The Patience of Saints

Julian Exshaw 05/03/2017  5 Comments  [Jump to last]
After going out of the FA Cup so limply against Leicester, I thought our season was over. However, our beloved club loves to play with our emotions, dangling hopes in front of us, daring us to believe that better times are ahead.

Man City come to the Old Lady and we batter them 4-0. High emotions, passion, great goals, oh the joys of being an Evertonian. The sight of Lukaku applauding as Ross cheekily celebrates before the ball even crosses the line against Bournemouth, magic!

The improvement in results and performances probably had us all dreaming of the top 4 again, praying the Sky 4 (or is it 6 nowadays) would drop points, checking the table, 3 points here, a point against the Red Shite there, beat Man Utd... all possible. Alas, come 3.30 today these hopes look well forlorn.

Let's make no mistake, Spurs looked good, pressing us like men possessed; no time for our boys to think, let alone pass the thing constructively. I certainly wouldn't question the players' commitment, we were simply out-played. Our record away from home against the top teams is atrocious and has been for 20 years. We talk about a new stadium (which won't happen for at least 5 years), new players, next transfer windows, all for the future.

The problem is, I don't want to think of the future anymore. I am tired of false dawns. I am jealous of Tottenham and Chelsea and even Leicester going places where we should be, season-in and season-out. I want success now. I was in my late teens as we dominated under the great Howard Kendall, too young to enjoy its significance, naive enough to believe that that was how it would always be.

We Evertonians always seem to be waiting, a 'so near and yet so far' club. 'Poor Everton', my uncle used to say. Many fellow ToffeeWeb contributors are often criticised for impassioned reactions to defeats, me included. All it is, though, is frustration pumping through our blue veins.

Another defeat, another year of mid-table stability, another year to be forced to be patient, the never-ending prerequisite of being an Evertonian.

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Reader Comments (5)

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Peter Anthony
1 Posted 06/03/2017 at 09:47:14
I feel your pain, Julian. I think Koeman was scarred by the mauling at Stamford Bridge, hence not using 3 at the back. I think he should have been braver as we were not used to it against Chelsea, but are now good with a back 3.

Holgate was missed again for me. Barry not needed in the overcrowded midfield, our pkayers were on top of each other. Lukaku isolated due to no Mirralas, Lookman or Valencia until the game was gone.

Being bolder may have worked, it may not, but I am disappointed Koeman seemed to be too cautious in his team selection and formation this time and it meant Spurs were rampant as Lukaku lacked support until we were losing already.

Too little, too late. I hope he gives the players more belief in other away games, we have nothing to lose by being braver. Better to be hung for a sheep than a lamb.

Paul Birmingham
2 Posted 06/03/2017 at 09:50:36
Ditto, it's an early 50 years syndrome. A life time has passed and anguish and frustration. It still ruins weekends but in context of life, it's doesn't do my head in like it did when I was younger.

Times and values change and what these players earn now and how they play puts them in the millionaire league, and most of us leave to earn a crust the hard way.

One thing though: great memories and friendships made, that can't be broken. Let's hope for a brighter future, but with some genuine rays of hope very soon, for the future of EFC.

Dermot Byrne
3 Posted 06/03/2017 at 17:36:46
Nothing new in this. Same for 95% of all footy fans.
Peter McHugh
4 Posted 06/03/2017 at 17:51:02
Most disappointing for me was not the starting line up but continued failure not to change even at half time. Schneiderlin, Davies, and Gueye all had severe off days.

Barry played a lovely ball through to Lukaku, I suppose, but the game was too fast for him. Very. very frustrating as it is the same tactic of Lukaku on his own each and every game.

Stan Schofield
5 Posted 07/03/2017 at 14:07:58
When Koeman gets the tactics and team selection right, we do well, but struggle when he gets them wrong. That's what happened on Sunday.

The disappointing thing for me was that this mistake was entirely predictable, a repeat of previous mistakes, and thus avoidable. That's frustrating, to say the least, because there's not much difference between Spurs and us in terms of quality of player.

But Koeman takes a too defensive approach away from home, instead of having a winning mentality where it's a given that we go out to win each game, whether home or away. I hope he doesn't repeat his mistake at the derby game.

I was pleased when Koeman joined us, but have some concerns to do with his management style and tactical judgement. Nevertheless, I still support him, but at the same time recognise that he could, in the longer term, prove not to have the right calibre to satisfy Moshiri's vision of where he wants us to go.

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