If you were riding a bike, a metaphoric bike, called Everton through a season, with the season being maybe the Alps, and at the end of the season or the Alps whatever the fuck you want to call it you were asked to note your findings, should you still be alive, then there’s a fair chance you’d touch on the advent of endurance through knowing when to hit the hills hard and when to enjoy a good freewheel. Never pedalling too much, never pedalling too little.
This, admittedly shite, opener to yet another wasted weekend of your life is how I try and approach Everton. Not by wearing Lycra to swerve both potholes and aggressive overtaking drivers while hiding my midlife crisis RAD140 habit from my (I meant to put “your” but this Freudian slip done me, so it stays) sexless relationship, but to never let the utter shitbags (being Everton) get me too high or too low.
I’ll go easy on the commas, brackets and metaphors from this point on, promise.
One win was all it took for the canonisation of Yerry Mina. Don’t get me wrong I’m no killjoy here and you got to take them chances to celebrate Everton while you can, we ain’t gonna win any Tour, and our yellow jersey puts us at disadvantage. We’re thirsty as fuck for some success and that’s ok as you’ve suffered dear reader, they’ve broke your heart through ten thousand Kevin Brocks and ten thousand and one false dawns.
Everyone breathed out a little this week and fuck it felt good to have a bounce in the step late on Saturday and into Sunday. That’s what this is, a temporary Ritalin boost for all the emotional baggage you carry from Everton past. A brief form of weekend escapism. We’re gonna be sound. Right until the moment Brighton break down the left and roll their second in, while yer dar is incredulous at Sidibe jogging back from the opposition half. This is Everton, our Everton. Take this game by game or consider it weekend pantomime and stop resisting them. The resistance is where your problems lie mate, honest. Now breathe.
What I’ve never understood is how successive managers at Everton get it so wrong, more so now we have decent Moshiri wedge to at least compete. In comes new Manager and it’s all about their philosophy and what they will do to Everton. Then it turns in slow disappointment until they realise what Everton will do to them for ignoring one basic principle.
They work for Everton, not the other way round. And what does Everton want? Front foot fast paced aggressive football, tackles at high tempo with some slick passing thrown in. If you find a big twat to wear number 9 and slam a few headers into the opposition net then even better. There’s your blueprint, adapt to us not the other way around. If you do this then you’ll get heaps more support and patience from notoriously edgy fans. Easy. Give me the wedge and I’ll do my best to goad the Park End in post match defeats until the tennis balls rain at my ugly fucking over sized head.
And don’t you dare change that side you biff. I know Mina can’t make it but the rest of them need to operate on a meritocracy basis. If they fail then you replace them, but only then.
This weekend tests this latest recovery with an away game. It could be worse than Brighton but it also could be better as many more sage people than I comment about new manager Potter is putting together a decent togger unit down there who won’t be any easy push over, and versatile enough to test Everton with differing tactics.
It’s one of them beautiful away days that combines a reasonable timed Saturday kick off with a city that offers very pleasant merriment opportunities. It’s the same premise as Everton in Europe as plenty of you will be going to enjoy the occasion and wisely not be dependent on the game. Such a liberal bastion offers a royal blue playground of opportunity. Have fun, and turn your last seen notification off on WhatsApp so she or he can’t see what time you got in after unsuccessfully chasing that stag or hen party.
I’ve got nothing against Brighton, yet, so it’s difficult to do the usual pith until they really piss us off with cringey scruffy behaviour. As I’m also fond of Palace I’m strongly considering selling some of my internal organs to move to Horsham, or failing that a Crawley bedsit in retirement. You see there’s relative joy in fellow Premier Leaguers not making us hope the entire league goes bankrupt so we don’t have to suffer them ever again.
Pretending I know anything about their players I can tell you that pubeless annoyance Mooy is suspended which should limit their creativity. Fear not as a middle aged BMI stricken Glenn Whelan gonna be up for bullying any timidness in our defence, and if that perma last orders bothering elbow Texan causes any damage to our score line then I’ll be wanting Moshiri fall on his sword. If Moise Kean played for Brighton you know he’d fucking destroy us in a cameo this weekend. Think Duffy still plays for them too, nice to see him do well. I’m all outta Brighton.
Onto Everton and as above Silva should swap Mina for Holgate and resist the rest. That means Richarlison starts as centre forward to try and wear their centre backs down through sustained arl arse. Bernard, who does a sort of Pienaar chemistry to Digne will start on the left with license to drift in field as a jarg number 10. Fair fucks to Walcott who’s shown resolve and great attitude to force his way back in and then produce a really good performance against West Ham. His mandate is to show its not a flash in the pan. You can tell how well he’s done in training by Silva’s repeated attempts to get him into the team, a goal would do him the world of good before Palace take him on loan in January.
Iwobi impressed me in that attacking midfield role. He brought much needed energy, movement and creativity which benefited the midfielders behind him and the attacking trio in front of him. Even if writing this brings me a fatwah from the tremendous Icelandic Stats on Twitter. Sigurddson’s goal was a timely pearler, but when the goals dry he’s always gonna be exposed in this position. His cost will prohibit him being a super sub, it’s time to start thinking of moving him to a different role in the mid term.
Hoping that Gomes and Davies get another game in the middle so we can work out if they were really decent or if West Ham were just so bad on the day, it will avoid any needless snap judgements that I sort of critiqued in the beginning. It’s an if, but IF Gomes can realise a high % of his potential at Everton and marries it with consistency then there won’t be many midfields in the league who will better him. He’s what you build a team around, Davies should get a few shots at placing his stake for now, the beautiful human.
Holgate gets his shot and at this stage in his career his may be a final one at Everton, in the absence of a crystal ball I’ve got no further input on how it may go. Keane has started slow to the season, which is unfortunate as Evertonians have absolute contempt for a basic lack of form, preferring instead to declare the player finished or not good enough to wear the shirt. It’s just how we roll. Digne will play on the left and Sidney Ibe (so sorry) on the right. Again one game don’t tell too much so I’ll watch with interest to see if he can compete with Coleman. Pickford in goal, you’ll miss him when he’s gone you know.
Holding your breath like this doesn’t make for good previewing, so my apologies for that, but they’ve hurt me and I’m not sure I’m ready to forgive them.
Such resolution takes time but I hear that it’s helped by taking a collaborative approach to regaining trust. Some open dialogue without judging, and then try planning some activities together to learn how to enjoy each other’s company again.
What about taking the bikes for a ride this weekend? Just don’t hit them brakes too hard on the way down or you’re over the handlebars pal.