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LOSC Lille vs Everton

by | 22/10/2014  Comments (75)  jump
Europa League Preview

Everton's Europa League campaign moves to Lille with a second-successive away fixture in the competition following the draw at Krasnodar earlier in the month. Roberto Martinez's men sit on top of Group H going into the third round of matches and another good result on the road would enhance their chances of qualifying to the knockout phase.

Surprisingly, this will be the first time that the Toffees have faced French opposition in a competitive game but the location in northern France is one laden with history for the club given that former player Wilf Toman fought and died on the battlefields there in World War I along with the father and two uncles of Reverend Harry Ross, formerly of St Luke's and chaplain to Everton FC, who all survived the conflict.

97 years later, Evertonians will descend on Lille in entirely better circumstances and are expected to do so in large numbers. The club were given an official allocation of 5,000-plus tickets but an estimated 10,000 to 12,000 Blues are believed to have got tickets for the 50,00-seat Stade Pierre-Mauroy which should ensure an occasion not to be forgotten for both sets of supporters.

In addition to injured duo Kevin Mirallas and John Stones, Everton will be without four players for the trip across the Channel. Leon Osman and Steven Naismith are rested while Arouna Kone and Bryan Oviedo were declared by Martinez as not fit enough to take part. Oviedo played almost an hour of the Capital One Cup defeat at Swansea a month ago and made a late cameo at Manchester United two weeks ago but is clearly still feeing his way back to full fitness after nine months out with a broken leg. Kone, meanwhile, is still waiting to see his first action since knee surgery a year ago.

The absence of Osman and Naismith will mean at last two changes to the team that beat Aston Villa at the weekend, with Samuel Eto'o a possible starter as he was against Krasnodar, while Aiden McGeady, who also started that game, could come back into the side. Steven Pienaar could also play after coming on as a substitute last Saturday while Ross Barkley will be hoping to build on his first start of the season.

Everton are the only team to have won so far in Group H and a win over Lille would extend their lead at the top of the group and make them odds-on favourites to progress to the next phase. The Ligue 1 side have drawn both of their games so far and Krasnodar's 1-1 draw here last month offers something for the Blues to either emulate or better.

Like the Blues, they have had their injury problems this season and currently sit in 10th place in France's top flight, some 10 points off the top but Martinez suggested that his team's double-header with Lille could prove decisive for Everton in Group H.

"Lille are a team we respect and admire," he said in his pre-match press conference. They have had a few injuries and probably they are seeing tomorrow's game as the most important of their campaign. For us it is exactly the same, and it could be some sort of a little final within the group stage due to the importance of these games."

Romelu Lukaku will likely go up against compatriot Divock Origi if both Belgian start. The 19 year-old is the Great Danes' top scorer while Cape Verdean winger Ryan Mendes has weighed in with a couple of assists already so keeping those two players quiet could be key for Everton.

Kick off: 6pm


Reader Comments (75)

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Tony J Williams
1 Posted 22/10/2014 at 16:06:40
If anyone deserves a rest, itÂ’s Naismith.
Jay Rollinson
2 Posted 22/10/2014 at 16:08:09
DistinÂ’s travelling? You boys and girls heading over to Lille better make sure you sing non-stop then and make sure itÂ’s loud. Sylvain will absolutely see his arse if you donÂ’t.
Mark Taylor
3 Posted 22/10/2014 at 15:49:24
The position with Kone is bizarre and worrying. IÂ’ve just googled news of him and at the time of the injury, Martinez was Â’a little bit worried about the knockÂ’ he had against Hull, then he was reported as being out for most of the (2013-14) season. Then it was the whole of the season, but heÂ’d be fit for the new season. Then in mid-August, it was another 4 weeks. Other than a brief bench sighting, nothing since. HeÂ’s not shown as injured on the club website but neither does he appear fit to play. Earlier this month, he was saying he still had pain in his knee.

I donÂ’t know if itÂ’s my imagination, but we do not seem at all precise with injuries. This one has run and run. Perhaps after getting it wrong so often, the club are reluctant to say anything about Kone. But most clubs seem to give a clearer idea of injury recovery times. Mostly ours seem to drag on and on interminably (in addition to Kone, youÂ’ve had Gibson, Oviedo, Alcaraz, Deulofeu for example). Every so often, we get someone back quicker than we thought- BarkleyÂ’s recent injury. But that seems the exception.

I noticed Mirallas is not being given a return date on the club site, but he only has a hamstring injury and normally you can be fairly precise about those once you know the scan results. Two weeks ago Martinez said he expected to Â’have him fully fit soonÂ’. Maybe my definition of Â’soonÂ’ is different.

Is there something wrong with the clubs medical expertise or am I over reacting?

Tony J Williams
4 Posted 22/10/2014 at 16:19:30
HeÂ’s signing on now Mark, his wages donÂ’t go a far as they used to so he needs the SSP to top up his money.
Mike Gaynes
5 Posted 22/10/2014 at 16:06:45
Wonder whatÂ’s up with Kone. This would have been an ideal opportunity for him to get some real minutes.
Mike Gaynes
6 Posted 22/10/2014 at 16:34:22
Mark, there is no medical science less precise than estimating how quickly an injury will heal. Scans can tell you the degree of the injury, but they cannot tell how quickly it will heal, because every body is different. And even how your body reacts to the same injury will differ over time. ItÂ’s pure guesswork.
Ray Roche
7 Posted 22/10/2014 at 16:37:42
I think it might be time to collect the insurance on Kone. Providing Bill took a policy out, that is. I canÂ’t see Kone coming back and being half the player we signed.
Andrew Ellams
8 Posted 22/10/2014 at 16:44:53
EtoÂ’o was brought in to replace Kone in the pecking order.

I expect to see a younger striker come in to replace EtoÂ’o when the time comes.

Denis Richardson
9 Posted 22/10/2014 at 16:40:46
Mark 3, think its best to just assume that this guy may well have played his last professional game already. Disappointing as that may be, at least itÂ’ll be a boost if he ever returns but we need to move on. Him saying he still feels pain in his knee over a year after the injury is a really bad sign. Thankfully we have two decent senior strikers with Naismith as back up, so weÂ’re in a much better striker situation than last year. Hope he makes it back but would not be surprised if he retired through injury sometime this season.

Re the OP - I can understand Naismith being rested but would have thought the European games would have been made for Ossie - cannot see how he needs a Â’restÂ’. Guess RMs planning on starting both against Burnley. Good to see heÂ’s taking the game seriously, if we can avoid defeat there then the groupÂ’s ours for the taking with 2 home games to come. Obviously a win would be great but Lille are no mugs.

Looking forward to it either way..

Tony J Williams
10 Posted 22/10/2014 at 17:07:41
Ray, if Kone was a Ford Fiesta, Bill would have burnt him out in a field by now.
Ajay Gopal
11 Posted 22/10/2014 at 17:17:24
Bryan Oviedo and Arouna Kone are not fully match fit, although they are not too far away. They were not 100 per cent for this trip." – Martinez press conference from the Official Site.
Andy Mack
12 Posted 22/10/2014 at 17:11:48
Kone better score a hat-trick in every game he plays for us, if he does come back at all. A combination of bad luck and bad business, heÂ’ll be 31 in a couple of weeks, and is halfway through his 3-year deal. We met his ٤mil release clause I believe...

Or, to put it another way, gave Big Vic away for free and continued to pay his wages. Vic IÂ’m aware had many limitations, but was quite the handy player in the Europa.

Ah well, may as well give his squad number to someone else. Onward and upward in the Europa though, I would like to see EtoÂ’o grab a goal or two. Put your feet up, Naisy, and watch it on ITV4.

Linda Morrison
13 Posted 22/10/2014 at 17:20:01
I think Kone is like that lad Paul McGrath who used to be with a number of clubs. His knees were so badly damaged he never trained and that was at a time when the game was much slower than it is now.

After almost 18 months this is probably as good as KoneÂ’s knee will get, I am afraid. Unfortunately for him, the game is so fast now I canÂ’t see him playing at the top level again, for us or anyone else.

Re baby Bryan, I can’t remember if this was before the screw went loose – he has played in a game, hasn’t he? I know I’m knocking on a bit but don’t think I was dreaming. I thought it would be at least 4 weeks before he was back.

The problem I think is that Roberto is always telling us the best case to give some good news and we all get frustrated and fed up!

Hope everyone has a great time tomorrow and the players give the travelling fans a win!

Brent Stephens
14 Posted 22/10/2014 at 17:31:53
Denis #9 it doesnÂ’t say Osman is rested, other than in the TW title?
Gavin Johnson
15 Posted 22/10/2014 at 17:25:04
If we were to surmise that Kone is finished, is it the norm to have insurance out for these eventualities.. Or does the club take a financial hit?? It would be pretty hard to swallow if we lost ٣-6M on a player who has barely worn the shirt.

IÂ’m having deja vu of Â’Danny WilliamsonÂ’ here with the... "Is he fit or isnÂ’t he??" It usual means you have to prepare yourself for some ominous news when the info the club puts out is so vague.

Harold Matthews
16 Posted 22/10/2014 at 18:03:19
Kone didnÂ’t ask the bloke to whack his knee with a big boot. Judging by his interview this business is hurting him a helluva lot more than it is hurting us.

Kicking him again while heÂ’s down is not the action of a true fan, although I do have sympathy with those who request up-to-date medical reports. Preferably from a senior member of the medical staff.

Christopher Kelly
17 Posted 22/10/2014 at 18:41:41
If every other team can offer their fans some sort of realistic time table on returning players, then surely we can as well. Quite bemusing how Mickey Mouse this club still is in certain situations...

Buying a jersey also springs to mind. The most basic and simple of commerce, and yet we ask fans in the US to stump up $120 to buy a proper shirt and have it shipped over. Insanity.

Harold Matthews
18 Posted 22/10/2014 at 18:31:20
Denis. We know Ossie canÂ’t get around at speed these days but he still covers an awful lot of ground and always puts in a full shift.
Ross Hutchinson
19 Posted 22/10/2014 at 18:45:40
Linda, Oviedo played in the game against, Man Utd which is now 2½ weeks ago. I believe he then went for surgery to remove the screw in his ankle during the midweek after that game.
Conor McCourt
20 Posted 22/10/2014 at 18:48:36
IÂ’m a little surprised he has rested Naismith for this game. I know Stephen is in the form of his life and has played in all the league games but I cant help thinking with a fully fit squad he would struggle to get in the team. Now that Barkley is back he will probably be moved to the right where I thought he was ineffective on Saturday. However with Mirallas out for at least another month I would have thought he would have got the most out of Stephen in that role.

I thought the likes of Baines, Barry and Lukaku were more viable alternatives than Naismith and Ossie to be left out so one can only assume they will start on Sunday or have had small knocks which need resting. Interesting to see the teams he fields in these two games and it looks like he will go strong in both.

Jay Harris
21 Posted 22/10/2014 at 19:38:39
I was told last season by someone inside the club that they doubted KoneÂ’s knee would ever be strong enough for the Prem again and that they would assess him over the pre-season. Sadly looks like that is the case.

Amazes me that we can sign two injured players like Kone and Alcaraz and reject Leroy Fer on medical advice.

Maybe Moyesy was right about the medical staff...

Mike Childs
22 Posted 22/10/2014 at 19:42:51
Seems like a good game to rest both Naisy and Ossie. EtoÂ’o has been resting/saved; with Ossie resting, it should afford Gibson some valuable playing time.
Jack Cross
23 Posted 22/10/2014 at 20:08:44
No players should be rested in this Europa League game, we should field our best team. I think we can go far in this competition – maybe to the final.

I canÂ’t see us doing much in the Premier League... or in the FA Cup. So it could be our only chance of European football for a couple of seasons. And I think Roberto knows that.

Jon Withey
24 Posted 22/10/2014 at 21:28:37
Leroy Fer who was with relegated Norwich and now bottom-of-the-table QPR ?
Phil Sammon
25 Posted 22/10/2014 at 21:26:55
I can understand Naismith being rested but I thought heÂ’d at least make the bench. HeÂ’s a player who can nick a goal when times are hard. I never like to see wholesale changes but it will be good to see the odd fresh face. One of Gibson or Besic will probably start. Both need to stake a claim as viable alternatives to McCarthy/Barry.
Kunal Desai
26 Posted 22/10/2014 at 21:45:49
Leroy Fer missed two glorious chances against the RS on Sunday, and one was virtually an open goal from 6 yard out.

We dodged a bullet. Not a good player in the slightest.

Peter Murray
27 Posted 22/10/2014 at 21:37:59
The local French press is talking up the security issues.

This will be a match of "high surveillance". The authorities are worried about the influx into the city centre of so many away supporters before the game.

There will be "hundreds of police officers" and about 500 riot police (CRS) on duty.

They will be targeting the estimated 500 or so supporters turning up without tickets. Furthermore, neither the purchase of alcohol to take away nor the drinking of alcohol in public will be allowed.

They have bitter memories of the visit of Eindhoven in 2011 when there were running battles on the Grande Place and the side streets.

Take it easy, Blues.

Scource: La Voix du Nord (French edition).

Peter Z Jones
28 Posted 22/10/2014 at 22:00:28
IÂ’d like to see Browning start to ease Seamus back. I hate hamstring injuries. Best to keep his exertions to a minimum in weeks like this with extra games. Lille is crap going forward without Kalou this season anyway. ItÂ’s a minimal risk to introduce a young player in this situation.
Phil Sammon
30 Posted 22/10/2014 at 22:17:25
Completely disagree Peter. Away from home in Europe... you canÂ’t take games like this for granted. IÂ’m not averse to seeing Browning on the pitch... but letÂ’s not kid ourselves into believing this will be a walk in the park.

Kunal – Fer is a good player, mate. I think in a better side he would shine even brighter. Wonderful feet and smart on the ball. He can drive it forward too, which is something we cannot do without Barkley.

ItÂ’s actually something IÂ’d like to see much more of from McCarthy. He has the ability to be a far greater force going forward. I feel he takes the easy option way too often.

Steavey Buckley
31 Posted 22/10/2014 at 22:34:55
The most important 3 points this week are to be gained by beating Burnley on Sunday. If the league form falters, the season will be a wash-out and seen as a failure – anything obtained in the Europa League should be seen as a bonus, not a must, where younger players can gain much needed experience.
Lyndon Lloyd
32 Posted 22/10/2014 at 22:40:58
Looks like a self-fulfilling prophecy, Peter (27).

There are reports of Evertonians being attacked by French fans outside the Aussie bar in Lille then tear-gassed and cordoned off by police. Sounds like there were some injuries.

Jon Withey
33 Posted 22/10/2014 at 22:37:22
Leroy Fer might be alright – but it’s not like we’ve missed a world-beater.

McCarthy is there to recycle the ball and own the midfield. He does it very well and I donÂ’t think there is a desperate need to force him into the wrong position.

There arenÂ’t many players like Barkley, thatÂ’s why heÂ’s coveted.

IÂ’d be interested to see Besic with McCarthy in midfield with Besic being a bit more forward thinking but still a pitbull.

4-3-3? Barry, McCarthy, Besic; Pienaar, EtoÂ’o, Lukaku.

Jon Withey
34 Posted 22/10/2014 at 22:47:25
I meant Barkley, not Pienaar.
Tom Bowers
35 Posted 22/10/2014 at 22:56:44
ItÂ’s going to be tough in Lille but hereÂ’s a chance for other players to show their worth.

Giving Nessie a rest isnÂ’t so bad as he has worked his socks off this season and shown he can still get goals so we need him fresh for the Premier League at this stage with Kev out.

EtoÂ’o is invaluable and can fill in tomorrow but I thought Oviedo was fit again?

Pienaar and Gibson have bags of experience too and can do a job tomorrow. As for Osman, the less said the better.

Gavin Ramejkis
36 Posted 22/10/2014 at 23:08:45
I would rather Naismith play or at least make the bench, he looks more likely to get a goal than Lukaku.

I also hope there isnÂ’t major trouble with over-zealous 5-O in Lille and an easy slaughtering in the media to follow blaming the fans...

Pete Cross
37 Posted 22/10/2014 at 23:24:19
Steavey, tell the 10,000 traveling fans the Europa League is not important.
James Stewart
38 Posted 22/10/2014 at 23:43:25
I agree with the comment about 3 points against Burnley being the most important thing this week. And for that reason I would go with:

Coleman Browning Jagielka Garbutt
Besic Gibson
McGeady Naismith Oveido

Conor Skelly
39 Posted 23/10/2014 at 00:38:09
Just arrived in Brussels to get a good nightÂ’s sleep (if I can for excitement) before the madness ensues. Making my way to Lille tomorrow afternoon by TGV and heading straight to Grand Place to meet up with the lads... CanÂ’t believe how people see Europe as a second priority. This is what itÂ’s all about.

Travelling with the blue army to foreign fields and representing our great club. And after hearing the latest on the welcome weÂ’ve got from the locals, which by all accounts isnÂ’t very nice, I hope we twat the bastards. COYB

Tim Greeley
40 Posted 23/10/2014 at 01:20:27
Since when are the French such assholes!?!?!? .......... oh wait.......

I hear the leader of the Lille mob was yelling, "You ruined three years of Magaye GueyeÂ’s life!!!"

Hoping it wasnÂ’t as serious as some reports. I love booze but so many people in this world should not be allowed to partake. Lightweight poseurs.

Come in you Toffees. Freedom Fries for all!

Harold Matthews
41 Posted 23/10/2014 at 01:43:06
Yes Gavin, Naismith may have earned a rest but we could miss him big-time. His poaching ability and all-over-the-pitch industry make him almost impossible to replace.

Leaving him and Ossie at Finch Farm suggests that Martinez has a definite plan in mind... but I hesitate to guess what it is. These two lads get in on the chances and have the the most attempts on goal. They also track back the whole length of the pitch to help foil the opposition and combine with both wings and fullbacks.

No room for passengers tonight. If everyone busts a gut, a decent result is possible. COYB.

Peter Z Jones
42 Posted 23/10/2014 at 04:57:30
Phil. Where did I say this would be a walk in the park? We need Seamus for the long haul. Overplaying him in the short term with an injury that tends to be a recurring one isnÂ’t the best idea.

If I had said we should make wholesale changes because weÂ’ll wipe the floor with them regardless, your response would be fair. All IÂ’ve called for is a little caution with a very important player for us. IÂ’d say the same with Barkley, but Bobby left Naismith and Osman, the two players most likely to fill his role, at home.

Ajay Gopal
43 Posted 23/10/2014 at 04:55:07
Yes, Harold, I think Bobby does everything with a purpose – even the much-maligned pre-season, which has the Phil Wallings of this site baying for blood, was probably part of Roberto’s plan to ensure that our players don’t burn-out early in what will be a long season.

So, I think Bobby will go with:

Coleman Alcaraz Jagielka Baines
Besic McCarthy
McGeady Barkley Pienaar

Subs: Howard, Hibbert, Distin, Garbutt, Gibson, Barry, Lukaku.

James Marshall
44 Posted 23/10/2014 at 09:07:48
Personally I think the Europa League should be an equal priority with the Premier League so a strong side should play every game. We aren’t likely to win the Premier League and the top 4 is a massive ask, so winning the Europa League could be a realistic target – and also gets us a Champions League spot for next season.

IÂ’ll be watching alone in a bar in Bangkok. Up the blues.

Phil Walling
45 Posted 23/10/2014 at 09:29:32
Ajay, are you seriously claiming that your hero sent Everton into the season undercooked on purpose? That he was happy to sacrifice all those early gamesÂ’ points as part of some devious plan?

I usually say fellow posters are entitled to their opinions but yours is just plain daft. Sycophancy doesnÂ’t begin to describe your blind faith in the guy.

Andrew Ellams
46 Posted 23/10/2014 at 09:50:31
Not so daft, Phil, to be honest. IÂ’m not that behind the idea myself either but there is some sort of method in the madness.
Susong Hermawan
47 Posted 23/10/2014 at 10:23:58
Good Luck, Blue Boys!
Paul Hughes
48 Posted 23/10/2014 at 10:56:14
Just been on the "Voix du Nord" website, Google Translate paints a picture:

The fans of Everton are already many on Thursday morning in the city center of Lille. On the Grand-Place, some play ball, sing. Others have installed flags on the facade of the North Theater.

Michael Polley
49 Posted 23/10/2014 at 11:09:36
Looking forward to the game. IÂ’dÂ’ve liked to have seen Oviedo get few more minutes on a pitch, but anyway. COYB
Conn Prosser
51 Posted 23/10/2014 at 11:13:45
Represent blues, represent!

Disgusted by whatÂ’s happened. But it will not dampen the spirits off or on the pitch. This has gone from a draw would be good enough to a massive performance and three points.

That said, I agree with pete z that playing Coleman and Barkley so soon after injury should be done so cautiously. We need enough in the tank to take care of Burnley as well.

I hope all 12,011 blues return safely.

Adam Williams
52 Posted 23/10/2014 at 11:32:43
IÂ’d like to see...

Coleman - Jagielka - Alcaraz - Baines
McCarthy - Besic
Atsu - Barkley - Pienaar

In an ideal world, Garbutt getting on for Baines, and Barkley getting 75 mins and Browning / Gibson getting some game time in place of Coleman / McCarthy

But first and foremost lets win, a win here and we can start to tinker with the team and play the youngsters all we want towards the end of the group stage once weÂ’re already qualified. :-)

Robert Workman
53 Posted 23/10/2014 at 12:00:02
Noticed that LilleÂ’s goal difference after 10 League games is only 8-7, whereas ours is 16-16. Draw what conclusions you like from that statistic, ahead of tonightÂ’s game.
Ajay Gopal
54 Posted 23/10/2014 at 12:12:24
No, Phil, I didn’t say that Martinez deliberately ’undercooked’ the Everton team – those are your words, not mine. I think he chose not to have a strenuous pre-season keeping in mind the long season ahead as part of a strategy. Anyway, that is my opinion. I would say let us reserve judgement on that until end of the season, shall we?
Phil Walling
55 Posted 23/10/2014 at 12:24:57
Then, perhaps they will grant us all the points his strategy cost us, eh ?
Derek Knox
56 Posted 23/10/2014 at 12:35:10
Hope they take this one seriously in terms of team selection, I would play Howard as opposed to Robles in goal for starters. Basically play the strongest available, and try and secure the points.

Burnley away on return, should also be treated likewise, a couple of wins will not only see us get back up the table (Prem) and also will boost confidence further, and see us start a decent run of results.


Harold Matthews
57 Posted 23/10/2014 at 12:32:36
DonÂ’t think anyone understood all the ins and outs of pre-season. It appeared to be rushed and disjointed but Distin reckoned it was his toughest ever.
Steve Jenkins
58 Posted 23/10/2014 at 13:09:49
A point tonight or better, should see us through and top the group, looking at the remaining fixtures.

IÂ’m confident weÂ’ll get a result, COYB.

James Lauwervine
59 Posted 23/10/2014 at 13:52:31
HereÂ’s my stab at the starting 11:

Coleman, Jagielka, Alcaraz, Baines
McCarthy, Besic
McGeady, Barkley, Pienaar

I was about to post this when I noticed itÂ’s the same team (bar goalie) that Ajay has put above. Though I think Atsu will be on the bench.

Denis Richardson
60 Posted 23/10/2014 at 13:45:37
Brent (#14) – thanks for that, there I was taking everything on TW as gospel...

Gavin (#15) – I think itÂ’s standard for clubs to insure playersÂ’ wages against injury but IÂ’ve never heard of insurance for the transfer fee. I think weÂ’d just have to write off the ٤M...

Harold (#18) – I wasn’t having a pop at Ossie; I meant that, if RM has ’rested’ him, I would be surprised as the Euro games would suit him better, them being at a slower pace. Also, he hasn’t played 90 mins in every game so should not really be knackered in October, despite his age.

I hope the fans who made it are okay and we come away with a result...

Sam Hoare
61 Posted 23/10/2014 at 14:11:50
James 60, I think that team looks about right to me. The only question being wether Barkley and Coleman can play 3 games this week as they should both be starting vs Burnley.
Paul Burns
62 Posted 23/10/2014 at 15:08:31
Seems like the French are living up to the cowardly reputation of their country, attacking women and children for having the temerity and democratic right to watch their team, have a drink and sing a few songs.

The club had better get some officials down there pronto and see the truth before the propaganda machine grinds into gear and whitewashed the real truth.

Christopher Wallace
63 Posted 23/10/2014 at 15:11:58

Before Saturday, our best performances were the first 2 games of the season, and we also maintained a very high tempo in the 3rd against Chelsea.

How does this tie in with your theory that we were "undercooked" in pre-season?

Obviously we made some fatal defensive errors in these games to cost us points. Maybe if we had spent less time in pre-season on fitness and more on defensive drills, we wouldÂ’ve won these games.

Maybe if we didnÂ’t suffer some freak injuries, we couldÂ’ve kicked on and won a few more points.

Maybe Roberto did make some errors of judgement in pre-season that he would like to have done different - hindsight is a wonderful thing in football.

All conjecture, as football is not an exact science and is almost impossible to predict. I think what IÂ’m trying to say is that you have made your opinion (which I respect) known to every member of ToffeeWeb on several occasions, so feel free to stop spouting the same rubbish in every bloody threed - we get it ffs!!

P.S. Fairly comfortable 2-0 Everton COYB

Brian Harrison
64 Posted 23/10/2014 at 15:26:49
I thought it was standard procedure for visiting clubs to take both Police Liason officers and stewards from visiting clubs to try and head off any trouble. I think quite obviously with a large contingent of travelling fans they would congregate in the main square, rather than be spread around the city and become easy targets for thugs.
Phil Grayston
66 Posted 23/10/2014 at 15:28:20
Guardian reporting big trouble in Lille main square now. Talk of tear gas and rubber bullets being fired at our fans by police, and one man Â’being hit in the headÂ’. My first instinct is to blame the policeÂ’s handling of the situation here, given our past record in Europe. Hope this is the case and also that nobody else gets seriously hurt
Steavey Buckley
67 Posted 23/10/2014 at 15:42:08
When football resembles a battle field with Everton women and children being attacked by the police, Everton FC, to prevent any further trouble, should not play and fly back to Liverpool pronto in protest; and Everton should not look to Uefa to sort this matter out, as they are a cowardly lot without a spine between them, and more likely to side with the French authorities.
Daniel A Johnson
68 Posted 23/10/2014 at 15:51:58
Looks like

1.) French thugs chance a pop at a few Evertonians minding their own business.

2.) Tensions increase.

3.) French police move in and resort to beating the crap out of anything wearing blue, men women and kids.

Phil Walling
69 Posted 23/10/2014 at 16:20:45
Christopher, itÂ’s always playerÂ’s errors that cost goals. They are the ones playing. But those errors donÂ’t absolve the manager of all blame for them happening. Under - preparation meant that they simply ran out of gas (mentally and physically) when three points were in the bag on both occasions. Roberto has virtually said as much. Funny thing is, heÂ’s more prepared to accept the responsibility that some on here are prepared to attribute it !
Mike Oates
71 Posted 23/10/2014 at 16:35:42
The authorities will only see an excess of Everton fans travelling when there is no chance of tickets. This will lead to fans congregating in Main Sg tonight, with further possible trouble. UAFA will only see it one way, Everton allowing fans to travel with sole intent of drinking etc ..... and even now the local Mayor saying town square is a mess, shops having to shut and police only doing their job. It will lead to only punishment against Everton, no one UEFA official will go against the French Authorities, particularly Mr Platini !!
Graham Mockford
72 Posted 23/10/2014 at 16:43:27
Yes Steavey, postponing the match would certainly calm things down, top idea!
James Marshall
73 Posted 23/10/2014 at 16:42:44
Also, am I going nuts or does the game kick off at 5pm UK time?
Christopher Wallace
74 Posted 23/10/2014 at 16:36:41
Were all the first half goals that weÂ’ve conceded this season caused by running out of gas? What is the cut-off point in a game where goals conceded are as a result of bad defending rather than a lack of fitness due to a poor pre-season?

Why did we play at a higher tempo for longer periods in our first 3 games if we were undercooked from pre-season?

If conceding late goals is an indicator of poor fitness, do the late goals/flourishes in the Liverpool, United, Krasnador and Villa games indicate improved fitness?

Trevor Lynes
75 Posted 23/10/2014 at 16:40:05
According to the fans who travelled, its been friendly with the locals feeling embarrassed by the thugs who have caused trouble. I reckon the normal people in Lille would abhor hooliganism as it demeans them by association.

DonÂ’t blame everyone over there for organized groups of thugs who are very probably not supporters. Unfortunately it’s the way things go when international games are played.

Graham Mockford
76 Posted 23/10/2014 at 16:44:53

As the saying goes Â’put another record onÂ’. YouÂ’re starting to sound obsessed. Even you in a moment of unusual clarity a few weeks ago said itÂ’s too early to make a call.
ItÂ’s been a mixed start but nothing a run of three or four wins wonÂ’t sort out. IÂ’m not a Roberto acolyte by any means. I believe he can be a little one-dimensional against the better sides letting games become to open, but some of the knee-jerk drivel being spouted is laughable.

Steavey Buckley
77 Posted 23/10/2014 at 16:47:37
Football should not be associated with violence. When a city like Lille cannot protect the public from going about their lawful business in peace, not only does football fail, but so does democracy, because democracy is about going about oneÂ’s life in peace.

It is clear from early reports, that a section of LilleÂ’s residents attacked Everton supporters going about their lives lawfully; and since the violence has escalated where the police have fired tear gas and rubber bullets (something more akin to the previous troubles in Northern Ireland); there is no place for football in this violent atmosphere.

Paul Burns
78 Posted 23/10/2014 at 16:46:59
People are allowed to travel without tickets, itÂ’s enshrined in European law. ItÂ’s called tourism. Everton FC should pull out of the game and to hell with the consequences. There are more important things than a game of football and innocent people are at the mercy of thugs masquerading as police. [Now where have we heard that before?]

Fuck the authorities, UEFA, the mayor of Lille and Platini – it’s not against the law to drink. Why have bars in the first place?
This is anti-English racism and thuggery by the so-called authorities and they canÂ’t hide behind hooliganism because NOTHING happened to cause it apart from normal fan behaviour.

Mike Oates
79 Posted 23/10/2014 at 16:59:22
Look at video taken in square (on Live Forum): no matter what you think, do the fans have to attack the police, throw bottles, cans, obviously pissed as can be, can’t stand up, falling over – but hey, some will say it’s only fun.

Drink by all means, but to get pissed and attack the police? I donÂ’t think so. Tourists normally go to places and treat hosts with respect, not to take over a square with drunken yobos.

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