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COLM'S CORNER, #68


Colm Kavanagh has been silent for much of the past month...
But you knew it was too good to last!

 

 NOT LEE FLIPPIN' CARSLEY!

 

Say it ain't so!

I'd love to share the same conviction of other Blues who reckon we've nothing unduly to worry about over the coming weeks with regards to our ever-increasing frailty as a Premiership side.  I mean, hasn't Walter Smith OBE (please!) assembled arguably the finest squad in years?  

I can't remember the last time we could lay claim to being genuine contenders at any stage of the season but nowadays we are fast becoming another Southampton or another Coventry City seemingly content with a regular dosage of shite and preservation (just about) as a so-called top-flight side.  

I might be wrong but I guess that, in general, there's a degree of apathy amongst Evertonians and a degree of contentment that (as ever) there are at least three worse sides than ourselves occupying lower league positions.  Well, I wouldn't be so sure on that count though this year!  A pitiful return of three league wins in the last three months (all at home) surely cannot inspire the greatest of confidence in even the most blindingly optimistic Evertonian.  We are now neck deep in it.  

Again.  Yet again.

But it is something we've become accustomed to under Smith's tenure.  If you seriously think we've improved as a team under Smith, then I suggest a trip to the local optician should rate high on your personal agenda in the coming weeks....

On the off-chance that you reckon all isn't as bad as it appears then you just may have noticed that we have now been beaten and overtaken by a team most had already consigned to relegation not so long ago.  They have PLAYED their way out of trouble, scoring freely and regaining the sort of form that caught the Premiership napping last year.  

Man for man, you'll find most Evertonians will argue that we've a better bunch of players at our disposal but I find that not to be the case.  I think we're on the verge of having little or nothing else to offer (bar prayer!) as, one by one, the family silver has been flogged and now we're left with the remnants of a once-great Club.  

In its own way it's laughable to see Evertonians delude themselves into thinking we're witnessing an Indian summer with Paul Gascoigne our midfield inspiration.  Bugger me, if we're relying on Paul Gascoigne to inspire us to safety, then don yer tin hat because it's a rough ride ahead....  It's one thing looking good against a side with one eye on relegation to non-league football but, in the bread and butter of Premiership football, Paul Gascoigne's well past his sell-by date.  Sorry to be harsh but that's how I view Mr Gascoigne these days. Why, even a dreadful Carlisle United managed to score more against Leyton Orient than we did!

There's something admirable about the manner in which Ipswich appear to be extracting themselves from trouble.  They've retained their faith by the looks of things in playing or at least trying to the game in what we Evertonians would once call "the proper way".  What's it now?  Eight wins out of nine?  Something like that anyway. We could only ever dream of such a run with our lot, sad to say. 

As ever, we are way way too negative a side to produce such results.  And, for all the off-field problems that remain a constant at Everton, I shall forever point a finger at the present management who persists with their wonderful array of tactics and selections.  I just simply love the way we can afford to fuck off Gravesen to God knows where and replace him with a journeyman pro such as Lee Carsley.... I don't believe I'm even writing his lamentable name in connection with the Royal Blue but that is an indication of how low we have sunken.

We're crying out for goals and scratching our collective heads thinking about how we're going to get them, and from what source.  I don't think that at present there's much ground for optimism with our lot so we really do need someone in (short term?) to either supply or be on the end of rare Everton creative moves.  Lee Carsley yer only man?  Stop laughin'!  

He's only being considered due to the fact that Walter's holding personal grudges with Gravesen.  I'd rather see Smith paying less for the likes of Rob Lee at Newcastle who I hear is available for somewhere in the region of 250,000.  Cheaper than a journeyman like Carsley and most definitely a better option as a creative 'force'.

But then again, what would Walter know about fashioning a side that vaguely knew anything about creative football?  He may indeed be one of the game's nice guys but our football reflects the real nature of the man and that's dour!  

Four years on and we're getting nearer and nearer to that trap door.  I just hope for all our sakes that we do indeed get to kick off a centenary season in the top flight Club next term...  Right now, that's all in the melting pot and a kick of a ball either way will decide.

Colm Kavanagh
3 February 2002