Newest Review: ... Everton FC played in black. The reason being that when the league actually began players would wear any coloured tops - and it was... more
the rise, fall, and rise again
Author Name: krisgb
Date: 17/03/03, updated on 17/03/03 (751 review reads)
Advantages: Moyes & young player policy, Supporters and Tradition, Used to working to tight budget
Disadvantages: Staduim out of date, unfashionable in medias eyes, Skint!
Everton are a club of proud and steep tradition and sucess. No, madam, seriously! Stop heckling at the back! We were the first team to have a comprehensive football ground in the shape of Goodison Park. We are one of only 5 clubs that dominate the history of England's silverware. We have amassed more points, played and won more games than any other English side. We hold the greatest season-long domestic goalscoring record thanks to Dixie Dean. Not even Pele could get 60 goals in a single season. PELE!? Pah! We are the only team who have spent 100 seasons in the top flight. Theres 9 long years before Villa reach that milestone. We built the first 3 Tier stand in Europe. The alleged giants known ironically as "Liverpool"Football Club, whose fans come from, well,anywhere except merseyside, wanted to call themselves Everton FC Athletic Grounds Ltd. Not catchy, but a definite homage to one of the most prestigious teams in England. Dont believe our tabloid friends. There is only one team on Merseyside....the peoples club, Everton Football Club.
When I was four or five years old, back in the glory days of the mid 80's, my dad told me I suported the best team in the world. Arguably on their day the team of "no stars" (despite most playing for their respective nations at some point??! - god bless the craaazy hacks in the southern tabloid media!) could have beaten anyone into submission, a point best argued when citing the infamous bayern munich game of 1985. However, being such a little fella back then, I never really got to see much of the blues until around 1992, by which time we were nothing more than a mid table team full of average internationals like Preki and Warzycha or ageing stars such as Peter Beardsley and Big Nev.
I suffered the lows of watching Howard's sad decline into drunken pale shadow of his former self as he had aother throw of the dice in the early 90's and then the late 90's, the horrors of Mike
Walkers hapless tactical wizardry, and, of course, the mysterious dearly departed Walter Smith's team selections and tactics..... (5-4-1 at Goodison Vs. a poor Southampton team? I kid you not, I was there...... I wish I wasn't!)
The disatrous Everton sides of the 1990's for one season only, under Joe Royle, saw a tiny piece of sucess in 1995 with the FA Cup. A sory return for a club steeped in as much tradition as Everton has. The result of numerous relegation threatened seasons? No prize money, no top players wanting to join, squads of has-beens (Gazza and Ginola anybody?) and journeymen. A crumbling Goodison Park, once a great European stadium, left to rot as what little cash we had was used to buy flops such as Oster, Farelly, Nyarko, Williamson, BAkayoko, Bilic and Thomsen.
At the turn of 2000 the future of EFC was looking like the future of the british steel industry. No hope, no money just massive debt, no leadership, no chance of competing in the money driven world of modern football.
Suddenly the bottom drops out of football, and clubs such as Leeds and Chelsea find themselves in major financial plight after investing in over priced & over payed players, and in chelseas case, a rediculous stadium and surrounding mini empire of empty hotels and restaurants.............Everton meanwhile, still in debt, are slowly starting to find their feet......a new reigeme led by Bill Kenwright and SFX Chief Paul Gregg complete negotiations with a finance company to resolve short term debt problem. In 2001-02 Everton are one of only 4 clubs to make an operating profit. Suddenly, while still not holding musch clout in transfer dealings etc, EFC look more financially secure than the percieved wealthy teams. Everton, a club now used to running on a shoe-string budget, have a stronger position in terms of infrastructure than any fan or board member could have hoped for. Walter Smith, for all his faults, did assist in this change, and for
that most fans will always be greatful to him, but his tactics were suspect as were the training methods of his old-school partner in crime Archie Knox. Injuries and discontent were rife.
Enter David Moyes. In 9 games the young untested manager saves EFC from impending relegation, and instills a sence of belief in the fans and more importantly a group of average, stale, injury prone footballers. He signs world cup stars Yobo & Tie along with England 'keeper Richard Wright in his first close season and states that he only wants players who fit into his mould - young, ambitious and talented. Deadwood such as Blomqvist, Ginola& Gascoigne are told to leave. Others, such as Pistone and Gravesen, are told to buck up or buck off. They bucked up, and have been invaluable squad members. Infact apart from the enigmatic Mr D Ferguson and his back injury saga there isnt a player in the current squad who hasnt had an important role to play in a ressurgence. A minor miracle when considering they are the same squad as a year ago, give or take. Wright has more clean sheets than any other English keeper. The inury treatment room is all but empty bar our good friend Big Dunc and Tobias Linderoth.
As I write, Everton, relegation certanties this time last year are 5th in the Premiership, ahead of the more fancied sides such as Liverpool, Leeds, Boro and Spurs (why are spurs and boro
considered asbig clubs? i guess thats another discussion altogether, but in my book, 2 teams who regularly win nothing and finish 10th are not particularly special, no matter how much cash they have, or if they are in London........ once again, well done to the media hacks....) and also sport the asset of one Wayne Rooney, England's youngest ever international at the ripe old age of 17.
Rooney isn't our most valuable asset however. That prize lands in the lap of Moyes. He's got red hair and we dont care. Lets hope BK can raise some cash, and that the premiersh
ip prize money of £590000 a position is invested wisely. The plans are already in place for a new training complex and academy. Young promising players such as Graham Rooney, 12,
should benefit from such a development. And the whispers are he's already a better prospect than his big brother....... A UEFA cup place is a realistic possibility, and Champions league, an outside chance. No fan expects EFC to win these competitions should we qualify, but we know that the board and the manager will invest all proceeds wisely.
The future looks to be here. Theres a long way to go. No-one can guarantee that it will be this way next year with the squad we have, but a new player here, a word of encouragement there...... and you never know. Fans have been quietly getting excited about the new progress, its almost unbelievable....... fingers crossed, this time the sleeping giant will finally stir for good.......