With Yakubu and AJ Up Front, Everton Will Always Be Unpredictable

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Edward expects the unexpected as Everton try to banish some European demons.

One of the most memorable random spoutings of ex-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is this priceless nonsensical uttering:

“Reports that say that something hasn’t happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns — the ones we don’t know we don’t know.”

And yet faced with tonight’s game against Metalist Kharkiv, all this starts to make sense. What I do know about the Ukrainians is sketchy at best and very Rumsfeldian. I know that Metalist finished third in the Ukrainian League last year, behind champions Dynamo Kyiv and just two points behind Shakhtar Donetsk (who currently lie top of the Champions League group D table). I know Everton managed to bungle their home game and miss two penalties against them and that is about it. Oh yeah, they play in yellow with blue trim…I think.

When the curtain rises for 90 minutes in the Ukraine tonight, we will be given a glimpse of two totally unknown teams. Yes, Everton too – an oscillating mass of unquantifiable talent – are an unknown. I am still haunted by Everton’s second half implosion away to Dinamo Bucharest in our last foray in the EUFA cup, recently we have had the longetivity of a mayfly in Europe. And our team, and in particular our strikeforce, is almost totally unpredictable – Yakubu, with his non-existent workrate but his proven ability to score, and his opposite Andy Johnson unable to score but works his socks off. And then there’s James McFadden , scored a miraculous goal out of nothing against the French, but is often slow and over-elaborate.

As for my prediction? I think I’ll defer to Mr Rumsfeld:

“I would not say that the future is necessarily less predictable than the past. I think the past was not predictable when it started.”