Thousands gambol, cavort, frolic and prance all around Merseyside

first_img Wretched football, erroneous boasts: Sam Allardyce was an Everton misfit Send your letters to [email protected] And if you’ve nothing better to do you can also tweet The Fiver. Today’s winner of our prizeless letter o’the day is … Rollover.THE RECAPGet the best of Big Website’s coverage sent direct to your inbox every Friday lunchtime (BST). Has the added bonus of being on time. Sign up here.BITS AND BOBSMiddlesbrough defender George Friend has placed the blame for the club’s failure to beat Aston Villa in the Championship play-offs firmly at the door of the side’s attack. “We’ve not scored over the two legs so we can’t expect to go through,” he sniffed.Following Chelsea’s WSL and FA Cup double, Eni Aluko – who played her final game for the club in the title-sealing win at Bristol City – has paid tribute to manager Emma Hayes, 35 weeks pregnant with twins. “Her spirit was here, we Facetimed her as soon as we could and she was in bed, very excited,” cheered Aluko.Thibaut Courtois reckons José Mourinho will have a string of scarves up his FA Cup final suit when Chelsea face Manchester United on Saturday. “He always has surprises up his sleeve,” yelped the goalkeeper.Diego Maradona has signed a three-year contract to be chairman of Dynamo Brest in the Belarusian Premier League.And Saudi Arabia have banned referee Fahad Al Mirdasi from football for life for a match-fixing attempt, weeks before he was due to fly to Russia 2018 and officiate.STILL WANT MORE?Shrewsbury’s Omar Beckles on mental health.Suzanne Wrack on Chelsea’s double. Yes, on Wednesday morning Big Sam was bundled out of the door marked Do One and sent bouncing down the road on the seat of his trousers. He came to a halt on the corner of Gwladys Street and Bullens Road, not far from the stadium’s trade exit, which was just as well as he’d left something in his desk. “You forgot this!” screamed majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri, launching what appeared to be a large tin bucket down the street. As it deflected off Big Sam’s noggin with a dull clank, it became clear in the bright morning sun of a glorious new epoch that it was in fact his personal silver jigger. Sam – whose 24-match interregnum gives Ronald Koeman that Thomas H McIntosh sheen – sighed, upturned the bespoke beverage-measuring device, and sat on it to sulk awhile in the style of Oor Wullie. Help Sam’s boab!“Sam was brought in at a challenging time last season to provide us with some stability and we are grateful to him for doing that,” began a statement later issued by Everton’s incoming chief suit, Professor Denise Barrett-Baxendale MBE, whose stately handle registers an impressive 8.7 on The Fiver’s patented Sir Chips Keswick-o-meter. “However, we have made the decision that, as part of our longer-term plan, we will be appointing a new manager this summer and will be commencing this process immediately.” That process would appear to involve reclaiming the scrunched-up bit of paper from the waste bin with Marco Silva’s name on it, and employing the man they wanted in the first place back in November, if only Watford hadn’t gotten so shirty about it.So in absence of an interesting list of alternative candidates, let’s conclude this story with a roll-call of something else: Butland (Stoke), Pickford (Everton), Pope (Burnley); Jones (Man Utd), Cahill (Chelsea), Walker (Man City), Trippier (Tottenham), Rose (Tottenham), Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Young (Man Utd), Stones (Man City), Maguire (Leicester); Dier (Tottenham), Henderson (Liverpool), Delph (Man City), Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea), Morris-Dancing Fiver (Fiver Towers), Lingard (Man Utd), Alli (Tottenham); Kane (Tottenham), Rashford (Man Utd), Vardy (Leicester), Sterling (Man City), Welbeck (Arsenal).CAN’T YOU FEEL A BRAND NEW DAY? (REPRISE) Facebook West Ham target Manuel Pellegrini after David Moyes decides to walk Andy Hunter on Everton.Jonathan Wilson on Big Vase final.Proper Journalism’s David Conn on Swansea.The Knowledge on woodwork.Martin Laurence on Premier League clubs’ best players.Oh, and if it’s your thing … you can follow Big Website on Big Social FaceSpace. And INSTACHAT, TOO!‘THE THING IS, I DON’T EVEN LIKE BOUNTIES THAT MUCH’ The Fiver Facebook Share on Facebook Pinterest Topics Share on WhatsApp Get tapping, please. Photograph: Ross M Horowitz/Getty Images Chelsea celebrate the double. Photograph: Chelsea FC via Getty Images The cull of superannuated British managers continues apace: West Ham have decided against extending the contract of 2005’s David Moyes. As breaking news goes, it’s all a bit meh, given this outcome was pretty much expected back on 7 November, which was the day Moyes was given the job in the first place. Still, he kept them in the Premier League, which is an improvement on his performance at Sunderland. Sigh. It’s a long time since he could be spotted, bronzed and gleaming, swanning down the stairs of the Hotel Maria Cristina, his palatial digs in San Sebastián, isn’t it.Anyway, unlike at Everton, a long list has been cobbled together in search of a successor. And here it is: Manuel Pellegrini, Rafa Benítez, Sean Dyche, David Wagner and Paulo Fonseca of Shakhtar Donetsk. Good luck, Gollivan! Good luck, everyone!RAY WILSON (1934-2018)The rampaging left-back Ray Wilson, one of England’s World Cup winning heroes of 1966, has died at the age of 83. Wilson was the oldest member of the XI that played in the final at 32; it didn’t stop him hoisting Bobby Moore on to his shoulder during the post-match celebrations, captured forever alongside Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters in a tableau that has come to define English football’s greatest day. He won the FA Cup while at Everton, and enjoyed a lengthy spell with Huddersfield, remembered by fans of both clubs as one of their greats. RIP. Share on Messenger Twitter Twitter center_img Facebook Pinterest Football Share on LinkedIn A BRAND NEW DAYUnder normal circumstances, the announcement of the England squad for Russia would be our lead story. But Tranmere have just been promoted back to the Football League, while Liverpool are in the final of Big Cup. So it’s only fair that Evertonians should get the chance to trumpet some good news too. And they finally have some, as thousands gambol, cavort, frolic and prance all around Merseyside, to the tune of A Brand New Day from The Wiz, in celebration of Sam Allardyce’s sacking. Now admittedly England only name a World Cup squad once every four years, while lately Everton have been binning managers at such a lick, they’re in danger of making Mike Walker’s stint look like the era of Harry Catterick. But folk at Goodison have been really suffering for the last five months, give them their moment will you. They deserve this. Read more Read more Share via Email Share on Pinterest Share on Twitter features Pinterest Twitter Reuse this content LIVE ON BIG WEBSITEJoin Scott Murray from 7.45pm BST for hot MBM coverage ofRotherham 2-0 Firewall FC (agg: 4-2) Marseille 1-2 Atlético Madrid in Big Vase final.QUOTE OF THE DAY“The balance of the squad is good, both in terms of its experience, its character and also the positional balance. We have a lot of energy and athleticism in the team, but players that are equally comfortable in possession of the ball” – Gareth Southgate kindly gives us something to refer back to when a knackered-looking, lopsided England are knocked out of the Ethics World Cup having broken all records stretching back to 1930 for misplaced passes.THE FIVEЯYes, it’s our not-singing, not-dancing World Cup Fiver. Out every Thursday lunchtime BST, here’s the latest edition, on VAR.SUPPORT THE GUARDIANProducing the Guardian’s thoughtful, in-depth journalism – the stuff not normally found in this email, obviously – is expensive, but supporting us isn’t. If you value our journalism, please support us by making a one-off or recurring contribution.FIVER LETTERS Ray Wilson, pictured with the World Cup trophy. Photograph: PAlast_img read more