Carlo Ancelotti’s gamble that Newcastle are ‘just shite’, and so any line-up should really beat them, backfired all too predictably at the Massive Mugs And Them Huge Carrier Bags That All The Homeless Swear By Arena.
If you play a team of one-paced ‘into-my-feet-knobhead’ merchants then can you really be that surprised when the performance is slower than natural selection? With fullbacks as wingers and central midfielders as fullbacks, no one looked in the least bit comfortable.
Two touches and a shrug were the order of the day until the Toffees were 2-0 down.
Bernard made a difference. Which tells you all you need to know about how they were playing. The Brazilian looks like he’s catching flies with chopsticks, such is the dexterity with which he can pluck the ball from the ether, but he’s another who has never really fit easily into the side since his arrival.
In short, another nice footballer who you simply can’t picture in a team that genuinely wins stuff.
It was genuinely a contender for the most dreary game of football ever played until Callum Wilson got a penalty because he was offended by Andre Gomes’ attempt to clear a corner. That can be the only explanation, that the kick upset him and potentially caused him anxiety. Because that is not a penalty. There have been others awarded along the same lines recently, and we’re only going to see more now – where attackers have become the footballing equivalent of those insurance scammers who deliberately walk into cars and then turn up to court wearing a massive comedy neck brace.
Then some dickhead will say ‘there doesn’t have to be intent’ which makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.
Oh shit, yeah. Jordan Pickford never played. Robin Olsen was in goal and did what was asked, I.e. ‘just nothing fucking weird mate, ok?’, although Wilson scored easily from the spot.
The players all had poppies on their shirts – and poppies are red, and they’re flowers, like tulips, which are from Holland, like Virgil van Dyke. So Everton probably did it as a mark of respect. Which is nice.
The fact that the pundits are even speculating that the blowback from the collision with the pony-tailed stopper could be at the root of the decision to put Pickford on the bench is just an indication of the scale of the unprecedented, hysterical overreaction to the incident.
More likely though is that his performances have been increasingly bizarre and have got right on Ancelotti’s last fucking nerve, much like the rest of us. If Pickford’s recent displays were a television character they would be Brian who lives downstairs on Spaced. All nude painting, blaring opera and a bulging, sweaty eye at the door jamb.
It’s Manchester United next, and although they are being touted as last, they are a sight more talented than Newcastle. The pace of their forwards alone is likely to cause all sorts of problems, particularly to Yerry Mina who, let’s face it, has probably been dodging the spotlight because of Cosmo Kramer in goal. He got absolutely laced by Ryan Fraser for Wilson’s second here, and overall he’s just a massive flake.
If that Ben Godfrey is any good, surely he replaces the calamitous Colombian sooner rather than later?
Dominic Calvert-Lewin flicked home a consolation in injury time to get pulse rates rising almost into positive digits, but Everton got what they deserved despite a couple of half-scares in the dying moments. And that was fuck all.
James Rodriguez apparently once said he would give his left bollock to play in the Premier League.
He might have to on Saturday.