I’m sure an enlightened person once said a particular quote which was both thought provoking and relevant to our current predicament, so I would normally use this quote to start (and end) this preview, thus showing myself as another desperate tit who blogs on the internet and thinks a wee bit too highly of their own tediously average words.
So I’ll spare you the quote and instead make this preview an edition of just how do you deal with a problem like Chelsea? Footballing wise of course, and naturally some snide comments on the scruffiness of their fans.
Was that attention grabbing enough? Make you want to read on some more dear reader?
Did it dogshite I would guess.
Derby day passed without as much as a wet fart in footballing terms. An insipid encounter as one can remember involving the finest of Merseyside, but that’s cool. We can do with a little less drama in our life as recent dramas have not ended in our favour. In fact usually a gubbing from a genuinely crap team. Then you look at the talent in our squad and wonder why, and how?
On saying that it’s not entirely accurate as we are on a wee undefeated run and pleasingly a run of clean sheets. Guess which Catalan got a Walter Smith mask for New Year? Sounded a bit cruel that but it’s not meant to be, on the contrary we welcome clean sheets as they guarantee at least a point and it shows some versatility on Martinez’s behalf after recent accusations of “a Wigan defence” and “he’s got no Plan B”.
With some luck that’s piped down some of the X Factor types wanting boss results all the time amongst our fanbase. I want boss results too, but then I wanted a good hour of drunken foreplay off Kelly LeBrook in Weird Science (reminder for those who can’t remember it) and here I am; still waiting. If you’re wondering how Le Brock has fared, you can find that here. Make hay while the sun shines I think.
There was a certain weirdness about some Evertonians kicking off about Martinez in the derby when he arguably produced his most Moyes like performance yet. Let’s not look back too hastily just yet.
Imagine if that Gerrard overhead would have went in though? And the score remained at 1-0 to them final whistle. Seriously just ponder that. Naismith’s deflecting fod should be revered as some Easter Island type stone deity amongst us for at least a week or two. And on the impossible chance that he reads this: slap that beaut Henderson as hard as you can next time he tries something like that. We really won’t blame you if we then get beat by way of numerical disadvantage.
So next up on our whisper-it-quietly-resurgence is a trip away to the current best team in the country, against an unforgiving Chelsea team packed chocka full of boss players and manager. Perversely though it’s the type of game that most of us have probably wrote off so therefore there’s less nerves and no expectancy. The exact type of environment Everton is happy in, in much the same way a cat likes a cardboard box but not the expensive bed you’ve bought it with personalised name on.
Mourinho provokes different reactions in different folk with the three most popular being admiration (twitter bells and those who pretend to enjoy foreign football), impassiveness (most of us) and complete revulsion (kopites). It really is something commendable to see someone who sincerely gets what they-of-the-fallen-slabs are all about. And even better when that person is in a position to goad them to the point of distraction by actions and words. For that reason he gets a pass from me and long may he remain around these parts.
They have a load of really good players of which you’ll be familiar, so there’s no reason for me to patronise you by pretending stuff about them. I’ll merely touch on those worth a mention.
John Terry is one of them nuggets from Skem who bully his estate with dividends but would get slapped all round the shop should he try and replicate it for a wider audience, on a night out in town etc. Have you ever pulled a bird and she said she lived in Skem? Big swerve on the transportation logistics alone. At least Ormskirk and Southport are accessible to the quick moving seducer with his bounty secured before 11.40pm.
Diego Costa is the absolute spit of Willie from Ghost, the bad murdering shithouse (I know, but too obvious to mention them again) but he’s thankfully missing for this game. It was the first time I’d ever really paid attention to him in the reverse fixture and he was ace. Gave our defence a horrible time with everything a striker needs, plus a helping dose of snidery. Having one striker out isn’t too big a thing when you’re Chelsea so they’ll replace him with the likes of Remy to saunter in and benefit from all sorts of ace approach play.
Midfield is where they’ve really clicked this year with the likes of Fabregas, Matic, Hazard, Oscar and Willian working like a rudely disturbed hive of bees to outwork and ultimately out quality any midfield that fancy themselves against them.
Should you get past the midfield then you’ll find a solid and unforgiving defence with all the assorted names I promised I wouldn’t go through, and a fine young goalkeeper Courtois in goal who proves that you don’t need to be beyond thirty to be boss in the nets.
They’ll be supported by a wily mix of travelling fans with more than a passing whiff of Britain First amongst its ranks. Due to the success of modern Chelsea it’s crowd is interspersed with anxious hanger ons from the home counties trying to look dead moody and hope they don’t get called out as Chelsea wools. The lesser desirables across Stanley Park try to rip them over plastic flags but I doubt any grown self-respecting male would be too put out by another grown male trying to sneer at them over producing a higher quality flag for a football match.
Chelsea have been relegated and know harder times of absolute guff football players in their colours so I don’t deny them their happier times. It’s almost like a sort of reverse-Les-Dennis who experienced glory days earlier on in his career when he got to have what I can only presume to be top class naughty cuddles with Amanda Holden. I wonder how he can still achieve stimulation? Maybe he has a vivid memory or benefitted from a camcorder and lots of hours of tapes in those days.
When Les does eventually snap I’m sure Neil Morrissey will have a police provided safety room in his abode ready to dive into and lock himself right down. And who could blame him?
Which doesn’t lead us nicely onto Everton.
Scoring goals is now predictably a problem since we stopped shipping goals at the back for fun. Lukaku is scoring but at the same time receiving criticism. I’m sure he can play better and he will never have the touch of Bergkamp, sadly, but we have a young lid up front with a lot of attributes who we should appreciate a bit more.
He’s not been in any semblance of form this season for a lot of reasons but he’s still managed ten goals, and he’ll score more. He does need some help up there though and Naismith isn’t providing that at the moment, Lukaku thrives on through balls and playing off someone to lessen the load on the opposition’s back line. I don’t know who can do that but hopefully Martinez works it out soon. In the meantime don’t be surprised to see him getting frustrated by making runs and never getting the ball. Or to be crowded out as three defenders are targeting him as soon as he gets the ball. They’ve done their homework and know it won’t stick. He needs to work on that offside thing though.
Barkley had a productive cameo that will probably equate into a starting role for this game but I think he should be used sparingly in this way until which time he’s regained his confidence. Mirallas hasn’t been at the races for a few games but does have that rare quality (disclaimer: on his day) to cause Chelsea damage, particularly on the counter. We’ll need all the threat we can have so I’d expect him to start.
On the other wing then probably McGeady or Lennon, who showed glimpses of how he may help Coleman find love once again. I’m probably hoping for something that isn’t there, but I miss the Coleman of old and so does the team. Very much indeed.
We could possibly line up with the modern day, more refined dogs of war in Besic, Barry and McCarthy since as we anticipate Chelsea having a lot more of the play. If not then I’d guess Barkley will replace one of them. Some good options in the middle there though and we just have to hope a combination of them clicks some point soon.
We’re looking a lot more solid at the back thanks to mathematics. Basically Stones and Jagielka make less mess ups together than the other defenders = we concede less goals. Not sure if Baines will be fit but it’s not the end of the world when you have Oviedo as understudy. Coleman as we established will be hoping to find his Pienaar in Lennon, or maybe not. Kudos to Robles in goal as he’s looked far less likely to concede a goal than Howard has for the best part of the season. There’ll be an error or moody shot allowed in too easy sometime soon but he’s shown enough to be given some confidence and time in goal for Everton.
That should just about wrap up the preview for the Chelsea game. Unless they severely bum us with five or more goals then the result shouldn’t count much in the scheme of things. Hopefully they got their free scoring exploits about the way against us earlier in the season.
Thought Samuel was meant to save us?
If things gradually improve then this season should turn out to be the equivalent of an ex corpy semi detached with Volvo on the drive and just enough money to see you through to pay day, but not enough for a long haul holiday. We’d dreamed of more so it of course will pain somewhat.
But that’s just Everton being Everton and our time will eventually come.
And you can quote me on that.