Depressingly predictable performance, and the only surprise is that we squeaked a point out of a lacklustre display that had CBA written all over it.
The crossbar may still be swaying at the Liberty as Coleman’s shot from about 3 yards out was too well hit on the stretch when a scuff was the order of the day. It was about the only decent move of the game from our perspective unless you’re generous with the build-up to the pin-ball own goal that had raised momentary hope of back to back away wins for the Blues. As if we’d have done that? I mean, after a season like this?
You can choose your own D word. Depressing. Demotivating. Disastrous. Disheartening. Dispiriting. Dismal. Dire. Diabolical. A season that started with such hope, maybe even a large dollop of expectation, has come crashing down around our ears. It’s hard to remember any kind of ‘purple patch’ that we can look back on, not as a team anyway, just a handful of individual performances that at least prove that this squad is capable, even though by and large they’ve shown themselves to be incapable. And at the helm have been two managers that have also shown they’re incapable of harnessing the power and strength of the support base that has often contrived to raise performances, both home and away. Whether Unsworth would have achieved that, rather than be shuffled back in to the back-room pack, we’ll never know.
What the match against Swansea showed us is that we don’t appear to have any kind of plan, and precious little DNA of a style that we want to play, other than ‘don’t lose’; wasn’t yesterday (and the final few games we have to endure), the chance to throw off the shackles, and give the fans some wondrous one touch creative approach and attacking play? Instead, we turn up at a team just above the relegation zone and play two DMs, one of whom has been shocking all season, and Rooney just in front of them, a man, sadly, surely in the twilight of his playing days and probably not the creative spark in midfield that we desperately need. Oh for a Juan Mata, a Cesc Fabregas or even dare I say it a Jonjo Voldemort (who despite being an absolute knob, is actually a player who plays it forward quickly). Ok, maybe not him, and maybe someone like the aforementioned Spaniards who haven’t got as many miles on the clock (they’re 30/31 by the time next season starts), but do they exist in the squad and we just need them back to full fitness? Well, at least we have Sigurdsson, who was definitely getting in to the groove before his injury, but that’s about it. Pretty sure there’s not a creative talent in the U23s that’s being suppressed and just desperate to get his chance.
So for all the calls for a CB or two, a LB or LB back up, a 20+ goals a season striker, the priority for me is to get a player who can release a pretty dynamic front three at the moment of Tosun, Walcott, and hopefully Bolasie if we can get off his back for a minute and let him get back to full fitness and play like we know he can. And if that front 3 is augmented by another pacy winger ….well, we can but dream.
Instead we have to listen to the dirge put out by one of the worst managers at Everton since records began (in other words, ever) whose definition of success includes winning the second half of a game when we were 3-0 down after the first, and didn’t even mange 20% possession in the whole game; holding our neighbours to a drab goalless draw when they had half the team out that played City; and saying a draw away in the PL is a good result (technically true, but we didn’t NEED a point, what we NEEDED was a display of verve and excitement as a thank you to the loyalty of the fans, home and in particular away). I’ve said all along, so I’m not bandwagoning it, I think Allardyce is an awful Manager, how on earth he managed to become England Manager is a mystery, and why on earth we chose him as our apparent saviour is even more of a riddle. I remember when he was appointed to the England job, and the main selling point fed to us was that “he’d never been relegated”. If there was ever a prime example of glass-half-full thinking, you’ve got it right there. OK, it may have been a ‘needs must’ appointment at Everton as we slid down a rather too slippery slope, but I honestly believe Unsworth would have achieved the same, and – HA! – you’ll never prove me wrong.
I’m struggling to write words to describe my beautiful team.
And for that, Big Sham, you can take the blame. It’s a hell of an achievement mate, you’ve even managed to extinguish hope amongst swathes of Evertonians, and no one ever thought that was remotely achievable.