All good things must come to an end including unbeaten runs as Everton just failed to take theirs into double digits.
The forgotten annoyance of defeat reintroduces itself to your system and you fume a bit – I even found myself tweeting “fuck off Ashley Williams” – and then when the chemicals patrolling your body die down you take stock with a clear head, and reflect.
If you would have told me at Christmas where we would be now, not just results wise but in team development, then I’d have hollered a meek hell yeah your way. Or perhaps asked to borrow your DeLorean.
So there’s no need to chew over the Spurs reverse as for all the supposed faults of players and manager we were beaten by a very fine team with lots of qualities that we as Evertonians would like to see in our side. Young hungry talent pressing hard and playing some really nice togger along the way. It also gave us a test to gauge our own improvement of late. Whilst it wasn’t the play off into the elite as some would have you believe it was a benchmark and truth be told it just showed that we are a while away from being that good and efficient. No shame in that, Spurs have a mighty fine team right now.
There’s some more tests to anticipate in the remainder of this season like United away, sadly the shite away, and also Arsenal on their home ground. Never mind champions elect Chelsea coming to Goodison for us to try and bear pit them out of it. So it’s probably a good idea to wait until the end of these tests to get an aggregate reading of where Everton stand against those we aspire to be, and better.
In the meantime however there’s the small matter of the club nearest to us in the league as West Brom come to Goodison hoping to turn a four point gap to 7th place into just one point. West Brom have sufficient motivation for the seventh position as there’s a good chance finishing there will provide European football, and they would relish it. As should we, if we obtain it.
It’s a small preview this week so less of the usual guff about the opposition but I’m pleased to see Pulis do well as there’s a certain amount of snobbery towards him in the Premier League and yet when you look at his record he’s produced year after year of competitive teams who seldom get sucked into any relegation danger, and that’s a useful commodity with the amount of money swirling round the Premier League. He was also in charge of Crystal Palace when they produced the world’s greatest ever comeback v Liverpool in 2004. A game brought into direct comparison this week with the Barcelona win over PSG but the Catalans can get to fuck. Suarez diving and winning crucial penalties was lauded but in Crystanbul the same man was sobbing like a tired child with his shirt over his face while Gerrard had to usher him off the pitch. We can both agree the greater feat dear reader.
While Pulis does look somewhat like a drag queen who’s washed off her makeup at the end of the night he has put together a good team unit in West Brom. They’ll certainly compete for every ball gamely, be well drilled positionally on the pitch and make the use out of their physicality on set pieces. If you read back that last sentence it’s akin to a Tory describing the Wimbledon team of the late eighties and therefore I apologise. They’re a bunch of dogs with some big grocks hoping to nick a moody goal from a corner and hang on for the one nil. Fuck them Everton, fuck every last one of them and you better out togger these or I’ll tweet fuck off at our players again like a right fucking dolt.
Nothing much to add about their fans. The black country folk are a decent sort with good working class attitudes and although they are prone to a bit of “banter” there’s far worse than them out there. Because of this I can overlook the habitual dirty fingernails, St John’s clobber and accent that sounds like someone playing The Best of Queen vinyl backwards, and on 33.
Here’s some of their players:
Rondon – big lump up front who has found his feet this season and will be looking to bully Funes Mori’s scatty state of mind.
Brunt – Rice Krispy headed Northern Irishman who has a twat of a shot on him.
Chadli – skillful tall bastard who runs like he’s wearing a girdle. Inconsistent as fuck though.
McClean – along with Brunt is perpetual proof that most people from Northern Ireland look incredibly similar. Convicted to life by UKIP for refusing to wear a poppy.
Livermore – snapped up by West Brom after Schneiderlin swerved them for Everton.
Fletcher – ex Man Utd skeleton with skin, who has the notoriety of being the most Birkenhead looking footballer ever to play in the top flight, almost to the point where I expect him to follow me down the road making small talk and calling me boss as he asks for a pound coin to help him get home. He has no home, only squalor and whatever syringe will accommodate him. I settle on 50p to reward his amicable nature and evident semblance of charisma.
Jonny Evans – you can probably picture him easily now in your head but next time you do look at him I want you to focus strongly on his neck. How big? It’s like a fucking skyscraper. Looks dead weird and now you’ve noticed it you can never not notice it.
Ben Foster – really good keeper, good signing for West Brom. Looks like he’s sneering at everyone though. Maybe he is?
No more about West Brom. They got turned over at home to Crystal Palace last week and if Everton have anything about them then they’ll two nil the fuck out of these.
Lukaku is now Everton’s top Premier League goalscorer which symbolises how shite we’ve been for the past quarter of a century and while there’s been some celebration about it I’m not really into it because I count the Premier League and old Division One as the same thing. Some talk of his contract being signed which is sound but in the modern game it doesn’t mean too much. Still delights me that we have got four seasons out of a striker as good as him, a few more would give us a chance of genuinely competing for something.
Barkley’s contract has also been generating some media chatter. Maybe it’s naive of me but Barkley is a blue and still hasn’t proven himself to be what we know he can be in an Everton shirt so I’d be surprised/somewhat pissed off if he did leave. He’s definitely moving in the right direction and it’s a hope of mine that we get to see a scouser with such talent dictating Everton’s play for some time. I thought that with Rooney though. Probably Rodwell too, I’m a tit. I reckon Mirallas will get a call up for this one, call it a hunch.
The midfield experiment didn’t work against Spurs, indeed it looked like someone has smeared our entire midfield with VX nerve agent and claimed they were on Match Of The Day. Schneiderlin best not be boss against shit teams only, Gueye tried but Spurs had better, Davies shouldn’t be supporting the lone striker and whatever vision Ronald Koeman had of Gareth Barry in that game was sadly misplaced. There’s a legion of tactical experts viewing streams so with my untrained eye I can admit raising an eyebrow at Barry but then I’m not of footballing stature to sneer “fucking knew we wouldn’t win when I saw the line up” in the direction of Ronald Koeman – face like your Granny’s autumn fruit bowl – who’s won more in football than I’ve dreamed of. Hoping whatever he puts out v West Brom twats them dogs all over the centre of the park.
Fuck off Ashley Williams. You too Funes Mori. Only messing, but hope we sign some mustard centre halves in the summer as the defence is missing something. A younger Jagielka perhaps, and now it’s stark by it’s absence. Coleman’s lash of the long ball straight to their keeper for our last attack has soured my approach to him, along with Baines it just seems we can never get a run of games where they consistently impose on the game as their skillsets warrant. What happened to Brendan Galloway anyway? Oh. There’s some shouts for Mason Holgate to return but most things I’ve predicted team wise in the last few previews haven’t happened so I’ll move quickly on, bypassing Robles and his hopefully isolated mindfucks, to the end of the preview.
So that’s that, a bunch of Biffs coming to Goodison looking to the future as we seek to confine them to the past.
You sure there’s no DeLorean to borrow?