Before we start – this doesn’t represent some bid for that much-coveted better Bluedom. I was visiting family in Washington State and we combined it with a trip to Minneapolis to take in the whole Toffees on Tour experience.
Obviously everyone knows that the Blues, resplendent in their new pink kits, got dubbed 4-0 by Adrian Heath’s Minnesota United. I’ve been writing about Everton for so long now that I invariably repeat myself constantly, and so I’m not even going to touch the whole thing about whether you should care about results in pre-season.
That said, there were a lot of Evertonians there who had travelled across the country to see the game – and for many it was their first time ever viewing them in the flesh – and so in that respect that performance did little to reward them for their dedication.
In fact, the whole Minneapolis experience represented something of a PR own goal. The local Minnesota fans organised an event in a brewery prior to kick off that was really lively and well attended and the club – no doubt for legitimate reasons – failed to send any representative. The organisers were far too polite to complain, but they had been told that someone was going to come along. Which is a poor show. The club instead had their own event the previous evening in a huge mall fucking miles away from anywhere. It was weird and, despite the best efforts of Darren Griffiths and Leon Osman, really soulless and boring.
I couldn’t give a shite about free merchandise or getting an ‘ussy’ with an ex-player, but if the whole idea was to reach out the US fanbase then they got it wrong in Minnesota at least. They left a load of really well-meaning Toffee-lovers crestfallen with their efforts there.
Against a background of underwhelming on-field performances then, along with transfer market inertia and really wordy and quite specific banners about the composition of the boardroom org chart, the Blues now face what feels remarkably like a must-win friendly at Blackpool, the scene of Harry Catterick getting kicked and the realisation that Jack Rodwell could only head the ball like Alan Carr, with his glasses on a chain.
Mischievous newspaper gadgies must love it. ‘Go on, I dare you! Link them with someone else from Wolves, they will shit the bed!’
Next minute the Montirex Montagnards, the Under Army, will have the spray paint out. ‘How many L’s in Thelwell, Joey lad?’