Think last time we corresponded it was before West Ham and things were looking rosy, yet I bukkakied pragmatism and restraint over the preview like a kill joy. The reason being of course was, well, Everton.
You’re well versed on that subject so no need to go into it too deep but it’s just good prudence to expect things to go bad when they’re well and to start pondering the next manager when things are bad. Does two home defeats really instigate crisis for Everton? As always there’s nuance to consider, like the level of failure and pain inflicted upon their audience. David Moyes returning to outfox an old enemy, who now manages us, is gonna inflame a few suppressed insecurities but a shite Watford turning up with new Manager and spanking five past an Everton with a defensive gap so big and damaging that it wakes Greta Thurnberg up at night fretting over fridges and aerosols is a sure sign there’s something up. To answer the question above anyway, aye, Everton losing two successive games at home should always be a crisis – it’s probably the last bastion of remembering we were once a club with high standards and expectation. Once.
Yet again I’m gonna counter the swing to negativity above, it’s probably not as bad as it’s making you feel right now in the greater scheme of things. We’d started the season well and there was likely to be a downturn – here it is – albeit instigated by unfortunate injuries to many of our important players. It doesn’t necessarily signal a downwards spiral leading to our next period of damnation and ruin. It also provides fine opportunity (once again) for he in charge to see the limitations of this squad and who (fucking finally) needs moving on. Also it’s providing opportunity for a character reference on Benitez’s ability to react to that, if he’s got what it takes right now and with this club to reverse the ill trend and get on a positive run again. That’s what you pay for in any competitive market when you go expensive for quality. The proven nous to fix things when it doesn’t go to plan, a skill that separates the Silvas and the Koemans from those who get shit done. I can’t read tea leaves so have no inkling or confidence of that happening, but it’s better to know than not know. Anxiety is bliss.
I wanna draw a line under Watford, unless Wolves snake us, in which case three defeats activates the media jackals reporting on the “crisis at Goodison” daily until either we win or the Manager departs. That’s how how it works in the Premier League now, it’s a basic narration of hysteria and hype, oscillating continuously like a cheap Cypriot fan – subjecting those in it’s vicinity to periods of either unbearable inferno or beautiful soothing narwhal breath. There’s no in between as periods of stability and calm are no good for clicks and engagement. Most of those spectating are in deep, influenced by shock jocks and antagonisers. Calm, RAGE, relief, HYSTERIA, praise, CONDEMNATION, stick, TWIST. Join us on the top of the hour to suckle on our teat as we tell you exactly how to feel, who to hate. Coupled with a widespread UK societal trend of entitlement, Murdoch and his mates have done well to take over as the Morgan Freeman of this particular movie. As you pay through the nose for it. Not that this in any way limits the shit Everton players deserve for the last weekend, fuck that, the bum dossers deserved every one of those boos and white hot rage. It would be nice though to just follow the game as that – a relationship between fans and clubs, without a continual backdrop of poor faith actors and just plain dickheads grasping the tannoy and winding everyone up.
Follow me on Twitter for absolutely none of this behaviour, listen to my podcast. Buy my book maybe. Your PayPal donations help keep me going. Subscribe? Tune into my debut on Talksport this weekend. Hey guys I’ve got a piece coming up in this magazine, that paper. You won’t want to miss me on Sky this week explaining exactly why this needs to happen. Click here to find out why this. I’m one of you remember. Only I can block out the tannoy in your ear.
I just want to watch the game, mate. Let me have a pint with my mates before, after, maybe both, perhaps even sleep on what happened there and just say nothing much about it at all. Except some light inner dialogue.
None of which leads us onto the trip to the parallel universe of Wolverhampton this Monday evening. Remember when there was outrage against fans having games on a Monday evening once? Unfair on the fans, a disgrace, that. Well no need, you can work an extra hour or two’s wages to watch it in your house instead. With tannoy. The fixture list was sort of kind as Everton playing on Halloween itself would have opened up a portal for the Gods of irony to smite us even further, at the worst now we’ll be subject to quips about November’s Manager Of The Month being in ruins.
Anyway if you one of the hardy souls making the trip to Molyneux for this then keep a look out of your window entering the area and you won’t be short of all manner of ghouls going about in a spooky manner, yet no need to go armed with a basket of pic n mix – this is just an average day in Wolverhampton, Halloweenland open all year thru. There’s scores of these places up and down this rainy north eastern Atlantic island we dwell on, a Petri dish of culture that can go in different ways. Some bacterias can be useful, Alexander Fleming knew. Others can just be an irritating menace, but it’s not for me to categorise Wolverhampton.
Less so because I enjoy the company of people from Wolverhampton, mainly because they largely display an outwards warmth to others and are largely devoid of airs and graces. Which makes it all the more mystifying why these same folk voted both for Brexit and to be placed under Tory rule, just as turkeys voting for Christmas. So this puts us on a collision path – for the barely transparent needs of this preview – as two very distinct tribes go war. This is more than a football game, it’s an all encompassing battle for our futures. We’re the penicillin to the invasive bacteria, but have we dosed enough? Are we in time? Can Dr Benitez stop in the infection and save the patient? Quite frankly all other life plans must be put on hold for this, in including feeding your family, brushing your children’s hair, visiting your elderly parents and going to a football game with your mates to return home at a reasonable time on a weekday.
Fuck Wolves, they have to be toppled because they stand in front of Everton. It’s kill or be killed as far as I’m concerned every time our oft disappointing bastards take to the grass wearing a blue shirt with motto on it that’s by now a parody. Their unwashed Slade shitheads need their lives and careers ruined this Monday evening for daring to even stand in the way of me feeling good on Tuesday. And maybe Wednesday. Their fans are gonna be packed in their hordes, like every extra from the 1971’s Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory, an energised orchestra of Lad Bible & Talksport Retweets ready to crow over any small edge over these aliens from the future – with their superior personal hygiene and futurist clothing – polluting gammony breath for miles around in the aid of their cause, their being, their reference point for existence. Everton can’t give one inch here and I heartily encourage innovative measures taken to secure the points. Let our representatives not wait until getting onto that pitch and winning an early challenge or two, no fuck that get into their changies before the game and grab that needle out of Adama’s arse and plunge it straight into that bad Haydock kopite’s kipper. Tear into anything that even seems Portuguese, do you think they showed any mercy to the Tupi, the Tapuia, the Apacia? Plunder anything and everything. Send them out on the pitch in rags and ruin. We’re two fucking defeats in here lads, fight for that badge. Treat that changing room as an octagon. They can’t put out 11 men after you’ve finished? Sound, then they forfeit the points. Even if the Premier League learn about our preemptive strike I don’t give a fuck, I’m moving Everton up the requisite amount of places on my League Ladders. Go win our maroon passports back lads. This is what’s at stake on this first day of November year of Our Lord 2021.
So onto Everton and Rafa Benitez has some decisions to make to arrest an undesirable slide of late. It’s very evident that up front the Venezuelan gulping air like a pike freshly picked out of water isn’t the answer now, perhaps never. Richarlison’s reintroduction against Watford and subsequent ace header then jump into the crowd was largely forgotten in the subsequent shitshow but it’s good to have the Brazilian back. My optimism for anything out of this game probably depends on him starting. His inclusion would cast a doubt on the only other player to come out of the Watford debacle with any sort of pride, Anthony Gordon. He seems to be coming on alright. Yet it’s in those wide spaces where Gray and Townsend are proficient, unless the former is played up top or just behind the striker. Which in case I’ve not mentioned, needs to be Richarlison – if he’s not been arrested in custody for avenging the Tupi, the Tapuia and the Apacia prior to kick off.
I’ve got no idea how to solve the midfield apart from cryogenically fixing Doucoure ahead of schedule.
Neither the defence, Mina is out again so we’re at the mercy of one or two out of a cast of four or five rediscovering their vertebrae, and holding it together for ninety odd minutes. That on the pitch we’re so dependent on so few might, just might, highlight a need for some personnel changes when windows permit. At the fourth or fight manager of asking. And second Director Of Football.
So that’s the size of that really. Get your Monday out the way first before seeing if Everton can keep the Wolves from the door. And if they don’t then it doesn’t really matter, not if you’ve got headphones or earplugs to put in.