A mixed bag of Evertonness

Graeme Beresford 06/02/2019 8comments  |  Jump to last

After spending most of my day engaging in petty online arguments with ‘so-called’ Blues fans who would rather us lose against Manchester City than obtain a victory which would potentially leave Liverpool in the title driving seat, I visited Goodison Park and sat in the Park End near the opposing fan base.

During my pre-match pint outside the Winslow, I contemplated what it would mean if Everton were to emerge victorious today, a mid-season turn-around and push for Europe, a two-finger salute to Manchester and their billions, a two-finger salute and flip of the bird to our rivals across Stanley Park, almost a ‘There you go, you go and mess it up, again’. Or, on the flip side of the coin, I wondered if all of my statements online and to friends all day have been nothing more than my tedious mind trying to not be concerned about how that lot over the road do and concentrate on what we do at Everton FC.

For all of my muttering about seeing Everton fans in Man City shirts this evening and watching Everton fans jump for joy if and when City scored and calling them a disgrace to our club, I hoped that our boys would give me a performance to be proud of. And if I was the only person inside the ground celebrating if we won, then so be it; I’m an Everton fan, I have been since my Dad took me to my first match and I will be until the day I die.

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What frustrates me is Everton fans wanting us to lose because Liverpool are challenging for a title which is to me, a three horse race and whether City won tonight in my opinion will have little bearing on where the title goes. If this season has shown us anything so far it’s that no game is a certain win and anything can happen. I really couldn’t believe some fans and actually thinking about it after the fact, I still can’t believe some fans who will of taken joy in watching City score two goals both in injury time and had a little thought to themselves of, ‘oh well, I wanted them to beat us because it hurts Liverpool’. To me, you’re not fans; you’re a disgrace to our club and you should have been sitting with the City fans.

Speaking of the City fans, they sang all evening. It was actually quite amusing to listen to and quite refreshing to hear what it’s like for proper football fans to get involved. Apart from the odd ‘Everton, Everton, Everton’ shout we really are becoming a library. City sang songs about Ederson, Stones, Aguero, Sané, Sterling, and even threw in some about Benjani. It made me wonder what’s happened to our songs — songs about our own players, and former stars. I haven’t heard a Barry Horne song in an age.

City fans to be fair sang all evening and when you’re as good as they are I suppose they give you stuff to sing about. It just makes me so sad that we seem to have just given up in every way. Given up our season, given up on the players, given up singing and building an atmosphere, given up on our backroom staff, given up on the manager. And I totally get it, because quite frankly, so have I.

In a week where Farhad Moshiri has come out and told the world that Marco Silva is a long-term appointment, I wonder what this actually means. Long-term for us right now is anything over two seasons and by all accounts if this carries on Marco surely can’t get this far. What strikes me is that the plan of action doesn’t seem to be working. What’s our best starting eleven? What’s our best centre back pairing? Who are the best midfielders that compliment each other? Who are the goal scorers? Who deserves to be Captain? Who is the leader? I expect any manager to know this from a pre-season, never mind 26 games in.

What I do know is that we are far too sentimental as a club with our staff. Why is Duncan Ferguson a coach at Everton? Why do we seem to let Joe Royle back in whenever he wants? Why, because they have played for us and are legends? I just think it’s a joke. I was watching Arteta with his players before the kick off and he was demanding and commanding his players during the warm-up. It was actually brilliant to see and I’m sure Pep is rubbing off on our old Spanish Maestro.

What I’m getting at is that Marco doesn’t seem to know much about his squad and it frustrates me. We should be playing our strongest team, week-in & week-out and instead we chop and change. Why? It’s awful in my opinion. How about finding a tactic, working on it in training, and then playing the strongest starting eleven?

I do believe Walcott, Sigurdsson and Cenk Tosun shouldn’t be near that starting eleven. Quite simply put, they are not good enough. Don’t let the £50m for Sigurdsson fool you; Swansea saw us coming a mile off for him. Oh, and Yerry Mina is looking like another massive waste of money. Barcelona centre-back, please. Watch Rondon’s goal at Goodison this season. I was screaming at Mina to not lose his man at the back post. Who is coaching and training these guys? It all needs to change.

Why haven’t we had the balls to go out and find a winner of a manager and offer him a package that he could be proud of? Unfortunately, we have hired unproven failures instead of going the other way and offering good money to managers such as Mancini, Conte, Mourinho, Ancelotti, Benitez. These type of managers are winners, they have won things in different leagues in different circumstances, but what do we do? We go out and hire Koeman after a good season with Southampton, then Big Sam in a strange ‘we need him to keep us up this season’ way, yet we give him a 2-year contract and now we have this pretender.

This is a problem that is not going to go away and if Denise Barrett-Baxendale’s 10-year plan is to come to fruition then the foundations need to be in place by now. The last few seasons, we have ripped them up and now I get the feeling we need to rip them up again but start with a new foundation, albeit a stronger one.

How can we keep conceding from set plays? Gana gave away a needless foul at the very end of the first half and yet again it comes back to haunt us, just like the derby. A foul in their half, into injury time, gave them one last throw of the proverbial dice and, lo and behold, what happens? We can’t keep doing this, it’s crazy that we are conceding such terrible goals and are failing at the most simple of equations.

If there’s a man in the box, mark him, big men on big men, little men on little men. I don’t understand what the problem is, neither does Marco so it seems, or he doesn’t see it as a problem. This is all getting very Martinez-esque for me. I kind of like him, I want him to do well; at the end of every match I say, ‘well we did ok, but we get beat’.

As I left the Park End, I went to the gents and saw that scribbled on the wall in the end cubicle was ‘Martinez Out’. Much like this article, I kind of laughed to myself and in a strange way I thought, ‘Things were so much better under Roberto weren’t they!’ I know they weren’t but that’s what I feel we are accepting; mediocre displays, a ground as quiet as a church on a Sunday, and our own fans wanting us to get beat just to keep our little bitter envious souls at bay.

I say forget them, let’s concentrate on Everton, about being heard and getting our own message out there that we can’t keep moving forward like this. Because we’re not, we’re moving backward. If only I had a pen with me in that cubicle as the word 'Silva' instead of 'Martinez' above the word ‘out’ would now be sitting there proudly in the Park End bog.

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Reader Comments (8)

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Andy McNabb
1 Posted 07/02/2019 at 07:41:41
I live 12,000 miles away, so rely upon the reports of those who get to the game. I read Paul Traill's report and then yours, Graeme. Very different flavour to them - almost as if you were at different games.

Just shows that no two people view the same event from the same angle. Would have loved to be there just to see for myself.

One thing I certainly agree with is that it doesn't matter to me what the other lot do. I want Everton to win every game. But there again, when you are 12,000 miles away there aren't many kopites ready to give me a hard time after the match, which probably affects my reasoning. When I was at school, I always wanted Wolves to do well, because if they didn't there was a bunch of lads in my Year ready to take it out on the Scouser on Monday morning.

Paul Richardson
2 Posted 07/02/2019 at 07:58:24
I agree that 'not being minded' about losing is, just that, a loser's mentality. Should not be tolerated.

To my mind, Everton have never had a loser's mentality... just look at the admirable list of 'firsts' we have chalked up. The club's historical DNA is undeniable and currently evident in efforts like EitC. We are more than a football team; we are a club.

Of course, we want to be (much) better than that lot over the park (particularly so if you live on Merseyside, which I don't) but that doesn't mean we revert to an inferiority complex and kick-out against the red enemy. Beat them in the derby, that will hurt them more than coughing up three points to their immediate rivals for the title this year.

Tony Everan
3 Posted 07/02/2019 at 16:49:03
I agree with a lot of what you have written, Graeme. Make no mistake, Moshiri's backing of Silva is to get the team over the finishing line for this season. He will be looking for big improvements.

If we are still in a downward spiral in May Moshiri will come to the conclusion that Silva is not the man to take us forward.

He simply cannot risk this level of form and defensive frailty to carry on into next season. It is bordering on relegation form.

I want Marco to fix it, and against Man City there was at least some promise. That type of performance may see us competitive against the bottom 10 clubs.

It still all up for grabs for Marco, but I'm convinced his next 12 games are a job application.

Dave Abrahams
4 Posted 07/02/2019 at 22:02:07
Graeme, whether the Everton fans wanted Everton to win lose or draw, there were over 36,000 of us who came to see the team. We have been for the last few years, watching but not getting value for money, or much entertainment. Great supporters, turning up, mostly knowing the team isn't good enough to win any honours or get even close to them.

Some of these fans come from far and wide,spending hard earned cash and getting little reward for their trouble, so spare a thought for all of us, especially last night. How many fans would chant for their team at the end of the game after losing 2-0.

For me Everton fans are as good as any fans in the country and better than most.

Andy Meighan
5 Posted 07/02/2019 at 22:27:58
Spot on, Dave. Not for one minute did I want us to lose last night because the title isn't decided on one game. If they do win the Premier League, they'll have done so because they've been the best side.

My own opinion is I think they'll win it with room to spare because I can see Man City slipping up again. Last night to me had the feel of a lower league vs giant Premier League side to it in the Cup. I never honestly thought for one minute last night we would win that game, as well as we played first half, where we more than matched them.

We created virtually nothing; how hard must it be being Everton's centre-forward when the service is so poor? Calvert-Lewin, for all his desire, passion etc isn't good enough... ditto Tosun. But, like I said, no centre forward would get goals with virtually nothing for them to feed off. But, as Dave said, we've got brilliant fans and, let's face it, we deserve more.

John Kavanagh
8 Posted 08/02/2019 at 00:23:11
Tony#3. It's not bordering on relegation form - it is relegation form. The Championship and League 1 have plenty of clubs that were too big or too good to go down. While 33 points looks comfortable, there's always one side at the bottom that puts a run together and claws its way out. If we were just a few points worse off we would be in big, big trouble.

If Silva remains and starts next season with our current system, tactics and form/results, there's only going to be one outcome.

Steve Carse
9 Posted 08/02/2019 at 11:51:19
Wanting to win every game is an admirable and understandable sentiment. We would all like it to be the case that every point gained was of significance to our quest to win things. The reality, however, has been somewhat different for many a year, and where it has been it had generally been because of our involvement in relegation battles.

The argument that we shouldn't care how Liverpool are doing is ignoring the fact that Everton is in direct commercial competition with its neighbours for the hearts and minds of (and hence the future revenue streams from) prospective fans within and beyond Merseyside.

How did LFC overturn a history of relative inferior status and lower attendances compared to our own, and create a situation where the gap between the size of our support base and theirs is as great as it is now? They did it by winning things. And as long as they keep winning things, then that gap will continue to grow, to the long term detriment of our club.

Our defeat to Man City will have absolutely no impact on our longer term success and competitiveness (indeed, according to your logic it will not even affect our immediate outlook in terms of where we'll finish up in the league this season). But if at the end of the season it proves the difference between Man City or Liverpool winning the league then I for one will celebrate it.
Call me "a disgrace to our club" if you wish, but I will continue to travel far and wide to support my team, whilst taking a more reasoned and pragmatic approach when valuing the importance of our results.

Bill Griffiths
10 Posted 08/02/2019 at 12:02:41
No true supporter of any football team would want/wish their team to lose, end of.

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