Everton v Swansea Preview

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Weird week, weird season.

The backdrop of this week has been kopite and geordie heads blowing clean off and orbiting this blue planet like smited satellites, filling our airwaves with some tremendous one eyed cry arsing.

If that’s not the sign of a productive week’s work then I don’t know what it is.

It was two consecutive away games in the space of 3 days which maybe we would have expected to sink us further into the mire. Instead 4 points were gained, heads orbited and those delightful young pups of ours displayed some excellent shithousing in closing out the game at St James’ Park.

That Kenny 360 looking for the ball was pure pantomime, as was his appeals to the ref that their pissboiled player lashed the ball at his legs out of frustration. Evertonians have always had a keen eye for snide and the dark arts of winning, and it’s mighty heartening that the young lads coming through seem to share that keen interest. Lesser noted but similarly appreciated is Pickford bouncing the ball like Michael Jordan at every opportunity to waste time. Much more of all of this please.

So a week that started at Anfield with Cally Lewin & The Blues with The Power Of Shove will end eight days later against bottom club Swansea. It’s the exact type of tempting fixture we are prone to shitting. Allardyce has talked up not letting complacency set in all week which suggests he’s learning Everton fast.

Swansea are having a shitter of a season and are caught in that boom bust cycle prevalent in teams before ultimate relegation. Firing managers and benefitting from short term boost may work once or twice, maybe three times if you’re lucky, but then ultimately your failure to build any sort of sustainable strategy or squad means the unforgiving Premier League is going to swallow you whole and leave you feeling all dirty and used with parachute payments to stop you going to the magazines.

I’m not sure if Swansea fans tried to look down their nose at us when they managed a league placing above us or a single victory at Goodison Park in their entire history but I’m prepared to give them the benefit of the doubt. You see, there’s much to like about Swansea and it’s peculiar folk.

It opens up the Welsh North, South, West debate. As we know the North Welsh switch language as soon as you walk into a pub, resent scousers on their soil, peroxide their hair as grown males, are fond of a brash male earring and generally give off an air of “not to be left around your kids in a supermarket”. The West Welsh are insular farmhand druids and cleaners at Butlins.

The South Welsh are the preferred of them all with an easy working class vibe about them and simple, uncomplicated ways that produce some peculiar but enjoyable behaviour to watch. Every single one of them is deeply flawed and never more so than when you put some alcohol inside them but they’re far less likely to snake you on a holiday home sale, get too close to your kids, play Super Furry’s songs in Welsh, wear stonewashed jeans to a wedding or sympathise with the tories than the rest of Wales.

Its for these reasons and more that we should celebrate South Wales and for it’s incessant rain, beautiful coastlines and excellent choices of daytime drinking. Every weekend in South Wales is a drama. There’s binge drinking, parochial feuds lasting hundreds of years, a high concentration of easy shagging and so many drunken rucks on cold concretes that with the advent of CCTV you could put forward a case of South Wales being the world’s longest running drama series. Fuck your Coronation Street or Dallas, go and sit off on any of the slowly decaying high streets and watch the plot unfold. If you have any South Welsh for friends I reckon you’ll resonate with this. They’re fantastically loyal friends to have with the added bonus that they leave you feeling less hung up about all the little weird things you hate about yourself.

All this and more from Swansea. I can’t see there being too many of their fans with it being a Monday night a week before Christmas and, you know, that’s OK. They’ll mingle well before and after the game and be a little too fond of fattening male wearing replica tops but when you put them in comparison against others in this twat jamboree of Premier League they are much more tolerable. I hope they do find a way to stay up just as I hope Paul Clement manages to shave all that hair off real soon lest he continue to look like a bit part police officer on The Bill.

Non tactical assessment of their players:

Bony – keep looking around expecting to see Snoop supporting him in attack. Get them boarded houses checked too.

Fer – anyone else long for the days of Moyes missing out on transfers? Me neither.

Mesa – one glance tells you he’s heavily, heavily involved in 1950s Sicilian Brooklyn rackets.

Mawson – “how does down south look like Dad” “Alfie Mawson celebrating a goal”.

Van der Hoorn – one glance tells you he can’t be anything other than Dutch.

Naughton – hope Tom Davies shithouses him for fucking Everton off a decade ago.

Fabianski – pepper this cube headed fuck.

Allardyce doesn’t look one to change a winning team so I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see the same team start this game as last. Which means more of an increasingly confident DCL running about eagerly in attack, Sigurdsson putting kilometres in on the left and Lennon scampering down the right wing.

It also means more of Rooney pulling the strings there in the middle. What an influence he’s been during the fast few weeks, will be interesting to see if he can sustain this influence or if it’s the dying embers of a successful career. Perturbs me a bit that he’s morphing into one of them trolls that teenagers used to keep on keyrings with each passing photo.

Schneiderlin and Gueye resembled something like last season but one swallow doesn’t make a summer. There’s question marks over them having enough about them to dominate games like this where they will be expected to have superior territorial possession. We will see.

Really pleasing thing of late is the defence returning to function. It’s a bit of a raggedy back four that somehow has been working. Williams and Holgate forging a good partnership, the former’s mentoring of the latter seems to be reaping dividends as suddenly Mason looks like a good aggressive centre half with plenty about him. Our boy from Curacao on the left is no long term answer but at least not shitting it. Jonjoe Kenny on the right is really coming on and great justification for Unsworth’s faith in pushing him into the team and sticking with him. We’re a long way of urging Cafu to visit Goodison but the lad looks a good un’ and is as staunch blue as it comes. Magnificent set of teeth too. Pickford in goal.

This wee run is a welcome distraction from what’s gone before this season. We’ve tightened up but we’re not exactly playing too well. That and January’s set of fixtures makes me guarded in getting too excited about any supposed Everton renaissance.

This fixture will be the first of 7 games in 22 days. Season’s are made and broke in such runs. Three weeks ago we got a horrible twatting at a shit Southampton. Putting Swansea to bed would mean we’ve taken more points in those subsequent 3 weeks than the 3 before that. Which is sound really. So why sweat what may be when you can get by on a game by game basis?

So as we open another door on a particularly enjoyable Everton advent calendar I hope there’s three points and some utterly horrible piss boiling designated for a cold Goodison night. Into these blues, they’re fucking shite.

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