Obstructed View – Reflections on the Watford (A) Game

Indeed, they should look dejected. And should care. And resolve to do something about it. But can they?

I’m getting a bit fed up of this. A season that held so much promise and began at a canter, is now in danger of imploding, if it hasn’t already. And the immediate prospects look grim, playing Arsenal, Liverpool and twice against an apparently rejuvenated Leicester side, punctuated only by a boozy trip to Hull and a Southampton side so poor but that we managed to make look like Barcelona only a few weeks ago.

Watford is not the loveliest of towns, and I was brought up there, so have some inside knowledge. I even have family there. It has nice bits, and some not so nice bits, and Vicarage Road is more of the former than the latter. But the Club has begun to resemble a jumble sale, a rag tag of nations represented by very few players you’ve ever heard of, and we can now add to that list, one Stefano Okaka, who makes Akinfenwa look like a Size 6 Model, but it turns out looks quite a decent striker. Well, against us he did, so it probably means he won’t score again all season.

And that, ladies, gentlemen, trans and ‘not sure’, is the extent of my review of the Watford team. You’d have to pay for insight like that normally, so feel grateful.

Instead, I’m going to dwell on Everton. But only briefly, because to dwell on yesterday, and to dwell on the last two months, is only going to make me end up like furniture retailer – guess who? – Dwell. One minute you’re there selling funky stuff, the next minute you’re in administration and then disappeared altogether. There’s a few players who we hope won’t dwell with Everton that much longer, but as I’ve said before, anyone hoping for some kind of Damascus-Road conversion to this squad from almost rans to Europe contenders come the January Sales is deluding not just me, but themselves and an army of gullibles in the Everton fan base. It ain’t gonna happen, it isn’t that it ‘shouldn’t’, it’s just that it won’t. The players we’d like aren’t going to be made available, or if they are they’ll be at vastly inflated fees, and however much we think we’ve got ‘billions’, it isn’t Chelsea or City-type billions that it would need, and who the hell wants to come to a plummeting mid table side that at the rate of plummet isn’t going to be mid table for that much longer. We’re chasing Sunderland to the bottom, and who knows, we may even beat them to that trophy unless something changes and changes soon.

OK, if we get reinforcements in January, and a few leave that are surplus to requirements, and even if RK overcomes his mental block and starts playing Holgate and Davies, we are not going to be unhappy, but, trust me, we’re not going to be transformed in to a Top 6 side, although the talent we have on the pitch at the moment should certainly be doing better than it is, and that’s even accepting that some are not good enough at this level, let alone the level to which we aspire.

There’s something else wrong. It’s partly the players, but why can’t we defend with an International back four, an International GK, an International trio (yes, honestly, 3 of them away to Watford FFS) of DMs (even accepting one of them is way past his prime), and three International forwards, one of whom has played and scored more for his vaunted U21 national side than any of his Spanish predecessors. It’s almost as if the curse of Martinez defending has returned; but I’m not blaming him, when we have a manager much admired for his defensive qualities as a player and manager, but simply isn’t doing it for Everton. I JUST DON’T GET IT. Something is happening, or rather it isn’t, when these people are pulling on a Blue shirt.

What is going on? Why? Why? Why? Go back to your leafy Merseyside or Cheshire homes, players and staff alike, and take a long hard look at yourselves, and wonder what the hell is going on, and resolve to do something about it. If you can’t lift yourself and your team mates for the next run of fixtures, then you’re not fit to be a professional footballer, let alone playing for the Club I love.

Sort it out.

Ross Crombie


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