Everton FC rarely rub me up the wrong way. I’m impressed with the results David Moyes gets out of his shallow squad and we have three former reds at the club. Essentially though, we share a common enemy. Not that it makes us friends but it certainly gives us an understanding. That’s why a Neville had no qualms about joining the blue half of Merseyside, just as Robbie Fowler didn’t mind signing for the blue side of Manchester. Liverpudlians can hate Mancunians and vice versa, but that spouts from the rivalry between Manchester United FC and Liverpool FC. I can say I hate scousers but I’m not arsed about Everton, just as Liverpool fans can say they hate Mancs, but I’m sure they don’t give a toss about City. When we talk about scousers, we’re talking about Liverpool.
I always find it odd when Liverpool fans come on this blog and comment on our love for Rooney, when he’s a scouser. They tend to get fairly excited about it, as if we haven’t worked out where Rooney is from.
But Rooney’s latest comments sum it up for me. Yes, he’s a scouser in the sense that he’s from Merseyside, but he’s not Liverpool, he’s Everton. When we talk about scousers, when we ask if Merseyside are watching when we’re winning, we’re talking about the red lot, not the blues, obviously.
Rooney hates Liverpool FC, just like Gary and just like us.
“I’m very excited about the match,” Rooney said. “I grew up an Everton fan, my whole family are Everton fans and I grew up hating Liverpool – and that hasn’t changed. I think coming to Old Trafford will be a difficult game for them. They know they need to win, they need the three points. I’m sure they will be up for it and we certainly will be too. It will certainly end Liverpool’s chances if we win and that’s why we’re looking forward to it. I think if we beat Liverpool we’ll probably end their chances of winning the League but there’s still Chelsea plugging away. So we have to keep playing. It won’t be won yet.”
Essentially, we could lose at the weekend and we’re four points ahead with a game in hand. That game in hand won’t be played until the end of April when we take on Portsmouth at home. We then have a further five matches to play until the end of the season, three of them at home.
I personally fancy us for the win, I always do against them. Every now and again they’ll have their performance of the season and get the three points, but you have to consider they haven’t even scored at Old Trafford in four years, and that was an O’Shea own goal! Whilst it’s a reassurance to go in to the game knowing we can afford to lose whilst they have to win, you know our players won’t be thinking that way. They’ll come out looking for the points, trying to wrap up the title as soon as possible so they can focus on the other trophies to fill the cabinet. Game on!
Made in Manchester is available for just £5. It includes 30 articles from the country's best football writers about graduates from the Manchester United academy. All profit goes to Trafford Macmillan so please support this fantastic cause.