If ever a photo summed up the contrasting fortunes of these two teams, it’s this:
I’ll come back to it shortly.
Hands up the Evertonian that expected us to win. Anyone? Probably not. Hands up the Evertonian that hoped, rather than expected, that we’d get stuck in and give it a good old go; after all, City wouldn’t want a blood and guts fight just days before a Champions League visit to the City over the Park. Everyone? Probably.
I say “hoped” not “expected” to give it a go, because with this Everton team playing for this Shambolic manager, my expectations are now dialled down to such a low level, as to be non existent. In fairness, my hopes haven’t been that much higher. A phlegmatic shrug of the shoulders by the fans, and a downing tools by the team in the first half and we get the result you should have predicted down the bookies. Actually, I said “downing tools”, but from what I could see on the live feed on TV in Toronto (hence the delay in this epistle), the ‘tools’ were left in their toolbox in the dressing room. OK, the finish for their first goal was outstanding, and could have ended just as easily in the dark deep recesses of the Park End, but that’s without factoring in a player who, unbelievably, has only played 11 times for Germany. Whoever has been ahead of Leroy Sane in the left wing pecking order for his National team must be one hell of a player.
I don’t get it. Has this team and its manager just given up? If they have, they’re a disgrace. If it’s a case of a negative mindset that was reinforced after 5 minutes that led to the level of effort that was laid bare for us all to see, then it had better change for Saturday. Play like that in front of a blind blue passionate crowd, and there could be the most poisonous atmosphere since Dr Crippen was mixing up his potions in his back bedroom. Or Wigan in the Cup. But of course, it isn’t just the players is it? What was plain to see was that the manager was clueless – an attacking line up on paper, but 4 attacking players didn’t know how to prevent an overwhelmed midfield that contained a bypassed Rooney and a bewilderingly ineffective Schneiderlin. It was clear that something wasn’t right in the set up, and something was clearly not right after 12 minutes, but the myopic stubbornness of Allardyce didn’t see anything changed until the horse had long since bolted. Dreadful management. Is he actually saying to players to put their feet up? It seems like it.
I’m fearful of how Liverpool could slaughter us on Saturday if we turn up the same way.
What is it about Morgan Schneiderlin? It isn’t good enough to say “he’s sh**”, because whilst that’s obvious based on what we’re seeing, it’s just as obviously wide of the mark. This is a player with 15 international caps, for France no less; this is the colossus that strode the Southampton midfield in an impressive enough way to get a dream transfer to Man Utd; this is the player that even scored once for United, now I just wonder who that was against; but it is also the player that had an impressive start for Everton, but is now deemed unfit to wear the shirt. He can, therefore, clearly play football, and to a high standard. So why isn’t he? Something is amiss. It would be easy to blame Allardyce, but his downturn began under Koeman, showed little sign of improvement under Unsworth, and has only been reinforced by the bluffer that is our current manager. Somebody, presumably including himself, can get a tune out of this bloke. But if I see his lacklustre approach to life once more in a blue shirt, it’ll be one time far too many. If he suddenly has a conversion on the road to Damascus and starts at least getting his shorts dirty, then maybe he can win me round. But frankly, he’s firmly in the discard pile at the moment.
What would we give for a player that made him look even worse than he was? Silva was exceptional. OK, I know they’re different types of players, but Silva was high energy, looking for and moving in to space, and above all, he clearly wanted to win. Show us you want to win Morgan.
At least Bolasie scored.
A finely taken goal from the edge of the box makes me wonder about two things. What could he have done wit more of the ball, and what will this do to his confidence for the rest of the season? Time will tell. Allardyce will probably reward him by dropping him to the bench….
On we go. only a handful of games left of this torture. Can this team and its boss finally do something to reward our faith and optimism? I doubt it, my hope isn’t completely extinguished, but it could get snuffed out on Saturday. And if that happens, I’ll never forgive Sam Allardyce.