The Everton game passed without incident in terms of getting three of us up the motorway in a cab to see the game and then back, relatively easily. The football was interesting enough – Michael Carrick continues to grow into quite a good United player, Darren Fletcher not so much. The team sheet surprised a few people, me included, my Evertonian friend lapped it up as we sat there in the Ability Suite reading our team sheets – “Ha, looks like you’re giving us a chance with that line up!” I could not disagree, although we should have had enough to beat Everton and that is how it worked out thankfully.
Today is a special day in Liverpool, it is the day before United’s game against Everton and this one is going to be mega because the man accompanying me to the Theatre of Dreams is a bluenose. The banter has been flying, I sent him a picture of Rooney in red, he once again drew on the 1995 Cup Final, the highest of high points in recent times for Everton but also the most predictable route when trying to wind up a red, sing me another!
It was the biggest game of the season so far on Sunday and it was one of my matches so I was happier than a happy thing and geared up for this match more than any other this season. Football is largely irrational, trying to explain why United fans hate Chelsea is somewhat rational – they have bought the title, a rat of an ex Chief Executive of ours and they have achieved a dominance of the English league, which brings with it its own jealousy. The irrational part is that Frank Lampard and John Terry are the types of players who opposition fans just love to hate and add to that ex Gooner Ashley ‘show me the money’ Cole. Some players you just aren’t going to warm to, Ashley Cole is one of them. Perhaps that is the reason I cheered more than ever and leapt around like a demented maniac when Louis scored that goal, the first half United had been playing well up to that point although we hadn’t really found a way through. There was a moment when we were all screaming at Giggsy for taking the ball wide instead of heading for goal, but the moment when Saha seemed to take an eternity to put the ball in the back of the net was classic. He stopped, moved the ball on, moved it again and then just when you were ready to scream at him he curled a sublime ball into the corner of the net. Cue yours truly leaping up and grabbing hold of my Uncle and screaming at the top of my lungs, “You legend!” Not only was it a stupendous goal at a crucial time, it was scored by the man who had been in the headlines all week for his penalty miss against Celtic. That was a middle finger to everyone who doubted the man in that moment at Celtic Park.