13.8.16 Spurs (h)
Bold white lines. Dazzling green pitch. Royal blue shirts. The L4 Azzurri are back, with a new manager, a new approach, a new billionaire owner and new white nets which seemed to get people really excited. Despite the mega-rich Persian tyrant in the directors box, the squad still looks as thin as Lindsay Lohan after a month of a heroin only diet. Lukaku missed out through injury so Deulofeu started as the central striker in new manager Koeman’s seemingly preferred 4-3-3 formation. New signings Gana and Stekelenburg both started.
The Koeman era got off to a great start. Inside 10 minutes, a Ross Barkley free kick was swung in around the penalty spot, everyone decided to swerve going for it, including Lloris in the Spurs nets, and the ball crept in at the far post. Sound. There was a noticeable difference in tempo and every player snapped into challenges, harried every white shirt, and generally ran around like a steroid fuelled Mo Farah pegging it round a Rio favela. It’s a long way from perfection yet but it beats the insipid shite Señor Soundbite used to make us endure.
Of course, it wouldn’t be Everton without a defensive lapse. Early in the second half, the visitors drew level after Erik Lamela managed to ninja past the attentions of everyone in a blue shirt and got his seventeen hair cuts rolled into one on the end of a cross to nod home. Defo needs shaving bald him, the odd looking twat. That aside though, the blues looked defensively strong and Stekelenburg made a series of decent saves, likely in response to rumours of a move for Joe Hart.
A not terrible opening day return, all in all. Big Ron (run with it, the tricky reds™ will hate it) said before the match that we were only around 70% ready. This turned out to be pretty accurate because around the 65 minute mark we looked absolutely goosed. Still think we need another 4-5 players in, and soon. Wee Gana (I’m not calling him Gueye, the last one was fucking terrible and had no ears) looked sound though. He reminded me of a Carsley/Gravesen hybrid rolled into the Somali pirate that had off Tom Hanks. Let’s see what Twitter thought
@blueboi1987 – Idrissa is Gana be good.
@billybeanpole84 – Blue drew with the Jew
@viewfromgwladys – Best opening day in years
@wb1976 – Will anyone buy Arouna Kone?
@ApEfc – Ross Barkley didn’t mean it
20.8.16 West Brom (a)
Boing Boing. To be fair, I’d probably pretend to talk like Zebedee as well to disguise that fucking horrible accent. The season’s first away day saw a trip into the deepest, darkest, Black Country to face a side fully deserving of Tony Pulis as manager, the grim bastards. No changes to the starting line up but the returning Lukaku was joined on the bench by new signings Bolasie and Williams. The continued absence of Coleman meant another run out at full back for Holgate.
Ronny’s Snakey Blues™ got off to an absolute shit show of a start. A preventable corner was swung in deep to the back post, everyone in yellow neglected to do a thing about it and A Grock (possibly not his legally given name) leapt like the proverbial salmon and headed home. Stekelenburg was on his arse for some reason or another.
We were shite and no mistake. In days of yore, or last season, whichever you’d prefer, we’d have to wait until 65 minutes to see any sort of a change, but this is a brave new world. On the half hour, Koeman realised the error of setting up with three defending midfielders against absolute cannon fodder, withdrew the ineffective McCarthy and sent on Lukaku. There was an immediate improvement in tempo, and the bold change was rewarded on the stroke of half time when a slick one touch passing move carved open the West Brom defence like Peter Sutcliffe on a first date and Mirallas slotted home off the far post.
Everton continued to dominate after the break, and took the lead after a deep corner fell to the excellent Holgate whose volley thudded into the turf before meeting the greying temples of Gareth Barry who nodded home from all of 18 inches. Bolasie and Williams both made late appearances and looked solid enough without really having too much to do. Everton saw out the game comfortably and in truth, it should have been easier, had Lukaku not made an absolute Chernobyl of a one on one.
Koeman’s first win as Everton manager and more indication that the club is moving in the right direction. Here’s the opinions of the masses in succinct, five word format
@davidjhumph – Ronald Koeman makes me erect
@Luke_Fletcher_ – At a wedding. Missed it
@EvertonMusings – started bad, changed things, won.
@victoriacarlin_ – thank fuck for Gareth Barry
@DeanWilson92 – I’ll Pay Gueye In Popworld
23.8.16 Yeovil Town (h)
How do you review a game you haven’t seen? You don’t. Ron’s Renegades strolled to a rather one sided 4-0 win over League 2 cannon fodder. Barkley scored a free kick, Lennon netted after another boss passing move and the Camel Whisperer came on, netted a brace, and smiled a big, toothy smile. Norwich at home in the next round.
Obviously I’m not going to leave you with that piss poor excuse for a match summary, so instead I’ll tell you a tale. A man walks into a bar, and he’s got a pig on a lead, with a wooden leg. He sits at the bar and asks the barman for a pint. Barman says as he’s pouring, “why’s that pig got a wooden leg?”
“One night, we were in bed asleep and an electrical socket tripped, caught fire and the flames were licking up the walls, smoke was consuming us in our beds. The pig smelt the smoke, smashed his way into the house, dragged us all out and saved our lives”
“Sounds like a remarkable pig but why does he have a wooden leg?”
“Another time, my daughter was skating on a frozen pond and she went through some thin ice. The pig slid along the ice on his belly, dipped his snout into the water, dragged her out and saved her life.”
“That’s amazing, but why has he got a wooden leg?”
“Another time, I was taking him for a walk in town and a bank robbery was in progress. The robbers came out, shooting their guns into the air, BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG, and started to flee. The pig sprinted off ahead, wrapped his lead around their legs, tripped them up and foiled the bank robbery”
“Seriously, that’s totally incredible but tell me, why does he have a wooden leg?”
“Well if you had a pig like that, would you eat him all at once?”
Up the Toffees.
27.8.16 Stoke (h)
Fuck off Mark Hughes. Honestly though, just take your menopausal-hag-fighting-over-y
Bolasie and Williams made their first league starts. Stekelenburg stayed in nets on a decent run of form. Lukaku started up top. Without going into too much tactical detail, frankly because I can’t be arsed and it would sound dreadful, Everton were sound without looking too clinical, Stoke reverted to full yard dog status, Idrissa Gana was magnificent again and Mason Holgate continues to look an absolute steal at £5m.
The only goal of the game came from the penalty spot. Well sort of. In possibly the most how the fuck did that happen goals Everton scored, along the lines of Russell Howard finding employment as a comedian, Baines’ penalty was tipped onto the post by Given, with the ball rebounding off the back of his why the fuck doesn’t he look any older than he did 15 years ago head and nestled in the bottom corner. Goodison erupted, well, stood, looked at its mate next to them and said “fuck was that?” before getting on with applauding politely.
That big Austrian grock Arnautovic had a shot deflected onto the bar by the legs of Stekelenburg in their only real foray towards our net, presumably that’s why Mrs Doubtfire thought his band of merry ankle kickers deserved a point (I told you to fuck off Mark) and a game that we would have most likely thrown away under Martinez was seen out comfortably. What did you lot make of it?
@tommcgrath1878 – Joe done another shite photo
@aidenedwards_97 – your cat is absolutely outstanding (he’s right, it is – ed)
@mark_mdluk – we won one nil mate
@viewfromgwladys – Everton are boss, I can’t do maths
@hollslouisee – desperately seeking Sam from frankie&bennies
So that was August. An untimely break for the drudgery of international football will hopefully do no harm to a decent little spell of results, leaving Everton 4th in the table and unbeaten in all competitions so far. A solid, if unspectacular start to the Koeman era and a platform to build upon.
Apologies if this was a little ring rusty, I’m just back from a long injury layoff and easing my way back to top form. Hope you come back again next month.