Love Affairs And Marriage

howard-kendall

To celebrate publication of Howard Kendall’s autobiography, Love Affairs and Marriage, Everton’s greatest manager will be talking about his life in football with comedian and broadcaster Sean Styles at Liverpool’s Epstein Theatre on 17 October.

Howard will be joined by friends, family, former colleagues  and teammates on the night as we celebrate the career of one of Everton FC’s defining figures.

There are just 100 tickets available to the general public to take part in this celebration.  They are available on a strictly first come, first served basis and are priced at just £8, with £5 deductible from the price of a book of a book on the night.

Doors open at 6.30pm with a 7pm start.  The event will conclude with a book signing and the opportunity to meet Howard.

Tickets are available online from the Epstein Theatre

deCoubertin Books have launched special signed limited edition versions of Love Affairs and Marriage to help raise £10,000 for Everton in the Community and Stick ‘N’ Step. For more details, click here.

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Bolton Wanderers And That

Bolton Wanderers Press Conference

We’re Bolton and we’re barmy and we’re on the piss tonight.

A short jaunt up the road for this FA Cup fourth round tie is a good opportunity to see how bleak things can get awfully quickly even for teams who look like Premier League fixtures. Bolton Wanderers, and especially their chairman Phil Gartside, were never shy of talking themselves up as the brash new face of thrusting top-flight football, what with their new stadium and Big Sam Allardyce’s extensive team of sports scientists and ProZone professionals that would have put Sugar Ray Robinson’s entourage to shame.

Well they are fucked now, and Dougie ‘spelt with an ‘oo’, like the tea’ Freedman is their manager.

Allardyce’s shadow still looms large over the Reebok – legend has it that when the wind blows in a certain direction you can still get a faint whiff of one of his infamous ‘steak bake guffs’ in the directors box bogs – and indeed over any sort of website that exists almost exclusively to take the piss out of football. They’ve fallen a long way since their most recent ‘glory’ days of watching Youri Djorkaeff and Jay Jay Okocha and regularly finishing in the Premier League top 10. Now it’s Keith Andrews, Marvin Sordell and a number of ex-Liverpool shitehawks. Oh, and Kevin Davies, still.

Obviously Everton will be expected to win this then, but they will have to perform a lot better than they did at St. Mary’s on Monday night, regardless of the level of the opposition.

There seems to be an increasing number of people if not demanding then at least suggesting that David Moyes should drop Nikica Jelavic for this one and replace him with Victor Anichebe following their respective ‘horror miss’ and ‘lively substitute appearance’ in the week. The Everton boss has his own methods for dealing with these matters, but you would like to think that he would approach Jelavic and ask him whether he wants to be rested and then gauge the Croatian’s reaction. Ideally he would respond by saying that he wants to get back out there, work hard and put things right. In which case he should start. The problem with just dropping Jelavic, almost as a ‘punishment’ for his drop in form is similar to one faced whenever Tim Howard is playing badly. If deep down you don’t really believe that the replacement is better than the fella being dropped then you risk further denting the main man’s confidence. If Anichebe starts against Bolton, for instance, and has a poor game himself, where does that leave you? Arguably worse off than if you told Jelavic that you believe in him regardless and are confident that he will come good.

Whether Kevin Mirallas is match fit enough to start yet isn’t clear – if he does though, hopefully he plays out on the right wing. Moyes seems unable to resist the temptation to play him through the middle, presumably just to try and have his pace and shooting skills stationed closer to the opposition goal. He seems to get bogged down there though, fighting with cavemen for knee-high bobblers, and causes more panic when he picks the ball up wide, gets turned and runs at defences.

No ballboys were harmed in the production of this article.

Bolton Wanderers Press Conference

Bad nerd

Tottenham And That

Bad nerd

All previews essentially boil down to: ‘How about just fucking winning, eh, Everton?’

But there really, really isn’t much more to say other than that about this home game against third placed Tottenham Hotspur. A look at the Blues’ recent form shows, hang on, we’ve fucked up already here. The joke was going to be ‘more double-u’s than when Jonathan Ross announced the re-opening of the Redruth Rock’n’Roll Roller-Rink. But that would mean we’d won loads, and we haven’t, we’ve drawn, so that would mean something about a stack of D’s, and that only lends itself to something crass about brassieres, so we won’t bother.

Anyway, Everton have drawn a stack of matches against opposition from every stratum of the Premier League and yet have somehow remained a Gwladys Street coin toss away from the hallowed Champions League qualification spots.

After the second half shocker at Reading, the level of performance definitely improved against Arsenal and then Manchester City and with Darron Gibson back pulling the strings in midfield there is a feeling that we are about to return to the sort of potent form that moved us to the upper reaches of the table in the first place. And when Kevin Mirallas returns there should be no effing stopping us.

Incidentally, what happened to that ace rumour that was passed off as fact that Nikica ‘his second touch is a throw in’ Jelavic’s form has suffered because he doesn’t talk to Mirallas? What’s the Croatian’s excuse meant to be for never getting a sniff of goal while the pacey Belgian is out injured?

And while we’re on the subject of Jelavic, does anyone else find that advert with him imprisoned in a crate like the limbless Sherilyn Fenn just a bit creepy?

‘FRIGGIN’ HELL! The box stinks of shit. Has he been in there since November? Just put the lid back on while I try to think what to do with him.’

Tottenham , for their part, never really change, no matter who their flavour of the month manager is. They always have some dead tidy midfielders and a bit of pace out wide and it’s normally a fairly tight encounter when they come to Goodison. Cartoon wolf-boy Gareth Bale is out injured but they still have some dangerous players in the shape of Jermaine Defoe, Aaron Lennon and the two fellas they signed from Fulham, Moussa Dembélé and Clint Dempsey.

Despite them doing fairly well so far this season their manager still gets a pretty rough ride from the press; a hangover from his disastrous spell at Chelsea when he appears to have had some sort of nervous breakdown. By all accounts he’s essentially a bad posh nerd who ended up being bullied by the big personalities in the Stamford Bridge dressing room. As we all know, ‘big personality’ in football basically equates to arl’ arse shitbag who goes running to the press or to one of the directors behind your back when they don’t get their own way.

Villas Boas’s spectacular failure at Chelsea though certainly demonstrated that there is a little bit more to the whole management caper than just picking eleven players, boring them with talk about systems and then the acid test for all phone-in experts: ‘getting your substitutions right’.

Can anyone be arsed with any more speculation about what’s going to happen on Sunday? It should be a fairly tough game but with home advantage you would like to think that Everton have enough to get their first win in a while and hopefully go on a bit of a decent run that could make the remainder of the season pretty interesting to say the least.

If you get a chance before then, and you would like to get one of James Corbett’s books signed – either The Binman Chronicles or The Everton Encyclopaedia – he will be with his special guests at the following venues at the stated times doing just that:

Neville Southall, Waddleworths, St Helens, Saturday 11:00-12:00

Neville Southall, Waterstones Bold Street, Saturday 14:00-15:00

Bob Latchford, James Corbett, Everton Two, Saturday 16:00-17:30

Neville Southall, St Lukes Church, Goodison Road, Sunday, 13:00-14:30

Finally, on the subject of books, a quick review of Danny Baker’s autobiography, Going To Sea In A Seive. As you would expect, it’s funny, written in a dead lively style and has some great anecdotes about Sniffing Glue, the NME and, most of all, his late dad who he clearly idolises. If you ever hear him being interviewed he always makes a point of saying he is unapologetic about how ace his life is and that he thinks false modesty is a load of shite, which is fair enough. However, by the end of the book, after the umpteenth tale about how he had a great time with some celebrity or other and everything worked out just wonderful and everyone creased up at something dead funny that he said, you can’t help think of Mark Williams’s character from The Fast Show.

“…and on the way back from the cove, within a hundred yards from each other, we saw Stevie Nicks and Helena Bonham Carter.  So we gave them both a lift on the back of the tractor.  Which was nice.”

Hang on, more draws than Mike Baldwin’s factory! Which only really works if in your mind you automatically interchange ‘draws’ with ‘drawers’, and if his factory actually makes knickers. Does he even still own it? In fact, is Mike Baldwin still in Coronation Street?

Do you know what, this whole thing’s been a fucking disaster from start to finish.

The Everton Encyclopedia

We interviewed James Corbett a while ago, and he mentioned working on The Everton Encyclopedia as well as Neville Southall’s Binman Chronicles.

Well, it’s finished, printed and available to buy now and good lord it’s a thing of beauty. Genuinely, it is the definitive, last word in Everton reference books and an absolutely stunning thing to look at.

It covers absolutely everything about the club, with hundreds of extensive player profiles, countless brilliant photographs and sections dealing with pretty much every aspect of the club’s culture. If you don’t believe that then consider the fact that in the section about websites there is a reference to boycotting Little Chef.

Seriously.

For such a massive undertaking as this there must have been a temptation to just dump information in there at some points, but what makes The Everton Encyclopedia more than just the sum of the facts it contains is the amount of love and attention James has dedicated to bringing the stories to life. It’s full of the sort of opinion and insight that could only be provided by a genuine Evertonian and a brilliant writer.

We’re not in the habit of giving praise lightly or recommending shite, so believe us when we say that this is the best book ever written about Everton.