Azzurri Gio...
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A Warm Welcome To Blue Kipper's New Columnist "Azzurri Gio"

"Football fans are fickle" is a phrase that is overused almost as much as "a game of two halves", or "that Suarez is a cheating bastard", but when it comes to a lot of Blues fans I think fickle sums them up.

Take yourself back a few seasons to the emergence of the young Jack Rodwell. This was a homegrown player who was getting talked about as our brightest prospect since Rooney. The player that every top team was looking at, a future England regular, and possibly the asset that we'd have to sell for big bucks the next time the banks wanted us to pay off a chunk of our overdraft.

Jack could do no wrong when he came into the team. Every pass was cheered, whether it found it's target or not, roars of approval greeted every tackle he made, even if he lost the ball, and we were all up off our seats applauding every attempt at goal, no matter how outrageous or high and wide it might be.

He was "Our Jack", a local lad coming through the ranks and promising to be better than all that had gone before him. It must have been great to be Jack.

Fast forward a few years. A few highlights, like that goal against United, and a few low points, like injuries and a loss of form and confidence.

"Our Jack" became the latest in a long line of local lads to feel the wrath of the home fans who had now stopped applauding misplaced passes, lost tackles, and poor goal attempts, and have now started greeting each of those with "Fuck Off Rodwell", (making him the latest member of the squad to change his Christian name following Fuck Off Osman, and Fuck Off Hibbert, to name just two).

Personally I think Rodwell's performances have been gradually getting better. In fact, if we ever let him off the leash, and encourage him to attack teams instead of forcing him to pass the ball sideways all the time, I believe he can still become the player we all believed he would.

My worry now is for our next big thing, "Our Ross".

We've all heard the whispers that we could have unearthed something really special, and that Fergie has already earmarked him as a future £20 million United player.

Now, in his short Everton career, think how many times you have cheered, even when he's over hit a pass, or blasted the ball over when teammates were in a better position.

Feeling a touch of déjà vu ?

Think about it, and maybe the next time you're giving the benefit of the doubt over a poor decision to "Our Ross" you could try and do the same thing for "Fuck Off Rodwell", and remember, he was once "Our Jack". Gio

Comments about Fickle Fans
I've posted on here before that I think Jack Rodwell is a better player at the age of 20 than Colin Harvey (one of my great heroes) was. I received some criticism too! But despite the fact that Colin played in the San Siro aged 18, and won an FA Cup winners medal aged 21, my over-riding memory of the first 3 years of his career was of him getting slaughtered by a sizeable proportion of the crowd, for putting a pass astray or being knocked off the ball. Kevin Ratcliffe is another example. He was wripped to shreds at times, and 4 goals from Rush would have ruined a lesser character. But these two became amongst our greatest ever players. Perhaps it is because when a young lad comes through from a young age we have to live through his mistakes, which are tolerable for a while but then people become impatient, and seem to prefer someone coming in from outside. Whatever the reason, supporters should lay off the criticism and understand that players thrive on encouragement and support. Jack Rodwell is coming along just fine.
Peter Mills, Crosby, 9:37 PM 15/11/2011
I am not sure 'our Ross' has proven he is the real deal. He has been good in patches and terrible in others. He will improve though and hopefully him and 'our Jack' will go on to star in a successful Everton midfield for years to come.
Al Reddish, Wolverhampton, 6:34 PM 13/11/2011
You make a good point Gio. 'Our Jack' needs to proove he's the real deal. 'Our Ross' already has.
Gus, Walton, 9:02 PM 9/11/2011
Great article... I'm not an Everton fan myself but this article is true of every football fan at every football ground in the country. We embrace emerging talent in a heartbeat, but dismiss it even quicker. Man U did the same with Gibson last season and you don't see him much now do you? As a Wednesday fan, its not really a problem we have, as our youth set up is shit, and as such, its very rare that a player gets anywhere near the first team, although I do remember a certain Tommy Spurr had his name changed a few seasons back...
James, Rotherham, 11:05 AM 8/11/2011
Sometimes I reckon we've got the worst whingeing moaning venomous gobshites in the league among our fans. Every club has idiot booboys who should be locked up in a mental asylum, but some of ours only seem to go the game to see someone put a foot wrong. I think Jack Rodwell will become a great player. No doubt the idiots will turn on someone else then.
Spectator, Crosby, 11:02 AM 8/11/2011
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