Manchester United take on Everton tonight, and The Busby Babe spoke to SB Nation's Toffees blog Royal Blue Mersey about the game, David Moyes, and Marouane Fellaini.
The corresponding interview on their site can be read here.
Callum Hamilton: Nobody is quite so fond of anything as Everton fans are on historical revisionism, so can you give us a quick summary of why David Moyes was never any good anyway and Roberto Martinez has showed he's the far superior manager?
Calvin: There are various camps within the Blues fanbase that would disagree with that statement. Moyes was perfect for Everton for the time that he was hired. He brought the club out of what was a dark era when they were on the brink of disappearing into the lower leagues. I for one don't measure success by trophies and don't judge his time at Goodison as a failure. However, he did outlive his usefulness here once he hit that proverbial sixth-place wall and simply could not instill a winning mentality.
It's too soon to proclaim Martinez as superior really - sure, he's got us playing some exciting attacking football we haven't seen since those glory years of the 80s, but I'd like to see if he can get the team to exceed expectations for the long haul before passing judgement.
One area where Martinez has definitely shown that he has ambition? The transfer market. Under Moyes you always knew Everton would go out and get a Phil Nevilles and a Darron Gibson. With Martinez in the house, anything goes - ol' Davey boy wouldn't know quite what to do with Gerard Deulofeu!
CH: Can you then do the same for Marouane Fellaini? I think everybody will agree that combined with the McCarthy deal it was a very good bit of business for Everton, but do you think he's got what it takes to succeed at United once he and the team have settled a bit, or do you simply think he's not very good?
C: Ahh Felli. The wise old men at Goodison (yes, there are a few in the stands) always proclaimed that the big-haired Belgian and Leighton Baines were as successful as they have been due to the environment and the system they played in. In United's midfield where everything doesn't go through him, he disappears, much like he did when Kevin Mirallas was on top of his game last season. Moyes is still finding out where Fellaini fits in at Old Trafford, but I do believe he'll turn out to be a decent buy and not much more than that.
CH: What about Leighton Baines? Is he as good as some suggest? Are United really getting a good deal if they spend big on an old full-back with terrible taste in music and fashion?
C: I would gladly wager that if Baines gets sold he will not be half as influential as he is at Everton. He's not young, and doesn't have quicksilver flowing through his veins, but the Fifth Beatle certainly has a left foot every bit as good as Paul McCartney's voice. Umm, actually that might be doing Baines a disservice. Bainaar (Baines + Steven Pienaar) have a certain unspoken magic between them that I highly doubt he will replicate anywhere else.
United already have a veteran leftback who is a leader both on and off the pitch - Moyes signing Baines would be purely spiteful really, to both Everton and to Patrice Evra.
CH: Who are you desperately hoping we don't start in the game?
C: This one's easy - our old boy Wayne Rooney. Roo has never had an issue with finding motivation in big games, and Everton fans will always watch him play with a certain wistfulness. That being said, he has also quite enjoyed spanking our collective blue bottoms in recent years and I would be quite glad to see him in the stands at Old Trafford.
CH: Who are you desperately hoping we do start in the game?
C: This might be just as easy - Rio 'Methuselah' Ferdinand please. The thought of Romelu Lukaku being marked by Rio makes me giddy with delight. Of course, just as I say this we'll see Rio shut down the Belgian and Lukaku will be subbed at halftime.
CH: While I find a lot of the talk of Liverpool having a victim complex and so on frequently strays into very dodgy territory, there's no doubt they're an... emotional lot, and the thing that has always annoyed me most about them is how they convert that into a holier-than-thou attitude where everybody has to be the biggest poser imaginable in something that resembles a cult (and not one of the cool or edgy ones, either, one of those early 90s American ones with terrible hair.) What's the number one reason you hate them?
C: Oh Lord, how do I detest thee, let me count the ways. Lest I start sputtering with the cyclonic deluge of abuse that I reserve specifically in my vocabulary for that lot, I shall take a minute or two to gather myself..
Their sense of entitlement. Yes, that would be it. That self-righteous indignation. I mean, what have they achieved lately, really? Yet they act as if the League, the sport of football and indeed the human race owes them something. Quite what that might be you and I will never know, having been born of sound mind and body. Everton have won even fewer trophies but we don't go around claiming that we deserve to win stuff we've been not worthy of.
Oh, and then there's that laughable "This is our year" nonsense that has been their motto since 1990. Try "Being: Half Decent" instead.