Love will tear us apart


– It’s not you, it’s me.


– Come on! That’s what they always say!


– I… I just need a break from you for a while. I need some space. It’s just something I’ve got to do.


– But… don’t I make you smile? Fill your heart with joy?


– Most of the time you do. Of course – but you let me down too, you ask too much of me sometimes, and I’m just at the point where I need to concentrate on other things, that’s all.


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Aah, Wembley Way – A sunny day I will never forget


– But what about Wembley? You can’t have forgotten that already!


– Oh, I haven’t. I never will. It was one of the best days I can remember, from start to finish… I was so proud of you that day. Walking down Wembley Way and being genuinely thrilled at how much blue I could see, even three hours before kick off. Sat nursing my pints of Guinness in the sun, watching on as hundreds of fellow fans – many wearing Fellaini wigs, frankly unsuitable in the April heat – frolicked in the fountains and on those steps. Joining the crowds to welcome / boo the two team coaches, that was special too, even though the Everton coach had blacked out windows and we couldn’t see anybody.


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Everton players stepping off bus in Wembley; they returned heroes.


– Go on…


– Walking into the stadium, and everybody singing their hearts out. Passing various ex-players, similarly drunk, on my way to the seat. My heart thumping at the sight of our half of the stadium, much louder and more lively than the other lot. Let’s be honest though, you didn’t play brilliantly did you? You worked hard, as always, but few neutrals would have been excited by either team’s performance.


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Wembley Stadium; hopes, dreams, memories; awe-inspiring.

– What about the penalties?


– I’d never seen us win a penalty shoot-out before then. If I’m honest, I had a funny feeling we’d do it. Even when Cahill missed, I still didn’t give up hope. Every time we scored, I still didn’t celebrate though – it was all a bit unreal, and even when Jagielka’s went in, I just stood there motionless, tears in my eyes, whilst pandemonium ensued around me. Then Z-Cars filled the stadium, and for a few minutes at least, everything was alright in the world. Even the journey home was enjoyable, seeing so many flags and scarves fluttering out of car windows.


– And what about Chelsea?


– Well if I’m honest, I didn’t expect you to get anything there. Normally, Everton would lose those games, remember Arsenal a few years back? I didn’t really care though. But then I watched, and me and Jimmy were so impressed with the performance – much the better team against them, should have won really, had enough chances but again, you did us proud.

In fact, this year you’ve more than held your own and breaking into the top four has felt, at times, closer than ever. Football this year has seemed more divided than ever, the top four have just kept winning and winning and of course have had success in the cups. But you’ve drawn with or beaten Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal in the past couple of months, despite all the injuries and lack of funds. Things look promising at times.

But then came City. And what could have been an almost perfect week, ended badly. It wasn’t just the defeat, but the cruelty of Jagielka getting injured summed up the way things are going for us both at the minute. It’s such a shame for the bloke, he’s been the most improved player at the club, perhaps in the league, and deserved better luck. Maybe we were both, you and I, born under a bad sign… For some reason, nothing’s ever easy for us is it?

Cruelty for Jagielka; winning penalty to career threatening injury.


– So is that why you’re giving up your season ticket? One game?


– No, no. You don’t understand. It’s just not a good time to be asked to renew and if I’m honest, I’ve got too much other stuff on to commit to it right now. Uni work, credit crunch, and you know I’ve been seeing someone else very special to me. Going the match this year hasn’t been the same, for whatever reason, football hasn’t, and paying so much for the privilege at present – presumably to fund your summer signings one would hope – just isn’t doable for me. I’m sorry.


– Ok. I think I understand now. It’s just such a shame.


– Oh, it is. But don’t worry, I’ll still be following you closely, thinking about you, standing up for you. I’ll come to as many games next season as I can. Especially the Europa League fixtures. And, with a bit of luck, I’ll be one of those fortunate enough to return to Wembley on May 30th.


And of course, I’ll keep writing about you for that website.