Mickey Blue Eyes
Imagine if We hadn't beaten Chelsea........Does it need much thought? Do you really need to think further than the nearest mental ward for likely reactions? Given recent and previous hysteria, would you be surprised at any hate-filled shit thrown around by paranoid morons? Given that, why be surprised if a prospective non-football buyer of the club took one look at the flying dirt and decided there are saner things to do with time and money? Nobody in their right mind would want to wade through it. At such times I recall the lunatic who two decades ago got to the hospital bedside of the ailing mother of Peter Swales (then chairman and owner of Manchester City) before being dragged off to a strait jacket and a mental hospital, an episode now conveniently forgotten by media who played a gleeful part in the build-up. Last October a small mob congregated outside Wayne Rooney's home after he asked for a transfer. He had to call the police to disperse them. Death threats and mail abuse are now par for the course, almost modular. Those who propagate it bear shared responsibility for the outcome. We have had enough precedents. There are no miserable excuses left.
So there's nothing new about any of it. There is just more concentrated poison and awful ignorance. It simply ebbs and flows more quickly on an undercurrent of media irresponsibility. The only gain is a tendency for it to sink as quickly as it floats. Sadly, a sense of proportion is now at a premium......not that it was ever a strong point of the sport anyway. Too often the substitute is a comically frantic search, nay demand, for a scapegoat even if only one game is lost. A prolonged run of adversity prompts the kind of witch-hunt that wouldn't have been out of place in American McCarthyism. No club's fans are immune, though some are more likely victims than others, some even notorious. Think Aston Villa, Newcastle and Tottenham. Some Everton fans have been facing down that road for years now and so have some of our neighbours, as predictable as the worst of them.
More to the point, it detracts from genuine heart-felt efforts to make long overdue changes in the administrative and ownership structure of the game. Serious fans groups know full well it will take years of concentrated organised effort to have even a small affect, that it will require a clear head, reasonable manners and common sense articulation to make the necessary points. There will be no acknowledgement of efforts, no gratitude and, initially at least, small support. Occasionally a back entry fuhrer or spiv will try to take over. Such is human nature. But those who hang on in there, those whose motivation is clean and decent, will keep going until the inevitable happens and the pendulum swings. It always does, as events elsewhere in the world have shown. Best be ready and fully informed.
Meantime, the target is survival. That is the reality, not some half-crazed mirage of a white knight billionaire riding to the rescue. Under present circumstances we are more likely to end up with somebody like Randy Lerner - have you seen where Villa are? - or Mike Ashley; anybody who wishes for that deserves all they get. The economic storm will arrive soon enough, courtesy of the banks. You have a better chance of surviving it if you don't have your head up your arse.
Now, fast forward to the fifth round match V Reading. Suppose the wrong Everton turn up (as they have too often this season) and we meet playing disaster, how predictable is a return of the idiots? How certain their delight in masochistic misery? Hey Presto, instant knob heads! Catweazles will be back in every pub muttering, a la Geoffrey Bayldon, "Nuthink works," while trying to cast a crackpot spell or two. Unable to adapt to reality, they live in a self induced football coma of self deception, illusion, ignorance, abuse and scapegoatism. They will, as always, be part of the problem, not part of the solution. Only Edgar Allan Poe or Stephen Knight could make them up.
Fortunately, there are enough decent Evertonians to swamp the minority sick mountebanks, as shown by the tremendous away following at Chelsea. Their patience has been sorely tried this season and any minor "success" has been well earned and deserved by them. I hope it bears some fruit. That is the least the players owe them. Now perhaps the players will start to recover some pride and apply themselves to the remaining tasks. After all, as I said in a season preview this is probably the last we will see of this team. The buzzards are circling, home and away.