Samuel Eto’o at Everton, eh? Who saw that one coming?
If you’d said to an Evertonian 12 months ago that they’d have a £28 million youngster and Eto’o leading the line next season, they would have probably said, “good one, mate,” and gone on with their day, not realising your ability to see the future. Although if you have that ability and are using it to predict Everton strikers, then you’ve got some odd priorities.
Eto’o looks like he could be a great signing for the Toffees. A Champion’s League winner, and all the experience that can bring to a squad that has so many young players in it could be crucial this season. He’ll know how to deal with the extra Europa League games alongside having a go at the top 4, and he can probably also tell the team to not bottle it against a manically grinning Tony Pulis this time round. His experience in the big games will be important as well, with the majority of his goals last season coming against the top 7. Overall, the extra 10-15 goals he can hopefully bring will also be invaluable, with a lack of goal scorers after Lukaku a big part of the reason that the Champion’s League anthem isn’t blaring out at Goodison this season. Although, the way Steven Naismith is going at the moment, who knows if we need anyone else? Lukaku is almost becoming a big Belgian distraction so he can sneak in behind.
The game against Chelsea coming up could be the perfect beginning for Eto’o as well. Everyone knew Mourinho didn’t trust the Cameroonian’s age (let’s hope he was wrong on that one, right?), and a couple of his celebrations last season seemed to show that Samuel wasn’t too happy with that. With Lukaku also trying to prove the point that he is better than a creaking 36 year old Drogba, could this be the most revenge driven front line the Premier League has ever seen? The spitefulness on display could be frankly unnerving to see, but if there is any manager who can wind people up this much it is José. It’s almost becoming a performance art for the Chelsea manager, with people who aren’t even in the media seemingly watching his press conferences these days just waiting for him to say something outrageous.
If Everton play anything like they did for the first 70 minutes against Arsenal they should be able to give the pair the vengeance that they desire. The pressing and counter attacking play was very similar to ‘that’ game at the end of last season, and if the players hadn’t all started looking as tired as Sunday League players after a few too many the night before, then it could have all ended on a much happier note. Chelsea do seem a touch formidable at the moment, but minus Fabregas, Matic, and Costa, they’re the same team that lost to an inspired Gareth Barry performance last season, and how many teams have that dubious honour? Apparently Costa could be injured as well, which will be welcome news to a back four that are currently conceding two a game. Even with this though, big performances will be needed from McCarthy and Barry, the pair’s battle against the far more en vogue Matic and Fabregas will be what defines the game. The Irishman with the stamina of a marathon runner could surprise a few here, he always seems under-appreciated by fans of other clubs, and against Arsenal he was one of the few not knackered with 15 minutes to go.
On the whole Everton could have great signing with Eto’o, the two year contract might seem a bit much, but if it made him drop his wage demands then it’s probably a fair enough deal. As long as Mourinho’s age worries weren’t founded in truth, that is. For one, he’s probably the player with the biggest global following that has ever signed for Everton, which will do wonders for shirt sales at least, and his general goal scoring record of 1 in 2 is better than most. The game against Chelsea will be all the more exciting for it as well, and the feeder club related chants will only be getting louder with this new signing. Let’s be hoping there’s a first win to go with them.