It’s back to the league then. A league which has us in sixth and if were all being honest is about right for what we are and how we’ve done this season.

There’s still life left in the old dog yet but to push a frankly sh*te analogy – that old dog just isn’t chasing the soggy arl ball you’re lashing on a cold wet corpy park with as much vigour as he once used to.

Thankfully there is the real possibility of a cup distraction with the news that we have two home games against wool teams separating us and a Wembley semi appearance again. We’ll cross those hurdles in the previews when or indeed if we come to them.

After a trailblazing start in the league we’ve hit some poor form and it’s not just a recent thing, it’s been for a some time now. When was the last time you seen a swashbuckling Everton dismantle a team like they did to say Villa or Swansea away (the return home fixtures were startling contrast) or the first half Southampton home game? Injuries, officials, poor luck, missed chances whatever. It’s our own fault for being a bit meh.

It’s like one of them dreams where you’re getting a legga off a beast, giant robot (for Ste) or foe and you’re trying dead hard to run but your legs just aren’t working too well. We have to kick ourselves out of it and particularly now with the injury list not being as damning as it once was. No excuses Everton.

We were again masters of our own downfall against Oldham. Spirited, yes. Gutsy aye probably. But there’s good reason why they’re in danger of being relegated to the final professional division in English football and that reason is that they’re pure cack. We done our thing where we assimilate to a poor team’s level and the rest of the country marvels at an injury time equaliser which to their mind embodies the magic of the cup. Well you can just f*ck off. That happened because too many of our players on that crap pitch were sh*thouses and couldn’t play like how they can.

An away game in East Anglia this weekend isn’t too daunting but nor will it be too easy either. The simple faced Chris Hughton has got Norwich being a bit of a pain in the arse to beat at home. But that’s soccer talk and it’s important as always to get inside the heads of the opposition and what they’re about, where they’re from and why they’re tits and how apparently scruffy their kids are.

Norwich is tucked away on a weird growth on the east coast of England, just above London and the South West. The hamlet of Norwich is at the very heart of the big zit popping out of the mainland itself. The whitehead if you will, just sat there waiting to be squeezed.

For those of you venturing other there – and it’s no easy feat – you’ll notice proximity to Norwich through the smell of horse manure. It’s the very Chanel of East Anglia itself as it wafts from the fields and is gradually absorbed by the oversized lamb chop sidies of the locals, like some bad BBC Sunday evening sitcom/drama.

Norwich really is the appendix of the country. It may have served some purpose thousands of years ago but scientists are struggling to find a point to it right now, unless you like canals and barges in which case you’re either going through a resentful divorce or are a bit weird – which by default means you’re probably from Norwich itself.

It’s a land where the locals aspire to drive one of them arl Jaguars and meet a good wife at the village summer fete. It’s also home brew central of these fair isles as the red nosed ruddy faced populous have f*ck all to do but watch the sun set east squinting and thinking that they can see Sweden in the distance. Being born there is like checking into a decent hotel but being allocated the room with a view of the next building’s brick work.

There’s all sort of innuendo about interbreeding and bestiality but with respect to Norwich we’ll swerve these rumours as they’re probably not that true.

Their hated local rivals are Ipswich Town who’ve actually won some stuff. Of course when I say rivalry, in the scheme of association football it’s about as significant as two neighbours in far eastern rural Siberia falling out over a parking space for the respective Ladas.

They had to deal with their bright talented Scottish manager leaving in the summer for perceived pastures better. Sh*t on there Paul by the way. We may have some parallels of our own in the summer but the way this contract thing is dragging on most of us probably won’t be arsed.

Hughton came in and done a good job in steadying the ship. In footballing terms he’s one of the more tolerable managers, a seemingly decent guy. Their season has been in fits and starts and at the moment they are on a six game winless streak.

They signed striker Becchio in the January window from Leeds to add some much needed goals to their team and he hasn’t had much time yet but one goal in six games telling as to where their problems lie, especially since super grock Holt has been found out as the podgy Tyson Fury-lite beaut he is. Saying that he’ll probably slot against us as usual.

They’ll play it tight with five in the middle with good width from players like the underrated Wes Hoolahan. There’ll also be the inclusion of the shrunken eyed caravan dwelling Snodgrass, also a recent purchase from Leeds. They are comfortable with the ball on the ground the middle of the park is where this game will be won or lost. Who am I kidding? This has got draw all over it.

Defence are average. One time Hull City golden boy Turner will play alongside Bassong who scored a tediously predicatable injury time equaliser at Goodison in the reverse fixture. If Jelavic was a shadow of his former self we’d do serious damage to these. John Ruddy is out with a long term injury so Bunn, who’s half decent, will keep goal for them.

And that’s quite enough about Norwich.

Whilst there’s been many words and opinions wrote about Victor Anichebe it’s a good thing he’s found the knack of scoring goals or we’d be in some trouble. He did his customary thing like when James Brown got his coat around his shoulders in limping off the pitch so it’s touch and go whether he’ll make it for Norwich.

The reason why Jelavic is never far away from many blues tongues is because we’ve seen a side of him which excited us, that icy veined angular faced boss slotter. This season’s version is like one of them jargest La Coste polos that some lad brings into your workplace circa 1997 with the crocodile looking more like an obese komodo dragon. Apart from those at the top table a lot of football fans get by on the currency of hope, and it’s very much a hope that we get to see him turn into his previous self once again, before his inevitable £6m transfer to Borussia Monchengladbach in less than two years from now.

Fellaini, as is usually the case against lower league teams, didn’t look too arsed to be on the pitch and will need to step up for this as we’re needing someone to kick start the entire team by a run of fantastic form. And he’s one of the only players we’ve got who could do that.

Pienaar is another who’s suffered this season. We’ve seem bits and bobs of what he can do but he’s nowhere near the player who was on loan last season and it does make the mind wonder. We’re glad to see Mirallas back, scampering down the right wing not quite sure which trick he’ll try himself next but his threat is negated somewhat without the improving Coleman behind him. There’s a whisper, and whisper I mean Fox, that he could be right for this game and I hope so as it’s sad to see the previously reliable Neville trying to play right back and getting caught out by any player that can move faster than 5mph. Osman and Gibson haven’t been all that either. This preview really is turning into negativity itself, apologies. Did I mention Ross Barkley?

One bright spot this season has been Phil Jagielka. He just defends doesn’t he? Distin is his preferred partner in crime while it looks like Heitinga has a bit of a battle as Duffy was preferred to him as a late sub in the cup game. Baines, ace. Coleman as said could be an outside chance this week but it´s likely to be Neville even though Stone is impressing apparently in training. We might even have right back options at some point in the near future. Howard made some decent saves against Oldham, well in.

This game against a fragile Norwich is an opportunity to get back on track, a Norwich which haven´t won in eight or nine league games. A Norwich which can´t score goals. A Norwich which Everton should really put to bed. Even allowing for a partisan home support, and by partisan I really mean inbred weirdos shouting undecipherable stuff at the pitch while looking like a rejected extra from The Darling Buds of May.

Snot them Everton.