Well well well, what do we have here? A bloody semi final of the voodoo tournament we usually get knocked out without even trying in the 2nd round live on Sky, to Leeds. Or such like. But no no. It really is the semi final of the League Cup. In a season where we are apparently crap depending on who you talk to about Everton. Some of us are a little more realistic about a team with loads of potential taking a while to sort it’s self out. Realistic or patient? Dunno. Probably both.
Anyway, that’s not really for now. This is a real chance to get something silver and shiney back to Goodison. Will we do it? By the time this thread is old and dead, we’ll have a much better idea.
I can just copy and paste this preview for the second leg yeah? YEAH?
That first half against Spurs on Sunday was hard work mate. One of the toughest watches we’ve had this season i’d say, and we were winning for most of it. I read a description of Everton earlier this week as ‘inconsistent madness’ and we won’t find better no matter your opinion of your beloved L4 blues at the moment. Capable of absolute shambles like the first half against Spuds, and actually looking pretty decent in the second, taking the game to them and on another day might of sneaked it. A small bit of acknowledgement to the boss for two cracking subs. They seemed weird at first, well one did, Lennon played well, really well, Kone did not. Anyway, Besic and Deulofeu came on and we looked like a Premier League football team.
We aren’t perfect. Not by a long shot. But we aren’t all that bad. I promise you.
So who we got then? Probably some no mark League 2 team that have Bradford’d it all the way to the semis I hope.
Oh for crying out loud, it’s the gazillionaires. Not only is it Manchester City, it’s Manchester City who will be arsed about this competition all of a sudden. See the way they despatched a half decent Watford by playing well for about 6 minutes this weekend? Frightening.
The problem with Manchester City is they used to be alright. Like, they were no threat to anyone, bar the odd Shaun Goater brace, or Giorgi Kinkladze goal of the season. Then they went all tits up and ended up doing a Southampton. Then Paul Dickov turned them round with some sort of famous goal at Wembley against Gillingham, they got taken over by Sheikh OilFace and all of a sudden they have fans popping up all over the place banging on about how they got 30,000 crowds in Division 2, and how they deserve this success. No. No you don’t. You’ve all become what you hate. You’ve become Chelsea. Well done.
This might sound like sour grapes. And it is. By god it is. Why them? Why not us? As we potentially stand on the verge of a takeover of the Toffees, my wish for some mental sheikh lobbing his dad’s oil money at us looks like it will never happen. Which is a real shame. We’d have done the whole thing with so much more class than them, but hopefully sighed the likes of Robinho. Just for me. Bitter Bloos AOTS.
As for their team, I was hoping looking back on their Coca Cola Cup results and line ups this year would show me loads of youngsters and randoms. But it looks like they’ve walked, literally strolled to the semi finals with very strong teams throughout. Bony, De Bruyne, Aguero, Toure, Jordan Ibe….sorry Sterling, have all scored in their 3 games to get here. With young guns coming off the bench when they’ve had there ties sown up. I’ve literally just remembered they are the holders aren’t they? SAKE. This gets harder all the time. No mate. No they’re not. Chelsea are.
However, as Evertonians we know all about dodgy keepers. Well City (i’m not typing ‘Citteh’ out more than once, it is horrendous) will have theirs in nets by all accounts. Willy Caballero is bloody awful. Was at Malaga, with Willy 1 on his shirt, and is at City. Pepper him at all opportunities and from all angles please blues. (I do realise that he will now play the best game he’s ever had. Sorry).
It’s just the rest of them we have to worry about. No Vincent Kompany won’t be playing though, in either leg hopefully, so they can be got at. How much was that Mangala again?!
Onto to us. Roberto Martinez has made a fair few changes in each round of the cup so far, and there will be a few here too I think. But probably for the better. Tim Howard, fresh from a new rant as the Lower Gwladys this Sunday, will be replaced by Joel Robles. Our cup keeper and a player a hell of a lot of blues want to see more of. Hang on a minute, Martinez wouldn’t keep Howard in would he? WOULD HE??! I’m still nowhere near over that Kolarov goal at the near post.
The rest of the team could be interesting. At the back it could be the same as Sunday, or could see the very welcome return of captain Phil Jagielka. He’s been missed for sure, but is probably not the answer to all our defensive issues some hope he is. Funes Mori and Stones defended pretty well on Sunday I reckon. Full backs should be the same. Especially after Galloway got a proper schooling in the league game earlier this season.
Midfield has to be Besic. He was fantastic when he came on against Tottenham. So much bite and intent, probably a red card waiting to happen, but deserves his go in the absence of McCarthy. Gareth Barry will probably play. Because, y’know, he always plays. Even when he retires Martinez will put him on the pitch somehow. He has been great this season for me though.
Attack, oh here we go again…how to solve a problem like Kevin Mirallas? New contract, never plays. I don’t get it. Especially with Arouna Kone going all Stevenage at home again. I’d play him. I’d definitely play him in a game where we will need to take a lead into a second leg. I’d play Deulofeu too. And of course Ross Barkley. Lukaku plays. Because who else is there really?
And that’s that. Man City have won loads of stuff in recent years. I want just one thing for now. 21 years is ridiculous. It’s not too far to say this is Roberto Martinez’ biggest game since he got here. Let’s hope it’s an even bigger one next week, and the biggest yet in February.
Get a lead to take to theirs. A good lead. And then hold on for dear life at the Etihad. Get at them blues. Get right at them.