Everton 2 Manchester City 3:
Defeat fails to dampen optimism for mouthwatering future
Losing a game usually has me tearing my hair out in frustration, but as the curtain came down on Everton’s last home game of the season, the overwhelming feeling was one of excitement and hope for the future.
There is no room for frustration as we enter into a mouthwatering future under Roberto Martinez.
Fantastic results from West Ham and more impressively Sunderland earlier on had made the game against City something of a dead rubber with 5th place and European football guaranteed, we could approach the game relaxed and free of expectation.
We started the game magnificently with an absolute worldie from Ross Barkley. If ever a goal summed up a player’s ability this was it. Barkley latching onto Steven Naismith’s lay off before instinctively curling an unstoppable wickedly bending shot into the top right hand corner to send the Gwladys Street
goal was simply made for the
Barkley was now in full flow and causing City more problems with another stylish run culminating in the young midfielder being felled in the box with the ref correct not to give the penalty as Kompany challenged. City, who had looked nervous suddenly burst into life and drew level as Aguero picked up Toure’s pass and beat Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard at his near post.
A cardinal sin from Howard, who should have kept it
Aguero, seemingly having been in a sulk from moment one, was taken off shortly after with a groin injury. Worrying times for Argentina ahead of the World Cup. City arguably looked better without Aguero, Fernandinho coming onto replace him and the improvement was rewarded in the 43rd minute as Edin Dzeko rose to meet Milner’s centre with a powerful downward header past a hesitant
Everton responded brightly at the start of the second half, with Barkley once again purring in the middle of the park. Breaking past Javi Garcia in Olympic Skier mode in a run covering 50 yards, before releasing Naismith with an inch perfect pass.
The move deserved an equalizer but Hart’s smart reflexes pushed Naismith’s goal bound strike around the post.
To rub salt into the wound Everton fell two goals adrift seconds later as Dzeko stabbed home from 2 yards after latching onto Nasri’s low cross.
Manchester City now had a stranglehold on the game but Everton fought back with 25 minutes left to play as the previously lackluster Lukaku showed some energy for once to get on the end of Baines inch perfect cross from the left. The Belgian dive heading in off the post to give the crowd hope.
Everton, sensing City’s nerves, pushed for an equalizer and a fantastic run from substitute Deulofeu, taking him past 2-3 city players in the box, should have brought more reward than the sight of Hart blocking the goal-bound effort with his legs. That was as close as Everton came as City returned to the top of the Premier League with 2 games remaining.
With West Ham and Sunderland pulling off fantastic results against Spurs and Man Utd respectively, we were guaranteed European football.
Thursday nights will have a new dimension to them and I am truly thrilled to see us back in European football. The best away fans in the business will have some memorable nights ahead next season.
As for all the nonsense on Twitter about Everton not trying or rolling over for City; this game proved our integrity, we are Everton, we play for us an us only. The fans reaction to both goals showed what it meant today.
I found it ridiculous that a club managed by the fiercely determined Martinez could ever have their attitude called into question.
A Superb Season And A Mouthwatering Future
So we ended in defeat but it barely registered, however, our promise for next season far outweighs three defeats out of four this last month. We have the makings of an unbelievable side, with John Stones and Ross Barkley looking like a flashback to Bobby Moore and Zinedane Zidane, this is no exaggeration; we have the icons of Roberto’s dream.
A word on Barkley, although I doubt there is a word strong enough to describe my excitement over him. A player who glides across the pitch like an Olympic ice skater, he has the power of a 100m runner combined with the grace of a ballet dancer. If there was ever a pretender to Zidane’s throne, this is him.
Barkley is a phenomenal talent who will dominate games consistently next season. I amare truly blessed to have a player of Barkley’s unique ability at the club. He is The School of Science personified in one player.
There is now genuine hope for next season and not just in a see how we go attitude. Roberto has given us belief and it is pouring out of Evertonians.
We can see the makings of a fantastic side here and Roberto, with the backing of the board, can push us on even further next season. This team is shaping up to be very special: Dont even think about letting Roberto down, Kenwright.
We go to Hull to finish the season next Sunday and it’s important we win. We don’t want a great season ending with 3 straight defeats. With Hull minds focussed purely on Wembley the following week, we have a great opportunity to round the season off in style and send Blues home with even more optimism then we have already.
Roberto’s first season has brought European football back to Goodison The highest points tally in our Premier league history (with 3 games to spare), the most clean sheets and a style of football that has seen the School of Science gloriously brought back to life. No words are enough to describe how much I want to thank Roberto Martinez for what he has done to our club this season.
Give Roberto the tools and his team will be talked about in the same breath as the 60s title-winning sides and Kendall’s all dominating teams of the mid 80s. The sense of anticipation for next season is huge and I’m excited to see who Martinez brings in.
Not for one minute telling Roberto what he should do but having watched Lukaku the last few months, I’d be tempted to resist a bid for the Belgian and go for Bony of Swansea, a player who looks absolutely tailor-made for us but that is just my opinion.
Maybe this sounds far-fetched but bringing in quality reinforcements to a squad including Coleman, Stones, Baines, Barkley, McCarthy [to name but a few] – alongside the talent coming through the youth system – gives us the potential to become title challengers.
But for a few badly timed results this season we would still be challenging now and I believe next season the creases will be well and truly ironed out.
Like a stuck record I will repeat that the Board have to show ambition this summer. It’s all there for us next season, Roberto has earned it. The team deserve it, our fans deserve it.
Next season can be 84-85 revisited, there is simply no room for failure once more from the people who run our great club.
“We improved on last season and got ourselves back in Europe and we’re excited about that because we feel like there are good times ahead.” Tim Howard.
The feeling is mutual Tim…… The School of Science is ready to start teaching lessons.