Everton eh? Itâ€™s around this time of year where our brave charge and wonderful dreams have to downsize somewhat so we are at least true to course. Maybe we´ve been Evertontutionalized.
Or are we? The fallout from the Spurs defeat caught me off guard â€“ it was as though association football itself was going to retire at the end of this season and we needed to Indiana Jones under the sliding door to ensure everybody lives happily ever after.
Thereâ€™s still thirteen games left and the teams above us canâ€™t help slipping up. We´ve got a fifth round FA Cup game at home to look forward to so in my mind at least this season is still GO.
If the glass half full act is doing your head in then youâ€™re probably best swerving this right now and clicking on www.dailymail.co.uk and heading to the celebrity section before adding comments praising super skinny models who look dead fit in a bikini on a beach. You´ll be surrounded in hostility and gloom in less than one earth hour.
We´ve got a home game against Crystal Palace to, err, look forward to? Easy peasy Japanesy. Maybe not. Although they´re meant to be rubbish so we´ll beat them jah? Take that leg out of your speedos Trevor â€“ itâ€™s not as simple as that. They´re going through a new manager renaissance, the most toxic of all Everton foes.
So what can we expect from Palace? Fan wise they´re actually alright. South of the Thames River so thereâ€™s less of an air of silver spoon and they´ve endured some footballing hardship, which is essential in balancing a fan. I have noticed a hint of Ultra behaviour with the fanatical chanting and â€œgetting behind the teamâ€ but compared to Evertonians everyone else in football gets a wee bit too excited and dragged into thinking banners and over the top behaviour is accepted spectating practice. Where as we are more arsed about that tit two rows in front who keeps standing up and putting his arms out to gesture to the referee or shouting â€œsecond ball bluesâ€. The bad cocksplash. Need to book a different seat next year or poison his Bovril.
They were in a right pickle and then Tony Pulis took them over. Pulis has had years of being sneered at by opposition managers and fans while producing teams that seldom give the opposition an easy game. Heâ€™s not going to use the word phenomenal or false number ten, or thankfully count on his thumbs but instead you´ll get a team with two combative midfielders sniding our best players and looking to hit us on the break and set pieces.
Unfortunately for Crystal Palace being associated with Pulis is like starting to see a girl who is sound enough but once upon a time gave out wanks to an entire coach full of rugby lads when wrecked. She may be sound in the house, super in bed and a great person to be around but the deed is done. And you can see it in peopleâ€™s eyes when they look at you both sat there in the local Wetherspoons.
Crystal Palace has climbed under his stewardship and away from relegation places thanks to finding a backbone and starting to score some goals. They come into this game on the back of a rather impressive 3-1 win over West Brom on the weekend and if as so much decide to half turn up on Wednesday night then they can and will make you feel like this season was all a pleasant dream that you´re being woke from and finding you´ve pissed your own boxies.
Son of famed final jigsaw piece and all round Duncan Ferguson ducker Tom Ince made a January loan move to Palace and will look to exploit us when we push on too deep. Up there too you´ll find Chamakh who if his neck was two inches longer would be in danger of being bolted then cut open for horrified children in a Copenhagen zoo. Famously Chamakh hasn´t settled on any on particular haircut for the past five years, instead asking Toni & Guy for a combination of no fewer than seven different hairstyles resulting in him looking a prized tit. Cross danger etc, words.
Jason Puncheon and Bolaise are Championship bullies who are dead fast and will look to pin over ambitious or naÃ¯ve full backs right back, but luckily we have Baines and Coleman on the payroll. The midfield will probably be Dikgacoi â€“ an international colleague of Pienaar â€“ and Jedinak. No, me neither.
Defence will include new signing and kopite Scott Dann and another centre back that you wont have heard of and Joe Ledley will play left back which wouldnâ€™t strike fear into most teams in the I-Zingari league never mind Everton. Their keeper Speroni will wear trackies and over enthusiastically dive for routine saves. And thankfully Iâ€™ll never have to preview Crystal Palace again this season as I struggle terribly to say stuff about them, they´re very much vanilla of this league. Not necessarily a bad thing.
As anyone who´s watched more than a handful of togger games can see we are suffering from not having a fit and in form Lukaku as we canâ€™t score for toffee. Saying that thereâ€™s been some unfair criticism of Naismith who mustardly runs around the pitch in the name of Everton and is a bit more technical than given credit for.
He is the equivalent of a brick wall to bounce a casey off though for any midfield player as he returns the ball from their pass at a relative trajectory received. Look out for this, in fact actually donâ€™t as its pointless. Naismith may be many things and certainly becomes translucent at nighttime under moon light but he is most definitely not a lone striker up front, so for that we´ll have to try something else. Maybe that massive African we just signed? We need something though.
In the meantime we´re going to have to hope that Mirallas and the likes chip in with some goals. Pienaar should play there and I´m not sure Barkley is either fit or in form enough to warrant a start although he should absolutely mince through this type of opposition.
McCarthy is still running about like a mad man but Barry looks like he needs a wee rest. Unlucky there as we have absolutely no one else to come in and do that job. So you´ll have to bear with us Gareth. Boss goal against Norwich though, is right.
Our midfield and defence slipped up for Spursâ€™ goal on Sunday but these things happen. Jagielka and Distin coupled with Coleman and Baines need to remember how to keep a few clean sheets in succession if were to kick on. You too Tim and let it be known that I preferred you with that beard.
So a dull uninspired preview for this midweek game but I´m not feeling terribly inspired by Everton at the moment, which is sound Im sure they won´t care too much.
Its an important ten days in which we have two games at home â€“ one of which being an important cup tie â€“ and then away to the team heading up the league.
Can we do it? You betcha blues. Will we do it? Probably not but we live in hope. And hopeâ€™s a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.