Is this thing still working?
Hey, how you doing? Long time no smell. Great to have you back. Have you lost some weight? Been hitting the gym? You look great? Kids doing well at school? That’s smashing. And the wife, Rose? Tina? Ah yeah, how’s she doing anyway? Oh, sorry to hear that, that’s rough. With your best mate? Wow, sheesh, double-whammy! Sorry, of course.
Anyway, the return of the Premier League. Can’t come around fast enough, can it?
Well, maybe it can if you are one of Everton’s injured players, with Steven Pienaar still unlikely to recover for the visit of the Hull City Tigers, Anton Alcaraz being a fictional person created purely for the sake of some elaborate West African benefits scam, and now Darron Gibson sustaining a cruciate ligament injury while on international duty.
It’s a rough old do for Gibson, the poor lad’s car already bears a sticker that says ‘MY OTHER SHOE IS A PROTECTIVE CAST’ such is his propensity for knacking various bits of his husky frame. Doing your cruciate is generally viewed as the number one, top of the heap, stone cold pimpin’ injury that you wish to avoid in football, but thankfully Gibson works under Roberto Martinez who, when asked about the player missing the rest of the season, somehow managed to give a quote that made it sound like a resoundingly positive development. Much like Brasseye’s good and bad AIDS, Gibson’s isn’t the worst sort of mangled cruciate, and most importantly he is sure to come back an even stronger footballer, apparently.
It’s quite a reflection on how radically the squad was overhauled at Everton this summer that the loss of Gibson, sat on his arse, improving as a player, doesn’t initially seem the huge loss that it would have been last season. And bear in mind that’s on top of Marouane Fellaini leaving as well. Obviously we could find ourselves stretched though if anything happens to either James McCarthy or the first man to pull Lee Carsley’s sword from its stone, Gareth Barry, and so no one would be that surprised if Martinez looked at another midfielder or at least some versatile sort in January.
What’s Lee McCulloch up to at the moment?
Other Everton players had more positive experiences than Gibson during the international fortnight, not least Romelu Lukaku who scored the two goals that sent Belgium through to the World Cup in Brazil. The big striker’s form is just batty at the moment, and let’s face it he is the one who everyone is coming to see on Saturday. The excitement around him just seems to grow with every game and it’s getting to the point where he is proving Jose Mourinho so spectacularly misguided in letting him come on loan that you wouldn’t put it past the malignant little arse-piece letting the Belgian ball bladderer stay beyond the end of this season, just out of sheer bloody-mindedness.
He won’t, like.
Despite the excitement surrounding Lukakau, you get the impression that for some Blues his blistering displays are somehow bittersweet because we don’t ‘own’ him and his time at Goodison is observably finite. We need to forget about the illusion of permanence and continuity in football though – all the talk about ‘projects’ and ‘building’ is started off by managers trying to create an image that ultimately strengthens their own precarious positions.
We say hooey to them. Yes, hooey.
Ignore their insecurities, and instead embrace the fleeting, transient beauty of this present Everton team and simply live in the exhilarating moment. Because beneath his studied, slightly damp exterior our manager Martinez actually cares nothing for the lumbering prog rock institutions of the Premier League; his football is all slashing punk guitars and this Everton team, like his most famous work ‘Oi! Relegated FA Cup Winners’ is a Situationist pop-up guerilla art installation: audacious, inspiring and willing to challenge conventions and accepted paradigms.
Live it then, and love it, and care not what tomorrow brings, even if it does mean Leighton Baines frigging off to Manchester United in the next transfer window and then Ross Barkley and his oddly triangular Scream-mask head following him six months later.
As for Hull, well, what about them? The opposition are merely the canvas on which Everton paint their abstract masterpieces. Or perhaps they are the easel, because the pitch is probably more like the canvas. Hell no, Steve Bruce and his oddly-not-as-bad-as-everyone-expected side are nothing more than the jam jar in which Martinez washes his brushes, even if they do have a couple of good signings from Tottenham and some fella called Robbie Brady who has got loads of points in the Fantasy League and so everyone has transferred him in when it’s too late.
There were some other bits that this was meant to touch on but ended up on a bit of a tangent there and we inevitably start to run out of steam after about 800 words, hence these pieces always seem to end rather curtly. One of them was Roy Hodgson’s joke at half-time during the England game – we actually had loads of well more offensive ones we were going to use here riffing on ‘retro weekend’ at Goodison – and the sheer amazement that he goes into the changies during crucial qualifiers and starts firing off zingers. Following on from that was going to be something about Brendan Rodgers being one for adopting the latest coaching techniques and having a bare brick wall and a single stool put in the Anfield dressing room for when he dishes out his own brand of chilled out entertainment.
But we can’t really be bothered elaborating on that, and Miles did it all much better in his Being: Brendan anyway.
So that’s that then.
Everton, ra ra ra.
Smash the oiks.