So much gas happened and I've become bad at posting. It's really a case that I'm just busy and I'm trying not to create work when work isn't needed and that is a sad reflection of how football makes me feel. But when I start writing and I get to this stage of the post and it's a Saturday, things start to change.
The first thing that changes is the optimism around the day. And it doesn't matter if anything has happened or not, I just believe we can win. It doesn't matter who we are playing or our form, I just believe. And things are not different today.
But we have news ahead of the call and a little speculation. And I know you know all this, but I'm not as quick to get a post up as I used to be. I leave to the youngsters now and try to focus on the substance.
First up, it's Emi and he's signed a contract extension to 2027. I think this means he's going nowhere and he'll be finishing his career with us. You all know I think this, but on his day he's the best keeper in the world and he's a top three keeper in the Premier League. And all the best teams have good keepers and we can build with him.
In other news, or could this be what they call conjecture, our owners are opening a Club in Las Vegas. It's interesting because they've trademarked the name Las Vegas Villains. By association, do we support them too? I'm not convinced yet, but if you wanted an excuse to visit Vegas, you might have it soon. I picked up my first bout of COVID in Vegas before COVID was a thing and I can't wait to get back.
But it wouldn't be a post without writing a little about last time out and the comeback against Manchester United. I think we all know who deserves the plaudits and I just hope we see it again today. I think we might. I think today could be special. Yes, that's the optimism.
Match facts from the BBC
- Everton could lose back-to-back home league games against Aston Villa for the first time since March 1998.
- Aston Villa can secure their first league double over Everton since 2001.
- Villa are unbeaten in all five Premier League meetings since returning to the top flight in 2019.
- Everton have won just once in 13 Premier League fixtures, losing nine of the past 12.
- Five points from their past 12 league matches represents Everton's lowest tally across such a span of games since earning four points between August and October 1994.
- Only twice previously have they had fewer than their current 19 points after 19 games of a Premier League campaign - 17 in both 1997-98 and 2005-06.
- Everton's return of 12 clean sheets last season ranked them joint-fifth in the Premier League. They have kept three this season, ranking them 18th.
- The Toffees have scored a league-low five first-half goals, while they have failed to score before half-time in their last five games in the division.
- Everton have conceded the first goal in 16 of their 22 fixtures this season, including the past eight Premier League matches, which is a club record in the competition.
- They have the worst first-half record in the division in 2021-22.
- The Toffees have let in 13 goals in their last five Premier League games at Goodison Park.
- Aston Villa's draw against Manchester United last weekend ended a run of three defeats in all competitions.
- Villa have lost seven of their 10 Premier League away fixtures, already equalling their total number of defeats on the road last season.
- As a player, Steven Gerrard won a career-best 16 Premier League fixtures versus Everton, losing just four of his 30 meetings.
- Danny Ings has scored five Premier League goals versus Everton, his joint-best record against any club.