WSAG ISSUE E001
When Skies are Grey The Evertonian Fanzine since 1988 Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org Follow us @wasgfanzine www.facebook.com/when.skiesaregrey.1
rip it up and start again This has been the most exciting and most terrifying summer in the long history of the fanzine. We’ve known amongst ourselves for over a year that we were about to rip it up and start again but actually doing it is another matter. We can’t tell you how much we have appreciated all your support and best wishes. So here we are. Welcome to the all new, all singin’, all dancin’ electric WSAG. We’ve tried to keep much of the fanzine the same as ever. But we’ve added whistles and bells. We’re also trying out loads of new things because the digital format allows us the freedom to. This issue, for instance, is a bumper 72 pages. Twenty four more than any of our previous paper issues. As with any change some things may not work or come out we intended but that’s part of the fun. Let us know what you think. Stick with us. Up the Toffees Graham & Phil
And so it begins, another nine months on the journey, back on the rollercoaster that is life as a football fan and Evertonian. Back to the routine of match day and all that it incurs; the familiar faces, the scenery and surroundings, that spring in your step as you head to the promised land. The pre match build up, reading the papers and the betting slips, a stop off for a late breakfast and a cheeky beer or two “I can’t go in there without having a drink, it helps with the nerves”. Frantically listening for team news and scowling as someone reveals in the pub toilets that Naismith is starting on the wing. Rubbing shoulders with people like you, people who love football and more importantly love Everton. New shirts being donned “that badge is shite but I am warming to it” – new signing’s names on the back and kids filled with excitement at wearing the royal blue. Battling into the bookies, a few quid on an Everton win “he’s due a goal”, coupons galore “bet yer one team will let me down”, like a box full of blue, hopeful sardines crammed in to one place all desperate for a win on their beloved Toffees. The coaches, the buses and the taxis, the thousands of fans on foot all heading to one place – the Church that is Goodison, the religion that is Everton. ‘Hats scarves and yer badges’, the smell of hotdogs and onions, hungry blues juggling season tickets and gravy chip barms as they pass through the gates. Those big, burly blue turnstiles, that green or orange light and that fella's ticket that just will not work. New fixture lists, a new lick of paint, fellow fans all a bit fantastic and raring to go. A new dawn and a new era, the season ticket back in your pocket and an optimistic glint in your eye. You feel back at home, safe now your inside, with your people, a part of your club. The journey to your seat, up or down stairs, past the blue hand rails and that steward with his coat ten sizes too big. As you reach full view of the stadium, stop and breath it in, the good old Goodison air, it’s so elating, you are overcome with the feeling of passion, belonging and true homeliness. Shaking hands and letting on, seeing who is still with us and who isn’t. The focus is on Everton and how the summer has been, your hopes for the new campaign and what we might see. Kick off time approaches, there is a buzz in the air, one that you only get at football and one you only get at Everton. This is what I’ve waited all summer long for, I’ve been waiting patiently since May for this. Z-Cars begins to play and the applause rings out, Everton do their formalities then run onto the pitch to a cheer. That song is like no other, it sends a shiver down your spine, so loud and so prominent, our trademark sound. The teams line up and that is it, you are back on the journey and in it for the long haul. Through thick and thin you are there, whereas players, managers and staff come and go. Back with Everton whom you have missed so much, it all starts here again and you’d rather be no place else. This feeling increases even more when we score and we will – we always do. You look up, you look around, you’ll notice other people doing it too, living life at Goodison Park with a smile on their face because they are so proud to be blue. Mark Finnegan, EFCFeelinBlue.com
Who Came Up With That? Much has been written about the introduction of the new crest. It was a spectacular own goal and its going to change so maybe we shouldn't add to the debate at this late stage but here are just a few thoughts...
How could they get it so wrong? Really, that takes some skill. How could they think the two latest additions to the crest - the date and the word 'Everton' were the most important things? Didn't someone wonder whether there was any significance attached to the laurel wreaths? Still, despite all that I can't believe that there wasn't anyone who saw the design in the planning stage who didn't pull and face and say "that's shit, that!" Perhaps there wasn't. Perhaps everyone thought it was great - this is more worrying. Perhaps it was only after an early leaked image and the universally negative response it received that those responsible might have begun to wonder if they had fucked up badly. Perhaps that's why they tried to sneak it out at 4pm on a Saturday during a Bank Holiday.
They must have been shitting themselves, petrified of the one click of the mouse that would unleash hell. Even so, I bet they weren't prepared for what followed. I would have loved to have been there when ace designer Mark Derbyshire turned up for work the next day. And have I missed Tony Bott Jacko's mate, the fella with a voice like a Hanna Barbera cartoon character - explaining his role as Chair of the Fans Forum? And has he explained his comments which suggested that he knew best and we'd all get to like it in time. And what of the Fans Forum? Never credible but now surely finished. Is anyone that arsed? 23,000 fans signing a petition in three days is impressive. Certainly it belies the commonly held belief that Evertonians are 'too cool for school' and can't be arsed with (Kopite behaviour) protests. We are stuck with it for a year but those who won't buy kits for their kids because of it are al' arses. Any new design had better be great. Really great. And the consultation thorough
5 Things we learned since last time 1. Vanilla Recruitment The recruitment policy of bringing in familiar players has been rather humdrum. Robles has played in the division before at Wigan and will provide credible competition to Howard who has been decent in pre season. Alcaraz is a wily old campaigner who will 'do a job' as long as we can wheel him onto the pitch enough times. Up front, Kone gives us a different option being better on the ball than off it whilst the player who could be the ace in the pack is Deulofeu. What has been refreshing has been that most of the deals have been achieved relatively quickly and under the radar of the inane Jim White, although perhaps this was due to nobody actually being interested in any of the players brought in. It was certainly a feather in Martinez cap that he retained a dignified silence when rebranded premium foney and all round rank average player Joey Barton kindly offered himself to us in exchange for a massive contribution to his pension pot. Irrelevant of the circus that follows Barton, what he actually offers as a player on the pitch is negligible and it's definitely a bullet swerved. Whether Baines and Fellaini - arguably our two most effective players - remain at the club postwindow remains to be seen. With Moyes' moral fibre eroding faster than Walt from Breaking Bad anything appears possible, and we can only hope that his desperation to show he can bully as well as his predecessor will enable us to get 'Lescott money' should the deals be forced through. If there was a critique of Martinez it's that his pursuit of Wigan players would indicate a lack of any meaningful scouting network. In his defence, the distillation process of transfers
these days can take up to 12 months from start to finish. This - coupled with the pressing need for reinforcements and the fact he has already done his due diligence on these players - would probably explain this 'safety first' approach. All things considered, it's probably best to judge him on his recruits next summer. 2.New ideas and formations From the training pitch to the pre season matches, there has been plenty of clues to the new 'Everton style' Martinez has spoken of in pre season. The somewhat archaic territorial army tactic of running up hills til exhaustion has been radically overhauled with more an emphasis on ball work and training players minds to be anticipate the 2nd and 3rd passes. In match situations, anyone trying to second guess our formation for any game this season will probably be wasting their time; thus far the system has been in a constant state of flux. The old school Moyes default 4-4-1-1 has been used in some games, against Madrid for example with Fellani further forward and the customary high defensive line. In other games like Betis it has been 4-2-3-1 whilst at Blackburn there were times it looked more 4-3-3. In the Juventus game there was significant change in systems with new face John Stones key to the dynamic of a back three which morphed into a back four fairly seamlessly due to Stones being equally comfortable at right back as he is at centre back. John Heitinga, who like Stones can play in a couple of positions, has also done ok, and both could feature more this season due to their positional flexibility.
3. Style over substance? At Swansea, Martinez looked to gradually improve their passes made per game and consequently their share of the ball, moving from 200 passes in his first games to almost 3 times that figure as the season developed. At Wigan, pass completion and share of the ball went up in each of his 3 seasons. One of the most clear observations of the pre season games has been the reduction in back to front agricultural long passes from Howard or Jagielka. One of the midfielders more comfortable on the ball has been coming to take the ball off Howard and splitting the centre backs, allowing the wing backs to push on. The passing on show in the Betis game was relatively crud although this was largely due to Betis pressing us high up field and there being no real 'out ball' to play long in the absence of a big, aggressive player in the forward berths who can make the ball stick. It will be interesting to see how the new approach develops. Arguably one of the most effective attacking weapons last season was that opponents didn't know when we were going to go long and feed off Fellaini or go short down the flanks. Will the shorter game make us more one dimensional? The Betis game alluded to a counter attacking style in which we will play deeper in our own half, look to bring sides onto us and then exploit the space using the pace of Mirallas. 4. Blue sky thinking Whilst its fashionable to bash the previous regime, one legitimate beef is that Moyes perpetual pre season misery and knack of lowering expectation often led toffees fans to the point of self harm prior to the first game of the season. Not so with Martinez. With his chirpy smiley face and nicely knit cardigans, our new boss is probably as polar opposite as you can get. A keen applier of psychological methods in football, his mind guru at Wigan Gary Leboff described Martinez core values as "creativity, expression and a lack of fear" and it's clear there is no such fear of losing, or as the Betis game showed, of playing potentially hazardous passes around our 18 yard box. Players such as Barkley, Jelavic and Nasimith - whose confidence during spells of last season
all looked completely shot to pieces - seem to have found new confidence in pre season. None more so than Jelavic, who has been finding the net with the regularity of his 2012 purple patch. Hopefully this blue sky thinking can lead us to getting extra out of what he have, given new faces aren't exactly in abundance. 5.Great Expectations Following the Betis game, most fans expectations would probably have been reigned in considerably as a tepid showing witnessed players seemingly not 'on message' with the new methods and generally looking like an accident waiting to happen at the back. If we look at comparable sides last season, Creepy Brenny and the 'AVB Project' both accrued more points than the previous campaign despite both overhauling the style bestowed by the previous manager. Both clubs
took time to embed methods with Liverpool's passing approach particularly risky and leading to numerous goals from misplaced passes in their own half as a result of some of their sterile possession. If I was going to make a wild generalisation of what will happen this season I'd say it's more likely the tight games under Moyes will be replaced by higher scoring matches with us looking more daring but equally less resolute at the back. Delivering Martinez expressive adventure whilst harnessing it with our defensive strength will determine how high up the table we finish. If we are able to get into September in good shape and with the squad relatively intact then we can have a good season, although realistically 6th or 7th would probably be as high as we can hope for.
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He believes the children are our future by Mike Murphy You can say a lot of things about Moyes. Ok, now you’ve finished, you can say a lot of things about Moyes, and it’s easier with the distance of the summer having distilled the ovation he would have given himself into a more measured view of what good things he did actually managed to achieve. However, one line which always seemed a bit at odds with reality was how youth progression improved under him. Now, this is not to kick him now he has gone, and in fairness he probably played a big part in improving Everton’s youth set-up alongside many others, but when it came to the crunch he never really seemed to believe in it. From Osman to Vaughan to Anichebe to Baxter to Duffy to Rodwell to Barkley there were a fair few who had a crack at the first team picture, but the opportunities afforded seemed to be on the wane as the eleven years wore on (I’ve taken Rooney out, as he was an unignorable freak at 16, and one that hasn’t been repeated at any club in the country since). Of course this is not all down to Moyes, loads of luck and the character of the players is definitely part of the picture, but the idea that Moyes was somehow a manager who would give young lads a fair crack isn’t really borne out by a first team set-up where only Osman and Vic have made enough starts to be anything other than a footnote to a managerial period of eleven years. So it was interesting to hear Martinez refer to the youth set-up early on, and perhaps even moreso to hear Alan Irvine expressing his pleasure at the boss taking ‘genuine’ interest in what goes on in the age-groups. One lad who has looked particularly delighted at the prospect of the new season is Barkley, of whom much is expected, although being the pick of the group in the England under-20 side is a bit like being ‘the one who can sing’ in the Spice Girls (note to self: update your popular culture reference sheet). There’s nothing quite like having one of your own tearing about the place, it’s about all that the Loveables have to cling on to these days, and Martinez’s glad eye to the youths has formed part of a more upbeat, optimistic feeling around the club at the moment which has managed to ride out the Clip-Art badge storm with its youthful gay abandon. Of course, the new man, as is quite often the case, might just be carrying on from where the old fella was just about to reap the benefits of his work on Stones, Barkley, McAleny, Vellios, Hope, Lundstram and further on Green – if he turns out to be any good. However, it never felt like Moyes was going to trust his own youth players to push on and make their ‘difficult second album’ after running the show at home to Leyton Orient. So onwards and upwards, new manager, new players, new strip, new WSAG; to the new season! The possibilities of the future are endless (3.07 Norwich 2-0 Everton (Fer, 2).
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, here is the new WSAG logo. We just know you're going to love it. 'The previous version of the logo - created 20 odd years ago - was often misrepresented and as technology marches on, those challenges have increased. On television, on websites, on mobile devices, the logo was far too often badly reproduced, usually by us. Our team of crack [addled] design experts have therefore produced this smart, vibrant logo for the modern age which gives a concise, modern and dynamic representation of When Skies are Grey. Phil Redmond added: "Its simplified nature means it can be reproduced more effectively in the digital and retail arenas. It should also be added that the new logo contains more realistic cloud formations." The logo was created following an extensive consultation process with readers, subscriber groups, branding experts and drunks in the street. A lifelong WSAG reader said "It's boss, I love it and if you don't you're wrong... erm can I have my ÂŁ5 now?" The new logo will soon feature on all WSAG media platforms and will be removed quickly following a massive furore and quietly replaced with the one we used previously.
New Manager – New Season by Adrian Thomas
A new season and a new Manager. By now Roberto Martinez will have concluded his pre season matches so how will they compare with those of his predecessors who joined us between seasons. Billy Bingham became summer of 1973.
No new signings were made and the preparations were low key with just three warm up matches considerably less in number than the many we are used to nowadays. These all came in a pre-season tour to Sweden, where it wasn’t a great help for our new boss that three players had to be disciplined for returning back to the hotel late on the eve of one of our matches. Perhaps this was the one we lost 1-0 to Malmo, as we had won the previous two, 31 v Landskrona, Royle, Kendall, Bernard and 2-1 v Halmstad where Mick Buckley scored twice, earning a starting place for our first match at Leeds and becoming a first team regular. Our first six league games saw 1 win, 3 draws and 2 defeats. Howard Kendall’s first stint in charge started during the summer of 1981. The magnificent seven had been bought, Arnold, Southall, Walsh, Ainscow, Thomas, Biley and Ferguson. Nothing too risky to begin with we ventured to Morecambe, then in the Northern Premier and beat the part timers 3-0. Eastoe scored twice and our ‘forgotten’ eighth signing of the summer came on to get the third, none other than Kendall himself. We played another four matches all against lower league opposition and should have done better than four draws. Exeter finished goalless whilst 1-1 was the score against Plymouth, Hereford and Oldham. All but Southall and Mick Ferguson started the season v Birmingham, youngsters Ratcliffe and McMahon had maybe not impressed on the west country tour and were also left out, though soon returned for regular starts. We had two each of wins, draws and defeats from our opening six matches.
When Howard Kendall resigned in the summer of 1987, Colin Harvey immediately took charge. At Bellefield, a full strength side beat Wrexham 3-0 and there was one other warm up match in Linkoping Sweden, a 4-1 win, before being plunged in at the deep end with the Charity Shield at Wembley v Coventry. We put out as strong a team as possible winning 1-0 thanks to Wayne Clarke. Finally we played a pre season tournament in La Coruna, Spain, disappointingly coming fourth. Benfica beat us 5-3 on penalties and in the third place play off, Spoting Gijon put two past Alec Chamberlain to our solitary rely from Trevor Steven. There had been no new signings, other than a goalkeeper who never played for us properly, when with hindsight, we had just won the title and should have been strengthening the side even further. As reigning Champions we started with 2 wins, 3 draws and just 1 defeat, the best record of any new manager at the start of a new season. Our next three appointments came mid season, so it was Howard Kendall returning in 1997, the next time that we had a new man in charge come pre season. New signings Slaven Bilic, Gareth Farrelly, John Oster and Tony Thomas all featured at some stage during our seven pre season games of five wins and two defeats. Wins at Guernsey and lower league sides Stoke and Bristol city were to be expected, though the 3-0 defeat at Tranmere was a bit
embarrassing. In all these games we averaged five substitutions so they were hardly a pointer as to what to expect in the new campaign. It was the three matches at Goodison which proved most interesting. A 3-2 victory (Branch, Stuart, Barmby) over Glasgow Rangers came in a decent contest, with us playing a very strong line-up for our first warm up match. Seven of the line up, including Duncan Ferguson who was to appear during all pre season matches were to be in the team come the opening day of the new season. In the semi final of the Umbro Cup staged at Goodison, we played Ajax, again with a strong line up winning 1-0 (Speed). For whatever reason though, the goalscorer, along with first choice keeper Southall and centre halves Watson and Bilic were missing when we lost 3-1 to Chelsea in the final the following day. Opening day at home to Crystal Palace our line up was Southall, Thomas, Watson, Bilic, Phelan, Oster, Thomsen, Speed, Farrelly, Stuart, Ferguson. An attacking midfield, the likes of Barrett, Barmby and Branch on the bench having failed to impress – we lost 1-0. Our six match start saw 2 wins, 1 draw but 3 defeats. Walter Smith was in charge for pre-season a year later taking over when Howard Kendall left during the 1998 World Cup Finals. His first signing was full back Alex Cleland on a free from his former club Rangers. Later arrivals were fellow scot John Collins and using his knowledge of the European scene, Marco Materazzi and Olivier Dacourt. This continental touch (Collins had even come from Monaco) was clearly encouraged by Chairman Peter Johnson who looked upon it as the way forward, regardless of whether we could afford them. A draw at Chester and a defeat at Port Vale was not an inspiring start at home prior to a five match ( well four and two halves) visit to Holland and Belgium. We lost again to AZ Alkmaar 3-1 (Grant) in a poor performance, drew 0-0 with St Truiden in Belgium and had the customary
Really... Have a word with yourself Inky
6-1 win against a Dutch non-league outfit from Veldhoven. The three most significant games, saw us beat Espanyol, over from Spain, in a 45 minute match at Liege, draw 0-0 in another 45 minute match v hosts Standard Liege, but disappointingly when all should have been coming together lose 2-0 to Fortuna Sittard in our final pre season, this one over 90 minutes! Overall it was hard to see if Smith was any the wiser. His four signings had only played together twice, in the two defeats in Holland, presumably seen as our toughest tests. Come the start of the season, in our first six games, we won just once, with 3 draws and 2 defeats. This gave a points total which along with that of Billy Bingham’s gave the worst start for a new manager at the start of a season. So, after our matches in Vienna and America, along with those at Accrington and Blackburn, how will we fare this time under a new Manager when the season starts. As this review shows it’s not proved easy in the past, so give thought to this should results be disappointing when the show gets underway. Personally I think this could be our best start for a new boss though and a prediction of 3 wins, 1 draw and 2 defeats from our opening six v Norwich, West Brom, Cardiff, Chelsea, West Ham and Newcastle is quite achievable. Let the games begin.
N NOTE T ALL OUR RE TO ED BRE ETHREN N We told you W y he wa as a cun nt. A dirrty, horriible, snid dey gobs shite. You didn't lis sten. Instead you clap pped him m, defend ded him.. Y shou You uld have listened d. Itt might have h saved you a bit of he eartache e. Iff it helps... Brendan Rodge ers is one e phoney y fucker A over-p An promote ed, jumpe ed up pa antry boy y. It will save s time e if you take t hee ed now. You kn now we're right.
THE PERIODIC TABLE OF EVERTON FC – DESIGN COMPANY ‘CREATE’ HISTORY Milkyone Creative (www.milkyone.co.uk) redesign periodic table with significant historical elements of Everton Football Club history – a perfect fit for ‘The School of Science’ Liverpool-based graphic design company, Milkyone Creative, have redesigned the periodic table with an Everton FC slant. Chief designer and long time When Skies Are Grey design contributor Thomas Regan has recreated the iconic scientific diagram and replaced each element with a piece of Everton history. Along with reworking each element symbol, 'The Periodic Table of Everton FC' also includes significant historical times in the club's history and player statistics to form a concise resource for the club known as ‘The School Of Science’. Speaking about the project, Thomas says: "The periodic table of Everton FC is the perfect fit for Everton Football Club as us Blues know we are 'The School Of Science'. Who would have thought the periodic table would be so cool!" The posters are A3 (420mm x 297mm) in size and are priced at £8 + £4 P&P. They are delivered rolled in a robust tube to ensure no damage is incurred when they are posted. They are available online now by clicking HERE.
We have three Everton FC Periodic Table’s to give away. Simply answer the following question:
On the periodic table which player is represented by the letters ‘Ax’? Email us at WSAG by clicking here. Winners will be picked at random.
DAYS LIKE THESE WSAG's Phil Redmond has been sat down with a piece of paper and a sharp pencil and forced to write a diary throughout the summer months. Day by day. These things, sweet Lord I pray.
United running the Premier league when they realised that if they didn’t back the rat he’d be on his way. Suarez meanwhile talks himself into a ten game ban. Now shut the fuck up and take your medicine.
May 2 Liverpool fans announce that they’re planning a mosaic before Saturday's derby to thank Evertonians for our continued support over the Hillsborough justice campaign.
Part 1: April - June April 20 The Toffees dip limply at the Stadium of light against Paolo Di Canio’s Sunderland. Everton look jaded and this result means in all likelihood there’ll be no European jaunts next season. April 21 Arch maggot Luis Suarez decides to take a chunk out of Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic’s arm, but later minute scores a 97th equaliser in the reds 2-2 draw. A rabbit in the headlights performance from Rogers in the press conference where he refuses to watch a playback is followed a couple of hours later, once they’d realised they couldn’t this time blame it on Chelsea, ( I know cheap shot) by an assertion that Suarez’ behaviour was “totally unacceptable” and that “no player was bigger than Liverpool football club”. April 26 Praise the lord for Liverpool FC after a week when they realised that at the moment, one man is indeed bigger than the club. Predictably the drawbridge went up with all the usual bullshit about Man
May 1 Victor Anichebe puts his international career on hold by making himself unavailable for Nigeria until further notice. Let's face it, Chad away can’t be much fun.
April 27 A workmanlike 1-0 victory over Fulham keeps the super optimists dreaming of Europe. Steven Pienaar with a classy winner in a game that should’ve been won more convincingly.
May 3 The derby build up steps up a gear with some laughable “mind games” (phoney tabloid reference alert) from Stuart Downing (“we’ve got a psychological advantage because Everton never win at Anfield”) and Stevie G (“I’m not bothered if we finish above Everton as 6th is nothing to celebrate”), Course you’re not, no fod.
April 28 Lots of talk in the Sundays of Moyes staying and Lescott and Rooney returning. File under highly unlikely. April 30 Seven members of the “notorious” Croxteth crew get 113 years. The Echo in their inimitable way talk of generals, Lieutenants and foot soldiers. Weird all I ever see is a load of rats in North face burkhas hanging round the Oyster chippy.
May 5 And so to the big day and possibly the worst derby in living memory. A half arsed plod between two average teams. Everton looked like they didn’t believe they could win, whilst Liverpool were just incapable. Some will point to Distin’s disallowed
goal but truly the Blues didn’t do enough to win. Liverpool are a poor team these days but for some reason, Everton seem incapable of lifting themselves at Anfield. Some will blame Moyes, but there were plenty of players who let themselves down. May 6 Loads of hilarious bleating from those who aren’t arsed if we finish above them or not. The jewel in the crown coming from that fat little tit James Pearce at the Echo, who’s piece on the game plunged new depths in Kopite bittery. May 7 Tarby lifted on historical nonceing allegations. I know it’s a cheap shot but… bum bum indeed!
Everton’s small shareholders have apparently received a mandate to call an EGM. Our guess is that Robert Earl won’t show. Meanwhile rumours are mounting that Alex Ferguson is retiring at the end of the season and that David Moyes is being lined up as his replacement at Old Trafford.
who wanted anyway. Weird!
May 8 Ferguson resigns and it looks like Moyes is on his way. Good luck to the new fella whoever he may be. He’s going to have to qualify for the Champions league, win something and play boss football with a budget of fuck all to please some of our supporters. Whatever, we’d like to thank David Moyes for giving us a team to be proud of over the past decade. WSAG's Graham Ennis gives an interview on Radio Merseyside saying that personally he'd be surprised if Moyes went to United. May 9 So its confirmed, David Moyes is leaving at the end of the season after 11 years where Everton became contenders again. Apparently the search for a new manager starts immediately with a wide range of uninspiring names being bandied about. This could be the most vital decision the board ever makes. Whatever, the pressure is bound to be cranked up on the board. They must get this appointment right. Ennis cannot be contacted by Radio Merseyside for comment. May 10 Loads of anger about the background of the Moyes move from internet types
May 11 Roberto Martinez leads Wigan to an unlikely but well deserved FA Cup win against the window cleaners which apparently means that Moyes is a shit manager. May 12 The Blues blow away West Ham on an emotional day of goodbyes at a bouncing, full house, Goodison. The ovation the departing manager receives from the people who actually go the match, underlines the relative significance of certain “fans” sites. Touching farewells for Phil Neville and belatedly Tim Cahill as well. Now let's get the new fella in. May 13 Roberto Mancini gets the bullet from Man City which kind of underlines why United's success has been sustained and City have to start again. May 14 Wigan go down and everyman and his dog continue to be linked with the Everton job. Our guess is that it’ll be Martinez.
May 19 The David Moyes era ends with a 2-1 defeat at Stamford Bridge. The Blues give it a real go but lose due to the perennial problem of poor
finishing. Let's just get the new fella in now. May 21 All manner of names being thrown into the hat and all kinds of wailing and gnashing of teeth from Evertonians. Loads being made of the likes of Weir, Ferguson, Stubbs and Neville meeting with Kenwright to discuss the future and of Moyes spending the day at United whilst still technically employed by Everton. Some people need a holiday. May 22 Phil Neville is being talked of and is talking himself up for the manager's job. With his undoubted professionalism, knowledge of the club and respect of the squad, they could do a lot worse. Predictably there’s outrage in the various chat rooms.
May 23 Still no news. Martinez is apparently dithering over whether to stay at Wigan or not, whilst the new popular choice is Vitor Perreira despite the fact that nobody had heard of him two weeks ago. May 25 Most fans who go the match don’t tend to be bothered by boardroom machinations and rumours of corporate no good. The bottom line is how the team gets on of a Saturday, and whether they feel they’re getting a decent
bang for their buck. Fuck around with tradition however and you’re getting into a whole new arena. Everton announce that the rumours of a rebranding of our iconic crest are in fact true as they present a new abomination minus the laurel leaves and the nil satis motto. They really have got it wrong this time. In other news we’re apparently taking part in a “prestigious” pre season tournament in the USA. May 26 Predictably things have hit the roof with widespread condemnation across the fanbase, with normal punters standing united against the crest, with the internet bores who blame Kenwright for everything from the middle east situation to the Go compare fella. An overnight facebook campaign gets 20,000 signatures. The club meanwhile talk about a new clean branding and extensive consultation when everyone knows that it's been decided by as couple of Apprentice contestants with parrot heads, big daft glasses and sculptured facial hair. Meanwhile a 79 year old fella is mauled to death by a pitbull in Clubmoor. May 28 And while all this is going on, Roberto Martinez has resigned at Wigan and predictably enough is in talks with Bill Kenwright. If that’s happening it’s a case of welcome Roberto. However not everybody's happy with an appointment that hasn’t even happened yet. Some
bellend has started a facebook petition to get Kenwright to appoint Vitor Perreira again despite the fact that nobody had heard of him 2 weeks ago. Some Football fans are fuckin morons. Later on and Everton release an unprecedented apology for the badge fuck up. It’s got to stay for this season as all the merchandise has been done but they promise a redesign next season this time with proper consultation. Fair play, though of course it's not good enough for some people.
The whole badge thing gives lie to the myth peddled by some that Evertonians are, by nature, apathetic. By and large punters understand the constraints the club are under, particularly when in competition with the clout of the likes of City and Chelsea. They understand that any money raised tends to go into the pockets of the players and that’s the only way we can even hope about challenging. The message is however clear. Don’t fuck with our traditions. May 29 Martinez is due for talks with Kenwright, who pointedly emphasises that Roberto is just one of a list. Worryingly he talks about the advice he’s received from
Evertonians. Let's hope he makes the right decision and doesn’t just pander to football manager type dickheads. Remember whoever is appointed should get our total support. In other news “We’re Everton Aren’t we” release a frankly hilarious document by communications manager Paul Tyrell from his Liverpool days. The document compares the Spirit of Shankly to the Kymer Rouge. Peter Hooton is laughing and threatening legal action. May 30 Now we’ve apparently interviewed some German fella. It's all getting a bit dull now. Apparently a decision will be made over the weekend. May 31 Looks like someone's got an axe to grind. Neville Southall has been interviewed a bit
recently and has had plenty to say about the current situation at Everton. Apparently going for Martinez shows no ambition, though appointing Stubbsy would and Everton could do with an investment of £50 million (No shit). Now he’s signed up for the next Blue Union meeting where he promises to “tell it like it is”. It's always sad when your hero turns out to be just another embittered old pro. June 3 It all goes nuts with daft old Tory despot Dave Whelan again shooting his mouth off saying that Everton have agreed a compensation package with Wigan. A couple of hours later Everton release a statement saying they haven’t agreed anything yet and will let us know when they do. This all seems a little reminiscent of the situation with Martinez last year at Anfield, with stupid arse Whelan wanting his air time on Sky Sports. Watch this space. June 4 No news, Whelan continues to spout off on Sky. Relegation will kill him now that no one will be arsed about him and his broken fuckin leg. June 5 And so its Roberto. The first Everton manager to be younger than us (by a
whopping 8 years terrifyingly enough), signs in on a 4 year contract. The press conference goes quite well. Bill is as annoyingly gushing as Bill is and whilst there’s no “Peoples club” soundbite to latch onto, there’s plenty to be optimistic about. Now let's all get behind him! In other news the more “politically minded” fans are jubilant as communications boss Paul Tyrell leaves the club…ace.
June 6 It's started. Baines and Fellaini are on their way. The entire Wigan team is coming to Everton…Kenwrong! More when something actually happens. June 8 The Blue Union hold an open meeting at the Casa with what appears to be (from the meeting transcript) a more considered, less personalised approach to the real problems the club faces. I would argue that by taking this approach they’re far more likely to engage supporters who’ve previously dismissed them as cranks. No other news everybody's in Dubai.
June 14 This week's rumours are that Everton are going to offer Leighton Baines a lucrative new contract, Martinez is hoping to add Phil Neville to the coaching staff and Antolin
Again it won’t be enough for some. Bill hints about possible new stadium sites when really he should say nothing. It’ll come back and bite him on the arse, it always does. June 27 Man United apparently bid the ludicrous sum of £12 million for Leighton Baines, which Everton quickly refuse. With David Moyes technically still an Everton employee this is an outrageous development which will lose him a lot of friends at Goodison. A saucy snap of Distin's pecs. Phwoar eh
Alcaraz as his first player signing. June 18 Peter Johnson’s former voicepiece Alan Myers is returning to Goodison in the dead important Communications officer role. June 19 Jake Bidwell signs for Brentford for an “undisclosed fee”. June 20 The Toffees will start the
season at Norwich on August 17th, with Roberto Martinez making his Goodison bow a week later against West Brom. We’re at home boxing day which is always nice and the Goodison derbies first for a change. June 26 The Goodison EGM takes place. The club outline their stance on the debt, the ground situation and even those pesky other operating costs which really they’re under no obligation to do.
Hopefully Everton will remind him of his stance against Man City when they came sniffing around Joleon Lescott. Ultimately however, the choice will lie with Leighton Baines. June 30 Family man Sylvain Distin has apparently been rattling some airhostess for the past 2 years. Apparently he told her he was a milkman. Go to p30 for part two
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BIING GH HAM M OU OUT
It is now some s thirty y seven yea ars since th he agitation fo or the incumbent of the t Goodiso on Park hot seat s to be removed led to these two words being cere emoniously daubed on nto the Main Stand wall .
ections of this time e are quiite My recolle sketchy and I may even hav ve the da ate o however rememberr the protes sts wrong. I do around th hese time es and the t generral consensus being th hat Billy Bing gham's tim me was up. Whilst W this was w no Moncad da or Paris '68 ' it got me m reflectiing upon some e of the forms of protest and a collective action thatt Evertonia ans have emb barked up pon over the years and a n present day d resulting in incarnation ns that I am a struggling to accept. This is by no means an exhaustive e list or a detailed account of ppening', but b each 'hap the salientt incidents for me were the 'Kend dall son Out' petition, 'Johns t Out' (ie. 'sack the board'), Goodis son ampaign and a Forever ca the recent campaigns s in relation to o Kenwrigh ht's running of the club. I suppose you y could sa ay that nearly y every ma anager has had an 'ou ut' campaign waged ag gainst them at som me n our more e successfu ul ones. Th he time; even latter point, in many y respects, sums up for f me what itt is to be a supporter of a football club. es for exam mple. After eleven yea ars Take Moye he has left Everton in n a much be etter positio on than when he took over o and so ome fans are a h that. Others, meanwhile, vie ew happy with him as a 'b bottler' who o was too negative an nd never won a thing with w us. Op pinions diffe er. ge mass off people, will w Everton, like any larg
e drawing upon a broad churc ch of views s be an nd opinions s. Po ost Moyes we have h had a certa ain amount off turbulence at the clu ub and we now have a ne ew manager at the helm in the form of Roberto Marrtinez. Whilst nobody y has gone e o the pre--meditated lengths of daubing g to "M Martinez Out", even before he was in, on n th he walls of Goodison n I couldn't help but no otice that people p were e ac ctually settiing up "We e do on't want Martinez"" ca ampaigns on the e va arious form ms of socia al media that are a now so o and d prrevailing do ominant. I for one e ca annot take these e pe eople seriously. Co onsider, if you will, this acttion in n omparison to the e co pe erpetrators of the e "B Bingham Out" graffiti. Su ure, there e was no o intternet or even e mobile e ph hones back k then but they (or where they a ne gunme en?) would d lon ha ave had to take some e ris sk and courage c to o da aub their outrage o on n the walls of Goodison. G ost importantly, they y Mo allso had so ome resultts on whic ch to pass s ju udgement. Whilst younger generrations may y viiew these as a compara able to Neolithic cave e drawings; consider the action ns of the e Martinez Ou ut" (even b before he is in) online e "M ca ampaign.
e trawling tthrough the e multitude e Sitting there e off opinion and rumourrs as to who would be th he next Ev verton man nager and not really y fa ancying Ma artinez the ey decide, in a fit of what w I woulld call "stre eam of con nsciousness s ne egativity", to create a an online ca ampaign. Why? W Because this is w what we do now.
Just to divert you slightly. I am quite pleased with the Martinez appointment. My underlying fear on him becoming the next Everton manager was more to with his sartorial attire rather than his defensive shortcomings. Seriously have you seen the shirts he wears. They remind me of the shirts you would wear when you first went clubbing to 'Flintlocks' or 'The She' with their strictly 'smart' policy. Please note, that for all who are as equally outraged at Roberto's choice of shirt I have set up an online petition to get Roberto in the finest that Brooks Brothers have got to offer. Please go to www.Robertoinbutton down.co.uk/sartorial. Similar campaigns sprang up around the whole 'crest' saga. Whilst the club may have handled this badly in terms of communication, and I understand there to be a smoking gun in the vaults of the WSAG team, I like the crest. I also like the new kits. Does this make me a 'bad blue'? No. Does it make you a 'better blue' for not liking them? No. Whilst we all love our motto and admittedly I saw nothing wrong with the old crest, it is just that, a motto. We do not live and die by it. I fear that one of the bi-products of the internet and social media is that its underlying democratic nature has increased the sense of frustration fans feel at the largely very undemocratic clubs that they support (Greg Murphy's exhaustive articles exemplify this in the case of Everton ). Social media has also exacerbated this by imbuing people with a sense that their voice is getting heard; even if this is only for likes on some ill thought out campaign. So as Evertonians we are now entering a brave new world. The brave new world of the internet and social media is coming
under ever increasing scrutiny for reasons of security, advertising and cyber-bullying. And so I end my piece on a cautionary note. To borrow from an old road safety campaign "Think , before you click , before you send". Billy Gall
BETWEEN THE END OF THE SEASON AND NOW: A RANDOM LIST •
Radio City’s Terrace Talk reduce this author to tears by broadcasting within fifteen minutes of each other the recommendations of Ron Atkinson and Ian Snodin for the vacant manager’s position: Sam Allardyce and Mick McCarthy respectively Thankfully Bill’s probably more of a Radio 2 man and after flirting with Porto’s Vitor Pereira, Roberto Martinez is introduced as the new man and achieves a public level of sweating not seen since Richard Nixon at the 1960 Presidential Debate as the chairman tells all and sundry what the Catalan has promised him in terms of a Champions League challenge Sky Arts’ Corleone is decent fare, but fails to live up to the previous summer’s Romanzo Criminale mini-series masterpiece in the Italian import mafia stakes After years of dividing the fans, the board achieve virtual unity with the Pro Evolution-esque, childlike design of the new badge. Nil Satis Nisi Fuck It, That’ll Do. Waist deep in the hole, the digging continues with dubious suggestions/claims of ‘consultation’ and reams of information on the official website as to how they came up with such a shit sandwich. Despite curious accusations of being ‘kopites’ and told to just accept it, as it won’t change, the naysayers help force the decision to abandon the badge after a season’s embarrassment ‘The Fall’ on BBC2: an underwhelming end after a very watchable series
• • • •
Stuart Pearce is gunned down in a hail of ‘y’knows’ following the under 21’s dismal summer showing The club retrieves some credit by securing a place at the International Champions Cup in the US, providing a rigorous, competitive pre-season against good quality opposition Bob Benson lights up a slightly uneven but still ace season six of Mad Men The majority of David Moyes’ backroom staff follow him to Manchester, few lamenting the departure of wildly ineffective goalkeeping coach Chris Woods or enthusiastic call centre area manager tryhard-alike Steve Round Manchester United commit a strange PR own goal by tabling a derisory bid for Leighton Baines while their future manager is still (technically) in charge at the player’s club The Look 13 Photography Festival puts on a small but perfectly formed exhibition of Weegee’s work at the Bluecoat Ed Miliband shamefully fiddles as the NHS/education system/economy burns Luther on BBC1 – implausible, entertaining nonsense that ensures I will never go into my loft ever again Although released in April, I only got round to picking up a copy of Bill RyderJones’ ‘A Bad Wind Blows in My Heart’ in June. ‘The Lemon Tree’ is utterly ace The club goes batshit busy, bringing in Aruna Kone, Antonin Alcaraz, Joel Robles and, most intriguingly, Gerard Deulofeu in the space of a few days.
(sexist comment - apologies) France’s Louisa Necib single-handedly brightens up the Women’s European Championships “You want to get out of Old Trafford alive, that used to be our saying you know” – Everton FC’s gung ho tactics away from home at Manchester United (and one or two other grounds one could mention) for the last ten years summed up by their architect Mumford and Sons – for reasons that escape me - achieve a level of exposure that makes Emeli Sande look reclusive Liverpool’s strong application for a Champions League wildcard on the grounds of excellent numbers greeting them at airports and large crowds in Australia to take on a Harold Bishop Select X1 is mysteriously rejected The arrival of a royal baby acts as an idiot magnet, allowing millions to read in minute detail how much richer and better this poor infant is than they are John ‘Panenka’ Stones’ performance is the highlight of a briefly uplifting victory over Juventus… …before an atrociously refereed defeat to Real Madrid results in Everton becoming the first club to lose what was advertised as a semi final and play a 5th/6th place play off Ghost Theatre release the lovely ‘Lost Out at Sea’, the highlight of which is the gorgeous ‘Hold On’ After an underwhelming home kit, Nike redeem themselves with a brilliant Boca Juniors inspired away number that enters my personal top three Everton change strips (the 88-90 second kit I always associate with Peter Beagrie and the all black 02-03 third affair being the other two for all you completists out there) Your Face Sounds Familiar on ITV: the show that if there was any justice in the world would see Paddy McGuinness’ career circling the drain. Although it was like The Wire compared to I Love My
• • • • • •
Country, a one-off BBC Saturday night disaster less likely to appear on Gabby Logan’s CV than an Operation Yewtree arrest Pepe Reina’s titty lip departure to Napoli means he was never any good and Simon Mignolet officially becomes, by default, ‘the best keeper in the weerrllld’ Stuart Hall ultimately gets the sentence he warranted. May he rot Justified (5USA): still maybe the best thing too many people have never seen Dave Hickson: RIP BT Sport launches, looking no less an extension of LFCTV than its predecessor Irish import Love/Hate on Channel 5 just about survives its diabolical title to be unexpectedly good viewing Luis Suarez’s misrepresentation continues apace; to all but the finely tuned cultural
ear across the park he appears to spend all summer agitating in his native press for a move firstly out of the country, and then to just about anywhere that means he never hears the word ‘envelope’ again. Eventually even the majority of our cousins realise that he’s maybe just a grade A shithouse. Although that still doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have backed him for racially abusing one player and biting another. Or something. Anyway it’s all about Aspas and Coutinho now you bitters.. Dave Spowart
Not Bitter, Just Better “Just try to be natural; it should be like you’re in the pub talking shit with your mates”. Ok. So that’s what people have told us a podcast should be like, talking shit to your mates down the pub, it’s easy that right? Well, last time I was in the Players’ lounge on County Road after the match, talking about another Jelavic miss, Baines free kick or Naismith wonder performance (ok, I made the last one up) I don’t remember having a microphone in front of me, I don’t remember having to worry about sound levels or content or making my limited knowledge last an hour. What I do remember is all my pissed up mates agreeing or disagreeing, laughing, arguing, but most of all enjoying the banter. Sitting there recording it’s not like that, you’re pretty much staring at the wall, or desperately trying not to use Wikipedia for last minute research on the Chilean left back we have just been linked with that you`ve never heard of before except maybe on football manager and he was shite. We are not football experts you see, just the lads from the match. It’s hard to be natural in those conditions. You have to imagine your back in that beer fuelled atmosphere, back in the place where the phrase not bitter, just better first cropped up and a little spark went off, back with the boys, back having those matchday talks for the first time. So that`s the real secret of a decent podcast making sure 90% of your audience have heard this conversation before but were just too bladdered after the final whistle to remember it. Then on an average mundane Thursday as you sit there in the car or the office, counting down the days to the next game you throw on our podcast and it’s the same subjects locked away in your subconscious from the previous Saturday. Only this time your chatting with two idiots you`ve never met before, hopefully they sound like your mates. If they do, then that’s a decent podcast. Just like all good blues, We love our club, we love talking about our club and this is the perfect medium, we can slag off Fellaini for another lacklustre display, We can crown a new messiah after a Mirallas individual piece of brilliance and we can claim that Naismith is the player of the year following a string of wonder performances (ok, again that`s not going to happen). If we want to induct Brett Angell or Glen Keeley into our hall of fame we can. All you have to do is listen and then give us a right telling off afterwards. That’s what we want going forward, proper blues, Evertonians uncensored, getting involved. Calling us out on our drivel, disagreeing with the bollocks we talk and lauding the great point we made every once in a while. Only then will it become like a proper Saturday afternoon down the bar with our mates. Not Bitter, Just Better is a free podcast from Jonny Seven and Mark Mc available for download and subscription every Thursday on I-Tunes, Podbean, Soundcloud and the Not Bitter, Just Better Facebook, Twitter and Youtube pages.
WSA AG T Shirts S We e've com mpletely y updatted our range o of ts shirts so o there are loa ads of new one es (including g the De e La Sou ul De Ul Ofeu o one e mode eled by WSAG W stalwar s rt Everto on De above Leo on) as well w as a couple e of old favouriites. You can c see e them all a here by click king the e link: W WSAG tees
They y are dea ad easy to t buy on nline and d Spread dshirt arran nge all th he produ uction, delivery and a custtomer serv vices forr us. We ca an also do d any off the des signs fea atured in n most sizes from kid ds, to wo omens, to t Slimfitt to 3XL. If you s whatt you loo oking for just get in touch h at the don't see usual address a a we will and w try and sort.
I’M NOT A PESSIMIST (BUT I KNOW A MAN WHO IS). Once more, and with prescient timing, WSAG has decided to embark on a new venture at the same time as Everton Football Club begins a new era. Whilst WSAG were up front about their plans and made their intentions clear before the end of the season, we had to put up with the charade of Moyes being ‘surprised’ by the approach and tearfully exiting Goodison, which we now know to have been a tad disingenuous as recent reports and an apology from Manchester United seem to suggest that Moyes was approached some time ago. He has then had the temerity to sniff around Baines and Fellaini. The manner of his departure has sullied an otherwise glowing appreciation of his tenure from most Blues especially given the position we were in before Moyes arrived. Sometimes the football could be negative but who was not genuinely excited by the style we were playing up to Christmas and intermittently since? One of the common departure discussion points has been based around Moyes’s style of play with the suggestion being that he was negative and a new manager would be more attack inclined. I don’t buy that. Moyes’s system was rigid but effective. We rarely ventured outside the top eight and had some brilliant moments along the way. The football could sometimes be poor and he was not known as Dithering Dave for nothing, but his Everton win percentage of 42.1 tells its own story. But now that he has gone it’s thanks to the ginger prince for some good memories (if not silverware) and it’s onwards and upwards for Everton Football Club. OR IS IT? That latter statement will be tested by the calibre of the incoming manager. In the end we got no real surprise since Roberto Martinez was being touted for the post even before he managed to win a Cup, something his predecessor at Goodison failed to do. The drawn out nature of the appointment of a new manager was simply as a result of Martinez/Whelan/Kenwright prevaricating over timing and money rather than being the result of Kenwright’s exhaustive search for a ‘suitable successor’. And so it is that we have ended up with a manager, who despite a Cup win, finally achieved relegation with his team at the fourth time of asking. His win percentage with Wigan was 28.4%. To put that in
perspective, only Mike Walker and Howard Kendall III have worse percentages, and we know what happened during those seasons. 1994 and 1998 were awful seasons to watch Everton Football Club and I would rather not revisit them. Still I try to comfort myself with the words of wisdom of either Disraeli or Twain, “There are lies, damned lies and statistics.” THE LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL IS THE LIGHT OF AN ONCOMING TRAIN. Many Blues have been excited at the prospect of an Everton team playing “shexy” football based on the Catalan’s reputation for pursuing the pretty passing style with both Swansea and Wigan. His previous teams have played in a manner that has been easy on the eye, one in the Championship and one in the lower echelons of the Premier League. Whilst in the Premier League, his team finished 16th, 15th, 16th and 18th. During that time there were also some horrific results, a 9-1 defeat at home to Tottenham (eight Spurs goals in the second half) being one, alongside an 8-0 defeat to Chelsea. Before anyone points it out, Moyes’s record defeats had mitigating circumstances; the Lescott affair being one, and an end of season ‘fuck it we’ve qualified for the Champions League already’ submission, the other. It’s all well and good playing the beautiful game, but a lot of teams who try it, and who don’t have the financial muscle to support it, often end up playing in the Championship. Moyes’s team was based on a solid work ethic and making sure each individual player knew his job. This failed on occasions, sometimes due to the inadequacies of his staff, but was pretty successful overall. It was not pretty sometimes, but it was not 94/98 either. One argument in support of Martinez is his style of play. Be careful what you wish for. DOSH Seeking solace somewhere I look to the transfer market. For every Van Der Meyde or Koldrup, Moyes unearthed more than enough gems with great business acumen to compensate for his errors. Cahill, Arteta, Coleman, Martyn and Pienaar were all £2m or under, Tim Howard, Phil Jagielka, Phil Neville a couple of million more. He is rightfully acknowledged as a smooth transfer operator, aside from some blips, as is Roberto
Martinez to some degree, if a little exaggerated. N’Zogbia is seen as an example of his shrewd dealings but he was a six million pound player going for £9.5m. Nice work but not earth shattering. In fact his best bit of dealing may prove to be selling Arouna Kone for a reportedly whopping £6.5m to Everton. Oh. Hang on... Aside from the aforementioned Kone, Martinez has imported his Wigan backroom staff, so we
now have the same staff that presided over the pie eaters’ relegation last season. He also mined his former club for Robles and Alcaraz who at a reported £2m and a free respectively are both worth a punt , and could be inspired. Similarly Deulofeu on a loan is worth a gamble. However, so far I am underwhelmed with the new manager’s signings thus far. They could be great, but they also could be lumbering, a liability, injured and lightweight. Meanwhile our hold on Fellaini and Baines remains precarious so we might sell to United/Chelsea at over inflated prices and get some boss signings in yet. As I write this we have 24 days until the transfer window closes, so anything could happen, and can happen during that period. If the Fellaini/Baines reports are founded and we sell them in order to fund Roberto’s Signings, then it appears Martinez will be working under similar constraints to Moyes, which makes me ask; WHERE’S THE ARTETA MONEY BILL? Well Bill? This is the moment. As we know various groups have been formed and Blues are split on the Blue Union like take on things, but this summer will very much define Kenwright’s legacy as Everton chairman. Bill has been lucky, y’see. As long as Moyes kept the good ship Goodison steady, there wasn’t much to criticise about Kenwright. Money was always an issue but again, Moyes’s aforementioned ability in the
transfer market meant that was never the huge issue it could have been (and anyway, aside from Fellaini and Baines, he always pissed the big money away). But the Moyes defence has been swept away by the red of Man Chest oh, and so this could be the beginning of something special or the beginning of the end for Bill (a rendition of “My Way” as he says his goodbyes, nailed on) because for all the reasons I have alluded to above Roberto Martinez is a huge gamble. That said, I love Bill as a Blue. His recent speeches re: Justice for the 96 and Dave Hickson’s sad passing (R.I.P. Dave) were beautifully measured. He is no Steve Redgrave either. He is a well meaning and decent fella and a great fan of the club. However now his Chairman-ship will face scrutiny and should Martinez not produce the goods on the pitch, the shouts for money will become louder, and for all his luvvie, sentimental stuff, he might find that the patience of Evertonians’ might dissipate rather quickly. One thing that is quite apparent is how our Chairman and our Manager are two peas from the same pod. They are both really likeable men, both are prone to sentimentality ( I have found Martinez’s press conferences and interviews excruciating at times, both he and Bill would be serious badge kissers if they played today) but they are also on a ride that could be either exhilarating or very bumpy indeed. With all that said and just so you know I am a real cunt...I would not have a clue who I would have appointed. None particularly appealed. If I am honest, the spectre of Mike Walker haunts my thoughts of Everton Football Club, and I can feel him getting closer. Did I mention the new kit? For all the pessimism, I am sorry. I didn’t want to bring down your good vibes. But I love you all and I don’t like tears; so felt it only necessary to dampen down the excitement, to call for some perspective, and to ask you to consider everything there is to consider about what may come in the near future. Wear Turqouise. Free Buju. COYB. Did I mention Suarez (sniggers)? Ites, Kalonji. Up in the Hills.
DAYS LIKE THESE WSAG's Phil Redmond continues his summer homework as he writes a diary throughout the summer months. To see you more clearly... Part 2: July to mid August July 1 Roberto Martinez apparently starts work today, whilst Steve Round, Jimmy Lumsden and Chris Woods join Moyes at the theatre of scruffs. Somebody called Matthew Pennington signs on pro forms from the academy. July 2 Apparently Arouna Kone and Antolin Alcaraz are on the verge of following Roberto Martinez from Wigan which arouses a tidal wave of negativity across microspace. I think some punters thought we’d be in for Messi and Ronaldo this summer. July 3 Luke Garbutt signs a new two
year contract. Punters immediately speculate as to whether this has any bearing or not on Leighton Baines future. July 4 More mass flapping as Newcastle have a counter bid for Arouna Kone accepted. Kenwrong! July 5 After Round, Lumsden and Woods leave Goodison for Old Trafford, Roberto Martinez brings in 4 members of his Wigan backroom team. Everton announce a home pre season friendly against Real Betis on Sunday August 11th. July 8 Arouna Kone becomes Martinez’ first Everton signing for “an undisclosed fee”. Kone may be touching 30 but he will bring power, pace and more importantly goals to the Everton frontline. Hopefully he’ll be a big success.
Later on comes the desperately sad news that Dave Hickson had passed away aged 83. To many Blues Dave was the kindly old fella who did the stadium tours. To our dads he was a true Blue hero, a rare light in a dark tunnel. Hickson led the Everton line in statistically the worst ever Everton team. However his goals fired the Blues back to the top flight in 1954 and gave the faithful something to cling to during those dark pre John Moores days back in the top flight. Like a latter day Duncan Ferguson, Hickson had many a run in with officialdom, but off the field he was a real gentleman from a time when that meant something. Without Dave’s quiff Goodison on matchdays will never be the same. July 9 It’s new signing number 2 with the widely predicted arrival of free agent Antolin Alcaraz ex of Wigan. The Paraguayan stopper will provide cover for Phil Jagielka, Sylvain Distin and Johnny Heitinga (if he hangs about). “And there’s more”, as 80’s Irish funnyman Jimmy Cricket used to say. Martinez completes another “swoop” with a move for Athletico Madrid Keeper Joel Robles who naturally enough he had on loan at Wigan last season. Robles was impressive at Goodison in the cup and also at Wembley in the final against City last season. To offset that he gave away a comedy goal against Spurs
which more or less condemned t’Latics to the drop. Anyway he’s young, highly rated and comes on a five year deal for, wait for it, an undisclosed fee. Three signings and the kids haven’t even broken up for the summer hols yet! On the potential debit side, Sky reckon we want £18 million for Baines. They really won’t be happy until he signs, will they. Sadly there’s probably something in it. July 10 The Blues head off to Austria for a training camp ahead of the weekends friendly with Austria Vienna. Later on its announced that Gerard Deulofeu the latest “new Messi” has signed on a one year loan in a move that leads to a tidal wave of excitement in internetville. Hopefully he won’t be a Spanish Rodrigo. July 11 Sky and BT announce the first raft of live games for the new season with home only punters getting the rough end of the stick. Everton’s home games with Chelsea, Newcastle, Spurs and the Derby are shifted to crap times with only the trip to the Emirates to be screened live.
Ex Wigan coach Dennis Lawrence joins the backroom team. Martinez meanwhile has been waxing lyrical about the Spanish kid who by all accounts is the real deal. He has got a touch of the Fernando Torres ladyboys about him though.
Stanley. Goals by Gibson, Anichebe, Miralles and Osman are offset by one little bit of sloppiness by Bryan Oviedo. Generally it's an impressive show with Blues getting their first sight of Antolin Alcaraz on his Everton debut as well as another promising cameo by Conor Grant.
July 12 More mass internet hand wringing as Fulham are bought out by some American/Asian billionaire. July 14 The Roberto Martinez regime starts with a limp 2-1 defeat in a training knockabout with Austria Vienna. 21 players get a game including new boy Joel Robles and kids like Francisco Junior and Conor Grant. Apostolos Vellios heads the Blues goal. Everton look suitably tidy in possession but shaky at the back. A bit like Wigan infact. Still there’s 5 weeks before any results matter and who knows what the squad will look like then. Its Accrington next. July 16 Up and coming young striker, Chris Long signs a new 2 year contract. Meanwhile Roberto has been making noises about concentrating on youth over the next couple of years, whilst Jagielka and Baines wax lyrical about our new playing style. July 17 The Blues continue their pre season preparations with a comfortable 4-1 win at Accrington
It's difficult, despite what the Moyes haters are saying, to detect a discernable change of playing style, although there did seem to be more people in the attacking areas. Accrington managed by James Beattie (who appears to be turning into Richie Cunningham), are outclassed and the Toffees surely face sterner tests in the coming weeks. Afterwards Martinez claims to be confident that Baines and Fellaini will stay at Goodison which can’t be bad. A decent night's work. July 22 A quiet weekend. Everton under 18’s won some weird tournament and we had a load of spurious transfer speculation. If you believe the red tops, Jelavic is off to Hamburg and we after a load of fellas I’ve never heard of. July 23 Moyes bigs up United at a press conference with a
throw away comment about how he supposedly used to view a game at Old Trafford and all the Blues who hated him anyway and wanted him gone are outraged. Let it go. I can’t wait until there’s actually something worth commenting on. July 24 Conor Grant the young lad who’s featured in the first two pre seasons has signed a new 2 year contract. The lifelong local born Blue sayes its something he’s dreamed of all his life. Isrite! In other news young striker Conor McAleny is apparently on his way to Brentford on a months loan. July 25 Hundreds of Blues line the streets around Goodison and fill the cathedral for the funeral of Dave Hickson. As ever, Bill Kenwright rises to the occasion with an emotional speech that captures the mood perfectly. No one under the age of 65 will have seen Dave Hickson in a blue shirt and there is almost no footage of him in action, but the legend will never die. That in a nutshell is what makes this such a great club. Kenwright's eulogy July 26 Young defender Tyias Browning becomes the latest of the academy graduates to sign a new deal with the club. July 27 Over 4500 Blues travel over to Blackburn as the Blues dismantle a piss poor Blackburn team 3-1. An impressive display really should’ve led to more goals.
There are eye catching performances from Miralles, Barkeley, Osman, Coleman, Naismith (yes) and Jelavic who responds with 2 wildly celebrated goals. Leighton Baines meanwhile misses the game with a slight injury and gives a lift to a group of lids whose car had broken down en route to Ewood Park. One of them pretty slyly films the encounter and bangs it on youtube. The results are at the same time hilarious and toe curling and illustrate exactly why footballers can sometimes appear stand offish. Anyway, Baines comes across as a genuinely nice fella, swear down lad! If you haven't seen it, it's here Baines hitchhikers Another youtube clip meanwhile shows a load of rats abusing passers by and singing racist songs. Unfortunately to anyone who goes the aways this doesn’t constitute news. July 28 Everton head off to the US for this weird tournament that I won’t see because all
the games are in the middle of the night. The only absentee appears to be Antolin Alcaraz who appears to be injured. On the net there’s a load of bullshit about Roberto’s “new style of play” from fans who refuse to give the previous manager any credit for the position the club finds itself in. Personally I have reservations about Martinez but to be fair he’s doing a good job in dispelling them. He has however been left an excellent squad by Moyes, a squad that has played some fantastic football over the last 5 years. Listen to some pricks though and you’d think of Moyes as some Dave Bassett/Big Sam/Tony Pulis hybrid who’s teams play dull, long ball, football. David Moyes has gone and quite frankly I don’t give a shite what happens to him at Old Trafford. All that matters is today and Martinez. Hopefully he’ll prove me wrong and at least emulate what his predecessor achieved at Goodison. He’ll get the full support of all Evertonians but I’d hope some Blues will stop trying to
rewrite history to justify their own standpoint. July 30 There’s a huge outcry as that crushing bore Joey Barton throws down his Oscar Wilde books and apparently offers himself to “his club” Everton for a mere £35 grand a week. Can’t see that one happening to be honest. July 31 Young fullback Ibou Touray gets a one year pro deal with the blues. The latest of the academy graduates to step up. August 1 Wow, never saw that coming! The Blues beat Juventus in the first game of their US tour 6-5 on penalties after a 1-1 draw. By all accounts the Toffees are more than worth the lead given to them by Kevin Mirallas (who’s flying at present), midway through the second half. Unsurprisingly Juve hit back strongly and Tim Howard has to be at his best before a Leon Osman slip lets the Italians back in the game with 10 to go. Osman actually misses the first spot kick, which looks decisive until Andrea Pirlo, who always looks like he’s out grafting for a bag, follows suit. Its left to Tim Howard to
save the death.
Only a friendly but definitely a statement of intent. The aftermath is dominated with talk about young defender John Stones after a composed performance capped by a dinked penalty in sudden death. August 2 Its Real Madrid next after the galacticos or whatever they call themselves these days beat LA Galaxy. Hopefully the players won’t be as starry eyed as some of our fans who are getting all giddy about Everton actually appearing on the same pitch as these demi gods. August 4 The Blues dip 2-1 against Madrid. They make a decent fist of it and on more than one occasion are on the wrong end of questionable decisions by the tournament organisers / referee. To be fair though, you get the impression that if Real needed another
goal they’d’ve got one. Anyway another good work out and confidence boost. Miami next. August 5 Apparently there’s all sorts of reshuffling to ensure LA Galaxy are up for third place and it appears that the Everton game has been brought forward a day thus causing the fans who’ve travelled all sorts of logistical nightmares. After all that Everton will face Valencia in the early hours of Wednesday in Miami. Meanwhile we’re apparently sniffing around Ajax’s Belgian defender Toby Aldenweirald according to his agent, the ex Bayern ponce Soren Lerby, Whether there’s anything in it or whether we have to sell someone first is unclear. August 6 Everton unveil their new away strip. A predominantly yellow and Blue affair that looks a little like the Everton Chile kit and a lot like something Warrington Wolves might wear. It appears to have received a “mixed” reception from the faithful.
August 8 The Blues are handed a home tie in the 2nd round of the league cup (or whatever its called these days) with a first ever meeting with Stevenage Borough. I’ve been saying this for the past 36 years but could this be our year?
Steven's best catalogue pose.
August 7 The Blues lose the last game of their American tour 1-0 to Valencia. By all accounts, the young team look disjointed in fearful conditions. Lots of nice back up play spoiled by a lack of a cutting edge. Worryingly we still look more than capable of conceding. Hopefully Martinez will settle on his starting line up soon, starting on Sunday against Betis. Later, and with the transfer window closing in three weeks, the rumours start again that Man United are lining up a joint bid for Baines and Fellaini. The Guardian reckon they’re going to offer £30 million for the pair. They can fuck right off.
August 11 A day that can only be described as worrying as the Blues stumble to a 2-1 win against Real Betis. If ever a result could be described as a travesty, this was it. Simply, Everton were dreadful and any side with a half decent striker would’ve buried us. The players may well have been jet lagged but they also looked like they were struggling with Martinez’ possession at all costs system on a day when the performance was scarily reminiscent of the days of Mike Walker, with players trying to pass the ball around in their own box and then panicking and twatting it forward to the isolated striker anyway. On a brighter note both Mirallas and Jelavic are looking good and of course we did win, but massive improvements are necessary
before next Saturday. In other news Marouane Fellaini is “rested after picking up a slight knock” whilst Darren Gibson does his knee and must be rated as extremely doubtful for Norwich. August 12 Martinez admits the players never played well and were knackered but was pleased by “the intensity of spirit” which sounds a bit Brendan Rodgers to me. The stiffs start their season with a 2-0 win at Wolves. Hallam Hope and Conor Grant are the men on target. August 12 John Stones and Ross Barkley turn out for England U21’s. Barkley slots as England hammer the hapless jocks 6-0. August 14 13 players apparently turned out in the various nonsensical international friendlies. According to Roberto they’ve all come through unscathed. Darron Gibson meanwhile is 50/50 for Saturday. I’m getting excited again. August 15 Everton plan a “march for Martinez” before next Saturdays match. Featuring a big flag the march will apparently be from Stanley park to the Park end “fanzone”. I’d assume it's aimed at kids and families. Can’t see it working personally but there you go. No new injury worries before tomorrow’s trip to Norwich. The boss is excited, let's go!
to be continued...
These days, it’s hard to talk about Everton, as an entity, without throwing terms such as “dynamic” and “evolution” into the discourse. Don’t you think? It was a disappointing start to the summer for the club’s troubled merchandising and public relations departments. Perhaps more than disappointing. Perhaps more like an unbelievable and frightening episode of crass blundering that brought back a visceral ache we haven’t felt since the 90s. No doubt plenty of others - possibly everyone - have commented on the badge saga in this issue, and the corporate anonymity of Nike hanging over Goodison. But at least Le Coq Sportif haven’t forgotten us. This picture of our 1985 European Cup Winners’ Cup team celebrating victory in Rotterdam is part of a collage of aceness on the wall of Le Coq’s “flagship” store in Covent Garden, central London, which opened in May. As well as swimmers and tennis players associated with the, let’s face it, sexy French label, there are shots of vintage Argentina, St Etienne, Italy and Spurs sides placed around Howard Kendall’s heroes. It’s one of those places that’s got a Clockwork Orange milk bar kind of décor. It’s… minimalist. As if the stuff that they have to sell just gets in the way of the “concept” and offends the creative sensibilities of the staff. Anyway, as well as people who “blog” about fashion, Ossie Ardiles was at the shop launch do. Maybe they considered asking Big Nev, but feared the Welshman’s mighty appetite would absolutely fucking decimate the canapes. Al Ledward
TRANSIT ION PART ONE: THE END IS THE BEGINNING IS THE END Let’s go back in time. A time when things were very different, the world was yet to change, and you’d be reading this on paper plus we had that guy as manager, what was his name? I don’t remember. Anyway, to refresh your memory, it was the last game of the season and I’d had a couple of pints on the way to the ground. I had to pick up a bundle of zines to send to an ex-pat Blue in New Jersey on the way (remember when subscriptions involved postage as well? Cost me £12!) then, well, a funny thing happened on the way to the forum. And for some reason, I decided it was a
good idea. I was informed that two regular sellers were unavailable, not surprising due to the incessant downpour that seemed to signal the dour end to Moyes’s reign, and immediately volunteered: after all, this meant realising a half life long ambition: well, a secret desire at least, to cement my being part of the WSAG community as a ‘seller’. This was it, I thought. Convergence. A last chance, taken. I had contributed to scores of issues, written loads of articles, bought many of the t-shirts, but this was the pinnacle, and strangely serendipitously it all came down to the last ever chance with the last ever issue to be sold. Some of you will have seen me on the corner in my snorkel… Trying to keep the boxes dry, keep up with the demands for a dry one, alternating hands to give change, no doubt I took a couple of fake notes but I was determined to do the WSAG family proud and make the most of this once in a lifetime opportunity. Friends were sent to check on me. Kids from school clocked me and had to do a double take, their perplexed dads chuckling as they bought an issue off me. Matt Dickinson from the Times looked me up and down and I felt he recognised instantly I was a rookie, not just in writing terms but as a seller too… I tried the odd shout, WHEN SSSKKKIIIEEESSS AARE GREY, NEW ISSUE LAST CHANCE, nowhere near the usual dulcet tones that are now a distant memory of match day.
The last ever paper sale of WSAG. Through the murk you can just make out our piss-wet-through sellers.
And by the way, all the clichés we have read about for years and I had presumed were just in jokes came true: the fake notes, the constant “is that the programme?” “can I have a dry one?” and “is that a new one?” YES, I’VE GOT CHANGE (Sorry, Graham)
NO, OF COURSE NOT. I’LL TRY. REMEMBER.
IT’S THE FUCKING LAST PAPER ONE EVER, YOU SHOULD REALLY KNOW IF YOU HAVE READ IT OR NOT. But I couldn’t get angry, this was my time, I had always wanted to experience this, and these were my audience after all, they were about to read my latest offering, a most heartfelt story I had also read to my soon to be new born.
to the national academisation process and we had to embrace colleagues losing their jobs suddenly, a new name, a new badge, a new identity, a new manager – and it all sounded familiar. V is something I have written about before. Hopefully you are of an age to recognise the storyline I will now discuss. A Science Fiction TV mini series from thirty years ago that turned out to be a huge influence on my life, it actually represented a metaphor for not, I hope Everton’s new found situation but potentially the school’s and my career’s at least.
Ten to kick off came and to be honest, I got emotional at times. More because I thought it was going to be my last game for a long time, to be honest, though seeing Moyes. Cahill and Neville run on at the end brought a small tear to my eye as it signalled the end of a huge era in my life as well as the club’s. Even more so during MOTD, especially when Duncan let Mr Moyes Sr know that he was on the big screen. Fast forward a while. Two weeks later and we had a new badge, identity and manager. I meanwhile, was close to a mini breakdown: Things were changing, and at a fast rate.
PART TWO: THE BEGINNING IS THE END IS THE BEGINNING A new era was starting, most people seemed happier with the new boss than the new badge (which, I admit, is growing on me: from a strictly aesthetic point of view as a graphic designer, I can see the reasons behind it from a neutral perspective, but it will never quite be right) and this whole change thing started to reach epic proportions.
“We are here to share our knowledge and save you’… ‘We come in peace”… “Here’s a new uniform’… then they take the bodies in the night and no amount of red dust can prevent the brain washing that has already taken place, to win the hearts and minds of the people. Thankfully, I can’t relate the V allegory to my personal life given the most famous scene, the dual birth, given my own baby on the way… Hopefully though it will be a Star child, just like Elizabeth that Robyn gave birth to.
Initially, whilst I trusted Kenwright to have made the correct decision, I felt as if I was becoming embroiled in a V-like scenario.
To try to handle or indeed escape this challenging situation, or at least to settle my nerves, I had a mad little weekend of drinking, which culminated in my falling over and leaving a dent in a neighbour’s new Merc.
Things were stopping and things were starting. Dave Hickson passed away. ESPN was ending. But school (work) succumbed
I am not at all proud of this, and have scarred knees and ankles to recall the nadir through, but thankfully said neighbour got
the car fixed immediately and avoided any confrontation, and I can only hope this was a wake up call from God to curb my occasional drunkenness before fatherhood.
PS THE NEW SEASON I am writing this at 3am, having got up to watch the Valencia game. Good practice for the baby.
Deulofeu has excited me like few other signings in my history of supporting. Yes, I know he is only on loan, but what I have read about him bodes very well and just the idea of signing Barcelona’s most promising youngster is far more interesting a proposition than the majority of purchases or even loan signings under Moyes. Fickle though it sounds, what a difference a summer makes, and it has made me realise, this could be the start of something good, something different, something new.
I intrepidly arose for the Juve tie too, what an exciting Everything is event. changing, but Luckily I had it’s ok. that friend in New Jersey, I know that whose now. interest in the Blues Yes, the tickets offered the for the Betis opportunity friendly might to finally sell go unused if the WSAG, to induction takes text place. throughout, as daylight No, I might not slowly get to see the arrived as if first few games to underline of the season that idea depending on that as happens WSAG: Where do you read yours? "Erm, hang on a minute love." what Harvey Dent but it’s ok, the in Dark club is in good hands, it’s an exciting time Knight suggested, ‘the night is darkest just and I suppose I can focus on the birth before the dawn’ and never thought we rather than the re birth. would see us play let alone beat Juve and celebrate across the Atlantic the victory as For a while, at least. well as the signs of optimism. Real Madrid was also an experience, staying up as I did to see us play against the likes of which I watch every week on Sky and again, never thought I would see it. We were a bit unlucky I thought, and even tonight, it’s just tiredness but some very promising signs are there.
The transition is difficult, but the end was indeed the beginning and was the end, but the beginning won’t be the end. It could just be the beginning…
Warrior have produced some horrendous kits for them across the park but this season's third kit is by far the worst. So when your kids are strutting around in our stylish away kit, spare a thought for the poor reds running around in odd fuckin socks.
The first of a new feature. Last season we started something called 'Everton and Me' but with a bit more space available to us we thought we'd go mad and add more questions. So, here we go. Think, Focus On in Shoot! if you're old enough. Name: Trevor Edwards Where do you live? Blackrod First connection with Everton: Dad was an Evertonian. Born in Rupert Grove, Everton, within view of the Tower. There was never any question which team I would support. What was the first game you went to? Everton v Arsenal, August 1970, 1st game of the season. The reigning
champions versus the team that would end up with the double. What was your first impression? How tall the walls were. I was in the Bullens Road Paddock, and when I ran to the front I could not look over. Other than that, the lush green pitch, the ciggie smoke, the sweet sellers. Who was your first hero? Alan Ball. First, last and always. From the age of 7, I WAS Alan Ball. What game always takes you back to your childhood? The 1968 final. I had looked forward to seeing it so much. What was your first major disappointment? The 68 final was bad. But much, much worse was the 1970-71 semi final at Old Trafford against the shite. I felt physically sick after the game, the euphoria of being 1-0 up at half time only for the spawnies to knock us out after we lose Labby. How many games do you get to a season? Every home game. These days I rarely do aways â€“ I used to do â€“ but I hope to rectify that when the financial situation improves. Where do you go before the game? I used to visit my aunt who lives just off Priory Road before she passed away. Now, if on my own, I go straight to the ground. But if I am on the coach with the Chorley Toffees, we go in the Taxi Club. Where do you sit in the ground? Lower Gwladys. Been there since 1982.
Who is your all-time favourite player? Alan Ball. What is your all-time favourite game? Easy to say Bayern Munich, which is up there. But the Andy King derby of 1978 takes some beating. Who is your all-time most hated opposition player? Emlyn Hughes. With a passion. What is your perfect Everton moment? Ossie's goal against Larissa. Sublime football with a perfect finish. What is the one personal Everton memory you will take to your grave? If we are talking personal, it will be meeting the players in the car park before the games as a kid and getting their autographs. I was in awe of them. And they had bags of time for the kids those days. None better than
Micky Lyons who took time to ask the kids questions. A brilliant ambassador for Everton. Describe Everton in six words? A love that will never die
Has Roberto been reading WSAG ? The penalty shoot out win v Juventus appears to suggest that Roberto Martinez has been checking out Everton’s history through the pages of WSAG. Issue 160 (March 2011) highlighted the fact that Everton only win penalty shoot outs when we miss the first one. Monchengladbach, Newcastle, Bristol City, Man U semi and Chelsea being exhibited as evidence as opposed to Fiorentina, Brentford and more which we lost after scoring our first kick. It’s possible that as a long serving player, Leon Osman knew to take the first penalty and miss, but here at WSAG we prefer to think that our new Manager has been reading back issues to gain all the knowledge he can about our prestigious history.
Yesterday's Grounds Issues 161 and 162 of When Skies Are Grey featured a Google Map look around those grounds we had played at thirty years before in the 81/82 season that no longer existed. That theme continues this season with another ground ‘gone but not forgotten’ in each issue.
Inevitably, our first trip to Cardiff since the 70s comes early in the season. This return has been on the cards for a number of seasons and occasionally been possible in cup competitions - for those who went there though it has never been relished. Not many travelled to the League Cup tie in 79, but plenty had attended the 77 FA Cup 5th Round tie when the attendance was 35,000. The match was all ticket, with plenty of Everton fans sitting in the corner section of a one tier stand behind the goal. To the left, close by, was a large bank of covered terracing. To the right, on the far side was the main stand with a paddock in front. Everton had been allocated one half of the paddock but for some reason the far section which bordered the Cardiff home end. This home end was quite full around half two, when hundreds decided to move round freely to the side bank all the way round to
the corner by our seats. The reason was that Evertonians had tickets for here also and had dangerously started to congregate at this far end next to our seated areas. Scuffles quickly broke out, it all seemed pretty scary for our fans and was just the start of the trouble I was to see that day. It’s been a long time, so I don’t remember too much from outside the ground. We had parked half way from the city centre to the ground and it was a straight walk down one road, under a railway bridge to get to Ninian Park. After the match there were several detours given the amount of bricks flying around at this bridge. 2013 and on google street view I am walking up Sloper Road, approaching where the ground was, from the opposite direction to 1977. I am almost level with where the home end would be and can see some new tall houses where the main stand was. One more click forward and as if by magic, we go back in time and the ground is still there! here. The main stand is bordered by a ten foot white wall, more appropriate for a holiday villa in the sun, ‘Cardiff City Football Club’ is prominent in large blue letters on the outside of the stand itself. At this point looking behind and across the road there is a car park and then the new stadium, very close, which also seems to be in blue, perhaps it has been painted red by now though. This is next to a park and I think
this was where the coaches parked in 77. Apparently away fans enter the new stadium on the Ninian Park side, whereas on the far side of the stadium there is a retail park along with McDonalds and KFC. Maybe it was a better place in the seventies after all! The Ninian Park ground could only be accessed from this one side on Sloper Road, so I see the walkway which led to the Everton stand and corner terracing. It was horrible coming out of here with angry locals attacking any Evertonians they could find. A sign directs fans to the Popular Bank, it was anything but popular with our fans! So to retrace that long daunting journey away from the ground, park to the left, houses to the right, but surrounded by troublesome home supporters. Just like then, I look straight ahead and make it to the main road at the top, turning right to go under the low railway bridge. It is calm but I can still see all the bricks in the air that were being chucked up the embankment that day.
from their cover along the platform, hoping that in that five second sprint they would not get hit by a missile. They were like reporters covering a shoot out in the Middle East, fleeing for their lives! We didn’t venture under the bridge and doubled back, instead heading straight across at this junction. The aim was to take the first right to get past the railway, then the next right to get back to where we wanted. Unfortunately this second right was a dead end,I can see the offending street Lansdowne Road East on screen now! It took about forty minutes to reach the car, by which time the streets were deserted but still eerily sinister. It takes a good while to do it on street view but when I get back on to the main road, looking back at the infamous railway bridge, it is quiet and we were relieved it had gone quiet once the special trains had left, though there was probably mayhem still going on elsewhere. I hadn’t realised that there was a Ninian Park pub close by, I’m sure not many away fans will have drunk there and from older Evertonians I have heard that drinking anywhere there in 77 was nigh on impossible.
A sign confirms that Ninian Park station is here and this was where the Everton specials were departing from. Possibly a train was in, for I remember looking up and seeing small groups of fans making a dash
So there are still some reminders from our trip of 77 and I’m sure be some more come August 31st, that convinced it’s changed that hope to avoid the railway bridge round.
More next time
in Cardiff there will I am not much so this time
The only column currently using pictures of Bullseye contestants to illustrate its hard-hitting take on Everton and the Beautiful Game
1. A New Hope…….
Had to take my stool sample to the Royal last week. For some reason the turd had developed a Windsor knot in the middle. “You’ll have to lay off that Thai food,” the doctor said. And that’s as good as it gets, I’m afraid, and I’ll be repeating that (largely verbal) joke throughout this exciting, electronic version of your favourite toilet read.
handy read for anyone who wanted something substantial to read whilst having a long shit. With Shitegeist Express, you can read it while you’re pissing – one hand on your Mr Spock and one holding your iPad at a peculiar angle. If you’re a
2. Why Shitegeist Express?
Just like Tesco Express, really. Smaller, not as good, and loads more expensive than the original version. The old version used to be many Evertonians’ khazi literature du choix (see, I’m repeating myself already), and was a
Newton‐le‐Willows readers – you just stay as you are.
man WSAG‐er. If you’re a lady, you’ll just about be able to fill a She‐Pee (didn’t John Motson/scallies used to wear these? No wonder they stunk) by the time you’ve reached (3). 3. SPORT!
Fucking hell, take away football and boxing and it’s just shit. No soul, nothing to analyse in terms of the human condition, nothing. It’s either elitist (not as in the best, but as in eliminating huge areas of social strata through race, gender or economics), destroyed by drug cheats or it’s just boring. I was sitting watching the World Swimming Championships and thought:what does it matter who’s thefastest, apart from satisfying some horrible ‘patriotic’ jingoistic nationalist crap? Spitz and Thorpe and Phelps may have won loads of gold medals, but what could you say about any individual race? He went faster than somebody else? BFD. All those British champions whose arses were supposed to lick for ever more – did they ever change your life? Nick “Let’s talk SPORT!!!!!” Faldo? Nigel Mansell? Ben ‘it’s an egalitarian sport’ Ainslie? (I’ve just checked the spelling of his surname and found out it’s Sir Ben Ainslie! Fucking hell! “I’m a sports widow,” is a common complaint from many women. Then marry someone cleverer in the next life would be my advice. I don’t mind a bit of Ashes cricket (and I like the IDEA of rugby league), but the rest can just fook off. Talking about SPORT! is the worst non‐ intellectual cul‐de‐sac imaginable – hence TalkSport and the inane banter of PE teachers and other men who want to shield the reality of the world (and let’s face it, their fear of their own hidden ‘homosexuality’) by talking about SPORT! all day. Boxing (which I don’t even like) and football may
have been corrupted by gangsterism and big business, but they have a spirit, a soul and a beauty that allow you to talk about a million nuances – be it the sociological or political angles or just the aesthetics. But (for me) the rest of SPORT! simply excludes the observer from forming opinions that are not just a mere waste of life. Don’t get me wrong 99% of football talk is shite (see TalkSport again), but try talking about athletics for more than 30 seconds. Worse still, listen to John ‘sexist wanker’ Inverdale talking about SPORT! for any length of time. And then shoot yourself. Oh, and I quite like darts. Especially if it’s attached to some top‐notch quizzing:
4. 'Scared to Get Happy’: a Story of Indie‐Pop 1980‐1989’ (Cherry Red, 5 x CD box set) I know you shouldn’t buy CDs any more and you shouldn’t wallow in nostalgia, but this is just beautiful. I can’t bring myself to peel off the polythene wrapping, so I’ll never play the music or read the smashing little booklet that comes with the package. A small price to pay – a thing of
beauty is a joy forever etc. And although two of the people featured in the 134 bands have caused me immeasurable personal grief (one is ‘lovelife’ concerned/the other a spiteful, bitter ‘academic’) ‐ and are unbelievably big TWATS ‐ because I’m such a peaceful, positive fellow that if I ever manage to peel open the wrapper, I’ll have 131other splendid bands (and The Stone Roses) to choose from. Many of the bands on ‘Scared’ were damned as being ‘twee’, but the return of ROCK! (and sensible people falling for their adoration of ROCK!) is disturbing. The fact that ‘Eddie Stobart Trucking Songs’ has gone platinum is bad enough, but the return to the charts of Free’s ‘Alright Now’ (a song that I would imagine Jeremy Clarkson masturbates to – and by extension his wanky little acolytes) and the sight of Jagger and co at Glastonbury this year makes me realise that history is cyclical and that we’ll be repeating the same mistakes for ever more. What a fooking depressing thought
Jagger on Bullseye
Post Script: “Fleetwood Mac have always been trendy.” (Non‐ironic NME album review, Jan 2013) 5. Moyes
I sat there at the West Ham game. Stony faced. There were people all around standing as one, and clapping David Moyes. Some were cheering and tearful. I couldn’t have given two fucks to tell the truth.
I actually heard; a) “He’s given so much for us” b) “He saved us!” and c) “I don’t blame him for going there!” David Moyes: we’re not ‘Friends’ any more. When and I thought: he tried to sign Baines I thought: “Over the line? You... you…you're so far past the line that you a) Oh fuck can't even see the line! The line is a dot to you!” off. Yes, wasn’t it brilliant the way he worked for the minimum wage just for the philanthropical imperative of ‘giving’ to a group of strangers? Oh, no – I forgot: the minimum of £40 million he earned (a conservative estimate) may have focused his mind somewhat. My mate works in old people’s hope scraping barnacles of pensioners’ arses. He earns about 12k a year. He spends a significant proportion of what he has left on a season ticket for EFC. He’s indefatigably positive (without being a grinning twat numbskull) about all matters Everton, but started crying when I showed him the new badge on my phone. (On my phone’s internet, that is; I have got ‘the fat lass’s bathing suit’ crest on my smashing Samsung Galaxy s4 like some sort of dickhead kopite. [Tautology klaxon!]) Admittedly, he was ripped to the tits on a combination of Brooklyn and Lindeboom when he started crying, but my mate Andy’s the one who has “given so much for us”. Ginger bloke did a decent job for Everton and that’s a fact, but he trousered enough to live quite modestly for another fifteen hundred years. b) From what? Aliens? The Nazis? The RAF saved us; Alan Turing saved us; The Russians saved us, but David Moyes? I still would have watched Everton if they’d done a Coventry or Rangers and I think there’s a world of difference between your football club being relegated and the
spectre of Nazi invasion. Get a grip, pseudo‐kopites. c) Actually I didn’t think all of that at once. I just thought “Fuck off!” (But can you see there was an exclamation mark this time? I’ve got a temper, me.) d) I fucking do. Whatever happened to loyalty? “I’m bored. I need another challenge. It’s really sad and depressing managing one of the biggest football clubs in the world for eleven years. I wish I was Magnus Magnusson.” Obviously, it’s not (all) the man’s fault – people want heroes, messiahs and myths. So in fact, it’s your fault that this sort of palaver goes on. But he must share some blame because the worst thing of all is that of all he’s known for months. Tapped up by his purple‐nosed buddy, and we’re supposed to stand up and applaud like some sort of…..Bill Kenwright. 6. Kenwright
“I love you, Dave. I love you, Davey Moyes. I really, really do.” (YNWA plays in the background – The Rogers and Hammerstein version, not the Kopite special, oh, no). So many chairmen these days (well two) form a bond with their manager which if not father/son is more akin to a pair of star cross’d lovers. It’s not as odd as you may think – and to take two real‐life examples, many of you may remember the old Star Trek episode ‘Metamorphosis’ where interstellar warp‐drive* inventor Zefram ‘Terry’ Cochrane falls in love with a pastel‐coloured cloud, and I once wrote a story where a lonely housewife falls in love with a blob of her dead lover’s dried semen that she finds on her wardrobe mirror, but that was never published. (Damn you and your promises, Weidenfeld and Nicolson!)
Young Gordon Clegg: I would And just like Billy Kenwright loved Davey, Davey Whelan loved Bobby Martinez. And just like Davey Whelan broke his leg at Wembley (did any of you know that before I wrote it? Thought not), Billy Kenwright snapped his third leg after being aroused by actress Betty Driver when he was a young acting pup cutting his teeth in Coronation Street. Betty was stirring her hotpot (with her finger) and young Billy/Gordon’s priapism led to a serious erectile snapping with some damage to what we doctors call the corpus cavernosum. Bill got it sorted out at Salford’s own Hope Hospital, but inlike Davey Whelan he doesn’t like to talk about it. *Legal experts – these last two para‐ graphs are George Formby: imagining twiddling (probably) a Betty Driver’s ‘Radio Luxemburgs’ mere flight of fantasy, but any of you weird masturbators out there may get some residual pleasure from the
real life story that Betty Driver bumped (very) uglies with Lancastrian simpleton superstar George Formby. (I think I’ll take a break from typing this for a while….) 7. Roberto Martinez
Phew – that’s better! If any of you remember any of this shit I’ve been churning out for too long (not sure if shit can be churned to tell the truth), you’ll remember that I admired Roberto Martinez as a man, admired his football style, but was worried that he’d gone from being a handsome MF to being a lookalike of the strange actor who plagues Alvy Singer (Woody Allen) in ‘Annie Hall’: And having to work with Tory ‘Uncle’ Dave Whelan (“Did ah ever tell thee that ah snapped m’ banjo string? Oh nor, that wurr Billy Kenwright!”) has put even more years on him: But a run of good luck with The Toffees should see him back to his virile, sexy youthful best, but let’s face it, he’s going to end up looking like this by November:
Anyway: good luck Roberto!
8. Penis Injuries Talking of penis injuries, I was at Broadgreen a few weeks back because I’d had a slight mishap when I’d try to put my ‘old fella’ (my cock, and not my dad) back into a particularly tight pair of jeans. I’d been urinating in a pub convenience, and had somehow managed to create a knot or ‘dickey bow’ in my manhood. “You’ll have stop eating that Thai food,” said a similar‐looking doctor to (1).
9. Good Band/Bad Band Good band – Belfast’s Girls Names: lovely, melancholic guitar pop – reminiscent of a host of other great bands, but particularly The Cure around the time of their 1981 ‘Faith’ album. ‘The New Life’ is the best album of 2013 so far. Bad band – Elbow: I know virtually nothing about NME writer Mick Farren (who died last week) as he was a bit before my time, but he was the first to point out that rock music had become shit in the mid‐1970s, and that young people were paying a fortune to see arrogant muso fuckers 200 yards in the distance. I’ve always hated Elbow – bombastic musical bollocks for PE teachers who’ve discovered their sensitive side. I remember seeing them on TV at Glastonbury and chief knob head Guy Garvey was exhorting his bovine crowd to do all sorts of whacky Colin Hunt audience participation things and giving us the benefit of his Clarkson‐like stand‐up before the band piped up (with full orchestra) to play as many possible versions of the real enemy of good new music: the anthem. A really vomit –inducing experience. I’m not saying Elbow are in the same league as Emerson Lake and Palmer or Yes. But they’re fucking close.
And just remember, kids – once a band has got bigger than The Academy in town or The Ritz in Manchester, you’ve just become fodder to them and they’re not worth a Tommy Tank.
10. Dave Hickson
We’re all guilty of romanticising the past on here but certain people are worth the superlatives. Dave Hickson was way before my time. He left Everton to go to Liverpool (for an extra one and six, or something), but nobody ever held it against him. Dave was the nicest footballer I ever met. He was a gent who had time for every one and will be remembered in my mind as an exemplar of what really constitutes a true great. Dave had a footballing ability that most of us can only dream
about, but he was a humble, kind human being with not even a notion of the concept of ‘The Big I Am’ that seems the province of so many footballers. Once I find out that a player is a bad person in real life, I have no time for them. (Line and dot again.) There’s one particular Everton ‘great’ who is idolised by so many on here and elsewhere that I used to have a lot of time for, but once I found out that he’d told dads and lads (who were waiting for autographs) to eff off at Bellefield, I’ve had no time for him. No swearing or ‘blunt speaking’ (the true sign of a moron) for Dave Hickson, though.
11. WSAG Critics
There’s bound to be a lot of sniping on the internet and elsewhere for a mag/digital thingy that’s been around for so long. Generally I haven’t given a fuck because I don’t. Most of it is from bitter, disillusioned fellowswho’ve had their zeigeist‐threatening swearathons knocked back or their ideas for a radical, cutting edge new approach for WSAG rejected for being either a) shit or b) too close to LFC’s ‘Boss’ magazine ‐ No, I’d best not. When I see the things that WSAG is not supposed to be representing, I always think of an old ‘Alas Smith and Jones’ sketch (RIP Mel) where an impassioned Points of View viewer is complaining bitterly about the lack of gay representation on a particular programme. The shot cuts to Griff Rhys Jones with the caption: Robert Parker – Producer of ‘One Man and his Dog’.
Just a genuinely nice man and an Everton legend. RIP fella.
WSAG writers, readers and their sternest critics
You had to h have been th here, I suppo ose. What I’m tryying to say iis that WSAG G representss a particular taake on Evertton supportting. I don’t in any way shaape or form have anything to do wiith the content of the ‘magg’, but if you u want it to be something eelse you know w what to do o. That’s right: fuck off. No!! I mean n write someething and seend it in. We’’re all old and bald and fatt and stupid d and gay, so o I dare you, no o, I double d dare you mo otherfuckers to write sometthing better. 12. Kopittes on a Trrain Talking of Samuel L Jackson, I I experienced another unp pleasant pho ony kopite on n the train the other weekk. Miles from m anywheree that shou uld have been a site of redshite in nfestation, my m enjoyment of this yearr’s When Sa aturday Com mes Season Preview (with the custom mary excelleent Everton guide from WSAG’s W Maark O’B, and providing a guide for my m small‐tow wn soccer vissits over the neext year) was w spoilt by b some uttter fucking tramp snufflin ng up gallo ons of yockker instead of (aand I’m just speculatingg here) usingg a tissue or han nkie.
invvestig‐ Clloser attion revealeed it was indeed Ko w opitus La antrifantus prroviding the noise – which wen nt on fo or a good hour an nd a half – yum – y an nd my only other re egret was no ot being ablee to get a piccture of a fulll kit wanker wh ho replaced Snotty Olive er for a good d th hirty secondss before realising that he e was on thee wrong train. w Bu ut take myy word; he was even better than n ‘B Bollocks’ heree.
13. And Fin nally Estheer….
It’s be een a quiet summer for our special brethren n over the t park, but the ‘Suarez Affairr’ has livened up a a slow ‘closee season n’. Even better wass th he Instagram m’d picture o of Swedish p politician Larss Ohly who’d ‘inadvertentl ‘ ly’ flashed his h cock and d baalls to all sundry when sshowing off his liver bird d tw wattoo.
SSaint V Vespaaluus
Catarrhy K o on a T: hideouss LFC away shirrt [tautology klaxon!] and d even more ap ppetising when n gutsing his sa andwich and reeading his Metrro
*Most people haave this straange, unfathomable idea thatt I’ll be someh how ‘cool’ wheen they meet me. As anyyone who knows me in real life will testify, I’m m just a fat‐ fuckk, specky, old‐‐skool nerd with h a feeble cap pacity for alco ohol that wou uld have madee the late Pat Coom mbs blush. d as for cool, I’m sitting And here in a Space 1 1999 ‘Eagle’ t‐‐ sh hirt (which I deesigned myseelf on Spreadshirt), a pair off grreying undies and some yellow jarg Crocs. I’vve got used lo ook of disappo ointment on p people’s faces when someonee says “This is St Vespaluus”” ‐ but my od, it hurts. Go
so as to whether he will build on the strong foundation left by Moyes, it is way too soon to tell. He talks an amazing talk, with an erudition and clarity of purpose (can you tell I work in HR boys and girls?) on football matters that is light years ahead of his rival managers but will he be able to deliver? Clearly relegation with Wigan is a concern as are all of these rumours that he isn’t big on defensive organisation which let’s face it was the cornerstone of Moyes’ success. In the ultra competitive English Premier League you cannot leave the defence to chance and just bamboozle teams with your superior passing ability. Ask David Brent across Stanley Park about that…
REASON TO BELIEVE So here we are in the new digital WSAG – video killed the radio star eh??!! Looks and feels boss doesn’t it? The big intrigue for me is where is everyone going to read the mag now it isn’t printed? I always started to read mine during intervals of play at the match so now I’ve got to find some other pastime to keep me occupied at those points or heaven forbid do what the cost of my season ticket should compel me to do, i.e. concentrate on the togger itself. And maybe just maybe there will be more on show to help me to do just that with the change in leadership at L4. I’ve gone on record in this mag loads about my admiration of David Moyes so I am not going to look back. He has gone and although it still feels dead weird seeing him in his minty Man Utd coaching gear (more later) and in the first few days it definitely felt like seeing your girlfriend with someone else, we are Everton FC with a rich and proud history and we must look to the future. I’d fervently hoped Moyes wouldn’t go but as I told my lad Liam about him moving up from the junior primary school to senior primary school, the great things about endings is that they bring new beginnings. The clever kid replied that wasn’t the case at the end of story books as they just end (!) but I think he got the point! In our case the new beginning is Roberto Martinez’s leadership and I am sure this mag is jam packed with early observations on our new Spanish supremo. Let’s start with the really important stuff. Sartorially he shits all over that fella with the red hair. I mean you could never see cool Roberto in that cardie that Moyes wore on Sky after we finished fourth in May 2005. I wasn’t that keen on the suit he wore at his initial press conference but it was refreshing to see him at Carrow Road suited and booted unlike that narky Jock perpetually scruffily clad in training gear. There’s no chance either of him being labelled as a FSW if you know what I mean…..! Returning to being serious for a second, from a football perspective it is early days
The biggest piece of optimism for me however is when people describe his thirst for learning and his desire to put that learning into practice. If this is the case and Wigan’s relegation was down to defensive frailties then a bright coach with an ability to learn from experience would you expect, be able to not make the same mistake with a bigger club with bigger opportunities but with much bigger expectation. The Norwich match showed the promise of his more expansive style and if he is able to combine this style with a sturdy defence then come on baby let the good times roll…. This style versus pragmatism challenge reminded me of something John Moores said about Harry Catterick (and I am lazily paraphrasing) that he asked the Cat to just ensure that Everton got into the top six whilst playing good football and that the rest would just happen. Obviously it is a lot harder today in the brewstered world of modern togger but achieving just that would be a great start and would be manna from heaven for the purists amongst our match going fan base.
It will take time however as any change programme has it’s rocky patches and that is inevitably where we as supporters come in, in terms of being patient and keeping the faith, if things go a little astray. Apart from the isolated incidents of head the balls vocally spilling their bile that have been documented in the mag over the years however, I am fairly confident that patience will be shown by those who go to the match. It certainly was by and large during David Moyes’ eleven and a bit years as the Everton chief and the main dissenters inevitably came from Internet FIFA experts who have not or never been the match on a regular basis but who of course knew it all. Apart from his suits, ahem, the other most positive aspect from Martinez thus far, has been his handling of the precious jewel that is Ross Barkley, the benefits of which were clear for all to see at Carrow Road on the opening day. Getting this right alone, would be a major step forward as although Moyes did introduce some youth to his teams, you always got the feeling that he could have done more in this area and that his naturally conservative nature held back the likes of Jack Rodwell and to a degree, young Barkley. Again it’s too soon to tell but the signs are promising. And as opening matches for a new manager go, it was a promising start despite that Dutch hank with one of the saddest heads in footballing history, denying us victory. Kendall Mark 3 against Palace at home in ’97 must rank as the worst I have witnessed although I seem to remember being uninspired at Brammall Lane in 1990 for Kendall Mark 2 and the Walter Smith opener v Villa in ’98 wasn’t the most promising of openers given all of the new talent that had come in. So good luck Roberto and here’s hoping that we become devoted to you like our red cousins were over their Iberian manager but for something a bit more substantial than two jammy trophy wins on penalties and for playing to the gallery against two inept Yanks…..
Either way it is yet another season, the years go by and our lives evolve but Everton are the constant. But with modern football being the way it is, why do we bother? I’ve been mulling this over a fair bit over the summer with all of the shenanigans over Rooney, Suarez and Bale and maybe (but I pray not)Fellaini and Baines to come. My conclusion in this case is that football is like a metaphor for life. I mean take life. Every day you read the news and it is packed with the most awful stories of human misery. Thousands dying in Egypt and Syria, mass poverty in loads of places in the world, greed and corruption in political establishments everywhere, austerity measures imposed not for need but for ideology, global warming, racism, violence, bizarre foreign wars – it’s everywhere…And yet, life can be beautiful. Like beautiful sunny days, like seeing your children play and smile, like a kiss from a beautiful woman who just happens to be your wife, like genuine friendship, like art, literature or music that stones your soul. And then we have modern association football with the most greedy, self centred bunch of overpaid twats playing football than in any era, costs are totally out of control, the price of watching your team has rocketed beyond what is affordable for the average family, winning anything is unlikely given the unlevelled playing field that exists due to the proliferation of foreign billionaires running clubs and your best manager in ages leaves you for the champions… But then you think of, Sharpy at Anfield in ’84, Big Dunc against United in 2005, last minute winners at Goodison, the intense joy of an away win, the buzz of the crowd after a great piece of play, the stomping in the Upper Bullens when we get a corner, the beauty that is Goodison under floodlights, five to three on a Saturday and the opening bars of Z Cars. And you know that’s why you do it, that’s why you keep on keeping on, that’s why we’re Everton (aren’t we?) and we’ll be Everton forever. So, see you on the Martinez March lids. I’ll be the one at the front dressed in a full kit with Roberto 13 on the back, silkies on each wrist, playing ‘Y Viva Espana’ on a trumpet. Or something…… Kieron
Back to the Future by Terry Smith I had a dream… a dynamic midfield colossus, a dominant centre forward, two attacking wide men, fullbacks acting as wingbacks… and a king for the night ripping the back out of a tortured defence when we finally beat United at Old Trafford... It’s all coming back to me now… perhaps it was a vision of the future… Get a picture of this: a cold, wet winter night in that grim darkness on the edge of Salford; fog rolling in off Trafford Park industrial estate, shrouding the Theatre of Nightmares in a cloak of expectant doom, acting as a misty disguise for two scally students, undercover for a rendezvous with their beloved Blues. On a bright December day, this city held open its arms to the East Lancs’ Merseyside migration; but by night it offered no surrender, no hospitality and certainly no cover. As our two scarf-less Scousers made their first tentative steps over the tram tracks with trepidation and terror, a pre-prawn sandwich Old Trafford loomed ahead in the distance, a foreboding presencewith its floodlights cutting through the Manchester mist like an alien spacecraft. The ship of Blue and White provided temporary protectionin a seething Salford sea of red and white. Chant was met with chant; gauntlets accepted and discarded in a pre-battle atmosphere of hostility and hatred. Without warning, the shield of brotherhood and blood turned towards the Everton end and we were cut adrift, alone and friendless. Carried by wave upon wave of seething, steaming Mancs, screaming death to the enemy and heading for the opposite end of the ground, the ebb and flow of fear matching the rhythms of the mob delivered us to our appointment with destiny: right in the middle of the Stretford End!
And as the famous clock ticked ominously towards the kick-off, this was it: December 1st 1976 and a long League Cup night ahead of us.And though we knew Round 5 was as far as we would go………….it happened…….. Dobson dominated; Latchford battered and bruised the under-strength United defence; Goodlass and a sprightly Dave Jones provided portents of a left-sided partnership made in heaven. But whilst the heart beat was epitomised by a local Lyon-heart, it was a cockney King who stole the crown. Martin Dobson, the progenitor midfield dynamo, strength and style, coolness and class, prodded and prompted and, when his chance came from a misplaced Greenhoff header, lashed a thunderbolt into Stepney’s bottom right corner. Davey Jones, like a vision of Baines, surged through theUnited defence and as the ball came loose again, the unbelievable had happened – we were 2-0 up at Old Trafford!Andy King, a Southerner with Blue blood in his veins and Goodison in his DNA, lifted by the roaring Toffee tide, hit that same spot in the United net. And there amongst the swirling canvas ofseething, screaming red and white bile, are two anonymous grey dots: two silent scallies, kicking each other’s feet in stifled excitement and pushing each other in mime and barely suppressed terror. Why did they have to score at the Stretford End end? The 2nd Half continued with Goodlass tormenting down the left, Dosbon a towering Fellaini proto-type and Mick Lyons the Everton fan’s dream made flesh. The stubborn Stepney
offered valiant resistance. Big Bob denied a chance to write his name in history; Goodlass lashing just over. But once more we had swallow any sign of joy as the unbelievable happened. With the crown firmly planted on that cheeky chappy cockney’s head, Andy was our king on this night of knights. 3-0; game over; the quarter finals and a long, lonely walk ‘home’ to our student accommodation awaited us. In those days, the Yernighted global magnet had not converted tourists from Asia and Europe and South London into fans, so we had to submit to our place in the Salford-bound tide of terror, heads down but hearts up. We’d beaten the Red Devils on their own patch!Turning into the solace of our Coronation Street terrace, we could no longer suppress the joy any longer and screamed at the top of our voices: “Come on You Blues”. An old man, straight out of a Lowry landscsape, screamed straight back: “Wanner make summat of it yer Scouse bastards?!!” But that night Salford might not have been a safe haven, but it was Seventh Heaven. If this was Back to the Future a dynamic midfield colossus, a dominant centre forward, two attacking wide men, full-backs acting as wingbacks……. and beating United at Old Trafford……… well “Start up the De Lorean Marty!” Or should that be Martinez?
peter coyle works on feeling…life is music… not a shallow celebrity vortex… the dna of the mainstream swells with glamour and clamour… peter coyle just wants to sing scream and whisper in your ear…peter coyle's music is a beautiful secret… he wants the world to wake up…imagine there's no weapons…it isn't hard to do…nothing to kill or die for…peter coyle has sung on dozens of records both solo and with the lotus eaters…he has performed live all over the world… peter coyle has always collaborated and written for many established and up and coming artists and dj's throughout his thirty year career…having most recently co-written five songs for the new film Powder which was released worldwide…his next step is peter coyle hijacked…a new single called Gun from a forthcoming new album…a project with Yorkie from Moongoose/Space…Gun is a personal song… that says innocent children need never die in a school yard again…you may say i'm a dreamer but i'm not the only one…Gun is a new single out now on the raw edges of passion label…it is available for download on iTunes and other digital retailers…we are not all the same…some of us don't want Guns killing innocent children…do you feel the same?
Golden Years A new WSAG list thingy highlighting past seasons. Starting with 1974-75
Jim Pearson for £100,000 from Falkirk Watergate Shankly retiring. Tony Wilson interviewing mings by the Royal Court Link: Thank Christ For That
Don Revie, the new England boss The snazzy Admiral England kit Clough at Leeds Hirsute Everton squad photos Hairyton 3 star jumpers, birmos and Doc Martens Kung fu Man United in the second division That Blackpool fan who got killed by Bolton Tabloid hooligan hysteria
Tabloid hooligan league tables Keegan and Bremner getting sent off and banned for ever at the charity shield Martin Dobson for £300,000 from Burnley Silkies emblazoned with “Binghams boys” Philly Soul Council chamber sit ins by the Netherley flat dwellers campaigners Kirkby ski slope 35% pay rises 30% Inflation Getting whupped by then second division Villa in the League Cup Cushion throwing afterwards Steve Seargeant v Leeds Mick Lyons nearly getting his head booted off by Norman Hunter The emergence of Dai Davies Wild cat strikes The second election of the year Labour and a washed up Harold Wilson getting back in
IRA bombing campaigns The authorities nicking, torturing and locking up the first Irish fellas they find The whole Chelsea wall getting booked at Goodison
Everything I Own by Ken Booth Drawing 1-1 every week. Thinking Gary Jones was the coolest footballer on earth. Lord Lucan Luton and Carlisle in the first division Chelsea’s boss new stand. The BBC news featuring Man United laying siege to mad little market towns every other Saturday night. Knowing, even at the age of 8, that they wouldn’t be able to do that on Merseyside. Porridge Lyons and Buckley in the Under 23’s Beating Derby on a ploughed field to go top of the league Derby’s coach calling Everton a bunch of robots Bob Latchford scoring and jumping over the cameramen at the St End Big Bob's sweat bands The Everton boot walk Throwing a two goal lead against fuckin Carlisle to blow the Christmas top spot Mud “Lonely this Christmas” Altrincham at Goodison in the cup and genuinely believing we’d hit double figures. Ken McNaught hitting the bar on his debut. John Connolly getting his leg shattered by some brickie
Gary Jones getting sent off after chinning said brickie. Dave Clements slotting a dodgy penalty for the equalisor. Thinking Dave Clements looked old enough to be your dad, (he probably was) The replay at Old Trafford Man United turning up to get into‘t’scousers Cliff Marshall The Baader-Meinhoff gang Archie Styles scoring an own goal to help put the Blues back on top of the table Ralph McTell’s Streets of London The Rumble in the Jungle The Black Panther Ted Heath calling a Tory leadership referendum 7000 to Plymouth in the cup Liverpool only taking 4000 to Ipswich on the same day Hearing Plymouth chanting “sambo” at Cliff Marshall Jim Pearson’s late winner v Spurs Pat Jennings getting sparked by a bottle EU referendums Fulham at Goodison in the cup, “We’re on our way to Wembley” Viv Fuckin Busby Two horrible goaless derbies Magic by Pilot
Kenyon for England An impressive 2-0 win at Highbury Big Bob in the last minute V QPR We’re gonna win the league Thatcher wins the Tory election The Red Brigade Mike Yarwood England beating West Germany 2-0 at Wembley with Alan Hudson running the show Defeat at Middlesbrough as Blues encounter the boro boot David Smallman signed for the run in Battering Ipswich and Burnley in front of Goodison full houses but only drawing both 1-1 Fuckin Carlisle again
Fuckin Luton Bye bye baby by the Bay City Rollers The Wombles Supermac scoring five for England David Smallman’s feathercut Martin Dobson’s winner at Newcastle keeps our hopes flickering Derby fuckin County Two up against Sheffield United David Smallman's mad overhead hook Dai the drop Tony Currie administers the final nail in the coffin More Cushions Fuck off Bingham
BL LUE E CON C NNE ECT TIO ONS S BY ALA AN MCKEO OWN It has now b been twelve years since I moved aw way from Wallassey where I was born and raised. I grew up surrrounded by Everton; in the papers, in the pub, at school and d later in wo ork, I basicaally lived in a foo otball bubblee. Whether blue or red, football f and d Everton was w always on the t agenda and to som me degree my m love of Eveerton was defined d by my hatred of Liverpool. This T hatred however waas more often than not manifested in n the form of o banter and ore jokes, only occasionallyy boiling ovver into mo sinister argu uments. It was only once I moveed away I beegan to feel in some way removed fro om the worrld of Everton Football Clu ub. Although h only forty miles away in Crewe, I was w in a neew world surrounded by bumpkins who w seemed d to uniform mly follow the Kopites or the t Mancs. From the cu utting banter I was used to with reds w where I grew up, I was no ow experiencingg condescen nsion, often with an an nti‐ scouse undeercurrent, frrom idiots who w had nevver been near th he Tin Mine or Old Traffo ord. Initially I strruggled with h the idea off being distaant lovers with Everton but the longer I have been away the easier it has beecome. I havve also realised that there aare many in the samee boat as myself, who o for one reason or another have ended d up in South Chesh hire (and many other places around the UK and the world att large). Over the years I have comee across the odd blu ue when watching th he footy in a pub, but there never appeeared to be a large contingent any‐
where w locallyy. I have always cravved a locaal su upporters club but unfo ortunately none existed d. Th he closest is i based in Winsford, and despitee ussing them an nd also the W Wallasey sup pporters club b on n and off, I h have never ffully committed to either du ue to logisstical reason ns. Over th he last few w months I have m e realised th hat there are e many moree bllues on my d doorstep than I could havve imagined. In n April I endeed upback in n hospital due to an on‐ go oing health issue. Whilstt in hospital I met severaal Crrewe based d Everton ffans and each time it ch heered me up. After ad dmission I shared a bayy with w a poor chap c who w was in a bad d way barelyy ab ble to speak.. It was only after his wiffe visited and d no oticed my Dixie Dean t‐sshirt that I discovered hee was w a blue. Coincidental C ly, his second love wass Be ernard Cornw well's Sharpee novels whiich I was also o re eading at the time. Also o, on my nu umerous latee niight visits to o the loo I kkept bumpin ng into a guyy with w an Eveerton shirt. No words were ever exxchanged bu ut on seeing my Everto on tattoo, a a daaily mutual n nod of ackno owledgement was shared d be etween us. Finally, a h hospital portter escortingg me to an m x raay turned ou ut to be a Yo orkshire Bluee an nd informed me that Mo oyes was off tto United. Th hese Everton n connection ns have man nifested in alll
sorts of places. The reverend of my local church who is to marry me in September is an Everton fan from Widnes. In July my missus took me to the Etihad to see Bon Jovi. Bizarrely, I saw an array of Everton and Liverpool tattoos but none others. It appears that the New Jersey rocker is very popular on Merseyside. As sad as it is I felt a tinge of pride about this. This pride was exacerbated after going to the loo and seeing the graffiti pictured on the previous page. The way we express our hatred of Liverpool rarely plunges these depths. I’m sure many City fans are embarrassed by this, not just because it looks like a child did it, but due to the crass content. Just a couple months ago my Dad saw a piece in the local paper about a new Crewe and Nantwich Everton Supporters Club. I followed this up and met Alan Thompson, the founder of the club. Alan is a warm, friendly, family man with an infectious enthusiasm for Everton. Before joining, he invited my fiancée and myself to his house where we discussed all things Everton and his plans for the club. In a matter a few weeks the club had over thirty members and the first meeting was held in the Kings Arms, Crewe. At the meeting we were introduced to club Presidents Eamonn O’Keefe and John Sutherland. Both men are true gents, Eamonn regaled us with tales of John Bailey and also brought his autobiography along, ‘…I only wanted to play football’. This is a great book, well worth buying, and the title alludes to his time playing in Saudi Arabia where he received unwanted attention from a homosexual sheik who was chairman of the club
(in a country where homosexuality is illegal). John also told us stories about the great man Dave Hickson, whom he played alongside, this being a few days before Hickson passed away. John also has links to the former player’s foundation, who are the clubs nominated charity, and as such he has arranged for Duncan MacKenzie to come to a future meeting. As well as having this to look forward to, the club have arranged visits to Finch Farm with Graham Sharp as tour guide. I have been surprised at how many Everton fans come from Crewe. Many of these club members are pensioners and have followed Everton their whole lives. But there are also many of younger generations such as myself. The club is in its infancy still but has over fifty members now who are a great bunch. The meetings have been very enjoyable and once the season starts I’m sure greater friendships will be formed and experiences shared on the clubs planned minibus to games. For me personally, this club is something I’ve hoped for, for many years. It gives me an added excitement for the new season, a new manager, a fresh start and a new group of like‐minded mates to share the match day with. If anyone from the Crewe or Nantwich is interested, please contact Alan Thompson on 01270 256 588. Onwards and upwards.
Thirty Years Ago The First Picture Of You August 83 There will never be another twelve months like it in our history, when, from May 84 to May 85, we won the FA Cup, Charity Shield, League and Cup Winners Cup. It will be thirty years since this soon, so a good time to remember what it was like as a fan during those times. But the full story is that we came from nowhere to achieve this, so that too has to be part of the tale. The ending is simple enough, that wonderful night in Rotterdam, but where to begin? There were the turning points during the autumn and winter of 83/84 but we need to go further back to recall what we were turning from. So how far back?The last title in 1970, The Bingham/Lee era or to the start of Howard Kendall’s reign. All too far back really and obviously as its now three decades on from the beginning of the 83/84 season, that would seem the ideal starting point for our journey to success. Just where to start the story in the summer of 83 to determine then. ‘The first picture of you’ hit the charts in July 83, sung by WSAG friend Peter Coyle fronting local group the Lotus Eaters. It is still a popular song now. And it’s with that line, in that month that the story started for me. It was like the moment when someone sees the statue of liberty or the TajMahal for the first time. No it was more significant than that. It was a sign, maybe only surpassed in history by what happened to the shepherds and the three kings many years ago. Swap Bethlehem for St Johns precinct though and there I was in a sports shop on the ground floor, a vision stood before me. In a film version, light would be shining, Pete would be singing in the background and a voice from above would be saying “this is your future, this gift will bring you success”, but in reality there was just me in the shop standing an
admiring such a work of art – our shiny new le coq sportif home shirt ! Commercial Manager Ralph Williams had waxed on about what a great kit we were getting for the new season at the last home match in May. It’s silky, it’s shiny, it’s a lovely shade of blue with darker blue stripes, a fantastic white v collar on a round neck, no crest just the tower, it’s just superb you’ll all love it. Ralph did go on a bit, but that was his job, selling it to us. I had to agree though it did look great, more advanced than any previous jersey we had worn and bought it to wear on our forthcoming tour of Holland. Pre season didn’t go great in the new shirt though. Kevin Ratcliffe was sent off at Walsall and suspended for the first two games of the new season. Howard Kendall threatened to only to play friendlies abroad after that, where cautions would not count back home,I also think the continental beverages may have influenced that comment though. In the Dordrecht tournament,in Holland, we lost the final 4-3 on penalties, the already unpopular David Jonhson signed from across the park twelve months earlier seeing his reputation drop even more by being one of those to miss. He did score in the 2-2 draw that followed at Groningen along with new signing Alan Harper. But as he had also joined from Anfield, this was another move that had not pleased the fans. So to the start of the season and a home match v Stoke. Meeting up with fellow fans for the opener, I asked one how he was getting to Wembley that season. Surprisingly he made out that he took my
question seriously and calmly replied he would go down Friday for the FA Cup and Saturday for the Milk Cup as it was being played on a Sunday for the first time. That last bit was news to me, but obviously I had only been joking that we would be in them both, we were unlikely to get to one, let alone two. I wish I had put a bet on though! We won an uneventful encounter 1-0 with a Sharp winner. Goodison hadn’t changed much, though the prominent colours that day were yellow and green. The former representing the colour of DS79 tracksuits brought back from the Dutch tour and the latter being the colour of a smoke bomb thrown at the enclosure from Stoke’s support. Probably one change had been that our fans were no longer allowed in the Park End stand after skirmishes in previous years, so it was at that end of the Main Stand that a lot of the brighttrackies could be seen. The gate was only 22,000 and this was the most heavily populated area of the ground indicating a shift in where a lot of ‘lads’ chose to watch the match. Surprisingly our next match was at home too, on the bank holiday Monday. Stoke had caused trouble off the field, whereas West Ham only caused it on it, winning 1-0. Most would have expected the opposite of this and if anything the Main Stand was even
fuller this day, bright yellow again being in much presence. That was August done with, theline up was the same for both matches. Jim Arnold kept goal, Harper, Bailey and Higgins defended alongside the deputising Derek Mountfield, a reserve player with only one previous start. Andy King returned from his injury in March in midfield alongside Richardson, Sheedy and new signing from Burnley, the highly rated youngster Trevor Steven. Up front it was back to a combination of Sharp and Heath, with Johnson thankfully kept to the subs bench. Not favoured were two players who had appeared at the end of the previous campaign. Southall who had kept goal for the final four games and a youngster who it appeared would not be progressing any further despite thirty five games since November Gary Stevens. Ratcliffe was suspended and McMahon had left. It could also be said that his potential replacement had done little to impress his boss during pre-season, despite his first goal in an Everton shirt. So time also looked like it might be up for one Peter Reid. Next Issue points from us, we get come fourth
– After a poor return of just five five teams who had finished below a surprise win at a team who had in 82/83.
I Heard A Rumour No one used to ever believe what they read in the newspapers. Therefore it should go without saying that we should choose simply to ignore anything we read on the internet.
Don't worry, I will rescue you. You've only got to betray everyone first. Like me.
Some rumours though, like the Baines and Fellaini to United just refuse to go away. The best has been that Moyes would like Leighton to put a transfer request in to help ease the move. So let's get this right: Moyes wants Baines to act the cunt, so he doesn't look like a cunt for coming in for him. That in itself is a cunt's trick.
And what about the one about Ross Barkley having a release clause in his contract and wanting to play for Liverpool? Bizarre. We should gather all these together but we can't really be arsed.
M O Y E S by Andy McEgan I’m putting pen to paper to ostensibly write about a man who has managed us for the last 10 years, but I guess I’m really writing about how divided Evertonians have become over this time.
When Moyes took over, we were on the bones of our bums. We were a few years post Johnson and were in a mess. We were in a lot of debt with devalued, older, expensive players (Ferguson, Gascoigne, Ginola, Nyarko….) and were in or around the relegation zone. The average age of the squad was less than Dad’s Army. The football was dire. The Unsworth/Watson hoof up the middle was standard, even when playing with Joe Max Moore. Michael Ball and Richard Dunne, two promising youth players were sold off. Ball’s career was effectively ruined by the policy of giving players cortisone injections. We were last on ITV’s awful ‘the Premiership’ every week (55 second highlights followed by a grunt from Andy Townend or that weapon ‘Barry Venison. ‘Disappointing’ was the catchphrase from the beleaguered Smith and the consensus amongst the support was that he had to go. We lost in the cup away to Middlesbrough 3 nil and Kenwright ordered a taxi for Smith. If we had gone down, we were in real danger of going out of business or being bought by Ken Bates.
The atmosphere changed when Moyes came. He binned off Gascoigne who was a division 3 player by then and Ginola, who by that time had no chance of doing a topless head and shoulders ad, was on his way out. He warmed the team up in front of the Gwladys Street himself which was a great routine that nobody had done before and
There's nothing to explain here... Honest.
quickly showed the fans that he would run the place himself. He didn’t sign an assistant manager until the season was over. Results came and the team played with passion for the first time in years. He brought in a promising young centre half in Yobo, which provided motivation/competition for the ageing Stubbs and Weir. He also brought in Richard Wright who was highly sought after at the time. The mood at Goodison was one of optimism. He’d promised us he’d give us our Saturday nights back. He fulfilled that with the most exciting Everton season we’d had in years, missing out on Europe after a last game defeat to United. Rooney emerged as the most exciting talent England had had for years (until Fergie ruined him…) Things were looking up. Moyes could do no wrong in the eyes of Evertonians.
The next season was a disaster. A player led revolt was led by a number of players at the club (one of whom is still there in some capacity or other) and we finished 17th. We were battered by an average Man City side on the last day of the season. Moyes was still cheered by the majority of the crowd and said that this cannot happen at Everton again.
Having a Laugh
That summer we brought in Cahill and Bent, for a total of 2 million. ‘Massive Evertonian’ Wayne Rooney handed in a transfer request with a couple of days left of the transfer window and left us on the last day, ensuring that Moyes couldn’t spend any of the money and wearing the shittest jumper man has ever seen. Everton adopted a siege mentality and went on that great run, finishing in the top 4 despite Moyes signing of James Beattie. (The feeling was that he’d come good with a ‘Moyes pre-season.) We also brought in Mikel Arteta for a small fee of 2 million, a player who would grow to become a favourite with the crowd and most Evertonians wives. The football was based on hard work and winning our battles with the opposition with the away demolition of Villa being a particular highlight. Whereas the side the year before had capitulated easily, this one fought to the last second of every game.
a nickname he’d gotten from the wools at Preston. We now know that the club is/was skint and the funds weren’t there. So does every other club in the Premier league unfortunately, which hinders every transfer negotiation that we go into whether selling or buying.
Close in the cups
That summer, we brought Simon Davies and Phil Neville into the side. This was the first missed opportunity. An injection of talent into the side would have helped us as we faced the warm ball Villarreal side who made it to the semis that year. We didn’t really have that change of place forward or strong centre midfielder to get us through against the best sides. Liverpool who had finished 5th were drawn against crack side CSKA Sofia. We didn’t recover from the exit from Europe and finished in 11th place.
We did well the next season, finishing 5th and battering them lot at Goodison. We brought in Yakubu the following season who was the first Everton striker to break 20 goals in a season since Graham Sharp, along with Phil Jagielka and got very close to the league cup final, getting beat by an expensively assembled Chelsea side over 2 legs. We also made the last 16 of the uefa cup, losing on pens at Goodison. Our football had become more expansive with Steven Pienaar adding genuine class to the side. We’d also added Leighton Baines for 6 million from Wigan, a player with great promise and the best music taste since Pat Nevin.
Moyes regrouped and brought in Andy Johnson and Joleon Lescott as well as Tim Howard, all before pre-season. This was the only time in recent years that Moyes had been able to do that. He’d made some mistakes before this with Per Kroldrup and Richard Wright being brought in and costing the club money. People had started to grumble the season before that we weren’t bringing in players and Moyes was being called ‘Dithering Davie’ by some Evertonians
The next season we played some great football but suffered 3 key injuries which derailed a possible Champions League push. Make no mistake, this was a cracking team before the injuries and Yakubu hadn’t hit form before his injury at Tottenham. Arteta, Yakubu and Jagielka all suffered dreadful injuries and it could be argued that only Jagielka has fully recovered from them. Despite this, we made it to the FA cup final where we lot to a very expensive Chelsea
Uefa Stitch up I mean hard luck in the draw
team. This summer was another opportunity to invest but the global financial crisis had fully established itself and the money never came in.
The beginning of the End
Mark Hughes took a shining to Joleon Lescott and for me, this was the beginning of the end for Moyes. He’d put a lot of effort into building this side and was 2 or 3 players from challenging for the title. Instead, he had to sell one half of the best centre half pairing in the league and bought with the money, Heitinga, Billy and Sylvain Distin. The mood had started to change around Goodison as anxiety about the clubs financial situation sparked rumours on the internet of 80-90 million pound debts. The signings didn’t really take off as well as hoped, Billy in particular was poor. We finished 8th and 7th in the following seasons, dipping to lower league opposition in the cups and losing Steven Pienaar, a player who had been essential to our style of play. This really symbolised our lack of finance as we could not afford to pay his wages and he went to Redknapp's Spurs, to sit on the bench behind deputy dog. Moyes was cutting a forlorn figure and matters weren’t helped by Kenwright's admission of our finances to members of the blue union, who unbelievably, posted this on the internet informing other clubs of our financial predicament, making it more difficult to keep players. Moyes must have been pulling his hair out. The atmosphere around Goodison at the start of the season was tense and the support was divided. The blue union had a march outside Goodison whilst others applauded Kenwright. Spending was minimal with Jermaine Beckford coming and going and Royston Van Der Meyde coming in a year later. Arteta was sold for 10 million after the season started. Not quite Bobby Collins to Leeds but an end of an era nonetheless.
The season changed that January with the transfers of Gibson and Jelavic and the return of Pienaar, no doubt tired of having his view of the game being blocked out by Redknapp's face. We played some great football and beat Chelsea and City and drew against Old Trafford. We had momentum
again and had a record for 1012 that would have finished us 3rd over the course of a season. Last summer was the third missed opportunity that we had. We brought in Mirallas and Pienaar but sold Rodwell. We missed out on a Dutch international midfielder in the window. The feeling of optimism at the club gradually faded as once more anxiety set in amongst some of our support. Fellaini spoke once more of leaving, Heitinga lost form and 2 yards of pace, Jelavic lost his balance and confidence and we slipped out of champions league contention as our small squad tired/got injured as the season went on. We played some scintillating stuff at the start of the season, and with a couple of players, we could have made the champions league. But it wasn’t enough to keep Moyes who took the job that he was constantly linked with throughout his time with us.
Where are we now?
By the time you’ve read this, he’ll be United manager and will have managed Everton at Goodison for the last time against West Ham. Hopefully he gets a good reception but there were some who were never convinced by him and I’m sure he’ll get the odd boo. Hopefully our next manager will come in and be able to lead us into the place where Moyes couldn’t quite break that top 4 in a league dominated by money. Hopefully he’ll be able to do it at a time when the fans aren’t so divided. We all want us to play beautiful football (on the carpet, in the air and fair and square) and want us challenging for trophies. But think back to the big games that we have done well in. The recent wins at home to City, United at home in 05 and the start of this season. These are games that we have forgotten about money and who we are going to sign and just got behind the team and intimidated the opposition. When we are doing that, the players thrive on it. Contrast that when things are unsettled or the atmosphere is flat and we don’t do so well, (Swansea and Norwich at Home this season. Teams we should beat.) We can’t afford to take over the club so lets do the one thing we can do, get behind the team and make Goodison a bear pit. We can make a difference, even if it’s making an overpaid fanny merchant at city shit himself. Onward Evertonians….
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m musicc follow WS SAG on Spo otify and This T is My JJam For more
...beginnings A selection of the things we like that might interest you The North (And Almost Everything In It) by Paul Morley I've always had a soft spot for Paul Morley. Right back to the time when as a teenager I first discovered his writings for the NME. Consequently, I so wanted to love this book. And in parts I did. It has a great start, a powerful end but it gets lost somewhere in the middle. At almost 600 pages it is a tough read especially dur-ing the meandering pass-ages about his Reddish childhood but his summaries of key events and people that shape The North are never less than interesting and well written. The chapter on Liverpool is particularly good and very stylish. Almost a stream of consciousness love letter and it's worth reading for this alone.
Sound City: Dexys / The Tea Street Band (04/05/2013) It was a significant coup for Sound City to bring Dexys back to the City for their opening event at the Anglican Cathedral. We love Dexys, almost above all else. Their live performances are the stuff of legend. Ask anyone who saw them blow The Specials off the stage during the Two Tone Tour. Ask anyone who saw the Projected Passion Review. Over the last year, Dexys have been showcasing their album 'One Day I'm Going To Soar'. Playing it from start to finish. The record was one of our favourites from last year and performed live it is majestic. Kevin Rowland has always been a brilliant showman and tonight
he has the audience firmly in the palm of his hand. He isn't just putting on a show, he's acting out this thing for real. He makes you laugh, cry, punch your arms in the air and stand still awestruck for a whole two and half hours without once taking your eyes off the stage. Well maybe once as while Kevin sits on a chair during “She Got A Wiggle” Madeleine Hyland first appears high above us singing the refrain “I’m mad on you” over and over and over and over. It's a brilliant introduction and those who know the album will understand the role she plays. Here it's played out perfectly as she struts seductively across the stage teasing both Kevin and the audience in equal
measures before her dramatic vocal introduction in "I'm Always Going To Love You". Brilliant. How do you follow that? Easy you walk down the hill to the Black E to watch The Tea Street Band. These lads are going to be massive. Readers of old will know that we've long sang their praises and it's great to see that they are starting to see all their hard work pay off. When their album is released later this year you won't be able to escape from them. Or resist them. Tonight due to some technical fuckups we only got a shortened set but it was crammed with great songs - Disco Lights, PTFO and Summer Dream-ing to name but three. The hot, sweaty packed crowd lapped it up. It was like Quadrant Park meets the Clash. "Imagine if we've have had these in our day" said a fellow middle-aged marauder at the back. Indeed. We've have ruled the world. A PTFO taster
On The Beat with Spencer Leigh (Radio Merseyside) The changes in the way the BBC runs its local radio stations has hit Merseyside particularly hard. Mainly because many of its great programmes were broadcast in the evenings and that space has now been taken up by the bland ramblings of Mark Forrest. What this has meant is that all of the good stuff is on at times when listening is not always possible. So, thank the Lord for the i-player. Our current favourite, alongside the ever excellent Dave Monks and Roger Hill is Spencer Leigh's On The Beat. The programme itself has been going for years and Spencer is a recognised expert on local music and his show is always informative and enlightening. The recent show on Scott Walker was superb. It's broadcast on a Saturday evening just after the phone-in but as said, it's available all week.
Well worth listening. And Spencer we awaiy the invitation to appear on Juke Box Jury . Mod A Very British Style by Richard Weight - This book came out a few months ago but it is such a weighty tome (pun most definitely intended) that I only got round to finishing it recently for a review. Mod or modernism is a youth cult that never seems to in Pete Townshend’s vernacular, ‘fade away.’ Despite it being something that grew out of the late 1950’s modern jazz schism and having it’s supposed heyday in the 1960’s, whether it be through the 1979 mod revival or the ghastly Britpop era, from a fashion perspective it’s influence has been vast. Even Peter Hooton someone seen as a ‘casual’ icon by many, acknowledged that he and the Farm dressed as ‘neo-mod casual.’ But why has mod been able to stay the distance whereas other cults have not possessed its’ longevity? Richard Weight has attempted to answer this question in an extremely long and academic book which traces the beginnings of modernism in Soho jazz café’s right through to
its’ influence on current day popular culture. There is lots of interesting stuff throughout but it is heavy going at times and doesn’t always follow a linear track which whilst probably deliberate makes it a challenging read. His central proposition is that mod started a lineage that we can trace right through to today’s world and that mod was more than just a youth cult but something that had a profound impact on the way we have lived in Britain from the 1960’s onwards. This he does by claiming that because of global successes like The Beatles (rockers to a man as far as I’m concerned) Terence Conran and Mary Quant, mod became a permanent feature of Britain’s social and cultural landscape. This is where you start to question the book’s objective and its conclusion. Whilst it is clear that mod was a very popular influence on the 1960’s, to conclude that it was responsible for the likes of glam rock and pop, Britpop and that ‘perhaps we are all modernists now’ is overstating the case without any real evidence to suggest otherwise. Yes mods like Paul Weller have evolved and haven’t stood still over the years influencing subsequent generations but in many ways Weight substitutes ‘mod’ for youth culture generally when it wasn’t even the original youth culture in Britain. There are
other elements of the book that disappoint. There is far little on the original ‘faces’ that started the movement and maybe I am biased because I love the shop but far too little reflection on the influence of John Simons and his Ivy League threads with that pioneering group. If you like long and academic texts about youth culture and in particular about fashion then if there are such things left these days post Dave and Gideon, then order from your local Library. If not then stick on some Miles Davis or Charles Mingus, chill and get into the groove man and enjoy something less taxing to read... 5 Television things we've been watching 1. The Returned - spooky French dead people thriller. 2. Love / Hate - very good Irish gangster thing. We're only three
series behind. 3. Dreaming The Impossible Unbuilt Britain - planners dreams of fantastical cities. 4. Thatcher: The Downing Street Years - an old documentary from 1993 but it's still reassuring to learn that her colleagues hated her too. 5. Eight Out of Ten Cats Does Countdown - only one joke but it's a good one. ‘The People’s Songs – The Story of Modern Britain In 50 Records’ by Stuart Maconie Stuart Maconie is known to many as the avuncular Radio Two presenter from Wigan, contributor to countless of them TV filler ‘I Love the 80’s’ type programmes and author of English travel/social history books but for me he will always be associated with the NME of the late 80’s/early 90’s and for ordering a Jack Daniels in Dry Bar in that unintentionally hilarious Madchester documentary of 1990. See here Over the past few years he has written quite a few books that always seem to coincide with the summer holidays and in particular ‘Pies and Prejudice – In Search of the North’ was extremely readable and easier to digest than Paul Morley’s recent
vast Northern tribute. Whilst for some Maconie comes across as a bit too knowing and a bit too ironic in keeping with his NME music jouno past, it is clear which side he is on socially and politically and in any case I’d rather listen to him than Tony bloody Blackburn. His latest book ‘The People’s Songs’ is his most ambitious yet and is based upon the Radio Two series he has presented where he takes 49 songs, starting with ‘We’ll Meet Again,’ and ending with ‘Bonkers’ (the 50th is yet to be decided in some sort of audience participation) and uses each song per chapter to discuss a particular element of British social history. For example, ‘Ghost Town’ is the catalyst for a chapter on the social impact of Thatcherism whilst ‘Y Viva Espana’ reflects the phenomenon of the foreign package holiday. Like his other books it is very readable and Maconie comes across as some of fact fiend so you end up discovering loads of stuff you were unlikely to know. It’s two most compelling features are firstly for anyone over 40 it is like taking a time machine back through your life given how popular music has been such an intrinsic part of our collective psyche and secondly
there’s an awesome pic of Jane Birkin with Serge Gainsbourg that defies belief. You’ll see what I mean… On the flip side, it’s content is quite honestly unable to match the scale of what he was attempting and so it feels like eating an amazing meal but still feeling slightly hungry at the end. This could be because you want more on each song and end up feeling short changed given that 50 songs in over 400 pages means he can’t go into more detail on some key subjects. My biggest two bugbears were however some crappy stereotypical hyperbole about the Kop and their ‘anthems’ and a ridiculous paragraph on The Pogues where he ignorantly insinuates that people born of 100% Irish parentage like Shane MacGowan are not Irish. These quibbles aside, whilst it doesn’t match it’s ambition, the book is a great holiday read for those of you still to get away and I think we should all do a Belle and Sebastian like
campaign to get ‘Forever Everton’ voted in as the 50th song. Now that’s a People’s Song… Les Disques Du Crépuscule was Belgian independent record label founded in 1980 by Michel Duval and Annik Honore who had previously organised and promoted concerts in the city at the Plan K venue. Initial releases (as Factory Benelux) were by Factory Records artists including A Certain Ratio and the The Durutti Column. They went on to release recordings by , Josef K, Cabaret Voltaire, Isabelle Antena, Paul Haig, Allez Allez and The Pale Fountains. Why mention all this now? Well much of it is being re-released through LTM Records. Moreover there are archive recordings from The Pale Fountains and Paul Haig which have never been released before coming out soon. But it's not just old stuff which is been released, Crépuscule has also released new albums by Penelope Queen - the fabulously titled "I'd Rather Be Naked" and
untthinkable to turn t up for thee first game of the seaason without a pair of new w trainees. (IIt's like the aduult version of getting youur Easter clotthes.)
Ladytron's Helen H Marniie - the excellent "Crrystal World"". This is defin nitely someth hing we will be keepiing an eye on n in the coming mon nths. Find out more The Beautifful North We are fans of nice andd simple, good qualityy products. Naturally N then we havve been draw wn to tshirts made by The Beautiful B North. Plain n white witth bold designs, limitted edition an nd hand screen printted - what's not to like? They are a lo ocal firm too.. Have a look for youurself at theiir tees we particularrly like the bikke one. TShirts New Season n - new footw wear For some - fair few of our readers wee'd guess - it's
Forr as many yeaars as I can rem member this has largely beeen a slavish devotion d to thee three strripes but thin ngs are gettting a bit playyed out now. As modernistts, should we w still be wearing 40 4 year old d trainees? (Should we still bee wearing trainees in our 400s? That's another, more m difficullt question to answer..)
internett age, the songs aree fantastiic. We know w this becausee they aare plastereed all over YouTub be and elsew where. No prroblem if itt whets thee appetitee but it shoulldn't stop anyy one buuying when n the album m proper comes out. out track, as 'Billy' iis the stando featuredd in WSA AG's August Playlist..
Anyhow. I think it'ss time to update ouurselves. There was a time not so long ago o when all modern day d trainees looked l like they'd beeen designed by colourblind desiggners with po onytails. Not so th hese days. Nike N Roshe Run are dead d nice. Simple S and smart. An nd I'm a fan of o Nike Air Berwuda (as ( pictured). Somethingg different any way. Better thaan buying yeet another pair of Triimm Trabbs Prefab Sp prout - Crim mson/Red The last I heard abo out Paddy McAloon was that he was sat in the studio o playing loaads of new songs but b unable to press p the record button. g that a Well, given new album a has been scheduled n October for an release it would appear he's finally got over his fearr. And, as is the way in this
5 Song gs From Talk king Heads 1. Tentative Decisio ons During Warti time 2. Life D 3. The G Great Curve 4. Seen And Not Seen me 5. Oncee In A Lifetim Play And fin nally... Given tthat we've go ot much moree pages in n the digital issues i we willl be ablee to give more space to o reviewss. a you wan nt If you'rre in a band and to sendd us some songs, s pleasee do. r things If you want to review yourself, go ahead. nything and everything to o Send an firstname.lastname@example.org
The first digital issue of When Skies are Grey (E001) was produced in August 2013 by Graham Ennis and Phil Redmond with invaluable assistance from Nick Jones, Kieron and Thomas Regan. Thanks to the following for their articles: Saint Vespaluus, Jonathan, Adrian Thomas, Gary Chase, Greg, Andrew McEgan, Alan McKeown, Nic Davies, Trevor Edwards, David Spowart, Mike Murphy, Billy Gall, Mark Finnegan, Mark McNulty, Terry Smith, Nimrod, Lee Molton and Allan Ledward Cover picture by Chris Canty Thanks also to: Greg Murphy, Dave Prentice, Dave Swaffield, Dave Monks, Mark Staniford and James O'Mullan As ever much love to: Julie, Louis and Ruby; Nikki, Danny and Lauren
Thanks also to all our subscribers and well wishers.
The next digital issue will be uploaded prior to Newcastle game on 30th September 2013
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Af ul lcol our,screenpri nt edt ransf eront ot opqual i t y,100% cot t on,‘ vi nt agesof t ’TShi rt s.