Theo Walcott completed his switch from Arsenal to Everton yesterday, and stated that he ‘believed Sam Allardyce could reignite his career.’
The 28 year old (who has clearly spent the majority of this season immaculately trimming his beard, rather than watching the blues’ abject performances), spent his first day at Finch Farm confusing Allardyce with someone else.
The attacking winger is expected to nail down one of the six defensive midfield positions in Allardyce’s favoured 4-6-0 formation. It is hoped that within the first few games, Everton can mount a sustained push for a shot on target – a feat last achieved in late December.
In his first interview as an Everton player, the England international also stated that ‘the manager was very hungry’, so at least he got that part right.
Michael Keane seems to have addressed his consistency problems, and is now showing week in week out what an excellent defender Burnley’s Ben Mee is.
The 24 year old, who joined the club for £25m in July 2017, showed early glimpses of being a competent defender. However, under the guidance of Ronald Koeman, David Unsworth and latterly Sam Allardyce, he looks to have put those problems behind him.
With each passing game, Keane has looked more and more a £5m defender. The Stopfordian was full of praise for Ben Mee and how he had helped put him in the position he is today:
“I owe Ben Mee a lot. I’ve somehow managed to land a move to Everton, a bumper salary and four England caps based on his defensive performances. I can’t praise him enough. I hope to find a similarly good defender here at Everton that I can also take the plaudits for – bit it’s not looking promising. God I miss you Ben,” he wept.
With a punishing schedule of almost twenty league games and an FA Cup tie to contend with, Everton manager Sam Allardyce will be desperate to strengthen his midfield options in the January transfer window – an area grossly neglected by Steve Walsh and his predecessor Ronald Koeman in the summer.
With Kieron Dowell on loan at Nottingham Forrest, and long term absentees Yannick Bolasie and Ross Barkley seemingly weeks away from a return, the blues boss only has Morgan Schneiderlin, Wayne Rooney, Kevin Mirallas, Aaron Lennon, James McCarthy, Idrissa Gueye, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Davy Klaassen, Mo Besic, Tom Davies, Nikola Vlasic, Ademola Lookman and Beni Baningime at his disposal.
Thankfully, there are some areas where he doesn’t need to be concerned. At left-back, right-back Cuco Martina will battle it out with right-back Cuco Martina and the injured ghost of Leighton Baines. Whilst upfront, both Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Oumar Niasse will compete for the sole position of club striker. It is expected than Sandro Ramirez will return to La Liga, but it was also expected that he wouldn’t be useless – so who knows how that will play out.
There is a race against time to fit a new scoreboard at Anfield in time for the Merseyside derby on Sunday.
The existing scoreboard only has the facility to register a double figure score for either team, and there are now legitimate concerns that it won’t be able to accommodate the cricket score that Liverpool aim to rack up against Everton’s defence.
The unwelcome scoreboard drama only adds to Liverpool’s woes going into the match, following the news earlier in the week that a consignment of ten thousand Liverpool / Steau Bucharest half and half scarves had been lost in the post.
Thankfully, both setbacks don’t seem to have dented the unmitigated smugness and cockiness pouring out of every supporter at any given opportunity.
The Europa League nightmare is almost over for Evertonians, with only one more game of BT Sport commentary and analysis to endure.
Blues fans have endured a torrid time in this season’s competition, with every game succumbing to the commentary of Ian Darke, Robbie Savage and Chris Sutton. The misery being further compounded by the expert analysis of Jermaine Jenas and Martin Keown.
To the clubs’ credit, they have done everything possible to spare supporters the pain – by trying to exit the competition as quickly as possible. A series of embarrassing performances, which has seen the team consistently battered by various European minnows, has successfully enabled them to crash out in the group stage.
Everton have decided that at some point in the near future it’s probably time to stop titting about. A spokesman confirmed the club’s new position:
“To be fair, I think it’s harsh to say we’ve been titting about. I mean, yes we’ve wasted a hundred million on unnecessary transfers we didn’t need, bought too many players that want to play in the same position, didn’t sign a replacement striker or replace an ageing defence, dithered over sacking a manager who had lost the plot, and didn’t have a plan in place when we did sack him.”
“Yes we may have humiliated ourselves with one of the worst ever campaigns in Europe, had players arsing about in training, playing badly, out of position, or just not trying. And okay, we haven’t got a clue what we’re going to do about the manager’s position. But at worst, all of that’s a bit of light-hearted banter.”
“We’ll sort it out in the near future. But it will be after the Merseyside derby – we won’t be cancelling that yearly pantomime for anyone.“
A red fir tree will be planted at Finch Farm to commemorate Ronald Koeman’s 16 month tenure at the helm of the blues.
Joel Waldron, Head of Academy Operations explained:
“All of the staff will have happy memories of Ronald Koeman’s time at Finch Farm. He was here up to two to three hours a day, doing whatever they did that passed as training – always happy to give you a frown. There was also that day when he once watched the Under 23’s play – we’ll always cherish that. This tree will serve as an apt reminder of his time here.”
Koeman himself has already started to look back fondly at his time spent at Everton:
“It was a pleasure to spend 16 months managing, erm – that team in blue, the erm, Caramels. I mean Fudges. Great times. Barcelona job. Massive payoff. Smashing.“
Ashley Williams is to receive a custom made kit for the rest of the season. The kit will feature an extra-long polo neck which will cover his entire face.
Manufacturers Umbro had noted that on several occasions, the clueless defender had been trying to pull his shirt over his face whenever one of his horrendous mistakes led to a goal. The new kit aims to eliminate that problem, leaving his face permanently covered – and Williams unable to see anything happening in front of him. The Everton coaching staff believe that the loss of vision that Williams will face, will not have any further negative impact on his play.
It is thought that given the dross football that has been served up this season so far. The kit could actually be a big seller with fans unlucky enough to be within Goodison on a match day.