There’s a stiff Arctic wind blowing over Goodison Park. Everton are the Premier League’s Inuits, a subsistence football club on the razor’s edge of survival. Nothing has changed for years. Now though, there are murmurs of discontent. People talking about “protests” at games, people at the end of their tether, emails from “insiders” going around. I can’t help feeling that because we weren’t part of yesterday’s transfer jamboree fans are jealous because our closest neighbours had a transfer hurricane come through Anfield. Because of that some think it is time to call for Kenwright’s head. Jealousy is an irrational thing.
In pre-season some of us with bloated dreams were talking about top three, now that we are struggling some are knee jerking to a ridiculous extent. How did a team that everyone – journalists included – was tipping for success fall back so far? The answer is it didn’t, the players haven’t performed to their previous highs, but losing Pienaar and porcine Yak is hardly Armageddon. Moyes isn’t spending now because there is nothing worth spending on. Myopic moaners can’t fathom what he’s doing. With Yobo, Yakubu, and Vaughan out on loan, with a view to summer transfers, at a conservative low Everton are sitting on £10million worth of transfer fees incoming. Moyes will have just enough money to make one big signing come summer.
Just enough to buy that one Wonka bar, clutch it to his chest and run home to open it. The hope is that it contains a golden ticket – perhaps even Landon Donovan. Meanwhile people like Harry Redknapp are redirecting their whole factory of peanut shellers to open boxes of bars and sending envoys to Spain, bidding for players with all the finesse of a sawn-off shotgun spree.
Some yesterday were moaning for a loan, just one, just something. This lust for warm bodies is ridiculous. Would we be moaning if we bought Seamus Coleman for £7m or Jermaine Beckford for £5m (their true market values)?? Is a big fat number with lots of zeroes all it will take?
We are skint, anyone who didn’t know this before yesterday is in denial. But do we need players THAT much? A striker would be nice, but I’d prefer Saha back on form. I fail to see how “our best squad in years” has now turned into a flat tyre desperately needing a repair…
Some of us are like insects trapped in our amber 60′s away kits. We aren’t the Bank of England, we aren’t the Mersey Millionaires. Moyes can’t spend £36m on Carroll – or £50m on Torres, an expensive ready meal of a transfer. Moyes has to build for the future with some careful home cooking.
Fifth Fifth Eighth – This should be our mantra. That this could be our first season of “failure” in a long while says a lot. To repeat: in the past three campaigns we’ve finished fifth fifth and eighth. And gone to the FA Cup final.
This season things have been different. We started playing well in some games, but we’re now in a worrying pattern, playing only heroically when we’re underdogs – and committing the worst sin possible for a Moyes team – patronising our opponents. It has made me want to scream at times, but it hasn’t been as frustrating as the reaction from some of our fans, displaying such vitriol you’d think we’d have spend millions and consistently failed. “If you know yer history” often bounces around wooden Goodison’s joists and pillars – but those that criticize seem to forget our history or even our recent exploits. Yes, we did have success in the past, but we’ve never done this well without money. And do they forget our recent history too, fifth fifth eighth – with an FA cup final?
There is an imaginary string that links three men, Kenwright, Moyes, Arteta. Kenwright is the man who brought Moyes in. The chairman who talks to his manager on a daily basis. Moyes is the man who signed Arteta, for a ridiculously small fee, and turned him into a player worth ten times the original outlay. And Arteta is the man praised by Kenwright as El Vision del Oro – the heir to Alex Young’s throne – the man who signed the rest of his career to Moyes as manager. To criticize Kenwright as a crazed fan who won’t give up control of the club (from the supposed heaving queue of billionaires lining up to buy it) is surely to criticize Moyes and Arteta too?? These three men are inextricably linked to each other.
Moyes has said that Everton’s assets are on the field, and it’s true – but to a small band of perpetually disgruntled, undeserving ingrates it doesn’t matter.
Saturday’s low numbers at Goodison were an imaginary protest, just like the imaginary administration we are heading towards, and the imaginary fact that the low attendance at Goodison on Saturday had anything to do with fan disgust for Kenwright (have a look at FA cup attendances across the board and you’ll see that this had nothing to do with any kind of organised protest against BK)
Fans look at the protest across the park and think that somehow we should be protesting too. Against what? Kenwright’s lack of money? Moan about how we don’t have money all you want, but don’t do it on transfer deadline day. It smacks of idiocy, of a desperate need to be part of the inane Sky Sports news ticker, as if mention on it somehow makes us successful.