Everton FC; The Premier League Club That Gets Little to No Respect

Last year I ruined the beginning of a perfectly good holiday in the south of France by sitting in my rental car outside an Internet cafe stealing WiFi in order to listen to Everton against Queens Park Rangers. Full of expectation and excitement, about Everton’s season starting with a bang and Ross Barkley banging in goals at the start of the season, I sat with my ears glued to the Internet radio, glued with anticipation, glued because of melted ear phones, glued because of love.

We lost.

I trudged home.

I definitely argued with my girlfriend, I very nearly cried.

This year however…..  A new season and another chance for the Toffees. For a start I’d changed my pre-season training, I wasn’t in France.  I was in my newly-opened local pub, listening to Z-Cars booming around Goodison Park hoping for a better start, again. Again.  Again.

Despite my change in build-up, there were still the same old annoyances. Why must the media insist on forgetting that Everton FC exist?  The top four has become the top eight in order to include a consistently faltering team in red from Merseyside and the new trendy teams in Newcastle and Finsbury Park — yet the team that has most regularly finished in that clique is never mentioned.  This season was yet another example. We are the stealth team of L4.

Well this time it paid dividends. So involved were people in their discussions of Robin van Persie and the ’99-esque squad that Manchester United have assembled that they forgot about little old us. Little old us with our squad of talented internationals. Little old us with our team spirit and passion. Little old us with our track record and history. Well that didn’t work, did it?

After the Everton-Manchester United game, I left the pub so excited that I forgot everything I’d brought with me.  After a five minute walk featuring some fist pumping and shouting, I turned round and casually strolled back into the pub. I got back to find it all still there and the score still up on the screen. It’d actually happened. We’d started playing like we can at the same time as everyone else (well actually Monday night, thanks Mr Murdoch; Revenue trumps tradition every time). We played with a game plan, we played with skill and we played one of the best teams in the world and won. Mitigating opposing-defense circumstances aside, obviously.

But still it comes as a surprise to people. Still we’ll get written off, still there’ll be surprise, still we’ll be last on Match Of The Day and still we’ll get called the ‘dogs of war’.

Well I’m a bit bored of it. I changed my pre-season and had my expectations exceeded. I hope that others can change their pre-conceptions and have their eyes opened.

The ‘dogs of war’ no more, the over-achieving underdogs no more — just Everton FC.  Remember the name (you’d have thought being around for 134 years might help…) next time you talk about the teams at the top of the league.

19 thoughts on “Everton FC; The Premier League Club That Gets Little to No Respect”

  1. Everton have a universally respected manager with some good players but a thin roster.

    This is all down to Everton not having ownership who can afford to spend.

    There are no easy trips to Goodison.

  2. As delighted as I am that we’ve started with a win, one win doesn’t amount to a good start to the season. Villa away tomorrow is just as important a game and we have a terrible record there. That is something we need to put right.

    Although I do agree with you about the tag we have within the British media. The ‘consistent overachievement’ tag is the one that really infuriates me. It is only now that some have begun to notice the genuine quality Everton have amongst their ranks. Its not all blood and thunder stuff anymore

  3. Phil

    Not everyone can get to games…..some people don’t live within travelling distance, or even in the same hemisphere as the match! That doesn’t mean that they are not as passionate a supporter as those who do attend games.

    well written piece, Peter Stickney………we all have good (and bad!) opening day memories of different games.

  4. It can be infuriating, but sports are the same everywhere. The so-called big teams get the hype. Everyone else gets crumbs. Look at the coverage the Red Sox continue to get….a nothing team going nowhere.

    With Liverpool as your big brother I am afraid it will always be so, just as Stoke will always be labelled a mean/overly aggressive team regardless of what the stats show and Sunderland will always be that “other” team from Tyne and Wear.

    Look at it this way, some teams hardly ever get mentioned at all unless it as fodder for one of the “Big, Sky, Top” clubs. So Everton is pretty lucky in the end. Still, I feel your pain.

    1. Actually mate it’s actually Everton that are the ‘big’ brother… some 14 years older. We even let them lot have our hand-me-down stadium to play in. Aren’t we nice…!

  5. The tag ” perennial over achievers” also infuriates me too. How can you perennially over achieve? Over achieve one season, yes. But not perennially. It’s as though the media don’t think or want Everton to be challenging for a European place, be it Europa or champions league slot. Credit where credits due and not by pure chance of over achieving regularly for more or less ten years.

  6. “Everton FC; The Premier League Club That Gets Little to No Respect”

    no wonder with Kenwright and Moyes in charge!!!!!!

  7. Well written, a littlr bit whingy maybe, but i like the cut if its jib, probably end up finishing 6 points above West Ham tho.

  8. As a United supporter I was disappointed with the opening loss, but Everton deserved it. They were the better team on the day. I’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for Everton. I’ve always thought they have had a lot of guts and heart and I’ve really appreciated how David Moyes has stuck it out there. He has done a lot with a little.

  9. I think it’s high time to change the way to market everton worldwide. we need to make a new approach to brand the name starting in australia with cahill as ambassador and america with howard and donovan as ambassador to the club so as to widen the fan base and seek for investment, then attack the asian market thailand, malaysie etc… and finish in southe america using the everton in chili as platform.

    new marketing strategies need to be adopted it not we’ll always be behind others. we need to increase our turnover adn merchandising too. just look at what united did in the past concerning merchandising with cantona and beckham. let’s use our own imagination and take at the commercial merchandising value of feillani for example or jelavic. we need to move in the right direction and decision has to be taken

  10. Having lived with Peter for a little while now, I can only say that the man’s passion for his team is immense. If the choice comes between going out with his friends or watching/listening to his beloved blues on radio/Internet, of which I’ve had first hand experience, his mates get dumped quicker than a fat girl at prom.

    Fans these days are all over the world supporting their teams. So to say that not going to the matches means your not a ‘true’ fan of your club, would mean that every team’s fan base should be limited to the capacity of its stadium. Would that be fair? The PL would be a very low key affair which little to no one would have the opportunity to discuss and chat about.

    Despite being labelled a ‘trendy’ fan in my own friends article, I do agree that broadcast on MOTD certainly should be based on how good the match was and not if it’s just a top 4 club.

    If Sir Alex before the match had the option to come away with a point, I bet he’d of taken your hand off before you could have finished the offer. Everton are a team everyone fears playing because we all know their quality. Do they always play to that quality, well that is up for discussion.

    Whingy, certainly, as I say I live with the guy, but a good point made, yes.

  11. Phil, you need to grow up a bit.

    As a season ticket holder for twenty-odd years (1954/82) I used to stand in the bar of the Dealers Arms in Garston and berate the “armchair supporters” of Liverpool FC. I still do to a certain extent; but these days it isn’t as easy as getting on the Football Special outside the baths or jumping the 500 on its way through to Walton. Like Peter, I live a considerable distance away from the Grand Old Lady (I’m in rural Worcestershire), and there’s no way I could make an 8pm start and be home in time to earn a living the following day. That doesn’t mean I don’t still kick every ball, or that I didn’t hold my breath for the last twenty minutes on Monday night. Times have changed.

  12. Everton have won 9 league titles in it’s history, Which is the exact same amount as Chelsea, Spurs and Man City put-together. Everton have spent the longest in the top-flight with well over 100 seasons, and around 30% of those hundred years finishing in the top four.

    Everton continually finish around 7th place over the past decade. Which taken into consideration is exactly the position (including finances) that a club like Everton should be finishing in. And of course, if there was new owners that could actually invest in Everton for once, that 7th place would naturally be higher. Yet the tag “punching above their weight” is what the media like the associate with Everton. Which not only annoys Everton fans, but Everton players.

    Everton don’t punch above their weight. Moyes just gets value for money, and has the 100% backing of his chairman. For example this summer he sold a fringe player who has promise in Jack Rodwell to Man City. A minimum fee of £12 million rising to £17 million.

    The most recent additions to the Everton squad is Darren Gibson (Irish international), Nikica Jelavic (Croatian International), Kevin Mirallas (Belgian International), Steven Naismith (Scottish International). Four very good, full internationals aged between 24-26 years of age. All for the grand total of £11 million.

  13. The grand total is higher than that, arguably around the 15-16 million mark. Still your point is valid. That number isn’t high at all for four great players, especially when you consider every single one of those four players are better than Joe Allen and his horribly inflated transfer free of about the same amount (15million).

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