That’s it! The internationals are over. Big cheer for England, two games and two wins….Football is coming home, blah blah whatever. Let’s be honest, we genuinely don’t care, do we? Boring mismatches, pointless friendlies and early exits from tournaments ran by corrupt organisations. No thank you, that’s not what we want.
‘’What do we want?!’’
‘’Premier League Football!’’
‘’When do we want it?’’
Well that’s just what we are getting, Tottenham Hotspur, Goodison Park, Saturday 3pm. Welcome back.
It’s fair to say it has been a bit of a roller-coaster since Chelsea (a) on bank holiday Sunday. Perhaps, the international break came at a good time. A break three league games into the season has allowed us to take stock and have an early assessment of what sort of team we have on our hands. One win, one draw and one defeat. Helpful as ever Everton, cheers. As predicted, Stoke was a much needed big win, given the next four league games facing us. Manchester City was a solid point at a difficult place, but Chelsea was an utter sham frankly. There’s always excuses to be made, but you won’t find them here. We’ve been making them for so many years that you can fill in the excuse sheet with your eyes closed now. A defeat away at the Champions is nothing to be ashamed of, but not making the game remotely competitive at any point, certainly is. We needed to regroup, refocus and bring in some final reinforcements, most importantly a headline grabbing striker!
It didn’t happen. Instead, Wayne Rooney created his own headlines following his arrest for drink driving and his apparent necking of an unknown mystery girl. She in turn, with a heavy heart, was forced to sell her story to the papers the very next day. Poor thing. I’m sure she definitely isn’t that ‘type’ of girl – but then I suppose Rooney isn’t that type of guy!. This follows on from the deadline day debacle of Ross Barkley’s did he/didn’t he have a medical at Chelsea, where he stunned everyone with his U-turn half way through his medical/non-medical (depending on who’s version of events you believe). The Jim White and Farhead Moshri double act reappeared late on our screens on deadline day to ‘clear’ the whole thing up. Safe to say this double act isn’t quite Richard Pryor and Gene Wilder, much more like Keith Chegwin and Fonejacker’s Kayvan Novak. I will let you work out who’s who. But the biggest mockery of it all? We didn’t sign that much-needed striker, which may prove a major blow to this season’s expectations.
I predicted Everton may have put all their eggs in one basket with Olivier Giroud and it has since transpired this was the case. An agreement was done in principle, only for Mrs Giroud to block the move, refusing to leave London for the small shanty town of Liverpool. Maybe Mrs Giroud should pop up to Liverpool sometime? Thatcher’s stamp on the city has long all but been washed away, but some will never ever see our city in any other light than that created by Thatcher’s cronies decades ago. In fact Mrs Giroud, if you had indeed made the effort to at least visit the region, you may have been pleasantly surprised at just how cosmopolitan the city is and how not so ‘grim up north’ it is after all! Ah well, for now, she can keep her husband’s balls locked away in her purse whilst he invariably ends back on faltering Arsenals bench. So, Everton will have to do it all with what they have, at least until the January window anyway.
Spurs offer another stern test. A record equal to ours of one win, one draw and one defeat. It will probably be a welcome trip away for them from their temporary home of Wembley, where they simply cannot get a win, which could be good news for them, bad news for us, but we’ll see. Equally, this fixture comes in September, meaning Harry Kane’s August curse is lifted for another year. In his position, Kane is one of the best in the league. Even a solid defensive performance may struggle to keep him out, meaning Everton may have to score more than one goal in this game, something they have only managed once this season across all seven of their Premier League and Europa League fixtures.
Three at the back is the real buzz formation in Football right now, and Koeman’s Everton are no different. I expect to see another 3-4-2-1 formation, unchanged from Chelsea, with maybe the suspended Schneriderlin returning to the side. Width, or indeed lack of it, was a massive issue at Stamford Bridge. Spurs seem to line up with 4-2-3-1, meaning the left backs will be bombing up and down all afternoon. It’s something Everton must be aware of, and indeed look to exploit.
The mood around Goodison Park now is very much on a knife edge. A big win puts everyone back on track, a bad defeat could arguably send us into limbo. No pressure Toffees, but Saturday’s game is a big one.
– David ( @DaHughes92 )