In a new feature, the first section of this week's effort is thrown open to a guest blog from someone with the inside track on Everton's next opponents for a bit of behind the scenes insight on the mood in the enemy's camp! Here's Stevenage's representative, Chris Clarkson:
As part of being in the Stevenage panto scene I’m fortunate enough to be asked to be part of events in the town. Instead of presenting it all (my usual role, as well as being a Magician in a Redd’s (a beer) commercial, a Kitchen Salesman for German company Kutchenhaus, playing a DHL Delivery Boy in a European campaign, as a Sofa Salesman for DFS, a Sales Assistant forBrightHouse, a Dad for the Co-op/Somerfield, a young worker for AXA, a Living Statue for Ford, the presenter in theLighterLife series of adverts, a DIY handyman for Philips, the annoying, whooping presenter in Gillette‘s launch campaign for the Fusion Proglide, an extremely fast talking store worker for Tesco and for 2 years running as theRonseal Man (I did exactly what it said on the tin!) ) I’m there as a special guest and someone interviews me for a change!
|Chris (dressed in costume as Potty Pierre) with local luminaries and Kitty from X Factor|
MUSIC FOR EVENINGS
|Linked: Beanpole targetman Lacina Traore|
Given he's just signed a 5 year deal with 'moneybags' Monaco which is in the bag regardless of how he does with Everton, its not too clear what his motivation is. I suppose if he's amazing and starts slotting to make 4th realistic again, then the thinking is that it wont matter that we cant sign him permanently as it will have done the short-term job to allow long-term benefits.
|Jo during 'Loan 2: And You Thought The First One Was Underwhelming'|
That 08/09 season, incidentally, coming 5th and getting to the cup final whilst running a transfer profit, would be arguably taken by a lot of fans in the current campaign. Worth noting that David Moyes hasn't always looked as dumbfounded and lacking in ideas as he is now.
|Stood Off In A Wood: Hiddick & Advocaat|
|They come with a 451 lay-out already part of the pre-chalked graphics now.|
(‘Some of the Everton players weren’t slow in contacting our players to tell them about Moyes’s training methods,’ one United source confirmed . They were told to expect some hard work and then some more hard work. It’s Moyes’s style and the Everton lads thought it quite funny that some of ours might be in for a bit of a wake-up call.’)My opinion is that this is a curse he's acquired through success: when he first took over at Everton especially, and even later on, in his, for me, poor last three years that DID succeed. If you're struggling, getting the lads fit, hyped up and psyched up, is enough to get the wins over the average teams and avoid disaster. I think this papered over the cracks at times though, and because he knew he could revert to 'plan A+' he neglected to look at the deeper points (i.e. why did he keep having to do this).
That knee-jerk response to set-backs was grudgingly accepted by most at Everton, but simply wont work for him there - the problems they're having (e.g. how to get the better of Chelsea tactically, how to get the team playing with Champions~esque swagger) cant be solved by 'presence on the wing' or 'doing the basics right'. So, I do wonder what exactly the plan is there, even if the situation is still retrievable for him.
TANGLED UP IN PLAID
ONE FROM THE DUST COATED ARCHIVES
Skirts were short , the sun beat down and tempers flared as David Cameron announced he was recalling Parliament for the ill-conceived Syria vote, England had just won 3-0 in the Ashes and Miley Cyrus couldn't be stopped at the top of the charts. It was August 2013.
Yep, for the first time since 1992-93 (by my unresearched reckoning) we're playing the same team in both cups in the same season. Howard Kendall commented then, in a catchphrase that never really found universal coinage, 'if you have to play Wimbledon six times in any season, you can probably say it wasn't meant to be'.
|"Meeeerderrrrs!" At The Stevenage Home Game (quote courtesy of Ian Dunn)|
Given the line-up was a bit hard to follow the other night (its all hard to follow when you don't see the game to be fair) I'm not sure what we'll go with on Saturday, and consequently have some trepidation about the game, not because I fear we'll be 'bewildered' as their tit of a manager has said, just because for the first time in the season, I'm not sure Martinez knows the best XI.
LEAN AND FAT
One thing I do enjoy more than I probably should is finding out the obscure origins, 'etymology' if you will, of songs and lyrics - where the inspiration came from, what films the songwriters were watching to pick up the quotes they used etc.
And a fascinating, if more cultural current, example of this caught my eye in a snippet in Financial Advisor Weekly. They were interviewing chanteuse Taylor Swift, predominately about whether she checks out her TESSAs and her pensions, but at the end they asked her how she'd stumbled across such a catchy hook-line for her multi-million selling 2012 'global number 1' (only in Canada & Czech Republic amazingly, what was the rest of world on?), and it prompted this fascinating glimpse behind the pop iron curtain:
"Oh, god, that was so random. I was invited as a plus one to a party at David Beckham's house, so I was like, hellllooo, yeaaaaah I'm going, but my friend who I was going with, Scottish Thespian Alan Cumming, was like 'you do know what the theme is don't you, British Big Brother 2001 Fancy Dress - its rather obscure, are you gonna be okay with that?'. But I was just, Al babe, WHATEVER that theme is, its Beckham, I'm coming!. So he says, in that adorable campy way he has, he had a glint in his eye and said "I have a plan. You shall go to the ball!".
So the day comes, and I go to his apartment - its just like the one he had in Plunkett & McClean - and he giggles "Don't say anything. Just put this on".
We get there and its an amaaaaaazing party, we're sipping our daiquiris by the pool and bitching away, and finally - OMG - he comes over and says hi! Alan arched his eyebrow and with that knowing smirk said "I'll leave you together for a moment whilst I refresh my drink". I didn't know what to say, I felt about twelve, and I was so nervous I just garbled something about it being a great party, and did he like my costume. He said "very good" and I laughed and said "come on! I bet you don't even know who I'm supposed to be!".
David turned very serious and almost admonishing me, and explained: "Seriously, its a flawless outfit, very detailed and precise. Look at some of the others here - Katherine Jenkins as "Helen", she's just wearing her own clothes; Jon Hamm as "Stuart".....most of them I didn't even know who they were meant to be, but I had to pretend or ask them sneaky questions then act like they'd done a really good job.......Alexa Chung, such a try-hard. When she arrived I was like "pfft...Narinder, at pinch - maybe? Fuck knows". But you...." Then he fixed me with a gaze and I was melting at the knees and he was very intense, this is why it stuck in my mind so much I knew I had to use it, he said "with you....the burberry floppy hat, the baggy grimey T-shirt, the Chelsea pin-badge.....nah, Taylor, I knew you were Bubble when you walked in"