Wembley, Wembley, we’re the famous Blue Toffees and we’re going to Wembley! Meh, maybe not on the terms we would like, still though, with the dust of our trophy cabinet safe for another season, the Toffees do get a token trip to Wembley this year. Spurs are our hosts as we get back into Premier League action.
That Anfield defeat last Friday in the FA cup already seems a life time ago. A falling out of love with football is nothing out of the ordinary in post-derby defeat weeks, but I have found this past week perhaps the most monotonous. It was not so much the defeat which came late and by way of a(nother) derby mistake. It wasn’t even the sense of unjust over a shocking penalty decision. After all, I hate losing to Liverpool, but I was pleased we had a decent go. It is instead, the toxic, bile, internet based disputes and insults that have traded since. Racism, homophobia, politics, threats….. it seems we’re ticking all the boxes this week. Whatever happened to just talking about the football on the pitch?
Nobody wins these arguments. I’m a hypocrite, because even I get sucked into them every now and again. But not this week. I have kept quiet. I would recommend it to anyone reading this piece too. Because as I said, you’ll never win. You will go around in circles until the point it turns abusive and nasty because neither party will back down, and the internet is the keyboard warriors safe haven. Even when you state facts, they are ignored for opinions that suit other narratives. The stadium dispute is the best example of this. The stadium is a great thing for this city. The jobs, regeneration zone, the interest accumulated in the Council’s pocket… the lot. Yet Liverpool fans are point blank jealous that, with this assistance of the City Council, Everton are getting a new Stadium. It’s sad. But that’s how it is. They want Everton to remain the plucky older Brother in his depleted old house next door. Well unlucky lads, we have other plans. So leave them to cry about it and let’s get back to focusing on us.
It’s gone slightly under the radar recently, but Everton have slipped way out of form in recent weeks. It’s no win in five and three defeats in our last three games. Perhaps the derby performance and the recent arrival of striker Cenk Tosun has lifted the mood around the camp, however results must improve on the pitch.
The omens aren’t good for this one. Tottenham beat us comfortably earlier this season at Goodison 0-3 and are unbeaten in their last 10 Premier League games against the Toffees (W5 D5). This is their longest unbeaten run against us since a run of going 13 undefeated between 1997 and 2003. Everton also haven’t won away in the league at Spurs since November 2008 (1-0), drawing three and losing five since then. Everton also have the lowest ratio of points won away from home in the division (29.6%). Urgh.
This is the moment where I normally finish on some positives, this week I am struggling a little. On paper it looks a tough one. However, the arrival of Tosun does give us more fire power up top, whilst Sigurdsson has already netted against one previous employer this season, we would certainly welcome a goal on Saturday against another. Michael Keane is a doubt due to a foot injury, while Leighton Baines will definitely miss out due to his ongoing calf muscle strain. Coleman is back in full training, but this one will be to soon for the Irishman.
Everton looked dangerous on the counter at Anfield. We must adopt the same mindset and I believe there is a result to be gained. I am not confident, but I am hopeful. Come on you Blues!!