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A Good Start Still Possible?

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The defeat at Blackburn and the draw to Wolves have been a very disappointing beginning to Everton's Premier League season but I still believe that it's too early to start calling this a bad start to the campaign.

My opinion is that you have to look at say 5 games before you can claim if a team started badly or good. Imagine if Everton won the next 3 games... 3 wins, a draw and a loss would be a pretty decent start to the season I would argue. It's too early to judge how well Everton have started. Let's give it another 3 games then have a look. So who are the next 3 games against?

First up is Aston Villa. They are managerless and hurting after a 6-0 drubbing by the barcodes. Villa's European campaign is also on the verge of collapse after losing 2-3 last night to Rapid Vienna. But let us not forget Villa have some great players and finished a Top 7 side for the past three seasons. Chances are Villa will be desperate to bounce back and its not going to be an easy away trip for Everton.

After that we have a home fixture against Man Utd. Last season goals from Bilyaleletdinov, Rodwell and some other guy saw us roll over Rooney and company 3-1. You can never count on a result against Man Utd but we did it last season, so why not repeat it?

Then it's another home fixture against Newcastle. They may have slaughtered Villa but I still think they are going to be relegation contenders this season. They actually have a weaker team now then they did when they got relegated. Are Everton going to fear a team whose best players include Joey Barton, Kevin Nolan and Alan Smith?

So that's Aston Villa (a), Man Utd (h) and Newcastle (h). Personally I think all three fixtures are very winnable.

But we have to beat Aston Villa first. For me this is a must win game. If Everton want to claim a good start to this Premier League campaign then they need to beat Villa and get something of a run going.

Villa are in a bad way. Sure they will be looking to bounce back but we have to stop them and hopefully complete a miserable week for them.
Dick Anderson, Liverpool     Posted 27/08/2010 at

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Andrew Fair
1   Posted 27/08/2010 at 14:25:43

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Villas european campaign on verge of collapse? Its dead mate. Losing on aggregate means your gone. Unless they have added an extra game so they have three legs!
Alan Clarke
2   Posted 27/08/2010 at 14:48:21

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I love football because it doesn't matter how badly you've played previously, you're always full of belief come the next game. I can't see any reason why we won't win every game from now on (apart from Hibbert).
Shaun Brennan
3   Posted 27/08/2010 at 14:50:27

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Does that mean we are going to win lots of games in Novemeber because that's when our season really starts? Right?

Nah to be fair, i'd actually expect the Villa game to be diffucult. More for the reasons Everton themselves make it diffucult. Why not go for the win there, but I expect Moyes to be very overly cautious. There's been lots of shite on the OS re; A Villa backlish.

As for Newcastle, would expect them to be relegation fodder; however, teams that get promoted usually are tougher to play against at the beginning of the season as they're more eager / enthusiastic and have a go full steam.

We'll see... again I'd expect the Newcastle game to be diffucult for the above reasons.
Mike Oates
4   Posted 27/08/2010 at 15:23:30

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What the team needs to develop is the belief in themselves that they are a good team and equal to the top teams. This should come if we can get say a 4 game sequence when we win some easily (3-0) and win some when we shouldn't have (1-0).

If you look at Man U even Liverpool last night, they go out knowing that they are likely to get a result be it a great win or scrappy win, or a salvaged draw ? they have that belief (well Liverpool mightn't have that now... but you know what I mean).

Until we get that run, we won't play the football we know we are capable of. Loosing to Blackburn and drawing with Wolves has certainly knocked us back, but I sense a good deserved win against Villa could start that 4-game sequence. The sooner the better as once you're up there it's far easier to stay there than try a late run as we all know last season.
Joe Carroll
5   Posted 27/08/2010 at 15:53:39

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Dick, this is the positive post that this site has been crying out for. Of course it's very early days. And whilst we're all disappointed with the way the first two games have gone, two games is not enough to start predicting our fortunes for the rest of the season.

Although it is a tough fixture, Villa away is certainly winnable (we've taken the lead on the last 2 occasions at Villa Park). A win there will give us the confidence necessary to tackle Man U at home.
Ciarán McGlone
6   Posted 27/08/2010 at 16:03:36

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How on earth can a 'good' start include a defeat to Blackburn and a draw with Wolves..

The clue is in the word 'start'...
Robert Workman
7   Posted 27/08/2010 at 16:01:47

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Villa made their usual 'rapid' exit from the Europa League last night, to my 'adopted' Austrian team (because we beat them in the ECWC Final). From what I saw on tv here in Vienna, Villa have very little to offer. Austrian football is Championship level at best. Typically Villa did not take the Europa League seriously, leaving out players such as Friedel, Dunne and Carew.

There were plenty of light blue seats visible all game, increasing 'rapidly' as the game turned in the last quarter. Perhaps they should use a duller colour so as not to draw attention to their poor attendances (only 1,000 more than Everton v Huddersfield).

Two of Rapid's goals came from quick breaks down the right flank. Sound familiar? So it is up to Everton to take the game to Villa. If they do so they should achieve a similar result to Rapid.

Michael Kenrick
8   Posted 27/08/2010 at 16:37:12

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Cairan: Spot On.

The season starts... you lose the first game away to a poor side that you beat well last season. 3 pts lost = bad start.

The next game is the start of your home campaign in the league; you surrender a good lead by playing like shite warmed up in the second half, losing another 2 pts.... Bad Start!

So... 1 point out of six... 16th in the League, 5 points squandered. BAD START!!!

It's in the record books and there is no changing it, certainly not by redefining "start" to suit a projected fantasy that enables you to convince yourself we can actually have a 'good start'.

Why invent such nonsense? Presumably just to make you now feel all warm and fuzzy. Dick, this is not Playschool!
James Cadwaladr
9   Posted 27/08/2010 at 16:53:42

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Villa will be a very difficult game on the back of a 6-0 drubbing by Necastle and going out of Europe.
Liu Weixian
10   Posted 27/08/2010 at 17:07:48

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If Everton attack Villa right from the start, we will be celebrating a win. They have a shite defence and we should just have a go at them. No point sitting back for a point, hope for three, and then end up with zero.
GJ Butler
11   Posted 27/08/2010 at 17:14:13

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It certainly is playschool if one persons opinion is shot down by a bully who claims to be right without reason.

I happen to agree with Dick. Not to complicate matters but wouldn't most believe that a start to a season is 10 -12 games, the middle being games 12-24 and the end being the final 12-14? Rule of thirds and all that?

So with that in mind, the start in itself can be broken into three, the first 3 games, the middle 4, and the end 3, thus giving you an overall 'start'.

So, to confirm we've started the start poorly, but can still make our overall start a good start!!

Point well made Dick.
Andy Crooks
12   Posted 27/08/2010 at 18:16:22

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Colin, the comment you refer to was placed ,not by me,by he way, after you said you would no longer post on the site because of negativity. I suggested that you should reconsider and you obviously have. You know people might not always agree with you so take it on board. Brendan O;Doherty suggested that I should not see myself as the lone voice of reason. He was right. It's called debate. Argue your point and if someone puts up a decent point then acknowledge it. It's why this site is so good.
Paul Olsen
13   Posted 27/08/2010 at 18:23:45

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Ciarán McGlone. Oh your posts just always fill me with joy.
Andy Crooks
14   Posted 27/08/2010 at 18:24:01

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By the way, our start has been shite.
Andy Crooks
15   Posted 27/08/2010 at 18:25:24

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Paul, has our start filled you with joy?
Karl Masters
16   Posted 27/08/2010 at 18:57:22

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This one is warming up quite nicely. Where are Alan Kirwin, Eugene Ruane and just where are Neil Pearse and Tony Marsh?
Dave Brierley
17   Posted 27/08/2010 at 18:40:08

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I agree with you, Dick, and as Reardon once said:

?In the long run the pessimist may be proved right, but the optimist has a better time on the trip."
Neil Drummond
18   Posted 27/08/2010 at 18:43:34

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Michael: not so spot on

You say 1 point out of 6. BAD START. Dick in his post said in his opinion you have to look at 5 games. Others may think a start is 45 minutes others again 1 game. You think it's 2 games. No matter what the score is on Sunday It's in the record books and there is no defining start.

"Why invent such nonsense"? Presumably to make you feel all cold and stiff. Michael, is this playschool?

GJ Butler
19   Posted 27/08/2010 at 19:11:18

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No Neil, you see Blackburn was the start, Wolves the middle and now we're entering the 36 game 'run-in'
Dave Wilson
20   Posted 27/08/2010 at 19:24:33

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Of course its possible for us to still have a good start, it's nonsense to suggest otherwise.

If Everton have eased their way into contention for a top four place by mid-October the whole of the football comunity will be talking about our "good start".

Of course some will still point to these two games ? and others we may not have won ? and insist on crying over the milk spilt on the way. That's just the way they are.

I expect us to click into gear soon and if we are there (top 4) or thereabouts by mid-October, I for one will consider that a very good start.
Oiver Molloy
21   Posted 27/08/2010 at 20:19:42

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We need to win the game.alrightok.
Brendan O'Doherty
22   Posted 27/08/2010 at 20:52:08

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Sensible post Dick. 5 or 6 games in is a reasonable point at which to determine whether or not you have had a good 'start'.

That's despite some people's attempts to point the Finger of Gloom after just 2 games.
Jay Harris
23   Posted 27/08/2010 at 22:09:13

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Just ask Chelsea when the season starts.

Yes it's early days but who have we played?

And How have we played?

And what is going to change for Villa, Man U or Newcastle?
David Price
24   Posted 27/08/2010 at 22:12:35

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Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning. Winston Churchill.

In football terms, crap start but 3 pts from Villa and we are cooking.

Noel Lynam
25   Posted 27/08/2010 at 22:13:22

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Dick, you could not be more wrong. Wait until five games into the season - it's pure fantasy that you might hear anybody describe a team near the top of the table at that stage as having had a "good start". It's a well known fact that your "start" finishes after two games. How dare you present a positive viewpoint! Hang your head, you...you....apologist.

And Blackburn a "poor side"? They finished two places below us last season. They lost three home games all last season. So an opening day win for us at Ewood Park was hardly a gimme.

Agree entirely with GJ Butler's opening statement @ 11.
Ciarán McGlone
26   Posted 27/08/2010 at 23:43:38

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Right, this is pretty simple.

It's irrelevant how long your start is...it could be 2 games, 4 games, 32 games or a 100 games...

The fact that you've lost 5 points from two games which you should have comfortably won, means that the team has underachieved in their start.

It's a relative measurement against what you expected to achieve. I'm disappointed... are you?
Andy Peers
27   Posted 28/08/2010 at 01:42:48

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Our team against Villa has to be our strongest attacking side so that we can take advantage of a team that has been gutted the last two games, and yes that means playing Coleman!
Robert Moore
28   Posted 28/08/2010 at 02:57:12

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I see what you are saying, but it is a pity we start so slow "it's happened and let us all get over it" ... its a long road.

Not having anything down that right wing is problem; gamble on Coleman, we need something down that wing or elese we are easy to beat. I am from Ireland and he is the man, he gets the ball and drives forward, simple as ? that's what we need . ~ COYB

Jamie Crowley
29   Posted 28/08/2010 at 05:07:24

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If we take 6 full points in the first 2 games, then lose to Villa say 2-1 in a good game where we give it our all but lose on the road... we're on 6 pts. Still a good start as Villa on the road isn't a gimmie by any measure.

But dropping 5 points in the first 2 games we should have won if we have aspirations of Top 4? Yep, that's a fuckin bad start.

Ciaran's dead on: I'm disappointed.

But still hopeful.
Kunal Desai
30   Posted 28/08/2010 at 07:02:51

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A good start is still possible? it all depends on where you anticipate Everton to finish.

League Champions? ? forget it.
Champions League? ? possible...
Europa League? ?likely...
Mid-table? ? highly likely.

What I believe is that the 5 points or at the very least 3 points already squandered means that the next 3 games you mentioned we must look to take at least 7 points from. Possible but by no means easy.

I feel it's possible to challenge for 4th this season; however, the first two games didn't fill me with great optimism... and yes, even at this early stage, it's important we pick up points and get our form going as trailing 7/8 points to the team fourth place with just half a dozen games into the season will be a difficult job trying to catch up come the end of the season.

Consider the next 3-4 fixtures absolutely crucial to a CL challenge.
Derek Thomas
31   Posted 28/08/2010 at 09:32:32

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You only get one chance to make a first impression.

I remember back in 77(?) when we played Sunderland, last game of the season; they were relegated and Charlie Hurley ? Capt.(?) and all around hardman and legend ? was asked how he felt being relegated on his last game of the season and I think career. He said, "We didn't get relegated coz we lost the last game, we got relegated coz we lost the first game of the season, if we'd've won it we would've stayed up!!"

Sums it up.
Joeynkoo Ludden
32   Posted 28/08/2010 at 10:26:25

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Let's admit to two things:

i) We have a shocking record at villa, I think I've gone there for the last 18 years and seen us win once;

ii) Everton happen to be the most accommodating team in history.. if you are having a bad patch, we turn up and give you a boost.

We always seem to give a side on the slide a win and confidence boost. For these reasons, I'm not planning on leaving Villa Park on Sunday with anything but a feeling of dejection... for details, see last season.

Two other things that are nailed on for Sunday:

i) Young will spend most his time diving;

ii) The Holte will scream "Penalty!" so often that at some point they will get one. Knobheads.

Tommy Meehan
33   Posted 28/08/2010 at 15:34:16

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Well the BBC website seem to have a clear idea of what a "start" is; according to their stats if we fail to beat Villa on Sunday its our worst "start" since 1999. So, I guess, there's another possibility to "start" to ponder.
Daniel Johnson
34   Posted 28/08/2010 at 15:48:33

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It's too soon to panic but surely Wolves at home and Blackburn away = 4 to 6 points in the bag at the start.

Not 1.

When teams are separated by 4-6 points at the end of the season, these dropped points will be crucial.
John McLoughlin
35   Posted 28/08/2010 at 17:13:52

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No point in thinking what will happen after 5 games. Not for me anyway because I imagined after 2 games, given an easier start than others, we'd have 6 points. So i'm taking 1 game at a time and just hoping for the best.

But I'm sure we'll have a good second half of the season and either just miss out on a CL place or maybe Europe like last year and then we'll realise how important these games are instead of writing them off as if they don't count.

Mike Elbey
36   Posted 29/08/2010 at 11:08:53

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Lets just deal in facts.

Fact 1 - Lost away to Blackburn - shit result

Fact 2 - Drew at home to Wolves - another shit result

Fact 3 - Villa are there for the taking today if we are positive and Moyes shows some bollocks in his selection, namely playing Heitinga as one on the CB's and finding a place for Rodwell in midfield.

Fact 3 - Moyes will not show any bollocks, he will stick with the old guard of the likes of Hibbert and Osman, he will not leave out one of Jagielka or Distin to accomodate Hetinga. We will probably play with 2 defensive midfielders or he will leave out one of Heitinga or Fellaini which is ridiculous.

Fact 4 - We will start tentatively and throw the initiative to Villa.

Fact 5 - Ashley Young will wind me up all game (cheating little twat)

Fact 6 - I'm usually wrong!!!! Let's hope so hey .........

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