Saltysellars Posted April 11, 2010 Share Posted April 11, 2010 Hold the front and back pages, bring the dog in, put the cat out, shut your doors and windows, call the police, ambulance, fire brigade, mountain rescue and the coastguard, send your Mother-in –law on an all expenses all inclusive trip to Kabul and run that flag up the flag pole in celebration of BLACKBURN ROVERS HAVING A HOME GAME ON A SATURDAY AT 3.00. Solar eclipses and three points at T'Turf have been seen more often than the mighty blue and whites treading the grass at Ewood on a Saturday afternoon- so they'd best make the most of it. Just to get serious for a minute- it is ridiculous that we haven’t had a Saturday 3.00 home game since the Tottenham match on 19th December, and although the club have bent over backwards to get as many fans to attend the matches, there will be many a fan attracted by the prices but altogether put off by the fact that at least half of your scheduled home games will get moved. We are at the mercy of the TV men unfortunately for the time being. Having said that the only two home defeats this season have happened on a Saturday afternoon- so perhaps I'd better shut the hell up and get on with it. The Toffees, The Blues, The People's club, or as Stuart Hall might refer to them as "The School of Science" are the opposition, and we owe them as we haven't beaten them at Ewood since 2003. Big Sam wants us to get to the fifty point mark before the end of the season, so this is one of the games we should be marking down as a three pointer. One of the only three founder members of both the football league and the Premier league- (ourselves and the Villa being the other two), Everton have had their fair share of trophies, but would seemingly always be in the media shadow of “that lot” half a mile down the road. The 1980’s was possibly their heyday, winning the FA cup in 1984, before being runners up in 1985, 1986 and then again in 1989- being beaten by Manchester United and Liverpool twice. They were league champions in 1984-85 and again in 1986-87 and also won the European Cup Winners Cup in 1985. Unfortunately, the Heysel disaster prevented Everton from competing in Europe, and by the time English clubs were allowed to play in European competition again, they weren’t the team they once were and suffered as a result- so much so that they had to come from two down on the last day against Wimbledon to ensure their premier league status. Their last trophy was the FA cup against United in 1995, and they were back at Wembley last season, only to be defeated by Chelsea, despite taking the lead after 20 seconds! David Moyes has been at the helm since 2002, and by my reckoning, that would make him the third longest serving manager in the Premiership after Ferguson and Wenger. Viewing from afar, he seems to be a popular, well thought of manager who has made some cracking signings for his team- Baines, Jagielka, Fellaini, Cahill, Neville to name but five, although he did sign Lucash, who five months later, was offered more money in Turkey and promptly left! During my research for this piece, I found out that Everton have a “Hall of Fame” where one player is induced each season. What a great idea- and something that Rovers should have- perhaps revealing this new inductee at half time during the last home game of the season after a vote. I digress, but when celebrating their 125th anniversary, another vote was held in order to determine the greatest ever team. That team included Alan Ball, Dixie Dean, along with more recent players such as Neville Southall and Kevin Ratcliffe. As a footnote to that, I saw Kevin Ratcliffe in the loos at the MEN arena last month at the Stereophonics gig, and lets just say that he now appears to have the same dietician and fitness coach as Mr Southall. What do I know anyway, in order to get a better lowdown on the Toffees, I sent some questions to one of their websites and got the following responses. So many thanks to Mike from the Everton vital football site. 1) Right then first things first, will you please tell me what the words are to that song that as far as I can tell ends in “We don’t care what the red sh**e say”, it all then, to my ears anyway gets lost in some kind of Liverpudlian mish mash that only dolphins and perhaps the Nolan sisters can understand. It’s simple really: FOR IT’S A GRAND OLD TEAM TO PLAY FOR AND IT’S A GRAND OLD TEAM TO SUPPORT AND IF, YOU KNOW, YOUR HISTORY IT’S ENOUGH TO MAKE YOUR HEART GO WOOOOOAAAAAHHHHHHHHH WE DON’T CARE WHAT THE RED SH*TE SAY WHAT THE F**K DO WE CARE BECAUSE WE ONLY KNOW IF THERE’S GONNA BE A SHOW THEN THE EVERTON BOYS WILL BE THERE 2) Thanks for clearing that up… slowish start to the season, but you’ve picked up since the turn of the year, how would you rate your season thus far? A disaster really, we’ve gone massively backwards since the last few seasons, when there was finally starting to be hope around Goodison that we just may be starting to make progress. Dumped out of all 3 competitions early on, granted we got past the group stage of the Europa, but anyone who didn’t get out of a group with AEK and BATE Borisov in it.... Sporting were the first remotely decent side we played in the competition except for Benfica (who themselves comfortably beat us home and away), whilst the performance away at Sporting was nothing short of a disgrace, they really aren’t that good a side. And we’ve left ourselves a massive task to get in the damn competition for next season, a task I fully expect we will fail to accomplish. 3) Unbeaten in the league since February 6th, including impressive wins against Chelsea and Manchester United, and a 5-1 spanking of Hull- what’s brought about the good turn in form? Mikel Arteta, frankly he’s a lot better than any other player we have, and he’s the only difference between us battling it out with the likes of Birmingham/Fulham etc for 8th, and battling for a European spot. Fellaini had us going on a decent run from around Christmas time, he really had started to step up and show he’s a top, top player, but no sooner than we got Arteta back Fellaini was out for the season. 4) Player of the season? Tough one as we only have 2 or 3 players who haven’t been injured for at least a month of it. Probably Johnny Heitinga as he’s done a fine job for us all season be it in midfield, right back or centre back. Saha was brilliant for the first 10-15 games, but has only had the odd decent game since Christmas. Whilst Fellaini had a period of 12 games or so when he was simply world class, but he started the season slowly and got injured half way through it and won’t be back until next season. 5) Unsung hero? Heitinga, he barely gets a mention but has been a top player for us all season. Not sure we’ll be able to keep hold of him without European football though. 6) Will Leighton Baines be first choice left back in South Africa, on the assumption that Ashley Cole won’t be fit, and Wayne Bridge will still have his toys out of the pram? After Cole and Bridge he is seemingly the obvious choice, especially since Capello gave him 90 minutes against Egypt without even looking at Warnock. 7) How big a miss will Marouane Fellaini be, as he's out injured for the season? Fellaini is easily our second best player after Arteta and is a massive miss, I can’t wait to see that pairing in action next season! (assuming Kenwright doesn’t sell them that is) 8) Michel Arteta has come back following a lengthy lay off with injury. If he was English, then he’d be one of the first names on my starting XI, but as he’s Spanish, there’s a little bit of competition for the midfield. A proper player in my opinion with a proper haircut-how good is he? On his day he is one of the best in the league, and when fit he is rarely not at his best. He’d walk into any other international side in the world, and if he played in Spain or for one of the Sky 4 he’d be in the Spain squad by now. Getting past Xavi or Iniesta to the starting line up though... That’s without mentioning Fabregas. He really is very unfortunate about the competition he has in front of him, arguably three of the best central midfielders out there. He is actually eligible for England now, whether he’d want to play for England though is another matter. 9) Just for a bit of fun- If a mental patient clutching a venomous viper broke into the Everton dressing room, who’d run away and who’d get stuck in? Phil Neville would stand furiously pointing in every direction whilst making any excuse to find the first member of the press he could to talk to, whilst Yakubu would walk away in the other direction fearing the possibility of having to do something, but before things got too out of hand Johnny Heitinga would casually walk up to the mental patient and eat the snake, 10 minutes later Hibbert would appear from nowhere and charge in with a perfectly mistimed two footed lunge at the mental patients knee. 10) More mayhem-which newsreader would you least like to fight- Trevor MacDonald with a spanner or Moira Stuart with a baseball bat? MacDonald. No question. 11) Dan Gosling, James Vaughan and Jack Rodwell-all young talented English lads-who do you have the highest hopes for? Rodwell by some distance. Vaughan is never fit long enough to ever realistically make it at the top level, whilst Gosling may well end up a Premier League player, but if we have any hopes of breaking into the top 4 he is sadly not good enough. Rodwell though, it’s a case of can we keep hold of him, and for how long. He has progressed a lot this season, last year he was very good at just keeping the ball but often played it sideways or backwards. This season though, he has really shown that he offers an attacking threat, both from distance as he showed in the early stages of the Europa league, and with the ball at his feet as he showed against United and City recently. 12) Your opinion of Rovers this season? They have looked a half decent side in the times I’ve seen them, and with our away record I wouldn’t be at all surprised if we dropped points at Ewood. I think your league position (and Everton’s) has been helped by the generally awful standard of the majority of the league this. 13) Player(s) we should be keeping an eye out for on Saturday? There’s nobody better, than Mikel Arteta. 14) Prediction for the game? 1-0 Blackburn. We really have been very poor away from Goodison, 4 away league wins all season. 3 of which at Wigan, Pompey and West Ham (where we were thoroughly out played by Pompey and West Ham). 2-0 away at City has really been our only decent away result all season. 15) And finally, tell us a fact about your club that we won’t know. Everton have played the most number of seasons in the English top flight. And there you have it, there was me thinking that they’d had a decent season, all we need to do according to the above is keep Arteta quiet and release a snake into their dressing room and the rest will take care of itself. Based on previous meetings at Ewood, I don’t expect a lot of goals, and as I mentioned earlier, we haven’t beaten them at our place since 2003. Here’s a run down of our games since we gained promotion back to the top flight. 2001-2002 22/09/2001 1-0 Grabbi 2002-2003 17/11/2002 0-1 Campbell 2003-2004 10/11/2003 2-1 Babbel Yorke / Radzinski 2004-2005 18/12/2004 0-0 2005-2006 03/12/2005 0-2 McFadden Arteta 2006-2007 23/08/2006 1-1 McCarthy / Cahill 2007-2008 02/12/2008 0-0 2008-2009 04/03/2009 0-0 No goals, in the last two encounters, but I’m a little more optimistic this time around and given the fact that there will be little or nothing to play for from both teams, I’d like to see Allardyce let us off the leash and have either two up front, or someone playing off Kalinic. Whether this happens is a different matter, but let’s be clear we are punching above our weight and another season in the top flight is reward enough for me. We live in hope- don’t forget Saturday 3.00! I’m off to find a snake! Prediction 1-0 to the Rovers Cheers all Oh, before I forget HANDBALL Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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