They say that it’s the hope that kills you. It’s not. It’s the hope that psychologically tortures you from one Saturday to the next, in the most dramatic, elaborate fashion possible that eventually leaves you numb.
And where would we be without it? Some clubs have a longer record with this form of perverse enjoyment than others, though – and it comes in all shapes and sizes.
For Everton and West Brom, they’ve taken two different paths. The Toffees have flirted with the idea of being a big club for decades now but it’s never quite panned out. I’ll put it this way – their most successful period came under the stewardship of David Moyes.
For the Baggies? Well, they’re not the biggest s***show in the west midlands, but that’s hardly difficult when Birmingham City are a hedge fund for Hong Kong.
The eternal struggle to get to the Premier League is almost eternally realised, but the inevitable letdown once they get there almost ruins the experience for them in the first place.
This game is set for Saturday, just after noon – and let me tell you – it’s best to get your disappointments out of your system nice and early.
One step forward and two steps back. Not only is it a cracking country anthem that should be played at everyone’s 60th birthday, it’s also the formline of Everton Football Club.
A win over Spurs – albeit an admittedly out of sorts Spurs – is probably going to be the catalyst for disappointment now, and maybe this draw with West Brom may actually bring their expectations down a peg or two.
West Brom would have had themselves a bit of an identity crisis midweek, and their performance against, again, I know, Harrogate, seemed to suggest that players just off the first XI were happy to pick up the slack if needed.
Bilic knows he needs to work out his defensive blueprint, and expect to see this as somewhat of a training session against an Everton team that boasts more technical ability than any other in recent memory.
If this game goes the way you’d expect, with West Brom sitting ten behind the ball, their penalty area should be effectively closed off to central players.
Seamus Coleman and Lucas Digne should end up playing quite high to try and force gaps. In this case, a lot of second balls and switches will find themselves placed right around the D, where James Rodriguez will be positioned and ready to take aim.
He probably won’t replicate that World Cup strike for Colombia, but Carlo and co will probably take a deflected effort off someone’s arse before it nestles in the bottom corner.
And I think he’s going to try and try again, therefore James Rodriguez to Have 3 or More Shots looks tempting.
He’s going to put in one of those stupid fouls on a centre half where he leaves a bit in because he’s being frustrated at his lack of opportunities.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin being booked should be the first indication that things just aren’t going their way.
Tips for Everton v West Brom on Saturday at 12:30
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