I don’t know what to say.
The range of emotions that Everton supporters had to deal with last week were off the charts.
First, there was Thursday’s CLUB-CHANGING ANNOUNCEMENT that there was real legitimate progress towards a new water-front stadium:
That, however, was almost immediately undermined by Friday’s disastrous World Cup Qualifier between Republic of Ireland and Wales.
It started ominously enough when Martin O’Neill decided to throw science out the window and start James McCarthy.
So everyone was TOTALLY SHOCKED when this news broke:
Then, because Everton fans aren’t allowed to have more than one day of elation before questioning their own existence, their worst nightmare came true when Neil Taylor decided to be a %^&*&^%$#@ head and take out our beloved Seamus.
Red card for Neil Taylor following a lunge on Seamus Coleman. Serious injury for the Ireland captain.. #COYBIG— FAIreland (@FAIreland) March 24, 2017
Leaving Toffees everywhere feeling....well.....
So this Tuesday’s mailbag finds me wandering the unknown abyss which is our immediate future.
Should I be filled with unbridled excitement over the fact the club has taken more major steps towards growth in the past 6 months than the last two decades?
Or should I be totally disheartened that in the midst of one of the best runs of form in recent history the club has been WALLOPED by injuries to Morgan Schneiderlin, McCarthy, and Coleman RIGHT BEFORE THE MERSEYSIDE DERBY?
Perhaps answering some questions, writing a haiku, and redirecting my incredibly fragile emotions towards this article will help.
So without further ado, time to get to your questions!
Ok...so this isn’t a question...hold on....
@foleysthoughts what do you think about the stat above?— Brian Foley (@foleysthoughts) March 27, 2017
There, now I can proceed.
I actually was a bit surprised, to be honest, when I read that no team had had more goal scorers in the league than Everton.
It isn’t that I don’t remember all of the individual goals, it’s just odd to think no other team had had more players contribute to their goal tally.
So what CAN we learn from a stat like that?
Well, the obvious takeaway would be that the squad is not totally reliant on one or two individuals for all of their goals, but rather approach scoring from a team angle.
THAT’S A GOOD THING, RIGHT?!
A quick look at the top scorers in the league, though, and we find Romelu Lukaku sitting pretty at the top.
So we ARE reliant on one player? I’m confused.
Without the constant threat of attack of the big Belgian, teams would press higher on us and in lieu of another option would force Everton to play a totally different style.
He is the center of the attack, as his current position in the golden boot standings would tell us, and there is no denying that.
So why is it then, that with the league’s leading scorer and more contributors than any other team, Everton finds themselves having only the 6th most goals in the league?
Well, because it takes more than one player to score a team into the Champions League. While the Toffees have the front line scorer, what they lack is a consistent second option.
Compare them to the other squads battling for Europe
The pairing of Diego Costa and Eden Hazard for Chelsea and Harry Kane and Dele Alli for Spurs has paid dividends for their respective teams.
Manchester City’s numbers seem low, but when you consider how many games Sergio Aguero has missed, the addition of Gabriel Jesus, and the fact they have Kevin De Bruyne as well and there is no lack of PROVEN attacking options.
(You can also argue that Manchester City’s dearth of a consistent second scoring option is the reason they are fighting for a Champions League spot and not the title.)
Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino, and Alexis Sanchez and Olivier Giroud have had similar impacts on their teams, spreading out not only the GOALS but the THREAT as well.
While it would certainly be nice to have Ross or Kevin Mirallas chipping in 10-15 goals (we would probably be top 4), more importantly it would help alleviate some of the pressure on Lukaku during matches.
Often facing a double team, Rom is forced to create his own opportunities through interplay and off the ball work, without the other team having to worry about the threat of another major scorer.
Without that threat, teams can shift to Lukaku (especially in big matches) and with no one to consistently punish them, they are left to harass the Belgian, who somehow finds success in spite of all of the attention.
Lacking that option, Everton are left hoping someone else on the team will add in the other goal(s) needed for the win, though no individual carries that pressure with them.
That’s good in that every player feels like they can contribute, but bad in that goal scoring isn’t REQUIRED it seems for anyone but Rom.
So why does Everton have more goal scorers than anyone else in the league?
Because they REALLY only have one.
Emotions run high
Wars are fought more civilly
A great question!
As I am sure you are aware, it’s been a while since we won against the Red Rovers (2010), much less on the road.
In fact, the last time the Toffees won in their former home was a 1-0 win back on September 27th, 1999!
So how should Toffees supporters celebrate should such a long streak is broken?
Party like it’s 1999!
So, I went back and looked up what was popular the week of Everton’s last win at Anfield, and let me tell you, this is going to be an AWESOME party!
For music, you would have to have the #1 song at the time blaring in the background!
(It could also be a song about us winning!! IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE PRETTY!!)
Then, once the mood is set, you could throw on the most popular show of the time, Friends, for some background noise.
When everyone is all loosened up and relaxed from the win and the AWESOME music, break out the Pokemon and get everyone involved!
(Pokemon Go doesn’t count......it was 1999....you didn’t even have a FLIP phone!)
Finally, after a crazy night recounting the win, listening to TLC, watching Friends and playing Pokemon, wrap it up by Livin’ La Vida Loca and watching the year’s biggest release:
You know what?
On second thought, you can skip that last part.
Forcing anyone to watch that movie would immediately and overwhelming kill their joy, no matter how many goals the Toffees won by.
if when the Toffees finally break the jinx, throw in your TLC CD, pop on some Friends, and party like it’s 1999!!