For the 66th year, I tipped up at Goodison Park on Saturday.  These days, it’s hard to remember many matches…..even from last season.  I suppose these days I’m attracted by other factors:

  • the anticipation en route
  • a few beers before the game
  • meeting friends and family, often by accident – excuse for another beer….
  • chatting with random strangers about the starting line-up
  • summoning up the strength to get up the stairs to my seat………

I don’t know if it was just me [it probably was] but the longer the game went on, the more it resembled a match against that dreadful Wimbledon team of the 1980s – Watford were for the most part just lumping the ball into the Everton half for Troy Deeney to jump for.  Ironic – I think he only won about three headers in the whole game, such was the dominance of Michael Keane and Yerry Mina. Yep, Yerry Mina.  I know, but he was like a colossus out there, winning just about every aerial duel and looking every part the complete centre back. He now has two clean sheets to his name this season, unlike the World’s greatest-ever centre back in the history of Western Civilisation across the park, who has none.

So far.

After the balloon-head red card at Palace, Snagglepuss was suspended, giving the manager the opportunity to start with Gbamin.  I am assured that it is pronounced BAM-ANN [by some fella in the pub] so that’ll do for me.  Question: why give him a G when there was never any intention to use it? Isn’t this cruelty to capital letters?

Anyway, he showed glimpses of being a decent player, and some glimpses of being otherwise.  Although he struggled occasionally with the pace of the game and some pretty agricultural tackling by Wimbledon Watford, Silva was right to leave him on, for development purposes.

So – is he another Vieira, or another Nyarko? Jury’s out.

Pickford did what was needed when it was needed, including getting his dial in the way of a goal bound Deeney effort – that’s two games and no daft decisions, he’s coming along nicely.

Coleman was ok, but overshadowed by the other three at the back, with Lucas Digne excelling, especially when setting up the goal with a raking 60 yard pass.  By the way, it’s pronounce LOOKA-DEEN [same fella, same pub].

For me, Gomes and Gylfy were fine and functional without being outstanding – at times it was hard work covering the new guy.  Bernard was busy and classy, and the goal was a fine effort. DCL worked his socks off and had little service of any note.  By the way, you – yes, YOU – sitting along from me in the Park End: stop screaming at the lad at every opportunity! I’ll bet you were just the same with Graeme Sharp when he first appeared in the first team.  Leave him, he will be fine.

Richarlison missed two glorious chances to sew the game up, and had a gob on him like a robber’s dog when he was subbed.  Two out of ten this week, fella, and sort your attitude. Kean came on and did a couple of tasty moves followed by a couple of rubbish shots wide of the target.  He might be anything, this lad – fingers crossed.

Fact is, this was a game we only drew last season [and only JUST drew!] – so a narrow win is a good result.

When I arrived home, I realised I’d left my flag.

Devo’d.

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