So here we go then, another nine months of existential angst begins.
England in the Euros aside it’s been a lovely stress free summer, but now we’re straight back in to the whirlpool of worry, relief and ecstasy that is following Spurs.
Continuing the watery theme, we enter this new season on the crest of a wave, somehow we already have some forward momentum despite the lack of meaningful friendlies. Former Head Coach, now Manager Mauricio Pochettino can currently do no wrong; judging by his goals against Inter Harry Kane is set to become a ‘three season wonder’; the big money boys in need of a centre half (City, United, Gooners) have ignored the best one in the league in Alderweireld; no first team player has left; Vertonghen apart we appear to have had no injuries in France or preseason; judging by the ticket sales for the Wembley games, the Moneybags League games there will be special nights and the new ground is at last long last visibly taking shape. Last but not least, the two new signings look like they’ve always been there. We’re a big side now, our physical presence is going to be a feature of this season.
It’s hard not to get excited, even if the May Meltdown still lingers in the mind.
Speaking of which, the delicious 2015/16 season was of course book-ended by some not so tasty morsels. We took three points from our opening four games and just two from our final four. We clearly need to make improvements in both breasting the finishing tape and leaving the starting blocks and what better way to show some intent by getting a result from a visit to Goodison Park.
Everton aren’t quite the same side they were when we last visited at the start of January when Dele Alli’s trademark volley equalised Aaron Lennon’s opener. A potential injection of funds attracted Ronald Koeman to move from Southampton following the culling of Martinez, but so far his spending has been unspectacular and morale will have been hit by the exit of Stones the Wunderkind. That doesn’t mean that this is going to be anything other than a tough game though. Lukaku, Barkley, erm, Baines (?) have the potential to cause us issues whilst Jagielka and Williams is an experienced centre half pairing if nothing else. Koeman knows how to organise a side.
We do have the resources to cope with whatever they throw at us though with the only doubt over our line up on Saturday being whether Wimmer, Davies or Carter-Vickers replace Vertonghen. Wanyama should stand in for Dembele during his suspension. I can’t see us losing and a win is well within our scope.
The progress made since AVB’s departure has been remarkable to witness, and just as importantly, largely enjoyable too. Talk of top four etc diminishes the impact and efforts of the other sides involved in the Premiership this season, we should only set our own targets and measure ourselves against them.
So what would mark progress? Keeping going until the 38th game is one goal, improving the depth of the squad via youngsters coming through is another. Keeping hold of leads, conceding less from corners and restarts. Attracting top notch signings and prospects – good showings in the Premiership, Champions League and playing next season at Wembley will help with these.
The biggest danger may be that if Pochettino helps us achieve all these things, we may lose him.
And on that glass half empty note, bring it on!
Have something to tell us about this article?