Everton v Newcastle Preview

In an increasing world of conspiracy it’s commonplace to search for hidden meaning and suspect the innocuous.  

Which puts these freaks decades behind Evertonianism, where a run of the mill home against a team with two draws and seven defeats out of their last nine suddenly can become a cruel hoax, a spell waiting to be broken in spectacular fashion by the unfortunate. For unfortunate, read “Everton”.

Then again maybe this fatalistic attitude, accompanied by perpetual melancholic narrative, is the part of the problem. When you’re looking for monsters around every corner even if without finding one you invoke the monster in your mind. Call that fear, call it anxiety, but call it something that detracts you from being what you really should be.


The Leicester game was reassuring, no hear me out on this, for a couple of reasons enters cup half mode and primarily that no one freaked out. Players, manager nor fans. Dropping a lead at home is usually a precursor to collapse and/or frustration. There was none of that as Everton dug in and retained shape, and afterwards pretty much everyone seen it for a useful point considering a depleted midfield and facing a quality opposition asking most of the questions. Not that twitter is a reflection of Evertonian, far from it, but the mood was one of pragmatism where before they may have been some hysteria.

The confidence comes from a couple of things but probably none more so than Carlo Ancelotti leading this current Everton, and while no one is really expecting a new dynasty to materialise there is comfort taken in this progress looking sustainable for the near future. Panic stricken weekends are reduced and everyone just sorts of gets behind it.

Of course the above all goes out the window if Steve Bruce’s black n white Oops basket Caledonians come and pipe us this Saturday. But we’re firmly into the stage which games have context in relation to others, with appreciation of sequence. Which surely is a sure sign of Everton optimism compared to many spells in the doldrums and operating on a game by game basis.

Newcastle itself comes as a great paradox wrapped in contradiction. If we were to do an appraisal of the different tribes we share this Godforsaken island with then the Geordies would be near the top of most people’s list. They’re affable, good company and in the acute Goldilocks area of humour that scousers enjoy. Put alcohol anywhere near them and the first Geordie instinct is to try and mate, it’s sustained their species for quite some time and is a useful port for non natives when the sea is far too calm.

Put a striped shirt on the Geordie however and a transformation occurs, not unlike a first ever line of Bogotá granules. Suddenly Newcastle United are transformed into an entity that would threaten Spacejam. It’s quite the spectacle truth be told and while I’m fond of some pride and confidence in one’s team, when your local rivals are Sunderland and they’ve won 50% more titles than you, and little old Everton have won more than double, then I’d recommend adjusting the audio dial a little downwards. Obviously pointing this out invokes being in Liverpool’s shadow or scouse mackems which is first part true as they’re only a mile away from us, but second part false as if we were the Mackems of our rivalry then we’d have been champions more than Liverpool, which isn’t the case as they’ve been better at association football really. Ah well.

I’d also heartily recommend having a rivalry in your city as it makes family parties interesting and also stops you becoming a gigantic one club city echo chamber. This in turn helps prevent Spacejam delusions.

Now I could go on but it’s a fine city Newcastle isn’t it, and when the extinction threatening event comes if I pull myself out of the rubble and cockroaches and there’s a pub open in the Bigg Market then I’ll feel relieved. Even better if I manage to get to somewhere warm and the pool isn’t either vaporised or radioactive, and that pool sells some funky cocktails and there’s a some Geordie girls there giggling away, and preferably not radioactive but after a few of those cocktails then I wouldn’t be checking my Geiger.

Feel sorry for Steve Bruce too as he’s a clearly a decent man but managing a team in the Premier League is unforgiving hence why you’re recompensed so well for it. I’m just a surprised they haven’t rose up against their owner to the point where he’s giving them away. Hashtags don’t do much lads, hanging off a speeding bonnet has a much more striking effect.

Despite that I hope they do alright and it’s gonna feel a little guilty when we effortlessly take Saint Maximim off their hands by summer, and indeed anything we damned well feel like. Cheers. KA.

Mr Ancelotti used the word rotation pointedly in the press conference for this game and although I think it was used in the context for not admitting Pickford is about to be dropped, I do think it will extend to other players by virtue of this two game a week month.

Calvert- Lewin should be sound for this one but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Richarlison rested, only to take Calvert-Lewin’s place in the following game. It’s a funny one with the all round ace Brazilian as he just hasn’t got going this season. Oddly though it may work in Everton’s favour as if his impressive progression had continued then there would have been a next to nothing chance of him being here next season. Ancelotti seems to be gearing up to next season so a chance of the dominant nosed samba sexer being part of it could be a crucial ingredient. There’s still half a season left anyway so plenty time for goals to be plundered in his name yet.

Think Iwobi starts on the other wing and it’s a sign of his transformation that I’ll say we missed him against Leicester, a bit. He could be the next one that Ancelotti has improved (along with DCL, Mina and Keane) and it’s a very welcome trend that will not only benefit the team but the financial books too. You pay for quality, as Ancelotti proves. For the purpose of this point let’s just forget what we’ve thrown at his predecessors before him.

James has been all we hoped he would be since his return from injury, proving he can do it on a cold night under the lights at Goodison. He may be rested for this which means probably Siguardsson, or a two up front with the man we talked above in the paragraph above. Doucoure is back! The spider limbed midfield haunting box creeper was missed and instantly makes Davies or Gomes along side him look a little less vulnerable.

With Everton expected to push the play for this game we are likely to see the full backs be a little more attacking and that means more Coleman,Digne than Holgate, Godfrey. We wlll find out an hour before kick off, or four minutes before that if you want to be lied to. I can see Mina’s precious hamstrings being rested for this so it may one of them have-been-fullbacks alongside Keane.

We need to talk about Jordan Pickford no actually we don’t, just play Olsen instead and be looking for a new keeper this summer if, as looks likely, he can’t put together a run of games before that. He worryingly hasn’t improved since his first season and that’s now to the detriment of Everton progression.

So that’s the long and short of it for this early Saturday kick off. The pack at the top of the league is stretching a bit so if there’s any ambition of sticking with it then our beloved St Sundays cannot afford anything less than three points here, no matter how they get it over the line.

I suspect it will be more difficult than we’d like to think. Especially when you’re playing against lizard super beings.

licks own eyeball

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