A Proper Old Fashioned Football Match
Newcastle’s trip to Everton is what you have to call a proper old fashioned football match.
A trip that myself and my mates used to pinpoint as ‘must go’ to away fixtures. The reason it must be said was for the little bar on the edge of Stanley Park that would let us in from 10am. Though the session would start at 7am back at Central Station, climbing on a bus with crate after crate and heading straight for the back.
Good times were had regardless of results, as the away games tend to be, but the Everton craic always seemed top drawer.
Trips that included….
Someone being put in the overhead luggage rack…
The whole bus seemingly pished from the top step of the stairwell leading to the overflowing bog, as the yellow sea lapped and sloshed against the bottom stairs with every turn and brake applied…
Meeting one of the lads for the first time on an Everton away-er, about ten years or so ago, who was drinking what looked like a 3 litre bottle of pop – only to fall face first off the bus on arrival – and slept outside the bar until it was time to go. Must have been strong pop I thought!
Standing outside the bar oblivious that across the road two lads of about 8 years old launching stones at the drinkers outside and catching one off the bonce. What canny lads eh? Welcome to Merseyside!
Running like Forest Gump for the moving bus, whilst the lads cheered out the windows. This after the sampling of one or two too many local ales left me wandering Stanley Park in the wrong direction.
Memories good bad, rough and smooth. Results and incidents both good and bad are noted – The old double act of Pedro and Coley back in 93/94, quality. Sir Les netting in a 3-1 win in 95/96 was an absolute belter, Clarence (Pan flattened face) Acuna slotting in a 3-1 win under Sir Bob and of course recently the goal that announced Ben Arfa’s arrival with his exocet-worldy under Chrissy Hughton.
Good times, good wins. Amidst a few scattered draws there has also been ten defeats as Goodison became a very tough place to go under the departed Moyes.
There were some very bad times too – Big Al snapping his ankle and ligaments in a pre-season ‘friendly’ and ending up with only 17 games and two goals that year. Then there was Thomas Gravesen who cut Olly Bernard in half – in what should have been a red card (very similar to McManaman against Haidara). Not only was it not given red – but played on and Everton ended up winning a penalty seconds later, which Unsworth smashed in and we lost the game. Bad times!
The toffees as we all know have brought in Martinez as their new gaffer after old Moyes took up a small job elsewhere. Roberto has brought in half his old squad from Wigan and the Blues will pass it to death, as is the wont of their new chief.
It’s served them well so far, only unbeaten team in the league and they find themselves sixth top. A familiar position for them. We on the other hand find ourselves in 16th – unfortunately a familiar position for us! This makes tonight an important game to get a result from. Even one point would take us up a good few places, 3 points would see us leapfrog right up to 7th possibly.
After Hull, my expectations are right back down again after having temporarily risen. I am though a firm believer in the law of averages. Everton cannot stay unbeaten forever, Cisse cannot possibly keep drawing a blank in the league. Sorry, building my hopes up again!
At the end of tonight’s game, if we take a point I will be absolutely delighted. Will be really tough, and if we are to even think about it, we need to handle Baines much better. Baines versus Debuchy – the game could be won and lost in that battle.
Nee pressure Matty lad!
Over to you lads, create some more memories – I dare you!
After all, the club aren’t interested in creating any, the fans will always make their own.
Keep smiling, HTL
You can follow Jamie on Twitter @JamieSwan1
If you would like to feature on The Mag, submit your article to [email protected]