The slow march continues, to quite where no one really knows.
Hopefully it’s somewhere better than before, perhaps even bringing us compelling reasons to keep marching. Or at the very least for regular tolerable distraction.
I’ve written a few times previously about my contempt for the modern game being a fine line between hype and hysteria, engineered by and for the media and consumed wholly by the fans. So as two consecutive wins brought a yin of hype, so two back to back defeats brings it’s yang of hysteria. Context is king, so there’s no shame in a home defeat to Man Utd nor falling to Spurs away from home. What many are seeking is in the macros of performance, attitude and fight – a feeling based and necessary counter to the abundance of data we are expected to soak up as definite reasons why our team or it’s staff are or aren’t doing as others say they should. I care not for your XG, I care for watching a sum of their parts showing requisite character to turn the small margins into competitive balance at least. Put the PowerPoint and fancy graph away Keith, no one’s arsed, also sort the black and white profile photo out it’s not an interview or Ted talk. And fuck off with how many long runs he’s made, or progressive passes, what the fuck even is that? He’s just spilled the ball and cost us the three points the utter shithouse and my mate seen him doing beak off the back of a bouncer’s hand in Concert Square. He’s just unfollowed us on Insta for fuck sake he’s defo gone the dirty snake rat.
There wasn’t much to unpack at Spurs really. Everton were tighter certainly than we had to endure throughout last season but the chances and goals up front are at a premium, especially against the better sides in the division. This will be exactly how it is until either through strategy, player development or new signings fix it so Everton are often competitive in such games at least. If indeed we get to that stage or it all goes to shit sometime in winter and we end up looking for a ninth permanent manager in way less than a decade.
You could get desolate about it of course, or you could perhaps view it as a necessary act of hubris for yet another club that thought it could buy its way to success and instead got swallowed by the bounty of its own ego, and folly. Personally I’m more the latter, with a keen resignation that distracting myself with Everton most weekends is a life long affliction, so fuck really what happens as I’m probably gonna continue the habit regardless. Just with increasingly dissonance.
Speaking of which there was some scornful words this week from that Bavarian leader over the park, about how the Premier League is now rendered uncompetitive because of rich countries buying clubs for the thing they call now call “sportswashing”. Klopp does have a point, any romantic notions of a competitive league have long gone since the league itself permitted some nefarious owners with a string of ill behaviour towards ordinary people to use high profile English football clubs as a vehicle for state or oligarch marketing. Everton of course tried this ourselves and made, predictably, a hideous attempt at it. Yet I can’t help but thinking that Klopp is manager of Libberpewlfubbilklub who should one do a quick price check on just one goalkeeper, one centre back, one midfielder and one striker brings a figure in excess of the annual GDP of a country. If you think that’s exaggerated then go ahead and google “Burundi GDP” and do the math.
It all stinks really yet we’re suckling eagerly on it’s teat just making it all profitable, and fatter and greedier, and callous and devious, and detached, and megalomaniac and, you get the picture. Yet here are arguing aggressively with strangers on the internet over our venture capitalist being nicer than your population crushing authoritarian. They must be pissing themselves really, it’s the new opiate of the masses this being a football fan thing. We’re absolute rabid through our misplaced tribalism at each other rather than a game they’ve stole from you. You’ll deprave yourself just for a touch of reflected glory, you’ll act really horrible to someone you don’t know because they like a bunch of millionaire players not the same as your preferred bunch of millionaire players. And you’ll pay in person or via TV through the nose for to watch it. Want to look like your heroes in person? No mate, I’m a fully grown adult. Want your kids to look like their heroes in person? You betcha! That’ll be £80 for a one year only kit made by premium clothing supplier, and plastered with the name of other equally hideous global companies.
There is no moral high ground in Premier League football supporting right now. At very best it’s just “my monster is better than your monster” so with that in mind, who can blame Geordies for feeling pretty happy about their club right now? As I hope I’ve sort of touched on above, the entire league is the most hideous pantomime in town right now with no real moral high ground to be had, so fuck it, might as well enjoy the circus du grotesque.
Newcastle fans have paid their dues in disappointment – which for me is an endearing quality in any fan. There’s a certain grounding in people subject to sustained periods of just abject projects gone wrong, it invokes humility in said people and a real appreciation for taking joy in the small things. And still they’ve turned up staunchly in their colours and replicas shirts, and some topless, to get behind the only team of their city. Decade after decade has passed since man stepped foot on the moon, and I’d like you to try process what an enormity of time that is with everything that has happened since Mr Armstrong stepped booted foot on the lunar dust, yet Newcastle United have not won a trophy in that time.
Yet still there they are, most weeks. I like them. I find myself allured by their passion and belief. A belief that Evertonians have long surrendered despite a shorter but still prolonged spell of trophyless smegma. I’ve never met a Geordie I didn’t like, as they’re usually charismatic, self depreciating and good company. The city has a great energy about it and fights the good fight. It’s ladies are truly enchanting. Newcastle produces a lot of decent eggs really. If someone’s monster gotta eat all the other monsters then I don’t mind if it’s their monster. If we strip away a lot of the derision from other monster enthusiasts they’d have no qualms about a journalist sawing oil state buying their club expensive player. I don’t even mind Eddie Howe who carries himself better than most of his peers, and amongst their increasingly talented players they have a human I like a lot in Saint-Maximin, he just seems original and nice. Why are Newcastle and Everton fans constantly at each other online then?
It’s a peculiar place is the worldwide web. With it being a web you pull one strand which pings another strand and something big and unpleasant is triggered to come and try sink it’s vile fangs into your head. So with this in mind it’s difficult to pin point the moments that perhaps led to some excitable guinea pig sounding banter ferret on your timeline trying to look down their nose at Everton. There’s more than joins our clubs than divides us really, if you look at the assorted bunch of freaks and titheads around the division. After giving this much research and consideration I don’t really have any answer or conclusion. Sometimes I think it’s because we’re too alike and then other times because we’re polar opposites. Perhaps a rich vein of pride and passion through the respective fanbases is occasionally gonna rub up against and react with the other? I doubt it can all stem from a goalkeeper who played for a place right next to Newcastle who for all intents and purposes sounds exactly like someone from Newcastle who now plays for a different club. Might be it that Everton have a prouder history of winning things than Newcastle and laugh at some insecure fans being unable to accept that? Could it be perceived Evertonian delusion believing they are a relevant force in the division and still hold a claim to sit at the very top table of English football despite more than a quarter century of being a barely noticeable footnote of its story?
I just can’t work it out but honestly, the easiest way to deal with something irritating or confusing is to just ignore it and move on as repeatedly attacking it is a sign of madness, poor perception and – perhaps – widespread gullibility. It’s OK mate, I don’t attach my entire self worth to a number of trophies a football club I like have won, with many from before I was even born. What we arguing about then? I don’t know, are we? Ho’way the people.
He’s behind you.
What Geordies are guilty of – if anything at all than real pride in their team – is perhaps trying a little too hard. Again I’m not skilled enough to unpack it accurately but some tend to over compensate as if to show their complete devotion to their one city team. Should they have a real city rival then it might provide some healthy balance, after all no one is better at calling you out acting a prick as a near and dearest mate supporting the other team of your city. Geordietrytooharditis can also manifest in an over commitment to unconvincing wit and edgelord behaviour when faced with a dissenting voice which, some say, comes across as a sure sign of inferiority complex and/or echo chamber cultism. Those same people also say it makes them sitting ducks for exploitation of friendly antagonists looking to dupe them online. Yet again we shouldn’t conflate what some people say with the reality of a friendly city of working class people with an amicable disposition to others. I’m quite sure if Neil Armstrong was forced to pick an English football club to support then that team would be Newcastle United, no doubt tweeting about how the moon needs atmosphere like St James’ Park. Then about 60 to 80 replies calling him a space nonce.
When the aliens do finally arrive, we’re gonna burn their heads clean out really. Well, before they decide on which Premier League club they want to buy to counter any negative publicity about their disposition for feeding on human brains and commitment to eradication of our entire species. Money can’t buy Hicks & Gillette.
I used math rather than maths seven paragraphs ago to irk any uptight Brits reading this, just wanted to say sorry, and somehow segue into talking about Everton briefly.
I’m sure Lampard will persist with the 4-3-3 thing as it hasn’t look terribly out of place, it’s just that the teams we’ve faced have had better players and beat us. It’s clear Everton are lacking real oomph in the final third of the pitch, that and a few costly individual errors being the architects of this – so far – two game losing run. The big hope being that DCL and any of our wingers suddenly springing into form, or a new face in midfield, might be a quick fix remedy for it. Probably it’s just a symptom of where we are right now and we won’t really have too many prolific times against better oppositions. Thankfully there’s seven or eight shit teams in this year’s Premier League so Everton just need to find formulas which keeps them away from the worst three of their teams, and to dispel some chaff along the way to a more wheatful future.
Nothing more to add on the team really as you can sort of guess what it will be albeit with some presumable tweaking due to performance and amount of games. We’ll call for DCL, we’ll call for Garner, we’ll call for some glimpses of hope to reassure us that there’s something alright around the corner.
Newcastle will be doing their best to inhibit that, making it a tricky place to visit. You may be looking beyond the XG, the megalomaniac owners, the corporate sponsors, the angry antagonistic fans, the formation shifts, to see some nuance, some minute overlooked indicator that this time, well this time is gonna be different. And glory soon be upon us, forever and ever. This time next year we’ll be billionaires, Rodney. Or at least act as their online cheerleaders.
Left foot, march.