Tales of an away day – Atalanta

We got to the station in Reggio Emilia and we had no idea where to go or where we were. No Everton fans there, no one associated with Everton there and not many could speak English. The people who could we asked where the ground was. A few people told us to go up one road and then others told us to go down another road. They didn’t know either. We asked the police and she told us to jump on the number 5 bus. Sound, someone we can trust. The number 5 bus came round the corner and the bus driver had no idea what stadium we were talking about. You couldn’t make it up could you? 4 Senegalese lads who said they were there to see Idrissa Gueye and claimed that they were related to him were convinced this was the bus. Fuck it, we got on. The driver dropped us on a street corner cos apparently the police didn’t want the Everton fans using public transport. There was 3 of us. Idrissa Gueye’s cousins left us and some Ukrainian lad came up to us and asked where we were going. “ah yes the Mapei Stadium, follow me”. We followed him and he took us completely off the beaten track and we ended up being in with Atalanta fans so we didn’t say a word, just incase ey?

We found the ground and walked up but the next 20/30 minutes was chaos, a shambles, a piss take etc etc. We started by asking a policeman how to get to the away end and he said just go up the steps and it’s there. He didn’t seem very convincing so we asked another policeman and he said, “ask this fella in the green bib” so we got to this fella who looked like someone out of a Disney film and he said “you must go all the way round the ground and your entrance is there”. Putting that into perspective it’s like being an away fan at Goodison and being at the Park End wanting to get into the Bullens but having to walk all the way round, down Goodison Road, Gwladys Street and Bullens Road. So now we’d walked miles we got to the gate and another UEFA official told us that we were on the wrong side of the gate and that we had to walk “just 500 metres down the road and turn left”. She was chatting a load of bollocks, it was at least 2 miles. We’d missed kick off by about 5 minutes now anyway and I was beginning to accept that the game would be a complete shit show.

We eventually got in the ground 12 minutes in and what can only be described as shite was the performance. It was boring and gutless to say the least and they deservedly took the lead half an hour in. No response from the blues allowed them to score a quite brilliant second; what a strike it was but the lad shouldn’t have been given that much time and space on the ball. Why’s our defence always non existent? Again, no response from us and 3 minutes later they scored the 3rd and put the tie to bed so off we went. 43 minutes into our first European away game of the season and we were walking back to the train station because that bunch of shithouses couldn’t take the game by the scruff of the neck and have a go for the fans. Let’s face it, there’s about 4/5 good Italian teams and the rest are there to make up the numbers. Juventus, AC Milan, Roma, Lazio and Napoli are the ones that come to mind. Atalanta though? They just wanted it more than us. It was the worst Everton performance I’ve seen since we lost 3-0 at home to Spurs last weekend.

Not only do we lack a striker or a winger but we’re lacking any sort of fight, passion and organisation within the whole team. Koeman got it wrong but he can’t take all the blame. No matter where you’re playing on the pitch you always give 100% and there was no way on this earth that any of our players did that. Every single last one of them was a disgrace and something needs to change now and fast otherwise we’ll be in the shit. Not only can I not see where the next win is coming from but I can’t even see where the next goal’s coming from. Rooney always drops deep, Calvert-Lewin is up on his own and always ends up out wide cos our midfield don’t know what a through ball is and Sandro hasn’t done anything yet. God help us for United on Sunday.

-Joe (@joewhitehead__)