Hello again Everton, where have you been? WeÂ´ve been looking everywhere for you.
Yes we know youÂ´re a big boy now but we worry you know? Its not as if we can help it so stop looking at us like that ok. Whoâ€™s that stood behind you, our weekend guest? Wait thereâ€¦thatâ€™s the one who we had to call the police for before isnÂ´t it? Called Dad bad words. Sorry but no heâ€™s not allowed in. Not until he at least takes that minty Candy top off first and says sorry anyway.
So itâ€™s the second date you look for on the calendar and sigh when you realise its at home, again. DoesnÂ´t really make much difference like but they are rather fond of stifling a good dayâ€™s drinking and bear-pit-mode Goodison which plays into their favour. Nearly as much as a sh*thouse Everton team putting them on a pedestal and being outsnided for the points. But maybe thatâ€™s changed now? Read on if you donÂ´t want to know how.
Two goalless draws have in some way subdued the galloping royal blue beast that was tearing up Freshfields like a recently stolen XR3i doing doughnuts on a brisk Wednesday night. Not to bother too much as weÂ´re in Team Transition this season right? Right we are, try telling any of the pissed up angry arl fellas at Goodison that we have to not win games while this supposed new all singing all dancing formation and system is introduced.
The kopites arrive on their annual title chasing autumn form, in their heads, and Brendan Rodgers is quite the thing for them at the moment. A danger to lethargic Premier League teams and married mothers alike. Look at him with his trademark Next/River Island combo look and brand new porno teeth. He may count on his thumbs and not his fingers and try too hard to speak and act like Shankly but theyÂ´re winning games arenÂ´t they? And thatâ€™s what its about for them â€“ a big dollop of reflected glory most weekends to dull the general pain of life. Whereas at Goodison we embrace that pain, including Everton, and canÂ´t wait to moan about it. They think this makes us unhappy, on the contrary is what we do so well and everyone got to be good at something.
Of course being rivals with LFC is easy enough as youÂ´re never short of material. There are legions of mongs always in the peripheral dying to prove their worth to the cause with toe curling ideas and misplaced shows of devotion. Itâ€™s a defence mechanism as they donÂ´t have the accent to authentically support Liverpool but you can guarantee each and every one of their Dads lived on Scottie Road and raised them as a staunch red.
It stokes up one the best spectacles on the planet â€“ the internal battle for the very heart of Liverpool FC. Scousers v wools. For the purposes of their preview when I say the word wool I refer to anyone whoâ€™s not scouse and that includes nondescript southern town residents, Indonesians, Scandinavians, Kazakhstanis, actual wools and anyone else in dull part of the world with really crap local footie that is seeking some type of perceived belonging and is has weekly undiagnosed occurrences of split personality disorder.
Many of you reading this will have faced the internal battles of the footballing city from birth. The snidey uncle trying to slot you into a Crown Paints top when yer dar isnÂ´t looking and get an invaluable photo to use for the rest of that childâ€™s unfortunate life. Yer dar swerving the ringing phone with Busby sticker immediately after a derby defeat as its defo one of his relatives or mates wrecked somewhere trying to rub it in. A slick haired DJ with bad teeth and B.O. trying to cajole Youâ€™ll Never Walk Alone into a pissed up family do and nearly causing murder. Fuming at having Alan Hansen on swapsies in your latest Panini sticker packet opening and trying to hard negotiate with them for their spare foil Everton badge. Fuming with them for ruining your Wembley experience. The lad in work with the sh*te kopite craic whose bird you fingered on the sly out of spite. Giving directions to Skem when someone with a wool accent stops and asks – far too sprightly for your liking – for directions to Anfield.
Thatâ€™s our thing, and it does your head in. They do your head in. But theyÂ´re ours. At least any wools supporting Everton actually get it as itâ€™s hardly as if they have been provided with many truly glorious moments over the last 25 years or so. Hang on in there, its boss when were boss honestly.
Liverpool was getting there too; Chelsea, United and Arsenal were picking up their glory hunting slack until the unfortunate Istanbul moment happened. Boom, just like that, people got rich off car bumper stickers overnight and the old plague of Anfield Road turned up again â€“ the wool day-trippers.
You can spot them a mile off, scruffy coats and permanent smile like theyÂ´re smacked off their tits on Ritalin with straining Official LFC store plazzy bags trying to discuss the Beatles with you in The Beehive in town while youÂ´re trying to have a quiet pint to dull the pain of her raping your new VISA in nearby L1. Undeterred by you trying to pretend you donÂ´t like footie or support Tranmere they persist on. TheyÂ´re far too eager, far too happy and very much naÃ¯ve â€“ some of the most unscouse traits in book.
You can see that microsecond of frown on a genuine Liverpool fans face as they walk past. TheyÂ´re obsessed with Shanklyâ€™s socialism, banners, currently false number 9s and assorted obscure tactic systems when in the era before that it was trying dead hard to be Spanish. They tackle new fads with all the enthusiasm of a sixteen year old lad slotting birds for fun in Butlins on his first holiday away from his parents.
Jimmy and Ste off the Kop donÂ´t like the wools either, not one bit. When youâ€™re doing your part to push the deception of LFC being a dead sound football brand over a pissy beer in Benidorm the last thing you want is creepy Shane from Dagenham and that big soft nugget Bjorn recognising your jarg shirt badge and trying to give you a cuddle. Like f*ck, just look at them for a starter.
Hence Reclaim The Kop and other cringe worthy initiatives they dream up under the banner of that same Shankly socialism. Of course its wiped under the table of how they treated him after he left the payroll. You see you can just ignore such things like that if you support der mighty reds. Its all about the feel good factor and anyway youÂ´re dead bitter you so leave it alright.
Its fair to say that controversies havenÂ´t been in short supply of recent year. Mostly caused by their star strikerâ€™s racism, biting, cheating or general snidery.
The best bit is the pause after something like this happens. Kopites are pack animals by nature so when something controversial happens including their club or players thereâ€™s a mandatory hour or two gap on social media where they scramble about finding out the agreed position before taking to the airwaves and megabytes to back this up. TheyÂ´re terrified of thinking for themselves, even if you can second-guess them most of the time. Hint: bet on the outcome that results in the most indignation and perceived war crimes against LFC
A fact is that the vast majority of neutral football fans watching this game will want Everton to win. Not because of all the boss values that we perceive our football club to possess or that youâ€™re a sound bunch of handsome bastards but because were playing Liverpool. And the wider footballing world is acutely aware these days of the one eyed bitter and logic-defying nature of the club, players and fans. By default most people root for the good guy to overcome evil in films and its no different with Liverpool facing an arch enemy.
They do have some boss players but then so do we. The difference is that we donâ€™t believe every single one of our better players are the best in their position in the league, Europe or der werld. Apart from Leighton Baines whoâ€™s an absolute dreamboat, even when United buy him for far too cheap in January. Themâ€™s the breaks. Were not gonna burn his shirt exactly.
Suarez is their main man its been done over and over again what a heaving anus of a man he really is but in footballing terms heâ€™s ace. A superb dribbler and non stop attacking threat and a genuine world class talent, no the best mind. HeÂ´ll have to be watched.
Sturridge since joining has bullied lesser teams at will before doing that celebration that makes him look an even bigger tit. Along with Coutinho â€“ whoâ€™s like a boss Leon Osman â€“ its an attacking trio of some considerable threat that although wonÂ´t get them anywhere near winning the title, it will pick them up points. And thatâ€™s what its all about my friends, take a look at us â€“ we havenâ€™t placed well really for two months but somehow manage to pick up points.
Jordan Henderson is currently IN. This could change depending on results, but heâ€™s made some really long runs into space and actually tackled an opposition player so heâ€™ll do for them, at present. Lucas was the midfield phenomenon who got better each week he didnÂ´t play with that long injury lay off he had, only to return and them to remember heâ€™s a bit meh really. Certainly youâ€™d be gutted if you sold Macherano and replaced him with that Sugar Puff teethed little tit. The ghost of Steven Gerrard will be there in the middle of the park and if karma does exist then someone will go right over the top of the ball into him and not even get a booking.
Christ knows who theyâ€™ve got in their defence, I canÂ´t even be arsed to look it up. They have loads of dead boss athletes that cost tens of millions of pounds but strangely arenÂ´t so good at, well, defending. Hopefully Lukaku has woke from his hibernation and can dry bum them stiffly again. Mignolet is a decent stop stopper, heâ€™s like Tim Howard in that respect but far more expensive and easier on the swear box. Heâ€™s not American either which Im not sure is a plus or negative.
Whatâ€™s our name?
Time to pull up them white socks Everton. Put eleven lids on the pitch whoâ€™ll play like itâ€™s a derby and hopefully avoid a mandatory sending off.
It all starts up front with Lukaku who as I mentioned before is going through an insular spell. He tortured them at will twice last season so we sincerely hope heâ€™ll do it again, theyÂ´re not as smart at the back as they think. Especially when someone oversized grock is doing all sorts of wrong things to them. Its likely Ross Barkley will get his first taste of a Merseyside derby just behind him. Imagine that, well in Ross, hurt them.
Midfield will contain McCarthy and Barry who are well suited to this type of game with probably Pienaar on one wing and Mirallas on the other. Deulofeu has been making noises/pillaging U21 teams at will but can see him being a sub at best for this.
Although weâ€™ve been keeping clean sheets our defence is prone to a few wee wobbles and will be tested here. Jagielka and Distin to be fair to them are more suited to being on the back foot than pressing the play with intricate passing from the back. They just need to be very wary of outstretched legs for their sh*thouse attackers to throw themselves over in the box. Baines, another local lad whoâ€™s never had an ace derby moment really, and `Coleman could be key out wide in not only pushing them back on the flanks but creating chances and stretching the pitch. And Tim Howard in goal.
Dead easy. No intricate sweeper systems, no inverted number tens, no two and one in the centre of the park interchanging but footballers in royal blue who are prone to some ace things from time to time.
And thatâ€™s far too many words but then this is a Merseyside derby. While some of late having been trying dead hard to pretend theyÂ´re not arsed to demean the other itâ€™s a pretty big deal locally. And its great, once its all over or if you win.
So with some luck thatâ€™s what the new manager will try and do more than the previous one. Because it does matter and thereâ€™s nothing like dejected Shanes and Bjorns and Lius trudging round L4 post defeat not knowing quite what to do with themselves.
The city is all ours, both of ours, and a great city it is. But thereÂ´s a good reason youÂ´re a blue and a hundred why youÂ´re not a red.
Right into these blues.