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Everton Arent We has 217 articles published.

Gylfi Sigurðsson


First, he was the jewel in Everton’s glittering transfer crown. Then he was the unwitting centrepiece of a late summer shambles behind the scenes. He proceeded to be one of the focal points of a club out of form, out of confidence and out of luck.

Even in the shortest of spells at Everton, Gylfi Sigurdsson has become something of a talisman. Now, going forward, Sam Allardyce needs to look to him to be the figurehead of his Toffees side.

Sigurdsson never asked to be Everton’s record transfer – for a £45m fee that very few players below the elite can justify. Yet the expectation was there from the offset that the Icelandic playmaker would be the one to make things happen going forward. When pre-season optimism crumbled, the off-colour midfielder was naturally targeted for criticism. And the pressure showed. Nothing highlights the impact of confidence on performance like comparing the golden chance Sigurdsson missed against Burnley with the one he slotted home effortlessly against Huddersfield.

It could also be argued that being deployed on the left has hurt Sigurdsson’s chances, despite the fact he made appearances out wide for Swansea. As was evident during the West Ham game, the Icelander thrives when in the thick of the action. Playing out wide may benefit the full back he works hard to provide cover for, but it comes at the cost of more positive provision.

Yet one of Sigurdsson’s more impressive qualities is his work rate, which ensures he is involved in all stages of play. Only Jonjoe Kenny, Tom Davies, Morgan Schneiderlin and Idrissa Gueye have made more tackles during Premier League action than him. He has made more tackles, with a much better success rate, than both Michael Keane and Ashley Williams. Only three players have made more interceptions. Going forward, Sigurdsson has weighed in with two goals and two assists – nothing special, but also not inconsequential. Away from domestic football, Sigurdsson also chipped in with a wonder-goal against Hajduk Split and assists in the home Europa League group games with Apollon Limassol and Lyon. Dominic Calvert-Lewin is the only player to have made more attempts on goal than Sigurdsson, and only a small handful have played more passes in the opposition’s half.

Sigurdsson, who is renowned for covering a formidable amount of grass over 90 minutes, also gets involved in every phase of play. Wayne Rooney is Everton’s symbolic talisman, but it’s his Scandinavian counterpart who plays like one.

Being the focal point of a team would hardly be a new experience for Sigurdsson. For Iceland, a side which has stunned the world thanks to some incredible teamwork, Sigurdsson is the one teammates know can create something out of nothing. The midfielder was Iceland’s top scorer in World Cup qualifying. Two came in a pivotal win over Ukraine, one proved to be the winner away to minnows Kosovo, and the other, in the reverse fixture, sealed Iceland’s spot at their first World Cup. It was Sigurdsson’s cross that led to Iceland grabbing a stoppage time winner over rivals Croatia.

Swansea, as perennial strugglers, also leaned on Sigurdsson for assists and goals. His winner in their smash-and grab win at Anfield in January is the sort of thing that would go down very nicely indeed in the upcoming trips across the park. And one only has to look at Swansea’s attacking impotence now to understand the impact of his departure. Everton are crying out for players who can make a difference at pivotal times. Sigurdsson is one of those players.

Allardyce needs that sort of quality as he looks to set up an Everton side that is much harder to break down – something which often comes at the expense of attacking impetus. Everton will be expansive at home, but will have to knuckle down on the road to arrest 2017’s horror form. That’s where Sigurdsson will have to shine. His set piece prowess will be indispensable on the road, where corners and free kicks may be the best ways to break teams down. Having the ability to drop back and win the ball also makes the Icelander a significant weapon in the Allardyce arsenal.

Rooney has the sort of magic touch nobody at Everton can match, but flashpoints have become rarer as the homegrown hero ages. Sigurdsson may never fully justify his inflated transfer fee, but what he can do is go from just one of the number 10 roster to a player Evertonians can look to as a match-winner. Some work needs to go into creating as much in open play as from set pieces, but most importantly he needs self-confidence and the trust of his manager.

A month ago, there were few who could justify Sigurdsson’s place in the Everton squad. Perhaps in the near future, Blues will wonder how we ever got along without him.

Liverpool v Everton Preview


So, renaissance or anomaly?

3 consecutives wins if you desperately grab at the deadest of all rubbers in downtown Nicosia on Thursday night against Halloumi AllStars. We’ll take what we can get this season I reckon.

Before we allow ourselves any semblance of hope however, the fixture computer just served us a right shitter with the annual crusade to piss mountain. And if you’ve forgotten the taste on piss mountain then I reassure you it’s bitter as fuck.

Maybe this type of mindset is the problem? Read on to not find out any answers that you may seek.

Before some millennial wag with a head full of memes starts giving me a coaching session on mindset it’s not as easy as that. You see I’ve wished and believed that this year was different. That they were shite compared to before/us. That luck would finally fortune our side. It didn’t happen. Not once. Now the folly of youth turns 18 since Super Kev and it’s time for acceptance. It’s gonna happen and you need to distance yourself so it pains less. Objectify the event and deal with it.

The Huddersfield game was another welcome 3 points that weirdly moved Everton onto page 1 / 2 on Ceefax. Which is a bit mental when you consider how shite we’ve been this season, and that it put us 8 points ahead of a relegation place. Such is this Everton’s squad’s propensity for durge that no one is gonna relax until maybe 45 points are up, if we attain that like. Recent signs are decent as the team revisited the art of defending, and gouging the eyes of victory until submission.

So there’s a bit less anxiety about the points situation going into our next game. That mad bit of hope that remains hopes it galvanises the royal blue shirts on the field to at least not collapse in the first half to a goal and pace jamboree, and even let us sweat on holding out for a point. Any sort of spawny fucking win there and it’s town for the week. See the hope spring eternal there? Hope is a dangerous thing. Hope can drive a man insane, as a decent Red once said.

OK I know why you’re here. So let’s start with the scoreboard. On their scoreboard it shows them as Liverpool FC. Where’s the need for the FC? Just because Shanky used to say it before they treated him like shite and that grandson of his changed his surname and raised his eyebrows in every media photo to accentuate the likeness doesn’t mean that they have to put it on a scoreboard 50 years later.

Them bitters doh lar.

The problem is with goading someone is that the other person needs to have sufficient lack of awareness to resist against it for full affect. Kopites trying to gain bantz points against Evertonians over derby wins is a futile effort. Evertonians are far more certain of defeat in the fixture than they are of victory. If there is a more enjoyable scouse pastime than pointing at someone’s overconfidence imploding and shouting “SHIT ON” then I’m yet to experience it.

History bestows us with some beautiful moments such as Beasant 88, the truly sublime Thomas 89, Cantona 96, the victory bus 07 and the creme de la creme of Gerrard’s slip 14, when the Premier League Champs t shirts were already on sale in town and the last home game date weeks ahead fully sold out of any lodgings, as every other annoying Irish tit wanted to come to town to sweep up on cheap Instagram likes trying to super validate their non local connection. It’s bad enough once a year with the Grand National tempting over a load of ladbible obsessed Conor McGregor empowered Seamus and Padraig types, desperately over compensating their cheery eccentric approach to both life and alcohol. The fake fucks, but then that’s why they chose Liverpool.

The kopite mindset is about superiority by proxy. The reflected glory masking clear self loathing in the being. Their house may stink (© EAW), their personality vacant, their existence superficial, bu yeh yeura bitter bloo and yer team are shite 5 times lar.

All absolutely correct, and believe us we would crow like fuck if we’d won 5 European Cups. But breathe. Let the moment pass. And you’re back in the room wearing clobber so bad TK Maxx puts it near the till and your kids are calling someone else daddy. No ones fault but your DNA. The law of attraction dictates that Liverpool and you were meant to be together. The superficiality and self promoting cult with zero self awareness for which the world evolves round on its axis is always going to attract your average kopite fan. The premise of hope being torpedoed repeatedly in the most cruel fashion possible yet remaining steadfast is only going to attract the masochists of Evertonians.

Some doctor called Dre once asked “what’s the difference between me and you?” and I’m not astute enough to answer it sufficiently in this try too hard preview. You notice the differences in mainly attitude I reckon. A few minutes talking to someone gives you and indication if they’re a red or a blue. Blue’s have a defensive shield and self deprecation from the torture of Everton. Kopites eat beans from the can, insist on Davy Liver to save 50p home at 2am as you get soaked on the steps of the bombed out church, and insist on splitting the bill. They also are happy to excuse racism of their players if they score lots of goals and it’s “only against a Munich”.

It’s true there’s contradictions where you look for every club but with them there’s a hell of a lot more and you’ll meet an equivalent of a Russian bot attack if you question it. Niasse made the most of it. There. Easy.

But when the whole point of supporting a club is for reflected glory as a vehicle to gloat at others and raise one’s self esteem then maybe we are expecting too much authenticity from our nearest and dearest. Unless of course they happen to be supporting the club because it’s their local club. It’s disingenuous to mock authenticity without acknowledging the plenty of sound kopites out there, I count them as mates and family, but put a derby on the TV in front of them I waiver temporarily.

Them out of town ones are the more rabid though. You’ll never see them puff their chest out too much in the city as they get buzzed off. But go visit them in their native terrain of Rhyl, Carlisle, Tromso, Mogadishu or the Internet and you’ll see societal peacocks riding that big red vehicle of identity. They even use scouse words online to try and show how much they get “the Liverpool way”. With the Liverpool way being a direct line from their credit card to the merchandise till.

I can’t begin to tell you all the many deeds I do often to get one over them and ruin their day in any little way. I hope you are doing too.

A list of some of their players:

Firmino – a heady mixture of Samba, unconvincing rap culture, teeth and scoring goals in comfortable wins. Using a body for art and expression, with a face that should have been kept hidden away in a Favela basement.

Salah – really good player.

Coutinho – really good player, desperately wants to play for someone else to avoid all the weird “playground restricted” types on the first two rows at Anfield continually filming him in the game on their androids.

Mane – really good player. Find a way to distract him if Everton are to get anything from this. With that cliff edge right angle of a forehead maybe if you printed a big H and put a circle around it then he would be harassed by helicopters coming to land into Speke.

Henderson – 4th cock of primary school and don’t you ever forget it. Hurt him.

Milner – whole hearted jarg Alan Harper who’s due to retire back to the Bash Street Kids very shortly.

Lovren – do they rate him or hate him this week?

Mignolet – has a jaw that should have KIRKBY SKIPS stencilled all over it, test that bad shit shot zombie. But we won’t.

They’re a decent team in good form at the moment so facing them away from home is no too palatable for Everton. There is however very little pressure or expectation on Everton to come away with anything there.

The division of the squad into stay at home and travel to Cyprus gives some indication of who may be in line to face the tricky reds. DCL or Niasse are going to be up there in some shape or form as there’s no one else capable up front. I reckon Rooney will be kept deep and protected by the legs of Gueye who’s a sucker for a 23rd minute yellow card. Davies has been also preferred but is a little out of form at the moment so perhaps a change there.

Can’t see any changes to Lennon on the right to work hard and compliment Kenny – who for once it would be sound to have a local lad that puts a foot in this game and not shit it. But not get sent off too easy. Sigurdsson seems to be easing into the team and his place in it, or even around him so will defo play.

Everton clean sheets are rarer than a Tory show of empathy and therefore I can’t see the Williams and Holgate pairing being broken up. Only thing that may happen is Keane is brought in as a third centre half to try and negate their forward four. Is Baines fit? If not then Curacao’s captain will be there somewhere and that terrifies me as much as it intrigues. We finally have a decent keeper in Pickford so hoping there’s a bit of Martyn at Anfield amongst him there.

So have Everton collected the black brick at the bottom of the pool and can only now head back up? Like fuck. Certainly not until after this game and the slapping we will receive in it. After that though maybe the rot has stopped and we can get on with weekends to be arsed about.

Right fucking into these though, they’re shite.



It’s a great night, not for me but for the club. Every player was committed. I asked them to be men tonight. If you can stand up there and fight in times of trouble, that says a lot.”

After what has been a tumultuous six weeks in the life of every Everton fan, a win against a struggling West Ham side in the unforgiving Premier League was as big as it gets at the moment.

Relief was the overriding emotion. Indeed, we as Evertonians have all appreciated just what a mess this season has been. With the very real threat of slipping into a relegation battle, a big win was exactly what we needed. If we felt the relief, I can only imagine what David Unsworth has been feeling after the last month.

Unsworth entered as Caretaker Manager and was left with a uninspired, unbalanced Everton team – not to mention a mentally weak, confidence stricken side. What he inherited was not his fault, yet he was asked to somehow drag these misfits out of the mess Ronald Koeman had left.

Not an easy challenge – I don’t care who you are, when you have no top-level management experience and have to start with games at Chelsea, the home of the Champions, Leicester, the home of the previous Premier League Champions and at Lyon, who were Europa League Semi-Finalists last year, miracles do not happen.

The Watford game felt like a must win, and at 0-2, the worst was feared. Yet we fought back and got the result. Luck played it’s part and thankfully a late penalty didn’t deny us the 3 points. Unsworth steadied things for what we thought would be his last game as Caretaker. The International break gave us two weeks and in that time, surely we would appoint the new permanent manager? It didn’t happen.

David Unsworth would never decline the opportunity to manage the first team again, but in reality, a decision was needed and he can’t be faulted for a lack of direction of those at Boardroom level. While almost cutting a lonely figure, particularly in press conferences, he didn’t shirk the responsibility nor refuse the challenge. In the meantime, after a battling point at Crystal Palace, what followed probably extinguished any chance Unsworth had of keeping the job – an abject defensive display against Atalanta before what can only be described as the worst Everton performance this century at Southampton.

The board in a clear state of panic hired Sam Allardyce. A man who they must feel can guarantee Premier League safety, thus ensuring Everton reap the financial rewards the top-level can bring. Whilst it is fair to say that Unsworth showed tactical naivety and inexperience, the hiring of Sam Allardyce was not down to Unworth’s ineptitude, but rather the lack of backbone in the first team squad. They let him down massively and forced the appointment of someone who was categorically not first choice.

In a piece where I want to praise David Unsworth, dwelling on players and their complete lack of guts is not the intention and won’t be talked of anymore; other than to say – if Kevin Mirallas ever wears an Everton shirt again, he should count his blessings. He doesn’t deserve the privilege after that Southampton game.

To West Ham. Colossal this. Not the occasion, because we’ll have much bigger and more important games in our future. In our current state however, with the hiring of Allardyce, Craig Shakespeare and Sammy Lee, not to mention the hysteria surrounding fans (isn’t Twitter great lads?), West Ham was going to be more nerve racking and tense than it ever deserved to be. Sammy Lee in an Everton tracky in the home dugout though. Sammy Lee.

How good was that pre-match press conference? Without sounding sycophantic, I was proud of David Unsworth. He maintained professionalism and composure, while having the bravery to call out those who let him down. He asked for fight and pride. He showed that whatever his role in the future, he was up for the scrap. In what has been a six week circus at Goodison, he maintained all that is good about our club.

West Ham was a brilliant victory and maybe with more time, Unsworth would of grown into the role and at least guided us to respectability. Time is not of the essence in a cut-throat league though and I’m glad his last hurrah in this spell ended with an emphatic win.

He made it clear he wanted the job full-time but he steps down firmly remaining an Everton hero. I felt watching his post-match interviews that he looked drained and exhausted and there was a sense of relief that the pressure is somebody else’s now. He has no doubt learnt a great deal, and I would love it if it worked out for him one day as a permanent Everton manager.

He goes back to the U23’s and let’s not forget what a magnificent job he did there. The best reward we can give and the best way to show we value his efforts, is to see if we can raise the attendances for reserve games – especially as it’s free for season ticket holders. There are some great kids at that level, who we should be proud to have and proud that we have a great man leading them.

A big thank you Rhino. He didn’t ask, need or deserve things to be what they were, but he stepped up, as only someone who loves the club would. His efforts won’t be forgotten amongst fans. In an uncertain future, at least we know there’s someone there, who’ll always stand up and have our back.

Up the Toffees.

West Ham (h) 29.11.17


“We’ve come a long long way together, through the hard times and the good”

Alright? Been a while hasn’t it? I can only apologise if you’ve been missing my demented post match scribblings but to be honest, they’ve just sucked the fucking life out of me. I’ve seen Everton under Walker, Smith and the shadow of Howard Kendall and never once felt as detached from the club as I have this season. Southampton last week is the most pathetic display I can remember seeing, and that says a lot, seeing as Uncle Walter once turned out a side featuring 6 (six) centre backs.

I’m not going to go into the manager thing too deeply. Better writers than me have covered every angle and aspect of it. All I’ll say is, it’s a short term thing, we all know that. We’ve pissed the bed and we’ll just have to lie in it until morning. Still, fuck right off Sammy Lee you odious gnome cunt.

The last game of the Unsworth caretaker era then, and wholesale changes from the Southampton fiasco. Perpetual mard arses Schneiderlin and Mirallas were fucked off, hopefully for good, and Wayne Rooney came back in in a deeper midfield role. Martina left back for the injured Baines. Holgate made his first start for eons too, with Keane missing out.

It was a nervy opening in truth, lacking in any real class or chances. What didn’t go unnoticed was the effort put in. Off the back of a rather public bollocking from the temporary manager pre match, the hunger and desire to chase every ball was back. West Ham’s back line was harried and harassed into mistakes and tackles flew in from all quarters. This brought encouragement rather than criticism from the crowd and they were rewarded with a breakthrough. Sigurdsson with a delightfully weighted through ball to Calvert-Lewin who skipped round Hart, only to be felled by the big lumbering dickhead who was lucky to escape further sanction. Rooney took the penalty and although the Head and Shoulders meff blocked the initial effort, the rebound fell kindly for Wayne to nod home from six yards.

Within ten minutes Rooney and Everton had a second. The sort of slick, flowing passing that hasn’t been seen since Martinez’s first season picked apart a fragile Hammers defence. The impressive Kenny played a neat one two with Lennon and strode into the opposing half, beating a man before slipping it wide to Tom Davies, whose first time cross fell to Rooney to tuck home at the far post. Kirkdale to West Derby to Croxteth. Two nil.

The visitors came out better after half time and showed a bit more spirit about them. Cresswell struck the bar before Ashley Williams clumsily hacked down Antonio, giving Lanzini the chance to halve the deficit from the spot. The Argentine’s penalty was well struck but Pickford leapt to his right and threw out a paw with the speed and dexterity of Big Sam reaching for the last drumstick in a KFC Monster Bucket (or a brown envelope stuffed with used, non sequential banknotes) and Goodison breathed a sigh of relief.

The game was put beyond the clutches of F.C. Article 50 with 20 minutes to go with Rooney’s hat trick goal. Hart came lumbering out to clear a long ball but his sliding block made it no further than the centre circle where the Croxteth Cruyff struck a drilled first time effort that arrowed in from 60 yards.

The rout was complete on 80 minutes when Williams atoned for his earlier faults with a looping header from a Sigurdsson corner that crept in at the far post. No less than Everton, or indeed West Ham deserved after their respective performances. I almost feel sorry for Moyes, he’s become a figure of comical abject shiteness (sic) since departing L4 but then I remember the way he behaved from January to August of that year and find myself hoping he makes it two relegations in as many years, the misery filled shitebag.

Rooney was imperious, Davies and Kenny faultless, Calvert-Lewin ran his legs off in the thankless lone striker role, Pickford was solid and Sigurdsson had his best game in a blue shirt. However, the final word has to go to David Unsworth and it’s a word of thanks. He was handed a poisoned chalice following the removal of Koeman and although he’s not always made the right calls or played the right teams, he’s stood up and never once shirked responsibility or looked for excuses. An example that the players need to follow as we go forward under the new management team.

“It’s good to be back, good to be back, hello….”

Everton v West Ham Preview


Fucking hell.

That’s your preview opener, but how else can you describe Everton’s season lunging from shite to shitter? Read on to not learn anything much. Or better still go swerve anything Everton related and make a start on all them things you procrastinate about.

The Southampton game was an abject crisis ridden Everton shouting for help. This isn’t deserved on David Unsworth however it’s the big boys league so there’s not much room to cry about it, but instead to find some sort of never-to-be-forgotten formula to stop Everton being relegated.

When it’s all said and done though let us never, ever forget the shithouses wearing the badge of Everton out there. Some (OK, me) have long cried about the balance of power swinging too firmly to the players and our current malaise bears testament to it. Some of them clearly don’t give a fuck and there’s little comeback. After all if we sink there’ll be some other tragic bastard ready to launch a new signing on fee and riches upon their grandchildren through the means of some hideous trickle down economics.

Try finding a redeeming feature in this Everton side right now. Something to cling to. Nah, me neither.

We’ve been in this position before but buried it deep. You’ll maybe recall two particular seasons in the nineties. Also maybe 2001/02, when were sinking fast before we were rescued by a fresh faced new manager.

That fresh face has turned into a perma-frowned leathery moon, and is back with his awkward unconvincing smile that reveals easy incisors, but this time he’s here to fuck us over.

Not that it’s the first time he’s fucked us over. After been giving a generous see off with full guard he then turned around and tried to snake two of our best players at the time on the cheap. That wasn’t it for me, I mean everybody has their fall out of love moment with David Moyes. What was yours? Mine was him playing a reserve team at Anfield while just behind them in the league and shipping an easy hat trick to that fucking cocksplash Gerrard. Back in those heady days of only conceding 3 at Anfield.

I was reading loads tonight about the rivalry between Crystal Palace and Brighton, and how it come to pass. I didn’t see a mention of our weird little rivalry with West Ham – maybe because I suppose it’s only really one way distaste from their side. And how our illusion of amicability was crushed by an alright tackle from James McCarthy on some little French blert they were in love with, who then promptly fucked them right off. That tackle promoted their collective mask to slip, and while every club has it’s blerts on social media (@thechicoazul mate) there was a fucking avalanche of cringe pointed in our direction from their little pie mash eating weasels. Certainly took me by surprise as prior to that I’d seen a really proud club with ace local support trying to go about things in the right way, as much as modern footie will allow you.

I’m willing to put this aside if they pipe down and just come and watch the footie without trying to “banter” us. They’ll probably beat us anyway like so there’s no need for one more set of mouth breathing bellwipes playing us in England.

No one gives a flying fuck if you are the second cousin removed of the Krays lads. But then there’s that air of overcompensation with a lot of West Ham fans. Maybe it’s size anxiety, maybe it’s the acute parochialism that engulfs the club. We’ve got some of that at Everton but we’re not trying to make out that Purple Aki rocks up at our family christenings. It’s also a fact that there’s not a single West Ham fan who is over 5 foot 9 inches tall. Check it out tomorrow in and around the ground. Also pay attention to how they can’t walk normally, how their stride has feet pointing 10 to and 10 past. Smoking that bifter all the way to the fucking tip. Landan innit mate. Salt of the earth. Absolutely reeking of Vosene and Joop.

The shit bastards think they invented football because they had a couple of players playing for England’s solitary tournament win, which was achieved by playing every game at home and aided by an incredibly fortunate referee’s decision. It was as though Frank McAvennie played 1 to 11 that day. Not that you’d hear them chatting about it, like the lad who’s just got a Range Rover on lease and can’t wait to get the branded keyring out and on the table before he’s even sat down.

Then along popped Gold and Sullivan, genuinely odious little creeps and none more so than the weird little smurf one with his Soviet hat. If your mate turned up in that before the game there’s no pride amongst your bunch if you hadn’t got him so para he’d flushed it in the first pub. Then the pair of them blagged an all paid for stadium and started doing cross armed gestures for photos. Some project director marketing hyper twat then convinced them to put LONDON in their badge and because they finished top half that season they started thinking some sleeping giant was awoken and Zidane was licking their door. All this despite them never ever winning even one league title.

All things considered these little chimney sweep fucks have to be crushed. It’s just a shame they’re playing Everton or we would get to enjoy it.

Some of their players who may or may not make it on the pitch against us:

Carroll – Imagine paying £35 million for a fat Pontin’s Chippendale seven years ago.

Chicharito – he’s a little shithouse, something dead snide about him that I’m paranoid only I can see while everyone thinks he’s alright because he’s only wee and it’s a well known fact that all Mexicans are sound. Because there’s no better social profiling of 110 million people than the barman on your all inclusive keeping the bright blue cocktails coming for the occasional one dollar bill thrown his way.

Lanzini – I’d have him for driving our promotion charge next season.

Noble – little pumpkin headed shithead who can’t wait to swing 40 yard nothing balls over to his full back and take the applause. Leaves his captain armband on in the shower. One little distasteful afterbirth who needs a much worse tackle than the McCarthy one that spawned all this needless partisanship.

Collins – swerve the hard man act if you look like Richard from Guess Who.

Reid – why the fuck didn’t we buy him?

Hart – even if we do get relegated with Pickford punching the vital goal into his own net then I will still hold zero regret that we managed to swerve this repugnant bass voiced sneering blow dried shithouse.

Now’s a good time to play them as they’re still celebrating the royal engagement, the southern tits.

Genuinely can’t be arsed talking about our bunch but in a nutshell what an underwhelming sack of spanners. I’m gonna give the young lads a pass as they deserve so much better to look up to when learning the ropes in the top flight.

It’s not a good combination when you can’t score goals unless they’re exceptional or lucky, and when Charlie Austin – the fat slag – makes the same near post run and scores twice with it in 5 minutes. What did Einstein say the definition of madness was? Tell Michael Keane and his mates that. Anyway, fuck them.

And so it passes that 5,737 days from David Moyes’ debut as Everton manager that he returns hoping to put the sword into the man who gave him the perfect start with a goal after 30 seconds. Another man tasked with saving a listless Everton heading for relegation.

And here we are.

I didn’t even mention Sam Allardyce and Sammy Lee.

Fucking hell.

Big Sam and The Family We’ve Chosen


I remember in Roberto Martinez’s final season—a season characterized by a seemingly endless string of Shakespearean tragedies on the pitch–wondering what we had done to deserve this. From the glow of that first season of his and an apparent return to School of Science ways, El Mejor’s light created a spark of hope in me that I never recalled having at any point under David Moyes. And yet only a couple seasons later, we were an abject failure compared to the lofty standards many of us had begun to internalize. I was left feeling that the 15/16 season was more than just simply a bad season of football. Something felt especially cruel about it all. Like I was being ridiculed by the football gods for having some outsized hope for Everton. Why couldn’t it ever finally work out for us? We were so close. Why couldn’t we build upon that first lovely season? But like many an Evertonian, I comforted myself with the old reliable crutch about being “skint”, believing that there was simply a glass ceiling that couldn’t be broken without a mega-billionaire owner. And despite Farhad Moshiri entering the picture before the demise of Martinez, I had yet to see anything concrete from him that suggested things would change dramatically. Boy, was I ever wrong.

A couple years and hundreds of millions spent later, Everton have hired Sam Allardyce. I find it hard to type these words in nearly the same manner with which I have an almost impossible time using the words “President” and “Trump” together. Sam Allardyce is the manager of Everton. Let it sink in. Don’t ignore that gross feeling. You need to really feel it. Yes, the walking Brexit cartoon whose wine-soaked stench I can detect from across the Atlantic is our new manager. A corrupt punchline of a man who was destined to befoul other, lesser clubs who weren’t a big club like Everton—the same Everton that was simply biding its time before big investment would have it rising like the sleeping giant we’ve all known in our gut that it was.

Yet while I can be mad at Everton for hiring such an infamous turd he is only the wage that a myriad of sins going back years have necessitated. Much like Trump was the reward for years of Americans talking past one another and living in echo chambers and generally not coping well with a changing world around it, Sam Allardyce is the reward for decision after decision and performance after performance that has worn this particular path to hell’s gate. Big Sam may only be a caretaker, but in that “time is a flat circle” sort of way, Big Sam has always been the caretaker just waiting to show us exactly how much worse things could be and how misplaced our faith in this club’s idyllic destiny has been for so long.

Of course, this does not mean that we are forever doomed, but I’m out of the prediction game once and for all. I’ve been wrong about a lot when it comes to forecasting Everton’s fortunes in the Moshiri era thus far. But I’m also not blind. We are firmly and deeply in the shit now. Ambition and being a club to be proud of and all that are secondary to the brutal slog of a relegation fight where “by any means necessary” becomes the only mantra that matters and love of the manager and the players is not required to scale the mountain ahead of us. And while we may loathe Big Sam and all he represents and how antithetical he is to what we’ve always believed we are, he isn’t the only one I’ll have a hard time looking in the eye during this journey.

Without question, there aren’t more than a few players worthy of our affection, either. This sorry lot has personally enriched themselves on the backs of their non-performance and half- assed effort in blue shirts. And while they’ve been done no favors by the utter void of managerial and administrative leadership that suddenly widened after a summer of drunken transfer self-congratulation, far too many of them have gone through the motions without a hint of detectable shame. Which is, of course, the greatest insult in the face of all our caring. This team full of captains (you should count) has found a way to collectively disgrace the proud tradition of those who came before them and made Everton what it is. Their initial looks of dejection early in the season has turned mostly to looks of indifference. There is nothing that aggravates a soul more than when passionate investment is met with persistent indifference. In short, if I’m in pain, they better damn well be, too. At least a LITTLE bit, right?

In a world where many of us look to the club as a light in an increasingly dark geopolitical and social hellscape, seeing another set of ultra wealthy men enrich themselves further off the backs of our collective misery—especially while representing something that is greater than merely a sport to so many of us—stings even more. I learned a long time ago that in sport, no team or set of fans deserve an outcome. We simply demand that in exchange for our support financially, emotionally, etc that we get maximum effort on the pitch and at least a general sense that those wearing a shirt that means the world to us hurt even a fraction as much as we do when things don’t go our way. It’s a relatively simple and straightforward social contract that isn’t unique to Everton and Evertonians, but one that is absolutely sacred to us. Our motto is our standard is all about expecting elite effort and investment of the collective to the best of their ability in striving for excellence. It sounds lofty but ultimately, it’s about giving a shit and acting accordingly. Well somewhere along the way in recent years, that contract has been broken by the club, its management, ownership, and players. And so here we are.

We as supporters will of course support. The hand we’ve been dealt in the form of Everton may be a bad one at the moment, but there’s no giving cards back. It’s an odd thing, the whole “being chosen by Everton” thing. Unlike almost any other interest in my life that I could see myself walking away from when the cost benefit analysis becomes unfavorable, the idea of walking away from Everton feels about as feasible as walking away without my head. I wish I’d known that before getting into this, but alas there will always be the things that infect our soul in unchanging ways. So I imagine we will learn a lot about our supporters during these tough days ahead—including who the actual supporters are, I suppose. Because anyone claiming they can’t support a club with Sam Allardyce in charge (yes, even him) isn’t a real supporter anyway and they’re probably reading this and wondering what sort of mania could befall a guy living in Oklahoma over an English football team anyway. I get it. “Show me on the doll where Everton touched you,” is about how I’m feeling at the moment, but I am touched nonetheless and once Everton has touched you, blah, blah, blah.

But the story of Everton—our story with Everton—started before we were here and will end long after we’re dead or when a certain orange sherbet-y megalomaniac nukes us all into oblivion, whichever comes first. We all are tasked with carrying our share load a bit farther in this story with each passing season and there have been some who have seen the highest highs and many of you reading this for whom those highs are relegated to books, recollections, and low definition video. And that is just the way it is. We will endure. This is the family we’ve chosen. And family is everything. Especially this one. Because if it wasn’t, we’d be able to move on like reasonable people. Reason and Everton have an awkward relationship anyway, so I’ve given up questioning it. I’m done predicting brighter days ahead. Who really knows? For now we’ll step forward together and stare the battle for survival right in the eye. Even with Sam Allardyce. Because we must.

Southampton v Everton Preview


Everton are shite.

Tough to generate motivation to scribble a preview but maybe if I use that as a start and end point I’ll manage to fill a few paragraphs in between.

it may have been a dead rubber game but it was yet another demonstration of the toffees’ ability to pain the fanbase by getting twatted 5-1 at home. And so a month passes without a manager. Tune into Talksport to find out comes next in this particularly intolerable episode of Fuck Off Everton.

From the moment Michael Keane played really shite British Bulldog for their first you knew the spongy Everton backbone would yield another bucket of horrors upon your spectating displeasure.

It’s tiring. So fucking tiring even contemplating Everton right now, never mind watching them with any degree of enthusiasm. I can remember too well 1994 and when you look back at it in half cut reminiscence there were many contributing factors to our demise. You know what I remember in retrospect though? Apathy. A build up and onset of apathy for months/seasons prior. Extending sympathy for all of us who had to suffer meek shithouse Evertons sleepwalking into easy defeats. Not being arsed became normality after a while as many developed apathy as a survival mechanism over their preferred weekend pastime. Everton had gone from winning titles to probable relegation in just 7 years. The shock of the WImbledon game and how close we can woke a lot of us up, and attendances went up not long after. The extra stand helped like but don’t spoil my fucking narrative here.

There’s building apathy right now between fan and team, fan and club. Not that I’m gonna go into a monologue about being der greatest fans in der werld, but there’s been a scrutiny at Everton of those wearing the shirt that for the most part ensures at least effort and putting a foot in. Apathy erodes that.

So is it as bad at the mid nineties? We’ve better players but that same brittle confidence, inability to score and also to keep clean sheets. The Atalanta game being the 19th game in a row we’ve conceded in a game. Fuck knows where I’m heading here but my point is whatever Moshiri and co do next is dead important. I’m apathetically petrified of this fucking team, if that’s possible.

The bit where you condescend the younger generation by telling them “you should have lived through the 90s lad” is now vacant. Fuck they’re experiencing it in full glorious colourvision right now. Maybe like me you’ve seen Everton win stuff. Imagine David Moyes or Martinez’s first season being your peak Everton?

It’s meant to be a preview so it’s only right to look at who we’re playing and offer some searing insight. Southampton are scruffy cringeworthy south coast lad bible bellends. In the faux partisanship of the modern Premier League they are few that I pity more than these toe curling oiks.

LOL LOOK HOW MUCH HE CARES THO. No mate, you’re nothing more than footballing flotsam, drifting in and out of our fixture list. It’s just that your fans contain the highest concentration of texans I’ve ever come across. I can’t allow the aforementioned apathy to override any temptation I have to point it out.

I’m sure there’s someone better versed than me to identify the reason why Southampton make me cringe so much. Perhaps it’s being from a deep south nondescript grey civic town that is paranoid it can smell French in the air so it reacts strongly by over pinning its identity to INGERLAND & PROUD. And with it all the distasteful elements including dressing in chainmail during World Cups, “getting Tommy Robinson” and wearing gold necklaces outside their shirts down the pub. It should come as no surprise that Southampton voted for both Brexit and for a Tory government.

Considering this and their irrelevant existence, completely devoid of culture or charisma, they’re in may ways the antithesis of Merseyside. It is somewhat amusing to see displays of saltiness over their lucrative cruise ship business being lured away by Liverpool. The simple question for anyone British or even more so foreign would be “why the fuck would you want to visit Southampton?” – clear determining factor at play here.

For some mad fucking reason their fans are incapable of watching a game without treating it like they’re being auditioned by CCTV for a walk in part in any further TV series by Danny Dwyer on football. There’s an amazing amount of pent up “banter” and passive aggression. Except, they’re from fucking Southampton, so there’s absolutely no authenticity in it. They get buzzed off because we see them, and their perfect caricature of deep south England.

Hope they can change their ways. In the meantime we will effortlessly take any manager we like from them, and fire them at will when they can’t handle the step up to Everton. Even when we’re in the Championship next season.

A list of some of their players:

Austin – looks like every third “lad” arriving on Mathew Street for a stag do on Friday. Ready for ‘jaegers and banter”. Read that as “syphilis and a twatting from an irritable doorman”.

Gabbiadini – Southampton’s Jelavic, the silky cool slotting twat that I could love, for a while at least.

Long – will run all day for you in the manner that a dog chained in a kennel all week will embrace Ainsdale beach. He’s shite and looks like every second “lad” getting launched down the CCTV-less stairs somewhere on Mathew St on a Friday night while the rest of the stags look for him.

Tadic – viewed through the spectrum of I-noticed-him-twice-on-MOTD he looks quite ace and I’d have him for Everton.

Davis – a more Northern Irish looking man you’ll be hard to find.

Van Dijk – keeps deep space company with a hologram, a melancholic service mechanoid and the last known human alive – who also happens to be a scouser.

Forster – a modern Mary Shelley offering, the big near post prone shit twat.

They’ll beat us with absolute ease despite winning three games and scoring 9 goals all season.

It’s a possibility this is Unsworth’s last game in charge and judging by his comments there won’t be many that capitulated to Atlanta getting a look in for this game.

In our attack so many have done so little for impotence in blue than them jarg Pfizers you ordered online. Absent for sure will be our last great striking hope of Niasse who is suspended for making the most of that Scott Dann challenge last weekend. Fuck all we can do about it other than hope some other thing up front fancies making a run for saving Everton’s skin with their goals. We will love you long time if you do. Maybe that’s Ramirez who has a weird ability to make the difficult look comfortable, and a five yard pass layoff look complicated. Hope that goal does him good. Calvert-Lewin is a shoe in too. It isn’t working out for Rooney right now, perhaps maybe even never, so hope he’s ducked from the team for a bit.

Midfield is fucked. On paper there’s numerous combinations but none of them work. Not as fucked as our defence who are carry less assurance & confidence than a Zimbabwean regime change. Whatever the fuck Jordan Pickford has done to spite karma must be some real serious shit.

And that’s about the size of it really.

Everton are shite.

Crystal Palace v Everton Preview


Two weeks to savour a win feels real good. So good that it’s tempting to wish for one of them continental style winter breaks so we can dwell some more, and stave off the the adverse reaction Everton can bring to your weekends.

The obsession, perhaps fanaticism and intensity of which is between you and Everton man. Maybe you’re not that arsed, it’s a convenient weekend excuse to nab some time with your mates. Or a forced habit as it’s something you’ve always done and can’t, or won’t break, the cycle. Or – more likely – you’re one of them Russian spambots scanning this article and about to post a comment at the bottom about how much you earn per hour working from home, and a link to replicate this which installs jarg bad cookies, hijacks your identity and sells your retinas to Crimea all because you clicked on one of them tedious fucking fan wrote football articles to kill a moment or two while you have a turd.

Let me not stall that shit any further. It’s time for Everton whether you fucking like it or not.

Last game was a much needed win and – all things considered – fabulous comeback against Marco Silva’s Watford. Any manager that can shit a two goal lead to a genuinely atrocious Everton side has got something about him so after Marco we went, and subsequently got KB’d twice. Worse rejections were to come.

Time is ticking round as we stroll to nearly four weeks without a full time Everton manager. Being the hypocritical fuck I am I wrote a self aggrandising paragraph on how it shouldn’t be Unsworth a few weeks ago, but as time goes on who else is reasonably out there that you think we could get?

Rather than cry arse about something I don’t understand, or control, I’ll hastily move on with my arse keenly lodged on the non committal fence. Sometimes it’s quite alright to say “I don’t have a fucking clue about this mate”. I just hope we get an Everton manager who makes our weekends a happier place.

So back to the scene of our last away win. Can you remember January that well? Watched it from a hungover bed in Miami when it looked like Ronko’s superbloos were turning a real corner, hot on the heels of trashing Man City.

Of course Everton don’t work like that and progress is seldom a straight line, with sustained ascendancy usually halted by crushing disappointment. It means we find ourselves 10 months without an away win, without a manager and the ignominy of Sam Allardyce (told you worse was to come) turning us down. The fat lying fuck. Let there be no doubt this is a man who associates showing gratitude after a hearty meal by licking the plate – maintaining full eye contact with the host – and letting out a massive belch.

The fat bung soliciting sports science loving toad happened to be Manager of Crystal Palace when we won our last three points on the road that day in January. They’ve had 2 managers since with the man in the hotseat being Roy Hodgson, who holds the prestigious title of “Kopite Manager I’ve despised least in recent times”.

And it’s similar to Crystal Palace really. There’s not much to despise them for which is an increasing rarity in modern Premier League togger. Sure, if you study their crowd some of them think it’s a fucking carnival and there’s some elements of BANTER NATION LOL but on the whole they’re decent sorts. I could try and pick away an edge to hideously stereotype them in a poor light but it’s the right thing to give them a nod and save the malice for the irrelevant southern bellwipes of Southampton and West Ham in just over a week’s time.

Also there’s loads of credit in the bank with Palace for thanks to the Crystanbul thing and how much they took great delight in piss boiling the shitheads across the park.

Here’s a list of some of their players to keep the facade of it being an actual preview going:

Benteke – fit again and ready to assault our assorted shit centre halves with his back.

Zaha – faster than a reply to Trump on twitter, blows hot and cold, and was blowed by the West Ham Manager’s daughter allegedly.

Loftus-Cheek – plays for England.

Townsend – place a warm hen on his head and within a week loads of other shite little footballers will hatch and try scoring from 35 yards but missing.

Cabaye – *gets number 10 brain freeze*

Sakho – irritated the kopites by celebrating beating the shite whilst on loan from there.

Dann – The same thing we do every night Pinky, try to take over the world. Spit.

Speroni – how long has the bad pasta sounding shitehawk been around?

They’re bottom of the league in desperate need of points and eyeing up an insecure Everton with desperate ambition of getting three points. Like us against Watford really. We can’t let that happen, like fuck we can.

As for who Everton plays? I’m no ITK, compadre, but I’d be surprised if Niasse doesn’t start which is some achievement as ten weeks earlier we nearly offloaded him onto a desperate Palace until some fax machine fucked up. Let’s face it Rooney will be around there somewhere whether you like it or not. We’ve got a right wing so fucking dull that even Twitter wouldn’t blue tick it.

Sigurdsson was signed for the cutting edge of goals and ace set pieces which our players score from. Spreading the goals around lar. Yeah that’s worked out, but really unless the Icelandic lad wants crushing Everton notoriety then he needs to start winning us some points. Absolutely no idea of who the midfield combination will be in there with him, Davies and Gueye I reckon.

Can’t be arsed speaking about a defence that scares me. Pickford is sound though.

Win this and Everton are 10 points off the bottom of the table, lose and that gap shrinks to 4. What can I tell you that a Russian spambot can’t?

Right fucking into these blues.

Everton v Watford Preview


The lunatic is on the grass.

It’s ok though, international break is nearly here to save your weekends once more from the peril of Everton. The utter fucking shitehawks.

It’s also apparently the final game of Unsworth’s 4 game trial, the preceding 3 bringing defeats and two cup exits. Which was harsh timing on our generously-built-top-wool- as any pair of hands would have struggled.

But that’s your top flight football, baby. It’s a results business. Tough at the top. And all over fucking cliches you can think of, of which a few more will follow in a genuine dog’s turd of a preview to reflect accurately on this modern Everton team.

The Lyon and Leicester games accurately portrayed an Everton team devoid of backbone. As soon as a goal is conceded there would be a gigantic fork ran onto the pitch to poke out players one by one until death. There’s just nothing about them. They can’t keep clean sheets, they can’t score goals, and they can barely fight as a unit. It’s absolutely fucking terrifying that nearly £200m can be spent in one calendar year on a team to make them so pathetic.

To get to this particular crisis point has been a result of multiple failures, with Koeman paying the price but there have naturally been others. If they identify themselves as contributing to this shitstorm then they have some making up to do or a similar fate will follow them.

Because hankering for people in your sport’s team to lose their livelihood is so 2017. Our entitlement inflamed, we rate our perception so highly that we can critique a billion dollar business based on what we assume and gossip which may or may not be true.

The truth is that there is no club that has a right to evade relegation. That we’ve managed that successfully more than anyone else doesn’t mean it won’t come around to our door, as we witnessed in 1994 and 1997. With lots of blame flying around everyone and everything is easy game including at the fans ourselves. Fuck knows. I’d wager that the scrutinising nature of Evertonians and our almost fatalistic appreciation of the Greek tragedy that regularly consumes us works in both ways. But it is better noting that we are in deep fucking shit in October and doing something about it before it gets to an irreparable state. And if the dam breaks open many years too soon, you know where I’ll see you.

Watford come to town enjoying a buoyant season under new manager Marco Silva, who naturally Everton are throwing the eyes at. There’s no way he will end up at Everton right now as he’s merely a matter of months into a new job and there’s too much tangible risk in taking this Everton job for a swanky foreign who has designs on an elevatory career path. We’re not the lily pad you want to step on right now if you’re striving to make the fresh meadows on the other side.

I’d usually try and find some sort of unfair angle with a stereotype on the opposition right now but Everton are sucking all of my powers of despisement towards themselves rather than who were playing. There’s plenty to like about Watford as a club too, not least them running out to Z cars and being a club that proudly represents a parochial working class support.

Yes it is indeed true that the likes of Watford, Luton, Northampton and all those shite towns in wool-London are a breeding ground for Tommy Robinson types. It is also true that there is fervent England support and the type of poolside behaviour in your Canary Island hotel that affirms your shameful opinion on nondescript shit southern town inhabitants. People from Watford go to Tenerife rather than Lanzarote. You know that type. They’re sat in Linekers bar with hideous tattoos and red shoulders at 11.24am trying to create banter with the barman, who smiles pleasantly while zeroing in on his plans to seduce their 18 year old daugher.

There’s Watford there with three lions swim shorts and Reebok Classics beating a path down the sea front trying to build rapport with the lucky lucky men by altering his accent to a cringey Jamaican patois – despite the lucky lucky men being from west coast Africa. “Grassy arse” to the the Moroccans serving him that most traditional Spanish cuisine of club sandwich and fries. The soft bell can’t wait to tell anyone sat next to him that he’s self employed, as he fits a few carpets every month.

There’s fucking Watford on a jetski thinking he’s in a Miami Vice cutscene. Kicking a cockroach on the half volley in front of the kids and screaming LUTHER BLISSETT GOOOOOOOL as he runs down Los Cristianos high street with his shirt over his head, not giving a fuck that he is disturbing other people’s senses visually, audibly and their sense of smell on account of being drenched in jarg Calvin Klein Eternity that he haggled for 4 euros earlier that day. The same scent that comes from a group of Spanish students pissing into the vat knowing some poor sunseeker is gonna splash it all over his neck and think he’s sound.

There’s Watford, the acute minority who creates the stereotype for all the really sound normal British folk who fancy a quick week in the sun and to appreciate different sights, sounds and foreign culture. But we’re not doing stereotypes as Everton are shit.

Here’s some of their players:

Deeney – not playing because he strangled Joe Allen and perhaps because he looks like a big ET headed biff who is still cutting his milk teeth.

Richarlison – I never know about this lad until 3 mins ago reading some media previews so I can pretend I know anything about other teams. He’ll score a brace and no mistake.

Cleverley – tell yer fat dar who abused him mercilessly as some sort of paranoid devious Martinez plot that I hope Tom absolutely fucks us. His taunting celebration in front of the Lower Bullens prompting yer dar to fuck us right off and go and support whoever Lukaku is playing, the bitter arl fuck.

You know what, I’ve just searched unsuccessfully for Watford players in the past few minutes and apart from two above I don’t know any of them. They’ve loads of names of players that sound like Pro Evo before an option file update. And despite that they’ll still beat us with ease.

So who will they be beating? Rooney was rested so will start. Where and how deep he plays will be for you to lament and moan at. Calvert-Lewin may get another chance to twat his confidence or maybe Niasse rested too midweek may get a go. I’d like to see Vlasic in the mix somewhere as at least he affects the game.

I once loved Schneiderlin and although a brief love it was intense and now I feel dirty and used. Because of that expect more from Gueye, Davies and co in the middle. On current viewing the first name should be Baningime but only David Unsworth has the answers.

I don’t care who’s at the back I just wanted them to stop conceding goals. Pickford is sound so imagine how fuming we are gonna be losing him next season as we’re relegated like Sunderland were.

The preview is absent of manager chat as I genuinely don’t have a fucking clue who I’d want. Just some form of leader who makes an impact and isn’t scared of ruffling feathers of the established staff to sort what seems like a permanent malaise out. Francis Underwood isn’t available right now so I’ll leave that in the hands of those who run the club and have their money invested in it.

So this out the way and then two beautiful weeks without an Everton performance troubling your mood. You lock the door and throw away the key. There’s someone in my head but it’s not me.

See you there.

His Own Devices


Amid the post-Koeman maelstrom, a host of names have been thrown into an unlikely melange of potential successors. In this bizarre waiting room, Paulo Fonseca is rubbing shoulders with Duncan Ferguson, Sean Dyche sees himself as a challenger to Carlo Ancelotti, and the bookies can’t see Thomas Tuchel having the edge over Sam Allardyce. It’s perhaps an excellent allegory of where Everton are right now – a heady mix of wild ambition and the creeping terror of being rooted in the bottom three. In the middle of it all is a man who sees himself as the one who can take Everton to where they want to be.

David Unsworth is an enigma to those with little interest in Everton, perhaps even a complete unknown. He played for Everton, famously got cold feet after moving to Aston Villa, and then played for Everton some more before entering coaching. He’s just another caretaker, hoping to be another Craig Shakespeare, when the Leicester boss’ recent sacking is enough of a cautionary tale. That would be a huge disservice to the stand-in Blues boss, who has become an excellent coach in his own right. That is how he is known by Evertonians; the positive, highly respected coach of a title-winning Under 23s side. His role in nurturing Everton’s top young talent is such that the main argument against offering Unsworth the job full-time is that it would be a shame to derail a hugely successful youth operation for what is ostensibly a major gamble.

The man who scored the first goal of David Moyes’ 11-year stint at the Everton helm has so far featured three times in the dugout. A 3-0 win over Norwich followed Roberto Martinez’s sacking in 2015, his post-Koeman spell began with a 2-1 defeat to Chelsea in midweek, and this weekend saw a dismal defeat against Leicester. In the first two, the players looked more willing to fight, and more dangerous going forward. Comparatively speaking, that is. The third could be put down to the remnants of the former manager’s incompetence – a handy excuse.

Being a caretaker manager is a double-edged sword. The first point of comparison is to a manager who has performed so poorly that they have lost their job, which sets the bar pretty low. Unsworth received plenty of praise for the way Everton set up on Tuesday, almost to the extent that some seemed to forget Everton had lost, and had subsequently missed yet another chance of a cup run. The Blues stand-in will not be given any breaks, should he assume the role permanently. The problem for the board is that his quality is hard to gauge now, when anything more than the lifeless, disorganised showings seen too often at the end of Koeman’s reign is considered some sort of success.

This being Everton, a club that cares deeply for both its history and geographical roots, there is a unique pressure for those with a close connection to the fanbase. Though Chorley-born, Unsworth started in the Everton youth system, appearing in the famous royal blue for the first time 25 years ago. Therefore, he is ‘one of us’, the subject of both an especially burning desire to do well, but also a more intense fan focus. You only have to ask Ross Barkley what that’s like. It is well-documented that every one of Everton’s post-war trophies have been won by former players – Harry Catterick, Howard Kendall and Joe Royle. Unsworth does not have the same sort of pressure as Colin Harvey, who was tasked with holding things together as Kendall’s empire crumbled, but invariably he will be lumped in with the men who have delivered Everton’s greatest triumphs.

For the wider world, Unsworth would join the list of managers given an extended stay after acting as caretaker, a club in which Nigel Adkins is considered a success story. The expectation is that such a move rarely works out. Some are simply not allowed to take the spotlight. See Sammy Lee, skulking in many a manager’s shadow; Terry Connor, due to be buried alongside Mick McCarthy a la Smithers and Burns; and Joe Jordan, whose dread at being rejected for the Scotland job and instead act as Harry Redknapp’s number two must grow with every passing day. He will struggle to ever shake off that tag.

David Unsworth, should he be appointed, will have the chance to forge his own path as Everton manager. He is already known to be a good motivator, and will undoubtedly keep the faith with his young charges from the U23s, but how he sets up tactically and what choices he makes in the transfer window are yet to be seen. The best gift those involved in Everton can give him is exemption from needless comparison. Unsworth, an ambitious man, will not consider doing better than Ronald Koeman in his last few months to be a success. He does also not need his achievements to be stacked against those of bona fide Everton legends. Football boils down to results, and results will decide if Unsworth is worthy of taking on the mantle of leadership on a full-time basis. Everton are currently battling to retain Premier League status, so there is no time for Unsworth to get his bearings. The pressure is on, and the only measure of success is the points tally. No matter the manager, they are only as good as the results they achieve.

Leicester City v Everton Preview


Everton’s final game of October sees them in the relegation zone and with an interim manager. I’d say ‘imagine that’ but chances are you’re an Evertonian reading this so you can very well imagine it due to our propensity for painfully shitting it.

As with all new managers, temporary and permanent, you get a load of lids watching the game and over analyzing for desperate signs of either hope or doom. But since it’s Unsworth and he’s a well liked Everton man it was mostly scouring for signs of hope and salvation in the form of a spirited defeat away to Chelsea.

Shit stands though that we exited our easiest pop at a trophy we’ve never won in 22 years. Context is key so it was a much more committed start and away to the current English champions but, you know what, I’m still gutted we haven’t won a trophy for so long. This time in a few days the Europa League daydream may be popped too.

This sequence of games is Unsworth’s chance to put himself in the spotlight and he’s going about it in the right way off the pitch but talking up how Everton should play and not patting us on the head, before going home to stroke in a most methodical manner over all his old goals for Barcelona, as perhaps others did.

But nice Everton words only buy some temporary goodwill, it’s the results and to some degree the performances that will placate an increasingly frustrated fanbase. A fanbase energised by new ownership and urging smashing of previously tolerated glass ceilings. To move in that sort of company and stick there takes a lot of money, some time and cajones on a manager and player to compete and show they belong there. Here’s hoping. Just as I’ve been hoping for a few decades now.

Sound’s like a negative opening to a preview when there’s a spark of hope amongst my beloved fellow blues but while we’re sweating it away down in the bottom three you’ll have to excuse my anxiety. I was at the Wimbledon game, the Coventry one too, and I don’t want any more of that shit. Especially when merely ten weeks ago we were bouncing on the back of spending more money on new players than ever before and looking up the table, not down. Instability and flux are the the fatal foes of many a top flight team.

Leicester are a week or two ahead of us after sacking their internal-interim-manager-made-permanent after only a few months in the job. An indicator that the current Premier League is no easy cutting ground for managerial teeth. To improve things Leicester has taken Claude Puel – Koeman’s successor – who himself was fired after just one season on the south coast. Puel looks as though someone has pulled a plug under the skin between his eyes, and his entire face is being sucked down the drain.

Anyway plenty speak well of Puel and his French teams so maybe he has it in him to plunder Leicester what they expect. Or maybe Leicester have had their wonderful moment in the sun and are now in the process of returning to being, well, Leicester.

Excuse me for the moment but I can hear someone playing Spin Doctors’ Two Princes so I need to find the source and eliminate it.


What about the Leicester fans? I’m not much of a fan to be honest. There’s too much ‘rugby crowd’ about them. Genuinely no one gives a fuck about Leicester now except in Thailand where the questionable human rights fucks who own them have sold it as their own personal achievement winning the Premier League. When’s the next civil uprising coming? Can’t wait, go after them. And them knobheads in Chang who I had to endure as my match day pint for too long.

There’s an inherent dullness around many of their fans who are too casual about their footie knowledge, many of them piggybacking onto Leicester’s fluke from their other weekend pursuits of following “the rugger”, shite tattoo art and hunting badgers of a night time in their mate’s jeep the shithouse fucks. They support England avidly in Leicester. Did anyone tell you they found a king buried under one of their car parks? Well they did, because it’s only the second thing that’s ever happened in Leicester in 700 years of documented history. They’re so nondescript – the brogues and jeans wearing shitheads – that half the world can’t even pronounce the name of where they’re from. Try asking an American to say the word Leicester and watch as their tongue and mouth muscles have a full fucking breakdown.

Anyway a list of some of their players:

Vardy – the little racist fruit bat looking shitehawk. A face that could cut easily through a category 4 hurricane with ease. Fucking hurt him Everton.

Mahrez – ace player but a tithead.

Okazaki – really good player, like him a lot. Hard working skillful forward who doesn’t give any backline a moment to breathe. Takeshi’s hassle, if you will.

Ndidi – Nigerian midfielder who sounds like two scouse girls having a moan in Costa Coffee.

Fuchs – Austrian defender who sounds like two scouse lads having a moan in Wetherspoons.

Maguire – what an unfortunate looking bastard. Looks like Joey Barton would, if he had a peanut allergy and ate 14 Snickers a day, the porky biff faced twat.

Can’t be arsed with the rest of them. Let’s briefly chat Everton.

Seems that Unsworth set out his stall in what he likes in his Everton team which includes the welcome advent of width. So it wouldn’t be a surprise to see that width retained in either Lennon and Mirallas again, or Lookman & Vlasic if he wants to put some fresh legs in. We need to chat about Rooney playing as a centre forward. Stop that shit. His future in the Everton team is further back, which will cause some fun balancing that and the plethora of underperforming attacking midfielders we’ve got. He’s not everyone’s cup of tea but Calvert-Lewin has at least a presence up front through work rate and headers, even if he hasn’t worked out Premier League scoring as of yet. Hopefully that bit will come as there’s a good striker in there.

Gueye is signing a new contract which should be some relief to him as the likes of Davies and Baningime are going to push for midfield places if evidence thus far is anything to go off. McCarthy came back in and lasted an hour so let’s see if he’s deemed fit for this. Not sure is Schneiderlin is recovered from whatever affliction struck him down, but probably good for him to sit a few games out until his debilitating Honeymoon Flu passes over.

Experience was preferred at the back in Jagielka and Williams, there’s a £25m man in Michael Keane knocking around so maybe things will be rotated somewhat, or not. Baines and Kenny will likely be full backs and Pickford in goal.

Considering Leicester’s position in the league it’s as close to a six pointer in October as you can get. You’d think they’ll be desperate to get their new manager off to a good start, as David Unsworth once assisted a new manager of his own by scoring after just 30 seconds.

Anyway that’s everything that’s stored up in my head right now so I’ll bring this to a close.

Marry him, or marry me.

It’s a Fickle Game


One of the first truly “English” English words I learned in the early days of my existence within the weird and wacky world of Everton Twitter was “bin”—a word that in American English is used as a noun but is used primarily by the majority of you, my sweet handsome readers, as a verb. Though I see it used in all kinds of ways. “Bin him off!” “Get in the bin!” Whatever, as an American I probably only still grasp the particular nuances of your use of the English language at about a 70% rate—even after all this time. I’m still only SLIGHTLY sure I could use “arse” or “blag” or “jarg” appropriately in a sentence. Luckily for me, I probably won’t ever be in a position where I need to use these words correctly because I don’t talk like the majority of you do and pretending to do so would only make me a phony. Besides, even if I don’t understand all your words, I love how you all sound like the Beatles to me. Each and every one of you scousers possess the voices of angels. Seriously, the girls over here dig it. You’re welcome.

So based on my best contextual understanding, to bin is to get rid of, sure. But used in the context of football, it feels like it goes beyond that and is utilized to dismiss/marginalize the current or even potential value of a player’s contributions. Which on the surface is fine. Hey, some players absolutely deserve to be binned.

Many of us—and I’m sure it’s not limited to Evertonians—have an itchy trigger finger when it comes to binning players. As horny as we are for significant financial outlay for player acquisition, we are often equally as amorous when it comes to dismissing them if they don’t almost immediately deliver. Sure, we give lip service to the idea that new players need the time to “bed in”, but we go from asking why Sandro (a player we almost universally lusted after over the summer) ONLY signed a four year deal to declaring that he’s got a big bag of nothing within a matter of a handful of appearances. But hey, that’s the luxury of being supporters with a voice on social media who aren’t actually spending the money in fees and salary for these guys. Snap judgements—regardless of their perceived merit—aren’t disappearing from the online world anytime soon. It goes with the territory of fandom in the 21st century and I certainly won’t fight it.

Which brings me to the matter of how those actually tasked with dealing in the tangible realities of our club on a day to day basis are charged with operating—namely those in the position to determine the next permanent Everton manager as well as the current man on the hot seat himself, David Unsworth.

Right now, there’s a lot that is unknown in regards to whether or not Unsworth is a serious candidate to be the full-time replacement for Ronald Koeman. How many games will he get? What’s the points threshold to extend his caretaker tenure and how much should said tenure even be extended? If we win the next three games does he get until the end of the season, the end of the festive period? Who knows? Not me.

But thus far in the discussion of David Unsworth’s merits as a managerial candidate, much of the focus has rightly been on his refreshingly clear and upbeat approach that has been simply focused on results. As Unsworth put it, the club needs a “winning manager” and if he wins, the rest will likely take care of itself. In a bottom line business, that logic seems straightforward enough and considering the club’s current position in the table, it really ought to be the primary focus at the moment. However, if Unsworth is able to string together some results, get us out of the drop zone and thus extend his audition a bit longer, the criteria for evaluating his long term viability as the permanent manager of a club with greater ambitions than are currently being realized becomes more nuanced.

Questions have fairly been asked about Unsworth’s lack of first team management experience which becomes especially pronounced when considering that few of us would consider the Everton job to be an entry level position into such an arena. Subsequent questions surrounding his ability to attract elite outside talent to the club are also fair and generally fall into the bucket of unknowns that can’t be addressed at this early stage of things. Yet Unsworth also has some clear points in his favor. He’s got an excellent track record of instilling high level effort, playing a particular style/brand of pressing football (even if there’s a lot of practical formational variability) and ultimately developing young talent–all great traits for any aspiring young manager. And yes, it goes without saying that his roots within the club itself and his accompanying understanding of its culture and supporters has and will continue to serve him well.

Yet for all the attributes and factors articulated above that have been discussed at length by many of us since Koeman’s departure, I’d like to throw in another essential criteria for the permanent manager of Everton Football Club that has been a bit less discussed: The ability to restore and/or elevate the first team players he’s inherited.

Which brings us back to the subject of binning—a tradition that is much a part of our DNA as Everton supporters as gun violence is to my fellow Americans in general. There will always be a faction that condemns it, but it isn’t ever going away. And this is something that happens in every sport and in every fan base. Player arrives and signs contract. Player proceeds to underwhelm. Fan base proceeds to advocate getting rid/benching/shipping away as soon as is humanly possible/passionately advocating first team role for teenager from the U-23s whose YouTube highlights give us the tickle. You guys would not believe how many SUPER EASY solutions there are to be found online to the problem of players you no longer have a use for. Unfortunately, the complexities of budget and finance and the overall big business of modern sport generally dictate that those who actually run professional clubs/sports franchises don’t have the luxury to simply cut bait on a whim—especially when a player or players’ acquisition(s) required a significant outlay in the form of financial and/or other types of limited resources. There’s no bigger “spending other’s money” bit on Everton Twitter like our demands for ownership to show “ambition” and spend money to bring in new faces and our subsequent willingness to quite quickly write said faces off as failures who can’t be any good for our team. Now you may not be convinced by the likes of Sigurdsson and Klaassen (the poor balding Dutch bastard) and Sandro and Schneiderlin. But we’ve gone from being heavily invested emotionally in these moves as supporters to being willing to ditch them after a few months despite the fact that they floundered under a manager that had completely mishandled them in terms of easing their transition to the club—namely in his failure to provide them with defined roles (a purported strength of Unsworth). It is our divine right as Evertonians to label a player as a failure who ought never to see the pitch again in a blue shirt, but it is rarely a viable option for the people tasked with the actual work at the club to execute such a whim in reality.

So if you think that David Unsworth can simply banish ALL of the underperformers like Schneiderlin, Sigurdsson, Klaassen, Sandro, and Keane into oblivion forever, you’re being willfully ignorant of the financial realities of the big business of modern football that all managers in the top leagues face. Ronald Koeman lost his job because he wasn’t getting results. Bottom line, sure. But he wasn’t getting results because he wasn’t able to get the best out of the big money players that he ultimately signed off on. Farhad Moshiri didn’t get rich by squandering his resources and making poor investment decisions. There’s an implicit expectation that—fairly or unfairly—a manager in his employ will be able to make his big money investments pay off on the pitch. And while Unsworth may not have picked or approved of the acquisition of these particular players, the club’s obligations to them didn’t simply disappear because Koeman was let go. We’ve got more money now as a club than ever, but we didn’t get SO much more money with Moshiri’s arrival that we can simply write off players we’ve only recently invested big money into. We don’t have the bottomless well of cash that City or Chelsea or United have. Even if you think these new arrivals have been bad (which you can definitely argue), the reality is that the owner just spent a giant chunk of his change on them. If Unsworth can’t advance the cause of getting the best out of these players (or at the very least those with strong Premier League track records), is he the manager we need in the long term? I wouldn’t be particularly convinced—especially considering that we’ve seen many of these players perform at a high level prior to their arrival.

Personally, I’d like to see Unsworth get some time to prove himself, of course. I’m rooting for him to steady the ship and if we start winning he should probably be given the rest of the season to show the hierarchy and the supporters what he’s capable of on a more holistic level. But if he is given more time, he simply has to get the best out of the talent at his disposal—including the talent that you may have no more patience for, but talent that came at a significant cost in time, effort, and cold hard cash from the primary shareholder. It’s great to be able to develop teenagers into first team players. But Unsworth has got to also be able to elevate talented senior players into consistent performers. Everton simply can’t afford for him not to.

There isn’t a magic “return to sender” button for these players—especially not in the short term. And while improving and elevating the players brought in will be critical for Everton’s success in the short term, it’ll also be a quality that will be vital for Unsworth or any permanent manager to have in order to make Everton an attractive destination to up and coming and established talent around the world in the long term. The clubs we hope to emulate—namely a club like Spurs—do a great job striking the balance between internal youth development and the integration of first team imports from both the Premier League AND foreign leagues. The likelihood of success for such a comprehensive model starts from the top down of course, but the execution of such a philosophy successfully on the pitch is largely down to the abilities of the manager. Mauricio Pochettino by all accounts possesses the developmental and motivational qualities that we’re so fond of in Unsworth. But he also possesses the ability to elevate good players acquired from other clubs into his squad. And while there will inevitably be roster turnover that may result in some of the aforementioned Koeman acquisitions ultimately moving on, the idea that all of them will easily be off the books in a window or two is simply not feasible. Steve Walsh has a job to do, but the idea that he has to effectively delete two windows of work completely from his ledger to move forward is an unreasonable ask at this stage.

So in acknowledging that reality, Everton under Unsworth or whomever the new manager may be simply must do what Koeman could not during his tenure—produce results by utilizing the talent at their disposal. This is a young man’s game and contributions from young talent will be key. But the ability of the manager to restore the output from veteran players will be the most decisive factor in regards to the ultimate fortunes of the club moving forward. I’m happy with my comfortable seat where I can bin all day and all night and so hard and so good until I can’t bin anymore. But after these early nightmarish days of the 2017-18 season, I’m ready for those at the club to embrace the reality of the conditions as they are. Only then can they move this project we love to hate because we love it so much that we sometimes hate ourselves for it called Everton forward. And I think there’s a viable path forward to a destination befitting our club. Look at me. Binning pessimism for a change.

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