“Deck the halls with Funes Mori, fa la la la la, la la la la….”
As Christmas fast approaches, the month of December brings with it six whole outings of festive Everton, showcasing the good, the bad and the Joel Robles of all that St Domingos have to offer. With that in mind, each review will probably be a wee bit shorter which is no bad thing because I’ve forgotten most of what happened in the earlier ones. So don ye now, your gay apparel (childish snigger), and we’ll get to it.
4.12.16 United (h)
Growing up watching Everton in the 90’s, this is the fixture you always just ticked off as an abject defeat. These days though, despite still being a squad full of some of footballs biggest names (and Phil Jones), there’s always a degree of optimism about facing United at home. Ever since professional Mark McManus impersonator Alex Ferguson fucked off into the stands to stare menacingly over the shoulders of his successors, there’s something fallible about them.
Everton did their level best to completely destroy that notion with a display of absolute shite, zero effort and a complete surrender of any sort of fight. Truth be told, if it was the United of old we’d played, this could have been double figures. The mercurial Ibrahimovic opened the scoring just before the break with a long range lob after Stekelenburg lost all sense of spacial awareness and came galloping out to a long ball he was never going to reach. The tit.
After half time, a fighting response was needed but never really materialised, until about 15 minutes to go. Bolasie went off with an injury that ultimately seems to have ended his season, and Valencia came on, ran around loads without ever really doing much and then missed a sitter from a yard. The match hinged on a pivotal substitution when Fellaini was thrown on late by Mourinho to add some defensive steel. He promptly gave away a penalty which Leighton Baines dispatched confidently to nick a point that was completely undeserved.
10.12.16 Watford (a)
Going to gloss over this one quick quickly because without wanting to sound overly harsh, we were fucking awful. Two well taken goals from Lukaku bookended three sloppy goals given away to shite players by a defence with absolutely no confidence about it. We deserved fuck all from the game and got just that. The only consolation being that Troy Deeney, with his face like a disgruntled JD Sports cashier, remains stuck on 99 goals. Other than that, fuck off Everton.
13.12.16 Arsenal (h)
That’s more fucking like it. A big response was needed to the drudgery of Watford, and for the first time in about 2 months, Everton delivered, albeit after another slow start to a game that resulted in us chasing a deficit.
Arsenal, off the back of three straight wins, dominated the early stages with a crisp, confident and direct passing game that those in blue shirts couldn’t seem to touch, and were rewarded with the opener on 20 minutes. Jagielka lunged in to an ill advised challenge on the edge of the box and Alexi Sanchez’s free kick to a massive deflection off Williams on its way into the net.
A late challenge by the much improved James McCarthy earned a probably deserved booking, yet it was the catalyst that got the crowd snarling. It’ll be a huge shame because there’s probably not a ground in England as intimidating to away teams as Goodison Park under the lights when the crowd are being fucking horrible. Angry da’s in the Lower Bullens threatening to maim the families and loved ones of visiting full backs. Love all that me. With the fans vocally behind them, Everton pressed and on half time, a right footed cross by Baines was glanced in off the head of Coleman.
Second half, and Partisan Walton stepped it up further. Arsenal didn’t want to know. Everton pressed and hounded and harried every ball, poured pressure on their back line and with just four minutes remaining, Ashley Williams atoned for his earlier error by powering a header from a corner home in front of the Gwladys Street to send the crowd wild. Arsenal almost grabbed a late equaliser although some stalwart defending from Coleman and Funes Mori saw the ball twice cleared off the line, but Everton held firm to claim only the second win in 11 games.
19.12.16 Liverpool (h)
I fucking hate derbies. Given the choice, I’d give them cunts a 6 point head start in August and just strike them from the footballing calendar altogether. No matter the build up, we always seem to find a way to bottle it against the pocket pissing, masonry dismantling, Uruguayan colloquialism experts. Every fucking time.
In truth, it was a poor match, neither side looking particularly impressive. The really annoying thing was their back line is incredibly poor and yet we failed to test it with a system that left Lukaku isolated against three men all the time.
Just when it looked like things might peter out into a drab 0-0 draw, they hit the post in the 94th minute and of course the ball fell straight to the one red shirt in the box and Mane slid home, sparking flares, smoke bombs and witty, witty banners galore from the up until then relatively quiet travelling support. Cunts. See also; Fuck off Everton.
26.12.16 Leicester (a)
Two teams struggling with form and low on confidence met on cold turkey butty day and it showed as the following spectacle, for large parts, resembled a Sunday League fixture and not that of the Greatest League in The World Super Soccer Extravaganza™. Leicester were without top scorer Jamie Vardy, a man that looks uncannily like a weasel that would vote for UKIP to stop the mass immigration of badgers, and so all 30,000 or so of the home crowd wore masks of his face in support, including the man himself, the bad fucking dickheads.
Nothing of note to report until early in the second half when Mirallas latched onto a long ball from the keeper, glided through their defence and clipped a neat finish into the far corner. Who knew Joel Robles was the creative spark Everton had been missing?
Tom Davies came on for Barry who was on a booking, and looked assured, comfortable on the ball and broke up play well during his half hour cameo. Ross Barkley also came off the bench and looked a lot closer to the player we all know he’s capable of, rather than the broken shell we’ve seen too often this season. It was his inch perfect pass that sent Lukaku clear in injury time and the big Belgian left Wes Morgan on his arse, then made Wasilewski look silly before slotting coolly home to the delight of the travelling fans.
30.12.16 Hull (a)
In keeping with the tone of 2016, this one was another gigantic pile of steaming shite. A team bottom of the league, low on confidence and struggling for goals. Perfect time for Everton to breeze into town and help them out.
Fresh off the back of a solid two nil away win, Ronald Koeman changed the shape and line up of the back line, brought back Jagielka and was immediately rewarded within six minutes when the club captain completely lost sight of his man at a corner, the ball broke to Dawson and Hull were one up. The home side then proceeded to outplay a lethargic Everton for the rest of the half until stoppage time when Marshall decided to punch one into his own net under very little pressure.
After the break, Snodgrass hit the bar from a free kick that had Joel beaten all ends up. Then, as if no lessons had been learned from this brief flirtation with falling behind, another free kick from the edge of the box rippled the back of the net and the hosts led once more. Admittedly, it was never a foul and Jon Moss was a horrible fat fucking dickhead all night, but still, Jesus fuck Everton.
In the immediate aftermath of the goal, Koeman threw on Tom Davies for the terminally slow Barry. The flaxen haired youngster with the rolled down Baresi socks and simple black boots (Darren called him the Ketwig Kaiser and it’s the best nickname I’ve ever heard) came on and controlled the tempo of the game, putting Everton back on the front foot. Eventually the pressure paid dividends as Ross Barkley rose to bullet home a header to spare blue blushes, although it really only papered over the cracks of an ageing side struggling badly for any sort of momentum, that badly needs revitalising. The January transfer window will make or break the season.
So, that was December. An occasional glimmer of light in amongst a crushing mass of darkness and despair. Thanks for taking the time out of your busy lives to read my rambling shite once a month, it’s massively appreciated. I hope 2017 brings for you, health, happiness and a trip to Wembley in May. Up the Toffees x