Everton Newcastle. One point each. Disappointing.
We enjoyed the lion’s share of possession, for a while seemed intent on winning corners and cornering them into submission. We conceded to their first attack of note, and hammered on the door until they gave us an equaliser, but couldn’t bag the winner. There’s no doubt that we were blunt and unimaginative in attack, possibly still hungover from the derby.
I’ve seen this film before and I hated it. And this version was just as shit as the other 35 times I’ve been subjected to it.
We were the dull batteries in a TV remote, and no amount of slapping it would make it work.
And it all started pretty well, Andre Gomes – like an expert bullfighter – showing the Geordies the ball, letting them steam in, and then whipping it away at the last minute. Remember that wonderful Gylfi goal against Leicester that began with him sending a confused Maddison in a different direction? That’s what Gomes does, so so often. Digne started well too, sliding in, snatching balls he shouldn’t, looking to get the ball to Cenk.
Slowly we cranked things up.
And then they scored.
Corner followed corner followed corner. Mina’s height pulled all Geordies into his orbit in the opposition penalty area, and we did finally manage to score from one, with Richarlison snatching the equaliser at the far post.
For all the ice in Andre Gomes’ veins – others, Walcott, Bernard, Digne, seemed to hyperventilate. And Gylfi seemed to have too much ice, cooly taking his time to control a gimme of a goal around the 6 yard box, and allowing Newcastle’s frantic defenders to do their job.
We tried a lot of things, Bernard and Walcott came on and huffed and puffed. Mina seemed to stay up front for about 5 minutes, but nothing we tried was sophisticated enough to beat the black and white defensive cavemen.
There’s no doubt it was two points dropped. Despite having the sexiest man alive in midfield we couldn’t get beyond first base. Perhaps I’m being harsh. After all, Arsenal were in a similar post derby funk, following up their norf lahhdun heroics with a defensive shambles at Old Trafford.
A physical Watford await us on Monday night, let’s see which Everton turn up.