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West Ham United v Everton

Filed: Saturday, 12th May 2018
By: Preview Percy

Where will we finish in the league? Will the manager be staying? Will we ever find out the gender of this season's work-experience kid? All of these questions and more will fail to be answered in Preview Percy's last effort of the season in which he affords us his usual slightly offbeat look at the visit of Everton. Oh well.....

And so the season winds its way to its end with the visit to the Olympic Stadium of Everton. Kick off is 3pm and someone at Network Rail faces the sack for failing to ensure that engineering works ruin everyone’s journey to Stratford. There’s stuff going on on the tube on the other side of town so if you come from over there have a look at the TfL website before you leave.

So Everton then. A poor start to the season saw Koeman get the tin tack. Legend has it that Allardyce was offered the role on a short-term basis until the end of the season, a deal that he felt able to turn down, what with a nice fat payoff still gaining interest in one of his bank accounts after his spell as England manager. After other unsuccessful searches the club went back to Allardyce and offered him a longer deal which he accepted. Things were turned around to the extent that they currently sit in 8th spot 5 points behind Burnley in the Thursday Night League qualification spot. They will either finish in 8th or 9th spot depending on how Leicester, two points behind in 9th get on.

Unsurprisingly, given the manager, the manner of their progress has not gained universal approval on Merseyside and the rumblings of the fans have been taken seriously enough by the owner for him to be considering Allardyce’s future over the next couple of weeks once the dust has settled on the season.
Another who is waiting to see what happens is Wayne Rooney. The spud-faced granny-botherer is eyeing up a move to the States, presumably having happened across an old episode of “The Golden Girls” on Gold or something. Negotiations have taken place with DC United but a change of manager at Goodison could still see him hang on with a 12-month contract extension option still available to the club, something that the elder end of the Liverpool, ahem, “escort” market will be keeping a close eye on. As “one of those players who always scores against us” we will gain some comfort from his absence this weekend thanks to a knee injury that has ended his season.

The work-experience kid of as yet-to-be determined gender wearing a hoodie who seems only able to communicate with some strange grunting noises informs me that three players arrived in the winter window. £27m was the fee for Turkish international striker Cenk Tosun. Tosun was actually born in Germany, his parents presumably having settled there as part of the gastarbeiter policy that also brought us the marvellous “Auf Wiedersehen Pet”. Tosun made one appearance for Eintracht Frankfurt – now THERE’s a name to bring a tear to the eye of those of us of a certain age – before going to Turkey where he split the following seven years between Gazeintepspor and the rather better-known Besiktas, for whom he notched 41 goals in 96 league appearances. He struggled in his early years with Besiktas with Dember Ba and Mario Gomez ahead of him in the queue for selection but as they left for pastures new he became first in the que for selection. At international level he actually picked up a couple of caps for the German U21 side, but since his switch to the Turkish league he has thrown in his lot with their international system, including 12 caps for something called the A2 side, which apparently is comprised of players from the second tier of the Turkish league system. He has 8 in 25 appearances for the full national side and, since his arrival on these shores, he has 5 in 13 league appearances for the Toffeemen.

A further £20m of Her Majesty’s pounds went to Arsenal in exchange for the services of Theo Walcott. He has been suffering from a calf strain of late and faces late fitness test for this match, though the odds on him being available would a appear to be in his favour. Bizarrely he has four published children’s books credited to his name. Wayne Rooney hopes to finish the first of them any year now.
The third player to come in was out-of-favour Man City defender Eliaquim (no laughing at the back there) Mangala. He picked up a knee injury in his first match against Palace and though he managed to get through the following 5-1 defeat at Arsenal a few days later the knee turned out to be more damaged than originally thought and that was it for the season.

As I am sure one has mentioned before, James McCarthy is recovering from a double leg fracture and, whilst my usual rule of not wishing injury on any player still applies, I certainly won’t shed a ng detriment to her her employerstear for a player who went out with the disgraceful intention of inflicting injury on a fellow professional with that tackle on Payet a few years ago. Karma, as they say, is a bitch.

And so to us then. I see the Baroness has been indulging in oral auto-pedicures again in her latest column. Apparently, everything is fine apart from the stuff that the Stadium owners are responsible and something described as “malcontent keyboard warriors”. So everything is either someone else’s fault or the fault of those who complain about things. Even by her standards that's a particularly stupid comment to make – especially to those who, like me, started watching professional matches before the Baroness was even born and therefore probably have a decent grasp on what does and doesn’t make a decent football ground. That grasp has been gained from a lifetime of visiting the damn places, rather than from poring over the balance sheets for each one.

The ad hominem nature of her statement exposes the weaknesss of what little argument she has and yet again raises the questions: 1) Does her employment contract contains what is usually a standard clause about making public statements that reflect badly on her employers; 2) If so why has no disciplinary action been taken for her continued and obvious breaches of such a clause; or 3) If no such clause exists, why not? Still good job we don’t do public relations disasters isn’t it.

Talking about football, we were well worth a point against a Man Utd side who totally failed to take advantage of the assistance the officials seemed intent on giving them. Time after time promising moves were brought to an end by the type of cynical off the ball block that they have become adept at over the years. Indeed, Pogba could have walked well before his altercation with the skipper near the end, so many were the occasions when he left a nasty foot in after the ball had gone.

Ironically, Noble probably owes his lack of a red card to Moss’s love-in with the visitors. With the Cup Final due next week any red for Pogba would have resulted in a ban and if Noble had seen red Pogba would have had to walk too. As it was Moss bottled it and will spend the summer failing to make the connection between the fact he and his colleagues will be watching the World Cup on the telly and the fact that he and his colleagues are rubbish at their jobs.

Talking of referees I am delighted to announce the forthcoming retirement of Mike Jones who even his own assistants considered to be (and this is a genuine quote from one such official) “an arrogant prick”. Corrupt to the core his stock in trade would be to give “evening up” decisions if the match didn’t appear to be going the way he wanted. His performance up at Stoke in the FA Cup Quarter Final a few years back was fraud pure and simple. Hopefully he will find a new career where dishonesty is punished rather than awarded.

I mentioned last week how much the media overhypes the efforts of De Gea and Thursday’s match illustrates the point marvellously. All season we’ve been told that his save against Liverpool was the best ever, yada, yada, yada. Well Adrian’s one from Shaw was, by any measurable standard, better. Much better. I await the sound of pundits going into raptures over that one but won’t be holding my breath any.

I should save mention for Mourinho’s winning entry in this season’s “Chosen Subject the Bleedin’ Obvious” award for his post-match comment to the effect that “If you don’t win the League second is the best you can do” which I expect someone is trying – and failing – to explain to Harry Kane as we speak.

On the injury front both Chicharito (knee) and Collins (hamstring) are rated 50-50 for the final game with everyone else (Antonio, Reid, Byram) all out until next term. It was good to see Obiang make the bench in midweek after that assault on his knee ligaments that all but ended his season. Collins’ contract is up in the summer and there’s been no word on a new one. We may therefore have seen the last of the Ginger Pele. If that is the case one would like to wish him the best of luck and place on record this column’s appreciation for his efforts over the years – Ginge is living proof of how much we love someone who gives their all for the cause.

So prediction then. Well the leopard doesn’t change his spots so I would expect to see an Allardyce side coming to protect that 8th place – one wouldn’t expect Leicester to get much at Spurs so he will no doubt be happy to apply his usual “we start with a point” attitude to the match. The onus will therefore be on us to take the game to them to a certain degree. An unusual position for us over much of the season but the Leicester game shows exactly what the potential rewards of going for it can be.

So I will be putting the £2.50 I had saved up to pay for a summer holiday avoiding Sun readers on a home win to send us all home with thin smiles on our faces pending the news that we are in talks to sign Messi just before season ticket deadline day expires. If someone could pop into Winstone The Turf Accountant and stick that sum on a 2-1 to us, I’ll settle up with you later on in the Swan & Superinjunction.

Enjoy the game – and the summer!

When last we met at the Olympic: Drew 0-0 (Premier League April 2017)

A dire game of football notable only for the fact that Lukaku failed to score against us. Everton mustered a grand total of four shots in the match of which none were on target. (If you’re that interested we managed 15 with 3 on target)

Referee: Graham Scott

His promotion to the Select Group in 2015 was described as “a mistake” by Keith Hackett who, after all, ought to spot a crap ref when he sees one. The Select Group tried to demote Scott at the start of this season. He was presumably an easy target having only taken charge of 8 top flight games last season. Much easier to get shot of someone at the fringe than get shot of the real problems like Dean and Jones. However, as if to prove that PGMOL are incapable of organising an inebriated drinks party in an establishment dedicated to the brewing arts, Scott successfully appealed against the demotion. They couldn’t even get a token sacrifice right. Last seen here bottling a penalty decision in our 2-0 win over Watford.

Danger Man: Cenk Tosun

Bit difficult this week – with Rooney out there was no obvious “always scores against us” candidate and the best player in their squad – Sigurdsson – has spent the season either out of position or, as he is now, injured. Tosun has a few goals of late so he can have the accolade.

Percy’s Poser:

On Thursday we asked you what did the Rev William Cowherd form at the Beefsteak Chapel in Salford over 200 years ago? First correct answer out of the digital hat came from Mrs Hilary Bursitis of Great Wakering who pointed out that The good Reverend was instrumental in forming the Vegetarian Society all those years ago. Mrs Bursitis wins a pack of burgers made from whatever finishes last in the 3.30 at Sandown this afternoon. Well done Hilary!

No poser this week as you’d have to wait until August for the answer. So I will sign off for the summer with this daft Everton-connected fact: Contender for best/worst title of all time for a football book has to be that used for the late Alan Ball’s “auto” biography, entitled “It’s All About A Ball”. Now if someone could explain that Rooney please.

See you in August!

Please note that the opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, nor should be attributed to, KUMB.com.

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