Everton away on Saturday afternoon as we give the international break the middle finger and get back to the real thing.
Since Chris Wood’s late equaliser for Burnley there has been a lot of hand wringing and a lot of Danny Rose type Googling for the search terms Aurier, Foyth and Hoodoo.
Five new players in total have had to find lockers at Hotspur Way but whether any of the new blood will take the field at Goodison is doubtful given the limited amount of time Poch has had to sprinkle his magic dust on them. Foyth was presumably bought with an eye on succession planning, Llorente as a plan B and Sanchez and Aurier as flexible and speedy additions to the Back Three That Worked So Well Last Season option that has yet to be introduced this year but will be soon I’m sure. No idea about Gazzaniga.
Aurier is the one most likely to make their full debut depending on his jet laggedness. Trippier has apparently trained all week so Poch will probably go with him despite the media driven impression that lack of sleep doesn’t seem to bother the Cote D’Ivorian overmuch.
Son has had a couple of long flights so may start from the bench and Wanyama’s injury has put him out of the picture for a few weeks apparently which will put the pressure on Dembélé’s knee and Dier’s temper. Winksy to the rescue? The number of games we have in September means that we will see much more of him very soon.
As usual predicting the side is pretty pointless so here we go: Hugo, Trippier, Davies, Toby, Jan, Dier, Dembélé, Sissoko, Eriksen, Harry and Dele. Which gives us a stronger bench than normal if nothing else. Llorente, Son, Aurier, Sanchez, Winks, KWP/Janssen, Vorm.
The Toffees spent a fair wedge over the summer mostly on players that make you go “hmm”, rather than “oooh!”. Rooney and Sandro (not that one) have been brought in to replace Lukaku. Siggy is there to float around, try and not get in Rooney’s way and to argue with Baines and Spudhead over free-kicks. Keane will cover up the mistakes of the overrated Williams, Martina is in for the injured Coleman and Klaassen, if fit, will presumably do the things Gareth Barry did, just a bit quicker. Pickford’s a good buy though. Their strength lies in their organisation, the potential of Calvert-Lewin and Davies and their ability from set pieces. They did buy a speedy winger (Vlasic?) from Hajduk on the basis of his performance against them so he may provide the pace they clearly seem to lack if C-L isn’t playing.
Mind you, we’re not exactly greyhounds ourselves. Stodge meets Stodge? Goalless draw surely?
Aside from last week’s anomaly at Chelski they have begun the season well and were we to win it would be an excellent achievement. As hinted at above though, a draw is more likely I suspect which wouldn’t be terrible but also would leave us without a win in three which would be terrible given our ambitions.
Referee? Graham Scott. Me too.
An early goal would be lovely.