Current COVID status: you’re on your fucking own – the alehouse may or may not be open.
It’s just a good job Everton are good.
We approach the derby game with a perfect record while Liverpool come off the back of that somewhat eye-catching result at Villa Park. They say the form book goes out the window – but the form book’s not allowed out at the moment, it’s self-isolating.
While we’ve all become used to playing behind closed doors, to a certain extent, it’s certainly having an effect on players, with a number of results this season weirder than those horrible Camden Brewery pint glasses. To an extent everyone expected a levelling off of home advantage, with no spittle-flecked crowd to heap pressure on the officials. What else seems to be becoming apparent though is that without angry fatties bursting blood vessels at them, players are more inclined to just throw their hand in the moment a decent result is out of reach.
So next time maybe think on before you roll your eyes theatrically at that fella screaming ‘FUCKING HELL DAVIES PASS IT TO A BLUE SHIRT’.
That hero could be saving us from a 6-1 mauling.
Speaking of Tom Davies, he played well against Brighton, as have a number of the squad players when called upon, whether it’s in the league or the league cup. Gylffi Sigurdsson, Davies, Alex Iwobi and Fabien Delph – fellas who where more or less first choice when fit last season – have been bumped down the list but seem to have reacted well. We’ve bemoaned the bloated squad for a long time, but now it’s refreshing to see seasoned internationals stepping in when required. They are essentially your best ‘going out t-shirt’ from last summer that you think you look dead smart in now you wear it for the gym.
You don’t, by the way.
The other big improvement is obviously the startling form of the County Road Klinsmann, Dominic Calvert-Lewin. His all-round game has been improving steadily over time but if there were questions about him they centred on his ruthlessness in front of goal. However, whether it’s just added maturity, a change in his role, or the fabled ‘influence of Big Dunc’, the team are creating loads of chances now and the Barnsley Batistuta (we’ve got loads of these) can’t stop lashing the bleeders in the back of the net.
The fact that Carlo Ancelotti, armed with a significant budget, seemed more than happy to go into the season with Calvert-Lewin as the focal point of this serious-looking Everton side should have maybe told us everything we needed to know. He’s certainly spending less time out wide, so it stands to reason that he’s going to start getting them far post headers and reacting first to loose balls in the box. Maybe Ancelotti isn’t being mischievous after all when he says that football really is a simple game.
And what does that simple game need more than anything, during this unprecedented period in modern history – when lives and livelihoods are literally at stake from day to day? It needs the proud owners of the Big Stand to unveil something to hang up on it.
The Big Fucking Picture.
In fairness to John Henry and the rest of the Americans who have met behind the Nightingale Hospitals to draw up their plan, they have been crafty in the way they have thrown in a little somethin’-somethin’ for everyone while tacking together their Trojan Horse. Fucking hell, there was even some mention somewhere of limiting the price of away tickets to appeal to the big coat and Gazelle sign-a-petition brigade, not to mention the money for the EFL clubs battered by COVID.
All they ask for in return is one tiny little thing. No, honestly, it’s nothing. No, I feel silly even saying it. You’ll laugh. No, you will! Honestly, just forget I even mentioned it. Promise you won’t? Noooo! Promise! Ok, what it is. Are you smirking? You promised! Ok, fine! I’m going to say it. It’s just these silly votes…
If you are going to invite these charming vampires over your threshold don’t act all surprised when you eventually get your throat torn out.
The endgame with these is, and has always been, negotiating their own broadcast deals. Just have a read of The Billionaires Club by James Montague if you want to get a good understanding of the types of rapacious shithouse who infect American sport and increasingly the Premier League. Obviously you might want to skip the bits about Alisher Usmanov like.
Anyway, in times like this when seeking wisdom, we always turn to Goodfellas. And Henry Hill said it best when he said: ’See, your murderers come with smiles, they come as your friends, the people who’ve cared for you all of your life. And they always seem to come at a time that you’re at your weakest and most in need of their help.’
Or as the son of a previous American owner of Liverpool FC once eloquently stated:
‘Blow me. Fuckface.’