Kevin Mirallas escaped serious injury against QPR but won't play this weekend
Having chalked up their fifth win of the League season and stepped back into the top half of the table, Everton head south to Southampton looking to build some momentum heading into the Festive programme. Between now and New Year's Day the Blues have 12 points to play for which, in the unlikely event they claim them all, would put them on 33 points with 20 matches played.
That's five points less than at the same stage last season but, seeing as they're currently 10 points off last year's pace, it would represent a decent gain and would likely put Everton back in Champions League contention. Three of the four fixtures are away from home, though, so it's a massively tall order for a team that has won consecutive Premier League games on only one occasion thus far.
One step at a time, though, and that puts the focus on the clash with faltering Southampton at the St Mary's. Tipped to go down after losing Mauricio Pochettino to Tottenham and selling so many apparently key players over the summer, the Saints under new boss Ronald Koeman got off to an incredible start. As strong as they looked, with Graziano Pelle's goals, Victor Wanyama's power in midfield, Dusan Tadic's creativity, and a solid defence, it was always likely to be unsustainable and they have now lost five straight in all competitions.
Injuries and suspensions are starting to take their toll and, having fallen out of the top four, Koeman faces his first test as a Premier League manager to stem the bleeding with important members of his side out. Jack Cork is ruled out for two months, Tadic, Pelle and Steven Davis are major doubts through injury for this weekend, while Morgan Schneiderlin, Florin Gardos and Wanyama are all suspended for the Blues' visit.
Those absentees can only help Martinez's cause but he will be focusing on his own team where James McCarthy has been given a 50-50 chance of being passed fit along with Darron Gibson. The manager told the media today that both players are back training with the first team but whether he elects to risk either of them remains to be seen, particularly when Gareth Barry's return from a one-game ban and Muhamed Besic's form will provide him with the leeway to give both players another week to gain more fitness.
Martinez also had positive news regarding Kevin Mirallas and Leon Osman, confirming suggestions earlier in the week that the Belgian hadn't sustained any significant damage to his ankle against QPR and quashing a report that Osman might need surgery on a foot injury. Neither will be fit to face Southampton but Mirallas, at least, looks likely to be ready again for the visit of Stoke on Boxing Day.
As Everton's most creative attacking force, Mirallas will be sorely missed but Martinez has a ready-made option in moving Ross Barkley into a more attacking role with Steven Naismith and Romelu Lukaku. It would mean less width, particularly on the left flank but it might open up more space going forward for Leighton Baines who has been uncharacteristically subdued in recent matches.
Seamus Coleman has been in a similar boat on the other side of the field but, as the only true winger available for selection, Aiden McGeady is likely to continue there this weekend. Samuel Eto'o and Arouna Kone offer more permutations to Maritnez's starting XI but starting either forward would surely require dropping one of Barkley and Naismith, both of whom played starring roles in the win over QPR.
At the back, meanwhile, John Stones is waiting in the wings to make his highly-anticipated return to the team after two and a half months out with an ankle injury. Maritnez suggested to the media that he is in no rush to throw him back in until he is completely ready but it would not be surprising to see the 20 year-old in the starting XI when the teams are announced at 2pm on Saturday.
While the Blues don't often fare well on their long trips to the south coast, Southampton's sinking morale and selection problems mean that this fixture is not the daunting prospect it was a few weeks ago. And Everton won't have to go too far to improving on their last appearance at the St Mary's, a sorry 2-0 reverse in late April where two own goals finally killed off their top-four hopes for good.
Away from the pressures to perform at Goodison and against a team who plays more open football, the Blues can hopefully use the relief of Monday's victory to play more like themselves and come away with three important points.
Kick off: 3pm
Referee: Jon Moss
Quotes sourced from ToffeeWeb Match Reports
Reader Comments (136)
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1 Posted 18/12/2014 at 19:51:06
2 Posted 18/12/2014 at 19:52:40
As such I’d go for the jugular and play Ross in the deeper midfield role again. That way we have a deeper lying midfield threat and can play Naismith where he is best. On the wings is where we struggle but would stick with wide players rather than forwards out of position. If Stones is fit get him back in.
Coleman Jagielka Stones Baines
McGeady Naismith Oviedo
With Kone, Eto’o and Garbutt to come on. That team should boss it.
3 Posted 18/12/2014 at 20:10:46
Regardless will be thinking of my Saints mate who hates us due to us snatching away their last chance of glory back in the 80’s in that Semi-final:) Hopefully we can have him crying into his beer again.
4 Posted 18/12/2014 at 20:22:18
5 Posted 18/12/2014 at 20:35:28
Awful performance at St Mary’s last season, but I’m dead confident this year.
6 Posted 18/12/2014 at 20:45:33
7 Posted 18/12/2014 at 20:56:57
8 Posted 18/12/2014 at 21:15:12
Baines and Coleman wing backs, Barry and Stones either side of Jagielka.
Besic, McCarthy (if heÂs fit) and Barkley in midfield.
Naismith in behind EtoÂo/Lukaku.
A team full of energy and legs, releases the shackles off the more defensive Baines and Coleman that weÂve seen recently and better players with the ball at the back.
Keeps McGeady out the side too which always makes me happier.
Whatever side he picks, we really should win this one, they are really down to the bare bones and their 3/4 best players are out.
9 Posted 18/12/2014 at 21:43:25
10 Posted 18/12/2014 at 21:42:01
Assuming McCarthy makes it, this is the team I’d go with:
Stones Jagielka Barry
Coleman McCarthy Barkley Besic Baines
Plenty of good options from the bench, take your pick: Kone Garbutt Oviedo Naismith Pienaar
11 Posted 18/12/2014 at 22:09:07
As for filling the void in Miralles’s absence I’d be bold and play Garbutt in front of Bainsy.
12 Posted 18/12/2014 at 22:07:48
We have a habit of gifting 3 points to the opposition when they’ve taken a massive kicking in the scrotum over recent weeks. I sincerely hope Everton aren’t already in any festive mood in handing out early Xmas presents. Take the game with high intensity to a weakened Southampton team from the start and we ’should’ be okay.
13 Posted 18/12/2014 at 21:57:33
I would pick the following team and formation
Coleman Jags Distin Baines
With McCarthy and Naismith linking up with Coleman and Barry and Barkley linking up with Bainesy.
Depending on the game give Stones and Garbutt a run out later on.
Lukaku to get a hat-trick (wishful thinking).
15 Posted 18/12/2014 at 22:21:27
While I appreciate that Stevie P. has lost a fair amount of his mojo, we need to give him a chance to rediscover his form.
Would love Mo to play again; I’m really surprised at some of the posts on TW (on other threads) criticising him heavily. I think he’s growing into a terrific player and offers more than Barry in most, almost all areas.
I’m pleased that Kone is back and running, as it were and provides RM with an interesting option.
I didn’t realise that Soton have so many injuries and suspensions. Three points would be amazing in our current indifferent form.
16 Posted 18/12/2014 at 22:29:58
17 Posted 18/12/2014 at 22:36:09
1- So far it has only been confirmed that Southampton are definitely without 3 first team players and for the first month Ward Prowse was preferred to Wanyama who was only a sub. Schneiderlin and Tadic being the other two.
2- I’m getting a bit fed up with this McGeady hatred on here. Granted he hasn’t performed to his best but he is being scapegoated on here. I seen on SSN that he is second on chances created for us in the Prem this season yet he hasn’t played all that much. In addition although he is frustrating he does have the ability to produce something when others look as if they have given up. I think we performed much better when he is in the team as when he was dropped we looked very unbalanced especially with Pienaar and Atsu both being injured and out of form and Barkley wanted to cut inside when he was tried there. He stops defenders from working as a block by taking them to the by-line which no other player in our squad does. He is no Dellboy but he’s not that bad either.
18 Posted 18/12/2014 at 23:05:16
I also like the amount of work he starting to put in i.e. back tracking and helping out in defence. I think he might become a fans favourite like Nessie after getting his fair share of stick.
19 Posted 18/12/2014 at 23:00:58
Surely we have enough players in the squad to play a weakened team like Southampton without risking more injuries to players by bringing them back to quick.
20 Posted 18/12/2014 at 23:11:53
What I don’t like seeing is when a winger goes past his man and then turns back into trouble; keep it simple with an end product and a winger can be a valuable asset. Whether that winger is McGeady or someone else, the manager should tell him to keep it simple and always look to deliver a cross.
23 Posted 19/12/2014 at 00:01:33
24 Posted 18/12/2014 at 23:57:51
25 Posted 19/12/2014 at 00:17:04
Let’s hope we win and win with a good performance. I would enjoy the weekend so much more reading positive posts, my own included. Never new Phil Whaling was older than me. To all the fans travelling down south I look forward to hearing you on the TV here in the land down under with my new wireless headphones.
26 Posted 19/12/2014 at 02:13:32
I really hadnt been thinking a win but if them lucky Saints are really missing their core, then maybe it’s ON!!
27 Posted 19/12/2014 at 04:06:08
A positive display should see us home and could change the whole mood of the place.
28 Posted 19/12/2014 at 05:26:17
Some of the BS written on here about McGeady is embarrassing. He may be inconsistent but as many above have pointed out he has an ability to get in behind defences, put in crosses and cause problems.
Soton will be a tough game and the bookies still have them as favourites:-
â–¶ Home win:2.45
â–¶ Away win:3.00
Head says draw, heart says win.
29 Posted 19/12/2014 at 06:07:11
So, my team:
Coleman Jagielka Stones Baines
Besic Barkley Barry
McGeady Kone Naismith
Subs: Robles, Lukaku, Oviedo, Eto’o, Pienaar, Hibbert, Garbutt
30 Posted 19/12/2014 at 06:24:41
I hope the in-form players are chosen - that definitely means Besic, Naismith, Garbutt and Stones if he’s fit.
If we lose, I fear mid-table mediocrity awaits us... But I think we’ll win.
31 Posted 19/12/2014 at 07:33:16
Distin (or Stones if fully fit)
Besic - is a bit of a risk away from home, and assumes McCarthy is still out.
Garbutt - would like to see some natural pace on the left.
Naismith - just no-one else to play on the right.
32 Posted 19/12/2014 at 08:36:32
Mcgeady, like alot of wingers has been very mercurial. He gives the ball away too easily too often but he works hard and has actually provided goals and assists, something that looks very far away for Steven Pienaar right now. I think we need more/better wingers or wide players but with Mirallas out and Oviedo recovering I reckon Mcgeady is about the best we have and nowhere near as bad as some (Paul Dark!) make out.
33 Posted 19/12/2014 at 08:41:46
We have failed to beat any (apart from West Ham) of the team’s we would expect to be our rivals from league placing this season so far.
Mirallas is a major loss, it just takes out a potential matchwinner from our team so this just means that Ross Barkley will have that burden and pressure if making things happen to ensure we carry a bug attacking threat, Lukaku feeds off the energy of a Barkley or Mirallas playing well, if nothing is happening from midfield then all you get from Lukaku is a half arsed looking performance.
McGeady for me the jury remains massively out, he out, yes he put ina decent cross for Naismith on Monday (as a winger some would say that he should be taken for granted at getting at least one fine cross in per game) up until that cross on Monday though he had me going ballistic at why he does not attempt to run more at the full back and the few occasions he did he made a pig’s ear of it.
A very inconsistent player who has only scored one goal since he signed for us, not a great return at all.
Sadly though we haven’t got an abundance of proven quality options to work the flanks..
Pienaar looks way off it and frankly looked a bit weighty and leaden footed the other night.
Atsu is injured and wouldn’t have played anyway.
I know people’s have mentioned Oviedo but he doesn’t look 100 percent yet, looked off the pace against Krasnodar.
As for Baines in midfield?
A fella who never trusts himself to shoot with that left foot and in recent weeks has rarely beaten the first man with a cross?
Not for me, too easily stifled if we go down that road of playing left backs in midfield.
I also wouldn’t bring Barry straight back either, what message is that sending out to Besic?
Barry hasn’t exactly played that well in recent months either, for me having him there this season had slowed down our play way too much.
Besic adds bite.
Its a game we can certainly win but it’s also a game especially with the way we have played this season we can also certainly lose..
34 Posted 19/12/2014 at 09:16:07
Much like Barkley, I feel McGeady is a player that thrives on being backed and told he is good. Yeah he will lose the ball at times, try too much and frustrate us. But if he’s creating genuine opportunities each game then I for one will get behind him.
This weeks team:
McGeady Naismith Pienaar
Subs: Robles, Garbutt, Barry, McCarthy, Eto’o, Lukaku
35 Posted 19/12/2014 at 09:36:53
R Martinez 2013-14 Sat Apr 26 2014 Prem A Soton L 0-2
D Moyes 2012-13 Mon Jan 21 2013 Prem A Soton D 0-0
D Moyes 2004-05 Sun Feb 6 2005 Prem A Soton D 2-2 (Beattie J, Bent M)
D Moyes 2003-04 Sat Feb 21 2004 Prem A Soton D 3-3 (Rooney W 2, Ferguson D)
D Moyes 2002-03 Wed Sep 11 2002 Prem A Soton L 0-1
D Moyes 2001-02 Sat Apr 20 2002 Prem A Soton W 1-0 (Watson S)
W Smith 2000-01 Sat Mar 17 2001 Prem A Soton L 0-1
W Smith 1999-00 Sat Jan 22 2000 Prem A Soton L 0-2
W Smith 1998-99 Sun May 16 1999 Prem A Soton L 0-2
H Kendall 1997-98 Sat Mar 7 1998 Prem A Soton L 1-2 (Tiler C)
J Royle 1996-97 Wed Mar 5 1997 Prem A Soton D 2-2 (Ferguson D, Speed G)
J Royle 1995-96 Sat Feb 3 1996 Prem A Soton D 2-2 (Stuart G, Horne B)
M Walker 1994-95 Sat Oct 8 1994 Prem A Soton L 0-2
H Kendall 1993-94 Sat Aug 14 1993 Prem A Soton W 2-0 (Beagrie P, Ebbrell J)
H Kendall 1992-93 Sat Apr 17 1993 Prem A Soton D 0-0
36 Posted 19/12/2014 at 10:08:03
Please Roberto if we get a free kick in their half attack their goal, donÂt pass it back backwards try forwards.
37 Posted 19/12/2014 at 10:21:37
So - a 0-0 draw with 70% Evertom possession!
38 Posted 19/12/2014 at 10:22:50
I think getting Stones back at centre back would go a long way to improving our ball retention, and hopefully increase the speed of transition from defence to midfield. I also think that Mcarthy and Barry is still our best midfield combination, despite the excellent display put on my Barkley and Besic the other night. Southampton are a different prospect to QPR and won’t allow our CMs as much space as was afforded our young stand ins. Barkley has to play number 10 for me, he’s wasted out wide. Obviously this would be at the expense of Naismith, but I think this a better compromise as Naismith can still be effective moving in from the wide areas. This would be my team.
Coleman Stones Jagielka Baines
Naismith Barkley Pienaar/Oviedo
39 Posted 19/12/2014 at 10:53:24
Baines, Stones, Jagielka, Garbutt
Besic, Coleman, McCarthy, Barry,
Bench: Robles (sadly), Browning, Pienaar, Long
This is a talent choice.
40 Posted 19/12/2014 at 11:10:35
Is your team above including the subs all based on talent?
Just curious because if it was on form of recent months I don’t think names like Barry or even Coleman would qualify as certain choices.
I love Seamus but this season he hasn’t been the same , bot just going forward but defensively too he’s been indifferent.
Barry of course adds the value of experience but again for me, he has held us back at times this season, too immobile and sluggish in possesion
41 Posted 19/12/2014 at 11:37:12
42 Posted 19/12/2014 at 12:26:30
43 Posted 19/12/2014 at 13:09:21
44 Posted 19/12/2014 at 13:19:58
45 Posted 19/12/2014 at 12:57:10
Too often in the past we have come up against teams in so called ÂcrisisÂ situations and come up empty, so unless we show a more attacking intent against sides in these situations, nothing is certain. especially with Everton, who continue to anger and annoy the faithful by methods which are now fully sussed out by the opposition
46 Posted 19/12/2014 at 13:28:14
Much the same as ColemanÂs impeccable form at centre mid, and we all know Barry and Besic to be top quality wingers!
Interesting also, that this team is based on form, yet one of our most in form players Steven Naismith doesnÂt even make the 4 man subs bench!
I think somebody is on a wind up with that post.ha
47 Posted 19/12/2014 at 13:28:27
The Blues however are unpredictable and will miss Mirallas on the break. Lukaku has been in and out but can always snatch a goal but a big game from Nessie and Ross can win this.
Nothing can be taken for granted as the SaintÂs replacements will be out to impress so Everton beware
48 Posted 19/12/2014 at 13:38:37
49 Posted 19/12/2014 at 13:46:29
In true Everton fashion, SouthamptonÂs losing streak will come to an end on Saturday.
50 Posted 19/12/2014 at 13:51:13
One of two things will happen;
a) We'll go there and do a job and come away with a hard fought win (their defence is still pretty much intact and is usually solid), or,
b) We will carry on our year end tradition of being the league's father xmas and give a struggling Southampton team a helping hand by gifting them 3 points (see Sunderland last year!).
Team almost picks itself and given his performance from deep, I'd keep Ross next to Besic in the middle. Both players derserve to start after being the best on the pitch against QPR. I'd leave McCarthy out and save him for Stoke.
This match a few weeks ago looked a realy tough one but given the players that are out, I'll be disappointed if we didn't get 3 points to give us a real boost before the boxing day game at home to Stoke (hopefully another 3 points!).
Next 7 days is a great opportunity to make it 3 league wins on the trot.
51 Posted 19/12/2014 at 14:02:08
52 Posted 19/12/2014 at 13:51:47
53 Posted 19/12/2014 at 14:15:35
Coleman Jags Distin Baines
McGeady Barkley Naismith
Naismith started on the left on Monday and regularly swapped positions with Mirallas. Think the same will happen with Barkley.
54 Posted 19/12/2014 at 13:31:44
Anyway after that rant over, as I said earlier in the thread I really hope we see the lad Garbutt playing further up the field in super Kev's absence. We don't need to rush McCarthy back (we've seen what can happen when we have fielded too many players just back from injury - RS last season the worst case in point). I'd make an exception for Stones, we've really missed him with Distin becoming far too error prone and age finally catching up with him.
Finally, in the case of McGeady. He was a player I longed for us to sign when he was at Celtic, getting plaudits from the likes of Messi. I now think I was hoodwinked like 99% of other people who don't get to see him play week-in, week-out.
There's many a player who can look a world-beater with selected moments, (just look at Biliyaledinov on YouTube) and McGeady certainly has his moments of brilliance. It's just the rest of the time when he gives the ball away with an idle pass, or try's to get past a player too many times before losing the ball, when the simple pass would do.
I want all our players to do well and I've posted a few posts on here defending McGeady because he cost us a nominal fee and it does work for him sometimes. I'm thinking, the Leicester goal, the incisive pass to Naismith to score against Chelsea. Or laying on the third goal the other night. So in in the scheme of things for me, he's a squad player, nothing more and nothing less. I don't think he deserves to be lynched but I don't think we should delude ourselves that he will get any better with the encouraging signs, because he will have a stinker the following game as sure as night follows the day.
55 Posted 19/12/2014 at 14:17:10
Stones jags barry
Coleman macca Barkley mo Baines
Flattens out to 442 when under pressure from either wing. Barkley to play through from deeper, and our wing backs unimpeded by the likes of Geads in their spaces
56 Posted 19/12/2014 at 14:34:31
And our fans still like the Spaniard? WeÂre going nowhere fast here... Wake the fuck up,Blues!!!
57 Posted 19/12/2014 at 13:39:12
Barkley and Naismith to support Lukaku upfront and also support Besic and Barry in midfield when needed.
Subs from Eto'o, Stones, Kone, Robles, Oviedo, Garbutt, McGeady Alcaraz/Distin and Pienaar.
Injured: Mirallas, McCarthy,Osman and Gibson.
58 Posted 19/12/2014 at 15:45:29
59 Posted 19/12/2014 at 15:35:20
No matter who is playing they will be fast out of the blocks and press high up the pitch something we seem to struggle with.
I know its one of my pet subjects but I would like MF to be beefed up and not go gung-ho with forwards.
Keep a clean sheet and get one or two on the break.
60 Posted 19/12/2014 at 15:50:45
Denis, I will go with option b please, Everton the Charity is now open.
61 Posted 19/12/2014 at 15:58:42
62 Posted 19/12/2014 at 16:04:12
63 Posted 19/12/2014 at 16:10:39
Re Ross, Martinez may prefer playing him further forward against the saints as being the away team we'll likely have much less of the ball and he may look to be a bit more defensive.
Personally I'd play the same team v QPR with McGeady or Oviedo in for Mirralas. Neither Barkely nor Naismith is suited to playing out wide so I'd leave Barkley a bit deeper. Let Lukaku and Naismith run themselves into the ground and them bring on Kone and Eto for a like for like swap after about 65 minutes.
Pienaar should be on the bench at best.
64 Posted 19/12/2014 at 16:39:00
We really need to go for goals as the Martinez passing across the back for minutes on end does not loan us for hanging on to a one nil win.
65 Posted 19/12/2014 at 16:16:31
Baines needs rest. Lukaku needs to know their is competition for his spot. Time to buckle down and get tough Roberto.
I would love to see both Stones and Jimmy Mac in the lineup but another week off will benefit the club in the long run I feel.
66 Posted 19/12/2014 at 16:42:24
If Southampton have as many players out as is being reported I wouldn't risk McCarthy.
The problem with Martinez this season is you just don't know what to expect,as I mention, if McCarthy is fit, I fully expect to see him in the middle with Barry, Barkley out wide left, and Naismith behind Lukaku.
67 Posted 19/12/2014 at 17:04:21
68 Posted 19/12/2014 at 17:35:52
Remember that the "official arse" last season was Naismith, and look what has just happened to him. McGeady's new contract is probably being prepared at this very moment.
69 Posted 19/12/2014 at 18:04:21
70 Posted 19/12/2014 at 18:17:50
It was initially reported they wanted to buy Spurs but Joe Lewis (spuds owner) is asking for ٟbn. Surely Big Bill could put in a word for us? I mean, paying for Billy's shares, a new stadium and a few top players wouldn't cost 𧷤m never mind a billion.
71 Posted 19/12/2014 at 18:29:53
Play lukaku out wide right and Eto'o in the middle. Naismith just behind Eto'o. Ross coming from deep where he is best and Besic as the holding midfielder. Pienaar or Oviedo in front of Baines.
72 Posted 19/12/2014 at 18:44:15
You mean there's actually some good ones out there?
73 Posted 19/12/2014 at 18:06:53
The drag back step-over and ball roll to steel a yard with the penalty box and then at full tilt hang that ball up for Nais was worth any entrance fee.
The guy is a magician and I can see certain parts of his game getting sharper ...
I am hoping for Stevie P and McGeady will give us width tomorrow ... I would also stick with Mo and Ross in midfield central.
Kone and EtoÂo off the bench early in second half and would bring on Oviedo for Stevie P for the last 30 mins as well.
3-1 to the Blues again ....
74 Posted 19/12/2014 at 18:49:40
75 Posted 19/12/2014 at 18:18:31
I am really worried about complacency as all week Southampton have been making excuses about their injury list. If both those are passed fit then they will play with:-
Bertrand Fonte Yoshida Clyne
Mane Alderweild Davis Ward-Prowse Long
Yes, their bench will be weak but, had all been fit Schneiderlin would replace Yoshida with Alderweild moved into centre half and Tadic would replace Long. The rest would be bench players though Wanyama may be preferred to either Davis or Ward-Prowse.
We'd better not be complacent as if Mirallas and McCarthy are out we may have 2 first team certainties from both sides out. However if Pelle and Davis don't make it then that gives us a real chance as they will be replaced with much poorer alternatives.
76 Posted 19/12/2014 at 18:55:41
The third goal on Monday brought back memories of Thomas and Latchford....
77 Posted 19/12/2014 at 18:55:22
Building on your point, it must be a real torment for Barca fans to have to put up with all their player's mistakes in spite of the hundreds of goals he's scored ! Not.
78 Posted 19/12/2014 at 19:05:08
Tomorrow's game will be difficult. Losing will cement our mid-table position. I can't work out just how weakened Southampton are.
79 Posted 19/12/2014 at 19:25:06
Remember last season Martinez played Lukaku on the wing against Arsenal at home and it completely buggered them. Last season he made some excellent tactical switches both before and more importantly during games. Also, his substitutions were made at any time during the game whenever he saw a change would improve things.
Unfortunately none of this is happening this season. Everything is extremely predictable. I'd love it if he would go back to his decision-making of last season.
80 Posted 19/12/2014 at 19:20:28
They will be busting a gut to end their losing run and so will their supporters, so I'm not expecting it to be a pushover.
Far from it I'd be inclined to take a draw if offered now.
Obviously hoping to be proved wrong, but theres no easy away games.
81 Posted 19/12/2014 at 19:57:24
82 Posted 19/12/2014 at 19:57:51
83 Posted 19/12/2014 at 20:05:39
Another win against Stoke who have got some crap festive fixture times.
A tricky away fixture at Newcastle, at least a draw. Then Hull City away, (got my tickets today). Oh yes, Huddlestone & Dawson out. COYB 10pts please.
84 Posted 19/12/2014 at 20:20:51
Dave Thomas was a Rolls Royce of a winger. I had the pleasure of playing against him in a pre-season warm up game at Lilleshall when he went on to play for Wolves... gentleman to boot.
85 Posted 19/12/2014 at 20:44:00
Everton have many talented players but far too often they donÂt all turn up on the same page which has been costly against some crap teams in the first half of the season.
Yes, they have had injuries but so do many other clubs and teams need squad players to fill in adequately when called upon.
Soton seem to be feeling the pinch now and this is a real opportunity for nothing less than 3 away points.
86 Posted 19/12/2014 at 20:50:11
Yes, if there's one thing I regret about RM it's that he has his favourite stratagems and players and, this season, has lost his verve and nerve. I'm still a fan, but I would like him to pick players a little more on merit and be a little more adventurous and unpredictable at times.
A good Christmas points tally would lift everyone, starting at St Mary's tomorrow.
87 Posted 19/12/2014 at 21:34:45
88 Posted 19/12/2014 at 22:43:21
89 Posted 19/12/2014 at 22:37:18
Only ref worth his paycheck is Martin Atkinson who never saw a tackle he didn't like in or out of the box and is unbiased as they come.
90 Posted 19/12/2014 at 22:40:53
Taking a slightly different slant, I have often wondered how well English fans would tolerate the way Messi walks around the park as if he's going on a Sunday afternoon stroll. OFM would soon have him running up and down though.
91 Posted 19/12/2014 at 22:50:23
92 Posted 19/12/2014 at 22:58:51
He just needs to find his confidence and how the Premier League works!!
93 Posted 19/12/2014 at 23:23:10
Saying that, I'd be far happy if Mirallas were available. Saying that, the premier league, with it's shite officials is the one league that you really shouldn't showboat in and invite dickheads like Mutch to boot you up in the air. Wailing about our hard luck/injuries etc won't wash.....batter this lot at the weekend and I reckon we're up and running.
And please, Kev....stop arseing about when we are 3-0 up mate and try and make sure we finish up 5-0 winners. If a cave dweller like Mutch can catch you, you're doing summit wrong kid!
94 Posted 19/12/2014 at 23:27:17
I do agree the typical EPL fans enjoys a good tackle as much as goal, that's why this Yank prefers the EPL and Everton more than any other team or league.
95 Posted 19/12/2014 at 23:33:13
I hope we got out and wack them on the break, and cheer up all of the Pompey fans, who must all be on valium by now, by tonking the scum.
96 Posted 19/12/2014 at 23:46:06
"In this day and age of diving, cheating, conning and general shithousery, something else extraordinary took place at Goodison Park on Monday night.
A young, baby faced Bosnian by the name of Muhamed Besic put in a performance to transport back in time those who pine for the days when the art of tackling was admired. And the beautiful game was a contact sport.
When it comes to Saturday afternoon, or Sunday evening, or Monday night, once in situ, football supporters are generally a simple minded folk. And few things can get us off our seats quicker than an expertly executed, crunching tackle.
Sadly, the skill of tackling has been a dying art form for many a year. So to witness a 22 year-old give a near perfect example of how to fairly, yet very firmly, dispose of opposing players with a bracing challenge, was a welcome and overdue turn up for the books.
It certainly had the otherwise reticent Monday night Goodison Park crowd baying for more."
97 Posted 19/12/2014 at 23:53:28
98 Posted 19/12/2014 at 23:56:07
Everton won at St. Mary's in April 2002 when Steve Watson scored the only goal of the match Â– but that's still only two victories so we are overdue a win there hopefully.
99 Posted 19/12/2014 at 23:59:54
100 Posted 20/12/2014 at 00:08:41
In a 4-3-3 Barkley, Jimmy Mac and Besic would be a midfield to drool over.
101 Posted 20/12/2014 at 01:45:16
102 Posted 20/12/2014 at 04:14:34
103 Posted 20/12/2014 at 05:58:02
I am surprised nobody has Eto'o in to start the game. I would and suspect Koeman would if he could, based on his comments in the papers recently.
Coleman, Stones, Jagielka, Baines
Besic, Barry, Barkley,
McGeady, Eto'o, Lukaku.
Bench: Naismith, McCarthy, Pienaar, Distin, Oviedo.
We must score first.
Up the Blues!!
104 Posted 20/12/2014 at 07:43:19
Lukaku, Naisy and Barkley scorers for me today.
Onwards and upwards from here, COYB
105 Posted 20/12/2014 at 07:46:56
106 Posted 20/12/2014 at 08:41:17
107 Posted 20/12/2014 at 08:47:35
108 Posted 20/12/2014 at 09:06:34
109 Posted 20/12/2014 at 09:10:34
A great chance to take 3 points from St. Marys but we will have to play well for 90 mins and that's not something we have done often if at all in the league this season.
Excited to see Kone get some more minutes as he looks like he may finally be able to make a positive impact and would be so pleased for him if he did.
I put my team at the start of the thread and would still go for them.
110 Posted 20/12/2014 at 09:32:46
When he have them the call they genuinely looked like they couldn't be arsed taking their coats off.
That grates on me cos if it was me I would be up and keen as they come especially given a 50K a week salary!
Kone was different, he only got a few minutes but was up and stripped as soon as he was asked ...
111 Posted 20/12/2014 at 09:32:25
112 Posted 20/12/2014 at 09:45:10
1-3 result today.
114 Posted 20/12/2014 at 10:27:17
Baines, Distin, Jagielka, Coleman
Pienaar, Naismith, Mcgeady
Subs: Robles, Stones, Hibbert, Oviedo, Barry, EtoÂo, Kone
115 Posted 20/12/2014 at 11:06:04
116 Posted 20/12/2014 at 11:15:13
117 Posted 20/12/2014 at 11:10:34
I remember him on R5L on the morning of the rs v Chelsea game last season. He predicted that the rs would "smash" Chelsea 3-0. It was the morning of the coronation in Stanley Park if anyone can recollect the nauseating media love-in.
I can't remember how that game turned out but seem to recall Chelsea 'slipping' a couple past their keeper (snigger).
Anyway, 2-3 to the Mighty Blues today.
1 from Naismith, a 35 yard thinderbolt from Phil 'goal machine' Jagielka then an injury time scorcher from Tony Hibbert.
118 Posted 20/12/2014 at 13:35:33
119 Posted 20/12/2014 at 13:37:22
120 Posted 20/12/2014 at 13:57:26
121 Posted 20/12/2014 at 13:54:07
It is the same with players who have not scored in about 10 games.
But I expect no less than 3pts today, it would be nice to play well as well.
122 Posted 20/12/2014 at 14:00:18
123 Posted 20/12/2014 at 14:00:12
124 Posted 20/12/2014 at 14:05:16
125 Posted 20/12/2014 at 14:07:20
126 Posted 20/12/2014 at 14:05:02
127 Posted 20/12/2014 at 14:18:47
128 Posted 20/12/2014 at 14:19:16
131 Posted 20/12/2014 at 14:25:52
132 Posted 20/12/2014 at 14:24:53
133 Posted 20/12/2014 at 14:27:38
I would sooner have pushed Bainesy up and give Garbutt a run.
Too many forwards means lack of space to run into and less link up play from the back through MF.
Eto and Nais are never MF players or wingers.
134 Posted 20/12/2014 at 14:31:43
136 Posted 20/12/2014 at 14:35:58
137 Posted 20/12/2014 at 14:14:04
Brent (61) With ref to where do I sit. I'm right in line with our penalty area (Gwladys St) in the Upper Bullens. 8 or 9 rows back, 221. and the whinger sits right behind me.
Colin (70) maybe another thread. It sounds interesting.
About todays game. Although he's only just come back but if he starts, I think that it'll help Baines get forward more. I think they have a great understanding and it's one area going forward that has stuttered this season. Between both of their injuries, we've hardly hardly seen.
I think we still have a problem coming down the right. I think Seamus has been a shadow of himself so far. I think have become more defnsive against us and that's a bit of a problem but I also think that he's finding it difficult to make a partnership with Macca going forward. Hopefully they'll click sooner rather than later but Seamus looks so frutrated at times and I think his game is suffering as a consequence. I'd like to see Eto'o going out wide right and Macca drop to the bench. He has such a brilliant football brain, I think he'd bring both Seamus and Romolu into the game very effectively.
I hope we see Mo and Ross carry on where they left of in the week, both were superb.
Whoever plays today. I think it will be a hard game and we'll do well to get a draw. If we get a win at that place, we will have done a tremendous job. Incredibly even!
I hope that we can find a way of bringing Lukaku into the game more and play to his strengths, as his confidence looks shot to pieces.
138 Posted 20/12/2014 at 14:35:26
Can't see where the width will come from, agree with above posts that Eto'o Naismith and Barkley will all naturally try to fill the one position.
Although part of me also thinks if these three can't bring the best out of Lukaku I don't know what will, there should be no need for Rom to play anywhere today except on the shoulder of the last defender.
I don't expect to see Baines or Coleman involved too much in our forward play again today though with that line up.
139 Posted 20/12/2014 at 14:48:57
If he has changed the system or worked on it and it comes off then fair enough but if we see another display of everyone drifting into the middle getting congested and struggling to create any chances or fluidity then there really is no excuse.
140 Posted 20/12/2014 at 14:52:10
141 Posted 20/12/2014 at 14:51:57
142 Posted 20/12/2014 at 14:56:35
143 Posted 20/12/2014 at 15:52:12
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