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FF chat to EvertoniansClub.com

Football Friends chat to EvertoniansClub.com about their website and of course Football.

What made you start your website?

A combination of things really. Social media at the time included a lot of very noisy groups of Everton fans with various strong opinions about how the club should be run prior to Moshiri arriving. I wanted to express my opinions about the club and were we were and pass the views to people so they could read my thoughts in more than 140-letter soundbites. As time's gone on it has become a hobby and, I guess, a way to throw my ongoing frustrations at the time onto a page. God knows what I'll do with it if we ever become successful!

How long have you been blogging on your website now?

I actually started it the year after Martinez arrived (two years ago). We'd done well in his first season but I was still suspicious of the way things were going. Unfortunately it turned out that his first season was as good as it got. Good luck Belgium!

What are your favourite football topics to blog about?

I guess the articles that flow the easiest aren't previews or match reviews, but opinion pieces. I can very quickly throw out 1,000 words without realising it when debating the merits of the way we play, or players causing us problems internally. I steer clear of the big political discussions about club ownership for example as other people blog about that with a hell of a lot more time to research the debates on offer. Plus we have no idea what is actually going on at a Boardroom level!

How long have you supported Everton and when was your first game at Goodison Park?

I've been a fan now since 1983 - and I was almost a fan of the 'other lot' by accident! We lived in Yorkshire at the time and my Dad decided to take the family to Liverpool for the weekend and wanted to get tickets to a game. We were at home so we went to a home game against Forest which ended in a 1-0 win. Adrian Heath got the winner and I decided they were the team for me. Looking back at the attendance there were only 23,000 fans there which proves how far we've come I guess. As the team kept winning during the 80s I was convinced that this would be how it would be for the rest of my Everton-supporting days. Turned out to be slightly different as you can imagine...

Your favourite Everton player of all time and why?

Hmm. Tricky. I was always a Lineker fan, although he wasn't with us for more than a season. Sheedy and Kanchelskis were also great favourites of mine in terms of attacking, exciting football. Randomly one player who I always thought gave 100% and scored some very important goals was Graham 'Diamond' Stuart. These days? Now that's a hard one. Leighton Baines has been great for years but is declining in quality unfortunately. Barkley has no footballing brain. Jagielka is a decent leader but not a great defender unfortunately. Nope, I'm awaiting my next favourite Everton player unfortunately. Any ideas?

Your greatest day as an Everton fan?

Has to be the FA Cup win in 1995. That might sound small-time compared to other fans, and be strange when I was around in the 80s, but I was in my late teens and old enough to really enjoy the day. The fact that we were such big underdogs made it even sweeter. Oh, and I had Rideout/1-0 in a double at 45-1 from Ladbrokes. Qualifying for the Champions League was great and unexpected but we knew we still had a qualifier to get cheated out of (not bitter).

Your worst day as an Everton fan?

Where do I start (and ignoring the local devastation of Hillsborough and us getting banned due to Heysel); I must admit to being pretty heartbroken following us being dumped out of the Champions League qualifiers to Villareal, but I think the FA Cup Final defeat by Chelsea took some beating. We had the best squad we'd had in years but as soon as Chelsea took the lead we knew we'd lost. It was just depressing to see, and the club took a real dive in terms of confidence. The next few years saw Moyes simply being negative and sulking, and we knew we'd missed a great opportunity to win something. Oh, and that semi-final defeat in the FA Cup to the worst Liverpool side in history a few years ago? AAAARGGGHHH!!!

Your thoughts and predictions for Everton ahead of the new season with Ronald Koeman now in charge?

I think if we'd just brought in Koeman without funds I'd be a little concerned. I think he's a good manager who will be able to motivate the players, but he'll need time. A lot of the players in our squad have been 'spoilt' by the Martinez era and need moving on and that will take time. The money angle means that he and Steve Walsh will be able to build a squad for the coming years and I hope the Everton fans realise this. I think finishing higher than last season (so, top 10) and a cup run would be okay. I expect more next season, although now every club is pretty rich we might have to be smarter with our cash.

Best football ground you've been to?

Apart from Goodison (obviously) I'd probably say somewhere like Fulham or Upton Park. These shiny new stadiums are very nice (and we need one ourselves to compete financially) but the older, more charming stadiums are much more fun. Lower-league grounds are always worth visiting so you can enjoy 'proper' football environments as opposed to corporate events.

The new Premier League season is nearly here, who do you think will win it?

Assuming that we might have to wait until next season for our title challenge... You know what, after last season I don't think I understand football at all. Leicester City winning it was a massive shock to us all so it will probably be the most organised team that will win it. Man Utd, City, Chelsea are still going through massive change, and these expensive superstars that are being bought are still to be proven in our league. Spurs could do well, as could Arsenal. Let's be honest though. Anyone but Liverpool.

Thank you again to Peter at EvertoniansClub.com

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