Obstructed View – Reflections on the Southampton (H) Game

It’s a time to look forward. Enough time and enough bile has been spent or spilt on analysing what has gone wrong this season, and personally, all I want to do is look forward to Saturday and a cup Semi Final, a real chance to rescue something from a tale of woe. No, I’m even not looking forward to the Derby, because I think we’ll get our bottom smacked.

Davies and Conn

You can’t watch the video of these two on Everton TV and not smile at two kids who are clearly desperately trying not to break out in manic laughter at just having made their Everton and Premiership debuts in front of 36,000 people. A bit of a step up from two men and a goat that usually turn up for the U18s, and a handful more at the U21s (with or without the goat). And they did OK. Connolly may not be the first choice back-up for Coleman, but Hibbo is injured and Kenny is out on loan at Oxford, so it remains to be seen whether he’ll get another game this week, or even two, as RM may decide to shuffle his pack rather than have a fresh-faced 19 year old trying to keep the likes of Coutinho, Firmino, Martial, Lingered or Rashford quiet. But he’d be wrong. We all probably suspect Baines will be restored to LB, which means Oviedo, appalling in the Southampton game, will be asked to do what he’s done once already this season, and stand on his wrong leg out on the Right. For me, irrespective of his age and experience, I’d rather play a RB at RB, and not a LB out of position. But what do I know? We’ll see.

Davies only had a 10 minute run out, but in that time he expended more energy than most of the rest of the players had in the previous 80 minutes – the ones in Blue anyway. He looks a decent prospect, irrespective of how he did against the Saints, and add the likes of Ledson, Kenny, maybe Grant, Henen, Duffus, Walsh, Williams, Evans, and I think the best prospect of all Dowell, and we have every right to expect a bright future from our Academy. I’ll probably be proven wrong and half of these will get released, but I like what I see, and in Holgate, Baningime, Lavery, Byrne and Brewster we’ve got more lads making their way in the game than we’ve had for quite some time. Loans may well await for some of the older ones, especially if Moshiri’s millions get spent on expanding the senior squad, but with players like Hibbert, Pienaar, Osman, Kone and even Gibson almost on their last legs, we need the injection of young talent as well as a few brought in from outside the Club.

It was obvious against Southampton that we badly need a spark from somewhere. Barkley’s absence for most of the game showed we have little apart from him in the middle as a creative midfield presence; Mirallas and Deulofeu treated it as a training game to get miles in the legs, when surely the moment was there to stake an undeniable claim for a place in the starting XIs of this important week. Southampton could and should have taken us to the cleaners, but Robles did OK, and Stones and Mori got a bit better again, assuming you don’t count the comic-capers for their equaliser.

But that’s gone, “another precious home point” (you know what they say, don’t lose away, and try not to get beat at home), and now it’s really about Saturday. And then May 21st. And then Europe next season, and not through Fair Play please if that’s ok?

Ross Crombie

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