A relentless early season fixture list throws Man City away at us in a tough test of 3 difficult games in 7 days.
Such tests when thrown at us previously have not been negotiated so well, it’s usually when the constraints of smaller squad and ‘glass ceiling players’ come just that wee bit unstuck. Second paragraph and crying it in gives you some idea of the obstacle facing us right now. Time for an old photo.
The first leg of Hadjuk Split went as well as we could imagine really. Two goals to the good and a clean sheet puts in a decent position second leg, and eases a little pressure on this game.
Although Manchester takes a customary shellacking a little later I have to point of order here that we will face significant less bum bags, jarg right wing ultra behaviour and seat lashing than we did on Thursday night. I’m giving Man City the benefit of the doubt that they won’t tie their t shirt around their head before some transparent rabble rousing and being easily held back by middle aged stewards despite having a 30 to 1 superiority ratio in numbers. Also shout out for the loon on the Park End who managed to get on the pitch to try and take on a thousand angry Croatians. I love you my fellow Evertonians so, so much.
Jordan fucking Pickford though.
There’s certain away days where shithousery hangs in the air. A collective insular attitude towards outsiders prevails at City and that was always the case at Maine Road and some of it has carried over to Man City. Not dissimilar to United either. There’s natural rivalry between the cities which doesn’t put a scouse accent on happy ground around their dull rain stained streets. There’s no excuse for it either. Goodison is in a tight working class community yet as an away fan you’re free to come and drink on County Road and walk about with your colours on display, if that is your thing, and as long as you don’t act the twat then you’ll have a pleasant time. Hostility in and out of the ground is usual at City as fat mancs chide anyone who is not one of them.
Presumably it’s not comfortable for them to witness clean, attractive clothing and at least a basic element of grooming in accompanying offspring. Maybe there’s a feeling of inadequacy on encountering people who look like mighty similar to them but have charisma that isn’t ripped clean off a Bernard Manning VHS. Or maybe even downright confusion at others not people being sexually attached to immediate family.
Darwin travelling halfway around the world looks foolhardy when the direct contrasts in evolutionary strains was right under his noses and separated by just the East Lancashire Road, with plenty of study matter along the way via St Helens, Wigan and the whole of Greater Manchester to study spin off primitive species in various states of evolution. We shall label them wools.
City have a proud history. This is the point where I’m meant to demean everything that happened before they got mega rich but it would be a disservice. They’ve enjoyed tremendous support no matter the division confined to and produced some fantastic teams. Similar to Everton they’ve known complete and utter heartbreak through their team, even more in fact, and have felt the weight crushing them by near red neighbours being a successful force. It’s due to this that I don’t begrudge them their recent stretch of success, and also (away from cheap partisan preview words) that there’s a lot of sound Mancs out there, really. City fans were always good to chat footie with as hyperbole and arrogance was absent due to personal experience. A lot of the older generation ones retain this still. I would give trade my firstborn for an injury time title denier over our rivals as they experienced a few years ago.
Once you reach the summit it’s difficult to stay there as we have known ourselves. That money advantage is still there but is tempered somewhat by everyone else being Premier League rich and financial fair play. I don’t think Man City are gonna drop out of the leading lights any time soon but creating a dynasty is what they seek and that’s a particularly difficult thing to attain in current English football.
Key to those ambitions was the acquisition of Pep Guardiola who after an indifferent first season is looking to fine tune his team with some big signings in key areas and to really make a statement this season. They’ve spent more money than Everton this summer which is no easy feat. They can attract better players than us as they’re in the Champions League and are more likely to win stuff than Everton is right now. Obviously we’re still miles better and have won loads more than them.
Here’s a list of some of their players anyway:
Aguero – what Robbie Fowler foolishly saw in the mirror after three bags of flake.
De Bruyne – aside from looking 3 parts hamster 2 parts human there’s a cracking young playmaker in there who will only get better.
Jesus – really good player, the Brazilian not the deity. Although it’s safe to assume any deity would be ace at togger too. Particularly interested in signing Ganesha for the extra limbs, as back up for Pickford.
Silva – great wee player who unlocks defences as good as anyone in the league. Right up his arse Gana lad.
Stones – how’s that working out for you John? Mad how Everton spent half the fee and found better in Keane.
Kompany – one of the finest defenders the Premier League has seen despite ligaments popping everywhere and looking like a Mars Attacks alien.
Ederson – big money goalkeeper signing, can he punt 70 yard sidewinders to galoots up front though? Get to fuck, and scrub that bad favela neck tattoo off too plums.
They’ve got quality over the pitch and attacking riches that can damage any team. You know what not to let to them do, but can Everton achieve it? They’ll have a wee bit of revenge on this minds too after being snaked 4-0 by Ronko’s counter attacking arl arses last time out. Even despite them having their best ever success in the preceding seven years they have found it hard to get an upper hand over Everton, except of course when Everton need to dip to ensure Torpedo Bigstand don’t win titles.
No fresh injuries means our dead edgy Dutchman has a number of ways to set the team up. It’s a fair assumption that either the midfield or defence is going to be packed to frustrate the opposition. One many about to get a savage booing is Rooney who’s long been a thorn in their side for his ex employers, guess he will be highly motivated for this. Ramirez is fit again after a knock but can see him starting from the bench for this, as I also see Lookman doing. Good options to bring on however. Never mind new man Sigurdsson who due to lack of games is another candidate for the bench. What a bench like. The ball needs to stick up front so, coupled with pace, is why I wouldn’t be surprised to see Calvert-Lewin start, shut up mate.
Schneiderlin’s absence was noted second half v Split, and next to him Gueye is in fantastic form. I’ve seen some doubting of them two working together in this futuristic Everton we crave but they’re two fine midfielders and we will win more games than we lose with them controlling shit from the middle there.
It’s maybe against the grain but I have hopes for Klaassen, there’s a technically excellent player in there and the more he adjusts to the English game the more we should see his influence. Or we sell to Bournemouth and take a 50% loss. For this game however we are going to need tenacity and lots of ground covering which would lead me to think Davies will get the nod.
Keane has settled the best of all new signings and I don’t want to envisage an Everton defence without him for quite some time. The Williams/Jagielka/3 at the back/4 at the back debate is for the lad on the next table to you in the pub who watches too much European footie and called Atletico Madrid “Atleti”.
I think the right back debate is gonna rage until Coleman comes back and then if he’s not the same player as before it will rage some more. Martina done well on Thursday so let’s see how he does against the test of Man City. Really enjoyed Baines higher up the pitch being dead aggressive v Split. He’s having to evolve his game as age becomes a thing. And Jordan Pickford in goal who makes boss saves, simple as that. Anyway let’s see.
Whilst football is a sweeping knee jerk emotional river of knee jerk, it’s important to never get too high or too low to maintain an even focus. These next five league games coming our way are really tough. We start as favourite in none of them for good reason, and presumably would view a point in each game as a decent result.
Or maybe, just maybe, that mindset right there should be confined to the past if we’re to kick on as we hope. Fuck knows. You leave me to my Everton pragmatism and you do whatever works for you compadre.
Just one simple wish, right fucking into these blues.