And we’re back. See you in a month international football. Don’t hurry back.
Yes, all eyes are on those magic blues again. How else would you want to spend your weekend? Especially as right now Everton are playing football laced with promise, if lacking in actual results. There’s no better example than the derby last weekend. In short – Liverpool were firmly under our boot and we let them squirm free. It’s horribly frustrating, and yet that is actually a good thing.
The first half was dire, except for the chances which presented themselves to Steven Naismith and James McCarthy. The latter struck the ball well and through a crowd, and but for Mignolet being a Jan Tomaszewski rather than an actual clown he would have given Everton the lead. Naismith should have scored though. Then Tim Howard manages to melt into his goalline rather than catching a corner that’s right under his nose and Danny Ings gives them the lead. Everton that. Luckily Emre Can gifted Lukaku the equaliser, well-taken as it was, and parity was restored.
Then something weird happened. We weren’t threatened to any great degree again. Phil Jagielka and Ramiro Funes Mori were boss at the back but they weren’t put under that much pressure. We didn’t give away a late goal or score only to concede late on. We drew and didn’t react by saying that given all the derby nerves we’ll take a draw and be content. We bottled it only because we didn’t tear that lot limb from limb. And because we didn’t get to see Brendan Rodgers off with a thrashing. In a bit Brendan, make us dream, great character etc. Now it’s time for Kloppmania over there. Wake me up when it’s over.
The international break taught us nothing except that Ross Barkley is boss but East London and Middlesex meffs haven’t got a clue about him. Then Neil Warnock pitches in with his absolute shite and the people of Yorkshire take a hit too. But then who’s arsed? We know he’s magic, we know Stones is magic, and we know Galloway isn’t far behind. If the rest can’t see it it’s their loss. That’s why there’s so much promise around the club. Stones, Coleman and Baines were missing and we still looked solid. A couple were missing in more advanced positions but we looked capable. The squad needs depth, and we’re getting it from young players that the manager and even us, the cranky bastards we are, are backing. Now it just needs to translate into tangible results, such as a top four finish or a trophy. Keep your eyes on those prizes Blues.
But as much as we look to the future, it’s still worth looking to the past. Especially when it’s to somebody who has made such a difference to the club, both on the pitch and in the dugout. Somebody who will always be revered as an icon and who still inspires us to chase glory because we’re Everton, and that’s what we should do.
So long Howard. And thanks.
So next up it’s Manchester United, their self-important manager and rabid fanbase. You buzzing for the hilarious benefits shouts? You betcha. As if they’re not a bunch of Sussex Tories. Anyway there are few day trippers in the away followings so it’ll just be the lot bored of telling people they’re not glory-hunters. What a hardship. Anyway, the visit of England’s most decorated club holds no fear for us – and why should it? The last three Goodison Park meetings have been easy going for us. 1-0, 2-0, 3-0. James McCarthy and John Stones both scored against them in April with the sun shining over Goodison, which is as close to Heaven itself that any of us are going to get. So unless Brendan Galloway scores and Tony Hibbert descends from the skies to blast one past de Gea in off Rooney’s recycled arse hair it’s not going to get better than that. That’s not to say we can’t have another magical day piping these right down. Arsenal trounced United at the Emirates Stadium before the international break, and they had to deal with the fact that they’re absolute tripe against them for whatever reason. We can have these. Why not? We’ve had a knack for it recently.
They’ve chopped and changed because they can, so de Gea stays in goal with Darmian, Smalling, Jones and Rojo at the back. Schneiderlin and Schweinsteiger as the Scrabble player’s wet dream in the middle, though the latter has looked a bit off the pace recently. Mata, Herrera and everyone’s favourite will-he-won’t-he story Wayne Rooney will flank teenage sensation du jour Martial. There’s clearly quality going forward but there remain questions that van Gaal is yet to answer. Seeing as two defeats in a row spells crisis for this lot, it’s worth giving them that push.
Howard in net, and what’s this at the back? Coleman, Stones, Jagielka and Galloway. Beautiful. Yet it’s a bit of a shame not to see Browning or that gallivanting Argentinian nutcase Funes Mori. Barry and McCarthy, with Lennon, Naismith and Barkley in front. Naismith is riding his luck a bit to still be starting. Lukaku up top.
Let’s have a go at these Everton. There’s much promise and not much reward so far, but keep beating the likes of Man Utd and we could be on the path to something special. Remember, people in 1983 would have guffawed at Howard Kendall if he’d predicted the success we were going to have. Let’s do the magic Everton.
All for one, one for all. Everton’s the team that plays beautiful football.