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Look Back in Anger

By David  Price :  23/07/2010 :  Comments (22) :
Okay, things seem to getting a little serious with all this talk around profit/loss etc. Let's lighten things up with trips down memory lane.,

What about if you could get one match replayed, knowing that the odds were seriously in your favour, if that match was played again, the mistakes, the quirks of fate, the unfair act of god could not happen again and fate would deem to be on our side.

Let?s open this can of worms, the ?77 semi final and Clive Thomas, Clattenburg?s severe blind spot, the ?81 semi final and Brian Kidd's brain seizure... the list must go on.

Personally, I remember my Grandad telling me about a game he went to and if he was still here would probably say the 1953 semi-final at Maine Rd versus Bolton. 40 minutes gone, Bolton 4, Everton 0, right on half time, Everton get a penalty for supposed consolation and miss the bloody thing. 45 minutes later the match finished Bolton 4, Everton 3. If the match could be rewound and the penalty goes in, who knows? Then again, would fate have us as the bridesmaids to the Matthews final? We will never know.

For me, one game still sticks like a dagger to the heart. 1986... no, not the second half of the cup final, but close. Away to Oxford, late April I think, neck and neck with RS for the title, we had a game in hand for the run in, no last day, all the same kick off, like now... we always were due to play our last game after they had finished their season.

Before kick-off, we had three games to play, they had won the night before, so had two games left and were 2 pts ahead. So if we won our last three games, the title was ours.

Oxford were relegation fodder, had to win their last four games to stand any chance of surviving. Everton had got back on track after a defeat on the plastic pitch at Luton and given Liveroool an opening to crank up the pressure.

The game started and it was total dominance from the Blues. The game plan had changed from last season, now it was a case of 'miss the midfield passing and get it to Lineker'... 25 goals from 35 games ? who could argue with that?

What happened for the next 80 minutes stunned the 10,000 blues crammed into the tiny terracing around the ground. Lineker missed three open goals, wearing a pair of brand new boots, that he decided to wear at the last minute, which in his own words, were binned at the end of the game.

On 81 minutes, Oxford?s Bobby Macdonald, thrashed in the winner from 25 yards. The desolation and silence walking away from the ground, that memory never leaves me.

If I could rewind and replay that game, Lineker would walk away with a hat-trick, we would then still win our last two games, 6-1 v, Southampton and 3-1 v, West Ham and take the title, with Lineker bagging 33 goals in 38 games instead of the history books saying 30 goals and runners up.

Anyone else out there with similar nightmares? Sweet dreams...

Reader Comments

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Derek Thomas
1   Posted 24/07/2010 at 07:19:31

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Our whole world would have been different if Shankly was never appointed.

It opens up all sorts of options and possibilities. One of the key moments in the Multiverse.

Give me that and I would've be happy to take my chances for the next 50 yrs
Matthew Lovekin
2   Posted 24/07/2010 at 07:49:09

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The Clattenberg derby, the Collina Villarreal away tie. What about Heysel? If those scumbags hadn't been such a bunch of idiots, Everton wouldn't have been banned and would have ruled Europe and the World for the rest of eternity!!!
Mike Oates
3   Posted 24/07/2010 at 08:02:38

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Without a shadow of doubt, Heysel was the biggest turning point for Everton. Not having the platform to push on and become a European equal of Liverpool, Man Utd has cost this club dear.

The formation of the Premier League at the time it happened was whilst we were on the slide instead of dominating it.
David S Shaw
4   Posted 24/07/2010 at 09:43:44

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I'm going to be boring and go back to 1994. The Premier League and new fans on their way to Everton, we were not that far behind financially.

So I would say rebuild the Park End further back and to twice the size thus allowing a capacity of about 46000. We then have room and extra money to make rebuilding Goodison far easier.

We would have had no stadium worries in a proven location, extra money now for Moyes, better chance of investment...rosy garden stuff etc.

Was not doing this the biggest cock up in Everton's history?
David Price
5   Posted 24/07/2010 at 10:58:44

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For a non-Everton game, agreed, Heysel stopped us from hitting the Premier League running. Good point about the ground, did we choose the cheapest architect? And how can we have had such a lack of vision to not pull out all the stops to retain as much of the capacity as possible?
Gavin Ramejkis
6   Posted 24/07/2010 at 11:25:37

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Simple: Heysel cancelled, RS don't ruin us as a club and we go on to win European Cups back to back and enter the Sky era as a top side with top players!
Dave Smith
7   Posted 24/07/2010 at 11:17:06

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That season we finished 'magnificent' 7th. Had we finnished 6th, and reached Europe, would we have finnished 17th the season after?

I base this on the fact that we would have been able to lure better players with the promise of European football. Let's not forget the extra revenue.

My point is, had we not finnished 17th, and instead finnished in Europe for a 2nd consecutive season; would Rooney have left?
David Hallwood
8   Posted 24/07/2010 at 13:21:00

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Isn't there a philosophilcal argument that states that we will never be able to time travel, because if someone went back and killed a butterfly, the future would be changed forever. Ah! So! Grasshopper!!

But getting back to the Oxford game, 5 of us went down to and coming back nobody spoke, except on of the lads who said that it was like having a death in the family ? happy days??

But everyone can point to a shadda, cudda, wudda moment, personally I think it's an accumulation of ineptitude & mis-mangement over the past two decades that has done for us.
Mike McLean
9   Posted 24/07/2010 at 16:01:54

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Heysel ruined a number of Italian families.

The unctuous Phil Carter and his equally useless colleagues did that to the club.
Ted Smeethes
10   Posted 24/07/2010 at 22:04:03

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David Shaw - (4) - Absolutely spot-on. The Park End stand was a wasted opportunity.
Eugene Ruane
11   Posted 24/07/2010 at 22:13:28

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I'm a greedy bastard for odds.

Can't be doing with anything that's evens or twos/threes (it means you win less of course, but when you do win, it's usually worth it).

With that in mind - I'd like to replay every home game for about five seasons, where someone other than Yobo was first goal scorer. (So... um... all of them basically...)
Brendan O'Doherty
12   Posted 24/07/2010 at 23:11:41

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Yes, David, that Oxford game maybe meant we missed a hat-trick of titles, but for me losing the two cup finals to the RS were the worst nightmares of my footballing life.

Especially the '86 one as it would have stopped them getting the double in between our 2 titles.
Mike Elbey
13   Posted 25/07/2010 at 10:55:00

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FA Cup v Man Utd 1985 ? it would have given us the double before the RS which would have really pissed them off ? and would have further etched our name in English football history.

Villarreal / Collina ? had that goal gone in, we had all the momentum in that game and I am convinced we would have scored again and probably gone through ? who knows what the riches of the CL wpould have done for us?

Loosing to Carlisle (?) twice in 1974 which stopped another title.

Fiorentina Europa League ? that cup was there for the taking that season...

Great post!!!
Mark Murphy
14   Posted 26/07/2010 at 14:16:58

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The '77 semi final!
Celebrated for an age before we realised we'd been robbed!
Have never ever forgiven that crooked Welsh tw@t!
Duncan McDine
15   Posted 27/07/2010 at 11:03:48

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Great topic David.

There have been a lot of great shouts, but an obvious one has slipped the memory of all my fellow Evertonians.

Seamus Coleman's left footed curler which struck the post againt Preston on Saturday (would have made it 4-0). A HUGE moment in the history of our club. 6 inches to the left, would've seen both Tony Hibbert and Phil Neville struggle to get another game at right-back.

Could there be anything bigger than that?
Phil Roberts
16   Posted 27/07/2010 at 13:54:07

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I have always understood that Lineker's boots were left behind, not that he decided to wear new ones.

Other than that, so many good shouts here.

That fat Greek (or who scored in the 85th minute at GP which knocked us out on Away goals and they lost to Ajax at Wembley in the final. Home advantage ? would we have done it even against Cruyff?
Carlisle, Oxford, Heysel, Villarreal, Fiorentina and even a win on the first game last season would have meant us 7th and them 8th. 85 Cup Final for sure and 86 as well. 84 League Cup with Lawrenson's hands tied behind his back. 77 League Cup with Villa. Any one of the games in 1929-30 we should have won not lost and which saw us relegated for the first time. The Sandy Brown derby. 79-80 derby at Goodison, the day Dixie died and we lost. We can go on and on.

But then again there are matches we hope never would - Oxford 84, Wimbledon 94 and Coventry 98 all come to mind. 95 Semi Final and the Goodison derby that year.

Brilliant post and just going to smooth down the hairs on the back of my neck after some of the memories.

Phil Roberts
17   Posted 27/07/2010 at 14:35:11

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David Hallwood (8) - what a pity about time travel not being possible. I would have gone back time after time and bought and sold shares so often that I would now be worth £6½ billion.

First thing would be to buy the Shite and then sell it to my mate Billy for a £1 as he has no money. So that sends them down the tubes becasue he can't invest. Then I would have bought out Bill and be outbidding Citteh and we would be the greatest team in the World.
Iain Love
18   Posted 29/07/2010 at 22:31:52

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Bolton the goal that never was, we stayed up, Bolton didn't.... all's fair in love and war.
Afzan Yusuf
19   Posted 30/07/2010 at 08:30:48

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Can blame Shankly... Heysel... but for me, we should have never left Anfield on the first place.
John Smith
20   Posted 05/08/2010 at 18:35:19

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I think Everton have more of these than most clubs in England, times when you could go back and change the past, well there's too many to mention really.

For a start, UEFA to have listened to everyone around them instead of themselves and moved the 1985 European Cup final from Heysel - Juve would still of won and Everton would of entered the European Cup the following season.

The 1985 FA Cup final - we would of become the first Merseyside club to win the Double and would of completed a trophy 'Treble'.

1986 v Oxford, a certainty to be changed if I could, the win would of given us a hat-trick of league championship wins, after we mullered Southampton and West Ham in the following games.

Anyone over 40? The European Cup quarter-final v Panathinaikos, first-leg at Goodison in 1971?, how we didn't score five or six that night, yet came away with a 1-1 if memory serves me correct, ended up going out on away goals - they reached the final.

And lastly, 1968 FA Cup final v West Brom - how did we manage to lose this? we had hammered West Brom 6-2 at the Hawthorns three-weeks prior to the final, Alan Ball got four goals, yet no one turned up at Wembley and we lost 1-0.

Other obvious ones which spring to mind. 1977 Cup semi (still can't beleive it to this day), 1984 League Cup final (Everton missing four or five clear chances which on any other day we would of buried, and of course....THAT Hansen hand-ball)

And last but not least, that bastard Collina to RIGHTLY allow Duncan's goal at Villareal in the Champions League qualifiers - it would of put us in the Group Stage and we would of earned millions from it.
David Price
21   Posted 07/08/2010 at 00:33:12

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John Mate, spot on, after a few drinks around about now, it all comes flooding back. Thomas, Collina, Hansen, utter cheating twats..
Chris Perry
22   Posted 26/08/2010 at 06:57:46

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Since the end of the 2009-10 season, I have been reflecting on what Everton means to me. I have been both fortunate (to see the 80s) and unfortunate (the dreadful 90s) to have been an Everton supporter. And from that time, I found myself still bearing a grudge and reflecting on what might have been.

The 80s were fantastic standing in the Gwladys Street end, getting crushed as yet another Trevor Steven ball gets converted into a goal (Everton vs Sunderland, 4-1); the blitzkreig on Bayern Munich in the European Cup Winners Cup semi-final; the 5-1 thrashing of Man Utd.

Just a few magical moments... only to have the next stage of the Everton FC total football domination halt because of mindless thugs supporting the Darkside, getting all English clubs banned from Europe. This ultimately led to players leaving Everton in search of European football, leaving us on the brink of success under Colin Harvey (we actually did not do too bad), followed by the non-eventful time under Kendall's second spell ? although he did unearth Billy Kenny (what a wasted talent if ever there was... I remember him crunching McMahon in a game; McMahon never went near him again). And then the woeful Mike Walker period.

The Joe Royle era, although not pretty, was effective but then again he had the same battles in the boardroom over spending as Moyes is having now. Yet back in 1994, he still managed to spend £5 million on Andrei Kanchelskis.

Next came Howard Kendall again, which was a complete disaster, although he had faith in the kids as I remember watching Football Focus before setting off for the derby and the feature was on John Oster, Michael Ball, and Danny Cadamateri.

The Walter Smith era was forgetful, especially the signing of Gasgoine, Ginola et al.

And finally came David Moyes, doing his best under difficult circumstances... although we would not be in this situation if we had not been banned from Europe; I believe we would be the "Man U" and would have just gone from strength to strength if the ban had not robbed us of Kendall and the players who followed suit.

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