Morecambe 1 Everton 4

In the words of Ace Frehley, we’re back; back in an Everton groove. He actually changed it to New York in the end, but he originally meant Everton, everyone knows that.

The Toffees sent a load of kids plus the players not wanted by their international sides to play Morecambe in Jim Bentley’s testimonial, and they proved that if we are ever the subject of a Glasgow Rangers-style slide down the metaphorical footballing snake to the bottom tier of the professional game then we should be ok. That is of course assuming, wildly incorrectly, that even a fraction of these players would still be around.

Leon Osman’s Premier League pedigree was apparently evident throughout a first half that saw the Toffees score three times without reply. The veteran schemer teed up Apostolos Vellios and Jack Rodwell for tidy finishes after another midfielder, Francisco Junior, opened the scoring with a 25-yard scorcher.

The Blues have a number of youngsters on the fringes of the first team now, and hopefully some of them, including a couple whose careers have stuttered slightly, can ‘kick on’, i.e. get better at playing football, during the season proper.

Victor ¬†Anichebe falls into that category, although if rumours are to be believed he could be taking his brand of sulky ‘okayishness’ elsewhere, with Wigan Athletic the club most often linked to him. Roberto Martinez is in the market for a striker since Hugo Rodallega left for Fulham, despite initially speaking to Everton. The bizarrely baby-faced Colombian apparently wanted more money than David Moyes thought he was worth, which is fair enough, especially as Martin Jol clearly disagreed. Who can blame Rodallega for making that choice? As a free agent in the prime of his career he had to make the best decision for himself and his family. People may talk about greed in these sorts of cases, but it’s not about that, it’s about negotiating positions, and Rodallega found himself in a strong one.
As for ‘winning stuff’, well, if he actually cares, Jol probably just reassured him that he’s almost as likely to enjoy a valiant but ultimately fruitless cup run at Craven Cottage as he is at Goodison. But on more money.

Never forget: one man’s Judas is another’s ‘exciting new signing’. Just ask Steven Naismith.

Any road, going back to Anichebe, he scored Everton’s fourth goal in the second half before the day’s central figure, Morecambe player-manager Bentley, pleased the whole crowd by netting a consolation for the home side.

More senior players will be returning to the squad soon, including Leighton Baines, although how long he will remain an Everton player is under question. The papers seem convinced that Manchester United are ready to make a bid for the Blues’ most consistent performer, and as we all know, those sorts of offers almost always end up getting accepted eventually.

It’s no secret that Moyes, like everyone else at the club, is eager to see overzealous toilet monitor Steven Pienaar return on a permanent deal, with Spurs reportedly more than happy to accept five million quid for him. That money has to come from somewhere, and at the moment the most likely source appears to be Baines increasing the Scouse quotient at Old Trafford to almost¬†unacceptable levels for some of the ship canal Jihadists.

Finally, Everton wore their new Nike kit for this match. It’s been described as controversial, which is overstating matters somewhat – if your world is rocked by some white armbands then you need to get out more – but it does have more than a dash of Leicester City about it.

Yer Blues

With the players back in training, it’s time to have a little muse and ruminate on just what’s going on at Goodison this summer.

For a start, there’s already been a signing, in the shape of Scottish international forward, Steven Naismith. The Toffees have been more active than anyone in picking over the flyblown corpse of Glasgow Rangers, initially snapping up Nikica Jelavic for a more than reasonable six million pounds and now recruiting Naismith on an even more agreeable free transfer.

Most of the stories in the press when Everton were initially linked with Naismith made out that both his former teammates on the Blues’ books, Jelavic and David Weir, had implored David Moyes to try and get a deal done. However, the fact that at that point neither Moyes or anyone else at the club had made any sort of comment confirming interest in the player would make you suspect a certain amount of journalistic license.

After all, the biggest factor in making Naismith attractive to Everton will have been that he sat squarely in their preferred price range, i.e. from ‘fuck all’ up to ‘next to nothing’. And the idea that managers consult with players about whether they would want them to sign some other player just doesn’t sound right anyway. Granted, Weir might be close enough to Moyes to say something along the lines of, ‘For free he’s definitely a better option than Victor Anichebe’, but there’s no way he’s had Jelavic in the office to ask his opinion.

Just imagine the phonecall a couple of days later. ‘Hey, Jela, it’s me, ‘Nace’. I’ve just heard from my agent that I’ve missed out on a fat fucking signing on fee at Everton because you said, and I quote, ‘He doesn’t even look that good in Scotland and resembles Damien Duff’s simpleton brother. Why don’t you buy Mandzukic instead? Now there’s a player and he will only cost about eight million pounds’. Cheers for that, you sleazy-informant-on-Miami-Vice-looking twat. Now I’ve had to report for preseason with Rangers, and do you know what that has entailed? Do you? Well I’ll tell you, pal. Two words: RUSH FUCKING GOALIES!’

Thankfully that hasn’t happened though, and Naismith has signed, despite the Scottish FA denying him and the rest of the Ibrox deserters international clearance. That sounds kind of serious at first, although the consensus appears to be that the Rangers newco haven’t a leg to stand on and that the players that have agreed new deals elsewhere will face no real legal problems.

Naismith himself has said all the right things since his move, although his constant stressing of the similarities between Everton and his former club could be quite quite alarming given that Rangers are currently the footballing equivalent of one of those freighters full of poisonous waste, registered in Panama and wandering the seas, mournfully looking for some port, any port, that will accept them.

Intro

Welcome to the inaugural post on This Is Not Football.

If this were The Apprentice then the next couple of paragraphs would breathlessly expound on how this website is unlike any other football and vaguely football-related culture site that’s ever come before, and that it will redefine how we look at sat-at-your-computer-in-work-based entertainment. But this isn’t – The Apprentice, that is – and so we won’t.

It’s a website, just like many of the others on the internet – there are probably thousands out there by now – but hopefully one that will contain some interesting and possibly even faintly amusing bits and pieces for you to read over the coming weeks and months. Or ‘wunths’, as we are thinking of calling them.

The title comes from the infamous moment during the Everton versus Bayern Munich European Cup Winners Cup semi-final in 1985 when the German manager, Udo Lattek, addressed the Blues’ bench with the accusation that, ‘This is not football, Mr Kendall’. To which the whole Everton staff replied, in unison: ‘Fuck off!’

Unfortunately fuckoff.com was taken, so we’ve settled on this. If you weren’t already aware of that tale then, to be honest, you are probably going to hate at least 50% of the content on here. For the rest of you though, the Evertonians who were more than clued up on the little anecdote, don’t feel left out, there will be plenty for you to disapprove of too.