Oh aye, the footy. Fancy forgetting about that.
Every season it’s the same though, you wait for it to start and before you can settle in and get any sort of rhythm going there’s a massive break – well, a fortnight – and you feel like you lose all your impetus and enthusiasm. It’s made even worse when you have something of a new team, in terms of management and playing style, never mind personnel on the pitch. We all want to get a good look at Roberto Martinez’s team and figure out what he’s doing with it – is he building on the foundations laid by David Moyes, as we all hope, or watering down the gritty cocktail that the Scot assembled in the pursuit of a certain style, as some maybe fear?
Three league games into the season and the Toffees remain unbeaten, but only taking three points from games against Norwich, West Bromwich Albion and Cardiff City does represent a bit of a disappointment. Playing a Chelsea side strongly tipped for the title then represents something of a double-edged sword.
Obviously they are dead good, with loads of boss players, so there’s that to contend with. On the other hand though, they will come and have a go, which is not something that the other teams we’ve faced this season have really done. We should find out then whether this Everton side can play its patient, possession game against a typical Jose Mourinho team of talented and physically imposing players, and also whether the Martinez method can pay dividends against someone who commits players forward and therefore leaves space at the back to exploit. We know our players can rack up all sorts of impressive passing statistics against teams who are happy with a draw – are they good enough though, and quick enough to punish their opponents’ mistakes, to take the next step and prove that there is some substance to their new style against one of the Premier League’s big-hitters?
Inspired by this revealing piece on the Guardian website, we painstakingly scoured reams of data to produce these infostatistographics to summarise the difference in Everton’s play this season.
Now, some might suggest that those diagrams were a cheap method of filling up a bit of screen space by someone who really can’t be arsed with this, but what do they know?
One consolation if we do get turned over on Saturday is that the excitement can still be built up before the West Ham game because that’s when we will finally get to see Romelu Lukaku ‘unleashed’ in an Everton shirt. As it is, despite them looking like pretty sound purchases, no one is really getting that giddy at the thought of what James McCarthy and Gareth Barry might do to ‘these Chelsea cunts’ this weekend. In fact, if anything we are all still hoping to get a better look at what Gerard Deulofeu can produce given a decent run out in ‘the Prem’. He certainly looked the man most likely against Cardiff during the short spell he was on the pitch – has he done enough yet though to convince Martinez that he has what it takes to start a big game like this?
What the new manager simply must realise is that when one of the top sides comes to Goodison Park at booze o’clock on a Saturday, Everton simply must attack and get the ball in the box. The punters pay their money in order to go electrode-monkey-in-an-animal-rights-video crazy at these matches – give them what they come for. After all, if we wanted mid-90s Serie A we’d get our Rifle Jeans on and hold up a massive, inexplicable flag of a native American’s face.
‘VOLLEY THAT ETO’O LAD, HE’S FUCKING SHITE!’