WHO WROTE THAT SCRIPT?
Mickey Blue Eyes.
Last Friday we were drawn in Europa League Group H against LOSC Lille Métropole of France, Verein für Leibesübungen Wolfsburg of Germany and Футбольный клуб Краснодар (FC Krasnodar for those who failed their GCSE in Russian). Thus we are once again thrown in the deep end of European competition. It should make for an interesting away interlude as world-weary Street Enders try once more to decipher the Cyrillic alphabet which puzzled so many in Kharkiv and Borisov.
But all real Scousers know the past participle of "throw" is not "thrown," nor is the past tense "threw." In both cases the correct word is thrun, as in, "We thrun four points away against Leicester an' Arsenal," or "We've thrun it away again." This statement can be checked with any of my co-workers in the Street End, Lower not Upper. We know ar werds, us.
In confirmation, as we left the previous match against Arsenal a no-neck baldy hulk said, "Dah wuz a fuckn disgrace Marteenez. Jus' like dat kunt Moyes an' we don' wannim back." Plainly the hulk was positioning his narrow forehead for a run of poor results and the next scapegoat. A pity none of the stewards thrun him out because it was one of those voices supposedly addressed to a neighbour, but actually forced on anybody within hearing. Usually it comes from a large purple-faced urban gorilla with a very small wiener*. You know the type, the gauleiter in search of a gau, the perennial "Amentyilldtermeopinyin" - which of course he is, unfortunately. But anybody who says something opposite to his view is likely to get the kind of piggy-eyed Sun/Daily Mail stare and grunt associated with Deptford; these are the type you sometimes hope will not be read their rights as local polizei cattle-prod them into a hurry-up van......No, wait, I am again totally irresponsible and unfair. Democratic justice must prevail at all times.
Speaking of which brings me to our home match with Chelsea: what of our democratic socialist prospects in the face of totalitarian corrupt Lahndan capitalism? For once I was not optimistic and said before kick-off that I expected nothing from the game. We had already conceded too many stupid goals and the Cockney Rent Boys recently spent a lot of transfer money even by Russki oligarch standards. Like everybody else, the way I saw it, if Jags and Sylvain again failed to buck themselves up we were likely to lose to expensive fire power. I hoped for a draw at best. However, I clung to the memory of last season and a well deserved victory; hilariously, The Special One said of our then winner, "Vas not manufactured." This came as news to those of us who counted something like ten passes that left the Rent Boys asking us to wear condoms next time we roger them. But there is no arguing with Jose when in pouty-lip, stand-up mode.
Still, whatever I expected it was nothing to what I saw on Saturday. It was a crazy match, perhaps the craziest I have ever seen. The nearest I can summon is a daft 4-4 draw with Newcastle two hundred years ago. There is just no explaining 3-6, not really. And this time it was us left requesting the use of condoms after as sound a rogering as we have suffered at Goodison in the last decade. At times it was downright embarrassing, even though you could reasonably claim we scored the best three goals on the day and Chelsea look good enough to win the title in a canter: every time they attacked they looked like they would get another. When we did manage a goal they simply stepped up a gear. This is the mark of a great team.
After three minutes the game was virtually over with us 2-0 down and scarcely a touch of the ball. Our Comedy of Errors had begun. From the off we thrun it away. Again. Ask me not for an explanation, because I have none. It was footy carnage. The way the scoring went says it all: 0-1, 0-2, 1-2, 1-3, 2-3, 2-4, 3-4, 3-5 and 3-6. We were never in it.
Of course this is totally biased but our three goals were the best of the game. That is how mad the match was. And No, I will not describe the Chelsea goals because I cannot trust myself to stay composed if I try to re-live the horror. The laptop would probably end up in the river, less than a hundred metres from my balcony.
Our first came a couple of minutes before half time. Quite a strike too, and what we needed after a disallowed goal. A quick move down centre right mid came to Aidan McGeady a few metres outside the penalty area, a neat onward wide to Seamus, a fine air cross ball to just right of the penalty spot and Kevin Mirallas raced in and butted it home with a magnificent header. At 1-3 McGeady did it again with a cross field forward run from right to centre, Steven Naismith dropped off left and forward, took the pass on his left, went into the box and then prodded it home right footed. After we let yet another stupid goal in - by this time our defence looked quite hapless - Samuel Eto'o came on as sub, looking much fitter and younger than I anticipated. Chelsea promptly dropped Rom for a free kick on our left mid centre in their half. Bainsey had had a fitful afternoon with his corners and free kicks but this one was more like it, low trajectory, dipping to slightly left of the penalty spot, and Sam headed in a beaut through a narrow space on their 'keeper's low right. And that was the end of our effort, though Mohammed Bešić came on for the last two minutes to do a comedy juggling act that would have impressed Tommy Cooper.
At the end I wondered briefly what The Special One would have said if we had scored from an offside position, they had oggied, had let in a deflected shot and then passed to one of ours for a final score, all in the same game. Doubtless they vould oll haff been manufactured. Of course using that logic we should have won 3-2. But who has ever managed to define the logic of footy? Spike Milligan?
In the pub post-match, grasping at straws, we bleated we have only played three games and everything is there to play for. The problem is we have conceded ten goals while our central defence has done a worthwhile impersonation of the Three Stooges; what looked solid enough before the season now looks like melting Gruyère cheese. Sorry about the mixed metaphors but it is the best I can do while my eyes are still swivelling in opposite directions. If we carry on like this the anticipation will be Burton Albion, not Barcelona. Meanwhile, somewhere out there in lalaland the hulk is probably shouting at the furniture that Roberto Martinez is as clueless in defence as David Moyes was in attack: the law of diminishing returns.
As I came out of the pub I bumped into Ronnie and the Boys, cheerful and rational as ever. But I was in no mood for rational. In fact I was up to my ears in muttering irrational. I mumbled something daft and went home to find a cat to kick. I love Everton, but by all that is onside I fucking hate Lady Luck right now.
*Courtesy of, and partially derived from, the late unforgettable and much-missed Robin Williams in Good Morning Vietnam.