In the words of Ace Frehley, we’re back; back in an Everton groove. He actually changed it to New York in the end, but he originally meant Everton, everyone knows that.
The Toffees sent a load of kids plus the players not wanted by their international sides to play Morecambe in Jim Bentley’s testimonial, and they proved that if we are ever the subject of a Glasgow Rangers-style slide down the metaphorical footballing snake to the bottom tier of the professional game then we should be ok. That is of course assuming, wildly incorrectly, that even a fraction of these players would still be around.
Leon Osman’s Premier League pedigree was apparently evident throughout a first half that saw the Toffees score three times without reply. The veteran schemer teed up Apostolos Vellios and Jack Rodwell for tidy finishes after another midfielder, Francisco Junior, opened the scoring with a 25-yard scorcher.
The Blues have a number of youngsters on the fringes of the first team now, and hopefully some of them, including a couple whose careers have stuttered slightly, can ‘kick on’, i.e. get better at playing football, during the season proper.
Victor Anichebe falls into that category, although if rumours are to be believed he could be taking his brand of sulky ‘okayishness’ elsewhere, with Wigan Athletic the club most often linked to him. Roberto Martinez is in the market for a striker since Hugo Rodallega left for Fulham, despite initially speaking to Everton. The bizarrely baby-faced Colombian apparently wanted more money than David Moyes thought he was worth, which is fair enough, especially as Martin Jol clearly disagreed. Who can blame Rodallega for making that choice? As a free agent in the prime of his career he had to make the best decision for himself and his family. People may talk about greed in these sorts of cases, but it’s not about that, it’s about negotiating positions, and Rodallega found himself in a strong one.
As for ‘winning stuff’, well, if he actually cares, Jol probably just reassured him that he’s almost as likely to enjoy a valiant but ultimately fruitless cup run at Craven Cottage as he is at Goodison. But on more money.
Never forget: one man’s Judas is another’s ‘exciting new signing’. Just ask Steven Naismith.
Any road, going back to Anichebe, he scored Everton’s fourth goal in the second half before the day’s central figure, Morecambe player-manager Bentley, pleased the whole crowd by netting a consolation for the home side.
More senior players will be returning to the squad soon, including Leighton Baines, although how long he will remain an Everton player is under question. The papers seem convinced that Manchester United are ready to make a bid for the Blues’ most consistent performer, and as we all know, those sorts of offers almost always end up getting accepted eventually.
It’s no secret that Moyes, like everyone else at the club, is eager to see overzealous toilet monitor Steven Pienaar return on a permanent deal, with Spurs reportedly more than happy to accept five million quid for him. That money has to come from somewhere, and at the moment the most likely source appears to be Baines increasing the Scouse quotient at Old Trafford to almost unacceptable levels for some of the ship canal Jihadists.
Finally, Everton wore their new Nike kit for this match. It’s been described as controversial, which is overstating matters somewhat – if your world is rocked by some white armbands then you need to get out more – but it does have more than a dash of Leicester City about it.