Everton V Chelsea 14/09/13
First off, an apology which has been 3 years in the making.
Gareth Barry, I was laughing my head off when England got ran ragged by Germany at the last World Cup, I laughed even more when crazy Rafa Benitez was ready to get rid of Xabi Alonso to make room for him in the Liverpool midfield. I even cringed a bit when Everton signed him on loan towards the end of the transfer window, but, and if I could type with my hands held up, I would be, but after his performance today, which was outstanding, I reckon it is essential that this move is made permanent before the end of the season.
Chelsea are a good team, they have spent the type of money Everton could only dream of and players such as Willian not even being part of a match day squad which boasts a bench including Frank Lampard, Fernando Torres and Oscar, something needs to be done about teams buying players so other teams (Spurs more than likely) can’t have them.
Samuel Eto’o ended his semi-retirement in Russia and started his first game for Chelsea today, I always admired Eto’o during his time at Barcelona and Inter Milan and he showed today in flashes what he is capable of, as Everton rode their luck at times, the best chance Chelsea had came from a Tim Howard mistake (who must have travelled back from the USA with that bald head/beard combo, on this of all weeks) when he was presented with an open goal which was snatched away from him by new Goodison Hero, Gareth Barry, just say that back to yourselves a few times.
Howard Webb was his usual, “I’m in charge and i’m live on Sky” refereeing mode, being matey with JT and Super Fwank and the lads while trying to make sure he is chosen for the big games. Without trying to sound too bitter about things, however they dress it up the “big teams” do get the decisions and I would be interested to see how that Luiz/Mirallas tangle on the half way line would have been dealt with had it been Torres going clean through and Jagielka pulling him back, anyway, as it was, it didn’t change much.
The goal came at the perfect time to ruin an away team talk, just before half time. Mourinho would have been pleased by Chelseas performance, Hazard has an ability to glide with the ball and if you give him space he will shoot and cause problems.
Steven Naismith has been vilified by some Evertonians for basically not being foreign with a fancy name. I doubt Steven himself would profess to being anything more than an average footballer. He seemed happy enough to stay at Rangers until they ceased to exist and was given this chance at Everton which he has taken.
He is not the best player at Everton, but, and this can’t be said of all the team at times, he always gives 100% effort in sometimes a position which is not his preferred one. The goal came from some nice build up play, Ross Barkley is continuing to impress in midfield and a cross from Osman was nodded back across goal by Jelavic and Naismith would have done well to miss to score the only goal of the game and send the Evertonians home happy.
That is two goals in two games against Chelsea now for Naismith, as well as an equaliser against the shite in last years derby, perhaps it is time to lay off him a bit and concentrate on Mirallas, who in my opinion has started the season slow (compared to the end of last season) and for parts of the game today seemed to let the game pass him by.
The win today was important for Martinez for many reasons today, Everton were unbeaten in the league yet had not won a game having drawn the opening 3 games, and if they had lost today, which easily could have happened, there may well have been a few people starting to raise eyebrows. As it is, there is real optimism amongst Evertonians, especially with the likes of Pienaar, Gibson, Lukaku and Kone to come back into the squad.
Finally, I just wanted to mention the crowd. Of course home games are different to away games, most people sit in the same seats with the same people and it takes time to get going, but when it does, like it did today, stand well back. Supporting the team is not a competition who can set off the most smoke bombs or create the funniest choreographed dance (You are going to bounce in a minute Chelsea, really?!).
The best atmospheres at Goodison are the ones that are created on the spot, the derbies and games against Man United and even Chelsea in a way speak for themselves. Off the top of my head I can remember the atmosphere against Fiorentina being electric, it wasn’t stage managed, it was just pure emotion, that is when Goodison is at it’s best, i’m not sure what my point is with that, apart from I suppose, when it comes down to it, and it has to Goodison snarls like anywhere, it’s just when Everton are 2-0 up against Fulham, it’s bound to be quiet……isn’t it?.
Anyway, a trip to London next week and West Ham, Everton always beat West Ham away…..right?!