There is a race against time to fit a new scoreboard at Anfield in time for the Merseyside derby on Sunday.
The existing scoreboard only has the facility to register a double figure score for either team, and there are now legitimate concerns that it won’t be able to accommodate the cricket score that Liverpool aim to rack up against Everton’s defence.
The unwelcome scoreboard drama only adds to Liverpool’s woes going into the match, following the news earlier in the week that a consignment of ten thousand Liverpool / Steau Bucharest half and half scarves had been lost in the post.
Thankfully, both setbacks don’t seem to have dented the unmitigated smugness and cockiness pouring out of every supporter at any given opportunity.
The Europa League nightmare is almost over for Evertonians, with only one more game of BT Sport commentary and analysis to endure.
Blues fans have endured a torrid time in this season’s competition, with every game succumbing to the commentary of Ian Darke, Robbie Savage and Chris Sutton. The misery being further compounded by the expert analysis of Jermaine Jenas and Martin Keown.
To the clubs’ credit, they have done everything possible to spare supporters the pain – by trying to exit the competition as quickly as possible. A series of embarrassing performances, which has seen the team consistently battered by various European minnows, has successfully enabled them to crash out in the group stage.
Everton have decided that at some point in the near future it’s probably time to stop titting about. A spokesman confirmed the club’s new position:
“To be fair, I think it’s harsh to say we’ve been titting about. I mean, yes we’ve wasted a hundred million on unnecessary transfers we didn’t need, bought too many players that want to play in the same position, didn’t sign a replacement striker or replace an ageing defence, dithered over sacking a manager who had lost the plot, and didn’t have a plan in place when we did sack him.”
“Yes we may have humiliated ourselves with one of the worst ever campaigns in Europe, had players arsing about in training, playing badly, out of position, or just not trying. And okay, we haven’t got a clue what we’re going to do about the manager’s position. But at worst, all of that’s a bit of light-hearted banter.”
“We’ll sort it out in the near future. But it will be after the Merseyside derby – we won’t be cancelling that yearly pantomime for anyone.“
A red fir tree will be planted at Finch Farm to commemorate Ronald Koeman’s 16 month tenure at the helm of the blues.
Joel Waldron, Head of Academy Operations explained:
“All of the staff will have happy memories of Ronald Koeman’s time at Finch Farm. He was here up to two to three hours a day, doing whatever they did that passed as training – always happy to give you a frown. There was also that day when he once watched the Under 23’s play – we’ll always cherish that. This tree will serve as an apt reminder of his time here.”
Koeman himself has already started to look back fondly at his time spent at Everton:
“It was a pleasure to spend 16 months managing, erm – that team in blue, the erm, Caramels. I mean Fudges. Great times. Barcelona job. Massive payoff. Smashing.“
Ashley Williams is to receive a custom made kit for the rest of the season. The kit will feature an extra-long polo neck which will cover his entire face.
Manufacturers Umbro had noted that on several occasions, the clueless defender had been trying to pull his shirt over his face whenever one of his horrendous mistakes led to a goal. The new kit aims to eliminate that problem, leaving his face permanently covered – and Williams unable to see anything happening in front of him. The Everton coaching staff believe that the loss of vision that Williams will face, will not have any further negative impact on his play.
It is thought that given the dross football that has been served up this season so far. The kit could actually be a big seller with fans unlucky enough to be within Goodison on a match day.
Concerns have been raised over Mark Lawrenson’s wellbeing after he predicted Everton to win. The dour football pundit with a penchant for the word ‘moment’ has been predicting Premiership results on the BBC website for the past fifty years, and has only once predicted anything but defeat for the blues (a draw against an already relegated Derby County in 2008). However, this weekend Lawrenson predicted that Everton would beat Burnley by two goals to one.
Immediately, this drew concern amongst his punditry colleagues. His mentee, Danny Murphy said ‘Lawro would rightly never predict an Everton win. As someone working in the media, he has a strict mandate to remain unbiased and consistent. He’s done this brilliantly over the years. You only have to look back at his previous predictions to see that he has said Everton will get beaten by a different score every week, and that Liverpool will win by anything from two to six goals. He has the full support of everyone within punditry circles, particularly having played or worked with all of us at some point whilst at Liverpool FC.”
The BBC, BT Sport and Sky, were quick to distance themselves from any accusations of bias, publishing a statement of support from their pundits Steven Gerrard, Jamie Carragher, Michael Owen, Jason McAteer, Robbie Fowler, Steve McManaman and Jamie Redknapp who all took time from their busy schedules of tirelessly promoting the cause of Liverpool FC to wish Lawrenson well.
Lawrenson himself said it was simply a mistake. “I realised the moment I submitted my scores that I’d made a mistake. I meant to say six nil to Burnley, or whoever it is they’re playing. And eight nil to Liverpool, if they’re playing this week.”
James McCarthy’s inclusion in the Everton squad has irked his international manager Martin O’Neill. The Republic of Ireland midfielder has not only been called-up, but selected by Ronald Koeman during Everton’s pre-season schedule.
Controversially, FIFA rules state that if called-up by his domestic club, he is expected to represent them – even though they only pay his wages and have him contractually tied to the club.
O’Neill was rightly furious at the situation, and was quick to express his anger, “I think it’s a disgrace that he has had to travel out to Holland and Belgium with the Everton squad. He met up with the team several times last season – it’s a joke. Is he even injured at the moment? What use is he in the squad without a hamstring injury?”
Roy Keane was walking his dogs and unavailable for comment. But he would have just said something with the aim of trying to irk someone, like the tragic character he has become.
Keane earlier. Possibly the 1800’s.
Following a period of extensive research on social media, scientists have now concluded that it takes an average of four months for Everton supporters to forget that Gerard Deulofeu is terrible.
The 23 year old, who joined AC Milan on loan during the January transfer window, looks set to return to the blues this summer. Prior to his departure, he put in a series of inconspicuous and frustrating performances for the toffees, which meant little sleep was lost when the winger was shipped out.
Scientists observed, that exactly four months later – fans once more believed that the Spaniard could be effective in the Premiership, that he wasn’t a one-trick show pony, and most bafflingly of all – that he would one day last more than sixty minutes of a game before collapsing on the pitch like an asthmatic pensioner who smokes his way through fifty a day.
Sources close to the player believe that the inconsistent winger himself hopes to revive his Everton career, after seeing the club recently announce a new deal for the inconsistent winger Kevin Mirallas.
Ross Barkley has been advised to wait for interest, before putting pen to paper on a new contract with Everton Football Club. Not interest from other clubs, but interest from the general match going public as to whether he actually decides to stay or not.
Various distractions such as a general election, the sun coming out, and the fact that his will-he-won’t-he stay debacle has ran on for the best part of a season has meant that most fans have pretty much given up caring as to whether he stays or not.
His advisors also think he may have missed the boat, “With hindsight, maybe we should have told him to sign during the last six weeks of the season – when literally nothing was happening at the club – particularly on the pitch. Instead we just posted the odd photo on Instagram, and got him to pose with cans of Sure deodorant.”
With the transfer window about to open again, Evertonians are once again more interested in who they will be linked with, and ultimately fail to sign, than they are with players already at the club.
“Maybe in mid-August when the club have failed to bring in absolutely anyone of note and the fans are desperate for any good news we could pick it up again – post a cryptic message on social media or something”, said some completely annoying tit from the Barkley camp.
With the unwelcome distraction of another football match out of the way, the media and fans of Everton can now focus on the only thing important at a football club – talking about players unsigned contracts.
Fans have become increasingly disillusioned in recent weeks with the media reporting on football matches, rather than attempting to sell or unsettle Everton players. In fact, the resurgent home form, such as this weekend’s 3-1 defeat of Burnley (the eighth consecutive victory at Goodison Park) has been the very distraction they needed to shift attention from off-field to on-field activities.
In his post-match interview, goal scorer Romelu Lukaku was quick to divert attention back from footballing to contract matters, “I don’t like to get bogged down in the playing of football. My job is to talk about my contract situation and not worry about what happens on the pitch – that’s for teammates and other people to be concerned with. I’m fully focused on talking about not signing my contract.”
Soon to be out of contract Ross Barkley added, “I don’t want to get drawn in to talking about football. Not because I’d also rather be talking about not signing my contract, but because my jaw still really hurts.”