The Warm-Up: You've got to be kidding, Everton
Everton's season sinks to new depths while Arsenal's ascends to a new height, it's Friday's Warm-Up.
FRIDAY'S BIG HEADLINES
Everton, oh Everton
When it goes wrong, it really, really goes wrong. One moment you're spending over £150m in the summer transfer window in anticipation of breaking into the big time, the next you're being forced to contemplate sacking your manager while one of your fans slaps an opposing player during a brawl while holding his child in his other arm. We've all been there, to be fair.
Even before the home defeat to Lyon, which saw the French visitors score a penalty after only four minutes thanks to a reckless challenge from Mason Holgate which made you wonder if the Everton players are in on the joke, Koeman had admitted he was “maybe in crisis”. After losing to Lyon, he essentially admitted he wouldn’t be surprised if he was fired.
" I'm strong, I'm trying to do everything and if the board thinks I am not the right man on this position then they will tell me."
Still, at least he wasn’t holding his child when he did it. And that’s about the only positive you can glean from Everton’s season so far.
Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in
Olivier Giroud of Arsenal celebrates after scoring a goalGetty Images
Just when you think you are done with Arsenal and their spineless performances, they go and totally redeem themselves.
Olivier Giroud’s goal was a snapshot of transcendent, elemental beauty. The kind of goal which can only really be scored by a team which places aesthetics at the heart of its core values. Wenger might not operate at the cutting edge these days but occasionally his methods of allowing players to express themselves creatively produces something lasting. Jose Mourinho probably would have hated this pure slice of PlayStation football.
The 84 minutes which preceded it might have been pretty uninspiring but it nevertheless it was one of those great goals you can see coming early in the construction, when the passing pattern intensifies with a certain confidence and the pieces start falling into place. Then you just need a player of Jack Wilshere’s calibre to take out three opponents with a masterful piece of escapism and suddenly the pitch has opened up. Potential is abundant.
Wilshere also applied the pre-assist with a gorgeous little flick so as well as putting Arsenal top of their group by five points with three wins from three — easy, this Europa League lark — it was another important step in the rehabilitation of a player who, like his team and his manager, is fragile and flawed yet still capable of moments to get you out of your seat.
IN OTHER (SPORTS) NEWS
A quick detour away from football to bring you one of the most astonishing sporting videos we’ve ever seen at The Warm-Up.
If you were an elite sportsperson and a fan invaded your playing area having evaded security, behaving ever so slightly erratically, how would you react?
If you are Ronnie O’Sullivan, the answer is: calmly continue playing then ask her to try and finish off your century break with the final shot on the black.
And to extend our sporting detour just a bit further, check out this brilliant example of synchronisation from the NBA. It’s like watching the old Arsenal offside trap.
HEROES AND ZEROES
Hero: This kid
Not for our Friday hero the boring pre-match mascot waving routine. No, this guy knows how to put on a show. Tremendous. (Wait for it)
ZEROES: The FA board
What more would it take for someone at the Football Association to lose their job after the embarrassing sequence of failures, gaffes and idiotic comments which has stained the organisation’s reputation over the Mark Sampson affair, which had effectively ended Eni Aluko’s international career?
Job security obviously increases exponentially as you climb the FA ladder, from black female striker to white male executive.
Okay, so maybe it's stretching the definition of 'retro' somewhat, but it was a touch uncanny that yesterday marked four years to the day since Giroud and Wilshere combined for another spectacular Arsenal goal.
And who are they playing in the League Cup next week?
What a treat, it’s the return of Friday Night Football as West Ham host Brighton from 8pm.
Adam Hurrey is bring a child to the office on Monday morning so he can proudly hold it aloft as he furiously batters the keyboard to bring you the next edition of The Warm-Up.