That international break was welcome but now the games are coming thick and fast, with this game being the second out of a series of six in just three weeks.
As far as defining periods go then this is a particularly crucial one for the short term, and with it probably long term, future of Everton.
I’m fucking sick of drama and perennial crisis but Everton do like to epitomise the Greek tragedy genre and the media are only too happy to ramp up the situation. I preferred us better when we were winning games and they patted us on the head, confident in the knowledge that seventh was the highest we would finish. Heady days almost.
A late Rooney penalty spared our man Ronko from more pressure per inch than the Titanic salvage. It was yet again another substandard performance which leaves you wondering if he will ever get a tune out of them again, with the mass consensus of fans convinced he won’t.
I’d be very pleasantly surprised if he survived this six game series.
In an age of FIFA, Football Manager on the PC and various apps you’ve got tens of thousands of managers critiquing formations, team selections and dressing room mentality. Koeman has faced bigger pressure in a glittering playing career but right now he is fighting for the reputation of his reborn management career. Why is progress at Everton never a straight and happy line? All that money spent and it’s a dogshit team devoid of balance. Six million pounds a year gives you a lot of accountability round these parts too.
Anyway fuck all we can do – apart from moan, boo and hiss – so this internet tit will have a look at Lyon and offer absolutely nothing that you didn’t know before.
Whilst these previews do like to explore the sinister side of opponents it’s difficult to do it for this game as we’re playing a French team and I am a big fan of the French and how they go about shit. I realise that this frank admission is a fatal blow in any application for the Football Lads Alliance. On saying that I wouldn’t like to spend my weekends marching with a bunch of few thousand gammon faced testicles wearing Stone Island and telling blag stories about how they once charged Millwall, and how they want their country back. Still, the French nearly elected Le Pen so I suppose we all got our skeletons. Southall certainly has anyway.
Lyon is tucked away in deepest France not too far actually from Geneva. Here’s a list of things to celebrate French superiority over England, for some gratuitous self loathing.
Wine. That thing that you starting drinking in your twenties when you are taking birds out for dinner to try and add perceived depth to your flaky personality. Then you find yourself buying a bottle in your thirties and mix it up with cheese. By your forties it’s an outstanding fucking pastime, you’ll perhaps pay decent money for a bottle and recommend to your friends who are equally tedious middle aged fucking hanks. Anyway, France does it much better, there’s an excess of that exquisite shit over there.
Cheese – I don’t give a fuck about your Red Leicester or Cheddar. Get to fuck. Camembert is all over it, then throw some Roquefort in the mix. There’s over 1000 cheeses in the French lexicon – they compliment their wine and make sweet love to nervous system, as speckled mitsubishis once did but you can’t handle that shit now.
Women – smouldering stockings wearing mademoiselles who absolutely love a bit of complicated grot. They take work but if one makes the right connection then that nasty wank you got off Donna from Wakefield in Malia pales somewhat. Of course you have to be aware that love is fleeting with your French girlfriend as she’s is programmed to tire of you in time, and have numerous passionate affairs behind your back and ZAP you’re back in the room and sleeping on Donna’s sofa and lamenting she has a short bleached hair do and five kids calling you Daddy after the fourth night but, capitano, for the fleeting period in your life you had that French girl and a lifetime wank bank to project on Donna’s face when she forces herself onto you with that peculiar mixed scent of Aldi Prosciutto, garlic kebab and kiwi body butter.
Art – some of it is fucked up but it’s better than gloopy oil paintings of Cumbrian viaducts.
Smoking – you’re ducks arsing your Lambert & Butler between yellow stained fingers and the French are smoking like a James Dean coaching school pro.
Fashion – Le Coq Sportif is enough to make my point here.
Work – they are not doing one second over 35 hours in the week lest it interrupts them sitting outside a cafe as quickly as possible with confused melancholic joy. If you try to pay a euro less for their vegetables then the farmers are gonna block every single route out of Calais until you yield.
For any Football Alliance Lads reading this (which is doubtful in the usual readership of 9) then it’s only fair to balance up a list of what this rainy island does better than France: war, music, being pleasant to each other, cars, Formula 1, monogamy and xenophobia.
Suppose we should talk about Lyon a bit but let’s be honest you know more than me, including they have had a moody period of late which was broken with a fantastic 3-2 win at home to Monaco on the weekend and despite the first win in a month they find themselves in sixth place in Ligue 1.
They’re managed by Bruno Genesio and amongst their team they have the lad Traore who looked like every other young player trying to break through at Chelsea, ill fated, and Memphis Depay – you just fucking know it, don’t you? Well done shirking on that one Everton you bells. The rest of them I’ll leave to the euro togger snobs amongst you.
So what are Everton going to do for this? I’m guessing amongst your answers will be “play too many number 10s”, “defensive midfielders out of form who get in each other’s way”, “no pace and width” and “absolutely no goal threat up front”. It’s just a case of which players will hit those particular frustrations this week.
Rooney is not a centre forward now. It’s clear to see that his game doesn’t involve any sort of ball retention up front, pace to stretch any central defender and a look of complete isolation prevails with his face turning into sweating spam by the minute as his frustration mounts. He’d be more effective deeper but would he get a start ahead of Sigurdsson? Well probably as he’s shite at the moment too sadly, but it’s probably a wiser move to persist with him in the hope it will click, than Rooney.
So that leaves a centre forward slot for someone with any semblance of presence up front and that means Calvert-Lewin as there’s absolutely no one else. That means Calvert-Lewin centrally as he’s dogshit played wide which is not his fault. And hope it works. Vlasic looks worth a run as he is at least making stuff happen in the final third by direct contrast to his team mates. And hope to sweet baby Jesus that someone who is not allergic to a touchline finds a bit of out wide form to compliment them.
Gueye and Schneiderlin isn’t working right now so it’s frustrating to see Tom Davies come off the bench and outshine them both. Let’s see if he gets a start or indeed we stumble upon any sort of midfield combination that can boss a game.
Jagielka and Keane at the back give me the last amount of palpitations, Baines is our only left back available and someone or other at right back who can put in at least a 6/10 performance. I swear if he rotates someone for Pickford in goal then I’ll climb on his speeding bonnet myself.
It’s difficult to ponder or talk about Everton right now.