You may have noticed the presence of a ghost on here recently. Aptly enough, this ghost is a Toffee, so congratulations to his ectoplasmic form also on a barely deserved victory at Eastlands the other evening, which I had the misfortune of watching with him. Even if I had tried to punch him, my fist would have passed right through, but I didn't even get angry. Just goes to show that we do indeed bottle it at crucial moments. Or something like that. With 27 or so shots on goal (alas, only 4 on target, which - though decent - probably explains a lot) and 11 corners to their none, you would have expected a little more than the one solitary goal and no points to show for our pains. But, them's the breaks. We need better finishers (I'm looking at you, second only to Messi, Mario Balotelli...) I suppose you could say, though Kolarov came mighty close a couple of times; Tevez had one good shot well saved; Howard enjoyed one of his better games and Phil Neville got away with playing the bloody octopus all night long. My only criticism was that there was too much hopeful belting of the ball from the edge of the area when a bit more thought and craft might have delivered a more telling blow. Oh, and Tim Cahill really is an annoying little Aussie twat.
Moving on, we're well on to the meat of the Dirty Dozen now, and with the meat, time to bring Maggot into play. Who loves ya baby? Hero of many a boy from my generation as Kojak, Telly Savalas was a top star of the silver screen. During the mid 70s, every playground in England must have echoed with the word 'Crocker'; a million lollipops were surely brandished in the faces of fat kids with curly hair, and we even had our own 'Stav' who didn't seem to mind the sobriquet too much. He was a tough guy in Kojak - though of course with a heart of gold - and his character in the Dirty Dozen surprises somewhat if, like me, you saw the two things in the wrong chronological order. A nasty, racist rapist is Maggot, well suited to the horrors of war. Which I think sets the tone nicely for the climax of the festive season.
Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas!