Obstructed View – Reflections on the Burnley (A) Game

I’ve been looking forward to writing about Everton without having to use the word “woeful”. After an improved-but-way-off perfect first half, I thought that time had come. How silly of me. How long have I supported Everton? 5 Minutes? No, 51 years this May….I should know better.

Tosun

A positive report on Tosun’s first proper run out, when he actually looked a player, was metaphorically screwed up and binned when our best player was mystifyingly subbed with 25 minutes still to play. True, he was blowing a bit, but the Burnley back line was no doubt pleased to see him depart. He played well, one of the few in all Blue that did.

The second half was, wait for it, woeful. When you coulda-shoulda-woulda got your second goal when in the ascendancy in the first 45, when you see Wood enter the fray and know you’re going to get a lot of quick balls in to your box, the last thing you can do is switch off. We came out for the second half as if we were still on the beaches of Dubai (another daft decision by the way), Burnley on the other hand were full of energy and running, and it wasn’t long before an exquisite through ball from Lowton found the Austrian Ashley Barnes (Austrian? Who knew?) to peg us back to level terms, before defending a corner that would embarrass most U8s coaches (without wishing to be rude to Under 8s) that led to the inevitable Wood winner. He likes scoring against us, but then, who doesn’t?

You can tell from my tone, and the relative brevity of this article, that Allardyce has successfully sucked out all the joy of supporting Everton from this author, in a way only Gordon Lee has managed in times gone by. A season I couldn’t wait to start, I now can’t wait to finish. Any team that can call on Pickford, Coleman, Rooney, Gueye, Sigurdsson, Walcott, Tosun, and even chuck in the kids like Holgate, Davies, Kenny and Calvert-Lewin, and the under-performing Keane, let alone the absent Klaassen, Mori, Baines and Jagielka (for various reasons) should not be performing like this week in, week out. It’s dreadful, and its dreadfully depressing. We all know we do the heightened expectations better than many, and yet the depths to which we have fallen from those lofty aspired heights, has surprised many if not all. The buck, I’m afraid, only lies at the Manager’s door, but sadly we on our third this season so maybe it’s the door that’s the problem, not the manager behind it. Now all the talk is about who we’ll get to replace this Shambolic dinosaur of a manager; well chaps and chapesses, let’s win a few games and make sure we’re in the Prem first, and then let’s get giddy with excitement over a Portuguese that no one had heard of 7 months ago, or a has-been Frenchman leaving (probably) a Club where his level of pig-headedness and an inability to motivate an overpaid bunch of under performers can only be matched by our own Management team this year. A sense of frying pan and fire springs to mind. Let’s focus on winning first.

Yes I’m negative, and this from one of the most positive of supporters as a rule, but yes I’ll be there on Saturday, and no, I won’t be throwing my ST at the Stewards if we under perform again. But come on Everton, there’s a fan base out there that just wants to be excited by a brand of football we once had as standard, and now seemingly can only dream of once again. That core player strength can do it. It has to, there’s no alternative.

Ross Crombie

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