Everton forward Richarlison burst his lip in the FA Cup 3rd round victory over Lincoln City last weekend by attempting to smile. This season, the Brazilian ace has been deployed on the left, upfront, and for a short period against The Imps, found himself in the unfamiliar position of attempting his first smile since signing for the blues.
“I’ll give anything a go,” said the permanently frowning youngster, “my preference will always be to have my face in my hands whilst I roll around on the floor following a tackle or a foul, but if it’s what the Manager wants then I’ll do my best.”
The tie also provided a brief opportunity for the Goodison faithful to smile, something which had not been possible for the entire month of December. It is expected that normal service will be resumed by the coming weekend.
Liverpool face an injury scare ahead of this weekend’s Merseyside derby with news that referee Chris Kavanagh is nursing a tight hamstring. The official picked up the knock at Brighton last weekend – though he is expected to recover in time to face the blues on Sunday.
With such a reliance on pace, pressing, and biased officiating, an injury in such a key position would be a massive blow to Jurgen Klopp’s men.
The German stated: “It’s important we all work together as a team to achieve results. That means every one of us has to do our bit to make sure every decision goes our way. The team, the fans, the officials, the pundits, the football association – everyone has to be on our side. Referee is a key position in our team. You have a sexy voice by the way,” he added in a not at all weird overly sexual way, completely appropriately for a pre-match press conference.
Everton plan to capitalise on the success and profile of star midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson.
It is widely accepted that there were missed opportunities to gain a foothold in both the Australian and American markets when both Tim Cahill and Tim Howard were at the height of their powers. The club are determined not to make the same mistake, and CEO Denise Barrett-Baxendale outlined their plans:
“40,000 Norwegians make the trip to Liverpool every other week – so why can’t a handful of Icelanders too? We didn’t spend £45m on a player without intending to capitalise on the lucrative market that is the most sparsely populated country in Europe.”
“We’ll be running a series of adverts around Reykjavik to let people know who Everton are. And for fans back home, we’ll also be offering an offal smorgasbord on match days, so people will be able to sample some authentic Icelandic cuisine like cured shark, singed sheep heads and broiled puffin. I’m not expecting it to be that much of a leap into the unknown after what’s been going into the pies during the last 20 years.”
Andre Gomes capped off a fine debut performance for Everton last weekend by being the first Everton midfielder in just over a year and a half to successfully play a forward pass.
Morgan Schneiderlin Mark I was the last player to achieve such a feat, though his pass was possibly accidental. It was also an act never to be repeated, as the pre-season upgrade to the Schneiderlin Mark II model disabled the forward pass feature along with the settings for effort, desire and ability.
This weekend’s trip to Manchester will give the bearded Portuguese heartthrob a chance to repeat the feat, and the apathetic Frenchman a slim chance of warming the bench – if that also isn’t too much trouble for him.
There is mounting discontent in and around Goodison as Everton’s squad of typically average players continue to put in average performances. Worryingly, Marco Silva – over the course of a full pre-season, has failed to transform the terrible signings of Koeman, Walsh and Allardyce into a side capable of challenging for the top four. Even the quality players signed by Moyes, though on their last legs, have somehow failed to rediscover the form they had several years ago when they were in their thirties and still able to run.
In addition to Silva’s inherited squad of over-priced, second-rate shite; several signings were made over the summer – but even these have failed to make an impact. Bernard has now played several minutes for the club without registering a goal, whilst both Mina and Gomes have made no difference whatsoever to the team. Yes, neither have yet played – but is that a good enough excuse?
The frustration felt by fans is magnified when a glance over the park sees resurgent neighbours Liverpool look like they could be valid contenders for second place in the Premier League. Klopp also has cup pedigree, and there is a strong belief that yet again he could deliver a runners-up place in one of the two remaining cups.
Meanwhile, back at Goodison there’s now a legitimate fear that Everton are heading for mid-table – a fate they have only endured 20 times since the formation of the Premier League.
It’s been revealed that ‘fear of being loaned to Stoke’ is the key reason behind Everton’s apparent upturn in form.
Several of last seasons under-performers, including Morgan Schneiderlin, have put in noticeably better performances so far this season. The Frenchman confirmed:
“I was putting in a shift in against Southampton. Thankfully, I got injured after 20 minutes so I didn’t have to do it for the whole game – but for at least 20 minutes I was almost jogging about. The thought of having to play in front of Ashley Williams and Cuco Martina for another season terrified me.”
It’s rumoured that Marco Silva and Marcel Brands intend to put even more pressure on some of the fringe players this week. Talk that they’re prepared to go as far as threatening them with having to play under Tony Pulis at Middlesbrough should not be taken lightly by anyone on the clubs’ books.
Kevin Mirallas is trying to force his way into Marco Silva’s plans by putting in a series of good pre-season performances.
The Belgian snake (30) has also been muscling his way onto free-kick duties, and is relishing stealing the next penalty kick, whilst our spineless captain watches on in silence.
The pattern of a handful of decent performances followed by a period of sulking and down-tooling, is of course textbook Mirallas. However, it is not clear this time what his motivation is. Having arrived in Athens to a returning hero’s welcome, only to be chased back to the airport a few months later by a mob of seething Greeks, another dream-move to Olympiakos is no longer on the cards. Whilst Everton themselves are already well-stocked in the non-prolific striker and inconsistent winger departments.
Rumours around Finch Farm suggest that his motivation relates to a wager he is having with the equally ophidian Morgan Schneiderlin.
Wayne Rooney’s year long testimonial came to an end last week as he completed a deal to join MLS side D.C. United on a three and a half year contract.
The year long testimonial was arranged by chairman Bill Kenwright as a thank you for Rooney’s outstanding services to the club. It netted him approximately £8m pounds which he will either donate to his favourite charity or use to pay court injunctions and fines.
Deemed a club legend by assorted print media, Rooney appeared 85 times for the blues and clocked up an astonishing 28 goals, placing him a respectable nowhere on the clubs’ all time appearance and goalscoring charts.
The B&Q store in Speke’s New Mersey Retail Park faces closure following the sale of Ramiro Funes Mori to Villarreal.
Shares in the hardware giant fell rapidly following confirmation of the move, and it is suspected that up to one hundred permanent staff members could lose their jobs.
B&Q employee Barry Venison expressed his disappointment, “Mr Mori would be in here every day buying barbecue equipment by the trolley-load. It didn’t matter what the weather was like – nothing could stop him. He’d often be here, five minutes before we opened – slightly miss-timing it, kissing his loyalty card for no particular reason, with some kind of bun thing on his head – maybe because he liked burgers.”
The Argentinian, who has long expressed a desire to return to his homeland, finally saw his wish granted last week, as he secured a transfer to Villarreal in Spain – moving him at least 400 miles nearer to Buenos Aires.
Premier League fixtures for the 2018/19 season have been leaked ahead of their official release on the 14th June.
In what is now a customary ploy to destabilise the club and ensure the blues don’t break back into the top six, Everton have been handed a typically tough run of fixtures to start the season.
The blues will travel to the Bernabéu on the opening day to face European Champions Real Madrid, before a tough home fixture against Bayern Munich. They return to Spain a week later to take on Ernesto Valverde’s Barcelona, before a testing trip back in time for a game against the 1970 Brazil team at the Maracanã.
The second fixture at Goodison will see Everton take on a World Cup 2018 all-star eleven, whilst fans demand Marco Silva’s well-groomed head.