Are you a Red or a Blue?
It’s one of those defining questions in this City that you will be asked quite frequently. I myself have been asked it what feels like a thousand times, it can be put to you by a young child, an arl’ fella, or anyone in between. Most of the time it comes from a cab driver, or one of those baldy fellas at the bar, and it can start a conversation or end it just as easily, because of the answer that ensues.
I am obviously a Blue and my loyalties lie with Everton FC but in this great city we unfortunately have to share day-to-day life with fans of another Football Club – Liverpool. Otherwise known as ‘the other crowd’ (as me Grandad used to say), the Red Shite (as most of us say) or just simply, ‘Reds’ or ‘Kopites’. The rivalry can sometimes get out of hand, but overall we get on with things and every now and then (well, twice a season) we face each other in the Premier League. We don’t go all Celtic and Rangers on one another, but it is fair to say there is some hatred there – it just depends on the individual.
There is a typical theme to the rivalry, the jibes and the bragging rights. We think they are all from Norway and they all think we are Welsh, etcetera etcetera. What rattles many Evertonians like myself though is their arrogant belief that they are entitled to success, they actually believe they are above everyone else. Like they have some divine right to glory?! The other being their continued attitude of reverting to the past. Both of these make living in the same city (although, to keep form, most of them aren’t from here) quite funny, but annoying. However, it’s something you become accustomed to being an Evertonian.
I don’t feel the same hate as others do, like my Dad who can’t sleep for a week before we play them, who has an underlying hatred that stems from working and going to school during their ‘glory days’. I can understand why him, and many others, do really despise Liverpool FC. It’s deep. I am not saying I don’t hate them, I just don’t let them get to me as much as others do. It’s probably my age and the fact that I do have Kopite mates, and although the rivalry is there, it isn’t quite on the same level as others my senior. You might get the odd young Blue reading this and thinking ‘yer wha, he doesn’t hate them an wanna fight them, he’s not a proper Blue’, but that sentence alone would sum that person up. This is my personal opinion and I am not trying to take the ‘friendly derby’ viewpoint on this, just stating my feelings on these two teams and my take on the rivalry.
I just try to focus my emotions on supporting Everton, rather than hating others, but the rivalry is there and give me a few bevvies tonight I’ll be in full voice slating them and supporting us – but I know where to draw the line. Others don’t, and that is their personal choice, but overall the relationship between us and them is something that I actually cherish. It amuses me, and I thrive on the buzz of the derby games and the way we both support our Clubs. Everything they say and do is just not Everton. We look at them in embarrassment, they truly are a cringey gang. Twitter is rife for it at the moment, you cannot move for funny stuff being pointed in the way of Liverpool and their fans – and that’s just from fans of other clubs! It isn’t just Everton who don’t like Liverpool, it’s United, Arsenal, Chelsea, and probably the rest of the Premier League! They have never really been popular, and as I have previously said, it’s their arrogance that annoys people most. The Liverpool-bias in the media makes it worse, and all that Dalglish/Suarez shite just added fuel to the fire.
As for matters on the pitch we are both in the top flight and both doing well, and that 3-3 game at Goodison was one of the best I’ve ever seen. Liverpool need to realise that we aren’t just plucky little Everton (or should that be Everloan?) – we do mean business and with just a percentage of their financial clout at our disposal, we continue to match, and better them. I think that’s what rattles them, the fact that we are here and here to stay, and in Martinez we have a new-found belief that could allow us to do them tonight. Without getting into Phil Neville rally cry mode I think we have got every chance of beating them at Anfield, and if we do apply ourselves like we have been doing, then who knows. Obviously we could get beat and then the bragging rights go to them but as we have shown already this season we can go and get results against good sides away from home. Lets not kid ourselves here Liverpool are doing well themselves and their strike force is more than potent, but if we stick to our game, impose ourselves like Martinez has asked, then hopefully we can end our long wait for a win against the shite at Anfield. I don’t really get nervous before Derby games, but come kick off I’ll be jumping round like the rest of you as passion and raw emotion get the better of me. I couldn’t imagine being one of them and not being an Evertonian, and everything about them just makes me that little bit prouder to be a blue.
Up the Toffees, fuck the Red Shite