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Saturday, March 3, 2012

QPR Report Q&A: The Everton Perspective of Everton - on and Off The Field - and of QPR


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QPR Report Correspondent, MaudesFishnChips Interview with Simon Paul of Everton Fan Site NSNO. Many thanks to Simon for providing the interview. And to MaudesFishnchip for conducting the interview

How long have you supported Everton?

There's a saying that Evertonians are born, so by that logic, 35 years now. God I'm old.

How did you get to your site? Has it evolved how you would of expected?

The site started on the same day Wayne Rooney broke his toe in the 2004 European Championships as just something I wanted to do as a hobby. We now serve around 6 million pages a month and have a lot of great people involved in the site. Through the site we've all got to meet some Everton legends, with my dad's hero from the 70's staying at my house a few times. Sometimes I have to pinch myself to make sure it's all real!

Who are Everton's biggest Rival (or Rivals) and why? (thought i'd ask!!)

Liverpool. They try and pretend that playing Man Utd is more important than the Merseyside derby, and maybe for 90% of their fans, who don't come from Merseyside, it might be, but for us true scousers it is always the first game we look for when the fixtures are released.

Are you happy with your team and how things are to date? � What are your opinions on your manager ? His spending/selling so far?

If we could have kept Mikel Arteta last summer, then the team would be markedly better, but Darron Gibson is proving as surprising as Phil Neville did as a new signing. We could do with a bit more pace around the place, and we've yet to see what Jelavic can do. We need to stop this habit of starting seasons so badly - our defeat to your (now) reserve team at Goodison was a perfect example of how badly we start the season.

I'd like to see David Moyes work with a bigger budget, both to improve the team and also to see if he can actually work with money. Considering his budget, Moyes has done very well, but he needs to prove he can take us to the next level.

What do you think of your current Owner? WHY is he involved? What do you expect from him?

Bill Kenwright is a pauper in terms of the Premier League. He is a massive Evertonian, but that is his only qualification. Football is a billionaires business now, and we need a billionaire - or a large group of millionaires - in order to give the manager the funds he needs to push us forward. We operate at a loss of �5m a season, which cripples us. All I expect from Bill is to sell to someone with more money.

How do you think Everton treats its fans? Appreciates them? Listens to them? Screws them?

I think there are good and bad involved in the club. I think the majority inside the club are finally realising that the club NEEDS their fans, but that the walls are well and truly up thanks to the current gaggle of protest groups. The club felt betrayed by The Blue Union for secretly recording an interview with the chairman, and it has predictably become more difficult to speak to anyone in power at Everton as a result.

Saying that, the "Fans Forum" which was criticised for having a hand picked membership and refusing to release minutes of their meetings has become more open, and NSNO has access to someone on the forum so that our members can put their questions to the club via this. We also have a better relationship with staff at the club, who recently made dreams come true for one of our members' daughters by introducing her to Tim Cahill on matchday.

Who are you Dangermen/Most valued/most overrated/most underrated players?

Leighton Baines is our most valued possession. His passing and runs down the left with Steven Pienaar are our most effective weapon at the moment. Denis Stracqualursi is getting a lot of hype just now as he's scored a few important goals and runs his balls off every game. It's hard to see past the guile though, and his skill on the ball leaves a little to the imagination! Tony Hibbert and Leon Osman are both scousers and often underrated by fans, but both play their hearts out, and Leon Osman has no little skill and a ferocious shot when he lets fly.

Are you happy with your youth set up? Is your club doing enough to bring young/local talent through the ranks?

Our academy is fantastic. The buildings now match the systems put in place 20 years ago and there seems to be an endless stream of talent coming through. Jack Rodwell needs to get fit and could then deserve a full England call up again. Ross Barkley is an exciting prospect but again needs to stay fit. There are lads further down the line as well, Conor McAleny, Jake Bidwell, and Luke Garbutt could all make it at Everton.

Who would you say was the greatest Everton player that you yourself personally saw? And past player? (You can name more than one if it's that close!)

The greatest player I ever saw was Neville Southall. A truly world class goalkeeper for more than a decade. As far as outfield players go I'd have to say Trevor Steven was my favourite. He scored one of the first goals I saw that made me think "Wow!" because of the skill. He'd received a 50 yard pass across the pitch on the opposite touchline, and with one touch he had brought it under control and set off running at defenders. He beat 3 before smashing the ball home from the corner of the 18 yard box into the far top corner of the goal.

He'll probably shout at me if I don't say him, so Bob Latchford. He was my dad's hero and I grew up on stories of how great he was as a player - your fans might remember him scoring four past you in the 70's! - and now, because of the site, I can consider him a friend.

What is your prediction for the toffee's this season?

FA Cup semi final and 8th place finish

Who do you predict to be in the bottom three at the end of this season

Wigan, Wolves, and Blackburn

Are you aware of any past player or manager links between our two clubs ?

Well Mark Hughes picked up some wages from us at the end of his career!

Dave Thomas was inspirational at Everton with his crosses from the left, and his socks rolled down.

Kevin McLeod was on loan with you for 6 weeks as well!

What is your view and the general Everton view of QPR?

I hated you when Les Ferdinand played for you! I think the general view is that you are a club who have worked hard to regain your top flight status. When I was growing up you were always in the top flight, and it's been a long time coming for you to get back here. I think most of us want you to stay up, and Loftus Road is a proper football stadium which everyone enjoys visiting.

Who(if any) is your most memorable/favourite QPR Player ? past or present

For me, Ray Wilkins and Gerry Francis stand out, but I also like Joey Barton - on the pitch, off it he is the personification of everything that is wrong with modern-day footballers

Any memorable matches between our two clubs that stand out for you? And the reasons why?

Not for me personally, but my dad always told me about the game Latch scored 4 in!

Your score prediction for QPR vEverton?

1-0 to Everton I think, either a very late or very early goal in a tight game

What, realistically, do you think Everton are capable of achieving in the next five years?

We should be looking to win either the League Cup or the FA Cup, but also qualifying for the Europa League every year. If we got solid investment then I would hope Champions League qualification could be within reach.

Again many thanks to Simon Paul of Everton Fan Site NSNO. Many thanks to Simon. And to MaudesFishnchips for conducting the interview

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