This is quite a game for Everton for many different reasons, all of which I’ll fail to articulate adequately below.
With that sort of enticement, you’re free to swerve reading on. Ross Barkley spreads Bubonic Plague though, just to save you any perceived loss of plot.
The Brighton result – and in particular, performance – brought the week’s biggest blue wave, and it was one of optimism. Our ability to in-fight worse than a Tory Cabinet can get some of you a tad frustrated at times. There is however a useful benefit about it in that – against this continual backdrop of intense fan scrutiny – if at any point you have almost universal admiration for an Everton team and manager then it’s a sure-fire sign that maybe something really good is in process. We can but hope. Or even just enjoy decent attacking football and chasing the ball any time those opposition fucks think they can have it.
Swear down though if we allow Andre Gomes leave us for any other then that’s me and Everton finished.
The scrutiny isn’t just fan borne of course, there’s a league out there waiting to scrutinise you on the field itself, trying to exploit your most horrible weaknesses in front of a cynical worldwide audience and hyper scrutinising media. And that’s exactly what Everton have to endure this weekend as any notion of progress will be put to the test against a resurgent Sarri inspired team, one who are fighting right at the top in a two-horse race for the title with Man City.
This is a fixture that Everton haven’t won in open play since the previous Millennium. It’s unlikely it will happen now but if it did then it rubber stamps the aforementioned optimism around what Marco Silva is trying to achieve.
It’s the second in a sequence of three difficult away games with the first test away to Old Trafford showing promise in performance but a tedious hard luck story in the result. Evertonians don’t like being patted on the head on while yet again coughing up a generous 3 points.
Let’s get it out of the way and lay some cards on the table from the off – our players need to get right into Ross Barkley. It didn’t have to be this way but Ross chose his path in the dragging the heels over his contract, then costing his boyhood club ten million pounds when jibbing then off. Followed up by some patronising comments in the media which as a scouse lad he should know better than to chat. I read somewhere he’s had his Everton tattoo lazered off too. Even if that bit isn’t true then I don’t give a fuck, the only way this debt is settled is through either acute pain or complete humiliation on the back of a snide Everton win complete with his tragic contribution to it, and beautiful ridicule from the Everton crowd (think along the lines of Mikel Arteta in the 3-0 Arsenal game).
The quicker Barkley realises this and gets it out of the way then the easier everyone can move on. I’m particularly looking forward how one adult can endure being screamed “rat” at until they lose their shit. If you’ve got McMahon still talking to the media trying to justify his Everton departure 34 years later then Barkley can anticipate how long the path ahead of him is likely to be, the wooden featured fucking rat. Get onto Wavertree’s low cost Kryten from Red Dwarf. Apart from that I don’t really mind him and wish him well in his career to come. TERN ROSS.
Sarri may be the least arsed Manager I’ve seen in the Premier League for a while but it’s turned into a happy beginning for him and Chelsea, he comes with pedigree and it’s a battle of wits both him and Silva will relish – albeit Chelsea with the better players, excepting of course Ross Barkley as he’s a Thames drenched rat.
Chelsea fans have a certain reputation for ardent nationalism and fat Phil Mitchells wearing bomber jackets trying to intimidate stewards from four deep away. Reputations however can be cruel and I’m going to give Chelsea a walkover on this basis, aided by their services to piss boiling the big reds. The amount of spittle spread over plastic flags is a peculiar feature, would you be that arsed? I for one would happily dwell amongst raw asbestos flags if it meant Everton got to win as many Premier League titles as Chelsea have of late. There is a correlation between kopite hate and teams that win more than Liverpool, a wiser person than me may attribute it to jealousy and spite, but I’m not saying that.
No, actually I am saying exactly that.
Want a list of their players?
Hazard – maybe the best player in the league and I’m dreading the moment he weaves around Mina’s gangly legs in the penalty box, in the manner a Snow-speeder torments an AT -AT with cables.
Giroud – with all the pace of February Benidorm Bingo, all you have to do is stick tight to the handsome bastard and then don’t lose him for crosses and set pieces. Sound’s easy, right? His nonchalant celebration for his second (on as a sub) is gonna blow yer dar’s Brexit head clean off.
Willian – despite looking like a Channel 5 Fugee it’s often under noticed how sensational a player he is when on blob. So kick him hard and kick him early.
Kovacic – has a face so flat that he’s not allowed into the outside lane when driving on a motorway.
Barkley – rat
Alonso – “Alexa make me a cocktail with one half Quentin Tarantino, and one half every Spaniard student who’s ever pushed in front of me when trying to get served in The Peacock in town”
They’re gonna be a tough challenge and Everton will probably dip here, but there’s always the beautiful chance they won’t, and we’re gonna dwell in that place for a moment if you permit me dear reader.
Let’s find out which Everton team are going to sex up your weekend.
You wouldn’t want to see the team changed but there’s a doubt over Richarlison who is fitting into that central role week by week. It would be a blow to lose his effectiveness there. If so then Tosun or DCL get a prime opportunity to save their Everton career before the Brazilian plunders many goals and renders them obsolete. Bernard will continue to jink away on the left in support, and in my hope he delivers a stand out game soon.
Over on the right it’s tricky Theo who’s going through what some call “he’s finished so sell him” and what the more reasonable call “some poor form”. It’s pleasing to see Lookman appear as though he wants to challenge that position as he gradually forgets his bratwurst infatuation. Them post holiday blues sting the first time you experience them, don’t they?
Sigurdsson will play just behind and he’s doing tremendously since he ditched the side part and reverted back to the de facto haircut for any top shagger in the 2000s, or modern day St Helens. We will feel a lot more comfortable away to Chelsea with the guile and class of Gomes in the middle, but right next to him there’s Gana Gueye having his best stretch of Everton form and looking like Silva has moved him up a gear. It’s the first Everton midfield I’ve fancied in a long time. Your Barry and McCarthy done the job, but these has some swagger about them.
Lots of praise too for Michael Keane this week, in particular from the Manager. It’s been quite some turnaround for him considering two central defenders were signed in the summer as his replacement, and now he’s firmly the first name on the team sheet back there. I’ve already cried in Mina’s debut in the hope it protects us, so saying no more on him, and anyway Jagielka will start instead. Or return of the (3 at the) back. Once again.
Digne with his haunted eyes works for me on the left, and let’s hope Coleman’s goal helps revert him back to the ace right back he was before. Completing the team is Pickford who makes Everton just that bit more confident going into games like this. Cue Karius II.
So an optimistic preview but a sprinkling of pragmatism at the end. Everton are on the back of four wins out of six, with the two defeats being a cup exit and a loss at Old Trafford. It’s decent like but probably not the rebirth of the Renaissance.
It’s sensible to lay this season off as one for foundation. You know when Everton are ready to level up? When they go to your Stamford Bridges, your Anfields and take the bounty with no fuck in absolutely any terms failing to understand who we are and what we do.
What’s our name?