Them and Us: Everton

Posted by Rushian on January 29, 2004, 04:53:41 PM

On the day before the Merseyside derby we see the return of our Them and Us series where we ask a leading fanzine or website to answer a few questions in the run up to their visit to Anfield.

Rather than our usual format of having a single representative answering our questions, we've polled a mix of posters on the leading Blue website Toffeeweb to get an insight into the current mindset of Evertonians.

RAWK: How's the season been so far for Everton?

Aaron: Flat

nt: Ok. Not great. Table looks a bit grim at the moment, but I'd define it as slow progress. We're slowly getting the underachieving higher-paid players out, with 'hungrier' players in. However, this'll take at least another 18 months, hopefully the manager will be as patient as the fans will have to be. I'm still relatively optimistic.

The Squire of Beckenham: Not as good as I would have liked, but more or less what I expected...

Willow: Disappointing because I feel we're slightly better than we've shown many times this season. Wasn't expecting a finish as high as last year, but there have been some pitiful away performances and points wasted at home. We're about 6 points off what would be a realistic current total for us. Need to pick points up fairly quickly so as not to get sucked into the relegation reckoning.

MikeH: Below par.....

jamie: Slightly below expectations.

Garrincha: No worse than expected. DM hasnt had the cash to improve the squad. We are happy to give him time.

Richard: Frustrating, a place in the top six is there for the taking but without the early season momentum of last year, and with the team and Rooney experiencing that "difficult second season" we're not taking the opportunity.

Bostonian: Stop-Start, slightly disappointing

What were you expecting of this season?

Aaron: Top six

nt: Much the same as its gone, but probably to nick another three or four wins.

The Squire of Beckenham: Not much after we failed to sign a quality midfielder.

Willow: Less than last - but thought we'd blow hot and cold when we've only blown warm and cold.

MikeH: Mid Table

jamie: Same as last year

Garrincha: Generally what has happened. Disappointed we didn't get a central midfielder. We really need a leader on the pitch.

Richard: What we've got, basically, expected a few more wins though, and with a bit more luck and, admittedly, quality, we'd have got them, Chelsea and Arsenal at home both prime examples

Bostonian: 8th

Has phoney Rooneymania bitten the dust?

Aaron: Pardon?

nt: It has in the tabloids, its the backlash now. However, nothing makes me feel more like an Evertonian than when he starts running with the ball.

The Squire of Beckenham: With Sky and the Murdoch press, yes (thank Christ).

Willow: Phoney Rooneymania has yes - in terms of the media driven 'the saviour of English football' mania. In the same way that 'commentators' who were lauding Moyes for his handling of Rooney last season are now saying Rooney should move on to play with better players. Real Rooneymania - in terms of those who **know** how good he is and have witnessed some of the magic - is still running strong.

MikeH: Nope

jamie: No. He's still the future although it's always possible me and everyone else is suffering from a mass delusion. I doubt it though.

Garrincha: Bollocks. Still the best prospect in Britain. Already deserving of his England 9 shirt. Will get better playing with better players (at EFC).

Richard: Depends what you mean, the overhype on Sky and in the S*n and suchlike, where he was being treated as the finished article has subsided, the belief in his ability and potential among most evertonians is still there. Ask a middle aged bluenose who's been going the game for 25 years and more and watch how they can't help but get animated when talking about the boy and you'll realise he's something else.

Bostonian: Never existed. He is what he is.

Who do you think is your most important player(s)?

Aaron: Martyn, Radz, Graveson

nt: Currently it's *gulp* Duncan. Actually, probably Nigel Martyn. Calmed the defence down a lot. But at the moment, Duncan's the focal point of whats going right. Fit, and apparently motivated, he's doing good for us. And well he might!

The Squire of Beckenham: Martyn, Ferguson, Radzinski and (if he's firing and not trying to get sent off) Rooney.

Willow: An on-form Graveson, Martyn, Radzinski for stretching defences and a fit and fired Duncan.
It's got to be said as well - that come the big games - we tend to play better with Unsworth in the middle.Think the fact that I've named 5 tells you we've not had consistent stand-out performers.

MikeH: Gravesen/Radz

jamie: Radzinski or possibly Martyn

Garrincha: Martyn, Yobo, Rooney and Zinedine Kilbane.

Richard: In an average home game, Gravesen when (if) he's playing well. Radzinskis pace and movement also crucial. Away in the Derby? definitely Ferguson

Bostonian: Yobo

Your worst player(s)?

Aaron: Too many to mention

nt: Sadly, its probably Kevin Campbell. The injuries have finally taken their toll, and he's not the player we nicked ahead of LFC a few years ago (we did, trust me, I'll explain to you sometime ...)

The Squire of Beckenham: Half of the time-servers in the stiffs.

Willow: All of them (bar Martyn perhaps) have had a number shocking games this season.

MikeH: Campbell

jamie: On present form, Tony Hibbert.

Garrincha: Any of our central midfielders, Naysmith and Weir.

Richard: At the moment, Tony Hibbert, young full back who was fantastic last year. Now low on confidence thanks in part to the fickle nobhead contingent at Goodison.

Bostonian: Unsworth, Gravesen

Any young gems in the squad that we might not know about?

Aaron: No idea they are all out on loan

nt: I've no idea. I'm a Sky fan me.

The Squire of Beckenham: Young Mr. Symes. Who you'll probably never hear about.

Willow: You could do worse then getting Ged to lash a couple of million on young Kevine Campbelle. I think he's also the new Zidane.

MikeH: Sorry, Dunno

jamie: Everyone keeps mentioning Leon Osman but the fact he never gets a look-in implies he's nothing special.

Garrincha: Osman?

Richard: Jeffers ;)

Bostonian: Not young but Kilbane will surprise you.

What sort of line-up can we expect on Saturday?

Aaron: Blue kit, eleven players.

nt: Two banks of four, and a little'n'large combination, probably Dunc & Radz, with Wayne on the bench. Works best that way for me. Hopefully Watson back on the right...

The Squire of Beckenham: Martyn; Hibbert and Naysmith; Stubbs and Unsworth; Ferguson and Radz up front. The midfield's largely irrelevant.

Willow: Solid 4-4-2 looking to use Kilbane and Radzinski to stretch you at the back.

MikeH: Hopefully Mar/Pist/Uns/Stub/Nay/Wat/Grav/Lind/Kil/Ferg/Rad
with the boy coming on early in the 2nd half

jamie: A containing one, designed to keep it 0-0 in the hope that Rooney can come off the bench and snatch a late winner.

Garrincha: Hopefully a committed one. Best we can ask for at the moment.

Richard: Hopefully 4-4-2 with the boy tearing off the bench with half an hour left. Or, a 4-3-3, in which case I fear a rout (and just to clarify, not in our favour)

Bostonian: 4-4-2, Rooney as sub if Watson plays. Pistone at CH maybe.

Your favourite/best chant(s)?

nt: I prefer flags

The Squire of Beckenham: "Sit down Pinocchio"

Willow: Sorry I'm not Norwegian

MikeH: Cheerio,Cheerio, Cheerio (as the Krem Rd leave just after H/T)

jamie: Not our strongest point. Probably: If you know your history ... but even that's a bit self-pitying.

Garrincha: Royal blue mersey

Richard: We havent got many. If we have just cause to chant "Roooooney!" ad infinitum come half 5 on saturday it'll be that one though

Bostonian: Royal Blue Mersey

How do you think Liverpool will finish this season in the league/cups?

Aaron: Top five. Out the cup in a semi. Poss UEFA victory

nt: Fourth. Beaten finalists to Arsenal in FA Cup.

The Squire of Beckenham: 5th in league, beaten FA cup semi finalists.

Willow: 4th or 5th depending on how Newcastle play from now on. No Cup glory this year.

MikeH: 5th/Semi in the uefa at best

jamie: 4th or 5th, FA cup semis and UEFA cup quarters

Garrincha: 6th/7th and maybe a semi in the FA. Are you still in the UEFA?

Richard: Can't see them not finishing 4th now with some of the injuries clearing up.  Cup 1/4 finals or further depending on how long you avoid Arsenal/Chelsea and Man U

Bostonian: 5th / semi of FA and UEFA

Which Liverpool player will you fear the most?

Aaron: Kewell

nt: Michael Owen. I don't care if he's on his own up-front, the lack of pace in our defence troubles me. Hopefully he's still not *quite* sharp since coming back.

The Squire of Beckenham: Owen.

Willow: Gerard when launching into one of his normal tackles. (But Gerard often dictates the pace of the derby & Owen is feeling his way back from injury)

MikeH: Him up front who gambles a lot

jamie: Owen

Garrincha: Princess Michael of Wales.

Richard: Kewell

Bostonian: Loaded question but Gerrard is outstanding

And your feelings on Anfield?

Aaron: Never been

nt: Don't really care about it, but the seats in the main stand are too small, and I'm tiny. Still hate that ####ing song though!

The Squire of Beckenham: It's a football ground. I do wish the Scandis would stop dropping things on our heads, like.

Willow: Makes me happy to be an Evertonian

MikeH: Adequate for a non champions league side

jamie: Years since I've been

Garrincha: I hate it. Sorry but it reminds me of a giant McNasty's. No atmospere or sense of history although the facilities for the home support may be better than ours. And it STILL smells of piss!

Richard: Whether it's the team or the re-development i don't know, but it honestly doesn't strike me as an intimidating place to go anymore. Certainly not compared to OT

Bostonian: Like it. Seats are too small. Not a patch on pre "All Seaters"

Ground Share - a good idea?

Aaron: No

nt: Terrible idea

The Squire of Beckenham: Not on your life

Willow: Frankly yes

MikeH: Yep....Makes sense

jamie: Yes and no. For practical and financial reasons it makes sense. For emotional and for reasons of self-respect, it doesn't. On balance heart probably rules the head, so no.

Garrincha: Never! I would burn it down every time they tried to build it.

Richard: No. No, no, no.

Bostonian: Yes - Peter Robinson was right way back when

Predicted score?

Aaron: Two all

nt: Be happy with a draw to be honest, but I fear a narrow defeat, with a fair bit of 'needle'.

The Squire of Beckenham: 3-0 to Liverpool

Willow: 3-1 Liverpool

MikeH: 3-1

jamie: We'll lose 1-0

Garrincha: 3-0 to you bastards although I would like to think the Boy would get one.

Richard: 2-0 Liverpool

Bostonian: 2-1 to Liverpool

Many thanks to all those at Toffeeweb for their time and help in answering our questions.

The morning of the derby will see the fifth (or is it sixth?) eleven-a-side challenge match against our Blue cousins. Previous matches have taken place at venues such as the Dockers' Club and the Liverpool Academy.

This time a combined side drawn from RAOTL, RAWK and YNWA kick off at 10:30am against the Young Boys of Toffeeweb (YBOTWFC) at the Liverpool Academy, Liverpool Way, Kirkby, L33 7ED. It's an early kick off to allow plenty of time to get to the pub after the game if you fancy popping along to support.

The match is a fundraising event with a 50/50 split between the Hillsborough Justice Campaign and The Blue Blood Foundation (a charitable organisation to assist ex-Everton players who don’t have the financial assistance that today’s players have). If you want to donate to the good causes get in touch and we'll let you know the best method to donate money.

Thanks again to Toffeeweb and good luck to both teams in the morning and afternoon fixtures.

© RAWK 2004

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