First and foremost, give yourself a pat on the fucking back. Yes you, the reader! I don’t mean that to sound as condescending as it does, but Jesus, you really do deserve it. I don’t say this lightly given the dreary recent history of Everton Football Club, but I genuinely believe right now, is one of the worst times in the last thirty years (maybe ever) to support the Toffees.
It was anticipated that we were on the cusp of being back to one of England’s best again. In the summer we spent big. We bought well (we thought) and we were excited for a big season ahead in which we hoped we would end our trophy drought. Instead, this season has well and truly ate us up and shit us out. Our squad looks worse than ever. We look destined for mid table mediocre whilst once again looking over our shoulder at a very real prospect of relegation. The manager is shite, the bulk of the playing staff are shite, Goodison is shite, the away games are shite…. watching Everton this year and trying to find any enjoyment is like trying to wrap water in a paper bag. Impossible! If you know a young passionate Evertonian out there, give them a hug, tell them to ignore their happy Red mates in school and make sure they know it won’t be like this forever. Then maybe with a little bit of hope, it won’t be.
Whilst we look ahead to Brighton, our city rivals look ahead to their ‘derby’. Their ‘biggest game of the season’. It used to piss me off no end when Liverpool fans would brand United as their biggest game. Of course, we knew they said it just to wind us up. But these days? It’s a painful reality. No Everton win in 16 derbies, including the two pre and post the Christmas just gone. Longest run without a win in our history, longest run without defeat in their history. No doubt they get the butterflies for United. They just get the giggles for Everton. Why am I talking about United v Liverpool in an Everton preview? Well because I want to remind you all how fucking brilliant (maybe a little sad) you are for still being there, week in and week out. We have won fuck all in years, we’ve been shite and let down all season, our biggest game of the season is our rivals second biggest game of the season and yet, here we are and here you are… reading a preview for Brighton at home. Up the fucking Toffees!
Anyway… Our away form once again leaves us in somewhat of a must-win predicament. You couldn’t really of picked a better run of away games than against struggling Watford and equally struggling Burnley. Sadly, it seems the Toffees are anyone’s whipping boys away from home. Whipping…boys….seems like a good opportunity to bring Brighton into the conversation. Get it? Brighton…gay? Ye da would have laughed. Glad you never though, it’s 2018, grow up.
Brighton head to Goodison Park in search of a third Premier League win in-a-row. Chris Houghton’s side have been impressive, and he rightly collected the manager of the month award for February. However, for the Toffees, home is where the heart is in recent months. Since Koeman’s departure, only Manchester United have taken all three points at Goodison Park. Our improved home form has been the difference between loitering in midtable and being sucked in near the bottom. Brighton have had some reasonably generous fixtures of late meaning their form could be a little misleading. Their away-form somewhat rivals ours, with no win away since the start of November.
There’s no Williams (thankfully), but Allardyce has confirmed Baines, Jags and Funes Mori are all in with a shout to start. Good news all round. Tosun will no doubt lead the line after netting his first goal in England at Turf Moor last week. Although level on points, Brighton are in 10th and sit above the Blues. A win on Saturday would mean Everton would leapfrog the Seagulls. Given Everton’s decent record recently at home and given they have won the last six home games against newly promoted sides, I expect three-points in this one. Everton have a knack of winning the games that matter at home when they need too. West Ham and Leicester come to mind. Brighton on Saturday is certainly another one of them must-win games. Let’s hope they do it with room to spare. Us Evertonians need something to smile about.
– David (@DAHughes92)