Rafa Benitez wound up the blue-half of the city yesterday when he referred to Everton as a ‘small’ club, and those loveable rogues from across Stanley Park (for now) have been biting back in force.
Eternally being cast in our shadow is one thing, suffering the ridicule of our supporters parading trophy after trophy through the streets of our city in recent years must take its toll. But Benitez’s post-match slip of the tongue has caused outrage. Whether his comments are down to a little bit of poor Spanish-English translation on his part or not then Everton fans need to take a look at where there club actually is these days before they give themselves a coronary.
By exactly what definition to Everton want their club to be judged – by trophies? Everton have done very little in anything for a very long time. By supporters? Everton have consistently failed to fill their ground. Local radio is populated by advertising for ‘ticket deals’ for the club which often provides an element of humour for Liverpool supporters on the drive in and out of work.
Everton Chief Executive Keith Wyness had this to say:
“Benitez is in a minority of one in believing Everton is a small club. Somehow we just expect more of a Liverpool manager.”
David Moyes, confusing added to the debate:
“I would not say that about any football club anywhere. I am disappointed that has been said.
“There is no doubt we are in the shadow of Liverpool, but we are doing out utmost to compete with them.”
David Moyes has made similar comments before about Everton being ‘The People’s Club’ – suggesting that not many scousers actually support Liverpool. Over a million people celebrated Liverpool’s return with the European Cup in the streets of Liverpool. Maybe a couple of scousers amonst that bunch eh.
When I first started going to football games in the mid-80’s Everton were a big club, a great side, competing on all fronts. I doubt very much that the Evertonian’s who witnessed at first hand their great side of the 80’s were amongst those whooping and dancing at a 0-0 draw with Liverpool yesterday. No trophies, unable to fill their ground, and thrilled with a 0-0 draw against a team lying in third place. Maybe Rafa was on to something….