Hello and welcome to another edition of our fortnightly article, Voice in the Crowd. This week I’ve been out and about speaking to Evertonian Harry Duffy during the international break.
So, taking the international break as a chance for some early reflection, what is your view of the season so far?
Could do better – I think we’re all expecting to win the league after the effort last season. That’s good though, our expectations are raised again, and the 2-2 with Arsenal felt like a defeat. That means a return to higher standards, although the defence, and the team when defending as a whole, needs to pull it’s socks up, otherwise I’m happy, certainly attacking-wise – that aspect is excellent.
And how do you feel about international breaks so early in the season?
Exactly the same way as I feel about all international breaks – fine if it’s a competitive game, but pretty pointless if it contains a friendly. I’m Everton first though, and I like to see all the, what I call the “home nations”, do well, you know, teams from the British Isles. We’re a mixed lot on Merseyside after all!
What’s the most memorable game you’ve seen at Goodison?
I’ve been going to Goodison for years so there’s a lot. In recent memory, probably 2005 against Manchester United, when Duncan scored and we won 1-0. The atmosphere that night, I hadn’t felt since the mid-’80’s.
Whose the best Everton player you’ve seen play?
Gary Lineker was excellent and would’ve been a club great if he’d stayed, but I suppose we could say the same about Wayne Rooney. The absolute best I’ve seen? Err, Alan Ball, when he first came. He was something else.
Introducing the Everton Mishmash!
And what about the best non-Everton player?
Eusebio – saw him at Goodison in the 1966 World Cup. He was a terrific player, I reckon he was better than Pele. They were both better than me though!
And what are your hopes for the season?
I’d like to see a trophy, even the League Cup, whatever they’re calling it these days. And I think Roberto Martinez is the man to do it, I love his positivity. I’m loathe to criticise what David Moyes did, because he did an important job at the time. I didn’t like his manner in leaving though, and his comments about trying to sign Fellaini and Leighton Baines were ill advised at best, but he did steady the ship and he deserves at least some recognition for that. But Roberto Martinez, I love the way he seems to be embracing our history, his positivity is infectious, and I think as long as we’re patient, that we accept that things may not always go to plan, we’re on to good things with him.
There we go, keep your eyes peeled folks, next time I might bump in to you for Voice in the Crowd……