Everton v Arsenal

Everton back at it then, but whisper that quietly.

You only write when we’re winning could be angled I suppose, well for the three lovely people that tweeted “where’s the preview?” and noticed it’s absence over the last few months anyway. Merry Christmas to you.

Christmas cheer may be a tad more difficult with all the rigmarole of what’s gone on – and still going on – this year, but with much needed timing Ancelotti decided to gift a two game revival to all the good boys and girls in need of consecutive Everton wins, against fine competition too. A no sweat away win against the Stone Island fondling Brexit overcompensation XI was just the follow up needed to a staunch win over Chelsea days earlier. That it was based on solid defence and yielded two clean sheets was exactly what Evertonians and Ancelotti were really craving. Just want to place a casual nod here to the amount of gamesmanship and sublime shithousery in seeing out the win too, it’s not enough to beat you, we want you utterly seething at the daggers in the back we leave you with.

With a seriously under pressure and out of confidence Arsenal coming to the fort of two thousand this Saturday, Everton have a real opportunity to turn a dreaded period of rough games into a festive spring board. If only it was that routine like.

Fortunes do turn quickly in football, as Evertonians may appreciate in the last week. However we’re coming to exactly the year mark since Ancelotti or Arteta could have feasibility managed either club. This game, in anticipation of, will therefore provide a moment of consolidation to appraise any progress – or not – in the past year by direction comparison between the experienced Italian and Guardiola’s very own Ned Flanders. It would be daft for any judgement to be taken as definitive with Arteta having 20 years of experiences to catch up on, but the modern Premier League is very much about the here and now as the long term seldom is permitted. Everton will be happier with their man for sure. Yet as what I started this paragraph with, the mood could change with a swashbuckling Arsenal performance at Goodison. Thems the margins.

I’ll spare you the never get too high never get too low fridge magnet chat but it’s probably prudent while our Italian supremo fiddles with the last throw of the dice to save the expensive ship Everton. But when the highs come, we gotta feast like famine arrives tomorrow.

I’ve no searing insight on Arsenal only than some concerns at peculiar kopite behaviour amongst some of their fanbase, although I hasten to add there’s many fine Gooners so I can’t two foot them too hard. And besides they get a lifetime pass from me for the infinite glory of Michael Thomas 1989. The times we live dictate that in addition to players and staff representing your club we now also have a few million fans on social media also transmitting your culture around the world. For some fan bases it can be after a battle royale of egos in determining who has that right, and then their inevitable rush to commercialise it. No sweat either on that as anyone listening to Clinton on Amazon the other night should believe consider themselves capable of providing analysis and comment on whichever team their wee heart desires.

The unfortunate part of Arsenal is that their egos who prevailed turned out to be some right hideous texans. With a penchant for flippancy and being on the very brink of a severe mental episode they “react” to games like it was the battle for human survival itself, but one where failing to refer to whoever you’re talking about as “man” in third person is as good as arming the Death Star itself. Man be no good today expletive man gotta pay for his inaudible to the Arsenal. Man got straight issues. Etc.

And it’s so gawpable and therefore easy to share, guaranteeing it viral success. Mostly in “aye Everton may be shite but thank fuck it hasn’t turned me into a fuming jarg yardie, yet” but there’s many out there aspiring for a similar platform and it sadly influences them into behaving like gigantic bellwipes to attain it. Normal, reasoned opinion and behaviour just won’t cut it. Too vanilla. Boring! Get off the fence mate and say what you really feel.

Well that I really feel is that I hope a fair sized asteroid directly hits you square on the cranium some point soon but that’s as unlikely as you displaying emotional maturity beyond the level of a ten year old. In the meantime let’s enjoy a media and pundits obsessed with saying edgy stuff for presence and Ray Winstone urging you to throw the remainder of your pay packet on tonight’s goalkeeper curling out a sleek otter on the penalty spot, mid play, in the next ten minutes of game resumption. Top bantz! So edgy!

Is there a point to this? Aye, shut up mate. All of you, me. Let the voices around the game reset and there prevail a meritocracy where analysis and opinion prevail that deserves platform. One where if contentious issues arise that they can find a way to articulate it in a way that doesn’t leave you wanting the aforementioned asteroid to divert and hit you instead. Arsenal fans if you’re reading it’s time to rise up and eat those who speak on your behalf. But if not then I’ll continue to not hate you because of Anfield in May 1989.

Arteta with his eyes of a nearly convincing android is fighting for his role. Goodison can be a happy hunting ground for them if the meek Everton we know and hate turn up to greet them. So this Saturday really needs to be a festival of snide and needle from the first whistle, with the orchestra of 2K berating the ref for every single collision right from the off. Arteta must die and whilst that’s a shame we simply cannot forgive him for celebrating a goal putting us out the cup by pulling on his badge, nor daring to make angry contact with our beloved Baines in that ace game we absolutely ate them alive and thought we were gonna be boss again.

With a new injury and this being a third game in eight days we are not gonna see the same Everton outfield personnel and set up for this game. Also the return of our captain may influence any tinkering Ancelotti may undergo.

We can expect Calvert Lewin up front and, with the absence of Gabriel for them, an opportunity to do some front line bullying. That means probably Sigurdsson just behind him but if this formation sticks then there be a few options for that role if Gylfi’s latest revival doesn’t sustain. It was a timely goal for Richarlison who tends to get a strop on when goals don’t text him back for any period of time.

Started a new paragraph just for Alexander Iwobi The First here. He’s been playing really sound and I’m made up for him overcoming bells like me lining up to write him off. It also gives us a little more proof that Ancelotti in your ear can transform players into performers. See his work on Calvert Lewin and Mick Keane for further proof. At a rate of 3 players a year we should have a team that doesn’t shit itself by the end of 2022, and what a time that’ll be.

Allan’s injury is ill timed with the games coming thick and fast now but opportunity gotta knock for the likes of Gomes and Davies to change the direction of their time at Everton too. If they don’t then they’re likely to not get many more opportunities like this, if any. It’s also possible that Lotti moves Holgate into centre mid for this, it will be telling whatever he opts for. Doucoure will be in there next to them and he really needs to kick on and produce consistency in his role because as he proved against Leicester he is a magnificent beast and it would be a shame to taint it through inconsistency.

Michael Keane and Mina will get another go in central defence and whilst all the praise was on the former it was pleasing to see the latter handle Leicester’s nippy wee fuckers without tying him up like an At At in the snow. Godfrey will continue on the left and if ever you’ve seen a player you just know will be loved by Evertonians than its him. Holgate or Coleman at right back. Probably Pickford in goal, if so calm then that brain of yours please mate.

The prize on Saturday is confidence and momentum, both of which can be converted into a really important cup tie days later and busy holiday period that will shape our ambitions for the second half of the season. We’re always looking for signs that this Everton really is different so it’s a good chance as any to go butt that glass ceiling a little to see if it really cracks.

A quite optimistic preview then but Evertonians are well versed on things not needing to be green furry and reclusive to steal Christmas. Hurt them, blues.

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