When your team sucks, the full time whistle is like a relief-giving anti-acid. When your team is great, the full time whistle is a signal to party. When your team is Everton, the full time whistle is like a punch in the throat.
This game started out like a day at the beach for Everton. At the beginning it was all beach balls, sun, and fun, but by the end, it was darkness, whispered what ifs, and quiet sobbing in the night.
Kevin Mirrales and Stephen Naismith were the two diodes that fired all the works today. Pienaar left after 8 minutes with a (choose one)
Torn Rotary Cuff
Ossie came on for him, and the old gray man sent a thrill through the old lady with a deft through pass to Mirrales that came up just short of setting off the fireworks. For the rest of the first half, Everton did as they pleased, and before savvy fans could dread the dreaded goal against the run of play, Gareth Barry, floating alone in outer space, orbited a ball over both Lukaku and Coleman. Coleman, running fast behind Romulou, popped it into the net with his head and the Toffees were up, 1-0.
This really set Arsenal off. In fact, you would have thought they deserted the pitch when Lukaku robbed an Arsenal player of the ball, and wheeled upfield with it. Dribbling like a Disney donkey, he threaded the ball like seamstress onto the just offside boot of Naismith, who fired home for 2-0 and the three points. Well...
In the second half, Arsenal just sent a trojan horse onto the pitch and then their bus left. Everton, overjoyed at this capitulation began working on delightful training ground moves that awed the spectators, and left the commentators nothing more to talk about except what the world would be like if talking giraffes ruled.
Finally, worn out from all their horseplay, Everton packed up and left for holiday. Then, the trap door in the wooden horse opened up. Arsenal, like a thief with bulging eyes looking around to make sure the people really had left their home deserted, took a couple of test runs into the Everton end that went unchallenged. Then they checked the bedrooms...nobody. Then they checked the six-yard box. Nobody. They sent in a test cross to make sure, and Ramsey put it past Howard. “Hey,” someone whispered. “The fridge is bloody full!”
By the time the homeowners remembered they'd forgotten to lock the house and rushed back home, it was too late. Their house was full of Arsenal monkeys. They were swinging from chandeliers, wearing Distin's underwear on their head, clawing stuffing from the sofas, and for good measure, at the 90th minute they flung a bit of equalizing dung into Everton's net as Distin and Jagielka stood aside, scratching their heads.
After that, Everton did little more than file an insurance report, speak with the police, and then, when the final whistle blew, Arsenal started shrieking like a bunch of monkeys, and Everton walked around looking like they had just been punched in the throat. There was nothing left to do but get the luggage out of the cars and start searching for the missing four points.
OPENING DAY, 2014, @ LEICESTER
ARE YOU WATCHING, ARE YOU
What a day for David Moyes! Before his golden falsetto had stopped singing at the end of the Manchester United-Swansea match, he changed over to watch Everton against Leicester, who are back in the Premiership after finally leaving the one place they truly belong.
Everton strutted into Leicester's stadium with the swagger only Champions of Fifth Place can boast. They scanned the crowd menacingly, and more than a few of the Everton Eleven pawed at the pitch and muttered, “Yeah, that's right, bitches. Fifth place!”
When a circus opens, there is a parade of fire eaters eating fire, sword swallowers swallowing swords, and bearded ladies growing more fur. Today was no different, as the showcase league of the world kicked off. Headers of the ball bounced it around in the air, dribblers dribbled, and substitutes, wearing their vests of shame, sat around not making eye contact with people, except the gaffers, who were busy not making eye contact with the substitutes. However, despite all that action, it was the referees with their deft use of the cans of Silly String that really brought the crowd to life.
With all of this festivity going on, it would be a shame not to have a goal on display, and in the 19th minute, Everton's Aiden McGeady stole the spotlight from the aerosol cans. He took a low, wicked corner that was deflected to Leighten Baines, who was loitering about 15 yards out in front of the box. Baines ran onto the ball and fired a shot that deflected out to Distin just outside the left corner of the goal box.
Distin wound up for a shot, and the goalie crawled out toward him and raised up with his hands in the air, like an old, lost desert prospector begging for water. What he got was a smack in the face from the ball. No water, old timer! The face ricochet came back to McGeady, who measured twice and cut once, the ball hitting underneath the right hand crossbar-goalpost, and rolled dazzlingly around the inside top of the net before succumbing to gravity.
Everton quickly followed up that goal with another, but this one was produced at the other end after a bit of clown-like defending. Leicester had a corner. Everton set up for it in their panic mode, which worked out perfectly when the ball came to Distin in front of the net, and he sent it all the way up the pitch, fifteen yards, and into the body of a spelling nightmare named “Ulloa” but pronounced with J's instead of L's. Tim Howard began swearing, but with good reason, for he was watching the end of his clean sheet whiz past him straight into the net.
Everton would do just enough to regain the lead at halftime. Baines chased a ball down the left hand side to the touchline, and sent a pass out to Lukukau, who slipped and fell as he kicked it. The ball limped over to Naismith at the top of the box, and he was ruthless as he one-timed it underneath the top crossbar. The ball boinged around the inside of the net for half an hour before the goalie could finally get his hands on it and send it back up the field with a dainty kick. Everton had a 2-1 lead and it was halftime.
This must have been the halftime talk from Martinez: “Well lads, 2-1 should be good enough to beat these pricks, eh? Oh, and Barklay looks like he's out for zee next 5 months. Now, spend the next ten minutes with your eyes closed and envision not defending.”
Well, Jagielka must have envisioned his arse off, because he played as though he were captaining the England squad, instead of Everton. The rest of the team, for their part, loped around pondering what they would do if Baines tried to make them all listen to the Cranberries again on the bus ride home.
In fact, they played like dogs trying to walk with socks on their paws, as Leicester ate huge, greedy gulps of grass in wide open spaces for the rest of the match, and having ripped open Everton's soft underbelly, could easily have cracked the match wide open if they...well, weren't Leicester, the Champions of Twenty First Place.
If Jagielka looked dazed on the pitch, he certainly became so, after he leaned his head into Sub Chris Wood's boot in an effort to ascertain what would happen if he did so. A harsh boot to the face was the answer, and a well deserved reward for his lackadaisical play. Then, in minute 86, Wood used his boots one more, but this time on the ball, as the unmarked player clenched his jawline and sent a shot straight at and by Tim Howard, who had used up all his saves against Belgium, back in June.
What a day for David Moyes! He karate-kicked his TV off, punched the air, and his golden falsetto sang out again: “Are you watching you fat Scouse bastards...?” He then ran around his living room giving the double Vs to the blank TV screen, before settling down and pulling out his iPhone to watch the blank screen and wait for messages from his agent to light it up. And wait...
I guarantee you'll love this quick little page turner, If mistakes could fly, You'd be a Superhero - Flash Fiction ... If you don't, Amazon will give you your money back. If you do love it, (Leave a review!)
Holy Crap, that came out HUGE! Whatever, I'll see you back in August for our FOURTH year!
This is a world that has gone so horribly wrong. Terrorism has become mundane, looters ravage streets already ruined by hurricanes, children are ripped away from sports fields and tossed onto battlefields, drive-by shootings are heard popping out of cars and into houses where babies sleep, and drug cartels shovel burned and decapitated bodies into mass graves the way a squeegee wipes water off a windscreen. Dear God, why then can't you just nudge Liverpool's bus into the path of a train that has Phil Dowd strapped across its front?
Well, The Creator is busy doing other things, and so Liverpool showed up, as did Dowd, and this game kicked the hell off. Everton held most of the possession without much happening. What this means, is if they couldn't score right away, somebody else would. Oh, look. It's minute 6 and Liverpool have a corner. The ball ding-donged in the area while Tim Howard cracked the door open, leaving it on its chain, peeked out and shrilled, “WHO'S THERE?” Well, some guy wearing half of Howard's beard on top his head was there, and he slammed a ball through the crack in the door.
Liverpool's fans began jumping around like lobsters trying to flee the tank at feeding time, but Everton slapped them back into the tank minutes later. Baines took a corner, and fresh off his “Wow, I Suck Now. Go Figure!” tour, he bumped in a tempting morsel that Mirrales sunk his teeth into to tie the score.
Everton used the impetus not to defend, but to try and stab Liverpool's achilles heel. They attacked with gusto, but to no effect. Speaking of teeth, moments later Surez set his monster chompers into the Goodison grass in search of earth worms, but what he came up with was a a mouthful of free kick. He should have been carded for diving, but Dowd apparently is rationing those cards out for Everton players. Last year, this would be perfect range for Baines. The ball sailed by the Everton wall, as Pienaar, who last year would have been the perfect partner for Baines, shied out of the way. Howard's surprised eyes grew with the approaching of the ball. Too late, he dove, still, his gloved hand just missed the ball as the orb nestled into the lower right corner. The half ended with Sueraz, yet again curled up on the pitch, twitching like a diseased hamster that couldn't get another call. The ref ignored him, although an elephant hunter stopped by and tried to pry some of that precious ivory from his horrible mouth.
The second half was like being in a snug, wintery snow globe, except without snowflakes and horse-drawn carriages, but with wood chippers and chainsaws, instead. In fact, the pace was both frantic and cautious. Phil Dowd chugged about the pitch too dazed by the action to make any more lame ass calls. The teams in Blue and Red took care of the rest. Lakaku in minutes 72 and 82, equalized and drew Everton ahead with a boot and his head. This was good enough for Goodison glory, until the 89th minute, when Sturridge headed in from a corner with a sickening sound.
When the whistle blew, both teams seemed ready to call it a day and were more than happy to exchange handshakes after a job well done. Oh, but in the growing dark of the Liverpool evening...no, that doesn't work...Oh, but as the day grew colder, the true LFC spirit of pettiness and hate began to surface as complaints began to surface regarding a challenge Mirralles made with his studs up. Why was Mirralles still on the pitch at the end of the game, LFC wanted to know? Why was he not sent off?
The answer, you wankers, is that sometimes, God gets it right. Now, fasten your panties, because it's rough sledding on your way down to the Europa League.
Everton vs Barcelona @ London
This match began with the fans observing a minute of silence for Crystal Palace, and went downhill from there. The commentator told us that the Everton team would remain unchanged from the team that played against Spurs. Everton then went out and played like the same team that had played against Spurs.
Palace matched Everton in their reluctance to engage, but who could blame them? Before the match, their big-mouthed intern manager had boasted, “I'm going to war with Everton! Who's with me?” and then spent the entire match standing well away from the action.
If Everton were at war, they didn't seem to notice. They played more like finicky animals than warriors. In fact, Osman sent a stray ball Lakaku's way in front of an open net, yet the African merely pecked at it as though the ball were a tainted kernel of corn. Watching Everton, one would think that with Christmas approaching, they were placing all their goals on layaway. Palace played the way a robber pokes a dead body to make sure it's really it's safe to rob. Once they were certain that Everton couldn't hurt them, the first half came alive. Tim Howard was hurtled onto the proving grounds, but seemingly just to verify the closeness of Palace's chances. Unfortunately for the Londoners, Palace took all their chances as if they were expecting that stupid fucking eagle to get loose again and swoop down onto their heads. Halftime came and TV viewers saw Howard trying to rip the armband off Jagielka.
Palace took Kagisho Dikgacoi off, and put in some bloke whose name didn't sound like a drunk about to fail a drink driving test. Martinez, bless his heart, took off Osman and Mirrales soon after that and put on Barkley and Deulofao. Palace began the second half playing as though Ian Dowie had burst in during halftime and slapped them around with some boxing gloves. Everton showed new life with the lively Barclay and erratic, yet promising Deulafayo. However, it was Palace who continued to miss chances, and Everton wishing they had chances to miss. Baines took each corner and free kick as though he had promised the Sheffield United fans that he would never play well against Crystal Palace. This match, in fact, was like watching carpet cleaning soap going to work on your carpet, and it ended like the fizzing bottle of beer that caused the need for carpet cleaning in the first place.
As poor as Everton played, the difference between Moyes and Martinzez is that Moyes would have lost this match.
From "The Baron" on LASH
The players struggle against sides who get behind the ball and defend in numbers, remember Cardiff? it was exactly the same. There's a lack of guile/creativity in the final 3rd to unlock really defensive teams, just like there was under Moyes. We look better against sides who play an open game and don't tackle the fuck out of us
Ossie's legs are finished. Baines looks pissed off and grumpy and unwilling to make runs and link up with Pienaar. Jags has gone from the worst passer in the world to one of the worst passers in the world so an improvement there but he's currently touching the ball more than the wide men which just slows everything down to a snails pace. Soon, a team will target him for aggressive pressing and things might get a bit dicey there. Mirallas is having a quiet season so far and his averageness has begun to infect Seamus.
Also it was cold and rained constantly with hardly any public transport to and from the ground. We had to walk the 3 miles back to my mate's place as it was completely gridlocked. Palace's ground makes Goodison look like the Bernabau and their fans are retards.
That is all.
Crystal Palace Preview: Let's see if DirectTV have pulled their heads out of their arses. It looks like the match is a go. We. Shall. See.
Spurs Match Report:
I'm going to show you the same thing that I saw on my television when I tuned in to the match:
This company has gone from awesome to shit in about 0.25 seconds. I apologize.
IN DEPTH SPURS ANALYSIS WITH
... First, MY analysis:
Spurs always provide a challenge for Everton. Everton often struggle to score more goals against Tottenham, than Tottenham score against Everton. That's MY analysis. I also work at a gas station for a living.
For analysis that goes beyond my realm of expertise, I went to the realm of THE MAN. Roberto Freaking Martinez. Roberto?
Everton 3 Spurs 1
26, OCTOBER, 2013
EVERTON @ VILLA
At work, they have retooled the cash register because the old edition was working just fine. Now it makes barking noises and takes long, soulful pauses during transactions so that everybody in line can get better acquainted. My cellphone, usually a stalwart of nothingness, has begun making mystifying ice cream truck melodies without offering any treats, but dishing out loads of low-minutes warnings, even though the minutes are full. I just bought a Kindle that does nothing but show me covers of books I can't open, and listings of wifi opportunities I can't unlock. And then there is dear, sweet Everton, ticking along like German clockwork from happier times.
However, as this game unfolded, the Everton machine began making shrieking noises that in the old days meant the pumps need priming. Everton kicked off, and it was all backwards from there. Tim Howard resembled the paddle part of a paddleball toy being played by a kid in desperate need of Ritalin. Before Howard could even get the hairs of last night's Midland's conquest out of his beard and teeth, he had to save a penalty. Then, he had to save a one-on-one opportunity, and then another. Villa's coach, Paul Lambert, who dresses like Drew Carrey and has the expression of a guy who's always asking people if they know where his wife is, was beside himself. "Why could we not score a goal? Why could we not--hey, you haven't seen my wife, have you?"
Everton were not without their own personal problems. Lukaku had already had a hat trick's worth of goals saved by the other American keeper. In fact, it began to look as though the British empire, for their own amusement, had pitted two American slaves against each other in a deadly game to see who would come out alive. In the meantime, Everton buildups would breakdown just past midfield, Aston Villa would break with long, deadly passes, and Howard or Distan would save. I began to fret, because halftime was approaching, and Lukaku was without his first half goal. That would mean the second half chances would be the responsibility of Kone. Then the halftime whistle did blow, and my smoke alarm began shrieking.
The second half began with the sort of slogging that follows a lively first half, and it became apparent that if Everton didn't score the first goal, they would not win this match. Martinez, who looks as if he HAS seen Lambert's wife, made an early substitution. Osman came on for the poor-decision-making Barkley. This lead to a three-man Everton passing triangle down the left side with Osman taking the ball and sending it into Lukaku's path. The Nigerian, no, Belgium player's face lit up and he scuttled the ball along the pitch and into the open, half-net employed by the “thrifty” midlanders.
If you think this lit a fire under the Villain players, you would be correct. They suddenly seemed in a hurry to get back to their houses and wives...except for poor Lambert, who had begun eyeing Martinez with suspicion. Meanwhile, Martinez made another substitution. He seems to be pretty good at this sort of thing. He brought on the kinetic Naismith, speaking of Ritalin, and Naismith and Barry combined to send a pass into the electro-magnetic field of Leon Osman, who set the frequency to high, and the shot to low, beating the keeper inside the left post to end the match. The Villa fans dropped their heads and boarded the people mover conveyor belt to Loserville, as the Everton fans sang a song that rang around the empty park: “David Moyes, are you watching?” How could he have been watching? He was too busy celebrating Manchester United's epic late-minute winner over...Stoke? I bet David Moyes would make a heck of a co-worker. I wonder if he can handle a chirpy cash register while I disappear for long periods of time?
Everton Football Club versus Hull Tigers. Ha ha ha! Hull Tigers! 20 Octover, 2013
Steve Bruce is not the gift that keeps on giving. He is the gift that keeps getting re-gifted. My God, where will this man “turnip” next? I Googled “Steve Bruce's successes as a manager,” and this is what I got: “Steve Bruce was born on December 31, 1960.” That may well have been a late lump of coal in his parents' Christmas stockings, but what a boon it was for the shit clubs of the world! Ladies and Gentlemen, let's give a huge Goodison Park welcome to the Hull Tigers, led by Steve Bruce!”
It took Everton 8 minutes to dump a load onto Bruce's lap. Kevin Miralles ran onto a Leon Osman pass at the outside of the box and struck a depressing little skip of a shot that the goal keeper had no chance on--unless he stuck out his boot. He didn't, and Everton were up a goal. The commentator said that this was the worst start possible for Steve Bruce. I say that skipping a full English Breakfast would have been the worst start possible for him.
Hull countered with two chances; the best being when Distan and Howard combined on a quick, one-two that Howard just missed by kicking the ball over the crossbar. Gareth Barry saw yellow shortly after this, when he tackled some soft twat who rolled around on the ground, alternately massaging his head and his shins in order to give the ref a bigger target for carding.
Somewhere around 30 minutes, Hull burst into Everton's area, roaring with energy and baring their “Cat in the Hat” uniforms at the Blues. They “pounced” when a pass cut across the face of the goal and a guy named “Sagmo”-- am I reading my notes right?, let the ball smack the side of his boot for a wicked quick shot that scorched the (always) diving Howard on its way to the back of the net. The away fans chanted, “Let's go Tigers! Let's go Tigers!”
For the rest of the half, Everton's play became diabolical. In the wrong way. I began to wonder if perhaps they may be lagging on purpose late in the half, in order to not lag at the beginning of the second half. The fans didn't seem to see it that way and boo'd Everton all the way into the dressing room as the half ended.
At halftime, a sudden torrential downpour drenched Goodison in slanting, hateful sheets of piss water from the Liverpool skyline. Fortunately, Hull's Huddlestone came out and absorbed all the water from the sky into his hair. However, it didn't take more than five minutes for the rain to start pissing down again, and it did so just at the point when Martinez called for Stephen Pienaar to come into the game. Stephen paused at the touch line, and gazed into the sky. While many believed it to be a gesture of prayer to God, my lip reading told me he was saying, “Shit, it's pissing down, again.” However, come into the game Stephen did, and so too, he did score by popping a Barkley cross off his fins and into the net.
This caused Martinez, who had launched Piennaar in the first place, to become so full of the blood lust that he pulled off Mandingo Lukaku and offered Kone in his place. Kone came onto the pitch, dutifully, chugged around, made a couple of moves and shot into the bar and had another shot saved. Hell, THAT'LL DO ME, KONE! I yelled at the TV in anger-thoughts. Then, bouncey Mr. Naismith came on and hopped around like he was lip-syncing and air-jamming to some Plimsoul's songs. The referee checked his watch and blew for the zero hour, and Steve Bruce's mouth pulled downward at the corners as his jowls and fingers shook at the referee.
See that bit in large white letters down there? No, ignore the money amount, I know I will. I mean that DVR thing? Yes! I have a high-def box. My TV is some kind of mess from the early nineties, but I swear, the picture is SWEET! Strange how all the figures on it look over-tall and skinny, though.
Well, just as Washington fingered out their thingy-McBang, I sorted out my problem with Direct TV. As you are well aware, they have been loathe to give me my Premiere League package without me having a high-def box. Well, thanks to automated phone systems and humans with "exotic" accents, I only had to wait since July to get "all that EPL action and more!"
Also, I mean no disrespect to anybody's auntie who works the phones at Direct TV. However, sometimes, these ladies just sound like Orson Welles in "The Third Man," or Inspector Clouseau in "The Pink Cougar" or whatever that movie I watched alone last weekend, numerous times, was.
That said, I look forward to bringing you all the head-splitting action tomorrow against Cardiff. I hope I can ad pictures to words, but it is Ojai Day tomorrow. That means a bunch of hippies running around Ojai, closed streets, shit bands, and long lines at Chevron. I hope to leave at the proper time, plug the game into my eyes and get it on.
AT CITY: 05-10-2013
Everton's evolution from the 1990s to the 20-'teens has not been meteoric. I think we can agree on that point. In fact, in those waning days of the last century, Everton have resembled the airline business before the Wright Brothers became involved in it. However, since then, and up to this point, they have evolved enough to resemble the Wright Brothers' first flight. That is to say, wildly successful if you aren't flying to Europe, or anywhere beyond a donkey and a bale of hay.
City came into this match on a relative tailspin of their own. They pounded Manchester United, and then were rolled around in the dirt for a little while by Aston Villa, and then batted around like an old sock by Bayern Munich. As this match kicked off, the commentator said it was curious that City could play such a game at United, and then succumb so easily against the two latter opponents. Umm...was this idiot not aware that there was a coaching change at United, lately?
Anyhoo...this match kicked off and I rubbed my hands together. If Everton owned City with Moyes in charge, what would they do with Martinez at the helm? It didn't take long for Everton to drop a turd bomb on City's latest model Italian blow-dried roadster. In a tribute to David Moyes, Lukaku gathered in a long, seasonal pass on a dead sprint. He slowed down to a loping gate while waiting for a linesman to raise a flag. When that didn't happened, he galloped through the final quarter pasture, bucked a bit, slowed down long enough to toss flower pedals to the City players in his wake before playfully bopping the ball off Joe Harts hands, his England hopes, and into the net.
I then swished my drink around in the glass, took a sip and murmured, “Ah, excellent.” Everton were ahead, at City, 1-0.
What happened next? Roberto Mancini is no longer City's manager is what happened next! City bolted the other way and played a little do-daw into Howard's net. In watching Tim Howard going one-on-one with a player, I'm beginning to understand the rush of bungie jumping. At first, you're terrified, and then you splat the ground and die a horrible mental and physical death. All right, I was talking about the rush of bungie jumping when the lengths of the chords being used have been seriously misjudged. Well, after their goal, City began to mirror the Everton style of play, and that confused the boys in blue. Royal blue, I mean. City began moving in like Italian gypsies wielding knives, and Everton began playing like tourists who were sorry they didn't tip the lady for reading their fortune. When somebody is stalking you with a knife, and you begin backpedalling, it isn't long before you start spitting out cash, and spewing blood. Just before halftime, City afforded me another vicarious and failed bungie jumping experience when Aguerro found himself with a couple of moments alone with generous American Tim Howard. At 2-1, Everton were nicked, but the halftime whistle kept them from getting carved. However, City were only just smearing oil onto their whetstones.
In the second half, Everton tried playing their patient back to front mode, building their attack like an outgoing tide, but a sense of urgency robbed them of their needed accuracy. City began nicking the ball off them at every turn, and the second half became a wave of light blue crashing over navy blue. In the first half, the referee had ignored 47 penalty shouts from both sides. Finally, in the 70th minute, with City doing all the work, and Everton all the watching, the ref awarded City with a penalty, and who cared? It wasn't as if Everton were ever going to get an equalizer. The penalty was saved by Howard, who tipped it off the post, off his head, and into the back of the net. This is a marvelous billiards move, but for Everton, it just meant 3-1.
To his credit, Martinez added two subs in the 62 minute, but unfortunately, he had to take two players off as well. Gibson was brought on to fill the ghost spot Osman had been occupying, and Deloufeo came on to help City add to their ball control percentage. These substitutions had the effect that punching the sky has upon the air. Ten minutes later, Martinez added to his strange science concoction by taking the goal scorer off, and adding Kone. This is like trying to fix a flat tyre by hitching a boulder to the back of your car, but Martinez must experiment in order to learn. When the whistle blew, it was clear that Pelligrini had taught Everton a lesson. The next match will show us if Martinez learned anything.
A desperate pitch invader is dragged back to Manchester United
MANCHESTER CITY MATCH
Newcastle at Home
The sprinklers sputtered to life just before kickoff. Then, they began spraying long, easy streams of water onto the pitch. Like gargoyles overseeing Goodison, they spread an aquatic net for Everton would float upon. Back and forth, up and down, in their deadly, pragmatic manner, the sprinklers steadily covered the pitch. When the game began, Everton picked up where the sprinklers left off.
Like snake charmers, everton coaxed the ball up the field, back and forth, slowly and patiently. Newcastle, for their part, looked like a western tourist. Big blob of sunscreen on their nose, wearing a noisy, tacky shirt with “WONGA” on the front, and their beady little eyes focused on the cobra, and growing wide with apprehension. It only took five minutes for the snake to strike. Mirrales ripped open the right flank, crossed the ball to Lukaku at the net. He shot hard, and Newcastle's keeper cleverly parried it into his net.
There was a kickoff, Everton took the ball, and began the process anew. There was as much joy listening to the crowd reacting to the play as there was in watching the play, itself. Oohs and Ah's rising and falling like a summer crowd at an air show. Newcastle's fans looked like jurors at the Nuremberg trials. Across my TV screen, the network flashed an ad for an upcoming “DC United vs Chicago” match. I nearly sprayed beer across the screen. The ad was as fitting as bursting into the Louvre and shouting, “Hey, I've got clowns dry-humping goats outside! Just five bucks!” Actually, that sounds pretty interesting...
Well, here we are at minute 24. Lukaku is bucking his way through a bunch of Lilliputians who are trying to attach rope to his limbs. He pauses just long enough to send a pass into the path of Barkley. The pass is as soft and perfect as a flake of Belgium pastry. Barkley lovingly bounce-touches the ball over the keepers leg for the second goal, and Newcastle's eyes roll up in the back of their heads.
Moving back into past tense but up to the 37th minute. It must be said that up to this point, Everton's midfield had seemed anonymous, which in this system seems to mean they were playing perfectly. Newcastle's attacks were the same as when a bug attacks your windscreen on the open road. The defenders spent the time wiping up bits of mess. Anyway, Tim Howard, who looks like he should be wearing paisley pajamas and a beret, kicked a ball that Lukaku took down near the Newcastle goal. He performed a Chinese fire drill around two Newcastlians. The keeper, seeing his bodyguards splayed upon the ground, fled, and Lukaku fired emphatically into the empty net. Shortly thereafter, the referee blew for halftime, and the players withdrew into the changing rooms. The crowd dissipated into discussion groups, and from beneath the pitch, the sprinklers pushed their heads back above ground and went back to work.
Well, Allan Pardew's sour-faced halftime talk must have been this: “We must not let them pass the ball.” He also stuffed a couple of players into an old rag bin and brought out some new ones for the second half. I am amazed to say, but this worked a treat. The second half saw Newcastle trying to mirror Everton's first half performance. Of course, this is like that stout Irish lady from “Britain's Got Talent” trying to mirror Maon Kurosaki. However, they did get loose in Everton's end, and the result was the same as if that stout Irish gal had gotten loose at a bachelor's party. The defenders were confused, Howard ran around in circles with his mouth open, trying to catch seagulls with his mitten hands, the ball bounced around an open goal a few times and finally rolled out to some guy with WONGA on the front of his shirt. From about 25 yards away, this peckerhead let fly with a curling shot that entered the top right corner of the goal one second before Howard's hand did. It ruffled the back of the net, and seagull feathers settled around the area.
Great. The Christians managed to scratch the lion. They can take that back to the north with them. The memory will keep them warm at Christmas. Meanwhile, Lukaku was on a unique hat trick. He had two goals, and two disallowed goals. However, the magic was used up for the evening and Newcastle were treating Goodison like snotty-faced invaders let loose from Chuck E. Cheese. This would have been a good time for the sprinklers to reappear, if only to trip up Sissoko and rip his knee in half.
Newcastle poked a second goal through in the six yard area in the 89th minute that Howard could do nothing about. Wait, yes he could. He could have saved it. He did manage to get in the way of a few more waning volleys with one going just over the bar a minute before the final whistle blew. Everton puffed their chests out and blew air out threw their lips. Newcastle sagged, crumpled, and then Pardew picked them up like a useless bag of balls and chucked them back into the bus. The sprinklers came back on.
Oh, on a side note: David Moyes was one of the linesmen!
@ Westham 21-9-13
"Fuck, shit, tits, piss, there goes my clean sheet. At least I'm not white."
Marouane Fellaini: 'Manchester United training better than Everton'
Breaking Down Fellaini's Mind:
Fellaini Awaits a Thought
Is it just me, or is the Manchester United manager much better than my old Everton manager?
DOGS OF SCIENCE!
Jose Mourino is a paradox, no? The older he gets, the more he resembles that baby on “Family Guy.” The more he resembles that baby, the more I think, Hey, this is a guy who may actually benefit from a face lift or two to make him look younger. Talk about face lift! Couldn't Chelsea use one? Their squad is like that expensive car your crazy uncle bought, and then ran out of money and started using tape to replace freeze plugs, and sporty, silver spray paint to cover over rust spots. But I didn't come here to talk about paradoxes, there was a football game to be played between Mourino's Blues, and Martinez's Blues.
Let's talk about Everton. They lose the dour Scot, replace him with the dapper Spaniard, and then they go out and dour their way to triple draws on the trot for three points and go on to lose the popular Belgium to the hated Scotsman. The American Coach in London guy could have done all that!
Whatever. This is Everton's first match since that exciting transfer window. The football under Martinez has been interesting. I will admit that by having a huge-haired dog in the middle of the pitch with his head up his arse and his tongue up David Moyes's, Everton have struggled to implement the Martinez style of walking the play from the back, to the middle, to the front, with the defenders doing that overlapping thing and the scorers doing that non-scoring thing. With these things in mind, Chelsea came to Goodison as League Favourites. I came home from work, opened a beer, slumped into my couch, and flicked open my DVR menu. Against my better judgement, I pressed Play.
The match began with the sort of ebb and flow of a patient man painting his house with a brush. Or is that Mourino creating his masterpiece? Back and forth, slow and steady, stroke, stroke, stroke. Okay, it was Everton building up the play from the back and moving to the middle and poking their heads into the final third. Chelsea seemed content to trot about the pitch wondering when the three points would come. Mata looked to Mourino on the bench. Now? Mourino shook his head: Don't look at me, the referee will give you the points.
As for me, the game was starting to captivate. Everton would work their way to the Chelsea area, Chelsea would panic, send the ball out, and Everton would start again. It was like watching waves lapping against sandcastles. I pried a fleck of crystal meth out of the bottom of an old coffee cup and ground it between my front tooth. I smacked my lips while my brain buzzed. Since Breaking Bad, meth is once again gaining a certain level of acceptance in society. Actually, since kickoff, this Martinez shit is starting to look pretty good, too.
Despite the fact that Jelly and Naismith were in the lineup, Everton were organized and steady, and Chelsea had neary a sniff of the ball. In fact, is it just my brain, or have Everton's first three chances come as results due to Naismith's feisty play? Pretty much, boom, boom, boom, but without the lights going out.
It was at this point the commentator decided to inform the audience that, “Everton are unbeaten on this, their home ground, since 1892...” I cocked my head. I could swear I'd seen Everton lose at Goodison at least once since just 1997. However, it quickly became apparent that he had placed his verbal commas in the wrong place and was not through talking. He then went on to say that Martinez had told his players “The season starts today!” before the game. Well, I don't mean to be picky, but had he told them that a few weeks ago, the league table might look different today.
In the 28th minute, Garreth Barry won me over when Tim Howard almost lost the match. Howard passed a ball to some Chelsea flump, who pounced on it in front of an empty net and the flopped Howard, but Barry was like a cork shot out of a champagne bottle to smack the ball away from the lonely goal mouth.
Chelsea was finally beginning to sense ink in the water. Around the 28th minute they started probing their mental tentacles around the Everton brains. They squeezed and probed for weakness, and nearly caught hold of a stem, but the offering was wanting and wide. A few minutes later, Howard made a brilliant save—OMG, HAVE YOU SEEN THAT BEARD? Howard looks like one of those freaks with bees all over his face! And then on the 45th minute, Barkley gobbled down on the ball in the Chelsea end, kicked it to Leon, who crossed it wide to Jellavic. Jellavic headed across goal, and the leaping Naismith met the ball head on and past the amazed Czeck. Oh, look. Halftime!
You have seen a bully with a bloody nose looking for someone to take it out on? And then not seeing any viable options, he runs to an ant hill and kicks the hell out of it? Chelsea came on after the break windmilling their fists through their tears and blood-red snot-bubbles, and then scattered the Everton ant hill. This caused mild panic among the Everton gentlemen, but they waited a beat, and then once again went back to the business of building from the back and moving through the middle until they reached the front. Chelsea countered by doing a lot of passing themselves. However, this passing seemed more the sort of, No, I don't want it, you take it.
In minute 56, something interesting happened. Frank Lampard invaded the pitch in his LA Galaxy uniform. In a like-for-like move, Martinez brought on one of his Wigan duds. This one is named, McCarthy. I don't know what he did, apart from looking like Ralph Malph from Happy Days.
With Chelsea growing desperate for a point, and Everton desperate to hold on to the three, Everton turned a cool shoulder to the heat turned up by Chelsea, and began piddling all over their foes's aggressive movements. Every ugly attack by Chelsea was countered by a beautiful defensive move by Everton. They would then wobble the ball through the Chelsea attackers like it was an egg, before they burst it up the pitch. There were some other substitutions that landed like splatted yolk, or were tossed into the mix like peanuts to pigeons, but the final whistle told the truth: In the Moyes days, Everton attacked the same way they defended, and they won ugly, or they lost ugly. Mourino lost his job at Chelsea for winning championships ugly.Now, he is back with Chelsea. In sticking with the paradox theme, Martinez won the Everton job by winning the FA Cup and getting his team relegated. Everton have now shown that they can win by playing pretty, and defending beautifully, but with dogged determination. Oh, and Mourino looks creepy, no?
Leif Garret Frowns at Blondie's Comeback Remake of, "I Was Made For Dancing"
HA, HA, HA, ALL NIGHT LONG!
"I have no problem scraping, eh, that off of my zapatoes."
I HAVE NO REGRETS ABOUT LEAVING THE ICE BERG BEHIND
Indians? I won't miss them. Why do you ask?
Here's a tidbit, lad. I won't miss King Arthur and his men. Hey? What do you think about THAT news?
Well, I get to see the Chelsea match. Lucky you! YOu get to read about it. Also, my dispute with Direct TV has been settled, and they will come out in October if I disarm myself and chain the dog. Hurray for all of us.
Dropped Points Counter! YTD:
6 as of third Match...Stay Tuned...
Moyes? Party of one? Moyes?
Excuse me, coming through, pardon, David, just clearing some things out me office
Everything is bien. (Everything is fine)
That's the spirito! Even Mejor
(That's the spirit, even better!)
hahahaha, suck it, Manchester United!
Meanwhile, the Spiral of Doom Begins to Swirl...
What Everton Player Will Be the Next Victim of This Footballing Devil's Triangle?
Moyes? Moyes? Party of one? We're ready for you, now. Moyes? Mr. Moyes? Are you ready?
@ Cardiff, 31 August, 2013
HELL YEAH, BUFFERING, EVERTON. SUCK IT!
I will get to the match report, but I want to make a few observations first. Okay, when Moyes took us over, he lifted us out of relegation and passed us into annual European expectations. He turned one of Everton's biggest work horses, David Unsworth, into a working class hero, coined a wonderful catch phrase, then pissed into a jar and turned it into, "Lightening in a Bottle."
Poor Martinez. He stuffed his pockets with relegation-style players, leaped into a saddle, grabbed hold of the reins and shouted, "Hi-yo, Silver, away!" Now, he can only stand there and pout as his horse is bogged down in a river while wondering what the hell that "Hi-yo," shit was. Well, it's not Roberto's fault that Moyes shot up the best remaining horses with “Champion's League Thought Injections” before he left, and blew Martinez a good-luck kiss that would have withered red roses in June.
However, it's the end of August and our creative Spaniard has Everton playing beautiful football. Sort of. In all reality, beautiful football should include a football ruffling the net's nylon web. I think this sort of thing has happened twice in our first three league games.
Well, a visit to newly promoted Cardiff allowed Martinez a chance to really let down his hair... and unleash his nearly brand new Everton club upon Cardiff. Well, here is a note: You cannot "unleash" a team that has Jealavic playing as the lone striker. That is like throwing a squid onto the pitch and waiting for the goals to come rolling in. All the more ridiculous watching Martinez on the touchline, with the excited look of anticipation on his face whenever the ball rolled anywhere near the floundering sea creature. Roberto! Stop expecting good things to happen. It's a SQUID, and it's dying on the grass! You couldn't even toss it's flopping, gasping body at fishermen for shark chum.
Oh, and YOU CANNOT UNLEASH a team whose best two players don't even want to be there. It looked like Pienaar felt jilted, and didn't want to play anymore with Baines. You cannot unleash a team that has Osman in the midfield. **Scout's Honour** as halftime was approaching, I tried to figure out who had taken Osman's place in the midfield, when I suddenly spied Leon!
Oh, and what happened to that 'keeper who was supposed to push Tim? Looks like he needs to “push” him a bit more. Whatever. Here is the match report:
Sylvain Distin, and Ross Barclay. The rest of Everton's team can get to fuck.
But Kenyon! Surely, there was a match report you could string together!
You know what? I love that you're reading this. I REALLY DO! But a match report out of this? Sigh. Gizza moment: checking...buffering...buffering...nailed on Everton penalty, claim denied...buffering...buffering...Kone on for Jellavic...buffering...buffering...buffering...Colman shot! Side of the net. Buffering...buffering...Argentine Dayo Fayo on...buffering...SHOT! SHOT! SHOT! Buffering...buffering...buffering...
Then, the whistle blew. How did Baines and Fellani look? Buffering...buffering...buffering...
"Gets weirder by the game does this blog. Not sure what to say about it other than it makes me feel
uneasy and a bit voyeuristic, like I'm not reading about football but stepping into the mind of a man
high on mescaline and televised soccer."