Boss, that, Everton. Boss.
We were meant to bounce back, come out fighting, show what we’re made of with a point to prove and all the other things that you say after Chelsea have made you squeal like a pig, boy, and you want to take everyone’s mind off it by talking about getting back on the training ground and taking a long hard look at yourself before stepping up to the plate.
Amid all that stuff there was almost certainly no mention of playing like shite against the Swans who so far this season have looked incapable of breaking their duck, never mind anyone’s arm.
The atmosphere around Goodison, which has been kind of weird for a while, is now more recognisable as simply hostile. The lusty boos at half time and the final whistle were almost comforting.
It’s not helped by the manager coming across as such an odd, distant character and his recent comments being picked up and highlighted in a rather unflattering light. He looks like a hard-drinking, cynical priest who teaches the boys boxing at his rundown old church in Hells Kitchen – the roof leaks and the donations on the collection plate are only small, but the hearts of the people are big and they don’t appreciate outsiders coming down here and snooping around, asking questions and digging up things that are best off forgotten, but his demeanour is that of slight exasperation, especially when he sits hunched forwards in his press conferences with that pained look that makes you think he’s dying for the khazi.
Win games and his candour with the Dutch press won’t matter a jot, but when the team look a bag of shite then every comment comes under extra scrutiny.
In terms of his management, he gives the impression that he thinks that most of the players are last and hasn’t made any secret of it. In particular, the three wingers who aren’t Yannick Bolasie keep getting changed every game and so never get a chance to play themselves into any sort of form. And after dodging a £30 million bullet in the shape of that Sissoko who went to Tottenham in the summer, is anyone thrilled at the prospect of that lazy little shitehawk Memphis Depay being added to that mix in January?
It’s hard to really pinpoint what our style of play is either. Under the admittedly flawed Roberto Martinez you could see what the plan was, even if it could prove disastrous whenever it wasn’t executed correctly. Now though, we just seem ‘quite solid’ – apart from when Eden Hazard went through us like piss through snow, obviously – but going forward there doesn’t seem to be a lot of cohesion. Instead of attacking as a team, it’s more ‘give it to one of the flair players and hope they can produce something out of nothing’.
And while Koeman keeps talking about pressing from the front – as every cunt does nowadays – there doesn’t really seem to be much evidence of it. Certainly not compared to the other lot over the road whose forwards and midfielders are legging round like mangy dogs that have got out over the back fence.
So are we just killing time until January then – acknowledged as the worst time to do business – when he’s going to replace half the squad? Because that’s what it looks like it needs at the moment.
Again, harking back to Martinez, and maybe even the David Moyes of the early years when everyone liked him, there was a feeling that they were trying to make a team that was – and we know we have battered this phrase down the years – ‘more than the sum of its parts’. And so there was always the hope that we could compete with more monied clubs by dint of our organisations and work ethic under Moyes, and Martinez’s teams’ ability to lull opponents to sleep with their obnoxiously insistent possession. It turned out that ultimately we couldn’t, like – compete with the top sides – we pretty much consistently got beat in all the big games, but for the most part we usually had a reason to at least hope we could. So it seems almost perverse then that now we’re supposedly beyond all our cash woes, and have appointed a heavyweight ‘name’ manager, that optimism seems to have evaporated. There’s nothing in our approach that seems to set us apart from the rest of the league, and so we feel almost resigned to being limited by the players at our disposal.
That’s how it feels at the moment, anyway. On the flip-side, Koeman has only had one summer and less than a dozen league games in charge thus far – a manager needs far longer than that to shape a side into exactly what he desires. Until he makes all the signings he wants though, he needs to work with what he’s got, and certainly needs to get more out of his attacking players.
Going back Saturday’s opponents, who could forget the alliterative headline when Henry Winkler targeted them in that Bernie Madoff-style scam?
Corrections and apologies
It’s been brought to our attention that the previous pun involves rhyming, not alliteration.
It has also been brought to our attention – by several concerned readers – that it is absolute shite.