If you’re fortunate enough to be in weekday employment then you’ll very well know that 5pm Friday feeling. Your soul is temporarily returned to your possession and occasionally your weekend looks one of infinite possibility, where a free adult can procrastinate to Olympic level right thru to the Sunday evening guilt of not tackling anything on that proposed list you had just 48 hours earlier, and a looming soul crushing set of five back in the wheel awaiting you the next morning.
But back to that 5pm moment, the event horizon of emancipation if you will, maybe you like to celebrate it with alcohol and I won’t judge as I do too. You have a favourite free house right? Big fan of Rigby’s at 5pm here. And so it’s 5pm and you’ve money in your pocket and no pressing matters to attend to and there, right there, lies the moment of zero gravity and – my friends, foes and indifferents – is an acute moment of existence that must be cherished, with anything that may distract you from full absorption into the moment and appreciation of it to be fought with all your might. Existing fully in the moment as the first sip hits the back of your throat and – then Everton decide to play three fucking hours later and the moment is gone. Unless you as an Evertonian actually enjoy Everton games, which is fucking ridiculous. They’re not even allowing you a free pass until the next day so that you can cherish your Friday, the stakes are real.
It’s at this point where I want to point out this won’t be a long preview, mercifully, as life has got in the way this week and I can’t even enjoy my Thursday evening as I feel obliged to type this on my phone for only a hardy few to read, but mostly Russian and Chinese spambots. Got to know your audience if you want to write stuff that resonates – click for a Thai wife, add two extra inches, bet you can’t play this game without…..click after 10 (long) seconds to skip Ad.
We may only be 2 games into the season but that home win against Watford was alright. Everton got into their groove for the first 30 minutes, despite some notable absences, and then Watford really pushed back. It was the type of game you’ve seen Everton take a point at best, but this Everton continued to work hard, stick tight and dare I say it – show a little character. This is without the new signings really being up to speed or enhancing the team too much, so we can hope there’s more to come. Fully expecting Villa to wipe us out and the meltdown to consume us all for typing this paragraph alone.
Aye “the” Villa are back in the top division and it’s where they should reside more often for a club of such stature and proud history. I’ll confess I took more than a fair chunk of delight in seeing them relegated because they had became the central hub for tedious lad bible behaviour, the wacky bantz and rubbing up against Everton in a most edgy manner.
Relegation can change perception though, provoke a review of how things were and how you’d like them to be instead. Failure can force a person to look at themselves in the mirror and confront an appearance and fashion sense modelled exclusively on a late 80s David Essex and realise it’s time for radical change. Maybe even looking at that same reflection and realising that going to the game to hold our arms at the opposition fans for 80 minutes out of 90 should really be confined to bad teds alone. Staring at the true you and vowing to wipe those gravy stains out of your facial hair and committing to a bright new future masking all unnecessary odours with half a can of Lynx Africa, daily. In this spirit of forgiveness towards Villa fans, and hope of better times that I am willing to be neutral, almost amicable towards their return and wish that by 8.14pm on Friday evening that we have one more fucking team in this decision that doesn’t revolt me deep in my soul. The prize is yours Aston Villa, go shine.
I have no idea who their Manager is and not do I want to google him so let’s move onto some of their players who are bound to announce their return to the division with a swashbuckling 3 points against Everton:
Jack Grealish – direct from riding a shire horse to a shithole of a pub and telling anyone that looks at him he’s with the Peaky Blinders, he’s their talisman and as such will be hell bent on ruining your last train home.
John McGinn – looks a player this one it’s just a shame he’s Scottish and therefore completely destined to succumb to ill discipline, poor personal choices and edgy after dinner speeches about what might have been. Still convinced he plays barefooted and disappears into a circular door under the pitch to dwell during the week.
Neil Taylor – welcome back you little shithouse, now maim him and take the 3 matches, oh captain of ours.
That’s all I know of them really. Time for Everton.
DCL will start up front again no matter what your father may think. He’s approaching ten games without a goal so how many more games he starts there will be limited unless that stat changes. Moise Kean’s fitness and adaptation to the league will only accelerate that process, and not necessarily a bad thing as impacting from the bench can be a decent way to build confidence for either of our young strikers until on prevails, hopefully. Bernard looked both industrious & sharp in addition to his match winning goal so he can now hide behind Sigurdsson for a few weeks, until Sigurdsson strokes a pearler in the top corner or succumbs to replacement/new formation. Richarlison’s may need some of that bench treatment if he doesn’t wake up into the new season soon too.
Gomes’ impact on the Watford game went a little under the radar but he showed maturity and responsibility to put a foot in and combat an opposing decent midfield rather than play his usual game. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Schneiderlin return in there for this.
You know what the defence is and further tentative appreciation of big Yernando Mindogger (sincerely sorry) is possible on a game by game basis as long as we continue to look tight there. Seamus Coleman has been leading well, and quite the turnaround since this tithead has him wrote off in the winter. Genuinely hope he does hurt Neil Taylor though. Lucadeen at left back and another whisper-it-so-we-don’t-jinx-it man of early season distinction is there between the nets, casually twatting dangerous shots away with his mush.
That about wraps that up. Everton have a chance to go top of the league, at which point I’ll be urging Iran or North Korea on overnight. While three points will be the goal it would also settle the nerves to see a pressing performance across two halves.
For all the satirical words above, an eager Aston Villa under the floodlights won’t be easy. Win however, and procrastination ain’t gonna stop the best of us from Popworld. What’s Friday night and the toffs for, after all?