Toffees Hammered and It’s Going Down To The Wire

420px-Skin_of_Our_Teeth_Handbill

Here we go, then, careering into the jaws of March with but a wafer thin mint between us and the chasing pack. We’re clinging on, good people, that’s for sure. With knuckles white as semi-skimmed milk. We’re clinging on.

A titanic win at The Lane on Sunday; the magnitude of which will hopefully become clear at a later date. When the table has a decidedly finished look about it, and we’re perched triumphantly- heads above water- breathing lungfuls of clean, Champions League air. Oh, I bet it tastes good up there.

*sigh*

Let’s be honest, Everton had ‘trouble’ written all over it. And it wasn’t just the testing make-up of the opposition. News of an airborne virus floating about camp days before kick-off had many- including myself- in a state of panic. I imagined an afternoon of bedlam as men of various age and nationality waddled about the park, holding their breeches, doubling over in misery as bombs of vomit and faeces exploded about their person. Like the aftermath of an all-you-can-eat raw chicken buffet. But there was no such sign of it. Corluka and Palacios- the allegedly worse stricken- had barn-storming opening forty-fives. Neither demonstrating any hints of fatigue or queasiness.

I imagine the Pavlyuchenko Fan Club has gained a few more members this weekend; the monthly newsletters alone are costing a fortune in stamps. Harry’s got his ‘From Russia With Love’ badge hidden under his lapels ready for the Cup Final. Bless. Another game and another impish bit of finishing from Mostovskoy’s favourite son. Give him a yard or two and he really doesn’t mess about, does he?

In the other most improved corner, Gareth Bale is continuing to have a revival pretty close to miraculous. What warms me most to young Baler is– attack-wise – he’s completely fearless. He’s constantly got his skates on; hugging the touchline, cutting inside. All roads lead to the opposition’s box and the swiftest route to goal. Direct or otherwise. He must be a nightmare to play against. That monkey is now not only off his back, it’s evolved into a super-human breed of full-back. Darwin would be tumbling off his stool at the rate of such progress.

And finally. Luka Modric. My how it’s nice to have to you around. Just a magical bit of work from him. After pulling a rabbit out of a swamp-filled hat last week, it must’ve been a relief to stretch his legs on something a little more horizontal. Not that anyone could get close to him, anyway. For forty-five string-pulling minutes, the Croatian was as lively as popping candy; neat passing, deft touches, all rounded off with a nifty twenty-yard curler just shy of thirty minutes.

Devised, assembled and finished in Croatia.

Thank our lucky stars that the shop window of World Cup 2010 has the shutters firmly down on Modric and his fellow countrymen this summer. We must do everything in out power to keep hold of that one.

In the meantime, Tottenham retain 4th.

Good-o.


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17 Responses to Toffees Hammered and It’s Going Down To The Wire

  1. I know, I know. Everton weren’t ‘hammered’ – if anything they hammered us in the second half. But all’s fair in love and pun.

  2. avatar sambo says:

    As ever, a lovely piece Mr Fox, I agree whole heartedly with all of the above – although I’m not sure how many takers you would get for an all-you-can-eat raw chicken buffet!

    A classic game of two halves – we were great for the first 45, lucky for the second.. never mind, 3 points in the bag and confidence boosted for the cup, one of our better weeks I think you’ll all agree!

    I’m hoping that on the back of Aaron ‘flappy ankle’ Ramsey-gate and the ongoing Bridge-Terry affair (yawn) that the wheels may fall off at our London rivals – a two game swing could see 3rd and 4th place up for grabs…

  3. avatar KayBee says:

    The second 45 matters not a jot in light of the final score. The three points were what we needed, we got them. Many folks were suggesting we’d lose or draw, so on balance, I’d say it was a fine win. Essential, even.

    We really need to take maximum rewards from the City game, too. A true six-pointer, that.

    Still, a good result on Sunday, and, hopefully, the start of a much needed run that could well end up as our insurance come THOSE three back-to-back games in April.

  4. avatar JimmyG2 says:

    Apparently The Pavlyuchenko fan club stopped taking subscription long ago.
    Now its like Bale ‘hoodoo’ believers, they have joined the ‘Pav. doubters in some subterranean cave and with Jenas injured they are over-painting the signs with ‘Stand up if you hate Kaboul’

    When I marched through London at the start of the season with my ‘Start Pavlyuchenko now’ banner there was only me and the Smirnof sponsers to be seen.
    Now him and Bale are almost guaranteed legend status

  5. avatar KayBee says:

    Is it sad of me to admit Bale has been, by far, the highlight of my 2010 so far?

    I’m hearing talk that Hudd could be okay for the Fulham game – anyone heard similar?

  6. avatar KayBee says:

    So I was skiving at work earlier, and thought I’d try out the BBC’s football predictor.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/eng_prem/predictor/default.stm

    Worryingly, I make Arsenal title winners(!) and us to finish at 6th.

    1 Arsenal – 88pts
    2 Chelsea – 87 pts
    3 Man U – 86pts
    4 Liverpool – 71pts
    5 Villa – 67pts
    6 Tottenham – 65pts
    7 City
    8 Everton
    9 Birmingham
    10 Fulham

    I did it with my head and not my heart, and I gave us nothing out of THOSE three games in April, which was either really realistic, or utterly negative, I can’t decide which.

    Anyone else fancy doing it and showing me how little I know about football/how much better off we’ll end up when Miss Cynical isn’t doing the predicting?

    • avatar sambo says:

      Its not as easy as you think predicting the outcome of Hull and Sunderland…

      I went for a long over due home win against the Woolwich, score draw against the blue scum and a classic ‘defeat at old Trafford after being two up’. I also went for a final day loss to Burnley, despite this I end up with us 4th on goal difference!

      Man Utd 90pts
      Chelsea 82pts
      Ar*enal 81pts
      Spurs 66pts
      Villa 66pts
      Everton 58pts
      City 57pts
      Liverpool 57pts

  7. Modric did this little number with the ball where he swooped it around as it came from a long cross. The guy is pure magic! If we let go of him in the summer, I’m done with footy!*

    *Disclaimer: purely a lie… only used for dramatic purposes

    COYS!

  8. avatar KayBee says:

    Some good news: the Mail (online) today published pictures of Defoe in training with England ahead of the Egypt friendly on Wednesday.

    Least he’s shaken off that knock he picked up against Everton.

  9. avatar Shannon says:

    BTW, does anyone agree that Everton’s goal should have been disallowed for a foul on Gomes?

  10. We are all taken with young Pavel, and rightly so, but I don’t think enough is being made of Thud’s contributions of late. Did you all see that pass to JD? Now that was a pass! I don’t mind being labeled “long ball” when they’re like that…….OK that’s a lie, but the point is Tom is one of the few who can pull that off. We looked much worse after he got hurt and I think we’ll miss him a lot if he’s out for long.

    • avatar KayBee says:

      We did look much worse when he went off, but that, I fear, was more to do with his “replacement”, and our willingness to drop really deep.

      I’m not really Hudd’s biggest fan, but we did miss him when he went off.

      Incidentally, was looking at the Opta Stats and they make interesting reading… http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11096_2705370,00.html

      Hudd is the 5th best passer in the league.

      Palacios is the 3rd best tackler.

      Defoe is the 3rd highest scorer, and, the player with the most offsides given against him. Imagine that, Defoe offside! Tsk!!

  11. “Your rod is never soft with our pilules of crazy love temperament!”

    Not Spurs related, but that is what the email I just received says. What’s a “pilule”?

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