Wax on, Wax off. Those familiar with Mr Miyagi’s thesis on life prescribe to a simpler time when things said were by enlarge things done. Well that’s how the World had worked up until then and we were for the time at the top of the footballing tree. It hadn’t always been that way, though, even back in the black and white, have to get up to turn the TV over days. Said Waxing is also disgruntled sibling to Waning and prior to those shoulder length golden perms, pencil tashes, tight shorts and Steve Winwood we had also trudged through a decade of despair, the occasional highlight here and low-light there but Fates Ferris Wheel has always had a clear direction when you hit bottom. You knew Yazz and the Plastic Population would spandex themselves into view with Pixie-do’s and infectious hooks and point us the right way through the darkness. It provides the general context in an Evertonians general make-up that while we would have been the Greeks philosophically arguing over the merits of democracy your standard of supporter will turn their nose up at healthy debate, head for the Roman Empire and go all Carthaginian on yo ass. At some point though, in the process of this measured analysis we will throw our hands into the air, frantically rip up the the dead crops in our fields and swear fealty to the Gods to smite the whole ruddy misfiring shower of them.
Swansea at home could have been that very tipping point barely into a new season from the last tipping point. This time, after questioning the system and it’s implimentor we now have our sights firmly set on its practitioners. There will always be some interested in going right to the top, but after such a short time, and if you look at the League table it could be a bridge not quite worth burning just yet. Yes, the Transfer window was a disappointment after it was pumped up like a Mr Universe contest in a Hot Air Balloon Race. Yes, Koeman can be stern and unquestioning and his commitment to us probably as flammable as the paper his contract is written on, but any blame for the present conundrum is surely lying squarely at the players worshiped feet. Not good enough is the general consensus and the laboured start against Swansea again played into our opponents hands. Love child of Uncle Fester and Nosferatu, Bob Bradley had wielded his axe for the fixture and at full time would have been miffed at the end result. Koeman, head like a He-Man action figure left upside down out in the summer Sun had decided shaken but not stirred the best tonic for the Chelsea molestation. Cleverly was disposed sanitarily for scarlettpimperfaced McCarthy, Barry’s accumilation suspension saw Gana return from his and Mirallas replaced for the industry of Lennon. Three became two as Funes Mori sat out and fit again Baines came in for Oviedo with that particular defensive system buried in an Indiana Jones style underground maze and jettisoned into Outer Space for a distant civilisation to try to understand millions of years from now. Stekelenburg, Jagielka, Coleman, Bolasie, Barkley and Lukaku continued camping on the team sheet.
In the end we were probably made to feel how Guardiola would have felt after the City game although in fairness luck swayed us then while complete ineptitude got us on this occasion. Does anyone feel like we’re a team bereft of actual attacking ideas? We are a team going through the motions and trying to uphold a certain standard while failing to make an inventive or meaningful fist of the team infront of us. There is that little spark you see when on that rare occasion we pass the ball through the middle and make a yard of space but it is all too few and far between. It becomes repetive motions of spreading the ball for spreading sake and all too slow allowing any drilled side to regroup and inevitably rob us and get themselves into dangerous positions. Jagielka chipping the ball up field with a pitching wedge has become a particular bugbear of mine. I’m not going to speculate as to who needs to go and how to fix this, but it should start with an intricate video dissection and copious study group discussion followed with a giant Man sized Broom. And corners. We’re giving Duncan Ferguson night terrors with the basic inability to find a man in the box besides their Goalie. It’s as annoying as that moron in Fifa Pro Clubs who doesn’t click ‘ready’ when the nine other players are, has an ridiculous open mike and always tries to rabona his way single handedly through the opposite team.
Still, optimistically we sit in 7th, unbeaten at home, alongside a team 10 times the value with a third of the season left to fight. It’s a dangerous set of fixtures ahead, but in the Premier League aren’t they all? And so, it’s off to the south coast with a trip to St Mary’s and a resolute Southampton for a Sunday kick off in the last game of the round.
Southampton, in a true Brando’ism ‘coulda been a contender’. The earthquake of talent that has come through the club and tsunamied into the shores elsewhere is measured on Richter scales. Bale, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Walcott, Schneiderlin, Lallana, Shaw, Clyne, Mane, Wanyama and Chambers to name a few would be welcomed into most squads. This would grate any supporter with the lack of ambition and lead to what is a giant chip on their shoulders. As it stands in ’16, after 12 games they sit in 10th place, 5 points behind us. They have just managed to shut out a profligate Liberpulfutbulklub and Forster is on 4 clean sheets so defensively they have been some solidity. Lukaku could be isolated if his fellow attackers fail to find space for him. My full statistical analyses concludes that they are also third in the League for crosses and therefore probably a threat out wide.
In goal should see Forster, who, once freed from the Phantom Zone split with Ursula and General Zod to concentrate on playing in goals. Van Dyke plugs the defence? It was either that or something about Flemish Virgin Lesbians?? while Fonte partners him in fashion with matching opposite Sleeve tattoos. Equally as Portuguese, Soares could be at right back with that kid who always moved schools, had pubes before anyone, smoked Winnie reds in the dunnies and could bag the girl you always fancied Bertrand on the left. The much maligned Steven Davis, another ex Chelsea human trafficking commodity Oriel Romeu and ex Bayern Munich Vunderbar Ubermensch Hjolberg could play in the middle with Charles Austin Esquire up top. Some guy called Club Record Signing Boufal and ex- Norwich Kid ‘n’ Play coiffed Nathan Redmond could be on the wings. The Saints frontline cost about as much as a Bolasie and this Boufal character looks kind of tiny. From reports Pint Sized Club Record Signing Boufal looked disinterested against FC Big Stand, failing to link up with Austin and you might see the once coveted Tadic move in on his spot. Their tops also look slightly crappy this year. You could in truth see any number of the Saints squad for this fixture, they have a European game on Thursday night against Sparta and in the previous round against them beat Swansea the following weekend. They have had some tough fixtures in the opening rounds this season, and will be looking towards moving up the table before Christmas. Never an easy game, and what sad and sorry eleven will we be hoping to produce a reverse to our smelly run of poor form you ask?
Well, who’s not available? Pennington and Besic. Not. No first team saviors there. Gibson has been popped into the high flying Under 23’s to speed up any return to the shop window and to probably teach them a thing or two about driving. No suspensions after Gana and Barry have served their mandatory time and Jagielka is on a hiding to nothing. Interesting statistics this week show he’s marginally ahead of Williams on paper per defensive action, but you can actually print those statistics out, scrunch them up, throw them into a wastepaper bin and set fire to them. Koeman should know the strengths and weaknesses of his opponents and will be cracking the whip midweek to get a rise out of his charges. Who wants to wear the shirt Boys? The usual ex-blues have been trotted out during the week to lament on the current situation and Lineker himself got The Ronald in front of the cameras for an interview. Haven’t seen it yet.
Williams, in true Captainesque fashion called for showdown talks this week and I imagine him being at the head of a very long table demanding to know why he actually signed on and I asked for my cappuccino yesterday Phillip. Look, you’ll probably see Stek, Baines, Williams and Coleman and it’s a toss up between Mori and Jags. Do you perservere with Phil or do you drop him? Barry and Gana, Barkley, Lukaku and Bolasie start with the extra spot up for debate. Nobody has grabbed anything by the cahonies so maybe you start threatening them with replacing them with the kids. We all know we have several Daniel-San’s waiting in the wings, he’s been mimicking the moves and shadowing the starters, waiting for his chance to Crane Kick that bully Johnny right in the face.
Will they get a chance? Not yet, history screams. The risks outweigh the rewards in an experienced footballing mindset. You try to have a semblance of faith in your players, you tweak and you test, and you hope they bloody well listen to everything you’ve said to them behind the closed doors during the week.