Nil Satis Nisi Optimum
By Stephen Jones, Merseyside (@SPJones7) 15/05/2015
It is no surprise that pessimism is currently engulfing everything to do with Everton Football Club. We all know how poor this season has been and it has triggered a number of Everton fans to, justifiably, question the jobs that the players, coaching staff and board members are doing. The summer transfer window is expected to bring about further disappointment too after Martinez stating he isn’t looking for a striker or goalkeeper. However, whilst I share the frustrations of my fellow blues I thought I would write an article with the aim of reviving the positivity and belief that has been at the forefront of the Club for many years. In my opinion, the identity of the Club is becoming clouded and fans are failing to have the same connection with it. It’s about time that every single person associated with the club started to believe in Everton again. Nil Satis Nisi Optimum isn’t a throwaway line. We should wholeheartedly believe in our motto.
During half-time at the Sunderland match, members of the prestigious 84/85 squad were paraded on the hallowed turf at Goodison. This was a poignant moment for myself and the significance of it was two fold. Firstly, it filled me with great passion and the hairs on the back of my neck stood on end as I thought about our Club being at the pinnacle of British football. In the modern day, players are far too easily elevated to legendary status but in Peter Reid, Graeme Sharp, Neville Southall and co, we have genuine Everton legends. Secondly, that moment was a timely and rather alarming reminder that 28 years have now passed since we last won the league. What’s even more alarming is that our fans seem to accept that we don’t have any realistic chance of getting back to the glory days. The idea that the economic powerhouses we compete against are untouchable is not in keeping with what Everton Football Club is about. That isn’t the Everton mentality. We don’t accept mediocrity. It is precisely this that leads me to think that the club has an identity crisis. I’m not saying we should all have blind faith and ignore the fact that we are in a financially inferior position to the top clubs of the Premier League but without the belief that we can succeed, what do we have? I’d like to think that the majority of us go to every match believing that we can win, whoever our opponents are. So, what’s the issue in widening that belief to a season long campaign in which we can consistently succeed? We are Everton FC. We are a big club. Nothing but the best is good enough. If every single one of us, from the manager to the ball boys, the chairman to the fans, employ that mentality properly, we can’t go wrong.
The atmosphere at the Old Lady has been, at times, non-existent this season. In the most recent match at home to Sunderland the loudest chant came from the Lower Gwladys requesting Kone to give them a wave. Seriously? Goodison Park is renowned for creating an intimidating and overpowering atmosphere. Why’s it suddenly disappeared? I fully understand that when our team isn’t performing we are all entitled to voice our concerns or sit in our seats in silence. We all pay good money to go to the games and it is extremely disappointing when we are greeted with lacklustre performances. However, whilst we have a go at the players, spray a volley of abuse towards Martinez or call for Kenwright to do one, don’t we have a duty to get behind our beloved team week in and week out? Just as the players and coaching staff fail when they don’t get the desired results, we fail when we don’t create the infamous atmosphere we’re renowned for, both home and away. For me, it’s important to put whatever issues we have with the Club to one side for those 90 minutes. I think it’s fair to say that when the fans are at their best, the team is at their best too.
I recently read an article talking about Everton Football Club merely existing. The author complained about a plethora of things including the board’s performance from a commercial point of view as well as the unwillingness to sell the club. Valid issues are made and I agree with a lot of what he says. However, we play our own role in whether the Club is merely existing or not. Fans are the heartbeat of every football club and we have the power to bring Everton back to life. Through constant support, getting behind the lads, creating that special atmosphere and sucking the ball into the back of the net again, we can effect our own changes to the Club. I hope that next season we see Goodison Park back to how it used to be. A fortress.
Thanks for reading.