Hello? Hello? Hello?
Is there anybody in there?
Just nod if you can hear me
Is there anyone at home?
I grew up with Pink Floyd: Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here, The Wall. The above lyrics are the opening lines of Comfortably Numb, from The Wall, written in 1979. It’s a hugely under-rated song, in my view, and has been widely covered by artists ranging from Van Morrison & Pearl Jam to the Scissor Sisters (my favourite version, bizarrely).
As Arsenal sauntered to a 3-0 lead inside 20 minutes on Saturday evening, and the first Everton fans began leaving, it was clear that there was nobody home in our defence, nor our midfield for that matter. Nobody capable of nodding a cross away, putting in a tackle or two. Of greater concern to me, though, is whether there is anyone at home at the top of our great Club?
I have written consistently about a cosy culture at EFC, one of buck passing and zero accountability. A culture lacking a ruthless, winning streak and most importantly where the on pitch performances reflect the laissez-faire attitude off it.
The fume post-Arsenal has reached new highs (or lows): Schneiderlin surpassed himself with a “minus 10” player rating from Ped, Mark Mosey delivered a magnificent rant on the BlueRoom Post Match Podcast having left at half time.
I even found myself apologising to my son, Glenn, for inflicting Everton on him.
Desperate times, truly desperate times; and, before anyone says I enjoy writing negative stuff, let me tell you that I do not. I hate being down on my Club, but, like any relationship, I need to get something back.
I suppose I should be grateful that the Club have shared their Key Stadium Development Principles. Better late than never, arguably? Don’t forget we have a “record” shirt sponsorship deal too, a sleeve sponsor & a beautifully clean balance sheet. However, rather than closing in on the Top 6, we are headed to the Elephant’s Graveyard alongside Villa, Sunderland & Leeds.
According to many we should now be moving on to our 4th manager this season. Believe me our problems go a lot deeper than that. How in the name of Dixie was he ever appointed?!? The coaching staff (Lee, Shakespeare, Ferguson etc), the Director of Football, the CEO, the Chairman, the entire Board and, most importantly, Farhad Moshiri, need to take their considerable share of the blame for this unholy mess.
Allardyce is not the problem, he is the primary symptom of incompetence at the highest level.
Moshiri’s investment has arguably already doubled in value, and I have no sympathy for him or any of those taking huge salaries from the Club. They do not care, they are not paid to care; but they should be paid to perform, to meet targets, to be accountable and be in fear of their jobs if they do not meet those targets.
That culture can only be infused from the top down, this is Moshiri’s business now (it has been for nearly two years), he has to set the tone, define the structure and allocate targets. You don’t do that by just firing another manager.
Apparently we should “write this season off”; let’s file it away under “expected losses” shall we? Maybe a spot of sun in Dubai will help…..
It takes a very special combination of mismanagement, arrogance and plain stupidity to make passionate Blues like me (and you) lose our feeling for Everton. But that has been a common theme from many in the last 48 hours.
Music is a source of comfort in the saddest of times so I am going to crank up the Scissor Sisters; how appropriate are the closing lyrics…
I caught a fleeting glimpse
Out of the corner of my eye
I turned to look but it was gone
I cannot put my finger on it now
The child is grown
The dream is gone
I have become comfortably numb
9 thoughts on “Comfortably Numb”
“Desperate times, truly desperate times; and, before anyone says I enjoy writing negative stuff, let me tell you that I do not. I hate being down on my Club”
Exactly the sentiments I expressed in my weekend blog post Rodger, I am so , so desperate to write something positive and heart-warming about the Blues, I really, really am.
In any other sphere of business , this company of ours would be considered toxic by suppliers , consumers , future employees etc and a root and branch restructure demanded by investors. We should accept nothing less just because we cannot simply transfer our loyalty to another brand .
Rodger your comment about your son it reminded me of a conversation I had with mine (aged 9) after the very first game in the European qualifying this season.
It was simply to tell him not to get too excited with our signings and that this team wasn’t one for this season but at least next season if not the season after.
Though I never expected to see what we’ve had served up.
That means I probably went into this season just hoping to get through it and get through the next one so I agree with Sam and didn’t expect anything more from his tenure at the club.
It might be worth pondering whether football is showing a wider malaise or simply replicating the business world.
Knowing fans of Chelsea and Man U and Arsenal are all looking up to the east side of Manchester and realising it’s more than just a great squad, its a plan, its accountability, its long term.
How many stories are were hearing every day and reading of targets missed, rewards for no risk, jobs kept despite incompetence? It feels like more than football right now.
I do expect more from OUR club and I just want this season “over” for us to start planning for the future.
As for my son he isn’t scarred by this season, he was at Chelsea away last year in with the home fans!! He’s just learnt that sometimes you have to watch others to learn how the game should be played so were off to Chelsea Barca in a couple of weeks.
The only addition to this, I hope Dan was watching the Superbowl last night and saw that Stadium.
Now that on the banks of the Royal Blue Mersey will be worth fighting for.
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Wise words, Mark. We just want to leave the Club in the best possible state for our kids 💙💙
My first ever game was the Korea V Portugal world cup game and since then I was hooked on Everton. This current generation of future Everton supporters hopefully will not be poisoned by the toxicity that is creeping, at a gathering pace, through our Club.
Money appears to be the root cause and I hope and expect Moshiri to make the necessary demands from his “team” to address the playing team and start with the manager.
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From the Chairman down the club is run-of-the-mill, commonplace, unoriginal, humdrum, unimaginative, uninspired, flat. I said when Farhad took his largest shareholding Kenwright and Co must be dismissed. Sadly, it’s as you were. I dare say even they were surprised. So Mosh’ must carry the can there.
But he’s been letdown by key personnel and non more so than our DoF Steve Walsh. What is he for Rodger? Who does he ring to say he’s not feeling too well and wont be in the office today? What is going on there? There just seems to be no accountability.
I hope a massive re-organisation is being planned in the near future and a top CEO installed to shake this club to its foundations and drag it into the 21st century. Bramley Moore needs a top official to keep it on track and provide regular updates.
But moreover the club needs a manager with a plan, a plan that all playing staff can understand and execute.
Many thanks Rodger, for the wonderful truths.
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A season written off. Can the club then kindly write off the rest of my payments for my season ticket, seeing as his Mr Allardyce views it as simply playing out the rest of the season? Thought not. True though, a lot of us are now in a state of comfortable numbness although I feel like heading into Interstellar Overdrive. Perhaps we are just sheep counting out time till the end of the season.
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Any notion of a “refund”, Trev, Would apparently make us customers rather than fans. In my view fans should be treated better than customers because of our loyalty. This club just takes the proverbial tho & asks us to renew earlier & earlier 🙄🙄