Saturday, April 29, 2006

P*ss ups in or not in breweries

Well thankfully we didn’t leave it to the FA to organise our p*ss up…it has to be said that if they were trying to put together a blueprint on how to make a laughing stock of the whole organisation then they couldn’t have done a better job. Protracted, public interviewing process, setting themselves pointless deadlines in order to appease the media, grand announcements of who they were hoping to get, upsetting clubs and other nations FAs and unsettling potential candidates at every turn. A pretty impressive list.

The football season is winding up and just like four years ago it’s seems the metatarsal is still in full swing. Rooney is the latest victim…an innocuous looking challenge in the game against Chelsea left him in agony and he’s apparently out for at least six weeks…not good. With Rooney we are a formidable team, without him we are decent at best…add to that the fact that Owen played his first game after his foot injury and apparently didn’t feel too good. All of sudden optimism is in short supply. Most gutted will be Wayne Rooney’s uncle who stood to win tens of thousands of pounds if Wayne played in the World Cup having made a bet years earlier.

With no English strikers looking like world beaters Beattie could be a shoo in for a place in the squad but in the last month or so performance levels at Everton have been worse than insipid. Saying that we managed to get an extremely creditable away win at ‘boro (although admittedly ‘boro were midway through a run of 3 games in 5 days). McFadden breaking clear to put a sublime lob dead-centre into the onrushing keeper’s goal on 89 minutes.

49 points puts us just in the bottom half of the table. It’d be good to finish in the top half….relegated West Brom await. It’s symbolic really...we’ve been through the mill this year, we didn’t know where the next point was coming from at one time (August & September were surreal when you think about it) and yet here we are lamenting the fact that we’ve not been putting in the effort for the last month. Strange. I’m not being a mediocrity apologist but it really is odd when you think back to this weird down-up-down-up-down season.

Anyway back to p*ss ups…We didn’t let the FA organise ours, rather we trusted our livers to Waterloo’s end of season bash. We’d pulled out the stops & phoned everyone we knew to stroll down to St Anthony’s mob handed. There was a barbeque (including hog-roast), an Irish band plus freely flowing beer to keep people happy plus a pretty good rugby game.

Henley Hawks showed their mettle and put in two early tries but, as my soon-to-be Father-in-law judged, they’d have needed a twenty point lead going into the second half against the wind and into the sun. This proved to be a pretty accurate prediction and the game finished 34-20 to Waterloo. O’Keefe and Tchakoute strapped their knees up and put in an appearance and J-Lo & Freeman did their stuff. Kerfoot & Palmer put in tries and the game was won. After the whistle everyone strolled onto the field to salute the players and the departing coaching team. Gill Burns (MBE) handed out the champagne and everyone was happy.

A few more beers in the clubhouse and the meaning of the word ‘club’ was becoming obvious. Everton will always be my team, renewing might have took an eternity but it’s done…at stages this season I’ve just ended up going to the game out of habit, it’d just be strange to not go to the match. It’s just what we do. ‘loo on the other hand is secondary to that but they’ve certainly struck a chord with us… I hope we’ll be able to keep up with them next season.

Friday, April 28, 2006

A to Z of UK Birds - The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds

A to Z of UK Birds - The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds

Just this week our garden has turned into a jungle...lovely to be able to get out there (consdering I hardly ever saw it in daylight for about 4 or 5 months).

Lightning strikes twice.... plays a stupid annoying tune whenever it does!

M'brough 4-2 S B'chrst (agg 4-3)

Unbelievable stuff...Boro where in total disarray and needed 4 goals...sounds familiar. Drama all the way. Steaua just retreated further and further and got more and more panicky and you just knew what would happen. Maccarone 89th minute and they're into the final.

I hope that season ticket chucker feels like the biggest tit on the face of the planet now and I hope of of the fans who turned up to the games against Litex Lovec & Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk are sneering at their 34,998 new mates.

It's okay though 'cause they won't have that tw@tty song playing if they score in Eindhoven so I can actually want them to win without caveats. It must be fairly unusual in football to want a team to win purely 'cause their chairman is a good bloke.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Panini Football 84 & 85 Sticker Albums - Craig Cullen

Panini Football 84 & 85 Sticker Albums - Craig Cullen

Ah! halcyon days!






Everton 85 - What a team

Waterloo duo go

Waterloo duo go

"WATERLOO Director of Rugby Ian Aitchison and Head Coach Phil Winstanley are stepping down at the end of the season despite the team being promoted to National One.
'It has not been an easy decision to make,' Phil Winstanley explained.
'Ian has a very demanding job with the Nat West as I have with Premiership Rugby.
'We both have a lot of travelling to do and we also have young families to think about. We think it is appropriate now for us to step aside.'"

Well that's a bit of bad news but I suppose it's life in the lower leagues. All you can do is thank them for a job well done and wish them all the best in the future.

BACK ROW (Left to Right)Brian Findlay, Stuart Thomas, Paddy Young, Gareth Davies, Dan Smith and Stephen Nutt

STANDING ROW (Left to Right)Richard Baxendale, Sean Ruwers, Njike Tchakoute, Rob O'Donnell, Jon Nugent, Paul White, Martin O'Keefe, Dave Mercer, Jan Van De-Venter and Craig Aikman

FRONT ROW (Left to Right)David Giles, Chris Tyms, David Blyth, Phil Winstanley, Gill Burns, Freeman Payne, Ian Aitchison, Neil Kerfoot, Jon Broxson and Neil Hunter

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

'loo try from the Redruth website

Go J-Lo Go!

Jan van der Venter, Freeman Payne and a limping Martin O'Keefe star in a vid of one of the tries from last week's game...courtesy of Redruth & Mike Caddy.

And again

Freeman this time

Picture Gallery

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Brian Labone 1940 - 2006

Brian Labone

Official site tribute


BBC News

Merseyside mourns noble - Times Online

Brian Labone - Comment - Times Online

Independent Online Edition - Obituaries

Telegraph - Obituaries

Terrible news for all blues this morning. Brian Labone passed away last night aged 66. A true gentleman and a real Evertonian through and through. "The last of the corinthians".

Hero is such an overused word nowadays but this was a man who embodied it. Everton FC couldn't have ever had a better ambassador.

"Brian was Everton. If you could put together a team of every player that has ever captained Everton, every one of us would turn to Brian to lead us out. He will always be known as the captain of Everton." - Kevin Ratcliffe

RIP Labby

Monday, April 24, 2006

Dutch blues

Congrats to Sparta Rotterdam and best of luck to Willem II in the play-offs. The two Dutch blues I know, Joost & Bert, have had rough seasons for their own dutch clubs. Hopefully it'll be a happy ending.

Dutch League

Everton 0-0 Birmingham

Everton 0-0 Birmingham

Another plod towards the end of the season...not as bad as you'd think but still...

It was a weird game...Birmingham just defended and we looked blunt and un-inspired with only a none match-fit Andy van der Meyde providing any creativity for us (especially once Cahill went off). You'd have expected a team in the relegation scrap to have been a bit more adventurous but they kept 8 men behind the ball at all times.

Can't really comment more than that. Heskey, Sutton and Forsell looked garbage. Yobo did well for us I thought. Osman tried, McFadden & Beattie ran round but ultimately our attackers just didn't get into the game. Should have had a penalty though.

There was a bit of a boo at full time...I don't think we were that bad but it is dull at present.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Bored Thursday night ramblings

Anne's on nights and it's not really worth going up to have pint with my Mum and Dad and our Ste so I'm home alone and a wee bit bored.

I’ve been meaning to post this for a week or so…it’s from the Waterloo programme and corresponds to the all important Esher game (the last bit made me chuckle) :

Phil Winstanley “Before the game we had been given two separate changing rooms. As is usually the case the forwards and backs split. Believe me that I realised 1½ hours before kick-off I could do no more. As a coach you are always tempted to say a little bit more but on Saturday I could see that the forwards were more than in control and I resorted to spending my time stepping over hairdryers and make-up in the backs room”

The Esher win is especially gratifying for ‘loo because, as I’ve mentioned before, Esher have enjoyed sniping at the men green, red & white.

Esher RFC: Match Report - Waterloo

"Esher may feel the more aggrieved not to have taken the full points as at least they tried to play some decent rugby, and may not have got the rub of the green or should that be mud. Waterloo play a style that will not win many plaudits in the entertainment stakes."

“Esher may feel the more aggrieved not to have taken the full points as at least they tried to play some decent rugby, and may not have got the rub of the green or should that be mud. Waterloo play a style that will not win many plaudits in the entertainment stakes.”

They also included these comments in the program before the Esher – Waterloo game. A fact that was commented on more than once when everyone met up at St Anthony’s. It is just fuel to the fire when a team arrives at a ground to find that they’ve already been bad mouthed. The team-talk was already written for them. ‘loo put on a show and took Esher to the cleaners. Saying that by all accounts the hosts where more than gracious afterwards and even played Waterloo by Abba after the final whistle!!!

Esher local newspaper report

In other news Radio 4 are repeating That Mitchell & Webb sound on Thursdays at 6:30….this is possibly my favourite ever Radio 4 comedy. Tonight’s was the one with the German SS trooper questioning whether the skull & crossbone on their caps meant they were the baddies and the National Milk Helpline that has received 346 calls asking "Why the hell would anyone want a national milk helpline?" and 1 from a young man who wanted to know if it was true that you get banana milkshake from milking monkeys.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Dig for ancient pyramid in Bosnia

Dig for ancient pyramid in Bosnia

Now that's interesting.

The games at the weekend came and went...they were two tough fixtures for the blues, the two teams that are pushing hardest for thier placings at the moment. On Saturday we played okay against Spurs. Better, I'd say, than against Villa but Beattie just didn't get into the game. Gardner and King battered him everywhere ever time the ball went near him and the ref did nothing all game. Osman didn't show either. We were blunt but ultimately not that bad considering the opposition. I know I've been accusing them of end-of-term syundrome but this weekend I wouldn't really criticise. One player who does deserve to take a bow is Richard Wright...much maligned chap but against Spurs made at least 3 great saves including one truly world class one after Naysmith had *ahem* under cooked an defensive header (that's the most polite thing I can say about it). It was a fabulous save but it just loses out to Big Nige's wonder save away at Villareal as save of the season.

Anyway I moan and grumble but thank God we aren't down there in the dogfight...It's truly soul destroying : Hoping and Praying for each and every point, living on your nerves as each fragile second passes, having to do the same for all your rival's games....grim. Last night's game at the Hawthornes sounded truly dire but those wasted half chances will have gutted those Baggies fans. The BBC gave the score and said that 0-0 was a flattering scoreline for a game like this. Anne commented that Bolton could have just walked off the field and it would have still ended all square.

Anyway enough footy...had a decent easter. Usual stuff. lots of Mass followed by lots of DIY & gardening. In the past when I've given up sweets Anne has got me lots of chocolate, when I gave up crisps I got lots of Sensations and this year after 6 weeks of not swearing I got some Castlemaine XXXX...made me laugh anyway.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Accrington complete their fairytale

Accrington complete their fairytale

The Prodigal founder member returns...lovely story of a town refusing to let their club die.

The Everton fans call our club The People's Club (sometimes ruefully) but when you hear stories like this (and indeed what the Charlton fans did to get their club back to The Valley) it shows what you need to do to be able to claim that badge of honour.

This is a step in that direction :

UEFA Magazine - Everton Former Players Foundation

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Living to fight another day

Premiership Table 13/04/05

Last night's result means Everton are officially, mathematically safe!

It's annoying that we seem to be winding down to our usual in-the-doldrums finish but when you consider how we wrote off the first quarter of the season it makes that run after Christmas all the more impressive (If you think back we were rock bottom of the league for what felt like an eternity!).


It doesn't actually look that bad but one win in our first 8 games and it all felt pretty dire...Drawing Villareal & Dinamo Bucharest in the europeans was the real disappointment this season. Even by the time 'boro dumped us out the League Cup it felt like a corner had been turned but by then the damage had been done.

The shame is that all the euphoria of last season's fantastic achievment has been allowed to drift from the memory. The media, and perhaps more criminally the bluenoses themselves, barely seem to acknowledge what we did.

Still, The People's Club will abide & prevail.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006


English sides set Intertoto fate

Nice trophy! Perfect for wedging back doors open possibly.

almost as bad at the Today League trophy which sits forlornly in the Goodison trophy room and is a talking point on the tour for how shoddy it is. It's a piece of glass mounts on a cheap wooden plynth that was given to use for being champions of the oldest football league in the world. It nestles amongst sumptuously oppulent jade & gold trophies recieved for merely popping over to play friendlies in Thailand & Malaysia.

No accounting for taste I suppose.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Blackheath R.C.

Blackheath R.C.: "[to eliminate hacking would] do away with all the courage and pluck from the game, and I will be bound over to bring over a lot of Frenchmen who would beat you with a week’s practice."

This is one of my favourite sporting quotes of all's from Francis Maude Campbell, the chairman of Blackheath FC, who attended the first ever meeting of the fledgling Football Association in 1863. Upon hearing they were proposing to outlaw the deliberate kicking of an opponent he promptly walked out making the above statement.

Everton played out a fairly tame Nil-niller with Charlton at the Valley enlivened mainly by Richard Wright's criminal misreading of a bouncing ball that lead to him sprinting towards his own goal and swatting the ball off the goal line at the last moment. The lad isn't doing himself any favours.

We spent the afternoon at Waterloo. It was a fairly miserable day until we got there when the sun came out and it turned from 'freezing' to merely 'bracing'. It turned out to be a fairly comprehensive win against a slightly rude Harrogate side (two fairly un-nescessary fights)...couple of really good tries went in just in front of us.

Our horses in the National did absolutely nothing but didn't end up in the big glue factory in the sky.

Spent yesterday DIYing and doing a tiny bit of was a windy weekend and it's blown a blackbirds nest (complete with eggs) from one of the trees which is a bit sad.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Beat that f##cking boro and win the cup tomorrow

I thought at the time the Basel fans having that banner accross their stadium in the first leg was a touch classless...and they were playing against a team who's fans are some of the most classless around...who did I want to lose least.

In fairness last week Basel were great and did everything right apart from going in serch of a third goal in their home leg. Boro's supporters actually turned up last night (24,521) as opposed to ringing the ticket office and asking what channel the game is on.

Now we all know what a tremendous comeback it was...3-0 down including an away goal. 60 odd minutes to get 4 goals...subs coming off the bench to hit 30 yard screamers, out of favour strikers popping up with a 91st minute winnner...amazing drama. All I could think about it that tune ('Pappa needs a brand new Pig bag' apparently) they play for the fans after each goal. It makes me never want to see them score a goal ever again. It's just so embarressing they way they all just wait until the DJ fires up the tune allowing them to clap sing along to it (it being an instrumental), I think it's a personal thing but I just find it appalling.

It actually makes me want to never see their team score a goal again. The same goes for Bolton ('Amarillo' & 'I feel good'), Wigan ('Tom Hark'), Norwich ('Samba De Janiero') etc etc. I mean when things are flat and the team need the fans to give them a lift I can almost understand things like the Sheffield Wed band attempting to get people going but after the team have scored? Surely you don't need prompting. I hate the way the fans decide to behave like trained seals at the moment when they should be swept away in the joy of the moment. That "Easy, Easy" thing annoys me too.

Anyway that's my impressions from last night...fabulous, gripping, dramatic, monumental comeback (arguably more impressive than the rednoses last year) and all I can worry about is that awful tune.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Monday, April 03, 2006

Everton 2-2 Sunderland

Everton 2-2 Sunderland

The worry is that Everton might be heading happily towards their end of term party...there was a definite Kerplunky 'Own-clothes' sort of feeling about the game at thw weekend. We were rubbish from start to finish...the only shocking thing is that we somehow managed to score two goals. It has to be said that Sunderland were a team of cart-horses...just very tall. Everton just played into their hands time and time again. Ultimately it seemed like they wanted it more.

I hope it's not the case that Everton are winding down...It annoys me when they keep you living on your nerves for most of the season then when you can finally afford to sit back and enjoy it for once they just stroll round and get spanked. Ah well...rather be in our position than Sunderland, Portsmouth, Birmingham & West Brom's. It is just crippling when you are down there. I remember the 1998 season when we stayed up on goal difference after the final game of the season. Truly nightmarish stuff...the one two seasons ago wasn't much better either, we were lucky Leeds were so abject.

Mid-table obscurity has long been the dream but I'm hoping we have something to enjoy between now and the end of the season.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Rugby Union Nat Lge2 Table

Rugby Union Nat Lge2 Table

1 Moseley 23 21 0 2 693 356 17 101
2 Waterloo 23 19 2 2 711 338 16 96
3 Esher 23 16 1 6 642 362 14 80

Waterloo promoted after a stunning 41-7 win away at Esher....WOW! Congratulations to Phil Winstanley, Ian Aitchison, Freeman Payne & everyone at St Anthony's.

Any chance of one final push for the title? :::: APRIL FOOL :::: APRIL FOOL

Some friends of ours actually fell for this year's official website April Fool!

Shame on you Carmel & Damian!