Last Time We Met; Brighton (H)
Everton 2-2 Brighton
October 2, 1982
Everton: Southall, Wright, Higgins, Borrows, Bailey, King, Sheedy, McMahon, Heath, Johnson, Sharp
Brighton: Moseley, Stevens, Shanks, Gatting, Foster, Smith, McNab, Grealish, Case, Robinson, Ritchie
The last time we met the good ole Seagull Boys was way back in 1982, yeah its been a while since Brighton has sniffed around the top-flight, but ask yer da, I’m sure he remembers. Famous names Neville Southall, and former Orlando City now turned Minnesota United head coach Adrian Heath, plugging the MLS! Goodison Park only housed 17,500 people for the match that saw the Toffees and the gulls battle it out to a 2-2 draw. The now defunct football league season of ’82-83 saw Everton finish in a modest 7th place (some things never change,) and Brighton finish dead last, bummer. However fun fact, Manchester City were one of the 3 teams relegated that season what a difference 30 years makes! Brighton however, would not make it back to the top tier until this season, having gone down the ranks of English football, only to climb out of the pit. Fair play to the Seagulls, as the last 5 years or so have been filled with almosts and playoff defeats, but they remained a staple of success and consistency In the second tier. Irony and Sarcasm included.
With not a lot to write about regarding that match almost 36 years ago, it is important to take a look at today. Everton sit on 34 points. 2 points behind Brighton, in March. Nobody in their right mind saw that coming, as many saw Brighton as relegation fodder, and Everton as a top 6 side. However, a flourishing Seagulls squad coming off a 2-1 win against Arsenal, face an Everton team in disarray and discord, with only 2 wins out of 11. This folks, is why FIFA has a button you can press to simulate the season, this nightmare needs to end, and it needs to end soon. While no one truly believes the Toffees will see the drop this season, (a soft schedule to close the year should help with that thankfully,) Everton have been a wash and extremely disappointing this campaign. Glenn Murray and Brighton continue to surprise, and while not safe yet, it is looking like the gulls will live to see another top-flight season.
Come Saturday afternoon, the mood around Goodison will not be light-hearted or in any sense of the word fun, it will be tense and it will be heated for a full 90 minutes. With the fans knowing that a win is the only acceptable outcome here, don’t expect a heavy margin of error before shouts and boos begin. However, the. lot of our fans at Everton will push along side the lads come kickoff, and the game should be a very good one. Leighton Baines should see a return into the starting 11, while the likes of Funes-Mori and perhaps even Davy Klaassen will find their way into the team for the first time in a long time. The blues should be the aggressors, playing on the home ground in a game much more high-stakes than any game against Brighton in March should be. Unlike most times where I predict an Everton victory, I am confident about Saturday. This team, although full of shithousery, will not back down to this challenge, and with some toxicity out of the squad, I fully expect the boys to come out firing. Tosun should play a huge role, Coleman and Walcott down the right will be electric, and hopefully we see a couple glorious set pieces from Leighton Baines. It has been a long, long season and I will be wearing a pacemaker for the match tomorrow. 3 points goes a long way right now, and in what seems to be one of the biggest games of the season, back the Toffees to pull out a win. Please Everton, do the thing, Merseyside believes in you.
Prediction: Everton 2-0 Brighton
Up The Toffees!!!!
Also: the video below, is as close to footage from the game I can find, match highlights from the away tie the same season, Sheedy scores a brace, Everton win 2-1. Good Stuff.