Liverpool cult hero Luis Garcia is returning to Anfield on Easter Monday to take part in the 'Celebration of the 96' charity match. Jon Holmes caught up with him...
You just can't sit and get angry at Niall Quinn, say Johnny and Al. Even if he's talking rubbish it stills seems quite nice rubbish coming out the mouth of a friendly, normal man...
What do the papers, the TV, and fans of other clubs think about your team? In this series, John Nicholson and Alan Tyers look at the stereotypes, coverage and media agendas for each team in the Premier League. This week, it's the turn of once-mighty Everton...
Ex-player pundit presence
Peter Reid, the knee-squeezing king of the chummy pundits. The jewel in the BBC's crown of grey, Larry Gineker. You don't see as much of Massive Joe Royle these days, which is a shame. Those in Wales can enjoy Kevin Ratcliffe; Irish folk get Trevor Steven. Tony 'TC' Cottee is often on Sky with the fractious look of a man whose stool is over-firm. Graeme Sharp makes regular appearances to say, "basically, this side are rubbish compared to the one I played in." If Big Nev Southall can be coaxed onto TV with a hot, steamy pie or any other comestible, it is always a joyous day, for Nev comes over like an especially grumpy UKIP candidate who is only one sentence away from an un-PC friendly, "you can't say nowt these days" utterance.
Championship Manager geniuses Paul & Oliver Collyer. Dame Judi Dench. Sir Paul McCartney. The Cult's Ian Astbury. Jenifer Ellison and a dream girl of previous generations, Susan George (star of the notorious 'Straw Dogs'). In a 'Rocky IV' double-header, claims of Blue-ness have been made for both Sylvester Stallone and Dolph Lundgren. Kenny Everett and his TV nemesis, Mary Whitehouse were both Toffees, which explains why no-one was ever allowed to have sex on the pitch at Goodison Park.
Back page leaders?
Considerable interest in the club at the moment as the football world waits to see how they will get on without David Moyes, and whether the new Manchester United manager will pull off a raid for star players Leighton Baines and Marouane Fellaini. Club seems to enjoy broadly sympathetic coverage in the papers, possibly because, in the crazy world of billionaire Arabs and Far East marketing drives, it feels a comfortably old-fashioned institution. May also benefit from not being Liverpool, appearing reassuringly sane in comparison to the mental behaviour of their neighbours.
Gaffer's media skills
Apart from jilted Swansea fans a few years back, you almost never hear anyone say a bad word about Roberto Martinez, who gets an easy ride in press conferences and in print by dint of being one of football's nicest guys. Getting relegated with Wigan seemed to attach no blame to Martinez. His utterly crap win ratio of 28.8% and total inability to construct a defence over many seasons is seemingly no stain on his reputation, even though it should be. Even if it doesn't work out at Everton and he is actually revealed as the occasionally hapless sod you might think he was at Wigan, he won't be short of offer as a pundit. Nice gets you a long way in a cruel world.
Vox pop cliché fan
Really angry about the new badge. Confident that they can finish above Liverpool. Concerned about ambition. Think things were better in the old days. Confused as to whether Kenwright has been an asset or a problem. Given history of the club and importance in English football, the fact that no-one, not even Far Eastern human rights abusers, Arab dictators or Russian potentates on a last buying spree before being found dead in an expensive hotel, wants to buy Everton has knocked any arrogance out of them. Unwanted and skint, they wander the night forever, the good-looking tart-with-a-heart desperately short of punters.
Keyboard warrior ferocity
While they are obviously not Liverpool FC fans, we should not forget that we are still dealing with Scousers here so take one step back and cool your engines. While they lack the attack dog qualities of their neighbours, the collectivist heart beats strong on Merseyside, and perceived injustice will not be tolerated.
The People's Club. One of UK football's absolute blue chip institutions, have played more top flight games than any other team. Stuart Hall used to call it The School Of Science. We don't know why. It was probably some sort of coded expression.
Well, there was the whole "Everton is all white" thing, back in the day. Everyone loves the fantastic old school ground made out of wood and tar paper. Real football played by real bastards in the Dogs of War era. A noble tradition of brutal big men, from Royle to Duncan Disorderly to Fellaini. Fans infinitely more tolerable than Liverpool's. Essentially a historical curiosity, never likely to win anything of note ever again, though perhaps more likely having dumped David Moyes on Manchester United in an attempt to curse them with the same potless 10 years he delivered for Everton. And, you know, at least they're not Liverpool.
Archetypal news stories
'Moyes plans raid on former biscuit tin'. 'Royle to sue over potatohead jibe.' 'Kenwright funds transfers with gay musical.'
John Nicholson and Alan Tyers
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