Sake. Just beat them Everton.
We’re into European Hangover Part III, which is frustratingly relevant seeing as Palace and Man United have stuck the knife in after our Thursday night football. This one’s one hell of a hangover too as we took – what was it – 12 million people to Lille? The French police had to react as we were clearly up for ransacking north-eastern France by doing such aggressive acts as standing in a group, having a bevvy or letting loose such vitriolic English hate songs such as “SIXTY GRAND, SIXTY GRAND SEAMUS COLEMAN”. Good on them. Those kids deffo deserved tear gas and our older fans could do with being taken down a peg or two by having canisters shot in their faces. Cheers Jean-Claude, that was a good trip. Glad everyone’s back in two pieces or fewer.
On the pitch it was a bit uninspiring. Lucky really that few Evertonians go on European aways just for the football. With any luck the Kronenbourg mist descended over enough eyes to shield the fact the day trip to France had culminated in seeing Aiden McGeady be a bad tit. It wasn’t much of a game and there really isn’t much to read into it. The ‘second string’ Cup side really is good enough to play all manner of teams, which is useful when you consider our aptitude for injury. Mo Besic and Samuel Eto’o are in the “B-team” and that’s how things are for Everton right now.
Yes, it’s alright. Stick the feel-good tunes on – I’d recommend Bill Withers – because Everton can really brighten up your day if they turn it on. Watching Southampton and Bournemouth tearing apart the very fabric of two pathetic sides in Sunderland (stick that in your forum, Mackems. We’ve got previous) and Birmingham made me jealous. When are we laying into some soft melts then? The marketing lot are desperate to get another DVD out.
Maybe it’s coming soon. Everton tend to build these up. And so our next opponent will either roll over and let us do terrible, terrible things to them or squeak a win that kicks us right where we don’t want it and bring us full circle on the road to meltdown. The Rue-de-Rue if you want a cheap pun.
Here we go. Deep into grock country, that patch of Lancashire still reacting to the introduction of civilisation to the area, rudimentary as it is, lies a town of people that weren’t designed to mingle outside of their area. Their own family in some cases. Ask any Burnley lid how their parents met and the story normally kicks off with their eyes meeting from across the scene of a stabbing outside a jarg nightclub, or with the realisation they got the same hoodie-tracksuit combo from Sports Direct. It’s hard to listen to them making the tired old Scouse jokes when they were all born in that giant den of iniquity.
When it comes to the togger BURNLEH are tourists, plain and simple. They know they’re destined for the drop again, and they’re being unbearable about it. There’s no way out here. If they win we’ll never hear the end of it – every Burnley fan I’ve met goes on about when they beat us in 2009 more than any Oldham, Shrewsbury or Brentford fan mentions winning against us. A draw and it’s the same. An Everton win and it’s “So? We’re only Burnley innit, reyt”. Ugh. Yes, you can have a good pint with these people, but you’re about as likely to have a meaningful football conversation with a Burnley fan as find a Texan who actually knows what Ebola is.
Nice people though. Reyt.
Burnley surprised an awful lot of people by winning promotion with no money at all, yet also playing an attractive brand of football. If you’re not up with modern day football terminology, “attractive brand” means they like to keep the ball on the floor rather than lump it to the big man – that’s “route 1 play”. Next week we’ll cover “mentality”, “philosophy” and how enough twisting facts means you can distract people from an awful performance by blaming it all on one lad changing his shirt at half time. Back to likeable people, and it’s Sean Dyche. For a man who looks and sounds like he garnishes his Weetabix with gravel, and who spent his career at Chesterfield breaking forwards into little pieces, Dyche has become a talented manager. No money, no expectations, and actually a side that deserved promotion. They’re going down of course but these days, when the likes of West Brom can whip out £10m for a player and they can’t it’s understandable. If their fans weren’t interminable meffs they’d be most people’s “second club”.
Onto the team, and basically it’s an uninspiring, dour lot. Great representatives for the town. Danny Ings and Kieran Trippier stand out as talented young lads who could go on and get a couple of England caps with Ings maybe grabbing a goal against some tiny pseudo-state. In goal there’s Heaton, who is going to have a long, long season, the poor man. Trippier joins Shackell, Mee and Duff in defence. To be fair they’ve kept four clean sheets so far – imagine that – although all were in goalless draws so that’s a worry for them. Arfield, Jones, Kightly, possibly Marney, Sordell, Barnes…if reading this list hasn’t lulled you into a stupor you’re a better hipster than I. Jutkiewicz! Ah, the memories. One of the many youngsters some jokers labelled the next great hope of Everton because he was on the bench a few times and Moyes needed to bring him on. BRING HIM ON THEN MOYES, DEFFO GOT A GOAL IN HIM. Turned out he had three minutes in him for Everton. Scored a wonder goal in a 6-6 draw with Motherwell and that’s about it. Ings is the threat. So expect a Jutkiewicz winner. George Boyd is in there too, the messy blert.
Who’s arsed? If we actually turn up this lot can’t do a thing. West Brom put four past them without reply. This is an Alan Irvine team which stars Joleon Lescott. So Everton, if we could actually give this lot a sound thrashing, it’d be great therapy for the lot of us. We’re due something.
Tim Howard in goal. Might have something to do today, who knows. He should expect to be bullied from set pieces so if he’s going to do that thing where he falls over backwards or starfishes over the ball we should just go home. Coleman, Jagielka, Alcaraz and Baines did well/did absolutely nothing against Villa so they may continue, although Distin may be a bit more of a presence then Alcaraz in the air. Barry and McCarthy together again in the midfield. Gareth Barry is boss. Past it? Not a chance. He runs the show, and more importantly James McCarthy does the running.
Who goes out on the wings? Surely Naismith deserves a return after a short break. His movement and lethal finishing will be an important asset. At this point I’d love to say “it’ll be Barkley and Mirallas with him” but Mirallas is injured and we all know Leon Osman’s starting this one. Probably Pienaar too. Cue more “woah, great bench we’ve got there” shouts. Lukaku up front. It’s great watching him and Barkley together. The moment he came on in Lille Barkley was looking for him. Some would call it a ‘bromance’, but I’m not some soft tit so call it a great partnership. After weeks of lolloping around on his own up front Lukaku could do with a wingman.
Anyway, this is all talk. It really shouldn’t matter. I can admit that because it’s too late for you. You’ve read this totally erroneous preview. Sucker.
JUST SMASH THEM EVERTON, DAMMIT.