The Daily Mail report that Everton play Russian champs Zenit St Petersburg at Goodison tonight and in the pre-game preamble manager David Moyes has confessed that Everton are still struggling under the shadow of Heysel, when English clubs were banned from Europe, and Everton were champions.
Moyes said: “It has taken us a long time to get back into Europe, in the 80s Everton were there all the time, but then through no fault of their own they were denied the chance to continue to compete at that level.We are now, after all these years, beginning to get back for this club what the fans have missed all these years.”
And Moyes obviously feels that Everton were put on the back foot by the ban, saying:
“There is a bit of me that wants to tell people in Europe that they should not forget that Everton were champions of England, and but for the Heysel disaster they have been denied a chance to have a long run in Europe.People forget that and don’t understand what happened. Everton were unfortunate but I accept it was a tragedy that made football unimportant…What happened after Heysel changed lots of careers. Players and managers. Since then we have been watching from the outside and the club was denied the chance to grow and benefit from the money in European competition.”
So does Heysel still affect Everton and give them craptastic draws in Europe, you chuffing well bet it does according to Moyes:
“It still affects us now, when there are draws made, we are still suffering because of the lack of regular competition.It happened when we got into the Champions League two years ago, our ranking was so poor that we ended up having to face Villarreal, and losing to a team that eventually reached the semi-finals.Everton have never had the chance to grow in Europe. Has that had a bad effect on us over the years, yes, I would say it has.”
Everton, still under Heysel’s shadow, or flailing for excuses?