We were unaware at the time but Santa brought us the best gift really: a few months without Everton fume (I’ve wiped shitting the FA Cup conveniently out of this sentence) and all the positive spin offs it bestows upon your life. Maybe your other half, children or friends have noted your enhanced weekend mood and motivation to actually do shit with a certain degree of enthusiasm, or at very least: compliance.
As with Everton it never lasts but the real shame is if we failed to savour that feeling. So I’d like you to take a moment right there reading this to appreciate the lack of Everton rage remnants in your system.
Then we’ll continue.
The Sunderland game went without too much drama – save Defoe rattling the bar – and the 2-0 scoreline was about right despite us making it edgy at 1-0 up, but then again Moyes was prowling our touchline so it was maybe a nod to days gone by.
It’s fair to say that going from the bottom team of the league at home to the second placed team away from home marks a step up in challenge for St Domingo’s finest. While progress has been steady it’s the a best test for Ronko’s EFC v2.1 and it will be interesting to see if we have the step up in our locker.
It’s quite the weekend for a few of you lucky enough to take in the Bellew Haye fight and then Everton at White Hart Lane the following day. I’m sure you wouldn’t jeopardise the contentment of your weekend on either result. Fuck that. Prepare for the worst and hope for the best.
There’s not quite a chasm between us and Spurs as the media would have you believe but they do have better players in a squad with more quality and that’s usually a good indicator of what will settle a football game. Spurs have generally thumped everyone at home including leaders Chelsea and are currently on a run of 8 straight home wins.
Robert Elstone played for Spurs?
There’s not much to rip into with Spurs fans. I mean there’s always stuff to rip into but you have to place their behaviour in context to others, and an easy comparative scale to use on them on would be the teams of London itself. Certainly north of the River Thames I can’t think of a top flight London team I detest less than Spurs.
Spurs have some parallels with their one eye on a proud history and tradition, and getting fucked over in painful manners, usually involving their nearby abhorrent rivals in red. That too slowly sang “aw when the Spaaaaaars” grips my shit somewhat but there’s much worse about. The media being camped halfway up their intestines can also grate a little, but there’s little feeling there towards them and that sort of ambivalence should be appreciated in a fuckcluster of bells and teds amongst the current Premier League. Well in Spurs.
They’re also benefitting from an ex Southampton manager with Pochettino making progress every season to the point where they’re holding second place for long periods ahead of the free spending twats around them. Nabbing that top spot is particularly difficult (Spurs have won just 2 league titles in their history) and I wouldn’t be surprised in time to see them lament their late season collapse last year that allowed Leicester to pull away and take the title. As long as Pochettino remains they’ll be competitive up there you’d guess. It’s a long way from Juande Ramos for Spurs at the moment.
It’s one of the last times we will get to visit White Hart Lane as they too have new stadium aspirations, but they’re way further down the line with dates agreed and rather funky videos of a new stadium, complete with drone style fly through camera. As impressive as the new stadium seems I can’t shake off the slight feeling of “Speedball 2” arena about it.
A list of some of their players:
Harry Kane – Think there’s a doubt over him, but he’ll play. Cracking striker.
Dele Alli – two parts Fine Young Cannibals, three parts shithouse, one part England’s next big hope and a generous helping of “police called to taser him while para on space strength beak in 24 years time from now”.
Eriksen – really good player, if he ticks at home they usually win. Right down the back of his achilles Morgan lad, you beautiful snide.
Dembele – one of the best midfielders in the league but weirdly doesn’t get the credit for it.
Vertonghen , Alderweireld & Dier – all very decent players at the back and if used in a 3 then will take some breaking down.
Davies and Walker – two energetic and dangerous full backs.
Lloris – the only way you could witness anything more dripping of France would be to type “casting couch” into your bongo site of choice on google incognito.
When you think about the team they can put out you see why they’re doing so well. Pedestals are there to be toppled though. So, Everton.
The line up v Spurs on the first day of the season v our line up for our last game at Sunderland is telling, with only 4 players starting both games. Koeman is making his mark on the Everton team with personnel as much as approach.
Lukaku on 17 league goals is being paired off against Kane in some media generated Sunday shootoff. I’d not like to pick between either but the big buck of a Belgian is welcome site for royal blue eyes and as long as he’s kept fit and instagramming then Everton won’t struggle for goals so much. If he wants to put down a marker for his talent then troubling the best of defences, like Spurs have, would only confirm what a world class striker he is developing into. Barkley is in the zone and giving interviews – predictably he’s been paired off v Dele Alli and similar to Lukaku this is the type of game we really need to see him make his mark on.
How Koeman, with his face like a GCSE sculpture, sets up for this will be interesting. It’s very much a tactical battle and the outcome of which should tip the game. I can see Davies on the bench and someone like McCarthy brought in to battle against a talented opposing midfield. Also can’t see Lookman starting this either and there’s no shame in that, he’s useful to bring on from the bench as he develops. Gueye was back to his best and celebrated with his first Premier League goal. What was most interesting about his performance was how much he pushed on, presumably secure with the athletic go-go-gadget legs of Schneiderlin sat behind him. Speaking of whom, the Frenchman looks a very accomplished player, containing work rate, aggression, vision and touch. Some midfielders you just see in royal blue and instantly know they’re gonna be liked long time by the Goodison crowd.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see the extra defender brought in for this game either. Spurs are very adept at playing between the lines with intelligent players finding space for the likes of Alli and Kane to profit. I’m not quite sure why I’ve qualified myself to offer any sort of tactical insight that you won’t already be aware of but I’ll finish on just two points. 1 – our full backs need to take charge of their wings. 2 – has the dimple on Joel’s chin ever been explored deeply by modern science apparatus? Put me on that voyage when it does happen.
And that’s it really. Was it a shite preview? Yeah. Is the game on Sunday one of our toughest under Koeman? Yeah. Can Everton win? Yeah.
Over to them then.