James Rodriguez has been declared fit by Carlo Ancelotti and could play for the first time since his start against Arsenal three weeks ago
Everton are back at Goodison Park for the penultimate time this season knowing that a dramatic improvement in their home form could yet carry them into Europe.
In what looks likely to be the last match played inside an empty Old Lady before 6,500 Evertonians are welcomed back on Wednesday, the Blues take on the bottom club, Sheffield United, searching for their first win on their own turf since they triumphed over Southampton on 1 March.
That was the only time in 2021 that Everton have won at Goodison in the Premier League but back-to-back victories in the next four days should put them in a strong position heading into their final match at Manchester City on 23 May.
Given that abysmal home record, it would seem like a tall order for Carlo Ancelotti's men but they could not have asked for more favourable fixtures — against a Blades team already relegated and a Wolves side with nothing to play for but pride and their places in Nuno Espirito Santo's squad next season.
Sheffield United, still operating under the temporary stewardship of Paul Heckingbottom following the sacking of Chris Wilder, have won just five League games all season and just one in their last nine. They have been thumped 5-0 by Leicester, 3-0 by Arsenal and 4-0 by Tottenham in the past couple of months, scorelines that should be the yardstick by which Everton measure themselves for this fixture.
But, again, there is nothing routine about Everton at home at the moment and it will be a measure of the players' attitude and confidence how they perform against the side that will begin the day nine points adrift of West Bromwich Albion at the bottom of the division.
The good news for a team that was crying out for inspiration and creativity during the goalless draw the Villa Park on Thursday is that James Rodriguez has been declared fit to play. That was the story prior to the home game with Aston Villa a fortnight ago, of course, but this time Ancelotti expects him to make it past the warm-up.
With his compatriot, Yerry Mina, unlikely to feature, the Colombian could be the only change to the XI that started last time out, replacing Gylfi Sigurdsson who was disappointing against Villa. That would mean the continuation of the three-man central defensive unit of Ben Godfrey, Michael Keane and Mason Holgate, with Seamus Coleman and Lucas Digne as wingbacks.
The expectation is that James will be able to make the difference for a Toffees side that has been tentative and toothless going forward in his absence.
The Blades, who have scored just six times in 16 League games since they surprised Manchester United at Old Trafford in January, will be without Sander Berge, Oliver Burke and Ethan Ampadu who are all sidelined by injury.
Kick-off: 7:00pm, Sunday 16 May 2021 on BT Sport 1
Referee: Jon Moss
VAR: Simon Hooper
Last Time: Everton 0 - 2 Sheffield United
Predicted Line-up: Pickford, Coleman, Holgate, Keane, Godfrey, Digne, Allan, Doucouré, Rodriguez, Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin
Reader Comments (121)
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1 Posted 16/05/2021 at 06:42:53
If we can't beat a relegated bottom-placed team at home, then we won't beat anyone!
2 Posted 16/05/2021 at 06:52:30
3 Posted 16/05/2021 at 07:08:21
4 Posted 16/05/2021 at 07:14:29
5 Posted 16/05/2021 at 07:14:36
7 Posted 16/05/2021 at 08:36:18
8 Posted 16/05/2021 at 08:39:46
We do not need 5 defenders. We do not need a surly and badly misfiring Brazilian who cannot pass, dribble or shoot straight, and who has trouble standing up.
Surprise us, Carlo. Pick a team stripped of the overpaid and useless underperformers and put out 11 players who really do want to win and set us up to win well. Don't ignore the talented youngsters who might make a difference.
Recent results suggest to stick to type is to fail. I for one do not want a turgid miserable 1-0 with 2 shots on target and hundreds of backwards passes.
9 Posted 16/05/2021 at 08:40:29
It would be nice to see some free-flowing football today but I just can't see it under the present manager who seems to be obsessed with defending. There has to be a change in his tactics at home next season or questions will be asked about Carlo's suitability to take us forward.
10 Posted 16/05/2021 at 08:49:06
No excuses are acceptable for not beating Sheffield United, but this is the type of game Everton have struggled with over the last couple of seasons.
A goalfest is a very rare event at Goodson this season, aside from West Brom in the league and Spurs in the cup, but it would be good to get a few to help the goal difference.
Win and play with style — let's hope so!
11 Posted 16/05/2021 at 08:49:13
A game that won't stop the Nation.
12 Posted 16/05/2021 at 08:50:28
13 Posted 16/05/2021 at 08:59:54
14 Posted 16/05/2021 at 09:00:18
I might be in a minority on here but I am always optimistic and expect us to win - why bother, otherwise?
Come on you Blues - prove your miserable fans wrong!
Sorry Mal - don't mean you!
15 Posted 16/05/2021 at 09:01:07
At this stage of the season I don't care much about the performance but more about the result. 3 games left and we still have something to play for which is more than we have for a few years.
16 Posted 16/05/2021 at 09:01:35
That's why goal difference is also a huge factor and why I also say that we need to be scoring 60 goals.
Somehow we need to find more goals in this side between now and August unless we make some attacking signings that make a significant impact but given our record on signing attacking players I'm not holding my breath.
17 Posted 16/05/2021 at 09:32:46
18 Posted 16/05/2021 at 09:36:22
Post # 12 just about sums it up for me...........the inevitable loss, really? Jeez, how fucking miserable can someone be? Like Mal, I'm fully expecting a 4-0 or 5-0 win today.
19 Posted 16/05/2021 at 09:40:58
Got to say, I'm very much like you!
20 Posted 16/05/2021 at 09:42:39
I hope James doesn't get injured in the warm up.
21 Posted 16/05/2021 at 09:43:18
Guess what? At any given time in the history of the game, there have been smaller clubs who have done things better than Everton and other famous clubs for periods of time – Ipswich and Burnley during the late sixties, Nottingham Forest, Ipswich, and Derby during the seventies, right up to the modern-day Leicester City.
I admit these last 8 years have been difficult to fathom and endure, and it would seem that we have failed to make progress on many fronts, perhaps, even regressed on the playing side, but what did we expect following 20 years of neglect? The timing of Moshiri's investment was about 5 years too late, and the club couldn't handle the influx of money as it had no idea what to do with it after so long having to cut its cloth according to its means.
But as negative as I am and have been, I never imagined there would come a day when many Evertonians were countenancing their side being unable to defeat a relegated side, not just being unable to beat that team, but likely to lose to it.
The managers and players will come and go, some good some not so good, but if the supporters continue to 'revel' in this 'woe is me' attitude, we might never get out of this nightmare. Faith and hope are elements that are in short supply in every walk of life but surely in what is, after all, a mere distraction from life's tribulations, we can be a little more optimistic about our club and its fortunes?
This cycle of negativity that engulfs the club from time to time is becoming an addiction to some and I'm not sure that it is helpful to the broader Everton community or the club itself.
22 Posted 16/05/2021 at 09:43:36
No snark intended – I genuinely have no idea who you're referring to, other than possibly Nkounkou?
23 Posted 16/05/2021 at 09:47:16
24 Posted 16/05/2021 at 09:47:47
Me neither. It is a stick often used against Ancelotti.
Neil, can you post the team you would like to see selected please.
25 Posted 16/05/2021 at 09:55:01
26 Posted 16/05/2021 at 10:20:59
I have never posted a suggested team given that Ancelotti will do what Ancelotti wants and it seems likely to be a pointless exercise (pun intended!). However, we have an U23 and U18 set-up designed to develop and promote young players.
I read on TW and elsewhere about the outstanding performance of various young players and their prospects for the future. Box-to-box midfielders, young strikers banging in goals etc. Looking around the other 17 clubs, none of them appear to fear giving youth a chance to make a difference. The young full-back playing for Leicester yesterday, for example.
I would really like to see something fresh that may make a difference, not just the recirculation of repeated failures. Being a true curmudgeon also, I won't be unhappy if we do not get into Europe – if only because it may mean that we have to reassess our transfer targets and to find more Godfreys and not more Allans.
Expecting more bullets!!
27 Posted 16/05/2021 at 10:23:25
28 Posted 16/05/2021 at 10:24:31
Lets put The Blades to the sword....Ill get my coat
30 Posted 16/05/2021 at 10:29:23
31 Posted 16/05/2021 at 10:34:28
Kick-off is 7:00 pm, not 7:30.
32 Posted 16/05/2021 at 10:39:48
Not much changes as nonedescripts Liverpool won the League and we were 10th!
33 Posted 16/05/2021 at 10:48:36
I see there seems to be a lot of speculation that Zidane will quit Real Madrid and that Carlo is very much in the frame to take over. While Carlo seems to like it here, if this rumour is true then I cant see Carlo turning down that opportunity. Hopefully this won't happen as I dread to think of where we would go should that happen.
But let's hope this doesn't happen and Carlo stays and buys the attacking players we need to be able to play more on the front foot than we have for many games this season. Obviously Carlo has thought we would take more points with this squad by adopting a more pragmatic approach, but I think with fans back next year they will demand we play with more attacking intent.
Let's hope we can finish the season with 3 wins, I know it's Man City away on the last day but I am sure Guardiola will be resting many of his key players before the Champions League Final, so picking up a win at City might not be as far fetched as it would be in normal circumstances.
34 Posted 16/05/2021 at 11:12:08
35 Posted 16/05/2021 at 11:16:32
2 goals scored and 17 shipped in since Wilder left.
Pull your fingers out of your arses and show the fight that you players want european football.
36 Posted 16/05/2021 at 11:16:49
If we don't win today, there are no excuses for Roy Cropper. He must go.
37 Posted 16/05/2021 at 11:23:52
39 Posted 16/05/2021 at 11:35:56
40 Posted 16/05/2021 at 11:41:14
I dont think Carlo is about to take the brakes off and attack with gay abandon. It will be cautious and relying on Digne or James to get the class cross in at some point that Dominic can finish off.
Everton 1-0 Sheffield Utd
41 Posted 16/05/2021 at 11:41:43
I personally find that comparing anybody to a person on the spectrum as unacceptable. But you seem to think it's appropriate. Why not talk about team selections or offer alternatives like team selection, suitable manager, even factual claims would be a good start.
42 Posted 16/05/2021 at 11:47:47
I've backed you in the past. Don't get on whingeing if posters call you names. Play by the sword...
43 Posted 16/05/2021 at 11:52:47
People are entitled to adopt a defeatist attitude if they choose. This season hasn't given us any cause to think otherwise.
How many promising situations have we put ourselves in only to fail miserably at home to the likes of Fulham and Newcastle? We've had so many glorious opportunities to challenge the Top 4... but – just when we think we are building a bit of momentum – a horror-show is just around the corner where we've been out-worked and played off the park by inferior opposition.
The football we've played as a spectacle, has been atrocious. Personally, I just haven't got much confidence in this group of players.
44 Posted 16/05/2021 at 11:55:26
“What a day for a daydream
What a day for a daydreamin' boy
And I'm lost in a daydream”
I am the Master of my own moods - my own destiny - - my life - - I choose who I am and what I do - - this is something the great Victor Frankl tell us - - whatever the circumstances and situation it is how “we choose” to live - - that is what makes us who we are - - and I chose to be an Evertonian many many years ago - - we all know that sometimes it can be tough - - hang on a minute or so - - just listening to The Impressions - - Its Alright: Just floating off to The Mardi or maybe Reeces on a Monday Soul Night or the CI on Sunday - - got on my Saxone Ox Blood Comos on - - polished and shining - - shot green silk suit - - black silk hankie in the top pocket - - 1 inch lapels - - 3 button - - centre split at the back - - pink or maybe yellow Ben Sherman button down - - meeting Mary Walsh - - she was a great dancer - - really cool - - - - “were going to move it slow when lights are low - - now listen to the beat - - kinda catch your feet - - now you got soul and everybody knows its gotta be Alright” - - Mmmm - - OK back with you now - - all of this just to say:
“Well, we all shine on
Like the moon and the stars and the sun
Well, we all shine on
Like the moon and the stars and the sun
Well, we all shine on
Like the moon and the stars and the sun
Yeah, we all shine on
Like the moon and the stars and the sun
Yeah, we all shine on”
Being a Blue can be tough sometimes but I (we) have no alternatives - - We Are What We Are - - in the last few years' - - for sometime now - - I have given up worrying/thinking - - even watching - - about what other teams or fans are and do - - I am Blue - - Through and Through - - of course all that sounds lovely and dreamy but I still get mad and moan and whinge but overall - - Blue - - 2nd team - - none - - Blue and Blue and Love it:
“Honey, you do me wrong but still I'm crazy about you
Stay away too long and I can't do without you
Every chance you get you seem to hurt me more and more
But each hurt makes my love stronger than before
I know flowers go through rain
But how can love go through pain?
Ain't that peculiar?
Ain't that peculiar, baby?
Peculiar as can be
- - my daughter (herself a match going Blue for 40 years') and my grandson (25 years' a matchgoer) have just told me that we have tickets together for Wednesday - - and that coincides with a visit to The Dark House before and after the game for the first time in 15/16 months - - pity the whole gang cannot be there - -but we shall see and I will stop for a moment on Wednesday and raise my consciousness to think of all friends who cannot be there - - for some that have gone and for all my Fellow TWers - - I can recall that sometime in August and September I wasnt sure that I would ever see another Everton Game or write or read a TW Article or see my dearest family and friends - - “Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you got 'til it's gone” - - or nearly.
So Come On Carlo and Players - - give us something - - show us your intentions - - we have Hearts Bursting With Blue Blood Pumping through our veins - - we want to love you - - I have been disappointed with the latest performances but personally believe that Ancelotti deserves some more time - - not forever and unchallenged - - but lets see:
“Up in the morning, up in the morning out on the road
And my head is aching and my hands are cold
And I'm looking for the silver lining, silver lining in the clouds
And I'm searching for, searching for The Philosopher's Stone
And it's a hard road, it's a hard road daddy-o
When my job is turning lead into gold”
I am going to spend the afternoon in thought and contemplation - - some drawing - - reading - - and then watch the game believing of course that this is the game that changes things - - maybe a bit too late - - but nevertheless - - still full of hope - - I have just looked from my front window - - across The River - - The City spread before me - - all under a Blue Sky.
I am sending Blue Cosmic Grooves Out of my window - - up int The Astral - - stop for a moment - - look up and grab some - - its for you:
“When by my solitary hearth I sit,
When no fair dreams before my ‘minds eye flit,
And the bare heath of life presents no bloom;
Sweet Hope, ethereal balm upon me shed,
And wave thy silver pinions oer my head …”
Sent with a firm handshake - - your friend - - George.
45 Posted 16/05/2021 at 11:59:28
I'm happy to accept some "return of serves" from other posters. However, there is a line. Foul-mouthed pile-ons cross the line.
46 Posted 16/05/2021 at 12:03:30
Coyb – here's to a great window. Forget this season.,
47 Posted 16/05/2021 at 12:14:34
48 Posted 16/05/2021 at 12:18:30
49 Posted 16/05/2021 at 12:22:08
50 Posted 16/05/2021 at 12:26:09
51 Posted 16/05/2021 at 12:31:37
52 Posted 16/05/2021 at 12:32:45
Gutted I can't make Wednesday but one of my lads taking the baton, so all's good eh! Enjoy.
53 Posted 16/05/2021 at 12:35:20
Roy Cropper who's he, I first thought Roy of the Rovers but wasn't he Roy Race?
54 Posted 16/05/2021 at 12:35:46
Why? Because no matter what, however well or badly Everton is playing or positioned in the table, watching them is always - always, always, always - one of THE highlights of my week. It has been this way for 55+ years now.
I count the days of the closed season to when I can watch Everton kick a ball in anger again at the start of the following season. I really don't care for the weeks devoid of any Everton game.
I simply can't relate to posters who claim that they aren't even going to watch if 'x' is in the starting line up. That they will walk the dog rather than watch the game, etc. I can relate many a tale of the extremes I have gone to on my travels to watch Everton on a live broadcast or tune in to a short wave radio with a dodgy reception.
I genuinely, but genuinely, view each and every match we play with the belief that we are going to win it. Deluded maybe, but therein lies the difference in mindset displayed across the broad spectrum of TW.
I am an eternal optimist about all things Everton, football, life.
OK. The actual match, performance, result may make you despondent. But why compound that despondency even before a ball is kicked in pessimistically declaring Armageddon?
I wonder at times how representative of the match-attending fans (remember them..?) TW is. Because every week pre-match there seems to be a race to the bottom from some contributors. Who can be more scathing and dismissive of all things Everton.
Give me the likes of George's inspirational 'Nothin' But Blue Skies' pre-match positivity and streams of consciousness; Rob Halligan's enthusiasm and pining so see his beloved Blues live again.
They more truly represent my own emotions about our club than the constantly doom-filled protestations of a few on here. And for that I'm grateful to them.
55 Posted 16/05/2021 at 12:39:01
George # 44 - caught those grooves here in Korumburra. – “I am going to spend the afternoon in thought and contemplation”. May give that a go tomorrow arvo.
Up the Blues!!!
56 Posted 16/05/2021 at 12:39:40
57 Posted 16/05/2021 at 12:45:41
Jay (BRZ), you speak for me. The last day of the season and the dreaded summer months is the worst part of the year for me as I pine for August to come along as quickly as possible.
I too have tuned in on dodgy radio reception in very remote parts of the world at godforsaken hours to listen to and / or watch Everton. I may get as frustrated and annoyed as anyone with the result or performance, but I always look forward to Everton and football.
58 Posted 16/05/2021 at 12:46:57
We also should all join together to implore our team to give us at least one great and encouraging performance because, if watching them truly is the highlight of the week, you and so many others deserve so much better.
Like you, I can not ever choose not to watch, but it is currently somewhat miserable and depressing.
59 Posted 16/05/2021 at 12:47:20
It will be a long wait till 7 pm your time, 2 pm here but, despite how disappointing the last game was, there is always the hope that we will be much better in the next game! We can only hope!
Disappointed to read so much negativity and constant abuse of Richarlison. He is a hard guy to read but we are better with him than without him. All he needs is a goal but then don't we all!
Here's hoping that we score early and then improve our appalling goal difference.
60 Posted 16/05/2021 at 13:00:18
61 Posted 16/05/2021 at 13:05:56
Then we might be able to go all out vs Wolves in an attempt to surpass West Ham's advantage here, because they've still got an easier run-in than us. I just have a horrible feeling that Goal Difference is going to be the deciding factor between winter Thursday nights at home or somewhere in Eastern Europe.
I think 4-0 tonight is the minimum we need, 4-3-3, Richarlison to get a couple and then be handed the ball for a penalty to get his hat-trick.
62 Posted 16/05/2021 at 13:35:36
Just fucking go for it. Give King 60 mins, for fuck's sake... we need goals, Carlo!
63 Posted 16/05/2021 at 13:39:07
My expectations have become a little more conservative lately.
64 Posted 16/05/2021 at 13:40:15
And George (44), I will make no attempt to match your poetic genius and scouseness but I will share in your Blue vision. (aka Alex Young, who could light up any dismal room or world). In difficult times for those in "Blue" there are challenges. Yes, but minor ones compared to Covid and his vicious offshoots.
Frustration is always a factor in being an Evertonian for just the last 25 years. I am one of those fortunate and old enough to have experienced the "Highs" of the sixties and eighties.
At times, I have ranted, raved and showed my own frustration at the indignity of losing to some team from the lower depths of the Premier League. However, I have also been around long enough to experience the extreme lows of "relegation".
Once a Blue, always a Blue, despite idle threats to never ever watch another game. For all thse true Evertonians who made such a threat after the Fulham game (just an example), I bet you will be watching today. You just do not have any other option.
65 Posted 16/05/2021 at 13:40:32
John, Niagra Falls may inspire some of our more negative TW members in a slightly different way.
66 Posted 16/05/2021 at 13:42:28
We lost twice to Carlisle, who finished rock bottom, conceding 3 goals on each occasion. Had we won those 2 games, we would have beaten Derby to the title.
I think we also lost to Sheffield Utd at Goodison Park, having been 2-0 up.
Mind you, the current Sheffield Utd have no-one of the caliber of Tony Currie. So 3-0 for me.
67 Posted 16/05/2021 at 13:45:19
68 Posted 16/05/2021 at 13:53:23
69 Posted 16/05/2021 at 13:56:06
70 Posted 16/05/2021 at 13:57:39
We are the back-foot champions at the momemt.
71 Posted 16/05/2021 at 13:58:14
72 Posted 16/05/2021 at 13:59:53
73 Posted 16/05/2021 at 14:10:36
Simple: 9057324353 after the game. Far too tense before.
74 Posted 16/05/2021 at 14:11:54
Everton 4 Sheffield United 0.
75 Posted 16/05/2021 at 14:19:17
Good Luck, Everton. Travelling again. . . Car radio.
76 Posted 16/05/2021 at 14:34:19
The two problems are lack of form from recognized scorers, and tactics. You may be able to get over one of the problems but the two combined is why we struggle.
The manager is the key to the problems as he can change tactics if they are not working and drop players who are below standard, instead of playing them every game in the hope they improve.
I really should have said there are three problem areas: the third is the poor squad depth.
77 Posted 16/05/2021 at 14:43:28
And a cracker from David small man ( tragedy broken leg never really recovered). Binghams robots as the press called us was so so close. Hence the phrase Everton that. As latchford said we was only a decent goalie away twice from being champions in 75 and 78
78 Posted 16/05/2021 at 14:50:39
A fourth one. A surfeit of bang average/poor players.
A fifth one anyone ?
79 Posted 16/05/2021 at 14:51:06
80 Posted 16/05/2021 at 14:58:41
81 Posted 16/05/2021 at 15:03:13
This is one game for which I am not apprehensive. I believe that it will go one of two ways. We score early, maybe twice, and have a comfortable game. Alternatively it becomes a nervous 1-0. I do not expect Sheffield United to score, or come away with anything from the game.
I repeat what I have said before that, if we do not achieve a European position, it will be as a direct result of not beating Spurs, when they had virtually given up at 2-1. At that stage of the season it was a more significant result than any of the unexpected home defeats.
82 Posted 16/05/2021 at 15:07:33
83 Posted 16/05/2021 at 15:11:56
84 Posted 16/05/2021 at 15:13:41
85 Posted 16/05/2021 at 15:20:15
Jay (54), Jay, no team in the world whether good, bad or indifferent play every week of the year, they all have to have a break, you just have to wait like the rest of us, I know some find it harder than others, youre one of them, you are also an “ Ultra Blue” tend to find it very hard to criticise our players, Brian Labone would have been proud of you, I had many conversations with Brian, and no matter how bad we, and certain players had performed he would never have a go at them, loads of times I would put words in his mouth about how poor so and so had played but he wouldnt use them, even when I repeated them, he would smile but wouldnt agree with me, even if he agreed with me in his head.
Jay the season is finishing later than usual and it might start earlier next season, that might be some consolation to you, to add to the Angel who lives with you every day, I hope you are both doing fine.
86 Posted 16/05/2021 at 15:25:54
87 Posted 16/05/2021 at 15:28:39
88 Posted 16/05/2021 at 15:28:54
89 Posted 16/05/2021 at 15:30:47
90 Posted 16/05/2021 at 15:32:05
Coffee - spluttering keyboard brilliance!
God bless you George - enjoy the game!
91 Posted 16/05/2021 at 15:42:57
Coleman Godfrey Keane Digne
James Gomes Richie
92 Posted 16/05/2021 at 15:49:05
I really can't blame people for being pessimistic about today's game, after the horror shows that have been dished up at home this season.
We are 12th in the table in the 'goals for' column – which in reality, is equivalent to being a further point behind our nearest rivals. We'll never catch Liverpool, Spurs or West Ham with regards to goal difference, so let's forget that.
We won't win at Man City, when they'll be parading their Premier League trophy. So the best we can hope for is 62 points. Looking at the fixtures for the other 3, no chance of getting above them.
Hopefully we'll finish 8th, but potentially, Arsenal and Leeds could finish above us.
I pray today's game is not the humiliation of the season. Would love to see a hat-full of goals!
93 Posted 16/05/2021 at 15:49:44
Lets just hope the mood of misery prior to the game has been lifted after it!
PS - you sound like a certain manager of our rivals with your use of "FACT" to emphasise your point! Only joking!
94 Posted 16/05/2021 at 15:57:28
Angst and misery Martin?
95 Posted 16/05/2021 at 16:00:01
The depth of passion I feel for this football club is vast and enormous. I grew up in Wavertree, and went the match as a kid with my Dad and his Dad. My granddad assured me his own granddad was a blue, so by my lousy scouse maths that makes me at least a fifth generation Evertonian.
But what I feel is obviously and quite simply nothing to the breadth of feeling others have, as so brilliantly demonstrated in that post. It's like comparing a thimble of water to the great lakes really.
I've spent almost all of the last twenty five years living here in New Zealand or across the ditch in Australia. Most blues don't need to be reminded how brutal the time differences are - it's Monday morning here now! But let me tell you the one thing worse than watching Everton play like shite and get slaughtered is doing it at four in the morning when you have work at seven. And yes, even in NZ and Oz there are plastic RS fans aplenty. They couldn't find the UK if I passed them a globe, but it doesn't stop them piling on every derby day. (except the last one, you fucking dancer!)
I've put in the hours, I've felt the pain, smashed phones when we lost big games, spent the money, bought the t shirt. Paid my dues?
Yet I must confess that watching Everton is very seldom the highlight of any week for me, with a massive exception for this years derby at the tin mine. The pandemic obviously changed our world in ways we can't even begin to quantify, and one casualty was admittedly my own passion for watching professional sports. But even prior to that I had long had the sense that I might love Everton, but she sure doesn't love me back.
In light of the events upending our world, a football club that hasn't won a jelly bean in a quarter of century nor looks like doing so any time soon either sort of shrunk in importance to me. In light of our privileged position in regards to the virus here in New Zealand I am making a determined effort to go out and, you know, do stuff. That Robin Williams movie, Dead Poets Society quote. Seize the day.
And of course, I'm far from the only one to have this perspective change. And equally there's many more whose views have not changed. But this is my experience, for better or worse.
I guess I just feel that I what I fell in love with -and my forefathers did - has evolved and changed so much and so quickly that in some ways it's not even recognizable. Yet alone comparable.
My own son has also yet to be entranced by this modern version of Everton. Without even the memories of when it was different, like I have, I'm not sure he'll ever even end up with the fumes of passion I'm coasting on.
I ended up getting involved in a park game a few weeks ago - rarer than you might think here in NZ! - and had an absolute blast. Loads of fun. Dribbling past kids, seeing them try their stepovers and dragbacks and flicks and tricks - that's the real joy of football, the game itself.
It made me conclude all this bolt on shit: to wit - gold bentleys, six figure a week salaries, VAR, the champions league, the Glazers, Sky, BT, Souness, the Red Shite, the breakway super league - all that shit actually does absolutely nothing, nothing at all to improve my enjoyment of the actual game of football itself. Two teams, a ball, put it in the goal or don't. Football.
In fact, for me, it rather does the opposite. I'm getting more divorced from professional football and by extension Everton by the year. These fuckers - agents, pundits, managers, players, the lot - owe everything to the game itself, but just take and take from it. It's actually...disturbing.
I actually have a significant birthday this week. This will be the last time I get to watch Everton this side of forty! And obviously a landmark like that makes you consider your own actions and role in the world a little bit more than you might normally allow yourself to.
I'm hoping and expecting to see them see round of my thirties with a rousing and comfortable victory 2-0, hitting the post three or four times most likely.
But whether they do or they don't, it won't be the highlight of my week. As I started by saying it's obvious that my own level of feelings for the club does not even remotely compare to what Jay and other posters here feel.
I don't aim to ruin others passion and love for the game through my own lack thereof. I can see definitely see how that would, does and likely will continue to happen and I apologize for that.
To Jay, Rob, George and anyone else whose passions run as deep may I just pay my respects. I'm not lying when I say I'm jealous of you gentleman having that breadth of feeling, of feeling almost touched by the club itself. Nothing can give you that feeling and it's like nothing else when you're feeling it.
Every flock has it's true believers and it's lip service merchants. I'm much closer to the latter than the former sadly. If I do interrupt any posters here enjoyment of Everton, I'm sorry - I am not doing that from a position of maliciousness and nor would I.
Anyway, off to get bladdered and watch Everton as a thirty something one last time. My best wishes to all of you, heathen or true blue believer.
96 Posted 16/05/2021 at 16:00:35
Even Rigsby named his cat after the City ! 😜😂
98 Posted 16/05/2021 at 16:07:44
I won't just take that all day long, I'll take that with immense pride to me grave!
I must correct you on one thing. I can and do criticize the manager, individual players, the team, the tactics.
What I don't do is hold absolute opinions on any of the above which I won't budge on. I take (in comparison to some) the seemingly novel approach of judging all on a game by game basis.
I'm not given to predicting failings before a ball is kicked in anger, or in-game applying confirmation bias and 'seeing' only the failings (real or imagined) of whoever or whatever and never the 'good' in the same.
Clean sheet for all every single game for me. And I'm not talking about not conceding, although that is always nice.
PS thanks as always for asking about the missus. Appreciated. In these troubled times THE biggest highlight of my week is that she survives another week in the frontline without catching this damn plague. I hope you and yours are keeping safe and well too Dave. Any chance of reviving your Monday night sessions any time soon fellah..?
99 Posted 16/05/2021 at 16:10:06
Hiya Martin. When you say "I don't see what etc"
It won't just be with regard to supporting Everton that they're like that.
You'll probably find they're miserable fuckers generally.
I actually think "some" of the posts/comments made are done so with the specific intentions of drawing attention to themselves, pissing others off so that they feel as miserble as the poster, and to start an argument.
There are indeed some strange fuckers about.
How's that fine young Evertonian grandson of yours by the way?
100 Posted 16/05/2021 at 16:17:46
Derek Moore . see you next week then!!
101 Posted 16/05/2021 at 16:23:38
I still reckon, theres plenty of twists left in the re:sing EPL fixtures, for all the teams.
Now Everton are reliant on Spurs and West Ham loosing at least one game each and getting a draw or ideally, both of them loosing their last 2 games.
Lets get the win and by as many goals as possible.
102 Posted 16/05/2021 at 16:26:14
Therefore, I fully expect a narrow win, with us making Sheff Utd look like Brazil for at least 50% of the game, before getting the winner via a set piece. You know the script by now guys!
103 Posted 16/05/2021 at 16:31:19
Well they are currently 3rd with a Goal difference of 21. Yes I was mystified by that post.
104 Posted 16/05/2021 at 16:35:05
Brian #99, surely you jest. All TWers are pure of heart and thought, are they not?
Dave #85, you're not gonna believe this but last night I dreamed about you and Tony and that conversation outside Anfield. What a day that was, no matter the result.
105 Posted 16/05/2021 at 16:35:35
Yes all my family are fine, came through it all okay and the vaccine has given most people a lot of hope that it will begin to start a revival in the way we think.
As for the Monday nights starting again, they will soon, but were I could get through six or seven pints and be still reasonably sober, if I have three or four at the moment Ill be out of the game, I think, so I will have to work at it to regain my former drinking level, and sadly the gang lost an absolute beaut just before the lockdown began, another is eighty six and struggling, that leaves five and we are not getting any younger but we will be arguing with each other very soon hopefully, and the beaut who passed on was a Bluenose, leaving me to argue the toss over football with five Rednoses who havent seen their team? since St. John and Roger Hunt retired!!
106 Posted 16/05/2021 at 16:39:57
107 Posted 16/05/2021 at 16:48:46
108 Posted 16/05/2021 at 16:49:43
There are many on here who are just as loyal to their club, but they also want to be entertained, and watch good football. The days of Roy Vernon, the great Alex Young, the Trinity: Ball, Harvey and Kendall, and the wonderful team in the '80's, are long since gone. Remember we were once called 'The School of Science'?
I'd love to see Everton play good football again. I cannot blame people for refusing to watch Everton this season. Some of their performances have been dire. I watched Leeds yesterday thump Burnley - and I thought, it would be great if Everton could play like that.
For me, Ancelotti is not the man for the job. I know many on here were salivating when he was selected as our manager. We'll finish 8th, 9th or 10th in the table.
I'll be criticised for this, but I would pick Duncan Ferguson for manager. When he was in charge for a while, it was the first time I saw the team play with spirit and passion.
Loyalty can be blind, and if watching Everton, at this moment in time, is your highlight of the week, you must have to endure a pretty awful week.
109 Posted 16/05/2021 at 16:50:38
Send your Tony down the offie to get your training equipment in!
110 Posted 16/05/2021 at 16:50:57
111 Posted 16/05/2021 at 16:55:54
112 Posted 16/05/2021 at 17:01:12
Sheffield already down, playing just for the honor of their shirt, but probably will have their players a little bit less motivated than when the league started, or at least thats what I expect.
We must show we are a serious team once again at home please!!!
113 Posted 16/05/2021 at 17:04:19
Coleman Keane Godfrey Digne
Rodriguez Richarlison Sigurdsson
114 Posted 16/05/2021 at 17:09:22
I'd go for Mina alongside Godfrey if he's fit??
Then a 3 of Davies, Doucoure and Allan with Richarlison, James and Rodriguez in front of them.
As always, let's see what poker face Carlo serves up!
115 Posted 16/05/2021 at 17:15:21
116 Posted 16/05/2021 at 17:20:19
Sean@108 We all want the same thing in terms of performance but we don't yet have the squad to deliver it. In the meantime we can try to maintain positivity.
117 Posted 16/05/2021 at 17:34:54
Because although this season probably we expected to be higher in the table (I talk for myself but thinking what many may too) I firmly believe on Ancelotti's ambition and that he'll make whatever he can to develop this squad, after this first complete season at the club.
So I think it will be an interesting period; more than previous ones. I'll probably anyway miss the match days cause when I get here some time before games to drop my team or read messages it reminds me of the blue wave of people around Goodison. And that was adrenalin 300% and the best feelings football has given me in my short life. But I'm sure it'll be a pretty interesting summer to be an Evertonian.
118 Posted 16/05/2021 at 17:37:21
The quicker the season is over the better and then we will see if Carlo has any real intentions of making something of this team before next season.
119 Posted 16/05/2021 at 17:39:13
120 Posted 16/05/2021 at 17:42:57
121 Posted 16/05/2021 at 17:49:27
No miracle worker he, particularly as his football style echoes that of Allardyce rather than 'boring' Moyes !
122 Posted 16/05/2021 at 17:58:09
123 Posted 16/05/2021 at 18:01:36
I agree with you: at the moment, we cannot deliver a decent performance worth watching. I'd love to be positive if I could witness a modicum of spirit and passion in our performance, as it would make a defeat a lot easier to swallow.
124 Posted 16/05/2021 at 18:04:55
125 Posted 16/05/2021 at 18:14:33
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