You normally expect us to get ‘remand centre romanced’ in the derby, but despite the last two results, can you honestly say you go into this one with no hope?
Yes, there was an element of ‘Oh I like it when they struggle a bit’ in the way that Manchester City eventually triumphed at Goodison in midweek, and the Fulham game was typical of Everton’s performances against the these-are-shite-let’s-play-the-actual-fullbacks teams, but the way things have gone this season – for everyone, not just the Toffees – it seems pointless drawing long-lasting conclusions from any performance.
After all, we were ‘gritty’ and ‘never-say-die’ with the depth of squad to bring on a Brazilian international match-winner just over a week ago after the 5-4 against Tottenham.
The fact is, it’s hard to remember when we had a squad with this much talent in it, so we’re always going to have a chance in any game.
That has not always been the case.
Even when Phil Foden – who really looks like a drag queen whose wig has come off in a bar fight – scored his opener on Wednesday night, they didn’t cave immediately as we’ve seen plenty of times before. They had a go, equalised and at least tried to pose some sort of threat.
Then caved later.
It does feel like we are reaching a point though where Carlo Ancelotti should pick his best team and let the opposition worry more about us. Whether he’s trying to keep the big squad happy by playing everyone, or whether it’s the amount of fixtures, we do seem to lack a clear identity, and that becomes especially evident against the teams struggling in the league.
‘They’re only playing two centre-halves lads – he’s saying your useless there. You going to take that from these muggy Scouse cunts?’
Or maybe the injury to Allan has disrupted Ancelotti’s vision for how he wants the team to approach games. Do we sit back oh-so-deep because no one else offers the central defenders the same sort of protection as the bum-fluffed Brazilian? Because we no longer lack pace at the back, with the emergence of Ben ‘dead fucking rapid’ Godfrey.
It feels somewhat impertinent to offer advice to Ancelotti – apart from ‘lock them patio doors’ – but watching the Blues, especially compared to the better teams in the division, they look like they need to just sort of push up the pitch a bit. As it stands, the forwards are being made to look proper ‘nanas trying to do one of them trendy ‘high presses’ and having some superstar of world football like Harrison Reed just drop in behind them and take an endless stream of simple passes from his defenders.
Fucking hell, we’re only moments away from using the term ‘touchmap’ here.
So moving on, recommendation time. Hardly going out on a limb here, but King Rocker on Sky Documentaries – Stewart Lee’s film about ‘John Peel favourites’ The Nightingales. Obviously, if for some reason you’re not a fan of Stewart Lee you will absolutely fucking hate it. And that would be a shame, as it’s a funny, affectionate portrayal of the Midlands punk/arts scene with some tremendous footage.
‘We tended not to be very popular with the sorts of people who bought records. That was our main problem.’
Next week: that Sopranos is alright.