Tag: Everton

Rivalries & Hatred

There was always something that left an uneasy feeling in the pit of the stomach about the post-Olympic craze for slating ‘football’ for its attitudes and behaviour, and there is still discomfort whenever anyone starts to discuss ‘decency’ with regard to the moral vacuum that is a professional sport-cum-business. Last night at Goodison Park, however, we saw a perfectly pitched tribute to the dead of Hillsborough which left barely a dry eye in the house and reminded all watching that if this game and its institutions can be described as having a soul, then that soul is worth hanging onto. The fulsome tribute from Everton FC was a timely reminder that we are capable of setting aside our tribalism out of respect to the dead and that yes, there are some things in life that are more important than our allegiances, loves and hates. Perhaps, though, this was merely the hors d’oeuvre ahead of the main event on the subject of whether attitudes have changed with regard to English football’s worst disaster. This weekend, all eyes will be fixed on Anfield as Liverpool play Manchester United in a fixture that will, whether rightly or wrongly, be treated as a litmus test for whether supporters can be entrusted with the task of behaving themselves under such a glare. The reaction to the behaviour of some during Saturdays match between Manchester...

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Cups Half Empty & Half Full At Goodison Park Last Night

In some respects, the fixture compilers had been a little unkind to Alex Ferguson. A trip to Goodison Park seldom feels like a guaranteed three points, and this year’s Everton vintage is one that looks upwardly mobile rather than one beset by the shadow of stagnation for the first time in several years, after all. Yet if last night’s single goal defeat demonstrated anything, it was that there was perhaps a grain of truth to be acknowledged from those that have argued over the summer months that the club might have been better served by bringing in a new midfield player as opposed to another striker. Still, as is commonly heard in the red portion of Manchester, in Fergie they trust. None of this, however, should detract from a fine Everton performance last night. The possession statistics indicated that Manchester United dominated ownership of the ball, but the visitors seemed to hit a brick wall once they got to within forty yards of goal, and it is a tribute to Evertons obstinacy that this match seldom took on the siege-like feel that so many Manchester United defeats do. Indeed, much as they improved as the match wore on, it still felt as though there would be no way through a well organised defence, and an equalising goal in the closing stages – which probably should have come after a...

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The 200% Pre-Season Previews: Everton

Plus ca change. It has, in recent seasons, got to the point at which we could set our watches by the undulations of Evertons season. Pre-Season grumpiness at a relative lack of activity in the transfer market, followed by a slow start to the season during which the a feeling of discontent hangs heavy in the air over Goodison Park and a strong second half to the season which sees the club finish in, all things considered, a relatively healthy position. This time last year, we spoke of this club with an air of weary resignation, a feeling that here was a club that was not reaching its potential through a lack of investment in its playing staff. That feeling remains the same this summer, but with the club not having suffered anything quite as traumatic – yet – as last summers loss of Mikel Arteta to Arsenal, there is, perhaps, a greater feeling of serenity surrounding the clubs support than there was twelve months ago. Another part of this has been the exceptional form of Nikica Jalevic, whose form last season turned out to be the more pleasant surprises of their season. Jalevic has turned heads but will almost certainly start the new season at Goodison Park, and the arrival of a player at the club who is capable of scratching the itch that supporters have for a...

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Match Of The Past: Everton

Everton Football Club is one of English footballs great institutions. Founder members of the Football League in 1888, they are second only to Arsenal in terms of their unbroken record in the top flight – they will celebrate their sixtieth consecutive season next year – and have won a clutch of trophies along the way as well. For a look back into their archive, we’re going to take in one defeat but three wins and one of the greatest matches in the entire history of the FA Cup. First up is a match from September 1969 against newly-promoted Derby County. Derby went on to win this match, but Everton ended the 1969/70 season as the champions of England. We’re then fast-forwarding to arguably the clubs greatest ever season. In 1984, the club had won the FA Cup and this qualified them for the following years European Cup Winners Cup. In the semi-finals they were drawn against Bayern Munich and, after drawing 0-0 in the first leg in the Olympic Stadium, returned to Goodison Park to play out one of the greatest nights in the entire history of the club in the second leg. Meanwhile in the league, they had become serious championship challengers, and one performance on Match Of The Day against Sunderland definitively marked out their credentials. For our final two Everton matches, we’re skipping forward to the...

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100 Owners: No.100 – John Houlding (Everton & Liverpool)

There is a point of view held by some that the olden days were better and somehow purer than the world that we live in today. Considering the twenty-four saturation news coverage that football entertains these days, this is perhaps unsurprising. Every tiny story can be blown up out of all proportion, and every word that anybody even remotely connected to the game utters is forensically analysed and interpreted in as many different ways as conceivable. For many years, however, the game remained largely invisible to all those that didn’t attend matches, and the political¬†manoeuvring that took place behind the scenes was veiled in even greater secrecy. For the first of our century of profiles, we’re reaching back to a time before television and cinema, to the frenetic and frequently chaotic days that saw the introduction of the professionalism of football in England. St. Domingo’s FC was founded, as so many of our clubs were, as the off-shoot of a church – in this case, a Methodist church. They played their formative years on an open pitch on Stanley Park in Liverpool – which now separates Goodison Park from Anfield – where they attracted the attention of a local brewer whose house backed onto the park, John Houlding. Within four years, the club was considering turning professional and required an enclosed ground of its own if it was to...

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