The usual special supplements are being distributed with national newspapers, discussing the prospects for the season ahead, and there does seem to be a significant return to 'normal service', if my own paper is anything to go by.
The conspiracy theorists explained away Man Utd's 'poor' last season, by the genius 'Sir Alex' realising it was time to go as he had an aging squad, largely past it and in need of wholesale change. Since Moyes was removed and the new messiah 'King Louis' has signed up, how things have changed!
As far as I can see, two new recruits, a midfielder and an 18-year-old full back have signed up, but the prospects for the season ahead have been transformed – so Moyes left a great team of potential champions after all!
Of the Daily Mail's ten so-called experts, eight have Man Utd finishing back in the top 4, with one having them down as Champions. (One of the remaining two naysayers is the Merseyside writer, Dominic King!) Of the ten experts, six (!) predict silverware for Man Utd – and only two think Liverpool will finish in the top 4.
Of course, none think Everton will get into the top 4, and a generous lone writer thinks we will win a piece of silverware – the League Cup (Spurs and Newcastle also have one nomination each).
I'm going to keep my copy, and sincerely hope to be using it for what it was meant for next May, hung on a nail in a small room at the bottom of the garden.
Reader Comments (80)
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1 Posted 10/08/2014 at 14:36:42
I'm looking forward to a memorable season.
2 Posted 10/08/2014 at 14:55:28
Just imagine any of the other contenders losing to Leicester, Celta Vigo & Paderborn, just wouldnÂt happen... weÂre toothless!!!
3 Posted 10/08/2014 at 15:11:53
Quarter finals of both FA Cup and League Cup and last 16 of the Europa league.
4 Posted 10/08/2014 at 15:21:04
Why not? Sorry rhetorical question for sake of thread.
Europa league semis
Quarter final league cup
Fa cup semi
Lukaku leading scorer in premiership...
5 Posted 10/08/2014 at 15:33:57
6 Posted 10/08/2014 at 15:34:00
7 Posted 10/08/2014 at 15:45:56
As for Spurs and Everton... who knows? Â— it could be a monumental season for either or a damp squib for both. Top ten with a trophy would satisfy me as a Blue, but truly I'm not sure what to expect but I hope we create plenty of chances in the coming season and that we get to watch some good performances that is why we invest in season-tickets to cheer on an Everton side who are performing to the best of their abilities.
8 Posted 10/08/2014 at 16:09:27
I think we will finish 6th or 7th. Although I expect us to be looking at the top 3 within a few seasons.
I can't see why all the usual suspects are going for Chelsea. They will miss Lampard a lot and only have 1 striker of note.
I think it will be
Everton or Spurs
I do think we will win a cup as we have Romelu who can score goals.
9 Posted 10/08/2014 at 16:18:58
That's my final word.
10 Posted 10/08/2014 at 16:23:54
I don't think we can do any better than 4th, no worse than 6th, same as last season.
11 Posted 10/08/2014 at 16:28:15
This is assuming Manchester United bring in Cuadrado another defender and a world class midfielder. They certainly are lacking in depth, but without Europe to worry about, it shouldn't be as big of a problem.
12 Posted 10/08/2014 at 16:35:26
13 Posted 10/08/2014 at 16:52:25
14 Posted 10/08/2014 at 16:54:39
15 Posted 10/08/2014 at 16:46:11
I gazed into my crystal ball and saw the first three - Chelsea, City, Man Utd - then the wretched thing went on the blink. So I'm in the dark about 4th-7th.
Hold on, it's flickering... Arsenal to win the Community Shield! Oh no... it's gone off again!
16 Posted 10/08/2014 at 16:58:44
Chelsea, City and Arsenal will fight out the title.
Us, Utd and Liverpool will fight out 4th to 6th. If we don't get top four, I'd happily trade our league position for a trophy.
I expect us to be better for having one season under Martinez and a relatively settled side with injured players to return, so I won't hear any talk of a 'transitional' season. Why shouldn't we improve?
Pre-season has been puzzling to say the least. My biggest concern with Martinez is his idea of starting slowly and 'getting into' games. Is this spreading into starting the season slowly too? I'd like to see us start every game on the front foot, dominating from the off.
Still, can't argue with what he did last season, so I'm happy to trust his judgement for now.
17 Posted 10/08/2014 at 17:04:07
Europa League winners: Everton
League Cup winners: Everton
We qualify for CL by winning Europa League and that means Redshite miss out. Yeah... I'll settle for that!
18 Posted 10/08/2014 at 17:13:48
2. Man City
4. Man Utd
Europa League to leave us hamstrung in the league this season I'm afraid.
19 Posted 10/08/2014 at 17:21:34
20 Posted 10/08/2014 at 17:24:22
21 Posted 10/08/2014 at 17:24:54
22 Posted 10/08/2014 at 17:31:14
23 Posted 10/08/2014 at 17:26:13
City, need to do well in Europe, might, take there eye off the ball in the league,
Chelsea, too many egos and not enough talent to match, its all going to go wrong there.
Arsenal, better going forward but still the same midfielders and defenders that go missing when the going gets tough.
Utd, cant attract any big names, and Young, Nani, Welbeck, Da Silva, Valencia and so on are still the same shit, regardless of the manager.
THFC, always implode
RS, signings quantity over quality, Brenda to get found out as teams don't let them counter attack this season.
And us, we have not become a poor team over the summer. We were a nats whisker from fourth last season, will still be up there this season.
24 Posted 10/08/2014 at 17:40:45
25 Posted 10/08/2014 at 17:26:45
FA Cup Semi-Final:
Arsenal 3 Everton 1
League Cup 4th Round:
Coventry 2 Everton 1
Europa Cup Quarter-Final:
Everton 2 Liverpool 2
Liverpool 2 Everton 1
26 Posted 10/08/2014 at 18:15:09
1. Man Utd
3. Man City
Despite finally spending, I donÂt think our business (Besic aside) has been that impressive at all. Our pre-season preparation has also been a joke with our best players only rejoining us a week before the season starts.
27 Posted 10/08/2014 at 18:27:24
28 Posted 10/08/2014 at 18:26:22
29 Posted 10/08/2014 at 18:33:32
30 Posted 10/08/2014 at 18:25:04
Would love to see us match last season whilst sustaining a Europa League campaign into the latter stages, and to do this I think we'll see more from squad players and maybe younger guys as well.
31 Posted 10/08/2014 at 18:38:22
As far as the league goes, I think it depends what players Roberto chooses to pick for the Europa games,
That will probable determine where we finish in the prem.
As it stands now I'd say 5th-7th.
With a 1 or 3 more good or class players 4th-6th with everything crossed.
32 Posted 10/08/2014 at 18:34:51
1. The shite will struggle, they really will. Other teams will wizen up to them and without Dracula, they won't be half as threatening. Furthermore, they will have the same problems as Spurs last year, in incorporating a large number of foreign buys into the PL.
2. Spurs will be the surprise packets. Their best (and only) buy was Pochettino, who will absolutely change their style and use their squad to its full potential. Watch out for them - as they have some scary good players who have had a year of continuity now.
3. United won't do as well as most people think. The media circus and fan pressure will be too much for Van Gaal. If they lose 5-6 games by Christmas, the knives will be out.
4. Chelsea will do well in their usual boring style, but no better than they did last year. They will be top 4 contenders, but not winners. I’m not convinced about Costa. They really missed a trick by letting Rom go.
This leaves me with the two teams that will compete for top 2: Arsenal and City.
5. City should win. They have continuity and stability and everything else a club could desire to have in terms of resources. But then as the community shield demonstrated, sometimes that is not enough.
6. Arsenal are one player away from being the champions. That one player is Sammy Khediera, a true box to box dynamo.
But what about us? Well it's hard to say. We have looked rubbish in preseason. We haven’t actually added anyone other than Besic to the first team squad. Not all of our long-term injured are back and we have lost a match winner in Gerard D. I think Martinez has a plan where he’ll make some moves really late in the window and he’ll really surprise us with who he gets (think Kagawa, Milner, Micah Richards, Lacina Traore, Cleverly or others with high amount of quality). Based on this we could be knocking up 4th place. If we don't add more quality, however, we’re looking for a fight to 5th between Man U, Liverpool and us.
33 Posted 10/08/2014 at 18:49:32
I've never subscribed to the 'see where we are in November ' view. Lose three or four games early on and we're fecked!
34 Posted 10/08/2014 at 18:58:07
35 Posted 10/08/2014 at 19:08:33
2 Man City
4 Man Utd
36 Posted 10/08/2014 at 19:03:38
See where we are in March/April before we concede any hope of honours or CL places - nothing is decided in August or Christmas but a team has to be in the mix come the latter stages of the season if it wants to achieve stuff.
37 Posted 10/08/2014 at 19:06:01
If, heaven forbid, Lukaku was to get injured, we could be in big trouble! I wouldnÂt normally read too much into pre-season friendlies but we have leaked a few too many for my liking!
38 Posted 10/08/2014 at 19:24:07
I know hope springs eternal but with so many Evertonians it is always 'jam tomorrow'. Even now, people are dismissing August on the basis that 'the loan signings' will arrive in numbers on 1st September. With you it is 'judge us after Crimbo' ! Why not wait until Easter.
Am I being reductive again ?
39 Posted 10/08/2014 at 19:35:16
40 Posted 10/08/2014 at 19:38:15
I always want us to win it of course but if I have to pick then 6th it is.
I hope I am wrong and we are celebrating the champions on here come May next year!!
41 Posted 10/08/2014 at 19:41:51
I would back Chelsea for the title , followed by Arsenal , City and then United..
42 Posted 10/08/2014 at 19:52:04
Actually Phil I am a big believer in that old clichÃ© take it one game at a time and then see where we are come the end of the season. Everton's 1984/85 vintage didn't get off to the best of starts and it wasn't until Christmastime until they started to show their pedigree and even then it was the end of March beginning of April before we could categorically say that we would have a good chance of becoming Champions.
A year later we went to Anfield beat them on their own midden and went several points clear but due to an injury to Southall and a hell of a run by the other lot we ended up as runners-up. Also a team not so far away from Goodison was in poll position in last season's run-in and threw away a three goal advantage and with it the title.
Football cannot be and never has been predictable, but it has always been a case of the best defences and or the best attacks will generally end up with the prizes - we are still a little way short in both departments but it doesn't stop me hoping.
43 Posted 10/08/2014 at 19:55:12
I agree with you that the PL race is a Marathon, but I liken it to the Grand National. if you don't negotiate the first few fences, you neednt concern youself with the rest
I believe we will do it, but we need to get everything right. Including the start,
The race is tough enough without conceding early ground.
44 Posted 10/08/2014 at 20:04:24
3 Man Utd
5 Man city
FA Cup SF
45 Posted 10/08/2014 at 20:25:45
46 Posted 10/08/2014 at 20:24:55
We have to start looking to win games by getting forward quickly, instead of avoiding to lose them by playing two holding players in the middle of the park. I see this as our only limitation in the side, as I genuinely think Barkley could have a cracking season as long as he doesn't have to come deep. If we can start breaking forward with pace, and our players are willing to take risks then we have a chance. If we field a conservative approach with players playing 3 yard sideways passes just to keep possession then I think it will see us as best of the rest (7th).
47 Posted 10/08/2014 at 20:23:01
DonÂt ever look into pre-season but league football has changed dramatically in the last ten years. The best teams always took at least half a dozen games to get going but every point seems more vital these days.
We have a canny manager, but is he a gambler? By all accounts we donÂt seem ready, but is Roberto gambling on it being a longer season than usual?
I hope it is, as IÂm genuinely more interested in the cups this season, and feel that this is the best way forward for our exciting young team!
48 Posted 10/08/2014 at 20:43:13
49 Posted 10/08/2014 at 20:54:49
50 Posted 10/08/2014 at 21:41:51
We did accumulate 72 points with the McCarthy/Barry axis last season - and the partnership served us very well for the most part. But there were certain games like Crystal Palace (away) when they parked the bus and we didn't need 2 such defensive minded midfielders in the side at the same time. Its such a nice luxury to have Gibson, Besic, Barry and McCarthy this season; all of them offer something a little different... and all 4 of them can play big part. I don't think Barry and McCarthy will always be guaranteed starters in the PL; it will depend on the opposition we are playing against.
51 Posted 10/08/2014 at 21:45:13
All in all I would keep the partnership. The back four look more vulnerable when they donÂt play together.
52 Posted 10/08/2014 at 21:49:18
They have no spine and have just sold their captain. Anyone they bring in in the next two weeks will have to adapt, probably to a new league, as I don't see who they'll sign from an English club.
Last year they spent 㿔M on Ozil, a quality player, but a player in a position/role they were absolutely over-stocked in. This year they've spent 㿏M on Sanchez, again, an absolutely quality player, but someone who plays in the same position as Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (as well as at least one promising young player). Arsenal are at least three players away from getting anywhere near a title challenge, and it's a centre back, a central midfielder and a centre forward, all of whom would need to be big personalities and leaders, as their squad completely lacks that quality at the moment.
Even if they had Jagielka, Barry and Lukaku they'd be a damn sight better off, but with that 㿷M they could have targeted Thiago Silva, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Zlatan Ibrahimovic and been a genuine force in European football.
53 Posted 10/08/2014 at 21:46:56
Why not! The winners qualify for Champions League, and to win it you only have to win 8 games Â– 3 in the league format, and 1 each in the knockout stages of 32, 16, 8, 4, and the final Â– as long as the victories in the knock out games are of better aggregate.
Therefore, we are qualifying for the Champions League over 8 games as opposed to 38 games, which, in my opinion, is a bridge too far for the Blues. Plus I think the type of game we now play will make us better equipped for European football than seasons before.
Ah, sod it, let’s win the premier league as well Â– just to prove it wasn’t a fluke.
54 Posted 10/08/2014 at 22:02:55
That said, look at how they thumped City today....
55 Posted 10/08/2014 at 22:12:34
56 Posted 10/08/2014 at 22:30:50
I guess we will just have to agree to disagree regarding what McCarthy brings to the table; its been done to death on several occasions by me, yourself and others.
57 Posted 10/08/2014 at 22:45:07
Yes he is odds on to get sent off for us this season, as some of the more experienced PL players are going to wind him up with ease. But I have no doubt that side of his game will come, he is still only 21 after all.
58 Posted 10/08/2014 at 22:39:34
2 Everton (FAC winners) (LCup winners) (EL winners)
3 Man City
Trust Martinez to blow the league.... bottler.
59 Posted 10/08/2014 at 23:53:03
2. Man City
5. Man U.
Surprise team: Leicester City to finish in top 12
But perhaps an early exit from Europa, with Robles in goal.
FA Cup Champion
Besic too good to be a sub, will start at center-back alongside Jagielka so that we can keep the Barry-McCarthy partnership too.
So the primary Starting XI to be Howard, Jagielka, Besic, Baines, Coleman, Barry, McCarthy, Mirallas, Barkley, Atsu, Lukaku.
60 Posted 11/08/2014 at 00:33:38
61 Posted 11/08/2014 at 02:37:10
62 Posted 11/08/2014 at 04:59:26
FA Cup QF
League Cup WINNERS
63 Posted 11/08/2014 at 05:07:50
For our own chances of success, I think another class striker needs to be added before September. As things stand, an injury to Lukaku would see us in all kinds of trouble.
Add a bit more fire power to our squad, and top 4 would start looking much more realistic. If not, I think we'll be looking at somewhere between 5th and 8th.
I'd like to think we'll be enjoying the latter stages of at least one cup competition too.
64 Posted 11/08/2014 at 05:31:02
The RS have lost their one genuine world class talent. They wouldn't have been in sight of a title challenge without him last season. Gerrard's another year older. Lallana and Lambert will struggle to reproduce their Southampton form and will end up as one of the most mocked double acts since Milli met Vanilli.
Spurs are simply Spurs, irrespective of who's in charge.
If we start off well, then fourth is definitely attainable. A repeat of last seasons points haul might well be enough.
66 Posted 11/08/2014 at 06:46:29
I'm afraid I can't predict any better than 6th in the league. Our best chance is in the cups and though I think we may struggle in Europe I could see us having a good run in the league and/or FA cup.
67 Posted 11/08/2014 at 06:52:52
In my opinion the best case scenario given the transfer dealings to date is:
3. Man City
4. Man United
The change of manager at Man United is worth at least 10 points to them. We lack the lack the numbers necessary to do well in all competitions. With just a couple of days to go to the big kick off where are the extra players, 4 was the number quoted, that the manager said we needed? In addition the amount paid on the striker was over the top, about 6M over the top. Liverpool will be the Spurs of 2013/14 and Spurs will be Spurs.
68 Posted 11/08/2014 at 08:21:33
Good on ya!
Trouble is, I think most of us are in denial. Down there, we all know that they will be' there or thereabouts' - particularly at derby time.
69 Posted 11/08/2014 at 08:27:01
Not for me I am afraid.
I need to tell him about Daley & Ruane.
Funny as F"""
70 Posted 11/08/2014 at 12:08:36
71 Posted 11/08/2014 at 12:21:51
1 - Chelsea.
2 - Man City
3 - Arsenal
4 - Everton
5 - Liverpool
6 - Man Utd
7 - Spurs
FA Cup: Man Utd (No Europe, they will go all out for a trophy)
League Cup: Chelsea to beat someone shite like Burnley in the final. We go out in the Semi-final to said shite team after all the fancied teams draw each other.
Champions League: Bayern Munich.
Europa League: Everton. Stones's Paneka penalty wins us the cup after a tense final. We fall behind to a scrappy goal before Hibbo, a replacement for the injured Coleman, marks his last appearance for the blues by crashing a Trevor Sinclair-esque overhead volley into the top corner to send the travelling Scousers into raptures. Hibbert later tells Greg O'Keefe, his official biographer.... "After the goal, I knew I had to stop, it was safest for the public: people don't need civil unrest on the scale we witnessed that night. I know it was a screamer but, friggin' hell......the riot!"
72 Posted 11/08/2014 at 12:56:15
3. Man City
6. Man Utd
73 Posted 11/08/2014 at 14:19:11
But on to matters Everton:
League - 6th
Europa League - Quarter Finals
FA Cup - Semi Finals
League Cup - Winners
Player of the Season - McCarthy
Young Player of the Season - Besic
Top Scorer - Lukaku
Goal of the Season - Barkley
74 Posted 11/08/2014 at 15:01:50
(In Top 4: 11)
(Out of Top 4: 20)
Average prediction is 5th.
75 Posted 11/08/2014 at 16:36:46
I preferred the safety of having ready and able back-ups, but it is new and kind of nice to think of 2-3 new youngsters showing their worth.
I have great faith in our U-18 side and I think Martinez should look to them when looking for back-up in our attack.
I can not see Long, Hope, Lundstram or Kennedy making it this season.
The way I see it the closest are Garbutt, Browning and Ledson.
After them we have many exciting attacking players in our U-18 side.
The question becomes will Martinez dare to use any of the U-18 players in the first team?
76 Posted 11/08/2014 at 18:04:16
4th: Everton or Manu
6th: Spurs or RS
We will get to a cup final (and hopefully win) - not sure which one out of the three though....
We need key players to stay injury free and in form for most of the season as our 2nd XI is barely good enough to avoid relegation, nevermind top 4. Rom has to score at least 15 league goals and the likes of Mirallas and Barkley need to be pushing double figures to take the pressure off Lukaku and we can't rely on Coleman to get 5-7 goals every year.
77 Posted 11/08/2014 at 18:34:27
We will win the Europa League though and take our place in the Champions League at the expense of that shower from across the park.
Ask me again on September 2nd though as anything could happen between now and then. Far too early for this prediction nonsense!
78 Posted 11/08/2014 at 22:20:13
79 Posted 14/08/2014 at 08:52:56
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