The toughies just keep on coming don’t they? After Arsenal last weekend, it’s a trip to Everton on Saturday.
Goodison Park doesn’t hold too many good memories for me, but I have to admit, it was always a very tough place to go, and I used to enjoy that about. It was always physical, the fans aree right on top of you, and it was noisy. It pains me to say it, but Everton is one of the hardest places in the Premier League to go as an opposition player.
Goodison is an old school stadium, and it’s a bit like Elland Road in some ways in that it’s far removed from these spanking new stadiums and re-developed ones that are around nowadays. Their dressing rooms have hardly changed over the years and they have a tight little corridor and tunnel there. Over the years they’ve had some players with a nasty streak – not least my old pal Duncan Ferguson, who absolutely us to bits the last time Leeds played there. We lost 4-0 and it could have been eight. Roque Junior didn’t know what had hit him that day and poor Paul Robinson just kept watching the goals fly past him.
I was always bit too hyped for games at Everton, because of my Liverpool connection, and it landed me in hot water the second time I went back there with Leeds. We’d drawn 2-2 the previous year in a bit of a mad game, but I wasn’t to see much of our 0-0 draw the year after when I picked up one of the three red cards I received in my entire career.
Kevin Campbell had been diving all over the place and I was sent-off before half-time. It was bad enough walking off with the Everton fans taking the piss, but I’d barely been in the dressing room two minutes before the Police came crashing through the door. I’d taking out my frustrations by kicking something when I walked back in, and the next thing the Police were telling me to calm down and behave.
That’s Everton used to do me! Hopefully the current Leeds side will have less than drama than I’ve had there over the years.