Oh hello there you. Like that phone bill that you just forgot about and the direct debit takes you overdrawn and fucks any plans you had for a Maccies breakfast the day before pay day, September’s preview just didn’t happen, so if you felt like you missed out on that proverbial bagel and the lukewarm hash brown and nuclearly scalding coffee, I can only apologise. A combination of dog shit form from St Domingos, international football lethargy and hideous luck on the job front, it kind of faded away after the Norwich debacle. Thankfully, things are slightly back on the up now so you all are back to being subjected to my cheap cliches and try hard one liners that led to one reviewer describing August’s piece as “shit” and it’s modestly handsome author as a “cockwomble” which was mildly disconcerting.
Anyway, enough of that, who wants to talk Everton?
15.10.16 City (a)
Traditionally, not a bad hunting ground for Everton, although the last couple of years have seen City’s financial might reflected more in the scoreline. Another side starting off under a new manager, another side that had made a good start to the season only to falter slightly in recent weeks, there was a sense going into the game that there was something there for the taking.
That feeling was almost immediately wiped out as wave after wave of City attacks were launched, stirring the double denim clad hordes into something just above a murmur. The blues defence, marshalled ably by the ever more impressive Williams, stood firm. Even a penalty given in the aftermath of one of those Phil Jagielka challenges that you see coming a mile off and cringe like fuck about, was repelled as Stekelenburg put his international woes behind him to beat away Kevin De Bruyne’s effort. Nil nil at the break.
Amidst a further flurry of City pressing, the Walton Globetrotters took the lead. A swift counter attack and the ball fell to Bolasie in his own half. John Stones came ambling towards the ball, drawn in like a fly to one of them electric zapper things that go fucking tonto in the seediest of kebab shops, got left on his arse by a deft touch, and Lukaku sprinted clear, made Clichy look silly and fired a powerful left foot effort beyond Bravo. Cue limbs in the away end.
Oh fucking hell, he’s done it again the daft prick. Another Jagielka flailing leg, another City penalty. This time Aguero stepped up but to no avail as the Flying Dutchman (sorry) leapt to his left to beat away the spot kick. Sound. How delightfully Everton is it to save two penalties in one match, only to concede a soft as shite header from an aimless cross? Nolito rose highest and nodded home. 1-1.
And that’s how it finished. Given the resources available to Pep Guardiola, you’d have to say a draw is a creditable result and leaves us in a decent league position with probably our hardest game all season behind us. Definitely a game where we would have folded last season and conceded two late goals, so the improvement defensively is there to see.
22.10.16 Burnley (a)
In the name of the wee man, what the fuck was that? The most Martinez-esque showing of the Koeman era, actually no, scrap that. This was pure Walter Smith stuff. In true Everton style, the team turned up thinking a point away at City gave them the right to expect to just walk over Burnley. Sean Dyche said in his gravelly, 40 Bensons a day before deepthroating a cactus voice, “fuck that for a game of soldiers.”
The blues (ridiculous canary yellows in this instance) dominated possession early on, forcing save after save from Heaton in nets, although in truth none really troubled him. As the half wore on frustration grew and as the whistle approached, an absolute Hiroshima piece of defending from Williams and a biscuit wristed save from Stekelenburg let the ball fall to token big fucking grock Vokes who tucked home from a yard.
An instant response was needed and it came soon after the interval. The up til then woefully ineffective Bolasie nicked the ball off the toes of strike partner Lukaku and avoided a kicking in the changies by rattling home across the keeper. It should have been time to press on and take all three points from there in but in truth it never looked likely. A whole host of poor performances were ultimately punished when Arfield, who probably should have been off after miraculously swerving at least five second bookable tackles, pinged one in off the post in injury time.
Disappointment all round and the start of some grumbling about Koeman’s management. Probably deserved after some piss poor substitutions. Let’s be honest, bringing Tom Cleverley on is never going to be considered a managerial masterstroke. Piss poor from Everton and improvement needed.
30.10.16 West Ham (h)
There’s almost no sight quite as sweet as that of the Sexy Socialists of St Domingos handing out a badly needed piping down to the UKIP Social and Athletic Wing, East London Branch. Quite why having a taxpayer funded stadium has given the Brexit loving biffs a sense of entitlement to be seen as a big club, I’ll never know, especially considering they don’t have a single League Title to their name. They used to be quite tolerable as well. Almost the acceptable face of London football if that concept can be entertained. Then came the seedy dildo peddlers Gold and Sullivan and Tory Peer and fan of lower league footballer boaby Karren Brady, and all was ruined forever.
The first half was end to end without being nearly as exciting as that description sounds. The only real moment of note was an excellent save from pan faced Hammers keeper Adrian, throwing out an arm to block a twelve yard deflected effort from Barkley that looked destined to bulge the Park End net. Payet looked mildly threatening in attack for them although he never came close to hitting the heights of menace he carried last season.
Into the second half then, and Everton came to life. A surging Barkley run fed Seamus Coleman on the right. The fullback cut inside and drilled a low shot that the keeper could only parry. Two of their defenders kind of stood and watched as the ball trickled towards the byline and the otherwise disappointing and frustrating Bolasie slid in to clip a cross into the 6 yard box where Lukaku was available to nod home from all of a yard. The game was finished as a contest when Barkley got the goal his performance merited. Collecting the ball in midfield, he dropped the shoulder and left the Victorian street urchin-like Noble for dead. Clipping a ball wide to Lukaku, he carried on his run to the far post and was rewarded with an excellent half volley on the end of the big Belgian’s tasty cross.
A thoroughly decent way to end a month that stuttered and stumbled and sitting in 6th place, 5 points off the top of the table. Some winnable games in November will give cause for optimism going into the busy festive period.
Allez les Bleus