Mickey Blue Eyes
Some facts are beyond dispute: Beyoncé has a fat arse, Jeremy Clarkson has a peculiar oblong-shaped head to match his oblong thought processes, Coronation Street and East Enders are for idiots, some footy fans are out-and-out knob heads, and we almost always start a season badly. C'est la vie, c'est la guerre.
Other facts: at the time of writing we are rock-bottom in the league table and have played six league games and two League Cup games. That's normal match play time of seven hundred and twenty minutes, plus thirty minutes extra time, total seven hundred and fifty minutes. We have won one, drawn three and lost four. Mostly we have played good but punchless footy. Sadly, but predictably and tediously this has led to moronic attacks by some self-styled "Evertonians" on David Moyes. There have even been ludicrous squeals for him to go, most of them as hideous as unsuccessful plastic surgery on Joan Collins. I even heard one tawdry nincompoop in a pub whine that we haven't bought "a twenty goals a season striker"! You hear things like that and you realise all over again that some Noddies aren't beyond the pale, they're in the fucking pale. None of it surprises me, since I have no illusions whatever about the worst of football fans behaviour. In a minor way it chimes perfectly with our era and a recent Inspectorate of Constabulary report on the level of anti-social behaviour. For if some "adults" can behave so dementedly over a mere seven hundred and fifty minutes of football, why be surprised when some impressionable and stupid kids fill their time with persecuting anybody who looks remotely vulnerable or different? Ultimately it all stems from the same genetic inadequacy. Nor is there a demographic limit to it.
So can we attempt to get some common sense perspective on this? Wouldn't it be nice if the hysterics could make a rational attempt to grow up? But I wouldn't hold your breath if I were you. I have seen them in action too many times before. Once people suffer oxygen starvation to the brain there's little recovery. Neurotics brain-wash themselves into a semi-permanent, single-track state. Moreover, they tend to get absurdly resentful or even envious if you express a different view to theirs. Needless to say almost anything David Moyes says publicly can and does get twisted into shapes Ernõ Rubik or Rhino software would have difficulty with, which is why Moyesy would be well advised to save his words for the ears of his players alone or to utter platitudes we hear from other, less honest managers.
One footy cliché is, "It is a game of opinions." And, of course, so it is. No true democrat would want it any other way. History shows it is almost always a form of totalitarianism that burns books or tries to suppress alternative opinions. (There are exceptions to this - for instance democratic Germany properly suppresses expressions of Nazism, just as we properly suppress racism). Suppression is generally an articulation of apprehension or an attempt to impose status quo. It is too a kind of bullying even when well-intended. But unfortunately football has a recorded history of organised bullying of the very worst type, which is now also suppressed. Small wonder, then, some footy opinionators try verbalised intimidation when faced with disagreement. You see it most often in ale-houses when, to use an old Scousism, "Dee get ter d'nasty parter dee ale," and bullies start shouting at someone or butting unwanted into someone else's footy chat. At which point civilised conversation becomes impossible. When you stand up to them and pay them back in their own coin they are apt to try to force the issue instead of acknowledging a mere difference of opinion, or behaving with a modicum of common sense. It is always a satisfying moment when you see their jaw go as slack as their mental growth. Bullies are like that and should be treated accordingly. Also, smiling at them tends to madden their perfectly justified inferiority complex.
So after yet another lousy start there can be no surprise at the disgusting nature of some of the attacks spewed at David Moyes. Much of it is a result of a limited mindset unable to deal with disappointment; in which case it is also a form of moral cowardice and a cheap search for a scapegoat. Many of the offenders are simply incapable of dealing with the vicissitudes of football. Yet the poor beginning to our season is not such a surprise to rational fans. In last season's review I wrote this:
"So, in theory all we have to do is keep the current squad together and out of harm's way during the summer and preseason friendlies, and then next season should be an absolute stormer. Jack Rodwell will be signed up a mature year older, Marouane Fellaini will be back hungry and straining at the leash, Phil Jagielka will be fully recovered, Mikky Arteta will be strolling the greensward like the little genius he is, Diniyar Bilyaletdinov will be fully rested and determined, Ayegbeni Yakubu will be blowing gas bottles to re-prove himself, and Steven Pienaar will be signed up too and back to his devastating best. We might even have signed a new player or two. Just thinking about the midfield possibilities is enough to get you salivating. Couldn't be easier, right?
It's never that easy. Football fortunes do not run in straight lines and, thank goodness, footballers are not production line machines. Very often what should happen in footy simply doesn't, especially once money begins to talk or suddenly disappears, or contract signatures are required as opposed to press statements. You have only to look at the disaster across the park for that. Veteran fans too will remember what happened to the wonderful 1970 Championship team. There are many other examples for those with eyes to see and ears to hear. Best get ready for next season with that firmly in mind."
Naturally the Moyes-attackers hear no voice but their own, which is why their reaction is unsurprising. It almost never occurs to them that they built themselves up for a fall and can't face the consequences of their own manufactured emotions. But over the years I have seen and heard their kind of sado-masochistic, stick-up-the-arse muck ad nauseam. There's nothing new about it. Aston Villa fans have just chased Martin O'Neill away and I haven't the slightest doubt what will happen to 'Arry at Tottenham when they start to slip too. There are plenty of other examples and we all know it. What it gives the lie to is the claim that somehow Evertonians are "better" and "more knowledgeable" than other fans. In fact they are no different in this respect and just as liable to produce that kind of minority venom as anybody else. And of course it is made worse because we have had no success for the longest period in club history. That in turn is intensified by untalented media information clerks creating a phony "crisis" by cheap jeering at the club's present financial and playing status. Often the combination is too much for weak characters and they have to vent on somebody, whether it is the manager, players, owners or even admin staff. When it gets to that stage it is an altogether sickening and ugly spectacle just a couple of steps removed from a crazed Coliseum crowd marshalled by the Daily Mail or Rupert Murdoch and his schutzstaffel. At its very worst it is the Sun made flesh, the kind of behaviour we rightly loathe. And all for a game of football.
I could list here David Moyes' assets and weaknesses......but I'm not going to because I have already done that on more than one occasion. Sensible fans know these anyway. There can be no question his assets far outweigh his weaknesses. If some people can't achieve a reasonable understanding of the man after eight years of gradual improvement with relatively limited resources - a truly wonderful achievement in which he can take immense pride - then there's nothing I or you can say that will make the slightest difference to a left brain hemisphere made of stale ale pie and vomit.
You can reasonably gauge the depth of Moyesy's achievements when you compare Bill Kenwright's statement, "When he arrived this club was on its knees," with the present level of expectation. Like every other football manager from any era he has made mistakes along the way: show me anybody in any walk of life who hasn't, including the utter idiots now screaming for him to go, or claiming he is "too defensive" despite the evidence of their own eyes in games so far. But I haven't the slightest doubt he saved this club from entering a downward spiral from which it may never have escaped. In fact, given our precarious financial position - still marginally better than most - that could still happen. There are no guarantees for anyone. Nor do I doubt that given reasonable luck he could achieve a great deal more. If he had the kind of money available to Ancelotti, Ferguson and Mancini it is a safe bet he would produce a team of champions. But he hasn't, so that's that as far as we are concerned, and it will stay that way until we get a new stadium; unless Moyesy produces another unlikely giant rabbit from his management bag of tricks.
So, suppose he got fed up with all the crap and left, or got sacked on a wave of hysteria similar to the Aston Villa toxin. What then? Who in their right mind would take the job, never mind who we could actually afford to employ? Who would want to subject themselves to the crazy ramblings of people who can't even cope with an eight-game change in football fortunes? Nobody of any rank, that's for sure. We would be back at square one, probably much worse. We are unlikely to have the same kind of luck with the next appointment. My bet is the same crackpots and yoyos would immediately search for yet another scapegoat, probably the owners, the CEO or the ticket office......at least until the next manager arrived. After all, to use my earlier analogy, they are just like those sad feral kids who need to attack somebody, anybody, for little more than gang-herd satisfaction. And, I repeat, for a game of football.
Yes, David Moyes and his players have to buck themselves up to start delivering as they did six months previously, and that right quickly. That's their job. Mostly, they do it very well, aberrations excluded. Most of their team play this season has been excellent pass-and-move without the final scoring touch. What they and the club don't need is the kind of infantile bollocks we hear from the worst of those who attach themselves to Everton to do nothing more than whinge and whine into their self-pitying, bullshit navels. Better still, we could gift the whingers a permanent residential scholarship in Mongolian moaning at the Novosibirsk State University in Siberia. Christ knows, it's about the only useful service the meffs could provide to Everton Football Club and football in general. While they're at it they could take the same kind of knob heads with them from Aston Villa and Tottenham. I'd even be tempted to pay their subscription to The Beano or Noddy Weekly. Hell, I might even pay their bus fare.