Thursday, May 31, 2007

Arteta the unsung hero


"another award has come Arteta's way - the title of the Premiership's Unsung Player of the Year for 2006/07 in Zoo magazine."

Despite every Evertonian in christendom adoring the man and endlessly banging on about him it seems the rest of the league believes he isn't getting the praise he deserves.

Nice to know people are seeing past the top four hype.

There's nobody better than Mikel Arteta...FACT.

Thanks to my lovely wife Anne for sending me true Immature Stuey style I've used it to work out that I way just under 300 bowel movements!

Valuable information indeed!

Brewery 'proud' at ale investors

BBC NEWS | Brewery 'proud' at ale investors

Onwards and upwards for my fave brewery (Hopefully). I've mentioned it before but they do do some lovely, lovely beer.

Having the CAMRA people on board is a good sign.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007


Now more sport for a while now...the play-off final heralds the end of the sports season. It's been a good'n overall. We always knew 'loo would most probably get relegated, Everton were impressively solid all season. Most memorably moment of the season was our 3-0 derby demolition of the rojomierda which then carried on to include Waterloo's impressive win over Cornish Pirates.

The criminally under-exposed(;)) Mitchell and Webb are back on Radio4 and their first show was truly inspired.

Other than that we've managed to dodge rainstorms long enough to hurl ourselves into the long neglected gardening so it's looking less jungle-like. We are also at the beginning of the wedding season. Our friends Una & Dave tied the knot last weekend and we have another one at the end of the month down in Portsmouth.

I suspect this blog will go very boring for a few months now.


Thursday, May 24, 2007

It's UEFA's fault

icLiverpool - There is just no time to dwell on this:

"Those incredible supporters, who did all they could yet again to cheer their team to Athens glory, hampered it seemed at every twist and turn by UEFA and then again at the stadium by the Greek police and authorities."

I'm sorry but that's just pathetic and really does anger me. They were hampered by the 23,000 of supposed their mates who tried to blag their way in. If any group of fans should understand the dangers it's them. If you go in without a ticket or with one you know to be fake you are a scab....plain and simple.

Proper reds....Here's your kop 'education'. Don't buy The Sun, good God no. But feel free to try and get into the match anyway you can. We'll cover for you. really is.

EDIT :further a piece relating to the Echo apologist piece :

The Times

I do think that people like those pompous Reclaim the Kop people should break ranks and try and get people to not go to the ground if they've no ticket. The lads I know who go generally have it organised like a military operation, nothing is left to chance re ticket, flights, accomodation. What happened over there sounds like a disaster waiting to happen. It's most definitely not just a liverpool thing tough. Look at problem United had in Lille...time for a bit of discipline from footy fans in general.

On a lighter note :

No comment nescessary.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

I belong to Jesus

BBC SPORT | AC Milan 2-1 Liverpool

Kaka evoking images of Lucio's "100% Jesus" shirt...must have been the devil's night off

Ah well...not going to gloat or crow. No joy or schadenfreude...just relief that their arrogant, smug, empty-vessel no-marks won't be able to rub our noses in it. To the proper reds I commiserate...that almost goes without saying.

A very tight game as expected...if you take Milan's handball and Kuyt's offside out of the equation than really all you've got is these two chances :

I wonder why no liverpool player tracked back to clear Inzaghi's second off the was hardly a net-burster.

Overall you need to wonder about Benitez's tactics...picked the wrong team and then didn't help things with his substitutions. Perhaps if you look at last night it was the wrong result...liverpool should have won but perhaps it was the right result after Istanbul. This one just had bad karma written all over it for so many reasons. The celebrations round Liverpool seemed to have started well in advance....always a bad sign.

Trouble outside the ground too...liverpool fans got in with forged tickets or just bunked in without one. This meant fans with real tickets were stuck outside. The police couldn't let them in and things turned ugly. You've got to feel genuinely gutted for people who've went all the way over there with legit tickets only to find someone's bunked in instead of them. You'd be seething, it's understandable if tempers boiled over. Ultimately the liverpool fans, and English fans in general, need to look at themselves for their collective cheerful disregard for the rules (remember the United fans and their problems earlier in the season)...if you haven't got a ticket don't travel. On places like there was plenty of revelling in 40,000 Scousers taking over Athens, and with people bunking into games earlier in the season.

I know a few chaps who went out there and they are old hands. Got their tickets sorted well in advance, flew out a few days before, got to the ground well early (I actually got a text from inside the stadium from my mate'd have been cool if I wasn't so jealous ;) ). Safe journey home lads...commiserations.

Anyway, we are rapidly running out of sport................

Drogba saves Everton record

Woohoo!!!! Good old Didier :


"Chelsea's FA Cup triumph has ensured that Everton retain an English football record!

Had Manchester United won the end of season Wembley showpiece then it would have been their 43rd victory of the season but Didier Drogba's extra-time strike ensured that the record of wins in a single campaign remains at Goodison."

Over at John Lennon Airport this is pretty heartbreaking :

150 fans let down

No matter what your allegience you have to feel sympathy for the way that happened to them. Grim.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Have your cake and eat it?

Just one question on the whole "liverpool fans complaining about Champions League ticket allocations" thing....if your team happily takes millions upon millions of pounds in sponsorship from a contrived midweek gravy-train of a tournament and this money effectively keeps you in a league-above-a-league domestically.......can you really complain if the final of this gravy-train tournament ends up dominated by the corporate side of things?

I had a fair bit of sympathy over last season's FA Cup ticket theft but not this time sorry.

Besides according to their official site they seem to have allocated what tickets they did get on basis of "biggest dickheads first" : We can all play Bellend-Bingo on Wednesday!

Evertonians will never have their trophies....but I'm pretty sure we'll never make tools of ourselves the way they do.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Leicester 9-25 Wasps

BBC SPORT | Rugby Union | Leicester 9-25 Wasps

Well look at that....I have to say that had an inevitability about it. Wasps truly are the liverpool of rugby. Leicester would have probably beaten any team in the world today...any team apart from Wasps that is. They just seem to know how to do it in finals (I expect a similar reversal on Wednesday).

More significantly it looks like the Heineken Cup has been saved after months of brinkmanship and sabre-rattling by the RFU and the clubs. Very good news for the game.

Heineken Cup future resolved


BBC SPORT | Football | FA Cup | Chelsea 1-0 Manchester United

Phew that was a tepid, turgid homecoming for the FA Cup. Two 4-5-1s made for a cagey, timid affair and Chelsea nipped in with 4 minutes to go in extra time.

Happy for Mourinho & the Pensioners 'cause they deserved something after running the champions so close.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

YouTube - Everton Vs Sheffield Wednesday FA Cup Final 1966

YouTube - Everton Vs Sheffield Wednesday FA Cup Final 1966

Video of the day

1966 FA Cup Final Everton 3 - 2 Sheffield Wednesday

UEFA Cup Final and West Ham stuff

Esapnyol 2 - 2 Sevilla (aet) Sevilla win 3-2 on penalties

I shameless ripped these pictures off from WhoAteAllThePies one of the best footy blogs around.

(click on the image to get the full size version.)

Loved every second of that UEFA Cup final. Two teams going at each other hammer and tongs. Fast, expansive attacking football played with flair, skill, passion & commitment from the 1st minute to the 120th. Blistering noise and intensity from the 10s of thousands of fans. The only bad thing was there had to be a loser. I'd have been perfectly happy for them to share the cup.

It's difficult to have affection for Espanyol for the Franco-Republican history but it's impossible not to sympathise with their players and fans after that such a fantastic game. Looks like Glasgow hosted a great party too

I see the Tevez/West Ham issue is rumbling on :

Blades begin legal procedings

Dave Whelan urges chiefs to quit

FIFA investigation

Looks to me like Whelan is softening his stance and won't go through the courts. I feel Sheffield Utd's challenge will meet with obtuse, obstinate denials. The FA should hang their heads in shame. You can't blame the Blades for making noise about it all when there's £40,000,000 riding on staying in the Premiership and the board given responsibility for investigating the eligibility of West Ham's key player come out with stuff like :

"This was not only an obvious and deliberate breach of the rules, but a grave breach of trust as to the Premier League and its constituent members. In our finding the club has been responsible for dishonesty and deceit".

"a deduction of points would normally follow from such a breach of rules".

"docking points would "not be proportionate".

but gave reasons for the fine such as :

A points deduction so late in the season might have consigned the club to relegation

The players and fans of West Ham are in no way to blame for the situation and therefore should not suffer

I'd be apoplectic if I were associated with a club down in that dogfight. Even the way it was done...they announced that the club was basically in the clear two days before a crunch six-pointer against Wigan. How much of a boost must that have been.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Been there, done that

Saw this article in The Times magazine page 28 this Saturday about The Umaid Bhawan Palace.

Times report on the wedding

BBC NEWS | Jodhpur set for Hurley marriage

I feel it only fair to point out that me, Anne, Rufus and a chap we met called Tim Smith (who has sadly since passed away) had been there YEARS before all the gliterati!

You'll have to excuse the appalling lack of a shave on my was a very long day.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

More Waterloo departures

Macro*World Investor

RELEGATED Waterloo have confirmed that their two North American half-backs have left the club.

US Eagles international scrum-half Chad Erskine and Canadian fly-half Ander Munro will both be in action in this autumn's World Cup.

And with the duo getting the chance to show what they can do on the biggest stage, Waterloo director of rugby Colin Fisher doesn't expect to see them back at Blundellsands.

"I actually told them it would not be in their best interests to enter into a contract at Waterloo for next season," Fisher said.

"Both of them will be in the shop window at the World Cup. It's a great opportunity for them and the eyes of the world will be watching.

"They have left with our best wishes and thanks for all their efforts.

"But I've told them that after the World Cup, if they don't get the move they hoped for, then to get back in touch with me."

No 8 Rory McKay joined Bedford Blues last week and the other notable departure is winger Jan Van DeVenter, who has signed for Sedgley Park.

Alternative Premier League table

The Right Result - Football's bad decisions and incidents

If you take into account all the bad decisions Everton would have had 10 extra points this season! A lot of those will come from that period when refs turned against AJ I'd wager.

Monday, May 14, 2007

So there we have it

So there we have it. Season 2006/07. It’s seems ludicrous to describe it as a parson’s egg but it feels that way. There were overwhelming positives for the blues but at the back of your mind you can’t get over the fact that the basic product, ie the football, wasn’t that enjoyable. I know it is a results business but this season just didn’t exhilarate the way the 2004/05 one did. Then again realistically speaking having a nervy wait for the final whistle with your team holding onto a lead has to be better than snatching the points with a last gasp goal. It’s the later however that has you singing with joy as you shuffle down Gwladys St.

The last ten minutes of our games has been perhaps the thing that’s stopped this being perceived as one of our best seasons in years. Too many times we let teams come at us towards the end of games. But for that we’d have given up far fewer points and would be right on the heels of the g14ers.

That’s the moans and gripes over with…I am, true to character, being super-pessimistic & hyper-critical. There was so much to be happy about this season. AJ coming in and finding his feet straight away. He had a superb season and but for referees turning against him he could have had an astounding one. He is a great finisher and his instincts coupled with his pace are a tremendous asset. Simply put he is absolutely brilliant at getting goal-side of defenders…after that it’s upto them to either let him go or bring him down.

Arteta underlined his class with a season, if anything, better than the one before, at times he is worth the entrance money alone. He has everything. Skill, guile, vision, workrate, commitment, strength, not scared to tackle and can hit a deadball. I know you always say no player is bigger than the club but it is a privilege to have him in our team.

Then onto Lescott…my player of the season. Every now and then Moyes will bring a player in from the lower league and give him his chance. Cahill took his, Lescott has done the same. Everything Joleon does just exudes strength and confidence. He’s a great centre-half and has filled in comfortably at right-back for a large part of the season.

The youngsters up front have been another high-point. It was wonderful to see Vaughan come back after his terrible injury...he really does look like a top player. A strong, fit committed target man. Perfect foil for AJ. Having Victor in there too is a bonus...possibly a better finisher then Vaughan although not as complete a player yet. They both show a lack of nouse at times but they are both brilliant prospects.

It was nice to get a dependable keeper in permanently and Manuel Fernandes came in and wowed us with his skill and energy (Hope to see him again next season).

Goals of the season….dead heat between Faddy’s late winner against Charlton and Arteta’s against Bolton. I’d actually say Mikels’s was technically better but the flick and volley in injury time by McFadden takes some topping.

There were negatives too…as I mentioned before giving away points by failing to set a tempo late in games was annoying. Osman seems to go with the flow too much and get lost in some games and, much as I’d love it to be different, Beattie just doesn’t look like ever being en effective player for us (Sorry Beats). Not having any proper full-backs for most of the season was annoying…this meant Neville had at best an average season but he stepped up to be club captain. We saw the end of Davey Weir which was a shame but all good things.

In the summer Wright, Beattie, van der Meyde and Pistone will probably move on. Stubbs looks to be worth another year.

All in all I think this was the best Everton could have hoped this era a club in our position can only really set it’s sights on 5th and then hope for a money club to screw up. If you look at the injuries we had to endure then to be challenging for a European spot all season is pretty impressive. All in all watching them troop round on their well deserved lap of honouer there was nothing but pride...When all's said and done the points we dropped from winning positions haven't cost us, they've underlined our potential. Great to see young lads milking the Gwladys St and chucking their boots into thoe crows, great to see Moysie grabbing AJ and getting the crowd to sing his name. Everton 2006/2007 : real pride

Come on you blues...onwards and upwards. If this season is seen as a tribute to Alan Ball then the little man could do a lot worse.

Final Table

Season Stats

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Well done Tigers

Although they didn't finish top of the table due to a points deduction for fielding an inelligible player (Premier League take note!) Leicester are champions...Hats off to them. They've suffered more than most from play-off woe over the years. There weren't too many of them moaning after Sale were rightly crowned champs last year.

I reckon those whiley Wasps will derail them in the Heineken Cup final next week though. In other news poor Harry Ellis will miss the world cup with his knee injury

BBC SPORT | Injured Ellis will miss World Cup

Cheats do prosper!

Premiership Clockwatch

I haven't got any particular problem with West Ham, in fact I've always had a lot of time for them but them staying up yesterday leaves a sour taste in the mouth. Their fightback has all been about Tevez...if he wasn't elligible to play then 5.5m was the bargain of the century.

It was sad to see The Blades fans and players in despair at the final whistle. Top makrs to Wigan for the way they celebrated with quiet dignity. Who'd have thought David Unsworth would end up being worth £60,000,000. That penalty took brass balls.

Rhino! Rhino! Rhino!

There are now 5 - 7 clubs going to take the FA to court...Good. The powers-that-be bottled it and have once again handled a matter in the worst conceivable way. Barwick and his cronies reasoning that they didn't want to punish West Ham's fans was pathetic.

Anyway we await their obtuse refusal to re-open the matter with interest.

Congrats to Jewell & Wigan but in honour of Warnock & The Blades :

"You fill up my senses
Like a gallon of Magnet
Like a packet of Woodbines
Like a good bit of stuff
Like a night out in Sheffield
Like a greasy chip butty
Like Sheffield United
Come thrill me again"

Everton rounded off the season in fine style...they really should have won against Chelsea because they clearly fouled Arteta for their equaliser and we had a perfectly good goal disallowed. The UEFA cup is still cack but bring it on. Congrats to Moyes and the lads for an excellent effort this season.

Well done to the club and fans for their heartfelt messages of solidarity with the parents of little Madelaine McCann

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Anyone speak German?

Picture of a sign outside The Albert pub near Anfield. Obviously hoping to welcome fans from all round the world.

Best not to entrust your German translations to babelfish methinks.

Think this is genuine 'cause you can just see the sign on the right side of this picture :

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Bush takes the piss?

BBC NEWS | Queen teases Bush over date gaffe:

"In a speech at a dinner in the US, she said: 'Mr President, I wondered whether I should start this toast saying I was here in 1776 but I don't think I will.'

She was commenting on the president having nearly referred to one of her previous visits being in 1776 not 1976."

1776 eh? Coincidence? I think not.

In my Liverpool Home

Bernard Fallon - Liverpool Home

Saw a great photographic exhibition at the Liverpool Conservation Centre. S pictorial of life in 60s Liverpool by a chap called Bernard Fallon. He has a fanastic eye for capturing the spirit of a moment in time.

English teams robbing game of skill

Valdano: English teams robbing game of skill

'Mourinho and Benítez mistrust talent because of their own failure to make it as players and said their approach is bad news for the game.'

"Football is made up of subjective feeling, of suggestion - and, in that, Anfield is unbeatable. Put a shit hanging from a stick in the middle of this passionate, crazy stadium and there are people who will tell you it's a work of art. It's not: it's a shit hanging from a stick."

Well you can't argue with that...Man Utd have been head and shoulders above everyone else in terms on entertainment. Evertonians are still trying to convince themselves that it's been a good season, I can't remember the last time we had such a good goal difference but the footy just hasn't been exhilerating. This isn't just an Everton thing...The Premiership in general has been pretty uninspiring. Sky like to talk about it as a given that the Premiership is massively entertaining. I love this Mitchell & Webb sketch mocking their hyperbole :

Sky Sports 4 Football Trail

Add to My Profile | More Videos

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Don't believe the hype.

I see Sunderland are champions...fantastic considering they were bottom when Keane took over. Stunning really. I also note that the usual lazy journalist North East footy fans hype is kicking in. "Those Wearsiders are fantastic fans...they are flocking back to the Stadium of Light in their droves". I know some properly diehard, cradle-to-grave Mackems...they are quite lonely when things aren't going well for their club. Still I think they'll be a force next season.

Given Leeds' latest round of snidey debt avoiding (Relegated Leeds in administration) wouldn't it have been fantastically funny if Hull had deliberately slipped to a 12-0 defeat just to spite them.

BBC SPORT | Everton 3-0 Portsmouth

BBC SPORT | Everton 3-0 Portsmouth

Fantastic day at Goodison yesterday...up there with the best. The first half hour was very cagey as we got suckered into playing their game. We were never going to beat a strong Portsmouth back-line at head tennis (is there a more under-rated player than Linvoy Primus?). Neville and Carsley seemed to get the players together in a huddle. The game seemed to turn on that...Everyone looked more confident, the crowd were rocking, we finished the first half strongly and the second half was a masterclass. Arteta just seemed to grab the game by the scruff of it's neck. Everyone seemed lifted. There never looked to be any doubt. 3-0 and other results going for us. A UEFA cup berth is almost guaranteed (failing that Intertoto here we come).

Follow, follow, follow.
Everton is the team to follow
and there's nobody better than Mikel Arteta
He's the best little Spaniard we know!

A joyfully applauded lap of honour followed, happy days at Goodison. Vaughan and Anichebe threw their boots into the crowd. Osman's lad was mad for it. Cahill was warmly greeted and Moyes grabbed AJ and insisted the Gwladys sing his name (as if we needed prompting). Bounced home exchanging greetings with total strangers. I love it when Everton make us love them.

A few European games might be fun and possible vital in getting Arteta to stick with us. If a player is inspiring Everton fans to got the game wearing a red Spain shirt with his name on the back you know he's touched hearts. Hope he stays with us. I know you say that no one player is bigger than the club but at the moment it is a privelige to have him in our side.

How could you ever think of saying that about a player like Joey Barton. These rumours about him coming to Everton are worrying me. Just can't imagine supporting that horrible, horrible player. Even if he were the best player in the world he'd not be fit to wear our royal blue shirt.

This is an interesting development : League to probe Howard loan deal. I assumed the clause was still in effect 'cause we couldn't change his registration (Ie. sign him permanently) outside of the transfer window. Hope there's no punishments as we've already lost out.


There seems to have been a statement made about the matter clearing both clubs :

"The Premier League have reacted quickly to clear Everton of any wrong-doing concerning the transfer of Tim Howard from Manchester United.

Reports in the Sunday press suggested both clubs were in the spotlight over the deal because Howard did not figure in the Premiership game between the clubs at Goodison last weekend.

However, after investigating the matter the League has cleared both clubs of any wrongdoing.

A statement from the Premier League said: "At the time of Tim Howard's permanent transfer from Manchester United to Everton, the Premier League ensured there were no agreements in place that contravened our rules.

"As a result of recent comments we had sought further clarification from both clubs and are satisfied that it remains the case that there were no agreements that breached any of our rules.

Everton were free to play Tim Howard in their fixture against Manchester United had they so wished - and this has been confirmed by both clubs."

Howard moved to Goodison on a season-long loan last summer but a permanent deal for the goalkeeper was agreed between the clubs in February."

Do disrespect to Iain Turner but why on earth didn't we play our first choice keeper if we were free to do so. Either there was some shady deal on the matter OR a royal adminstratice screw up on Everton's part and they just didn't know the rules.

Thursday, May 03, 2007



I'm liking that...although ultimately this is what an Everton shirt should look like :

Once again it looks like the RojoMierda will be buying me my new Everton shirt (With a nice number 8 on the back as a tribute to the little man). I put a tenner on them getting past Chelsea netting me £35, I lumped that onto them winning the thing which will get me £64. Just to be sure I've layed off £12 to cover my stake.

So I'll either be very relieved and break even or pissed off and up £40 odd quid.

I know this sounds petty but you have to be in Liverpool to understand...the gloatfest will be unbearable should they win.

It's already start with them referring to the FA Cup final as the Champions League third place play-off.

I will genuinely not take any pleasure in seeing them lose that final but the relief at not having their smugger, more arrogant fans lord it over us & rub our noses in it will be tangible.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Rory McKay signs for Bedford

Bedford Blues Rugby Club: "McKay signs for Blues:
Bedford Blues have today secured the services of No.8 Rory McKay from Waterloo. The Scottish 7's international comes to the club off the back of some terrific performances in adversity this season with his relegated club. Mike Rayer said ' Rory was quite outstanding in both fixtures against us this season. His tenacity and work rate were fantastic and on top of this he ran the line out extremely well. We very pleased indeed to secure his services as we have been searching for a quality No. 8 for some time'."

Ah long Rory. Hope you'll be able to visit 'loo come back soon. Top truth he'd have been wasted in National Division 2. If a few more players follow suite Waterloo might well struggle next season.