Arsenal 2 - 1 Everton

The Emirates is always a difficult place to go to. It is an impressive stadium. I hope the new Everton Stadium will be equally if not more impressive.

For us, the result didn’t really matter as long as we didn’t embarrass ourselves. We didn’t. We almost got something.

Into London relatively early, surrounded by Arsenal supporters. I don’t know where they appeared from. I’ve been in West London for over 20 years and, apart from my next-door neighbour, I hardly meet any. It’s mainly Chelsea with pockets of QPR and Fulham with the odd Brentford supporter.

I had some food at Euston, and with my previous experience of that away section, I took on some water, as the sun was out and it felt quite warm.

The area around Euston was crawling with football supporters of all flavours. A large contingent of Aston Villa in party mode. Most of them were already hammered, so I hope they got to see the match. Then again, seeing the result, maybe not. But they’ve had a great season and good luck to them, they deserve it. Manchester United supporters on their way to Brighton. A few Bournemouth as well.

I met with Rob in a pub I’ve never been to before, despite knowing the area well. The Lord John Russell. Nice place and out of the way, but close to the tube station to jump on the Piccadilly line to Arsenal.

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The usual entertaining and educational discussion with Dave and Steve as well as Alan, who had travelled from Northampton. We talked about a range of subjects: Everton, European trips, Gordon West and Neville Southall and the big man’s best save.

And the "which was the best team?" debate. Some mentioned 1963, others 1969-70 or 1984-85. Can we keep Branthwaite? The Everton-Liverpool supporter divide in the region and much more.

I hope they don’t mind me saying, but it’s great watching Dave and Steve debate!! Excellent company, excellent Evertonians. I confess to forgetting the other bloke’s name; Arthur? He had a great tee-shirt on with the crests of all the South American clubs with Everton in their name. He got it from the Heritage Society in the display upstairs in St Luke's.

On to The Emirates to meet Neil. Thank you for the kind gesture in providing me with a ticket. And the gift; a framed picture of Kevin Sheedy scoring at Rotterdam if I am correct. I was humbled. The stewards wouldn’t let us take it in to our seats but gave us a ticket and looked after it so we could pick it up after the match.

Although we always want to win a football match and no one steps onto a football pitch not wanting to win, the outcome wasn’t important for Everton, but we gave it a go and we were very unlucky not to get something out of it.

We played some neat stuff for periods, with the crowd cheering every pass as we kept the ball for periods against a very good footballing team. It was a good performance with tonnes of effort. Well done, Blues. We held our own and didn’t look out of place against a team with hopes of winning the title, who have had a fantastic season.

They targeted our left side a lot. I don’t know who their right-sided player was, but he was tricky and looked impressive. It might have been interesting to have had Mykolenko available as he may have contained him better. He was a constant threat.

I’ve been shouting all season for Idrissa not to shoot. Suddenly, he’s banging them in. He took the free kick! Who would have thought that? He got a deflection, but it was on target, so it’s his. I had to ask Neil who had scored!!

For their equaliser, we got caught, but in fairness, it was good build up play by Arsenal. As for the winner, it was generated from a stray pass, but there was a handball in the build-up.

I turned to Neil and said it was a hospital pass from Young to Tarkowski that put us in trouble. Why didn’t a player of his experience go down the line or even simply tap it out for a throw in?

However, for VAR to tell the ref it was handball and him walk to look at the screen and ignore it seems odd. Having watched it back, forget what position the arm is in, that is a deliberate hand-assisted move by the player to put them through on goal.

Just about every player put a shift in as we pushed and probed the potential champions. If they were going to win the league, they were going to have to work for it.

Pickford was outstanding, with some great saves, assisted by what I can only describe as an Evertonian crossbar that caused a few deep intakes of breath. There was one scramble when I didn’t know how it stayed out as he saved, one and the ball then ricocheted around the box off blue shirts. I didn’t know where it was going to end up. I don’t think the players did!! Breathless moment.

Jarrad Branthwaite was his usual self. Class. Just pure class. I hope he stays.

Dominic Calvret-Lewin worked his socks off. He hit the post and I was convinced that his follow up to the rebound was in and started celebrating before having to calm down. And that chant in his name to the tune of Bella Ciao is catching on.

Seamus rolled back the years and the "60 Grand" chant was continuously heard.

I don’t know what to say about Onana. One of his better games, but still inconsistent and, as much as he wins the ball, he gives it away. But there is a player in there.

But for me, Man of the Match has to be Idrissa Gana Gueye. He covered every blade of grass on the pitch. A fine example of how, if you look after yourself, you can keep going. I’m made up we’ve got him for another season. His energy levels are something young players should look up to.

The players came over at the end to receive applause from the travelling masses, who stayed behind. And Dyche made a point of coming close to the supporters, the closest I’ve seen him approach. Yes, in his tracksuit!!

Credit to the manager for the way he has dealt with the situation and been the voice of the club in the absence of others. An Arsenal supporter on the train suggested he should be Manager of the Season. We would be on almost 50 points without the deductions.

We made our way out; found the stewards, and I picked up my present from Neil that they had looked after.

As always, well done to the travelling Blues. I don’t know if it was audible on the tele, but from where I was standing, it was noisy, loud and proud. The corrupt chants, reminding the Arsenal supporters of the score at Man City, and singing “You nearly won the league”. All very entertaining. But plenty of Everton songs; Spirit, Forever and Here We Go as well as 60 grand and Bella Ciao!

Keep believing, Blues. It won’t be long until August.

Reader Comments (44)

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Rob Halligan
1 Posted 20/05/2024 at 14:50:32
Arthur, Danny, bloody Arthur? 😂😂😂. His name is Jon.
Danny O’Neill
2 Posted 20/05/2024 at 14:55:14
I'll take my medicine Rob! Great to meet you yesterday. I'm terrible with names.
Jack Convery
3 Posted 20/05/2024 at 15:42:22
Danny great report as ever. I forget names all the time. There was a guy named Colin Campbell. However I called him Glenn so often, he in the end, had a real go at me. Sheedys' goal in Rotterdam - pure class.
Danny O’Neill
5 Posted 20/05/2024 at 19:03:06
It's like the character on Only Fools and Horses who called Rodney Dave!!
Mike Hayes
6 Posted 20/05/2024 at 19:20:10
For me it was a draw and a good game to finish the season off - well done to Dyche and the players 💙
Tony Abrahams
7 Posted 20/05/2024 at 19:23:25
A good story Danny, and speaking to an old Arsenal mate of mine last night, he was very complimentary towards the travelling blue army, and said that they were the loudest away fans he has heard at the Emerites, this season.
Ray Roche
8 Posted 20/05/2024 at 19:35:23

Anyone called Campbell has got to be nicknamed Glen!!! Liverpool has always been top for inventive nicknames!!

And great report as usual Danny.👍🏻

Christine Foster
9 Posted 20/05/2024 at 19:53:32
Danny, great report, thank you so much for keeping our spirits up with such positivity this season, I don't know how you did it but I am glad you did!
To be honest I thought the crowd microphone was stuck in the home end as I hardly heard the blues except when the gunners were silenced from City. Could have been deliberate filtering out again as our voices seem to be persona non grata especially if Arsenal could have won the league, bad advert fot the Premier league and all that, but they didn't and we all know the blues did good.
Well played sir!
Denis Richardson
10 Posted 20/05/2024 at 19:55:47
Nice report - this will put a few smiles on faces.

We did used to be good ey?

Neil Copeland
11 Posted 20/05/2024 at 20:02:19
Danny, good report as always and great to see you at the game. Enjoy the picture mate, well deserved and the least I could do after Luton.

It was nice to relax for once and enjoy the game, we came out of it with heads held high.

Looking forward to a rest from the football although that won’t last long, I will be itching to go again in a week or so!

Has anyone heard what the pre-season plans are yet? There is a rumour of playing in Dublin.

Christine Foster
12 Posted 20/05/2024 at 20:12:15
As a kid my grandad who was a docker, used to tell me the nicknames of others he worked with..
The hook.. another docker who used hooks to haul bales of cotton.
Trundles.. the fork lift driver.
One eye.. always looking for trouble
Barmcake... a nutter off his head
The Nark... would cause trouble in an empty room.
Soft lad.. not as dumb as he looked.
The plank.. a walk over
The ladder... always looking to get out of something

Danny O’Neill
13 Posted 20/05/2024 at 20:13:15
Christine, that's common practice with Sky and the Premier League. As you well know, it's very different in the stadium and I'm sure you would have been making noise alongside the 3,000.

Neil, that will be interesting. Seamus in his home country. I've noticed the re-emergence of Ireland flags both on the selling stands outside Goodison and inside the ground lately.

It could be a good marketing opportunity.

Tony McNulty
14 Posted 20/05/2024 at 20:41:04
A couple of others from the docks, Christine.

The Sad Balloon - the insecure chargehand who would say to the lads, "Please don't let me down."

Diesel - the light fingered worker who would make off with some of the goods saying, "These'll do."

Barry Rathbone
15 Posted 20/05/2024 at 20:49:26
If your name was Cunningham your dock nickname was sly pig
Paul Ferry
16 Posted 20/05/2024 at 21:26:27
When we were 13 in school we called Mike Cunningham who went on to become Staffordshire's youngest chief constable, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Constabulary in 2014, and chief executive of the College of Policing in 2018, "sly pig".

Danny O’Neill
17 Posted 20/05/2024 at 21:35:39
Funny we're talking about names.

When my Dad used to dink in the Peg in Speke, there were some proper characters, even though I used to have to sit outside on the wall with a bottle of pop and bottle of pop.

Careful Kevin as he was shy on getting his wallet out.

Freddie the ferret as he kept ferrets

Billy the bin, who was a bin man.

Interesting characters in my younger years!

Neil Copeland
18 Posted 20/05/2024 at 22:29:28
A lad I used to work with was known as Tony Toes because he was so far up his boss's arse all you could see was his toes.

And his boss (Matthew) was known as Tim as in the Harry Enfield character (Tim awfully nice but dim).

Paul Ferry
19 Posted 20/05/2024 at 22:30:35
I only ever got one bottle of pop when my dad went dinking, Danny!
Neil Copeland
20 Posted 20/05/2024 at 22:32:31
Paul, ha ha, I was about to say the same!
James Lawton
21 Posted 20/05/2024 at 22:40:15
Docker's vernacular I recall hearing on the 'acquirement' of an item: "Darral do our kid".

Corrective response: "It's not darral, it's worral". LOL

Mike Gaynes
22 Posted 20/05/2024 at 23:21:57
Love your stuff, Danny.

Can't wait to meet you. We'll do an Italian dinner with Rob and Pete on my next trip over. My treat.

Derek Thomas
23 Posted 20/05/2024 at 23:24:06
Danny @ 17;

There was a guy in Broughs Drums in Speke who had a fused back, he was permanently bent from the waist at about 10-15 degrees forward.

He was called Photo Finish.

Danny O’Neill
24 Posted 21/05/2024 at 06:27:55
We'll meet Mike for some Italiano.

Derek, I don't know why, but you've just reminded me of my uncle's dog called Blue. He was just let out every day to roam the streets on his own, but always came home.

Likewise, when we used to visit my paternal Grandad's on Hale Road opposite the Fox pub, there was a three-legged dog. It lost one of its rear legs after being knocked down. It used to chase cars barking at them all the way down the street. He must have had a grudge!!

Rob Halligan
25 Posted 21/05/2024 at 08:19:33
The End of a Long Hard Season………………..and as I’m watching SSN, I see Spurs (Big club my Arse), and the Skunk Maggots have made the longest journey possible down to Melbourne, Australia, for a post season friendly against each other. I wonder what for?? 🤔🤔🤔
Danny O’Neill
26 Posted 21/05/2024 at 08:56:00
Tottenham are about as big as my arse Rob, and I've been wearing the same sized jeans for 30 years

As for Newcastle, they seem to think they are as big as Manchester United.

My arse.

We do need to get on the road and build the brand. There is so much potential in Everton if we promote it.

Ted Roberts
27 Posted 21/05/2024 at 19:26:30
I would just like to say “Thank you “ Danny for the match day accounts that have appeared on TW this season, I really enjoyed them.

“Long Hard Season” – indeed!

Gerry Quinn
28 Posted 21/05/2024 at 20:15:06
Well, Everton finally caught up with me on Saturday night when, at the grand old team age of 73, I managed to have a mild heart attack and spent 7 hours in the ambulance sitting outside Aberdeen Royal Infirmary before being given a corridor bed in the Cardiology Ward early Sunday morning.

Missed everything about the last game of the season, but have now caught up reading all of your brilliant articles. Will be having bypass surgery in the near future, good job Everton will not be playing for a few months, eh?

At least that will give me a proper chance of being worry- and stress-free for recovery... Many special thanks guys for your articles, and also to Lyndon and Michael for the joys and one or two not so much joys of their magic with ToffeeWeb...

ps: This is late because I have only just got my laptop brought up all the way from home up here to the hospital...

John Keating
29 Posted 21/05/2024 at 20:22:06

I doubt that was due to Everton? More likely the Dons cuffing my other team Hibs last week!!

73 is nowt – you're still a sprog.

I worked out of Aberdeen for years as skipper, still pass through Bristows and CHC but should have retired years ago – can't stop and if you met my missus you'd understand why!

Good luck with the surgery and if you want a really really quiet life now take a chair and sit in the middle of Union Street…you'll never get disturbed!

Ian Jones
30 Posted 21/05/2024 at 20:24:32
Hi Gerry, sorry to hear about your mild heart attack.

Good luck with the procedure when you have it and a speedy recovery.

Danny O’Neill
31 Posted 21/05/2024 at 20:25:06
God Speed and best wishes Gerry.
Neil Copeland
32 Posted 21/05/2024 at 20:50:31
I hope you are feeling better soon, Gerry.
Gerry Quinn
33 Posted 21/05/2024 at 22:14:42
Thanks for the best wishes guys...

John K - if I sat in the middle of Union Street, I would end up getting a Bus Lane fine and be done due to the chuffing LEZ crap!

Andy McNabb
34 Posted 22/05/2024 at 02:41:20
Thanks again, Danny, for your work and reports this season. Much appreciated.

I am always blown away by your never-failing optimism. Whatever you're taking, I would like some too!

Jay Harris
35 Posted 22/05/2024 at 04:02:40
Sorry to hear about your heart problem, Gerry. Hope you make a strong and full recovery.

I am the same age as you and was recently referred to a cardiologist who said I had had a couple of murmurs but was otherwise okay. I was lucky enough to watch the game and the farce that is the Premier League and the joker who is supposed to be one of the best referees in Europe.

He may well be for the Sky clubs but not for us.

Anyway, you stay well and hopefully stick around until we make our way to the top again.

David France
36 Posted 22/05/2024 at 05:50:35
Dear Gerry,

Sincere best wishes from Arizona for a swift recovery.

David & Elizabeth

Dave Cashen
37 Posted 22/05/2024 at 07:21:46
Good luck, Gerry.


We cant all agree about everything and every player, but regardless of who played or how bad it got, you have always found a positive and tried to nurture a camaraderie amongst your own.

Having had first-hand experience of the lengths you will go to to get a fellow blue a ticket, I know how important the blue family is to you.

You have been a breath of fresh air all season.

Christine Foster
38 Posted 22/05/2024 at 07:24:53
Hang in there Gerry! Enjoy the downtime and freedom from watching fraught games!

Good that they will be doing a New Ferry bypass on you, that should ease the worry too, good luck with it all, get better over the break!

Gerry Quinn
39 Posted 22/05/2024 at 07:31:35
Thanks again all, and hello to Dr David – how are things with you and yours? Still managing to get to a game or two?

Danny, excellent article – always quite a few interesting wee stories about other fans... was a bit surprised with the teams performance, but impressed for our future.

Andy Finigan
40 Posted 22/05/2024 at 07:35:30
The hope of seeing us in the new stadium should be enough to pull you through, Gerry. May your health improve in a big way.

Some smashing veiws on all these sights and also a big thanks to Danny.

Just wanted to share a thought from last Saturday but not on the match. I had to drive to Wolverhampton via the M6 Saturday morning and a car came past me with flags hanging out of the window, then another with scarfs blowing back down the side of the car. Bolton fans on the way to Wembley.

It took me back to the ‘80s when we seem to be heading south nearly every year. I have missed our blue flags and just hope we can get back there in a final very soon.

Tony Abrahams
41 Posted 22/05/2024 at 07:45:06
You don't sound like you have lost your spirit, or your humour, Gerry, so hopefully you're going to be fine mate.

A tip for every single Evertonian, is to get on the EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) because it's allegedly very good for the heart.

Paul Ferry
42 Posted 22/05/2024 at 07:56:05
Gerry, mate, the College Road Chippy and George and Angela’s finally caught up with you.

Thinking about you mate, and so glad this sounds like a shot across the bows rather than full on Trafalgar. You'll emerge stronger for it.

I'm driving to Connecticut on Thursday to spend time with my old PhD supervisor at Cambridge who then moved to Yale who had a triple bypass in February and is doing great – Keith is a few years older than you and supports the fecking skunks.

Take care of yourself, Gerry.


Spot on, Tony, EVOO, avocado, fresh blueberries, canned fish, peanut oil is great, 2 eggs a day believe it or not, Kevin Sheedy, red wine, watching Arsenal's title winning game in 1989, garlic in everything.

Danny O’Neill
43 Posted 22/05/2024 at 08:12:59
Dave, I have to thank others. Friends and family, when my official membership hasn't worked. I could list them all, they know who they are. But I will gladly give up mine to those who travel.

I could have a season ticket for next season. Still negotiating with my brother.

Andy, we will get to Wembley. We still need to win the League Cup as it plays on my mind that we've never won it!!

Duncan McDine
44 Posted 22/05/2024 at 08:41:28
Nice read this thread. "Photo Finish" has to go down as one of the funniest nicknames ever. I needed that after reading The Esk's article.

Paul Ferry, I love your list of things that are good for the heart - brilliant!

My grandad used to say it was good for his heart to see me and my brother scoffing our dinner like starving dogs. What wasn't so good were the 60-a-day fags during most of his working life.

Enjoy your summer everyone. UTFT

Gerry Quinn
45 Posted 22/05/2024 at 15:50:41
You missed the Stella off that list, Paul!

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