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Season 2011-12
The Mail Bag

Not a 'real fan'

 63 Comments: First  |  Last

So after 39 years...I discover I'm not a 'real fan'

"I know that the real fans are with us." ? So says our inspirational club captain, whose special talents have been rewarded with a new two-year contract.

Well, Mr Neville, thanks for the lecture.

Do 'real fans' renew their season ticket when their head and bank balance say they shouldn't ? I did, and I'm wondering why I bothered.

By the way, Mr Neville. 'Real players' can accurately pass the ball.

'Real players' (in the absence of any other discernable ability) don't appear on the Match of the Day title sequence pointing into the middle distance.

'Real players' do their talking on the pitch - with inspiration, skill and determination.

When 'real players' do well we will praise them. When they don't, we won't.

That's life in a competitive environment. Now get on with it.


A lifelong blue (feeling 'really' patronised by your comments)
Alan Chadwick, Liverpool     Posted 22/08/2011 at 20:58:36

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David Barks
1   Posted 22/08/2011 at 22:01:18

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Oh get over it. If you can dish it out on the players you need to learn how to take it when the players give a little back. Thicken your skin and man up for God's sake.
Kunal Desai
2   Posted 22/08/2011 at 21:59:06

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Unlikely to get a response but I tweeted on his page:

Your making a fool of yourself Phil. Sick and tired of your rubbish soundbites through the media. Shame you can't do the 'proper' talking on the pitch. If you have shred of decency in you, then you'd retract your comments about the 'real' fans. Your just making yourself look stupid!
Ryan Holroyd
3   Posted 22/08/2011 at 22:15:01

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'Your just making yourself look stupid!'

I hope you put an apostrophe in this sentence...
Tommy Coleman
4   Posted 22/08/2011 at 22:15:07

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That last line irritated me so much. I'm looking forward to Captain Sounbite leaving in a few years time with Moyes.
Frank Duffy
5   Posted 22/08/2011 at 22:11:52

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Well said Alan. I've been a fan for over 40 years and I don't need Neville to tell me what a '.real fan' is. How long as he supported Everton? Players need to 'talk' on the pitch. After Saturday most of them should have given their wages to their favourite charity.

But of course to them its just a job - well pay them workers wages rather than the fortune they earn even though most cannot pass the ball to another blue. A dis grace.
Lee Smith
6   Posted 22/08/2011 at 22:32:50

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It bloody boiled my piss too when I read that last line on the BBC article. He also says
"There is a lot of negativity around the club and it really riles me. There's so many plus points and positives at this place."
Really Phil, care to explain what these plus points and positives are, as you neglect to list them in your BBC 5 Live interview, you condescending fuck wit.
Brendan O'Doherty
7   Posted 22/08/2011 at 22:35:26

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Crass comment from Neville. Is he deliberately trying to divide the fan base or what? The inference being that anyone who is not dancing in the streets at Saturday's abject surrender is not a "real" fan. FFS he's completely lost the plot.

Mike Hughes
8   Posted 22/08/2011 at 22:39:43

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Same tone as the rail-roading DK crap when players were wheeled-out to issues banal, toe-the-line, crap when it has nothing to do with them.

As a fan I'm here for life, not the length of a meaningless contract.

I wish Neville would concentrate on trying to pass the ball accurately as well as a bit of leadership on the pitch.

Mind you, feeling VERY positive tonight, Phil, after the Man Utd result. We're out of the relegation zone. Yippee, things are looking up.
Srdjan Sekulic
9   Posted 22/08/2011 at 22:40:20

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Nice shit, David. Now go and wank off in front of MU poster in your room. Spot on Alan. I became a 'real' fan before he tripped over his first football. And he's supposed to be a mature one in the bunch... so sad
Richard Dodd
10   Posted 22/08/2011 at 22:51:01

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I reckon that I`ve suffered as much abuse in these columns over the years as Captain Pip! Perhaps I`d feel better if it was me who`d just had another £1.5M contract handed to me!
Rob Hollis
11   Posted 22/08/2011 at 22:48:00

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I have some guilt in this one. Alan sits next to me in the top balcony and we work together. It was me who persuaded him to renew.
I only did that because I renewed my ticket when all sense told me otherwise. It would not feel so bad if I knew Alan would be ripped off for the same amount....Sorry Al.

On the subject of Neville he is a first class idiot who would fail to look good playing for the Duck and Partridge on Sunday mornings. Fucking useless. We have NO chance with him in the team. Everything stops when he gets the ball. Tony Hibbert has his limitations but is three times the player that f*** idiot is.....GET RID.

Did Moyes think Alex Ferguson let him go because he was going to help win something?

Rob Hollis
12   Posted 22/08/2011 at 22:59:01

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By the way, David (1) Leave my mate alone. He is a sensitive flower at the best of times.
Rob Hollis
13   Posted 22/08/2011 at 23:00:38

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Mr Dodd. You are becoming quite a cynic.
Barry Thompson
14   Posted 22/08/2011 at 22:53:18

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Here's three for you Lee:-
No matter how average or shit for that matter your weekly performance on the field is
1) You will still pick up your weekly mega wage
2) You are still guaranteed a 1st team place
3) You will still be offered contract extensions (that you will be more than happy to sign of course) even when your best days are well behind you.
Victor will also enthuse about the plus points and positives at the club hence his eagerness to sign the contract offered to him.
Paul Columb
15   Posted 22/08/2011 at 22:52:54

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Really was annoyed with his prescribed rant on sky. The holy trinity of nk, dm and Neville are dependent on "real fans" to keep this farce going and contribute to ridiculous wages. And all after his mug on tv watching his beloved man u. He's all too aware that he'd be encouraged into retirement at any other prem club but safely collects a paycheck at goodison despite his inherent shortcomings on the pitch. why not show us what a real player you are and hand back this month's check following the qpr fiasco....and once, just once kick the ball with your left boot
James Stewart
16   Posted 22/08/2011 at 23:03:54

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Phil Neville signs a new contract....... Just when I was hoping for Everton news I wish I hadn't

Gobshite. I wish he would shut the fuck up and get on with letting his feet do the talking..... Never gonna happen. Terrible player who sums up perfectly the Moyes philosophy, committed but shite.
Tony Doran
17   Posted 22/08/2011 at 23:00:01

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Nearly crashed my car when this came on the radio. Lets get real here he's lucky to be playing. I can understand he might have some influence on the younger players. Ahh cut to the chase if Moyes would have dropped Hieghtinga to right back we would have won saturday. He plays like it his debut and he's a nervous wreck everytime the ball goes near him.
Tom Bowers
18   Posted 22/08/2011 at 23:06:30

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Sorry Phil your comments are not acceptable. I realise you have to say something encouraging being the captain and having signed on for another season or two.
Problem is that you and a bunch of others are all getting to old and are content just drawing your big wages.
You say the club is strong but really we are not strong enough nor have the quick passing skills of other teams.
The players are like square pegs in round holes. There is very little real incisive creativity which results in the same ploy Moyes has had for years-the long ball for the likes of Beckford or whomever to chase and hoping that we get a set piece for Cahill to capitilize on.
Well Phil other teams know our strategy very well and keep lots of men behind the ball these days and we just look mediocre.
It's not going to change this season as Moyes does not have a plan ''B''
Rob Hollis
19   Posted 22/08/2011 at 23:22:37

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Paul (15)
I would settle for him learning to kick it with his right foot first. My God he is CRAP.
Brendan McLaughlin
20   Posted 22/08/2011 at 23:23:12

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Richard #10
Listen to Richard Dodd or watch Phil Neville....reminds me of the old one about being buried up to your neck in vomit and someone throws a bucket of shit ya duck?
Lee Smith
21   Posted 22/08/2011 at 23:07:35

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The scary thing is Barry (#14), you're spot on. There really is nothing to be excited about for the future for us mere fans as far as I can see.
Jimmy Sorheim
22   Posted 23/08/2011 at 00:11:21

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Jesus christ, what the heck is wrong with this guy? It isnt enough that he puts out a abysmal shitty performance along with his team-mates he tries to provoke our fans.

My god, I was positive before the QPR game until I saw the tactics. After we lost I felt beaten as a fan, now I feel that I no longer should bother with this shit man pissing on my fellow fans.

I feel embarrased for the club and the fans and I will want an apology from Neville or I will boycott watching the games.

I really miss Duncan Ferguson and the early days, at least the players put effort into the games.

Matthew Salem
23   Posted 23/08/2011 at 00:36:18

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You lot seriously need to get a life. Of course Neville is talking shit and cannot pass to save his life, but I prefer him having a go at us than hearing the same prescribed nonsense about this being our year and the team being hungry and so on. I actually respect him for having some balls.

Some of you are offended? You have a go at the team day in day out and now collapse in tears because Neville responds. You are nearly as pathetic as the shithouse players we saw on Saturday...
Alan Humphreys
24   Posted 23/08/2011 at 00:46:28

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Taking this to nth degree, then it can only mean that all of you are not "real fans" unless you fully support Pip, Davey and Blue Bill....

It may be the party line but it stinks, now click those shiny red shoes and repeat after me "there's no place like home, there's no place like home" !
Adam Rathe
25   Posted 23/08/2011 at 01:06:41

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I love how putting a certain amount of time means you are a 'real fan' regardless of how venomous your opinion can be. Phil's spot on, the vociferous ones are the outspoken ones, it doesn't mean they're the majority and that's what Phil was getting at.

Completely agree with #1. Grow a pair and take some criticism. You shout it from the stand and in this article, and he gives a bit back. Deal with it.

And by the way, your remark 'I wonder why I bothered' couldn't do more to undermine your argument if you tried.

Shaun Brennan
26   Posted 23/08/2011 at 01:27:09

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"The message to the fans is that we're going to have a really good season. I can understand their frustration but I would just say stick with us."

Are they the "fans", or supporters like me? I don't know. Reading the above quote does Phil know something we don't? A good year would be winning something.
Alasdair Mackay
27   Posted 23/08/2011 at 01:42:40

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I don't care whether Phil Neville likes me. I don't care whether Phil Neville values my opinion, or whether he qualifies me as a "real fan".His opinion of what defines a "real fan" has no effect on me what-so-ever.

What I want from Phil Neville is to provide value as the club captain of my team. I read his comments and I watched the interview on EvertonTV and I saw a determination in him that actually encourages me.

I'm encouraged that none of the players are being dishonest about the performance on Saturday. It would have been very easy for them to turn round and complain that we were unlucky because we dominated possession and created numerous chances. To a man they appear to have taken responsibility and seem determined to make amends.

Now, Mr. Neville, I have a sound-bite for you - actions speak louder than words! Get it done on Wednesday, please!
Steve Birkett
28   Posted 23/08/2011 at 02:06:35

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How anyone can be encouraged (or even riled) by Phil Neville rhetoric is beyond me.

You can predict what he's going to say in any given situation, presumably down to the media training that forms another part of his financial drain on the club. Just look back to any previous season for his script:

Appalling start to a season: "We know we've let the fans down but most are still behind us. We'll make it up to them the next game." [Lose next game]

Derby build up: "We know what it means to the fans and we'll be giving everything for them this weekend. We can win it for them."

After lifeless derby defeat: "We tried for the fans but it wasn't our day. We'll make it right next game."

Or, tedious 0-0 derby draw: "A point against Liverpool is always a great result."

End of season capitulation & failure to achieve cup or Europe: "We know what we've got to work on for the fans. They deserve success. I think we'll come back stronger next year."

Spouting empty promises doesn't make one a strong club captain. It makes one a politician. If it came from an outstanding player it might be forgivable. That it comes from the weakest link in our team, who is now rewarded with 2 more years, shows exactly how few options we have open to us.
Jay Harris
29   Posted 23/08/2011 at 02:23:52

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Captain Phil may I remind you of our club motto

"Nothing but the best is good enough'"

Now you may have great team spirit, Respect Moyesy and love Luvvie boy but planning to finish about 10th in the league is not good enough for a club that stood toe to toe with Man U at the start of the Premiership and depite the last 20 years of virtual nothingness is still the 4th most successful club in the top division.

So please do not criticise lifelong supporters who have realised that what they are watching is more like Tranmere than EVERTON FOOTBALL CLUB and I would even venture to say Tranmere is better run.
John Audsley
30   Posted 23/08/2011 at 06:47:00

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Pip's talking out of his arse but he is only doing what he's been asked to do

It is patronising but alot of what's happening at EFC seems to be in a similar vain.

Forget about Captain Mainwaring, he is fast becoming yesterdays man. Barkleys appearance means that RB is the only place for him in the team, unless Baines gets crocked
Eugene Ruane
31   Posted 23/08/2011 at 07:53:33

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Steve Birkett (28). Nail on the head.

A politician is EXACTLY what 'Pip' or 'fizzer18' is.

It's obvious he'll never be capable of learning how to pass a football to a team-mate standing 5 yards away, but he SHOULD have the capacity to learn how to keep his dumb, banal, fucking witless and idiotic thoughts to himself.

'Real fans'?

Andrew Fair
32   Posted 23/08/2011 at 08:34:59

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Fair play to him. He is totally right the 'real fans' will keep turning up and will keep cheering on the team no matter what. He is OUR captain and has every right to talk to the media and give us/the team rallying calls. I myself have praised him on twitter for his comments and congratulated him on his two year contract. His attitude is spot on - do you want the days of Abel Xavier/Nick Barmby type players? I say to the majority of people on this site- stop bitching like old women and get behind the team- no matter who is in charge of OUR club.
On another note - just look at the relationships between Coleman, Baxter,Barkley,Wallace,Duffy with Neville on twitter. The banter and respect between them is fantastic and this crosses over to the changing rooms. He may not be the most skilful player but he has a huge part to play for this club and we should be behind him as OUR captain.
Andrew Laird
33   Posted 23/08/2011 at 08:13:37

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"here lies all credibilty of Phillip Neville....
sadly taken from us from a dim witted, moronic statement made to cover for a shambolic reign of incompetence at all levels"
R.I.P. 22/8/2011
Mick Gallagher
34   Posted 23/08/2011 at 08:54:15

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So Andrew they have great banter on twitter I dont give a fuck there footballers paid good money to entertain us. Pity his feet cant do the talking as good as his mouth or fingers. One things for sure while hes spouting that shite the club wont ban twitter unlike some clubs who want it banned.
Michael Lynch
35   Posted 23/08/2011 at 08:47:39

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I would like to know where all this "kopite" behaviour thing came from? If you have an opinion different from the apologists you have suddenly become a kopite. These people have short memories, we overthrew our last chairman. You can knock the LFC fans all you like but one thing they will not accept is mediocrity. It's a shame our fans are happy to accept just that.

As for Mr Neville, take everything he says with a pinch of salt. He said last year that our cup final appearance was a "magical era" for the club. What a joker. I imagine he is protecting his own interests as if we ever do get money he wouldn't get a sniff of first team football. I read an article the other week where someone compared him to Brian Labone. Yes, Brian Labone. This is the stuff we have to put with being an Everton fan in 21st century. Mediocrity for ever more.
Alan Clarke
36   Posted 23/08/2011 at 09:03:41

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Richard Dodd, you make a good point. Neville is paid far too much to start criticisng the hard working fans who help pay his astronomical wages.

These comments are very ill judged. People make a lot of financial sacrifices to be able to afford to watch Everton whilst all summer we've heard him 'tweet' about his lavish foreign holidays and his plush penthouse above the Hilton. He's a Neville and therefore a thick twat who is shit at football.

I'm sick of him, I'm sick of Moyes and I'm sick of Kenwright. All 3 represent the complete stagnant mess that is Everton FC at the moment.
Scott Montgomery
37   Posted 23/08/2011 at 09:16:00

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All, hes an employee and hes the captain of the team. Does anyone realistically think hes going to come out and say that the clubs up the Swanee and theres no one with a paddle? Look at the context the little speech was made in. Hes like Comical Ali telling the world that Iraq is winning the war as the opposition tanks pass by behind him.
The issue here is Bill Kenwright and the Everton board. We can no longer trust they are trying to move the club forward. From the transcript of the meeting the other day it sounds like they wouldnt recognise a business plan even if it bit them on the arse.
Railing at Moyes and the players for coming out in "support" of the regime is futile and counterproductive.
Chris Stewart
38   Posted 23/08/2011 at 10:06:58

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The problem with "social media" such as Twitter and FB, is that it serves only to highlight how thick most footballers are. Tweet first, think later.

My Mrs got in a spat with Louis Saha at the weekend on Twitter, when he made some off the cuff comment about how paying for a season ticket was the same as going to the cinema - or some such other nonesense.

Social Media has removed that little voice inside most of our heads that used to filter out the inane and the bull.
Chris Fisher
39   Posted 23/08/2011 at 10:13:29

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Do 'real fans' renew their season ticket when their head and bank balance say they shouldn't ?
Yes! So i dont get why your having a go at Phil because you are clearly one of the real fans he is talking about! Real fans are the fans that supoort the club through thick and thin, good and bad etc etc. You are angry now as are most of us but you know you will always love the club, you will be there on wednesday and you will probably be travelling down to Blackburn on Saturday! Real fans do.
Tony J Williams
40   Posted 23/08/2011 at 12:14:20

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I would be more concerned about his highlights than worry about what comes out of his mouth.

Give him due though, it's taken a few years for him to have a go back at the fans that constantly abuse him week in week out.
Daniel A Johnson
41   Posted 23/08/2011 at 12:19:15

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Look "Tea Bag" is Moyes captain and captains have to come out and talk +ive and big things up.

Hes probably been told by Moyes to spk firmly against any form of criticism of the club and be gushing about how great things look.

Point is hes now a club mouthpiece, not a footballer and although he may organise a mean trip to Butlins for the players as fullback hes a spent force and not dynamic/fast enough for the modern game.

Phil is now picking up his pension nothing more and will remain loyal so long as the zeros keep coming into his bank account.
Anthony Hughes
42   Posted 23/08/2011 at 13:19:42

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Neville says he knows the "real fans" are with them. It's a pity the fans don't have some "real footballers" with us instead of a one paced, club footed yard dog.
Paul Ferry
43   Posted 23/08/2011 at 14:47:13

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No real Everton player/fan would've sat in the Manure away end at the Hawthorns last week.
John Crook
44   Posted 23/08/2011 at 15:59:54

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It really irked me how the club announced the 'breaking news' the morning after the QPR horror show that Phil was staying another 2 years....I mean what timing!?!

That must've made everyone feel so much better and surely all remaining season tickets must now be sold out!

Trevor Mackie
45   Posted 23/08/2011 at 16:01:52

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Him, Moyes, Kenwright and probably every club employee thinks everything is fine at Everton - the punching above our weight is not only worn like a cup medal but a protective shield agin all criticism.

It's used on here ad nauseum and you're virtually a 5th columnist to say otherwise in the ground.

The assuredness of Moyes and now Neville in these comments is an honest appraisal because the pair of them are such cowardly little shits they wouldn't put their thick heads above the parapet normally.
Mark Tanton
46   Posted 23/08/2011 at 19:22:30

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Dear Mr. Neville,

On behalf of many of us please cunt right off.


Many Everton fans (I cannot speak for us all)
Michael Brien
47   Posted 23/08/2011 at 19:59:06

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Mark #45 you don't speak for me, I suggest that if you can't voice your opinion without being abusive then your argument is a pretty poor one.

In my opinion the criticism given to Neville should be directed at Moyes. It is the manager who should provide leadership and direction. He picks the team and decides on the tactics. I saw very little leadership and direction from David Moyes at Goodison on Saturday. We had yet another example of a player being played out of position and a substitution which left us without a recognised striker on the pitch.

I got a text from a mate who was watching Man Utd on Sky last night - apparently they played 2 strikers !!! How novel !!! It makes you wonder how some sections of the media actually think Moyes has a chance of taking over at Man Utd after Ferguson retires !!! If they want to appoint the most over rated manager then I shall help Moyes clear his desk with pleasure. To put it in a mathematical type form David Moyes = Gordon Lee with better PR.
Micheal Lynch
48   Posted 23/08/2011 at 20:06:50

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It was with disbelief on Sunday when feeling depressed ( Q.P.R.) i switched on Sky sports to see Neville get a new contract . This guy is by far the least talented player in our current squad. I prefer vic and beckford to this Man united and Alex ferguson loving idiot. And then the cheek to call us the real fans. I wish he would go . i prefer Hibbert as a player anyday. Idiot
Steve Higham
49   Posted 23/08/2011 at 21:08:18

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It gets worse Moyes is saying he has a job for life on the official site that useless idiot could be our next manager.!!!!
As for his disgusting comment we are all real fans.I spend lots of my hard earned cash following Everton - the team we all love,what a patronising sad little man you are.
You are a disgrace to the Everton shirt and to make it worse you are supposed to be the captain of the club past captains must be turning in there graves.

David Holroyd
50   Posted 23/08/2011 at 21:49:13

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Phil Neville tows the party line what do we expect after signing a new mega contract. PITY he cannot pass to save his life now Moyes says he can have a job for life , GOD help us
Des Kenny
51   Posted 23/08/2011 at 22:19:52

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Mark Tanton
52   Posted 23/08/2011 at 22:56:09

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I have expressed my opinion more thoughfully elsewhere. My post was clearly tongue in cheek.

I am sorry if you have decided I am not the errudite, cerebal and sophisticated poster that you clearly are.

Best wishes to you also.
Ste Traverse
53   Posted 24/08/2011 at 05:33:54

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I was took to my first game as a young kid back in 1983 and have been going ever since. I don't need lessons on how to support my club from Mr Neville.
Peter Healing
54   Posted 24/08/2011 at 07:15:03

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I laugh at you PN cos your a friggin joke,If you are the captain and you lead by example no wonder we are woeful
Michael Brien
55   Posted 24/08/2011 at 09:18:24

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Mark #52 am sorry if you have decided I am not the errudite, cerebal and sophisticated poster that you clearly are.

I was not making a claim to be erudite, cerebal or sophisticated - ju st fed up with people resorting to four letter words at the slightest excuse.
Michael Brien
56   Posted 24/08/2011 at 09:24:07

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Sorry for the " space" error......that should be : just fed up.... It seems to me that so many people use 4 letter words as the first resort rather than the last one, so much so that the words almost lose their " impact".

I agree that Neville would have been better advised not to use the term " real fans". However personally I think he was having a go at negativity more than the fans. It was more a case of the "Party Line" - which to be honest it what you would expect.

I think David Barks sums it up when he says - Oh get over it. If you can dish it out on the players you need to learn how to take it when the players give a little back. Thicken your skin and man up for God's sake.

The players come in for a lot of stick - not all of it justified - and if you can't take it then don't dish it out. After all Neville was hardly abusive was he ? And as regards his performance as captain - in my opinion he has been and is a very good captain of Everton. Just take a look at his body language when we lose - it's clear that he doesn't like losing something of an attitude that he learned at Old Trafford.

On Saturday I was in the Lower Bullens Road Stand - as well as his own game Neville was having to encourage and direct Jack Rodwell - who was clearly out of his depth in the right side midfield position. I think Rodwell only got in 2 crosses , both of which were poor. Osman would have been a better option I think.

Most of the responses have singled out Neville for criticism - I think the real culprit is David Moyes. As manager he could do much to dispel any negativity - his tactics could be more positive for a start. He is the most predictable of all the Premier league managers - we all know in over 95% of games that he will play 4-5-1. If we all know that then opposing managers will also be aware of that.
Mark Tanton
57   Posted 24/08/2011 at 09:40:25

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Well fuck off somewhere else then. :-)
Michael Brien
58   Posted 24/08/2011 at 09:41:08

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Why don't you Mark' and take your ignorance with you whilst you're at it.
Mark Tanton
59   Posted 24/08/2011 at 09:45:05

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Oh for God's sake that was a joke. That was meant to be an olive branch.

Michael Brien
60   Posted 24/08/2011 at 10:41:28

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Olive branch accepted and offered in return! Errrudite!! My old English teacher would be most surprised ! I thought the Errudites were involved in the Industrial Revolution.
Mark Tanton
61   Posted 24/08/2011 at 10:48:33

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They were, but they were also great internet posters I am led to believe!
Daniel A Johnson
62   Posted 24/08/2011 at 12:17:44

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P-neviile wont be allowed to go as he is the FUTURE EVERTON MANAGER FACT!

He has all his badges and no doubt when Moyes goe she will whisper to Bill go for Neville.
Michael Brien
63   Posted 25/08/2011 at 13:34:26

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It seems as if last night Moyes played people in their correct positions...........the crowd must have been in a state of must the players which probably accounts for Sheffield United taking the lead.

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