Filed: Friday, 10th May 2013
By: Preview Percy
And as the season draws slowly to a close we find ourselves heading for our final away match where Everton will be our hosts for a 3pm kick off on Saturday, er Sunday, probably. Excellent.
There are various engineering works on the tube, particularly on the Central and Met lines so if they form part of your usual trip to Euston you may want to bear that in mind when planning your trip. Or perhaps go by car.
Our hosts look likely to miss out on a European slot this term, lying as they do in 6th spot with 60 points from 36 matches. That leaves them 6 points behind Gareth Bale with just the two matches left to play. They’ve stuttered a bit during the run in with two wins, three draws and the one defeat in the last six. The wins both came at home to QPR (2-0) and against Fulham (1-0). They’ll be ruing not having been able to convert one of the away draws at Bale (2-2), Arsenal (0-0) and at Liverpool (0-0) where they were on the receiving end of the traditional generosity to the home side at that ground when Distin had a perfectly good goal disallowed. The single defeat came up at Sunderland (1-0).
The big news of course is that thug, bully and all-round nasty excuse of a human being Alex Ferguson has announced his retirement from moaning. For many years Everton boss David Moyes has been fairly high up in the frame to replace the obnoxious one come the glorious day, and, with Moyes being conveniently out of contract at the end of the season, the Salford mob won’t even have to go to the bother of paying compensation or even going behind Everton’s back, a tactic they use all the time with player signings. Either way it’ll be interesting to see whether Moyes is allowed to take anyone with him along the M62 during the summer. In the meantime you can’t help feeling that Moyes is leaving a club with a bit of soul for a corporation that never had any. It’s no coincidence that the bully’s departure was announced first to the New York Stock Exchange.
Moyes’ impending departure will bring focus on the more interesting question of who will be replacing him in the summer. Swansea’s Laudrup has been mooted but a more likely punt might be Martinez at Wigan. Whelan spent all last summer with pound signs in his eyes as first the Liverpool job then the Spurs job became vacant. Wigan’s precarious state might push things along a bit. The down side of a Wigan relegation is that the bill for incontinence pants here at the Avram Grant Olympic Rest Home For The Bewildered will go through the roof. Reading, QPR and Wigan all down? Let’s face it it’s not just us old ‘uns who will be wetting themselves laughing.
Meanwhile at Everton they have no injury worries ahead of Moyes’ penultimate swansong. Phil Neville, inexplicably a former England international, has effectively gone, having announced that he’ll be leaving at the end of the season. His knee injury will keep him out past the expiry of his contract.
At the back they will feature Leighton Baines, who, over the past 12 months or so, has established himself as a credible alternative to Ashley “Nokia” Cole. Arguably, given that Cole has been one of the most overrated players of his time, Baines is the better option at international level.
His fellow England teammate in the back four is Phil Jagielka. The role played by Jagielka in the disgraceful Wigan v Sheffield United match during our Great Escape season has never been satisfactorily been examined. You might recall that, in the event of us losing at Old Trafford, a win for Wigan would have sent us down. At 1-1 up popped Jagielka to give away an inexplicable penalty by sticking his hand up to palm a non dangerous cross away. Thankfully we did our bit by getting all three points in Salford – a draw would have done in the circumstances but the whole thing stunk to high heaven.
Up front they’ve been preferring Scouse-Nigerian Victor Anichebe to one-time Hammers target Nikica Jelavic. Anichebe it was who was supposed to have committed the foul that resulted in what would have been the winner against Liverpool being disallowed last weekend.
We’re unlikely to be seeing ex-Hammer Thomas Hitzlsperger at the weekend, He’s made only 9 appearances in all competitions this season – and all but four of those came from the bench. “Der Hammer” spent one injury hit season with us before legging it so fast that he was caught speeding on the A14. His speed would normally have been enough to have earned him a driving ban but his brief managed to keep him on the road with the hilarious argument that his client needed his car to look for work what with him being unemployed and all. I’m sure that that argument works all the time for jobseekers.
As for us, there was a distinct end of season-ness about the whole proceedings last weekend. Hopefully Newcastle’s lack of ambition up front won’t count against them in the long run – if they went down and Wigan stayed up it’d be a pain.
Other news during the week is that Winston Reid got both the Hammer Of The Year and the Players’ version – deservedly in my opinion. He’s also likely to get the not quite as coveted Avram Grant Olympic Rest Home award once I’ve remembered who I voted for. JJ getting save of the season was the most bizarre award – you’d have thought that they’d have thrown in something gathered by Henderson in the League Cup, if only to introduce a bit of tension to the proceedings.
Team news is that the same lot are available for this as were about for the Newcastle match, meaning Tomkins and Linda will both miss out. I suspect we’ll see some changes from last week’s starting XI – one or two out there looked a bit jaded to be honest. Joe Cole and Mark Noble are both looking for starts for example.
This will be Moyes’ last home match – funny how that sort of thing occurs to us so often. It will be a difficult place to go to and win. However, I can see us grabbing a point – especially if the emotion of the whole thing gets too much for them. So for my penultimate prediction of the season I’ll be putting the Avram Grant Olympic Rest Home For The Bewildered’s emergency incontinence pants fund (£2.50) on us to pick up a 1-1 draw.
Enjoy the game!
When Last We Met At Goodison Park: Drew 2-2 Spector put us one up. Bilyaletdinov equalised but then Piquionne put us 2-1 up with moments to go. Ref Walton considered Piquionne’s celebration worth a second yellow – a disgraceful decision from a ref unaware of the laws of the game – Piquionne did nothing wrong. The decision cost us and Fellaini equalised in stoppage time. To cost us two points.
Referee:Mike Jones Dishonest referee who likes to influence matches by making “correcting” decisions. See Stoke FA Cup QF a few seasons ago for an example – a match that should have seen him arrested and jailed for fraud. Instead Grant got fined £20,000 for suggesting that a performance like that wasn’t up to scratch. Shoot the messenger.
Danger Man:Marouane Fellaini – strangely-coiffeured but handy player also useful at the so-called “dark arts”. Some fun to be had then.
Daft Fact Of The Week: Everton used to play at Anfield but moved after an argument with the landlord who then formed his own team, based on the principles of match fixing, diving, biting, cheating and illegal transfer deals. These principles have been held dear by his followers ever since. He also invented the black armband and the condolence book, inventions that nets his descendants millions each year from the red side of Liverpool, who hold a minute’s silence every time a bus is late.
Please note that the opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, nor should be attributed to, KUMB.com.
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