Might need help on my unhealthy obsession with Everton
I have become obsessed with Everton to what may well be a very unhealthy degree.
With Newcastle United and their season so utterly predictable, my interest has been increasingly drawn to the blue half of Merseyside.
I still follow all of our (Newcastle’s) defeats and rubbish performances, watching all the garbage as it happens, but at the same time keeping one eye on Goodison Park.
God forbid anybody would think Everton were some kind of ‘second club’ for me, it is more that I am just fascinated as to how it all turns out.
A lot of that, well pretty much all of it, is down to of course the presence of Rafa Benitez. Though the likes of Rondon and Townsend joining up again with the Spaniard gives it another small uplift of interest / curiosity.
The man (Rafa Benitez) with the plan at Newcastle United who Mike Ashley simply couldn’t wait to force out, in order to do things in his (Ashley’s) own very unique (stupid) fashion.
Viewing events at Everton from a distance is very much a case of ‘lets have a look at what we could have won’ from a Newcastle United perspective, or at least, lets have a look what we could have experienced…if Rafa Benitez was still seeing NUFC as his final long-term project of a long and successful career, rather than this being apparently now set to be the case at Everton instead.
Wanting Rafa Benitez to do well, has been made extra difficult due to the Everton fanbase containing so many individuals lacking any class or integrity, but I guess all clubs have them, though Everton with a seriously large minority.
Their behaviour towards Newcastle fans has always been a source of much amusement and then when Rafa Benitez was first seriously linked, a fair few Everton fans did absolutely embarrass themselves to a huge degree.
However, I do think this was made to look far bigger than it really was, due to the weird nature of social media these days.
Despite a start of four wins and a draw in the opening five games, despite only coppers to spend in the summer on new signings, there are still some sad Everton fans desperate to ‘prove’ Rafa Benitez isn’t a decent manager (or indeed, person). As you can see from the comments below following Monday’s victory over Burnley.
A fair amount of talk of having played nobody yet…but as well as a win in the League Cup, Everton are the only club to beat Southampton so far and more impressively, won away at Brighton. The Seagulls are looking very decent themselves this season and have won their other three PL games, which makes the Everton result look very good. A 2-2 draw at Leeds is far from shabby, nor last night’s eventual 3-1 win over Burnley that puts the blue scousers joint top of the league.
Interesting as well to hear Rafa Benitez speaking intelligently on Sky Sports last night and to see the respect the likes of Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher do have for the Spaniard. In stark contrast to the absolute nonsense coming out of the mouth of Steve Bruce every time he speaks. Only Mike Ashley would actively force Rafa Benitez out, to then replace him with a Steve Bruce. It would be hilarious…if it wasn’t us. It is like going from dating a Miss World to a Miss Sunderland…
Thoughts now turn to Friday night though and what further misery Ashley and Bruce can thrust in our direction, Leeds without a win so far in the Premier League this season, the writing surely on the wall as Brucey comes up with his latest cunning matchday plan…
As for Everton and Rafa Benitez, they then play Villa away before moving on to Norwich at home. If pulling off a win at Villa, then every chance of potentially being clear on points at the very top after that Norwich match. Early days etc etc but at least the vast majority of Everton fans are finally accepting that this Rafa knows a thing or two about management.
At least showing a bit of interest in the events at Goodison Park, temporarily at least stops me dreading hearing what Steve Bruce is going to say when he next opens his big fat mouth. Losing his temper with both NUFC media and Newcastle fans when we are only four games into the season, the mind boggles as to what he will be like if no more lockdowns and behind closed doors matches this season, Bruce having set his stall out in aggressive fashion already to take on all-comers (journalists and fans) this season, what will he and indeed Mike Ashley do, if Newcastle United continue rooted in the relegation zone?
Everton fans commenting on their Grand Old Team message board after the latest Rafa Benitez win over Burnley on Monday night:
‘Over 18 months since I was last at a packed Goodison park, that was boss last night! For 60 minutes I was checking if Ancelotti was in the dug out because we were so poor but then we went into overdrive and then the last half an hour we were superb! Loved it.’
‘The football has been absolutely grim for large parts of this season already, not sure where anybody gets entertaining from.’
‘I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I like him a lot.’
‘The tactics last night for the first 60 minutes were flat out wrong – there’s no point sugar-coating it and pretending otherwise. We set up negatively and suffered as a result.
However, to Benitez’s credit, he recognised the mistake and changed it to great effect. That is something Ancelotti refused to do last season – so fair play.’
‘You’d wish we got Steve Bruce or another one of these also rans for a few weeks just to turn the tables on these depressing meffs.
I’m sure the Geordies would take that deal, trading Brucie-lad fer Benitez…’
‘We should sack him. Get in a new gaffer for the next 4 and get the new manager bounce again.’
‘I don’t think he’s a good manager, probably an average/poor one really – but the happy clappers have us winning the league and CL on the back of possibly the easiest 4 game start we have had in recent memory.’
‘Hating him I can understand.
But thinking he’s a poor manager is a very bold statement about the manager of the league leaders and third best goalscoring tally.’
‘I know it must hurt watching us do well after hating on a manager who “insulted” us when you was only about 10 and was wearing a Leeds half n half but he is here and playing well so take it in and enjoy it.’
‘You don’t seem very happy with Everton/Benitez doing well so far. I will wait for our first defeat and see the glee in your posts then……think you are the weirdo here.’
‘I’m happy with our results, I don’t like Benitez being the manager.’
‘Rafalafel got death threats before he even took up the job.’
‘He could have done something about that, like not take the job if it bothered him that much.’
‘I didn’t see the first half but from what I was reading on here it was appalling.
I got to tune in just before the Burnley goal and thought “here we go again”.
But what followed was the most enjoyable and exciting half hour of watching EFC that I have witnessed in a very long time.
And full marks to Raffles for carrying on with the substitution he was about to make just as we equalised.
Most managers would have given it another ten minutes after that.
But the subbing got us on the front foot and we blew them away.’
‘Some poor stuff at times, but eventually a well deserved win. Good tactical switch from Benitez saw a complete change in the pace and direction of our play.’
‘I’d love to see the bottom three be the same on May 22.’
‘Went to bed after Burnley scored after that horrible first half. Man, do I regret that!’
‘Rafael the red will not be Benitez the blue until there is a derby win.’
‘For about 55 minutes we were utter cra=.p. Really, really bad. Then we moved up the gears and blew Burnley away.
Why did we start with that formation? It didn’t get the best out of anyone.
Thankfully Burnley are too cr.p to punish us for more than one goal for how bad we were up to that point.’
‘I was very disappointed with his tactical awareness tonight. My Nan would’ve seen that change was needed and he didn’t do it until we went behind.’
‘Something went wrong with my telly.
I was watching the usual Everton performance when it just switched over to Bayern Munich for some odd reason.
Bayern won 3-1. How did Everton get on?’
‘Ancelotti’s Everton do not win that game tonight. Fair play and credit to Benitez. He knows his footy alright.’
‘Raphael taking over from Ancelotti is the key. Couple of gem signings and the ability to get one time dross looking like world beaters.’
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