Here We Go Again

For the 66th year, I tipped up at Goodison Park on Saturday.  These days, it’s hard to remember many matches…..even from last season.  I suppose these days I’m attracted by other factors:

  • the anticipation en route
  • a few beers before the game
  • meeting friends and family, often by accident – excuse for another beer….
  • chatting with random strangers about the starting line-up
  • summoning up the strength to get up the stairs to my seat………

I don’t know if it was just me [it probably was] but the longer the game went on, the more it resembled a match against that dreadful Wimbledon team of the 1980s – Watford were for the most part just lumping the ball into the Everton half for Troy Deeney to jump for.  Ironic – I think he only won about three headers in the whole game, such was the dominance of Michael Keane and Yerry Mina. Yep, Yerry Mina.  I know, but he was like a colossus out there, winning just about every aerial duel and looking every part the complete centre back. He now has two clean sheets to his name this season, unlike the World’s greatest-ever centre back in the history of Western Civilisation across the park, who has none.

So far.

After the balloon-head red card at Palace, Snagglepuss was suspended, giving the manager the opportunity to start with Gbamin.  I am assured that it is pronounced BAM-ANN [by some fella in the pub] so that’ll do for me.  Question: why give him a G when there was never any intention to use it? Isn’t this cruelty to capital letters?

Anyway, he showed glimpses of being a decent player, and some glimpses of being otherwise.  Although he struggled occasionally with the pace of the game and some pretty agricultural tackling by Wimbledon Watford, Silva was right to leave him on, for development purposes.

So – is he another Vieira, or another Nyarko? Jury’s out.

Pickford did what was needed when it was needed, including getting his dial in the way of a goal bound Deeney effort – that’s two games and no daft decisions, he’s coming along nicely.

Coleman was ok, but overshadowed by the other three at the back, with Lucas Digne excelling, especially when setting up the goal with a raking 60 yard pass.  By the way, it’s pronounce LOOKA-DEEN [same fella, same pub].

For me, Gomes and Gylfy were fine and functional without being outstanding – at times it was hard work covering the new guy.  Bernard was busy and classy, and the goal was a fine effort. DCL worked his socks off and had little service of any note.  By the way, you – yes, YOU – sitting along from me in the Park End: stop screaming at the lad at every opportunity! I’ll bet you were just the same with Graeme Sharp when he first appeared in the first team.  Leave him, he will be fine.

Richarlison missed two glorious chances to sew the game up, and had a gob on him like a robber’s dog when he was subbed.  Two out of ten this week, fella, and sort your attitude. Kean came on and did a couple of tasty moves followed by a couple of rubbish shots wide of the target.  He might be anything, this lad – fingers crossed.

Fact is, this was a game we only drew last season [and only JUST drew!] – so a narrow win is a good result.

When I arrived home, I realised I’d left my flag.

Devo’d.

Rules for Marrying a Bluenose

Rules for marrying an Evertonian

 

1 Remember, you partner loves you, but when Everton are playing, you’re nobody.

 

2 The following names are acceptable for a child:

 

Boy:

Howard

Andy

Kevin

Sheeds

Mounty

Duncan

Graeme

Dixie

Bally

Waggy

Royston

Alex

Seamus

 

Girl:

Alexandra

Gwladys

 

3 Expect your wedding to occur just before a home game, in St Luke’s Church on Goodison Road. Your partner’s family and friends will, after the nuptuals are complete, leave you and your mother alone while all thirty seven of them pop next door to watch the Blues. You will eventually receive a telephone call from the Winslow about ten thirty that night, asking if you want to come over for a bevvy. You worry about who will lock up the church, but when you arrive at the Winslow you find that the vicar has been there for five hours, and is leading the singing of ‘hang the kopites one by one”.

 

4 Your home will be painted blue and white.

 

5 You must learn to hate beyond all reason David Elleray, Clive Thomas and Perluigi Collina, for as long as you both shall live. No need to ask why, just do it.

 

6 You must NEVER say, “Never mind, dear, it’s only a game” after an Everton defeat, unless you are well acquainted with a highly qualified divorce lawyer and have private medical insurance.

 

7 On social occasions frequented by Liverpool fans, learn your partner’s strategy of patronising them and expressing sadness at how far they have fallen behind the Mancs. This will earn you extra bonus points and your choice of bedtime games that night.

 

8 A picture of the latest first team squad must be placed over the bed in the master bedroom. A picture of the 1984/5 squad should be on display in the hall [or lobby if you live in Crosby]. A picture of Alex Young may be placed in a prominent position which facilitates worship without inconvenience.

 

9 In the bathroom, you should keep a supply of Tommy Smith toilet paper.

 

10 Express your surprise that just by coincidence, your summer holidays always appear to allow access to Everton’s pre-season tour. Do not complain about the lack of sunbathing facilities in Preston or Bury.

 

11 The Club replica shirt collection must be treated with extreme care. Each item must be hand washed, and loving ironed and stored until required.

 

12 Remember, on match days your partner will be absent from the family home from just before mid-day on match day until arriving home between five thirty in the afternoon and two in the morning.

On the following Tuesday.

It is pointless asking where they have been. They have no idea whatsoever.

 

Finally, remember to enjoy the experience. Your partner may be difficult, elusive, a spendthrift and a waster, but if they love you half as much as they love Everton, you will be treasured indeed.