Anyone who has read anything that I have ever written knows that I am an optimist. I find joy in looking towards a bright future, as opposed to fearing a possible coming storm.
I can appreciate players positive views on their own squad, as I tend to look at any situation through the rosiest glasses possible, and take the results and outcomes as they happen and adjust accordingly.
I am not, however, unrealistic.
Romelu Lukaku may have agreed to a new contract this week, but I still moved my Rom-O-Meter towards him leaving in the summer because I am not an idiot and I know that appearances matter little, and actions count for everything.
So when Tom Cleverley came out and gave an interview to The Hornet, Watford’s site, I saw his comments comparing his current and former clubs and initially skimmed over them as run-of-the-mill quotes from a guy known for being a consummate professional.
And when I saw some Toffees fans scoff at his quotes, I assumed they were just wielding the same sword of optimism about our club as he was for his new (and old) squad, but took a second look at what Tom had to say on the topic.
So after looking over them again and seeing why some Everton fans had ruffled feathers, I couldn’t help but respond in the only way I know how.
So I created a scale to gauge when Mr. Cleverley is lying and when he is isn’t
Some of his statements are just absurd, in fact catching him lying is so easy it’s a SLAM DUNC!
So the more untruthful the quote, the more DUNCS it gets. I also figured Big Dunc just seems like a guy who doesn’t lie and doesn’t like being lied to.
Finally, if you did lie to him I bet he wouldn’t take it well.
So, here is a rundown of the scale!
0/5 DUNCS = A truer word has never been spoken
1/5 DUNCS = Statement is generally true, though rationale may be a stretch
2/5 DUNCS = Statement is most valid, though some elements have been exaggerated while others are omitted.
3/5 DUNCS = Now a ‘white lie’, the ideas are absurd, merely the justification for them.
4/5 DUNCS = Statement is a lie, though SMALL elements of truth are sprinkled in
5/5 DUNCS = Liar liar, pants on fire.
"You never want to get ahead of yourself, but I think the target should be matching what a club like Everton does."
Ok, this one isn’t so bad. Assuming Watford now view themselves as perennial Premier League participants, the logical next step would to grow into a solid mid-level club like Everton, West Brom, or Stoke City.
They certainly want to climb the table, so I can appreciate what Cleverley is saying.
Nothing to see here.
"We've shown we can put in performances like the first-half against Arsenal and the first-half against Burnley, it's just about doing it consistently now.”
Tom is starting to sweat a little bit here.
When you start naming 45 minute spurts of play, and not full results, as evidence that you are ready to make a move up the table you know you are reaching.
ESPECIALLY when you name the first half against BURNLEY!!
I hope you can perform against them, they just got promoted. If you can’t count on playing well against them who can you count on playing well against??
As for consistency, it’s as if Mr. Cleverley was just introduced to the idea that just because you are talented doesn’t make you successful. Plenty of people know how to score goals, the difference is how consistently they can do that.
Arouna Kone can score, it’s just every 12 months...aka inconsistently....
Point is, he basically just gave the ol’ John Madden......
“Here’s a team that when they play well...they win!”
SO insightful Tom.
"I wouldn't say there's much difference between seventh and 14th or 15th. It's just about doing it consistently and picking up results.”
First, there’s that c-word again, consistency.
That word has become the nice way of saying your team isn’t good very often.
Speaking of not being good very often, Mr. Cleverley also believes that there isn’t much difference between 7th and 14th/15th place. Let’s see how his claim measures up to the stats:
So Everton have accumulated 44 points, won 12 matches, carry a +12 goal differential, and sit 8 points outside of the CHAMPIONS LEAGUE positions.
Bournemouth and Watford have won 7 games each, respectively, accumulated 27 points, and have a rousing -15 goal differential, and sit 5 points outside of the RELEGATION ZONE!
Wow Tom, you are right. Now that I look at it, we are basically having the same season as Leicester City, that’s why they fired their league-winning manager mid-campaign.
You are right though, that 29 GOAL separation in differential IS based on consistency.
Everton have been consistently good, Bournemouth and Leicester have been consistently terrible.
As for the last part of Mr. Cleverley’s quote -
“It’s about......picking up results”
As an Everton fan I have to chuckle because when I saw that he said this I had to assume that this idea is in contrast to Roberto Martinez’s belief that fans should be happy as long as you play well, even if you lose.
For everyone else though, we have long been aware that there are no moral points to pick up in the Premier League.
You’ve really dug deep here Tom.
"Most of the players here are technically very good and it's exciting for me to come down and be part of that."
Well Mr. Cleverley, I would hope you would find your Premier League teammates to be ‘technically very good’, and the admission that some teammates don’t even meet THAT very low bar is a damning one.
It also raises the question as to why he would be excited about it??
The only reason I can imagine he would enjoy the apparent lack of technicality compared to Everton is that the Goodison Park pond was a bit too big for him and being the big fish at Watford fits him better.
To think that Watford is a more (or even equally) technically sound as Everton is laughable. Every member of the Everton squad is on the field based PRIMARILY on their ability to play build up soccer.
The fact that Lukaku is built like a house and Ashley Williams runs through walls like the Kool-Aid man are just added bonuses!
Jose Holebas seems like a nice guy and a quality player, but try and I compare him to Leighton Baines and you will get yourself laughed out of the room.
Koeman has spent the last 6 months ridding himself of players who don’t have the skills (Niasse) or the physical abilities to produce (Gibson).
The reason these players were shipped out was quite obvious to everyone, even if they didn’t agree with the Dutch managers mindset.
There was one last group of players to get shipped out though, a group that fans everywhere debate about, and it’s the group people like Deulofeu and Cleverley belong to.......
...you know.....those players who just aren’t consistent enough.
So maybe Watford IS just the perfect place for him.