The views in these blogs are those held by the individual blogger and do not necessarily reflect the views of Everton Football Club.
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It is 20 years to the day since I was a mascot for Everton, and the start of that season was similar to this one.
We went into the game without a win and any pre-season confidence had taken a bit of a blow.
I won't bore you with the details but, apart from me smashing three past Big Nev into the Gwladys Street goal, and us getting our first win of the season against Southampton, I don't really remember a great deal!
As for the present day, well, where do we start? The last time I did a blog it was after the Blackburn game and I was still very optimistic – even though I am the most pessimistic of Blues!
Now from what I have seen this season – i'm still optimistic! I've had to miss a couple of games due to work commitments, but i'm still very calm. I'm not sure i'll ever know how we didn't win at Villa, at times against United we were a joy to watch and at Brentford, well, that's why the cups are what they are.
Personally, I think the biggest thing that has changed is the expectation levels after the performances of the past few seasons.
The best example of this is the respect teams show us at home. They're happy to view leaving Goodison with what they go there with as a good day’s work.
If Manchester United are prepared to put an extra man in midfield to try and stifle us, then it’s the least we can expect from the likes of Wolves and Newcastle!
The problem with this is the management and players need to find a way of adapting to this, and quickly. Sadly, the one thing you don't get in the Premier League these days is time, so it’s an issue that needs to be addressed quickly.
Birmingham away is probably not one of the games you would choose when you are struggling for results, especially as we always seem to have a really tough game there.
I'd take any sort of result that starts with 'Birmingham 0', but ideally i'd love a clean sheet and a couple of goals. I do get the feeling that someone is going to get a hammering off us at some point – as soon as the goals start flowing.
Speaking of getting into the old routine, I think once Yakubu gets one, he'll go on one of his bursts. He looks in good shape and his play around the box has impressed me, especially when he came on against United. Once he gets himself a goal, then the confidence will be back. Yak 1-0 on Saturday would be lovely, but if you want to save it until October 17, I don't think any of us will mind too much.....
I’m sure a lot of Blues are already starting to think towards the derby in a couple of weeks’ time. I do hope that we approach that game in the same manner we did the Manchester United one – take it to them from the off and be positive.
Too many times in the past few years we've looked like a rabbit caught in headlights against them and even the one time where we did absolutely batter them, at home last season, we still managed to lose to a deflection and then getting done on the counter-attack!
Now, is a run of clean sheets, a shed load of goals and a comprehensive derby win too much to ask for? Knowing Everton it probably is, but being an Evertonian you have to be optimistic.
So why not just hope and pray that it does actually happen for once? After three points from the opening six games, we're due some luck, surely…
Onwards and upwards and all that!
Up the Toffees
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