Koeman sees opportunity in next two games

Monday 20 March 2017  118 Comments  [Jump to last]

Ronald Koeman has reiterated his belief that seventh place would represent good progress for his first season in charge at Everton but acknowledges that the door is still open for his team to achieve a higher-placed finish.

The Blues' win over Hull City, their sixth straight at home and seventh in their last 10 games, moved them level on points with Arsenal, to within two points of Manchester United, and six behind neighbours Liverpoool and in the table.

United and the Gunners have played two games fewer but with Everton set to travel to all three teams between now and the end of the season, their hopes of finishing in the top six or eve higher are very much in their own hands.

Winning all three matches would be a very tall order but Koeman is pleased to simply have the opportunity to improve Everton's lot over their final nine matches.

“As always it depends on yourself,” Koeman said in the Liverpool Echo. “I think we did the first step to win the two home games and we know our schedule.

“We have the opportunity now to come closer to the teams above us but we play Liverpool away and Man United away. Still, we have the chance to make the next step and [get] closer to the teams above in the table.

“What is normal in football, we will keep seventh in the table and that's really the first step and really I will be happy but we can do more.

“It's all about Liverpool away and Man United away but I'm happy that get the chance to climb the table. That's good and the rest is what happens with Man United, Arsenal and the teams above us.”

Everton's chances of doing that will depend very much on the continuing form of Romelu Lukaku and support of him from the fans.

The Belgian made headlines in midweek with a media interview in which he spelled out the reasons why he didn't plan on extending his contract at Goodison Park but any fears he would receive a frosty reception against Hull were banished when he took to the field.

Lukaku was warmly received by the home faithful and went on to score another two goals in the 4-0 thumping of the Tigers, taking his tally to 21 Premier League goals for the season.

His manager highlighted the fact that the supporters can play in important role in how the striker performs over the remainder of the season and, perhaps, beyond.

“I'm happy that the fans were listening to me about his reception. It was great because every Everton player needs support, even in these kinds of situations.

“Everybody knows he is a professional and he will do everything for the club until his contract is ended and nobody knows what will happen in the future.

“We like to keep our best players because we need them to make the next step. The final decision is normally always made by the player himself.

“Rom is different because we speak about a two-year contract, but the final decision is by the board.”

 

Reader Comments (118)

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Mick Davies
1 Posted 20/03/2017 at 05:46:05
That's the fighting talk I like to hear from an Everton manager; no 'knives to gunfights' crap. But talk is cheap, and the proof will be what system and personnel he plays at Anfield and Old Trafford.

No Gareth Barry please (let's hope one of Schneiderlin or McCarthy is available).

Darryl Ritchie
2 Posted 20/03/2017 at 06:11:04
The next two games will give a good indication of just how far we have come, and just how far we have to go. Neither LFC or Man Utd have been setting the league on fire, so if Koeman gets his tactics and selection right, it's more than possible we could take both matches. If we DO win both, we would be in the mix for a Champions League spot for sure.

If we could just get over this mental thing we have versus the RedShite.

Paul Conway
3 Posted 20/03/2017 at 06:13:59
With the team he has available he is already doing wonders.
Can't wait till he is finally smoking the cigar with the glass o'brandy!
David Ellis
4 Posted 20/03/2017 at 06:17:27
Liverpool seem vulnerable to counter attacking teams... it would be sensible to set ourselves up to counter attack them, rather than attempt to sweep them away like say Chelsea would.
Sam Hoare
5 Posted 20/03/2017 at 06:55:42
4-6 points in the next 2 games and suddenly the top 4 door might be ajar. It's a huge ask and we will have to reach a level of performance that we've not really seen consistently yet despite the good results.

Man Utd look more susceptible to me than RS who I suspect will be too fast and sharp in attack for a central defence that still looks vulnerable despite the clean sheets.

Hopefully we will have Schneiderlin available and if so then we should have the upper hand in the middle where I believe we have the strongest core in the league bar Spurs and Chelsea.

It's exciting at least that these games will mean something whereas three months ago the vast majority here had written this season off as being over with only a mid table position to fight for.

Just close your eyes and dream off Tom Davies sneaking in a last minute winner at Anfield and an impressive run in seeing Everton sneak 4th from Liverpool while Lukaku signs his contract and Bramley-Moore is announced. The urge is to say that stuff like that doesn't happen to Everyon but perhaps the onus is on us to believe just as much as the players. COYB!!!

Will Mabon
6 Posted 20/03/2017 at 07:12:06
Personally I'd prefer no more fate-tempting talk from the club, just heads down and get on with it. Too much risk of the Sky Camera Effect. Calm, quiet and ruthless is the way now.

Isn't it obvious anyway that every team that ever played, would like to win every game it played in.

Andrew Clare
7 Posted 20/03/2017 at 07:40:14
I would be confident if the centre of our defence was better. It is the weakest part of our team. Old and slow I fear that lively fast young forwards will rip them apart.
Mike Green
8 Posted 20/03/2017 at 07:47:18
We've drawn with Man Utd, beaten Arsenal and lost to LFC to a last minute half-chance so far this season, when we weren't playing as well and didn't have the confidence we have now. We can pick up points but something has to change with our performances away from home.

In Roms interview he said we had 10 (9 now) finals left until now and the rest of the season and he's absolutely right. If we were to win all 9 that would probably put us in the Champions League, but that might not even do it.

There is still quite a lot of football to play though – Arsenal, City and Liverpool all dropped points at the weekend, Arsenal and City play each other in their next game etc. but to get into the mix we've got to win our games against Liverpool, Man Utd and Arsenal. It would also make a statement as to our potential for next season – a shot across the bows to an extent.

7th and Europa League qualification is undoubtedly progress, as are our results since the New Year. You sense that Koeman and Co are getting there but those three games will give us a clearer idea of how far we have yet to go.

Colin Glassar
9 Posted 20/03/2017 at 07:51:06
Four points from the next two games would be acceptable. I don't know where we will finish but Arsenal, Man Utd and Liverpool are definitely catchable. I'm predicting 6th this season.
Steve Ferns
10 Posted 20/03/2017 at 08:06:47
I'm satisfied that Everton are making progress. But if we finish 7th, would I be happy? No.

Martinez was sacked for underachieving in 11th. So if we were underachieving then what was the expectation? For me it was 7th. So koeman will have delivered what he was expected to do.

Let's also not forget how Martinez was 5th and with 72 points. To achieve the same points total koeman needs 22 points out of 27.

Regardless, I'm happy with what I've seen. There's cause for optimism. If we can keep Ross and Rom I think top six is the minimum to aim for. Top 4 would be doable.

So for me there's progress, I'm satisfied, but I'm not happy.

Adam Luszniak
11 Posted 20/03/2017 at 08:08:40
It will be a big ask to get 6 points from the next two. Whilst the score lines of our previous two games look like we're on fire, I don't think the team has really been in top gear since we dismantled Man City.

Very disappointing to have lost Schneiderlin to injury as he is integral to moving us up the pitch.

Tim Locke
12 Posted 20/03/2017 at 08:13:40
9 games 27 points, would land us on 77, top four without question. We could get one point in the next two and still get 72 points. Hardly a poor season and would be top 4 ball park.

Win the next two takes the pressure off the other 7 and puts the pressure on the others; loss and there is still opportunity just a bit harder.

Given we will have secured our prem status (mathematically) with 9 games to go things are looking a lot better than last year where some where predicting a relegation fight. To my mind it's all about the second season to find out how good you are.

Liam Reilly
13 Posted 20/03/2017 at 08:17:23
The woeful run of form before Christmas has left us too much to do for 4th or even 6th; but "OK", 7th is good progress for season 1 in "Project Everton".

European Football and hopefully the new Docks ground should help convince some targets in the summer that the club is going places.

Good times.

John Raftery
14 Posted 20/03/2017 at 08:25:14
Mick (#1),

At Chelsea this season we didn't even take knives. We went unarmed waving a white flag and lost 5-0. Let's hope we don't repeat that in our next two matches.

Mike Berry
15 Posted 20/03/2017 at 08:48:27
We need to be ambitious in our starting line up and go for it, no set up like at Spurs please Ronald
Anthony Dwyer
16 Posted 20/03/2017 at 08:56:32
We need yo approach these games in the manor we approach games against the less glamorous sides, and stop showing too much respect.

We play with a strong spine anyways, 99% of the team picks itself, Robles, two center half's, Gana, Davies and Schneiderlin, Ross and Rom, and we play Baines and Coleman at full back, this only leaves one position.

Either Mirallas, Calvert-Lewin, Lookman or Valencia need to start to offer a threat, this is the team Koeman plays most weeks, so why put in Barry and invite the opposition to attack us.

If we play the team who played vs Hull it will allow us all to see were we are at, we can't finish much higher than 7th so why not just go for it and see what comes of it.

Man Utd and Liverpool are there for the taking, none of them are that special, none of them will change there approach for us, so why should we.

Eddie Dunn
17 Posted 20/03/2017 at 09:11:47
I would look no further than our game at Anfield. Our weakness (as mentioned above) is our centre back pairing. Although both Jags and Williams are good readers of the game and are adept at last ditch blocks, neither of them is quick on the turn and we desperately need Schneiderlin fit to protect them.

Funes Mori is good in the air and quick, but he is liable to gift the ball straight back to the opposition. I would play a back 4 and if Schneiderlin is still out, I would draft in either McCarthy (if fit) or play Barkley in the holding role.

It is imperative to not play too deep, and if Barry plays, along with out two old centre halves, the tendency will be to sit deeper.

Gueye and Davies must keep the tempo up and with the full backs busy in a four, we need Mirallas to provide the threat on the wings along with Davies. We now know how dangerous Valencia can be as an impact sub, so we have options on the bench.

The key to winning the game will be the speed with which we can hit them on the break, and the workrate of the midfield, which must not allow us to be pegged back too deep.

Colin Hughes
18 Posted 20/03/2017 at 09:24:24
Have to admit that watching the RedShite yesterday, the way they play with tempo and have attacking threat all over the park (they could have scored 4 or 5 at Man City), I think we will be foolish to "go for it" as some are suggesting on here. Let's not forget the two 4-0 defeats there in 3 seasons, so first and foremost if we are to have any chance of getting a result then we must deny them space in the last third.

We have no pace at the back so the last thing we want to be doing is chasing Mane from the half way line with the pace he has against pie arsed Williams and 92-year-old Jagielka (don't even mention mad Mori).

This would have been the perfect game for Deulofeu to be left just inside our own half ready to dart in behind their defence on the counter with Lukaku in the middle. Sadly I just can't see us having the personnel to play that type of game with our midfielders mostly being holding defensive kinds.

On that analysis I can only see the usual comfortable 3-1 victory for the RedShite with us not start playing until the game is up.

Mike Gwyer
19 Posted 20/03/2017 at 09:31:59

Anthony Dwyer #15.

Sort of good post but your comment "Utd and Liverpool are there for the taking". Really? Do you really think that? Spurs, Man City and the Arsenal have all gone to Anfield and they all got a good slap, worse still is the fact that our annual visit usually leaves us a total wreck, boys against men springs to mind. So lets just say its the derby and we have a chance if Lukaku and Ross are in good form. Which they are.

Good comment about Barry because the RS "pressers" will have a field day playing against him.

Jim Bennings
20 Posted 20/03/2017 at 09:53:05
I wouldn't care if we didn't hear another word from the players between now and April 1.

Just bloody turn up on the day and do the talking on the pitch, we have heard the same things before every derby over the last 15 years, it's big talk but about time we saw action.

Let alone are we due a win at Anfield, we are due a good performance there!

Each season we turn up like passive submissive lambs to the slaughter in the hope we will pork a 0-0 draw.

Two huge games and we desperately need to see a change in mentality than we have become accustomed to for years.

Kunal Desai
21 Posted 20/03/2017 at 09:55:40
Can't see our away form improving drastically, perhaps one more win likely to come away at West Ham. Other than that a couple of draws and defeats.
We will finish around 65 points probably good enough for 7th maybe 6th. Next season Koeman must have a plan to go away to the top four sides and win.
Anthony Dwyer
22 Posted 20/03/2017 at 10:01:26
Mike Gwyer..@19.

Cheers for the response mate.

When I say that Liverpool are there for the taking, I don't mean they have nothing at all to offer.

I'd more point to the fact that if you lie down for them they will happily walk all over you.

Since the turn of the year, Wolves and Swansea have both beaten them at home, Leicester and Hull have both beaten them away, every time the teams who have beaten Liverpool have needed more than a single goal to win as Liverpool almost always score.

I'd rather us have ago (not all out guns blazing, we would have to use Gana, Schneiderlin and Davies) than allow a free flowing side to take the lead before really going for it.

This was our undoing against spurs and the manager came out and spoke of the gulf between both teams. I do agree that Spurs are further along, the league table alone shows that, but Liverpool and Utd are still both a little inconsistent, and IMO with Liverpool more so than utd, there defence is there main problem.

If I had to choose a game to sit back and stiffle the opposition is choose utd as they seem the more likely to draw a blank.

Anyways let's hope Schneiderlin is fit in time, Barkley and the rest of our inform internationals return unscaved and we have a real go at the upcoming fixtures.

Cheers Mike.

Stan Schofield
23 Posted 20/03/2017 at 10:02:14
The best opportunity is presented by going out to win both games, not to contain. The away tactics need only be the same as the home tactics.
Andrew Clare
24 Posted 20/03/2017 at 10:21:41
Unfortunately the teams above us are a different cup of tea to the rest as we found out at Spurs.

Any team that has Barry, Williams and Jagielka in it will find it very hard to withstand the relentless pressing of our neighbours or the speed of passing of Arsenal or Man Utd.

I dearly want us to win those games but the realist in me doubts it.

Shane Corcoran
25 Posted 20/03/2017 at 10:27:10
I'd take a draw at Anfield right now.

I'd say there's virtually no chance of getting fourth as you're in need of three of the top six faltering.

Every couple of weeks my mind changes with regards which of the top 6 are most vulnerable. It's Arsenal's turn after losing to WBA and with City next. If Wenger announces his imminent departure, might we see the first year of them failing to reach the CL?

Jim Bennings
26 Posted 20/03/2017 at 10:28:17
It's not so much that Liverpool are there for the taking, we have lost to far worse Liverpool teams than this, but I understand you can get at their defence, it's always open to attack partly because of the gung-ho way Klopp has got them playing.

My concern is how frustrating and blunt our away form has been, we are carefree at home but away we have struggled stamping our authority on any away game since Sunderland in September.

Can't see how that's all of a sudden going to change in the space of two weeks.

Iain Love
27 Posted 20/03/2017 at 10:49:32
I'd advocate 3 at the back, no Barry or Jagielka, hold our lines and hit them on the break.

Robles
Holgate, Williams, Funes Mori
Coleman, Gueye, Schneiderlin (or McCarthy, depending on fitness), Davies, Baines.
Barkley, Lukaku.

Subs? Probably Mirallas, although Lookman, Calvert-Lewin or Valencia could come in .

John G Davies
28 Posted 20/03/2017 at 10:52:56
Eddie Dunn (#17)

Perfect that tactical set up. Could have come of the chalkboard at Finch Farm.
Brian Harrison
29 Posted 20/03/2017 at 12:02:38
Well you would think that any back 4 that had Klavan and Milner in it would be pretty average. yet they have an excellent points return against the top 6. They attack at pace and some of their one touch passing is very good, but as many have said they have slipped up against the lesser sides in the league.

But with 9 games left they know they can't afford to do any less than beat us, it is very tight amongst the top 6. Our record there is abysmal, and as well as we have played at home we don't seem to be able to reproduce that form away from Goodison.

So for me this is a real test of how we have progressed, mind I did say the same about our game at Spurs a few weeks back. And although the score suggested something else Spurs were far too good for us. If we are to make the step up next year then Koeman has to rid this club of the demons it seems to have when we play at Anfield. I would hope he learnt from the Spurs game and realize we have to impose our game on the opposition not just to try and nullify their style.

Steve Woods
30 Posted 20/03/2017 at 12:05:20
I'm another who would take a draw right now. Our obligatory pre-derby injury to a key player Schneiderlin, plus the ongoing hamstring injury problems of McCarthy means that Koeman may feel that he has to field Barry, against a quick mobile RS team he will sadly get over run.

I would have given us a chance of getting all three points if both of them were fit to play but at the moment that looks unlikely. No doubt O'Neill will see off any possible chance of him playing for us by using McCarthy even if he is only partially fit!

Clive Mitchell
31 Posted 20/03/2017 at 12:07:28
Andrew C (#24) – agree, you can't afford the lack of quality in Williams and the lack of pace (now) in all three when it comes to these games. Koeman's comments very sensible.

I've not been, and am not yet, a fan, but he's certainly achieved what I thought it reasonable to achieve in his first season, and he's the right kind of heavyweight character to handle the tougher issues.

Tony Draper
32 Posted 20/03/2017 at 13:16:08
One game at a time is all that any team can play.

A win at "The Theatre of Visitors" would do me very nicely indeed.

I can't see either Schneiderlin or McCarthy featuring, due to injury. Such is the misfortune that ALWAYS befalls us before we wrestle with "The Whalehunters".

Winston Williamson
33 Posted 20/03/2017 at 13:35:13
For Anfield, I'd go:

Robles
Holgate, Williams, Funes Mori
Coleman, Gana, Davies, Baines
Barkley, Lookman
Lukaku

Lookman for his pace on the counter. Holgate for his pace at the back.

Morgan in for Davies if he's fit enough.

Keep it tight and narrow and hit the fucker on the counter – tell Lukaku to bully and Harass and tell them all to press from the front.

Hate derbies usually, but I'm so sick of the red bastards... use the anger and fuck them!

Dave Lynch
34 Posted 20/03/2017 at 14:06:51
Whatever team he picks, fate always transpires against us against that lot.

Sorry for being a killjoy but you could put the Barca team in an Everton strip that night and we'd still come out second best via dodgy decisions, freezing on the night or a bent ref.

If we do win I'll buy everyone on TW a virtual pint, no expense spared.

I'll take 2 draws now.

Phil (Kelsall) Roberts
35 Posted 20/03/2017 at 15:02:12
Taking the games left and adding in the results from last season the table would finish as follows:

Chelsea 83
Spurs 77
Man City 73
Man Utd 72
Arsenal 71
Liverpool 68
Everton 59

So even winning at Man Utd, Arsenal and Liverpool would only move us to 68 and still 5th place. Yes, there are other games where we can improve compared to last year (so we picked up 9 points in these last 8 fixtures – which included beating Chelsea at Goodison Park) so I think Champions League and 4th is not possible.

Even making up the gap to 6th seems a stretch.

7th it will be. I would take that as the final table. Arsenal not in Champions League so bye bye Arsene; Liverpool not in Champions League, and us in Europe.

Brian Wilkinson
36 Posted 20/03/2017 at 15:07:52
Can we not Loan Tim Cahill for the Day.
Jay Harris
37 Posted 20/03/2017 at 15:38:35
Its nice to dream and I do think were due a result at anfleld but we have to be realistic.

It is 3 years since we got 72 points at a time when Liverpool and Man Utd were struggling but sine then all of the current top six have invested heavily in new players and management and are ahead of us in their "project" timetable.

I think it will take the summer transfer window and a major transformation by Koeman for us to get top 4 in the next 12 months.

However, hope springs eternal.

Alexander Murphy
38 Posted 20/03/2017 at 15:46:27
Brian W post 36, Tom Davies is the nearest replacement to Tiger Tim that I can imagine. His Evertonian Spirit is second to none in our current squad. (What follows isn't aimed back at you. If anything, its inspired, so thanks.)

I just can not see Tom being overwhelmed.

For me, even though he's only just old enough to "get the round in", he's a Royal Blue Pedigree. Barkley has now (as a first team player) had three managers. Tom has (really) only had one.

He's not being exploited, out of desperation. He starts on merit alone.

Tim n Tom are different kinds of players, but not in their application.

Four seasons back, I saw someone here or GOT or wherever plrading for a midfield tiger. She/He was bang on.

Now we have Iddy, the best tackler in the Premier League, the best interceptor in the Prem and Granddad Barry (he'll "take one for the team", and talk in the dressing room) he's still worth thd money, managed by Ronald Koeman, Master Thomas the apprentice. What an environment!??

Plus, that lad Barkley? Effin Jeff, he's come on a bundle recently.

The press will big up the other lot before us, nothing new there.

Mike Green
39 Posted 20/03/2017 at 16:44:36
Phil (#35) – that looks like a very realistic table to be honest.
John Pierce
40 Posted 20/03/2017 at 17:08:01
I can hear the acceptance in several posts, 'I'll take a draw right now' or 'Lets be realistic'

Come on guys! This is the mental fatigue which often is lambasted by many on this site at Everton players for years regarding this fixture.

Why be cowed by a team which like ourselves have obvious deficiencies at the back?

We might risk a whipping granted but really what do we have to lose? Play the game not the occasion.

I think we risk getting hammered if we soak it up. Sure less space in behind for a highly mobile side. But Chelsea and Spurs have shown that approach to be flawed.

Our defenders are poor, their worst trait is possessing and distributing the ball, Baines excepted. Sitting back just makes them have to do more of what they stink at.

I feel Koeman simply won't consider that option just not his way. We score in the 2nd half of games and frankly to win this one we need to score early and blunt momentum.

I firmly think we will win should we attack. Even should we lose at OT I think 3pts from those games with two winnable homes games to follow give us a very good chance of top 4.

Koeman has got us back to were we were, now for the progress!

John Wilson
41 Posted 20/03/2017 at 17:16:53
We'd struggle against Liverpool in their current form, whether it was at home or at Anfield. I watched the match on Sunday and Liverpool are quite amazing. Man City played excellent but still nearly lost at home; this says a lot about Liverpool.

I was hoping Man City would win, just because I'd prefer Isis football team if they had one than Liverpool.

Frank Crewe
42 Posted 20/03/2017 at 17:37:45
I think as long as Koeman keeps faith with his players instead of losing it like it did by including three defensive midfieders in the Spurs game I think we have a chance. If Swansea and Wolves can win at Anfield, I don't see why we can't.
Stan Schofield
43 Posted 20/03/2017 at 18:05:18
Phil@35: I think that's a very pessimistic assessment. Based on current form, I would say 65 points is a more realistic 'best estimate'. But with 9 games left, it's 27 points at stake, giving a potential tally of 77. That should be the points aim, 77 points, but the real aim is to win each game as it comes, ignoring past history and focusing on the detail of the here and now.

You cannot have a winners mentality if you keep reflecting on the past. Liverpool are nowhere near as good as Spurs, and player for player they are inferior to us. Realistically, we should beat them if we go out to win. Over to you Ronald, to get the tactics and team selection right.

John Wilson
44 Posted 20/03/2017 at 18:37:47
There is a chance of an asteroid landing on your head but does not mean there's a probability of it happening.
John Wilson
45 Posted 20/03/2017 at 18:40:24
Schofield at 43, have you been drinking large amounts of alcohol? "Player for player, they are inferior to us." I think you need to come down of your high from those quality drugs.
Paul Tran
46 Posted 20/03/2017 at 18:54:23
Like most teams in this league, when Liverpool are good, they're very good, with pacy, direct forwards and bags of energy. Their back four and keeper are dreadful and crumble under pressure.

So let's match them for energy and intent and put that defence of theirs under pressure. And stride on the pitch believing we will win.

They're nothing special, just drawn with a team we took four points off.

Dermot Byrne
47 Posted 20/03/2017 at 19:01:39
Mick #1: talk cheap ? Ask George Osborne!
Patrick Murphy
48 Posted 20/03/2017 at 19:16:35
Based on current form we'd struggle against RS home or away, what current form would that be?

Only Spurs have picked up more points than Everton since the turn of 2017 and even if you only look at the last half dozen games Everton are doing better than most. But perhaps those facts don't support the notion that Everton are far inferior to our nearest and dearest and have little or no chance of beating them ever again.

I don't expect Everton to win their next two games but it has nothing to do with current form, it's more to do with Everton players thinking like some of our more fatalistic fans that RS and Man U are so much better than us therefore we shouldn't be on the same pitch as them and that's also one of the reasons we can't secure the services of our best players.

Current Form

Dermot Byrne
49 Posted 20/03/2017 at 19:19:50
Patrick (#48), may be some truth in that but perhaps a tad exaggerated? We ”have little or no chance of beating them ever again." That is soothsayer standard mate!
Patrick Murphy
50 Posted 20/03/2017 at 19:26:27
Dermott (#49),

That's not what I think or believe, but many many posts relating to derby matches seems to put our lovable neighbours and to a lesser extent Man Utd on a pedestal which was merited at some point in the past but not right now. I may have egg all over my face in a fortnight's time but surely we can expect an Everton side high on confidence to give both teams a match can't we?

It's alright for fans to moan and groan when pundits and former players say this or that player should leave Everton or that the manager is too big for Everton, so I find it perplexing that on an Everton site so many are willing to surrender the points before a ball has been kicked. I understand the history but every match against those teams is an opportunity to change that history.

Gio Mero
51 Posted 20/03/2017 at 19:33:08
Top 4 was never never never a goal this season. The poor run up to Christmas was in hindsight physiological in Koeman's project. We find ourselves with a few we did not have at the beginning of the season and must be full of confidence for the future.

For all these reasons, losing to RS and Man Utd would be sad but not such a disappointment we aren't quite there yet and we couldn't be.

This summer's transfer market will give us the measure of the club's aspirations. Next season we'll have to improve on 7th which would inevitably put us in the race for top 4.
Peter Warren
52 Posted 20/03/2017 at 19:40:36
We always disappoint at Anfield. I'm 37 and only remember ever seeing us win twice there! Yes, we have a massive problem psychologically – fans, players and all staff.

On a separate note, we top the league of most different goalscorers so far this season which surprised me – I think we've had 15 different goal scorers.

Darren Hind
53 Posted 20/03/2017 at 19:43:51
I can't / won't believe Koeman would make the same mistakes he did at Stamford Bridge and White Hart Lane.

If he has a fully fit squad, I don't think we will see Barry... but that's a big 'IF'. Koeman will have a lot of his options taken from him if Schneiderlin and / or McCarthy don't make it.

If we look to Barry, Jags and Williams to stand firm for the 90 mins at Mordor, we will be asking for and almost certainly receiving another thrashing. We have got to give their defence something to worry about.

Just read a staggering post on Paul Trails thread concerning Valencia. Eight goals scored by the team in the last 96 minutes he has played . .Kinell

Play Valencia from the start, lets see how good they are, open the game up.

I'd love Koeman to break the mould and say "Right cunts, You play/We play!" Then send his boys out to attack with purpose every time we have the ball. I'm sick of seeing us go there worrying about them and getting tonked because we showed them a respect which has often bordered on blind terror. If we are going to change the result. We have to changed the way we approach the game.

Lukaku is in the form of his life and is better than anything they have. I'll be fucking gutted if we don't have enough ambition to get forward in numbers and give the beast the chances to inflict real pain.

Attack, attack, attack, attack attack!!!

John Wilson
54 Posted 20/03/2017 at 19:54:23
I don't think the laws of physics changes psychology. I watched those Liverpool players, they're athletic in every sense of the word, could keep the pace, tempo throughout the entire game, were always digging in when they did not have the ball, notwithstanding they have a team of quality players who can and do score goals.

Psychology means a mindset where something is possible but the person convinces their self the contrary. If Liverpool with the potential they have could not beat Everton, then this would be psychological problem potentially.

John Daley
55 Posted 20/03/2017 at 20:04:11
"Liverpool are quite amazing."

In what respect? Have they assembled an 'amazing' squad of players? Are they in 'amazing' form? Are they sitting in an 'amazing' position in the league, having played two more games than the side directly below them?

They drew with Man City in their last game. 'Amazing'. We twatted them recently.

They beat Arsenal? So did we.

They were embarrassed by Hull? So were... err... wait on.

Actually, better scratch that last one. It's surely not fair to expect such amazingness to be maintained when you look to the bench and see a bloke like Niasse warming up. Only natural for their arse to fall out.

'They beat Spurs!!!!!'

So what? They'd also been crowned Champions before September was even out, on the back of a few eye-catching results. Yet, they still sit only six points ahead of a side who couldn't hope to live with them (according to some) and who were even considerate enough to give them a lengthy head start to boot.

"Quite amazing" when you consider how cracking their current form is supposed to be.

David Pearl
56 Posted 20/03/2017 at 20:11:33
The team failed against Spurs but for me that was down to the tactics from Koeman. I want us to play our game and let them worry about us. Barkley and Rom are at the top of their game on current form so let's not isolate them.

With Gana and Schneiderlin, surely our midfield can match the RS energy in midfield. It's probably too much to ask for 6 points in our next two games... but we have players in form. It's down to Koeman to make it happen.

Touching distance of 4th we should go for it now. Unless the 'project' has our ambition on hold till next year.

Ernie Baywood
57 Posted 20/03/2017 at 20:14:15
Liverpool are far from amazing. We've got players who would walk into that team and we're the form side going in.

1-2 win. Test that shitty defence out.

Stan Schofield
58 Posted 20/03/2017 at 20:40:56
John@44, 45 and 54: There's little or no control over whether an asteroid hits you, but there's a lot of control over whether we beat Liverpool.

Regarding drugs, on the contrary, I've not been addicted with the drug of media indoctrination comprising the Liverpool bias and sycophancy, but am looking at our squad fairly objectively, so far as I can. Having supported Everton since 1961, I have no illusions about our record against Liverpool, but with respect to current conditions I have confidence that we have the ability to beat them convincingly. Koeman just needs to get the tactics right.

With regard to the laws of physics, I imagine that the uncertainty associated with inherently unpredictable phenomena, of the kind associated with cooperative interactions, will play a greater part than simple extrapolations based on history. Well, you did raise the laws of physics! We're the in-form team, and psychology can be on our side.

Phil Walling
59 Posted 20/03/2017 at 20:44:29
I know I am tempting fate but I've just taken £90/20 about Blues beating Reds. The portents are bad in that Koeman goes all Moyesish in big games and we shall probably see THREE defensive mids line up for the big game.

Cynical, you bet. Been here a few times before!

Tony Abrahams
60 Posted 20/03/2017 at 21:05:56
When Liverpool, were killing us in the second half at Goodison, Darren, I just wanted us to put someone up-front with Lukaku, and then get the other 8 men behind the ball.

I would do the same at Anfield, and play with Wing-backs, plus Davies, Gueye, and Barkley, just in-front of these two workhorses. That would leave us two upfront, but I would start with "Kid Calvert" because he looks very strong physically, and because Valencia, is doing very well coming off the bench?

In saying that with all the internationals, taking place this week, I just hope we don't get anymore injuries, but that is a team and formation, I would gladly take to both Anfield, and Old Trafford, and I also think I'd prefer your mate Holgate, in the back three ASWELL.

Phil Bellis
61 Posted 20/03/2017 at 21:14:43
"Liverpool are quite amazing..." Jesus, the mind boggles.
Paul Birmingham
62 Posted 20/03/2017 at 21:25:04
There's just under 2 weeks, internationals in between, and no-one knows who's already crocked and who will get crocked, and so it's too early to speculate. On our day, we are good; derby days of late, invariably we have imploded over there.

This time, I'm hoping it will be better and who knows... but, as has been proven this season, they aren't infallible and are beatable. Man Utd are in form but let's see who we can put out after the derby.

John Pierce
63 Posted 20/03/2017 at 21:25:19
Patrick, Darren both echo what I want to see from Everton in these two fixtures. All hail to those thoughts.

Put more simply Ronnie, do you want to keep Romelu or not?

Win both or even get 4 points from these encounters, set up properly to win the game, not skank it. It will go a massive way to physically getting us up the table and show Rom that we want to compete.

Set up defensively has the almost guaranteed effect of isolating the big fella, no chances for Rom. That will undoubtedly piss him off. It also tells him you don't want to compete against the big boys you'd rather actually you always want to craft a win, nick it or set up to counter.

That strikes me as lacking courage and ambition...

Liverpool play so high up the pitch, I'm pleading we stick at least two of not three up there. Davies, Rom & Mirallas and make sure their defence is occupied.

On a tenuous note, Liverpool have both Brazilian players coming back from a late game on Tuesday night/Wednesday morning. Both in the first XI, yes we have Valencia but not 1st pick, it might help a little?

Deffo gonna win us. Deffo!

Paul Tran
64 Posted 20/03/2017 at 21:31:41
Our best team is a 3-5-2 including Holgate. Has anything happened to Holgate that I've missed?

What we need at Anfield is pace and bravery. The 'reliable' players have reliably underperformed there. I'm looking for Davies, Holgate and the rejuvenated Barkley to take the game to them. I'm looking for Gana to press and worry them. I'm praying that Schneiderlin is fit, as I feel Barry is too slow against the best sides and McCarthy doesn't appear fit enough to last the pace.

7th place is ours for the taking regardless of the derby. I don't think we're good enough defensively to hang on for a result. We are good enough to take the game to them and worry them.

Stick Dom & Rom up front and go for them. They are nothing to be scared of.

Tony Hill
65 Posted 20/03/2017 at 21:47:20
It's marvellous to see true Blue Evertonians like John Wilson capable of such objectivity. Not like those one-eyed shithouses across the Park who will go to extraordinary and embarrassing lengths to try and score a cheap point.
Ian Riley
66 Posted 20/03/2017 at 21:47:39
It's a derby. Anything can happen. Belief is key to a positive result. Need pace in the team or we will get overrun. First game after a international break makes it more of a lottery. Nothing to lose really with 7th place almost secure, have a go.
Alexander Murphy
67 Posted 20/03/2017 at 22:22:49
"We'd struggle against Liverpool in their current form whether it was at home or at Anfield".

John Wilson post 41. You are David Elizabeth Moyes and I claim my free pint of Chang. However, YOU will drink the bloody thing!

Tony Hill
68 Posted 20/03/2017 at 22:32:09
Funnily enough, I drove past their gaff this evening and, although I didn't spot John Wilson lurking in the shadows, there is an unmistakable aura of evil. Who or What stalks that dark and chilly place?
Roger Helm
69 Posted 20/03/2017 at 22:32:50
We are going to have to play deeper because Jags and Williams are too slow to play a high line. We should do a Leicester – two banks of four and Rom and Valencia or Mirallas to hit them on the break.

Robles
Coleman, Jagielka, Williams, Baines
Gana, Barkley, Davies, Barry or McCarthy
Lukaku, Valencia or Mirallas

We will win 2-1

John Pierce
70 Posted 20/03/2017 at 23:10:32
You play fit and able players in games like these, no passengers.

I'm afraid that means both Barry and McCarthy should be nowhere near the 1st XI for this game.

Whilst I'm at it neither should Schneiderlin if he's not fully fit. Cannot see how based on what I saw.

No only do you handicap the team from minute one you waste potential game changing substitutions in the process.

3-5-2

Robles
Holgate, Williams, Funes Mori (FFS)
Coleman, Davies, Gana, Barkley, Baines
Mirallas, Lukaku.

Minik Hansen
71 Posted 20/03/2017 at 00:06:06
Confidence boosts the play, the squad's been fuelled at Goodison Park enough to put fire on Anfield and when they do, it'll carry on at Old Trafford.

The players, the manager, the club and some of the fans, hopefully you included, know deep inside it's time to make these games count. It's NOW. And read the last word backwards.

Mark Andersson
72 Posted 20/03/2017 at 00:16:54
Best post by John Daley. Those of you bigging the RS up are what is wrong with Everton fans' defeatist attitude.

Liverpool have lost to worse teams than us; for once, we should go there and have some self-belief, put in a shift, and play to Rom's strengths.

I don't like Rom but it seems he is on a mission to get his move away, so let's hope he demolishes those in red.

Will Mabon
73 Posted 21/03/2017 at 02:37:36
Koeman, seize opportunity in next two games.
James Owen
74 Posted 21/03/2017 at 03:09:10
I'd love to see Lukaku be the first player to score a hat-trick at Anfield since Dixie Dean's in 1931. And then go on to help us beat Man Utd. It would be a sweet send off before he abandons us and heads back to Chelsea...

Btw, I'm not interested to hear about Rooney coming back, his legs are gone and he would be a step backwards; no benefit to club in any way. The RS would love that, having that porker huffing about the pitch. Tell him to go to China.

John G Davies
76 Posted 21/03/2017 at 07:12:22
We won't play 3 centre halves. They play with 3 upfront; that would mean one v one.

Won't happen.
Tony Abrahams
77 Posted 21/03/2017 at 09:22:58
I don't think they play with 3 upfront John G, but I suppose it depends on how you see things? My own view is they play one upfront, and he's a very clever little player that Firmino. They play two holding midfielders, and then they have interchangeable players like Coutinho, Llanna, either side and Mane, who is allowed to just drift off the furthest man forward?

They work there bollocks off, but when Everton, matched that workrate in the first half at Goodison, they were clearly rattled. Watch Liverpool, and if they haven't got space to run in behind, then like most teams they will run out of ideas. So it might be stupid to play with 3 centre backs, because that will leave space for them to exploit down the sides?

Not if we are savvy though, because all of their midfielders, like to drift in-field, and they get most of there width from the fullbacks. Play 2 upfront, and give them loads to think about, especially if our own wingbacks play conservatively which should just congest up the middle of the pitch for them, whilst we can just get it forward early, and I'm going back to bed after all that!

Dave Wilson
78 Posted 21/03/2017 at 10:22:24
Wow

You don't need to stray too far from this thread to identify the problem.

"You could Barca in blue shirts" and we'd still freeze.

"They're amazing"

"They play three up front"

We've got to get past this. They're not amazing and they don't play three up front (wish they did, they would be emptying midfield) and they are not all 6ft-10in monsters who will eat us up.

No wonder they can smell the fear...

John G Davies
79 Posted 21/03/2017 at 10:58:56
They press with 3 Tony. And play a loose system where they interchange with 3 players high. Koeman won't leave it one vs one.
Colin Malone
80 Posted 21/03/2017 at 11:03:17
If anyone can, Koeman can. Come on you blue boys.

Do we want Europa League football at this stage of the project? I say no. Let's go all out for that Champions League spot next season.

John G Davies
81 Posted 21/03/2017 at 11:43:51
Sorry Tony meant to add.

I agree with the test of your post re denying them space behind and between the lines. I would go with 4-3-3 our front 3 play high up the pitch when their keeper has the ball. Make the keeper knock it long then we should win the aerial challenges. Congest the midfield areas and break quick.

Denis Richardson
82 Posted 21/03/2017 at 12:56:16
Sorry if already covered above but if Man Utd win the Europa League and don't finish in the top 4, presumably 4th spot wouldn't get a Champions League spot as no country can have 5 teams?

One step at a time, I know, just think we may well need to finish 3rd!

Daniel Lim
83 Posted 21/03/2017 at 13:00:14
I think it's no country can have more than 5 teams. So the max is 5.
That rule was created for the rs back in 2005.
Peter Lee
84 Posted 21/03/2017 at 14:12:43
Our lack of pace at the back gives us a problem with a team like the RS who will, just as Spurs did, work hard to close us down.

The lack of pace, Mane was bought to create this problem for back fours like ours, means that we need so sit deeper against the RS than we will need to against MUFC.

The trouble for teams who work hard in pressing is that they tire after about 35 mins and lose impetus and then again after 70 minutes. Have you noticed how often Coutinho has been withdrawn around that time? (Even before his injury.)

Koeman has often set us up to contain when teams are fresh looking to hit back when they are not. That's what he did against Spurs and if Gana hadn't got the wrong side of Kane and then Barry hadn't needlessly backed off we were looking at 0-0 HT.

I can't see him doing much different in the next game to be honest. The team will be compact and leave Lukaku largely on his own, looking to break and support when possible in those periods when the press is on for them. Outside of those times expect us to be a bit more expansive.

We don't score all those goals in the last quarter of the game by chance.

The one possible change to give the pace we need would be Holgate, but I'd play him in the middle of a back three, we wouldn't want him chasing wide balls leaving the other two vulnerable to a quick switch to the other side or over the top.

If we had a different left back option Coleman could do the job, probably better.

David Graves
85 Posted 21/03/2017 at 14:32:10
We've scored 19 goals in the last 10 minutes of matches this season which is more than any other club in Europe's top Divisions.

If it's an indicator of a fitter and more focused team we may just be due a late winner at that place.
Minik Hansen
86 Posted 21/03/2017 at 14:36:10
The international games might have a huge positive impact, when the individual players have a good run, making them feel upbeat, along with the form Everton are in. When they come back together, the blue spirit will hit the town. COYB.
John Wilson
87 Posted 21/03/2017 at 15:03:40
Schofield et al, I do not know, and I am almost certain that you don't know, the jargon which you presumed to be related to physics. By physics, I meant that Liverpool in proximity to the ball and the dynamics of the game they were playing against Man City were simply brilliant. I am an Everton supporter – and as I previously stated, I'd have preferred ISIS (not literally, but...) if it had a football team than I ever would support Liverpool.

I was however making an objective observation over Liverpool's game against Man City, who incidentally were really dragged over hot coals by them. Let's remove our rose tinted spectacles. Of course I support Everton and always will, but Liverpool or nearly close to them, they're simply not.
Tony Abrahams
88 Posted 21/03/2017 at 15:21:49
So the lesson to be learnt must be not to play Gareth Barry, who has only really played well against one of the bigger teams, which was City, with Ya Ya Toure on the pitch playing against him.
Jay Harris
89 Posted 21/03/2017 at 15:28:35
Holgate lost his concentration a couple of times last time he played and hasn't looked the same player for the U23s since so I guess Koeman has lost confidence in him for now.

It looks more likely that Funes Mori would play in a back 3 which is not something I would advocate for the derby. The most important thing no matter who plays is we keep our concentration and level heads.

Brian Wilkinson
90 Posted 21/03/2017 at 15:32:59
With all the tactics about Liverpool, one thing has been missed off, whenever our neighbours have played a big team, the following match they always under perform, Leicester, Hull, Palace, Burnley away, Burnley home they sneaked it, lots of other teams over the last couple of seasons have outdone Liverpool after they got a result the week before.

If we set up like we did against Spurs, we can forget it, shit or bust time these next two games, draws are no good if we want to close in.

We have to go all out for these two games, let them worry about what we have done since January and not the other way round.

Both are winnable, believe and get right at them.

John Wilson
91 Posted 21/03/2017 at 15:42:31
Watching us play against Spurs was like a bully and his mates who had stolen the ball from kids and wouldn't give them it back. Liverpool when they lost the ball against Man City dug in to get it back moments later. We could not get near the ball against Spurs except when they made the few mistakes.
Tony Abrahams
92 Posted 21/03/2017 at 15:48:20
Especially in the first 30 minutes John.
Ed Fitzgerald
93 Posted 21/03/2017 at 16:26:07
John Wilson

I agree that if we set up like we did against Spurs combined with a timid "can we scrape a point mentality" we will come unstuck at the RS and against the Mancs.

However it doesn't have to be that way in either game. It's you who seem to have the rose (Or perhaps deeply scarlet) tinted specs following the game at Man City, yes it was a good game for a neutral to watch it was also characterised by some fairly ordinary defending IMO. We are FFS six points behind them not 20 points behind them, so there is no great gulf in class.

I don't think they are that good at all (I am not saying we are either!) our weakness is the same as theirs, defence!! Our attitude will be key, there is NO reason to fear them at all and we have I believe two world class players in Barkley and Lukaku who are better than any of theirs.

You sound in awe of them they have been shite for much of this season, the honest RS fans will tell you that (I know there's not many but a few do exist)

Brian Wilkinson
94 Posted 21/03/2017 at 16:35:20
Spot on Ed@93, we need to get rid of this fear factor, play how we have been playing, if we do I fancy our chances, try to pack the midfield and defence and we can forget it.

Let's not forget 84, we were just moving up to the next level, we went to Anfield without fear and got a result, the following week we destroyed Man Utd, again by taking the game to them and not changing tactics.

If Ronnie goes for it in these two games, we have a great chance against two teams who are up and down, they are not unbeatable, we just have to believe and get among them.

Joe O'Brien
95 Posted 21/03/2017 at 16:56:11
Ed, I'd take a guess that John Wilson is a kopite. No blue would ever utter the words, "Liverpool were truly amazing..." so John when you head back across the park with your notes, just let them know that we know they've only got a Plan A.

We'll give ye respect but we also know that we've got a better team than ye and we'll be going there to win. Impose ourselves in the game, play to our strengths and not just to contain ye, we're not afraid of ye. If we do that, we'll win.
Gordon Crawford
97 Posted 21/03/2017 at 18:33:19
I expect as to put on a show this time. No longer any excuses about injuries and formations etc. We need to get tore into these teams and show them what we are all about. If you haven't got balls to stand up in these matches, then shouldn't play football for Everton. I'm expecting 6 points. COYB.
Darren Hind
98 Posted 21/03/2017 at 18:48:09
Koeman go three up front ???

You have to wonder what people have been watching.The chances of him going with two up front are slim to non existent.

We need a sensible compact approach because they have footballers with quicker feet than our tacklers. We have pace and power in our ranks though. Everytime one of their attacks breaks down, people like Barkley, Valencia, Calvert-Lewin, Mirallas should driving at them with real purpose looking to commit their defenders. Their defenders hate people running at them and they will be shitting themselves just thinking about getting stuck in a one-on-one situation with Lukaku.

We have the tools, we just need the manager to have the courage to use them

John G Davies
99 Posted 21/03/2017 at 18:59:30
You have to wonder what people are watching?

I watched us play 3-4-3 vs Man City.

Did you not see that?

Tony Hill
101 Posted 21/03/2017 at 20:17:57
Valencia is a really interesting one. As others have demonstrated, his impact in time played is remarkable. He generally looks to go forward with pace and invention and, as someone who thought he was going to be disastrous, I can only say that he's been a very nice surprise and still probably has 5 years at the top level. Is there a way we can keep him? He's the sort of forward who can be invaluable over time.

He could be very interesting in the derby coming on for the last 25 minutes or so.

Peter Howard
102 Posted 21/03/2017 at 20:31:25
John Wilson

Were you educated by Yoda?

Tom Bowers
103 Posted 21/03/2017 at 20:48:28
Yes, lot's of opportunities before the season ends and none bigger than the next game. Hopefully Morgan will be ready to play a big part as his form has been excellent. Koeman has a wealth of available talent and all seem to be in the right frame of mind to finish the season well.

Valencia has been somewhat unfortunate as loan players often are as the permanent players usually take preference if they are performing well. The lad has done nothing wrong with the short stints he has been asked to perform but with Mirallas, Barklay and now Calvert-Lewin being good alongside Rom. it may be unlikely Koeman will keep him around for next season.

I am never surprised by Derby match results as when it comes down to luck on many occasions it always seems to be RS having 90% of it. Usually the games are never good and not much between them but a poor referee or late, late goals usually are against Everton no matter how well they have played.

We can only hope that this time around we get a few breaks and give it to them good style.
Darren Hind
104 Posted 22/03/2017 at 06:43:15
"I watched us play 3-4-3 against City"

That explains an awful lot.

We played a 3-5-1-1 against City with Barkley (to everyone pleasant surprise) working tirelessly in midfield tackling anything that moved. Mirallas played off Lukaku. whilst still helping out in midfield - probably his best game for us this season.

I think anybody who saw us play three up top against City was probably watching a different game. City had us on the back foot for most of that game, we not only had to repel attack after attack we were able to punish them with every shot we had. . . bit like what I'm calling for at Mordor

I want Koeman to be more adventurous, but I don't want him to be fucking stupid.

John G Davies
105 Posted 22/03/2017 at 07:49:32
http://outsideoftheboot.com/2017/01/23/tactical-analysis-everton-4-0-manchester-city/

The game I watched we started with 3-4-3 when we where in possession, reverting to a 3-5-2 when Man City had the ball.

I have noticed some of your tactical knowledge previously so thought I would check it out. I usually go with what my eyes tell me but thought it worth a quick look. My eyes were not deceiving me.

Tony Abrahams
106 Posted 22/03/2017 at 09:52:00
Don't start you two! John G, just sees the game differently, I think, Darren. He says Liverpool, play with a front 3, and although I disagreed with him, I think what he's talking about is how hard the players work for the team?

He said we played with 3 upfront against City, but like you said, it's just how hard both Mirallas, and Barkley, worked that day in trying to get forward to help Lukaku, that made it look that way?

For my own twopence worth, I remember Rooney, scoring the winner at Elland Rd, once, (I'm sure he broke the gypsies curse, in the league that day) and it was definitely one of my most satisfying games under Moyes. I'm sure we had both Li Tie, and Linderoth, in midfield that day, definitely one of them, but whoever it was the team just had a really solid, professional style that day. Play like that at Anfield, and the victory will be ours!

Paul Burns
107 Posted 22/03/2017 at 12:25:06
Put up or shut up. It's 11 versus 11.

Our record against teams near the top has been cowardly in away games for the last 2 decades. It's been pathetic and it's got to change starting now.

No excuses.

Darren Hind
108 Posted 22/03/2017 at 18:43:01
Tony,

I don't know why I'm even bothering with this one. The emphatic scoreline masked the way the game went. We did the business in front of goal, but in terms of possession and territorial advantage, Man City were completely dominant.

Those who actually watched the game would have seen our back three become a back five for most of that game as it was all hands to the pump. Davies, Barry (that's seven defensive players) and Barkley worked desperately hard to protect the back four and Mirallas chased and harried in front of them – he spent most of his time on the pitch in our half.

I realise now that the final word in debate is a carefully selected comment from a website renowned for not even being able to get the players names right.

People like Ball, Scholes, Gerrard, Lampard would get forward more times in their games than Barkley and Mirallas did combined that day... but I never come across anybody daft enough to claim they played up front.

Tony Abrahams
109 Posted 22/03/2017 at 18:56:55
A back three, becoming a back five, will do for me against Liverpool, as long as we look to hit them on the counter, whenever the chance arises!
Steavey Buckley
110 Posted 22/03/2017 at 19:04:21
When Everton play 5 at the back against top teams, Everton get trounced. It is best to defend in the opponent's half than invite them to play in your half by playing too deep.
Tony Abrahams
112 Posted 22/03/2017 at 19:51:49
Especially when we are blessed with loads of pace at the back, Steavey?

Everton got smashed off Chelsea, and never got going against Spurs so you might have a point, but I always think it's about workrate, and I just don't think we had enough of it in those games.

I think if everyone is fit then we might be able to go and play in our opponents half a bit more but, when the game is fast and Barry is in our starting eleven, then we do seem to get over-ran in midfield. The obvious exception was the game against Man City that Darren, and John G, were talking about, but with YaYa Toure playing against us that day, then I just don't think that City, had enough pace in the middle to go and do this?

Our weakest links seem to be a lack of pace in the middle of our back four, and also a lack of real craft. But we are starting to score a lot more goals now, so its the two centre-backs that really concern me. I would play three in there against Liverpool, Steavey, but I would also play with two upfront. But the main thing is having both pace and energy in the engine room against the faster teams, so I just hope either McCarthy or Schneiderlin are fit.

Darren Hind
113 Posted 22/03/2017 at 20:04:19
One of them has to be fit, Tony.

I too would like to see two up front, but I just can't see Koeman summoning up the courage. I think he will play Lukaku up top and another just off him.

Interesting to see Koeman putting Calvert-Lewin straight back in on Saturday. One of the programmes last week (GOS?) was explaining how Unsworth had managed him years ago as a kid and begged the club to sign him.

Koeman seems to have taken a shine to him too. I think he could well get the nod

Lev Vellene
114 Posted 22/03/2017 at 20:04:27
At Chelsea, we were still trying to become a new team, so I'm willing to take that as a blip!

Koeman has not been afraid to alter our formation from a back 4 to a back 5, or the other way around. So I only worry if he's taken the Spurs lesson to heart by now, and if he's thought of something new for that by now...

John G Davies
115 Posted 22/03/2017 at 20:12:10
Tom Davies a defensive player?
Tony Abrahams
116 Posted 22/03/2017 at 20:14:14
I read the other day that Calvert-Lewin was playing for a non-league team a couple of years ago, Darren? He really impressed me on Saturday because, although he looked raw, he was also playing out of position, and it's a long time since I've seen an Everton player look so naturally physically strong.
Tony Abrahams
118 Posted 22/03/2017 at 20:43:24
I know what you mean, Lee, it's no use having a billionaire owner if he won't spend any fucking money!
John G Davies
119 Posted 22/03/2017 at 21:03:30
Try a different way, see if it's easier.

What formation do Chelsea play?
3-4-3.

When Willian plays on the right of the 3 is he classed as playing up front?

Karl Masters
120 Posted 22/03/2017 at 00:43:40
Reading what Koeman says at the top, he clearly says he'd be happy with 7th.

That doesn't look very positive or adventurous to me.

Remember in the 3 big away games we have coming up: 'Nothing to fear, but fear itself.'

So Ronald: Pick a system that lets us counter attack when we get the ball and drum some real heart, desire and confidence into those players and send them out to do a job. That is your job. Everton expects...

Darren Hind
121 Posted 23/03/2017 at 05:13:14
Apparently Tony Pulis played eight men up front against the Gooners. WBA put eight men in the box every time they had a corner or a free kick – or, to put it another way.... "When they had the ball."

Statistically – and this is a fact – they had eight men in the box more times than we had two.

These kids' tactical analysis websites have got a lot to answer for...

John G Davies
122 Posted 23/03/2017 at 06:46:53
Very poor response to a reasonable question about tactical formations.
I can only conclude you don't have much awareness of the way managers set teams up.

Any chance you could answer the question I asked re Willian playing in a 3-4-3? A 3-4-3 system does not indicate three playing up front.

Tony Abrahams
123 Posted 23/03/2017 at 07:25:16
Lyndon and Michael, have got to get a ToffeeWeb radio station, and I'm voting for Darren, to host the show!

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