Next Saturday, February 7, 2015 will see us play host to the Lucifers in the return Merseyside Derby of this campaign and prior to our arrival at Selhurst Park at the weekend we had but a single victory in our last 13 fixtures having lost 5 on the bounce away from home. This allied to our opponents own recent renaissance, particularly their having deposited Southampton from the F.A. Cup at St. Mary’s only a week earlier, meant that the omens were far from optimistic. However, the weekend’s display in South London on a ubiquitous level would provide more than a chink of light in a sea of darkness as regards points gained but also in its manner, its modus operandi and with our crimson cousins imminent arrival it was a most prescient occurrence.
For myself the most disappointing aspect of season 2014-15 hasn’t even been on the park, it has been in the stands. Granted we have not witnessed the Champagne Football of last year- I said on Toffee TV in the Pre-Season show that I expected us to go sideways before we could go forwards this term, but it has been in the reaction of Toffees, specifically the booing whilst winning 1-0 at home against West Brom’ but also the outrageously personal casing of Lukaku whilst ignoring the general anonymity of, for example, Ross Barkley and the general disquiet away from home in particular when less than 12 months ago yous were all singing about what colour shoes that Bobby preferred that has saddened me most. When viewed in conjunction with the decade plus of David Moyes’ I found it nasty tbh and not #EvertonThat indeed Roberto himself commented upon this very aspect only last week with his #ProperEvertonians reference which again saw many take umbrage though once more I made him right.
See, the thing about being an Evertonian is, there is no contract, no guarantee of success it is, with respect about up’s and down’s- with many more down’s than up’s. This is simple fact, take the years we have been a League Club then divide it by trophies won, that should give clarity to my point. It is about commitment first, or least it was when I was growing up and Europe’s finest side resided on Breckfield Road South yet it mattered not a jot to the Toffee I was then nor would become. Moreover, given say even in the past 20 years, of Walter Smith’s reign and Moyes himself for most of his tenure I would argue that even in our darkest moments this season we were still far advanced from either. Our squad has jewels and potential, then it had one or two diamonds at best. Go back today and check how many games this campaign that say John Stones, James McCarthy, Kevin Mirallas, Seamus Coleman, Ross Barkley and even the Goalie have all played in the same team on the same day, this is not me making excuses for Roberto Martinez it is simply my honest assessment having witnessed nearly every match live since he became Manager of Everton Football Club.
At Crystal Palace on Saturday I saw signs that things, to para-phrase a song from the 1990’s, (might just) get better. Even during our recent travails I have seen things that gave me optimism, for example the return of Arouna Kone- giving us at least the option of replacing or supplementing Romelu Lukaku in any given Match, something absent since Bobby took charge, Mo’ Besic finally gaining an opportunity to display his talents on a regular basis, the return of John Stones, the real Phil Jagielka playing alongside Young Bobby Moore at Centre Back, Joel finally feeling as if he is a legitimate Toffee Keeper, the return of Bryan Oviedo and even Roberto’s short-lived flirtation with the Baines in the Phillip Lahm Role thing, which again I could see working better in a more conducive-that is not relegation threatened environment. Again, this is simply my personal opinion though Selhurst Park saw precisely that which the nay-sayers were calling for.. “ He only knows one way .. “ “ He has no Plan B .. “ Well I’m sorry but the victory in South London, in principle was far more David Moyes than it was Roberto Azul, so how’s that for Plan B ???
While the Merseyside Derby will always evoke emotion in Evertonians the return of optimism, of hope to our collective consciousnesses should be utilized for the rest of the campaign and not just this coming Saturday evening as it is the absence of both that has seen us manifest our worst collective behaviour as Fans of late. Gerr*rd will arrive and almost certainly score. So fukn what ??? He always scores and beat Moyes for fun yet the biggest fright we have given Lucifer in 15 years was the second half of the Goodison Derby last year though in fairness this was due to our having perhaps the most felt absence of this campaign, the Speedy Gonzales shaped hole where Gerard Deleufeuo once was, yet should we have lost at Selhurst Park I honestly feel as if the Derby would have been already forfeit as we, collectively just did not believe, though now I see us having grabbed a late goal at home to West Ham , took a point off the Champions- them having taken a lead, played 75 minutes with 10 men at West Ham are the better side and only lose when our Keeper could not score a penalty, then go to a side on a decent run and one always a threat at home and win the GD game, I see progress, incremental certainly but absolutely, indisputably forwards momentum.
It is the hope, the belief that will always be the most important factor when the Toffees are in a rough trot as it from here that the loyalty is born and it is loyalty, the, I am a go the fukn game Blue no matter where we are, that makes us who we are, and believe me others respect who TF we are, how TF we do this stuff. So I implore yous, please no matter what happens on Saturday, specifically if we are losing at half-time- remember that they have been 0-2 up in the last two Goodison Derbies yet won neither game, stay right as for those of us at Crystal Palace the players themselves responded to our unconditional support, it was cause and effect and this should be our Mission Statement for the rest of the campaign. Do this, see where it takes us and then, should yous wish to review-address stuff at the end of the year then I shall have no issue with it is long as it is reasoned, logical and rooted in fact. The next month is likely to be the most important of our whole season and may well define Roberto Martinez’s future as Toffee Supremo, I am saying that it is down to us now to play our part, to be the best Caramelos we ourselves can be and see if we can be the extra 1%, the je ne sais quoi that makes the difference when it really matters and I honestly believe that we as Fans have a role. Hope and optimism are enjoying a brief but tangible Goodison risorgimento or revival, let us embrace their number. Do this and yous might find that it won’t be just Roberto whom is having Everton F.C. related dreams.
Your Football Club Needs Yous right now, please be there as I genuinely believe that it is going to matter.
Thank yous for your time.
Written in Britain.