites who, if they finish above us, will gloat ? yet haven't they spent something like 10 times the amount Everton have in the transfer market?
However, in a one-off Cup Tie surely we have some chance? I personally believe that we had a great chance of beating them and we blew it -? largely down to the over-cautious mindset of David Moyes.
2. Calum, I am no Moyes hater. But, as an Evertonian since 1964 (when I was 7), I find him to be one of the most frustrating Everton managers I can remember. Wigan went into the Arsenal game really needing to win ? yes, a draw would have been a good result ? but Martinez went for the win. And, as the saying goes, fortune favours the brave.
I don't expect gungo-ho all-out attack at Old Trafford against Man United this Sunday. But, if Moyes adopts his usual ultra cautious 'pay them too much repsect' approach, then we are certain to lose.
Athletic Bilbao are hardly a squad of household World Class names are they? But they went to Old Trafford and attacked Man United, rather than get everyone behind the ball, and it worked. As I said, fortune favours the brave ? it doesn't favour the cautious.
3. I am NO Moyes hater, but I wish... I really do wish that he would be a bit more adventurous. We have a good striker in Jelavic but he will be wasted in a formation which far too often has the lone striker isolated. We had strikers on the bench, so Moyes waits until the last 3 minutes to bring on another striker!!! Terrible tactical blunder in my view.
555 Posted 19/04/2012 at 18:22:15
However, given his shortcomings this season I think it is time he went, he has dropped the ball on too many occasions and I am genuinely worried that both him and Kenwright are engendering an inferiority complex from the top down. Whether this is intentional or not or is another matter, but the proof is in the article above and the 'plucky Everton' 'no money' 'done well to get to the semi' 'top half finish' comments that are cropping up again and again.
680 Posted 20/04/2012 at 03:40:45
With all respect young man, if you think that way than it's gonna be a very hard road ahead.
I can't get that girl because biffa has more dosh than me.
I can't get that job because biffa has more dosh than me.
I can't get to the final because the shite have fucking Andy Carroll and Brad Jones in goal.
So I'm not gonna even try.
You can feel sorry for Everton, but don't feel sorry for yourself. If you want it, go get it son. Don't think like David Moyes.
763 Posted 20/04/2012 at 04:39:39
768 Posted 20/04/2012 at 12:26:00
you should add "...and doing something to overcome them"
As in personal life where you don't just accept your lot, you do something to better yourself
075 Posted 21/04/2012 at 12:09:54
Imagine being a Huddersfield fan in the late twenties, just off the back of your third First Division Title on the trot. How many of them would have suspected that was it. For Ever.
But anyway, like you I support the club because it is my club. As Tony Soprano might say 'So what ya gonna do...?'
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