So I’ve refrained from posting on Everton post Lisbon – and post Spurs and post Hull- mainly because I was utterly perplexed at the inept, inadequate performance at Sporting and had no explanation for it. I still have none.
Was it that everyone involved from the manager down thought the job was done and in the wake of a terrific win against Manchester Utd. that Spoting would roll over? Possibly.
Where Everton caught between a desire to press on with the swashbuckling style that upended the current English champions and a cautious desire to defend a slim European lead, causing confusion and uncertainty and precipitating defeat? Maybe.
Did a talented group of players conspire to have nightmares all on the same night? Senderos and Bilyaletdinov in particular, had two of the worst displays I have ever witnessed from an Everton player- and I’ve seen Rod Belfitt, Claus Thomsen, Glenn Keeleyand Terry Darracott playing for the Blues so I should know.
Following on from the Lisbon Debacle MKII, wasn’t the Spurs result oh so predictable? Absolutely. I couldn’t even watch it.
Then we go and eviscerate Hull. Okay so it’s Hull but 5-1 could easily been 8- or 9-1 it was so lopsided. Back was the fabulous passing game and the incisive attacking play, all rolled out in high style.
What to make of these Blues? Truly I’m at a loss. I no longer know “which” Everton will turn up- the ones that have outplayed Manchester Utd., Arsenal and Chelsea, and got deserved results or the clueless headless chickens of Lisbon (twice) and the Anfield derby. So we wait and see- tomorrows game at Birmingham affords that most risible of football motivations, “revenge”, in this case for the early exit from this years FA Cup, but the only motivation needed should be the quest for points and moving into the European places.
Then again we may legitimately ask what is the point of qualifying for European contests if we are going to compete as we did in Lisbon and yet again get tossed from an eminently winnable competition?