Mickey Blue Eyes
October, cold, Manchester, not the best place to visit in Autumn. It was made worse by our last four results: two bad losses and two lucky draws. You could say I was not optimistic about our Sunday midday fixture with the Manchester United brand. We had too many missing through injury, while "fit" players recovered from a working day journey to and from Russia. At this level just losing a half metre of pace and energy-level can be decisive. And all the enemy multi-million expenditure had to come good some time. So I expected nothing from the match.
No point wasting too much of my or your time with this one; it was a 1-2 loss with Bainsey missing a penalty. Once again, apart from a ten minutes spell at the start of the second half and a fitful bit at the end, we were execrable, utterly shoddy and hardly in it. It was made much worse because the Mancs were no great shakes either, often just as poor as we were. Given all of that, big money signings were always going to make a marginal difference.
A blind man on a galloping horse can see our central defence is well on the way to hapless, near-complete disintegration. The goals against column speaks for itself. Midfield has become almost diaphanous. Nothing gets through to a lonely Lukaku, who looks more dispirited with each game. Things may - should - improve when everyone is back, but I wouldn't make book on it. I keep hoping the darkest hour is just before dawn. But at this rate the sun is never going to come up.
There is no point trying to describe play or movement because this season it is the same predictable horror show each week. Nor can we go on blaming injuries or lack of luck. Put simply, the playing format is not good enough. We have now gone five games without looking remotely like we can win one. The way the team is playing is a shambles of "safe-ball" that too often turns out to be anything but. There is no point kidding ourselves any longer. Enough is enough.
In my view the only thing left is the FA Cup, and even there a strong harrying team of almost any level has a very good chance of turning us over. The fact is we are now - already - in a relegation battle. Frankly, I have not been so dismayed by this kind of spiritless play since we lost to Tranmere Rovers and Middlesborough in the FA Cup years ago. The situation really is that bad. It may be recoverable, but only if we get shut of candy floss in our football.
Nor do I want to see any more public relations exercises from El Bob, where almost everything is described as "incredible" or "fantastic" or "special" when I, like any other Evertonian, can see otherwise with my own eyes. If I wish to hear that kind of stuff I can listen to some tenth-rate suited-up "marketing consultant" or Canary Wharf spiv "presentation" or, worse, Brendan Rodgers. Talk is cheap in modern sports.
Make no mistake, we are going to end up in the Championship if this is not sorted out right quick. And we will deserve it. The league table never lies. Not ever.