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  1. 35 points
    Its not that good a story but I'll tell it anyway. In the mid to late 80's as a young lad I would spend my bus money on booze and hitch hike home from Malvern, where I grew up and where my mates were, to Worcester where we had moved to. The one night I got picked up by this bloke and young teenage girl who were in an old battered van with a continuous bench front seat. I was sat next to the girl who, when we had been travelling about 5 minutes, I noticed her being nudged by the bloke driving and she then proceeded to put her hand on my crotch. I was a tad uncomfortable with this but obviously as a young lad, had no control over stirrings. Anyway we came to a halt at Lower Wick roundabout (for those that know the area) and I grabbed the door handle, jumped out and legged it. When it all came out about the Wests it was revealed he used to come up to Malvern and Worcester with Rose, looking for victims. I knew the bloke was Fred but the girl certainly wasnt Rose. Anyway, when I then read the book it told of how Fred used to also take his daughter out with him to look for young lads who he would then encourage to shag her in the back of his van whilst he would watch and wank off. I can picture him to this day and am 100% sure it was Fred and his daughter.
  2. 27 points
    Hi All, I’ve spoken to one of Amy’s best mates and there isn’t a date confirmed for the funeral yet but she’ll let me know. We’ve spoken about some flowers and a donation to their chosen charity. More to follow on this when their plans allow. In the meantime I’ve sent her mum a card and a note with love and sympathies from us all. I’ll update when I know about the funeral plans and I’ll put together a collection, so that anyone who wishes to contribute can do so.
  3. 26 points
    Report by Dave Usher All it took was one weekend to show just how fucking empty and shit last season was. Right across the board, the games were just better and more intense and the players looked so much more into it and excited. This one game alone was more enjoyable than anything that happened last season. Even the good things last season were shit because fans weren’t there. Alisson’s goal was amazing, a moment we’ll remember for the rest of our lives. Imagine it in a full stadium though. Totally different level. Look at the goal celebrations from the lads in this one too. Last season no-one really wanted to celebrate anything (Alisson’s goal apart, obviously) because there was no atmosphere, no electricity, everything was just sanitised and watered down without crowds. So this was great, I loved it. Seeing the joy on the faces of our goalscorers (and those celebrating with them) was just heart warming and made me feel all fuzzy inside. It’s been a while since we had this and I don’t think anybody will ever take it for granted again. The players have missed the fans as much as we’ve missed being there. I don’t just mean out players either, right across the whole of football everyone was buzzing this weekend. Except Arsenal fans, obviously. It’s not just that there are fans in the stadium though, it’s that there are away fans too. This was as close to normal as we can hope for really. It was just fucking amazing to have proper footy back and the players looked just as excited about it as we are. Having full stadiums again is probably worth 20 points to us right off the bat. I’m serious. We didn’t start this game particularly well but I barely even noticed as I was just enjoying the novelty of it so much. It feels like forever since we’ve seen games in full stadiums with two sets of fans and I was just completely engaged in it in a way I never was last season. The first team selection of the season was a little bit surprising though. Most of it was as expected but I didn’t see Fabinho missing out or Ox starting. That said, I wasn’t concerned by the line up as I thought it would be more than good enough to win the game, but whenever Fab isn’t there you know we’re going to be weaker than when he’s playing because he’s a fucking monster. Have we ever not bossed a midfield when he’s been out there? Genuine question. Milner in the six role doesn’t especially inspire confidence though. He’ll do a job there because he’s James fucking Milner and he can play anywhere, but against better opposition that midfield trio would have struggled. Whenever Keita plays we usually look more open anyway, but pair him up with Ox and that’s a concern when he we don’t have the ball, and that concern is greater when it’s Milner being asked to pick up the slack. Him getting an early yellow card was the most obvious thing we’ll see all season. On paper that midfield should be class when we did have the ball, but it didn’t work out like that. I mean, it was ok, I don’t think we struggled in any way and I always felt we were in control, but it could have been better and it was when Fabinho eventually came on. I had high hopes for Ox in this game but he was really quiet and just couldn’t really get into it. Keita was very efficient though. Neat and tidy, did nothing wrong, just a solid performance from him. The opening goal was a bit scrappy but we’ll take it. It started with Norwich appealing for a foul when Pukki went down in the vicinity of Van Dijk. The linesman wasn’t interested and neither was VAR. Quite right, there was fuck all in that and it looked like Pukki tripped over his own feet as much as anything else. Milner switched the play to Trent who picked out Mo in the box. His touch was wayward but Jota was onto it in a flash and toe poked it goal wards. Krul should have saved it but didn’t. Mo got an assist for that, which is a joke really. Worst assist since a goal kick hit Aquilani on the arse and Stevie lashed it in from 30 yards at Burnley. I know this isn’t the case but it sure as hell feels as though Jota scores every time he plays. Other than the hat-trick away in Italy, it’s never more than one, but he just chips in with a goal seemingly every time he’s out there. And he can do it from any spot in the front three too, which is a great bonus for us as it gives Klopp all kinds of options for rotation. Jota can play any of those three spots and that gives us a lot of flexibility. He’s maybe not as silky as the other three but he’s ‘johnny on the spot’ and I fucking love him. The goal had been coming as we had sustained pressure in their half and were forcing a lot of corners, all of which looked like they would end up with us having a shot at goal. We weren’t winning the initial header but Van Dijk and Matip were causing panic and the second ball seemed to fall to us every time. We had a penalty appeal ignored when Mo tangled with Cantwell. Last season that was a penalty. Not to us, obviously, but at the other end that was 100% being given. We saw it when Welbeck won that late pen against Robbo in fact. This wasn’t a pen and I’m not complaining it wasn’t given. I’m only mentioning it because there seems to have been a shift in how games are going to be refereed. This first weekend has been the best display of leaguewide refereeing we’ve seen in years. Hardly any VAR sticking its fucking nose in either, which is always a good thing. Norwich had a soft penalty appeal dismissed too, which again, last season it may not have been. No fans and constant VAR bollocks made last season the least enjoyable ever but hopefully we can get past that now. Fans are back and if VAR winds its neck in maybe this year will be fun again. It’s only one game though so I’m not taking anything for granted with regards to refs and VAR. Encouraging start though. Very encouraging actually. Keep it going and I may need to rethink my stance of us having the worst refs in any of the big European leagues. Anyway, having gone ahead the only question I had now was how many we’d score. I didn’t see any way we would let them back into it, especially after Fabinho came on to tighten our grip on the game. He was joined in a double substitution by Firmino, as they replaced Ox and Jota. Might be a while before Ox gets another start now that Hendo and Thiago are almost ready. This was a big chance for him but he didn’t take it. It won’t matter too much too Klopp as he will take training performances into account too, but in the eyes of a lot of fans this won’t have done Ox any favours. Being outplayed by Keita isn’t a good look when you’re trying to force your way into a midfield than already has three of the best in the world. In Ox’s favour he does do things none of the others can, he just needs to start producing it. As for Jota, he did what he was in the team to do and in addition to his goal he also had a long run that took him past two defenders before that little turd Cantwell scythed him down on the edge of the box. Don’t blame the lad for the foul, I’d expect any of our players to do the same, but I just don’t like him from when Norwich were last up. I can’t even remember why exactly, but the look of him alone is enough to make me think he’s probably a knob. He looks like he could be the leader of the ‘Young Conservatives’. Mind you, I used to think that about my boy Patrick Bamford and I couldn’t have been more wrong there as he’s a top lad. Usually I’m spot on with these things though so until he proves otherwise I’ll assume Cantwell is more than likely a posh little wanker. Jota was shaping up for what might have already ended the ‘goal of the season’ contest so it was frustrating to see him chopped down in his prime. Jota’s performance was fine yet I agreed with the substitution as it made sense to freshen things up, and Bobby had looked sharp against Osasuna so it was important to get him involved. He could be so important for us this season. We can still win the league if he’s not at his best (I didn’t think he had a great season when we did win it) but if he bounces back and chips in with 20 while still doing what he does, that really could be the difference for us, especially if Sadio is back to his old self too. It’s way too soon to be making any assessments of those two but Sadio had looked really sharp in pre-season and he looks like he’s got the eye of the tiger again. As for Bobby, he got a couple of goals last week and has now scored again, so that bodes well, especially with Jota being so prolific and Mo just being a relentlessly constant pain in the arse to everyone he plays against. He just never stops running in behind. Every time we get the ball he’s sprinting in behind looking for a through ball and it must be draining as fuck for defenders to have to continually try to deal with that. What makes it harder is that he never gets tired and can run just as fast and just as powerfully in stoppage time as he can in the first minute. He just wears the opponent down. And now he’s playing in his strike partners too? When he squared that ball to tee up bobby for a tap in my first thought was this scene in Happy Gilmore….. Mo learned how to pass. Uh-oh! Seriously, I know he’s done that before but in this game he was looking to do it quite a bit. Him and Sadio passed to each other more in this game than they did in the first six months of last season (although it got much better over the run in). The assist for Bobby was great because we’ve seen plenty of occasions when he’d have taken that on himself, even on his weak foot. The pass was perfectly executed and Bobby was off the mark for the season. Great stuff. It also meant the game was won. Norwich might have been able to somehow score one but they were never getting two. And then soon after they needed three. Mo’s goal was a beauty and it had been coming. He was just so dangerous all day, but that’s not just what I mean. I also felt that the type of goal he scored had been coming. In the first half there were two or three occasions when our corners fell to him or another one of our lads on the edge of the box because Norwich just weren’t defending that area. Mo had a shot blocked from a similar area in the first half but this time there was no stopping it. The first touch was exquisite, the second was deadly. Fucking brilliant goal and well deserved as he was the best player on the pitch. Norwich did threaten a consolation but were thwarted by Alisson, who made a fantastic save and then bounced back up immediately to twice clear follow up attempts. Outstanding. As was Matip, who nobody ever talks about even though he is the only centre back in the league even vaguely close to Van Dijk levels. You aren’t ever going to convince me that Joel Matip isn’t fucking amazing. Literally his only weakness is his lack of durability, because when he plays he’s better than anyone in the Premier League not named Virgil. As for the man himself, cruise control. Barely broke sweat, but him just being out makes everyone else feel ten feet tall. The front three are giving me different vibes than I’ve had from them in a good while. It’s only one game but it felt like they were having fun playing together. There have been times when they’ve looked like they were playing, I don’t want to say for themselves, as these lads aren’t like that, but they weren’t playing for each other. By that I mostly mean Mo and Sadio, because Bobby’s troubles were nothing to do with that. If anything he’s been far too unselfish. The best moment of this whole game for me was Mo spurning a great chance late on because the only thing in his head when he went through on goal was whether he could square it to Mané. He tried but it was cut out. I fucking loved that though and I’m sure Klopp did too. They were looking for each other all game and it just felt like 2018 again to me. Hopefully that continues. Just look how happy Mo was when he set up Bobby. His little beaming face. I’m sensing something already here. For all the absolute shite being spoken by pundits about how its between City and Chelsea, we’ve got the best team in this league and it’s not even really close. Squad depth levels the playing field somewhat but we’ve got the best first eleven and that’s a hill I’ll die on. People are putting far too much stock in what happened last season and as a result they’re vastly over-rating City and under-rating us because of it. Last season means fuck all because they were basically playing a different sport. It has as much relevance to this year as it would it it had been eight a side or if they’d been playing on a beach. Football in empty stadiums is so far removed from normal footy and this weekend showed that. I reckon the players sense that too. They know how much having no fans hurt them last year and you can see how excited they are now. There’s a spring in their step and having Virgil back will make everyone even more confident. This is basically the same group that ran away with the league a couple of years ago. Ok, Gini’s no longer here but Thiago and Jota are, and Konate as well now. I look at it this way. When we send a team out there that has Alisson, Virg, Joel, Hendo and Fabinho right up the spine (you can add Thiago to that too), that team is not going to lose more than a couple of games. And when the front lads are firing as we know they can, we aren’t losing any. Don’t misunderstand me there, I’m not saying we’ll go unbeaten because I don’t expect the front lads to be firing every single game. But if we get Sadio and Bobby back to the level we expect, combined with Mo and Diogo doing what they do, who’s finishing above us? No-one, especially with the quality we have in the rest of the side. We’ll win this league if we don’t have major injury problems. I don’t have any doubts about that because the last time football was normal we were light years ahead of everybody. One freak season in empty stadiums and no centre halves isn’t going to change that. Losing Robbo was a blow but hopefully he’s back soon. Kostas did well but he’s definitely better going forward than he is defending, and from about 70 minutes he was blowing out of his arse. Klopp said “someone pulled the plug on him” which was a great line and totally accurate. He looked shattered and started making mistakes. The other lads were on his case because it just seemed like his concentration went when he got tired. I’m not worried about that though, this is new to him and playing full back in this team is demanding as fuck. I thought he looked a little uncomfortable defensively on occasion and that’s something to keep an eye on over the next few weeks until Robbo is back. He’ll have sterner tests than this (Chelsea especially), but I thought this was a good start for him. Star man is Mo. Easy one that. For a while Trent was possibly running him close but by the end it was clear. Top class from him. I have to end on a bit of a sour note though. The “Chelsea Rent Boy” chant directed at Billy Gilmour. *sigh* Firstly, it’s 2021 and that chant belongs firmly in the past. 99% of those signing it aren’t even meaning it in any kind of homophobic way but it doesn’t matter. Just pack it in. I’ve got to be honest though, I think I’m more embarrassed that they were chanting it at Billy Gilmore than I am by the chant itself. What the fuck is that about? Unless he did something to incur the wrath of the away end that we weren’t privy to on the TV coverage, this is just incredibly small time and smacks of United fans giving abuse to the likes of Jordon Ibe or Harry Wilson just because they happened to play for us. Billy Gilmour isn’t John Terry, lads. Sort it out, we’re better than that. Tell you what though, I cannot fucking wait until next weekend now. Seeing the TLW lads outside the ground before the game (most of us haven’t seen each other for 18 months!!), being back in my season ticket seat watching the boys again. It can’t come soon enough. Plus we really owe Burnley a spanking after the last two games we’ve had against them at Anfield. Fucking bring it on. Team: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Milner, Oxlade-Chamberlain (Fabinho), Keita (Elliott); Salah, Jota (Firmino), Mané: Please note that this is a FREE sample and Match Reports are usually only available to website subscribers. Subscriptions cost just £2 a month (you need to register first) and can be purchased here.
  4. 23 points
    Home sweet home. It's been a long time but the Reds were back playing in front a packed Anfield, and it was business as usual as goals from Diogo Jota and Sadio Mané secured a routine win over an irritating Burnley side. Here's long time TLW contributor Paul Natton with some thoughts as the Reds made it two wins from two... 1. Back at Anfield!!! Is right. I was saying to the lads today that it only struck me just how much I've missed every single thing about football last weekend, once it was properly back. The fact we were away last week felt like a bit of a rip off, especially when seeing other fans all over the country buzzing off being at the game, on Match Of The Day. That video the club put out yesterday nearly tipped me over the edge with anticipation, too. I honestly felt like a kid on Christmas Eve. 2. The idea of going in early because of this NFC ticket palaver was doing my head in, but I did as asked mainly because I didn't want to contribute to a backlog that kept others out until after kick off. And besides, l was able to at least chat to one of the lads inside The Kop for the hour we had to kill before going to seats. Got to say though, that hour was probably the least Covid safe I've been since that Atleti game: it was chocker and also very hot and humid down there with no-one in masks. Still, we're back, so I'm not complaining. 3. Got to say I was slightly concerned going up to my seat in 206, though. Without getting too dark about the last 18 months, it had occurred to me that some of the faces that sit around me would fall very much into the most vulnerable categories. Happily though, everyone was present and correct with Eddie, who I sit next to, commencing his 70th consecutive season at the match!!! 70 years!!! 1951 was his first season and in all those decades I don't think he's seen a single referee he likes! Joking apart, the reading of the long list of names associated with the club who have died since we were last at the game was pretty sobering. All in all, I felt very lucky to be at the game today. 4. As for the match itself, we lost the toss and Burnley, in electing to make us kick towards The Kop first, set their predictable "disruptors" stall out. I don't have a problem with that as such, even though they ensured a very bitty first ten minutes with time wasting from goal kicks and the ball in the air a lot right from the off. Klopp is right to praise Dyche and Burnley in the build up to these matches as it denies them the chance to play the whole "How dare you?" card. It’s absolutely dire to watch though and I've no idea how their fans put up with it. As a club they all buzz off that "no frills/old school" shite though, don't they? Numbers 1-11 on the shirts from kick off (honestly don't think I've seen that in 30 years) is a reflection of that mentality. As I said they're entitled to it, but I just don't get them enjoying it. And as for the booing of the taking of the knee from the away support, the less said about that, the better. Awful though, obviously. 5. The goal settled us with an early cross from quite deep by Kostas and Jota finishing well with his head after cleverly running off the back of Mee, timing his run to start immediately after Mee had checked over his shoulder to then dart in front of him. Get in!!! Goal celebrations at Anfield are back! 6. We then had a period of control when Hendo was imperious in both his demeanour and use of the ball, while barking at players with a constant focus on increasing the tempo and stretching the play with his ambitious passing. He looks every inch what he is these days, doesn't he? The PL, CL and World Club Cup winning captain of Liverpool, in case you're not sure. 7. Overall Harvey Elliott was hugely impressive. I thought he had a couple of moments where he was a bit slow in his decision making early in the game, but he quickly found the tempo and his quality and bravery on the ball shone through. For the disallowed goal, he played a superb pass through to Mo for a boss finish. From where I was sat, offside never even crossed my mind, but having seen it again on the telly, it clearly was - just. I thought it was a big statement from Klopp to start Harvey for the first game back at Anfield and an even bigger one to leave him on when making substitutions. Shades of how he dealt with Trent when he first came through, I thought. I doubt he'll start every week, but if it wasn't obvious previously that he's a serious talent, it's clear now - and a talent whose presence makes explicit the rationale in not replacing Gini. 8. And on that note, a word on Keita: that's two weeks on the bounce where he's been composed and tidy, doing the bits and pieces that Klopp demands from his midfielders. To be honest, I'd take that now, if he can stay fit. He's clearly never going to be the explosive fifty million pound player we all expected when he first arrived, but that's OK if he can give us this every week. Damned with faint praise? Probably, but there it is. 9. Speaking of central midfielders, what about Trent's performance today? What an incredible talent he is. I have been quite intrigued by the idea of him playing in the midfield where I want him to get into more of those De Bruyne positions at inside forward. However, he managed it a few times today while nominally still being our right back! I'm not sure whether that was a result of having Harvey and Mo with him on that right flank, making it maybe the most technically gifted, if not in Europe, then certainly in England. However, each of the others seemed to take it in turns drifting out to the far right when we were camped in the final third, thereby allowing Trent to come further inside. He hit one good shot from there which forced a save from Pope and of course set up Mane with that lovely little ball around the defender for a great finish from the forward for the second goal. I feel we need more goals and goal threat from midfield - and especially from those inside forward positions - but if Trent can do everything else he already offers and add a few key moments popping up there each week then even better. Either way, it still blows my mind just how good he is, even now. 10. My final main thought from today is on Kostas. He looks very good going forward, with a fantastic cross on him - and also a good corner too, on today's evidence. Having a genuine back up for Robbo is huge, even if he remains untested defensively bar a few bits and pieces he's had to deal with. On that though, I'm reminded of Klopp's comments early in his time here when he said you can get full backs cheaply and easily and then get them to play how you want on the training pitch. In his development of Robbo and his faith in giving opportunities to academy graduates like Trent and Neco, he's backed that up. The same seems to be true now with Tsimikas. One on one defending appears to be something Klopp is happy to develop over time as long as his fullbacks can offer legs to get up and down their flank and also have the right attacking intent and understanding of how to press. It's still early days for Kostas, but the signs are very positive. A few other bits and pieces: Alisson made another late save to maintain the clean sheet to add to a good save from McNeil in the first half and the offside one from Rodriguez. Keepers who can provide that level of concentration to deliver in key moments having had little to do previously are rare as hen's teeth. That's what we've got in Alisson though. He's comfortably the best keeper in the country and must be top three - at least - in the world. That Thiago song isn't great is it? There was another one for someone else (can't remember who) that was a bit dirge-like as well. All our best songs are full of joy, but these aren't. Maybe I'm going a bit "main stand" here, but I want "Torres bounce" type songs for a team and players this good. That said, as I'm not coming up with any alternatives, maybe I'd better shut up. Joel Matip was boss. Again. Virgil did well too, but was second fiddle to his partner today. This "let it flow" refereeing is all well and good, but can we have some yellow cards too please, even if they come after the ball has gone dead? Burnley left a bit on most of our lads today, but especially the two new boys to the PL, Harvey and Kostas. Chelsea next. Great time to lay down a marker and the ground will be bouncing with a tea time kick off. The team selection will be interesting there. Fab is a must-start, but will he let Harvey keep his place? The received wisdom would be not, but this is Klopp so you never know. Either way, there's a big game looming and we haven't even got a league table worthy of the name yet. How boss is it to be back? Come on you Reds!!! Paul Natton View full article
  5. 20 points
    This Villa fan has just ruined some plastic City fan here.
  6. 18 points
    Eight months after being told he was terminally ill, Mrs O'Ts dad died tonight. It occurs to me that my last word to him was "Hello". That would have amused him. When he was told he wouldn't have time left to drink it, he started sharing out his selection of whiskies. I've cracked open the Glenlivet Caribbean Reserve as a parting glass. Thank you and goodnight, Colin.
  7. 18 points
    What a great weekend that was. Great games, great atmospheres, great goals, just great fun. Fans were back, VAR was nowhere to be seen and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. Except Arsenal. It all kicked off on Friday night in predictable style with the Gunners embarrassing themselves and infuriating their fans. They were shite but Brentford were really good and it was fucking boss seeing a passionate crowd like that kicking off the new season. Brilliant atmosphere, the new stadium was absolutely bouncing and it was just a perfect start for them. It seems like a real family club and they all seemed to know each other. The video of the little kid celebrating with the manager and players as they did the lap of honour was class. Their fans gave Saka a standing ovation when he came on too. Very decent of them. They may well replace Leeds as the neutrals favourites now that fans are back in and everyone quickly remembers why they've always hated Leeds. More on that shortly. Our former reserve player Sergi Canos opened the scoring with a well taken goal. Norgaard headed in the second after arsenal didn’t deal with a routine long throw. Carragher said that if there was one team he’d have picked to concede a goal like that it would be Arsenal, and he’s right. Spineless, soft, weak, pathetic. This is who Arsenal are and have been for several years. I’ve said it a lot over the last few years but it offends me how shit they are. It shouldn't, but it does. They disgust me. Good for Brentford though. Their coach seems like a character and the way they do things is very interesting. Looking forward to watching them this season. So much more refreshing to have a team like these come up instead of one of the boring yo-yo cunts. I’ll get United out of the way now and I’ll keep it brief. Obviously I didn’t watch it, you know the situation by now. If they lose I’ll watch the highlights, if they win avoid it like Gary Neville avoids saying anything negative about Saint Harry. If they draw? Yeah I’ll probably watch it. But they smashed Leeds everywhere, just as they did last season. So yeah, not watching that. I know what happened as it was impossible to avoid Twitter’s collective circle jerk about Pogba’s four assists and rat face’s hat-trick. Proper hate that Fernandes prick. You know that Simpsons episode when Bart meets his ugly twin who has been living in the attic his whole life? I reckon Luis Suarez found Fernandes in his attic. I was thinking though, how funny would it be if Leeds got relegated this year! Last year they were the neutrals favourite. Everyone loved them because of Bielsa and the entertaining way they play. It was easy to like them last year though because there were no Leeds fans there to remind us all why they've always been universally disliked. They’re back now, with their Munich songs and “you let your country down” chants. There was fighting around Manchester too, although I’m not pointing the finger at Leeds fans for that because we all know what the mancs are like. Footy's been away for 18 months and as soon as it comes back you've got these two sets of knobheads embarrassing the game. I’m not saying I want Leeds to go down or that I think they will, but I am saying it would be fucking hilarious if they did and even funnier that the one good season they had after so long in the Championship was when no-one was there to see it. Not happy about the beard my boy Bamford is sporting either. Doesn’t suit him one little bit. It doesn’t unsettle me as much as Klopp with no glasses, but it’s another change I’m not comfortable with. I’ve paid so little attention to footy over the summer that I’d completely forgotten that Watford had been promoted. I knew Norwich and Brentford had come up but for the life of me I couldn’t remember the third one and for some reason I thought it was West Brom, who of course had actually gone in the other direction. So I’m driving on Saturday with the radio on and they say Watford are 2-0 up against Aston Villa and it caught me right off guard. I must have known they were promoted but that information will have gone into my brain and then slipped out again more or less immediately. It’s an age thing, or maybe it’s a me thing. Happens a lot, I forget all sorts these days. I think my brain has just reached it’s capacity and for any new info to go in there, something else has to go to make way for it. Anyway, Watford. Yeah they were good and I’m a bit surprised at how disappointing Villa were. I know Grealish was their talisman but they’ve spent well this summer and I expected a response from them. Instead they looked like they were feeling sorry for themselves. To be fair, they had Ashley Young playing in the role normally filled by Grealish and that’s enough to make anyone feel down in the dumps. I had no idea he was even still playing, let alone back in the Premier League. No idea who half of those Watford players are but some of them are left over from the last time they were in the top flight. Including Sadio’s boy, Ismaila Sarr who was running Villa ragged in the first half. He made the first for Emanuel Dennis and scored the second himself with the aid of a massive deflection off Mings. Watford’s pace on the counter was just too much for Villa and substitute Hernandez hit a screamer on his debut to make it 3-0. Goal of the day that one. Villa were so bad that Danny Ings must have thought he was still at Southampton. They pulled one back with a terrific finish by McGinn and then Ings converted a penalty with virtually the last kick of the game, but Watford were good value for the points. Did you know my boy Troy is still there? I didn't. I could have sworn he left when they got relegated. They’ve still got Tom Cleverleh in there too which leads me to think they’re going straight back down. Disappointing start for Everton as Rafa pooped their party by winning against Southampton. New boy Adam Armstrong had given the Saints an early lead when he took advantage of some slack play by the perennially slack Michael Keane to lash home emphatically. He looks very similar to Ings in style. Will be interesting to see how he does this year as Southampton’s survival hopes probably depend on him not being a flop. The Goodison crowd were like pigs in shit at half time, booing their little black empty hearts out. Full time would have been great if it had stayed that way but they hit back with three second half goals to get Rafa off to a winning start. Sorry, I meant Rafael. Old habits die hard. I keep calling him Rafa but apparently it’s Rafael now. They don’t like ‘Rafa’ as ‘Rafa’ was a Kopite, but ‘Rafael’ is THEIR manager. Think I’m taking the piss? I’m not. This is actually a thing. So much so that Grand Old Team have set their autocorrect to change ‘Rafa’ to ‘Rafael’ whenever anyone types it. Honestly they’re fucking batshit mental across the park. So are Crystal Palace though. Patrick Vieira? Do me a favour. What the fuck has he done to convince anyone he will make a good top flight manager? He has no worthwhile track record to speak of and whenever he’s on telly as a pundit he makes me want to snoo…. sorry, even thinking about his punditry sent me to sleep for a second there. What was I saying? Yeah, Vieira, he’s so dull as soon as he starts talking it makes you want to fall asle…. No, happened again. Palace lost 3-0 at Chelsea to kick their season off in predictable fashion. No shame in that of course, Chelsea are miles better than them and that’s a result you’d expect. Palace looked truly awful though and barely got near the Chelsea penalty area all day. It’s going to be fascinating to see what happens there because under Hodgson Palace at least had an identity. Everyone knew how they were going to play. Well organised, counter attacking, over reliance on Zaha, and they’d finish 14th. What are they going to be like now? Will Vieira try to change that? Is it even possible when it’s basically the same players. I don’t see any way that works out well for him, or for Palace. This has got Frank de Boer written all over it and Hodgson will be back there in January trying to keep them up. If it’s not him it’ll be Allardyce. Hopefully for Zaha’s sake he’s got a relegation release clause in there as that’s the only way he’s ever getting out. Good start for Chelsea though, who ominously still have Lukaku to come in. Alonso’s free kick set them on their way, Pulisic added a second and then Trevor Chalobah lashed one in on his debut to wrap things up. He didn’t even celebrate, he just dropped to his knees and burst out crying. Usually I’d annihilate someone for that, but I must be getting old as I thought it was a nice moment. Sorry. You know what else was a nice moment? Jamie Vardy scoring for Leicester and then celebrating the return of fans by standing in front of the Wolves end and howling at them. Like a wolf. Get it? Right up there with the arm flapping Eagle celebration at Selhurst Park. I’m still laughing about this and it’s five days ago now. So fucking childish but it’s just great. Vardy is the absolute king of that shit. I love him. He needs to score at Goodison and then start booing the Everton players and calling Rafa a fat waiter. Or maybe bring his youngest kid with him and pick a fight with an opposing player. Better yet, wipe a bogey in some random woman’s hair. Maybe he could throw on a pair of Lonsdale slips ons while he does it? Come on Jamie lad, you know it makes sense. That was the only goal of the game and a quality one it was too. Brilliant play by Ricardo to beat two men and get the cross in, and a lovely finish, getting in front of his marker and lashing it past *checks notes* Jose Sa, in the Wolves goal. Presumably Patricio has left then? I can see Wolves struggling a bit this year, unless Mendes has imported a new batch of boss Portuguese players, which is entirely possible. Hopefully for their sake anyone they've brought in does better than the mop haired kid they brought over last season. I hope they go down just because of Conor Coady if I’m honest. Would love to see him relegated. Great to see Jiminez back though, and Traore looked electric right up until it came to his finishing, which was, let's be kind and say, a little off. * I googled 'Wolves keeper'. As if I’m professional enough to take notes! Burnley took a very early lead at home to Brighton but they still ended up losing. Tarkowski headed in from a corner but there was a VAR check and it looked initially like it would be ruled out. It should have been. They were so busy looking at a possible foul by Tarkowsi on Maupay they appear to have completely missed the blatant obstruction by the lad blocking off the keeper. You can’t do that shit. Well, Burnley can, it seems. They get away with this a lot. Brighton bounced back in the second half and substitute Jakub Moder created the equaliser for Maupay with his first touch after coming on. Another sub, MacAllister, popped up with the winner. No sign of Lallana though, hope he’s not injured again. I’d never heard of Moder but then an email dropped into my inbox this week informing me he’s the most handsome player in the Premier League and that science has proved it. I get these emails from press agencies all the time but they’re usually about how Arsenal fans are the most unhappy with their team, Wolves hate VAR the most and Man City fans are the most embarrassing cunts on the planet (ok I did not get an email about that, but that doesn’t mean it’s not true). This one caught my eye because it was unusual. Having skimmed through it though I’m not the wiser as to how they worked this out. "Crowned the most attractive footballer in the Premier League is Jakub Moder, with a golden ratio percentage of 90.82% out of 100. The Polish footballer currently plays for Brighton and Hove Albion as a midfielder and made his Premier League debut in late February of this year (2021) after being signed to the team back in 2020. Placing in second is Watford F.C.'s Kiko Femenía with a golden ratio of 90.40%, trailing just short of 0.5% behind Moder. Femenía has played for Watford F.C. as a defender since the 2017/18 season. The third ‘sexiest’ footballer is Philip Zinckernagel with a golden ratio of 89.75%. The Danish footballer is currently on a season loan to EFL Championship, Nottingham Forest from Watford F.C. Also in joint third, is Çaglar Söyüncü (89.75%) who plays for Leicester City as a defender. Rounding off the top 5 most attractive players in the Premier league is another player from Watford F.C., Chilean pro footballer Francisco Sierralta with a golden ratio of 89.18% out of 100. Trending Footballers: - Considering his reputation for general attractiveness, Jack Grealish who broke the British transfer record, has a ‘sexy’ golden ratio score of just 54.83% out of 582 footballers analysed. - Chelsea’s Christian Pulisic just about made it to the top 20, placing 20th in the overall ranking (85.44%)" I think the real question on everyone’s lips here is what did Harry Kane score? Is it possible to get a minus rating? Good job Gini is no longer here as he’d have fucked their algorithms right up. “Hold on, I didn’t think it was possible for anything to be over 100%. How come this Dutch guy is showing up at 115%? Why is there smoke coming out of the computers? Get the boss on the phone, quick!!”. God I miss that beautiful smile. As for the list. What a load of bollocks. Check this out…. Soyuncu looks like he was created by Pixar yet he’s in the top five. I’d only heard of nine players on that list, which is less than half. And how the fuck is Shane Duffy on there? Tell you what, if I’m Lewis Dunk, Harry Maguire or any other big hairy arsed centre half I’m demanding a recount there. Burnley’s starting eleven was funny as fuck. Every season you look at their team and every season it’s exactly the same as the year before. And the year before that. And the year before that too. They never buy any players and i’s hilarious. It's one of the highlights of the opening weekend every year, looking at Burnley's starting eleven in absolutely wonderment. FSG must be wondering just how the fuck they can get away with it. I see Graham Potter has grown a beard. It suits him. Makes him look less of a dork. I’m convinced the reason he didn’t get a serious look at any of the job vacancies in the Premier League this summer is because he doesn’t look ‘cool’ enough. He’s got too much of a school PE teacher vibe about him, which is unfair as I think he’s a fucking boss coach and would have been great for Spurs or Everton. They think they're too good for him, which they aren’t. Brighton might finish above both of them this season. Newcastle and West Ham wasn’t a game that I had any great expectations of but it was actually really good. West Ham can be quite entertaining these days. I know "entertainment" and "Moyes" are not two words you usually put together but fair dues, the Hammers are decent to watch when Antonio is on his game. Newcastle started like a fucking bat out of hell though. Another team buoyed by the return of their fans. The Geordies hate the owner and they don’t care much for the manager either, which must make it difficult to be fully up for games. They did a pretty good job of putting it aside during games pre-pandemic, and that continued in this one. It would though, first game back and all. We’ll see if they can stay behind the team as much as this when the ’novelty’ of being back wears off. The only set of fans who probably don’t want to be back are Arsenal as they know what’s coming. Most of them do anyway, you can’t legislate for the likes of Ty, who’d still be demanding people give Arsenal due respect if they had zero points on the board in April, because "you've got to give them time". Newcastle led early through Callum Wilson’s close range header from a Saint-Maximin cross. That was so good. Saint-Maximin taunted and teased Declan Rice out wide and at one point looked like he was auditioning for the Riverdance. Then he skipped away from him and delivered the perfect cross. West Ham levelled in somewhat contentious circumstances as Cresswell’s cross eluded everyone to find the bottom corner. It looked like Soucek got something on it and Bowen was vulturing at the back post and was claiming he’d got the final touch. The linesman flagged because Bowen was definitely offside and Soucek may have been too. VAR looked at it, decided that Soucek didn't get a touch and was onside, while Bowen was offside but touched it after it had crossed the line and wasn't interfering with play. So the goal stood. Correct decision although I wonder what they’d have done if Soucek had been off. Newcastle responded well and regained their lead with a Murphy header from a Ritchie cross, but West Ham levelled again with a goal that was more or less identical. Antonio whipping in the cross and Benrahma getting on the end of it. West Ham eventually got in front with a farcical penalty that was initially saved by the debutant keeper only for Soucek to pounce on the rebound. Then Antonio wrapped it up on the break. Never a pen that, although it looked like one from Martin Atkinson’s position. That’s not his fault at all, but VAR needs to be overturning that as the lad clearly got the ball. That was the turning point in the game because it could have gone either way at that point. Newcastle had some kid in goal because Dubravka is still out with a pride fracture after his calamity at the Euros and Darlow has been in a bad way with Covid. Typical that. Every other player that has had it has either had mild or no symptoms, but Darlow has to make a meal of it like he does with every routine save. Saint-Maximin is brilliant, I love watching him. Bowen played well for the Hammers too. I don’t want us to sign him because he doesn’t score enough and every time I see him play he misses a one v one. He’s got a highly questionable hairline too. Not for me, Clive. Finally, the big one. Spurs v City. The Harry Kane Derby. Except he wasn’t there, the piece of shit. Just when you think your opinion of him couldn’t get any lower, he plumbs new depths. We’ve had to stomach Gary Neville calling him a ‘footballing saint’ just because he trains hard and doesn’t drink. Yeah, that describes about 80% of all footballers these days, Gary. You're giving him credit for shit he's supposed to do. Some ‘saint’ he is. First game of the new season, against the Champions, in a full stadium for the first time in 18 months and him and his big chin were nowhere to be seen. I saw it coming a mile off though. We were talking about this after we recorded the podcast on Saturday night and I said I didn’t think he’d play because it was an impossible situation for him. The counter point to that was that he loves being the centre of attention and he loves the glory. This would have been all about him and he loves that, but I just felt that it wasn’t the kind of attention he’d want. If he played well and scored, it would complicate things with City and probably see Levy whack an extra twenty mil on his price tag. If he didn’t play well, Spurs fans would completely turn on him. Imagine if they got a pen and he missed it. Everyone would say he did it deliberately. Remember Gerrard playing against Chelsea and scoring an own goal while generally just having a stinker of a game? He didn’t deliberately play shite, but it’s really fucking hard when you’ve put yourself in that predicament. This was not a favourable situation for ‘Saint’ Harry so he swerved it. One the one hand I think if he loved Spurs like he professes to he’d have gone out there and played his arse off, but on the other I don’t think him playing would have helped him or Spurs. For this game, they were definitely better off without him. If he doesn't play until the window is closed though, what a cunt. As much as I enjoy laying into Kane, the biggest guilty party here is Man City. Kane would not have tried to force his way out of Spurs without already knowing there was concrete interest in him from a top four club. He knew we couldn’t afford him and he also knew Spurs would never sell him to Chelsea, so for him to have burned his bridges with Spurs the way he did when he did that interview with Neville on the golf course, he had to know one or both of the manc teams wanted him. Given that United haven’t made any kind of move, that tells us that City tapped him up and caused this whole fucking situation. Cunts. Then you’ve got Baldiola lying through his teeth about “We could only spend £100m on Jack because we sold players for £60m”. Bullshit. They raised about £25m and he’s making those numbers up. Everyone knows it, although none of the assembled press had the balls to pull him up on it, as usual. The obvious follow up to that would have been, “even if that is true, and we all know it isn’t, how can you explain your continued pursuit of Harry Kane who will cost even more than Grealish?” This whole situation sums up City and their blatant disregard for the rules that are in place. It’s funny in a way. You’ve got City, Kane and Levy, and it’s Levy who is clearly the one most neutrals are rooting for here. Imagine that. That shows you what massive cunts City and Kane are if Levy looks like the good guy. The moment I first realised what a snide, self absorbed scumbag Harry Kane is was when he claimed that goal off Eriksen when everyone could see he didn’t touch it. He even swore on his little girl’s life he touched it. Then he said he’d rather win the World Cup with England than the Premier League with Spurs. What kind of Spurs fan thinks like that? One who knows there’s more personal glory in lifting a World Cup, that's what. He’s a bad selfish prick and it’s scandalous that he’s largely escaped criticism for the way he’s carried on this summer. Spurs fans seem to know the score though. They chanted “are you watching Harry Kane” as they beat City and the huge ovation and chant of “he’s one of our own” that Tanganga got when he was subbed late on also felt like a massive ‘fuck you’ to old slobber gob. The absolute hammering Kane’s brother (also his agent) is getting on social media is funny as fuck too. Some of the comments are hilarious, but not as hilarious as the state of the man himself. One of the lads posted this pic of him in a group chat and I thought someone had put Kane and James Maddison in one of those face swap apps. Look at him!! The absolute obsessive hatred my mum has for Kane is impressive. Honestly, however much you might despise Harry Kane, it’s not even close to how she feels. She hates Kane so much that she didn’t even react when I rang her after the game and said “see your boy Son got the winner”. She completely ignored that (even though she hates Son as well) and went on a five minute tirade against Kane. When she was done with Kane she started on Grealish, another one she can’t stand because of his face, hair and socks. In hindsight, I should have recorded it all for the next podcast. Grealish did fuck all but I think this is something we should get used to. He’ll have some flashes of brilliance but he isn’t going to make City any better than they are. In a different team he could be sensational, but not in that one. It’s a bad fit, just a complete flex move by City, throwing their financial muscle around. I wasn’t the least bit surprised they lost on Sunday. After all, they lost the week before to Leicester and they lost their previous competitive game to Chelsea in the Champions League Final. They’re beatable, don’t allow anyone to tell you otherwise. I’m not dismissing City and I’m not saying they aren’t a good side. What I am saying is they are absolutely nowhere close to being the team people keep trying to tell us they are. They’re getting more hype now than when they were averaging 100 points a season. That was a fucking great team. This is just a very good one. Spurs were impressive and deserved the win. Nuno got his tactics spot on and they were quite comfortable once they got through a difficult opening 15 minutes. They were helped by playing in front of a raucous full stadium, electrified by how pissed off they were about Kane and City’s pursuit of him. The Spurs fans were more up for this game than they will be for any other this season. The players were too. Kane’s antics have said to them “I’m too good to play with you, I want to play with those lads over there”. The Spurs players looked massively fired up and they went out and won all of their individual battles. I’ve said all along I can’t see any way Daniel Levy backs down and sells Kane so I think he’s stuck there for another season. In the short term that would be good for us, but in the long term it might not be if City went out and signed Mbappe or Haaland next summer instead. I’m feeling so bullish about our chances at the moment I almost want City to go and spend stupid money on Kane, just so we can beat them - and him - to the title and then rub their noses in it. Fuck Harry Kane and fuck Man City. Fuck Spurs too for that matter. Fuck everyone who isn’t us. Please note that this is a FREE sample and PL Round Ups are usually only available to website subscribers. Subscriptions cost just £2 a month (you need to register first) and can be purchased here.
  8. 17 points
  9. 17 points
  10. 16 points
    Anyhoo, my Dad's scans found that the cancer is only in his pancreas and hasn't spread. Therefore they could operate and remove the tumor. Thing is, he's 81, it's an 8 hour op, and he would likely spend the next 18 months in and out of hospital having other surgery so he's declined the op. He starts chemo next week and he could go for 5 months or 5 years. He's just not prepared to spend the next 18 months in a hospital bed. I totally agree with his decision. As some of you cunts know I live in Leeds and my folks are in Devon. Not ideal for this situation but I went and visited yesterday and I'll be doing so every 3 weeks or so. Nothing else I can do. He's a proper old school Birkenhead tough lad and he's very pragmatic about it. I've always said if I could be half the man my Dad is I'd be very proud of myself. So it's in the lap of destiny now and we'll see how it goes. Posting this here because it's cathartic; I've known some of you on here for well over a decade and I know some of you GF nobheads will get it. Bit pissed. Thanks for listening x
  11. 15 points
    I’ll reach out to her friends in a few days or so about sending some flowers to the funeral, from us lot.
  12. 14 points
    My Mrs has her corrective operation in mid September, will have been 14 months of wearing a catheter, pain and accidents, she has been amazing. In that time she has had surgery and treatment for separate Breast Cancer and lost her Mum in December. Feels like a film sometimes.
  13. 13 points
  14. 13 points
    A year today since this bastard took my mum. Trying not to think about it too much but we’ve said we will go and see my mums husband later. He’s been putting soppy stuff on Facebook constantly and while I guess people have their own way of dealing with things it’s coming across very selfish. He hasn’t even replied to me today, I text him first thing. Completely making it all about him forgetting she’s got two sons who miss her dearly. Not looking forward to later. Gonna head up to Crosby beach now for some fresh air before it so I don’t go round there already stressed.
  15. 13 points
    Unorthodox but no doubt he returned it and won the point.
  16. 13 points
  17. 12 points
  18. 12 points
    You're all forgetting the incredible Alex Robinson & Nigel Edwards. Truly magnificent players. The like's we'll never see again. If anyone deserves a statue it's these two...
  19. 12 points
    Is there a more detestable cunt in the league than Ashley Barnes? Absolute ale House cunt of a player who gives it out aplenty,but is THE biggest pussy when it goes the other way. That drag down of matip in the second half would be a red in rugby and that cunt Dean didn't even give a fucking free! So happy when his attempted flip off to the kop went pear shaped immediately, the useless cunt. Did i mention he was a cunt?
  20. 12 points
    It took Chelsea a long time to do it. Indeed took Ferguson a long time too. Everyone will have a different view, but over recent years I would say the CL has become a bit devalued and is not as important as maybe it was between say 1992-2002, or say 2007-15 which felt very much the golden eras for it. Come on Catcher. Be a bit more specific lad. We all know the European Cup golden eras were from 1955 to 1976, 1979 to 1980, 1982 to 1983, 1985 to 2004, and 2006 to 2018.
  21. 12 points
    She took the girls to her sisters yesterday. I bailed out at the last minute so it’s just me, the boy and the dog at home. They only surface when they want food or drink. I’ve spent all day watching cricket and napping on the couch. Bliss. No Lego, no Where’s Wally, No Mario Kart, no going to the park, no water fighting. Just three whole days of doing absolutely fuck all. For my tea last night I had eight pork chops on their own except for salt & pepper seasoning. We’ve got loads of shit food in (chocolate, cake, crisps) but nothing else really for meals except for a few salad bits. She’s got the car and I can’t be arsed walking to the shop so tonight we’re having calzones and garlic bread from Prezzo (UberEats £15 off voucher) and tomorrow we’re gonna get a Chinese. My plan to shift some timber is going really well. The only thing I had for my dinner earlier was a big bar of Fruit & Nut with a cup of tea. Gonna have to peel myself off the couch at some point to have a shower, making sure to stay well away from the weighing scales.
  22. 11 points
    I went back to ddk in pimlico this week. The choice of 1 sausage was mine - the breakfast comes with one of stuff and you top it up. 12 quid including tea. There was pretty much nothing wrong with it at all, I couldn't find anything I'd have changed really, except the white pudding was small, so I might have doubled that. All good quality food, all well cooked. And for you weird non-beaners, the beans are in a pot. I don't think I can ever give anything a 10 as the search for the perfect cooked breakfast would be over. But this is as good as I've had in a long enough time I can't recall a better one. And for that part of the world, pretty good value.
  23. 11 points
    He's great, isn't he? Too many nutters end up going down a route of paranoid violence, but he's woven his lunacy around a failing sports team. Fair fucks, if I was going to sever all ties with reality I'd become a polymorphic mega-titted android demigod. He's decided to watch Everton. The glorious punchline is how he unwittingly mirrors them through his sheer delusion. He sees himself as some kind of analytical thinker, a football polemicist for the modern age. Instead he wields language like a 12 inch dildo at a dwarf gang bang, showing himself up to be a rambling facade, and encompassing all the hypocrisy he claims to see in others. I love him. I'd pay to see him and JP in conversation. Give it the ten hour Netflix treatment.
  24. 11 points
    What is 'Everton'? A series of questions, answered KYLE PICKNELL A handy explainer for Carlo Ancelotti, or just about anyone, on what this strange, strange football team is actually all about 1. Since 1995, when they won the FA Cup, Everton have spent almost £1 billion on players. Have they won any trophies? Surely they've won a trophy since then? No, they have not won a trophy. 2. But... one BILLION pounds. Yeah. One billion pounds. One billion pounds on the likes of Davy Klaasen and Mark Hottiger and Oumar Niasse and Ashley Williams and Cuco Martina and Per Kroldup - John Carew sends his regards - and Sandro Ramirez and Andy van der Meyde and Cenk Tosun and Alex Nyarko and Shani Tarashaj. Who is Shani Tarashaj? Google him. He is literally still on the books of Everton Football Club and you've never heard of him in your entire life. To Moise Kean and Alex Iwobi: run for your lives. 3. Why haven't they won a trophy? That makes them the single football club in the entire world to have spent the most money and not won anything. That's amazing, in a way. In an impossibly shit way. Yeah. Because they're Everton. 4. What do you mean 'It's because they're Everton'? It's because they're Everton. 5. Surely there must be more to it than that? You'd think so, but no, it's because they're Everton. That's all it is. If they weren't Everton, it wouldn't happen, and they'd be good. 6. Ok, so what is 'Everton'? Everton is one of the oldest and most historic clubs in England. They have been in the top division a record 116 seasons. They have won the FA Cup five times and the First Division nine times. They have basically been amongst the best teams in the country since their inception. And yet... Everton is also a state of being. An intense flux between brief moments of hope and endless chasms of despair. Everton is that feeling you get when you wash your jeans with a twenty in the pocket. It's the feeling of your umbrella blowing inside out. Or a seagull nicking your chips on the pier, not even to eat them, just to drop them in the sea. It's the constant, relentless woe of everyday life encapsulated within the to and fro of a football team. Everton is running for a bus in the rain, having it drive off just as you get to the door and then watching helplessly as a small boy gives you the finger through the window. That is what being Everton is, but every single day of every single year. Forever. 7. Can you give an example? Sure. Literally yesterday, Everton lost in the FA Cup Third Round to their famous rivals, Liverpool, at Anfield, 1-0. Which on the surface sounds, you know, not completely awful. Until you take into account the fact that Everton were at full strength whilst Jürgen Klopp picked a team consisting of James Milner and a horde of young men with TikTok accounts. Milner went off injured after nine minutes. 8. What happened? Despite getting the ball knocked around them for fun because they were running about like a bunch of winded dads on Sports Day, Everton should have been three, possibly four goals up at half-time. 9. But they weren't. No. 10. Because they are Everton? Because they are Everton. They spurned every chance they were afforded, each in more Everton fashion than the last. It almost looked as though they were doing it on purpose. Particularly when Dominic Calvert-Lewin, who sometimes looks like prime Alan Shearer and sometimes looks like an emergency Sunday league player who is roped in at the last minute and only plays as up top because it's where he will cause the least damage, attempted a diving header... ... after the ball was already past him. 11. Then what happened? Theo Walcott, who actually looked pretty dangerous in the opening 45 minutes, relapsed into playing like Theo Walcott. 12. And then what? The inevitable: 18-year-old local boy Curtis Jones curling a beauty up and over Jordan Pickford, who couldn't reach it because of, you know, his arms, to send Liverpool through. He wasn't even born the last time Everton won at Anfield. 13. Should the players take the blame? Yes and no. But mostly yes. 14. Why yes? Well. A number of reasons. Each unique to the individual. Lucas Digne and Yerry Mina came from Barcelona but both played like it was the Ecuadorian team. Gylfi Sigurdsson cost £40 million. He can't run. It physically pains him to run. Pickford is a great shot-stopper and a wonderful presence in goal but has to ask old ladies to reach stuff on the top shelf for him in Tesco. We've mentioned Calvert-Lewin and Walcott already. Seamus Coleman hasn't been the same since the leg break, Mason Holgate looks every bit a quality player until he inexplicably passes the ball to the opposition four times in a row and Richarlison loses his head the moment he realises his teammates are all useless. Which happens a lot. Djibril Sidibe looks more Serge Aurier than Serge Aurier, which isn't a great sign, but was at least the only Everton player to go over to the away fans at the end of the game. You could put an office swivel chair in midfield instead of Morgan Schneiderlin and you honestly wouldn't notice the difference. 15. And what of Carlo Ancelotti? Carlo Ancelotti has won the Champions League three times, league titles in four different countries and can raise both eyebrows independently of each other like The Rock. Turning Everton into a normal, functioning football club, let alone a successful one, would be his greatest accomplishment to date. By far. It would be his life's work. His crowning achievement. Again: he has won the Champions League three times. 16. Will he succeed? As much as I buy into Ancelotti's otherworldly reputation as a man-manager, motivator and serial winner: I can predict with some certainty that he will not succeed. There is no way he succeeds. This is Everton, remember. Everton aren't allowed to have nice things. They're not allowed to just appoint one of the most successful managers of the last two decades and have that be that, for everything to start running smoothly and for the good times to roll. It has to blow up in their faces, like it always does. Those are the rules. They're the footballing equivalent of Wile E. Coyote ordering new ACME rocket skates, again, and hoping against all hope that this is the time they don't fire themselves into a canyon. 17. I think I'm starting to get it. Out of curiosity, what's the most Everton thing to ever Everton? Sunday's defeat to Liverpool's eSports Fifa squad was obviously very Everton, but my personal favourite is Fabian Delph joining the club and stating that he wanted to bring the 'Man City mentality' to the dressing room. This happened in his second game. sam. @SamAIex · Sep 16, 2019 Fabian Delph becomes my all-time favourite Everton player by shouting “everyone is fucking shit” after Bournemouth scored their 3rd.
  25. 11 points



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