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COLUMNIST KEVIN SPARKE

Derby Day Blues

By Kevin Sparke :  29/11/2009 :  Comments (4) :
It’s 8:00 Sunday morning as I write this and I’ve woken up three times in the night after volleying the missus into an empty net past Ray Clemence in front of a joyous Street End from a Dave Thomas cross. She’s beggared off to the spare room in protest and I’m left collecting my thoughts.

I’m a middle age bloke with a respectable professional job with plenty of responsibility; I’ve 200 scripts to mark, a CV to update for my annual review and half a dozen appraisals to type up – and all I can think about is the Derby Game.

When I think about it my life has been measured in derby victories... Infant school – ‘Ball’s Brace’: Senior School – ‘King’s Drive’: First girlfriend – ‘Varadi’: Wedding Bells – ‘Sharpe’s rocket’: First Baby ‘Oh Gary Gary’ ... Heart problems ‘Rainia Drops keep falling on my head’... heart problems fixed ‘Gosling lays the golden egg’.

Every victory listed here a treasured memory – those I’ve not listed still significant but I was either not at the game or time has erased the joy.

In a couple of hours time it starts all over again – I’m stuck up in Northumberland today; watching the game in an alehouse filled with plastic Kopites with Geordie accents.. but I’ll still kick every ball, make every tackle, challenge every referee decision ... score every goal.

For 90 minutes nobody dare talk to me; I’ll drink half a dozen pints and not remember a single one; swear, shuffle about like a Philadelphia lawyer and hopefully punch the air in ecstatic joy as the goals go in and jump up and down at the final whistle if we are in the lead.

However, this time it is different. This time our stock is so low in the Premier League; our injury crisis so urgent; our morale so shattered and our team spirit so shredded I’ll be genuinely happy as long as it doesn’t become embarrassing... but the team must not go out there with keeping the score down a priority. We must go out with a team primed by the manager to win at all costs and not be bashful nor be overawed by occasion – ‘win, win, win’ should be the mantra running through the team’s heads – this is a derby game... up and at ‘em!

I truly believe that this game marks a watershed in the history of Everton Football club – Kirkby is thankfully behind us; Moyes will be seriously considering his options if as expected the Celtic job becomes vacant and the fans here turn against him; Kenwright will be counting his pennies and searching ‘24/7 for investment’ (Is there anyone who really believes that?). A win here will start the fight-back; the injured players will eventually return as will confidence – if we lose and lose badly this could trigger a train of events that will lead to this wounded giant of a club sinking further into the abyss of Coca Cola Championship.

By the time you read this; you and I will know the answers - but for now the butterflies are in my belly and hope is still alive.

Come on Everton – make this another landmark day!

Reader Comments

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Martin Berry
1   Posted 30/11/2009 at 17:47:52

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I bet you're well pissed off now, Kev, despite the improved performance!!!!
Kevin Sparke
2   Posted 01/12/2009 at 11:44:33

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I’m getting over it Matty... (How’s Rosie doing BTW?)
Michael Brien
3   Posted 01/12/2009 at 17:58:14

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Yeah - a frustrating 90 minutes - one goal scored from a deflected shot, the other the reult of a defensive mistake by Yobo. But look at Reina he drops the ball,it goes behind him and he manages to pick it up !! A few minutes later he makes that DOUBLE save on the line and he’s a hero. He could so easy have been the zero if that fumble had gone in. The performance was very much improved. I know we all HATE to lose the Derby-but let’s face it we have played worse this season and won. If we can play as well as that and just improve our finishing things will look up. But please Mr Moyes - more positive tactics. Jo is best I think playing alongside another stirker and not as the lone front player.
Martin Berry
4   Posted 01/12/2009 at 19:31:01

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Hello Kev
Not seen Ste for a few years now. What is BTW? Affraid I’m not into this text speak and even kids didn’t know!!
A win tomorrow and I reckon the Blue Boys will be back.

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