The beauty of writing this column is when I get it spectacularly wrong, there’s always someone to remind me of it, from tipping Leicester City for relegation the year they won the Premier League, my local Everton friends were probably a bit apprehensive when I wrote I thought they were a nailed on top seven side, and one of those 14 games against the top sides that didn’t really matter to the Albion in the grand scheme of things, writes Ian Hart.
Two months on, and Everton arrive for their Amex debut on Sunday with manager Ronald Koeman’s job reportedly hanging by a thread.
Ultimately for the Toffees it all about the transfers, all very well getting £75 million off United for Lukaku, but with no effective replacement despite a number of reported near misses during the transfer window, find Everton at the wrong end of the table in 16th.
I don’t think anyone would have predicted how bad things would be at this stage but it once again highlights both the unpredictability of football, and why we love it, and the potential for a Harty re-write.
Results have shown as that the Albion clearly played Man City at the right time, and now Everton arrive in Sussex with the Albion poised to heap more misery on the Dutchman, Wayne Rooney and the rest of the blue half of Liverpool.
In retrospect, I can understand Hughton’s exercising a degree of caution at Arsenal, in retrospect I came away from North London with far more positives than negatives despite the defeat, but this week it’s a different matter, we really must go for it from the first minute, coming off 90 minutes later leaving nothing behind.
As previously stated the next five Albion games could define the whole campaign, and another home victory, I’m going for 2-1, will certainly start keep the momentum and optimism going.
Excuse me why I don’t turn cartwheels at the news of England’s automatic qualification to next Summer’s World Cup in Russia. Some truly dire and forgettable performances during the campaign, down really fill me with confidence come next June.
Can Southgate turn things round or will it be a disastrous excursion to Russia?
All will be answered in fullness of time, although what price in 365 days’ time, or perhaps even less, England are looking for another Manager to ‘drink from’ footballs poisoned chalice?
And finally, thankfully the situation at Woodside Road has been sorted out for the time being, and Worthing Football Club can return to play home games, starting with the visit of Met Police, this Saturday, 3pm kick off. Great news for everyone involved with the club, but none more so than George Dowell, putting all the whys and wherefores aside ultimately it all comes down to him. He put the money up to save the club, then invested in the facilities, only for these widely reported issues to crop up, I hope the local footballing public remember this at the weekend, and with the bonus of Albion playing on Sunday and a reduced admission offer, £5 across the board, the game gets the attendance that George and the club deserves.