Archive for September, 2013

My glass half full of Guinness – Liverpool Early Season review

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7 weeks ago, in Dublin -‘fortified’ by the effects of the ‘iron’ in that day’s persistent consumption of stout I declared my expectations for the season to an assembled group of mates in the Irish capital to watch Liverpool’s final pre-season friendly game.  The match was a stilted encounter decided by an early defensive mistake that led to Celtic scoring an early winner.  The manner of the defeat was perhaps the ‘reality check’ that Liverpool fans needed after coming through an untested preseason and prior to this game marketed as the ‘Dublin Decider’ (deciding what?) Liverpool had only conceded 1 goal whilst scoring 17 in six games. The opposition on our pre-season tours were not anything to get excited about and hence my ‘half cup empty’ view.

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Pellegrini : We can still win the title

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Manchester City’s boss Manuel Pellegrini remains confident that his new charges will challenge for the Premier League title this season despite their poor away form so far this season. City have yet to win away from home this season after they threw away the lead twice to lose to Aston Villa on Saturday.

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John Heitinga has admitted that he may be forced to leave Everton in January if he wants to make it into Holland’s World Cup squad next year. The 29-year-old defender has made just two appearances for Everton under new manager Roberto Martinez this season, with both appearances coming in the Capital One Cup.

Heitinga who has been left out of the provisional Holland squad for next month’s World Cup qualifiers with Hungary and Turkey is now scared that he may miss out on Louis Van Gaal’s final squad. The dutch centre-back has admitted that he had the chance to leave Goodison in August but took a risk by staying at Everton.

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The Karen Gill ” Shankly ” Interview . Or ; Meet The OLD Liverpool F.C.

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Some time ago , indeed , in the previous incarnation of footyscene.com , I wrote an Icons Piece on Bill Shankly .   I did it for My Friends , Mark Davies and Kathy McEntee , both Bitter RS an BOTH Me TOP , TOP Folks . They’ve Fed Me , indeed continue to do so on a regular basis . They are My Family now .

To that end , Mrs . D , sent the Piece to Bill Shankly’s Granddaughter , Karen . Karen , BEING Karen , came to Me personally to thank Me , specifically as a Toffee . It kinna , Blew My Mind , in truth . Since then , we remained Friends . Then we did this second Piece . I NOW LOVE THIS WOMAN . She’s Awesome . I HOPE it translates via the Interview , as , either way , it is a FACT .

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Everton : Capitol One Schmucks !!

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Okay maybe the headline is a little harsh but it is hard not to feel a little annoyed about Everton’s latest exit from the League Cup at the hands of Fulham. This competition has had many guises over the years but the outcome has always been the same for the Blues and that is disappointment. Three games against Aston Villa in the 1977 League Cup Final ended in a 3-2 defeat, two games against Liverpool in 1984 ended in a 1-0 defeat and a semi-final against Chelsea ended in a 3-1 aggregate defeat and sadly they have been the best of Everton’s runs in this competition.

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Rom’s the Word !

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Seven days after an excellent victory against Chelsea the Blues travelled to West Ham for what was in my opinion a very presentable chance to consolidate that win with another 3 points. Everton’s record against West Ham is fantastic and we always seem to do well down at Upton Park and Saturday was no different, eventually.

Roberto Martinez resisted the opportunity to start on-loan Chelsea forward Romelu Lukaku, instead choosing to have him as a menacing distraction to the Hammers. Martinez rewarded the same 11 that had performed so manfully the week previous at Goodison Park, however, for the opening 45 minutes it looked like a totally different team. West Ham’s approach to the game was like the polar opposite to Everton’s possession game and the half time possession stats backed that up with the Blues enjoying 64% of the possession. That stat whilst really impressive especially away from home at Premier League level is also a mis-leading one at times for me as it was West Ham who looked the more dangerous in the opening half. Everton’s only real moment of note came from a good counter attack and an excellent strike from Kevin Mirallas which Jussi Jaskelainan saved and the rebound just managed to evade the on-rushing Steven Naismith.

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Question and Answer night at Everton FC

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On Wednesday night I attended a ‘Question and Answer’ session at Goodison Park with Everton’s new signings Gareth Barry and James McCarthy. Alongside Barry and McCarthy was Alan Myers (Director of Communications), Darren Griffiths (Everton Press Officer) and Everton legend Graeme Sharp. I have to say that from a PR perspective it was excellent. As well as the panel, Christine Prior and Carena Duffy worked amongst other Everton staff  (sorry I didn’t know everybody) on ensuring that everyone present had an enjoyable evening.

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Roberto proves he is our ‘Special One’

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So the ‘Special One’s’ return to Goodison Park didn’t go as planned then? No I am not talking about Jose Mourinho, I am talking about Everton’s very own ‘Special One’ Leighton Baines (in reference to the Everton advert) who hit the cross bar with a delicious free kick late on in the second half. I had backed Baines to get on the scoresheet on Saturday, after his much rumoured move to Manchester United didn’t materialise on deadline day, I just fancied him to cement his hero like status.

Saturday Night served up a perfect tea-time drama and both teams ‘dished’ up some delightful attacking football but none of the forwards on display could ‘feast’ off the chances! Okay, that’s enough clichés concerning the tea-time reference!!

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