Sandro Ramirez will carry the goalscoring hopes for the Blues against Stoke in Romelu Lukaku's absence
A new season rolls around and Everton begin another quest to break into the top four as Ronald Koeman embarks on his second season in charge at Goodison Park.
In the context of the Dutchman's initial three-year project with the Blues, he comes into 2017-18 with what is arguably a stronger squad in all departments except in the areas that could really make the difference this time around.
Romelu Lukaku, the man on whom Everton were hugely reliant for goals has left for Manchester United but despite making a £62m profit on the Belgian, the club have yet to sign his replacement.
Sandro Ramirez, an exciting but untried entity, is the kind of signing Evertonians would have wanted to see drafted in to replace Enner Valencia; in terms of the focal point of the attack — even more so if Gylfi Sigurdsson ever becomes an Everton player — supporters are waiting to see who is identified to partner the Spaniard in a new-look attack.
In terms of the season opener against Stoke, such concerns will have to be put on the back burner because Koeman will be going with what he had for the two Europa League games against Ružomberok when it comes to team selection.
Along with long-term absentees Ramiro Funes Mori, Yannick Bolasie and Seamus Coleman, Ross Barkley and James McCarthy are out of contention but other than that it is “as you were” in Slovakia where the Blues did enough to advance to the play-off round where they will meet Hajduk Split.
Both legs against Ružomberok were underwhelming to say the least but the friendly curtain-raiser against Sevilla last Sunday offered more encouragement for Blues fans searching for evidence that the team can improve on last season's seventh-place finish. Sandro notching a quick goal in front of his new home faithful was perhaps the most exciting aspect of the game, his composed finish hopefully indicative of what he can bring to the team this term.
Equally encouraging has been the form of Michael Keane in pre-season and in Europe, together with the promising early glimpses of Jordan Pickford. Together with Davy Klaassen, who has the potential to be a significant addition to midfield, at around £80m the English duo represent the vast majority of Everton's summer expenditure and form a new long-term spine to the team.
All three should make their Premier League debuts for the Blues against Stoke, with Sandro joining them at the spearhead of a team that should also feature Wayne Rooney.
Koeman will have decisions to make at right-back, centre-half and up front, though. Assuming that the manager doesn't opt for a back three (unlikely given how unsuccessful it was in Slovakia) and that Jonjoe Kenny isn't deemed ready to start — had he done so against Sevilla and played, he would be in with a shout — it will be a straight choice between Mason Holgate and Cuco Martina for the role.
In the centre, it's likely that either Phil Jagielka or Ashley Williams will get the nod to partner Keane while further forward, it could be between Kevin Mirallas and Dominic Calvert-Lewin if Koeman deploys a forward three. The competition in central midfield, meanwhile, might mean Tom Davies is edged out, a situation that underscores just how strong the Blues are in that area of the pitch.
For their part, Stoke have made modest moves in the market, with the loan acquisition of Kurt Zouma from Chelsea arguably Mark Hughes's best move of the summer so far. The 22-year-old will further beef up what is always a robust Potters back line in much the same way as 6' 3” tall striker Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting will add strength and physical presence at the other end of the pitch in the wake of Jonathan Walters' departure for Burnley. Darren Fletcher will add experience and solidity in midfield but Stoke are unlikely to be pulling up many trees in the Premier League this season.
They remain a tough proposition, however, and Everton won't be expecting any easier a task than the one they had against Hughes's men almost a year ago when a solitary goal, an own goal by Shay Given at that, handed Koeman his first home league win as the Toffees' boss.
Everton will need to call on the formidable strength they displayed on home turf from the start of 2017 on last season while hopefully demonstrating the benefits of a further 10 days' pre-season preparation since the second leg in the Europa League.
While the management and recruitment team lines up their final targets of the window to put a more complete complexion on the close season's business, this first game of the new campaign is all about the result. That is particularly true given the brutal run of four games that follows against Manchester City, Chelsea, Tottenham and Manchester United before the relative comfort of a home game against Bournemouth towards the end of next month. A good start could be huge, psychologically speaking.
Kick-off: 3pm, Saturday 12 August, 2017
Referee: Neil Swarbrick
Last Time: Everton 1-0 Stoke City
Predicted Line-up: Pickford, Holgate, Keane, Williams, Baines, Schneiderlin, Gueye, Klaassen, Rooney, Calvert-Lewin, Sandro
Full details: ToffeeWeb Match page
Reader Comments (233)
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1 Posted 11/08/2017 at 07:22:13
Personally I'd still like to see Kenny play as I think we'll need that attacking element out wide for this game.
I would also like to see Davies play too instead of Gana or Schneiderlin. But I don't think either will happen.
But whatever the team, COYB!! Let's get the first 3 points in the bag!
2 Posted 11/08/2017 at 07:23:35
I hope Barkley stays; I have never wanted him to leave this is the Season that could actually define him as the player we know he is... COYB!!
4 Posted 11/08/2017 at 07:49:46
5 Posted 11/08/2017 at 08:00:21
We have many more games (up to 19) due to the Europa League and two untried strikers (Calvert-Lewin and Sandro), plus a has-been in Rooney.
I was so excited for once and now I'm left thinking and feeling 'same old Everton'.
Hope I'm wrong...
6 Posted 11/08/2017 at 08:03:15
I can see Barkley leaving on deadline day. No way would the club let him leave on a free. It would be just like Levy to get him for around £20 million.
7 Posted 11/08/2017 at 08:09:07
8 Posted 11/08/2017 at 08:12:14
Kenny Keane Williams Baines
Davies Schneiderlin Klaassen
But I'm expecting:
Holgate Keane Williams Baines
Idrissa Schneiderlin Klaassen
Subs: Stekelenburg, Jagielka, Martina, Barry, Davies, Mirallas, Lookman.
9 Posted 11/08/2017 at 08:22:01
Quick, intelligent and incisive passing needed to beat that defence.
Relatively strong options to bring on from the bench.
10 Posted 11/08/2017 at 08:26:11
11 Posted 11/08/2017 at 08:28:39
Some great signings, Keane and Pickford in particular, but I'm still not sure Koeman knows how to break a team down.
12 Posted 11/08/2017 at 08:32:59
Normally I'm over optimistic and we don't deliver, hopefully the opposite this season.
13 Posted 11/08/2017 at 09:13:11
We badly need a goalscorer, so I'm going 1-1 against a pub team.
14 Posted 11/08/2017 at 09:17:28
15 Posted 11/08/2017 at 09:20:31
I'm unsure exactly how Sigurdsson will fit in this team and can't help but think we really lack pace up top.
After those two Europa League games, I have to say I'm not as confident as I was a month ago.
16 Posted 11/08/2017 at 09:26:47
17 Posted 11/08/2017 at 09:28:23
I find it galling that we are about to kick off the new campaign without a proper centre forward. The deadline on transfers should be the night before the season starts- it is ridiculous that the business is not concluded during the close season.
The club has been caught with it's pants down take a look at all of the other teams who will be challenging for the top 7. They all have recognised strikers.
18 Posted 11/08/2017 at 09:38:38
19 Posted 11/08/2017 at 09:41:05
Expect nil-nil unless we get Davies and/or Lookman and/or Mirallas on in time to make a difference. But I'm predicting 1-0 the Blues.
20 Posted 11/08/2017 at 09:44:03
21 Posted 11/08/2017 at 09:50:24
Also, I think if Calvert-Lewin can get a goal starting up front again, Koeman will stop playing him out wide, given his comments last week.
22 Posted 11/08/2017 at 09:54:47
23 Posted 11/08/2017 at 10:07:33
24 Posted 11/08/2017 at 10:08:02
Kenny Keane Jagielka Baines
Davies Rooney Lookman
Schneiderlin and Williams have been god awful for awhile now so it's the bench for them and Rooney needs to be surrounded by runners with pace.
25 Posted 11/08/2017 at 10:12:37
The failure to sign a replacement for Lukaku, tie up a deal for Sigurdsson and the likely rejection of places for Davies and Kenny makes this opening fixture a real challenge but, with more than two weeks until the closing of the window, we must be careful not to over-react if we fail to garner full points.
Prediction: 1-1 and the first point towards that 7th spot.
26 Posted 11/08/2017 at 10:39:23
27 Posted 11/08/2017 at 10:43:44
28 Posted 11/08/2017 at 11:06:09
Pickford and Keane both appear solid acquisitions hitherto, and should help to reduce the amount of goals conceded even further. We're still waiting on more from Klaassen and Sandro, yet they have now an assist and goal for Everton respectively. Rooney is still somewhat of a puzzle, mostly concerning his role playing for the team, but he should surely be a net positive.
My ideal line-up for this match would be as so (4-3-3):
Baines Williams Keane Kenny
However, I believe Koeman will opt to play with two defensive midfielders (Gueye for Davies), and Holgate or Martina will play ahead of Kenny.
29 Posted 11/08/2017 at 11:07:29
Just hope Butland doesn't have a good game.
30 Posted 11/08/2017 at 11:12:04
32 Posted 11/08/2017 at 11:23:19
I am only a fan but even I know a cock-up when I see one. We have let Valencia go, too. The pressure is left on our young potential: Sandro; Lookman; Calvert-Lewin, to dig us out of this mess. We face Stoke tomorrow, a team that sends shudders up and down the spines of the top 4, never mind the top 6 or7.
Cue the media, has been professional footballers, deriding Everton as mid-table mediocre, at best. One small consolation is we still have Bark's, for a time. Our new young-blood goalie, Pickford will be like déjà vu, as he was with Sunderland last season, but this time a record number of shots on target with be against Everton. I think we'll struggle without a pacy striker to stay in the mid-table never mind the top 7.
I think Pickford was worth paying the 30 odd million for him; as now that lad will really have to prove his mettle. Let's hope our defence are up to much because, let's face it, we know Stoke's defence is virtually impenetrable
33 Posted 11/08/2017 at 11:38:52
She took me by the hand down Scotland Road with my big blue and white rosette
34 Posted 11/08/2017 at 11:46:23
My point is, as you probably know, the window still hasn't closed therefore it's too early to have these whinges. The Premier League hasn't even started and a few people like you have written us off. That's incredible, even for the pessimists!
We still have time to finish off our squad. We're overall stronger than last season, no matter what you think. We should have got a leading striker in, of course, but there is still time to rectify the situation. If, come September 1st and we're in the same boat, then I'll be jumping overboard with you. But right now? Come on, give them a break.
Mark (#33). Really sorry to hear that and I hope she's watching down on us tomorrow when we're smashing Stoke. :)
35 Posted 11/08/2017 at 11:48:08
36 Posted 11/08/2017 at 11:53:20
37 Posted 11/08/2017 at 11:55:14
I think Shawcross and Kouma (possibly Indis too) will see off our powder puff attack with Butland mopping up anything that trickles through. As Arnautovic has gone I think Stoke are also lightweight upfront. Stoke the more likely team to score from a set piece.
I'd have liked to have seen Lookman start with his pace and guile constantly run at their giants, inevitably get knocked down by them and someone (Baines, Rooney ???) bang in a free kick resulting from one of those fouls.
A dour affair lost in the middle third.
38 Posted 11/08/2017 at 11:56:58
Pickford face a "record number of shots on target" this season? Do you not think that with the addition of Keane, our defence despite injured absentees is likely to be better than previously?
39 Posted 11/08/2017 at 11:57:24
We will do well to get a win tomorrow, is my opinion. Lukaku going has certainly weakened our attack, unless I'm in for a pleasant surprise.
I can see us finishing 7th or below unless we are substantially strengthened up front.
40 Posted 11/08/2017 at 11:59:16
41 Posted 11/08/2017 at 12:16:03
I also believe our squad is overall stronger than last season, sure with gaps but hopefully, we'll fill most of those. But people are writing us off after two semi-pre-season competitive games is just mind boggling, even for Evertonians.
42 Posted 11/08/2017 at 12:30:13
I hope I am wrong on Rooney but I feel we could end up carrying him this season, whether his influence in the dressing room will outweigh this...only time will tell.
43 Posted 11/08/2017 at 12:39:08
Defensively Pickford and Keane are improvements but evened out by the loss of Seamus, Williams being awful and Jags & Baines slowing down
In midfield Morgan has been awful throughout preseason and Europa League and the loss (not being played maybe?) of Davies hinders the dynamism of the whole team.
Klaassen is as yet lost and not a patch on however good or bad Barkley was; Sandro and Rooney do not equal a Lukaku.
As said, there is time to put it right but, as we sit, it has been a depressing window and we are weaker than last season.
I still think we will win.
44 Posted 11/08/2017 at 12:40:12
45 Posted 11/08/2017 at 12:46:05
I'm still waiting for the Schneiderlin we thought we were getting to turn up. Without Barry we have nobody to pass out from the back.
I'm thinking we might start with a back 3 so that both Davies and Gana can play. It would also allow Calvert-Lewin to play through the middle.
I'm guessing Walsh went to Italy to get some chianti. The most important position to fill was a replacement goal scorer...
46 Posted 11/08/2017 at 12:51:47
47 Posted 11/08/2017 at 12:52:04
The initial transfers were promising (probably inspired by Walsh), but later transfers started to show the weakness of Koeman. That his managerial capabilities don't inspire confidence was confirmed by the preseason (Walsh input Sandro being the exception, if played).
What we are left with is depleted attack, a mixed-up midfield, and a weak back line. Rooney in attack has reverted to his previous failed roles at Man Utd. (He will prove a defensive problem getting caught in possession.) We have no centre-forward.
Barkley, who wants away, is now a requirement to inspire midfield. Sigurdsson may not happen and Gods knows how he would shape up if he did. Jags may be better than Williams (God help us) and up-and-coming players are being messed about. I hope the goalkeeper is good, he is going to need to be.
No top-four finish (never achievable in slow motion, resulting from no pace and Europa League flight fatigue) and calls for a new manager in January. Anything otherwise is delusional and I am not delusional.
48 Posted 11/08/2017 at 12:53:41
Meanwhile we have gained Pickford, Keane, Klaassen, Sandro and Rooney, plus there's three weeks to go. Stoke are shit, Hughes is a knob and we'll win so there!
49 Posted 11/08/2017 at 13:06:01
Just heard the great news that Coutinho has handed in a transfer request!
50 Posted 11/08/2017 at 13:18:57
We will score more goals than we did last season and Man Utd will score less.
51 Posted 11/08/2017 at 13:21:13
I hope that's not Brett Angell delight!
52 Posted 11/08/2017 at 13:37:17
Also could do with more pace in the starting line up as Stoke aren't the quickest.
I would swap Mirallas for Calvert-Lewin and try to inject more pace and experience. Sandro will be making his debut and Calvert-Lewin is still just a kid.
Schneiderlin, Gueye and Klaassen should mean we keep things tight but scratching my head as to where the goals are going to come from. Not holding my breath on Rooney rolling back the years.
53 Posted 11/08/2017 at 13:45:35
One thing he's not lacking is confidence.
54 Posted 11/08/2017 at 13:45:46
55 Posted 11/08/2017 at 13:48:06
A bruising opener plus getting (probably) nowhere in the following 4 games isn't the best way to start his season off imo. Let him come on around the hour mark when the defenders are a bit tired and if things don't pan out for the team, he won't be the one being shouted at by the fans.
56 Posted 11/08/2017 at 13:52:23
We'll smash these for Mark's mum.
3-0 to the blues.
57 Posted 11/08/2017 at 13:52:55
At present we do not have anyone capable of scoring 25 goals per season against any opposition, shite or otherwise. Indeed it will be a welcome surprise if Rooney and Ramirez reach that total between them. As for the rest of the squad, we will be lucky if any of them get anywhere near double figures.
Unless a quality front-line striker arrives in the next three weeks, we will struggle for victories against most Premier League teams.
58 Posted 11/08/2017 at 13:53:14
Where is the creativity and forward runs, and support to our lightweight front runners, going to come from?
Furthermore, where are the goals coming from?
I sincerely hope we are proved wrong tomorrow both in team selection and the goal department.
I know it's early days, but with the fixtures we have ahead, this has got to be won.
60 Posted 11/08/2017 at 14:08:16
Rooney, Sandro and Klaassen
61 Posted 11/08/2017 at 14:11:45
62 Posted 11/08/2017 at 14:21:51
I would like to see Rooney get one on his return home.
63 Posted 11/08/2017 at 14:37:47
I think his premier league stats (against top 6) are something like 57 Games, 15 Goals, 9 Wins.
Are we really going to miss him that much?!
64 Posted 11/08/2017 at 14:40:49
Where did we finish for the 2 seasons before with a combined 28 league goals and a total of 45 from him?
We're not totally buggered without him.
We have a Spanish striker who out scored Neymar last season and the Ajax & Man Utd former captains not to mention England's U20 World Cup winning forward plus bags of pace in Lookman.
Yes we need another striker & yes we need another left footed defender but with the points & performance differential last season to those who finished below us we're still looking ahead and not over our shoulders.
As for Stoke...Choupo Moting has a conversion rate comparable with Stuart Barlow, Crouch is a year older, they no longer have Walters or Arnautovic, Fletcher makes Barry look pacey, Xaquiri turns himself inside out , and if Zouma was the beast some believe he'd still be at Chelsea filling the gap Terry left.
The future is bright, well more royal blue with darker bluey bits under the arms anyway... Hey, and no more Chang, what's not to love, eh?
65 Posted 11/08/2017 at 14:46:59
66 Posted 11/08/2017 at 14:49:24
The harder more vital game is Thursday were a good lead is paramount. Save your players for that one Ron.
Stoke have had a poor window. Much less of side than they used to be. Much less 'Stokelona' more 'Stokeminster Harriers'
Despite the incomplete nature of the side, I think we'll win easily. 2-0.
Remember despite our gloom we are actually better than everyone else.
67 Posted 11/08/2017 at 15:20:46
On the subject of the Blues we are all reacting to some pitiful preseason performances but we have to remember we were unbeaten throughout pre-season.
I am finding it as difficult as Koeman probably is to decide on our best team. Schneiderlin and Klaassen did not look impressive in preseason and a number of others looked average to say the least. I was concerned about Rooney's fitness and suitability for a team with top 4 ambitions but thought he looked a bit sharper against Seville so he is a definite starter. Jags and Bainsey know each others game inside out so I would start them. Gana would be one of the first names on the sheet for me so here goes with my pick:
Martina Keane Jagielka Baines
Davies Gana Klaassen
Sandro Rooney Mirallas
With Lookman and Calvert-Lewin to come on second half and get the 3rd and 4th goals.
4-0 to the Blues to get us off to an optimistic start.
68 Posted 11/08/2017 at 15:25:56
69 Posted 11/08/2017 at 15:30:37
No, didn't think so... Potential banana skin here.
70 Posted 11/08/2017 at 15:36:19
Holgate as right back and both Gueye and Schneiderlin is fine defensively. But we really struggle in creativity. Holgate offers nothing going forward and neither do Gueye and Schneiderlin.
Hopefully Baines has got a bit left of his offensive qualities. But either he is getting a big old or he misses a proper partner because he appears to have lost the last 10%. Likewise Williams is really poor in his passing. Keane looks much better but is still a classic center back.
So basically we leave all attacking to be between our 4 front men. No matter who is playing where if these four they are asked to perform miracles. When we fail to score or score just 1 after another match with slow build up, these 4 front men will be blamed. Rooney will be too old, Calvert-Lewin too young, Klaassen too Dutch and Sandro too something. In reality it is the tactical setup to blame in that case.
I really hope he plays another right back than Holgate and that he plays only one Schneiderlin and Gueye and then plays either Davies or Klaassen as the defensive midfield partner. In fact, he could also play Barry since his forward passing is excellent.
71 Posted 11/08/2017 at 15:36:35
72 Posted 11/08/2017 at 15:48:21
He would find the Premier League could handle his height easily, and then he's got nothing else. He's like a dinosaur from the 1970s.
73 Posted 11/08/2017 at 15:53:26
74 Posted 11/08/2017 at 15:55:41
Pickford, Kenny, Keane, Jagielka, Baines, Schneiderlin, Davies, Rooney, Mirallas, Sandro, Lookman.
Schneiderlin only starts ahead of Gueye because of his extra height as I'm worried about us defending set-pieces. Against the top 6 teams. Gueye would start as well. Personally think Klaassen needs integrating slowly and possibly as sub for Rooney.
At least that front 3 looks mobile but I wouldn't be playing it away from home. We're still desperate for a pacey striker and, as I keep saying, that would be Inaki Williams for me who also works hard.
75 Posted 11/08/2017 at 16:34:38
Our defence has been vastly improved by the addition of Keane and Pickford. Our defensive midfield remains exactly the same but I think Klaassen will score more than Barkley's 5 league goals last season.
So we get to the sharp end, and the loss of Lukaku is great, have no doubt about it. Again with the but, BUT what do we really need to replace?
His hold up play and movement were not the best so it's his goals, 25 of them. Although that will be difficult I think Koeman's whole plan is to not replace them with a single player but shared out amongst the team.
Can Rooney, Sando & Siggurdsson (if we get him) score 8 or 9 each? It's not beyond the realms of possibility in my mind. Add in another striker who can bang in 10 and we're suddenly looking at a positive comparison...
76 Posted 11/08/2017 at 16:47:12
I love the optimism of the predicted 3- or 4-nil wins but let's be honest, we may not have 3 or 4 total by the time we play our 6th game.
I'm praying I'm wrong, but unless we strengthen the squad soon, I can see us struggling. But I guess being a lifelong Everton fan, this isn't exactly alien to me.
That being said, I'll hope for the best, like every season, and cheer the boys on regardless. COYB
77 Posted 11/08/2017 at 16:57:01
But you feel the more this guy gets told something, the more stubborn and determined he becomes not to follow the popular consensus, he'd rather play a young centre half at right back, than a young right back at right back,...because it was his choice whether it's for the good of the team or not, that appears to be irrelevant.
79 Posted 11/08/2017 at 17:22:43
Williams (better in the air than jags I feel so better for those lumbering stoke beasts)
Gana (more mobile than Schneiderlin who I think has had an unimpressive pre season).
Davies for his energy
Sandro out right wing
Lookman to terrorize their slow turning defenders
We will be a bit narrow but we aren't going to be getting crosses in so its quick feet and passes around their 18-25 yard line that I would hope does for them.
Anyway, heart says 3-0, head says a scrappy, uninspiring 1-0 with the ball going in off Rooney's arse.
80 Posted 11/08/2017 at 17:47:14
Pickford, Kenny, Jagielka, Keane, Baines, Barry, Davies, Klaassen, Rooney, Sandro, Calvert-Lewin.
Given Koeman does not seem to want to play Kenny, I would prefer Holgate to the other options.
I'd also replace Barry with Schneiderlin after an hour.
81 Posted 11/08/2017 at 17:47:53
Still, for anyone waiting to talk about 'worst start ever', here's a few first day shockers:
1975: Coventry 1-4
1978: Forest 1-3 (no-one thought they were going to win the league)
1984: Spurs 1-3 (punctured first day optimism after winning the cup)
0-1 Palace. Can't remember the year, Bilic scored a disallowed early debut goal, we lost to a dreadful Palace side.
1-6 Arsenal. Lescott. Oh dear.
Hope that cheered everyone up. We'll win tomorrow!
82 Posted 11/08/2017 at 18:03:45
Holgate only got half a game last weekend so I guess 'our leader' will opt for his former Saint's lummox to get the gig. After all, he knows his qualities.
83 Posted 11/08/2017 at 18:06:39
He's made two substitute appearances for us. His only lengthy first team experience is in League 2 on loan to Oxford. A lot of his reputation at this point comes from playing successfully in the U-20 World Cup. But let's remember the "U-20" part of that.
That's not to say he's a bad player, or that he won't be a good or great player for us. But it's not like Koeman is just wilfully overlooking some completely unquestionable claim for a first team place.
84 Posted 11/08/2017 at 18:30:36
85 Posted 11/08/2017 at 18:38:05
86 Posted 11/08/2017 at 18:50:37
Holgate Keane Williams Baines
Davies .Klaassen .Rooney Lookman / Mirallas
I don't like us playing with 2 defensive midfielders's as I think it makes us too defensive. One is enough and I don't care which one. I go with Williams and Holgate because we will need all the height we can get.
I'm pretty positive. I don't see any reason we can't win.
87 Posted 11/08/2017 at 18:55:16
About the game, I really hope we can start with a win of any kind to dispel some of the negativity on here. I agree that our pre-season has been uninspiring but we have got better defensive cover and nobody can match the support that the Goodison Park crowd and our overall support brings. Let's get behind the lads. COYB
88 Posted 11/08/2017 at 19:02:00
89 Posted 11/08/2017 at 19:02:55
In this case, one "young buck" would be getting blooded at the expense of another, also not signed by Koeman or Walsh, in Holgate.
Players 23 and under last season who weren't signed by Koeman made 56 league appearances. Players who were signed by Koeman made 19 league appearances.
I'm delighted to encourage "our own". Define that. Is Mason Holgate our own, or do we just ignore anyone who was signed from anywhere except school? And does encouragement equate to demanding their selection, or simply wanting to see them succeed and integrate into the team at an appropriate point?
90 Posted 11/08/2017 at 19:09:06
91 Posted 11/08/2017 at 19:10:22
Vastly is stretching it somewhat Andy I'd say, maybe a little stronger.
Our defence was pretty solid last season, the reason we trailed the top 5 teams was mainly because we didn't score enough goals.
With the players we have at the moment, I'm struggling to see how we are going to score as many as last season, a season in which we were 15 to 20 goals short!
92 Posted 11/08/2017 at 19:13:04
93 Posted 11/08/2017 at 19:18:04
I may be wrong but I think his scoring percentage overall was excellent and probably similar to Tony Cottee in both respects.
94 Posted 11/08/2017 at 19:22:37
95 Posted 11/08/2017 at 19:26:09
96 Posted 11/08/2017 at 19:29:23
I was at that game. Back in those days, it seemed Everton didn't lose at home to newly promoted teams on Day 1 of the season. The brilliance of Brian Clough.
97 Posted 11/08/2017 at 19:30:27
99 Posted 11/08/2017 at 19:33:47
Well, multi task wingers like Tricky or Sheeds, Curran lasted a few games but he got the crowd going. What a tache and perm. I'm sure he turned up in Brookie a couple of years later!
100 Posted 11/08/2017 at 19:40:47
I think his best quote ever was "I'm not saying I'm the best manager in England but I think I'm in the top one."
101 Posted 11/08/2017 at 19:42:38
Having said that, I suspect we shall again start the season without a single Academy graduate in the team which will hardly say much for this much vaunted establishment, will it?
As far as Holgate, Stones, Lookman and Calvert-Lewin are concerned, they only bear out my belief that, if you want to be an Everton first-teamer you don't do your apprenticeship here!
102 Posted 11/08/2017 at 19:53:13
Very relevant when getting a centre-forward to replace Rom, Costa/Kane types, Yes; Benteke types, No thanks!
103 Posted 11/08/2017 at 20:09:26
I think we'll start with Davies on Saturday, which means at least one Academy graduate (well, technically two, as Rooney will also start) in the first team. We've had at least one Academy graduate make 20+ league appearances every season for more than the past decade (Hibbert, Osman, Barkley). That's actually pretty outstanding in terms of consistent success for an Academy providing first-team players.
On Holgate, Lookman, Stones, etc...while I take your point, I think that's the nature of the game these days. Academies don't just look at the local area; promising youngsters are identified and bought at a much earlier age, before they've fully broken into other first teams. Still better that, and to "home grow" them from an earlier stage, than to not.
104 Posted 11/08/2017 at 20:09:26
'Pass me that newspaper,' said the great man, pointing to the Daily Mirror which he carefully laid on the floor.
'Now stand on it' was the order - which was immediately carried out. 'Right, young man, that's the only raise you're going to get so bugger off!'
105 Posted 11/08/2017 at 20:10:24
I see Liverpool are getting loyalty problems with Couthino. Surely it's time to look at ending long contracts and stamping out these greedy players and their greedy agents?
106 Posted 11/08/2017 at 20:14:35
More worrying is the buy back clauses on players that the selling club aren't sure will make it and 'lend' to the buying club.
Thats not a transfer but a glorified loan
107 Posted 11/08/2017 at 20:16:31
108 Posted 11/08/2017 at 20:18:15
109 Posted 11/08/2017 at 20:19:35
Yes, we need to be honest and realistic about where we stand right now in relation to the so-called 'big clubs'. But when was the last time we went into a new season with so many new signings already under our belt? When was the last time we weren't scrabbling around on the last day of the transfer window trying to pick up other clubs' rejects on a loan? And importantly, when was the last time we had a management team with a clear and ambitious vision for the future of our club with the resources to finance it?
When Koeman was appointed manager I remember reading a post here by someone that went something along the following lines regarding his plans for 'the project'.
'Season 1: steady a seriously unstable ship;
Season 2: start building a squad in line with the manager's vision;
Season 3: push on to break into the top four.'
At the time I thought that was an astute observation. And I honestly believe it still stands. This is work in progress. Progress like we really, seriously haven't seen for nearly three long decades.
So here's a word or two of advice from an old fart who's been a Blue for more than half a century a half century which has included some wonderful highs and some seemingly eternal lows. Please, just get behind your team and stop being so effing negative. COYB!
110 Posted 11/08/2017 at 20:32:08
Just as a matter of interest, have you seen Kenny play a lot or just the fleeting minutes in the first team? If you have seen him a few times, how do you rate him?
111 Posted 11/08/2017 at 20:41:07
112 Posted 11/08/2017 at 20:45:41
The one thing we have in common: everyone's dying for tomorrow's game to kick off...
113 Posted 11/08/2017 at 20:47:17
Well he could be good?
114 Posted 11/08/2017 at 20:48:35
115 Posted 11/08/2017 at 20:51:19
Francis blurted out that he very much was, when Cloughie leant forward and unsmilingly said, "If selected, young man!"
The look on Francis's face! And bugger hurt feelings.
116 Posted 11/08/2017 at 20:52:41
I would sacrifice the entertainment for top four, But I can't see any way of that happening.
117 Posted 11/08/2017 at 21:03:11
You can still get 12/1 with Black Type on oddschecker for them to finish top six. Decent bet.
118 Posted 11/08/2017 at 21:04:08
I want to see Sandro and Calvert-Lewin start up top and I want to see Davies playing midfield and then I will fancy us to get something from the game!
I'd play a 4-1-3-2:
Baines, Jagielka, Keane, Holgate
Gueye, Rooney, Davies
Klaassen doesn't deserve a start on watching his first few performances; Rooney knows what's required in Premier League!
119 Posted 11/08/2017 at 21:08:11
120 Posted 11/08/2017 at 21:09:38
It is all about opinions; just because I think Jonjoe is ready and good enough doesn't mean that he is. My udgement is based on watching the lad over the last three or four years, agreed mostly in the youth and U23s, but he looks to me he is well deserving of a chance to prove how good he is.
Not to be at least on the bench tomorrow is a bit depressing to me; I don't know how it feels to Jonjoe.
121 Posted 11/08/2017 at 21:17:00
122 Posted 11/08/2017 at 21:19:31
My argument isn't that he isn't good enough. But rather that 90% of the people making a big deal of how it's terrible that he isn't playing have like me really seen very little of him play.
123 Posted 11/08/2017 at 21:29:35
What a game this is!
124 Posted 11/08/2017 at 21:33:51
I honestly think he has earned his chance, because of his ability and, in the absence of Seamus, he is entitled to prove it.
At this stage of his career, he is twenty, to be in the position of being third choice behind a reserve centre back and a free transfer who couldn't get a regular game at his previous club is below the belt to me. The future will prove whether he should be playing now rather than waiting for his chance.
125 Posted 11/08/2017 at 21:34:31
126 Posted 11/08/2017 at 21:35:37
127 Posted 11/08/2017 at 21:38:03
128 Posted 11/08/2017 at 21:38:58
129 Posted 11/08/2017 at 21:42:44
130 Posted 11/08/2017 at 21:44:34
Hope we've made big strides since last week. We looked some way behind those two teams in terms of fitness and sharpness.
131 Posted 11/08/2017 at 21:49:55
I suspect that we haven't bought a striker yet because we have been waiting for Giroud to make up his mind. Move on. He's not leaving.
132 Posted 11/08/2017 at 21:51:33
Many think that the next evolution in football transfers is coming. Not so much of a revolution but normality with the freedom of movement.
Actually, a player should be able to give notice at any time in their contract as per a regular employee. If that's 6 months then fine etc.
Otherwise its pretty close to trafficking as you suggest. But it's their registration they hold right? They can leave but can't play!
As prices have no relation to the the players ability and are just the supply/demand market value, it has to end. Because eventually like Bosman, someone will get so fed up it goes to court. Its a cycle I guess, but it has a rather distasteful side to it all.
133 Posted 11/08/2017 at 21:55:46
Another lad who I have seen play who I reckon has got what it takes to make it is Baningime but I'd be premature to be pushing for his inclusion in the first team right now.
134 Posted 11/08/2017 at 21:59:35
135 Posted 11/08/2017 at 22:02:59
136 Posted 11/08/2017 at 22:04:21
No player, as far as I'm aware, has ever been forced to sign a lucrative contract against his will!
People who are trafficked have no contract, are subject to threats and earn little or no money! Not your typical footballer!
137 Posted 11/08/2017 at 22:06:49
If footballers want freedom to move as they wish, then they should also accept freedom for clubs to terminate their contracts too but they don't. That is why Niasse continues to get £50/60 grand a week.
138 Posted 11/08/2017 at 22:14:56
139 Posted 11/08/2017 at 22:15:43
And it benefits the employee, guaranteeing them that salary if they have a devastating injury or if they just turn out to be not as good as originally thought.
140 Posted 11/08/2017 at 22:18:35
141 Posted 11/08/2017 at 22:20:40
142 Posted 11/08/2017 at 22:21:29
143 Posted 11/08/2017 at 22:21:38
Agree with you Beni Banginime is a great prospect and one for the future. Beni is 18, Jonjoe is 20 and ready now.
144 Posted 11/08/2017 at 22:23:52
Long-term contracts protect the player against injury and being dropped. They agree terms of contract freely and when push comes to shove get their move if they want it anyway.
At the top they live a gilded existence and to compare it to people trafficking is as about as obscene as the rewards that these young men get.
145 Posted 11/08/2017 at 22:29:25
146 Posted 11/08/2017 at 22:36:47
I'm made up with Everton's crop of youngsters, but the thing with winners is they usually don't give a fuck for anyone, so if we are not careful with how these kids are treated, then I'm sure they won't give a fuck for the people that are in charge, and we might be the losers in the end?
Darren, 12/1 might have just gone out a bit, but I think,that would be a really sensible bet anyway, simply because Leicester are,definitely one of the most competitive teams in the league.
147 Posted 11/08/2017 at 23:23:57
When you sign a contract, be it 2, 3 or even 10 years, then that is the deal you sign into.
If Everton Football Club believe you are worth £60k a year for 5 years, then put that piece of paper on the table and ask you to sign it, then who is at wrong? It most definitely is not Niasse.
Let's leave other players out arguments that do not involve them.
148 Posted 11/08/2017 at 23:30:00
149 Posted 11/08/2017 at 23:31:11
150 Posted 11/08/2017 at 23:31:23
151 Posted 11/08/2017 at 00:04:56
152 Posted 12/08/2017 at 00:25:55
I hear the dark side are looking at Aubameyang, Costa, Sanchez and Lewandowski as potential targets, but who are we looking at?
As for today, I hope we get a great win to start this Premier League campaign.
153 Posted 12/08/2017 at 00:32:35
He's making Moyes look chipper, I'm just waiting for the "knife to a gunfight comment" when we play Man City!
154 Posted 12/08/2017 at 00:46:11
The only reason we managed 7th last season is because we had several soft games earlier on; this season we do not have that safety cushion. It was therefore football suicide to get rid of Lukaku (£75-90 million) as it should have been foreseeable that it would lead to hyper inflation, where every striker is temporarily valued at least £20 million more than their actual value.
Every game this season will be a struggle more likely than not... as we can only stop so many goal attempts without proven on-form strikers.
155 Posted 12/08/2017 at 00:50:12
I dare say a player could leave a club but that club retain his license/registration. That's the bit that is perverse. You might say players are complicit in the whole thing, as both parties get very rich from it.
Don't care, plenty of mega earning people have contracts and civil way to dissolve them in place. Footballers and sportsman sit outside of this.
Clubs survive off television money to run their club, use the crazy transfer system & dodgy commercial deals to generate profit outside of those regulations such as Premier League Sustainability and FFP that they have no need to sell and effectively tie a player the club.
In the past, there were other reasons why a player might move on. Under these circumstances, a player is effectively trapped. He cannot work were he wants unless his 'Bondsman' says so.
Trafficking? No. Provocative? Yes... but restraint of trade? Deffo!
156 Posted 12/08/2017 at 00:52:13
Don't be too quick to write us off we may surprise a few top teams this season. COYB!!
157 Posted 12/08/2017 at 01:18:40
By no means an easy start. If all goes tits up, we could enter October bottom of the league with 2/3 points.
But ever the optimist, I see this as a real opportunity. Liverpool last season started with tough games at Arsenal, Spurs and Chelsea and this was the catalyst to their (albeit short lived) title challenge and Champions League qualification.
the target should be 10 points from these five games, and I believe victory at Stoke is a given (while we can complain at some of our deficiencies, if we were in Stoke's boots we'd be much more pessimistic lost best player, little investment, ended last season in woeful form, Mark Hughes).
So seven from the other 4 games, essentially 2 wins and a draw. Doable. Spurs could be stagnant. Man Utd under Mourinho are worth a point at least. Chelsea, who knows how the morale is. And Man City, well Guardiola is over-rated, and their keeper is suspect. We are not doomed.
New Season! We all start with the same points.
Lookman and Davies are gonna take the Premier League by storm. Sandro is gonna rip up the league. Rooney gonna find that fire and find his form. Klassen is gonna be like a Dutch Lampard and score from all over the place. Pickford is gonna be such a wall that Trump will try and buy him to patrol the Mexican border, and Keane is the new Terry.
It's the first game of the season. Football is supposed to be fun. Let's be optimistic
Come On You Blues!
158 Posted 12/08/2017 at 01:44:46
Maybe you should give Koeman a pep talk too ;)
159 Posted 12/08/2017 at 03:48:18
161 Posted 12/08/2017 at 04:38:58
Koeman forgot football was fun 20 years ago. He is already managing expectation and telling the world how difficult it's going to be to make the next step.
£85 million for a striker who (to be fair to him) gave plenty of notice he was leaving... and Koeman spends a fraction of it on a replacement.
I said weeks ago that he wasn't paying enough attention to attack; I got shouted down. I'm saying it again at the start of the season and will get shouted down again. I will still be saying it when the window closes.
As football lovers, we want to see players do things with a ball that we can't/couldn't do ourselves, we want to see invention, guile, imagination... He's spelling it out for you before the gates have even opened.
I'm praying I'm wrong about Rooney and he does still have plenty of life left in his legs. Natural-born footballers will always rise above dour negative tactics.
162 Posted 12/08/2017 at 05:13:50
They clearly do have a choice. They choose to enter into a situation where their registration is held by a club for a defined period of time in exchange for extraordinary amounts of money.
They can choose not to do that at any time. They don't though, just as I wouldn't.
I do wonder whether a player could propose a clause in their contract that says they can move where they want in any window? They'd have to accept that their wages would drop substantially but some teams might go for it on that basis.
163 Posted 12/08/2017 at 05:33:18
Holgate Jagielka Keane
Davies Gana Baines
Sandro Rooney Klaassen
Davies, Gana, Baines offer additional protection when Stole are attacking, and they initiate the attacks when they get the ball Davies down the right flank, Baines down the left, and Gana down the middle. Sandro, Rooney, Klaassen and Calvert-Lewin offer enough pace, guile, interchangeability and attacking diversity to trouble the Stoke defence. Dead ball threats will come from Baines and Rooney.
Impact subs would be Schneiderlin and McCarthy to see out the game if we are leading, Mirallas and Lookman to break a deadlock situation.
164 Posted 12/08/2017 at 06:07:54
Yes, you are right we should have got a good striker in, but you always forget there is still time for that to happen. Maybe we had one or two lined up but they didn't pan out? Who knows?
But if we were on Sept 1st, then absolutely your posts will have some merit. Whatever your opinion of Koeman, he is no mug. He knows we need a striker. But I have a feeling unless we get in Ronaldo or Suarez or Mbappe you'll be on here moaning about the striker we brought in any way! Then again, even with all of those 3, you'll find some thing to whinge about.
I have my worries too. I'm a little bit nervous about the season. I'm nervous about Koeman's ability; however, I feel optimistic & excited as we seem to have bought pretty well and we can hopefully push on.
You have been to over 1,000 games but you also seem to hate everything Everton or Koeman do, why do you bother? If something made me as miserable as Everton / Koeman obviously do with you, I would find something more enjoyable to do with my time.
165 Posted 12/08/2017 at 06:13:46
166 Posted 12/08/2017 at 06:20:48
Wind your neck in with judging other Evertonians. It's getting old.
167 Posted 12/08/2017 at 06:34:48
Everton made a mistake in signing him but they are contractually bound to pay him for the duration of his contract. He is protected because of this.
If footballers want to have freedom to move as and when they see fit, then maybe the price they pay is to lose the contractual protection afforded to them in return?
168 Posted 12/08/2017 at 06:50:24
I don't have a problem with you, David. I agree with a lot of what you say. I also agree with the odd thing Darren says but when he starts talking like that, then well, this is a forum where I can defend Fran, myself or anyone else I see fit. And in my opinion, Darren deserves to be questioned as such.
Also one question to you, David. What other Evertonians have I 'judged'? If I disagree with an opinion over the team/tactics/manager/etc I'll say it. If I agree, I say it. I rarely make it personal or judgemental.
169 Posted 12/08/2017 at 07:07:33
170 Posted 12/08/2017 at 07:09:07
171 Posted 12/08/2017 at 07:19:02
Been doing that for over 50 years before this manager got here and I will be doing it when he's gone. No manager has stopped me doing this and we have had a few beauts down the years nor will any dumb-arsed post from somebody who can't quite understand the difference between loving the club and criticising a manager you feel is very wrong for it.
172 Posted 12/08/2017 at 07:29:48
Full of optimism for the new season, glass is always half-full for this Blue... otherwise, what is the point?
Looking forward to the game with the usual butterflies even after all these years.
173 Posted 12/08/2017 at 07:36:51
But I too remember some god awful managers and players. I was also a season ticket holder for over 10 years. I share the amount of love you have for this club.
Unfortunately living in Australia now means my Goodison days are now few and far between but I'll be watching, and raising a beer to the team when Z-Cars ring out. And I'll be bloody excited and positive about it too!
174 Posted 12/08/2017 at 07:56:46
You say Koeman is managing expectation, but I don't see it like that. I think he's simply holding the board to the promises that were undoubtedly made when he signed his contract and I find that refreshing.
You say he's dour and, yes, I too struggle with two holding midfielders but he's changed a culture where players weren't even fit enough to complete a game and where many were not giving 100%. With time and the right backing from the board, he'll have a wonderful team. The fact he doesn't carry passengers is a bonus.
175 Posted 12/08/2017 at 08:15:00
You seem to complain in every string that you're being "shouted down"... you are not. You're being disagreed with by considerable numbers of respondents. That's all.
The deal with being a contrarian is that the majority of people will argue against your minority viewpoint. You embrace that contrarian role hell, you give it big wet kisses and then you complain about feeling persecuted when you get the expected response. And let's face it, you're frequently less than generous with your assessments of those who disagree with you ("baying handful" comes to mind).
So please stop portraying yourself as being under siege. Ain't happening.
177 Posted 12/08/2017 at 08:27:16
178 Posted 12/08/2017 at 08:52:07
Well we all shine on
Like the moon and the stars and the sun
Yeah we all shine on
On and on and on on and on.
179 Posted 12/08/2017 at 08:52:31
The point you and your ilk appear to be missing is that responses to Darren (and others who criticise Koeman) is invariably tainted with ad-hominem... you know, classic phrases like "whining", "negativity" "hating Koeman"... "Contrarian" etc. Only yesterday you went on the offensive about the number of games he's been at, resulting in a fairly cringeable U-turn.
Here's a helpful rule of thumb, if you can't (or don't want to) address the points he's making about Koeman, then don't respond. Darren clearly doesn't have a problem engaging with and responding to points which are "contrary" to his... (He is not the only entrenched position in this argument about Koeman.)
Hopefully we'll see a cracking display today and the resulting match thread will be a veritable orgy of joy. Personally I can't see it myself. Underprepared, lacking in crucial personnel and a manager whose abilities are up for sensible and reasoned debate.
180 Posted 12/08/2017 at 08:53:16
Contrary to the popular view on here, there aren't that many of them. That means that they can pick and choose clubs, which means that it'll probably go close to deadline day.
People's distaste for Martinez blinded them to the fact that our squad needed a wrecking ball. Their distaste for 'shit' Lukaku blinded them to the fact that if top strikers grow on trees, its a very rare tree. I suspect we have looked/asked about plenty of strikers, who will be a very expensive gamble or will be taking Giroud's view; looking at their options near the end of the window.
Koeman will have failed if he doesn't bring at least one decent striker in, but these are the hardest players to find and I'm not expecting them to be banging on the gates at Finch Farm yet.
181 Posted 12/08/2017 at 08:54:04
Don't do whining, don't do "being persecuted" would allow myself to be a victim. Some people will engage and argue against the points I raise about the manager, I enjoy that.
Then there are some who don't have an argument and will simply get upset because I criticise him. They are the shouter downers, just because they don't succeed, doesn't mean they don't try.
Can we get back to talking about the match?
182 Posted 12/08/2017 at 09:01:54
Long time coming but now the snow is gone.
183 Posted 12/08/2017 at 09:08:52
184 Posted 12/08/2017 at 09:18:10
185 Posted 12/08/2017 at 09:21:09
Anyway, as Darren said, let's get back to the game. I'm personally going for a 4-1 win, Rooney hat-trick and a tactical masterclass from Koeman. And we'll all be asking 'who needs a striker?' COYB!!!
186 Posted 12/08/2017 at 09:21:47
Nothing wrong with dreams, George, we all have them, especially daydreams. I wasn't too fussy on Blanche du Bois, all she seemed to do was dream, got to have a bit of action with your dreams, George.
Then again, I'm dreaming we are going to have a much better season starting today. Will we?
187 Posted 12/08/2017 at 09:31:13
188 Posted 12/08/2017 at 09:38:55
189 Posted 12/08/2017 at 09:40:12
190 Posted 12/08/2017 at 09:52:33
I thought that the whole point of ToffeeWeb is that it provides a forum where we CAN all argue with the likes of Darren, who is a bit of a Pantomime villain on here... or is it a Pantomime Dame?... whatever, it would be a duller place if we couldn't get a bit red in the face and all General Melchett now and again when Darren gives Koeman some stick.
191 Posted 12/08/2017 at 09:54:42
192 Posted 12/08/2017 at 09:57:29
Gonna get a lift home in a minute and get ready to go to my second home, which always brings a little tear to my eye, on special occasions, simply because of how much Everton football club, means to me.
I'm not dreaming though, honestly not expecting that much, and just playing with a bit of drive and pace, will do for me right now, and might even help give me time to reminisce, which is what going to Goodison for the start of a new season always makes me do.
I will think about the characters, that are no longer with us, and hope that the team, makes us proud! COME ON YOU FUCKIN BLUE BOYS!!!
193 Posted 12/08/2017 at 10:01:09
This is my final post of the day. I shall spend the rest of it drinking shite watered down beer on a Brazilian Beach, telling ALL the Brazilians that Everton are better than Manchester City and How we're gonna Win the league, bofore finding a dodgy stream to watch us Put 7 past stoke.
Fuck opinions. Fuck our obvious problems. Fuck the debate about por manager. Its the First day of the season. Let Optimism reign!
We've got 9 months to moan. For at least one day, let's be positive.
194 Posted 12/08/2017 at 10:02:11
Phil Walling is to Martinez
Tony Marsh is to Moyes
Solve the equation.
195 Posted 12/08/2017 at 10:10:12
Back into the wonderful Saturday Match Day Magical Mystery Routine. Early morning second coffee in my lovely large white bowl - - French, bought in Montmartre, many years ago, no handles - - Id seen someone drinking coffee in a bowl in an old Truffaut film many years ago - - The 400 Blows - - I think - - at that time I was a bit of a Francophile - - remember getting a black duffle coat and white chinos from TJs and a pair of red socks and believe it or not a pipe from the shop opposite woollies in Church Street - - never ever put tobacco in it - - never ever smoked - - trying to look cool -- you know what its like when you are about 16 and searching for a look to try and catch the girls eye - - I will go to TDH and Goodison via Scottie and Smith Street - - walking past Athol Street and remembering Mary Martin walking along to our House in Smith Street with “Otis Blue” under her arm and her paisley mini-dress on and thinking she was the coolest girl I had ever seen - - she was a great dancer as well - - past Lambeth Road - - and my eyes and heart drift up to Harcourt Street to Mary Walsh - - wowww - - Mary Walsh - - fantastic - - we loved to dance - -tried to find somewhere to dance almost every night - - Mondays at Reeces (Soul Music) - - Thursdays at The Babaloo (West Coast Hippy stuff and Free and Steppenwolf and stuff) - - The Mardi for soul and Sunday nights at The CI - - Curtis Mayfield and “Its alight” - -
“When you wake up early in the morning
Feelin' sad like so many of us do
Hum a little soul, make life your goal
And surely something's got to come to you
And say it's all right
Say it's all right
It's all right, have a good time
'Cause it's all right, whoa, it's all right”
Ox blood comos (from Saxon) - - green shot silk suit - - made to measure by Mr. Harrison on Kirkdale Road - - yellow Ben Sherman button down shirt - - silk hankie in top pocket.
Preparing myself now to leave - - listening to music and reading some poetry to get myself into that state of somehow floating to the game - - seeing those faces sitting in their places in TDH - - walking to me seat and shaking hands with old friends - - united in our Joy of everything Blue - - bit of CSNY:
Football in the afternoon
What have we got to lose
Ive got an answer
I am going to fly away
What have I got to loose
Will you still come and see me
Thursdays and Saturdays
What have you got to lose”
Thinking about those times with Mary - - loved Marvin Gaye:
“And I don't have time to think about
What makes the flowers grow
And I've never given it a second thought
To where the rivers flow
And I ain't got time for nothin' else
I ain't got time to discuss the weather
And how long it's going to last
And I ain't got time to do no studying
Once I get out of class
I'm telling you I'm just a fellow with a one track mind
And when it comes to thinkin' about
Anything but The Blues
I just don't have the time”
Along Wessie Road - - passing The Old Baths - - well gone now - - and into TDH - - Tony and Sandra behind the bar - -that little movement of the lip - - into a knowing smile - -“were back are we?” - - the usual jokes and catch phrases about each other - - I am so happy - - I can hardly contain myself - - and it feels so good - - makes me wanna play my harmonica - - “Way, way back, way back
When you walked, in a green field, in a green meadow
Down an avenue of trees
On a, on a golden summer
And the sky was blue
And you didn't have no worries, you didn't have no care
You were walking in a green field
In a meadow, through the buttercups, in the summertime
And you looked way out over, way out
Way out over the city and the water
And it feels so good, and it feels so good
And you keep on walking
And you look out on the water
And the big ships, and the big boats
Came on sailing by, by, by, by
And you felt so good, and I felt so good
I felt I want to blow my harmonica”
I feel the absolute privilege of being born when I was, and having such a youth on Scotland Road and of Being A Blue: “Cause everything felt, everything felt, everything felt
Everything felt, everything felt, everything felt, everything felt
Everything felt, everything felt, everything felt so right, ha
And so good”
“Rave on down through time and space down through the corridors
Rave on words on printed page
Rave on, you left us infinity
And well pressed pages torn to fade
Drive on with wild abandon
Uptempo, frenzied heels
Rave on, Walt Whitman, nose down in wet grass
Rave on fill the senses
On nature's bright green shady path
Rave on Omar Khayyam, Rave on Kahlil Gibran
Oh, what sweet wine we drinketh
The celebration will be held
We will partake the wine and break the Holy bread
Rave on let a man come out of Ireland
Rave on on Mr. Yeats,
Rave on down through the Holy Rosey Cross
Rave on down through theosophy, and the Golden Dawn
Rave on through the writing of A Vision”
So heres to you gang TWebbers, Blues and friends - - have good season - - enjoy it - - I am always optimistic at the beginning of each season and believe that we will win something.
I did another recording for French TV this morning about Rooney - - will keep you in touch.
Finally from Mr. William Blake - - a great Evertonian - - I know - - I knew him well - - “The person who does not believe in miracles surely makes it certain that he or she will never take part in one”.
Bon Voyage my friends.
196 Posted 12/08/2017 at 10:20:01
197 Posted 12/08/2017 at 10:23:37
198 Posted 12/08/2017 at 10:29:17
199 Posted 12/08/2017 at 10:30:36
I went to watch a Tyson fight in Las Vegas with the lads. Top hotel, great bars (including The Crazy Horse) best of everything. One lad with us moaned every morning for the full week about the state of the bacon at breakfast.
It's in some people's nature to be miserable even in the best of circumstances, other people's nature to be happy in the worse circumstances. That's life.
You could put Miss World on a plate for them and it old be "I'm not going near that, the fuckin state of her earrings!" 😀
200 Posted 12/08/2017 at 10:32:30
201 Posted 12/08/2017 at 10:35:19
202 Posted 12/08/2017 at 10:39:07
It's a grand old team to play for, it's a grand old team to support .
PS - Rave on George!
203 Posted 12/08/2017 at 10:46:01
204 Posted 12/08/2017 at 10:47:56
It is not Koeman 's fault that we have not been able to get our striker targets up to now. We still have a slim chance but letting Lukaku go without suitable replacement/s was not negligible but negligent.
205 Posted 12/08/2017 at 10:53:40
206 Posted 12/08/2017 at 10:54:22
I've got a tenner on him scoring 4...
207 Posted 12/08/2017 at 10:55:46
You didn't read all of the posts?
208 Posted 12/08/2017 at 11:00:42
209 Posted 12/08/2017 at 11:07:04
Read your post at 195 three times.
It got better every time.
Onwards and upwards COYB
210 Posted 12/08/2017 at 11:21:24
211 Posted 12/08/2017 at 11:25:19
212 Posted 12/08/2017 at 11:27:50
213 Posted 12/08/2017 at 11:28:34
Up the Blues!
214 Posted 12/08/2017 at 11:32:47
215 Posted 12/08/2017 at 11:33:07
And the thing about moaners is, everyone of them I've met, they all have a brilliant smile, they just don't do it often enough.
216 Posted 12/08/2017 at 11:34:10
Anyway, seventh of 20 is nigh top third and thus my glass is two thirds full. And I'm no pessimist. Just a realist who over nearly 60 years has learned to be so.
A point today will be a good start.
217 Posted 12/08/2017 at 11:38:40
"And the thing about moaners is, everyone of them I've met, they all have a brilliant smile, they just don't do it often enough".
Imagine my smile behind that!
218 Posted 12/08/2017 at 11:40:57
However, the Stoke game represents a significant opportunity for our current crop of forwards to stake their claims for a first team spot. Against the Stoke back four, perm any three from the five of Rooney, Sandro, Mirallas, Calvert-Lewin, and Lookman, and they could have a field day if we keep the ball on the deck and our midfield players fire up.
Personally I hope we start with a front three of Sandro, Rooney, and Mirallas. I think Rooney's experience will stand us in good stead for this particular game.
219 Posted 12/08/2017 at 11:41:18
220 Posted 12/08/2017 at 11:43:33
221 Posted 12/08/2017 at 11:46:26
222 Posted 12/08/2017 at 11:47:43
Jobs and reputations are on the line both on and off the field as the rewards can be financial windfalls. We all feel the passion and a decent start is what we wish for.
Hopefully the atmosphere and the impetus will be there from the first whistle and they beat one of the most boring teams in the Premiership.
223 Posted 12/08/2017 at 11:48:11
224 Posted 12/08/2017 at 11:48:52
Dave, A gang of the greatest Evertonians and men you could ever meet went under the name of "The Groaners". Fantastic company non better a pleasure to be in their company so I take your point.
You know the lads anyway.
225 Posted 12/08/2017 at 11:49:02
It would be fabulous if the team gels for the 90 odd minutes and we find a way of getting some goals today.
It is a tough job against Stoke and the realist in me suggests a draw is likely, but whatever happens it is our first chance to see how this team deal with a proper game.
We will learn more today about our hopes for the new season than from any of the warm-ups and Europa ties.
Koeman must be as anxious as the rest of us to get in a good front man.
I wonder if the pace of Sandro and the guile of Rooney will be able to open the door against the Stoke bouncers?
226 Posted 12/08/2017 at 11:55:10
228 Posted 12/08/2017 at 12:13:39
229 Posted 12/08/2017 at 12:41:57
230 Posted 12/08/2017 at 13:08:40
231 Posted 12/08/2017 at 13:11:31
232 Posted 12/08/2017 at 13:15:16
233 Posted 12/08/2017 at 13:25:12
234 Posted 12/08/2017 at 13:27:59
235 Posted 12/08/2017 at 13:35:44
236 Posted 12/08/2017 at 13:44:20
237 Posted 12/08/2017 at 13:48:30
238 Posted 12/08/2017 at 14:03:55
239 Posted 12/08/2017 at 14:04:42
Nearly 3 months without league football. Opening day of the season. First game at Goodison. New signings aplenty. Everyone starting on equal footing.
If you didn't wake up this morning with a tingle in the bones in anticipation of the game, when can you?
Put the razors away and save the slit wrists for now.
At least --- until around 5pm.
240 Posted 12/08/2017 at 14:11:17
241 Posted 12/08/2017 at 14:25:13
I would take a 1-0 today for us, scored in the 9th minute of injury time at the game's end.
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