Everton FC’s shocking performance and lack of character at Anfield has led to fierce criticism of their players. The Street End takes a look one thing the current players need to play for Everton.
What Does Everton FC Stand For?Embed from Getty Images
The excellent Howard’s Way movie brought back fond memories of the greatest side in Everton FC’s history. The film showed the story of a squad of players who fought for each other and won trophies together. We all know the story. A gifted young team were struggling. A new first team coach with a competitive nature came in. Andy Gray and Peter Reid added aggression and commitment to the team. Kevin Brock passed the ball back, Inchy scored and the team went on from there to dominate. They were a young side who needed a couple of older heads who knew how to win
The opposite of what we have today.
The 1985 side and the 1970 side are what Evertonians dream of. These sides epitomised Everton’s motto, Nil Satis Nisi Optimum. They were the best. They understood that to win games you had to impose yourself. The biggest rivals of the 1970 side were Leeds, a fearsome side who were physical and could play. So were Everton. The school of science had some tough players. Johnny Morrissey was hard as nails.Embed from Getty Images
“Morrissey always got his retaliation in first.”Jimmy Greaves
The 85 side could also look after themselves. Peter Reid‘s tackle on Brian Marwood is legendary and referenced in the film. Effort, fight, courage was standard at Everton FC.
E Stands for Effort
When Duncan Ferguson took over the reigns temporarily, he demanded that the players do the basics. He outlined his vision in his first press conference.
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“We’ve just got to make sure we compete at every level, cover every blade of grass and fight for every ball.”Duncan Ferguson
This is the absolute minimum standard that Evertonians expect from their players. The Chelsea game proved that. The players put in a shift and beat the in form Londoners in front of a rapturous Goodison crowd. Ferguson played with ‘The Dogs of War’. He knows the crowd appreciates players who get stuck in. Likewise, he saw it when he returned to the club as a coach, some years later. Ferguson returned to Everton FC in 2011. The player who wore the number 11 shirt at the time was big, physically imposing striker, similar in stature to Big Dunc.
F stands for Fight
Denis Stracqualursi was an unknown striker from Argentina. He was big, strong and possessed an excellent work ethic. The Straq wasn’t the most technically gifted player, however, but he became a cult hero amongst Evertonians. He could not hold the ball up, had a poor first touch and had little goal threat. Even so, Evertonians took him to their hearts because once his feet hit the pitch, he did not stop running. He was man of the match against league leaders Manchester City and gave their much vaunted defence no peace in a 1 nil win. The following week, he did the same to Chelsea and scored the 2nd in a 2 nil win.Embed from Getty Images
Denis deserved the ovation he got (against Man City) from the supporters because of how hard he worked. It is a strange game football, supporters want to be entertained but they also want to see honesty and endeavour and they certainly saw bags of that from Denis.David Moyes
Denis Stracqualursi was a surprise signing for Everton. He was desperate to make it in English football. This commitment made him a fans favourite at Goodison. Commitment was conspicuous by it’s abscence at Anfield, however. Do the Current squad have the right commitment for Everton?
C stands for Commitment
The current side proved yet again that they are not up to the standards that are expected in Sunday’s derby. Unlike the performances after Duncan Ferguson took over, this group showed no character and no commitment. The Athletic reported that some of the players complained about Ancellotti’s tactics after the game rather than accept responsibility. There is no doubt that this is the problem at Everton FC. In addition to the lack of effort and fight, there is no commitment from this overpaid squad, to the club that pay their wages. Once more, Steve Walsh and Ronald Koeman’s transfer policy has cost Everton FC.Embed from Getty Images
When Koeman took over, he stated that he wanted to sign players at the age of 27 or 28. His idea was that these players were the finished article and could challenge for the top 4. In reality, we bought players who were discarded by big clubs or players who didn’t have the ability to compete for titles. Gylfi Sigurddson had just been relegated with Swansea. Morgan Schneiderlin had warmed the bench at Old Trafford for a season. Theo Walcott was doing the same at Arsenal. All are 30 years old. Clearly, they have earned their last big contracts. Why should they put effort in? They are not the only players who need to have a look at themselves. The whole team were not good enough on Saturday.
Everton FC: Blueprint for the Future
The rest of this season must be one of restoration of the key values of Everton football club. The idea of Nil Satis Nisi Optimum has to be the foundation that the club builds itself on. Before they do this, however, they need to remember their ABC, or their EFC. Effort, Fight and Commitment are the very foundation of what Everton FC should expect from their players.Embed from Getty Images
In 1985, that fantastic squad recorded ‘Here We Go.’ The lyrics of that song said “We’re Everton and will be Everton forever.” In many Evertonians minds, those players are Everton. The current crop are nowhere near them. Perhaps, if they knew their EFC’s, they may have had a chance of reaching them.