The views in these blogs are those held by the individual blogger and do not necessarily reflect the views of Everton Football Club.
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2010 has been a strange year, but a typical one for Evertonians - it's been consistent in one thing - being inconsistent!
The first half of the year was superb. Some of the football and results were excellent and as good as that was, the second half of the year has been incredibly frustrating! I've covered most of that in my previous blogs this season, so what I thought i'd do is give a few of my personal highlights of watching the Blues home and abroad this year...
I missed the Chelsea game because of work, but I was at the Manchester United game ten days later. A truly magnificent team performance, summed up by the brilliant Leon Osman. Super goals from Bily and Rodwell capped it off, but the highlight was Sir Alex Ferguson, in his post match interview saying "we got well and truly battered" - A bigger compliment he could not pay and one that was fully deserved.
I vowed to myself after Benfica that I would never return to Lisbon and here I was, four months to the day, back in the city for the Sporting game. I shouldn't have bothered!! Terrible performance and out of Europe with a wimper. I'm definately never, ever, ever going back to Lisbon now though...
The arrival of Landon Donovan didn't get everyone's pulses racing, but the impact he had has meant that i've probably never seen so many Blues so universal in their hope that a player would stay and then return to the club! The way he has quite clearly become an adopted Evertonian is there for all to see via his post
The Derby in October was an obvious high. Too many times i've seen us 'bottle' it against them, but not this time. From the off, we went for it. You could see the players and crowd were clearly up for it and it was probably the most comfortable Derby win i've ever seen from an Everton side. It was nice to see Tim Cahill and Mikel Arteta write themselves into Derby folklore too.
My undoubted highlight of the year though was pre-season - Norwich and Wolfsburg back to back was amazing! A coach load to Norwich, followed by a night out in Great Yarmouth was hilarious. One of the best weekends i've ever had watching Everton and it was a friendly - that's why us Evertonians are special!
Wolfsburg was a must with no European football this season, but little did we know how good it would be as we left early Friday morning. We arrived at our hotel around 5pm to be told that the team were staying there. I just laughed it off at first, but a couple of hours later, as we were sat in the bar, a coach pulled up and off walked Phil Neville, who walked straight up to us and said "alright lads, having fun?" - how many modern day footballers would be like that these days?
I have to say that everyone from the club that was in the hotel, from the management, to the players, the backroom staff and the media team, were an absolute pleasure to be around!
Everything us fans asked of the players, they did, never once declining a photo or autograph request and gladly chatting away. Even when I stumbled out of the lift on the Saturday afternoon and said "morning Phil!" to the Captain, I was greeted with a laugh and "good night?"
I doubt there are many other clubs out there who would be as open and accessible as ours and that, for me, is one of the many reasons that makes us what we are.
2010 has been a hugely enjoyable year following Everton, with plenty of highs and the odd low, but I wouldn't have it any other way.
My wishlist for 2011 is pretty simple. An away Derby win and the FA Cup please. Both are long overdue and very much attainable. I'm starting to get positive in my old age.....
Happy 'Blue' Year everyone!
Up the Toffees!
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