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It’s hard to be positive when those that run our club seem to be losing their minds…

Goodison 2017

Goodison Park, an icon for Everton fans and the new home of Sam Allardyce.

It says it all when Everton have got Burnley, Huddersfield, Stoke, Swansea, Newcastle, Brighton, Southampton and West Ham in 8 out of our last 10 games and I’m still concerned we may not get the 6 or so points we need for definite safety.

Even the Sam Allardyce tactic of only trying to win our home games is likely to come unstuck when playing Manchester City and Liverpool. The other downside of playing those eight teams is that should we lose to any of them, they make ground on us. With our recent record of 9 points out of the last 10 we can ill afford to allow those below us free points. Yet we are only three of a possible European place. What price positive thinking

The black hole of Goodison

Is it time to be concerned over the current black hole that is Goodison Park? I’m talking about the mysterious disappearance of some players. One by one they seem to have disappeared into a Sam shaped black hole. Of course it started before he came. I imagine as Sam was shown around Goodison Park before the West Ham game, he asked about the dark cupboard door which led to a staircase down to… well, who knows?  Reluctantly he was shown down the stairs where he met Davy Klassen…

Given our poor recent run, and the need to do something different, where have Klaassen, Vlasic and Beningame disappeared to? Lookman sadly, escaped to Germany yet Schneiderlin, Martina and Williams remain untouched. Oumar escaped it and Cenk Tosun seems to be in and out despite apparently needing match practice (and thermal underwear apparently). Maybe there is central heating down there? Sam’s Everton seem to becoming a joke!

Positive thinking

When Sam Allardyce took over, it’s fair to say he wasn’t the most popular of appointments (putting it nicely). The decision was out of our hands and I felt we just had to get on with it and give our full support much as we weren’t happy. At this time, we look to be fairly safe although it is far from definite, so it appears he is about to achieve what he was brought to Goodison for. One of the more positive things I heard about him was that he was actually quite forward thinking in regard to player psychology, training methods and performance management. Yet following recent defeats (5 away defeats in a row) Sam has openly criticised the players rather than his own negative tactics and mindset. I’ve never known any team to respond positively to their own boss constantly criticising them. Despite the relative success or failure of other managers, I struggle to find any who have criticised their own players like Sam is doing at the moment.

Snowballs

Given the snow in the UK at the moment, now would be the perfect time to have a snowball fight at Finch Farm. No chance of injury given the players lack of shots on target recently.

Spoilt Manchester City

Manchester City fans throwing their teddy out of the cot when dumped out of the cup by Wigan reminded me of Evertons league cup exit at the hands of Grimsby in 1984. The big difference being that both Everton and Grimsby were cheered off after the most one sided defeat I can remember. We hammered Grimsby yet lost 1-0 to a late Paul Wilkinson goal. The antics of Pep Guardiola maybe shows he’s a winner, or maybe a bad loser? The fans however seem to have forgotten where they came from. Not that long ago winning the 3rd tier play off final. As someone said after the game, “Where would City be wthout Sheikh Mansour? League one!”

Arsenal in crisis

They’ve won the FA Cup three out of the last four seasons, just reached the League cup final, in the later stages of the Europa League having qualified after the best part of 20 years consecutive qualification for the Champions League. According to the media they are in crisis. Talksport (or as it’s more accurately described, ‘Talk RS’) regularly describe their failure in not wining the Chamions League and it being so long since they won the Premier League as if it’s failure. What rubbish! Even Ian Wright was complaining on a radio phone in aboit how low Arsenal have sunk. What i’d give for those clubs to have a dose of reality and return to the good old days of winning a trophy being regarded as success.

Burnley

Troy Deeney hadn’t scored a goal from open play this season with just three penalties to show for this season. Up stepped Everton. Burnley haven’t won in 12 games going back to early December… Who do they play next?

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Paul Chaloner

Paul Chaloner was born less than a mile from Goodison Park in 1962. He retired to Spain where he follows Everton from afar. He went to his first Everton match in 1970 (5-2 v chelsea), sold cushions in the stands throughout the 1970s until they were abandoned in the early 1980s and continued to watch the blues until relatively recently before going to live in Spain. He has three sons, all blues!

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