I RECEIVED a call late last night from Jurgen Klopp. He said: “Gibbo, Wednesday night is the big one. I’m resting 11 players and you need to rest up, too. The fans are just as important to us as the players. I’m telling all the big hitters to stay at home.”
“What about Atkinson and Gutmann,” I asked. “They are going.”
“Like I said, Gibbo. All the big hitters are staying at home.”
So I spent the first half in a beer garden on the Wirral and the second half in an actual garden at my in-laws. Resting my vocal cords. Focusing on the job at hand. Wondering how many people Mick Clarke is shoving in each twin room in Basel. Following the scary stuff coming out of Old Trafford. Wondering what on earth was going on at Newcastle.
However, about 75 minutes and two mini-twisters into the game I realised I had to score players in a game I hadn’t watched. So I rang a couple of my mates up who assured me the following is a true and accurate reflection of the game.
Adam Bogdan: 8
The flame-haired shot stopper who doesn’t stop much cemented his place as the best ginger keeper from Hungary in the world with a terrific triple save from Frank Skinner. Could he have played himself into contention for Wednesday?
Jon Flanagan: 7
Coped well with the pacy threat of Cyrille Regis all game.
Brad Smith: 5
Someone told me he wasn’t very good. #insight.
Martin Skrtel: 6
Will be disappointed he let Jeff Astle ghost in and score the opener. Ta ra, mate. We’ll always have 13-14 when you got about 20 both ends.
Lucas Leiva: 7
Was always going to find it tough against the height of Laurie Cunningham. However, thought his way through.
Kevin Stewart: 6
Nice touch to come out bollocko apart from a baseball cap in tribute to the time Tony Pulis webbed James Beattie in the showers at Stoke. Was always going to find it tough to top that.
Joe Allen: 6
Nice touch to come out in a sheepskin coat in tribute to former West Brom manager Big Ron (from The Swan). Probably affected his movement on the pitch though.
Cameron Brannagan: 7
People watching the actual football said he was tidy. Singing “U-N-I-T-E-D, Brian Robson’s got VD” at the end is an unsavoury moment none of us can condone, however. We don’t want to see that sort of thing in the game.
Bryan Robson’s got VD
With a nick-nack paddywack
Give a dog a bone
Man United fuck off home
— Everton Aren't We (@EvertonArentWe) April 27, 2015
Jordon Ibe: 7
You have to feel sorry for Jordon. Scores a goal that sounds like John Barnes at the Maracana and I’ll probably never bother to watch it. Sums up his year.
Sheyi Ojo: 6
Running out of jokes, lads. He did a header.
Christian Benteke: 6
Wish he’d scored. Might need him Wednesday. At least he’ll waltz a penalty in if necessary.
Jordan Henderson: 6
How’s his running? Still a bit weird? Bad news for Kev Stewart’s medal cabinet.
Danny Ings: 6
As the song promised, Ings has only got better. Hodgson will probably pick him now, the mad prick.
Sergi Canos: 6
For having nice restaurants I can walk to, let’s hope that his Liverpool career is long.