LetÂ´s get down to business. ItÂ´s been eighteen years since we won something shiny and for Everton FC thatÂ´s far too f*cking long.
I can just about take being put out by a better team playing good footie but anything less than that and everyone can f*ck right off. WeÂ´ve got the best team in a generation and were in it to win it.
This gutsy opening line will of course be outdone by a limp exit at the hands of someone pure sh*te, possibly even on Monday leaving us to fume while the cup half full merchants concentrate on the league. WeÂ´ve got unfinished business after meekly whimpering out in the semi to a very sh*te sh*te team in the semi last time out. IÂ´ve tried to blank it out of my mind but like the first pube stuck in your throat from youthful oral sex itÂ´s not that easy to shift.
We go into it in a sound position, itÂ´s been a very decent season so far. WeÂ´re not hoping to use the FA Cup as a springboard to better times after a dismal first half of season, on the contrary plenty of non Everton folk are enthusing over us and our mesmerising togger that weÂ´re serving up this season thus far.
That win up in the bell capital of the north east was lovely in that we didnÂ´t really do too much to win it but we were still miles better than the latest, greatest all conquering geordie nation. Sh*t on. Now get back under your meffy rock you tubes, weÂ´ve got a boss train to catch and youÂ´re not on it.
So onto Cheltenham then in the third round of the FA Cup where by Tuesday morning youÂ´ll be sick of every single twat out there enthusing over the magic of it all. LetÂ´s be honest the best part of it all always was the seeing the orange balls on Grandstand with snow steeped up at the side of the pitch and other teams fans pure gutted as they got giantkilled by a team with a plumber as a keeper who made ridiculous saves.
Set deep down in cider and inbreeding country, Cheltenham would have been one of the places that locals round up to a bigger city when theyÂ´re abroad, probably Bristol in their case. Like when Amit or Spiros asks anyone from the Wirral where theyÂ´re from they say Liverpool but pretend to be not like being called scouse locally. Cheltenham was saved from a void of non description when lady luck landed a big f*ck off horse racing track on it and loads of posh people decided to give away a Gold Cup at it annually.
A rugby town where the local lads spend too much time putting needles in each otherÂ´s arses at the gym and then run into each other on a rugby pitch before going out in the local town and being obnoxious as f*ck, drinking each others puke in a misguided attempt at solidarity while f*cking each otherÂ´s sisters.
When horse racing powers over football in the oppositionâ€™s town then there shouldnÂ´t be any credible threat really but then this is the FA Cup and well, this is Everton.
So writing stuff about Cheltenham and what to expect? YouÂ´re in the wrong preview. TheyÂ´re fourth in the arl fourth division so the media have been beauts and sensed a weakened team shocker and hey presto were live on TV with the entire nation hoping we succumb.
The young left back Garbutt who looked sound in the second half of the Orient cup game played for them last season and done well. Their manager is Mark Yates and on looking on the BBC site I see from their news ticker him quoted “We defended like pansies” from one of their presumable latest defeats. On the footballing scale of supposed intelligensia this man could quite be the acid to Brendan RodgersÂ´ alkaline.
They are one of the teams in that division that try and play nice footie. TheyÂ´re very much better in the opposition half than their own with some decent attacking players. If you have to pick one to watch then the fast thing out on the right called Jermaine McGlashan is a very credible threat. Forget that he sounds like heÂ´s a lad from the Gorballs with a neck tattoo heÂ´s fast and skillful and a good playmaker for that level. HeÂ´s also backed up the right back Jombati in what is their strongest area of the team. WeÂ´re probably not going to play Baines and Pienaar but weÂ´ll have to be careful there. They wonÂ´t be lacking in motivation.
Marlon Pack is their man man in midfield and theyÂ´ve also some Premier League experience in ex Birmingham and WBA man Darren Carter. Like any lower league team theyÂ´re going to be a pain at dealing with set pieces. A corner will be celebrated like a penalty as the home crowd realise itÂ´s an opportunity to throw some grocks into our penalty area and try to forcefully twat the ball into the net. Billy Jones is their set piece dangerman.
You get the picture on what to expect by now. ItÂ´s going to be cold and far away from home in some wee ground packed to the rafters urging their local lids to make a name for themselves. We canÂ´t f*ck this up, like we did against Leeds.
As for the Everton team I donâ€™t really know. I canâ€™t see us fielding a full strength team but then I canâ€™t see us fielding a much weaker team, this is the only cup we can win and Moyes got his fingers burnt by Junior led encapsulation in the League Cup earlier this season.
If youâ€™re looking for differences between blues and reds then itâ€™s at this point it becomes apparent. Theyâ€™d be enthusing over fielding a couple of their foreign wonderkids who scored a hat trick against Chelsea in the FA Youth League and obsessing over whoâ€™ll play in the jarg number 10 position or as a prolapsed striker. F*cking bells.
Anichebe will probably start up front though and itÂ´s well deserved. HeÂ´s stuck at it and seems to be getting it at the moment and tentatively long may it continue, he was ace second half against Newcastle. Jelavic may start this too not just for the four four two element but to kick start his goals, if not then itÂ´s either Jelavic or Naismth up there.
ItÂ´s going to be a heavy pitch so it will preclude some others probably. I canÂ´t see Fellaini starting this but the likes of Osman or Barkley and Hitzlsperger to try and out football them, along with Pienaar maybe on the left. IÂ´m clearly playing a guessing game here so letÂ´s end it on the wish that Heitinga isnÂ´t at centre half or the caravan headed Mucha in goal and we should have enough to get out of there with if not the win then a chummy replay.
So there, itÂ´s upon us. All wonderful journeys got to start somewhere (and end somewhere far to often) and for us itÂ´s Cheltenham on a cold January night. WeÂ´ve suffered the hard luck stories and supposedly dejected players walking off a pitch with opposition fans running on the pitch and laughing at us. But this is hopefully a different Everton as this cup applies only to England and in England there arenÂ´t too many teams better than us right now.
That eighteen year itch will only get itchier unless we do something about it. So get your finger out Everton give a generation of young Evertonians something to look back on one day and reminisce about. That would be a start.