Prepare yourselves; this is me, about to write a football cliché. I make no apologies or excuses for what is about to happen. But it is about to happen. Ready? A week is a long time in football. OK, I am going to apologise, but I do actually mean it. The Sunday papers on, well, Sunday, were full of praise for both Everton and Southampton.
Everton made the front cover of the majority of the football pull-outs after a majestic performance at Swansea City and Southampton managed to get first on Match Of The Day, for the right reasons, after a well-deserved and long overdue victory, coming from behind to smash Aston Villa 4-1 at the St Mary’s Stadium.
Fast forward a couple of days and that Everton side who sat nicely at second place on Saturday afternoon were crashing out of the Capital One Cup at Championship side Leeds United.
“We don’t want to win that pointless cup. Now we can concentrate on the league.” Yes, sure, ok, I’ll go along with that, like I do every season until the next one begins and we want to win everything again.
The Sunday papers on, well, Sunday, were full of praise for both Everton and Southampton
There are many reasons why everything went so wrong on Tuesday, but I think it’ll serve as a massive lesson for Everton and the players. The manager underestimated Leeds, either that or he didn’t care about the cup. Six changes was three too many in my book and the players were all foreign to each other.
However, I think the main problem was that the players were beginning to believe their own hype, both individually and as a team. It is a lesson that has come just in time for the visit of Southampton, bringing everyone back down to earth in realisation that nothing can be taken for granted.
Southampton are not a team to be taken lightly at all. The points on the board are irrelevant looking at Saints performances this season. They have a likeable manager who has all the right ideas and a team which is certainly strong enough to stay up. Gaining their first win of the season, in impressive style will fill Nigel Adkins’ men with confidence travelling up to Goodison Park.
Before Everton slipped up on Tuesday, I expected a shock result from Southampton at the weekend, however I can’t see that happening after the wrist slapping from David Moyes. The Everton squad won’t be as strong as David Moyes would like to hope, with his Irish lucky charm, Darron Gibson, and Tony Hibbert still unavailable.
Southampton are not a team to be taken lightly at all. The points on the board are irrelevant looking at Saints performances this season
Phil Neville could return to right back after Seamus Coleman picked up a knock along with Steven Naismith on Tuesday. Unfortunately things aren’t looking too positive for Victor Anichebe, who has picked up a chest infection which is a real shame for the Nigerian international as he was just beginning to win over a few Evertonians who’ve called for his head.
Southampton aren’t without injuries themselves with Tadanari Lees out with an elbow injury and a cup casualty of their own in Jack Cork, who could potentially be out for the next six weeks with a knee injury. There will also be late fitness tests for Emmanuel Mayuka and Luke Shaw.
As the two teams meet again for the first time in seven years, a good old fashioned game of football should be on the cards, with Evertonians hoping for a repeat of that famous 7-1 victory in 1996. We should be so lucky.
More great football articles
Click here for more stories on Football and Sport
Click here to follow Sabotage Times on Twitter
Click here to follow Sabotage Times on Facebook