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Wat’s A Rival?

Saturday, 16.50ish. The full-time whistle blows at Goodison Park as Everton record their first win of the season. A hard-fought victory decided by a solitary strike from Brazilian Bernard ensured that Marco Silva’s men got their home start of the season off with a win. Nothing spectacular (Lucas Digne’s exquisite pass for the goal aside) and the Blues can now reflect on four points from six and two clean sheets in their opening two games.

It’s the type of brief start that will still have doubters doubting but it represents a platform to be built on as Everton look to break into the top six or at least secure European nights at The Old Lady before Bramley Moore Dock becomes the Toffees new headquarters.

Watford, who provided the opposition for the opening home game would have been desperate to spoil the party. Convincingly beaten in their opening fixture by Brighton, The Hornets would have loved nothing better to sting their Merseyside rivals and register their first points of the season.

And that term rival was used deliberately, having been previously suggested by a number of media outlets that Javi Garcia’s team and Everton were now realistic rivals challenging for similar league spots and harbouring similar aspirations. Coupled with the fact that Silva was once the man at the Vicarage Road helm before his switch north and the man who ruined last season’s transfer window (we won’t forget Merson) Richarlison, now plying his trade in Royal Blue rather than yellow, it could well be argued that there is a lot more needle in fixtures between the sides than in previous years.

Rivalry can be subjective. Some may argue that every team in one league is a rival as there is a chance to defeat or dent the hopes and aspirations of another club on the two occasions the division allows you to meet. How often has a club struggling for survival dealt a hammer blow to a high-flying side’s title or European aspirations!

Rivalry also has a strong geographical element. There does not necessarily need to be a cup final or championship at stake when two teams in the same city do battle, bragging rights at home or at work is more than enough motive.

However, the media outlets that seem to revel in doing ‘little’ Everton down do often forget or neglect to see a number of factors.

Football was not invented with the dawn of the Premier League. Oh how those media moguls must be dying for either Manchester City or Chelsea to surpass Everton’s haul of league titles!

IPoint two. While Everton’s realistic hopes may only be the top six and a decent cup run in this campaign, if that is reached then the hope, expectation and demand will increase. I would not disparage other clubs by naming them, but there will be certain sides who would be overjoyed to simply finish strong and as high as possible. Believe me I respect that, I grew up watching Everton in the ‘90s!

That ethos is no longer anywhere near good enough for the Blues faithful, the club, or the owners. With the plans in place for a jaw-dropping new stadium, successful youth teams and a director of football called Marcel brands, Everton are slowly earning the right to re-ignite rivalries with clubs far bigger than the media would so desperately have you believe.

  1. …1984 was the ‘Friendly FA Cup Final’, Watford were the definition of ‘just being happy to be there’.

    There’s a recent tension between the clubs, but I think it’s superficial otherwise we wouldn’t have acquired Richarlison. Its not rivalry.

  2. [QUOTE=”davek, post: 7238589, member: 1745″]
    Great post and thread.

    I was going to bring up this very topic last Friday when the BBC trailed the upcoming fixture.

    Trust that ‘kin rat McNulty to write the piece for the BBC.

    Under NO CIRCUMSTANCES WHATSOEVER are Everton to be confused as “rivals” with no mark clubs like Watford.

    That is just a piss take of epic proportions.
    [/QUOTE]

    It certainly bemused me.

  3. [QUOTE=”John Howard, post: 7236890, member: 48783″]
    [URL=’https://www.grandoldteam.com/2019/08/19/wats-a-rival/’]Continue reading…[/URL]
    [/QUOTE]
    Great post and thread.

    I was going to bring up this very topic last Friday when the BBC trailed the upcoming fixture.

    Trust that ‘kin rat McNulty to write the piece for the BBC.

    Under NO CIRCUMSTANCES WHATSOEVER are Everton to be confused as “rivals” with no mark clubs like Watford.

    That is just a piss take of epic proportions.

  4. [URL unfurl=”true”]https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1163725101000527872.html[/URL]

    A good read that highlights the gap between us and the “top 6” and how the only way we can bridge it is through European football.

  5. [QUOTE=”brieverton, post: 7236987, member: 39206″]
    And for once, I would agree. We haven’t laid a glove on them in almost a decade, that has to change if we want to be taken even half seriously.
    [/QUOTE]

    Well that 0 0 at Goodison was nice, in hindsight.

    But wtf is this thread about? A rivalry with Watford? Holy smoke.

  6. Not Watford or West Ham, hate when our fans became embroiled in petty scabbles with them on Twitter.

  7. Watford using us to try and become relevant,
    The RS is a local rivalry, the last out of town rivalry we had was city for obvious reasons

  8. This nothing club is desperate to start up somekind of ‘rivalry’ with us. Anyone else on here see that gang of beauts walking up Spellow Lane before the game singing ‘we’re going to have a party when Marco Silva dies’? Christ, back in the feisty 80s you’d have been launched for singing something like that on our patch.

  9. [QUOTE=”Moomin, post: 7236971, member: 12226″]
    Liverpool fans could say the same about us.
    [/QUOTE]

    And for once, I would agree. We haven’t laid a glove on them in almost a decade, that has to change if we want to be taken even half seriously.

  10. [QUOTE=”LostLegend, post: 7236955, member: 26995″]
    They might ‘think’ they’re our rivals, but let’s have it right;

    We may not have won anything for 24 years, but Watford have spent 18 (EIGHTEEN) of those years in either the Championship or lower.

    Rivalry? lol
    [/QUOTE]

    Liverpool fans could say the same about us.

  11. They’re grouchy because they were finally (probably by accident) building something good and mean old Everton came along and nipped all that in the bud.

  12. They might ‘think’ they’re our rivals, but let’s have it right;

    We may not have won anything for 24 years, but Watford have spent 18 (EIGHTEEN) of those years in either the Championship or lower.

    Rivalry? 😆

  13. [QUOTE=”4737carlin, post: 7236942, member: 17264″]
    Say Wat again, I dare you, I double dare you mother…. say Wat one more goddam time
    [/QUOTE]

  14. [QUOTE=”The binman chronicles, post: 7236922, member: 41502″]
    Says on Wikipedia that their rivalry is with Luton, they are only just winning that one nevermind against us. There is not one thing you could chalk on the tally for them when comparing.

    Just a wronged lover because we snatched their man, well 2 if you count Richarlison.
    [/QUOTE]
    I know a couple of Luton lads that got decent jail sentences for fighting with Watford.
    It’s deffo their main rivals.

  15. Says on Wikipedia that their rivalry is with Luton, they are only just winning that one nevermind against us. There is not one thing you could chalk on the tally for them when comparing.

    Just a wronged lover because we snatched their man, well 2 if you count Richarlison.

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