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West Ham United v Everton

Filed: Thursday, 19th September 2013
By: Preview Percy

Despite the fact the Liverpool was its home port, Preview Percy has spurned the chance to make it a hat-trick of mentions for The Titanic in as many weeks. Which is a shame really as it's usually the only factually correct thing in his so-called "previews". Here's his look at this weekend's visit of Everton.....

Next up we host Everton. Kick off is the god-given time of 3pm on Saturday. Though the District line is, for once, fully open, TfL have come up with a new and unusual way of nauseing up your jourey. Basically, there's no Central Line east of Bethnal Green and replacement buses will whisk you off to various assorted main line stations en route. As usual check before leaving.

As the season opens they lie one point and one position above us with six from their five games played so far. They opened up with a 2-2 draw at Norwich, which was followed up with a pair of 0-0 draws at home to West Brom and away to Cardiff before registering their first win of the season last weekend at home to Chelsea (1-0)

It was all change at Goodison Park during the summer. After spending what seemed like the last hundred years at the helm, David Moyes took the eastbound trip up the M62 to take over from Ferguson in Salford. He was replaced by Wigan boss Roberto Martinez, who the odious Dave Whelan (who once broke his leg in a cup final but doesn't like to talk about it much) had been trying to cash in on for a good couple of years. I guess it must be pleasant for Martinez dealing with Bill Kenwright after having to count his fingers after every handshake for so long.

Meanwhile, Everton get a fair bit of goodwill from the rest of the country for being the team on that side of the Mersey that isn't Liverpool. However, given that the inhabitants of that benighted place aren't exactly noted for their intelligence (they think Ken Dodd is funny for example), it's come as a source of much amusement to us here at the Avram Grant Olympic Rest Home For The Bewildered that the fans have been up in arms over the absence of their Latin motto from the current version of the club crest. Latin? Let's learn to walk in English before we run eh guys?

As expected Martinez raided the rotting relegated carcass of his former club. James McCarthy came in for a rather surprising £13m, with a more realistic £6m going on Arouna Kone and Antolin Alcaraz came in on a free. Just to prove that they could buy from clubs other than Wigan, Joel Robles came in for £2m or so from Atletico Madrid – though he did of course spend last season with Martinez on loan. There were some useful loan signings in the form of Gareth Barry from Man City, Gerard Dulofeu from Barcelona and, annoyingly to those of us without strikers, Romelu Lukaku who, bizarrely, Chelsea keep sending out on loan whilst Torres gets in the first team.

Despite the arrival of Robles, Tim Howard will be twixt the sticks this weekend. Until recently his suffering from tourettes was the thing that most people latched onto when talking about him. However, his recent development of a bizarre beard is getting equal bandwidth these days. Imagine comedian Andy Parsons sucking a magnet then dipping his head in a bucket of iron filings. Or one of those strange people who attract bees.

In defence they managed to keep hold of Leighton Baines during the window, despite some none too subtle hints from former boss Moyes that they'd like him to join him on the M62. Baines is unlucky to be considered as back up in the England squad to the overrated Ashley Cole. He's no mean slouch on a dead ball either son we'll need to be a bit careful with those careless free-kicks just outside the box. Yes you Mr Noble.

They will just be coming to terms with the departure of Marouane Fellaini who did end up making that trip up the M62 for a cool £27.5m, a figure that was allegedly a lot more than the release clause in his contract that expired in July. Shrewd bit of business that – though Moyes might not agree.

The skipper is Phil Jagielka who still to this day has not been investigated for his role in trying to get us relegated. His dubious handball in the Sheffield Hypocrites match against Wigan ensured a very convenient result that would have seen us go down had we lost at Old Trafford that day.
The youngster getting all the headlines of late has been Ross Barkley. Barkley came up through the ranks at Goodison and he recently gained his first full England cap, coming on in the second half of the 4-0 defeat of Moldova a few weeks ago.

The aforementioned Koune has been missing with a bruised heel for the last few weeks but is said to be close to a return, as is Darron Gibson, who, with Carlton Cole, was ludicrously dismissed in the corresponding fixture last season. Alcaraz, on the other hand, has yet to make his Everton debut having required a groin op. I thought that it was only us that that sort of thing happened to.

Well what about us I hear you ask- or at least I would do if someone hadn't nicked the batteries to my hearing aid. It's the end of an era at the Boleyn with the departure of Jeremy Nicholas. If anyone connected to Mr Nicholas is reading this, there's always room for him here at the Avram Grant Olympic Rest Home for the bewildered. In fact the room in question is that which belonged to dear old Bill Remfrey. We've left it untouched since he went so there's a full collection of James Last albums (on vinyl of course) as well as a signed copy of Whistling Jack Smith's “Kaiser Bill's Batman” so I'm sure Jeremy would feel quite at home.

Matches this weekend have been targeted by gay rights organisation Stonewall to promote an anti homophobia message. Bit of a shame then that the whole campaign is a bit undermined by the whole double entendre "ooer missus" nature of the “right behind gay footballers” slogan. Stonewall's PR guy hardly helped matters by claiming that the slogan was “tongue in cheek”. Somewhere Finbarr Saunders is going apoplectic. It's an interesting choice of campaign as well. Quite how effective giving bootlaces to millionaires able to tie their own will be I couldn't imagine.

As for stuff on the pitch, getting a point away at Southampton wasn't the worst result in the world given the lack of available resources. In fact but for a woefully incorrect offside decision and a dreadful miss from Ginge we might even have taken all three points. That shouldn't disguise the fact that we are appallingly understrength at the moment. Apart from the (lack of) striker situation, the absence of Cole and Downing reduced the options available to us. Although both are apparently back in training, both are still doubtful for this weekend.

Andy Carroll was last seen in both Belgium and Holland trying to get his foot sorted. I'd guess that there won't be much hill-walking as part of his recovery programe then. His putative replacement, Mladen Petric, is hinted to be close to taking part at some stage of proceedings, something that might come as a relief to poor old Maiga who has all the air of someone who is carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders. Which is a shame as on a few occasions last season he occasionally showed that he had potential as an impact sub.

Prediction? Well this match has been a nightmare to forecast in recent years. We've outplayed them on occasion and lost then there as last season's debacle when the ref decided we were doing far too well for our own good. We're probably due a win against them in a match in which we play dreadfully, but, with them being as relatively goal-shy as us of late (we share a goal difference of +1) I think honours will end up even. So the AGORHFTB fund to chip in to make up the shortfall in Jeremy's wages (£2.50) will be going on a 1-1 draw this time around.

Enjoy the game!

When Last We Met At The Boleyn: Lost 1-2 December 2012. Carlton put us 1-0 up at the interval and all was looking well. Anchebe equalised with a header – the first such goal we'd conceded all season. Then ref Anthony Taylor gave Cole a red card for one of the most innocuous challenges you'll ever see. Everton took full advantage of the extra man with scrambled og giving them all three points. Taylor sent off Gibson in stoppage time which scarcely evened things up. Both players successfully appealed against their dismissals though the apology and refund from Taylor is still in the post I expect.

Referee: Lee Mason – last seen last season handling the 1-1 home draw with Sunderland. Can't remember that but I do remember a shocker at home to Moan U where a series of appalling decisions handed Ferguson's mob the points.

Danger Man: Leighton Baines - unusually I've gone for a defender this week but his ability to get forward as well as his prowess with the dead ball could cause problems.

Daft Fact Of The Week: Scouse “comedy” (it says here) writer Carla Lane has announced for the umpteenth time that she intends to write yet another sitcom based in Liverpool. The veteran scribe, who in the past, inflicted the likes of “The Liver Birds” and Bread” on an undeserving country announced earlier this year that she was thinking of basing the new series on the West Derby (you're not fooling anyone we know it's in Liverpool) area in which she spent her childhood. She claimed: “There are so many comedies but I want to write something new and different” - just thought love but have you ever tried doing one that's actually, well,

Please note that the opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, nor should be attributed to, KUMB.com.

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