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Now let’s go and beat them…

Goodison ParkLike most blues, i’m dreading this weekends match. Should we lose, we will have lost at home against each of the top seven sides this season.

I don’t know if it’s happened before,  I haven’t checked but I seriously doubt it. So much for this good home record we’ve been told about. We will have picked up just two points from those same teams all season. That’s embarrassing! Last Saturdays result was expected and sadly the performance caused a lot of anger but little surprise.

My hope is that big Sham decides that games against the top six are sometimes important and treats this one as such. My hope is that we pick a team that has fight in them, that wants to play for the shirt and that couldn’t be bothered what reputation the opposition has. That means dropping morose Morgan who is either stealing a wage, something seriously wrong with him, or both. Either way, why is he anywhere near the squad? It means playing Beni and Tom in midfield if that’s what it needs. At least they have heart. My hope is that we have a go at them and that we bury our chances when they come.  We must not and cannot ‘park the bus’ which would play into their hands, be extremely negative. The bus would probably get smashed up anyway.

My hope is that the spirit of poor Everton teams past is reignited in my team for Saturday. Victories in derby matches when Everton have been in the bottom three or in the lower reaches of the league and our opponents near the top have happened before. We are nowhere near the bottom three so shouldn’t we have more of a chance? I’m talking about 24th January 1981 when goals from Peter Eastoe and Imre Varadi beat one of our opponents best ever teams in the FA Cup 2-1. I’m talking about 7th December 1992 when Mo Johnston and Peter Beardsley brought the team back from 1-0 down to win. I’m talking about 21st November 1994 when big Dunc and Paul Rideout put our opponents to the sword. I’m talking about that warm sunny day on 18th October 1997, which was that good it had it’s own name given to it. The Cadamarteri derby.

My hope is that this run without a derby win doesn’t run into a 9th year with defeat, possibly with one or more late goals, when concentration is lost. My hope is that the team gives us some pride back in this most horrific of weeks. My hope is that I can go out on Saturday night and not have to look at the floor and avoid people and any football conversation. My hope is that I can watch match of the day if I really want to followed by a settled nights sleep.

My hope finally is that blues can go into work or school on Monday morning with the quiet satisfaction that the team did us proud having (to use a cliche) left absolutely nothing out on the Goodison Park pitch, Saturday.

Now let’s go and beat them! COYB’s.

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Paul Chaloner

Paul Chaloner was born less than a mile from Goodison Park in 1962. He retired to Spain where he follows Everton from afar. He went to his first Everton match in 1970 (5-2 v chelsea), sold cushions in the stands throughout the 1970s until they were abandoned in the early 1980s and continued to watch the blues until relatively recently before going to live in Spain. He has three sons, all blues!

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