Groucho offers his view on supporting Everton in the modern game.
I suppose these days, I qualify for “older generation” of Evertonians, as I’ve actually seen us win stuff. This makes me partly sad, but partly hopeful that we can get back to that again.
Thinking back to 1985, I remember my dad coming in and waking infant-me up after he came in from the ECWC semi final, I remember him being ecstatic when the final was on, and I remember the open top bus parades. When I went to my first match we were league title holders. The question is, can we do all that again?
We’re unusual as a club, in that we’ve had success throughout our history. Most other clubs have had their glory days in chunks, with barren spells bereft of trophies inbetween – even Liverpool, if you remove the ’70’s and ’80’s, are included in that. So why have we waited so long for our next cup? Surely law of averages says we are due a win soon? Perhaps not – did we use up all our luck tokens against Wimbledon and Coventry? Is it a question of adapting to the modern ways of the game? I feel that we’re an old fashioned club that needs propelling into the modern era while retaining our identity – I feel this is important, I don’t want us to be overly corporate, I’d like us to retain a sense of ‘community club’ which we do have.
People sometimes say we’re not a big club. This is wrong, we are a huge club, we just happen to live next door to another huge club and we’re just (sometimes rightly) too modest and sound to shout about it. Newcastle for example, say they’re a big club, but they’re not, not really – who have they got to challenge that mentality? No one, yet we have a massive club in our backyard, and we still manage to be a huge club too. We need to remember that sometimes it’s ok to blow your own trumpet and be proud rather than almost apologetic for being the fourth most successful English club.
We were one of the driving forces behind the formation of the Premier League, so why are our expectations so skewed as a fan base? Some of us would be elated with 6th place and Europa League ties, others (me) want us to win the league every year, while others are simply happy with 17th or above. I was going to say “I wonder what Dixie Dean would expect for the 2015/16 season”, but remember that he played in an Everton side that was relegated! He also won the league, and if I remember correctly, he scored a goal or two along the way so we’ll let him off with that one. Seriously though, I think he’d see 2nd as failure, and that’s the mentality that we need to develop.
We are a hugely successful club, with an honours record that Chelsea would kill for – they’ve taken full advantage of football in the modern era, just look at Mourinho playing the press to his supposed advantage to get John Stones. We need to stop being Mr. Nice Guy FC and play dirty ourselves. That’s the only way we’ll progress in the modern game.
We’ll get back there again, I’m sure of it.