Here it is, the magic of the cup. Except it’s not really so magical anymore and I don’t know why, and nor will there be any attempt in this preview to try and work out why. I just preferred loads of lower league lads kicking shit out of an orange ball and more famed oppositions every January. And someone in our division getting dumped out to someone really shite, sometimes that being us.
Last game out was a pleasing 3-0 win over the south coast mutancy of Southampton. A scoreline which flattered us as we laboured for most of the game but the unlikely hero of Enner Valencia came off the bench and the fresh legs/impetus tipped the game in our balance. Puts us on 30 points with 19 games left so 10 more points to reach the Moyes climax point, and hopefully a few more points beyond that. I can’t really get my hopes up too much as it’s a weird Everton side this season, and a weird league where a big Iron Curtain has drawn between 6th and 7th place, and we’re in the Soviet side pretending that we’re buzzing off propaganda posters but not saying any sort of negative shit on the bugged telephone while often looking over the wall and wishing we could make it over there.
It’s been quite a week for the good ship Everton with stuff happening off the pitch weirdly signalling to better times ahead. Which probably won’t happen before it goes to shit like it usually does for us.
Anyway the AGM was a positive one with actual clapping as opposed to heckling and moody questions making suits squirm & cancel AGMs altogether. If Moshiri produces on his word, or even 80% of it then we’ll have some better times to look forward to. To smash that glass ceiling we’ve been bumping our heads on like twats for a good few years it takes wedge and nous as the Premier League is a competitive playground for billionaires. Like some form of futuristic space chess.
It’s not just money that guarantees clubs success – as fantastically demonstrated by our neighbours for the past 27 years – but rather having all angles covered in pursuit of excellence on and off the pitch. Coaching, recruitment, commercial, stadium etc. Fuck knows I’m no Director. Just having your shit together in cohesive, focused inter departmental fashion and why the fuck am I even pretending I understand 1% of what is needed to win stuff at the top level of professional football? Why would I even care? Moshiri could turn out to be a monster yet but he’s hitting the right notes in terms of where our focus is and that mainly being “doing everything fucking possible to win a cup of any sort really soon” as it’s shite to be this long without silverware in Everton’s history.
You only have to see the adverse effect the proposition of a royal blue stadium on the Mersey has on the kopites. Enjoying them going to lengths to show just how not arsed they are. If this is done right then it will be something iconic for the present generation to enjoy and all the ones to come. It lays down a huge marker and will attract money to it like the pool of koi carp outside yer dar’s business. More importantly I just want to be able to bevvy on Dale Street before and after a game and to be able to walk it without busting a gut.
For too long cute ol’ Everton may have been somewhat patronised while our peers have taken leap steps ahead of us. While the sentimentality and traditionalism is great, it’s not winning stuff. It’s our thing, it’s the footballing identity & ethics you’ll try and instil in your children, nephews and nieces which is sound – but there’s got to be some reward from time to time. Nothing does reward like an Everton captain lifting a cup over his head. That shit is to be dined on. I’ve been lucky enough to see it myself numerous times, and I feel gutted for an entire younger generation who’ve not felt it. Yet.
We’re guarded against fancy words and projects because we’ve seen it before and it usually falls around our ears. This time it seems a little different, where even the most cynical of Evertonian seems to have an understated and private hope about the near future.
The AGM was followed up with the announcement of USM Holdings putting 75m into the club over 5 years including the naming of Finch Farm. Now, whilst I’ve just alluded to the importance of commercial proficiency to succeed in the modern game I’m not quite at the point where I’ll be celebrating some rich Uzbek putting some cash into Everton. Of course it will help but we’ve just spunked about half that £75m amount on Niasse and Bolasie without any benefit to the team for the next 12 months.
There is of course a tasty sub plot about the deal in that there’s now a direct commercial link between the mega minted Usmanov and Everton. It’s the first time a holding company has sponsored a Premier League club and the first time a training ground has been renamed. Which is a bit odd. It’s a foot in the door and who knows if more is to come?
Add to that weekly mix a signing of a young talent in Lookman (the preferred retort prefix in any good scouse argument) and with some others likely to come in and it’s positive wee bubble around L4 4EL at the moment.
Which means we’re getting dumped out of the last chance we have to win something this season by 5pm today.
Because we beat Leicester in easy fashion less than two weeks before that at their own ground, and Everton never fucking ever allows you to enjoy any moment or positivity for any period of time. Everton is the universe’s biggest fucking arl arse. A real bonafide cunt. And since we played Leicester a couple of weeks ago I’ve got nothing much left to talk about Leicester about. Except how weird they are, and how an absence of renown identity forces them to really try hard to fit in with this football thing by doing shit banners and acting way too “passionate” when the cameras are on their fans, not unlike a Rugby League crowd. No one goes to a football game to enjoy themselves or socialise. It’s acutely stressful, and often painful. Your blood pressure does not want you anywhere near a club that you care far too much about on a regular basis.
And there’s Leicester, ladding it up in banterous fashion amongst Product Premier League. It’s for that reason – the creepy fucks – that I’m hoping they get relegated this season. I want the pain protracted to the point where they sit and wonder if they really won the Premier League. Like it was a dream that they think it was real but maybe it was real and fuck it they’ll not mention it in case they sound weird. Like going to school forgetting to put your pants on.
Oh and also because that Hammer Horror faced, bug eyed cocksplash Jamie Vardy plays for them, the utter bute, and society will be truly intolerable if he doesn’t disappear off the radar and pretty sharpish.
Since playing us they’re picked up four points from West Ham and Middlesbrough. Ranieri is in the media fancying his team for this one so I just hope we don’t turn up with the attitude of a 25 years time served civil servant and stink the place out. The last thing we want to do is to give little shithouses like Mahrez, Drinkwater and all any encouragement.
With that in mind I’d be surprised if Koeman – with his head like sunken loaf – changes his winning formula from the victory on Boxing Day. Which would mean some more of Planet Lukaku (with it’s Mino Raiola moon orbiting him every 27 minutes and luring a bid from China) up front supported by either Valencia or Mirallas. In the absence of Gana Gueye it will be Barry, Davies and one other in the midfield. Three central defenders and the Baines/Coleman axis of inconsistency charging up and down the wings. Robles will remain in goal.
And that’s it really. Two teams in not much form smacking it out, whoever wants it more will more than likely prevail.
What a week. Now right into them blues.