Obstructed View – Reflections on the Watford (H) Game

And now, the end is near, and so I face the final curtain; my friends, I’ll say it clear, I’ll state my case, of which I’m certain….that wasn’t a festival of showboating. Sorry Frank, not how your lyrics went I know, but hey, I’ve written 36 of these Obstructed Views this season, and I crave some new material, as indeed do you dear reader (assuming you’ve even got this far).

Yeh, as end of season parties go, that was like going to that school reunion full of hope to see your old mates, and expecting things to be just like they used to be, and finding out that some of the exciting ones weren’t there, and the one’s that were, seemed somewhat reluctant to be there at all. Only time will tell which of last night’s protagonists will feature in Blue next season, the Blue of Everton anyway.

There could only be one of two goalscorers of course, and instead of the expected hat trick from the Big Belgian who may (or may not) have emerged from the Home Dressing Room at the Old Lady for one final time, it was the other one, the apparently petulant local hero who for some reason won’t sign a contract that sits on the table for him. Perhaps he has CL ambition, but if Ross is thinking that way, he needs to give his head a wobble, because I’m not sure he’d get in the first team of any of the Clubs finishing above us this season, and he doesn’t seem the kind of lad that would fancy living abroad. No, his goal even included, last night showed in no small measure why his possible departure seems now to be being met with growing ambivalence by Evertonians everywhere, as we cast our eyes back to the Welsh Hills and covert thy neighbour’s Iceman. If Sigurdsson does indeed make his way up the M5/M6/M62/via Strensham Services for a quality pee (unless he managed Gloucester Services, without doubt the best quality pee on the Motorway circuit……..are you still reading this drivel? “No Grandma, drivel, not dribble….”), he’ll add something that Ross doesn’t always give, the goals, the assists, the corners, but he won’t bring the sheer brutish strength, and ability to dribble under pressure from those around him. But some might argue that Ross only needs to have these qualities because he’s often crowded out because he’s dwelt too long on the ball and not given that killer pass. Ross doesn’t always play with his head up, when he does, he’s awesome, when he doesn’t he can be horrid. Last night included.

The rising star of Tom Davies is also helping to alleviate the concern of those who want Everton to have a local hero in their midst. The boyish charm, the chaotic hairstyle, the Ball-like energy, the socks rolled down, the sleeves rolled up, and even if it was a snow storm, blowing a gale and -20C, you know our new local hero wouldn’t wear gloves. Blow the lad’s trumpet (oh don’t be so smutty) because that’s what we do at Everton, build up this superstar talent, and sometimes we get Blue Glitter in our eyes and don’t realise until much later that all that glistens isn’t necessarily gold. Don’t get me wrong, Davies’ arrival on the scene has provided an energy the team lacked in midfield, some bit in the tackles, and a variety of runs that can see him score wonder goals against City, or thread passes for slightly offside runners up front. But come on, we know he’s not the finished article, and at 18-not-19-until-June, you wouldn’t expect him to be. I honestly see the lad with a massive future at Everton, and my plea is we just calm ourselves down a bit in hype and adoration.

What I do love though, is Uncle Morgan, a colossus at DM, sending his willing and able deputies, Tom-Boy and Gana, off to wreck mayhem in opposition build up. The two terriers complement Schneiderlin’s calm masterful poise and as a threesome, they are pretty awesome matron. I have lost count of the number of times we said “we missed Morgan” when he was injured, but also in a way that suggests he’s otherwise been an ever present. We only bought him in January. It seems unreal doesn’t it, he’s fitted right in, he’s an Everton legend before he’s even started a season with us. And in the Senegalese midfield destroyer, Gana Gueye is as good as it gets, maybe Kante above him even if stats suggest otherwise, we have another Everton legend, and this after just one season. He too is a player that makes you miss a heartbeat as your over excitement at another tackle won, or a harried opponent just gives us the ball in desperation (“oh sod it, if you want it that bad, just have it”), and then makes you curse as he tries to be Fabregas (now there’s a thought Ronald….)  and play a long ball forward…..to the corner flag. Hey ho, focus on what you’re good at Idrissa, and let’s hope we buy someone else who can do the creative bits once you’ve won us back the ball.

That’s it then, a home season complete, a season that points gained, goals scored, clean sheets delivered, will be hard to beat, and is in stark contrast to a worrying downturn in Away form that gives us an additional focus next term. I’ve loved watching at Goodison this year, gone is the tense, nervous oh God we’re crap, and welcome back free flowing goal scoring victories. It can be even better next season, and win a few of those Away games that we inexplicably failed to turn up for, and who knows, Top 4? We’ll also hit the ground running by having a couple of pre season snifters in Malta, Tel Aviv, Serbia or Slovenia, as we embark on another European adventure, so that will help. We then need the squad depth to last from then until May 2018.

Not too much to ask is it?


Ross Crombie


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