What do you do on the opening day of the season and you can’t sleep because you are too excited?  Well, I decided to wake up and write a love song to my club.

Ode to the Everton Fan (to the tune of the Piano Man)

It’s 3 PM on a Saturday
The Goodison crowd shuffles in
There’s a old scouser sitting next to me
Wearing blue for Number 24, Tim

He says, “Son let me tell you of my keeper
I’m certain you know how it goes
Timmy’s tough as Glady’s Street
And his skills are complete
Quick hands and alert on his toes”

Sing us a song, you’re an Everton fan
Sing us a song tonight
Well we’re all in the mood for a victory
And the Blues got us feeling alright

“Now Rom, the Belgium, leads our line
He’s big and strong as tree
And he’s fast with a flick and he strikes the ball quick
And there’s no place we’d rather him be”

He says “Bill, he’s our poor club owner
Always with a smile on his round face
Since he brought in Roberto Martinez
To get us to a Champions League place”

“Now Ross is an English phenomenon
And he’s been an Evertonian for life
He’s committed to stayin’, and keep on a playin’
To end our trophy-less strife”

“And Gareth Barry’s practicing slide tackles
He’s been all business since we took him on loan
Yes, he & Distin are the squad’s senior members
But they keep themselves plenty fit and toned”

Sing us a song, you’re an Everton fan
Sing us a song tonight
Well we’re all in the mood for a victory
And the Blues got us feeling alright

“The Old Lady is sold out again this Saturday
And the manager gives the crowd a smile
‘Cause he knows that it’s the Blue’s they’re all coming to see
To forget about life for a while

“And the crowd sounds like a carnival
With a meat pie in their hands and a beer
Yes, we’ve kept all our stars and set a high bar
Saying, “Man let’s get after it this year.”

Sing us a song, you’re an Everton fan
Sing us a song tonight
Well we’re all in the mood for a victory
And the Blues got us feeling alright.

 

Jurgen-Klinsmann

Jurgen Klinsmann had unique orders for his squad earlier this week; change your flight plans.  According to Omar Gonzalez, Klinsmann has told his team to move all flight plans until after July 13, the day of the World Cup final.

“Jurgen has been nothing but positive. He’s telling us to change our flights to 14-15 July because we’re going to be here until the very end.”

Is this just a clever way of motivating his team, appeasing the US media, or those of us that are fully committed to this US team? Whatever it is, it works for us.  Not only are we sold on Klinsmann, but he is sold on this group, from the players to the staff.  Gonzalez goes on to say,

“That just speaks volumes of how positive he is, how much he believes in this team. It trickles down to all of us. That means that we’re all as confident as he is and that we all believe in this team. We plan on being here a few more weeks.”

Klinsmann has instilled this confidence in his team, and slowly the nation got on board.  Not only do we want a win tomorrow, we are starting to expect it.  However, this expectation is not the typical entitled American sporting expectation, but rather one born out of belief in our team.

Social media is definitely the proverbial digital “foot in the mouth”, but sometimes it causes us to chuckle.  While KLM is facing some serious backlash (of course the tweet was removed in due time), they got exactly what they wanted out of it, publicity.

KLM

Of course apologies were made and we’re sure marketers were fired, but KLM is still getting press.  Aeromexico had a response of their own that kept its dignity and staff in tact.

Aeromexico-Tweet

“Thank you for this great championship, we are proud and hope to see you at home.”

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John Oliver, a British-born (but US based) comedian, was asked by GQ magazine if he would be able to tell if a name of a footballer was real or fake.

Danny Invincible, Johhny Moustache? See how right you are…

Louis-van-Gaal

Hopefully the Netherlands isn’t your team otherwise you’re probably still nursing a serious hangover.

So, how did the Dutch completely dismantle Spain? Was it spot on tactics? Was it fitness? Are they just better? Louis van Gaal says the key was date night.

Most managers tend to hide the WAGs in a closet only to be opened after the World Cup, or if the press needs a shot to distract from a country’s woeful performance.  The fear of the WAG affect is well documented from boxers, to Olympians, and footballers (much to the dismay of any reality show) usually follow suit.

VanGaal took the opposite approach with the pre-match night for his squad by encouraging date night.

“My principle is the overall picture.  The total person. The player. His brain and his psyche plays a part. And the psyche is influenced by his environment.  So on Thursday and this morning I gave permission for the wives to visit the hotel and so the players could be happy.”

Success!  So happy wife, happy life, which means trashing your opponent.  Look for this trend to continue and EPL fans be ready for more bar fights and drunken stupors to happen just before match day.

We love the World Cup, every second of it.  While not every match is as exciting as seeing J-Lo show us around the block one more time, there are ways to make it completely watchable for anyone.  Every time the World Cup rolls around we are all plagued with those around us that feel that now is the time to jump on the old bandwagon, only to fall off after the first “Columbia vs. Greece”.

For those of you who wish to silence those that sit there and say stupid stuff like, “this would be way more exciting if they just took away the goalie”, then this is the post for you.  Enjoy, responsibly of course…

world-cup-drinking-game

Q: “Have you ever heard of Christiano Ronaldo?”
A: “Yea, I saw him came to UCLA”

Q: “Can you name a team that plays in Liverpool that’s not Liverpool? They wear blue.
A: “Toaden-ham?”

Q: “Can you name a team that plays in England?”
A: “No”
Q: “Have you ever heard of Manchester United?”A: “Yes”

Yep, that just happened.

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This Arsenal fan was stopped for an interview as he left the Emirates soaking in the glow of a hard fought, late victory over Cardiff City.  Arsenal have much to celebrate this season and this latest triumph on New Year’s Day may prove to be another huge step for the Gunners’ title push.

Claude not only reveled in the victory, but also had a message to those fans that just can’t seem to stomach seeing out anything but a win.  “You are a disgrace.” And we wholeheartedly agree.  Those of you that leave early, change the channel, or walk away while your side is not producing the result you want, need to assess why you even follow sport.

We as a group sit to the final whistle of any and every match, no matter what.  You have to as a fan.  It’s all part of the growing process, and if you can’t lose with your team you shouldn’t be able to win with your team.  We have all had our fair share of 6-0 drubbings, but you will never see us walking out, or actually in our situation, changing the channel.

Thank you Claude for this rant (he might swear at first, but it’s hard to translate, so here’s fair warning):

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Romelu Lukaku

Could someone please help us solve the mystery of Romelu Lukaku? Another day passes and yet another rumor the Chelsea plans on dipping into the transfer market to land another “top-class” striker.  Yet they have one on a 5-year contract, correct? According to our amateur eyes, Lukaku fits the bill.

Yet with a last second summer loan, Lukaku found himself away from Stamford Bridge for yet another year, let go by yet another Chelsea manager.  Apparently falling behind the likes of Fernando Torres, Demba Ba, and newly acquired Samuel Eto’o, Lukaku was shipped out to Everton at the transfer deadline. And again Lukaku is thriving where the Chelsea strike force is, well, not.

In 8 appearances Lukaku has already scored 7 times, where Torres has scored 1 in 8, Eto’o has scored 2 in 7, and Ba has 0 goals in 4 times out.

If you think this is a fluke, look at last years return.  In 35 appearances for West Brom, Lukaku netted 17 times, where Torres scored 8 in 36, and Ba notched 2 in 14.

Now do you see the mystery?  What are we missing?  With Jose Mourinho apparently green-lit to drop some more coin in the market for a striker, Chelsea look set to miss out on the services of one that may proved to be in the top 10 in Europe with Lukaku seemingly less likely to return.

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Becks

Want to hit a magical free kick like David Beckham?  Stock up on a few Care Bears for practice.  Apparently Beck’s secret recipe for free kicks was kicking the stuffing out of a few Care Bears every now and again.

“When my dad got home from work, we would go over to the goalposts together. He would stand between me and the goal, forcing me to bend the ball around him. People looking on must have thought we were mad. We kept going even when the sun had gone down, playing by the light coming out of the windows of the houses that surrounded the park.

I would carry on playing when I got home. I wasn’t allowed a football in the house so I would practice by kicking the Care Bears in my sister’s bedroom. My mum thought it was funny but is showed how much I loved football. I couldn’t get enough of it.”

After sitting back and having a good laugh at this topic, we began to reminisce about growing up in the early 80s watching the Care Bears on the tele.  Quickly the reminiscing turned from laughter to disgust. Seriously, a “Care Bear Stare” designed to create a “ray of love and good cheer”? No wonder why Beck’s kicked the s— out of those bears, but who knew it would be the best form of training in the world? While there is no word on how his sister felt about the abuse, Beckham went on to become lethal for both club and country from the set piece.

SAF

At least we have the decency to come back during one of the hottest topics of the year, Sir Alex Ferguson’s autobiographical release.  Whether you loved, hated, or really hated the most prolific manager in England, one thing we all shared was wanting to really know what happened the behind the scenes.  Whether it was his interactions with Arsene Wenger, Rafa Benitez, the FA, or his opinions on some of the greatest players of this generation, we all knew that Fergie was on the end of some of the hottest topics in football.

Ferguson wasn’t one to prance around the limelight, so we never really got a chance to see him in typical sit-down interview since our view of him was mostly pre/post match interviews. Remember we’re in the States where there is not much clamoring for managerial interviews out here, so this little snip-it was really intriguing.  Here is a little clip of Sir Alex talking to Jon Snow of Channel 4 where the discussion goes quite far beyond soccer:

While the topics are coming out of the book hot and heavy, we are waiting for our copy to arrive via Amazon before just repeating what we’ve read.

Yohan Cabaye

Yohan Kabab made a public apology to Newcastle fans for refusing to play while he was being courted by Arsenal.  This lockout in the end didn’t work as Arsenal didn’t agree with Cabaye’s valuation and the midfielder was forced to wear the black and white stripes for at least four more months (insert prison joke here).

The Yanks had a round table discussion about it and were wondering what type of apology would you as a fan accept? We believe the tried and true statement that “no player is bigger than the club”, but we as fans still want results.  However, before we start fist pumping and sliding across the pub floor on our knees when a player scores, we do have to like them, right? Well maybe like is too strong of a word, but at least after you are done toweling yourself off from the Guinness you just threw all over in celebration, you would like to sing a song of celebration in their name.

What would get you to sing that song of celebration for a player that wanted to leave your beloved club? Here are some case studies that we discussed.

The Apology

After making his first appearance of the year against Aston Villa, Cabaye had this to say in response to his false start,

“If the fans were – or still are – mad at me for what happened then I understand and I apologise to them. I want to come back from what has happened. For Newcastle fans, football is their life and I want to say that I am going to give everything – as I have from my first day here – from today until the end of the season.

I want to forget what happened during the summer, I want to put it behind me and give everything for Newcastle every day, for the club and for my team mates”

Cabaye received a nicer than expected ovation as he was substituted, but time will tell if he will ever be considered a Magpie again.

The Rise in Form

Rooney’s perspective:

“I’ve tried to show the right attitude. I’ve always felt that’s a really important thing to do. That’s paying off for me on the pitch. I feel fit and ready to do well.”

Rooney is endearing himself to the United faithful by performing, but is he just playing for a move away?

Keeping Quiet, but Showing Up

How about just showing up at training like Luis Suarez did as Liverpool fans try to accept him back? Here is what his boss, Brendan Rodgers had to say,

“He is working his socks off. At the end of sessions, he is having extra work tagged on relative to him and his position. He is flushing himself out to the maximum to be as fit as he possibly can.”

Is doing well in practice and soon match good enough, or will Suarez have to break the silence?

Of these three, which tactic will work the best with the fans?  Which works best with you?