Fatted calf and all and that's the thanks you get.
The JimmyG2 Column.
.Good points haul over the busy Xmas period, 10/12 and but for the curse of the returning ex player we might have had more. Aaron was never known for his goal-scoring talent but he did so in style against us on Sunday.
In ten years with us he made 267 appearance and scored 26 goals. That's less than one every 10 appearances and less than three a year. He hadn't scored for Everton this season either.
But by the 21st. minute he'd already overstayed his welcome. The stage was obviously set for him to score against us. He did so with a cracking half-volley into the top corner from a difficult angle following a lay off by Lukaku. Neither did much else in the whole match.
I suspect that the curse of the returning player with a point to prove is the stuff of myth. Like gambling, you only remember the winning bets. But it was enough to allow Everton to share the points.
Vertonghen who played well was at fault for taking evasive action from Lennon's shot instead of taking one for the team. We could have told him that the shot was unlikely to cause him lasting damage. A bit of local knowledge goes a long way.
In a very one way first half we played some of the best football under Pochettino so far. We could easily have gone in at half-time 3-1 up. Harry and Ben Davies both hit the woodwork with Howard beaten.
Harry's drive from the edge of the area defied the Laws of Physics to stay out, hitting the right hand post and going out for a goal kick on the left hand side.
Our equaliser just before half time was a thing of beauty, strength, accuracy, vision and control. In the first place by Alderweireld for a cross field ball that Michael Dawson used to dream about.
And by Deli Alli in the second place who caught the Everton defence asleep on the job and scored with grace. dynamism and style. For goals that was it but the second half was a much more even contest.
Martinez shuffled his options before the hour was up and took the game back to us. Pochettino ignored the changes Martinez had made and did what looked like his pre-planned substitutions, Son for Eriksen who was playing well, Chadli and Onomah too late to make much difference.
Son and Chadli have yet to reward the Head Coaches faith. I think that Lamela should have been subbed earlier and Eriksen left on. Bentaleb was available but once again ignored for some reason or other.
I applaud his selection of Carroll, our most consistent attacking player according to the stats and a number of independent observers and in leaving him on Mauricio seemed to agree.
The criticism that he doesn't think on his feet and make substitutions according to the state of the game seems a valid one and it might prove important as the season develops. However this is a minor carp in the general scheme of things.
We are slowly cementing a top four position. We can't be caught in the next round of games even if we lose. Man.Utd would need to win by something like a ten goal margin, which seems unlikely.
Just the two losses in 20 games, level top with Man. City for goal difference. Here's to another vintage year in 2016. I know, I know we haven't won anything yet but we are better placed than we often are at the turn of the year.
Wouldn't be surprised to see nobody climb through the window and just Fazio leave. Oh and Adebayor if he can find his boots. Clinton and Son (High Class Purveyors to the Gentry) have been designated strikers and DL will think that's more than enough.
New Years Honours.
Player of the Season: Toby Alderweireld. Runner up; Deli Alli
Most Improved: Erik Lamela: Runner up. Kyle Walker.
Musings Favourite: Christian Eriksen.
Jimmy's Video Spot.
Deli Alli 'spectacularrrrr' as the Spanish commentary has it. English versions were very fuzzy.
On re-run I noticed how well Walker showed for the ball but was often ignored. Good game, good game and decent performances all round.