“Unraveling Unrivaled Rivalries.”

So a brace from Sturridge and one from Henderson, finally a goal from a defender at a set piece, even if it was in “the 2nd phase of play” (whatever that fuckin means) and a “classic toe-nog” from SuperSub Fabio Borini (you’re cursed now lad :) ) was just what the doctor ordered.

Our season was in slight jeopardy of petering out like a 50 year old without his Viagra.
Two somewhat dull 0-0 draws, were followed by “that incident” in what ended with a 96th minute 2-2 draw.
Predictions of 3 draws from our final run of games fulfilled.
… then we went to Newcastle… and prison-raped them.

For all the plaudits they received last season, I felt it was inevitable that Newcastle would fall away this season. The extent to which they did so though, has shocked me.
They’ve had to contend with a lot of injuries to key players. And they lost Demba Ba, which was always gonna hurt them.
But the fact they are in a relegation battle is as surprising as last season’s “challenge for 4th” to me.
I watched Papas Cisse chasing down every lump “towards” him, with an energy that was matched only by the frustration that seemed to build with every goal we scored, and every minute that passed by, as his teammates seemed to just capitulate to the circumstance…
… and I thought… “If he were Uruguayan, Jamie and Danny would be on the menu here.”
(What? too soon?)

I think Newcastle will survive the drop. We seriously screwed their goal-difference, with OUR 6-1 THRASHING OF THEM, which has added to their woes, but with trips to West Brom & QPR, I’d expect them to get 3 points from one of those games, (and that should be enough, if only just, to see them safe,) before they have to host Arsenal at home.
And as much as they’ve struggled this season, provided they don’t lose their nut over the summer, (keep their best, add a few,) I’d expect them to get right back among the 2nd tier bracket (fighting for 6th to 10th) of teams next season.

But who cares about Newcastle (other than the notion that if they did go back down, there’s a few players there that could possibly be pilfered)?
I only mention them because WE BEAT THEM SIX-NIL! :)
Positive enough for youz?
Then let me rinse and repeat… we BEAT THEM SIX-NIL??? :)

It was like an 80’s flashback… I was tempted to root out my old leather kecks and rising sun t-shirt… :)

…And BEATING THEM SIX-NIL (ahh… it never gets old does it?) was important!
You could say crucial (go on I dare you) for more glaringly obvious reasons than that we host our cross-town neighbors this weekend.

I know there are those among our fanbase that no longer see the fixture against Everton as “the biggest game of the season”.
…To some extent it isn’t.
Games against the Mancs… and even to some, the games against Chelsea have a much bigger bite! (oh no you di’n’t)

Our rivalry with Everton was unrivaled through the 80s… but through the 90s, as the Mancs morphed like the alien in “The Thing” into the Leviathan Juggernaut they now are… our rivalry with them grew to rival our rivalry with Everton.
Jose Maurinho and a couple of CL semi-finals saw to it that the Chavs grew close to that level of rivalry also.

… and as Everton fell from their heights of the 80s, to the Dogs of War relegation scrappers they became for much of the 90s and into the 00s… the game became less significant for some.

Not for me… I have relatives that are Blues.
Thank God, Yahwey, Allah, Buddah, Krishna, or even Jupitor’s cock… my Mum married a Red… coz her whole family are Bitters.
(I’m not sure a sentence containing the words “my mum” should have a “Spartacus” reference to the word “cock” in it… in fact I’m sure it shouldn’t, but I’m on a roll…)
(wait… roll… that’s just so wrong :) )
So for me, the game against Everton is still a BIG one.

…and to that end, (wait… cock, big one… that end??? Hmmm?)
… to that end this particular season, the game has some of the added spice it once held in the past… with Everton sitting unusually, 5 points above us in 6th.

As though any game isn’t a “must win game” … this is a quintessentially pundit’s “must win game” … for all the clichés… setting down a marker, showing intent, blah, blah,
… but simply for the old cross-town rivalry that still burns as brightly in EVERY Everton Heart, even if that flame dimmed some in Red Ones.
(I was going to make a reference to our season being like a visit to a dim-sum restaurant, but I’ll forgo it)

Win at the weekend and we close the gap to 2 points. (and we’ll have a better than +11 goal difference, which may come into play?)

Everton have put a good season in. They are capable of putting together some fast, free flowing, passing football.
But they’ve stumbled a bit too and have weaknesses to exploit.

We’ve displayed our weaknesses to anyone who fancied exploiting them this season.
… they were there for all to see (even if they weren’t taken advantage of by West Ham and Reading)…
… but the games against Chelsea and Newcastle showed what we are capable of.

With Everton to host West Ham, before ending their season at Chelsea
…Liverpool will visit Fulham, before hosting QPR…
… if I was a betting man, (I’m actually expecting us to bag all 9 points in style,) I’d bet on us breaking those Everton Hearts.
I fancy a “classic” THREE – NIL!