A first away game sees us travel the relatively short distance down the M6, deep into the heart of scruff, as those lucky enough to attend will enjoy a good ol’ away day at the Hawthorns. A fixture that has been kind to us in recent times and, well, if we can piss with it Roberto then we surely should be able to piss it with Ronald?Easy stuff really. Unless you’re Everton.
The Spurs game was an entertaining affair and pleasingly ended in a point apiece which would have disappointed Spurs more than Everton. It’s very much early days and so the first game was always going to be a marker, to study for any signs of progression through training rather than the limited personnel additions.
On saying that it was new boy Gueye who had a really effective game and caught the eye. In my opinion that same game we would have lost last season to a late goal or two. Is it a new manager bounce? We shall see. Our ambitions apparently push higher than holding Spurs at home, but it will take some time. And patience. Not unlike trying to enter Goodison under the new ticket scanning procedure.
So, in this relatively short preview, onto West Bromwich Albion, pride of the black country.
What do we know about them? They’re like helium voiced wools really and that’s not an insult as wools on the whole are sound and preferable to most of the flutes scattered around the green grass of England. They’re warm folk who are content with the simpler things in life like a morning cup of tea with a biscuit, maybe stretched out to a Jaffa Cake on the weekend. A Ford Capri lying on the drive, a weekend in Blackpool eagerly anticipated. Evening meal on the table by 5.30pm, smoked kipper in the air and a pair of Next slippers – awarded as a gift in 1996 – eased on ready for an evening in front of the goggle box. You know the types.
But how did they vote in the Brexit referendum I don’t hear you cry? Well, small town coziness in England screams ignorant abhorrent racists and so it proved with every two to one person from that area voting to leave a European Union that has funded the area for many years when the Tories would be happy to neglect it. With the area of Sandwell I don’t believe it was a malicious vote because they’re terrified of some Poles stealing a minimum wage job or two, I just think it’s because they’re small town stupid, and we’re unlikely to be able to fix that any time soon so I hope 70% of them are on food rations as soon as Article 50 is invoked.
Tony Pulis, with a face like someone staring into the midday sun in Nevada while trying to hold a dump in, took over and stabilised the club which is another terms for not getting relegated. Premier League fans are pampered though and the insatiable appetite for instant success in the shape of fans’ own personal visions is coming to the fore. The entitlement belies the Dunlop trainees with sole hanging off and working at Matalan pushing trolleys. For Baz may look like not much but inside that oik head of is lies a razor sharp strategic footballing brain and – truth be told – it just isn’t good enough Mr Pulis. And you don’t want to be see Baz when he’s angry, he’s watched back to back episodes of The Apprentice without blinking. That’s what you’re up against here.
Pulis will eventually be pushed out and a funkier foreign number will be brought in and everyone will get dead excited, right until the point where they realise that pragmatism is much more important in their position than good football as their chairman doesn’t like to spend too much money so they’re at a disadvantage without canny tactics and player trading. It’s called ‘finding a competitive advantage’ in sales terms, either through your product or service, or even distribution. In West Brom’s case it’s about packing the team full of genetically grown grocks who won’t give you a second on the ball and are going to cause you serious bruises on set pieces. It’s for not for everyone like, but neither is lower league football.
Here’s a list of some of their players I can be arsed googling:
Rondon: their mandatory big Pulis lump up front who is going to wear down our defenders like nasty bout of shingles, mind you he can play a bit too.
Berahino: that bird in the office who reeks of Dior and is always throwing the eyes around at any nice lad that walks past but she’s gonna end up getting pregnant by a bouncer and being nothing more than a beak wife.
Fletcher: all skull and skin, should be pestering you at a bus stop trying to bum some money off you while calling you boss.
Evans – there’s no doubt in my mind that Moyes has masturbated over him at least once, with just one headphone in while downstairs so the free ear can listen for the floorboard creaks when his wife comes awakes and wonders where he is.
Foster – likes to punch below his weight even though the sex is dull, he’s a six cans of Stella in the back garden on a Sunday lad that that’s all “reet”.
Can’t wait until we play someone I really detest, struggling with the sound teams here.
Koeman, with a face like someone’s been doughnutting on Formby beach and ragged all the massive jellyfish apart, just said Lukaku is doubtful but may make the squad. So it’s prudent to assume he won’t make it straight in perhaps but I reckon he’ll be a sub. For all the merits of the Football Manager types raving over Deulofeu and Mirallas, they’re a bit plop up front as neither runs that much and they don’t have much of a presence.
Barkley was visibly more energetic against Spurs and he’ll stick in that midfield. This is the type of game he should be pissing for us, we’ve said that for a few seasons and not seen it consistently enough. He’s better than anyone else on the pitch – hope Ross realises it. We’ve covered the impact of Gueye in midfield, he’s like a wee royal blue Power Ranger and long may he hassle the living shit out of all that tries to run towards our midfield with the ball. Barry was his usual imperious self, for all the talk of replacing Lukaku and Stones, it may be him that gives us a bigger headache to replace in the near future. New signing Bolasie will be in the squad and will get some game time if Koeman’s words at the press conference are anything to go off. Anyone calling it a presser is a tit.
No idea if we’ll stick with that three centre backs thing but the option is there to at least bring Ashley Williams in and shunt Mason Holgate to full back if we want to. Coleman is out for a few more weeks and it would be nice to see Baines get a lease of life under the new manager as he’s a bit too steady compared to what he can do, although I reckon he needs someone to play off him to bring it out, and the deep voiced South African is long gone sadly for him. That Stekelenburg had a boss game, but like Gueye it’s best waiting a wee while to see if it can be maintained. I must be the only person who really doesn’t have an opinion on Joe Hart as a rumoured suitor. Just win the points Everton, I’m not arsed how you do it or largely who with.
There’s limited expectation and the season is into it’s second game so it’s hard to get too excited for the game. West Brom will have their tails up after a great win away to Crystal Palace.
We know what to expect and that’s not to patronise them with their more direct football, if it’s that simple a game plan then we only have ourselves to blame if we fail to overcome it as we know exactly what to expect.