Time to Improve the Away Form

April 7, 2019

If I was unlucky enough to live in Lancashire (or is it Merseyside?), Everton would be my team though wearing blue and white would be an anathema. There is something regal about the red and white.

I mentioned in an earlier comment about Everton being a proper English club. What I meant was they have proper history; the first to play at Anfield, the first Liverpool club, decades of close run failure, and until recent times, not Oiled up. Fairplay to them. And I love their old fashioned ground, so much better than the soul-less bowls that modern stadium designers put up to maximise the brands profit (sadly a new ground is about to be built).

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It is unfortunate that Everton have run into a rich patch of form having just beaten the Chavs. This will be a tough test for our boys. But not impossible – Everton are not a Top 6 team and we have a good record at Goodison.

Their manager, Marco Wagner, has finally found a way to win after a dreadful (by their standards) start to his Everton career. A much vaunted manager, he has much to do if Everton are to break into the Top 6. I don’t see how it is possible but hope is eternal – especially in football.

As ever, control of the midfield will be vital and Everton have a fine midfield. I would have liked us to sign Sigurdsson (who is a perfect Ramsey replacement), he is a very dangerous player. Another transfer target may be Gueye, a fine defensive MF. Upfront Richarlison is quality and showing why the Toffees paid so much for him.

Expect Pickford and Keane to be on top form andf we are looking for a left back Digne would certainly fit into the AFC team, a younger Monreal.

Enough of the them,

Mr Emery has to find a way to improve our away form if we are to achieve our ambitions. I would start a similar team which thrashed Newcastle. Depending upon fitness,we should welcome back Xhaka for Douzi and Kos for Mustafi.

Arsenal have a very busy couple of weeks ahead and perhaps Mr Emery will allow Kos and Xhaka more recovery time.

You may have noticed that I have stopped putting up my anticipated starting team, there are two reasons; the first is that Me Emery is impossible to second guess and unlike Mr Wenger he tailors his team for the opposition. The second is I got bored with it 😀

Referee this afternoon is Kevin Friend who has only officiated one AFC game this season, giving out 7 yellow cards vs Burnley (we won 3-1). The dreadful performance of Taylor last week could have been costly, we must hope for better today.

Given the remarkable good fortune (read luck) enjoyed by both MU and the Chavs, we could use some of the same today.

COYRRG

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Sticky Toffee Pudding

October 22, 2017

Everton desperate both for points and confidence. Koeman deep in the mire wearing open -toed sandals. Fans disgruntled by the awful football played, New owners disappointed by the poor return on the  €150m+ spent in summer.

Not the best time to visit Goodison.

Especially as we are hardly in the best of form. The win in Belgrade was welcome relief but not enough to heal the scars  earned at Vicarage Rd.

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But before I get too upset about our return of just one point from 4 away games, may I point out that we are just 3 points behind Chelsea in 4th having played a game less. In other words, apart from MC we are keeping up with the pack. What does this show? That we can expect some unexpected results, not just for AFC, but for all teams. It will, as ever, be an interesting season.

Everton have some fine players, they have players whom AFC have reputedly tried to sign. A midfield from Schneiderlin, Barkley, Sigurdsson, Rooney, Gueye and Davies is sure to be strong and combative. In defence they have some excellent players. Upfront? How do you replace Lukaku, a one man attack? Answer – they haven’t.

One player to point out is James McCarthy. I really dislike this bloke. Dirty, violent and a man prone to dive whilst protesting his innocence. He is Alan Shearer without the talent.

We must hope for a strong referee as the messages coming out of Goodison is that Everton are ready to fight i.e. they will try and kick our delicate flowers off the pitch. Expect rotational fouling on both Sanchez and Ozil and probably one of our lads leaving the field on a stretcher. Following those final 15 minutes at Watford we can expect this type of treatment almost everywhere we play.

I expect (hope) to see a team ready to attack; not one lacking Ozil. He has to play if fit. Lacazette has been desperately lacking his genius.

My Team:

Cech

Holding    Koscielny    Monreal

Bellerin    Ramsey    Xhaka    Kolasinac

Ozil

Lacazette     Sanchez

We have a strong bench especially with the return of Coquelin.

In my opinion, apart from Mustafi, this is our strongest team. This leaves Iwobi, Welbeck, Walcott and Giroud out in the cold. Finally, we have a host of attacking options.

I am not expecting an easy 90 minutes, I expect Everton to battle, what we will need is “mental strength”.

COYRRG


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