There´s a saying which goes a little like this: when the going gets tough, the tough get going. Tough, huh, huh, huh. And that saying could be applied to this particular part of the season.
We´re in what´s commonly known as the twatty part of the season where we play loads of boss teams and either confirm we are indeed “all that” or we wince as we turgidly get beat two nil and slide down the table.
Wednesday was an improvement on some recent dour performances by Everton. Normally it would have been the usual buckle job when conceding after 52 seconds to Arsenal but once we got into our groove we were the better team for the most part of the game. Familiarly we failed to find the winner and the extra two points that go with it, and that could prove costly with the run of games coming up.
As a follow up game it doesn´t get any harder than an away tie at the current champions of England and plenty of you will be predicting zero points output for the day. You´re probably right but it will be a change as there´s not many games we´ll go into this season where we are not favourites. Anxiety will not kick in if were still goalless after seventy two minutes.
Importantly City will not be looking forward to this tie either. They´ve been not on their game this season but importantly like champions do they remain unbeaten despite a couple of near misses. As referenced throughout the media; the last team to beat them at home was those handsome boys from just off County Road in a December match two years ago. It was boss too wasn´t it? They were fuming as we continually trolled them despite them spending all sorts of repressed bloody money on ace players.
Despite being awkward for them last season their class told in the end and they put us to bed routinely two nil which led to their fans to become all shouty and boastful. Then we made them fume again in the last time we played them with a shot from Gibson that the Iron Dome on the West Bank would not be able to intercept.
There´s the obvious story of a far away land where royal blues and sky blues played well together in the face of dominant evil red kingdoms on their doorstep. We sort of got them and wished them well. Then some minted Arabs took them over, tea towels appeared on their heads, jarg Champions League winning tattoos came along with Robinho and they underwent some sort of metamorphosis into a crap haircutted parody of Shameless sponsored by Joe Bloggs jeans. With Lescott as one of the baddies.
But they´re not so arsed with the passing of time and neither are we really. We just like making them fume. So that will be the aim on Saturday against a difficult backdrop of very decent players.
It´s worth starting with the manager though, the renaissance haired belter Mancini. Certain people in life will play to stereotypes willingly, like the vomit stained Scot you´ll find asleep in his own piss outside a Benidorm bar at 11.30am or the Union Jack short wearing tit from Bermondsey who is telling anyone who listens he´s into property and desperately wants you to take a business card from him whilst on holiday, the fat tragic prick.
Mancini is very happy to be portrayed as an Italian with his latin style and persona. He also thinks that because of this he understands football on a deeper level than you or I with our common island blood. He´s all wingbacks and interchanging positions and deep lying pivot midfielder. The media let him go on and he´ll willingly try to condescend anyone who´s unfortunate to listen. That´s all well and good but Serie A is pure sh*te. It´s about as entertaining as an alcohol less evening with your time served girlfriend. Soul destroying football. You won the league you scarf wearing bellend because you had unlimited funds to buy the best players like entering some sort of cheat mode on Tracksuit Manager back in the day. And even then you nearly f*cked it up. Boss ending though, you can have that.
They´ve got some excellent players. Those little latin f*cks who are dead sneaky with the ball. Take your pick from Tevez, Aguero or the brilliant Silva who we tried to stalk out of the game last season by having Jack Rodwell mark him. Great decision that though, Rodwell actually played decent for once and they willingly put twelve million pieces of Silva into our hands to take him off our hands this summer. He´s got all the attributes but none of the application. Like getting off with the fittest girl in your year and finding you´d have to date her for 18 months before you even got a sniff of bare tit. And she doesn´t neck with her tongue.
Balotelli is f*cking nuts. I´m on the side of the fence that doesn´t mind him, he´s either going to beast us or get subbed disappointingly after fifty minutes. Yaya Toure is superb. When he goes on one of his slalom runs he´s the closest thing to Jonah Lomu on a football pitch, he´s neigh on unstoppable. Barry provides the dull comfort blanket to a midfield bursting with attacking intent.
Kolarov and Zabaletta aren´t bad options to have at full back and they´ve got some young Serbian lad partnering Kompany in a defence that may just give something if you prod it right. Like Moyes assures us he´s going to try.
]Captain Kompany is brilliant and one of the rare signings in their team that cost under ten million. I´m sure that he won´t mind at all being all fod and looking like somebody has made a cocktail out of Mo Farrah. Good luck to him. Joe Hart is one f*cking nugget.
Onto Everton then. Jelavic played when sick apparently mid week. Nice one. Shame we have no plan B up front at the moment but that´s how it is. There´s none of his goals but his all round play has gone a bit to pieces too, he used to be adept at holding the ball up and bringing others into play but even that isn´t happening at the moment. It will come though and it will all be started by a goal so he´s worth persevering with.
Fellaini is excellent really, what more can you say? I love watching him make a close tight game look incredibly simple. He seemingly slows down time whenever he has the ball and does whatever he feels like with it.
Pienaar was much improved against Arsenal especially in the first half. There´s the temptation to throw him on the right to fit Oviedo in but he´s just that good with Baines that it´s probably best to leave him there until he plays himself back into form. Osman was probably the best midfielder on the park last time out. When there´s no overpowering grocks to beast him out of the game then he´s really competent in that position. It´s why he done well in his international game, he´s technically excellent.
What did help Osman was having Gibson back and although it took him some time when the second half came he showed what we´d been missing. He´s just ace at passing and holding everything together. I was a bit concerned that we might suffer from the curious Lucasleivaitis in where the longer a player is injured the better he becomes. Leiva´s worth 50m on the Kopite Player Index right now.
Naismith is separating opinion but I don´t think we´ll see the best of him until he´s played in his natural position, which is behind the striker. Even then he might not be good enough but we won´t until then, he still looks like he´s had a leg transplant sometimes. He looks good for a goal or two though.
The defence looked better with Distin and Jagielka in it, with the latter in particular playing outstanding at the moment. It´s likely to be disrupted though and Heitinga brought back in if Baines doesn´t make the late fitness test. Oviedo would be an option but I´d put money on Moyes going with Distin there like at the end of last season. Hibbert is good for these games where there´s likely to be some defending to do so no big issue there. The American in goal.
We´re in an unlucky habit of being involved in loads of draws but one of them wouldn´t be considered a bad result here. As I mentioned before Moyes said in the pre match conference that he would have a go at City and that´s all we ask really. No meek shut up shop and hope they have an off day. We´ve got to them plenty before and it´s nice habit.
So stand and deliver Everton, and give us love in the old fashion way. Wooooh.