The most revealing thing to come from this game was the statement made by the Everton Doctor. He said, “There was no room for an Arouna Kone run. He walks on gilded splinters.”
The bad Juju never ended there though, as Roberto Martinez demonstrated quite clearly that there is a distinct hierarchy in terms of Evertonian arsedness when it comes to the various competitions this season. He’s already stated that they are taking the Europa League beaucoup seriously, and judging by the Swansea team selection and the all-round Premier League form, well, they might as well just hand the FA Cup over to us now.
Kone only made the bench so you can only surmise that he has a first touch like Michael J Fox in training, because the rest of the Bash Street Kids all started, including Antolin Alcaraz, Tony Hibbert, Christian Atsu, Mohamed Besic, Luke Garbutt, Bryan Oviedo and Darron Gibson. Away at a fairly decent Premier League side who are clearly predestined for mid-table safety already, that team was never going to get anything other than dumped out of the competition quick-sharp.
The only consolation, other than ‘rounds in the bank’ for Garbutt and the players returning from injury, was that ahead of Saturday’s derby Liverpool were taken to extra-time and then a penalty shootout that eventually saw kicks taken by the Asian physio who looks like Millhouse, absent-minded wizard Colin Pascoe and then the eventual winner by that Fast Show-looking fella with the Super Noodle head.
Everton’s full-strength side has been flaky all season, so it was really no surprise when they fell behind in the first half here. Jefferson Montero, who sounds like the world’s most unlikely Talksport phone-in, cut in from the right, crossed low across the Blues’ box and Nathan Dyer steered a low shot inside the far post.
Romelu Lukaku replaced the ineffectual Samuel Eto’o at the break but the Toffees still rarely threatened, and when that’s the case you can really do without your centre-half sending flying headers against your own crossbar. Sylvain Distin did just that though, and Gylfi Sigurdsson reacted quickest to net the rebound.
Most of the subs were already on the coach arguing over the DVDs by the time Marvellous Marvin Emnes scored the third, beating Howard with a low shot driven inside his near post.
You can guarantee that Martinez wont have gone home and dissected that performance on his two big tellies. He never gave a shite about going any further in the Inconvenience Cup, much like the vast majority of Premier League managers. Maybe if a succession of kind draws allow them to muddle through to the later stages they will start to put strong line-ups out, as Wembley and a bit of silverware start to look like a real possibility, but otherwise they just aren’t bothered.
It’s no consolation if you took time off work to shlep down to Swansea like, but it hardly comes as any surprise. And if the side that takes to the field at Anfield on Saturday afternoon looks refreshed and raring to go – and wins, most importantly – then there are few people who would complain too much about this team and this performance. Lose there though – and, you know, it’s more than a possibility – and the start of this season begins to look like something of a train wreck.