At half time on Sunday, with Spurs leading 2-1 against Everton, a statistic popped up on social media. The last time Everton trailed 2-1 at half time and won was in 1994. You’re all aware of the game I’m referring to. Wimbledon at home. Anders Limpar’s questionable decision-making, Barry Horne’s undisputed moment of genius, and what at the time seemed a success but now is seen as the sole saving grace from an interminably awful season. It was a special day. Sunday seemed anything but special. Even at half time, with a greater number of minutes to turn Spurs’ lead around as they took to overhaul ours, it never seemed on.
Where do you even get a Barry Horne nowadays?
It’s stunning that we’ve gone two decades and change without being able to turn some lot over. Let’s face it, we’ve been behind at the break many times. We’ve been conditioned to such a degree that as the ball was passed lackadaisically around the midfield and defence with very little intent, we weren’t even that surprised. Everton aren’t we. Right at the moment it became clear how far we are from the completion of the Roberto Martinez project. That’s probably a good thing in the long term.
Kevin Mirallas is magic. Let’s establish that to begin with. Aside from that there wasn’t much cheer from anyone else. Lukaku looked isolated while Samuel Eto’o was so absent he was replaced by Aiden McGeady. McGeady, imagine. Ross Barkley showed some touches of absolute class but seemed to be running into brick walls at times. Meanwhile, all of a sudden we have a problem in that deep midfield role. Remember when we had defensive midfielders coming out of our ears? Good times. Now, McCarthy is injured, which I’m sure is one of the signs of the Apocalypse, while Gibson is Gibson and thus is crocked. Gareth Barry took us on a nostalgia trip to the 2010 World Cup by looking as if he was running through treacle. Rather than Mesut Özil, it was Harry Kane who embarrassed us. Kane. He probably went home and scrawled “WinningLAD” in the steam on his bathroom mirror. He’s the sort who would’ve told the other LADS that he’s “well gutted” Jimmy Bullard was kicked off I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here during the weekly Nando’s trip due to his “top notch banter”. We let him succeed. Awful.
Mo Besic is in all senses of the word a rough diamond. On Sunday his ball control and distribution was excellent but the decision-making still isn’t there. Ross Barkley has much of the same problem but as an attacking player mistakes are less likely to be fatal. Playing in a new position in a new league is always going to be tough, which is why Roberto Martinez was cautious about picking him. Well, there’s no choice now. We may even have to partner him with Leon Osman. If that’s not throwing a player in the deep end I don’t know what is.
Seeing as our eight-game unbeaten run is now over, the aim is to make the next unbeaten run nine games or longer. Apart from Man City away at the weekend it’s a decent-looking schedule, but that means nothing unless we start to piece good performances together. In fact, putting together a good 90 minutes would be useful. Perhaps the first half from the Arsenal game and the second half from Wolfsburg. In fact, have we had a seriously good second half yet? Last season we led the league in goals scored in the final ten minutes. It would be nice to make a return to that boss Everton who made us dream of all sorts of wonderful things. With some of the dross in front of us there’s always a chance.
Nothing says dross more than Hull. The place, the people, the club. Adults wearing tiger face paint. The away end will run orange with sweat and paint. Steve Bruce, he with the face like an old pork chop, desperately needs a win for the Tigers. Just for that grrrrrrreat feeling. In goal will be Allan McGregor, an excellent keeper. Doesn’t dive before the striker shoots or fall backwards under pressure, or anything. Imagine. He’ll have to be top drawer tonight because Chester, Dawson, Davies and Robertson don’t make for an inspiring back line. Of course it’s Everton, so he’ll save everything in sight. Young Andrew Robertson would have been a great signing but we’re all set for left backs, ta. Livermore and Huddlestone clunking in front of them with the mobility of a fridge and a slightly larger fridge. Diame is also a choice. The likes of Brady, Elmohamady and ben Arfa will be in front of them. That Hatem ben Arfa has scored a couple of boss goals. Why’s he out on loan? You may not have noticed but his chip butty addiction has got the better of him. Fair enough. He’s only human. Up front is our old sweetheart, Nikica Jelavic. Our offside trap’s not the best but it shouldn’t be a problem here.
Who’s in for us? Hard to tell. Howard’s under no threat at all, which is a pity because he could use the competition. Coleman, Jagielka, Distin, Baines. That’ll do, cheers. I don’t want to hear any injury news that endangers that. Looks like Barry and Besic in front of them, although Osman may have to come in. For want of balance perhaps we’ll see Mirallas and Pienaar or McGeady flanking Barkley. With no Naismith it’s the sane choice too, as Eto’o can have an impact from the bench. Lukaku is now a nailed-on choice up top, which is a plus. He’s slowly edging his way towards the 20 goal mark as well, and without the fanfare of last season. It may well work out well for him, especially now that we have options for if he gets tired. Kone and Oviedo are back playing and on the scoresheet, which is the second sign of the Apocalypse.
So you’ve got Everton, who have scored at least two goals in 12 of the last 14 home games. Then you have Hull, on a run of four straight defeats and with one goal in their previous five matches.
….nah, f*ck it. I’m bored now. Just trounce these Everton. Make us arsed again.