Category Archives: 2011/12

Followtonians on tour

It’s a rarity to have as busier week as I have this week and although it has seemed somewhat chaotic and non-stop it has been nothing short of one the most amazing weeks I’ve had in a long time.

This week my friend Eric Howell and his wife Tracie came over for their first visit to Liverpool all the way from Kansas, USA. I first spoke to Eric through the world of that Twitter lark roughly about two years ago, his love for Everton yet being isolated over 3000 miles away from his spiritual home of Goodison drove him to try and start up a podcast about the club he loved. After a few weeks of working on a plan and despite being separated by 3000 miles Eric and Goodsion Park regular Ped managed to record the first episode of “FOLLOWTONIANS.” A year and a half later the podcast is still going strong, and despite not being a regular contributor to the show myself I have remained good friends with the lads behind the show, staying in touch with Eric via all forms of social media and recently getting to a few matches with Ped and his family. As this was Eric’s first trip over to Liverpool, needless to say we have been helping him plan to make the trip quite a special one.

The Howells arrived in Liverpool on Tuesday just gone and despite having to rearrange flights and make 2 separate connections they made it over for their first game at Goodison against league leaders Man City, and what a first game it was. I wasn’t at the match myself unfortunately but from what I’ve been told Eric was like a kid who just downed a 2 litre bottle of Coke and a massive bag of Jelly beans before opening his presents on Christmas morning and who can blame him, travel thousands of miles for your first game and Everton beat league leaders City 1-0 with a bracing shot from new boy Darren Gibson, followed shortly by the boss news we had actually SIGNED a player, Nikica Jelavic from Rangers, and the re-arrival of former Everton man Steven Pienaar who despite leaving under not so great circumstances has had a torrid time at Spurs and has been welcomed back at Goodison, what a way to start your holiday.

Wednesday saw myself and Eric and our other halves Tracie and Kirsty head into the City of Chester for a “classy” pub dinner (Sorry, Eric haha) followed by a nice stroll around Chester’s famous Roman Walls and despite having murder with my bank in the morning (again, sorry Eric) it was quite a nice pleasant day spent finally spending time with a friend who I’ve spoken to a million times but never actually physically met until then.

Thursday was one of the big days we were all looking forward to. A LIVE! recording of Followtonians at Walkabouts in Liverpool. The recording was attended by a good sized group of Evertonians as well as BBC Radio Merseyside’s Football pundit Alan Jackson who has on several occasions helped to “plug” the podcast on his show. A superb night was had by all, loads of drink was flowing, putting faces to fellow Everton “tweeters”, plenty of jokes and “banter” (I HATE that word), an Everton quiz with Free £5 bet slips up for grabs and just a generally great atmosphere made it a terrific night.

It was Saturday that was the icing on top of the cake for all of us. An away day down the East Lancs Road to Wigan, anyone who knows me knows that an ACTUAL away trip is a rarity for me these days, so even if it was just Wigan this was going to be a special one. The day started with a group of 7 of us including Eric, Ped and I as well as Ped’s sister Jayne, brother law Paddy and young nephew Aidan and another American chap called Nick, who is currently on leave from the US Airforce based out near Kaiserslautern in Germany, heading for a massive breakfast in some greasy spoon in West Derby near Melwood. After we all ploughed down our huge portions of bacon, eggs, sausage, black pudding and the rest we headed on the short 18 mile journey to Wigan for an afternoon of booze, Everton and more booze.

Anyone who has been to Wigan will know it’s a great away day, especially if your one of the more “local” teams i.e Everton, Liverpool, United, City etc etc. It’s a ground where the home support isn’t exactly great so thereby away fans are allocated an entire stand, in other words Wigan was invaded by 4,250 Evertonians who, through conquering the snow and sleet, were all thirsty for beer and hungry for three points. Although the thirst was quenched, ALOT, the three points evaded us after a clumsy Tim Howard mistake saw Wigan lead 1-0 only for “super sub” Anichebe to seal the equaliser. Despite the crap result, poor quality of football, the freezing weather conditions, the “incident” on the concourse at half time (which I will go into in a separate post) we didn’t allow our spirits to be dampened as we headed back to Wigan’s Red Robin pub which was well and truly taken over by Everton fans on the day for more beer and laughs. All in all a great day out at Wigan with a great bunch of people and a great opportunity to once again put faces to “Twitter handles” of many Blues I’ve spoken to a million times but never had the chance to meet.

The week was topped off nicely on Saturday night with a massive group of 12 of us headed back into Liverpool for a few more drinks in the Slaughter House followed by a cracking meal at “The Restaurant” Bar & Grill in Exchange Street, Liverpool. Needless to say by the end of it all I was slightly steaming drunk, sod it, I admit I was shit faced, but it was worth it. A terrific week had with friends regular and new and I hope it won’t be too long until we get to see Eric and Tracie back on our shores again.

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Filed under 2011/12, Away Day, Everton, Uncategorized

Everton 2 – 1 Wolves

The Blue Union (Photo taken by Me please source your photo to my blog or credit if your going to use it. Thanks)

I guess I’m overdue on a post match review of this one as it’s been almost 5 days now since Everton managed to record only their 2nd home league win of the season and I think the main reason for this is because for the last few days I’ve been trying to word out an entry discussing my views and opinions on what is going on at the club at the moment. Obviously as 99% of Blues will know there was a march prior to the game on Saturday regarding the Blue Union vs Kenwright and the board. Now up till now I’ve not really reported publicly my views and opinion on the goings on and where I stand and to be fair I won’t be doing so in this entry. I’m still writing quite a big article on my views that I have been working on for a couple of days and I’ve been approaching in a manner as to not offend too much and not find my self on the end of social persecution from those who’s opinion differs to mine but at the same time be completely honest and say where I stand from a personal point of view. I’ll just say now quickly that YES I AM a supporter of the Blue Union and have been from the start but I’ll leave it at that for now and hopefully I’ll be able to finish my article regarding Blue Union vsThe Board within the next day or two, that is if I don’t consistently hit writers block.

As for the game itself, what can I say, 3 points are 3 points and I’m made up but, as usual, we did it the hard way again.

Our view for the day. Upper Bullens Row R Seat 91

I managed to get to the game myself on Saturday with my good friend Alex unfortunately we ended up in the heavens right at the back of the Upper Bullens right next to the away fans….well at least were the away fans should of been. Surprisingly, Wolves didn’t sell out their allocation for this which I found bizarre considering tickets for the Top of the Bullens were only £20 on the day. Nevertheless, we didn’t exactly have the best seats in house but Im not going to complain a tickets a ticket and considering I don’t get to the game as much these days through being completely skint it was boss just to be able to get to Goodison and even better to get the win. However, like I said we did it the hard way again. Fellaini celebrated his 5 year contract extension this week by giving away a penalty that saw Stephen Hunt put Wolves 1-0 up. However, a consolation equalizer just 5 minutes later from Jags’ header off a Bainesy free kick got the ball rolling for Everton who had been dominant throughout the first half. Everton could of found themselves 2-1 up before half time no thanks to a poor refereeing decision by one of the WORST and most unprofessional referees I’ve ever seen at Goodison. Cahill was brought down by the scruff of his neck by Wolves defender Henry and the referee waived on what was a blatant stonewall penalty, absolutely awful.

The second half saw Everton continue to dominate and have plenty of the ball and plenty of chances, but the ball just didn’t seem to want to go in. However, a lucky break arrived in the 83rd minute when the referee finally pulled his head out of his arse and awarded Everton a penalty after Lois Saha was brought down in the box, up step Bainesy who cooly and collectively slotted away the winner which brought 3 points and with it a nice climb out of the relegation trap door area to just below mid table. Happy Days.

"Your support is fucking shit" - An empty Upper Bullens were Wolves fans should of been

So three points it is then and a nice rise up the table for the Blues, Bolton away next week who are struggling at the arse end of the table so a tough match ahead. Hopefully though the win against Wolves could be the game that turns fortunes around and see’s the Blues start flying high. However, this is Everton so I’m not going to start counting my chickens just yet.

STATS & FACTS

My Man of the Match: Bainesy, outstanding throughout the match and scored as well as assisted.

Attendance: 33,953

Squad: Howard, Hibbert, Jagielka, Heitinga, Baines, Coleman, Fellaini, Osman, Drente (Bilyaletdinov), Cahill (Vellios), Saha (Stracquarlursi)

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Filed under 2011/12, Everton, Premier League

Newcastle 2 – 1 Everton

And you wonder why I hate geordies?

Not alot to write about this to be fair, I was going to do a pre match build up on the game and how much I absolutely despise Newcastle United and everything associated with the city, but I’ve been busy and it wasn’t worth my time. I will tell you now quickly that I do HATE Newcastle, Geordies and all associated with the city of Newcastle and I have my reasons so getting beat by this lot, for me personally, is on the same par as getting beat by Liverpool. Ok maybe not as bad as but without question  it’s a bitter pill to swallow.

Everton went into the game against “Da Toon” as total underdogs, which alone is embarrassing enough, as Newcastle are on a decent run, for a change, and are aiming for European football next season where as Everton are looking to try and avoid slipping into the relegation spots. Horrible feeling that is.

Pretty much had defeat from the get go with this one. I’m not one to jump on the Moyes Out bandwagon because I don’t dislike Moyes but I do have to question his constantly poor negative tactics against clubs like Newcastle. One lone striker against this lot in Lois Saha and no other proper out and out strikers on the bench as Vellios was taken injured at last minute. I suppose James McFadden could be classed as one but he doesn’t count in my eyes because I still don’t understand why we re-signed him in the first place but there you.

Anyway as for the game itself Everton were poor in first half and Newcastle opened the scoring with a clumsy own goal by our own Johnny Heitinga and not long after were 2-0 up against us after a poor clearance from Rodwell saw Taylor (redshite) blast a shot over Tim Howards head and in the back of the net. Fair play it was a good goal and it pretty much sunk Everton. However, despite some of the negative tactics and taking off a midfielder and replacing him with a defender at 2-0, we got back into it and pulled a consolation just before half time with Jack Rodwell scoring. You would think this set the tone for the 2nd half and maybe a comeback was on the cards but it wasn’t to be, though we looked strong in the 2nd half we just couldn’t break “da toon’s” defense and it ended in a 2-1 defeat. So that’s 10 points from 10 games now for Everton. Not good enough, a lot needs to change and change quick, the negative tactics need to stopped and we need to start scoring quickly before it all goes tits up. Wolves next at Goodison after the international break. This is the time for the players and manager alike to step up and get the ball rolling before we end up stirring the bottom 3 spots dead on.

STATS & FACTS

My Man of the match: Jack Rodwell I suppose, scored the goal and worked fairly hard through the game

Attendance: 50,671

Squad: Howard, Heitinga (McFadden), Jagielka, Hibbert (Cahill), Baines, Coleman, Rodwell, Drenthe, Neville (Distin), Osman, Saha

 

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Filed under 2011/12, Everton, Premier League

Everton 0 – 1 Man Utd

Loosing to a team like Utd is a bit of a write off these days unless your a team like City or Chelsea however Everton walked away from the match on Saturday without their pride being completely knocked in my opinion. Had it not been for a poor defensive mistake in the 17th minute that lead to Utd’s only goal I do strongly believe that Everton could have walked away from the game with at least a point, if not all three.

Couldn’t get to the game on Saturday myself but I did head over to my local to watch it on the telly with a few glasses of coke due to the hangover and the fact it was a midday kick off and despite the result it was a good match to watch. You would of thought that after the embarrassing thrashing Utd received last week and the fact that Everton had six players on the pitch that had played 120 minutes of football less that 72 hours before kick off and were missing Cahill, Drenthe and Distin that Man Utd would be set to cruise this, however this wasn’t the case. It was Everton who made the brighter start when Seamus Coleman came close after just 30 seconds which led to Everton piling on the pressure. Unfortunately though it was Utd that struck the only goal in the game after a poor bit of defending allowed Hernandez or Chicarito or whatever the meffs name is to tap in from point blank range from a cross on 17 minutes. You could tell straight away this deflated Everton and Utd started to put on the pressure. Everton tried the best to push but constant mistakes from Billy (again!!) killed off chances for us. However in the last 10 of the first Everton started to pile on the pressure again and came even closer to scoring after Bainesy’s marvelous free kick struck the bar.

The second half came and Moyesy made the decision to take off Billy who had played garbage in the first half and replace him with 17 year old Ross Barkley. Everton went straight into the second half putting the pressure on again but unfortunately the tiredness of some of players began to show and it seemed that despite the better chances coming for Everton the general possession rate was probably 50/50. The Blues did try and push for a goal by bringing on two strikers in Vellios and young Frenchman Magaye Gueye who had a potential penalty shout near the end only for it to be dismissed (and in fair rightly so as he looked to be going to the ground before any contact was made) but unfortunately just lacked that extra bit of class to push Utd’s back line, even with 6 minutes added time (due to the linesman having to be subbed with the 4th official because he had cramp HA!)

So a disappointing result for the Blue’s but definitely not one to kick and scream about. We played well, but we just couldn’t break the current champions down and just lacked the consistency and that extra kick to get past their solid defence. It’s the Geordies away next, I hate the Geordies, you’ll discover why later this week, but hopefully we can go to their massive soup kitchen on the hill next week and play like we did against Utd and maybe walk away from a ground that hasn’t been favoured by us in recent years with all 3 points.

STATS & FACTS

My man of the match: Coleman (didn’t stop running throughout and created some great chances)

Attendance: 35,494

Squad: Howard, Hibbert, Jagielka, Heitinga, Baines, Coleman, Fellaini, Rodwell, Bilyaletdinov (Barkley), Osman (Velios), Saha (Gueye)

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Filed under 2011/12, Everton, Premier League

Pre-Match Build Up: Man Utd (Home)

Sir Alex Ferguson's breakfast

I’m going to try and make this the last blog update of the week as I’ve gone overboard this week, mainly cos it’s the first week and it was my birthday as well as a midweek game so yeh, last update of this week.

I remember a couple of seasons back doing my regular Saturday trip to Goodison and picking up my regular copy of Everton fanzine When Skies are Grey, ironically, I think it was the Saturday when we famously came from 1-0 down to beat Utd 3-1. Anyway, before the match started I remember sitting in my seat reading an article in WSAG about the relationship between Everton and Utd. Now this may not be a direct quote but I recall the opening sentence of the article being something along the lines of “There’s an old saying that goes the enemy of my enemy is my friend.” This got me thinking, as an Evertonian and a Scouser I can’t stand Utd and I’m certainly not a big fan of Manchester itself neither, but, and as much as I hate to say it, yeh there is a somewhat deep and certainly well hidden..respect? Admiration? Nah I wouldn’t even go that far, I can’t think of the word right now but most understand what I’m getting at here.

Ever since the opening of the Manchester Ship Canal in 1894 the relationship between Scousers and Mancs has been, well, somewhat unpleasant and this has especially shown on the terraces over the years. However, the main rivalry between the cities has shown mainly between Liverpool and Utd, granted Everton and City have a somewhat rivalry going but, let’s be honest, it’s nought compared to the other two, who naturally HATE each other to the point where some VERY unpleasant and vile chants have been sang towards each others fans regarding tragedies that have scarred both football clubs.

So where does the whole concept of “Enemy of my enemy” kick in? Well I can only speak on my own behalf but I’m sure at least one or two fellow Blues will agree. We hate United too but we hate Liverpool more and let’s be honest seeing Liverpool knocked off their perch and fall from grace over the years only to be replaced by their, now, biggest rivals does somewhat make us smirk. Most Liverpool fans will brand us as “bitter” for this but let’s be honest, the second things start going pear shaped for Utd, Liverpool’s fans are the first to jump the joke bandwagon, I mean, christ, you would have thought Liverpool beat Utd in Champions League Final back in May and not Barcelona. I don’t think it’s “bitter” it’s rivalry and it’s all part and package of a rivalry.

Another part of the “admiration” (I really don’t like using that word) for Utd I suppose comes from the fact that over the years, despite the dodgy ref decisions, unnecessary added time and some of the nasty tackles (usually from Paul Scholes), Utd’s squad has consistently oozed with class. You would expect this from a club with a big budget, however, there is something different about Utd than the other big spenders like Liverpool, City, Chelski and Arse. Despite the fact they have the money, let’s be honest, only spend the big bucks when necessary and have picked up some bargains compared to other clubs signings. Granted, as well, they have signed some shite players over the years like any other club but look at some of the signings they’ve made over the year. Ronaldo from Lisbon for £12.5m, I mean c’mon imagine a team trying to sign him for that much now, they’d probably get sued for slander. Another one, a bit closer to home, is the signing of our old boy wonder Wazza, signed for £35m (after add ons) in 2004, the same amount was spent by Liverpool last season on Andy Carroll. Now I’m not taking the piss here but I know who I would rather have in my club.

Utd are now the most successful club in the England after knocking Liverpool off their perch last year and winning the League trophy for the 19th time and I suppose the man to thank for this is Sir Alex Ferguson. Love him or hate him, the moaning, whiskey nosed angry Scotsman is the most successful manager in English League History. Granted, Bob Paisley brought back 20 trophies to Anfield in his 9 year tenure at Liverpool which, I suppose, makes him the most successful manager in the shortest time, but that certainly isn’t a way to discredit Fergie who is now approaching towards his 40th trophy (37 now to be exact). When it comes to the famous Managerial names, Whiskey nose has certainly placed himself up at the top of the pile with the likes of Shankley, Paisley, Kendall, Catterick, Revie and Clough, a good achievement considering at one point in the early days of his tenure Utd fans wanted him out.

So, after all that, United arrive at Goodison on Saturday for the early kick off and needless to say that lot will be hurting right now. Despite wiping aside Aldershot in the cup midweek, let’s be honest, after Sunday’s embarrassing thrashing to next door neighbours, Abu Dhabi FC, Utd will be after blood. Oh Great! what a time to play them, especially after the 120 minutes of Wednesday night against Chelsea. Our record against Utd as it is isn’t fantastic. If memory serves me correct ever since the beginning of the Premiership I think we have only beaten Utd 6 times, 3 times at Goodison, once at Old Trafford and twice at Wembley. However, in the last couple of seasons we’ve caused them a bit of upset including two great comebacks of 1-0 down to win 3-1 and last years 3-1 down to draw 3-3 in extra time so there is hope yet. Unfortunately, I don’t see a good result from this one. Like I said, Utd are hurting right now, there’s nothing worse than getting beat by your neighbours but getting thrashed 6-1 AT HOME is certainly a bitter, bitter pill to swallow so without any doubt Utd will be after blood and are gonna want to wipe the floor with us. I think Everton in this case have to try and go at them and try and hurt them more but at the same time keep their heads up defensively because we all know Utd’s ability to score on the break is what kill opposition off constantly. Like I say I’m not overly confident about this fixture but hopefully if we can keep it together we can pull away with a point, perhaps a 1-1, but who knows we’ve upset them before, we can do it again. I’ll leave you with one of the famous moments of upset against Utd from a few seasons ago. Still gives me shivers watching this.

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Filed under 2011/12, Everton, Pre-Match Build Up, Premier League

Everton 1 – 2 Chelsea

Row M Seat 107, My seat for the night (for the first half anyway)

It was not that long ago that going to a night game at Everton was really really special to all Evertonians. Be it in Europe, League or mid-week cup ties Goodison Park under floodlights usually creates a different atmosphere. Loud, intense, full on deafening, a full house. I can remember coming home from such memorable nights at Goodison like when we beat Chelsea 2-1 a few seasons back, THAT game against Fiorentina, even if it was heart breaking, The Big Dunc Man Utd win or the “Dan Gosling” derby, leaving the ground with a ringing in my ear and tingles down my spine. In recent times, however, that all seems to have gone. Granted we’re not in Europe anymore (and are not likely to be for a while) and alot of people seem to jibb off the Carling Cup because it’s been given that Mickey Mouse appeal for some reason. For me it’s silverware and it’s still something Everton should aim for. I don’t want to sound like I’m moaning or giving anyone grief here because I’m not but only just over 23,000 attended Goodison tonight in a cup tie against CHELSEA. That’s almost half empty. I’m not sure if it’s because of the price of tickets (£24 for a Carling Cup tie I agree is extortionate) or the general air of negativity and unawareness of what’s going on behind the scenes at Everton but, I dunno, I just really miss that midweek excitement and I do hope we have seen the last of it.

£24 for a Carling Cup Ticket...ridiculous

As for the game itself I would definitely go as far as saying it was a game of 2 halves (well 4 in this occasion). First half saw a weaker Chelsea side missing most big star names, come at Everton over and over again and Everton not able to take the game to Chelsea. Everton conceded a penalty early in the first half which was sent wide by Nicolas “Eggheaded tit” Anelka much to the Evertonian’s delight. However, Chelsea opened the scoring on 37 after what I can only describe as one of the worst butter finger goalkeeper moments I have witnessed by Jan Mucha. A light cross/shot by Kalou was caught by Mucha only to slip through his hand and into the net. I’m not going to go on a tirade about Mucha cos in all fairness to him he made a few decent saves in the game but for me, and I’ve always said this, he is not good enough as a first choice keeper and even with Tim Howard out the squad for the night I would have chosen Marcus Hanneman over him any day, but that’s just my opinion.

Second half came along and I decided to move seats next to my two old regular mates who I used to have a season ticket next to due to the fact I was sitting in front of 3 complete and utter titheads who were annoying throughout the first half. The half started with Phil Neville being replaced by Tony Hibbert and Everton went straight into it and generally looked great. All the midfielders (except Bilyaletdinov who, YET AGAIN, had another howler) seemed to work well together specially Fellaini and Rodwell even Drenthe I thought played well and was helping to create space by making Chelsea players go at him and taking them out of position. For me though his big problem was he gets too greedy and tries the impossible and tries to take everyone on rather than putting on simple lay offs and that is something he has to get out of his system as he’s not in La Liga anymore. Needless to say we looked the much better team.

A glimmer of hope came midway through the 2nd half when Everton were awarded a penalty and Chelsea saw Keeper Turnbull red carded for bringing Saha down in the box. Needless to say Everton missed the penalty. Baines’ kicked saved well by Chelsea replacement keeper Cech. It just looked like that equaliser wasn’t going to happen. The game changed however when Seamus Coleman came on to replace Billy (who for me was shite again) and straight away was getting in great runs and good crosses that looked dangerous. Eventually, Seamus provided a lovely cross into Louis Saha or banged in the equaliser in the 82nd minute. Chelsea down to 10 men, 1-1, 10 minutes to go, game on. Everton went into all out attack bringing on Denis Stracqualursi who could have won the game had it not been for a rubbish header despite being completely open. In all honesty as well, I don’t rate this Denis lad, he hasn’t impressed me yet.

So 1-1 at the end of the 90. Extra time saw a pretty 50/50 first half with both teams trying to go at each other despite everyone being knackered, however it all crumbled for Everton when Drenthe was sent off for a 2nd bookable offense and it became all Chelsea. It was only inevitable that Chelsea were gonna try and set up camp in our half and put the game to bed, fate was sealed with 5 minutes to go in the 2nd half of injury time after Mucha pushed away a shot from Ivanovich only for Sturridge to hit it home and kill Everton off.

All in all a disappointing night for us Blues, a game that should of and could have been killed in regular time, in the end dragged out too long and wore the players down. As for the atmosphere in Goodison, well you only have to read my rant from earlier, moments of loud singing and general hope we could win but nothing to write home about. At least our fans didn’t do “The Bounce” like Chelsea’s complete and utter HELMET supporters did. Seriously, so bored of these bounce and Poznan-esque celebrations. They’re not clever they’re not cool, they’re just fucking stupid, but then again what do you expect from a club with a fan base that’s been supporting them through their 7 year history.

So that’s it, Carling Cup campaign over for another season, a piece of silverware that won’t be coming to Everton, typical. Like most Everton fans tonight I have a slight feeling of deflation and disappointment, but that’s Everton for you, have to take the crap with the good I suppose oh well there’s always the FA Cup, right? Right? Meh…Who am I kidding?

FACTS

My man of the Match: Fellaini (another excellent performance)

Attendance: 27,103

Squad: Mucha, Distin, Neville (Hibbert), Baines, Heitinga, Drenthe, Rodwell (Stracqualursi), Bilyaletdinov (Coleman), Cahill, Saha

Unused subs: Hanneman, Vellios, Osman, Barkley

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Filed under 2011/12, Cup Football, Everton

Ale Trail #1/Birthday & Pre Match Build Up: Chelsea (Carling Cup)

So a triple header Blog update rather than a further three separete blog updates on three different days like I promised I’d try and avoid as that’s what makes blogging stagnant and repetative, so here it goes.

ALE TRAIL #1

A regular feature what will be occurring in my blog is a little feature I like to call ALE TRAIL. Like most pretentious meffs I like to consider myself a bit of an elitist when it comes to drinking ale, which is a bit weird considering just 3 years ago I was still Straight Edge (HA!). All kidding aside though I do appreciate a good Real Ale when I find one so I figured it would make a decent topic to include in this here blog, so without further delay. My first entry for the “ALE TRAIL” is a newly introduced bitter into my local boozer I’ve found myself drinking and enjoying called “Daniel’s Hammer”

Unfortunately, my local, The Saughall, as much as I love the place, is not exactly the best of pubs for the Ale Enthusiast or CAMRA member, mainly due to the fact it’s more of a modern eatery pub than a traditionalist pub and is licensed under the brewery company Thwaites. Needless to say every now and again we do get a good guest or new regular ale come in on tap that doesn’t disappoint. “Daniel’s Hammer” is the newest ale to come into The Saughall and despite it’s slightly homo-erotic title I have to say is a damn good pint. Described as a “strong pale golden ale with a delicate malty palate and well balanced zesty hop character” this ale is full of body with a good pale colour, not too dry and is actually surprisingly refreshing for a pale ale and pretty strong as well at 5% despite the fact it actually tastes pretty light and doesn’t feel to heavy on the stomach.

It’s a pint that doesn’t leave behind that bitter aftertaste that some ales do and is definitely one of them ales you can at least sup more than one pint of. Granted, it’s not the best pint I’ve ever had neither but it’s one that I’ll happily choose over a pint of Fosters or Carling anyday. Recommended.

BIRTHDAY

So today was my 25th birthday and rather than sit here and moan about “oh mann I’m getting old etc etc.” I’m actually quite chuffed about turning 25. It’s a big year for me this year as it’s the final year of being technically classed as “single” by the time my next birthday comes around I’ll be married, pretty exciting stuff.

As for my day today I’ve spent it relaxing with my family and my missus who bought me a smart Northern Boys Club tshirt (pictured below) and Bulgari aftershave. My plan for tonight after finishing this is head back to the Saughall with the missus for the pub quiz. Sound.

PRE MATCH BUILD UP: CHELSEA AT GOODISON (CARLING CUP)

"In Soviet Russia, football plays you"

Everton enter into the 4th round of the Carling Cup tomorrow evening against what can only be described as a deflated Chelsea team. I say deflated mainly because the Cockney rent boys will be without Drogba (thank Christ), Ashley Cole and Bosingwa who all received cards and marching orders in, what can only be described as the most hilarious game of football I have ever watched, Sunday’s defeat to local rivals QPR at Loftus Road, but let’s be honest, it’s Chelsea, even without them 3 they’re hardly shit.

Players like Juan Mata, Ladyboy Torres (if he is no longer suspended I’ll have to check), Anelka, Fat Frank and Adolph Terry are all available for the rent boys tomorrow and will no doubt be out to try and bounce back from their derby day defeat on Sunday. However, despite the recent League defeat to this lot at The Bridge, our record against Chelsea isn’t all that bad, especially at Goodison. We have managed to beat them twice at Goodison in 3 years and once in the FA Cup away last season, as well as countless amount of draws, then again though these bastards have a way of crushing us at the final hurdles in the past, i.e 2009 FA Cup Final and 2008 League Cup Semi-Final.

As for Everton, it’s a mixed season so far. Some crap performances leading to crap results and some crap performances leading to scrappy last minute wins, like that at the weekend against Fulham at Craven Cottage, mixed with drama off the pitch and lack of money, which I won’t get into right now but probably will in the nearby future. All in all making it a bit of a headache so far, however the weekends result against Fulham gave me a glimmer of hope, despite us not actually playing that well, the squad and tactics looked more positive and players like Vellios and Drenthe were given starts which, as we all saw, lead to Drenthe’s AMAZING goal. For me it’s important for us to play positive and really go at Chelsea tomorrow and maybe stick to the squad we started with on Sunday (except maybe put Saha back in from Vellios) because, let’s be honest,despite the Carling Cup loosing it’s reputation as a big trophy over the years, in my eye, it still is and it’s probably one of the only chances we’re going to get on putting our hands on silverware at the current rate so needless to say it’s an important game and a big chance tomorrow. I just hope, for the love of Christ, the players realise this and go at Chelsea. If they do I’m going with a simple 1-0 and that goalscorer to be….oh christ knows, let’s say Bainesy, yeh Leighton Baines Freekick, why not?

So yeh, looking forward to this one, I’ll be in attendance with my good mate Al Bentley thanks to my little sister getting me a ticket for my birthday and no doubt will be supping a few pre-match pints on County Roads finest establishments. So until then, Come On You Blues.

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Filed under 2011/12, Ale Trail, Clobber, Cup Football, Everton, General, Pre-Match Build Up