Premier League English

Rich pickings on Goodison return for Richarlison

The esteem that Evertonians have of Richarlison is indeed of a lofty perch, so much so that an image of him holding a smoking blue flare after scoring the winning goal in front of Gwladys Street against Chelsea in 2022 still boldly adorns the shutters of the Goodison Café in the shadow of the Main Stand.

However, regardless of the high esteem the Blues have for the Brazilian, all sentiment is pushed aside when he comes up against his former club and teammates.

It’s no secret among Evertonians that anyone who makes it on to the WhatsApp profile picture of long-serving Everton kit manager Jimmy Martin – the ‘Godfather’ of Goodison who ensured all new signings knew what was required of them to be a Blue – must have earned special status at Finch Farm to merit such credibility. Which accounts for why there still remains a mutual respect between both the player and the fans, with actually sections of the home crowd even giving him a round of applause after his opener – an honor accorded to very few Everton old boys, particularly when the goal is on the plus side for the visitors.

Richarlison had a job to accomplish and just as he netted at Goodison for Watford before becoming an Everton player, he struck again here – twice, in fact – on his first return and could have had a hat-trick had it not been for the brilliant goalkeeping exploits of Jordan Pickford.

The start in north London was admittedly a slow one, with some having only formed their opinions about the Brazilian from watching him from afar.

To his credit, an erstwhile rival actually opined that the Blues had done pretty well to secure him for £50million plus add ons for him although nine goals in his last eight games may seem to suggest otherwise.

Frankly also, the hosts’ defending of the Brazilian’s brace did seem a tad charitable.