There’s a general rule of the thumb that when things are going alright at Everton that it’s a precursor to an almighty fall, so you should avoid being too outwardly enthused. Hence why I used the term “alright” there for a season only twenty three games deep and Everton having won fifteen of them.
There’s omnipresent malignant Everton-despising forces at play watching your every word, thought and tap on a pixelated keyboard.
No really you need to stop thinking that.
A casual dismantling of Sheffield Wednesday in the cup after prolonged break from sexing Wolves on their home soil was enough to soothe the nerves and allow your mind to flicker that, maybe just, Everton might be sound for a little part of your life. The understatement thing is so hard to turn off.
Everton managed to rest a few players through Ancelotti’s blag strains and still run out easy winners, with some decent performances suggesting there’s at least a semblance of a squad at present. Whilst stress free enjoyable cup ties may be confusing just spare a thought for the opposition having to face James, who had Wednesday asking what day it is.
The next sequence of packed games will be a marker for the rest of the season. It should settle the notion if Everton are capable of sticking with the leading pack and if there’s any sniff of a cup on Merseyside this season. All this in just a little over two weeks, strap in.
If you’re asking me, which absolutely no one is, then I think we are still missing a few players of talent and character to take advantage of what is before us now. Things can still be “alright” though if you’re enjoying an enjoyable book and feel there’s pages left to turn.
Leicester City come to civilisation this fine Wednesday to spray piss over our campfire before it gives off heat. They’re a formidable opponent too as ol’ cracked lips back of the spoon faced Brendo has done a good job on them, with their smartly recruited talent all over the pitch playing well. Sure Everton may have turned them over at their own place not so long ago but in a season of inconsistency Leicester have been one of the few consistents, they’re talked about as a threat to the top position on merit.
Indeed Leicester could be very likeable as an alternative to the same old cash cows troubling the top of the league if it wasn’t for one small fatal flaw in their make up, their fans.
The suspicions started a few years ago when they lifted the league title against Everton and the conduct of some of their fans in the our end, but that could have been dismissed as over exuberance. Now considering previously to that I couldn’t even place Leicester on a map it caused me to take a closer look at them and, dearest reader, it was not pleasant what I discovered.
Let’s say we’re making a broth today, a real winter warmer which we will make in excess to warm up for hearty lunch and suppers all week, and I ask you what type of stuff you like in your broth, and you reply to me oh anything really but I push you for four things you really love and you say “spitfire fondling, no frills Green St, Tory enthusing and Cotton Traders sipping a pint of shire horse” then you’d be eating your own crafted jam butties all week, mate.
Somewhere down the path of evolution Leicester made a wrong turn and ended up in a dystopian version of Chester but with even worse harvested beards and slicked back hair. Pomaderunner, if you permit.
When you view Leicester’s fanbase as a whole they’re just trying way too hard really. I can’t be sure why but it’s at least consistent with fan behaviours from other nondescript places that people struggle to locate on a map, and where people have to “round up” when away on holiday to their nearest big or well known city. Except Leicester isn’t really bear anywhere, you could say Birmingham at a push but it’s still too far away to be viable and no one’s really heard of Birmingham either. Is it this existential crisis that pushes young Leicester lads of limited identity and charisma to assimilate with what they think is desirable football fan culture, spoon-fed to them from an assortment of lad bible, Soccer AM and Danny Dwyer on DVD? I can’t be sure but it would be a little more pleasant for all if they just tried a little less. We’re way less riled over the Tory songs than we are at having to share the same piece of rock as lads with Fred Perry tattoos still laughing at Chubby Brown jokes. If dogs look like their owners then Jamie Vardy is a perfect cultural icon for the Leicester fanbase.
That apart I don’t mind them and hope they continue to play some wonderful counter attacking football that threatens those spending much more than them.
Ancelotti will be making quite a few changes from the cup game as his most trusted come into contention.
Calvert Lewin needed that goal as much as Richarlison did on Sunday. While the former has got no doubters this season the latter hasn’t really cracked on as Ancelott’s comments was expecting from him and his goal tally earlier in the season. With half of the season left to play there’s time yet.
James doing it on a cold night in January warms the cockles and offers hope that Everton’s recent fine form built on a stoic approach can be married with his considerable talent and flair. Better opposition will be more testing but moving James more centrally and with license to roam seems to give Everton so much more control and creativity. I’ll leave that to the XG biffs to decipher better than I. There’ll be a decision to be made with where he plays in relation to Iwobi and the Icelander. A sure sign of Iwobi’s progress this season being that I think he really needs to start.
It’s the absence of Doucoure and Allan, which should be a worry for this particular game, we can expect to see Tom Davies (c) and Andre Gomes tentatively continuing their recent improvements. Sigurdsson in there too and I loathe to criticise his output as he has been working his arse off which is noted, but if someone really needs a goal then it’s him.
There’s options in defence for Ancelotti too which means that two out of Coleman, Holgate, Godfrey and Digne are gonna be left disappointed. There’s no looking beyond Mina and Keane as centre backs right now, with Yerry Mina really starting to show what a player he is, may Jah protect his hamstrings. Probably Pickford in goal.
Everyone knows what the stakes is here, a win and we’re above Big Red who we can then cheaply goad on twitter to much ahahahahas and emojis in response, showing exactly how not arsed they are. Much more so staking a claim that Everton belong in that exciting, changeable pack leading the league this season and invaluable momentum for the quick fire games to follow.