Everton Pre-Match: Team and Statistics

December 13, 2016

In recent games we have been playing teams which are quite frankly, crap. Tonight we go to a proper club looking to extend our unbeaten run; none of the Orc, snarling Mancs, dodgy Swiss or East Larnderners variety. Everton are proper Top Table diners.

Here are a few facts about Everton:

Goodison Park was the first dedicated football ground built in the world.

The longest run of seasons in the top division

They have scored and conceded most goals in the top div.

Drawn and lost more games than any other team in the top div.

Top scorer ever in a season. Dixie Dean 60. Yes, 60!!

It is fair to say, that Everton have history. They may not be the behemoth they were in other times but despite a small(ish) ground, noisy neighbours and not being an Oiler club, they have managed to be there or thereabouts. Bringing in Koeman is a step in the right direction, though the chances of his taking them into the Top 4 are unlikely, he may well (given time) improve them ….

But, Everton are on a poor run of results and the fans are questiong the big Dutchmen’s abilities.

Here’s a stat: Koeman is the highest scoring defender in World football history, having scored 193 goals in 553 games at club level (inc. 67 for Barca) and 14 for his country.

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There is much to say about Arsenal. 12 goals in 3 games. 3 wins in 8 days. There is a need to rotate before going to the Ethihad on Sunday. Picking a team will be difficult. Does AW dare drop either Ozil or Sanchez? Does he play Gabriel or Holding at CB? Who will play in the centre? Will Giroud get his first start of the season? This is what AW earns the big bucks for.

This is my guess, for which I am not paid a single sous….

Cech

Bellerin     Gabriel     Koscielny      Monreal

Ramsey    Coquelin     Iwobi

Walcott    Sanchez    Ozil

Pretty standard apart from dropping Ox and Granit, who will both be on the bench.

Why? Because if we can take 3 points at Goodison it will be a huge fillip ahead of a tough weekend, and as we all know, 3 points are 3 points 😀

Here’s another stat: In the PL years we have played Everton 48 times and lost just 6. A fine  and surprising record.

At home, at night, after a roasting from both the fans and the management the Everton players will be looking to win in style tonight. We should expect a tough game.

 

 


Can Leaky Arsenal subdue Lethal Lukaku?

March 19, 2016

Goodson Park, not the best place to go given our form and the coming International break. In the unlikely event of a loss for the Arsenal the fans will have at least a week to ferment (or should that be foment?).

Have we reason to hope for victory? I would say that there are the green shoots of a return to The Arsenal that we know and love. On the other hand, we have won once in our last 8 games and that to Hull reserves.

Supporting Arsenal is not for the soft-hearted, it requires fortitude and an ability to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune (see Rasp – even Shakespeare believed in luck 😀 ). This season has tested us to the full, however a win today would be a major fillip.

Lukaku: We should have shouldn’t we? He appears to be an expensive bargain but before berating the  Arsenal Purchasing Dept. I would also have had a punt on Benteke! Chelsea Directors must be shaking their heads at how The Unemployed One could have chosen to sell Lukaku yet keep Costa, Remy, and Falcao. I would break the bank to sign him.

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Barry and Mirallas are missing – is that a positive?

Everton are having a strange season, beating Chelsea with a superb performance last week yet throwing away a 2 goal advantage at home to West Ham the week before. If they are on form we will struggle.

Martinez is a man I thought could succeed Mr Wenger. I no longer believe he has the necessary vision. That said he has made some fine signings – Lukaku, Delafeu, etc

Enough of Everton. We need BFG to marshall what has become a leaky defence. Gone are the days of 1-0 TTA which given the quality of the individual defenders it is perplexing but that is also true of the other end of the pitch. We have to score more goals.

Is Welbeck strong enough to start twice in 5 days? I doubt Mr Wenger will start him.

My Team:

Ospina

Bellerin   BFG    Koscielny    Monreal

Elneny    Coquelin    Sanchez

Campbell    Giroud    Ozil

We will have a strong bench despite the succession of injuries to midfielders.

Does anyone know when we can celebrate the return of Wilshire? Mr Wenger has told Roy Hodgson to keep a place for Jack so it must be soon.

As always we must hope for a decent performance from the officials because Everton have a slew of divers and enforcers. Mark Clattenburg referees fresh from his CL trip to Madrid – could be worse.

I like Everton, like Arsenal they have history; when they play Liverpool I am a Toffee (why isn’t it a mint). This afternoon I hope Everton are three down at halftime.

COYRRG

 


The Month of The Ox

October 24, 2015

I was born in the Year of the Monkey or was it the Squirrel or the Lemon? Anyway, I was born. Ramsey’s injury gives The Ox a month to cement his place in the side. It is the Month of the Ox.

Much of Mr Wenger’s Friday press call was devoted to questions about Ramsey and whether AW was guilty of over-playing him, Easy in hindsight. In my opinion a better focus would be upon Oxlade-Chamberlain. Here is a young man who is an established England International and yet has no place in his club’s first team.

I am a huge fan of young Alex. He has it all – strength, speed, fine ball-control, a powerful shot, an eye for a pass and he can tackle. The negatives of his game are the desire to keep the ball in defence rather than find Row Z, a lack of appreciation of where his position should be when Bellerin is attacking and a tendency to hold onto the ball too long. All of which can be rectified by a run of games, and now he has his opportunity to develop and shine.

The big question is  – Will he? Ramsey provides energy that few can compete with, which is one of the reasons we are so strong late in the game. We need the same from Ox.

Enough of that ….

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Everton: I have always liked them – proper club with history and tradition. In most games I want them to win but I hope they get a hiding this afternoon. They lost against a rampant MU who were smarting from having their arses tanned at The Emirates, logically we should beat Everton, unfortunately there is little logical in football.

Any team with the quality of Lukaku, Barkley, Kone, Mirallas, Coleman, Jagielka and the excellent John Stones will cause problems. My hope is that Everton continue to play the expansive game which Martinez favours rather than the Pulis kick and run stuff. I was at The Em’s when Everton dominated the game in a 1-1 draw in 2013 with both sides committed to attack. Barkley was excellent that day and if Everton can repeat that performance we will struggle.

What is there not to like about Everton? Well, let’s start with that little shitehawk Naismith. This bloke is plain nasty – he reminds me of a second rate Billy Bremner, happily he is unlikely to play today. I don’t like their kit – blue home kits are the sign of the devil.

As to us.: Will AW rotate given this is our 3rd game in 6 days? I would and expect Debuchy to get a run, though Bellerin is becoming a vital cog in the team and his partnership with Chamberlain needs to develop.

Everton are too good to take to many chances with, as such there will not be too much tinkering. Possibly Gabriel for Koscielny. Other than that I can’t see much change being possible.

The huge input necessary to beat possibly the world’s best team on Tuesday could have it’s repercussions today, let’s hope not.

We are playing terrific football, beating very good sides using a multiplicity of tactics – it is a time to enjoy being an Arsenal fan, a time to wear the scarf with pride  (though of course, not the full-kit) .

A win tonight takes us to A Number One, Top of the List, King of the  Hill. Let its be so.

COYRRG


An Arsenal home win. Was it good for you?

March 2, 2015

You saw the game. I saw the game. So I won’t cramp my post with details, rather thoughts and feelings.

Laboured win, but an extremely valuable three points is one of the things I observed. Another were empty seats and a very muted crowd for a perfectly timed 2pm Kick Off.

Everton arrived ever so slightly staler than us having Spurs Nighted on the Thursday. The turning point was a scuffed shot from Ollie, but low on confidence strikers whoever they are, need just such fortune.

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You are probably sensing an impending note of doom in the air, and you’d be right. Earlier in the season we put a poor performance, but three points bagged, down to occasionally “winning ugly”, and I agree that’s a great quality. My problem is that we are only winning ugly, with just sporadic flurries into style.

Damn I was looking forward to the days when we would have a fit attack comprising Mesut, Ox, Theo, Alexis and Santi. They are going to terrorise defences with mesmerising football. It’s just not happening.

Even on this site, the majority are happy to bag the three points, and style and performance matter less. Are the Match Goers sending out a different message? We may get Top Four (something very important), and who knows maybe an extra £20M by coming second, and I would be delighted by that result.

My problem is that these players are capable of so much more. We have seen odd glimpses throughout the season, but they are rare sightings. I happen to believe we can win 3-0 in Monaco, but I have absolutely no idea which are the key players to have fit on the day to engineer a clicking performance.

Are my levels of expectation unreasonably high?

MickyDidIt89


Mesut to the Rescue

August 23, 2014

For a fanatical gooner this has been a difficult week. The results were acceptable but there has been disappointment in the manner of our play. And yet ….. today our Germans return.

Mr Wenger has stated that not all will play and I think he means Podolski. We miss a spark, we are too predictable, too slow on the counter as the final ball is ill-conceived. We need a will o’ the wisp and thankfully we have one.

By now you will have realised that I am putting my faith in our World Cup winner and most expensive signing. He must be rested, having spent the last few weeks bobbing about on a luxury yacht (or whatever young mega-rich chaps do). Am I being foolhardy to trust in Ozil? Can he step up to become the player around whom our forward line play? Is he as good as his reputation? This season will tell. Ozil must be hugely confident at present and desperate to get out on the pitch to enthral us and against Everton he will hopefully find the space to enjoy himself.

Everton gave us a lesson at Goodison last season and they were very good at The Emirates. They have maintained their squad and bought Lukaku (who could have foreseen Everton spending £28m on a player?). The long-term injury to Ross Barkley must have been a blow to Martinez –  though Naismith is a decent replacement he is hardly of the same quality.

We know what to expect from a Martinez team, a commitment to hard work in midfield and to attack. He has the players and in Lukaku a player to ruin Monreal’s day as he did when Martinez played him on the left last season. However, I believe that a defence of Distin and Jagielka is vulnerable to pace and ingenuity.

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It is a shame Arteta will not play today, he retains much respect at Goodison where he spent so much of his career. We are ham-strung by ham-strings. Gibbs, Myachi and Sanogo are all out but otherwise we have a strong squad.

The most exciting thing about today will be to finally see how Sanchez can play with Ozil, and how Ramsey fits into this triumvirate of genius. Once Theo returns and possibly takes the central role he craves, we will be Kushti. Mark my word …. Kushti.

There is always the possibility that Mr Wenger will rest Sanchez who has played our last 3 games and could use a rest. I hope not but should he do so it opens the way for Rosicky.

It is a shame for young Chambers that he will be riding the pine for the foreseeable future (or until one of our CB’s gets crocked). I flag this up to herald the return of one of my very favourite players the BFG. I was delighted when Mertesacker signed a 2 year extension to his contract because this bloke is the fulcrum of the team. He may not be the best CB in the world but he is one of the best in the Premiership and his partnership with Koscielny is outstanding. Welcome back Big Man.

My Team;

Football Pitch 4

Hopefully Mr Wenger will be on better form than in Turkey where, in my opinion, he did not pick the best team nor react fast enough to enforce a win. We have such a strong bench that he can afford to tinker. Joel Campbell could well start on the left, it must be time to test him but I expect Joel to get his first appearance at the Emirates.

We have not beaten Everton for 4 games which is the longest run against any PL team (according to The Independent!) and to be honest I can see the run continuing. Everton played well but were held to draw at Leicester and will be looking to start their home campaign with a win over a direct rival. Martinez says the Top 4 is his target and one Everton could have achieved after the 3-0 win at Goodison had the Arsenal not won their last 5 games whilst the Toffees fell apart to finish 7 points behind.

An interesting game against one of my favourite opponents, I would take a point but prefer three 😀

As no-one (meaning Big Raddy) has come up with an interesting theme for the season (physicists was mooted but I know sweet FA about the sciences) I leave you with a picture of The Man…..

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Written by Big Raddy

 


End of the Difficult Games

April 6, 2014

Another must win game? Of course not, we can afford to lose and still get a top 4 spot. Yes, I know that mathematically Everton would be favourites if they win today but they have some difficult games ahead and will certainly drop points – if they don’t and win what will be 12 games in a row then they deserve to be in the CL, plus if any team is to take our 4th place then I would like it to be Everton.

Phew, that was a long sentence!!

This is the 3rd game of the season vs Everton, we have won one, drawn one and perhaps will lose one. Will we? Who knows – the form book would certainly favour the Toffees  and they have been better than us for parts of both previous games.

That is enough negativity. Draw or win today and we are almost guaranteed CL football next season, and I see no reason why we cannot get a result.

Everton: Lovely old-fashioned ground which is a euphemism for a ground in desperate need of a rebuild, but Goodison Park is still one of the PL’s most atmospheric grounds.

As to the team, they are strong all over the pitch. Loan players have hugely added to their performance this season and if one took away their loanees Everton would have been 11th instead of 5th at the turn of the year. We have discussed this at length and no doubt will do again, but Mr Wenger agrees with me – players should only be loaned out of their club’s division. Lukaku remains their strongest attacking force, a lethal striker with a shot accuracy rating of  64%  (Giroud’s is 40% 😦  ). Barry is Everton’s most active player who has most passes, tackles and influential contributions. Both loan players.

My hope is that Mr Wenger spends much of his transfer budget upon Ross Barkley, this kid looks superb and has all the physical attributes. Imagine him alongside Rambo, Ox and Jack in years to come. All British as well. But we know he won’t – Barkley will end up in Manchester, probably at the end of next season.

UnknownFuture Team-mates?

Much has been made of Arsenal’s injury list especially when compared with Everton’s who have only one player with a soft tissue injury. Some have pointed at the manager’s training regimes to account for this. Reasonable??

Martinez is much lauded and rightly so. If Mr Wenger signs his new contract , probably a two year term, will Martinez still be at Everton and available to come to THOF? He appears to be a natural fit for us – intelligent, multi-lingual, attack-minded but with a knowledge that a strong defence is essential and an organiser. The coming man.

Arsenal: We come to the end of Death Cluster 2 and will have some vital players back for the run-in. It is my opinion that Theo and Aaron would have added another 6-8 points to our tally and as such their injuries have cost us the title – not the first time this has happened. (I know I am biased!)

Sadly, none are available today and our poor exhausted troops must soldier on, though a weeks break must help. My main concern is the link up play between our Midfield and Giroud, too often he is isolated, especially against a team which closes us down in our own half – a team like Everton.

This is another twist or stick game, by that I mean do we keep the same side which drew so admirably against City or give the fit again Rosicky a start?

My team:

dc2

Podolski had a fine game last saturday but Rosicky brings more pace to the side- perhaps not through his running but with his speed of pass, and he always brings the ball forward. I do not understand why Gnabry has seen so little pitch time, he has a wonderful future and needs to be blooded in big games – hopefully he will get a subs appearance this afternoon.

As I wrote earlier, I do not believe this is a winner takes it all game (Mrs Raddy has been listening to Abba)  but a win would be just brilliant, in fact like last week I would be happy with a draw.

The two games against the Toffees this season have been great entertainment with the two teams bringing the best out of each other. Let us hope for the same today.

Big Raddy


She wore, She wore, She wore a Yellow Ribbon

March 8, 2014

Wouldn’t it be great to get to Wembley? Just a couple of wins and we can walk up the Empire Way with a song on the lips and hope in the heart, but first we have another difficult task – beating a very good team who are in form.

Last week Everton were cheated out of a result at Chelsea (quelle surprise!). I watched the game and they deserved not just a draw but the three points – they were the better team. What this tells us is that Everton will take to the pitch full of confidence. Another reason for their positivity will be their last game at THOF, a game I was privileged to attend.

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For want of something to write let me review that game in a couple of sentences …. We started well and then Everton took control. Our much lauded midfield was being bossed by the lanky teenager Barkley, who looks a wonderful prospect, and we were struggling to cope with Everton’s attacks. Fortunately, they were lacking a finish and Chesney was playing well. We improved during the second half and took the lead with 9 minutes remaining through an Ozil goal but Everton equalised almost immediately through the excellent Deulofeu.  With seconds remaining Giroud rattled the crossbar with his best shot of the season. Everton’s was the best performance by a PL side at THOF this season – they played with verve, fluency and control. Should they replicate this  form today we will struggle.

But …… neither team is in the form we were back in November.

Everton: Lukaku is back for Everton and apart from Jagielka they have a fully fit squad. With a midfield of Barry, Barkley, Mcarthy or Osman, plus Mirallas and Pienaar, Everton will  swamp the midfield and look to deny us space. An Everton player I like very much is Seamus Coleman whom, if Bacary doesn’t re-sign, I would love to see at Arsenal; he has pace, is a good crosser but above all can defend.

Arsenal: With JW knacked and Ramsey not back until Spurs we will line up with an ancient midfield – Cazorla, Rosicky, Arteta and Flamini  – Santi is the youngest at 29!! Of course, I missed out Mesut and Ox but for sake of argument they are attackers.

Fabianski will continue his FA Cup run and perhaps Jenks will feature after a fine game for England U-21’s. Koscielny is having an assessment pre-match but I wouldn’t risk him and hope to see our Club Captain. It may be wise to give Sanogo another game but I would love us to win the FAC so prefer OG.

My team:

fa cup arse v toffees

I doubt AW will agree with me – he rarely does, but given an important game midweek it may be wise to rest Rosicky. We will have a strong bench.

Looking at the remaining teams in the Cup there is little to be fearful of (apart from one obvious exception), win this and the Twin Towers (spiritually if not physically) await.

written by Big Raddy

p.s. If anyone ever sees Raddy in a bar and watches him move from drinking wine to cocktails and onto beer please take him by the arm and remind him that he is too old for such behaviour. Hopefully this will result in a more lucid and informed AA post 😀