Must not rush my words. Must look straight ahead and speak clearly. Must keep good eye contact and smile. Smile.
Make me smile Everton. Please just make me smile.
The same Everton that decided that you were getting a wee bit too excitable and optimistic, before showing you a glimpse of dark places that you’d hoped to put away for a bit of time.
No chance of that.
It was a weird old nine days really. A first clean sheet and league win of the season at West Brom followed up by a thumping of Wolfsburg where we were a pube’s width away from another clean sheet. Then we shipped six goals against Palace and Swansea. F’sake Everton. Just when we were getting comfy. Those nine days were basically the footballing equivalent of drifting into a deep sleep and that thing happens where you half dream of falling or tripping and your legs buckaroo, startling you awake.
So here we are awake and staring at the fixture we can’t be arsed with more: the short trip across the park to the bad bell institution.
Now this is the point where I’m meant to go dead partisan – and don’t worry I will – but it’s important to put a filter in place. There are some sound kopites around, I know because I count some as close friends and family. Aye they’re prone to their moments but then as we are like. But co-existence is possible. The collective narcissim on offer every second week at Anfield does however do strange things to a man. Pundits and media lining up to fawn over DEM FAMOUS YORAPEEN NIGHTS DOH can give a man an inflated sense of self importance and worth. Even if that man is doing nothing really apart from being a bad meff wearing a replica shirt in a pub watching the game, and why oh why do they feel the need to do this?
I watched the last couple of games of theirs with a mostly kopite bunch of lids and I pointed out this replica shirt in the pub thing and proved it as we watched a pub filled of reasonable dressed men watching West Brom v Everton down Kensington before turning up to a sea of red in another pub. Just dress normally as if, well, you’re going the pub to enjoy a few pints, you bad scruffs.
But that’s what they do isn’t it? It’s mostly about them and their unnerving need to be loved and complimented. And noticed. Always noticed.
Hang on I forgot the bit about the filter didn’t I? What I wanted to say is that they have the worst utter trombone out of town following anywhere on this planet. I included the likes of United, Africa’s very own Chelsea and even Barcelona – the massive whoppers – in this statement. Their out of town plebs take cringe to a whole different level as they have no concept of how things operate in the city. Think back to your childhood, if you got overly excited about anything or done anything too different then there was an endless line up of other scouse kids ready to rip the back out of you until you piped down. Maybe like me they still don’t let you forget it now, decades later.
Well these out of town scrotes of theirs haven’t had that and as a result there’s a whole range of toe curling behaviour on show wherever they play but none more so at Anfield where you’re blinded by a thousand camera phone flashes as Gerrard goes to take a corner.
Civil war was once threatened with Reclaim The Kop as everyone’s favourite loveable-opposition-fan-attacking-urchins started ripping down flags and banners if they were beaming about being reds from anywhere outside of Merseyside. Perhaps we just made them para by ripping them, who knows? They’ve gave in now as they realise the club that bears the city’s name prefers these out of town cocknuggets over their local fans. Shame it is too. But then this is the same owners who ran down entire streets outside their ground in order to extend their ground and make more money from said non scousers.
Class and diggity eh?
They have found a new king in spunk teeth Brendan, complete with his new queen. Who actually belonged to another King but not one as special as Brendan. Or rich. So out went the old queen and in came the new recently mother version. And not one word was uttered about it anywhere, apart from us like. Dead bitter.
To be fair to them they did nearly pull it off last season when they clicked on the formula of forgetting their supposed tiki taka death by football business stuff and just booting it long to Suarez, Sturridge and Sterling who proceeded to rape defences like another Red Army sixty nine years before them. We should know this too as they obliterated us at Anfield. Flashback.
For all of the sneering it’s a bit futile because they went on a run that any team would be made up with. We all know how the end came and it was wonderful because of the sheer size of the piping down and evident crushing disappointment it caused. Hotels were booked out in Liverpool for weeks and weeks before their planned coronation. Coaches were getting met for home games with flares like some jarg scruffy Galatasaray. Dead ultra you, aren’t you lads? And in the media Liverpool were BACK. B a c motherf’ing K! Back! BT Sports were falling over themselves to do pre game documentaries on the history of the Kop and Evertonians everywhere braced themselves for a feat worse than the tories winning four successive stints in government.
Then Demba Ba was far too alert. Then Crystal Palace didn’t like going three down too much. And you know, the beautiful thing just happened.
Introducing the Everton Mishmash!
So here we are then. A new, brave future without Suarez – who by the way it’s absolutely fine to admit now is one of the best players I’ve ever seen play against Everton. In fact if he was ours I would have told everyone to do one and kept him at all costs. Screw everyone. But it got to them in the end. They loved him too hard like perhaps you’ve done in your teens with a pretty girl. And boosh, he gone!
They still have some ace players. Sturridge is a sound goal scorer but is looking like he’ll not be fit to return for this, unless Brendo is playing mind games like the unbearable-newly-jogging-mid-crisis-count-on-his-thumbs wankstain would probably take great delight in doing as he shamelessly tries to blag them by impersonating popular kopite figures of the past. He’s even sounding more Scottish by the day
Sterling is very good indeed. I’ve seen it levelled at him being reliant on pace and directness and eventually he’ll get found out the legion of small nippy wingers before him but the James Brown haired nugget has a really good footballing brain too. He’ll be their man to stop.
Does this mean they will play Lambert or Borini up front then? Sound if so, but more likely Balotelli who is obviously as mad as a lorry (tip of the cap to Brass Eye) but doesn’t stand a chance as ultimately he will be viewed as Suarez’s replacement and will never near as good as Suarez himself. Poor Mario will be getting booed within a year from now I reckon. Still, he’ll probably net a brace against us because that’s just how the universe works and we are pretty wank in defence.
Midfield should see Jordan Henderson doing all the hard work while the artist formerly known as Steven Gerrard sprays balls around the pitch designed to make him look boss but balls that are getting less and less accurate. There’ll be someone else in there too but I can’t be arsed to think who it will be.
Defence is moody but who are we to speak? At least we haven’t spent more than the world has spent on eradicating the threat of Ebola, and I’m talking every outbreak of all time, on some very questionable defenders. Ignoring the two Spanish lids for now as I haven’t seen enough of them. And the keeper with an actual skip for a jaw who they aren’t too convinced about. Boo!
Makes me fearful that one day they will stop splurging money on overrated pumpkins and put together a team capable of continually challenging. Until then it can be some fun to enjoy as they place new signings on a pedestal and create doting banners that would make a dog vomit on mere sight, before those said new heroes are uncovered flaw by flaw until sold for half the price in readiness for some new final pieces of the world’s longest running jigsaw completion attempt.
Christ Everton, can’t you just beat them at Anfield and get this over and done with?
So onto us then.
No, I’m not too enthusiastic either. This game is a necessity rather than one to be anticipated. Like Sunday dinner at your bird’s parent’s house.
Lukaku will probably start up front because Eto’o is carrying a knock or will be deployed on the left wing or something. Then Naismith – mercifully I still feel joy on typing his name – behind him. Mirallas shall return for this too and is one of the few Everton players to show any appetite for playing these. He’s in form too. McGeady will probably start on the other wing as Pienaar is crawling back to fitness slower than a sloth with rickets. Not that Pienaar has ever really delivered in a derby mind.
Martinez seems to very much favour Barry and McCarthy in the games that count and the Besic fan club have been thankfully quietened a wee bit in weeks gone by. The lid will need some time, as will Gibson returning from injury.
Defence? Hopefully Coleman, or we’re goosed, Baines, Stones and pick one from whoever is left. And hope we don’t do anything plain stupid like we usually do or just simply cack our grundies. Howard in goal.
Thing is that we are all guilty of putting this game on a pedestal ourselves and I can see why for obvious reasons. The fact is that Liverpool are also going through a period of being no great shakes so a confident Everton might get some change out of them by actually having a go.
So it’s on this simple wish that we’ll end the preview, that Everton have a real good go.
Oh and that the defence don’t spew it.
And that the referee doesn’t hand it on a plate to them. Must not forget to wish that we take our chances at vital times either. And that Andrei Kanchelskis has been swimming in a pool with big alien rocks in and declares himself fit to play on the right wing for us.
Maybe I should just wish for Everton to leave me smiling on Saturday night. That’ll do. Make us smile Everton.