I have become obsessed with Everton to a very unhealthy degree.
With Newcastle United and their season so completely predictable, my interest has increasingly shifted to the blue half of Merseyside.
I still keep track of all of our (Newcastle) defeats and garbage appearances, watching all the garbage as it happens, but at the same time keeping an eye on Goodison Park.
God forbid anyone would think Everton is kind of a “second club” for me, it’s more like I’m just amazed at how it all turns out.
Much of it, well, pretty much all of it, of course, is down to the presence of Rafa Benitez. Although Rondon and Townsend team up with the Spaniard again, there is another small surge in interest / curiosity.
The man (Rafa Benitez) with the plan at Newcastle United that Mike Ashley just couldn’t wait to do things his (Ashley’s) very own (stupid) way.
Viewing the events at Everton from a distance means what we could have won from Newcastle United’s perspective, or at least we see what we could have seen … if Rafa Benitez had still been NUFC as his last long-term project one long and successful careers instead of apparently now at Everton.
Wanting Rafa Benitez to do well has been made even more difficult because of the Everton following with so many people lacking in class or integrity, but I think all clubs have them, even though Everton has a really large minority.
Her behavior towards Newcastle fans has always been a lot of fun and when Rafa Benitez was first seriously linked, some Everton fans got absolutely embarrassed.
However, I think that due to the weird nature of social media these days, this looks a lot bigger than it really was.
Despite a start of four wins and a draw in the first five games, although only copper can be spent on signings this summer, there are still some sad Everton fans desperate to “prove” that Rafa Benitez is not a decent one Trainer is (or actually, person). As you can see in the comments below after beating Burnley on Monday.
A lot of talk about not playing against anyone … but besides winning the League Cup, Everton are the only club to have beaten Southampton so far, and even more impressive, they won in Brighton. The Seagulls look very decent themselves this season and have won their other three PL games which makes the Everton result look very good. A 2-2 draw in Leeds is anything but shabby, as is the eventual 3-1 win over Burnley last night that put the Blue Scousers at the top of the league.
It’s also interesting to hear Rafa Benitez speak intelligently at Sky Sports last night and to see the respect that Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher have for the Spaniard. In stark contrast to the total nonsense that comes out of Steve Bruce’s mouth every time he speaks. Only Mike Ashley would actively drive Rafa Benitez out to then replace him with a Steve Bruce. It would be hilarious … if it weren’t for us. It’s like going from a Miss World to a Miss Sunderland …
Thoughts now turn to Friday night and what further misery Ashley and Bruce can drive our way, Leeds without a Premier League win this season.
Everton and Rafa Benitez then play Villa away before moving home to Norwich. If you get a win at Villa there is every chance you can be clear at the top after this Norwich game. Early days etc but at least the vast majority of Everton fans are finally accepting that this Rafa knows a thing or two about management.
Showing at least a little interest in what’s going on at Goodison Park keeps me at least temporarily from dreading what Steve Bruce will say the next time he opens his big, fat mouth. Bruce is losing his temper with both the NUFC media and Newcastle fans when we are only four games in the season and the thoughts of what he will be like when there are no more bans and behind closed doors this season there, Bruce has shown his booth in aggressive fashion already this season against all-coming (journalists and fans), what will he and indeed Mike Ashley do if Newcastle United continues to be rooted in the relegation zone?
Everton fans comment on their Grand Old Team message board following Rafa Benitez’s last win over Burnley on Monday night:
“Over 18 months since the last time I was in a crowded Goodison Park, that was the boss last night! For 60 minutes I checked to see if Ancelotti was in the pit because we were so poor, but then we went into full swing and then we were great for the last half hour! Loved it. ‘
“Football has been utterly grim for much of the season so I’m not sure where anyone gets entertainment from.”
“I can’t believe I’m saying that, but I like him a lot.”
“The tactic last night was absolutely wrong in the first 60 minutes – there is no point in glossing over it and faking something else. We adjusted ourselves negatively and suffered from it.
To Benitez’s credit, however, he recognized the mistake and changed it with great effect. Ancelotti rejected that last season – so fair play.
“You would wish we had Steve Bruce or another of these for a couple of weeks, just to turn the tables on those depressing meffs.
I’m sure the Geordies would take this deal and trade Brucie-lad fer Benitez … “
“We should fire him. Get a new gaffer for the next 4 and get the new manager back on his feet.
“I don’t think he’s a good coach, probably really an average / bad coach – but the lucky players made us win the league and the CL after having possibly the easiest 4-game start ever we’ve had lately. “
“I can understand him when I hate him.
But to think that he is a bad manager is a very bold statement about the leader of the league table and the third top scorer list.
“I know it must hurt watching us do well after you hated a manager who” insulted “us when you were only 10 and half-leeds, but he’s here and plays well so record and enjoy. ‘
“You don’t seem very happy that Everton / Benitez have done well so far. I’ll wait for our first defeat and then see the joy in your posts …… think you’re the weirdo here. ‘
“I’m happy with our results, I don’t like that Benitez is the manager.”
“Rafalafel received death threats before he started the job.”
“He could have done something about it, like not taking the job if it bothered him so much.”
“I didn’t see the first half, but from what I’ve read here it was horrific.
I was allowed to tune in just before the Burnley Gate and thought “here it goes again”.
But what followed was the most pleasant and exciting half-hour EFC that I have experienced in a very long time.
And full credit to Raffles for making the substitution he was about to make when we equalized.
Most managers would have given him ten minutes after that.
But the subbbing got us on our forefoot and we blew them away. ‘
“Sometimes a few bad things, but in the end a well-deserved win. Benitez’s good tactical switch resulted in a complete change in the pace and direction of our game.
“I would like to see the bottom three be the same on May 22nd.”
“Went to bed after Burnley scored after that terrible first half. Man, I regret that! ‘
“Rafael the Red won’t be Benitez the Blue until there is a derby win.”
“We were totally cra = .p for about 55 minutes. Really, really bad. Then we started up the aisles and blew Burnley away.
Why did we start with this formation? It didn’t get the best out of anyone.
Fortunately, Burnley are too weak to punish us for more than one goal for how bad we have been up to that point.
“I was very disappointed with his tactical awareness tonight. My Nan would have seen that a change was needed and he didn’t do it until we followed up. ‘
“Something went wrong with my television.
I was watching Everton’s usual performance when they were joining Bayern Munich for some strange reason.
Bayern won 3-1. How did Everton do?
‘Ancelotti’s Everton won’t win this game tonight. Fair play and recognition from Benitez. He knows his footy well. ‘
“Raphael takes over from Ancelotti, that’s the key. A few gemstone signings and the opportunity to make one-off slags look like world champions. ‘