Phil Jagielka is set to make his first Premier League appearance since the opening day in place of the suspended Kurt Zouma
Everton resume their Premier League programme following a 17-day hiatus with a trip to Cardiff City that has assumed heightened importance for manager Marco Silva.
It was hoped that when the Portuguese was appointed, such trips to relegation-haunted sides would be viewed as routine victories but, on a run of form worthy of the bottom three themselves, the Blues travel to South Wales needing a result to ease the pressure on the shoulders of all concerned.
Silva received assurances over his position from majority shareholder, Farhad Moshiri, earlier this month and again in face-to-face talks more recently but, as Claude Puel's dismissal this week by Leicester City demonstrated, there is only so long a poor sequence of form can continue before the manager's future comes under serious scrutiny from the hierarchy.
“I met [him] but it is not the first time, will not be the last one,” Silva said his meeting with Moshiri. “It is something you do often, not just because we had the break. Fortunately for us we can meet. It is something you can do easy, something every time we have the time to, we do. Not just with our owner, with our chairman too.
“Yes, good talks of course. I am the first one to understand about the results, but we are talking about the present, the future also, and he passed to me and for our players also the confidence he has in our work and the players we have, and also like me he believes he can achieve the results in the next games.
“All the managers they have to show results and show why the club signed with him. To show the project, to show the idea, but in the end the main thing will be the results. I don't have any doubt about that.”
Everton have won just three times in the League since they last met Cardiff in late November and a Gylfi Sigurdsson gave the Blues a slender victory at Goodison Park. Two of those subsequent victories have come away from home, however, and the hope is that Silva and his players have been able to use the break enforced by the absence of cup football to rethink, recharge and reset.
How the Portuguese will set his side up will be keenly observed. The deployment of a four-man central midfield appeared to provide more stability in that area of the park against Manchester City but when Sigurdsson was included playing more on the left side of midfield at Watford last time out, the Icelander's effectiveness was greatly diminished so it remains to be seen whether Silva will try him there again.
And if he is to be restored his preferred central role behind the striker, then provisions must be made for a closer link between him and the selected striker, presumably Cenk Tosun but it could just as well be Dominic Calvert-Lewin. In that instance, it would just leave the issue of who among Bernard, Theo Walcott and Ademola Lookman is handed the wide role on the opposite flank to Richarlison. The diminutive Brazilian has arguably been the most consistent of the three but he was overlooked for a starting berth against Watford while Walcott started against City.
In defence, Kurt Zouma's one-game ban means that a change will be enforced there and with Yerry Mina still rated doubtful with a foot injury, it will almost certainly mean a first Premier League appearance for Phil Jagielka since his he was sent off in the first game of the season against Wolves. Leighton Baines is fit again after recovering from a rib injury but Lucas Digne will almost certainly start and it's highly possible that Jonjoe Kenny will be allowed to continue at right back at the expense of Seamus Coleman.
Meanwhile, the Bluebirds, who had won two on the bounce before being trounced at home 5-1 by Watford on Saturday, won't be able to field Oumar Niasse against his parent club which should see Kenneth Zohore make his first start since September.
While the “R” word seemed an almost unthinkable prospect just a few weeks ago — in truth, it would take a spectacular collapse in form for it to realistically enter the equation for Everton this season — wins over the weekend for Crystal Palace, Burnley and Newcastle have compressed the gap between the Blues and the clutch of clubs sitting above the bottom three. The Blues come into this round of midweek fixtures in 11th place but are just three points above the Eagles and the Clarets, five ahead of the Magpies and only eight above Cardiff themselves who are in 17th.
A win would lift Silva's men to 36 points and effectively banish relegation completely as a concern but it would also ease the pressure on Silva's shoulders and provide the team some momentum heading into Sunday's Merseyside derby.
Win both of these next two games and the picture will start to look a lot healthier for the manager. Lose them and the tenor of the conversation will be very different.
Kick-off: 7:45pm, Tuesday 26 February, 2018
Referee: Kevin Friend
Last Time: Cardiff City 0 - 0 Everton (August 2013)
Predicted Line-up: Pickford, Kenny, Jagielka, Keane, Digne, Gueye, Gomes, Davies, Sigurdsson, Richarlison, Tosun
Reader Comments (128)
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1 Posted 26/02/2019 at 07:21:45
Richarlison, its easy.
2 Posted 26/02/2019 at 07:34:39
Everton cant deal with either.
With the way silva sets us up each week the opposition manager needs to watch 10 mins on a rerun and bingo thats how you beat Everton.
3 Posted 26/02/2019 at 07:47:05
4 Posted 26/02/2019 at 07:53:44
Not confident at all about this, bizarrely even less so after Cardiff got steamrollered on Friday night because we just know Warnock will have been working on not allowing us any space.
We desperately need to mix up the attack tonight and try something different that Cardiff wont be anticipating.
For me Id be giving Theo Walcott the role of striker and keeping the ball on the ground playing low balls in behind their defenders as thats what destroyed them on Friday night with Deulofeu taking maximum advantage.
Whats the point in sticking with Tosun or DCL and just throwing long balls up to them against Sol Bamba whose middle name is uncompromising.
The lone striking option of Tosun or DCL has been cringeworthy for too long, neither player can play the role well because they dont possess the attributes or football brain to make forward runs and stretch defences.
Walcott has had a nightmare out wide this season so give the guy a change of scenery where the pressure and expectation isnt on him having to beat the fullback.
After all he notched 20 goals in his last season at Arsenal so its got to be worthy of a trial, its hardly like we are having great success with anyone else.
Its a huge game for this club tonight, under the circumstances the way the league table below us is closing the gap, its virtually must win.
5 Posted 26/02/2019 at 07:53:52
6 Posted 26/02/2019 at 08:00:02
7 Posted 26/02/2019 at 08:02:26
Just go out there and attack Cardiff. We need to score a few because we are susceptible to conceding. Just play football and enjoy it. FFS, surely these players can't enjoy the tag of losers regardless of how much they're paid.
C'mon, fuckin' get on with it, Everton!!
8 Posted 26/02/2019 at 08:03:08
I just hope he plays our more forward-thinking players and if Walcott does play then I would drop Gomes.
9 Posted 26/02/2019 at 08:13:53
I am praying that after a 17-day intensive "course", the penny may have finally dropped and we may well witness an astonishing re-birth of Everton as a footballing force this evening.
If that doesn't happen, then I think the experiment must be deemed a total failure and we need to get in a coach with a different "Philosophy" PDQ.
10 Posted 26/02/2019 at 08:26:21
He does his best work running forward, and has no aptitude whatsoever for defending, so if he was playing central, with instructions to just be direct and attack, we might just get something out of him.
Same thing could be said for Lookman, who has got all the skill in the world, but just seems to lack a bit of desire for whatever reason.
I think desire has got to be the main thing tonight. Desire to keep a clean sheet, and a desire to go and play football and win a football match. I hope so anyway.
11 Posted 26/02/2019 at 08:26:26
I reckon he'll go with Richarlison again up top though. Silva is as thick headed as Martinez was and I can't see him trying anything out of the ordinary. He'll go safe with wingbacks until we go 1-0 down.
12 Posted 26/02/2019 at 08:38:23
Richarlison has had most success out of all playing up front but I don't think his temperament suits games against big bustling centre backs like Bamba and he's on the deck too much for my liking.
Silva should lay down the gauntlet to Walcott and say to him as the most experienced player that he can hurt teams through the middle as he did at Arsenal when given the chance.
We have scored a meek five league goals all year so far and we are almost in March so we need changes, playing with Tosun or Calvert-Lewin as lone striker is like starting with ten men.
Time for Silva to show us he has flexibility.
13 Posted 26/02/2019 at 08:52:58
I think we were taken in with his attacking performances from set pieces during the World Cup. Did any of us actually see him in defence? Jagielka at least put his body on the line for the club.
14 Posted 26/02/2019 at 08:57:02
The bloke misses more one-on-ones than anyone I've ever seen.
His pace seems to get him one glaring opportunity per game. An opportunity he invariably fluffs.
I'll be really annoyed if he starts.
15 Posted 26/02/2019 at 09:17:34
Despite this he had a really solid goalscoring record for Arsenal and once hit a hat trick for England away to Croatia.
Tosun and Calvert-Lewin have frittered away more chances than Walcott this season and the Watford game was that duo in a nutshell, guilt edged sitters and barely any movement other than that.
If we had a centre-forward worth their salt, we wouldn't be talking about Walcott up front... but sadly we don't.
16 Posted 26/02/2019 at 09:20:47
Lyndon, you mentioned in your preview about Puel, which I was sort of shocked over his sacking as it wasn't long ago that Leicester City beat Man City (admittedly, Man City were below par) a feat that would be near impossible for us to emulate.
While watching SSN after Puel's dismissal, I think it was Jamie Redknap by way of explanation, was saying that he was very quiet as a Manager, apparently inanimated on the sidelines, seldom giving vocal support or apparent encouragement to his players.
Does that remind you of anyone? While I don't expect a Manager to run around like a demented Orang-Utan that has just escaped from a secret Government Research Laboratory, and even run onto the pitch while a game is in progress. I would expect a bit more from Silva, than just appear to act Mr Cool while a shambolic display is unfolding before his very eyes.
It shows how low we have travelled of late, when an away game against a recently promoted Cardiff has us viewing it as a vitally important game, then following that with a game of World Cup Final importance. (I can't remember exactly where I heard that expression.... Oh, Yes! — it was that escaped primate!)
17 Posted 26/02/2019 at 09:29:15
If Marco Silva doesn't have the ability to send out a team to beat Cardiff, then I'm afraid all is lost. Watford battered Cardiff in Wales last week; we must surely get a similar result?
A loss tonight and Silva is toast. I can't bare the thought of Sunday at home to Liverpool with Marco Silva standing there in his undertaker's coat staring gormlessly in to space as his zonal marking disintegrates.
Only at Everton.
18 Posted 26/02/2019 at 09:36:17
After wingey posts from me elsewhere recently, I cannot help but be excited again.
Heart obviously rules my mind... and long may it continue!
19 Posted 26/02/2019 at 09:49:05
If Sigurdsson plays in the No 10 role, he can't be flanked by 2 wingers, it leaves the midfield 2 too exposed. Then, if the full backs venture forward into the space left unoccupied by the lack of midfield, it leaves the defence exposed.
I think that's the big difference from the start of the season. The first few matches, Richarlison was flying up and down the wing, offering as much defensively as he did going forward; this helped counter the lack of numbers in midfield. Since he went up front, he doesn't work as hard defensively now, thus leaving us with a 2-man midfield that is easily overrun.
If we persist with Sigurdsson in a No 10 role, we need at least 1 wide player to play more as a wide midfielder than a winger.
If not – Gueye, Gomes and Davies in the middle, Richarlison and either Bernard or a Lookman flanking a striker.
20 Posted 26/02/2019 at 09:52:46
Let's hope the squad return in a way that creates a positive result, and have not spent 17 days thinking “What is he on about?” Looking forward to an after-match interview cascading with “good moments”.
21 Posted 26/02/2019 at 09:55:42
For me, we should just go 4-4-2:
Gueye & Gomes in the middle;
Lookman & Bernard out wide;
Richarlison Calvert-Lewin up front...
Play direct, run hard!
22 Posted 26/02/2019 at 09:56:12
If we played your 11, we wouldn't be where we are. I can't see Silva changing the team that much.
With the suspension of Zouma, Jagielka should get the nod, but don't hold your breath!
23 Posted 26/02/2019 at 10:13:09
We have also lacked a main striker and that has hurt this team badly, for a club to have spent £250 million on players and for our choices for most of the season to be Niasse now at Cardiff and Tosun and Calvert-Lewin is nothing short of disgraceful. For Brands and Silva to not have rectified the striker problem is a glaring omission by both men.
Having said all of that surely we have enough talent to beat Cardiff, we have had 17 days to rest and reset the team. So there can be no excuses tonight, other than Zouma being suspended and Mina a doubt, we have a full squad to pick from.
Hand on heart I wouldn't know which forward players to play alongside Richarlison, as the lack of goals from Bernard, Walcott, Tosun, Calvert-Lewin and Lookman is a major concern. Add to the fact that our midfield players don't score a lot of goals highlights our problems.
24 Posted 26/02/2019 at 10:17:18
25 Posted 26/02/2019 at 10:22:58
The break will have allowed Marco Silva to watch the way Man Utd's defenders easily coped with the many Liverpool set pieces and corners on Sunday. [Liverpool have scored the most from them].
They had Liverpool's threat marked by the right men. Smalling didn't let Van-Dick get away from him, he tagged his shirt until the ball was in flight so he could track his movement. It was minimal tugging but it gave Smalling a reference to where is man was. The ref wasn't bothered about it. Marco and Everton's defenders I hope have been watching and have wised up on how to defend properly, ie Don't let their main threat get free headers in. Challenge them to within an inch of the law.
The sunshine will re-ignite our Latin lovelies: Richiebabes, Gomes, Bernard — I am expecting a decisive display from our blue-boys tonight.
Cardiff 1 Everton 3
26 Posted 26/02/2019 at 10:41:39
As long as we play to his strength and don't start punting balls expecting him to win headers!
If we play it low ball to use his pace it will cause Cardiff more problems than Calvert-Lewin or Tosun will.
Have we got the brains/skill/composure to play to his strengths under pressure?
Playing this way our midfielders have to pass very accurately, getting low passes forward cut out and leaving us exposed cannot happen, we could suffer badly. Intelligent accurate passing from us is essential .
Marco must use pace against Cardiff, Walcott through the centre is the best option, look at the way Deulefeu left them for dead. I would expect Marco to be all over it and try Walcott as centre-forward.
27 Posted 26/02/2019 at 10:48:02
Whatever happens, I think we'll win this one tonight. Hopefully it won't be another fortunate 1-0 with them hitting the post 3 times and Jags getting away with a blatant penalty!
28 Posted 26/02/2019 at 10:56:18
My thoughts exactly!
One thing we can't blame tonight or Sunday in the derby is tiredness.
We have practically had a mini mid-season preseason over the last three weeks so what can possibly go wrong tonight?
We ought to be as fresh as a daisy.
29 Posted 26/02/2019 at 11:27:25
Not worth it, though, unless we can pass on the floor, down the sides of the centre-halves.
30 Posted 26/02/2019 at 11:30:20
As for 4-2-3-1? I've been saying for ever that it doesn't work unless you have 2 outstanding wing-backs, so for me it's 4-5-1 when we haven't got the ball and 4-3-3 when we have.
But back to the "Should we sack Silva?" I would say definitely not. Well worth a watch is an interview with Derek Mountfield on Toffee TV, and he talked about the Kendall Out brigade (and I'll hold my hands up and say #me2) and how it turned around in 18 months, and that all teams need time to gel.
I'm not saying history repeats itself, and I get pissed off seeing the same defensive error, again and again. But this is a new team both on and off the field. On it Gana is the senior player, next comes Davies & Kenny and all the rest came in last season or this one – McCarthy excepted.
So getting a new manager, the whole process starts again; and for people pointing to the ever revolving managerial door of Chelsea, and even Leicester, both teams have a settled nucleus of players that have been there for 4-5 seasons.
Let's hope that the break has revitalised the players; if we play even 70% to our strengths, we should win with something to spare-but this is Everton we're talking about!
My team (not a hope in hell of it being picked):
31 Posted 26/02/2019 at 11:34:38
Cardiff will be on the rebound and with Everton's dismal run of form they could easily extend that run.
However, Everton could benefit from the rare appearance of the experienced Jagielka at the back and help shut down the Cardiff offence which isn't much. Free-kicks, however, are a different matter and most teams that don't score much rely on the occasional dead-ball situation.
As I have always said, Everton need to come out with intensity and belief from the opening whistle but, if they are lethargic as they have been, then it will be another boring struggle to get one point – let alone three.
32 Posted 26/02/2019 at 11:35:26
If we fail to win tonight will he finally get fired?
33 Posted 26/02/2019 at 11:46:24
How is he any different to Richarlison up front?
34 Posted 26/02/2019 at 11:47:40
Now Jags doesn't match the (alleged) Silva template for centre backs. He isn't 1.90 m tall, or weighing in at 100+ kg. He is undoubtedly in the twilight of his career – possibly his final year as a player at Everton. His prowess may have faded a tad, but he has been unfairly denigrated by some in recent years and is far from being a total liability or invalid.
Some point to his laughing and joking in the tunnel before the game as some serious flaw as if that defines everything about him.
I recall in Martinez's 2nd season in 2014-15 when the wheels first started coming off under his reign, Jags was very dodgy early season and was dropped.
As Everton's season continued to flounder, Jags was restored to the side and he was our lion heart. He led by example, cajoling his team and gave everything of himself.
By season's end – in a very mediocre season – this was recognized by fans and teammates alike who elected him the fans' and the players' Player of the Year.
If he plays tonight, as club skipper, with all his experience, I hope he can galvanize the team as he did 4 years ago.
Silva and the team have put themselves under pressure and scrutiny in recent months for not addressing the slide. After a very fortuitous 17-day break between games, against the opposition they face tonight, there are no more excuses to be had.
If he plays, I expect Jags to lead by example and be influential in ensuring the team gets the victory we need.
35 Posted 26/02/2019 at 11:49:37
I hope that over the 17 days Silva has worked on the creative forward play, and to at least create and shoot instead of a lot of passing malarkey.
Get 3 points in the bag, a bit of confidence and a decent run of results, would be good.
36 Posted 26/02/2019 at 11:49:38
I'm a bit fed up these days of player power and, although it didn't include us, the Kepa moment on Sunday was a disgraceful lack of respect for his manager but displayed all that is wrong with the modern day footballer.
So we sack Silva, fair enough – he's hardly faultless we know that but what next?
Another manager given six months when the players don't want to play for him either?
Watching the Toffee TV interview with Derek Mountfield makes you realise that once upon a time players cared more for the club than their pay packets.
38 Posted 26/02/2019 at 12:14:56
40 Posted 26/02/2019 at 12:42:25
We need to be quick out of the blocks with plenty of pace up top.
41 Posted 26/02/2019 at 12:43:15
We desperately need to mix up the attack tonight and try something different that Cardiff won't be anticipating.
How about Bernard at the No 10?
Please God, just once??
Kenny Keane Jagielka Digne
Lookman Davies Gomes Richarlison
Sigurdsson off the bench if it's an experiment in futility. Tosun off the bench if needed. Anyone else off the bench – I can't think that deep.
42 Posted 26/02/2019 at 12:43:50
I expect Cardiff will look to play deep and counter with Hoilett and Zahore. In the last few months, we have done better in matches when we have had less possession and struggled against teams who let us have the ball. I expect those struggles to continue tonight.
I think I'd opt for Tosun who looks most likely to bury what few chances come our striker's way:
Kenny Jagielka Keane Digne
Sigurdsson Davies Gueye
Lookman Tosun Richarlison
43 Posted 26/02/2019 at 12:49:53
I quite like the idea of Bernard at the No 10 role.
As we have said before, it's time for the manager to show us he's flexible and mix things up, it's clear as day that, for nearly three months now, things aren't working.
44 Posted 26/02/2019 at 12:50:40
45 Posted 26/02/2019 at 12:52:09
46 Posted 26/02/2019 at 13:01:12
Surely even Silva has to finally realise his non-tactics do not fit with the squad he has and he has to do something to fit the players?
Not holding my breath and hoping for a draw.
47 Posted 26/02/2019 at 13:01:14
48 Posted 26/02/2019 at 13:03:18
It is just as possible we can go down, as it is possible we will survive. People are speaking in absolutes when they cannot know for certain. If some can, I wouldn't mind knowing the winning lottery numbers for the weekend!
49 Posted 26/02/2019 at 13:03:40
50 Posted 26/02/2019 at 13:10:57
Let's not forget, we had an extended break because we couldn't beat a team in the relegation places in the league below us. Regardless of the legality of one of their goals, we were gutless and rolled over for them.
Time for Silva to prove he's not a fraud and show what he can do.
51 Posted 26/02/2019 at 13:31:25
If a record like that doesn't get this team psyched up to start putting things right, then we might well just give up.
52 Posted 26/02/2019 at 13:31:45
I agree that Bernard is worth a punt in the No 10 role, but not with Calvert-Lewin as striker. His positional play is awful, never makes the right runs and doesn't seem to have a football brain. Basically, he is just tall and fast.
53 Posted 26/02/2019 at 13:35:26
"I was very worried indeed, but everything is going to be okay, and we will not and cannot be relegated. Jay Wood has told me so. I feel better already!"
Don't be a pratt, Martin. I did no such thing.
I offered you a reasoned analysis on another thread to calm your fears. If, having read that, you continue to play the hysterical paranoid with regard to the 'R' word, that's your choice.
As for your second post: 'It is just as possible we can go down, as it is possible we will survive.'
It is NOT 'just as possible' for either scenario. There are multiple reasons (as I already highlighted to you) why the odds are stacked in favour of survival, rather than relegation.
You are fully entitled to your opinion, Martin. You cluck and flap your wings in full panic mode as much as you like. But don't falsely attribute to me attitudes and words I have not expressed, or snidely denigrate me as you attempt here.
54 Posted 26/02/2019 at 13:46:22
Pretty sure Cardiff will be putting plenty of high balls into the area and the defenders need to defend, not rely on the linesman's flag as they can't get them decisions right all the time.
Easier to deal with it ourselves and really go for it against Cardiff. All had a nice rest, the sun is shining and I hope the Brazilians are ready to party.
55 Posted 26/02/2019 at 14:03:03
Bamba will be a big physical threat and, if we start with our head in the sand again, we can be sure to concede from a dead-ball situation.
56 Posted 26/02/2019 at 14:21:24
Pat, I'd love to qualify for the Champions League or win either of those cups, but we have had seven managers in charge of Everton since we last reached the really dizzy heights.
"You're fuckin Shit, you're fuckin shite," are the last words anyone wants to hear when they are having a bad time — especially if it's coming from their own supporters, but I suppose it's better than those sly little digs that really don't need to be spoken?
57 Posted 26/02/2019 at 14:21:57
I'd give him a go, heck, nothing else has worked this season, so we might as well try something different.
59 Posted 26/02/2019 at 14:49:58
It's obvious we cannot keep relying on older pros like him but needs must right now! Lose tonight and we are getting sucked into that relegation dogfight – make no mistake about it! Trouble is, we don't have the manager or players for it...
60 Posted 26/02/2019 at 15:03:34
Loved the last paragraph, going to try it out in true Norman Collier style: Baaaawckk, Baaaaaawcckk
61 Posted 26/02/2019 at 15:03:45
With that in mind, I wouldn't play Bernard who is too easily knocked off the ball and would play Davies in a 3-man midfield with Gomes and Gueye.
Up front, I would go with Calvert-Lewin to win the headers and hold up play, flanked by Richarlison and Lookman.
The back 4 picks itself although its a toss-up whether Jagielka's lack of fitness will give Feeney a chance or whether experience and leadership at the back is preferable.
This will be a true test of Silva and the players.
62 Posted 26/02/2019 at 15:07:10
I guarantee Warnock will have the Cardiff forwards going into those areas and trying to win free-kicks. I hope we will not give needless fouls away like we did in abundance against Milwall and others.
63 Posted 26/02/2019 at 15:10:06
64 Posted 26/02/2019 at 15:12:19
Inasmuch as I am near desperate to see Bernard in the 10, your line-up with "clogging" midfield is, in my opinion, an intelligent one.
Clive @ 52 -
I'd prefer DCL up top if Bernard were to play the 10, as I think his speed, coupled with Bernard's vision and ability to thread balls through (I think he would be excellent at that, mind you we've not seen him play the position) would be a potent attacking threat.
Either way, Jay's approach, mine, Clive's? It means nothing.
Three points today. Alarm bells will be going off like your Big Ben tower over there if we lose. Nothing matters except three points today.
I don't want to stare into the abyss. Lose today, we might just be doing that come next week.
65 Posted 26/02/2019 at 15:16:43
Step forward, Sambou and/or Hornby. Give them a go — let's see how they handle it... can't be any worse (can they?).
66 Posted 26/02/2019 at 15:17:46
If this turns into a scrappy street-fight type of match, there will only be one winner and our lack of goal scoring of late points to exactly that. Let's hope the 17-day rest has involved lots of shooting practice.
67 Posted 26/02/2019 at 15:23:03
68 Posted 26/02/2019 at 15:39:05
Is his ‘Hail-Mary a win against the sh!te? I wonder, would people give him a pass if he won the Derby and scraped a draw here or there for the rest of the season?
69 Posted 26/02/2019 at 15:47:25
Jamie and others, Bernard in the #10 is highly unlikely given that he's never actually played it before -- just a few minutes at a time at Shakhtar. But I would definitely like to see him and Lookman on the wings today.
Alan #13, how do you know it's a "niggling little injury"? Why would you call him a "pussy" when you haven't got the slightest fucking idea what's going on? You weren't around here last season, but I'll bet that in conversation you were insulting of Keane's lumbering pace, again without knowing what was going on. Leave it by the side of the road.
70 Posted 26/02/2019 at 15:51:30
Read the small print. The devil is in the detail.
I have offered a rational opinion as to why I don't believe we will be relegated this season. It is an opinion I stand by.
I have never claimed we cannot be relegated this season because mathematically it is possible. Highly unlikely, given the many, many factors for that to happen, but not impossible.
What's your money on, James?
71 Posted 26/02/2019 at 16:00:57
72 Posted 26/02/2019 at 16:33:39
Anyway, I've renewed my season ticket, so I'm confident next season will be better under a new manager. Let's just get a win tonight and start building towards August.
73 Posted 26/02/2019 at 16:49:31
74 Posted 26/02/2019 at 16:49:41
Quite a bit of angst on hear that reflects our frustration. Im a fan of what Jay and Mike post - not just here but on other posts
I dont think there is even a remote chance of going down - 4 points from next 2 games, frustrate the RS and things will feel a little better
Whilst I might get mocked for my next statement I forecast we will get more than 48 points - I dont tend to gamble but if I could work out how to get the odds and bet - I would !
The season is now about working out and building how next season will be better
Happy hunting tonight
75 Posted 26/02/2019 at 16:56:12
You mentioned Jags who we assume will be back in defence, and yes he does show passion, a virtue that seems to elusive with most of the others in the squad. There again how can we expect passion from a Manager who shows none himself.
I mentioned in my earlier post, regarding the sacking of Puel, which was not only based on recent results, but his tactics, and his similar statuesque poses on the sidelines to Silva.
I do obviously hope for a win tonight but can't in all sincerity say that I am confident of us achieving one, even after seeing the demolition by Watford on Friday last.
As a fellow poster mentioned before, Warnock is an old warrior and knows how to exploit a team with weaknesses, and you can bet they will target our Achilles Heel in set pieces, corners and Zonal marking. He can also motivate his players, okay it didn't work against Watford, but they were imperious on the night with our 'old Delboy' having his best game for them.
76 Posted 26/02/2019 at 16:57:47
Most of the chaps I spoke to didnt realise Barcelona are not in the Premier League and a couple said Messi was Manures best player
However as with everywhere in the world I spotted an Everton top yesterday on s little local kid on Valley Church Beach...
2 0 to us tonight
77 Posted 26/02/2019 at 17:00:44
Echo quote Silva as saying this is a "must win." If he did actually say that, then he is a fool. While I might agree with the sentiment, he doesn't need to invite any more pressure on himself.
78 Posted 26/02/2019 at 17:01:06
As far as tonight's game is concerned we are definitely no certs to win this game, there's no easy away games.
The stadium will be a cauldron, they will be right up for this game and anything can happen.
Wales beating England at union also in Cardiff will further wind the Taffy's up they will be baying for our blood.
I've got everything crossed for a win, but I fear it could be a draw or a loss.
79 Posted 26/02/2019 at 17:03:29
80 Posted 26/02/2019 at 17:07:06
*no guarantees are provided with this prediction
81 Posted 26/02/2019 at 17:08:10
We need guys who will graft tonight and show some desire and it shows how poor we are that we all struggle to name a team to satisfy that criteria.
Jags is worth a place and I agree with others that he at least will show desire and guts which may just transmit to the rest of the team.
I have no faith in Walcott but no other option screams out at me so try him and see.
We badly need a win to get us up for Sunday.
82 Posted 26/02/2019 at 17:10:27
Anthony #76, that's amazing. Can't imagine how that shirt reached that kid, but I'm delighted. My long-ago memory of Antigua is that they're into cricket but not much else.
Raymond #78, so the odds are actually better of us making the Champions League than being relegated. I find that "oddly" comforting.
84 Posted 26/02/2019 at 17:14:35
85 Posted 26/02/2019 at 17:19:46
Let me lead!
86 Posted 26/02/2019 at 17:20:33
87 Posted 26/02/2019 at 17:23:00
88 Posted 26/02/2019 at 17:37:04
89 Posted 26/02/2019 at 17:43:49
90 Posted 26/02/2019 at 17:48:16
91 Posted 26/02/2019 at 17:49:52
92 Posted 26/02/2019 at 17:53:06
93 Posted 26/02/2019 at 17:54:59
As far as I know, we didn't sign any new players during the mini holiday the players have just enjoyed, so why would we expect any difference in effort, desire, or result?
I really hope I'm wrong, but I can't see where our next points are coming from. No, I don't think we'll be relegated, but what does that say about the status of our great club?
94 Posted 26/02/2019 at 18:01:14
Kenny, Jagielka, Keane, Digne
Gueye, Gomes, Davies, Sigurdsson
Cardiff 0 - Everton 2 (Richarlison, Hornby)
95 Posted 26/02/2019 at 18:06:53
Kenny, Keane, Jags, Digne,
Gana, Siggy, Gomes,
But it doesn't matter what formation if they don't form partnerships on the pitch and play as a team. If we score first I think we will win otherwise it won't be pretty and a relegation run in will be on the cards.
96 Posted 26/02/2019 at 18:08:19
I think we can safely draw a correlation between the number of puns on the live forum, and the inverse of how well our season is going.
More puns, shittier season. Less puns, good season as no one has the time or inclination to bother with them when riveted to the screen.
I'm bet TIN on a win today, with BARIUM any puns on the live forum!
97 Posted 26/02/2019 at 18:09:07
Cheers, It's an Evertonian affliction .
The Olympic flame of optimism that we all have gets extinguished every week but there's always an ember left that gets the fire going again the next time the lads trot out.
Come on you BLUE BOYS!, give us a couple of wins this coming week and the world will be a different place.
98 Posted 26/02/2019 at 18:10:35
99 Posted 26/02/2019 at 18:16:50
100 Posted 26/02/2019 at 18:23:51
Eddie, I like your method of getting up for the game.
101 Posted 26/02/2019 at 18:24:30
Another thumping away win like the one at Turf Moor.
Nothing like supreme optimism is there !!
Now back to reality.
Any kind of win is welcomed at this point. No need to remind ourselves of what's gone on the last few months. I am sure Silva has been well and truly appraised of his situation and that a decent end to the season will be expected after the long break.
102 Posted 26/02/2019 at 18:24:57
Did you use the word "spirited" as a pun, Mr. Gin & Tonic?
103 Posted 26/02/2019 at 18:26:18
My puns are gold.
104 Posted 26/02/2019 at 18:30:08
105 Posted 26/02/2019 at 18:31:27
To be replaced by run-of-the-mill big Bohrium players like Tosun.
We need players who can Cesium the moment.
106 Posted 26/02/2019 at 18:34:24
107 Posted 26/02/2019 at 18:36:54
109 Posted 26/02/2019 at 18:38:19
Lump on, or apply caution ? . . or wait until the magic sign (PT) comes on and gives his verdict
110 Posted 26/02/2019 at 18:42:29
111 Posted 26/02/2019 at 18:44:12
112 Posted 26/02/2019 at 18:48:09
All this stuff about raring to go? Why should we be raring to go? Does time off motivate players? I don't see any logic to that notion myself.
Cardiff are way more motivated than we are and this will be a hard slog, not to mention a real shit-show for us defensively unless something dramatic has happened to our players & manager in the last 2 weeks. Cardiff will lump the ball into our box and make it a physical encounter - just the way we like it (!!!!)
113 Posted 26/02/2019 at 18:48:27
114 Posted 26/02/2019 at 18:50:30
Will we see Jagielka and Baines (and possibly Coleman) restores to the side providing the drive and leadership we need? Will the 17-day break have provided some time for reflection to Marco Silva as well as the break needed to restore some confidence and an opportunity for his team to reassess how are players are used and how theyre told to play?
I guess well know the answer in a couple of hours.
115 Posted 26/02/2019 at 18:51:02
116 Posted 26/02/2019 at 18:53:53
117 Posted 26/02/2019 at 18:54:04
118 Posted 26/02/2019 at 18:54:31
Now that's something I didn't see coming. Schneiderlin??
119 Posted 26/02/2019 at 18:56:48
120 Posted 26/02/2019 at 18:57:39
121 Posted 26/02/2019 at 18:59:42
122 Posted 26/02/2019 at 19:05:13
123 Posted 26/02/2019 at 19:05:38
For a moment, I thought your comment "not confirmed runner" was a reference to Schneiderlin's return.
124 Posted 26/02/2019 at 19:07:48
125 Posted 26/02/2019 at 19:09:46
Jags, Coleman and Schneiderlin recalled. Walcott preferred over Lookman and Bernard. Gomes benched.
I presume Tom Davies must have a knock, because he has been playing well since returning to the starting XI, but not even on the bench tonight.
That is made up of Stekelenberg, Mina, Kenny, Gomes, Bernard, Lookman and Tosun.
17-days to prepare the team for this one.
Losing is not an option tonight, Blues.
126 Posted 26/02/2019 at 19:10:05
127 Posted 26/02/2019 at 19:12:22
Coral cup - noted
128 Posted 26/02/2019 at 19:12:57
129 Posted 26/02/2019 at 19:16:33
130 Posted 26/02/2019 at 19:18:57
132 Posted 26/02/2019 at 20:37:09
133 Posted 26/02/2019 at 21:48:26
134 Posted 26/02/2019 at 22:47:49
Obviously delighted with the result. What was the performance like? More importantly, how did the defence shape up on set-pieces? Did Jags make a difference?
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