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Funny Old Game

By Nick Armitage :  04/01/2009 :  Comments (0) :
The draw for the FA Cup Fourth Round can’t have even been completed before my phone started beeping. This was due entirely to the hilarious text messages I was receiving from gloating kopites. I could picture them up and down the country in their Ikea clad lounges, drinking Carlsberg, wearing Istanbul T shirts as they were glued to their plasma screens watching the draw.

The funniest text was from a cousin who said that Everton had to expect to beat the best team in the land to win the FA Cup — I replied to remind that very same cousin that we had been drawn against Liverpool, and not Manchester United. And yes you did read that correctly, I do unfortunately have redshite related to me.

As a result of this draw, millions of kopites from Taunton to Peterborough are now rubbing themselves into a frenzy at the thought of seeing their Mighty Reds thrash the bitters twice in one week — and they’ll get to watch them both live — on the telly. It’s the only option you know because the Kop has a seven-year waiting list for season tickets.

Funny then, how plane loads of kopites from Norway and coach loads of redshite from the Home Counties or Wales can get tickets every week. But hard pressed committed Liverpool fans from Merseyside are never able to get tickets for their beloved Mighty Reds that they watch week-in, week-out — on the telly. Perhaps they should try ringing the box office at Anfield more than once a decade...

And taking about committed fans, I don’t know a single kopite who has visited Goodison Park on more occasions than I have. Conversely, I know plenty of Liverpool ‘fans’ who have been to Anfield far fewer times than I have. Just about sums them up.

One of the first derbies I went to was at Goodison in the FA Cup Fifth Round. I sat on a barrier in the Gwladys Street and from what I remember we battered them. But Ray Houghton scored a typically shitty header in front of the old Park End and they beat us 1-0. Our luck against them hasn’t really changed much in the 20 years that have followed. I have watched us play them God knows how many times but I haven’t seen us win many.

It doesn’t matter what we throw at them, we’ll still get beat — blatant handballs, bad tackles, disallowed penalties, offside goals, the list goes on and on and on against that shower. In all my years of watching Everton, I can’t think of a team that has had more good luck against us than them. If there are such things as bogey teams, ours is most definitely Liverpool.

Anyway, the result of this next cup encounter with our friends will be a forgone conclusion if we play like we did at Macclesfield. The appalling record of Moyes in all cup competitions looks like it is going to continue. We may as well play the kids, otherwise we’ll end up with at least one important player on a three match ban for two dodgy bookings.

Experience has taught me to expect disappointment, anything else is a bonus. But you never know, football is a funny old game... it is just rarely funny when we play those fuckers.

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