Ian Mills is finally feeling the pain of being a young Evertonian

 Royal Blue Mersey


Since my last column here on ToffeeWeb which was back in June (wow) a lot of things have happened. They are

  1. The sale of Jeffers and Ball
  2. The confirmation of 5 at the back - I mean wingbacks as our favoured formation
  3. The introduction of Kevin Campbell as skipper
  4. The 4.5 million arrival of Tomasz Radzinksi; 

    and more importantly...
  5. The fans turning on Walter Smith

Now I have tried to defend Walter on many occasions (including last week on "Your On Sky Sports") even when he decided to sell Michael Ball - Someone who I know on a personal level (dates back to my mum - his mum being school mates).  I was never in regular contact with Bally but I spent a little time with him one summer. 

One of the questions I did ask was "Are you going to sign a new contract or what?"  His reply was " Not for 12 grand I'm not".  I was upset when he left because of the club not paying his wages but we are well stocked in that position.  Unsworth and Pistone are both decent players who can do a job their and have proved that in the past.

Even when he decided to make "Lazy Kev" our captain.  I totally agree with an article posted last week on ToffeeWeb in which it states that Duncan should not be seen as the perfect striker and Kev does take too much critisim, yes Duncan has scored 3 goals this season but Kev has made them all.  He has also scored 3 goals from open play this season, a sign that "Lazy Kev" does get into good positions and makes things happen. 

In the summer there were three real candidates for the captain's armband:  Weir - who is not a talker on the pitch (admitted it himself); Ferguson - who's Injury record would not allow him to be a suitable captain; or Kev who has the respect of the players around him and is a good talker on the pitch.

And even when Smith decided to play the 5 at the back (or wingbacks as he calls it), I do not agree with that formation.  I would rather see 4-4-2 with Tal and Alexandersson playing on the wings and Watson and Naysmith in regular full-back roles but if it's the formation that the players are comfortable with then in the long run it seemed to be the best option if it didn't work we could always change it, right?

Well that's where, if there are any Walter fans still reading, they had best stop now.

On Saturday, over 4,000 Evertonians arrived at Ewood Park hoping to see a good performance.  That we did see but at around the 65th minute, Walter decided to change things.  Unsworth and Moore were seen getting ready...  Now he should take the worst two players off: Xavier and Ferguson/Campbell (the two sticks who didn't move once) fit the bill.  But instead, he takes off the midfielder who is sitting behind Gascoigne (protecting him and having a decent game) and a young Evertonian who was giving 200% unlike some... 

That took the piss.  "You don't know what your doing" chant started, aimed at Walter, me included.  Followed by a quick round of booing as he stood on the sideline followed again by "We want Walter out" at the end, similar to the Arsenal game last season.

Blackburn was a game that could have been saved, SHOULD HAVE BEEN SAVED... but it was wasted, and it was Walter's fault, bottom line.  You don't take two of your best performers off when players like Abel Xavier are on the field; the sooner as we get rid of that 20-grand-a-week donkey, the better.

Even on the Sky Sports website, Rob McAffrey comments 

"I remember last season at Maine Road, Evertonians were made to sit in the December wind and rain to witness a 5-0 beating, at the end of that game the players were clapped off.  The Everton fans love their team, but on Saturday at Ewood they seemingly turned on them.  One player was clapped off and that was Paul Gascoigne who had a solo bow at the end while the other 10 men were jeered.  Times at Everton are unfortunately, bleek!"

I could not have said it better myself.  I would like to add these points 

  1. Our best all round midfielder is Scott Gemmill - Compared to the likes of Derby (Johnson), Southampton (Delap) and Leicester (Wise), that is poor
  2. We are relying on an alcoholic who is nearly 35 to pull the strings in our team
  3. Our front two have no pace and move when it suits them
  4. After 4 years, we still do not know why we are in such a dreadful financial state
  5. Millions are being pumped into a new stadium while the team has to suffer
  6. Our youth Academy has a Portakabin as its main reception
  7. Our manager makes substitutions too late and takes off our best players
  8. We are selling our most promising players to the likes of Fulham (Sean Doherty)
  9. Whereas Arsenal and Liverpool are tying up contracts for Vieira and Owen, we are doing the same for David Unsworth

Now any criticism can go to, rather than the ToffeeWeb Editor.

Sorry if I offended anybody but my thousands of pounds I spend  a season that I work cold winter nights for has finally hit me.

Walter Out!

Take Care

Ian Mills

25 September 2001


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