Everton v Brighton Preview

So that’s a fond farewell to September and its hard to believe were six games deep into a season which only started on 13th September really. Even harder to recall the widespread despondency that as fans we started the month with, but togger be a peculiar game like that. 

Winning six straight games for the first time since 1938 is a fertile ground for optimism, and it’s been a while since you’ve seen Everton at no.1 in the charts but while optimism and Evertonianism can be awkward bedfellows, given the right set of circumstances and the ol’ magic is still there. All it needed was a potent little royal blue pill. 

Of course being well versed in the following of Everton there’s many of us waiting for it to dip a little, or go to absolute shit, because repetitive patterns create sturdy habit. There’ll of course be dips and times of crushing disappointment but the two main questions are 1- when, and 2- how will this Everton respond to it? The answer to the latter will define the success of this season. In the meantime those with wiser heads will realise that the only permanence is impermanence band just merely enjoy the ride of Everton sexing all manner of unfortunate foes off the same piece of grass as them. 

The Palace game was enjoyable because Everton clearly we’re not as their swashbuckling best but showed something distinctly lacking in many of the previous versions of recent Everton – character. They had the quality to go ahead twice and then dig in when the home team with the tails up applied pressure for a sustained period, and with none of the usual cracking under said pressure. That was swiftly followed up a fine tuned Everton casually moving through the gears against Alan Irvine’s Watch Robbing Scissor Tackle Sensitive XI. With another 4 goals in those two fixtures for young Dominic, Everton’s fine no 9. 

When was the last time you had poppers?

Only Dominic himself would be able to cite the reason for his metamorphosis into a very modern goal machine but in the interviews littered about from the players there’s a theme of confidence being the magic ingredient, hugely helped by the 4 signings brought in to the squad for this season. The body eventually believes what the brain tells it so what seems like a constant narrative of not good enough can transfer over to even these multi million pound super robots even if we’re just adhering to our motto. But then most Everton players have not had Carlo Ancelotti managing them. Hope for others that a little bit of patience and star dust can shine the clunkiest rock into something that twats others teams in our name, basically. 

So onto Brighton who are enjoying a mixed start to the season where they’ve been playing some really bright stuff but on the end of some tight results, cumulating in two defeats at home in one week to the hands of Man Utd. They’ve a very likeable and progressive Manager in Graham Potter who apart from looking like he’s miming over the shoulder of every frontman on a mid 90s Britpop video seems quite adept at this football management lark. Brighton took a much maligned gamble in jettisoning everyone’s friendliest uncle Chris Hughton after keeping them up in his first season but it seems the Potter thing fits well. 

Brighton is one of the most enjoyable cities to spend a weekend in on this bog ridden heavily ridden piece of rock in the Atlantic unless you voted Brexit and own a spitfire tea towel. In which case you’d fucking hate it, mate. Personally I don’t mind seeing Brighton on the same train as us as they’re pretty alright but as I do have a wee soft spot for Palace twitter that’s about all I can give them in pleasantries. 

Who’s that wee diving shithouse who cheated a pen out of Michael Keane though? Is he still playing for them? Well if so then he really needs a good shoeing by one of ours, or even a few of ours I don’t mind, set his Portakabin on fire if you have to the little weasel don’t you ever try that shit with us. Your debt gotta be settled. 

Enjoying the kits?

Apart from that anyone who’s been unfortunate enough to read a couple of these previews should be perceptive enough to know I generally don’t have one single fucking clue about other teams in the league apart from Everton so I’ll quit padding this opposition overview out and move onto the West Stanley Park Marauders. 

With Ancelotti opting for a strong line up in midweek it will be interesting to see if he ploughs ahead with one last game before the two week lockdown using the familiar faces. The task of keeping some fresh legs was hampered by having to bring on Coleman and Doucoure relatively early in the game for some unfortunate and untimely injuries. At the time of typing this there’s no news on any likely severity of these injuries but while we want nothing rocking our stride at the moment I’m gonna cup half full you and state it is opportunity knocks for a few fringe players. 

If it looks likely he’ll sit this one out then filling the shoes of Richarlison is a precarious task given both the quality of the player and the impact he has on this team. I find it doubtful that this will invoke a formation change so you’d have to guess it’s a three way slug fest between Iwobi, Gordon and Bernard to fill that position. The safe money is on the first name being selected for this task. Iwobi was a peculiar signing at an eye popping price who came with some degree of pedigree and promise but to this point that hasn’t been fulfilled in any way shape or form. I’m sure he knows the stakes better than anyone so it’s time for delivery, we’re not quite in the position where we can have bit part 30 million players as a luxury. I’ve already touched on Calvert-Lewin who will lead the line in his final game before fulfilling a dream of his with the national team, who will be right there alongside him for this. 

James Rodriquez is alright isn’t he? Watching him play makes me feel like we’ve been worshipping false idols as I’ve never seen an Everton player who has so much time on the ball and makes the difficult look so easy. For all the improvement across the field, not you Jordan, he is the lodestar of current Everton progression. Any more superlatives would move me into Aqulani A HERO WILL RISE territory so I’m gonna ease off and just state I really enjoy him playing football in my team colours. Cherish him because you know why.

Allan’s grimacing and clutching his groin invoked a most terrible feeling in me akin to hurtling around the bend to face a speed gun pointed at me. Well we are sat on 9 points after all. Ancelotti seemed to downplay the seriousness but until it’s confirmed the beautiful little shithouse is fresh for the derby then, dear reader, you will not see me relax. Good news is that *swallows pride* a player I never wanted to see play for Everton again is actually looking like an alright replacement in Delph to come into that role and not completely fucking the system up. Doucoure with his legs like cocaine spaghetti will be in there too, along with presumably Gomes. Although the Icelandic fella had a really good game v West Ham. A bit part 45 million pounds as a luxury it is then. 

You know the defence and goalkeeper but I ain’t gonna let this pass without celebrating the majesty of Michael Keane marshalling it. Coleman too, truth be told. 

What a positive preview I didn’t hear you cry. Well if you can’t enjoy Everton at the moment then exactly what the fuck you following them for? Habit? Masochism? Good answer actually. 

There’s a lot to admire about the best Everton team we’ve seen for a while and one without a glass ceiling, This ain’t leading to world domination or even national domination, never mind city domination, but you know what fuck you with your caveats and pragmatism after the fifty shades of shite we’ve been bummed by, mine is a simple need – an Everton that for the most part makes me smile and dream a little. 

Hello October, I don’t fear you. 

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