For the past few years there has manifest within England’s top league not simply a dog-eat-dog ethos and methodology of how to obtain prominence, but one which has now become the Calcio equivalent of organ harvesting and via which the media were not simply involved but were the equivalent of drivers of the Get Away Ambulance. The John Stones saga in all it’s predictable nastiness, as well as various others, has not simply plumbed the depths of what should be de riguer behaviour within The Beautiful Game it has established a new nadir and also the opportunity for Everton Football Club to manifest a determination which was immensely refreshing as well as reassuring.
What we have seen this summer with the cases of John Stones and Raheem Stirling is not simply the Economic Big Boys of English Football pursuance of contracted players at other teams without concern but the methods utilized have sought to undermine all established acceptable parameters of behaviour between clubs. For example, when Sterling made his official press conference at Manchester City he was asked what had swung his decision??? He replied that Joe Hart talking to him at England Camp had been an influence. This by any other name is tapping up, as was Gary Cahill’s patently Chelsea F.C. authorised persuance of John Stones and the Media with at it’s vanguard both Sky and TalkSport have been, to utilise a Tolkien analogy, the Grima Wormtongue’s of the piece, slavering in appearance yet whispering evil on behalf of Saruman, whom of course is but a hand-maiden to Sauron. It was beyond the pale and was basically saying,
“Wow, your daughter is beautiful. How much do you want for her???”
The fact that we love and cherish all our children never even factored into any of their equations, our opinions and that of our club having won nearly double the amount of league titles that Chelsea have, did not even require serious consideration. Each time we said no they merely wheeled out another Alan Brazil or Robbie Savage as envoys in-chief and with an ethos of, of course you’ll take the money in the end… #Bitch
This was less a flexing of G14 financial muscle as it was the equivalent of Footy Gangsterism, as with all their Cosa Nostra political connections and their assurance that they shall ultimately be able to make us all an offer that we could not possibly refuse, indeed to return to the Middle Earth theme for a moment longer they are looking to create an exclusion zone, a Black Gate To Mordor where all the rest of us Gollum figures will bury ourselves underground away from the all-seeing eye and seek only to protect our Precious without their avaricious grasp. Another example of same could be said to be the purchase of Asmir Begovitch a first class Goalkeeper whom would merit inclusion in many European level teams, though despite playing this weekend his general remit is to be reserve to Courtios and all 3 parties are au fait with this, once more an instance of cherry picking of Stoke City’s best player while not even intending to pick him if all circumstances were optimum from the Chelsea perspective. The transfer of Kevin De Bryune is another of note, both on the basis that Chelsea deemed him surplus to requirements and unfit for purpose only a year earlier but also in the manner that Manchester City basically financially bulldozer’ed the move through. As for the argument, everyone wants to earn more money, I would counter, when one already earns in excess of £50,000 per week, and to be able to provide for all one’s dependents for lifetimes to come, how much is enough???
Therefore Everton Football Club’s stance in protecting our interests but also that of a Player, whom no-one having witnessed him over a number of games would doubt will grace the pinnacle of the game but does not need to do so in the next 6 months was beyond plucky, beyond laudable it was a statement. In doing so we basically said to the majority of European Football, if we discover and nurture a talent and value said talent enough to offer and have accepted a 5 year contract we intend to utilise said talent in our own pursuit of honours and you should do likewise. The Media, in particular Murdoch TV and Brazil the Banker’s Friend were not merely complicit but were enthusiastic and active participants in driving a non-story into a month’s worth of air time and this aspect should not be forgotten, nor should Chelsea F.C’s utilisation of their Captain and Gary Cahill in public pursuit of someone else’s contracted Player, nor the West London outfit’s blatant ignorance of accepted methods of transfer negotiations though again sadly reminiscent of the Sterling saga. It was nasty and very very Tory in essence. You are poor therefore we shall simply offer you more and more money and eventually I shall take your children.
Roberto Martinez’s stance both upon receipt of John Stones’ albeit belated transfer request and after dismissing same, gladdened my heart. I spoke to Neville Southall in a private conversation on the day after he asked to move. I said to Big Lad,
“Would you accept it and take the money???”
Him; “No mate. It sends the wrong signal to the fans, to other clubs and to players whom have also signed long term deals.”
I wholeheartedly agreed. Therefore upon my arrival at Tottenham Hotspur to enter the ground and hear a smattering of Lads singing “Money can’t buy you Stones..” and then half an hour later for thousands of Toffees to take up the cry, and for our Manager to note in his post-match interview that he himself wanted to join in, didn’t just gladden my heart it actually made it sing. We have experienced a summer whereby Seamus Coleman, Romelu Lukaku, James McCarthy and latterly John Stones have all been getting sold by the Media apparently by rota, the year before it was Ross Barkley and should we not have dismissed these as the contemptuous machinations of the Fourth Estate that they undubitably were we might as well immediately dismantle the construction of, what in my personal opinion, is the most youth focused and gifted squad for 20 years. It would basically rule out any possibility of advancement as a Club but that aspect would be offset by lots of money so why should we moan??? Would Tottenham Hotspur have been a better side, have had a better chance of Trophy’s if they had held fast over Gareth Bale, even if it was only for 1-2 years??? I believe they should have but others may consider this a naive view.
The continuance of the transfer window into the course of the season is another aspect which requires review as it basically becomes financial Russian Roulette, to coin a phrase, should a cash rich club covet one of your cubs. Once more it utilised as a weapon by these clubs and can often leave the selling club with no time in order to replace and should be curtailed.
We now come to the aspect of prescience, or a happy accident, in the whole affair as our first post-transfer window match is of course at home against Chelsea. It really is a mouthwatering fixture, not only on the basis that the Beatles will be once more getting belted out at the Old Lady just as it was in days of yore but also in that despite Chelsea still being a formidable side they are one that has failed to perform as yet this season, while we ourselves have done reasonably, losing only to Manchester City whom seem to defeat everyone at will at present. We remain second favourites of course and last year’s opposition performance gives insight as to the foundation of our fears, yet I would counter that Jose has shown the video of our win at Southampton and voiced his concern as to their potential defending. We therefore need to play our part as the foundations of Goodison Park will reverberate and we are given the opportunity to voice our opinion of the previous months activities whilst hopefully, simultaneously driving our team on to victory.
Whatever happens from this juncture as regards John Stones’ eventual career he is a valued and needed aspect of our present squad and we must support both him and the players not merely on Saturday but all season as we seek to achieve tangible progress and in doing so stick two very pointed fingers up to the Nouveu Riche methodology of modern day Football. Let us hope that we can do precisely this and witness some Cosmic Justice as well as three valuable points.