Let’s start with that kit. Umbro are back, and it’s an homage to the 1924 kit, because-blah blah. LOOK AT IT. IT’S F**KING GRAND. Goodbye Nike and your “electric blue” kit with the Mickey Mouse badge that you need a treasure map and security clearance to buy for over fifty quid. Black collar, black socks, that royal blue we always say we’re playing for. Now we’ve got license to play it sweet for you. If you’re one of those who thinks it’s a disgrace we haven’t got white socks, try and behave for just a second. Everton’s primary colour is blue (literally…ahaha….sorry. Anyway…) If the colour that goes with it compliments it and isn’t red, we’re sound. It’s a nice way to get the season up and running. Very very fabric.
The summer’s left us all with some really bizarre Everton withdrawal symptoms, and we’re lunging after anything Everton-related to have a good fewm. It’s been fun. Banning a fan from all Everton games for having a go at Ric Wee on Twitter’s justifiable, but perhaps a bit extreme. I’d agree with a ban lasting until a full public apology’s given, but that’s as far as I’d go. Abusing Ric Wee’s like kicking a puppy, but taking away Everton is definitely against the Geneva Convention.
We’re being bothered by the World Cup right now, which is a nice way to pass the time. Nothing much Everton going on. Our Three Lions are home already with the hilarious media hounding ringing in their ears. Stevie G, Captain Fantastic, gifted the ball to Uruguay and his good pal Chewy Suarez for the goals that knocked us out, but Jags didn’t deal with that unexpected boon, so he’s past it. Kinell Jags. Sort out the crisis in Iraq will ya lad. Kev Mirallas came off the bench and did the magic for Belgium against Russia, which is intriguing, while Tim Howard is tending the net quite well for the YOO-ESS-AY. It sure as hell beats watching to see how Nuno Valente’s sub appearances go. Apart from that, this competition is seriously lacking some Arouna Kone.
Speaking of our ‘Rouna, he’s currently running around Finch Farm by himself, which is delightful. Perhaps he’ll lash in a goal or ten this season.
While the World Cup rumbles on, and I can’t think what’s happened so far – it’s been a bit quiet really – we’ve entertained ourselves by linking Everton to a whole host of players who are doing the boss thing there. Sky added us as the token interested club alongside Newcastle in the “chase” for Enner Valencia, which always winds me up, while Ivan Perisic, Bruno Martins Indi, Stefan de Vrij, Jeremain Lens, Romelu Lukaku and Alessio Cerci are all counting the seconds til they can leave Brazil and wind up in L4 apparently. Of course, it wouldn’t be Everton without a good loan, and if that big streak Lacina Traore’s coming in soon, there’s sure to be another couple to cause temporary outrage amongst Martin Samuel, Alan Pardew and other assorted gobsh*tes.
Another part of challenging at the top table is keeping hold of your best players, or at least waiting until they’ve lost their magic and selling them to Man Utd for daft money. Cheers for the Maro cash, lads. As broken first by us, Seamus Coleman has signed a contract of approximately one Seamus Coleman per week (according to the Seamus Coleman IndexTM) and the man to whom all other transfer fees are compared can do the boss thing alongside Leighton Baines and co for a few years. Give the likes of Ross Barkley and James McCarthy the contracts they’ve earned and we can focus entirely on adding players. I bet that’s a nice feeling.
Unlike in the previous regime, Roberto Martinez has made no secret of the fact that he’s doing some scouting, even if he has his accreditation nicked off him. We’re talking Dutch starlets too, not that keeper from the Bosnia bench. ‘Berto has done us proud on the ESPN panel too, with his insight and typically in-depth analysis of every team, which does make you wonder if he has one house for his family and another for his dossiers. But hang on, he reckons Chewy should have the book thrown at him, what a typical bitter bloosh*te. Just him and the rest of the world vs Liverpool. YNWA.
But once the fanfare dies down and Germany take their trophy home (stick yer mortgage on it lads) we can get down to another season of Premier League football. What’s the target? Fourth place and the FA Cup, again. But while last year it was a promise of what can be, eventually, in a bit, when Bill wins the Euromillions, now it’s a concrete ambition. The fixtures are all we have to go on right now, so let’s have a look:
AUGUST – Leicester (away) Arsenal (home) Chelsea (home)
Yes, this is how to start a season. A newly promoted side with a lot to prove is like meeting someone in a club – it’s impossible to tell whether they’re out of it until you’re up close. Everton better not be arsed either way, she went out to get smashed and by God that’s what she’s getting. Arsenal and Chelsea get the Goodison welcome straight off, which is perfect. We can set the tone for the rest of the season. Anyone who saw the West Brom and Stevenage visits at the start of 2013/14 will agree it just wasn’t a good start. Good opponents will force us to up the tempo straight away; there won’t be room for three straight league draws this time.
SEPTEMBER – West Brom (away) Crystal Palace (home) Liverpool (away)
Bear in mind that from these fixtures last season we picked up one point out of nine. This is a great chance to rectify things. The first derby of the season is at Anfield, would you believe, and right in the midst of European games. That derby will mark fifteen years since Super Kev Campbell quietened the Kop, so it’s time for someone to fill his boots. Normally the job of the number 9 – have a crack ‘Rouna.
OCTOBER – Man Utd (away) Aston Villa (home) Burnley (away)
From Anfield to Old Trafford. Remember when that meant two straight defeats? Me too. But we’ll have a crack at United, because with their current squad neither Louis van Gaal nor the Kingsmen singing Louie Louie could change their fortunes. A stronger United would be a challenge though, especially with early fixtures favouring them. A mate of mine supports Burnley and he’s still banging on about that time in 2009 when we’d got t**tted by Arsenal, sold Lescott and lost to a Wade Elliot goal. Must-win, for bragging rights’ sake.
NOVEMBER – Swansea (home) Sunderland (away) West Ham (h0me) Spurs (away)
This is traditionally when he have the odd blip, so if we can come into November off the back of a decent October there’s not too much to fear. Spurs provide a nice end-of-month challenge, but we’ve got decent previous with West Ham so that’ll set us up nicely.
DECEMBER – Hull (home) Man City (away) QPR (home) Southampton (away) Stoke (home) Newcastle (away)
Tidings of comfort and joy right here. The aways – Man City, Southampton and Newcastle – are notoriously tough, but the home games against Hull, QPR and Stoke (on Boxing Day) mean we should pick up enough Christmas points to maintain a challenge for….wherever we are.
JANUARY – Hull (away) Man City (home) West Brom (home) Crystal Palace (away)
The start of the New Year mirrors the opening two games of December, so we’ll be well acquainted with Hull and Citeh. The month’s a bit dull apart from that face-off with City, but they’re the only side of top 6 quality that we face from the start of December to the end of January. February’s a bit different…
FEBRUARY – Liverpool (home) Chelsea (away) Leicester (home) Arsenal (away)
Oooh….tasty. The likes of West Brom and QPR may offer up more points, but we live for the big run of games. Quality Everton entertainment, with the bonus ball and the chance to pick up any points we drop coming at home to Leicester. In the old days of 2013 (remember them…) we’d fear trips to Stamford Bridge and the Emirates, but it’s sin miedo time. The derby is probably, possibly the last one of the season, so this one’s for bragging rights. You never know, it could be the biggest derby in many a year.
MARCH – Stoke (away) Newcastle (home) QPR (away)
I hope we’re in the Cup, because sweet mother of Alan Ball this month’s dull. Stoke and QPR are notorious snide merchants, and Newcastle are a big pack of bastards, so the aim will be not throwing away points while keeping the squad intact ahead of a big run-in.
APRIL – Southampton (home) Swansea (away) Burnley (home) Man Utd (home)
The run-in hots up. Three home games in a month means lots of Goodison for you and me, with the one distraction of visiting a side that has never beaten us. Could be a very successful month, especially if United leave our beautiful corner of Liverpool with their tails between their legs again.
MAY – Aston Villa (away) Sunderland (home) West Ham (away) Spurs (home)
I don’t even want to think about May. The more you think about it, the quicker it comes, and I’m just not ready. Think how old you’ll be when we next go to Villa Park. Eurgh. All of these games are winnable, which is a huge bonus, and it could be a real carnival if we play Spurs on May 24th with both sides still needing something. Of course I won’t whine if we’ve already secured a top 4 spot.
Well, we made it through the 2014/15 season, and it’s a bit like memories of a boss night out abroad. Hazy and a bit ominous in the middle, but either side it was boss and you know it. As long as you don’t come out of it having picked up something you weren’t after you’re sound. The bonus is being in Europe. Yep, we’re back in the big time, playing the likes of the MASSIVE Skënderbeu Korçë and the TRULY HUGE Ludogorets Razgrad. It’s gonna be grand. Get your passports out and pray we get something boss with good beers like Viktoria Plzen or Torino. Oh, what could be better than Borussia Mönchengladbach in the autumn?
Enjoy the World Cup, Blues (and non-Blues who stumble onto this site – I’ve heard we’re very popular with Mackems), but keep an eye open for Everton. It’s all about to kick off, and once again there’s infinite potential. Something beautiful’s about to happen, and remember – it started here, with the great preview of previews. I hope it has made you as excited for what’s coming as I am.
@ViewFromGwladys Fabric. Pissed. Buzzing. Up the Ev.