Last Saturday was the kick off of the new football season. Normally I’m a little bit excited but this time my football team, Watford, are in the Premier League for the first time in 9 years. My friend Martin (as previously mentioned in my post about the dodgy Karaoke place) invited me round his house to watch the game. He is an Everton fan so it seemed right to go over there and enjoy myself.
We had a good chat about nothing in particular as he started up the barbeque. At first we were watching the Manchester United-Tottenham game which was an early kick off. However although it started off as an exciting game, once United had scored we slowly lost interest and began focusing on the manly task of cooking meat on a portable barbeque that had been bought from the local DIY retail chain…
Then we destroyed the meat like savages. Being English we don’t really know the etiquette of eating food like the Italians do; we do not savour, we barely even chew…
Then it was time for the game. these were the starting lineups:
GK Howard DEF Coleman DEF Stones DEF Jagielka DEF Galloway MID McCarthy MID Barry MID Mirallas MID Barkley MID Cleverley ATT Lukaku
SUBS: Don’t care, as they are not Watford…
Watford (The team that matter…):
GK Gomes DEF Nyom DEF Prodl DEF Cathcart DEF Holebas MID Behrami MID Anya MID Capoue MID Anya MID Layun ATT Deeney
SUBS: Gilmartin, Pudil, Angella, Parades, Watson, Vydra, Ighalo
Both teams opted for the 4-5-1 formation with wingers doubling up as attackers. Watford also had 5 debutantes playing which could have spelled disaster for us if they didn’t gel as a team. I personally would have put Ighalo up front instead of Deeney, who had a cracking second half of the season last season. Then again, there’s a reason I’m not the manager of Watford earning a possible seven figures a year…
The First Half:
Watford started lively. Martin was already declaring how shit Everton were, but in truth Watford were playing fluent, majestic football which contradicted the fact that they were underdogs. However it was Martin’s house, so I nodded and stayed quiet secretly hoping for a ten nil drubbing!
About ten minutes in I received a phone from a teacher I know here called Alex. I wanted to ignore the call since Watford were playing one or two touch football what was making one of only two teams who have never been relegated from the top flight chasing shadows. (three if you include newly promoted Bournemouth, but that is only because this is their first ever season in the top flight). Anyway, so I answered the call and ran outside as to not distract Martin from his self loathing and loathing of Everton. Whilst keeping one eye on the game I half heartedly listened to Alex…
Alex was talking about something that may have been important later on in life, but Watford had floated the ball into the box. “Something’s happening here!” I thought to myself. Then the ball sat up nicely for Layun, the Mexican international. Who shouted “ARIBA!” Before spanking the ball in the net!
“HOLD ON, WATFORD HAVE JUST SCORED!” I shouted down the phone to Alex who was in mid-sentence. I then ran into the house singing “Goal goal, get a goal WE GOTTA GOAL!” To the tune of “I get around” in front of Martin who had crossed his arms like a child, declaring that Everton were all over the place.
I quickly wrapped up the call with Alex and watched the rest of the first half. Everton to their credit had far more possession, but we looked a much more attacking threat.
Shortly before half time Deeney got over-excited trying to poke the ball in the net in a goal mouth scramble, doing a double footed challenge in the process. “He’s off!” I exclaimed nervously to Martin, only for me and the entire Watford universe to breathe a huge sigh of relief when the card was only yellow…
We ate the leftovers of the food like drunk people at four in the morning before settling down to watch the game again. Everton had us on the back foot from the get go which livened up Martin. I sat there quietly sipping my coke, knowing that we were probably going to have to hang on if we wanted the three points.
At one point the stats in the top left corner stated that Everton had 80% possession. “Who the fuck are we playing, a team from Liverpool or Barcelona circa 2013?” I thought to myself. Eventually Everton’s perseverance paid off, when Ross Barkley hit a rocket into the top right corner, leaving Gomes (who was having a blinder) no chance.
“YES! COME ON!” Martin screamed. I politely said “Good goal” while angrily staring at my half full glass of coke. However this livened up Watford. (The Goal, not me staring angrily at a drink…) and we soon had an end to end game.
Ighalo (Who had come on as a substitute 10 minutes beforehand) then got the ball about 30 yards out. He ran casually for a while before selling Stones a dummy. “Go on son…” I muttered. He then sold another dummy to send Jagielka flying in no particular direction. “GO ON SON!” I shouted, getting louder and unable to breathe. Then he calmly slotted it into the bottom corner, causing me to run around the house and slide across Martin’s wooden floor in my socks. I shouted to him that I’d forgotten the song I was going to sing before quickly remembering and chanting: “GOAL goal goal goal, GOAL, GOOAL. WHY’D YOU HAVE TO GO-OAL? AWAY FROM HOME?” To the tune of Sean Kingston’s ‘Me love’.
Everton weren’t finished yet though and after an admittedly good set play they drew our players out of position and Kone cut a superb shot across Gomes to snatch an equalizer. I died a little inside and Martin began to cheer. The match then went back and forth until ending in a 2-2 result.
FINAL SCORE: Everton 2 Watford 2
A draw was a fair result in the end, and a good start to the season. Everton have become a seriously good team over recent years, and a draw away from home was a fantastic result to start off with. I feel optimistic for the rest of the season and know that we have hit the ground running. Hopefully we can do a Stoke or a Swansea and deservedly make this league our home, and not a Portsmouth, a Wigan or a Blackpool and fall down the leagues…