Everton, will you be my Valentine ? by David Parkinson

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Well its the time of year when we show the object of our affections what they mean to us, if in a relationship you shower your spouse with love, cuddles, kisses and presents and pretend like all is right with the world just because commercialism has gone mad over Valentines day. If your single its the time of year you desperately tell people you are “single by choice” and you “haven’t got time for someone special right now”. On the other hand you may even be getting back together with a past love, reigniting an old flame, seeing the beauty in someone or something you may not have been so close to over the last few years.

That’s the situation I find myself now with Everton .

Around this time last year after another January transfer window let down. Some of us again began to berate the board for failing to build on what the team had accomplished during the first half of the season. I was so angry it led me to put pen to paper (or fingers to tablet as it were) for the first time. Something I’d never done and something as a lad growing up from Kenny with only really a GCSE in drama to speak of never really thought I could do.

I’d read various blogs from blues and enjoyed them. I always enjoyed reading THT and LCAB on footy scene and prompted by a chat on twitter with them both I started to write. I was asking for the board to handover the reigns to a collective who would invest or find investment for the club I love. I didn’t plan it, I did not make a draft or notes of any sort. I just typed what came to mind, I just typed from the heart as I am now. I described my time growing up a Blue, My first kit that came in a box with shiny white diamonds on one side of my chest and the famous crest on the other. I as a kid, was so proud to wear it because it was Everton it didnt matter to me who made the kit. I say this as I have seen criticism levied at the club for going back to Umbro. However back then the fact we had diamonds on our kit meant something. As I think it still does now.

My blog was angry but seemed to touch the mood of a lot of fellow blues. I didn’t in anyway insult our chairman. I just felt that it was the right time to bow down. I told him basically that in answer to his famous quote of “no-body could sell everton better than him” he was in fact wrong. The thousands amongst thousands of blues who go to Goodison week after week, plough their hard earned cash into the club season after season, they were the ones best suited to sell EFC. I spoke of being brought up by my dad on the school of science,how the holy trinity were the best midfield he had ever seen, how in his mind the golden vision Alex Young was as good as if not better than George Best and that Dixie Dean was the best ever. I had memories of a grainy old VHS entitled “the official history of Everton F.C” to draw on. Images as I wrote came flooding back. I had my own history as a blue. from crying the day we won the title in 87,( I was 6 and my mum had earlier said I was to young to go with my dad and sister to see the champions crowned). To being a 14 year old crying again because we had won the FA cup in 95, Memories of standing on queens drive with all my family decked out in blue welcoming the team back from Wembley. And then the tough most formative years that I think every era of blues fan has gone through before their own success arrives. My blog basically said no one could sell Everton like I could.

Just over a year down the line and it seems we (myself and Bill Kenwright) are both wrong. How was I to know a little Spaniard who had played out his career in the lower leagues could be the one to do it. Ladies and Gentlemen I give you Roberto Martinez. He is someone who has in 8 months engrained himself into our club, immersed himself in everything that is Everton. He speaks with such a knowledge, such a passion of our past that is startling. His first interviews he spoke of watching Everton from afar as a young player in Spain due to Barcelona buying Lineker from us. He told us that he supported us during our F.A cup win in 1995, He told our chairman who then told us that Roberto Martinez can lead us to the champions league. Many scoffed, many are gradually coming around to the reality of it. And it is due to him.

In my time of being aware of Everton managers he is the most positive I have come across. He inspires not only the players but the fans alike. Every game this season we have gone into it fully expecting to win no matter who we play , home or away. He talks about the players having the right kind of arrogance and freedom of enjoying their football. Simply put when he talks you listen and become mystified in whatever he says. His knowledge and ideas on football are a breath of fresh air. The excellent Followtonians interview with him was a masterclass in humility, charm,humour and intelligence. I’ve listened to it 4 times and I’m guessing many blues have listened to it more, and in my opinion anyone who loves football , plays football, coaches football or has aspirations to do any of those should listen to it, its not just for blues.

The appointment of another man has brought the love back too. A mention if I may to Alan Myers. An appointment although as far as im aware not made by Martinez but still encapsulates the gaffers ideals. He has helped bring back a family feel to my team. A team that for 11 years flaunted the banner of “the peoples club” but never really held true the ideals of being such. Alan Myers is first and foremost a scouser. He speaks our language, feels our pain and regularly interacts with all of us on twitter. He has helped organise events for the fans,he has answered questions when he can and he and his team deserve so much credit for the work they have put into and part they have played in making this season the success it has become. Alan Myers I thank you.

And so Valentines day is approaching fast and as it does my love for Everton which has never gone away is now blossoming even more day by day. The feeling amongst the fans to our players is something that I haven’t seen in my 32 years of being a blue we genuinely love them all. The thousands singing to Bryan Oviedo whose season has so sadly been cut short was touching. The determination of players to get back from injury to help the team achieve what so many deem impossible makes me proud. The tributes along the finch farm walls to our past achievements and DVD’s Martinez has made for the players to let them know what they are part of is special. And finally that arrogance of having one tile blank, yet to be filled by this squad is inspiring.

Yes yes yes, I am falling madly in love with my club again. head over heels in fact. And the Man to lead us into what could be our greatest ever period (why not?) is the reason why. We ( and I admit I said this last year at christmas ) are on the verge of something very special, this weekend our game against Spurs is only the beginning.

I firmly believe when we go fourth we will not let go of it. I can feel as I’ve said this week there will be a Tim Cahill moment when we make it certain its ours, but I also believe we can do so much more. The FA cup is so tantilising and the fact that we no longer get beat makes me think we can win that to. Roberto Martinez is the reason I believe again and the reason that word “believe” is used so much by blues, Roberto Martinez is the man who has made me love again, so Roberto will you and Everton be my Valentine ?

Dave Parkinson

follow me on twitter @DaveParky14


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