Keane aims to keep improving

Friday, 6 September, 2019 94comments  |  Jump to last
Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty

Michael Keane believes he will only get better as a defender for club and country now that he has a settled role in what is a more stable Everton team than when he first arrived.

The Stockport-born centre-half was signed with much fanfare by then manager Ronald Koeman in the summer of 2017 after spending three seasons with Burnley but struggled to find his form as he battled a serious foot infection while the Blues floundered in the wrong half of the Premier League before eventually grinding their way to an 8th-place finish.

Playing alongside Chelsea loanee, Kurt Zouma, under new Everton boss Marco Silva, Keane's second season was hugely improved and he has carried that impressive form into the new season with new defensive partner Yerry Mina.

The 26-year-old credits Silva and the different methods he brings as a foreign coach for his development and Everton's good run of results since February.

“You need to keep improving all the time,” Keane said in a lengthy exclusive interview with evertontv from the England camp. “I am reaching the age where I will be in my prime in the next two or three years. I am only going to keep getting better, I think.

“I have always had the right attitude, the desire to keep learning and working hard every day. The manager played a huge part when he came in but the biggest thing was myself, mentally, wanting to prove people wrong and show them how good I could be.

“He has different ideas from other managers — every manager is slightly different and you learn from all of them. He has been brought up on a different style of football in Portugal and has a different philosophy — and it is great to learn from him. He has taught me a lot — I am sure the same is true for everyone at the Club.

“The way we want to play is really drilled into us now, we just need to fine-tune it, work on a few things and I think we are close to being a really good team.

“I want to get in people's faces a bit more — at the right time. You can't do it all the time, because the forward might pick you off and play one-twos around you. You have to be careful and choose the times when you can do it.

“I think it gives the team a big boost if the ball comes back to the halfway line and one of the centre-halves can get tight, win it and set us on the counter.

“I think it lifts the place and it is important we continue to do that.”

Read the full interview at  

Reader Comments (94)

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Paul Hewitt
1 Posted 06/09/2019 at 06:37:31
Wasn't sure about Keane when we signed him. But think he's now proving me wrong.
Derek Knox
2 Posted 06/09/2019 at 07:55:08
I have to agree with you there Paul, his first few weeks/months I was beginning to think we had bought an over-priced crock.

Now that he has settled and more or less become regular since Kurt Zouma departed, he has shown himself to be a decent defender. I thought he was so unlucky against Wolves, those two headers were almost perfect, yet the keeper somehow managed to keep them out.

Let's hope no injuries get picked up in these meaningless friendlies against Brazil (Richie too) in Miami. They also play Venezuela at some point, if anyone let's a chance to watch them, look out for a left sided Centre Back called Osorio. I watched quite a few of the Copa games and this guy really impressed me, could probably get him for buttons too.

Derek Knox
3 Posted 06/09/2019 at 07:57:22
Sorry there talking about Terry Mina there, not fully awake yet. Yes Keane is improving all the time but I don't think he will get any quicker.
Justin Doone
5 Posted 06/09/2019 at 10:56:56
Yes, let's hope so. To be fair Keane at Burnley played and had a simpler role within a defensive unit. He's now exposed much more with greater ball playing responsibilities.

Defensively we haven't been good enough. There's been a few individual mistakes but it's as a team we haven't been at our best.

It's great having forward press but the rest of the team need to join in and not sit back. Likewise when forwards sprint 40 yards back but have failed to get on the defensive side of the opposition.

Hopefully we can find the right balance against different opposition. I think Bournemouth is another tough test as their pace and movement will give us a very different threat to handle.

It will be much tougher for Keane and Mina and they will need better protection from the midfield.

Phil (Kelsall) Roberts
6 Posted 06/09/2019 at 11:09:56
Do we mean Stockholm or Stockport born?
Simon Smith
7 Posted 06/09/2019 at 11:29:48
Unless he was an RAF kid as Stockborn is in Germany.

Really like Keane as a player. Hopefully he and Mina can have a very good season, then maybe add a younger centre back to the ranks in the summer as better cover than holgate (who I cant ever see be a top premier league centre back).

Derek Knox
8 Posted 06/09/2019 at 12:41:18
It could mean born of good stock, but I would plump for Stockport. :-)

I wonder if he will get a game tomorrow, not sure what Bulgaria are like these days.

Slightly off topic but still on an International theme, Seamus has been getting the Twitter treatment from a host of Irish fans. Most saying as some on here have, that he is simply not the same player since that horrific leg-break.

Mike Gaynes
10 Posted 06/09/2019 at 15:22:35
From Wikipedia:

"Keane was born in Stockport, Greater Manchester, grew up in the suburb of Heaton Mersey and attended St Bede's College in Whalley Range."

I love English town names.

Jamie Crowley
11 Posted 06/09/2019 at 16:25:56
I agree Mike, English town names are the best.

Stoke on Trent. I mean, what in the hell is that? How do you come up with that?

Americans liked the English city names so much, they just took them. Boston, Birmingham, York, New York, New London, etc. Just flat steal it, or slap a "New" in front of it and you're good to go.

Regarding Keane, he turns like a barge, but I like him. Despite that deficiency, he's a solid defender. His only real tough time with us was when he was playing on a bloody and bruised club foot under Big Sam.

He's been solid. Damn good buy for me.

Mike Gaynes
12 Posted 06/09/2019 at 16:32:06
Way, way off topic, but did you guys know Everton donated food to Bolton Wanderers when their employees weren't being paid?

"The club still owe me six weeks' wages," one club employee told ESPN FC. "I haven't got myself into debt yet, but it's been tough and I had to use the food banks, like a lot of the staff here. Everton donated towards it and Preston sent over ٠,000 worth of vouchers for Sainsbury's -- so football has rallied round for us. But it's been really tough for everyone, especially those who experienced the good times in the Premier League."

We do support the classiest club in the world, ya know?

I feel for Bolton. Relegated from the Premier League by one lousy goal just seven years ago -- Muamba's heart attack knocked their season off the rails -- and now they're starting mostly teenagers who have lost their last three games by a combined score of 15-0. It can go so bad, so fast.

Mike Gaynes
13 Posted 06/09/2019 at 16:39:40
Ummm... Jamie... you do know all those American cities were founded by British settlers, right? Before America was America?

Re Keane, the "barge" charge has been oft-repeated here, but I think it's false. He actually turns quite well for a defender his size. Haven't seen him beaten by a long ball or thru pass in quite a while. His issue this season has been getting caught flatfooted by opponents crossing in front of him, not behind.

Tony Abrahams
14 Posted 06/09/2019 at 16:49:20
Still not convinced by Michael Keane, who gets himself into some very bad positions for a central defender. Got lost with one straight ball over the top against Wolves last Sunday, in a totally similar way to a ball he got lost with the last time we had played Wolves at Goodison.

Don't know what he was thinking when he let Wesley, run past him to score Villa's first goal, and agree with Silva, when he says that Keane has got to be more aggressive defensively.

That's why I prefer Mina over Keane, (he's more aggressive) but I'd say Keane is probably a better footballer, but I'd love the two of them to sort it out between themselves and become a formidable partnership, because they don't look like they really compliment each other at the minute.

Mike Gaynes
15 Posted 06/09/2019 at 16:59:59
Tony #14, isn't it funny how two people can see the same situation and come to completely opposite conclusions?

I think Mina and Keane are complementing each other superbly, especially for their limited time together. They've melded more quickly than I would have thought possible.

And I think Mina is the better footballer -- smoother on the ball, better first touch, better positional instincts, and more cultured with his head.

But do I agree with you on Keane's positional issues and his need for more aggression.

Jay Harris
16 Posted 06/09/2019 at 17:13:29
Mike and Jamie,,
Still trying to find out why there are so many Scottish named towns in Florida.

Williston, Morriston, Dunnellon, Dunedin, Inverness.

I heard it was something to do with religion but it's a good job Trump wasn't around at the time.

Tony Abrahams
17 Posted 06/09/2019 at 17:15:11
I wouldn't disagree with you about Mina being the better footballer in the way that you describe, Mike, but I think Keane has been good in the transition, and this is what started the move for our first goal against Wolves.

I thought they were all over the place in the first half against Wolves but they got better the longer the game went on. This was possibly because I thought Everton had a lot more control of the game in the second half last week.

They worry me, maybe the television might not pick up how many times they both went for the same ball last week, Mike, but it's still early days, and they say good players can play with anyone, so let's see how things pan out.

Jay Harris
18 Posted 06/09/2019 at 17:15:59

I've got the same opinion re Keane. There is something lacking in his concentration and awareness. Not in every game thankfully but sometimes he goes sleepwalking.

Liam Reilly
19 Posted 06/09/2019 at 17:43:59
I think it's less to do with Keane's concentration and more to do with the talent he's playing against in the Premier League.

For me, he's performing really well alongside Mina.

Andrew Keatley
20 Posted 06/09/2019 at 19:33:13
Talking of Everton players who are keen to show signs of improvement, I am watching the England Under-21 game against Turkey.

Tom Davies is captaining the side, and he still seems to be making the same mistakes he was making three years ago; getting too tight to players, who then spin off him and leave him for dust. We're not even at half-time and it's happened several times - the last one ended in him bringing down the Turkey captain (Berkay Özcan - very good player) with a desperate lunge, and getting a yellow card.

In respect of the other England junior sides, Anthony Gordon was apparently in good form (again) for the Under-19s last night, as they beat Greece 3-1.

Peter Mills
21 Posted 06/09/2019 at 20:09:06
Mike, Jamie, Jay. I'm heading up to the west of Scotland next month and will pass through “Rest and be thankful”. It's a beautiful place.
Derek Knox
22 Posted 06/09/2019 at 20:42:01
Mike Gaynes, (12) you never cease to amaze me, where did you find that from? I have no doubts whatsoever that Everton Football Club, would do such a Charitable and Human Act.

Especially towards one of the Founder Member teams still in existence, but as per usual Everton don't make a song and dance about it, like our more well off neighbours. Okay they were never Founders but the Human aspect should kick in!

I guess I 've answered my own suspicion there!

Jamie @ 11, I am somewhat amazed that you think some Olde English Town and City Names, are curious and amusing, I admit some are. They mostly stem from a vernacular no longer in existence, that was perfectly natural to the people of that age. (lol)

I will list a few. Titter Ye Not!

Beer, Booby Dingle, Great Snoring, Spanker's Hill Wood, Pity Me, Crackpot, Sally's Bottom (often wanted to go there) and Crapstone.

Believe me, these places still exist on Maps, spare a thought for the people that live there, when filling in an Official Report, well I live in... and was often visiting etc.

Still on a jocular theme, you mentioned Stoke-on-Trent, (which the latter part is a major River of England) but is also, in modern adopted slang, a pseudonym for being Bent. ie, that fellow is Stoke-on-Trent!

Dave Abrahams
23 Posted 06/09/2019 at 20:54:43
Andrew (20), Tom did okay in the second half as England fought back from 2-1 down to win 3-2. Foden of Man City looked the stand-out player for England.
Dave Abrahams
26 Posted 06/09/2019 at 21:26:27
Derek (25), I know, I'm too trusting of it, and it turns round and laughs in my face, well no more, I'll be seeing my solicitor first thing in the morning!!!
Billy Roberts
27 Posted 06/09/2019 at 21:30:40
Rats, Dave, say what you think!!

To our American Blues we ( or I do anyway) find English, Scottish, Welsh, and Irish towns and cities a never-ending form of amusement... Bognor Regis, Leighton Buzzard?? Just two English towns off the top of my head.

I'm from Old Swan, I moved then to Knotty Ash / Swanside which was next to a minor suburb called Little Bongs!! And no, it didn't have a drug problem.

I went on a mad Xmas trip with my wife to Ireland and discovered a place called the Ring of Stinky!! This is not a euphemism, honestly, it's a real place!!

Dave Abrahams
29 Posted 06/09/2019 at 21:41:17
Andy (28), No Andy, got back yesterday, had a great time, didn't know Everton's score v Wolves ‘til I got back, so that was a nice surprise for me.
Mike Gaynes
30 Posted 06/09/2019 at 23:56:32
Dave #23, that post gave me my biggest laugh of the week. I literally can't stop chortling. I assume "Rodents of Man City" is Warren Zevon's unrecorded sequel to "Werewolves of London"... or maybe a late-night horror movie from the 1950's. Please tell your spell-checker Cheers for me.

(PS... where were you that you couldn't get the score? The Andaman Islands? Antarctica?)

DK #22, no credit to me, it was on ESPNFC, which I read all day. I loved that quote, best of the day.

Pete #21, that may be the best place name ever, but imagine what it's like to live there and have to confirm your address with some order-taker on the phone. You'll be there all afternoon.

Billy #27, great ones!

Don Alexander
31 Posted 07/09/2019 at 00:58:12
To all our American Toffees, and Mike in particular, there's a village in the Orkney Islands called Twatt. Rumours abound it's where Trump truly came from. The locals ain't saying.
Andy Crooks
32 Posted 07/09/2019 at 01:06:56
Mike, I always love American names:

Baton Rouge
Marthas Vineyard

Well, too many to go on, wonderful evocative, poetic names. However, I will trump them with, Grimsby, Workington and Scunthorpe, add to that, Barrow (on Furness) and Bury, Hull... well, where do you stop?

Ron Marr
33 Posted 07/09/2019 at 01:19:13
Too many tweets make a twat.
Brian Wilkinson
34 Posted 07/09/2019 at 01:33:20
Jamie @11,

It may have something to do with the River Trent running through Stoke. Sorry, mate, you did ask what it was.

Brian Wilkinson
35 Posted 07/09/2019 at 01:34:45
Come on, guys — what about the place Upper Ramsbottom?
Jamie Crowley
36 Posted 07/09/2019 at 02:09:46
Busy day at work. Settling down to watch our American Boys hopefully crush the shit out of the arch-enemy.

Derek Knox I LOL'd heartily! Those names are stupendous! Spankers Hill Wood my favorite. Serious, just how?

Mike Gaynes - Americans named those cities mate!! We won the war, we didn't change it, out people named them. Your history be damned! ‘Merica!

Jay - I've often wondered the same thing. There's a ton of Scottish named places in Florida. Weird, but love it. I just imagine like four Scots saying, “this is home. Inverness.”

100 years later they're packing heat, driving pick up trucks, and blaring country music. 😂

I love humanity.

Jamie Crowley
37 Posted 07/09/2019 at 02:11:25
Oh and Don Alexander, some day I'll visit Twatt.
Jamie Crowley
38 Posted 07/09/2019 at 02:14:20
Andy Crooks -

Intercourse, PA.

Eric Myles
39 Posted 07/09/2019 at 02:34:12
A girl I knew used to get a lot of titters when she told people she's from Cockermouth.
James Flynn
40 Posted 07/09/2019 at 03:10:29
David St Hubbins was from Squatney.
Ron Marr
41 Posted 07/09/2019 at 03:14:04
There is an Inverness in Marin County near San Fransisco. A quaint little town like the one in Scotland.

I'm Liverpool born and I once went on a date with a girl born in Liverpool, difference being I'm from Liverpool, UK and she was from Liverpool, New York state.

Jamie Crowley
42 Posted 07/09/2019 at 03:32:06

I've an Uncle, Aunt, and three cousins from Liverpool, NY.

Any chance you've heard of the hard drinking Meagher's?

Ron Marr
43 Posted 07/09/2019 at 03:51:35
Jamie, apart from when I lived in Boston for a couple of years I've lived in San Francisco for nearly 40 years. One of my mother's brothers had a house in Canandaigua, NY. The girl I met was here in the Bay Area. Glad you and Mike root for the Blues. Nobody can accuse you of being front runners. I think the Blues are heading in the right direction, maybe not as fast as we like.
Stephen Davies
44 Posted 07/09/2019 at 05:33:26
Mike Gaynes.
Your mention of English place names makes a great opportunity for me to bring up one of my favourite authors. Mr Bill Bryson ( an American, who I think still resides over here...and a closet blue to boot.)
His son in law ( an Evertonian who has also brought up Bills grandkids to be blues) I think either contributed on here or GOT.
Anyway, Bill Bryson is one of the funniest writers around and I recommend his very amusing book about Britain called Notes From a Small Island in which he mentions Liverpool as his favourite City.
In it he refers to a number of place names that tickles his fancy including and I give you..Farleigh Wallop.

Dave Abrahams
45 Posted 07/09/2019 at 09:31:26
Mike (30), I was in Italy, could have easily found out the score, didn't want to in case it was the wrong result, it would have taken the shine out of my holiday.!!
Derek Knox
46 Posted 07/09/2019 at 11:58:40
Brian @ 35, you're not an Inner city shepherd by any chance are you? :-)

Jamie @ 38, why the f... would you name a town/City Intercourse? You never know the in's and out's of these place names. :-)

Billy @ 27, the Ring of Stinky wow, it's a good job it's not near to Sally's Bottom or Spanker's Hill Wood, or things could get erm well iffy.

Mike Gaynes
47 Posted 07/09/2019 at 15:03:37
Stephen #44, Bill Bryson is one of my very favorite authors, and Notes From a Small Island is sitting on my bookshelf about four feet from my head, right next to A Short History of Nearly Everything and The Mother Tongue. But although he has ruminated on footy in one of his other books, I had no idea there was any Blue connection there. Cheers.

Dave #45, I admire your self-discipline. I couldn't do it. I actually watched BBC's transfer window coverage on a cruise ship in Italy a few years ago.

DK #46, other villages near Intercourse include Blue Ball, Fertility, Mount Joy and Bareville. They were all founded more than two centuries ago by the Pennsylvania Dutch, who traditionally didn't drink or party and therefore had only one activity in mind for those long winter nights.

Phil (Kelsall) Roberts
48 Posted 07/09/2019 at 15:16:10
On the other side of the Sound from Auckland in New Zealand is Birkenhead.

If ever I knew how to put images into this thread I would add my picture of the Birkenhead Ferry. I never knew the Royal Iris could sail that far.

The next day as I was photographing a bus which said "Birkenhead Transport" or something similar - a car drove past with the number plate EVERTN.

Tony Abrahams
49 Posted 07/09/2019 at 16:12:28
Thank god this thread has got back on track with mention of the Royal Iris, Phil!
Andy Crooks
50 Posted 07/09/2019 at 16:29:06
Mike, do you read John O'Hara? His wonderful short stories bring Pennsylvania Dutch to life.
Mike Gaynes
51 Posted 07/09/2019 at 16:40:22
Hey Andy, outside of Mark Twain and an unaccountable addiction to the Jack Reacher series, my bookshelf is 100% nonfiction. I've never read O'Hara, Hemingway, Steinbeck, any of 'em. How about you?
Chris Gould
52 Posted 07/09/2019 at 17:01:08
Mike #47, Bill is my father in-law, and has been a blue since he accompanied me to Goodison to watch us draw 1-1 with Man City a few seasons ago. In fact, he's followed us since I joined the family 17 years ago. He's a Red Sox fan at heart but makes an effort with football for me and the kids.

You may find it interesting to know that his father, William Bryson, was a highly respected baseball journalist for the Des Moines Register. He was the last (or close to the last) person to interview Babe Ruth before he died.

Mike Gaynes
53 Posted 07/09/2019 at 17:16:26
Chris #52, wow, that's amazing. What wonderful conversations you must have had over the years at family gatherings, with such a magnificent raconteur at the head of the table. Congratulations on bringing him into the Blue family as well!

As a Midwesterner and former sports journo myself, I was familiar with the work of Bryson Sr, who I seem to remember was at the Register for something like 54 years. (We might even have been in the same press box once or twice.) But I didn't know he did the final interview with the Babe!

Thanks for sharing that.

Tony Abrahams
54 Posted 07/09/2019 at 17:32:06
Thank god this thread never got back on-track after reading that wonderful little tale!
Mike Gaynes
55 Posted 07/09/2019 at 17:49:21
Tony, the best threads on TW are the ones that take off on these oblique angles. I've learned so much about music, books, history and the fascinating people who haunt this site (not to mention bad jokes and fish puns) from the strange directions these conversations can take.
Tony Abrahams
56 Posted 07/09/2019 at 18:01:56
When my red friend gave you the ticket for the derby Mike, he read a couple of threads and said that he could tell that quite a few interesting and intelligent people frequented T/W, which made a change from a lot of footballing sites on the internet.
Rob Halligan
57 Posted 07/09/2019 at 18:04:33
But you still can't understand cricket, Mike!!
Billy Roberts
58 Posted 07/09/2019 at 18:04:51
Chris Gould, well done!!! Bill Bryson is one of the great writers as far as I'm concerned and to have him as a blue is superb. I remember reading about your visit to Goodison from Bill Bryson's perspective but had totally forgotten about it.

My favourites are A Walk in the Woods and Down Under but you could recommend any of his books to anybody with a slight interest in reading and know they weren't going to be disappointed.

My mother who hates all the fuss people make over "celebrities" actually queued up for an autographed book!! She has virtually all of them.

Bill Bryson — celebrity Evertonian No 1.

Ray Roche
59 Posted 07/09/2019 at 18:13:10
Off topic but Watford have sacked Gracia. How long before they demand compensation from Everton? 😁
Peter Gorman
60 Posted 07/09/2019 at 18:29:11
Bill Bryson is a bluenose?!?!
Eddie Dunn
61 Posted 07/09/2019 at 18:31:24
On Bill Bryson, he wrote in his "Notes from a small island"...

"I took a train to Liverpool. They were having a festival of litter when I arrived. Citizens had taken time off from their busy activities to add crisp packets, empty cigarette boxes and carrier-bags to the otherwise bland and neglected landscape. They fluttered gaily in the bushes and brought colour and texture to pavements and gutters. And to think that elsewhere we stick these objects in rubbish bags."

This was in the '80s and accurate at the time. I never knew he was a Blue.

Andy Crooks
62 Posted 07/09/2019 at 18:34:08
Mike, studied American literature way back in the days of student grants. Getting out of bed at the crack of noon, contemplating whether or not to go a lecture and deciding, nah, too cloudy. That module made me love your country.

Chris Gould
63 Posted 07/09/2019 at 18:36:44
Mike, I remember you or someone else mentioning that you had been a sports journalist, but to think that you may have shared a press box with Bill's Father is surreal. Bill has got the signed baseball that his Dad received from Babe Ruth sitting in his office.

Billy Roberts, funny you should mention signed copies of his books. He is currently getting through signing 10,000 first pages of his latest book. He signs the piles of pages, which then get individually inserted into the books. It's an absolute mission.

James Flynn
64 Posted 07/09/2019 at 18:50:28
Jimmy Breslin, G. Macdonald Fraser (No, not just Flashman), Earl Thompson.
Tony Hill
65 Posted 07/09/2019 at 18:54:46
Chris @63, Bill is a joy to read. We have a couple of writers on here, maybe more. We have a playwright, and we have a crime fiction man in Brian Porter.
Ron Marr
66 Posted 07/09/2019 at 19:04:00
I thoroughly enjoyed the Bill Bryson books about England, also Walk in the Woods about the Appalachian Trail, Sunburned Country about OZ. Bryson's description of leaving the Guest House in England because he dropped a turd that wouldn't flush is hilarious. My American wife has read the books about England and made a few "Oh yeah" comments.
Mike Gaynes
67 Posted 07/09/2019 at 19:07:46
Chris #63, yep, as a young sports reporter I covered games of the Chicago Cubs, their minor-league affiliate in Des Moines, and University of Iowa sports. Mr. Bryson would definitely have covered some of the same events. Wish I'd met him, but the senior newspaper writers didn't mix much with the TV guys like me.

Andy #62, did exactly the same thing at college, only it was called "independent study." The authors I chose were Twain and Jack London, whom I'd already read as a child. Easiest three credit-hours I ever earned.

Billy #58, that's quite a claim against Paul McCartney, Stallone and Matt Damon, but I can be persuaded. By the way, I'd recommend the lesser-known "I'm a Stranger Here Myself" if you (and you too, Andy and Ron Marr) want a window on America from some truly hilarious angles. I read it on a 6-hour bus ride in China. Helpless with laughter. My wife was mortified at the bewildered stares from the local Chinese passengers.

Rob #57, actually nobody has ever tried to explain it to me. Care to take up the challenge?

Rob Halligan
68 Posted 07/09/2019 at 19:11:18
Mike, it would need a thread of its own!! Next time you're over here we will begin lessons!
Mike Gaynes
69 Posted 07/09/2019 at 19:14:32
Chris, forgot to ask you... what's your favorite Bryson book?

Rob #68, you got it. I want to go to an away game with you and your posse, so you can teach me over a couple of Guinnesses.

Rob Halligan
70 Posted 07/09/2019 at 19:17:33
Mike, you're on.
Peter Mills
71 Posted 07/09/2019 at 19:25:28
Just back from a cracking away day. FA Cup 1st qualifying round, Stalybridge Celtic 0 v 2 Marine.
Ron Marr
72 Posted 07/09/2019 at 19:27:25
Hey Mike, thanks for the tip. I mentioned "I'm a Stranger Here Myself" to my wife and voila, she has that book and "The Thunderbolt Kid".
Mike Gaynes
73 Posted 07/09/2019 at 19:37:41
Brilliant, Pete! Go Marine!
Chris Gould
74 Posted 07/09/2019 at 19:38:15
Mike, I'm leaning towards A Walk in the Woods, but Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid is also a favourite. Although, I should say A Short History of Nearly Everything as it's dedicated to me and his (soon to be ex) daughter in-law.

I am probably one of the very few who actually read his book on Shakespeare (bottom of the list!). I haven't read One Summer, but would imagine that it would be of interest to you as it covers the summer of 1927 America (Babe Ruth's 60 home runs season).

Mike Gaynes
75 Posted 07/09/2019 at 19:56:49

I have Short History in my hand."To Meghan and Chris. Welcome."

That's you????!

Wow, I'm talking to a guy who had a book dedicated to him by my favorite living writer. That's waaaaay cool.

(ummm... "soon to be ex"? I'm sorry.)

One Summer was indeed a terrific book, different from anything I'd read from him before. I wasn't actually a fan of Thunderbolt Kid, although that was more about my touchy perspective on childhood than his writing. I didn't finish it.

Anyway, it's my honor, sir.

Barry McNally
76 Posted 07/09/2019 at 20:28:12
Off topic! How did Pickford and Keane play this evening?
Andy Crooks
77 Posted 07/09/2019 at 20:29:34
Chris, take a bow.
Billy Roberts
78 Posted 07/09/2019 at 20:31:26
Mike Gaynes,

Oh yes, I forgot about Rambo and Macca haha, They have had season tickets for years, but Matt Damon??? I didn't know that. So the RS have James Bond and we have Jason Bourne?

We also had David Soul in the 70s at the height of Starsky & Hutch, I always imagine the disbelief of a young Evertonian seeing Hutch going into the main stand, Hutch later chucked us for Arsenal.

Don't give up on us, Baby.

Chris Gould
79 Posted 07/09/2019 at 20:49:31
Mike and Andy, I am definitely undeserving of praise. I simply intervened between a drunk guy spitting all over a blonde girl in a nightclub (who happened to be his daughter) and ended up getting her number.

I wasn't even supposed to go out that night but had a last-minute change of heart which changed my life. We got engaged 3 months later (absolutely nothing to do with the fact that she had a rich Dad – keeping a straight face – honestly!)

He's a great bloke. He once told me that if I ever split from his daughter he'd still consider me family and allow me to live in the annex (flat above their garage) for free, but then added that I couldn't move in any future wives!

His latest book 'The Body' is going to be his last. He's retiring as soon as he's finished doing the book tours. So make sure you enjoy it as there won't be more!

Andy Crooks
80 Posted 07/09/2019 at 20:51:27
Mike, are you coming over for a game this season? Let me know when and I will be there. I know you have my email address, or else it it is someone more sinister who is sending me all the Sheedy stuff!!!
Andy Crooks
81 Posted 07/09/2019 at 20:54:04
Chris, what a great post.
Rob Halligan
82 Posted 07/09/2019 at 21:14:56
Looking back through this thread, and some of the weird sounding city, town or village names, but there is one I can never pronounce:


Mike Gaynes
83 Posted 07/09/2019 at 22:29:41
Billy #78, we also have Dame Judi Dench, John McEnroe and Dolph "I must destroy you" Lundgren. And I've been told John Lennon was a Blue as well.

Chris, I already have my Amazon order in for "The Body".

Andy #80, my very tentative plan (pending when/if we "move house", as you lot would say it) is to come over in January for the Hammers game in London on the 18th and the home match with the Barcodes on the 21st. I will email you, Pete, Rob and the rest of the gang when everything is a little clearer. Obviously another get-together will be required.

Derek Knox
84 Posted 08/09/2019 at 02:19:05
Mike @ 83, I must admit although not a natural born scouser (just adopted), as you are well aware, but do know quite a bit about Liverpool (the city) and especially Everton. I may be wrong, hopefully some one of superior knowledge corrects me, I did not know that John Lennon had any interest in football at all.

But, I must add that Paul McCartney did, he was not as dyed in the wool as we are, nevertheless pledged his allegiance to Everton.

Where was he with his multi-millions/billions when we were struggling not that long ago?

Talk is cheap, we all know that, we all do it (possibly) after an alcoholic beverage or two, but generally we don't forget what we have pledged (allegedly) when we are coherent and sober in the morning!

McCartney is not a drinker (or so I am led to believe); what is his excuse?

Mike Gaynes
85 Posted 08/09/2019 at 04:42:49
Hey DK, I have no particular background knowledge, but the first time I was over there somebody suggested I visit the Beatles museum (since I was staying at Albert Dock) and said that McCartney, Lennon and Pete Best were all Blues.

As for Sir Paul, I guess he thinks there is a difference between supporting the club and buying it. Go figure.

Alan J Thompson
86 Posted 08/09/2019 at 06:56:27
Derek (#84) & Mike (#85); I can't vouch for its veracity but it was stated on ToffeeWeb sometime ago that Gerry Marsden, who sang something from Carousel, was asked which team he supported and he reportedly answered with a smile that he knew where his bread was buttered.
Billy Roberts
87 Posted 08/09/2019 at 07:54:52
If we get Milwall away in the cup again can we put Stallone, Dolph Lundgren, Matt Damon and Superbrat John McEnroe on the first coach down to sort out any nonsense!!
Dave Abrahams
88 Posted 08/09/2019 at 08:50:28
Derek (84), McCartney would have been better spending some of those millions on singing lessons, although I've got to admit that voice (?) helped him to make those millions, but not as much as his brilliant song writing ability.
Brian Williams
89 Posted 08/09/2019 at 09:05:06
Amanda Holden's a Blue too. Wouldn't mind a European away trip with her. It would be fascinating finding out more about the workings of BGT and television in general. :-0
Derek Knox
90 Posted 08/09/2019 at 15:05:24
Brian, she is a bit of a Gold-Digger by all accounts, once she got her hands on you Desperadoes, you would know all about it, and you'd probably shed a tear too. :-)
Jamie Crowley
91 Posted 08/09/2019 at 16:47:42
McCartney is a genius, and a passive Blue.

Lennon didn't care about soccer at all. But equally a genius.

From what I've read at any rate. Sans those genius comments, that's opinion. I think McCartney and Lennon were musical masterminds, unparalleled by anyone in modern music history.

Paul Hughes
92 Posted 08/09/2019 at 16:53:33
Great posts on this chat. I wasn't aware that a new magnum opus from Bill Bryson was in the offing. To be released on 5th October in the UK, I've just been on to Blackwell's to pre-order my copy.
Hugh Jenkins
93 Posted 08/09/2019 at 17:14:21
Mike (67)

I recently came across this little homily titled " An Englishman explaining Cricket to a Foreigner".
Make of it what you will - LOL.

"You have two sides, one out in the field and one in. Each man that's in the side that's in goes out, and when he's out he comes in and the next man goes in until he's out.

When they are all out, the side that's out comes in and the side that's been in goes out and tries to get those coming in, out. Sometimes you get men still in and not out.
When a man goes out to go in, the men who are out try to get him out, and when he is out he goes in and the next man in goes out and goes in.

There are two men called umpires who stay out all the time and they decide when the men who are in are out. When both sides have been in and all the men have been out, and both sides have been out twice after all the men have been in, including those who are not out, that is the end of the game".

Stephen Davies
94 Posted 08/09/2019 at 18:43:35
Mike Gaynes
Just for you.
You may find this of interest
Brian Harrison
95 Posted 08/09/2019 at 19:25:03
Seeing we have gone off topic completely, I have just finished reading Roy Keanes book. He tells a story about when he was Sunderland manager and tried to sign Matty Taylor. He met Taylor at the ground and spoke about how he thought Taylor would do a good job for his team, after showing him round Taylor said he would need a bit of time to consider his position as Bolton were also after him. Keane said I understand perfectly go away speak to your family and take a few days to mull everything over, Taylor said he would and would be back in touch. Then a minute after Taylor set off for his car Keane who was still in the car park got a text from Taylor, he thought why is he texting me when I can still see him. Keane then reads the text which says considered your offer but I am going to sign for Bolton. Keane at this point is still waving to Taylor leaving the car park.
Jamie Crowley
96 Posted 09/09/2019 at 17:33:59
Little late this post, but just noticed Brian @ 34 -

I had no idea the River Trent ran through Stoke. That explains it, but still?

In America, which is the prism these eyes see through as if you didn't know that already, it's not, "New Orleans on Mississippi" or, "Pittsburgh on Allegheny, Monongahela, and Ohio".

It's just really weird to these eyes. A wonderful kind of weird, but weird.

Why not just "Stoke"?

Anyways, I'm quite sure there's a ton of civic pride in Stoke, and they love their name. It's just odd to me. God bless 'em.

I associate Tony Pulis and Rory Delap with Stoke more than I do the River Trent. Which says a lot about naivety and lack of knowledge on my part.

Written from near Jacksonville on St Johns.

Mike Gaynes
97 Posted 09/09/2019 at 18:38:38
Hugh #93, yep, that's just about what I understand of cricket. Except for the tea breaks. Thanks, that's a beauty.

Stephen #94, that's really interesting. Had no idea. Cheers for finding and posting that.

Hugh Jenkins
98 Posted 09/09/2019 at 19:43:29
Jamie (96)

Stoke is a very common place name in England.

It originates from the Anglo Saxon for "South Farm", apparently.

As well as Stoke on Trent there are:-
Stoke Poges
Stoke, Plymouth
Stoke Ferry
Stoke St, Gregory
Stoke Bliss
Stoke Hammond
Stoke Canon
-: to name but a few.

Some are little more than villages.

Distinctions in place names are, of course, made by folks in America when they refer to London, England, or Paris, France since, to Europeans we all know where London and Paris are (as far as we are concerned) - LOL.

Jamie Crowley
99 Posted 09/09/2019 at 20:01:04
Haha Hugh. Excellent explanation of Stoke, and that helps explain it! Fantastic.

Yes, we throw in the State name usually to distinguish from the world center. Dublin, Ohio springs to mind.

Distinction by location for a common name. Enlightened. I never stop learning things on TW, which is the real lure for me.


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