Everton v West Ham

So after the latest untimely break for football enjoyed only by people who fondle flags and have to set up new social media accounts every month, it’s back to Goody Park home of the boos. 

Although you have to go back to the first 45 minutes of the season to remember any boos, as since then it’s been pretty stellar stuff from Benitez’s charges since Southampton had us all convinced this season was going to be a long hard slog. It yet still might be as anyone watching Everton in recent years will know. 

There’s a fairly pragmatic approach from our lot this season as the scars of a hundred false dawns finally take their toll. Not that anyone should be drawing too many conclusions from just seven league games, against teams we’d hope to be competing against – and Man Utd – including a lower league cup exit in the mix. At this stage of their managerial careers Evertonians were content, some even a little enthused, when Martinez, Koeman and Silva were in charge, and this time last year we had a #1 in the charts under the tutelage of Ancelotti. If ever a Manager needed a good start at Everton then it was Benitez and the draw at Old Trafford last week sort of confirmed that, followed by a two week break to consolidate. Of course you’re only ever 3 games away from a crisis at Everton (or just 2 under Benitez, as I’ve previously wrote) but an Everton team playing front foot football, lashing a tackle in and counter attacking with pace and menace is only gonna invoke goodwill amongst it’s followers. In the absence of Moshiri’s Millions this summer it’s helping produce a product which is stronger than the sum of it’s parts. I hasten to add – for now – as we established only biffs draw definite conclusions after just nine games of a season. 

Sunday sees the visit of West Ham and with it, the return of David Moyes to his base for 11 years. Since taking the role at West Ham a second time Moyes has rejuvenated a career that went downhill quickly since running up the steps with a big dirty smirk on his face to accept the United job while still manager of Everton. This irked a few of ours, me, although to be fair I’d back us being able to take umbrage against a beautiful Labrador puppy running through a field of spring flowers, rolling about in the grass with a zest for life only the naive can carry, and then running lovingly to it’s proud mother for some gentled panned camera snuggle action, as a bee gently canters past and pollinates the most beautiful flower you’ve ever seen. TAKE DER BALL AN PUP SEAMUS FOR FUCK SAKE. PUT THE MOTHER IN ROW Z LAD. WHICH ONE OF YER IS TRACKING THAT FUCKING BEE? Whether you still harness resentment towards Moyes is completely your thing (thinking of you, T), but sufficient water has flowed under the bridge for me to be ambivalent yet wanting him taunted and absolutely fucked at Goodison, same as anyone who stands between my weekend with an Everton three points in it. 

The thing is with Moyes, with his face like a February Cairngorm, like an unwelcome asteroid, like a mummified casey, like a haunted prune, is you know exactly how’s gonna set up and have his team play, so you’ll be wanting your expensive supposed tactically superior leader to overcome that. Especially on home soil. West Ham are now looking a team in the image of Moyes, with his forehead like the Mariana Trench, like the forgotten Sahara, like a sunken xylophone, and therefore we know three points will have to hard earned. Unless West Ham go a goal up in the first half and he retreats the usual 20 yards. One can hope. 

West Ham fans were in the privileged position of general warm feelings towards them from a lot of Evertonians until one day James McCarthy put a robust tackle in on their then current beau and suddenly we were subject to a barrage of cry arse usually reserved for Big Red when dropping points. Personally I was aghast at the level of cognitive dissonance displayed and the the amount of try hard edge emitting from their tribes. On closer inspection though it was 99% from their younger fans who, sadly, seem to be a cocktail of two parts Danny Dwyer, one part Inbetweeners, three parts Peaky Blinders extras and a dash of baby’s first sleeve tattoo. Quite frankly the bad chimney sweep fucks have blew it with me so it would bring me an extra layer of satisfaction should any of our players scissor tackle the living shite this Sunday out of whichever lump they’re celebrating right now. Should any of our bench decide to scissor tackle Moyes I can assure you I’ll be campaigning hard for one of the stands at Bramley Moore to be named after you, yes he’s got grey hair but life ain’t fair. 

Everton will be without DCL and Richarlison for this game which is a blow as we’d hoped the two week international hiatus would have them ready and, despite recent results, the team is missing a bit of presence and quality up front. That means another go for big Sally Rondo, the Venezuelan locomotive chug chugging their backline, which means we’ll be hoping his lung capacity has increased four fold in the break and he can start to bring a presence to Everton’s attack we can rely on this season. He could be supported by Demerai Gray which opens up the wing positions for Andros Townsend and Anthony Gordon. The latter there enjoying his best game of Everton career thus far at Old Trafford, there’s your platform mate. In the middle of the park you’re gonna have Allan, the beautiful filthy favela arl arse, snapping at heels and Doucoure continuing to play like a generous sized Zanussi possessed by the spirit of Zidane himself. If all goes well. 

Defence is a conundrum as that aforementioned Brexit togger inexplicably had Yerry, our beautiful snide Yerry, playing on Thursday night then travelling across the big wash to be ready for Sunday’s game in Liverpool. The short recovery time and travel time should make him a doubt to start this, so don’t be surprised to see Keane and one other in the middle, with who that is being determined by Coleman’s readiness to start at right back. The haunted halloween eyes of Digne is also a doubt at left back so just sack that, I can’t even be arsed to contemplate who plays where. At least Pickford is available to play though. They’ll be up against the big battering ram of Antonio who doesn’t even know his next move so fuck knows how defenders are likely to anticipate him. He will have to be contained, bullied, if Everton want something from this.

This game initiates a little four game sequence until the next international break with the points being there for an Everton team that really wants it. I’ll not draw any conclusions by the end of that period too but it may give us much better insight into what this team are capable of this season. An avoidance of boos, be by virtue of three points or one would keep the momentum going at least. 

And that’s that really, no big build up or embellishing a narrative of this game being anything more than it needs to be. It’s another team facing Everton and another three points on offer. Taking an old flame’s scalp would however be another reassurance for many that a controversial choice in summer was a wise one. There’s no cute sign off here either, just fucking into them blues. Scissors and all. 

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