Stand by your beds everybody – the boys in blue are coming round. No, not the Old Bill or the binmen from along the A140 but something even more intimidating. We shortly entertain the slightly less noisy section of a great big footballing City in the North West, aka Everton.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always found Evertonians to be extremely decent people. I should know as I worked in Huyton several times over the years and the guys were great to be around. As were the Liverpudlians in the same ink manufacturing facility of course although at BASF Coatings + Inks the Blues outweighed the Reds by about three to one. By accident, not management design.
This time around, Everton have beaten Norwich City 2-0 before a ball has been kicked. That’s not referring to the early season result at Goodison. I’m alluding to their new signings in this instance.
Predictably we have signed the Invisible Man and the Ghost. Unlike us, Everton is a football club that takes its ongoing presence in the Premier League seriously and has brought in both Nathan Patterson from Glasgow Rangers and Vitalii Mykolenko from Dinamo Kyiv. Neither will have come for a small fee. I know nothing of Mykolenko but Patterson is a very sound baller. That clarifies my 2-0 remark.
A great source of further joy for us folks in yellow and green is that both Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison are pencilled in to return for the first time in a while at the Carra. I love DCL as a player and Richarlison can be pretty tasty too on his day.
Of course, the Toffees haven’t enjoyed a great start to the season under the FSW, who continues to divide opinion across the City. But having said that they are in no danger whatsoever of getting sucked into a basement battle and will be poised like vultures to pick on our mistakes. They have played two games less than us and have nine points more and will be looking to proceed in a northerly direction between now and season’s end.
Following our 2-0 reverse to West Ham at the London Stadium on Wednesday we became the first team in Premier League history to go six consecutive matches without scoring a goal, thus giving our many detractors yet more ammunition when they claim we have no right to be in the PL.
Like many of us, I accepted the inevitable way before Christmas. Pessimist or realist? You choose.
But that’s enough of me. Once more I have rounded up the Posse to see if they are any more cheery with their expectations tomorrow than the hangdog, weather-beaten and disgruntled old Sheriff.
Alex A reckons: “Rafa seems to have done for the Toffees what Smith is doing for the Canaries, in that instead of progressing under the new manager, both teams are in a downward spiral.
“We can only hope that Mathias Normann returns no later than the end of February to give us even the minutest chance of survival. Kenny McLean tries hard but he’s definitely not PL standard and his fine pass to Teemu Pukki on Sunday doesn’t atone for some of his inept displays of recent weeks.
“I know a handful of fans prefer us being in the Championship [including Delia], but I’m not one of them!
“I’d love to see us winning by the odd goal 2-1 or 3-2, but with our porous defence, I think that 2-2 is more likely.”
Alex B says: “With another game postponed this start to the second half of the season reminds me of Emergency Ward 10 [look it up, anybody under 60 – Martin] and clubs will all complain.
“Will Rafa and his ever faulting squad be oven-ready or under-cooked? They did scrape a win at Hull on Saturday and have had a full week to prepare with their game against Leicester being called off.
“Can City turn their season around? is the big question and we need to pick up points as we haven’t been cut adrift yet, despite what Ian Ladyman reckoned in the Mail earlier this week.
“I think this is one DS might have hopes for and will plump for a 2-1 City win. It has to happen sometime.”
Cutty considers: “Everton are one of the Prem ´Old Boys‘ but are having a torrid time at the moment and haven‘t managed a win in their last three league games. So my optimistic prediction is 1-1.
“Hopefully Deano can work some magic and I believe in the long term he will be good for the club, but I wouldn’t want to be in his shoes and I haven‘t felt that way before.”
Bernie Owen opines: “I’ll graciously omit the four-letter words I want to use following West Ham!
“Honestly I cannot see our defence making it through 90+ minutes without coughing up gilt-edged chances against Everton and should they take one we won’t score twice. My heart says a draw, my head says 1-2.”
I think things might turn a little bit malevolent among the peasants if we don’t put up a real good fight at the weekend. Maybe they should ditch the drill and r&b in the dressing room before the match for this, which is as uplifting as it gets: