Everton v West Ham United: match preview

We caught Preview Percy actually smiling on his way home from Monday night’s win over Brentford, though he claimed it was toothache and he was off to get a medicinal brandy. He seems to get a lot of "toothache". In the meantime here’s his look at Saturday’s trip up to Everton. He’ll be avoiding the toffees then...

Next up we traipse up to Liverpool where we will be hosted by Everton. Kick-off is at 3pm and, as far as I can make out, there should be no engineering works to speak of. So just the usual lousy service to contend with.

So Everton then. Well if we hadn’t been playing them they would have featured in the wild and wacky world of association football section anyway, with the appeal against their 10-point deduction for breaches of PSR.

The net upshot of it all was that they were handed back four of the points, something which amusingly saw Brentford drop a place before kick-off the other night. Of course they have another hearing for further breaches to contend with so perhaps they shouldn’t get too attached to those four points.

Current form is interesting. Everton haven’t won any of the games played since 16 December, when they beat Burnley 2-0 at Turf Moor. That game finished off their best spell of the season when they won four in a row. The following nine games saw them lose four and draw five.

The defeats came home and away to Man City and away at Wolves and Spurs. The draws came at home to Villa, Spurs and Palace and away at Fulham and Brighton. Factoring in the points deduction all of that has left them in 15th spot with 25 from 25, their -6 goal difference keeping them above Brentford who currently sit on -11.

Of course below that are Forest on 24 points and they too are up before the beak, so who knows where everyone will be in a few weeks’ time.

Everton's current position with their finances and points meant that it would have been a bad look for them to have gone and splashed out the cash on what would have been some much-needed reinforcements. Daisy scoured the nether regions of the internet and could only find the arrival of Ghanaian winger Kingsford Boakye listed for the latest window.

Boakye spent four months in AC Milan’s youth system but has been without a club since July. So the zero transfer fee won’t have troubled the accountants any and, since the kid has gone straight into the Under 21 squad, he won’t be on big wages. He also won’t be part of the first team set up any time soon.

Their top scorer is Abdoulaye Doucoure who has netted six times across all competitions. Actually, all of his goals have come in the league. Two behind Doucoure is Calvert-Lewin who also has one in the league cup to his name. It would therefore appear that much of their problems stem from a lack of goals.

A closer look at the table backs that theory up showing that they have 28 goals in the 26 matches played.

Embed from Getty Images

They have two ruled out and four more doubtfuls in the squad at the time of writing. On the definitely out list are Danjuma (ankle) and Dele Ali (groin). Gueye (groin) and Onana are rated no better than 50-50 whilst Gomes and Dobbin are both even longer odds to return.

And on we move to the wild and wacky world of association football and to Turin, where it transpires that some of Paul Pogba’s Opta stats may have been the subject of some unusual and somewhat illegal enhancement thanks to some artificial enhancement to his testosterone levels.

The four-year ban that’s just been announced will effectively end his career unless his proposed appeal to CAS is successful. Now I guess there’s a chance that his defence of "I took whatever it was accidentally" may work. However, call me cynical but isn’t that what everyone says on these occasions? We shall see.

Meanwhile the prize for football’s most pointless punishment must go to the Saudi FA. Ronaldo was there, being given stick by opposition supporters who were taunting him with chants of "Messi, Messi" and, given the high pressure cauldron that comes with an average gate of, er, 19,000, Ronaldo reacted with the traditional Allardyce cupped ear and another, unspecified gesture which offended local sensibilities.

Now when you see the words "Saudi" and "punishment" in the same sentence, all sorts of things come to mind. Certainly something a bit more draconian than the £6,300 fine they actually came up with.

Daisy, bored with the lack of transfer activity of late, got her calculator out and worked out that the fine was the equivalent 18 minutes "work" for Ronaldo, who therefore had effectively had the fine paid in the time it took them to drag him away from the mirror post-match. Might be worth a comment to the magistrate next time you get caught speeding, though don’t quote me on that.

And so to us. Well I did rather self-indulgently mention that Monday was the anniversary of Dad’s passing the other day. Well he’d have loved that match.

We actually started off on the front foot and the opening two goals were good footballing goals. He would have particularly have loved Kudus’ wing play, which was delightfully old-fashioned in a good way. Brentford’s left back is still probably having nightmares. It wasn’t perfect of course, but that was part of the fun.

Embed from Getty Images

Zouma ought to have done better for their first and, having seen a replay of the incident, we probably got away with one for their penalty shout. From head on the challenge looked like a good old-fashioned shoulder charge from Kudus of the sort of which Dad would have heartily approved.

Still maybe the ref was adding it to the list of occasions on which a Brentford player threw himself to the ground.

All four goals were pleasing to the eye. Bowen’s hat-trick goal followed the Brentford defence having a nervous breakdown at Kudus’ wing play whilst Emerson’s piledriver got me out of my seat quicker than was probably advisable for someone on blood pressure medication with knees dodgier than Zouma’s.

Even at the end, when Brentford started to throw the kitchen sink about, there was some excellent defensive work going on. And when they got past that Areola was on top form. What was that I was saying the other day about confidence? The early goal seemed to release players from the fear of going forward and it paid dividends.

For this weekend, we would appear to have a full squad from which to pick. Phillips will have served his ban but, frankly, I would start with the starting XI that commenced the Brentford match. For once they have earned it.

Which brings me on to the question of the prediction...

Everton came very close to beating Brighton last weekend, Brighton’s equaliser coming in stoppage time. However, their goal did come very much against the run of play by all accounts. They will be buoyed by the retrieval of those four points – albeit probably on a temporary basis – so their tails will be up. However, they still haven’t won since December and we will also be in good spirits.

Three points shouldn’t be out of the question but I think I will err on the side of caution on this occasion. So the £2.50 I was going to send to Saudi to help out with Ronaldo’s fine will instead be placed on a wager at Winstone’s the Turf Accountant to the effect that the game will end in a 2-2 draw.

Enjoy the game!

Embed from Getty Images

When we last met at Goodison Park: Lost 1-0 (Premier League September 2022)

The home support taught the pond life from the other side of Stanley Park some manners during an impeccably observed tribute to the late Queen. Maupay opened the scoring with what was probably the only goal he ever got for Everton. Benrhama hit the post and Cornet brought a decent save out of Pickford but in truth we got what we deserved as part of a lousy start to the season.

Danger Man: Dominic Calvert-Lewin

Not in the greatest of form so that’s the cue for him to score against us.

Referee: Craig Pawson

The fact that he is one of the middling officials in the so-called select group is probably the most damning indictment of that organisation’s commitment to the improvement of standards.

Percy & Daisy’s Poser

Last week’s poser was:

I got my XX’s XXXXXXXX removed from my XXXXX for my new partner

Well done to Mrs Veronica McVolestrangler-Jones of Shenfield who identified the missing words as:

Ex’s tattoos and Chest.

A touching tale of love in Brentford indeed.

Try as I might I haven’t been able to find a headline in the Liverpool Echo that doesn’t mention bloodshed, shootings etc so I am indebted to the US sports website "Bleacher Report" who have one of those handy "10 Things You Never Knew About Everton" things.

So this week’s poser is simple: What is fact no.10?

Good luck everybody!

* Like to share your thoughts on this article? Please visit the KUMB Forum to leave a comment.

* Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the highlighted author/s and do not necessarily represent or reflect the official policy or position of KUMB.com.

More Opinion