The advice on Radio, TV, Net and Phone was clear. ‘Don’t travel unless urgent’. Well, the Blues at home and three points really needed ensured that by hook or by crook we made it. That is urgent isn’t it?

OK the traffic build up in town was horrendous, bits and pieces blowing from buildings to road and the odd chimney stack blown down but progress could be made and things didn’t look too bad when we noted that all the five-a-side pitches were in use at the start of Walton Road and poor passing was masked by the gusty wind but proof positive that footy certainly was possible.

We entered our palace of learning and after putting in our order for high tea in L4 from the local carry-out joint we retired to the room of nonsense. What would the team be? No matter what Martinez said in the press conference we didn’t believe him and all plumped for same again as at Spurs.

Our discussions then centred on how the rest of the season might pan out. It was a bit like ToffeeWeb threads yet real and more immediate. Views various put forward, agreement and disagreement but face to face no fisticuffs and a sort of consensus that said if the players live up to their pledges as reported on the OS and Echo then we will win most matches and others will have the odd blip leaving us with a chance at everything. This footy is easy for fans and players in newsprint and internet yet on grass? – Rarely works out.

The teams came through via social media and as we suspected same as at Spurs except McGeady for Mirallas. Now that didn’t go down to well I think mainly due to Mirallas being very much on form and from what little we have seen of McGeady we are not yet sure what value he may add.

It caused a good discussion though as we downed the last dregs of the brew and ready for coats ‘n’ hats time for the walk up when a lad burst in with horrendous news. Game off. Roof tiles raining down from the Winslow onto Goodison Road.

Disappointment doesn’t begin to cover it. What the hell do you do with the rest of the night? Well another brew was ordered and a decision to all meet up on Sunday and when the chat turned to things other than EFC. Things like which is the second best-selling album of all time? Look it up it may surprise as well as giving you something to do when a match is called off. Most then all agreed let’s just slope off home and hope nothing blows our way.

Gutting yes. Correct yes. Goodison Road gets knee deep in Blues prior to kick off and if tiles are falling then none of us want any injury to our Blue brothers.

See you Sunday – Weather permitting.

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Peter Bradshaw
848 Posted 12/02/2014 at 23:06:41
6th is the best we can hope for, which I don't think gives us European football therefore FA Cup is the best avenue.

Happy that the game was postponed tonight; Bobby named a shite team and if we went one down, we would struggle to break them down.

Onwards and upwards

David Hallwood
867 Posted 13/02/2014 at 00:24:17
Peter Bradshaw (#848) Can't agree. I've posted this on other threads but it was only 2 weeks ago that we were a point behind the RS and was in pole position to finish 4th. Now the RS on the back of winning 3 games on the bounce find themselves 4 pts off the top.

There's an awful lot of twists and turns left in this season; we are 12 pts behind Chelsea with a game in hand, just supposing we beat them at the Bridge (okay, a big ask), we'll be 9 pts behind them with a game in hand and suddenly the picture looks completely different.

Keep the faith – the game ain't over till the rotund female etc etc.

Paul Ferry
875 Posted 13/02/2014 at 02:16:20
Also Peter - 848 (I am right about this right) - if City win the League Cup the Europa spot goes to 6th in the prem not the runners up, so cheer up ....

I echo Patrick - 840 - made up that Ken and all the others on here who braved the weather seem to have got home safe and sound. Nice.

And as Ken says Goodison Road is a people jam in the half-hour before the match and I don't want a tile to fall on a single one of my blue brothers and sisters.

Also, The Winslow thing needs to be sorted out. Was it a brewery pub or one fella coz I can't believe that it hasn't reopened under new owner(s). So many good memories: Gordon West buying a round for what must have been 40 blues. Okay it's not St Luke's but it is somehow, like the Goodison chippy and Ladbrokes on the corner, a part of The Old Lady architecture and panorama.

Matt Traynor
879 Posted 13/02/2014 at 05:25:29
Re the Winslow, it wasn't my normal port of call, but went in often enough and has to be one of the closest pubs to grounds in the country (there's one at Spurs that may get close to it, but defintely closer – and safer – than the Queens at West Ham).

I think it was a tenanted pub, and like all of them it was clearly struggling, only worse as traffic on non-match days was non-existent. Also, IIRC, he used to put the prices up on matchdays (not crazily so, but easily 10-15%).

I saw someone ask why the club didn't take it over. Possibly for the same reason the guy who was the tenant couldn't make it work. And don't assume you could just buy it off them. Recently The Priory in Litherland went – Punch Taverns sold to a property developer. Big local campaign to save it (I think most of the grounds had already been sold off years ago). Punch Taverns said, "Ok, if you want to buy it, the price is £465,000". In other words, not for sale. You know when someone prices something way over what it's worth, it's not really for sale... oh, wrong thread.

Anyway, half the houses on Goodison Road operate as unofficial lounges on match day (and for RS when they're at home). The club could easily have rented those houses as well, but didn't.

David Ellis
881 Posted 13/02/2014 at 05:34:10
The answer to the riddle:

In the UK, the best selling album of all time is ABBA Gold (and I have a copy to my shame).

Globally it is likely Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd (and I have a copy of that too but without the shame). I say "likely" because the figures are disputed.

Paul Ferry
884 Posted 13/02/2014 at 05:36:40
Nice Matt, thanks. I once went on my todd to West Ham in, erm, 1999 and popped into the Queens in civvys, stayed for a hour or so keeping to myself and having a few, and yep it was packed with Hammers nutters. I enjoyed it though, observing.

We won, and, call me stupid, I sauntered back to the Queens after the match and had two or three. I have a chill scouse accent, but can do a decent cockney, and got back to Cambridge where I was living then about 10. As Lou said, a perfect day.

Matt Traynor
885 Posted 13/02/2014 at 05:53:39
Paul (#884), my first time in there was when I'd met a school mate and we'd got beered up in Victoria (Shakespeare, before they banned football fans!) and took the District Line out.

Of course my slack-bladdered mate couldn't hold it till we got into the ground over the other side of the road, and just had to go into the Queens. Stupidly, I walked in behind and didn't realise you're straight at the bar. Packed, but amazingly no-one waiting.

"Wotchoo 'avin?" says she, "Um, er, ah, 2 halves of bitter?" says I.

"Make 'em pints" from the chap along from me, clocking immediately "we wuz scouse". Explained I thought it rude to just use the bogs (remember the sign on the pub by Bootle Strand "Toilets for Customers Only. Please take note, as a smack in the mouth often offends".) and we got chatting.

Ended up in a group of them, they showed us to our turnstiles before the game, and asked us to meet them back there afterwards. "Sure" we said. "No way" we said to each other after we got in. Anyway after a 2-2 draw with a few talking points, decided it couldn't hurt, and spent the night in there after. Great time, and we went back each season after for a while.

Despite the perception, the pubs closest to the grounds are generally okay, if they allow away fans in. I can recall The Winslow always having a few in, and never being aware of any issues.

Paul Columb
886 Posted 13/02/2014 at 06:26:44
Anytime I've been in the Winslow there's been a couple of nervous looking away lads about with no bother.

Seems strange the club wouldn't take the place on but who know what the asking is. It's a piece of Everton heritage though and a real shame for the doors to be closed.

Kunal Desai
887 Posted 13/02/2014 at 06:46:05
I suppose in some ways it's a blessing in disguise. The players should be much more fresher than Swansea on Sunday afternoon. Let's now focus on the remainder of this season going all the way to Wembley in the final. It looks inevitable we will get either 6th or 7th in the league now.
Christopher Timmins
888 Posted 13/02/2014 at 07:11:13
As regards keeping the season alive, Sunday is now a vital game. Win and we are three games from a trophy. As regards our league position, in all likelihood we will not beat Chelsea away next Saturday week and that will put us possible 10/11 points behind Liverpool and 7/8 behind Spurs with 12 games to go. Given the form trends since after Christmas Day, that's two gaps that won't be made up over our remaining 12 games.
Kieran Fitzgerald
906 Posted 13/02/2014 at 10:59:09
Goals win games. We won't score enough to keep pace with Spurs and the RS.

Spurs are an average team but in Adebayor, they have a player who will win them games. They are also in the middle of a huge streak of confidence. The RS are an average team but have 66 league goals scored already. That's only two behind what City have scored.

Us, we have 37 league goals and have no player yet to reach double figures for goals scored.

In terms of pubs, I have never drank near the ground as I have only ever been in Liverpool once, and that was with my other half. I did find a lovely pub called the Globe, which is between the train station and Liverpool One shopping centre. The bar maid apologised for charging us 5 quid in total for two pints, apparently they were the guest beers. You would be charged 9 quid here in Dublin.

Mark Tanton
907 Posted 13/02/2014 at 11:17:04
I am bewildered by people's attempts to call Liverpool 'ordinary' or 'average'. They're clearly a country mile ahead of us. They have far more goals, more character and more money than us. God I fucking hate them, but they're way out in front of our beloved Blues.
David Johnson
908 Posted 13/02/2014 at 11:14:37
Ken, even though there was no match, your report makes such good reading.

Re the Winslow, I remember in the early 60s standing outside it early mornings waiting for the players to arrive so me and my mates could get their autographs. In those days, they reported to Goodison each morning, did some training at the ground, on what is now the car park and then they got the coach to Bellefield.

Thinking about that brings to mind the full page photographs of the players the Echo published from time to time. When they were published we would be up to Goodison the next day to get them autographed. Wish I could remember what I did with those scrapbooks?

Eric Myles
909 Posted 13/02/2014 at 11:26:35
Mark, you must not have watched them this season, they have been awful, lots of goals from free kicks or penalties that should not have been and all the 'dubious' decisions in their favour, not to mention the obvious fouling that they get away with.

It will really be a victory for cynical football if they win something this year.

John Gilfoyle
917 Posted 13/02/2014 at 12:06:01
David Hallwood, spot on. 39 points left to play for, this was always going to be a tough set of fixtures and injuries really didn't help. Everyone coming back to fitness and a lot of winnable fixtures coming up. I'm predicting a late surge for us but where it will take us who knows.

Looking at fixtures, I think Arsenal are the ones to catch; they play Bayern (A), Tottenham (A), Chelsea (A), Man City (H) before travelling to Goodison. We win our game in hand and we're 8 points behind them which I think is achievable. I said it on other posts but I think our home games against Arsenal, Man Utd and Man City will determine our season.

Dave Lynch
925 Posted 13/02/2014 at 13:19:03
John.

My fear is that those games you mention will determine the other lot's season.

Dave Lynch
926 Posted 13/02/2014 at 13:34:25
On another point, here's my prediction for the FA Cup.

We do Swansea; they do the Arse.

We draw them at home, play em under the lights at Goodison, and put right that disaster of a game the other week.

Ian Glassey
928 Posted 13/02/2014 at 13:43:24
Only thing is Dave it would be an early kickoff, to stop us all getting tanked up. But you can put whatever you like on it, we will have to beat them if we want to win it. And going on the past, that means another year without a trophy.
Thomas Lennon
932 Posted 13/02/2014 at 14:12:41
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_best-selling_albums_in_the_United_Kingdom

No I wont be listening to ABBA later Ken! but most of the rest are in with a shout. I might start collecting the top 24.

We are playing for 5th but everyone has started to look tired just at the moment several other teams have come into form. Our best hope of 4th is if one or two teams above us have important injuries or we pass Arsenal as they fall. Our neighbours are in with a very good chance of winning the damn thing – CL matches starting soon!

Mark Murphy
933 Posted 13/02/2014 at 14:17:20
Cheers, Ken, but how bad would Osman have been if we HAD played eh?

AC/DC - Back in Black, by the way. 2nd to Thriller by MJ.

Max Wilson
946 Posted 13/02/2014 at 16:46:00
Dave Lynch; funny you should predict that! I've been thinking we'll meet the Reds again this season. It's one of those fortune and fickle fate ideas that contains so much power it creates itself! My thoughts go we will meet the Reds in the FA Cup, they will be over confident, we will play two strikers and all our young talented wide players and our formidable defenders and we will put them out and go on to win the competition and thus achieve Champions League status. You can feel the Karma, it's like its pre-ordained, it's big medicine. I'm sure it is going to happen. Wonder if I should place a bet.
James Elworthy
949 Posted 13/02/2014 at 18:00:55
I hope the RS don't win the league as they are formidable upfront with their triple S strike force supported by Coutinho and the thug Gerrard, it is their away form that has cost them.

I went to the Winslow once, I went to a committee meeting at Goodison only to find the ground locked and the Winslow allowed us in and we held the meeting in there.

Patrick Murphy
951 Posted 13/02/2014 at 18:08:29
I hope we get through on Sunday but no way do I want to meet the loveable ones at any stage of the competition I hope they are out come Sunday night. Honestly, there are more plaudits – albeit grudging ones – to our neighbours players than there are to our own team. I for one don't want another season-defining game against them unless you could guarantee we'd beat them – and nobody can... so thanks but no thanks.
David Cornmell
962 Posted 13/02/2014 at 19:39:13
It's ironic that a season that started out with so many saying they'd be happy with a transition to better football, and a sixth or seventh place finish will in all probability finish up that way. The irony is that so many who said they'd take that, or be happy with that pre-season or early doors will feel a little disappointed the way it petered out.

While I feel Moyes had reached his glass ceiling with us, the last six weeks have shown that by no means was his departure the answer. Having such a small squad – due to the club's lack of squids – is a massive limitation, whether we have Moyes, Bobby M or Guardiola managing us.

I really think we looked at our best after Baines got injured in the Goodison derby, and have looked nowhere near as good after his return/ Whether this is coincidence or not, I'm unsure, but to my mind, our best football was played with Mr Oviedo at left back.

Brian Waring
965 Posted 13/02/2014 at 21:10:07
David, don't get too down, It's Martinez' first season in charge and I think we're going places with him, so hop mate on mate and enjoy the ride.
Gavin Ramejkis
971 Posted 13/02/2014 at 22:44:46
I agree, Brian, after all the doom and gloom merchants saying we were nailed on for a relegation fight, we've been reintroduced to far more entertaining football than his predecessor. It's not going to be Barca overnight and, while BK has a pulse, we'll not see a penny of investment but at least what we do have will at least try to play decent football.
David Pearl
976 Posted 14/02/2014 at 01:33:33
Goals have let us down this season... relying on a 20 year old to do it week in week out was pushing it. If we can get Lukaku or Traore firing over the next few months why can't we get back in it? With a fit first 11 (or 13) we can beat any team and get on a roll again. We have been written off by the so-called experts... and that suits me. COYB
John Gilfoyle
981 Posted 14/02/2014 at 03:08:00
Dave Lynch, you might be right, although if I was given the option of them winning the league but us getting top four I'd take it. Anyone else?.
Jason Lam
983 Posted 14/02/2014 at 03:21:24
I disagree with the player ratings no way Osman could get more than a 5
Ajay Gopal
984 Posted 14/02/2014 at 03:52:51
Jason, I agree. And how bad was Hibbert on the bench? Ugh...
Brian Denton
000 Posted 14/02/2014 at 10:56:09
John Gilfoyle (981) - no, it would be too high a price to pay. We could finish 4th and not even get past the qualifying round as we would not be seeded and could draw someone like Villarreal (sound familiar).
Mark Murphy
001 Posted 14/02/2014 at 11:06:50
We'd hammer someone like Villarreal with Roberto in charge.
Sin miedo... sin Colina... sin problema!
Jim Knightley
005 Posted 14/02/2014 at 11:51:16
John Gilfoyle, I'd take that in a second too. Our success has to always be the primary consideration...unfortunately for us, Liverpool, as the main protagonist's in the battle for fourth, are likely to be the major reason for our failure to get fourth. I think we can finish above Spurs and United...I feel the match against Spurs, even with our injury problems, demonstrated that we are at the very least a match for them. Liverpool on the other hand are on another level with Suarez and Sturridge at the moment...they have that genuine world class talent up front, and the only place we've really had that consistently this season is from right back, in the form of Coleman.

I think we can only really afford one more defeat this season in the league, if we are going to get fourth (Chelski away), and we will need to beat the big teams at home, and cut out the draws. Liverpool will drop points yet for sure, and we have a run of form in us. But honestly, I expect it will require the kind of run of form we've not seen at this club in decades (maybe 27-30points from the 39 available) to claim fourth. I think Arsenal getting dragged into things is looking more likely at the moment, given their general level of tiredness and the bad feeling around their club following the failure to get in support for Giroud in January.

Brian Denton
006 Posted 14/02/2014 at 12:00:25
Actually, I'll revise my posting: It would be too high a price to pay, full stop. I don't want 4th if the price is them winning the Title.
Tony J Williams
009 Posted 14/02/2014 at 12:12:30
Not a fucking chance....... Them horrible horrible scumbags lording it over us for the next century because of a porky win where all the other title hopefuls are inexplicably having twatty seasons.

4th is nothing but a few prestige games (if we qualify) and it's far too great a price to allow them fuckers to win the lea...... nope can't even say it!

Jim Knightley
022 Posted 14/02/2014 at 12:48:32
Fourth, and qualification, is at least £25million, and possibly an Everton side who can finally afford to compete, if even for a couple of seasons. The extra exposure, and the prize money, would be invaluable.

That said, it's irrelevant anyway. Chelski will win the league above Liverpool, and City (Second). Their fixtures, despite a lack of a striker, are so much better than their competitors.

Ciaran Duff
024 Posted 14/02/2014 at 12:50:56
Hoping for an Arsenal v RS draw on Sunday and the replay going to extra time. Arse to win on penalties.
Col Wills
025 Posted 14/02/2014 at 12:30:22
Ken, go on... I'll be the first one to say it: "Good report, Ken, you're really appreciated" .... ha ha.

On our visit to the ground, we found ourselves safely ensconced in one of the corporate lounges in the main stand since 6pm when we heard of the postponement and I nearly choked on a voul au vent!

However I'm sure you'll be glad to know that the club still looked after everyone and we still got served our meals and had a few jars to celebrate not getting beat.

When we left the 'Old Lady' the wind had certainly dropped but the correct decision was made, and I've got to say, it probably suited us not to play the game. Players carrying injuries like Barkley were given that much extra time to recover and hopefully when we do play the re-arranged game, we'll have the benefit of Mr Lukaku back and raring to go.

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