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Unlucky 13?

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Our worst season in the Premier League era was 97-98 when we survived by the skin of our teeth on goal difference only. Bolton had the same number of points as us - 40 - but went down. It still wakes me up in a cold sweat.

At the same point that season ? i.e. 26 games, we are currently 2 points better off now than we were that season.

That was 13 years ago and after 26 games:

97-98: W7 D7
10-11: W6 D12

In 97-98, we won 2 and drew 6 in the run-in.

I know I need a new anorak for doing the maths on this tonight but those statistics scare the shit out of me.

I'd love to win the FA Cup but survival is what matters. I'm as unhappy as anyone else here with the way things are going on and off the field but screw the fans' protests for now. Leave that until the summer or 45 points ? whichever comes first. We need to survive in the Prem and upheaval right now won't be good.
Mike Hughes, Wirral     Posted 16/02/2011 at 22:57:38

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Peter Dry
1   Posted 17/02/2011 at 00:04:25

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I remember that we drew with Bolton at their gaff that season but they had a legitimate goal disallowed that did in fact cross the line. And even more salient than Farrelly's goal on the last day was Dennis Wise's goal line clearance when Chelsea played Bolton, so Wise effectively secured our Premiership status.

I agree that any protest now would be counter productive. I hope we survive by goal difference like the season you refer to so that Moyes will have to go and maybe BK might be forced to pull his chubby little finger out.
Richard Harris
2   Posted 17/02/2011 at 01:36:44

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Putting aside the ineptitude of the board, the manager and some of the team at this time, fortunately there are three worse teams who will get relegated. As it seems highly unlikely that we will qualify for Europe via our league position we have to win the FA Cup to keep our better players and to attract new signings.

Of course, that is still conditional on finding money to pay better players but if we have no place in Europe we will have to pay even more in wages to attract players to come to us. Would West Ham have kept Scott Parker without a large salary or have signed Wayne Bridge? This from a club who are meant to have financial problems and have an manager who has looked haunted all season.

Matt Traynor
3   Posted 17/02/2011 at 03:16:55

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It's semantics of course at this stage, but in the build up to Nathan Blake's "Goal" in that game at Bolton, Neville Southall was clearly fouled ? which also wasn't given. No doubt we would've pointed to that if the goal had been given...

Was a horrible, horrible day in any event. Took a Geordie friend to the game. Wasn't a celebration after, more like relief.
Max Main
4   Posted 17/02/2011 at 03:22:56

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You no longer need the clichéd 40 points to stay up. Last five seasons the 18th place team has had:

09-10: 30 pts
08-09: 34 pts
07-08: 36 pts
06-07: 38 pts
05-06: 34 pts

Also, we're shit, but there's plenty worse.
Andy Callan
5   Posted 17/02/2011 at 09:17:06

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Is this what we've come to now; scratchin' around for 'safety'....?!?!?!?!? How times have changed eh?

Personally I'd rather win the Cup and get relegated, than win FUCK ALL AGAIN. We all know though at we'll get done on Saturday though by them twats....

I do agree with one of the lads above in that there are worse teams than us in the Premier League ? luckily there are 3 or 4 of them this year. I fear however, it'll be different next year.

We need someone with very deep pockets to buy the club ? personally, I couldn't give a flyin' fuck where he is from or what his motives are, as long as he gives the Manager £200M to spend....!!!!!!

Anyway, it's nearly the weekend ? long gone are the days that Everton FC ruins my day / night / weekend / week.... After all, our opinions and / or thoughts don't matter one jot to those that run / play for the club.
Matthew Tait
6   Posted 17/02/2011 at 09:25:34

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I can't see there's anyway we're getting relegated. We've got a very, very easy run in, lots of home games and all but one of our away games is against very poor teams.

Of course, the wheels could always fall off completely but, even on current form, I think we're pretty much a dead cert to finish somewhere fairly solidly mid-table ? which is still disappointing given where we could have been if everything had clicked from the start.
Dave Wilson
7   Posted 17/02/2011 at 09:42:50

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"We all know we`ll get done on Saturday though by them twats..." ?

There's at least 6000 Evertoninas who are prepared to give the lads a chance on Saturday, Andy lad.
Ajay Gopal
8   Posted 17/02/2011 at 09:51:22

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Chelsea are in the middle of a very poor run (losing to the RS and luckily drawing to Fulham). They are there for the taking...

Moyes needs to approach every game boldly ? but I am not keeping my fingers crossed for that!
David Hallwood
9   Posted 17/02/2011 at 10:35:16

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Ajay#7, when Moyes was asked why he chose Anichebe over Beckford for the Bolton game, he replied that he picked Vic because he would be better at defensive headers at set plays. When you start picking your centre forward for his defensive play, Moyes ain't gonna go for it anytime soon.
Tony J Williams
10   Posted 17/02/2011 at 12:28:36

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David, he also said that he would be better equipped to hold the ball up top too. How about using the whole quote and not just the one that suits your point of view?

Ajay, we are in the middle of a shitty season, not run, so why would Chelsea, the current double champions, who are about 10 places above us now, suddenly be there for the taking? If things are to be banned then that quote should be banned along with the word fickle... it really should.
Norman Merrill
11   Posted 17/02/2011 at 12:36:10

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Our survival in the Premier League is the priority, but a good cup run would give a great boost in confidence, my only concern is that our record at Chelsea is very poor, but like everything in football, things do change.

Fans have come on here and said that to get a result at Stamford bridge, Moyes will have to change his usual safety first tactics; it would not surprise me if Saha played Saturday? I know no more than any other fan, but stranger things have happened, and to really have a chance, then he has to play.

The performance at Bolton will I am sure be addressed hopefully, and the players will perform with pride in the shirt, and give the 6,000 fans, something really shout about. COYB

Peter Norris
12   Posted 17/02/2011 at 13:08:54

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Max #4. Unless it has escaped you, Wigan have 27 already with circa 10 games to go. 40 will be a near cert requirement this year. Agree there are others worse than us .....but!
Lee Courtliff
13   Posted 17/02/2011 at 13:50:09

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I am sick to fucking death of hearing about Bolton's "goal" against us in '97! Yes it did cross the line! But nobody ever mentions that in the same season Nick "shithouse" Barmby had, I think, 3 perfectly good goals disallowed for offside. He was never offside! One against Newcastle that would/could have got us a point!

If you want to talk about bad decisions then talk about all of them. Not just the ones that suit you!! We have some good luck and bad luck with officials. Just like everyone else!

Tom Bowers
14   Posted 17/02/2011 at 13:56:11

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How can anyone say we have ''an easy run in''? We have had difficulty winning games against every team outside the top six so why would we be any different now?

It's going to be a backs against the wall fight and made more difficult by the bungling in the transfer window which has left us short on strike power. Wins by 1-0 will be the order of the day in the short term which will suffice but will not be easy to watch but who cares as long as we reach safety.

Stephen Lewis
15   Posted 17/02/2011 at 14:12:51

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As a survivor of both the Wimbledon and Coventry games, I really don't want to do that again. But if I have to I'll be there on the last day of the season v Chelsea to lend my support.

However, I don't think it will come to that. I suspect we will probably finish in the top half. Having run the BBC website predictor I think we'll need about 37 points to be safe. If it came to that, it would be tight though because I believe that the bottom 3 teams will all finish around the 36 point mark.

COYB FTRS
Matthew Tait
16   Posted 17/02/2011 at 14:20:13

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Tom #14 - It's an easy run in because we have 7 home games and 5 away, and 3 of our away games are against teams in the bottom 4, plus Newcastle who are also poor. Plus, only 3 of our 7 home games are against sides in the top half (and one of them is Sunderland). If that's not an easy run in, I don't know what is. It's about as easy as it could possibly get.

I take your point that our form isn't great, but it's not as bad as all that. Yes, we were dire against Bolton, but since Dec we've also beaten City, Tottenham and Blackpool and drawn with Chelsea (twice) and Liverpool, only losing difficult away games to Stoke, Arsenal and Bolton.

We'll be fine, in my opinion, though the striker situation remains a concern.
Mike Hughes
17   Posted 17/02/2011 at 15:27:03

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#16 Stephen - if it was as simple as the BBC predictor then we'd be top 4 now surely?

Given our inconsistency and poor form / lack of firepower / leaky defence, I have to say I'm worried.

I think we'll need more than 40 points to be safe.
Brian Waring
18   Posted 17/02/2011 at 16:18:06

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Matthew: "If thats not an easy run in, I don't know what is."

Just like those 'Easy' games at home, Matthew: West Ham, Wigan, West Brom, Wolves and that 'Poor' Newcastle side you talk off who beat us. 3pts from a possible 15 from those games at home, says to me there is no easy run in.
Tony Hughes
19   Posted 17/02/2011 at 16:37:02

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Matthew Tait, "very very easy run in"??? What planet do you inhabit? No games in this division are easy (especially for Everton Football Club). Right now I wouldn't fancy us against fucking Marine!!
Stephen Lewis
20   Posted 17/02/2011 at 20:40:22

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#17 Mike - fair point.

This season has been dismal but I still think we'll comfortably exceed 40 points.

I think we'll know a lot more in 4 games time!!

I hope I won't be eating my words.
Max Main
21   Posted 17/02/2011 at 21:46:30

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Peter Norris ? fair point, and it actually had escaped my notice, but I think my point still stands. Wigan are in the relegation zone for a reason, don't see them picking up 13 more points this season. Particularly having had a brief look at their remaining fixtures.
Colin Gee
22   Posted 17/02/2011 at 22:35:24

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We've still got to play Wigan, West Brom and Wolves away. Get 3 wins in those games and we should be ok; lose all 3 and...
Kunal Desai
23   Posted 17/02/2011 at 22:54:20

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There is always one team in that bottom three that surprises a few by picking up three wins in the last five games or fours wins in six. I'm sure you know what I mean. A few surprise results. Think it'll be more like 41 or 42 points. West Ham and Wigan off late seem very Jekyll and Hide. Certainly wouldn't put it past them to pick up another 4 wins.
Steve Sweeney
24   Posted 18/02/2011 at 08:16:22

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Tom #14
Wins by 1-0 will be the order of the day

We cannot keep clean sheets, thats been as much a problem as our inability to take our chances and score. The defence has been very poor at least from the last game, it seems Howard is prepared to come off his line.

I really fear this season is going to see our worst nightmare come true. But hey, BK will have the £35m parachute payment to pay off his cronies, oh and plus the money in from the sale of Fellaini, Jags, Arteta, Yak, and Baines. The next 4 weeks are going to be eventful.

Matthew Tait
25   Posted 18/02/2011 at 09:15:16

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Brian, Tony (#18,19) ? it's semantics really. I'm saying that our run-in is as easy as it could have been. If you guys would rather be in this position on the table and also have 7 away games against the top 7 sides and 5 home games against nos 7-12, rather than what we've got, then good luck to you.

As I said, our form isn't great, but it's better than at the start of the season when yes we were very poor against very bad sides. We've improved since then, even if we're still grinding for results. You might be right: there are no 'easy games in this division, but some are certainly easier than others, and there are many worse teams in this league than us.

Our shocking performance at Bolton is colouring people's opinion at the moment, I think. It's only one game ? I think we'll show we're better than that over the rest of the season, enough to stay up reasonably comfortably anyway.

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