With one eye still on the World Cup and the other looking towards the new Premier League season, I wondered to myself how well Everton could have fared had we replaced England in the greatest show on Earth (you know it?s one of those parallel universe type things where life is almost, but not quite the same).
Like England, would we have fallen in the last 16?, would we even have qualified from our group? Or would we have gone on to be crowned champions of the world?
Well here?s what might, just might, have happened...
Everton 1 v 0 USA
Despite heroics in the American goal from Tim Howard and the constant threat of Landon Donovan, a Leighton Baines cross onto a Louis Saha header is enough to seal victory. Stand in keeper Jan Mucha survives a scare when Clint Dempsey's long range effort is almost spilled... Almost.
Everton 2 - 0 Algeria
A comfortable win for the Blue Boys, with a Mikel Arteta free-kick and a Steven Pienaar bullet despatching the Africans comfortably. Other results mean that the Blues are already assured of qualification, and Bill Kenwright is spotted on the big screen blowing his vuvuzela in celebration.
Everton 1 - 0 Slovenia
With qualification from the group already assured, the Toffees can afford to rest a few and give some of the fringe players a run out. However, any fear felt by the Slovenians following the first 2 victories is soon nullified when Everton saunter out the tunnel in the new pink away kit. But the Pinks still prevail and a poachers goal by Jermaine Beckford from a Seamus Coleman cross ensures that Everton take maximum points from the group, meaning a last 16 tie with Ghana.
Everton 2 - 1 Ghana
One of the games of the tournament sees Everton scrape through after extra-time. An early scrambled goal from Marouane Fellaini from a corner is soon cancelled out by a header from Asamoah Gyan. The Yak is fed late on but somehow misses the yawning goal and we're into extra-time. However, the Blues' superior stamina counts when Phil Neville swings in a deep cross and Tim Cahill powers home a trademark header before knocking seven bells out of the corner flag.
Everton 1 - 1 Uruguay (Everton win 6-5 on penalties)
Everton have reached the quarter-finals where surprise package Uruguay await. Despite an early solo effort from Jack Rodwell, the Uruguayans pin the Toffees back courtesy of a Diego Forlan strike. The game peters out into extra-time followed by penalties, where a combination of Tim Howard?s heroics and cool finishes from messrs Baines, Neville, Arteta, Yakubu and Jagielka send the fans into raptures and Everton into the semi-finals.
Everton 0 ? 1 Holland
Realistically (as far as any of this is realistic!) a meeting with the Dutch pass-masters spells the end of the tournament for the Toffess. With Johnny Heitinga in control at the back for Holland, Everton are unable to find a way through, but it still takes a wonder goal from Arjen Robben to defeat the Blues. There?s some late cheer however when Dirk Kuyt is sent off for a second yellow and bursts into tears as he realises he?s missed the final.
In true Wayne?s World stylee and seeing as this is after all a parellel universe how about this for an alternative ending.....
Everton 2 ? 1 Holland
A late equaliser from supersub Victor Anichebe and an extra-time cross-cum-shot from Phil Neville sends the Blues into the Final and David Moyes into a full length Klinsmann-esque dive on the touchline.
Fifa World Cup Final: Everton 1 - 0 Spain
Mikel Arteta runs the show, nutmegging Xabi Alonso before curling the ball past a despairing Reina (Casillas is out injured).
Fifa World Cup Final: Everton 0 - 0 Germany (Everton win 11-10 on penalties)
After a blatant Steven Pienaar goal is adjudged not to have crossed the line (and still no sign of goal-line technology even in the parallel universe), the stalemate goes to penalties. Each spot kick is expertly tucked away by the Germans and Toffees alike, until the German keeper Neuer misses his. Up steps the eleventh taker, sub Tony Hibbert, and smashes the jabulani into the top corner..............................
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1 Posted 05/07/2010 at 21:49:08
"Everton players are eligible except when Everton are playing a player's native country... in which case the player may play for them..." Or not?
And what if an Everton player is already playing for another country (Nigeria perhaps... or South Africa) in a different group... and they get knocked out? How does it work then?
I don't think you've thought this through properly.
[Thank God there's some football tomorrow.]
2 Posted 05/07/2010 at 22:05:25
Everton win the World Cup and thus confirm to the whole world that EVERTON are the best team in the world.
Though, given the way our section of the endless parallel multi-verse runs, we will either;
A) Be drawn to play New Zealand at Hull, put in a total shocker and lose 3-2;
B) Still win it, fail to qualify for the next one, but find, Lo and Behold, that the rules have been changed to allow the RS take part.
The geniuses at the EFC marketing dept will make vuvuzelas compulsory.
3 Posted 06/07/2010 at 01:06:29
I am inclined to think that club teams are generally better than national teams just because they are more used to playing with each other. For example, let's compare Spain and Barca. Spain and Barcelona are equally, or at least comparably skilled. But Barca plays upwards of 50 games per year together whereas Spain would play no more than 20. Therefore, Barca, or any would have the edge in a competition between the two, as would any club team playing an equally skilled national team.
4 Posted 06/07/2010 at 01:34:44
5 Posted 06/07/2010 at 09:46:15
6 Posted 06/07/2010 at 10:19:27
I think the nearest thing to a club mentality at the World Cup is the Dutch team and they are reaping the rewards. Also the Spanish as most of these guys have been playing international football together since they were 16 or 17.
I think the original question in this thread did not literally mean could Everton enter the next World Cup and win it, it is whether they could compete successfully against these teams. The answer should be yes, but after watching Everton in Europe over the last 3 or 4 years, the answer is who the hell knows?
7 Posted 06/07/2010 at 10:59:23
8 Posted 06/07/2010 at 10:59:40
9 Posted 06/07/2010 at 11:42:52
Of course if Holland ever chose to be adventurous in this competition and play the sort of players that would make them play in the way previous Dutch teams were loved for (the sort of player who are currently on their bench) instead of work horses (ie, 'Dirken Kilkuyt', and the two defensively minded midfielders) then they would kill us.
Sorry, I've not been impressed with them in this competition when you see some of the excellent football Brazil, Chile and Germany have played.
10 Posted 06/07/2010 at 15:10:19
11 Posted 06/07/2010 at 17:41:58
12 Posted 06/07/2010 at 21:08:29
That would leave either Turner or Nash to go in goal, no width, and no recognised Centre Back pairing.
Don't really fancy our chance's with that in mind.
13 Posted 07/07/2010 at 00:36:03
The number of top quality players from the area of Everton most be quite low & there is also the question of a home ground ? Goodison Park would be out as it's in England rather than Everton. Somehow it doesn't really seem feasible at all.
14 Posted 07/07/2010 at 18:38:48
15 Posted 08/07/2010 at 10:20:38
16 Posted 08/07/2010 at 12:39:55
17 Posted 08/07/2010 at 22:50:04
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