Another week closer to the conclusion of a season that will be remembered as yet another missed opportunity in the masochistic book of Everton.
You’re used to these experiences by now, but the added carrot of spending a shit load of money and raising your expectations has hopefully found new levels of disappointment in this, a season so toxic that it could froth you or I on a park bench at will.
This fixture reuniting two teams who last met on the first game of the season, a game that seems almost surreal in the rampant optimism that enveloped it. At least from our side anyway.
Last week’s heavy petting of Brighton has placed us on to 37 points. and thanks to there being many worse than Brighton and Everton it should be enough to ensure another season of top flight football for the toffs. Reward! As nonchalant as we may allow ourselves to become about that, my arse was gone for stretches this season thinking the kopites would be dusting off the old 94 bantz coffin.
So with me lashing the figurative flip flops on in March it’s probably a good idea for the club to start planning on being much, much better in season 2018/19. Whether that’s sea change in players, manager or a director or two matters not. Just sort the shit out. Maybe use this time too to try and gain some sort of momentum for next season, and even to develop a player or 4 who’s young or been bought for extortionate amounts, maybe even from the Dutch league.
Not that I’m thinking for one moment that Everton have bottomed out on pain in this season quite yet, especially when there’s a double header of City and the Big Red Highway Grockers Republic directly afterwards.
Everton’s most pressing challenge is their schizophrenic problem of late, being unable to build any momentum (and therefore: goodwill) by suffering hideous away performances on the back of solid home performances. Front foot committed football, played with verve, will seduce any Evertonian. Especially if it produces results. So it should be easy to copy and paste what happened v Brighton into the next game, right? Especially when a look at the table shows Stoke fighting for their lives, second bottom of the league and unable to send an SOS out to the big curry udders currently managing St Domingos. Stoke – in all their infinite wisdom/desperation – opted for Paul Lambert, who with each passing year morphs into the spit of a 256 bit Grim Fandango.
I reckon Stoke are fucked and tragically I can take little glee in this as – dear reader – there’s a wee soft spot of mine for Stoke-on-Trent. Sure it would be mighty easy to tear right into certain nuances of the place, it’s insular nature, scruffy children, top Brexit banter and simplistic approach to the wider world that threatens them continually, but my soul wouldn’t rest easy as a lot of very sound people come from Stoke. There’s something beautifully ordinary and down to earth about them, a quality which is much admired in anywhere with an L postcode. A staunch people who should you befriend them will always be there for you, and every single one of them an absolute liability when mixed with alcohol.
There’s always exceptions to the rule of course and to balance out all the good folk from Stoke, our creationist decided to spawn the biggest fuckburger of all time in Stoke – Phil “the power” Taylor. Now if you find yourself disagreeing with that scientifically proven declaration then fuck you. If you follow a sport that for fat pub twats, containing an audience that puts Rugby League to shame then I can never feel any sort of empathy towards you. I’ll let it slide though unless you class yourself a fan of Mr Taylor, the most odious, Queen’s honour losing, motorhome pesting, bra unclipping, 2 decade mid life crisising, sweaty toad featured shithouse. A lamentable clitmonkey of a human who has the transparency of a 2 hour old baby gecko. Just with hideous tattoos and a permasweat that gives off pheromones irresistible to any deeply political little England gammons obsessed with knights, crusades and protection of saxon values. He supports Port Vale so Stoke can escape the association and shame with it.
I think we’ve covered Stoke culture adequately so let’s move onto some of their players who will put in their performance of the season to turn Everton over this Saturday:
Crouch – considering he was ordained in the pocket pissing ways he’s actually alright, and he’s married to a scouse girl so there’s some mutual sympathy going on there for loads I reckon.
Shaqiri – some taunted Everton at missing out on his signature, but the wee-off-peak-Osman-pixie turns up one in ten to blam a sensational goal, and Everton need more than that.
Rodriguez – let it be a lesson to all them little FIFA toads that signing your preferred players doesn’t guarantee success, so pipe down, crack that yellow sock with a hammer and listen more than you tweet, shitheads. His brace wins the game now clearly.
Allen – looks like a poorly put together Jesus in the Year 5 nativity play.
Sobhi – wants you to bring some Tramadol over for his birthday. “How many” “1000” “pills?” “boxes”. Comply and the Daily Mail will be doorstepping you before you know it.
Zouma – didn’t we want to sign him? Prefer him to Williams still like.
Martins Indi – didn’t we want to sign him? Prefer him to Williams still like.
Butland – is he better than Pickford? The only people giving a fuck about that will be getting axe kicked in the throat down grim Russian alleys this summer.
If Stoke beat us then I am going to console myself with it laying on the bounty of us relegating both Southampton and West Ham in successive end of season games. We will probably lose to them however if we’re being realistic, so Stoke must be beaten.
As for Everton I think it’s a nap that the bad Besiktas barnet is going to start up front, and deservedly so. He’s going to miss Sigurdsson in and around him but opportunity knocks for someone else on the fringe of the squad to stake a claim, just not Rooney please. Walcott has turned a 2 dimensional Everton attack into something not quite 3 dimensional, but maybe Magic Eye. Probably Bolasie on the other wing so fuck knows what sort of output he will provide this week, it’s a wide scale of probability. You know what though? He makes something happen, which is markedly better than most of his predecessors out wide this season.
Is Gueye fit? You can probably guess the midfield if so. Everyone is wanting Klaassen to slot right in because he’s kept his head down, apart from when his image rights torpedoed a move to Naples six weeks ago like. When we have a flavour of the month we do it intensely though.
Jagielka remains our best centre half, which is a bit mental. He’s another cautionary warning to all the HES FINISHED LAD pundits out there who can’t wait to declare any of our players finished as soon as they hit their fourth decade of existence. It’s a gradual process lads, this demise you crave, not a linear occurence. He’s been a talented fine servant of Everton has Mr Jagielka, deserving of more plaudits than he’s collected. Speaking of which Leighton Baines came back in and sexed the left wing after months of acclimatising to Curacao’s captain. Coleman will play right back. Michael Keane probably in the middle, and Pickford in the nets.
So the pressure is off. Which is the first time this season that these group of underwhelming bastards can anticipate any sort of run of games without high levels of anxiety. This leaves them with one of two responses: play expressively free from the shackles of expectation, or lash a pair of flip flops on and collect that wedge until their nefarious agent wants to lure them to another sucker this forthcoming summer. It’s the hope that kills you apparently.
Still, onwards and upwards in our quest to share good times together once again. This chapter is fruitless but the next, well, isn’t that why we keep turning the page? As masochistic as the book may seem at times.
Time to round off the week with a quote from another esteemed school of science: look up at the stars and not down at your feet.
8 to go. Then revolution.