A taste of success

A Blue on the Road

Leicester City 1 – Everton 2

Salta, Argentina

These last few weeks it has felt like Everton have been drifting away from me, or rather I’ve been drifting away from Everton. Despite my best efforts I’ve struggled to catch more than a few minutes of the mighty blues at a time. Whether it be down to weddings, ferries and bus journeys, or the sheer remoteness of the places I’ve found myself in Everton has always proved just out of my reach.

I honestly can’t remember how long it has been since I’ve felt so out of the loop with my beloved Everton. I try to talk to my dad or the lads back home about us, but I know that all I can do is listen. I can’t offer an informed opinion because I haven’t got one. I’ve been listening to Everton podcasts so I know how Everton fans are feeling about us but I can’t really say that I know how we’ve been playing. It is all second-hand knowledge, which, simply isn’t good enough.

What makes it all worse, to cap off my frustration at being unable to watch Everton play, is that it has been a bloody frustrating time for the club. Despite promising signs at Wolves and Bournemouth, we only left both grounds with a point. We couldn’t even beat Huddersfield at home and then we lost to fucking West Ham at Goodison. A solid performance for 60 minutes against Arsenal meant nothing as we lost 2-0, and then a good win at home against Fulham was quickly diminished by a foolish departure from the League Cup. There’s even talk on Twitter, from some of our more toxic fans, that we should see Silva off already. I bet everyone calling for his head is bad fridge, to the last man.

All that changed today though, didn’t it?!? Is right Gylfi Sigurdsson lad. Is right Bernad. Everton at home, and me out here, we got a nice taste of success.  A win against Leicester might not be enough in itself to class as success, but the manner of the performance meant that all the positive signs that we’ve showed when I’ve seen us play, and I’ve heard people talking about when I haven’t might actually add up to something meaningful.

I only saw the first half as we had booked to hire a car at 12:00 here in Salta (16:00 in Leicester), so that we could drive into the wine region of Cafayete. We had half decent Wi-Fi in our room though so I was able to catch a half decent stream on the laptop before rushing down to the car hire place, to hopefully try an catch the second half commentary on the wireless. What I saw in those first 45 minutes was a delight. If I felt like I’d been drifting away, it only took a few minutes to pull me right back in again.

We got at Leicester straight away and pressed them high up the pitch. With Bernad impressing from the bench he was given his first start out on the left and he was tearing it up out there. This meant Richarlison could play up front so we essentially had a front four that included two Brazilians, Theo Walcott, an Gylffi Siurdsson. The quality showed. We were forcing errors and before long Bernad found the ball at is feet, took the time to think about what he’d do next, skipped past two Leicester defenders, and then pinged a lovely ball to Richarlison in the box, 1-0 and Lindsay telling me to stop shouting. Where’ve you been Everton, I’ve missed you.

We continued to look strong and were comfortable going into the break. Unfortunately, my plan to catch the second half in the car didn’t quite go to plan. Whether it was my Argentinian sim card or the Everton Listen Live stream on the internet I don’t know, but not for love nor money could I get the commentary on my phone.

Slowly the news came in by text. Leicester equalised. Wes Morgan was sent off. Yes! Everton were 2-1 up, Sigurdsson on the score sheet again. It was tense as Lindsay kept checking the score for me as we headed out of Salta and towards the Andes. Then strangely, the commentary stream kicked in and I heard either Ian Snodin or Ronnie Goodlace telling me it was over and we’d won. Yes, this is what Saturdays are all about. A win for the blues.

As we drove out amongst the endless lines of vineyards around us I called my dad to talk about the match and to see how our Sean’s stag doo in Llangollen was going. If I felt down for missing the blues I felt worse for missing Sean’s stag doo. It was my dad who told me that Sigurdsson’s goal had been the wonder strike that it was. What an absolute beaut. I couldn’t help myself, I watched it about five times when we stopped for lunch at this shack at the side of the road, goodbye data, and must have seen it nearly twenty times before we’d even checked in once we got to the hotel.

A taste of success for Everton then, and a blueprint for success for myself. Wherever we’re staying when Everton are playing needs to have good Wi-Fi. That way if there aren’t wonders of the world calling I should be able to catch a bit of the mighty blues in action. I’m still looking for that elusive bar though, a public place to watch us and hopefully with some locals. The international break means we’ll be in Bolivia next time I’ll get a chance to try so let’s see what happens.

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