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My Derby Utopia

By Thomas Butler :  06/01/2009 :  Comments (0) :
We may be playing Hull this Saturday, but believe me, I know it, you know, we all know it. There’s only game your thinking about now, and its definitely not the Hull game on Saturday.

It's been a menace on your mind quite often. The excitement, the passion, the fear, the dread, the nervousness, and in some cases I know of, the hatred of it, in Work, School, on the bus, or out in the garden with your kids. These are the moments where you’ve probably taken a minute or so to just thinking and hoping We’ll beat THEM. If you take an extra moment or too, you start to daydream about how we're going to beat them, by how much, at what end, and how you're going to celebrate. You can almost picture the goals being scored, the players wheeling away in celebration, and the fans going absolutely mental.

Thought processes like this go on and on. If you're in work you can't work, and if you're in school you can't try, if you're talking to your best mate/dad who happens to be (unfortunately in both my cases) a red, you can't speak, and when your mum talks to you, you're unable to listen. Bring on Monday, bring on Sunday is all that is in your head.

I most definitely have my own idea of what would be a utopian unravelling of events, listed below, for either, preferably both, of the two games. This Utopia is one that’s been in my head since April 1999 when Robbie Fowler levelled Olivier Dacourt’s 40-second opener. I’ve been there many times since, 9 to be exact, witnessed two 0-0 draws, and 7 rather painful defeats, and a lot of other stuff to go with it. What I want to happen in either/both of these two games has had a lot of time to manifest its clarity in my mind. Especially having only had the pleasure, despite numerous times of being in attendance, of only seeing ONE derby victory when Carsley scored, that was good enough, and that was at Goodison. So the yearning for a victory at Anfield is something I can literally taste... it’ll taste better than any fine wine, champagne, lasagna or cheesecake. In short, it’ll be payback for 10 years of under-achievement against our Red and White cousins across the park.

My Utopia goes something like this, picture it if you can. This applies to both League & Cup games, we don't want to mess up both don’t we? By the Sunday they’ll be sick of the sight of us.

Here goes.

Set off for the pub. In a mood like I will be on day like this, I will be desperate to avoid and will manage not viewing any article relating to Liverpool presenting itself in front of me, especially Liverpool shirts or those beloved stupid scarfs they're so fond of wearing, particularly as I once saw, in summer, when they wear three!

I, unlike every other time and every other derby, will as usual be in the pub early only this time, I will be calm, relaxed, not a nervous wreck sitting on the floor in the corner chewing my nails, ignoring the pint of Guinness I bought myself, and not ignoring the endless text messages off my Kopite Dad to see whether I’m alright, and actually have the bollocks to speak to him, whatever little we can both manage. I will try as I and everyone else always does not to overdo it on the ale. As I gradually get more drunk, I go into my ‘Zone’. This is where the Utopia really comes out, goes into overdrive and I lose all sense of what’s around me, and I let it flow.

It’s a picture of the big, magnificence of the Kop, the arrogance of it, the pressure they throw on their team's players, the expectation, and the hope that within the first five minutes Everton Football Club will stick all that up their noses and settle my nerves as well by Cahill ghosting in at the far post and well and truly silencing their lot. Hopefully this will also help our songs, in the whole joy of the situation, stem from topics only involving EVERTON.

In situations like that, you expect a rocky ride; you have to... you have to earn something like this — it can't just be given to you. I’d love to see their hopes rise that they're going to get back into the game and, just as they think they are, we break away on the counter-attack, you can hear their inrush of breath go to an exhalation of pure tension, whilst Osman rushes 20 yards unchallenged towards the onrushing Reina guarding the Anfield Road net with every last one of the 6,100 Evertonians behind it holding their breath...


Leon, keeps his cool, slots it round the keeper into the empty net, giving those urchins a big slice of humble pie and our own satisfaction that we’ve ruined their league and cup hopes. Then the realisation that something you’ve desired to see for YEARS has finally happened and the feeling of elation finally makes its way flowing through your body, along with dozens of other delighted Evertonians who will hopefully and probably be heading in the general direction of the pub for quite a large lock out, laughing at all the Liverpool home fans coaches with ‘Stoke’ and ‘Bristol’ written all over them along the way.

That’s my utopia. I might even wager it with Ladbrokes. So come on Blues, let's shut them up, do ourselves proud and get the bragging rights back on our side, and hopefully, some silverware in the process as well.

Nil Satis

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