Edward hopes for a better European romp than the last time.
When David “Moyesiah” Moyes was supping on Champagne following his teams miraculous Champions League qualification season he couldn’t have possibly envisaged such a painful nausea inducing set of results that awaited his men in Europe.
Rumours crept around that UEFA didn’t want both Liverpool and Everton in the tournament, that the draw was rigged with hot and cold balls, and several people bet their grannies houses on the two Merseyside teams being drawn together in the qualifying round. As it happened the two teams were only a fixture apart, did UEFA gaffe? One look at the team Everton were drawn against, the Spanish “yellow submarine” Villareal, as conspiratorial tongues wagging again. Over two legs we lost to Villareal, an excellent team who went on to be semi-finalists in the Champions League, Riquelme was one of their players too. Oh the irony.
After a gutting defeat, ending with a disallowed Dunc Ferguson goal in the last minute at Villareal, Everton took the elevator down to the UEFA cup. Our opponents? Dinamo Bucharest. The first leg was a 5-1 defeat at their place. The home leg, despite the roars of encouragement that would ricochet round Goodison, ended in tears.
Tonight Everton take on Metalist Kharkiv at Goodison in their first foray back in Europe since then, and this fixture is just as dangerous. Kharkiv are the Ukraine’s third best team, behind Shakytar Donetsk and Dinamo Kiev, two seasoned Champions League Teams… I don’t need to spell it out, another team from the former Eastern Bloc, again not well known by our scouts (Moyes has seen them play in the flesh once)…
The Daily Mail and The Sun, not the favourite two newspapers on Merseyside by a long way are having fun with a story that Andy Johnson is “furious” with Moyes for being axed for tonights game. A nice snide metaphorical kick to the balls of Moyes, just before a game he needs to win, to exorcise the unspeakable ghosts. Moyes insists that AJ is actually injured, but either way he will hope that McFadden is wearing the same boots he wore in Paris.