Hey hey, my my. We can’t keep a clean sheet if we try.
Was anyone surprised by the Leicester result? Everton can’t fail to shoot themselves in the feet against the most limited of opposition, so a team who have perfected grafting and counter-attacking to the point that they are now deserved league leaders were always going to fancy their chances against Roberto Martinez’s slick-slack serial frustraters.
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You can’t help but be pleased for Leicester – they are making a mockery of the accepted order in the Premier League and it would be brilliant if they won the league. By the same token though, the fans of every other ‘best of the rest’ type club like ours must all be going mad and wishing that their lot where badding up the Premier League after year upon year of being told that it’s not at all possible and that they should really accept their lot as also-rans. Granted, Claudio Ranieri’s feisty Foxes might fall away after Christmas when their small squad struggles with the ‘rigours of the Premier League season’, but fucking hell they are giving themselves the best chance possible of making a proper go of it.
For Everton though, it’s the same old story. No matter how brightly we start, after half an hour or so the games always seem to settle down into a rhythm that the opposition can cope with and once they are steady they know that eventually the Toffees will present them with an opportunity by virtue of either over-confidence or just sheer dreadful defending.
The accusation increasingly levelled at Martinez is that he seems unwilling or incapable of adapting on the fly when the tide begins to change during a game. When the opposition have doubled up on petulant Gerard Deulofeu and Arouna Kone is wandering around like a kid lost at the county fair, the Blues boss appears to just chew his chewy more frantically and cross his arms tighter and tighter, as if just willing us to get better will make it so.
It’s so disappointing because you can see that we are almost there in so many respects. Broadly, the style of play, in terms of passing the ball and keeping possession, is the way the game should be played. And in terms of personnel we have some real belters, in particular Romelu Lukaku who is almost without peer in this country at present in terms of all-round talent. The nagging worry though, is that unless something changes soon we are almost going to have to write off yet another league season, and there are no guarantees whatsoever that we will be as successful at holding onto the likes of Lukaku and John Stones this summer as we were last.
If we are going to achieve something with this team then we are never going to get a better chance than now, especially with Manchester United and Chelsea playing like a big bag of balls every week.
A shrewd signing in January could make all the difference – even if it’s only short-term we should be looking to get in someone with a bit of personality and experience to give this young team a lift, Peter Reid/Andy Gray style. Fuck knows who like, but with all the potential in this team you do get the feeling that we could be just one new face away from being a really serious big boy side.
Failing that, or maybe as well as that, Martinez should be looking to patch things up with Kevin Mirallas. Granted, there’s a touch of the ‘get Tal on’ when moaning about the Belgian’s exclusion from the starting line-up, but whatever you think of the hatchet-faced winger he is a fucking decent player. He would certainly offer more threat than Kone and provide an alternative outlet to the over-used and becoming rather predictable slow working of the ball out to Deulofeu on the right.
Mirallas rubs people up the wrong way because of his perceived air of self regard, and you can imagine he is a bit of a tit, but quite frankly we could do with a bit of Billy Big Bollocks swagger in this team at the moment.
Put it another way, you would be surprised if we bought anyone better than Mirallas in January, so we should be looking to get him back in the side.
He’s off to West Ham, isn’t he?
That’s it for now, we’re starting to bore ourselves already with this.