1. Let Me Rub My Eyes
Holy crap. Let's dominate them early, near batter the opposition into submission before inexplicably turning to dust and somehow end up 2-0 down.
It's nice that I can write exactly the same paragraph about West Ham as I can about England's cricket team.
My sporting teams are plumbing new depths of ineptitude before my eyes.
2. Where Have I Been?
Before I begin in earnest, an apology for the lack of a preview for the Everton game. My employers appear to be clinging to the antiquated notion that I should be actually producing something in return for my wages.
I have tried to explain the concept of Jude Law to them, but all to no avail.
3. Wikipedia Is Ace
I did have a quick look on Wikipedia for facts about Everton and the entry simply says "Everton suck". (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Everton_F.C.)
You can't disagree that it makes up for in accuracy what it lacks in depth.
4. The Crest Of A Good Idea
Everton's club crest has the motto "Nil Satis Nisi Optimum" on it, which is Latin for "Interminably Dull".
When considering that we contrived to lose to them on Sunday it is worth pointing out that blokes such as Lee Carsley, Alan Stubbs and James Beattie all actually played the whole game. Now when you ponder that these men usually can't get into the Everton team it just makes a fellow depressed.
I cannot begin to express how frustrating it is to lose to a team who are devoid of their best players and for the most part of this game, completely devoid of attacking threat. I will concede that Leon Osman is one of the most underrated players around but for the love of God, most of that team are just worker bees.
5. The Stats
Is it possible to have 14 corners and not actually muster an attempt on goal from any of them? I would have said that it was a physical impossibility until I watched us chip every single one aimlessly to the front post. Of course, we have scored twice from corners in this Millenium so perhaps I'm asking too much but there was a depressing familiarity to Sunday's game.
By the way, Carlos Tevez had 8 shots at goal today. I have a feeling that's how you score goals away from home, but it's been quite a while so I can't really remember.
6. The Opposition
Everton suck. (See above). Andy Johnson is a diver and James Beattie is a modern marvel in that I have never seem him without a piece of chewing gum in his gob.
All of the above not withstanding, isn't it amazing what a little effort can do? (I'm staring squarely at you Nigel Reo-Coker)
7. The Referee
Yep, there was one. He did ok.
8. My Brand New Carlos
Fresh from a terrific strop after his previous game, Carlos Tevez was terrific in a different way against Everton. At the heart of all our best moves and full of running he put Bobby Zamora to shame with his all round performance.
If we had a couple more players on his wavelength we might actually have scored in this game. We got fairly close with Bowyer's early effort but after that we scrabbled around like a one armed man in a wheelbarrow race.
9. A Change Is As Good As A Rest
Can anybody explain to me what Bobby Zamora and Nigel Reo-Coker are still doing in this team? We haven't scored in 172 consecutive away games and our centre forward has not yet been dropped whilst our attacking midfielder remains immovable despite giving the ball away with alarming frequency.
If all the reports are true and he does leave English football to go and play for Arsenal in January then I can't say I will be missing him too much. His attitude this year has been poor and his performances well below par. I don't actually think that dropping Reo-Coker will do much good because we have no natural replacement for him (Bowyer no longer has the legs to play through the middle) but it might send a message to the rest of the team that coasting is no longer tolerated.
Truth be told the recent home wins have just papered over the cracks of what has thus far been a truly dismal season. The Premiership is unrelentingly mediocre nowadays and if teams like Bolton and Portsmouth can ensconce themselves in the upper reaches of the table then there is no reason why we should be scratching around at the bottom of the league. But we are. And it would be nice if a few more of the players showed they realised that too.
Token Michael Dawson Slaughtering
Credit where is it's due department - Mike played 90 minutes against Arsenal on Saturday and didn't set off any fire alarms. That's nice work son. Now for actual tackling...