They like a joke on Merseyside and for years, Everton was it.
Much of the humour emanated from the 1960s and 1970s when Liverpool manager Bill Shankly mischievously sniped at the neighbours on the other side of Stanley Park at any opportunity.
“If Everton were playing at the bottom of the garden I’d pull the curtains,” was one of Shankly’s many putdowns.
Well, whisper it quietly because the Premier League has a habit of making fools of anyone trying to predict its twists and turns, but Everton are back.
Back with a team full of youthful swagger in Ross Barkley, James McCarthy and Romelu Lukaku allied to the canny experience of Gareth Barry and Phil Jagielka.
Back with a manager in Roberto Martinez who could not play ugly football if he tried.
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