My Big club – Tue 6th Feb 07

Oh just get over it already! I can’t believe the aggravation Rafa Benitez’s comments have kicked up amongst Everton fans. They are really embarrassing themselves I think. It’s like when you rant about a perceived criticism and then find out the person meant no offence…”oh, right…well, what I said still stands!! If you, urm, were to ever mean that…”

Rafa Benitez didn’t necessarily mean that Everton were a small club. He said that when smaller (note the ER on the end) clubs come to Anfield they come for a draw and defend with 10 men. Everton came to Anfield. Played for a draw, and defended with 10 men. Therefore, Everton played like a small club. Fact. Whether they are or not is a matter of opinion. But Rafa didn’t insult Everton or mean any offence in my opinion.

Of course, this has had the bluenoses in such a state you begin to wonder, who are they really trying to convince??

I’ve seen a retort by a bluenose to Mr. Benitez citing all the reasons why he’s wrong (assuming he meant what is being claimed which I don’t think he did). I’m not going to debunk all those reasons and I don’t mean any offence to Evertonians but I’ll look at a few. If I sound sarcastic, just take it as me being me…

“If one judges the “size” of a thing solely on monetary terms, then perhaps Everton FC are “smaller” than Liverpool FC. However, in terms of the rankings of the Deloitte Football Money League, Everton were still ranked as the 18th “largest” club in the entire world. Following Mr Benitez’s own line of logic therefore, Liverpool are a “smaller” club than both Chelsea and Manchester United and “worth” only £6.7m more than Arsenal. Would he agree?”

18th? Wow. It’s like saying Greece is in the top 10 most powerful countries in the world…yeah, but there’s a RREEAAALLLLY big drop off after America, Britain, Russia, France etc…

>”If one is to use league performance as a measure of what is “small” and “large”, then it may distress Mr Benitez to note that as of the end of the 2005 / 2006, Everton have accumulated more top-flight points in our history than any other club in the country. (I would refer him to the excellent table at: http://www.rsssf.com/tablese/engalltime.html for further clarification.) In addition, we have also contested more seasons in the top flight of English football than any other; not bad for a “small club”.

…And the Russians had more manpower in the Second World War than anyone else (probably put together!). What good did it do them? It’s like going unbeaten all season just to get relegated with 38 points from 38 draws. What have Everton’s successive top flight seasons won them?

>”No doubt at this point in the dialogue, Mr Benitez may be tempted to accuse me of “living in the past” – a charge commonly levelled at Evertonians by people aligning themselves to Liverpool FC. To this I would ask him if he would prefer to look at the honours statistics from the start of the Premier League onwards and no others? (This is commonly acknowledged after all as the start of “the modern era of the game”.) He could then compare his club’s haul of honours since the 1992/93 season to every other club’s – and we could see who is “larger” than whom using THAT scale. It would make amusing reading to Manchester United fans, I am sure.”

Yeah I’m sure it would, but what is the point? Are we talking about Man Utd, Liverpool, or Everton? Let’s say you’re right and Man Utd are bigger than Liverpool, where does that put Everton? Will we need a microscope for that far down the chain?!

If you measured it in terms of fanbase and money, Man Utd are bigger than Liverpool. Just like Asia is bigger than Africa. Where does Iceland rank then??

>”If he knew anything of this fine city, he would know the following. I measure the “size” of my club with my heart. I measure the “size” of my club in the pride and joy it brings me when it plays well. I measure the “size” of my club in the love that I feel for it when we win, the gloom it brings me when we lose and the ever-present sense that there is NOTHING I would rather be than an Evertonian.”

…So…there are no big clubs or small clubs. EVERY club is big to its fans. Great.

Hang on a sec, what word do we use then when we ACTUALLY WANT to refer to a club’s fanbase, ambitions, history, success, and culture? That’s right, we’d probably use the word “big”, but then some people would get offended…

All of this is irrelevant really as I don’t think Rafael Benitez meant it the way Evertonians are taking it. There’s an old saying which I alluded to above: When you really try hard to convince other people, it usually just means that you’re trying to convince yourself…

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