Top-scorer in all competitions, Dominic Calvert-Lewin has made a strong case for being deployed in his natural central position
Everton are back at Goodison Park for the second in a run of four consecutive home games that Ronald Koeman is hoping will provide a belated springboard for his team's season.
The optimism that had been engendered by big spending early in the summer, progress to the Europa League group stage and two positive matches to start the Premier League season may have evaporated by what became an increasingly dispiriting run of results after that but Wednesday's win in the League Cup rekindled some hope for 2017-18.
Thanks to Dominic Calvert-Lewin's double and a first goal in Everton colours for former outcast Oumar Niasse, Koeman's men easily brushed Sunderland aside with their first win in over a month. The reward may have been a daunting trip to Stamford Bridge in the next round but it was clear from his press conference yesterday ahead of the visit of Bournemouth this weekend that that will be a challenge for another day.
“Easy one,” the Dutchman quipped when asked for his reaction to the fourth round draw. “If you like to win a title, you have to beta all the teams. Of course, it's away at Chelsea but, okay, it's not important for now.
“Let's hope [last night's result] will be positive and what we need. The first step was yesterday and this Saturday is really important. Every game is important and you play to win every game but with the last (recent) results, of course, we need a win at home.
“[N]ow we need to show we are still strong and I'm confident after what I saw yesterday because the best medicine to get that confidence is good performances. You need a good feeling and that comes from winning games.”
Short of facing winless Crystal Palace, a home date against 19th-placed Bournemouth could be as welcome a game as Everton could hope for as they seek to pick up their first Premier League points since the 21st of August. The Cherries lost all of their opening four fixtures but registered their first victory in the League last weekend with a 2-1 win over Brighton and Hove Albion and then beat the same opposition after extra time on Tuesday in the League Cup.
They, too, could becoming into the weekend with a bit of confidence, particularly given the fact that forwards Jermaine Defoe and Josh King are off the mark, but they have yet to come away from Goodison Park with a point, having lost 2-1 and 6-3 on their previous visits to L4.
It would be hard to see a repeat of last season's goal-fest, however, given Everton's struggles in front of goal this season. Averaging a paltry two shots on target per game in the League so far, the Blues have been worryingly toothless in attack but Calvert-Lewin, currently the team's top scorer, has made a strong case for leading the line as a conventional striker.
The 20-year-old has been deployed wide in an attacking three, as a wing-back and as a centre-forward with mixed results but he is showing that when played in his natural central position, he can score goals. Koeman is reluctant to place too much of a burden on his young shoulders but with Niasse still something of an untried quantity and Sandro Ramirez still adapting to England, Calvert-Lewin looks to be Everton's best goalscoring hope at the moment.
Koeman's problem, of course, has been one of formation and personnel — namely, how to shoe-horn his varying No.10s into a coherent starting XI that will improve the team's woeful offensive production without undermining the individual talents of its component parts.
Gylfi Sigurdsson has been largely anonymous since he arrived in a club-record deal last month and while he has scored the Toffees' only two League goals so far, Wayne Rooney hasn't really provided the leadership and influence that Koeman would have been hoping for when he signed him from Manchester United.
Whether the manager can accommodate both players in the same line-up remains to be seen but he has been given a further option by the form thus far of Nikola Vlasic who was impressive against Sunderland in the cup. Like Tom Davies and Calvert-Lewin, the Croatian has been showing Koeman that youth should be no barrier to more consistent selection in the starting XI, particularly if the older guard aren't producing.
While inconsistent with his line-ups, Koeman can be conservative in his approach which makes predicting the team for this weekend challenging. Phil Jagielka's reported injury in midweek might preclude his involvement and see Ashley Williams and Michael Keane continue as a partnership. Jonjoe Kenny was given a belated first start of the season on Wednesday but may have to be content with a place on the bench, with Mason Holgate replacing him either as a wing-back or conventional right-back.
Much of the talk around Everton's poor form has focused on the failure to replace Romelu Lukaku but it's the lack of fluidity through midfield, service to the forward line and an over-reliance on two holding midfielders that have been the bigger issues and that is where Koeman needs to focus his energy over the next few months.
While the team lacks pace, there are goals in the side if he can get his charges moving the ball forward effectively rather than lumping it forward or passing it aimlessly from side to side trying to find an opening. Eddie Howe is famous for his own emphasis on passing football and his team isn't especially renowned for “parking the bus” but the Blues should expect them to come to Goodison looking to keep it tight, especially with them knowing how hard Everton have found it making chances.
Kick-off: 3pm, Saturday 23 September, 2017
Referee: Martin Atkinson
Last Time: Everton 6-3 Bournemouth
Predicted Line-up: Pickford, Holgate, Keane, Williams, Baines, Schneiderlin, Gueye, Davies, Sigurdsson, Rooney, Calvert-Lewin
Reader Comments (117)
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1 Posted 22/09/2017 at 17:52:30
2 Posted 22/09/2017 at 18:06:36
His displays have been lethargic and negative, with too many sideways and back passes. Besides, I fail to see why he persists with two defensive midfielders at home, Gueye plays better when he is not shackled to Koeman's shoo-in.
Come on, Blues start playing with better tempo, joined up thinking and passing, and start getting back up the table.
3 Posted 22/09/2017 at 18:30:27
We all know that Everton have many talented players and it may have been bad luck that they came up against some top teams these last few weeks whilst still bedding in the new boys.
Being beaten is one thing but playing without any conviction is unacceptable. Had they managed to hold out against Man City then that may have turned things the other way but they didn't and from what we have seen since not many teams will get in that position against Guardiola's bunch.
Hopefully it's water under the bridge and that tomorrow's game will prove Koeman still has a future moulding this squad into top six material.
4 Posted 22/09/2017 at 18:33:31
I would go with a good old fashioned 4-4-2:
Bench: Lookman, Niasse, Lennon, Mirallas, Schneiderlin, Jagielka, Stekelenburg
5 Posted 22/09/2017 at 18:38:44
No real width, Sigurdsson shoved out wide-ish to destroy his effectiveness. Two defensive midfielders at home to Bournemouth... Sigh.
6 Posted 22/09/2017 at 18:44:16
So my team for Saturday would be:
Kenny, Keane, Williams/Jagielka, Baines
I realise-no Davies, Sigurdsson or Klaassen but we need some penetration and width. I just think that would work.
Subs: Stekelenburg, Jagielka, Sigurdsson, Klaassen, Davies, Holgate, Niasse.
7 Posted 22/09/2017 at 18:49:42
We were rubbish; tomorrow won't we be?
8 Posted 22/09/2017 at 18:56:37
I suspect if the boss turned up in a pinny, had a hanky to wet and rub on a face and a pair of hugely developed breasts to hide in, we may then have a leader to bring out the best of our spoiled and pampered pains in the arse we call Premier League stars either side of the Park. (And worse will be fucking watching tomorrow!)
9 Posted 22/09/2017 at 18:58:41
10 Posted 22/09/2017 at 18:59:22
Kenny Keane Williams Baines
Rooney Calvert-Lewin Vlasic
I believe Schneiderlin needs a rest to rediscover his motivation and form.
Second half, bring Niase and Lookman on for Rooney and Vlasic.
11 Posted 22/09/2017 at 19:00:06
12 Posted 22/09/2017 at 19:11:39
13 Posted 22/09/2017 at 19:14:48
Kenny (Try him this weekend rather than against one of the top half sides)
Lookman (or Niasse see Kenny)
By the way if anyone's interested Everton Gals vs Liverpool live on TV tonight. Tough game for Everton newly promoted back to the top flight but Liverpool a bit off their past pace. Something Everton to watch live anyway.
14 Posted 22/09/2017 at 19:20:04
Oh wait, we're actually playing a 4-2-3-1.
The 4-2-3-1 is the natural successor for the 4-4-2. It is underpinned by the double pivot. That is two "defensive midfielders". They don't have to actually be defensive. one of them should sit and shield of course, but the other is meant to press higher up the pitch. The deeper one is actually meant to be the less defensive of the two, and actually registers less tackles. He is meant to be playing between the line of defence and midfield to find time and space to be creative.
It's not defensive, and yes you do need two. One to press, ie Gueye, and one to pass, ie Schneiderlin. We don't have another player in the team capable of passing like Schneiderlin can. Barry from three or four years ago was better than Schneiderlin has been for us so far and shows how this role is actually meant to be played, and I think McCarthy from the same time period (before injury after injury) was also better than Gueye.
There is a couple of things going on for me right now. Firstly, Williams is killing us. I actually think he's a decent defender and when you watch him as an individual he's not our worst player. Yes he makes some mistakes and a couple have cost us goals, but it is not his actual performance that is killing us. It is the way the team has to play to accommodate him. Williams is actually playing so deep, just on the edge of the box, that Schneiderlin is being forced really far back to shield him and the whole side is just dropping far too deep. This means we are condensing the play upon ourselves.
I would like to see us just try Holgate at centre-back alongside Keane. This would be a pacy backline and should allow the two midfielders to operate higher up the pitch and mean when they drop back they find the space and time to make decent passes.
Williams looked more like his old self on Wednesday as Sunderland were dropping deep to allow him to gallop forward and show the ball skills he employed at Swansea but has rarely showed at Everton. It all comes down to the fact that he is too slow to play at Everton's level, but he would probably look great in a slower international match, or playing in the middle of a backs-to-the-wall relegation dogfight.
Thinking about Williams during the Sunderland game made me think back to what happened to Martinez in his second season. I don't know if anyone has mentioned this before but, that first season, we mostly played Distin, and Distin for the first 3/4 was as good as ever. He was pacy and he was fast before starting to fade and then he got released. Second season, we were similar to now in that the defence was slower and much deeper than it had been the previous year.
A lack of pace in the middle of defence can make a massive difference to the side.
As for Bournemouth, I'd try to retain the stars from Wednesday and show the players that if they play well they stay in the side:
Holgate Keane Jagielka Baines
Vlasic Rooney Sigurdsson
15 Posted 22/09/2017 at 19:32:34
Similar to Wednesday, any kind of win will do. Performance, passion, etc can all follow over the coming weeks. For now, in our position, it is quite simply about the points.
16 Posted 22/09/2017 at 19:34:24
And stop playing six defenders every time, you Dutch dunce.
17 Posted 22/09/2017 at 19:35:29
Kenny, Hogate, Keane, Baines
However, I expect something more like:
Martina, Williams, Jagielka, Baines
Schneiderlin, Sigurdsson, Klaassen, Rooney
I expect a reversion to super-defensive, but disorganised.
18 Posted 22/09/2017 at 19:37:42
19 Posted 22/09/2017 at 19:38:22
20 Posted 22/09/2017 at 19:41:48
He is a very humble and decent sort of a guy and has to be given a decent chance.
21 Posted 22/09/2017 at 19:45:18
If you think of the double pivot as being Masherano and Alonso, both are Mascherano, neither are Alonso.
22 Posted 22/09/2017 at 19:53:45
23 Posted 22/09/2017 at 19:55:34
I don't know if that's a good or a bad thing? It depends on the skill of the manager and his team and the willingness and ability of the players to respond and perform accordingly on the pitch.
I haven't got an opinion or even a clue as to how it is going to develop from hereon. I just hope that the empirical approach doesn't kill the team spirit and that an attacking selection, accompanied by imaginative use of substitutions will win the day.
Both Calvert-Lewin as central striker, and Niasse as a mid 2nd half sub, would benefit from a repeat experience, and Sandro may need to step aside, with Rooney or Sigurdsson but not both would be a logical change. Gueye not Schneiderlin should get the call, but Davis should keep his place, Vlasic too?
I expect Kenny to be given the chance to step up, but in fairness to Martina, he was good against Man Utd, so perhaps Kenny will get a look-in the Euro game next week.
24 Posted 22/09/2017 at 19:56:47
25 Posted 22/09/2017 at 19:59:52
26 Posted 22/09/2017 at 20:03:26
If the formation is to be 4-2-3-1, then the best players we have to fill each position might be as Steve suggests?? I guess Steve needs to speak for himself!
27 Posted 22/09/2017 at 20:03:46
28 Posted 22/09/2017 at 20:05:42
Calvert-Lewin must play at centre and not to the right to accommodate Rooney, as the latter's "must" inclusion is what is ballsing everything up for others and us not playing players in their correct positions!!
Also if Niasse does not play a part and we lose, I would not like to be in Koeman's shoes, he must realise that Niasse is far more popular than he is at the moment, and the fans will let him know about it.
29 Posted 22/09/2017 at 20:07:46
One change I might make would be Lookman replacing Niasse (or Lennon) at some appropriate point to keep the energy levels at the front high. Rooney I'd like to see playing a bit behind the front because I think his creativity is outstanding still and with a couple of whizzy forwards he could cause mayhem.
30 Posted 22/09/2017 at 20:08:14
31 Posted 22/09/2017 at 20:09:35
32 Posted 22/09/2017 at 20:10:06
I only ever see Schneiderlin pass the ball sideways 6 yards. It has to be Davies for me over Schneiderlin.
I also do not see how you can play Rooney and Sigurdsson in the same 11 unless you play one of them out of position. Sigurdsson has been anonymous out wide so far. It is one or the other for me in the number 10 role.
I would also like to see Maralis and Lookman or Vlasic to start out wide to give some pace and penetration. I just do not see it happening.
When the team sheet arrives, we will have two defensive midfield players, Schneiderlin and Gana, as well two Number 10s, Rooney and Sigurdsson in the line up. I just hope I am wrong because it hasn't worked so far.
33 Posted 22/09/2017 at 20:10:45
Lampard and Gerrard should never have played together but they were squeezed in. Does anyone remember back in the day when Wales had three big target men: Ron Davies, Wyn Davis and John Toshack. I can recall them being put in together because they were all good at what they did, even though it was the same thing.
Koeman's main duty tomorrow is to show the guts to leave someone out. Each man to his position and the others on the bench.
34 Posted 22/09/2017 at 20:11:27
The problem is neither of them can do what Schneiderlin is capable of, or should I say, should be doing.
35 Posted 22/09/2017 at 20:12:58
Davies Gueye Klaassen
Baines Holgate Keane Kenny
I'm always of the opinion that players should be played in their natural positions. For me, then I'd have Holgate played at centre-back alongside Keane... neither Jagielka nor Williams really convince. Holgate and Keane are the future of Everton's defence let's play them together!
Baines is a shoo-in at left-back. With Holgate out of the right-back picture I'm far more inclined to play Kenny there ahead of Martina. He's going to be great, and he deserves a spot in the team. He's done everything to stake a place that he could conceivably have done. Won the U20 World Cup, the Premier League 2 title, etc.
It's been proven time and time again that the two defensive midfielders of Schneiderlin and Gueye together don't work. Gueye is in better form start him. Klaassen and Davies completing the midfield 3 Davies drives forward with power, pace and energy (always getting involved), and Davy is a brilliant intricate passer (if you actually watch him closely).
I know there's a few that cannot wait to get Rooney out of the team, but there is no way you can drop the player who has scored 100% of your league goals for the season. Calvert-Lewin has to start following the brace against Sunderland, and I think we have to persist with Sigurdsson, he has to come good soon. Vlasic definitely deserves a place on the bench at the very minimum after Sunderland.
36 Posted 22/09/2017 at 20:14:56
37 Posted 22/09/2017 at 20:15:32
39 Posted 22/09/2017 at 20:17:17
Meaning that Schneiderlin would have more time and space on the ball to get his passing going. He is hitting sideways passes because he is not getting the time or space to be able to get his head up and play the long passes.
One of the best passers in world football was Juan Sebastian Veron. Yet most people in this country judge him on his time here, when he was frequently played out of position, because when he was played in position, he could not find the time and space to get his head up and hit his trademark long passes. It's a very difficult position. I would say it is probably the most key position in any team.
I was hoping that we could have swapped Barkley for Dembele in the summer and he could have played the position for us.
40 Posted 22/09/2017 at 20:19:02
41 Posted 22/09/2017 at 20:19:04
42 Posted 22/09/2017 at 20:19:25
43 Posted 22/09/2017 at 20:24:34
44 Posted 22/09/2017 at 20:47:53
Whatever team he picks I don't think Bournemouth will be a walkover by any means; the way we have been playing, there is no such thing.
45 Posted 22/09/2017 at 20:49:44
Kenny Keane Jagielka Baines
Lennon Gana Davies Mirallas
46 Posted 22/09/2017 at 21:22:41
As for Sigurdsson, why was he bought, because £45 million is a lot of money that could have gone towards those Everton really need.
48 Posted 22/09/2017 at 21:29:17
It is a nice luxury to have a deep-lying midfielder that can create from deep. We've had Barry, before Schneiderlin came here, and Darren Gibson beforehand. But I don't think it's working this season; some of our best performances last season our 2-1 victory over Arsenal were when we had Gana and McCarthy playing together in the middle. You couldn't get two more similar players than them.
Schneiderlin is not in good form at the moment whether that is due to lack of pace behind him, is irrelevant. We need to find a balanced team that works hard and has some pace and width.
49 Posted 22/09/2017 at 21:42:00
50 Posted 22/09/2017 at 21:44:11
2-nil up... and they end up drawing 2-all.
51 Posted 22/09/2017 at 21:50:12
Besic for Gana and Klaassen for Sigurdsson.
52 Posted 22/09/2017 at 21:59:45
53 Posted 22/09/2017 at 22:06:18
Still cant agree to play our most out of form player though despite your good arguments for it.
Maybe another thing that could be tried here (a little out of the box thinking) how about Rooney in that deep lying midfield pass master role. He can tackle reasonably well, pick decent long range passes better than anyone else in the side and his lack of pace wont be so obvious. He would probably not have to make as many 'runs' too so he wont be blowing out of his arse after 60 mins. It would also free up Sigurdsson to play his natural #10 role.
54 Posted 22/09/2017 at 22:06:45
Another disappointing show tomorrow will only add to the pressure which will surely follow him to the Euro game next week. He has to show through the players he picks that he know's what he is doing and that they are turning the corner.
55 Posted 22/09/2017 at 22:17:56
Martina – should be Kenny
Williams – should be dropped and add Lookman
Schneiderlin – should be Davies
Rooney – needs to deliver or add Niasse or Mirallas from bench.
56 Posted 22/09/2017 at 22:22:11
57 Posted 22/09/2017 at 22:27:36
One is Calvert-Lewin and the other is Rooney or Sandro. I'd like to see Sandro get a run in the team because I think he has something and if he's not encouraged he could become another Mirallas.
Then you are left with the question: does Rooney play at all? Well it's a 'Yes' from me because he's our best player so he has to play in the advance midfield role (there can be only one unless you play wingers and we have none of them).
Now you've got the 'What do you do with Sigurdsson?' Question and the answer is you drop him or create an unusual formation to get all your best players on the pitch. I'm not a fan of overloading the centre of the pitch up top but intelligent players, especially those who like to come and get it, can play together.
So far we've got a rather unusual
X-X-2-2 formation with two mobile, willing strikers and two blokes to 'load the gun'.
Our next best player, if not actually our best player, is Gana and he's the first name in behind.
The next player you have to find a home for is Tom Davies, one of, if not our best player last season. I'd have to have him at right back because we can't squeeze him in anywhere else without messing things up.
Sadly, there is no alternative to Baines at left back so that one takes care of itself.
Then you have 3 positions left to fill so it has to be three centre halves or else it's 4-2-2-2 which would be very weird... or would it? Could you coach a Dutch total football rotating diamond (see YouTube Johan Cruyf explanation) in to our fine midfield players?
You would like to think there is a place for Scneiderlin when he regains form, I haven't even mentioned the former Ajax captain and Davies is more than capable too..
We've really got the squad in to a mess in my opinion but I would be enthused, excited and supportive of a manager who actually innovates and creates a system which gets the best players at the club out on the field together.
Playing two mobile strikers who can stretch the game (not to mention our aging centre-backs who stretch it the other way!) does leave a lot of space for midfielders and boy do we have a lot of midfielders.
Maybe 4 centre-midfielders is the answer.
58 Posted 22/09/2017 at 22:37:58
59 Posted 22/09/2017 at 22:54:09
He needs to show some newly found imagination, and pick a more balanced team with a real goal threat. Is Koeman capable of that? Not so far this season in the league.
I'd play Niasse up front with Calvert-Lewin – they can both score goals;, Davies is a must, he adds pace in midfield.
60 Posted 22/09/2017 at 22:59:23
You explain yourself well in that post Steve, but I would actually prefer to see a 4-5-1 formation, with just one defensive minded midfielder out on the pitch?
4-3-3 seems to work well for both Liverpool and Spurs, but they both have loads of pace in their team, and in Tottenham's case, centre-halves, that are very good on the ball.
When Everton play it at the minute we have too many gaps in the team, because our players are very rarely close enough to each other, to help each other out, and when this happens it soon becomes every man for himself?
Go back to the basics to get everyone playing for the team, and then hopefully expand on it, once everyone gets to know each other a bit better. Stop being easy to play against, and the confidence should start to return, especially for the manager whose team look like total strangers at the minute. Over to you, Ronald?
61 Posted 22/09/2017 at 23:08:12
62 Posted 22/09/2017 at 23:15:19
But I hope that it doesn't mean Koeman sets us up with 3 at the back andtwo defensive midfielders, particularly since our full-backs never play like wing-backs, which ultimately means we're effectively reduced to attacking with only three players. No wonder our attempts on goal numbers are so low. Calvert-Lewin has to start.
I'd also like to see Vlasic start. And Lennon (or Lookman) we could use their energy and pace, and give Daniels a threat in behind him to make him think twice about marauding forward. Sigurdsson to pull strings from an advanced central position with Davies and Gueye as the deeper central midfield duo with Davies given licence to roam.
I'd be wanting the ball to be passed into the attacking four (attacking midfielder and front three) quickly rather than continue our current timid passathon between the defenders and goalkeeper that saw Pickford completing more passes than any outfield player in one of our recent games...
I'd play a four at the back, and ask them to play as a classic old-fashioned back four. Kenny, Jagielka, Keane and Baines for me - although Kenny is probably 50/1 to start the game tomorrow.
Players I wouldn't want to see starting include Schneiderlin, Klaassen, Rooney, Sandro, Besic, Niasse and Mirallas. Rooney has shown some decent moments but I think he unbalances the side. We need to find a style of play and a shape that works, and although it's not his fault I think the Rooney sideshow has hindered us.
The rest have either been slow to acclimatise, below-par, lacking in application, or all three - with the exception of Niasse, who it is just too soon to suddenly throw a start to. Sigurdsson is the lucky exception who gets a start despite being markedly below-par thus far.
So, for me, it's 4-3-3
63 Posted 22/09/2017 at 23:20:00
64 Posted 22/09/2017 at 23:35:02
65 Posted 22/09/2017 at 23:39:58
Time for bed!
66 Posted 22/09/2017 at 23:43:54
Be interesting to see who he picks.
67 Posted 22/09/2017 at 23:48:39
68 Posted 23/09/2017 at 01:00:28
He has proved himself to be a useless defender, I can never understand why Koeman brought him in, he has very little to offer in defence, in fact he is a liability, what's more, he gives him a three year contract, as cover for defence.
I totally despair at how inept Koeman is at both team selection, and identifying players who will make us better.
Personally, I will be surprised, if he is still with us by Christmas. I cannot for the life of me, understand either, why he was 'chosen over other, better candidates for the job.
69 Posted 23/09/2017 at 01:14:51
Rooney, popular on here with many but I'm just not drinking the Kool-aid. Always a yard too slow and just as wasteful with possession in key areas as Barkley was. I have no problem with him as a sub to come on and see games out, but that is all he should be doing. I don't want to see him left-wing or keeping our £45M playmaker out of position.
Jagielka, great servant but no longer the level we need. Poor distribution so barely an upgrade on Williams.
So, with that said, I would like to see a high-pressing 4-3-3 our best formation.
Kenny - Keane - Holgate - Baines
Davies - Gueye - Sigurdsson
Niasse - Calvert-Lewin - Lookman
70 Posted 23/09/2017 at 01:24:09
71 Posted 23/09/2017 at 01:42:04
Kenny Keane Williams Baines
Davies Gana Sigurdsson
Subs: Stekelenburg, Holgate, Jagielka, Mirallas, Schneiderlin, Lookman (for Vlasic, 65), Niasse (for Calvert-Lewin, 80)
72 Posted 23/09/2017 at 02:37:23
73 Posted 23/09/2017 at 03:02:06
74 Posted 23/09/2017 at 04:54:28
Give me tika taka over the abomination that we have witnessed over the last 12 months!!!
75 Posted 23/09/2017 at 05:55:47
This season, he is not only a liability but he is keeping better players out of the team, and creating a imbalance when he plays.
76 Posted 23/09/2017 at 06:08:59
77 Posted 23/09/2017 at 07:06:00
Kenny. Keane. Holgate. Baines
Mirallas. Calvert-Lewin. Lookman
Subs: Stekelenbeurg, Martina, Williams, Schneiderlin, Vlasic, Rooney, Sandro.
78 Posted 23/09/2017 at 07:38:38
I'd just love a solid 2-0 win today. A clean sheet would be fantastic and a goal from Gylfi would go a long way to repaying back, what looks like at the moment, a bit of a waste of £45 million!
Up the blues. 😀
79 Posted 23/09/2017 at 08:11:49
I think he was one of our better performers against Man Utd, and he is starting to get forward with more confidence. His end product is very good, and he picks out his man more often than not.
He's tall and strong and quick and has the physicality to be a good right wing-back. He does have defensive frailties and struggles more when playing right back, but he has hardly littered the pitch with errors, and has been asked to come in with a short pre-season and perform in a team that is struggling to find form. He has been switched from right wing back to right back and then back again. Occasionally he has had a lapse in concentration, but I think everyone would have been far more forgiving if it wasn't for preconceived judgements of the lad.
Jonjoe Kenny has had 2 substitute appearances in the league and everyone is calling for him to start as if they know for sure he's going to be great? The boy is 5' 9" and 10.5 stone. I would imagine Koeman is concerned about him coping with the physicality of the premier league. No doubt he is going to be a very good player but I can understand Koeman being reluctant.
He looked assured against a poor Sunderland team, but nothing more. I think we'll see a lot more of Martina until Coleman's return, and we should really give the lad a chance.
80 Posted 23/09/2017 at 08:18:11
81 Posted 23/09/2017 at 08:34:18
I agree with a lot you say, but wouldn't be concerned with Kenny's weight or height. There are and have been loads of full backs around this (including our own Seamus Coleman) who are very capable .
I don't say this in support of Kenny's inclusion today as I think you are correct that Koeman will slowly bed this young player in over the season. Nor am I saying that young Kenny may not play well in today's match if picked.
Three points is a must today for Koeman and whatever team he picks!
82 Posted 23/09/2017 at 08:41:11
To the tune of Monster by The Automatic.
"Whose that coming off the bench?
Is it a monster, a lost Niasse monster" x3
83 Posted 23/09/2017 at 09:09:49
Kenny Holgate Keane Baines
Vlasic Rooney Sigurdsson
Subs: Lookman Williams Davies Klaassen Sandro Niasse Robles
84 Posted 23/09/2017 at 09:12:52
He is a natural footballer who could probably play anywhere, sees danger as well as he see's a pass.
Interesting shout know if I Iived long enough...
85 Posted 23/09/2017 at 09:17:22
Kenny Keane Jagielka Holgate
Vlasic Gueye Davies Lookman
Subs: Calvert-Lewin, Sigurdsson, Sandro, Williams et al.
Some width and pace with Vlasic, Lookman and Niasse. No-one has put Schneiderlin in their team, he has been very poor in the last few matches.
86 Posted 23/09/2017 at 09:38:35
Agree with your formation and line-up; however, I would swap Vlasic for Mirallas myself. I feel the lad has shown enough to start today. I doubt however Ronnie will be so bold and will probably revert back to 2 holding midfielders.
87 Posted 23/09/2017 at 10:22:31
Rooney started off up front, but the more the game wore on, the deeper he dropped and he ended up playing in midfield and stopped anything we tried to create before it happened.
He was awesome that day and it had nothing to do with his physical prowess, he saw everything a second before anyone else did.
Used correctly, Rooney could do a job in Schneiderlin's role.
88 Posted 23/09/2017 at 10:23:15
I fully appreciate the calls for Kenny but, against teams like Bournemouth, I'd start with Martina bringing Kenny on later in the game for his better defensive ability when closing the game out. you could even bring him on, push Martina up, Vlasic behind the front two when Rooney tires.
Martina, Keane, Holgate, Baines.
Subs: Stekelenburg, Jagielka, Kenny, Schneiderlin, Davies, Sandro, Lookman.
89 Posted 23/09/2017 at 10:33:53
Good luck to those going and I am being delusional and saying 3-0 to the mighty blues. I will be pulling pints until 3:30 so hoping to catch the second half.
90 Posted 23/09/2017 at 10:38:03
Bournemouth to score, us to win 3-2 or grind out a 1-0 borefest.
91 Posted 23/09/2017 at 10:45:23
Kenny, as mentioned before, try him out against a weaker side;
Holgate and Keane, a bit more pace;
Baines, no-one else;
Sigurdsson, doing a Pirlo alongside him;
Vlasic and Lookman wide.
Rooney and Calvert-Lewin up front.
At least there's a bit of balance and pace.
92 Posted 23/09/2017 at 10:54:07
“Remember that happiness is as contagious as gloom. It should be the first duty of those who are happy to let others know of their gladness . . . to be happy is only to have freed one's soul from the unrest of unhappiness”.
Saturday 3.00pm KOs - - Christmas Eve for me - - excited as a child - - up early - - started a new idea on The Dark House Blues FB Page - - did a Live Link from my top floor - - looking across The River to The City - - like Wordsworth on The Bridge overlooking London in The Prelude - - “Earth has not anything to show more fair…. a sight so touching in its majesty…. this City now doth, like a garment, wear the beauty of the morning; silent, bare”.
Old Mc Enerney (Fat Jack as we called him - - terrible really) from Cardinal Godfrey will be spinning in his grave to think that a little scally wag like me would be quoting Poetry 50 years after leaving school and causing constant conflict in his class - - but I tell you their teachings are in me - - never ever forget Cardinal Godfrey - - 33 bus from Whittle Street - - but walked home - - so we could spend the bus fare on sweets - - along Breckfield Road - - down Mere Lane and then down to Everton Road and home to Great Mersey Street - - me and Peter Walsh, Lenny Mc Cluskey, Frank Clarke - - scallywags all - - my childhood, adolescence and Cardinal Godfrey days are unusually important - - if there has ever been a time that I developed a uniqueness and sense of humour and the ability to organize, it was then - - my thoughts, my heartbeats my very dreams are with those old friends who made me - - Ahhh - - Woww - - Yeaa - - Mmmm - -Ahhh Take Me back Way Way Back - - Listen Listen Listen - - “When you hear the music ringin' in your soul
And you feel it in your heart and it grows and grows
And it comes from the backstreet rock & roll and the healing has begun” - - just leaned into my drawer and put my harmonica in my match bag - - Yea gonna blow my harmonica - - just for you - - and yea man The Healing Has Begun - - a thought -- because that is what happens when you allow yourself to float about on the Astral - - let your thoughts and dreams lift you out of this world and take you where you want to go - - a thought - - its not about Koeman or losing or indeed winning - - its about me and you - - its about who we are as Blues - - as unseen but close friends brought into our field of dreams - - our mutual Arcadia - - by Being Blue - - we were at Old Trafford - - at Goodison last Wednesday and will be there today and Thursday and Sunday - - either in person or in spirit - - We Are There - - We Are the People
“You know what were writing about
you know what they're writing about
It's a thing called love down through the ages
Makes you wanna cry sometimes
Makes you feel like you wanna lay down and die sometimes
Makes you high sometimes
But when you really get in it lifts you right up
Ain't it a wonderful game
Ain't it a marvelous game
And when there's no more words to say about love I go.
Meet me, meet me, I want you to meet me - are you there
And know, know, know, know
I want you to meet me - are you there
I want you to meet me - are you there
And know, know, know, know, know
I want you to meet me”
Eahhhhhhhh - - you know what Im writing about - - meet me down by The River - - meet me by The Water - - I want you to meet me - - are you there - - I want you to meet me - are you there – are you there - - are you there.
Put your heart, mind, and soul into even your smallest acts. This is the secret of success … my mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.
Just letting myself float into the ether - - getting ready for my journey from grey to light - - from mediocrity to joy - - today Gosia will take me to The Dark House and I will do a few Live Links on The FB Page from there and then back after the game for banter and debate and humour and the Everton quiz.
I need to do this - - fill my heart, spirit and soul with beauty and joy and poetry and lyrics - - surrounded in my House and Room by walls full of postcards and prints and quotes from my journeys - - I only have to raise my eyes above the keyboard and I see a drawing I made of Van Gogh more than 40 years ago - - next to it a hand written quote by The Beatles - - “The Love You Take is Equal to The Love you Make” - - surrounded by photos of me over many years as Van Gogh - - posters of Chagall, Chaplin, Vincent, Ruskin, Florence, Michelangelo, Leonardo even Diagalev - - a film poster from La Dolce Vita and above it old Randle P Mc Murphy - - Raphael - - Dickens - - a Shakespeare Plate - - my good old friend Josefs Badge (Number 95902) from Auschwitz and of course Everton - - books everywhere - - on coffee tables - - next to my bed - - on bookshelves in every room - - note books and pens spread everywhere so when a thought enters my head I can write it down and not forget it - - I have such notebooks going back to 1980.
And we sailed, and we sailed, and we sailed
All around the world
And we sailed, and we sailed, and we sailed
Looking for a brand new start
And we sailed
And we sailed, and we sailed
All around the world, a brand new start
Looking for a brand new start
Looking for a brand new start
Looking for a brand new start
Been a Van The Man day today - - sitting listening all morning - - Listen To The Lion - - love to play it to All Blues - - And I shall Search My Very Soul - - Listen to the Lion.
My heart and my soul are forever open to you all - - any Blues ever want to call into The House for a Cuppa - - just let me know.
And voices echoing late at night over The River
And it's always being now, and it's always being now
It's always now
Can you feel the silence?
At half past eleven on long summer nights
As the wireless played Radio Luxembourg
And the voices whispered across The River
And in the quietness we sank into restful slumber in silence
And carried on dreaming in God.
Up The Blues - - cosmic grooves floating to you all from this side of The River and its always being now - - its always now.
With a firm handshake - your friend - George.
93 Posted 23/09/2017 at 10:58:59
Holgate, Keane, Jagielka,
Kenny, Davies, Rooney, Gana, Baines,
I think the subs should be used much more with Lookman, Vlasic and Niasse having game time in the second half.
94 Posted 23/09/2017 at 11:03:22
I think we all want Jonjoe Kenny at right-back, but again I doubt whether he will choose him.
95 Posted 23/09/2017 at 11:05:43
What George said...
96 Posted 23/09/2017 at 11:08:48
You got all of them in abundance, George.
Not forgetting the class you have.
97 Posted 23/09/2017 at 11:10:16
If for no other reason than their club crest is by far the crappest club crest I ever saw and must have been designed by a day release at Prostar!!
98 Posted 23/09/2017 at 11:17:41
99 Posted 23/09/2017 at 11:23:56
Sigurdsson in the hole behind Calvert-Lewin and Baines at left back. I would prefer Jags / Keane combination rather than Williams / Keane combination but my first choice would be a Holgate / Keane partnership.
We need to play with more energy and less fear, the way we set up at Old Trafford was "con miedo".
Glad to hear that McCarthy will be back training with the first team next week. He brings a greater level of energy to the team when he plays. Hopefully, his injuries are now behind him.
We need three wins between now and the International break to put things back on track.
100 Posted 23/09/2017 at 11:32:51
101 Posted 23/09/2017 at 11:44:25
What oft was thought but ne'er so well expressed.
102 Posted 23/09/2017 at 11:47:19
I would hope he will play Calvert-Lewin up top rather than out wide but unless he leaves Schneiderlin out and plays Rooney a bit deeper with Gueye. Then he will play Calvert-Lewin wide right which again leaves Rooney to play as the front man, which is not his best position.
I guess with bringing Rooney, Gueye and Sigurdsson back there will be no place for any of our natural wide players in Vlasic or Lookman. When the top teams have gone for pace and power, we have gone for players with no pace.
103 Posted 23/09/2017 at 11:47:37
If he doesn't drop Williams, he's a total clown.
If he doesn't drop Schneiderlin, he is a total and utter twat of a clown.
104 Posted 23/09/2017 at 11:52:15
"Remember that happiness is as contagious as gloom. It should be the first duty of those who are happy to let others know of their gladness... to be happy is only to have freed one's soul from the unrest of unhappiness”. Lightens a sometimes gloomy TW.
I'll be listening out for that harmonica!
105 Posted 23/09/2017 at 11:53:04
107 Posted 23/09/2017 at 12:14:30
Kenny Holgate Keane Baines
Davies Gana Sigurdsson
Vlasic Calvert-Lewin Lookman
Mobility and energy in that team.
108 Posted 23/09/2017 at 12:19:23
110 Posted 23/09/2017 at 12:30:32
114 Posted 23/09/2017 at 13:06:02
115 Posted 23/09/2017 at 13:20:03
As a former Cardinal Godfrey pupil myself. I often wonder how such a decrepit old building could churn out so many crazies.
You my friend are blessed. Not simply for seeing life the way you do, but by being able to show others what you see.
4-0 today lad. Hope you've got your bet on.
116 Posted 23/09/2017 at 13:54:27
117 Posted 23/09/2017 at 13:58:35
Sigurdsson will benefit from being played in the right position. It worries me that Koeman has apparently pursued him for a year and now plays him out of position. That's telling me plenty.
120 Posted 23/09/2017 at 14:11:55
I didn't fancy going to that school when I passed the eleven plus! But I can't argue with Darren (for once) because from the minute I went in, alls I met was happy lunatics.
George, I can see where your education began now mate, in amongst the lunatics, and the Christian brothers from Ireland, Great memories indeed!
121 Posted 23/09/2017 at 14:13:33
I kept your school seat warm for you George, I went to that school when it was De La Salle made great mates like you,.
Billy McKeown and Alec (Ben) Forster both sadly gone, along with a few more, they have gone but come back from time to time, in my mind's eye, and always cheer me up. Memories... can't beat them, George.
I hope Everton give us all some more great ones before long.
122 Posted 23/09/2017 at 14:18:43
124 Posted 23/09/2017 at 14:27:40
125 Posted 23/09/2017 at 14:28:19
For me this has to be the formation. We can argue if it should be Rooney or Sigurdsson in the # 10 role or Vlasic or Mirallas. It would appear that while not football coaches a lot of us can see a balance line up with some pace which will compete in this league.
I also agree with Charles (#116) as I do not see where Klaassen fits at all. I have read many posts that there is a footballer in there with a footballing brain!!!! I believe that many of us posting links have a footballing brain but not sure this is quite enough to play in the Everton first team
126 Posted 23/09/2017 at 14:55:39
When I woke this morning I heard a mysterious sound. It was the sound of our George blowin' his harmonica.
Up the Blues!!!!!
127 Posted 23/09/2017 at 17:20:12
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