The apprehensive big Everton juggernaut of optimism continues to saunter along, fuelled by a five goal tonking of Leyton Orient and more importantly a complete and utter sexing of Aston Villa on their own patch. Bravo Everton.
Itâ€™s somewhat of a happy contrast as our next game falls on traditionally our worst day of the entire season with it being the close of the transfer window. Mikel who? I didnâ€™t hear someone cry.
The experienced heads amongst us blues knows to appreciate good performances when they come along but beware the wrath of the Norse Gods smiting the good ship Everton as is so often the case. Still, weâ€™re playing boss though and thatâ€™s no bad thing.
It was agreed that the Villa away game would be a litmus test in following up a big performance and result against United in a fixture that we usually struggle in. No need to fear as a vibrant Everton as youâ€™ll see out passed and out played an average Villa team and flattered them by only winning three one. Leyton Orient were awful in midweek but we done what we had to do and twas a pleasant sight to see our new lid scoring two and laying on two. In the bigger picture it was superb to see the finishing ten players on the pitch wearing blue and noting that none of them started in the previous two games. While our playing squad is not as big as most, we do have some genuine cover which bodes well for a long season.
Itâ€™s a Midlands themed fixture again this week as we head deep into the Black Country to play West Bromwich Albion who are not on a bad run themselves, under the astute new management of the smackhead Jimmy Carr himself, Steve Clarke.
A comfortable 3-0 spanking of the sh*te was a good foundation to open the season and caused one of the most astounding kopite moments of self-realisation as social media awashed with gloomy red brethren predicting very long seasons of transition and assorted other technical language regurgitated from the mouth of brother Brendan. Of course one point later and der gonna win der league. WBA (if you permit the abbreviation) followed that up with a very good second half performance at Spurs to earn a late point. Mid week theyâ€™ve just tanned Yeovil 4-2 away in the League Cup. Confidence wonâ€™t be running low and theyâ€™ve got home advantage to boot.
We done well to nick a late win in an insipid New Year game here last year most notable for Roy Hogdson banging his head against the dug out like a seven year old nephew taking a maddy over not being allowed in the back garden.
The good folk of West Bromwich are a bit Cleetus in approach and ware but on the whole quite tolerable. They do unfortunately have share some DNA with other Midlands types but continually inbreeding has evolved some of the gobsh*teness out. I canâ€™t preview them without making the bi annual reference to the boing boing thing they do which is at odds with the kind words above but Iâ€™m hoping that in time theyâ€™ll see the error of their ways.
Itâ€™s a club of some history, for example Ron Atkinson invented black players at West Bromwich Albion back in the seventies. Crazy to think of what things were like beforehand. Ron then famously tweeted bad things to Stan Collymore or something and the small minded arl dinosaur has vanished off the planet ever since. WBAâ€™s favour son Jeff Astle, RIP, done us over by scoring a winning goal in an FA Cup Final when Everton were boss at the end of the sixties.
You can see why West Brom have done alright as theyâ€™ve got a more than competent Premier League team. Up front theyâ€™ve got the nipply little Odemwingie who didnâ€™t really follow up last season with the goal glut of the one before. Shane Long looks like he should be knocking on your door offering competitively priced drive tarmacking but is one astute finisher when afforded the change. The loan signing Lukaku , Belgians lad, is a brute of a centre forward and has started life there well. Distin will be all over him like thick French fog.
Their midfield is unspectacular but no less obstinate. Yacob and Morrison are likely to start and perm any two from Gera, Dorrans, Fortune, Mulumbu & Chris Brunt. TheyÂ´ll work hard and make it difficult, theyÂ´re also slightly under the radar in their passing ability when you watch them on a good day.
Defence is not all that. Again no glaring weakness, despite Liam Ridgewell being at left back, but the hopeful part in you will look at Steven Reid, Gareth McAuley & that Olsson and think that if Everton get their passing game going early then they could find it difficult against us. WeÂ´ve got goals in us. Is Ben Foster still meant to be boss? HeÂ´s in goal anyway.
ItÂ´s nice to talk about Everton at the moment and the various options we have. IÂ´m writing this on Thursday evening so there could be some more by the time this game kicks off. WeÂ´re in talks with Bryan Ovideo and thereÂ´s hints at a midfielder too. WeÂ´ll see.
Loved that Jelavic goal last week, itÂ´s what heÂ´s all about isnÂ´t it? Baines knew where he was going to be and he made a difficult angle look like a peace of piss with that sidefoot of his. The lid just passes goals. All over the show.
Naismith had a decent game against Villa and followed it up in the cup midweek prompting the first signs of Goodison acceptance from the two lids behind me. â€œTell you what ladâ€, â€œWhat lad?â€. â€œThat Naysmith, player that lad.â€ â€œDefo lad.â€ Welcome to Everton Steven. Time will tell if heÂ´ll sort our right of midfield problem or indeed drift in behind Jelavic but he can play a bit and that bodes well for anyone wearing royal blue, as does his willingness to work hard. Mirallas did himself no harm with a superb first half performance against Orient. Judging by his and Steve RoundÂ´s comments afterwards IÂ´d deem it unlikely heÂ´ll start though with him still being short of game fitness.
Pienaar is looking like heÂ´s playing as well as he did at the end of last season, itÂ´s always something great to see a player of that ability wearing our shirt. Put simply he makes us play fantastic togger. Fellaini is probably to retain his role furthest forward of the midfield three supporting Jelavic and it was nice to see various articles of acknowledgement pop up in the media this week noting that Darron Gibson is quite ace for us. He very much is. HeÂ´s also due one of them long range efforts. Foot like a traction engine. Bald spot like a lonely moon.
I think the Lukaku threat will see Distin start as I said before and the unfortunate Heitinga should start from the bench as Jagielka joins the big handsome Frenchman. Baines and Hibbert are more than likely to start as full backs. Quick word for Coleman though, he played very decent in the cup, I do wish they work hard on trying to convert him to a right back as heÂ´s still far better in the opposition half than his own half and itÂ´s a shame as heÂ´s an absolute c*nt in getting to the by line, his final ball seems to be much improved too. Howard, rendered mostly sh*te on any shot over 25 yards, will rightfully return to goal.
ThereÂ´s a sixteen day break for us after this game with the ill timed international break interrupting us. It would be nice to take some sort of result and keep all them positive vibes around the place.
And that is that. What do we have to fear? Well apart from a jarg Essex lion; it all falling apart. ThereÂ´s something about this current Everton team that gives you hope weÂ´ll play some good football for plenty of weeks in the season. ThatÂ´s the way forward, week by week. Over to you Everton.