Sylvain Distin could get a chance to bid farewell to Goodison after all.
Everton hope to sign off their disappointing 2014-15 season on another upbeat note as Tottenham Hotspur come to town on Sunday.
Thanks to Romelu Lukaku's last-minute winner at Upton Patk last weekend, the Blues can ensure a top-10 finish with victory over Mauricio Pochettino's side providing West Ham don't beat relegation-threatened Newcastle by a wider margin at St James' Park. Everton currently edge the Hammers in the table on goals scored.
Given their involvement in the European picture, Spurs's need is a little greater, however. The Londoners have their sights on recording a first win at Goodison Park in eight years and leap-frogging Liverpool into the top Europa League spot in fifth place. They could fall to seventh, however, if they lose and Southampton get any kind of result at Manchester City.
Roberto Martinez restated his desire to finish the season strongly in his pre-match press conference but he will be forced into at least one change to the team that started last Saturday. Aaron Lennon is ineligible to face his parent club and that will create an opening that will likely be filled by either Kevin Mirallas or Aiden McGeady.
Both players came on as substiutes against West Ham but it was the latter who weighed in with the crucial assist for Lukaku's stoppage-time winner and that, combined with his limited playing time in recent weeks due to injury, might be enough to earn him a start.
Mirallas could well start anyway, either on the other side of midfield or playing off the striker if Martinez is feeling adventurous but both Leon Osman and Ross Barkley will be in contention in those spots.
In defence, it would not be a surprise to see Brendan Galloway handed a home debut at left back after his solid display at Upton Park and the manager has suggested to the media that Sylvain Distin could well get the chance to bid farewell to the home fans after all.
If he gets over a bout of illness, the Frenchman could replace Antolin Alcaraz on the substitutes' bench after the Paraguayan picked up an injury in training. That would provide the opportunity to throw Distin on for a few minutes at the end of what will be his last season with Everton after six years of service.
There is scope for further switches — Muhamed Besic hasn't started a game in quite a while now, for example — but Martinez probably won't make wholesale changes despite Spurs' chequered away record of late. They won handsomely at Newcastle a month ago but also lost heavily at Manchester United and Stoke, suggesting that Everton could rattle them if they can get out to an early lead.
The debut of the new home kit following its unveiling this past week will add to a general air of looking towards the future at Goodison, an attitude summed up by Tim Howard's assertion to the loal press that there will be no long post-mortem of 2014-15 among the team. The American said that the players will put the current campaign behind them and look towards a fresh start in August.
Kick off: 3pm
Referee: Jonathan Moss
Full coverage: ToffeeWeb Match Reports
Reader Comments (42)
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1 Posted 22/05/2015 at 19:58:21
They haven’t a clue what being a fan on a yearly wage less than their weekly one is like, have they.
7 Posted 23/05/2015 at 00:59:00
Now it would be nice for the team to make a effort and win in style, sadly I canÂt see it and Spurs to break their 8-year duck.
ItÂs going to be interesting to see how the crowd react to the players lap of, as some say, dishonor.
Only one thing is certain everyoneÂs opinion will differ. Lots to debate about over the summer and thatÂs what makes TW my daily read before I go to work and before I go to bed.
8 Posted 23/05/2015 at 01:03:07
West Ham win,
dark side in Europa,
Newcastle, Wonga and that twat chairman feeling sorry for themselves.
9 Posted 23/05/2015 at 01:32:21
Sylvian has earned the start.
11 Posted 23/05/2015 at 08:33:02
Wins over Manchester United and Spurs would at least put a bit of gloss on the end of the season after the months between August to March were a total non-event.
Then the hard work really does start though, we will be saying goodbye to more than just Distin after tomorrow I feel, obviously Alcaraz is going, wish we could say it was a a good two yearÂs but he turned out to be nothing more than a poor stopgap in the end after a promising debut on December 28 2013 , following it up with a composed display at Stoke, it just didnÂt work out.
I get the feeling we might see one or two other squad players moved on if unexpected offers arrive.
Lets hope itÂs a summer that sees more faces come in than leave though..
12 Posted 23/05/2015 at 08:47:10
There definetly should be a post mortem and major inquest amongst the players over what on earth went wrong and there should be some massive soul-searching too, they should really be asking themselves why they only ever start playing when the pressure is off.
New signings are needed and lots of them.
13 Posted 23/05/2015 at 08:59:09
14 Posted 23/05/2015 at 09:10:01
Just prepared to accept never once being in a position to challenge for the top 6 or 7 all season.
Tim Howard is at the end of his career, he knows now probably his best years both personally and as a group finishing high up the table or winning something have all but gone now, thatÂs possibly why heÂs hardly arsed anymore.
15 Posted 23/05/2015 at 09:38:25
Apparently, the Thursday/Sunday schedule in Europa weeks took its toll but is seen as Âa learning experience from which we can only benefit.Â Really ?
Whilst I imagine that the drop of half a dozen places will cost upwards of ٤Million in Premier placemoney , increased attendances and Europa money should see the club again Âbe on budget Âalthough not able to spend a great deal in transfers.
As we reach the last game, I shall be far away and intend to remain so. ÂThank GodÂ, I hear you say as my views on the manager again becomes a minority one. But, as Tim says, next season gives us a new start, and who knows, I might have been wrong after all !
16 Posted 23/05/2015 at 09:28:41
It would also be nice if Barkley could get one or two of his rocket shots on target and Osman dazzles their big lumbering defenders with his quick feet. Roll on.
17 Posted 23/05/2015 at 10:04:03
Martinez is already saying he hasnÂt given up on Kone and is only looking for "temporary" striking options in the summer..
I think that pretty much says it all about the ambitions and goals for next season.
Strikes me that next season, the sole targets will be to finish top 10 and hear my pet hate phrase dragged out of having "a good cup run".
18 Posted 23/05/2015 at 10:27:43
19 Posted 23/05/2015 at 13:10:31
ÂThis season has been a pure accident and weÂve done well to get 10th, so thereÂs nothing really to discuss. LetÂs move on.Â
Nothing will be learnt from this season. WeÂll still be playing Howard and Barry week-in & week-out, corners will be a complete waste of time as usual, and weÂll still have no idea how to beat teams coming for a draw.
Essentially next season weÂll probably be around 7th-10th. The top 6 will all strengthen and so will Southampton. WeÂre going nowhere.
20 Posted 23/05/2015 at 14:39:18
21 Posted 23/05/2015 at 16:44:12
As is traditional for the last home game of the season, the players will parade round after the match, but this time I will be leaving the minute the ref blows the final whistle. Maybe if they reappear to an empty stadium with their kids in tow, it will be a more powerful demonstration than any booing could achieve.
22 Posted 23/05/2015 at 18:25:17
We now play a meaningless match to finish a season where we are 10th with nothing to play for. Spurs also have nothing to play for, but at least they can look back at the excitement of reaching a cup final and playing some really exciting stuff at times, and having a top centre forward that cost nothing.
Probably a draw, but who cares? Thanks for nothing Roberto.
23 Posted 23/05/2015 at 18:33:09
Jagielka, Stones, Distin
Coleman McCarthy Barry Galloway (Garbutt unless he is leaving)
24 Posted 23/05/2015 at 19:36:46
One crap of a season to be well forgotten .
25 Posted 23/05/2015 at 20:41:44
26 Posted 23/05/2015 at 21:02:31
Sure they snatched a win at the death last week, beat Man Ut, and snatched a point at Anfield... but these ÂÂhighlightsÂÂ have been few and far between this season.
The team lacks a midfield general and, as far as I can see, there is nobody at the club who comes close to filling that role.
We had hoped Barklay would have improved enough to have become just that but he has been a big disappointment.
Macca is consistent but doesnÂt seem to have leadership qualities.
The final game has nothing to offer except pride although Spurs may have a lot to gain and may make it an interesting match but I suspect, like many games I have seen in the Premier League this season, there will be the usual boring possession tactics by both sides, leaving both keepers with very little to do.
I do hope I am wrong as anything less than a bright performance by the Blues will further enhance the bad taste of a poor season, especially at Goodison Park.
27 Posted 23/05/2015 at 21:14:16
28 Posted 23/05/2015 at 21:20:47
29 Posted 23/05/2015 at 21:30:13
30 Posted 23/05/2015 at 21:27:05
31 Posted 23/05/2015 at 21:55:59
Baines had an op last week and is on crutches.
32 Posted 23/05/2015 at 22:07:58
33 Posted 24/05/2015 at 01:15:25
The song Raglan Road. Purchased, on-line, a version by Van Morrison (my wifeÂs favorite) and the Chieftains. Never heard of it. Just another tune of VanÂs to have. Discovered thereÂs many renditions of that tune.
WhatÂs the tradition attached?
34 Posted 24/05/2015 at 02:02:34
LetÂs finish on a win. COYB
35 Posted 24/05/2015 at 07:04:05
My last team wish:
Coleman Jagielka Stones Garbutt
McGeady Osman Mirallas
Subs: Robles, Distin, Galloway, Besic, Barkley, Kone, Long.
36 Posted 24/05/2015 at 07:51:27
LetÂs face it, if Hull stay up today, I think that they will do a lap of honour, and their fans will love it. Likewise, so will the Magpies despite their awful season.
If we beat Spurs, I can see 99% of fans staying to take part, but lose, and the feelings of inner dissatisfaction, and resentment will come back to the surface, and there may be a few more empty seats.
37 Posted 24/05/2015 at 11:26:47
Kavanagh was a remarkable man. He had only a basic formal education but is an example of being born with genius. "Pegasus"and "The great hunger" are good examples of his work.
Off topic, I expect a good result today, from us and Stoke.
38 Posted 24/05/2015 at 12:00:26
39 Posted 24/05/2015 at 12:28:52
41 Posted 24/05/2015 at 10:26:18
43 Posted 24/05/2015 at 13:18:13
For a potential number 10, I havenÂt seen Lewis HoltbyÂs name on here for a while
44 Posted 24/05/2015 at 13:31:53
45 Posted 24/05/2015 at 13:44:44
46 Posted 24/05/2015 at 13:35:35
I doubt weÂll see him in the stands any time soon. If weÂre giving anyone 10 minutes at the end of the game; IÂd rather see one of the younger lads like Ledson or Browning et al.
50 Posted 24/05/2015 at 14:10:57
I know Pardew has gone but IÂd love to ram his words down his throat!!!
53 Posted 24/05/2015 at 14:18:26
54 Posted 24/05/2015 at 14:40:14
55 Posted 24/05/2015 at 14:38:02
Good thread. Your obviously a bright eyed optimist rather than a disillusioned cynic.
What weÂll probably get is what the board think they can reasonably get away with having successfully, over a period of time, dumbed down expectations.
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