Tottenham Hotspur v Everton

It only comes but once a year, and this year it’s a wee bit late, but welcome to optimism, fellow Evertonians.

It’s very much a temporary state and more volatile than enriched uranium but for what may seem like a fleeting moment we are at that point where some time away from Everton coupled with a few new signings makes us dream that this time it will be different . Of course it fucking won’t but that doesn’t matter right now, it’s a new chapter in a particularly galling book that’s made you want to put it down recently but if you can manage 1000+ pages of Dumas’ finest work then you will know eventually the pay off can be bountiful. Fuck you Danglars/heartbreaking weekends.

Two paragraphs into the new season and a Count Of Monte Cristo reference is an impressive new record, maybe this time it WILL be different?

Not a single one of us couldn’t wait to finish the season a mere six weeks ago as Eddie The Ewok’s relegated shitehawks played us off our own park. The main culprit of course was a hole in our midfield so big and vast that all fridges and aerosols should have been immediately turned off in Walton to prevent the star of our solar system itself hurtling through it to slide in at the back post, in the exactly the spot where Sigurdsson was pointing to. Not that there’ll be any scapegoating in this preview, apart from Fabian who can fuck right off, as it was a collective cataclysmic act of ineptness and cowardice from all those wearing a particularly horrendous home shirt.

Since then we got Hummel though and that could very well be our Kevin Brock moment of modern times, save for the odd peel off badge here and there, as it’s well known that sartorial excellence is key to any decent Everton team. Mostly though because we have a fucking ace Manager who takes no shit and has the peculiar ability to make good players want to come and play for him, and in turn Everton by proxy. Suddenly there were three mega twats signed in the space of days and Everton may have an actual midfield that can throw a tackle in, play some football, and doesn’t Lucan at the first sign of pressure. May.

There’s still a few ins to be had I guess and hopefully quite a few outs. Sometimes for whatever reason it doesn’t work for players at Everton and this will always be thus, but it makes me, you, wretch in a really violent manner when the meek inhabit a royal blue shirt, no matter the manufacturing logo on it or durability of badge. The formula is simple, throw a tackle in, pay front foot football, don’t get moaned at as much. It would seem he of the spasm eyebrow understands this. If he can marry it together to any sort of degree for a season or three then I reckon that will rescue my fraying relationship with St Domingo’s Weekend Club.

Thing is that in Richarlison, Digne, Holgate, Gomes (yeah I went there) we have some players who can move up a level or two with better players around. Add to that a few promising youngsters and there’s a fertile breeding ground of at least a few alright years at Goodison. Problem is that it’s been somewhat of a Rubik’s cube for a succession of costly management, and we’re operating in possibly the most unforgiving market in football where infinite resources are lashed in every year by 19 other competitors. It’s one thing breaking out from the pack to stake a claim to a successful season and quite another to make it stick for a few years, as the likes of Leicester and our this weekend’s opponents have found out of late. Carlos Ancelotti does bring a level of confidence we’ve been lacking this time round but with the caveat that if he can’t make it work then we’re probably just fucked. At least, however, we are not Geordies.

Anyway I‘ll put my neck out and say it does seem a little different this time, a foolhardy approach for someone who a mere couple of weeks ago was actively hoping his football club would go bust and unlock a future devoid from perpetual disenchantment. Just put a fucking tackle in and when we’re on top make it count you titheads. Or at the very least make that Son beaut hurt.

breaks out in unconvincing melody

Sunday’s opponents are in some ways the Everton of London and if you subscribe to that or not I don’t really give a fuck, because I don’t mind them. Which is as close as you’ll get in this current age of lad-bible-obsessed-balderdash-chancers to liking someone. Their fans have a sense of melancholia in their hearts from repeated fucking and this endears me to them, as well as their devotion to their history and perceived culture around their football club. Neither Chas, Dave, Hoddle or Vinny Samways can detract from that sufficiently for me to despise them like so many of the others.

They are currently down the Mourinho rabbit hole which is a peculiar union for the type of football they like to be playing but then that superb football under Pochettino didn’t convert into a trophy, when it really should have. The current leader sweats trophies from his gooch but, along with our own manager, is being typecast as a creature served better 65 million years ago before that giant bit of space rock whacked into the Yucatan peninsula. Time will tell only.

The Lilly whites beat us to the signature of Hojbjerg who just wasn’t really into us, which guarantees him absolutely running the show this Sunday, and also added some full back from Wolves that someone who bothers watching games other than Everton can give you better insight into hopefully. I just want Allan up their arse from the first whistle and am fully prepared for him to take a red card in this quest, even if it costs us a loss by no more than two clear goals. If we’re to break out from this dull existence we’re gonna need more than a hidden tunnel and Abbé Faria to get us out of it.

There’s the customary injury worry or two but regardless of that it was always gonna be interesting to see what system and personnel Ancelotti favours now, even if mercifully we have a leader who’s keen to use a few different systems rather than being habitually haunted by the ghost of Eto’o on the left wing. If you’re asking me, which you really shouldn’t, then I reckon there’s a 4-3-3 thing brewing here. And that’s as far as I go as the tactics biffs can articulate it much better than I.

There’ll be a space for Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin and it’s really a big season for them both. The former to level up into the type of talent we possibly won’t be able to keep, and DCL to consistently score the goals that will save Moshiri a tonne of money next season. Their task should be made much easier by the inclusion of James Rodriguez doing all manner of jinky shit, and a functioning midfield behind them. We are led to believe that ridiculously paid athletes should be playing at level 10 every week without any consideration for human frailties, such as form and confidence, yet the latter is such a key component of performance – whether you have that innate or take it from Manager or Colombian superstars finding your movement with astute passes. There’s your platform, lads.

Doucoure and Allan come in with the mandate of either getting the other midfielders sold and forgotten about very quickly, or gaining a rise out of them in performance. I’m not gonna be too hasty in ruling that out for at least one or two of them. How Gomes fits in around them is gonna be for he of the arched eyebrow to resolve, but make no mistake there’s a beautiful footballer in Andre who is in his peak so if they can unlock him then we have a midfielder who on his day can complete in class levels with pretty much all that will play against him this season. Gomes stan club be here. This is yet another player entering a defining season but with a far bigger fall on the other side if it doesn’t work out. Maybe the allure of Sigurdsson is too much to leave out for Ancelotti as he beds in new players – maybe it will even do him well having high level performers around him, stranger things have happened. Watch and learn Mr Davies.

The extent of Holgate Toegate should become apparent in the next week or so but for this one you’ve got Keane and Mina hopefully playing so deep that no wee diagonal ball over them invites the sun to the back post where Sigurdsson points. Digne should be your left back, and Coleman at right back – for the time being. Pickford will play in goal whether you like it or not. Bonus round question here- do you think it helps the player or Everton when we heap all manner of pressure on him and perceived mental deficiencies? Show us your PHD mate. Yet another player with such a pivotal season ahead.

Has so much been riding on so many for a season? Of course it fucking has, but that sort of overstated edgy previewing helps build up tension and importance to add some form of weight to yet another meh preview over a game of sport that way too many of us invest way too much of ourselves in.

And there you have it, they’re back to pervade your weeks until next summer or doomsday end of human life scenario, whatever comes first.

I’ll leave Everton with the reminder that this season would be 26 years without a fucking trophy. It took Dantes only 29 years to turn shit around, so there’s your goal Everton and nothing less. Make Mercedes ours, and not by calling Cazoo.

What’s our name?

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