As an Evertonian 32 years old, it?s fair to say I?m more used to disappointment than anything else... so, against that background, please understand my question:
What has changed/will change this season from last season so that we win those ?must win? games that we simply didn?t win?
There were numerous occasions last season when it seemed like a win could propel us into Champions League contention but we failed to convert. Was it mental pressure? Was it lack of luck? Something occurred such that not only could we not win those games to contest 4th spot BUT we couldn?t eventually overhaul Liverpool either.
I know we beat Man U and Chelsea but the pressure was off by then. Those wins didn?t mean a lot. And even though it should have meant we were confident enough to win the ?must win? games, we didn?t.
I know there?s a lot of optimism around and I apologise if I dent that but I just want to know why everyone has by-passed this crucial question?
Kase Chow, Posted 12/08/2010 at 17:11:17
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1 Posted 12/08/2010 at 19:35:41
1. The players are looking back on last season and have realised just how damn close they came to qualifying for Europe from a position of nowhere ? let's not make that same mistake ? start strong.
2. There are only minor injuries ? a great boost for morale compared with last season.
3. There are only minor injuries ? more stability in all positions, i.e., not having someone different playing next to you every match.
4. The World Cup has finished ? get on with the real, exciting football matches (well, the majority of them).
2 Posted 12/08/2010 at 19:54:32
Prior to last season, we were timid and negative against the top sides and comfortably bullied most of the lesser teams. Last season we were utter shite against the relegation fodder and finally turned up against United and Chelsea. This year we will approach every game with a belief that we are good enough. Hoofball will be plan C and not plan A, B and C as once was. David Moyes will be bold and confident and by Christmas we will have forty points. We will finish in our usual strong way and on the last day of the season we will need a point for fourth place. We will have already qualified for the Europa League via the League Cup.
Ah... a few beers on my Thursday off. It really lifts the mood.
3 Posted 12/08/2010 at 19:59:42
In my opinion we had two waves of injuries that struck us, the begining of the season where we were forced to play a lot of the kids and some of the new signings like Heitinga hadn't had a chance to adapt to the league yet. Then we had the second minor injury wave where we lost Felli and we often missing other players for a couple of matches at a stretch. Those who were playing on just ran out of gas at the end of the year. This season, the squad is intact (although Anichebe has missed the last two pre-season matches due to injury... again, and Cahill might be a concern), and there's been no internal chaos despite the attempts from Arsenal and Man City.
I say this could be a special season for us, and possibly the most wide open PL season ever.
4 Posted 12/08/2010 at 20:32:15
5 Posted 12/08/2010 at 21:00:13
Also, you are right about us not stepping up when it mattered last season but the pressure was not off when we beat Chelsea and Man Utd. We still had an outside shot and, had we beat either Liverpool or Tottenham that month, things could have been different.
Not to mention that both Chelsea and Man Utd were in a title race and were not playing lazy by any means.
6 Posted 12/08/2010 at 21:08:37
I see what you're getting at Kase but those wins meant a hell of a lot. They were part of a February which was a major pyschological breakthrough.
But if we put the best parts of the 08-09 season together with the best parts of last season, we will do well. And this time we are starting off with practically a clean bill of health, which should make a massive difference.
Thought you needed a drink Andy...
7 Posted 12/08/2010 at 21:14:42
? the capability of playing different lineups depending on the opposition
? players who can come off the bench and make a bloody difference
I hope Moyes will give the midfield the license to interchange during the game ? I recall the bewilderment of the opposition defenders when we played 1-4-6-0
8 Posted 12/08/2010 at 21:22:42
? Moyes isn't delaying over a contract,
? No-one has poached one of our best players,
? Hetinga and Bily have had the dreaded foreigners first season in the Prem out the way,
? Jags is back,
? Fellaini is back,
? Arteta is back,
? Yakubu is back and just in case, we have Beckford signed and raring to go,
? Rodwell has gone from boy to man,
? Coleman has emerged.
All the above was not applicable to this time last year apart from Fellaini but how good is his reputation now compared to August 2009? Last seasons run, 2 losses in 24, should we have lost them, probably not on analysis of the matches. Of the 9 draws in that 24, how many of those did we scrape a point, answer none. Everyone had a late equaliser conceded, leads lost or numerous chances not put away. Of the 13 wins, granted a few last minute winners, but we deserved the wins against Blackburn, Fulham and Portsmouth easily.
So analysing the facts available like our German friends in an earlier piece about England, then there are indeed more than three reasons to be cheerful.
9 Posted 12/08/2010 at 21:41:53
A lot of things have changed Kase none more so than having a non chaotic summer
10 Posted 12/08/2010 at 22:37:18
However, what's this rubbish about the ManUre and Chelsea games not being pressure games?
11 Posted 12/08/2010 at 22:32:54
12 Posted 12/08/2010 at 23:37:18
13 Posted 13/08/2010 at 04:40:11
I thought DM's team selection had a lot to do with it. And that's what I am most worried about this season as well. Yes, I have put a bet on on them to win the league, but still feel that the only thing that can balls it up is Moyes's team selection.
Saturday's team will no doubt include Hibbert, Neville and Osman... this is DM's weakness and will cost us too many lost points ? as it did at the tail-end last season.
14 Posted 13/08/2010 at 05:55:19
So why do we beat them this time around? I think the difference might be confidence. Confidence that we belong at this level and that we can and will do it.
As Gary Creaney said, I'll take a fall for Everton if I have to but it feels very good to be this confident in the team and squad we have.
15 Posted 13/08/2010 at 07:56:41
Let's go out and play attacking adventurous football and let other teams worry about us and not vice versa. Play this way and at least we can say we've had a right good go this season from the start, this is our best chance in years for a trophy... let's have no regrets boys.
ps: I just heard on the radio that Man City striker Caicedo is having a medical at West Ham so that looks like the end of their interest in the Yakster.
16 Posted 13/08/2010 at 08:44:27
1) Still no cover if Baines gets injured
2) Will the Yak be fit?
3) It's a bloody tough league this year
4) Have we got a nailed on starter up front?
Reasons to be optimistic:-
1) Emergence of Coleman
2) Another year, same team, continuity
3) Heitinga and Jags at the back
4) Felli and Arteta in the middle
5) Baines and Pienaar on the left
6) Bily's first Everton pre-season completed
8) Cover in most positions
10) the crowd ? let's intimidate all
11) Gueye ? surprise quantity
12) No Euro games and travel
13) Smart kit
by the way, I'm as optimistic as anyone and have backed that up with bets with our red bretheren that we'll finish above them (at least).
17 Posted 13/08/2010 at 10:00:10
On a related note I think the less desperate we are strengthens our position as a buying club and,conversely, in thrashing out contracts with the players already on our books.
18 Posted 13/08/2010 at 10:20:27
One trait of David Moyes's Everton sides is that they go on runs ? good and bad. If we can get off to a good start and keep the momentum going with only the League Cup in the way, who knows? It's 11 v 11 every week and there are only games at Stamford Bridge and the Old Trafford that I would not be confident of getting something out of.
I think the lads are going to have a real crack at it this season. We were only a last-second Aston Villa goal away from 7th last season, fact fans.
19 Posted 13/08/2010 at 11:06:58
20 Posted 13/08/2010 at 11:12:23
21 Posted 13/08/2010 at 13:17:19
Do you honestly think we have a good enough team/squad to win the league?
Sadly I don't, we are simply not consistent enough and are only a couple of injuries away from having an ordinary team. i wish it wasn't so.
22 Posted 13/08/2010 at 13:05:46
For me one big difference is that Heitinga will hopefully be playing central defence from the off. This will make it much harder for the weaker teams to squeeze the life out of our midfield by crowding them out. He is an extra outlet for starting counter attacks with his great distribution. This should make it easier to dispose of the cannon fodder - we too often struggled to put away some of those teams last season.
All our competitors are in Europe this season and we are not. This must pay dividends come the end of season when tiredness starts to be a serious factor.
23 Posted 13/08/2010 at 14:33:55
Of course, a few mishaps could derail our season & perhaps we're more vulnerable than the obvious candidates, but sometimes luck can run with you instead of against you ? hard to believe for most Evertonians, I know! Perhaps it's a coincidence that we seem to have assembled our best squad since our last Title success, just as the 24-year thingy comes around... but perhaps there are no coincidences, in which case you're right not to subscribe to that view.
I don't think it's a coincidence, maybe it's something more like destiny?
24 Posted 13/08/2010 at 16:10:56
It's a pity the realists are so determined to rain on the parade here. We all start from null points. Yes, there are lots of logical reasons why it won't happen... but there has to also be that possibility that it COULD happen.
One thing that I think needs to happen is that Moyes needs to stop talking up the opposition manger and all their achievements before every game. To my mind, that provides exactly the wrong mindset before a game. Far too acquiescent... As someone else wrote, it needs to be Fight, Fight, Fight!
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