Unpopular Everton manager Rafa Benitez has been replaced by *Druncan Disorderly* on an interim basis but I can’t say I’m too concerned about that as it’s not my problem. Or yours.
Even before kick-off, the *Benitez get out of our club* and *sack the board* banners were unfurled in the Scouse section of the South Stand and matters hardly got better for the Evertonians when a lone eejit tried to get to the dugouts to confront the FSW in situ.
He was not in the first flush of youth and the steward who apprehended him didn’t have to sprint that hard to catch him, but catch him he did.
Memo to demonstrator: we have stewards near the technical area too so you could have been engulfed in a pincer movement. At least Old Bill slung you out and I was pleased about that as we have a lot to put up with as well but do not descend to that level.
Enjoy your ban, loser.
Mind you this match certainly conjured the question: were we good or were Everton bad? I can see the case for both schools of thought so I will start by calling Dean Smith to the witness stand. He said in a statement, as they say, these days:
“I’m really proud of the players because they gave me everything in this game. I said to them beforehand it is not the be-all and end-all game, but we are getting to that point. I said it was time for actions, not words.
“We wanted to get our fans behind us by producing a performance and showing that energy and verve. I thought we did that.
“At half time I told them I felt Grant [Hanley]’s block in the first minute just lifted everybody. He put in a captain’s performance where others wanted to follow him.”
An anonymous barrack-room lawyer [courtesy of the comments section of the Liverpool Echo] put this before the court:
“The following is a list of Everton Players who will fight for the club: Richarlison; Gray.
“Thank you, Richarlison de Andrade and Demarai Remelle Gray for being true to yourselves and the fans. We don’t have the money and lives Premier League footballers have but we do have our history and pride and will still be supporting the club through thick and thin when you are both long gone.
“Thanks for being yourselves and having the heart and passion to try and never give up. Good luck to your both in all you do – the rest can rot”.
I think the truth lies somewhere half between.
We were well up for this one and to go two ahead inside 18 minutes was as pleasing as it was surprising. Sure we had a few dodgy moments later on and when the fourth official indicated seven minutes of time added on I was as anxious as everybody else. But not to have got three points from Saturday would have been a travesty.
Three moments stand out for me. Firstly the early Hanley block that Dean Smith highlighted and secondly that wonderful interception of a poor pass from an ageing Seamus Colman by Brandon Williams, who then set off on a driving run before slipping Adam Idah in with a sublime angled pass along the floor. I thought the lad from Cork took a heavy first touch but was quick enough to recover and beat keeper Jordan Pickford.
Idah deservedly won the official man of the match award – he really put himself about.
To complete my hat-trick of recollections there was the block from Dimitris Giannoulis to deny one of Everton’s better players on the day, the youngster Anthony Gordon. For somebody who has almost become a fringe player that was some show of commitment to the cause.
As Gary said yesterday, a win is a win is a win and this one was particularly uplifting although we all know it’s the hope that kills us.
At the final whistle, I instigated the usual au revoir handshakes with Mystic Kev and the famous five in the row behind me in the Barclay and I’ll tell you something- we’re all glad we’re showing a bit of fight.
Very much so in the case of Williams [cramp] and Max Aarons [dead leg by the looks of it] and of course Tim Krul who appeared to land pretty badly on his shoulder in the dying seconds. Let’s hope it’s not as bad as it seemed at the time and he’s fit for our Friday gig at Vicarage Road against Watford.
We should leave it to the Toffees to contemplate the dismissal of Snr Benitez – we’ve enough of our own worries right now!
** On my usual walk to the ground I treated myself to half an hour of Ritchie Blackmore. As I got to the turnstile this one finished.
And quite appropriate it turned out to be: