Trying to be an Optimist

by   |   16/02/2023  6 Comments  [Jump to last]

I've tried not to react instinctively to the defeat at Anfield; let's be fair, we didn't actually deserve to win. However, this weekend my son and grandson are making the epic journey from darkest Rutland to see the Leeds game and, for the first time ever, I (for health reasons) cannot accompany them.

I'm rather sad because every season since 1953-54, except pandemic seasons, I've made a couple of visits to Goodison Park. I left Liverpool in 1964 and before that I had a season ticket in the old Paddock, watching Young, Vernon et alia. All told, it's been about 300 games — not as many as some old timers, but enough. I now am a Sky, BT, Amazon Prime fan primarily… pun intended.

Anyhow, back to the topic in hand, trying to be optimistic. Sean Dyche got them up for it for the Arsenal game and, looking again at the derby match, while not deserving much, can I suggest we were unlucky. Tarkowski scored against Arsenal with a set-piece header; against Liverpool, he hit the post with one. Two inches made all the difference.

Liverpool went up field and, partly because of some astigmatic goalkeeping from Pickford, they scored. The second goal was a case of Coady not playing safe and kicking it out for a corner. Maybe he mixed up his allegiances. What I am suggesting is that, looked at from a certain Blue bias, Liverpool — despite their superiority — could have drawn or even lost that game.

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Everton's games against Leeds Utd and Aston Villa are absolutely key to our survival. Leeds are a high-octane team who make mistakes; Villa, under Emery, are an improving team, but not one of the more consistent teams. Both should be beatable if we can find a goal.

Calvert-Lewin's hamstring and other issues (tissues?) would seem to be the main factor in our survival. Simms has size and presence, even if he lacks a great first touch. McNeil has looked better under Dyche. Gray scores two or three great goals a season — maybe he's got one or two left?

Perhaps Iwobi will add calmness in front of goal to his energy and maybe Onana — he looks a prospect — will get us a goal. I'm not an admirer of Gueye, I'd like to see Godfrey tried in his defensive midfield role, but I accept that's a minority opinion.

I'm hoping the presence of two Tarletons on Saturday will galvanise Everton. I've seen some great Everton teams; my son, in his early 40s, just missed the great '80s team and my grandson (age13) has only known Everton to be strugglers. Both are passionate and enthusiastic; my grandson is an optimist about all things Everton and I hope his faith transfers to the pitch and we get three essential points this weekend.

Good luck to Sean Dyche and his team. COYB.

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Reader Comments (6)

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Jim Bennings
1 Posted 16/02/2023 at 13:52:34
It seems criminal that we allowed Sean Dyche to become our manager without any kind of transfer plan before that window closed last month.

We knew we needed a forward or two in August so it comes as zero surprise to any that we are the Premier Leagues lowest goalscorers with a paltry 16.

If Dyche does pull off this survival, then I guess he does deserve that bonus in summer.

We'll know more over this next four games but we need at least 5 points to give ourselves a fighting chance going into the home straight.

Jon Harding
2 Posted 16/02/2023 at 15:04:21
I think if we are to score any goals we need to go 2 up top – none of our available players are good enough to play the lone frontman role.

But that means we'd be weak in midfield if sticking with attacking wide players like McNeil. So I'd be tempted to go with 4 central midfielders across the park (Dogs of War style) or use 2 full-backs on each side, one in front of the other – Godfrey with Coleman and Mykolenko with Vinagre, for example. But what would I know?

I hope you and the generations can enjoy Saturday's game, Rick. UTFT

Danny O’Neill
3 Posted 16/02/2023 at 15:28:20
Here's hoping your boys have a memorable day out, Richard.

They are long days and sometimes nights. But worth it. Every single minute.

Tony Abrahams
4 Posted 16/02/2023 at 15:51:19
I was going to go off on another rant about who has helped diminish us but I like the title – without optimism, we have got nothing.

When Evertonians get behind their team, anything is possible, so we have got to create the type of atmosphere that the Leeds winger, Daniel James, said made the Everton players run like they believed they were invincible in this same fixture last season.

Brendan McLaughlin
5 Posted 16/02/2023 at 00:04:09
Optiism comes from the Manager and the team he puts out on the pitch who believe in him. Hopefully Sean will do that.

Owners, chairmen, boards...not so much.

John Pendleton
6 Posted 19/02/2023 at 01:41:08
Hope today's win makes trying to be an optimist a bit easier, Richard. Chuffed for the two Tarleton representatives present.

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