We don?t have to go too far back for the nightmares... Arsenal, ouch; then Blackburn previously. Further back, Leeds first year back up and big Nev slumping against the post at half-time, 3-0 down, wondering where did it all go wrong.
The most pleasant surprise for me on the big day was back in August ?76. Nice sunny day in the capital, we were lambs to the slaughter facing the runners-up in the league the previous season, QPR. They always say you get strange results on the first day... yeah right... but never in our favour. Enter Bob Latchford, think he got a hat-trick as we tore them apart and won 4-0.
I can?t remember any devastating score lines to go our way since (although Tony Cottee?s hat trick against Newcastle was nice in another 4-goal stormer). Normal service resumed 3 years after the QPR game with a 4-2 home defeat by Norwich.
I get the feeling we are better prepared for Saturday and probably glad it?s away from home, so please Everton, don?t rip the form book up, a sedate 2-0 victory will do nicely.
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1 Posted 12/08/2010 at 22:29:38
Losing 4-1 to Spurs was a shock in 84. We had just showed European Champions Liverpool up at Wembley in the Charity Shield. Maybe should call that the first game.
I was 13, and saw a friend of me dad (a red) who just happened to be sitting nearby blubbing. I thought "you wuss" ? can't remember if that was because he was grown up, or possibly it felt greedy for a red to moan about that. They won everything in my childhood. It was bloody torture.
I was well surprised that Wembley was full of benches. Home of football?
2 Posted 12/08/2010 at 22:46:12
3 Posted 12/08/2010 at 23:41:08
I also remember Marcus Bent stating that the reason he came to Everton was the opportunity to play alongside Rooney. Ddin't exactly inspire me with confidence, but I was never in doubt. I knew we would do ok, I just didn't forsee how ok!
4 Posted 13/08/2010 at 00:15:25
I'd be interested to see if we've had a worse opening game than last year, can't possibly have.
Alladyce is going to throw every dirty trick in the book at us tomorrow ? and we're going to be playing in pink. I'd love to see us beat them comfortably ? I'd like to think we'll win 2-1 but we're going to have to work really hard for it if we do. From memory, they had one of the best home records going last season..... or was that just a bad dream?
5 Posted 13/08/2010 at 06:27:56
The Cottee Hat-trick in 88, this was Harvey's first proper season with the players he bought looking to continue Kendall's legacy... sadly it didn't work out for him, but this was my first game at Goodison and what a start.... 39 seconds and the first one went in. Newcastle were awful but, as a 17-year-old travelling up on my own on the train, it was such a great day.
Worse one, probably Leeds at home 1990, it was their first season back in Division 1, we were 0-3 down after about 25mins (even Varadi scored)... people were running on the pitch confronting players, Southall stormed out of the dressing room after being blamed for one of the goals. I remember one bloke shouting out after the 2nd went in, "Harvey, you'll be out by Cristmas"... and he was.
6 Posted 13/08/2010 at 08:15:25
For distance covered, the shortest pitch invasions ever.
Each time Latch scored, Jump over the fence, travel one foot (not even on the pitch) go nuts for 5 seconds, then back over the fence and head down (no cctv - 'appy diiiiize!)
Remember doing the same at Liecester after winning by 4 or 5 (reason ? young, stupid).
For a first day, Chelsea in 78 was good (although very scary after) and didn't we thrash someone on the first day when the 'The New Denis Law' scored a hat-trick?
All these 'facts' (dates) could be wrong, my memory is shocking.
7 Posted 13/08/2010 at 08:47:16
8 Posted 13/08/2010 at 08:57:24
Worst, apart from last year, was the Utd game when Yobo gave it to Rooney and he ran off screaming. They still play it on Sky and everytime I see it I rage.
9 Posted 13/08/2010 at 09:11:43
10 Posted 13/08/2010 at 09:16:08
I know this is irrelevant to the subject of the article but I was at a charity function about 2 years ago where Grobbelaar was speaking (actually he wasn't bad) and after his speech I joined the queue to get him to sign the event programme for my brother who lives in Ireland and supports the dark side (virtually compulsory over there anyway). I asked Grobbelaar to write 'From one eejit to another' and fair play to him because he did - it's now framed on the wall of my bro's bathroom. I then asked him what was the best goal he ever conceded and he replied that there's no such thing as a best goal from a goalie's point of view. I obviously pointed out a certain event from October 84 and he said 'Oh no, a bluenose!'. I then reminded him about the aforementioned own goal from the charity shield to which he said that there's no such thing as an own goal by a goalie. At this point I realised that everyone else had sat down and the compare was waiting for me to bugger off so he could get on with the show. Grobbelaar took my harassment in good spirits though and the immense dislike I had for him previously ebbed away just a little.
On the point of worst opening days I missed last season's fortunately but the one before was an absolute shocker. Sat in the Bullens right next to the Blackburn supporters and we were as bad as I've ever seen. The pre-season had been awful and we looked a complete mess. Roll on tomorrow for a nice 2-1 with the Spaniard we love getting the winner from the spot late on.
11 Posted 13/08/2010 at 10:00:59
Hitching to London with £1.11s. 8d, days after seeing Wilson, Hunt, Labone and Yeats running round Goodison with the League Trophy, World and FA Cups
Watching the man who became my hero and the greatest Everton player I've ever seen
Coming home to pick up the Football Echo and seeing the headine "No Reservations - Ball Will Do"
12 Posted 13/08/2010 at 10:55:15
13 Posted 13/08/2010 at 11:37:12
14 Posted 13/08/2010 at 12:20:22
15 Posted 13/08/2010 at 15:39:38
I still feel the pain thinking about it now. I got a few whacks at Arsenal and then me and my brother were set on by about 30 United fans lying in wait on the road back to Warwick Road station. Amazingly there were some Evertonian blokes in a pub across the road and they ran out and after a brief one-sided exchange the United fans legged it to avoid further punishment. Thanks guys.
The run went on until about 14 games later when we got beat by Cloughie's brilliant Derby side down at the Baseball Ground. What a wonderful season which should have been the first of many at the top. The biggest mystery ever was why we didn't do it.
16 Posted 13/08/2010 at 15:48:26
Our record is very good against Blackburn and I actually think we'll batter them tomorrow. Blackburn will also end up having at least one man sent off after kicking out and getting frustrated from chasing shadows all game.
17 Posted 13/08/2010 at 15:42:46
But when they turned up at the Cat's School of Science on the opening day of the season, they were given a football lesson they would never forget.
Everton were dazzling.
18 Posted 13/08/2010 at 16:56:21
19 Posted 13/08/2010 at 17:07:43
16? Hangover? I hope you're thoroughly ashamed of yourself.
20 Posted 13/08/2010 at 17:25:14
21 Posted 13/08/2010 at 20:42:56
22 Posted 13/08/2010 at 21:18:41
23 Posted 13/08/2010 at 21:21:34
24 Posted 13/08/2010 at 21:28:55
ps: My strongest memory of that game is me not being tall enough to see over everyone when they stood. I celebrated the 4th goal in my dad's arms so I could see!
25 Posted 13/08/2010 at 23:01:53
How are you managing your drink now? You're not that bloke who lives in a ditch and shouts at pigeons are you?
26 Posted 14/08/2010 at 00:16:20
As opening day defeats go, nothing can surely beat that awful two-nil home defeat to Crystal Palace when Lombardo scored. We'd been promised a "world class" manager by agent Johnson and in desperation ended up with Kendall Mark III. That was the beginning of one of our worst seasons. As critical as any of us have ever been of Moyes, thank God we've moved on since then.
27 Posted 14/08/2010 at 10:23:05
28 Posted 14/08/2010 at 11:43:17
29 Posted 14/08/2010 at 17:00:33
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