Games against City are complete outliers, especially in the age of the empty stadium.
Before we start here, if you’re expecting any sort of analysis or critique of the present Everton set up or their performance in this game here then you’re likely go home empty-handed. Really there’s going to be more emphasis on the visitors’ bench and then some reviews of some films that you are probably not the least bit interested in.
The blog’s literally called This Is Not Football though so you’ve not really got any grounds for complaint.
Still reading? Alright then.
Pep Guardiola is a bad weirdo. His teams are great at football but man alive he can’t help himself with his tortured genius schtick. That shaking his head at the end of yet another stroll to victory here – as if there were some subtle imperfection in his team’s performance that only he could comprehend. Fuck off mate.
You have to wonder what that Help-For-Heroes-Wetherspoons-on-a-Tuesday mob who make up his backroom staff have to say about it. Have you seen the absolute state of them? For an elite sporting organisation they look like the fellas who get stuck up by a pair of hothead punks at an all night card game in the back of a deli.
‘At Least They Had a Go’ is our new club motto, as these plucky defeats in games where we were worried we might get steamrollered are now our stock in trade. And so we almost took this ridiculously efficient but slightly antiseptic City side to a defeat in extra time, and with an unproven third choice goalkeeper to boot.
There’s just not a lot to say about it that’s not been said. We have a really expensive side that’s quite good at playing like a newly-promoted team. Our problem is that we don’t tend to ‘build on the City performance’ and then twat the shit teams.
That’s the puzzle for Carlo Ancelotti and his coaching staff to fathom. If they take the credit for the tactical masterclasses against the good teams then they have to share some responsibility when they are regularly outplayed by sides that face relegation.
Because we’re out of both cups and a point above Tottenham.
That can’t all be Alex Iwobi’s fault.
Talking of the late sub, brought on as a counterpoint to the visitors’ introduction of Kevin de Bruyne, he really has become an unwitting emblem of this peculiar Moshiri-era Everton. You can’t help but feel for him a bit, and wonder what was sold to him when he made that unexpected move from Arsenal?
What was the mercurial Marcel’s part in it as well? Isn’t the dapper Dutchman’s job to identify players like Iwobi in the UK and across Europe and make sure for Christ’s sake we don’t spend £30 million on them?
‘David Moyes treats Everton’s money like it’s his own’ was always seen as a bit of a barbed comment, but that arl-arse, street smart shrewdness we used to have when money was tight always felt kind of admirable, and very Everton. Very Scouse. In recent years though, we’ve accumulated more random, overpriced shite than a Post Office window. We’re like one of them poor bastard seventies boxers who walked round in a white fur coat but whose massive entourage were having them off left, right and centre.
‘Hey champ, my brother back in Cincinnati ain’t doing too good.’
‘I’m sorry to hear that. Does he want a white tiger?’
The Toffees have nine league games left to ‘clinch’ qualification to the promised land of the Europa League. Hopefully with James Rodriguez back and fully fit. It would be great to see them just push up the pitch a bit, give the fullbacks a chance to do what they excel at and generally be more positive and aggressive, with and without the ball. We have a ridiculously quick defender in Ben Godfrey, so if any team can afford to ‘play a high line’ and compress the space – and give the much-maligned midfield a chance to actually get close enough to make a challenge – then it’s surely us.
Until we play City again on the last day, obviously. That would be mental.
Right, enough of that nonsense.
The Street. Ostensibly about the gentrification of Hoxton High Street, but touches on much more, including immigration, Brexit, homelessness and the Grenfell fire. Some reviews called it heavy-handed, but this isn’t one of them. It’s ace. Warmhearted, really funny and very, very sad.
If you are a sucker for behind-the-scenes sports documentaries, and there are tons around at present, then a little dark horse there on Amazon Prime is called Making Their Mark, following last season in Australian Football League. It’s filmed more like the massively underrated Six Dreams than the almost unwatchable bombast of All Or Nothing, switching between the players and boardrooms of a number of top ‘fuddy’ teams. The game itself is just weird – rugby in vests – but the characters are likeable, the unfolding of how they handle COVID is really interesting, and Australia just looks incredible.
A French film called Untouchable – which is apparently really well known in France – is worth a look as well.