Friday, 7 December 2012

From ‘The Truth’ to Elland Road: Two Eventful Weeks as a Blue

Originally from
Ever since I was a child, I have been told the unsettling stories and watched the disturbing footage of the Hillsborough disaster and had a general understanding of its importance and impact upon Liverpool as a united city. However, I am a teenager living in a quiet town on the outskirts of the city, and so the real significance and emotive power of what happened on that day in 1989 honestly only really hit me on the incredible day in which documents, lies and cover ups were exposed.
A few members of my local area were tragically part of the 96 who never came home; reading the town’s weekly paper, it was evident to me how the tortured relief struck families outside of the city, as Liverpool fans had travelled from a number of communities to see their team play. Therefore, the extension of the disaster’s grief and harrowing legacy stretched out its aged arms to every football fan across the nation, uniting them as a golden sigh of relief mournfully and metaphorically caressed the Liverpool skyline.
Somberly, footballing business returned to normal as Newcastle United, the team humbled by Everton on the last day of the 2011/12 season, arrived at Goodison Park. One final, fitting Hillsborough tribute from Everton introduced the match, with the iconic scene of red and blue entering the field in the form of two innocent children with ’9′ and ’6′ imprinted on the shirts, as well as in everybody’s minds.
Explosively, the Blues collared control of the opening stages, turning the ball into the goal courtesy of Marouane Fellaini; only for it to be fairly ruled out for offside. For a neutral, it turned out to be a great game; for an Evertonian, it was a contrasting 90 minutes. Dominance may have alternated between the two teams in stages, yet it was the Toffees who ultimately felt ‘robbed’ due to two legitimate goals from Marouane Fellaini and Victor Anichebe not standing. To the match officials, the 90 minutes ended as a 2-2 draw; to everybody else, it should have been 4-2.
The week passed pretty quickly due to the Monday night fixture, and before I knew it, my mind had turned to whether Everton would be returning home from south Wales with 3 priceless points as round 5 of Premier League fixtures commenced. What can only be described as rampantly, the Toffees – minus midfield maintainer Darron Gibson and one-touch finisher Nikica Jelavic – inflicted the Swans’ biggest ever home Premier League defeat.
Anichebe, who may be growing on a number of Everton fans due to some of his recent performances, took advantage of Fellaini’s assisting omniscience in the opposition penalty area to edge the Blues ahead. Swansea’s defending was far from its usual solidarity as a sweeping, pitch-long move, which was finalised on Kevin Mirallas’ second attempt, thoroughly suggested. Despite being on the receiving end of pressure now and again, Moyes’ men responded and silenced the 10 men of Swansea when Marouane Fellaini’s simple header deflected into Michel Vorm’s defenceless goal.
Another week, another victory: business continued as has been recently normal until the Tuesday night encounter with Leeds United, in which an intentionally depleted side, suggesting Moyes had little intention to seriously progress in the Capital One Cup, fell to a 2-1 defeat at Elland Road. Sylvain Distin’s late header was not enough to inspire the visitors into a comeback, and Leeds fully deserved their victory.
I would like to mention here the fantastic news of Kevin Sheedy being given the all-clear from bowel cancer, which broke in the week. The original story shocked the Evertonian community when announced and, thankfully, the Blue legend has pulled through, relieving all of us who were concerned.
Despite both Hibbert and Gibson being unavailable for the Southampton match, and a few doubts that includes Anichebe, a much stronger squad will be aiming to ‘bounce back’ from Leeds, as said Phil Neville himself. The royal blue ocean of Goodison Park will undoubtedly be backing a surging Everton win. Plus, with the returning Nikica Jelavic fully fit, the anticipated charge into Europe continues.

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