29th September: Only just hearing about Sir
Exlax and his boast about “knocking Liverpool
off their fucking perch”. He’s all
charm isn’t he?
For the record, we weren’t knocked off anything – we abdicated, before
United ever got serious about the championship. Of course, this was all before
1993 so the lobotomised Munster saps will believe anything. He’s also saying
United are the best behaved team in the country. And he’s frugal, tee-total,
handsome, porcelain-skinned, constipated, still at the peak of his mental powers
30th September: I knew it was too good to be
true. All those GH pleasantries in the Mail were
just a set-up, so that odious slug Jeff Powell
could slander us once more. “When Liverpool
signed John Barnes………hundreds
sent back their season tickets and thousands
more went to his first couple of games carrying
bananas”. Why doesn’t the club sue
this evil little bastard? This is libelling the
good name of our supporters, surely? With all
the media attention on JB and Peter B’s
first games for us how come NOT ONE paper or
TV station saw anything amiss? “Thousands”!!?
1st October: Has he missed his medication or
something? Now Fergie’s telling the press
he wants Liverpool and Arsenal to do well in
Europe! “Hello? Arsene? Yeah, Alex here.
Look, just want to say good luck for tonight’s
match, okay? We’re in London Saturday,
so drinks at 8? That’s great. Bon chance,
mon ami”………and having
knocked us off our perch, he now wants us back
2nd October: You don’t hear our boss talking
rubbish (!), although he told a hack that we
had 33 goal attempts during the Basle game. Maybe
he’s counting defensive clearances, since
they’re hit harder (and get closer to goal)
than some of our ‘shots’. I didn’t
count, but we may have got close to 33 during
L 5 SPARTAK 0. Nice to see a team stick with
tradition. In the 70’s and 80’s,
someone in white would always come to Anfield
in October and surrender before a ball had been
kicked, so well done Spartak for shunning the
CL hype and keeping it real. We played well,
though how well you can’t measure because
they were pitiful. The ITV commentator compared
one run by Murphy to a training exercise with
traffic cones. If I were orange triangular and
plastic, I’d sue.
3rd October: Those who wonder why we call the
Post ‘The Bluenose’ should look at
today’s letters page. 9 on Everton, 1 on
Liverpool. I assume the perpetrator has been
sacked – for including a mention of the
Reds. After all, who in their right mind gets
worked up about a championship challenge and
the European Cup when the blues have beaten Fulham
3rd October, a.m.: Ken Bates puts on his armour
and wields his trusty sword of truth, and enters
the fray in the battle against player power.
Le Saux and co are moaning about some UEFA Cup
bonus they’re owed, and Birdseye is standing
firm: “I don’t know if they accept
it, but they are not going to get their money
and that’s that”. Okee dokee.
3rd October, p.m.: Viking FK 4 Chelsea 2, the
Norwegian part-timers go through on aggregate. “And
that’s that”! Well done, Ken – I
make that 3 years in a row you’ve been
knocked out by nobodies. Still, the money you
saved should come in handy, eh?
3rd October: You’ve got to laugh. All
day long, the Internet crew were whining about
how our “excellent” victory was diminished
by the press and TV. It’s all a plot, they
hate Liverpool, Houllier in particular, burble
burble gibber etc. So step forward Houllier Protector
in chief, Lord Bascombe of Old Hall Street: “Spartak
were certainly poor” “they were terrible” “the
right back looked like a Zingari League ringer” “they
played as if they’d had too many doubles
of their national tipple”. Persecute! Burn
him! Kill the heretic!
4th October: Did someone pronounce this as Bullshit
Week without me knowing? Emile’s got a
few goals against the worst team I’ve seen
in years, and suddenly he’s “back
in form”. “Hopefully, I’ve
given the boss a bit of a dilemma” – oh
aye, that perpetual Houllier problem: whether
to pick Heskey or not. I’ve never noticed
any cerebral trauma up to now. While Steven Gerrard
is telling all that we’re as good as Arsenal. “You
ask anyone at our club if they’re better
and we’ll all say no” – a well
reasoned argument, young man. The words “gorra
problem wid dat? Outside, now!” seem to
have been erased. Next week’s ‘Question
Time’ vacancy has just been filled.
5th October: Has somebody offered a cash prize
or something? Everybody’s at it. John Arne
says “we’re playing some beautiful
football”, while Ferguson is handing out
advise to Rooney: “listen to the manager”.
And, er, expect your mobile phone to be ringing
constantly in the very near future. Just like
Paolo’s. It’s not as if Wayne wouldn’t
be interested – one paper says he’s
on £80 a week at Everton! Apparently, clubs
can get around restrictions on youth team ‘wages’ by
paying for extras. With Wayne, it’s pies.
Expect a bankruptcy notice shortly.
6th October: At the end of a week that saw verbal
diarrhoea levels rise to new heights, expect
the experts to swoop in and show us all how it’s
done. According to Sky’s Martin Tyler and
Andy Gray, L 1 CHELSEA 0 was daylight robbery.
Really? Based on what, exactly? Saying that a
team deserved to win – doesn’t that
sort of depend on them having a few………oh
what’s the word………oh
yeah, “shots”? Watch the last 20
minutes again, you morons, and tell us who’s
actually trying to win the game. Chelsea? Obviously
they got their bonuses as they put up a fight
today, but they barely troubled Dudek on a mostly
tedious afternoon. Cheyrou’s okay against
the dregs of Europe, but the Premier League is
too fast and too physical for him, while Gerrard’s
passing was all over the place. Baros rattled
them for a while, but in the end it was Owen’s
opportunism that won another 3 points we weren’t
expecting. No sign of Riise’s “beautiful
football”, but it was Chelsea and it was
last minute so I’m smiling – especially
as I’ve just seen Ranieri’s hilarious “NO!
NO! NO! NO!” reaction to the goal.
7th October: Actually, I think it’s Bullshit
Month. Houllier is slightly perturbed by the
quality of last week’s entries, since his “Danny
reminds me of Platini” quote looked certain
to take the coveted Stanley Unwin Memorial “He
Said What?!?” award. That must be why he’s
come out with this gem about Cheyrou: “Some
of the things he does reminds me of Zidane” – like “speaks
French” or “shaves head”, you
mean? There’s some awful nonsense about
ZZ being 30 “and Bruno’s only 24”.
Hmm. By the time Zinedine was 26, though, he’d
won the league twice with Juve, played in two
CL finals and won the World Cup almost single-handed.
We’re gonna have a great couple of seasons,
then. Or Gerard’s talking crap – I
can’t decide which.
7th October: Thanks blues, for almost doing
us a favour. The annual Handing Over Of The Points
took place at Old Trafford as usual, but they
left it a little late this time. They decided
to pack the average 3-goal deficit into the final
minutes, with a red card thrown in for good measure. “That’s
the best Everton side to come here in years”,
says Exlax. Spoilt for choice, were we? Can’t
help thinking back to 1995 and the Duncan 2-2,
when Ferguson was bitter, foaming at the mouth – and
completely uncomplimentary. See how nice he can
be when you give him what he wants?
8th October: So farewell, Peter Reid. “Have
it”: that was your catch-phrase. What’ll
Sunderland do now without the qualities, talent
and innovation that you brought to the job? Same
as they’ve done for the last seven years
I suppose – hoof it. Full marks to Graeme
Sharp for a stout defence of his former team
mate: “once you’ve had a bit of success
the expectations get a little higher”.
This could be a reference to the seventh place ‘achieved’ two
years ago, or it could be irony. You can never
tell with Evertonians these days.
9th October: Houllier’s whining about
internationals. Just because Ferguson was the
most successful manager of the 90’s, you
don’t have to copy everything he does.
It’s all to do with our game at Leeds in
10 days’ time – which is kicking
off at noon. Any chance of you complaining about
Sky? Nah, can’t bite the hand that feeds,
now can we?
9th October: And you all thought Xavier had
been dropped. It was just a coincidence that
he’d cost us points before he became ill.
Turns out he might be suffering from something
similar to Markus, though not as bad thankfully.
Would that explain the hair colouring, too?
10th October: Lee Bowyer was kicked out of the
England squad because of rude remarks he’d
made at lunch – about David Beckham and
Ulrika Jonsson, apparently. Only in this country
could someone with such a shady past and gutter
reputation be thrown out of the football team
for his table manners! And he ate dessert with
the wrong spoon, too. Let us be racist – but
10th October: Bluenose irony time again. “FERGUSON
IN INJURY PUZZLE”, it says on the back
of the Echo. The only “injury mystery” about
Druncan is if there’s any part of him that
works. Along with the backache and the ankle
problem, he’s now got a trapped sciatic
nerve. Is this the same nerve he’s got
when picking up his cheque? I thenk yeow.
10th October: The candidates have been listed
for Reidy’s successor, and a scarier bunch
of hatchetmen you are never likely to see. Megson,
Graham, Royle, McCarthy – what, no Bassett?
The list also includes the recently-sacked George
Burley (ah, shame) plus David “I’d
turn up for the opening of an envelope” O’Leary,
but it’s a sorry list of nowhere men. And
the winner is………
11th October: Howard Wilkinson ……… no,
sorry, think I’ll be needing some exclamation
marks here……… ahem, let’s
try again……Howard Wilkinson?!!!!
That’s better. Yes, the man who makes Reidy
look like Dalglish ’88 is back. It only
serves to make O’Piggy’s furious
snuffling after the job even funnier. Never mind,
Dave – there’s always Ipswich.
11th October: 58% of residents are in favour
of LFC moving to Stanley Park – what the
council Chief Exec calls “an overwhelming
majority”. What Gil Scott Heron would call “a
mandate, my ass”. The fate of hundreds
of thousands of Liverpool fans, who have not
had a vote, was in the hands of 4,000 house-holders
in Anfield. That’s democracy for you. 19,000
houses received the voting documentation, which
simply proves that everyone knew this was a done
deal and all references to “decisive votes” and “we
have listened to the people” is a complete
and utter sham.
12th October: In last night’s Echo, Phil
McNulty was nasty about Berti Vogts simply because
David Weir refuses to play for his country. Strange
how Scotland finally manage a win the moment
Everton’s ‘finest’ decides
to jack it in. These Germans – what do
they know about international football, right?
12th October: Poor old Alex. Despite thinking
he’s got the prettiest wife at home, he’s
accused of indecent assault while out in South
Africa, ‘talent spotting’. It all
happened in the early hours of the morning when
he got a lift home from a nightclub. Of course
there are furious denials and he’ll probably
get off (which is more than he did last night),
but it’s fair to say that the old soak
can deny everything with a straight red face
because he won’t remember a thing anyway.
Martin Edwards is no doubt sniggering away to
himself. Unwise; it’s a month since his
last ‘revelation’. Another one must
be due soon.
12th October: Another England game, another
racist outrage. On the day UEFA decided there
was nothing bigoted about Valencia’s fans
(we only imagined it), Ashley Cole and Emile
take terrible stick in Slovakia. On the football
side, it’s the same old story: Owen gets
the winner, Gerrard is anonymous, Beckham is
lucky to stay on the pitch and John Motson makes
a fool of himself. “I don’t know
why we’re not playing it in Prague”,
he moans. Maybe because that’s the capital
of the Czech Republic, you dick. All of these
new-fangled name changes phase Motty a bit. That,
or he’s been a bit hyper since we beat
the Prussians 5-1.
13th October: It’s a year to the day that
the boss almost died. I know I’ve had a
few digs at him, but that was a genuinely frightening
week. He’s still with us, and for that
we should all be grateful. Even me!
13th October: Heskey bashing shows no sign of
easing up. One hack said Alan Smith had more
influence than him last night – a late
sub who didn’t even touch the ball. The
abuse he takes off the crowd is bad – what
makes the abuse in the papers any better? Because
they don’t mention the colour of his skin?
And Andy Gray criticised Beckham, so I’d
say your prayers if I were you. The world’s
about to end.
14th October: Blue for a year, bitter for a
lifetime. Whenever Evertonians bring teams to
Anfield, they’ve always got too much to
say for themselves (eg Megson, Royle, Gloating
Jones). Rotherham’s Ronnie Moore was no
different in Jan 2001. So how satisfying it is
to learn that he was the victim of a hoax call,
claiming to be the Ipswich chairman. He’s
gone public with his wish to manage them, only
to be told no such offer has been made. Bet they
loved that in Rotherham!
15th October: Cantona now claims he wasn’t
punished enough for the kung fu kick. He kept
that quiet at the time, didn’t he? He praises
English ‘fair play’. “Dalglish
managed Blackburn, Liverpool hate United – but
Liverpool won the game”, he says of 1995.
Flash forward to 1996. “Robson managed
Boro, Boro hated Newcastle, Robson and Anderson
used to play for Man United, so did Gary Walsh.
United strolled past Boro 3-0”. One rule
for us………oh, speaking of which,
Roy Keane actually stood up at a disciplinary
meeting and argued he didn’t stain the
game’s reputation. He got a 5-game ban – to
be served while he’s injured. If the Krays
had worn red white & black, they’d
have got community service.
16th October: France beat Slovenia 5-0 at the
weekend, so Owen says “let’s make
a statement, too”. England 2 Macedonia
2 – Seaman screws up, Gerrard is injured,
Beckham is lauded for very little, the football
is woefully pedestrian and Alan Smith is sent
off. So Michael’s ‘statement’ is
(a) so what else is new? (b) I knew I should
have said I was Welsh (c) HEEEEEELP! Take your
17th October: Witty, knowledgeable, notoriously
anti-racist Jeff Powell calls Sven “Johnny
Foreigner”. I’ve only just remembered
his nasty little crack about Swedes when Eriksson
first got the job, and the nerve of him telling
lies about us and 1987 is really doing my head
in now. Us lefties used to have that moral dilemma
about the Daily Reichstag – you only know
if your views are strong if they can withstand
the opposition’s ire, so you read the Mail
just to ‘get the smell of the enemy in
your nostrils’. That stench just makes
me retch nowadays. I can’t even begin to
be bothered arguing with such an imbecile any
17th October: I see the Welsh are doing alright.
That was a nice little win on Wednesday against
Italy – well done. Like the patronising
English tone? And they all know who to thank,
don’t they? Yes, Old Trafford. The headline
reads “How Hughes Built Taffchester United”.
There isn’t a quote to say anything about
the Mancs, apart from Giggs (who showed up for
Italy!) saying the “winning habit” is
the same. So Manchester United invented winning
18th October: Another tenuous Liverpool reference
from Dave Prentice. Arsenal need a point from
tomorrow’s descent into the foul pit to
break some record or other (who cares, in all
honesty), which gives Lobotomo a chance to remind
us that Everton stopped us going 30 games unbeaten
in 1988. Some people thought ‘One Degree
of Clive Thomas’ was a game this fanzine
made up, but it exists, and Prentice is the undisputed
champion. Now he’s branching out: coming
soon, One Degree of Heysel, One Degree of Danny & Bjorn,
and (it would seem) One Degree of Wayne Clarke.
19th October, 2 p.m.: Some stirring before today’s
game. Houllier denies he’ll be stepping
into Wilkinson’s clogs, now that the FA
no longer has a (don’t laugh) “technical
director”. Gerard believes it’s an
important job, to find the next generation of
young England stars. If you’re looking
for the next Alan Smith, try the nearest borstal.
LEEDS 0 L 1 passed off without too much incident,
certainly not in their area (apart from Salif’s
goal). Lots of possession, little end product.
Lots of Bowyer baiting, little self-awareness – how
many of you were ready to greet the slug with
open arms last July? After the success at City,
GH has dug up Plan A, brushed off the cobwebs
and put it back into action. Six points, mission
accomplished – but is this it now until
the end of the season? Whoopee doo.
19th October, 5 pm: “Hello, is that Happy
Hols? Yes, I’d like a month in Nepal, please… ……well,
not so much a hotel room as a cave, really……… hmm,
fully booked eh? How about Afghanistan?………I’d
have to share with the Taliban? Okay, fine……” Well,
the moment has finally arrived. The Blob Wonder
has scored for the blues. The good news of staying
top is outweighed by the earache we’re
about to get from the bitters.
19th October, 6.30 p.m.: Just call me Mystic
Meg. The Pink Echo features, er, Dave Prentice,
er, referring to Everton breaking unbeaten records,
and, er, how Wayne Clarke did it to Liverpool
in 1988. He’s got more bees in his bonnet
than Michael Caine swallowed in ‘The Swarm’.
Expect to be bored senseless about this for the
next 25 years, too.
20th October: You’ve got to laugh. Yesterday,
Fergie was moaning about United being “victimised” by
the authorities, and yet for the second year
running Barthez got away with some disgraceful
pre-pen gamesmanship. His captain got a 5 game
ban for admitting he tried to put a fellow pro
out of the game, while Fowler got 6 for snorting
a goal line in front of fans who’d called
him a smackhead for two years. Some ‘victims’.
Wenger’s just as bad, hailing the chubster
as “best English talent I have seen since
I have been here”. Oh come on, Arsene,
you must have seen another youngster who’s
better. I’ll give you a clue: he raced
through your defence in Cardiff 17 months ago.
I know these dug-outs are bad, but even you must
have seen that.
21st October: “Back in 1988, Liverpool’s
bid to beat Leeds’ record also came to
grief” – do I really need to tell
you who? Absolutely pathetic. Prentice almost
trips over himself to tell Echo readers that
Liverpool’s game in Russia has been pushed
off the front pages by Rooney, even over there.
What he failed to tell you is that they’re
planning to kidnap him, chop him into bits and
feed the whole of Moscow for a month. One tabloid
in this country had seven pages on him – not
articles, they just needed 7 pages to get a full
photo of him on th-………I’m
not being very dignified about this, am I? Fair
play, they’ve got something special for
once in their sad, miserable, empty lives and
they’re going to milk it for all it’s
worth. I remember how excited I was by Owen,
so I’ll let it all wash over me. For now.
22nd October: Gerard is planning a “surprise” for
any racists at tonight’s game. He’s
not saying what, but rumour has it that the word ‘OFF’ is
tattooed on his right buttock. In the end, there
wasn’t enough of a crowd to make any noise,
racist or otherwise. SPARTAK 1 L 3 was a doddle
in the end, thanks to The Next Wayne Rooney.
You wonder where we’d be without him sometimes.
Salif got stuck in, and give Carra the benefit
of the doubt. Bobble there may have been, but
that was an excellent cross for the equaliser.
Bad news for Vignal, a subbed sub. The only ones
I can recall are Gayle and Carter. They didn’t
last long after that.
23rd October: Houllier is in comparison-mode.
Is there anyone who does not remind him of Platini?
Owen was great but come on, even he’s got
a long way to go before matching one of the game’s
Giants. What’s next? Biscan the new Pele?
Bernie as good as Rivelino?
24th October, a.m.: Nope, it’s Diao and
Patrick Vieira. I don’t get this comparisons
lark, it puts pressure on the individual and
insults the greats. They’ll be pairing
off Rooney with Dalglish or Ronaldo next………
24th October, p.m.:………Ah,
sorry. I mean Roonaldo, don’t I? Very clever.
That must have taken ages. The weight of expectation
on this kid’s shoulders is almost as heavy
as the weight on his knees. With the world at
your feet, that just gives you more to trip over.
Ask Stan Collymore. Apart from Kenny and Fowler,
I’d never seen such a gifted player – and
look how he’s ended up. Hawking round a
video of him and Ulrika having sex. “Stan
has always kept the tape as his ‘get out
of jail’ card” – bet John Leslie
wishes he’d thought of that.
25th October: How to make money in journalism.
Your morning paper prints a story about King’s
Dock being written off – then your evening
paper prints a denial. Sit back and watch all
the poor saps rush out to buy two papers in one
day to be just as well informed as when they’d
got out of bed. Another interesting story: Arsenal
announce their new stadium is going to cost 100m
more than they estimated. Easy mistake to make.
I always had trouble in school knowing where
to put the decimal point, but I’m sure
Rick and co have got our move sorted out (I did
get an A+ in Mendaciousness).
26th October: Arrogant headline of the year: “First
Aston Villa, then it’s the big one for
Fergie”. Having got the tedious business
of a Premier league match out of the way, Exlax
will jet off to Chicago to see his horse (the
greatest horse in the world?). They drew 1-1.
And with Unbeatable Arsenal losing their third
game in a week, L 2 TOTTENHAM 1 turns out to
be an excellent result. It didn’t seem
so at the time. Once again, too few efforts at
goal but the ones on target were made to count.
Danny’s was a beaut, and if Thierry (or
the blue whale) had done that ITV would be devoting
a whole hour to it. Owen was the difference again.
We’re not a one-man team, but the results
before he got going and the results after that
make telling reading. Redknapp got an outstanding
reception. Wearing the opposition shirt certainly
27th October: Yeah, right. “Liverpool
Move For Stam”, eh? Well, who would you
rather have? An overrated ex-Manc with a drugs
ban and far too much to say for himself – or
27th October: Make your minds up. The blues
at West Ham sing “stick your Michael Owen
up your arse” and “we don’t
care what the red shite say”. That’s
in those moments when you aren’t singing
about us, writing about us (in your match reports)
or blaming us for your decline or an inability
to find a new ground, you mean?
28th October: Barmby accused of racism? That
didn’t take long, did it? Looks like a
stitch-up, to be fair. If last week was anything
to go by, Nicky just has a ‘thing’ about
lanky Scouse coaches with large protuberances
in the middle of their faces.
29th October: It’s not me, is it? They
have gone loopy on the blue half of the ‘Echo’,
haven’t they? As if ‘The Wayne Rooney
Story” wasn’t bad enough (“Once
upon a time a player scored a goal………the
end”) Moyes says he wants a “Scouse
heart” for his team. My, that does sound
familiar doesn’t it? On tonight’s
back page, he’s just about to say something
nice about LFC’s local lads when the article
says “turn to page 43”! Stick anything
nice about us in the small print inside, eh?
29th October: United have already qualified
in the CL, so they won’t cry about losing
3-0 to Maccabi Haifa. Let’s draw the line
at any “weakened team” shit, though.
They put 10 internationals out there, and came
totally unstuck. Meanwhile, Valencia are getting
a bit naughty before our game. Carew’s
boasting about how he WILL score and Owen’s
a diver, while we’re doing the usual battle
cries. We won’t be as bad as we were over
30th October: Well, not by much. L 0 VALENCIA
1 was disheartening. Emile didn’t play
badly but his presence induces a hit & hope
style that was jaw-dropping at times (and not
in a good way). Their passing in contrast gave
us a lesson – but not one that we’re
gonna learn, frankly. Houllier has done so much
for us, and despite being outplayed for most
of the night, we still only lost 1-0 thanks to
a fluke. Nobody batters us any more, but there’s
a lot more to football than holding your head
high, especially at this level. We just didn’t
look like we belonged, and that’s what
hurt. I think the Kop knew it too, because they
were as muted as any big European night I’ve
31st October: Christmas comes earlier each year,
doesn’t it? Especially for the bluenose
in the Echo letters page boasting about what
they’re going to do to us in the derby
(still 2 months away). If I ever become that
obsessed, shoot me. Maybe he should be concentrating
on today’s news: Everton announce a profit
of £1.6m, admitting much of the money came
from the sale of Ball and Jeffers. The line of
the year came from Carter. “It is critical
to continue this trend to keep the club on a
solid financial footing”……… selling £16m’s
worth of talent to make a £1.6m profit?!?
I think Carol Vorderman’s job is safe for
the time being.