We’re off to Everton again.
Everton away. The trouble with this one, and Everton at home for that matter, is that there’s not much new you can say about it. And yes, we say that every time as well.
Like that lot we played last week, there should be a lot to like about Everton. In fact, they’re like some footballing version of a distant cousin who you hardly know but who by some genetic throwback looks just like your brother. They’ve got a long and chequered history where they’ve been at the top a few times but never really punched their weight, just like us. They’ve not had the lows we have, but they’ve never had our highs either. Then, just when you think we should have a bit of respect for them you remember. They’re Everton. Play in blue. Claim to be the club of the city. Perennially in the shadow of their bigger, more successful neighbour. There’s a lot of it about.
Anyway, if the laws of gravity, probability and about time too finally kick in, this will be our last visit to Goodison. They’re getting a new ground for 2024-25, just in time for the visit of Wycombe, but in keeping with a club of such historical prominence they’ll keep some aspects of the old ground; you won’t be able to see half the pitch from the away end and there won’t be anything worth spending your money on at half-time. They’ve also got a list of former players inducted as Everton giants. Two of them used to be with us; Adrian Heath and David Unsworth. Giants indeed.
Historical significance apart, this trip shouldn’t be as memorable as some of our previous ones. Less violent, less important, less of us there. There’s a good chance it won’t be as warm as the home game either. They’ve got the charming Idrissa Gueye back and warming the bench, we’ve got Lucas Digne who might be doing the same thing. It’s a game between a team who need the points to help them stay up and one who’ve lost too many for comfort lately. By five o’clock on Saturday that will be a thing of the past.