A Liverpool Fan's Guide To Everton's Season

Living in a mixed house means I don't hate Everton, but of course my wife and child hate Liverpool. However, I don't rise to it but I am worried about them (Everton that is)...
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Living in a mixed house means I don't hate Everton, but of course my wife and child hate Liverpool. However, I don't rise to it but I am worried about them (Everton that is)...

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A Liverpool Fan's Guide To Everton's Season...

You know those mixed marriages that you hear so much about? The Scouse ones? The ones where we're split down the middle, one red and one blue but we all go to the Derby together and we sit together and we support our teams but at the end we all go back to normal and carry on with life as normal no matter the result or what may have happened in the game or what Luis Suarez may have done this time?

Well we're a mixed marriage, I'm red, my wife's blue, our 12 year old son is blue. The reality isn't quite as rosy as the picture that's painted; they hate Liverpool. I mean hate Liverpool. My son's opinion of Luis Suarez? 'Diving, cheating, racist scumbag'. I think he may well be representative of most blues.

And I don't argue back on any of this. Arguing with your 12 year old son over the intricacies of Latin American culture in order to defend a fairly indefensible player is somewhat demeaning and I don't argue with my wife because, well, she's my wife, I'm not entirely stupid.

The thing is, I don't hate Everton, I don't remember ever really hating them. Not like I hate Man Utd. Or Chelsea. Or Arsenal at the moment. It may just be because of my family but I'm happy to see Everton do well. I'd happily see them finish second in everything. As long as we were first.

The problem is (and whisper this) Everton are beginning to worry me.

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I worry that Moyes wasn't really overachieving the last couple of years, that he wasn't getting more out of the squad than they were truly capable of; I worry that his conservative nature was actually holding back what is genuinely a very good first 11 with some promising youth players that he wasn't giving a real chance; was Ross Barkley not given a fair crack of the whip last season or is he not as incredible as his manager suggested? David Moyes had an endlessly amusing habit of building up average players into truly world class talents.

I worry that Roberto Martinez's arrival will unlock true talent in the squad; that his use of wing backs will suit Leighton Baines' talents and further improve the impressive Seamus Coleman. That he will refuse to pump long balls to Marouane Fellaini's chest to drop to an ineffective Jelavic and actually start playing some football, putting balls into feet in the way that Jelavc so thrived on in his first six months.

I worry that his management style is more modern than his predecessor, that he has more grasp of sports science than Moyes and will succeed in keeping the scarily talented Kevin Mirallas fit for the entire season.

I worry that Roberto Martinez's true level of ability is the style that his teams always turn on in the last desperate survival months of the season and that, at a bigger club, he can turn this on all season.

But I hold on to hope;

I hope that Wigan's endless (and finally 'successful') flirtations with the drop are the true representation of Roberrrrrtttoooooo's (copyright Dave Whelan) abilities.

That his return to Wigan to buy three players that were relegated last time out is a better indication of his ambitions and abilities to attract talent than the loan deal for the possibly brilliant Delefeou.

That Arouna Kone is as hit and miss as my Wigan supporting friend maintains

That the last two seasons were a reflection of Liverpool's now hopefully solved team imbalance and that Everton haven't actually become better than us. I've been watching LFC since the early 70s and, barring a couple of seasons in the mid 80s, I've never known this to be the case; I don't think I could handle it if it were to suddenly be the case..

Oh. And. That half Spanish half North West accent of Martinez's that I found so endearing in his previous job? Winding me up something wicked now. But that's not a concern. What is a concern is this;

I really hope that FSG's pre-Rodgers flirtation with the prospect of employing Roberto Martinez as Liverpool manager (possibly actually post Rodgers initially as he was apparently always first choice anyway) doesn't come back to haunt us. Because they've got a song ready. I know they've got a song ready, I've been treated to it already.

It goes like this:

"Roberto, woh-woh-woh-woh, he came from Wigan Town, he turned the Red Shite down"

and I really don't fancy listening to that all bloody season.

But more than anything, I hope this - I hope my wife never reads this article.