18th plays 19th this afternoon at Goodison Park and I think it is fair to say that no one really expected that as an opening sentence as a description for this fixture. For Everton after their summer spending spree life post Lukaku has not gone according to plan.
While for Bournemouth after two solid season’s in the Premier League they are finding life particularly tough this time around as they currently sit second bottom of the table. There is however some optimism after their South Coast derby victory over Brighton last week. A win that finally sees them get off the mark for this campaign.
It is fair to say that their is not that much optimism on the blue half of Merseyside at the moment, especially after that crushing defeat at the hands of joint league leaders Manchester United last weekend. For a club that had top six ambitions this season you could almost see them evaporate in that single Sunday afternoon.
The fixture has certainly not been kind to Everton after giving them a run of Manchester City, Chelsea, Tottenham and Manchester United in succession and you could argue that these fixtures have come too early for a team that is still trying to gel after so many new additions.
But it is the manner in which they have been defeated especially in the last two outings which will have caused much concern to manager Ronald Koeman. The home defeat to Tottenham ended in a 3-0 scoreline but in all fairness it could have been double that if Spurs were truly ruthless in front of goal.
While last weekend saw them tore to shreds by a ruthless Manchester United. It was a day to forget for Wayne Rooney on his return to Old Trafford after he was hauled off in the second half in what was an abject performance from just about every player in a blue shirt.
It is however Rooney who has scored the clubs only league goals this season. He has scored twice and the club have not managed to find the net in over three and a half matches. Not since the former England international opened the scoring against Manchester City have the club had the pleasure of celebrating a top flight goal.
Today they play host to a Bournemouth side which will have its tails up after finally getting their first points on the board last weekend. They had to do it the hard way as they came from behind but credit has to go to Jordon Ibe as his second half cameo turned the game on its head.
Ibe was on hand to create Bournemouth goals. Strikes that came in the space of six second half minutes, the first was a neat backheel to Andrew Surman while the eventual winner was an inch perfect pass to Jermain Defoe with the former Sunderland forward doing the rest.
That result would have been an undoubted relief to Eddie Howe as although there has been no talk of being shown the exit door the longer it would have taken the club to open their account for the season it would have only added to the pressure that was beginning to build.
Now that this particular monkey is off their back it means they can focus on using that result as a platform to build on and get into the more comfortable reaches of mid table. A place where they have been a well paid up member of the past two seasons.
They either go up against an Everton side who continual to feel sorry for themselves or they go up against an awaken beast after Ronald Koeman‘s reading of the riot act. The Toffees surely cannot be that bad for a third straight week can they.
To be honest I don’t think they can and I think they will have taken a proverbial boot to their behind over the course of the week and it is one that should jolt them into the life this afternoon. After abject showings as of late, I think they will manage to earn all three points. Home win.
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— Dan Tracey (@dantracey1983) September 22, 2017