Well, after a run of abject depression and misery which saw us fall faster than Maggie Thatcher’s face, League Cup action provided a welcome boost and a collector’s item, an Oumar Niasse goal at Goodison. And what a finish it was too, fully deserved after everything he’s had to put up with since he joined. He was written off, ridiculed, not even given an opportunity or a locker, yet despite all that he never once complained, he just got on with it and took his chance when he was provided it. I hope as a result now he gets more opportunities in the games coming up.
Ronald Koeman put out a youthful side, so much so that the Sunderland team had more appearances for Everton combined (238) than ours (230). James Vaughan, Darron Gibson and Jack Rodwell all returned as the ghosts from Moyes era past all came back to Goodison. Bryan Oviedo was on the bench, as was Callum McManaman. Phil Neville’s backpass anyone? Sorry, he’s trying to be more sophisticated now these days isn’t he? I meant Phillip. The grass. Of course this was mainly down to our old mate David Moyes turning back the clock in true Back to the Future style last season to turn Sunderland into our Rejects XI.
“Well if it worked in 2009 why can’t it now?”, his demeanour, excuses, scouting and tactics last season all screamed. “My ‘we’re skint so don’t expect very much’ act tugged at Billy Kenwright’s heartstrings for 11 years so why change tact now”, he decided. Bill probably thought every board meeting was an Oliver! audition. Unfortunately for him he didn’t seem to realise that it was 2017 and Wearside had tougher crowds. Poor Moyesy, Man Utd ruined him. What if he had allowed Rio Ferdinand to have chips instead of banning them? Would he have been the Ginger Fergie? We’ll never know. He can never look at a bag of McCain’s without having severe Vietnam flashbacks now so I’m told. Clearly Simon Grayson must’ve been overcome by that stench of dour pessimism and honourable failure he left behind as he’s carried on the “buy Everton rejects” policy. Must be a Preston thing.
God that section was as pointless and aimless as Mo Besic’s hospital passes wasn’t it? Anyway what was clear was that we looked a lot more threatening going forward and created much more when we had pace in the side. Dominic Calvert-Lewin scored twice and both were well taken. He’s definitely staking a claim to be our main starting striker with Koeman saying in his post match press conference that he gives us “a lot of possibilities”. It was announced too this week that he will be on the shortlist for the European Golden Boy this year alongside the likes of Dembele and Mbappe. If he were to win he’d be in esteemed company with Messi, Aguero, Rooney and er, Anderson. Good luck to him.
I was impressed with Nikola Vlasic too, he’s looking like a great piece of business for £10m, hopefully we see him getting some starts in the run of games ahead. Tom Davies was as energetic as ever and ran the show in midfield, you honestly wouldn’t think watching him that he’s 19, he plays like he’s been around for 10 years. It was also nice to see Jonjoe Kenny get a start at last and he did well as did Mason Holgate. The only negative? Chelsea away in the next round. Oh great. Never liked the League Cup anyway. Apparently that Pinocchio faced gobshite Phil Thompson did the draw so we shouldn’t be surprised. Ah well, there’s always the FA Cup isn’t there?
So onto Bournemouth then. They’ve conveniently found form just as they were about to play us having lost the first 4 games of the season. Having took them from League 2 to the top half of the Premier League last season Eddie Howe has done an excellent job. They play football the right way and are good to watch. He’s also an Evertonian too, which means that for as long as that old luvvie Bill still has influence he’ll always be a suggestion for future manager. “Think of the romanticism Farhad, an Blue in charge of Everton”, he’d probably implore in desperation while Moshiri rattles off top European names.
Callum Wilson is still out for them with a knee injury but with Jermain Defoe up front you’ll always be a threat going forward. He’s 35 in October yet he’s still as clinical as ever. His pace means that he’ll cause a lot of problems for Ashley Williams I’m sure, can’t wait for that battle. Get your zimmer frame ready Ash, if you play. Hopefully not. On a more serious note though Defoe also won so much respect for the friendship he made with Bradley Lowery in his last months. That was by far the highlight of last season for me because it was so heartwarming to see what he did for him, the memories he created for him in his last days. Both us and Sunderland wore shirts with the logo of the Bradley Lowery Foundation on them on Wednesday and if anything the support both clubs gave him showed the best of football as everyone came together for a special boy who achieved so much in his short life.
Pointless stat time then. We haven’t lost 4 Premier League games in a row since January 2015, a phenomenal record that Bobby Martinez set back in the day. Expect goals too even though this month we couldn’t hit a barn door. 19 have been scored in the 4 league meetings between the two sides, an average of 5 a game. Speaking of Martinez who could forget that 3-3? We can laugh about it now but the levels of fume went off the scale in his last season didn’t it? Just think he’ll be managing in the World Cup next year. Rewarded for failure. Hope for us all yet then. The next few games coming up provide us the perfect chance to rebuild some momentum after a poor start. Hopefully we can kick start our season and climb back up the table. COYB.