27 Things that mean the Football is Back

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Below is a random collection of Football things that mean the football is well and truly back. Some of which I’ve missed, some of which I haven’t, plus there’s bound to be a few Everton related topics along the way.. (content contains swearing).

 

1 – Goin’ the matchgood

What better way to start a piece dedicated to football than a few words on ‘match day’. It is the day we have longed for since the end of May. A day that evokes so much emotion, a day that usually brings highs, lows, anger, fear, elation, memories, far-fetched bets, chips and curry and a pint of warm ale. What more could a person want? Ideally it’s a 3pm kick off – you soak up the atmosphere, then you take your seat and cheer on your beloved team to three points. A great way to spend a Saturday afternoon, unless you get beat that is.

 

2 – Fantasy Football fantasy-premier-league-coming-in-august-2014

Picking your fantasy football team and then managing it like your life depends on it, even though you’ve only thrown in a fiver with the lads in work and the money minder has spent the winners fund by Christmas. Coming up with daft names like ‘Michu in De Gea bar’ or ‘Show me da Mane FC’. Six points for a clean sheet – double points for your captain – goal-scoring midfielders – it’s your bread and butter. ‘Ahhh shit I’ve left David Silva on me bench and he’s just scored two’. Admit it, we’ve all been there. Two certainties have to be Eden Hazard and Leighton Baines in your team, surely? Just when you have a good points week and move up a couple of places in the table, you then get two red cards, injuries to key players and end up having a full on fantasy league manager meltdown in front of your missus. ‘Get a grip will yer’.

 

3 – Arsene Wenger’s coatwenger

Or sleeping bag as it’s become known. Come rain or shine, Wenger always resorts to a coat that resembles a bubble body bag and cannot ever seem to zip it up. Wenger looks like a French language teacher on the touch-line who has been made to cover a PE class, it looks uncomfortable. As for his team, they are either on a 12 game unbeaten streak or 8 game losing run, and always seem to hit form too late to be of any relevance in the battle for the title. Oh and whilst we are on the subject of Arsenal, Jack Wilshere is a tit.

 

4 – Planes or protests

Whatever the season, there is always someone protesting over something. If it’s not Newcastle fans holding up cards and banners against the Cockney Mafia, it is aeroplanes being flown over Old Trafford. From pitch invasions at Blackpool to Fathers for Justice campaigners attaching themselves to goal posts at Goodison, there’s never a dull moment in protesting at football – remember that Drone in the international match? What next? Fans setting themselves on fire in the centre circle or driving a tank onto the Goodison Park pitch in protest at Kenwright?!!

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On the subject of protests/campaigns, the Twenty’s Plenty campaign is well worth a mention, it is one which is becoming increasingly popular, and rightly so, their campaign is to be admired.

 

5 – Last-minute winners

Whoever you support, if your team scores a last-minute winner then you are nursing the bruises for weeks on end, even if you were only watching the game in your living room. You just can’t beat a late winner, they are one of the outstanding moments in football and I’ve certainly missed that feeling with Everton. Unless we are playing West Ham, that is.

As for a last-minute defeat, we won’t go there. That is a dark place to be as a football fan, losing in the final minute of a game is gut wrenching, and you don’t even have time to digest it.

 

6 – Streams

‘Any streams for the game’ – how many times do you see that phrase. ‘Screen buffering’ – *throws laptop out the window*. Every season there are new websites and more and more options for us illegal streamers to see our football online. Sometimes you might strike lucky and get a perfect stream, albeit with a commentator with an accent that makes Iggle Piggle sound normal. Most of the time, the stream goes down or loses connection, and by the time it comes back on you’ve refreshed Twitter, witnessed 2000 Evertonians having a meltdown because we’ve gone a goal behind, made a cup of tea and the game has entered injury time.

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7 – Modern-Day Casuals & Pyrotechnicscasuals

These keep me entertained. The youngsters who go the games these days still attempt to wear the casual clothing, have a bit of ‘agg’ with a rival firm and set off pyro at every possible moment. Pyro is an increasing trend, it has been for a while now and some fans are for it but many are against it. It doesn’t really arse me if I’m honest. Funny thing with these so-called modern youth is most of the time after they are setting off pyro, they then post selfies on Instagram as they walk down some random Huddersfield High Street holding a flare outside Barnardos. It’s hardly fuckin’ Football Factory is it lads?

 

 

8 – Manager Spats

wengerfightingIt’s already started, the mind games. Did you see Mourinho and Wenger the other day? Probably laughing their heads off behind the scenes as they share a bottle of Merlot and fat cigar. Meanwhile the fat journos are sweating their arses off to write about how ‘Mourinho clashed with Wenger, if looks could kill’. There’s been a few nutcase managers over the years in the Prem and this season will be no different. Get your money on Bilic to be the first manager to choke slam a linesman or something. Wenger always ends up scrapping with someone, as does Pardew or whoever is in charge at United. Poyet was another one for animosity, as was Pearson at Leicester who was involved in more than one incident. Somehow I can’t see Martinez doing anything similar, I suppose he’d rather compliment his opposing manager on how the left hook he delivered was full of character and it’s all about how he picks himself up from it.

 

9 – Popular Managers

Whilst I’m on the subject of Managers – Alan Pardew is an obnoxious prick and Tim Sherwood is a first class bellend. Brilliant, I feel cleansed now I’ve got that off my chest. Also, why does Manuel Pelligrini look like he’s just been digged up from Anfield Cemetary and always in need of a good pan of Scouse? Maybe that’s what Manchester does to you – makes you grey, frail and shrivel as a person.

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10 – Everton/Liverpool – the Derby.

No matter how shit Everton are, our fans will always poke fun at our rivals at every opportunity. Liverpool have spent big again this summer – the perfect ammunition for Evertonians to have a go at them when it all falls apart by Christmas. Trouble is, we just hope Everton aren’t manager-less and in the relegation zone by then ourselves. The Derby is always a tasty affair, the build-up goes on for weeks and everyone comes out of the wood work, the city becomes electric and on the day you just can’t beat that Derby grit and determination. Families and friends clash, the rivalry builds as does the anticipation – blood, sweat and tears, and that’s just outside the hairdressers in the morning of the game.

 

11 – Kick off times and football all the time

As much as Sunday games and random kick off times do my head when Everton are involved, I have to admit, I enjoy having the choice of so many games on different days. Obviously with the foreign leagues kicking off later in the day at weekends this gives further options too, but the choice of games and variation of days/times they are available have never been more so than the modern-day era. Monday Night Football is always an entertaining watch, with Carragher and Neville often going toe to toe and having BT Sport myself I’m looking forward to seeing more Champions League action this season too. If all else fails, get on the Australian J-League if you fancy a laugh. Football, football, football, we want more!

 

12 – Match of the Daymotd

Go on, you thought this would be first on my list. Match of the Day, where shall we start with this? Lineker slowly morphing into his perv-like brother and Everton are always the last game on – two things you can rely on again this season. Every time he Tweets that bloody schedule it shows Everton as the penultimate or final game to be shown. Trouble is, Match of the Day is on late enough as it is, never mind waiting until midnight just to see Tim Howard flap another cross and lose Everton two points. The things they put us through! By the time you get to see our highlights (all 40 seconds of them) you’ve had that much ale you are now actually mistaking Danny Murphy for an onion and Robbie Savage for a fuckin’ Labrador. Sort it out Lineker lad.

As much as I am being critical of MOTD, I do miss it an awful lot, it’s like the reward after putting up with all the crap Saturday night telly before it. Finally the remote is returned to its rightful owner and that theme tune kicks in, footballing heaven. I am also a fan of the Football League Show – for the hard-core football fans who are willing to stay up all night to watch a League One 4-4 thriller.

 

13 – Newcastle and West Ham

You can always count on these two Clubs to make you feel proud that you are an Evertonian or fan of another club. How many of you laughed when West Ham fell away last season and wished Newcastle had gone down? Nearly all of you, I bet. Two clubs who I’ve never taken to and two clubs who usually have managers who reflect just how daft they are. Maybe that will change this season with Bilic and McLaren (probably not) but I have to say, as small-minded as it might sound, I do enjoy poking fun at the Hammers and the Geordies, they don’t half get carried away them lot. How long before McLaren is saying ‘whyy ayyy man’ in every sentence. Remember his Dutch accent when in charge of Twente? Comical.

 

14 – The Christmas Pstokeeriod

The games come thick and fast, as does the weather. ‘But can they do it on a cold December night at Stoke’ well probably not to be honest, Stoke’s a tricky place to go at the best of times never mind when you’ve got a load of gloved-up foreigners shivering like fuck. Christmas is always busy for games and the media make a big thing of it – who is bottom and who it top, who is gonna spend big in January or who’s gonna face the chop. If you are an Evertonian reading this then think back to Boxing Day last year, Stoke at home, we lost 0-1 and the weather was shocking – yep that’s the Christmas period.

 

 

15 – Strikers

Why oh why do strikers always score against Everton and then drift off into the footballing wilderness to never be seen again. Ricky van Wolfswinkel anyone? It seems to be the case that if you haven’t scored for six months or you have just returned from a lengthy injury, you have to play against Everton and Everton have to allow you to score. I’m sure it’s the unwritten rule of Premier League (or just shit) strikers.

vanwolfs

 

16 – Diego Costa

What a horrible bastard that man is. He looks like a dog, plays like a dog, but is one hell of a striker. A striker with no fear who plays up to the opposition, winds defenders up, clashes with anyone in his way and still ends up grabbing a goal. Last season Costa was impressive in a title-winning Chelsea side, but his injury problems are well documented. What I’d do for a player of that ilk up top alongside Lukaku, I can only dream.

 

17 – The Magic of the FA Cup

Cup upsets are great – unless they are against your club – and when the FA Cup proper gets going in early January you know there are bound to be a few upsets and historic moments. You only hope your team wins their six games and goes all the way, and if you do it can be a fantastic journey. The wait has been all too long for us Evertonians, but there is no denying that the FA Cup is a special competition and I can’t wait for it to get going again.

magic

 

18 – Football Accumulators

‘Just threw a quid on 22 games there lad, it returns 700 grand’. We’ve all got that one mate, haven’t we? Check your Twitter timeline at 16:55 this Saturday and I’ll bet you any money you’ll see ‘fuck off Sheff Utd, let me down for 3 tonne’ or something similar. Just insert a different lower league team name. Football betting is so varied nowadays but the classic Saturday afternoon punt has to be a results accumulator – ‘throw in a few draws to bump up the odds’. Home wins, both teams to score, score and win, over 2.5 goals, you name it there’s a football bet for it, no wonder going into William Hill and Coral is like walking into Costa Coffee these days. Does anyone remember when Bookies used to be smoke-filled and dirty? bring back the good old days!

 

19 – Surprise packages159029

Either a team or player will be a surprise package – usually a promoted side or cheap transfer. Of the three that have come up this season I reckon Bournemouth will surprise a few. I fancy them to consolidate this season and carry out a few shocks along the way. A bit like when Blackpool came up a few years ago (although they eventually went down if I remember rightly) they made the rest of the League stand up and take notice. If a player has a good season and makes his name with a promoted side then he is likely to get a move to one of the bigger clubs, it will be interesting to see if that happens again this year.

 

20 – Away Days

Coaches, trains, minibuses – you can’t beat an away day. On the beer from daft o’clock and asleep by half time, sound familiar? Random pub and piss stops along the way, the travelling Blues on tour. Our fans away from home always travel well and we certainly know how to celebrate a goal. When you watch other clubs celebrating it looks very mild-mannered, quite formal and lacking passion. You don’t get that with Everton. If we score a last-minute winner, expect to end up sixteen rows in front on some fella’s shoulders with someone else’s coat on. Then look up to see some 42 stone Norwich fan pointing to the exit offering you a straightener.

 

21 – League Cup draw

‘The Mickey Mouse cup’ as it’s known. The Capital One Cup is what our League Cup is called these days and every year, when the draw is made, Everton will get a decent draw and we start to get excited. This could be the year we take this competition seriously and achieve silverware. It’s a trophy at the end of the day. It could be the year we finally go all the way. But then you remember you support Everton  *see Swansea and Fulham from our past two seasons. That hope soon turns to utter disgust.

 

22 – Soccer Saturday/Soccer AM

Unbelievable Jeff. Even though they have some terrible pundits on covering games, Soccer Saturday is always an enjoyable watch as you see the action unfold. From Merson being unable to pronounce anyone’s names to Charlie Nicholas looking like a satsuma in a suit, the panel is made up of former players but the show is brilliantly hosted by the popular Jeff Stelling who has become a footballing cult hero over the years.

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Soccer AM isn’t anywhere near as good as it once was and the show is badly in need of a revamp, but watching it means it is Saturday and it means the football is back. Helen Chamberlain always looks like she needs a good scrub and change of wardrobe but continues to get the gig as co-host, and Max Rushden is hardly the best partner for her. Guests like Lethal Bizzle and Charlie Adam are a certainty to be on the sofa more than once, and as Peter Kay once said ‘it’s shit but it’s good’ in a weird sort of way, I can’t help but watch it.

 

23 – Pundits

Speaking of pundits, how annoying is Michael Owen’s voice. Owen has been on BT for a while now and he, along with some other simpletons like Jamie Redknapp and Adrian Chiles who constantly get slated season on season. Owen isn’t cut out for commentary, his voice and his views make you wanna stick corks down your ears. As for Redknapp he hasn’t got a clue, whereas Chiles’ attempts to be a funny in front of Roy Keane make the viewer cringe. Plus he’s got a face that resembles a Ginsters Pastie.owen

 

24 – The Sack Race

This is always a big thing as the season starts – who will be first to be sacked? Dubbed the ‘sack race’ the bookies and media will draw up a list of favourites to face the chop. Mounting pressure after a poor start to the season could see Managers moved on, as the Premier League hierarchy chop and change their personnel. ‘He won’t last ’till Christmas’ – ‘Crisis talks are taking place’ – next thing you know, some random foreign fella has been brought in to steady the ship. He then gets sacked two months later too because he wasted £86 million on three players from the Far East.

 

25 – Transfer deadline day

Another money-spinner built up by the modern-day media that sees a dramatic count down for clubs to sign players. Extended to September the second this year, Jim White will be rolled out alongside Natalie Sawyer on Sky Sports News to report the final 24 hours of action as Peter Odimwingie drives into yet another training ground. Helicopters, blacked out windows, last gasp drama and the transfer window spending tracker. Groups of fans gather outside grounds and training facilities in hope of their club doing business, like a scene out of Shaun of the Dead behind the reporter who is outside the Brittannia Stadium. Deadline Day can be great if you sign players but horrible if you lose your prized assets – just ask any Evertonian, you might be there a while.

white2_2820751

 

26 – Referees

They seem to get worse, rather than better don’t they? Whether it’s Twattenburg taking centre stage or the incompetent Martin Atkinson, Lee Mason or Anthony Taylor, they do their best to ruin your day, don’t they? Even just writing their names gets me angry, never mind their ridiculous decision-making and lack of understanding of the game. Every season we hear phrases like ‘something has got to be done’, it’s a joke. Good referees are hard to come by, and the majority of them constantly have their whistles to their mouths breaking up the play. Just let the two teams play football will yer, and shove your whistle up yer arse. The shouts towards referees are always entertaining, especially from the Gwladys Street End, but they bring on the abuse with their stupidity and in some cases – lack of fitness.

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27 – Back on the journey

When the action kicks off again on August the 8th you know you are in for another nine months on the rollercoaster ride that is following your Club. It can be exhilarating, exhausting, emotional, depressing – a real mixture of feelings throughout the 38 League fixtures and cup clashes too. Without football life has felt vacant for a couple of months now and once it begins again those feelings come rushing back and make you realise just what you have been missing. For me football is the best sport in the world and the Premiership is superb for its action packed drama and I simply cannot wait for kick off this Saturday afternoon. You live and breathe every kick, every tackle, every goal, every offside and every moment, and even though it stresses you out from time to time you wouldn’t have it any other way.

 

The Football is back, enjoy the ride…

 

 

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