Repeat to fade

Everton away, and we’ve been there before.

Off we go to Everton on Sunday afternoon and let’s see what’s different from last time we went there. The answer of course is, as we say every season, not much. Goodison’s still woefully out of date, with more obstructed views than anywhere else. The team are still circling the drain marked ‘relegation,’ although that’s not entirely their fault. If they were owned by an oil state instead of being a people’s club or some such nonsense they wouldn’t have lost all those points and they’d have risen to the dizzy heights of mid-table mediocrity instead of hoping to finish above Luton. The supporters still cling to some strange eighties feeling of superiority when they’re just like every other lot who play in blue and claim to be the proper fans in the city. They don’t seem to like us for some reaosn, either.

You might have heard it mentioned before but this is the most-played top-flight game in the country, although both teams over the past few years have done their best to ruin that one. There seems more memories attached top trips at Goodison than any other away ground – whether it be Tony Morley and the Goal of the Season, the League Cup semi-final that made Beirut seem pleasant, Sir Graham’s last match, David O’Leary’s debacle when the lucky ones got stuck on the M6 and missed it completely, Ashley Young’s last-minute winner; it all happened at Goodison, or sometimes outside.

Apart from that they’ve still got Ashley Young and Idrissa Gueye, plus Sean Dyche as manager so don’t expect much free-flowing football. We’ve got no more injuries so far although the minor knocks that were doubtful two weeks ago have gone down the usual Villa route of making a garage mechanic’s estimate look accurate.

We’ve won the last five league matches against Everton. We’ve never won six in a row but before last August we hadn’t beat them five times either so that’s an omen. Another three points and the title chase is still on.