The fans have kept the club going for the last two years. Where is the appreciation?

by   |   19/07/2023  32 Comments  [Jump to last]

For the last two years — some would go much further than that — the Everton fans have kept our club going. Two seasons of pretty awful football, evidence of some players not trying particularly hard, players not appearing to be as fit as those from other teams, and the absence of the directors from home games have failed to dampen the undying support of this marvellous fan base.

I was present for the Crystal Palace and Bournemouth games and the support was like nothing else that I have seen in my 61 years of following my team. The Palace game was lost and we dragged it back whilst the Bournemouth game needed us to urge the defensive effort over the line. Whether we can all do it again this season, only time will tell… but the way the transfer market is going, it looks like we are in for another battle to stay up.

So why is there still a lack of camerarderie between the supporters and the players? There is a lack of appreciation for the fans at the end of games and too often only two or three players walk over to acknowledge the supporters. The manager disappears down the tunnel with scarcely a glance (in contrast to the much maligned Lampard who at least had the nous to do this) and the fans are left sitting in the cold with a long trip home.

Around a dozen of the West Country Blues fan club made the trek to Forest Green Rovers today to watch the Under 21s. Not one player acknowledged the support at the final whistle which is pretty disgraceful. Surely the club and the manager can get the players to bond sufficiently with the fans by thanking them for their support —  especially when most players underperform every week? Surely this is not too much to ask or indeed expect because, if the support weakens, we will be going down.

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Tony Abrahams
1 Posted 20/07/2023 at 09:25:03
Maybe it’s because the players just haven’t been good enough in most games and feel embarrassed going over to the crowd Dave?

I’m glad that Dyche has approached it the way he has because he was the one who told everyone that he wouldn’t have got the chance to manage Everton, if the club were in a better position, so maybe we finally have somebody who knows how big of a football club, we used to be. (And can hopefully become again - one day)

Dyche told everyone that there wasn’t anything to celebrate just because we stayed up and I tend to agree with him, and how many players do the fans sing songs about?

Coleman & Pickford, off the top of my head. There’s probably a couple more but they are probably reserved for away games, and because I rarely travel anymore, I am not aware of many other players who receive a lot of affection from the Everton crowd?

Hopefully this season we can start to find that connection between the players and the crowd, because it’s definitely one of the most important things in football, imo, and if Dyche has got the players super fit, then I’m certain this will really help🤞

Dave Abrahams
2 Posted 20/07/2023 at 09:51:38
Dave, Tony makes a point which I can understand but I also agree with you because of the sacrifices you and thousands of other Everton fans make travelling to watch the Blues all over the country throughout the season and deserve to be acknowledged by the players.

I certainly applaud fans like yourself and think it is fantastic how you all make the huge effort to get up at all hours of the day to support the team without getting much reward in terms of entertainment or success from these players, so the very least they should do is spend a few minutes after the game to let you all know that they appreciate the wonderful support the fans give year after year, a little bit of respect wouldn’t hurt them.

Dave Williams
3 Posted 20/07/2023 at 09:55:48
Your first sentence is probably right Tony. I agree that we have done nothing to warrant celebrating after a game but this is a matter of showing appreciation to people who spend hard earned money- a trip to Goodison for us works out at around £100 per person for the day allowing for modest alcohol consumption and involves getting out of bed at 6am and getting home at around 11pm- much later for the guys joining us from Cornwall. A wave of thanks after the game can just ease the drag of a long journey home and would show that the players do care. Maybe the fans would lessen their criticism if they felt a bond with the players- I know I would!
Sean Roe
4 Posted 20/07/2023 at 10:05:06
It's just a reflection on modern society whereby things like empathy, decency, morals, respect and the ability to communicate have long since left the building.
Barry Rathbone
5 Posted 20/07/2023 at 10:33:24
There is a distinction between unwavering support most have for the club and the personnel therein.

Players come and go with only a few (Seamus being a prime example) becoming so imbued with the club and supporters they become part and parcel. It's a different feeling with those guys they are "us" on the pitch but the fact is they are very much the minority.

The vast majority pass through with barely a backward glance and while it's always been that way modern news media makes it more obvious and it pisses us of immensely.

One minute we are in thrall of the deeds of big Rom and chanting his name next minute he's looking for Champions League footy. Fans are weary (and wary) of constantly falling foul of unrequited love.

Of course if players aren't good enough as is the case here they get both barrels on the basis of results, that's just the way sport works.

I just think this lack of a "bond" betwixt fans and clubs is almost universal these days and the sport poorer for it.

Colin Glassar
6 Posted 20/07/2023 at 10:44:37
The modern player usually only interact with the general public under controlled conditions eg pressers, hospital visits, photo ops etc… All these events are under the guidance of agents, PR people and hangers-on.

The average fan cannot relate to these prima donnas and vice versa

Lee Courtliff
7 Posted 20/07/2023 at 15:56:58
Long, long ago I stopped kidding myself that players love the club/us as much as we loved them! Now, I'm more surprised when one of them actually shows they care than when they do not!

It's our lifelong passion, it's our fantasy to play for them it's just a job. With a few very rare exceptions.

Danny O’Neill
8 Posted 20/07/2023 at 19:12:36
It's not about the money Dave. I constantly get reminded of that by my better half, even though in my opinion it is exaggerated!! No way did I spend that much (in my own head). And I don't care.

Dyche is interesting. He is very focussed and unassuming. He tends to stay in the technical area and does a 360 clap to the supporters.

With regards to the players, it depends. Mykolenko is usually first over to hand his shirt over to a young supporter. Onana is also very responsive to the supporters. Calvert-Lewin more modest but always there. Pickford is also very appreciative and often hands his gloves over. Seamus is usually there too.

Until they left, Richarlison and Anthony Gordon were also not afraid to face the crowd. I still remember Gordon standing there shell-shocked at the end of the Benitez Brentford match as the masses bayed for blood. But he stood there and didn't shirk it.

We have been there before these players. We will be here after they are gone. As I keep saying, I have never know anything different and never will. Cradle to grave. They are stuck with me.

Rob Halligan
9 Posted 20/07/2023 at 19:44:06
Danny, you're right, it's not about money, we do it because we want to.

We are not forced, arm behind back, to splash out enormous amounts every season, following the team up and down the country, but if the club knew how much I've splashed out over the past 30 years or so, then I think I would be handed a seat on the board!!

The amount spent, not just by me by the way, there are hundreds, if not thousands of others, doesn't bear thinking about. So as Dave says, a wave or clap from the entire squad, not just those on the pitch at the end would be most appreciated.

Neil Copeland
10 Posted 20/07/2023 at 20:35:33
Rob and Danny, absolutely not about the money, I really don’t care what the cost is as long as I can get to the game. Part of it is also superstition, I have it in my head that they will win if I go or actually more to the point is that they will lose if I don’t. Ridiculous I know but that is what this club does to you.

Once a blue there is no going back and neither would I want to. I love Everton passionately and to a fault.

Yes, it would be nice to get some appreciation from the players but not getting it will never stop me going to the game. There is nothing other than the inevitable that will stop that and even then I will still be there in spirit!


Danny O’Neill
11 Posted 20/07/2023 at 21:05:33
We may all be from different backgrounds, but Rob, Neil and Dave, we are cut from the same cloth.

There is nothing better than following this club of ours and being amongst the supporters.

Like all of you, I've followed them everywhere and always will.

Even when on foreign shores. I can say it now, but I once broke radio silence in some remote area of Afghanistan to request the Everton score. We had lost and I think the Taliban heard my outburst.

Everton are not just for Christmas. They are for life.

We all feel and live it. It's the first thing I wake up thinking about at 51 years old.

John McFarlane Snr
12 Posted 20/07/2023 at 21:21:01
Hi Danny [8]

I don't recall players applauding the fans at the end of games. I can go back to the end of the 40s, when the players left the pitch to the sound of the crowds appreciation or displeasure, and during the game the crowd would express their displeasure by giving the slow-handclap.

You might be interested to know that part three of, 'The Ups And Downs OF The Original Twelve'. is on the general forum/messages thread.

Andy Crooks
13 Posted 20/07/2023 at 21:30:56
Sean and Barry, I think you are right. Most of them are hired hands; we are here for life.
Bill Watson
14 Posted 20/07/2023 at 00:07:50
The players going over to the crowd thing is a modern phenomenon. It certainly didn't happen when I was a kid in the late 1950s but seems to have started in the PL era.

I'm lucky enough to get to all the away games but I rarely hang around for the players to come over. The cynic in me thinks most of them are just going through the motions anyway.

Two exceptions were the away games at Leicester the season before last and, of course, last season's incredible result v Brighton. Maybe that's the clue; we so rarely have anything to celebrate and there's no way I'll be applauding players who've just rolled over to yet another away defeat.

John Raftery
15 Posted 21/07/2023 at 09:48:11
I don't want appreciation. I want to see wins — and if we can't win, at least an effort to avoid defeat.

When we lose, which we too often do, the players should just get off the pitch. Coming over to the fans after a heavy defeat just invites vitriolic abuse which serves no helpful purpose. The same applies to whoever the manager is at the time.

Duncan McDine
16 Posted 21/07/2023 at 10:05:21
It's all a bit too German for me. Leave it to the toothy cheerleader, all that nonsense.

On a separate note, I've just seen the trailer on Sky for The Open at Hoylake… loads of clips of the redshite shoehorned into it, and not even a token mention that Everton exist.

Merseyside used to be world-renowned for having two footballing giants, but is now seen as something similar to Barcelona and little Espanyol. I shouldn't be surprised, but it hurts!

Oliver Molloy
17 Posted 21/07/2023 at 10:06:03

Surely you understand that as a fan of the club you are committed and invested in than any of the players, no matter what soundbites we may hear from them?

If any one of our players was offered a deal in Saudi right now, it would be "Fuck Everton, I'm off!"

And I agree with, John above, regards heading to the fans to take abuse most of the time – would you?

Dave Williams
18 Posted 21/07/2023 at 10:33:27
What triggered my post was being told that not one player from the Under-21 squad at Forest Green Rovers acknowledged the few dozen Evertonians who had made the journey to support them.

Some were young lads with their dad and imagine how chuffed they would have been to see the players go over and say thanks for their support. They should have been told to do this – great PR exercisen– but instead completely ignored them.

I can understand first team players being desperate to get off and avoid abuse but this was a friendly for the youngsters to show what they could do and surely a thank you to the fans would not have hurt.

Tony Abrahams
19 Posted 21/07/2023 at 11:31:43
I remember being on the train a few days before Christmas during David Moyes's last season, after Everton had just gone 3rd in the table after winning at West Ham. The Everton squad was on the train, but the stewards wouldn't let anyone near them, which is fair enough because that is what they are there for.

My problem was that there was also quite a few young kids on the train (there always is when Everton travel) and I remember asking these stewards would it be possible to let a few of these kids go and meet their heroes, because it would be better than any Christmas presents they were going to receive a few days later?

The answer was a resounding No, and the reason was because the players were resting. It got a bit heated when I told the head steward in no uncertain terms that the players wouldn't even have to get out of their seats. But it achieved nothing except, for the next couple of years, this certain steward always used to look at me like I was a troublemaker. 🤦‍♂️

We all see it differently, but if I was a player on £60k a week, the first thing I'd do every summer is pay for one hundred season tickets to give a little something back to the fans. Honestly!

Dave Abrahams
20 Posted 21/07/2023 at 11:51:13
Tony (19),

You'd buy 100 season tickets for the fans? You haven't said a dickie bird to me when you've seen me scrimping and saving to pay for my season ticket for this season!!

You'll get a shock when my will is read out, mind you so will everyone else, I'm leaving it to the church!!

Tony Abrahams
21 Posted 21/07/2023 at 13:24:22
Send your season ticket back, Dave, you can have mine. Sit with your son, your grandson and your great-grandson, and thank Mr Kenwright for the opportunity!
Bill Watson
22 Posted 21/07/2023 at 16:07:20
Dave #20

St. Domingos? lol

Tony Abrahams
23 Posted 21/07/2023 at 16:11:12
That was my first thought Bill, and then I thought of your namesake and felt sick. How did that conniving, deceitful man, ever get to own a brilliant, historical football club, and turn us into also-rans?
Oliver Molloy
24 Posted 21/07/2023 at 17:31:07
Tony @ 19..
steward was right - troublemaker !
Dave Williams
25 Posted 21/07/2023 at 19:01:23
Oliver # 17 ref your closing sentence- I’d play my heart out for 90 minutes and have no fear of facing fans!
Danny O’Neill
26 Posted 21/07/2023 at 19:32:41
Or maybe ask Mr Kenwright to give his absent seat to someone who doesn't get the opportunity to watch Everton Tony? He doesn't deserve the privilege, many do.

Neil, John, Rob and all,

We are the same. If am there, I feel like I have some sort of control even though I know I don't. If I am watching on the box I am pacing and upsetting the dogs. I gave up listening to the radio years ago. It freaks me out.

I can get to Wigan tomorrow on the train. I'll figure out how to get back given the strike situation. Probably National Express or an early start on Sunday.

Stoke next week.

Dave Abrahams
27 Posted 21/07/2023 at 21:14:30
Bill (20), No not St. Domingo’s, but the church will be in for a shock as well, all I’m leaving is a load of debts!!
Jerome Shields
28 Posted 22/07/2023 at 22:12:09
Never a truer article. But there never will be any recognition of the fans' contribution by the board, Kenwright ,or the owner. They will never admit it because it would verify their weaknesses.

The fans were the difference in the relegation dogfight and will be part of the reason for improvements this coming season.

Stephen Vincent
29 Posted 24/07/2023 at 16:00:04
Dave, OP, I kind of feel comforted by Dyche's attitude. A thoroughly professional, focussed and pragmatic approach as opposed to Lampard who just wanted everyone to like him.

The 2 games that spring to mind for me are Leicester and Brentford season before last. I remember at the Brentford game Allan not being able to give his shirt away and, as Danny has already said, a very shell-shocked Anthony Gordon, stunned by the abuse he was getting.

The Leicester game was bizarre, the relief the fans felt with our first away win in 7 months was overwhelming. Lampard was there by himself trying to ramp up the atmosphere, when surely he should have been down the tunnel with the players.

Everton have always seemed distant from the fan base though back to Catterick. When my Dad was 80, I wrote to the club and asked if they could do something a little special for him, he had been a ticket holder since before I was born (1955). I just got a menu card for the Alex Young suite!!!!

Kevin Molloy
30 Posted 08/08/2023 at 16:29:38
the relationship between players and crowd is not great. the players are waiting for the next groan, and so play safe, thereby guaranteeing boring football, and round and round we go. I don't actually blame the players for being wary of the crowd. The Everton crowd are 'a tough crowd'. It's all very well to say 'as long as you give your all you'll always get backed'. Thats not actually true, in my view. If you make a mistake at Goodison, you are for the high jump. I think that to repair the current arrangement it is the crowd that need to lighten up, and try and be a bit more forgiving. I'm not saying they players haven't been dreadful, it s just they didn't do it on purpose.
Barry Hesketh
31 Posted 08/08/2023 at 16:42:39
Kevin @30
I really don't think that the Goodison crowd is any more demanding than any other major club's fans. Footballers aren't made of glass, or more prone to nerves, than those in the entertainment industry, why should they get off lightly if they can't do the basics of the game properly? That doesn't mean that I condone certain players becoming the object of abuse from certain sections of the support.

I also think that on too many occasions the crowd at Goodison can remain too quiet in certain matches, and that may be down to doing what you advocate, i.e. cutting the team some slack, but that's more problematic for me and possibly has a more adverse effect on the players, than being given the bird when they stuff things up.

Allan Board
32 Posted 08/08/2023 at 17:31:10
Like the Great Frank Sinatra always said, folks:

"The only people you have to answer to is the audience – the least you can do is do it well and look like you are bothered – else why should they care?'

Too true from The Man! Now he was The Chairman Of The Board! Bugger off Kenwright!

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