And a thousand minty flags and banners rippled in the wind as they checked how long the champagne can keep.
Sorry to spoil your dream ending lads but bollocks to it, and that’s with a double L.
Clearly we want to be a lot more than a denial act but too often the bridegroom to the wedding it was nice to not take part in what looked like a new humiliation for the St Domingo’s disappointment society.
Central to an alright derby result was an unusual composure and discipline that maintained its plan to shut the Shanks Snubbers pretty much down around our box. It could just be isolated but I’d like to think it’s proof of Ancelotti working his magic on a bunch of players mostly not good enough for what he and the club want next.
The hope being that any new blood, or developing young players, are. Marcel Brands’ quotes last week were a little sobering for some but our stint as the Michael Carroll of the Premier League – post Moshiri arrival – wasn’t exactly getting us anywhere, and getting us eyeballed off FFP. Never mind the legion of overpaid wastrels reeking the place out or Everton paying their wages for them to disappoint at a loan club. So that and the current landscape calls for pragmatism, thus count me as pleased to hear the blazer sporting Dutchman preaching it. Get us something exciting to watch on the left wing though will you?
At least Everton didn’t shit it the derby which considering the injuries and young nature of the team I’m sure everyone would have taken before the whistle, although there was some lamenting of missing a couple of gilt edged chances to end this particular hoodoo. There was some debate about whether we could have shown more ambition. “Not getting humiliated by Big Red three times in the same season” was enough ambition for me, it’s a welcome turning point with some luck.
Moving on and we’ve seen many a staunch derby performance succumb into a following shit show against inferior opposition, and relegation threatened Norwich City fit that bill so well. They’re on the back of a tonking from Southampton so will be looking to respond, but similarly Everton are gonna find the drop down in opposition quality to their taste too. Kind of like when you’re doing a run with heavy backpack on and you take it off and suddenly you move like Iceman, a bit.
There’s no Efan Ekoku these days for the cud chewing, canal stroking, shy tory, tweed fancying, hate you behind your back, shire horse aspiring, deodorant fearing good people of Norwich to pin their hopes on of twatting Everton but their predicament in the league means there’ll no lack of motivation for them to respond. The lockdown means there’ll be no need for some of you to travel to Norwich and I have the feeling that those who have made the trip before won’t be too disappointed. If the UK mainland was a human body then Norwich would possibly be the appendix, something you can live with or without and only noticeable when being an irritant. We can’t surgically remove Norwich, nor tie a flotilla of tug boats around it to pull it away into the North Sea and then count all the racist statues we won, so I guess we’ll just have to live with it until their inevitable relegation. I feel sad typing this shit satirical ripping of them but then I remember they were locked down with their siblings so no doubt they’ve had a right old time.
They’re managed by a fella who looks like like he’s most at home seducing grotbags by way of promised suicide pacts in the Krazy House most Saturdays. The type you see getting taunted into a leathering if they ever step top deck on the night bus home. You want me to pretend I’ve got any sort of insight into his management style, how they will play or any of their players? Didn’t think so. If Ancelotti watches his players get beat by that bad scruffy enginehead then he gonna pain somewhat more than us, I do hope the classic Mafia touchline wear continues regardless.
Onto the Toffs and this is certainly a game they should be chasing the 3 points from. Ancelotti did say about the need to produce their best in the eight remaining games, which is fair enough as there’s still an unlikely Euro qualifying place on offer if they manage it. For many in the squad it’s perhaps their last audition but I also hope there’s opportunities too for young talent, like Anthony Gordon getting a start the other night. That’s promising indeed in both a statement on his talent and our Manager making brave decisions promoting youth.
I don’t think we will see much rotation and that means more of Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin up front, this should be the type of game they relish to add to their goal tally this season and from an advanced position up the field compared to last game out. I thought Iwobi had a terrible first half against the Big Red but the more astute of you point out he was doing a disciplined role out there, helping Coleman null the threat of Mane. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Bernard replace either Iwobi or Gordon for this though. The cat flap sized Brazilian had undoubted talent but we’ve only seen flashes of it and not enough consistency, this may be due to poor management but his future in close season may be one of those speculated about, considering the huge wages he is on. He’s blocked me on twitter so I’m gonna use this as a platform for casting doubt and make no apologies for it.
Centre midfield will be Gomes and either Tom Davies or Delph. On the subject of Davies I think it’s high time he was nailed to a position and played in it now to see if he can crack on and be part of this or not, he played alright v FC Rockers de Ambulance but when he’s too deep I find myself shitting it he will lose the ball and it will cost us. The derby winning Tom Davies dream was nearly oh so real.
Mina could be fit for this but can’t see Keane and Holgate being changed after a commendable clean sheet in which they both played well. Lots of love being spread around for Holgate and I saw someone noting on twitter that not singing Zouma turned out to be a Godsend as Holgate wouldn’t have otherwise prevailed. Aye we hit it lucky there, and it’s saved the club up of £30 million, the kind of luck Mr Carroll must sit around in his boxes wishing he had with some of that cheque left.
Digne was more of his old self but this is a game Baines may get a shot at, and on the other side it really warmed the cockles to see Seamus Coleman roll back the years. A real captain’s performance in a derby that too, well in. Pickford continued his journey towards itching his armpits in a trailer home with a virtuoso goatee grown in lockdown. Anyone think Virginia on the bench looked like a Backstreet Boys Ferrigno? Just me then.
So did it feel good having them back in your life? That answer is usually dependent on the type of Everton inhabiting it. A decent performance and three points against Norwich this Wednesday and it may even feel like an old flame is rekindled, even looking forward to mucky weekends away with them again.
There’s your prize Everton.