Everton fear Mason Holgate could be out of action until the end of October with the injury he sustained against Preston
It feels like only yesterday Everton's 2019-20 season petered out into a depressing conclusion with home defeat to a Bournemouth side whose relegation back to the Championship was confirmed despite earning those three points. With that 3-1 win, the Cherries did the league double over the Toffees for the first time in their history, achieving the feat against two different managers but against a team very much exhibiting the same problems.
Carlo Ancelotti's impact upon succeeding Marco Silva was to collect 30 points from 20 games but it was clear by the campaign's end that even one of Europe's most decorated managers wasn't able to overcome injuries to some key players or compensate for the one of the weakest midfields seen at Goodison Park in living memory.
Of course, thanks to weeks of groundwork and a whirlwind few days at Finch Farm, the Italian and Marcel Brands moved swiftly to address the squad's most glaring and pressing deficiencies with the addition of three vital midfield signings in the form of Allan, Abdoulaye Doucouré and James Rodriguez.
While those three signings alone probably won't be enough to transform Everton from mid-table mediocrity to Champions League qualifiers, their presence does make Ancelotti's side a very different proposition this coming season. As the engine room, springboard for attacks and protection for the back four, the midfield is an absolutely critical part of the team — you can't achieve much without one but you can be a hell of a lot more effective with a good one. Everton now have a very good midfield and the difference should be obvious as soon as all three new players are in their groove.
Do Evertonians sat in their armchairs or in front of screens get to see all three new acquisitions in the starting line-up when the team to face Tottenham this Sunday gets announced? Ancelotti has said that all three have trained and are fit and seeing as though most of their team-mates have barely played two pre-season friendlies, they won't be too far behind fitness-wise.
Perhaps because of James's injury record and lack of consistent playing time since last November, the assumption has been that the Colombian might start on the bench. He has certainly played a lot less football in recent months than Allan and Doucouré and with that mind, Ancelotti could opt for a touch of caution over the 29-year-old and keep him in reserve as a potentially explosive second-half option off the bench.
The other two are, you would think. much more likely starters but with André Gomes available as well, the question then revolves around what formation the manager goes for — a 4-3-3 with all three of the Portuguese, Brazilian and Frenchman in the middle behind Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin and, perhaps Theo Walcott for pace; or perhaps a 4-4-2 diamond that sacrifices one of them in favour of two wide players?
The permutations are as intriguing as the signings are exciting and it's likely that Jose Mourinho will be just as curious as Everton fans about how the Blues will line up. But it's almost certain that Richarlison and Dominic Calvert-Lewin will be leading the line in some kind of partnership and that if Yerry Mina is fit, he will play alongside Michael Keane in the absence of the injured Mason Holgate.
When the 2019-20 season was suspended over the Coronavirus pandemic, there were just four points between Everton and Spurs. Having replaced Mauricio Pochettino a few weeks before Ancelotti came on board at Goodison Park, Mourinho was himself a new boss adjusting to new surroundings and having to deal with a fair number of injuries of his own.
The shutdown came as a mixed blessing to the Portuguese, however, as it allowed Harry Kane and Son Hueng-Min to overcome injuries that would probably have kept them out for the remainder of the season had its conclusion not been delayed well into the summer. With those two key players back in the ranks, Spurs managed to move up to sixth place, secure a place in the Europa League and finish 10 points above Everton in the final table.
While they haven't added any talent to get the pulse racing — the January signing of Steven Bergwijn was more befitting of that description — the North Londoners did add a couple of very solid players in the current window in Matt Doherty from Wolves and Pierre-Emile Højbjerg from Southampton. With Serge Aurier subject to interest from the Continent and Giovanni Lo Celso a doubt with a hamstring complaint, both players could make their debuts this weekend.
It defies belief somewhat but not since the last-gasp heroics of Steve Pienaar and Nikica Jelavic way back in 2012 when David Moyes was still scowling on the touchline have Everton beaten Tottenham. (It's 12 years since they won on Spurs's home turf.) Seven draws and eight defeats have come since, yet the Blues have made Spurs look decidedly ordinary in the last three meetings between the two clubs… although the last encounter in the Capital in June, which the hosts won 1-0, did not show either team in a good light at all.
Tottenham will be very Mourinho-like — combative, organised defensively, hard to beat but also prone to mystifying lapses and if Everton can get amongst them early and ruffle their feathers, they could unsettle both the players and their manager's temper. The home side won't have their fans, of course, which theoretically evens the playing field a bit but the Everton of last season seemed lost at times without the energy created by spectators. Hopefully Ancelotti has been able to work on the mental side of their game as much as the tactical.
Worn down by too many false dawns and ephemeral promise, Evertonian expectations will very much be in check despite the optimism around the signings but it can't be ignored that what Ancelotti and Marcel Brands have added over the summer has significantly improved the team. In Doucouré and Allan, Everton now have power, tenacity and athleticism in the middle of the park and in Rodriguez, they have a genuine match-winner to go with Richarlison. It might not all come together in the first game but it should be entertaining to watch!
Kick-off: 4:30pm, Sunday 13 September, 2020
Referee: Martin Atkinson
VAR: Andre Marriner
Last Time: Tottenham Hotspur 1 - 0 Everton
Predicted Line-up: Pickford, Coleman, Keane, Mina, Digne, Allan, Gomes, Doucouré, Walcott, Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin
Reader Comments (203)
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1 Posted 12/09/2020 at 07:02:01
I'd like to see all 3 new signings start in a 4-3-3 but I think your line up is most likely though, Lyndon, and I'm happy with it. Allan and Doucouré definitely start.
2 Posted 12/09/2020 at 07:02:49
3 Posted 12/09/2020 at 07:29:22
I feel so much for the ST away day blues - Rob Halligan, Pete Mills, Southport Brent etc., Dazza Hind - who have a divine right to be present.
We won't lose this game. It's ours to draw or win, though my mind says draw given both Carlo's and Jose's recent caution.
Our midfield will be the decisive factor.
Play a higher game with Gomes further up and Doucouré box-to-box and Allan with his eye for forward movement ought to take the pressure off our less than quick centre backs.
We need now to keep it on the ground more. James, who might not start tomorrow, will lap that up. But he will get thirty minutes or so.
Best of luck to all of you and our brill eds and beloved blues for 2020-21
4 Posted 12/09/2020 at 07:38:35
Why Walcott on the right?
5 Posted 12/09/2020 at 07:45:02
I also see that Mark Lawrenson has his prediction for us to be narrowly beaten by Spurs 2-1, to quote Mandy Rice-Davies, "Well, he would say that, wouldn't he?" applies here. Not bothered about getting any predictions or compliments from an ex RS anyway.
I don't predict an easy game but then again, none of them are easy at this level, but I think with our injection of undoubted talent, the euphoria of a fresh season under the Professor, may just swing it our way.
6 Posted 12/09/2020 at 07:45:54
Good luck to every Evertonian, especially the players who need to step up, now we have brought a lot more quality into the club. Do what the song says and “fight, fight, fight!” Do this and you will give us a lot of joy and you will also make us proud, because life is always better when weve got something to celebrate singing we shall not be moved EVERTON!
7 Posted 12/09/2020 at 07:49:27
8 Posted 12/09/2020 at 08:00:12
9 Posted 12/09/2020 at 08:19:03
10 Posted 12/09/2020 at 08:23:55
Carlo will know that the most important thing will be to avoid an opening day defeat. I also expect James to stay on the bench until late-on. Our new-look midfield will have to work hard to protect that wooden centre-half pairing. That is why I simply can't see us keeping them out.
A score draw will do for me. Richarlison is the man who I think will most enjoy the rewards from our new faces.
11 Posted 12/09/2020 at 08:29:00
Mourinho will again use any method he can get away with to gain the upper hand. He has that win at any cost mentality that borders on arrogance. Expect them to be briefed to systematically leave the boot in again on Richarlison. Have Kane etc go down like a peppered partridge in or around the 18 yrd box at the faintest touch. Mourinho will know he will have Atkinson and VAR on tap for any 50/50 decisions. Our new toughness and better shape can frustrate him tomorrow though.
Tottenham 0 Everton 1
20 yard screamer from Doucouré sends Everton fans into delirium and brings home the points.
12 Posted 12/09/2020 at 08:36:04
The big name - Rodriguez - needs to find his feet and from. 8 starts last season and averaging 1 shot on target per game. As it stands we have bought no more than a reputation, its down to the manager to get the best out of him again.
New signings are typically slow to start so it might be 3-5 games before we start seeing the benefits. But to be honest this season is about putting a run together. Getting 5+ wins in a row. Making Goodison a place where we win. If we can get into a pattern come the end of October where we are winning we will be in the top six. Yes Sunday is exciting and full of promise but its where are we heading over the next 10 games rather than a blinding one off performance. If I wanted boom and bust we should have kept bobby brown shoes.
13 Posted 12/09/2020 at 08:36:45
14 Posted 12/09/2020 at 08:37:22
15 Posted 12/09/2020 at 08:38:50
We may be a bit of an unknown quantity at the start of the season. I'm trying to temper my enthusiasm what with Everton and their false dawns an all that. COYB!
16 Posted 12/09/2020 at 08:47:33
17 Posted 12/09/2020 at 08:52:14
18 Posted 12/09/2020 at 08:58:33
Stakes are high and as always reputations at stake.
Im taking Everton for a 1-3, win.
19 Posted 12/09/2020 at 09:10:28
Sorry for any excessive positivity.
20 Posted 12/09/2020 at 09:14:32
21 Posted 12/09/2020 at 09:18:36
22 Posted 12/09/2020 at 09:19:02
Spurs under Mourinho will not give us anything it will have to be earned and I expect them to be organised, hard to breakdown and ready for the new season. Many fans seem to think Mourinho's best days are behind him, time will tell.
Hit the ground running and hopefully players who have not delivered can raise their games and give us what we expect from an Everton team. Power, energy, guile and competition all look to be added in the vital midfield areas. Let's get out there and show we will and can go anywhere and get results.
23 Posted 12/09/2020 at 09:29:38
24 Posted 12/09/2020 at 09:31:56
25 Posted 12/09/2020 at 09:42:29
I have just seen an interesting predicted line-up in The Guardian:-
Coleman, Keane, Mina, Digne
Rodriguez, Allan, Doucouré, Gordon
That's a strong looking line-up!
26 Posted 12/09/2020 at 09:50:06
I am so excited to see how this works, hopefully it's not misguided blind love but I just feel finally this is the season we kick on. We have the manager, we have added real quality that cost us pretty much what we paid for Gylfi FFS. Here's hoping.
27 Posted 12/09/2020 at 09:57:21
We looked like champions winning 2-1 with a very slick and professional performance. That is what I want tomorrow. COYB's it will happen for us this season I am sure.
28 Posted 12/09/2020 at 09:58:56
We may have a wobbly few games while the blend settles, but Im with people on here who are looking this season, primarily, for attractive, bold football.
Im really excited about it.
29 Posted 12/09/2020 at 10:04:24
30 Posted 12/09/2020 at 10:08:42
Live life to the full. Seize the moment. Feel the excitement mounting. Get that glass a bit fuller.
31 Posted 12/09/2020 at 10:22:10
Spurs have performed better than us consistently for years and that will take time to overhaul and although it's possible this season, for me, it will only happen when the new signings are bedded in and not tomorrow. A draw will be a decent return.
32 Posted 12/09/2020 at 10:23:33
33 Posted 12/09/2020 at 10:23:42
34 Posted 12/09/2020 at 10:26:57
35 Posted 12/09/2020 at 10:30:53
36 Posted 12/09/2020 at 10:33:37
My concern is I am not sure either Calvert-Lewin or Kean or Iwobi or Walcott or Bernard are good enough, and it's far too early in his career to expect Gordon to play many games. While Calvert-Lewin had a decent goal-scoring record prior to the lockdown, he looked way off the pace when the league resumed. I am not writing him off, far from it, but right now, he isn't good enough to lead the line.
Also, him and Richarlison are given absolutely no help in the goalscoring department from whoever else has occupied the other wide spot.
So I think our midfield signings were a must and they will make it a lot harder for teams, but whether we have enough fire power up front to compete for a top 6 slot I am not sure.
37 Posted 12/09/2020 at 10:37:56
My big worry is Pickford. Romero was my big ask of this window but I am confident enough that we can get a result. Spurs back line isn't that quick so 2-0 to the mighty blues.
38 Posted 12/09/2020 at 10:38:55
I am sure at the moment we don't.
39 Posted 12/09/2020 at 10:45:30
I grant you his hold up play is good and promising but this season is make or break for him in an Everton shirt; if he performs the same as last season, will that be good enough?
40 Posted 12/09/2020 at 10:48:58
He done plenty enough to have earned the right to be given first chance to get us the goals we need from whoever starts upfront imo.
41 Posted 12/09/2020 at 10:53:48
42 Posted 12/09/2020 at 10:55:00
I would also add that we need more goals from all departments not just the strikers, last season our goal return from midfield was woeful and you would expect 4 defenders to get between 10/12 goals for a team to be successful. Now whether thats the style of play or whether its just down to individuals I don't know. But if we are to challenge the top 6 our goal return from all departments has to improve, if not we will still finish between 7th and 10th.
43 Posted 12/09/2020 at 10:56:51
Our midfield keep losing the ball and we keep inviting unnecessary pressure as a result.
Jumble it up. Make us less predictable.
44 Posted 12/09/2020 at 11:06:22
Walcott (no viable alternative)
Subs: Lössl, Delph, Rodriguez, Davies, Sigurdsson, Bernard, Gomes (if all fit and available)
45 Posted 12/09/2020 at 11:10:48
I loved the interview with Allan speaking about his mate Richarlison, I wonder if he will get amongst the Spurs players if they set about kicking his mate again?
Lots of optimism but I expect a six-game settling in period before we really get going. Happy with a point tomorrow but hoping for three.
Doucouré has been the lowest profile new signing but could be the one to fire up straight away. He knows the league, he knows the opposition, and he can run all day. If he doesn't get the rest of them going, then there is no hope for them. This guy can be a real team changer for us – looking at the running he does, it surely has to embarrass the others into doing more??
46 Posted 12/09/2020 at 11:15:05
47 Posted 12/09/2020 at 11:31:33
The selection of Atkinson backed up by VAR will give Spurs the edge – expect at least one very dodgy penalty to demonstrate the application of the new 'interpretation' of the rules by Atkinson. Everton are traditionally used to show off new FA edicts.
I believe that our new signings give us far better options to change shape and tactics off the bench. I'm hopeful that we can finally show some real fight and at least earn a draw. A win at Spurs is long, long overdue though so fingers crossed. Am I being too keen in forecasting a 2-1 win with Keane and Kean the scorers?
48 Posted 12/09/2020 at 11:33:06
We should be expecting to accumulate 60 points plus during the season ahead, anything less will be a disappointment given the summer business.
49 Posted 12/09/2020 at 11:34:05
I think Bernard, Iwobi, Walcott and Gordon will take up the wide berths as and when our system requires it. Therefore I see the club pushing hard to get rid of either Bernard or Sigurdsson (I don't think both) and Delph (not to mention the obvious deadwood à la Bolasie and Sandro).
I believe our only other signing will be a new right-back, one who can match Digne's attacking prowess to offer us width options going forward. Therefore my team would be the one proposed by Lyndon with an introduction of James 2nd half.
50 Posted 12/09/2020 at 11:36:16
51 Posted 12/09/2020 at 11:37:06
Last few seasons, the ball has been treated like a hot potato when in the opposition box (yes, there has been the odd occasion), they couldn't wait to get rid, rather than have a shot. Not sure if that comes from lack of confidence, instructions, or what.
52 Posted 12/09/2020 at 11:44:43
If Gordon starts to show us what he showed for the U23s (dazzling runs and ball control, with shots thrown in), we'll be drooling. It's another level, I know, but that's what development is all about.
I think he was possibly (wisely for him and the team) told last season to limit what he tried to do with the ball. I wonder if we'll see him given more licence this season.
53 Posted 12/09/2020 at 11:45:23
Will be tough going tomorrow but if we can get our noses in front then who knows. I think we have the players who could hurt Spurs on the counter.
If we go behind though it could be a different matter, unless of course some of those big jessies have grown a pair in the last 6 weeks.
54 Posted 12/09/2020 at 11:52:38
Are all way in front of him in the useless stakes.
55 Posted 12/09/2020 at 11:56:34
56 Posted 12/09/2020 at 11:56:48
The good thing is, suddenly lots of options now in terms of personnel, tactics and formations.
57 Posted 12/09/2020 at 11:58:54
Added to Spurs not be as gung ho under Mourinho however Son is their key man for me, keep him quiet and their breakaways disappear and chances nullified significantly.
58 Posted 12/09/2020 at 12:05:39
Surely it takes years to build a team, and we are at ground zero after the lack of spirit shown last season. At the moment, there is no fluency to our game at all. And we cough up goals when put under decent pressure.
We face a Mourinho team at home who has been focussed on just this game for weeks. Hate to say it but odds are we get overpowered tomorrow, and if we do I hope the inquest isn't too hysterical cos this is a very difficult game.
59 Posted 12/09/2020 at 12:20:56
Mourinho? Slowly but surely turning into a comedy caricature.
Up the Blues!
60 Posted 12/09/2020 at 12:25:44
It does not take years to build a team because owners and fans won't wait that long. These players were brought in to have an instant impact now and not at some unspecified time in the future.
I would also say one of the main reasons for bringing in these players was to improve the physicality and dynamism of our midfield to stop us from being overpowered.
Also by bringing in proven winners we can improve the general spirit and will to win of the side as a whole. So let's just wait and see before we decide its all been a waste of time and money and we haven't improved at all.
61 Posted 12/09/2020 at 12:40:01
I'm expecting more purpose, more pace, the obligatory good save & cock up from Pickford. Beyond that, who knows.
Let's not over-react, whatever happens. Imagine what this place would have been like after Spurs did us 4-1 in 1984? Or when we walloped Newcadtle 4-0?
62 Posted 12/09/2020 at 12:50:07
63 Posted 12/09/2020 at 13:07:39
64 Posted 12/09/2020 at 13:09:51
65 Posted 12/09/2020 at 13:15:05
It's worth remembering that we were still in the running for European qualification before lockdown. They are Premier League players. They just didn't have the athleticism to make a solid midfield unit. No matter which way the pack was shuffled. A couple of players with proper engines in the ranks will change that.
I think we will see a massive improvement from all of them whenever they are called upon this season.
I have a sneaking feeling that Sigurdsson (the guy I'd given up on) will be back among the goals coming off the bench this season.
66 Posted 12/09/2020 at 13:19:43
67 Posted 12/09/2020 at 14:09:42
I am not going to judge on this game, but would hope to see a glimpse of what is to come for the rest of the season.
68 Posted 12/09/2020 at 14:13:34
69 Posted 12/09/2020 at 14:16:20
70 Posted 12/09/2020 at 14:19:26
I like that Brands, Ancelotti and the players – old and new – are all under scrutiny to perform right from the off. That's how it should be for a team with genuine ambitions to sit at the top table as Moshiri has claimed since arriving.
My hope is that the 3 senior players we have signed will infect and inspire the rest of the squad with their desire to win, compete for every ball and their professionalism and application.
Because, if it goes the other way, as in recent seasons when new signings caught the malaise of the Finch Farm 'meh' shrug, we're fooked.
Nothing would make me happier right now, starting tomorrow with Mourinho, to hear the opposition manager in his post-match presser complaining about Everton's aggression and the ref not giving his team enough protection.
Let battle commence.
71 Posted 12/09/2020 at 14:32:56
Just kidding, think we will surprise a lot of people this season including us lot!
72 Posted 12/09/2020 at 14:35:35
Coleman Keane Mina Digne
Gordon Calvert-Lewin Richarlison
4-1-2-3 / 4-1-4-1 depending. Gordon and Richarlison to run their socks off.
Bench of James, Davies, Kean, Bernard, Theo... pick the rest as you see fit.
This game will be ugly as hell. Mourinho is an anti-footballing manager for me. Fouls, slow the game down, dark arts bullshit awaits us. I will not criticize the players or the manager for “lacking heart” or “not up for it” because no matter what they do, Spurs will look to take a giant crap on the game. It's what they do.
73 Posted 12/09/2020 at 14:36:16
Spurs. Despite Mourinho's waning powers, they look more like one of his teams than ever. Go one-nil down and it's a struggle because Jose has never lost the power to defend a lead. Last season, despite the drop off, they got wins when playing ugly.
Play all three new signings, set the tone and change the narrative.
74 Posted 12/09/2020 at 14:40:55
75 Posted 12/09/2020 at 14:49:58
If they go up 1-0 it will be awful.
76 Posted 12/09/2020 at 15:04:26
77 Posted 12/09/2020 at 15:04:54
Coleman Keane Mina Digne
James Gomes Richarlison
If the new boys are fit enough, why not start them?
The new signings give us options, I can see the 4-4-2 being used less this season. Playing a 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1 (depending how you look at it) could be a game changer of a formation for us.
Allan and Doucouré will do a better job at breaking down attacks and winning the ball back. Gomes will be picking up balls in midfield and quickly feeding James and Richarlison. Calvert-Lewin will be getting some much better service and 15-20 goals is realistic.
78 Posted 12/09/2020 at 15:13:11
To get the best out of this squad surely its 4-4-2 diamond with Allan sitting behind Gomes and Dacoure and James behind the front two. That means our width comes from the full-backs, we stay on the front foot, and the strikers can also go wide allowing space for the midfield to find the gaps.
I'm half expecting 4-2-3-1 though with Gomes on the bench and Theo and Richarlison wide. I feel a whole lot better that at this point last season!
79 Posted 12/09/2020 at 15:44:01
Coleman Keane Mina Digne
Allan Gomes Doucouré
Rodriquez kept back for WBA.
80 Posted 12/09/2020 at 15:54:40
82 Posted 12/09/2020 at 17:12:11
The only downer I have is the hypocritical kneeling at the beginning of each half. Leave politics out of the game please.
83 Posted 12/09/2020 at 17:13:15
84 Posted 12/09/2020 at 17:27:57
Lets go all out for the win and let them worry about us.
I may be biased but I see a win for us.
85 Posted 12/09/2020 at 17:33:15
86 Posted 12/09/2020 at 18:20:25
I'm sorry, but I feel a big defeat is inevitable.
87 Posted 12/09/2020 at 18:23:11
88 Posted 12/09/2020 at 18:35:44
89 Posted 12/09/2020 at 18:41:42
91 Posted 12/09/2020 at 19:45:23
We certainly look a strong squad now and I can see us having a real go this season.
We have had plenty of false dawns but it really feels like we have the players to fulfill the promise.
92 Posted 12/09/2020 at 19:46:31
I will go with:
Kenny Keane Mina Digne
Doucoure Gomes Allan
Bernard DCL Richarlison
Subs: Lössl, Branthwaite, Nkounkou, Gordon, Davies, Kean, Rodriguez
93 Posted 12/09/2020 at 19:59:05
Marine 0-1 down, and reduced to 10 men, managed to grab an equaliser on 87 minutes with a superbly controlled volley. Heading towards a penalty shoot out at the end of normal time, the mighty Mariners grabbed a 90th minute winner with a shot that bounced down off the crossbar. Was it over the line? No VAR, but the Lino stepped in to flag for a goal. Cue hysteria amongst the 323 fans at College Road. Proper footy.
Our signings, and today, have completely got me up for the season.
94 Posted 12/09/2020 at 20:28:32
95 Posted 12/09/2020 at 20:57:30
Peter , high drama ! I grew up round the corner and my uncle Joe used to play for Marine , so delighted to hear that result. There will be a few pints being sunk in the ‘Bug on the back of that.
96 Posted 12/09/2020 at 21:32:33
The bench will be interesting. He might even start Kean like against Bournemouth, introducing changes as he tries various formations. I will be looking for improvement in basic tactics and technique, which was hit and miss with a lot of players before the break.
Fringe players like Kenny and Bolasie are anybody's guess.
97 Posted 12/09/2020 at 22:03:44
Meant to include what correctly identified as a factor in selection.
98 Posted 12/09/2020 at 22:44:14
99 Posted 12/09/2020 at 23:08:46
These players have been bought, and are on big wages to play. Get them in the starting 11 and lets start how we mean to go on. Alan, James and Doucouré all in the midfield, lets finally stuff these in London! Come onnnn!
100 Posted 12/09/2020 at 23:52:07
Coleman Mina Keane Digne
UTFT, 2-1 win!
101 Posted 13/09/2020 at 00:38:36
Is that pheasant 'just shot' I.e. with a shotgun; or, 'post shot', well peppered, and washed down with a nice claret?
102 Posted 13/09/2020 at 00:50:37
103 Posted 13/09/2020 at 01:04:03
I hope we get one over against the Spuds at their place, with no further injuries, or contentious issues from Atkinson or Marriner, and we see a marked difference in performance and attitude.
For me Allan and Doucoure to start, James on the bench. A possible team, and bench.
Coleman - Keane - Mina - Digne
Allan - Gylfi - Doucoure
Walcott/Bolasie - DCL - Richi
Lossl, JJK, Gibson (CB/LB), Gomes (Not fit enough yet, but to replace gylfi with 30 or so to go), Gordon (maybe Delph), James (comes on if we go 2 behind or with 30 to go), Kean (to replace DCL after James has been on a while)
104 Posted 13/09/2020 at 01:40:09
Great day. So nice to hear fans are coming back. Very cool.
Watching the college football over here and there's fans in the stands. I'd guess about 20-25% capacity most places. It's so, so nice to see and if totally changes the atmosphere of the thing.
Hopefully a sign of things to come and returning to normal.
Thanks for sharing, brought a smile.
105 Posted 13/09/2020 at 01:46:07
Back to the team.
We now have a very fast frontline. Last season there were only a small number of chances given to the strikers so a lot of the time they had to create something out of nothing. Tomorrow should hopefully be different.
I am expecting us to give Spurs a thrashing similar to the one we gave to Man Utd. However tomorrow is vital for DCL. His major strength is aerial dominance with Allen, Gomes and Rodriguez creating lots of aerial chances he needs to put them firstly on target second in the back of the net. If not then the manager will immediately sanction the purchase of a new striker someone fast and capable of scoring a large number of headed goals someone like maxi Gomez ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=veCjYprMwn8 } we simply cannot wait for Dcl to get his 'skill back at scoring headers or we will not qualify for the CL or even the Europa League.
The starting back 5 picks itself due to the injuries and inexperience of other players.
The midfield is determined by the question on Rodriquez does he need to self isolate for 10 days? If so is Sunday the 10th day?
This new midfield will be perfect for Kean, Richarlison and Walcott.
It is simple we score first we win because they will have to attack us to get to Europe.
106 Posted 13/09/2020 at 06:08:45
We're certainly stronger than last season and I hope we can at least hold Spurs to a draw. Losing to them again would be horrible – my daughter and I are the only Toffees in a Spurs-supporting family!
107 Posted 13/09/2020 at 06:10:10
All three signings must start. There's no bedding-in period here, what are we bedding them into, a shite underperforming team?
It's the same reason Moise Kean should have started the first 10 games of last season, would doing that have put us any lower in the table?
I'm feeling optimistic and it's a strange feeling. Surely, Gordon will start ahead of Walcott or Sigurrdson to make up the XI.
If any of the latter two players begin the game, it'll be back to pessimism.
108 Posted 13/09/2020 at 06:47:27
Coleman Keane Mina Digne
James Gomes or Sigurdsson Richarlison
Start with Gomes to help keep things tight whilst not giving away daft free kicks around our box. Bring on Sigurdsson (or Gordon) and Kean for the last 30 mins unless we are 3 up!
Pridicting a 1-2 win with Richarlison scoring the second from a James assist!
Up the blues!
109 Posted 13/09/2020 at 06:57:12
If that means Sigurdsson proving me horribly wrong then bring it on! I just want to see Everton have a top season and produce some attacking, entertaining football.
Here's hoping we start with a win today
110 Posted 13/09/2020 at 07:13:49
111 Posted 13/09/2020 at 07:31:35
112 Posted 13/09/2020 at 07:52:05
It seems like plenty of other businesses are welcoming back paying customers so why not?
We could wear masks like on public transport. These masks would not be required should we decide to go for a pre-match pint, however.
We could fill in our track and trace details – if asked – but what if we are not asked? Or what if they can't read my contact details? Or what if the sheet of paper blows away in the Goodison Road wind?
Pete @93, along with Colin, great posts. Let us get back to doing what we love.
We could get on a flight today, with air being recirculated in the cabin, yet we can't sit outside to watch the match.
It's a crock.
113 Posted 13/09/2020 at 07:57:23
114 Posted 13/09/2020 at 08:00:48
115 Posted 13/09/2020 at 08:16:57
116 Posted 13/09/2020 at 08:25:38
Depending how you look at the accounts, it could be reasonably argued that the 0.5% loan was needed to pay £15M for Højbjerg's transfer and their quest for a new £30M striker and their combined £10M per year wage deals.
Instead of asking for interest-free public money, why not just sell Kane or Alli? – that would have raised a few quid.
117 Posted 13/09/2020 at 08:26:14
Personally I will be surprised if The Professor doesn't start all 3 newcomers, after all we know he needed Allan and Doucouré, and there will be 90m “followers” expecting Rodriguez to start.
I remember reading an Ancelotti interview many seasons ago in which he stated “4-4-2 is the best system for defending, and “4-3-3 is the best system for attacking”. He also said something along the lines that he liked to be able to switch between the two systems.
With that in mind, I expect him to go 4-4-2 with the following line up:-
Coleman, Keane, Mina, Digne
Rodriguez, Allan, Gomes, Doucouré,
Apart from Lössl, Kenny, Gordon, and Branthwaite, it will be a fight to get a spot on the bench now between any two of Sigurdsson, Iwobi, Bernard, Walcott, Delph, Bolasie, etc, etc.
118 Posted 13/09/2020 at 08:32:45
Play your best team from the start – this cautious approach is counter-productive. By the time your best team is introduced you've already had a few of losses and confidence and morale is gone. Last season's midfield was shit.
119 Posted 13/09/2020 at 08:34:30
There is as much anticipation about who will be selected today as the game itself.
I can't remember the last time that happened.
120 Posted 13/09/2020 at 09:05:10
121 Posted 13/09/2020 at 09:05:28
If players aren't physically ready and get rushed into the high paced Premier League, then you're asking for problems. As always, there is a balance to be struck but more than ever squads will need to be well managed physically this time with little pre-season and a congested fixture list.
122 Posted 13/09/2020 at 09:12:27
123 Posted 13/09/2020 at 09:12:59
Interesting point Laurie @117 makes about attacking and defending preferences. I'd love to see us go all out 4-3-3 and really go for the throat in games like Man City and Liverpool do. With those available, that team picks itself really:
Coleman Keane Mina Digne
Doucouré Allan Gomes
James Calvert-Lewin Richarlison
Kean or Walcott and Gordon giving James and Richarlison a breather in last 20 mins, and Davies, Iwobi, Sigurdsson or Bernard fighting to be a backup for the new midfield trinity.
However, perhaps we'll be a little more cautious early in the season and away to more ‘mature' teams like Spurs. So, fully expect to see 4-4-2 today with a big decision needed on who drops in the centre mid. Perhaps:
Coleman Keane Mina Digne
James Allan Doucouré Gordon
Again, exciting times!! COYBs
124 Posted 13/09/2020 at 09:18:07
Rodriguez needs to just play; if he tires, sub him. Hate this talk of getting used to the Premier League, the only way to do it is to play them.
125 Posted 13/09/2020 at 09:24:22
126 Posted 13/09/2020 at 09:24:54
We have to play smart, don't give away stupid fouls around the box and take our chances when they come along.
2-1 win, Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin.
127 Posted 13/09/2020 at 09:29:04
Kenny, Mina, Keane, Digne
Walcott, Besic, Delph, Davies, Iwobi
128 Posted 13/09/2020 at 09:30:50
Time for all the players to step up.
129 Posted 13/09/2020 at 09:32:43
130 Posted 13/09/2020 at 09:40:59
The team almost picks itself only decision to make should be over Gomes, Sigurdsson, Bernard or Davies to play. My choice would be Gomes
131 Posted 13/09/2020 at 09:48:20
132 Posted 13/09/2020 at 09:49:52
133 Posted 13/09/2020 at 09:57:49
134 Posted 13/09/2020 at 09:58:53
The problem with Gomes is that he doesnt score, doesnt get assists and so doesnt fit into the attacking role, and he doesnt fit into the defensive role as he doesnt break up play and cant tackle to save his life. Ive said for a while now that whilst he looks smooth on the ball he actually doesnt really offer anything of any great value
135 Posted 13/09/2020 at 10:06:40
Coleman Keane Mina Digne
Walcott DCL Richarlison
Team Id like to see start
Coleman Keane Mina Digne
Kean DCL Richarlison
136 Posted 13/09/2020 at 10:15:16
Please let us have a season that finally makes the rest sit up and realize the blue army has risen again.
Carlo must start the three new boys no holding back and chasing the game. best form of defense is attack.
137 Posted 13/09/2020 at 10:20:22
138 Posted 13/09/2020 at 10:21:50
139 Posted 13/09/2020 at 10:30:28
Agree with those posters advocating playing the strongest 11 from the outset, it's just, who are our strongest 11? Spurs will try all manner of upsetting tactics if we come out of the blocks, like a scalded cat.
Slightly off topic, but weren't Leeds robbed yesterday? They put a few past the bearded lady, only to have them disallowed (surprise, surprise chuck) and they get two of the softest penalties you'll see all season.
Klippety's crimper must have been puckering the nearer it got to the final whistle, but justice was not seen to be done. None of his lunatic running up and down fist pumping to an imaginary crowd. Great game for the neutrals I suppose.
140 Posted 13/09/2020 at 10:32:39
I think, and I sincerely hope, he will be the player to excel with better midfielders around.
141 Posted 13/09/2020 at 10:39:09
Being the Devil's Advocate here but the same could be said of Siggy who has been played out of position, but still has those flashes of brilliance, except they are too infrequent.
142 Posted 13/09/2020 at 10:40:20
Sports science would strongly suggest youre more likely to suffer injury if not fully conditioned. Ergo not rushing players.
No non sequitur.
Im keen as we all to see the new players but only if theyre physically ready. Our squad is not deep enough to sustain a lot of injuries so some caution must be shown.
143 Posted 13/09/2020 at 10:48:46
144 Posted 13/09/2020 at 10:55:30
Its arguable that none of our players are conditioned at the start of the season and are therefore on a level playing field.
As for Gbamin. We bought an injured player and played him injured.
P.s please don't walk down the stairs with your eyes closed.
145 Posted 13/09/2020 at 10:56:54
146 Posted 13/09/2020 at 10:58:50
Its a Mourinho Team. It will be powerful, ruthless and determined. We have to match them for aggression and guts otherwise we will lose the game.
The Spurs documentary shows Mourinho questioning his players, are they too nice?
Well we have been far too nice for far too long. Im hoping the new signings will bring character as much as they do ability.
147 Posted 13/09/2020 at 11:04:11
For me the hopeful change of mindset and the belief cant be under estimated the effect that can have. Like all sports confidence plays a big part and we havent looked a very confident team for a while, so I am hoping Carlo and the new players have instilled some confidence in our under performing players.
148 Posted 13/09/2020 at 11:15:06
149 Posted 13/09/2020 at 11:23:36
150 Posted 13/09/2020 at 11:25:03
151 Posted 13/09/2020 at 11:26:37
This Sky team always seem to be gushing over certain clubs. A newcomer to the game could be forgiven for thinking there is only six teams in this league
152 Posted 13/09/2020 at 11:33:59
Dont get me wrong, Im not a huge fan of siggi either but he offers more than Gomes. Neither of them can tackle or work back either so for me its a no brainier, someone thats scored scored once since 2018 or someone thats scored 17 times since 2018
153 Posted 13/09/2020 at 12:03:42
Baised and pressure led refs have now been added to by baised and incompetant VAR, operated by the same refs, no independance
at all, a bigger fix than it was before. SKY, ect want their moneys worth and decide who the Top Six should be as far as they can and do all they can to maximise their business.
I am really excited to see the start of a new blues era, under Carlo and to watching the blues reborn with passion and quaility. I'ts not
a level playing field unfortunatly, get ready for the game changing VAR and refs " Mistakes " not in our favour against Spurs. that said
COYB, Get into them.
154 Posted 13/09/2020 at 12:08:11
James would be better suited t coming on later, and playing less minutes, and also being able to ge a feel for the game.
I'd play Allan and Doucoure, get them them to lay a marker or two down, before introducing James.
As for he #10 false 9 position, Gomes is not fit, as he has had to be tested by EFC and rejected by Portugal as being under cooked; Siggi has played all pre-season and is our specialist dead ball player; but as a wild card, why not play Iwobi in that position, to give us more legs, and as a player to sacrifice a yellow card on to clobber one of them..?
Do Mourinho to Mourinho.
0-2 We score first, then hit them on the break as they try to score.
155 Posted 13/09/2020 at 12:11:07
156 Posted 13/09/2020 at 12:23:45
157 Posted 13/09/2020 at 12:42:40
Regarding today's game. If the three new signings are fit, start them all. Let's start the season on the front foot and make that a new habit.
I want to see a solid midfield that keeps our opponents in their half as much as possible. They'll put their feet in, we need to put ours in too!
158 Posted 13/09/2020 at 12:58:55
159 Posted 13/09/2020 at 13:00:24
As you say we played Gbamin injured and it cost us dearly. Just dont want a repeat. Rodriguez has had a few niggles in the last two year and the PL will be the most physically intense league he has played in.
160 Posted 13/09/2020 at 13:05:51
161 Posted 13/09/2020 at 13:07:52
Just curious as to how we will set up? 3 at the back with Coleman as RCB and Kenny at wing back? Our lack of proper widemen and need to shore up the midfield may make this an option.
People mention Siggy or Gomes in the middle, but there is also Davies who may thrive having a proper midfield to play in. Iwobi also could do better playing in the middle. And of course Gordon.
very difficult to know how we will set up, not least due to the absolute lack of any real pre-season games. 1 game with many on holiday still and a second with most on international duty.
For what it's worth (we ain't anything like), i'd go with:
Kenny Mina Keane Digne
Allan Doucoure Davies
but that would mean leaving both captains on the bench (Coleman and Siggy). So maybe
Kenny Coleman Mina Keane Digne
James leave for teh second half. Mourinho would have him handicapped before half time if he started, but on for the last 30-20 minutes could give us that boost to win the game.
2-2 or an optimistic 3-2
162 Posted 13/09/2020 at 13:11:14
Offensively we are still challenged and unless they can become a team that has a lot more confidence in possession and going forward then they will be under the cosh far longer than they ought to be throughout games.
It very rarely happens that new players shine immediately after joining Everton and some never at all so we may have to be patient.
Today commands a disciplined defensive performance to frustrate Spurs and providing there are no early setbacks, i.e. injury, sending-off or stupid give-away goals then we have a chance.
163 Posted 13/09/2020 at 13:27:29
164 Posted 13/09/2020 at 13:29:46
Today a win would be great and a draw will be acceptable but the team has to show that they and the Manager are going to be legitimate challengers for a top 6
165 Posted 13/09/2020 at 13:31:23
Fantastic point, thank you for bringing it up.
The opponent has a player who, like a heat-seeking missile, went after one of ours and snapped his leg.
The last time we played they kicked Richarlison off the park. We literally did nothing about it.
We need to assert ourselves physically and not get pushed around.
We also need to score first, but that's another convo.
I hope we've found our balls. They can come in handy when the opposition tactics are to kick the best player to bits and put in filthy tackles.
I hope we beat the tar our of Spurs today.
166 Posted 13/09/2020 at 13:35:49
It may be that there will be no poetry or Van the Man words today.
Sending you positive cosmic grooves George.
167 Posted 13/09/2020 at 13:38:02
I havent seen John McFarlane Snr post in a while either?
Hoping hes well, too.
168 Posted 13/09/2020 at 13:40:04
As you saw yesterday, it's very rare for a team to be awarded two penalties but I believe everything is predicated around the prizes going to the big teams. Leeds would never be awarded two penalties in a match like that.
In a match like today, we are also up against the ref and VAR. What's especially frustrating is that we were once a member of the big five. It's going to take an exceptional performance to win today.
169 Posted 13/09/2020 at 13:44:20
170 Posted 13/09/2020 at 13:46:02
171 Posted 13/09/2020 at 13:46:46
172 Posted 13/09/2020 at 13:47:48
173 Posted 13/09/2020 at 13:52:21
I watched a little bit of Crystal Palace v Southampton yesterday. Ward-Prowse was very competitve and trying to really impose himself on Crystal Palace. James McCarthy was having none of it and gave more back than he was given, nearly came to blows at one point. This fighting spirit stopped Southampton from controlling the match.
Great stuff from McCarthy, and the way we rolled over to Southampton a couple of months ago we need some of that spirit. Teams just can't get away with it and our new lads Allan and Doucoure will put an end to that.
174 Posted 13/09/2020 at 14:00:28
175 Posted 13/09/2020 at 14:02:22
Come back firing on all cylinders.
Look forward to seeing more notes from your Wallasey window in the not too distant.
176 Posted 13/09/2020 at 14:04:18
177 Posted 13/09/2020 at 14:10:12
Sky's obsession with the top 6 got worse when it lost the contract for the Champions League games and it now over compensates by talking about them to the exclusion of the other teams in the league.
Spurs have got Atkinson playing for them today and for added back up Marriner is in charge of VAR. If we get a stranglehold on the game and look like winning it don't be surprised if the fates conspire against us.
Bitter and twisted ? Maybe I am, but when the game is as bent as a boxing day turd what do you expect ?
Anyway rant over, c'mon Everton let's get a win. Comub !
178 Posted 13/09/2020 at 14:13:05
I was looking forward to Allan on his Everton debut and with the edge of the Brazil v Argentina rivalry literally leaving his mark on the Spurs man who kicked anything and everyone in Blue last time out.
Allan is the type of enforcer who simply won't allow that to happen unchallenged this season.
179 Posted 13/09/2020 at 14:15:59
180 Posted 13/09/2020 at 14:28:22
Gary at both #152 and #135, agree.
Sam, rarely disagree with you but I think you are way, way off target on Gbamin being injured because he was played too much too soon. First, all injuries are not the same, and these were not overuse or conditioning injuries, but catastrophic accidents. Second, both occurred in training, not in a game. And third, he had just played a full 90 against Watford with no sign of distress before his first training injury, and it was originally thought to be a mere thigh strain.
George, wishing you all the best for a swift and full recovery.
181 Posted 13/09/2020 at 14:31:06
Sums up VAR in six words.
182 Posted 13/09/2020 at 14:54:45
There never has been
We just need to believe."
So says Nev, and Nev is right.
183 Posted 13/09/2020 at 15:07:18
184 Posted 13/09/2020 at 15:07:55
185 Posted 13/09/2020 at 15:15:13
186 Posted 13/09/2020 at 15:27:37
”The wound is the place where the Light enters you.”
It's interesting and fascinating how we are all watching football from different places these days. Will it ever be the same - I don't use the word normal - not sure what it is and certainly not what I want to return to.
“Poetry heals the wounds inflicted by reason.”
I have managed in the last week or to keep in touch with Everton via TW - I was in Intensive Care for a while and out the game.
”When you hear the music ringin' in your soul
And you feel it in your heart and it grows and grows
And it came from the backstreet rock and roll and the healing has begun”
I miss already the rituals of going to the game - although I am excited about today - the last few games of last season were souless - proving that without fans football is nothing and it's not just about the whole feel of Being A Blue.
Have to go now - to quote Nurse Ratched - - ”medication time”.
To end on a bit of fun - from a Wim Wenders Film:
Whenever I'm sad, whenever I'm blue
Whenever my troubles are heavy
Beneath the stars. I play my guitar
Just like Eddie
Now troubles may come and troubles make old
But they'll always find me ready
Upon the hill, I'm playin' still
Just like Eddie
Whenever you're sad, whenever you're blue
Whenever your troubles are heavy
Beneath the stars you play your guitars
Just like Eddie
Now troubles may come and troubles make old
But they'll always find me…”
Cosmic Blue Waves sent to all Blues - with a firm handshake - your friend - George.
187 Posted 13/09/2020 at 15:30:18
188 Posted 13/09/2020 at 15:30:41
189 Posted 13/09/2020 at 15:31:30
190 Posted 13/09/2020 at 15:31:34
I haven't posted lately because my knowledge of Stadium design, player recruitment, team selection, tactics etc. is well below the required standard. I'm one of those people who attend games and enjoy or endure what's put before me, believing that my sole contribution to the occasion is to support the team.
I would like to add, for those who ridiculed my decision to boycott the recently televised games, on a matter of 'principle' that I never watched a minute of those games [including the FA Cup semi's and Final] and although I have secured my season ticket, I have no intention of attending matches until it's safe for everyone, I have no wish to attend on a rota basis. I will continue to listen to the radio commentary, just as I will be doing this afternoon.
191 Posted 13/09/2020 at 15:32:49
Take good care, sir.
192 Posted 13/09/2020 at 15:34:25
193 Posted 13/09/2020 at 15:34:32
194 Posted 13/09/2020 at 15:35:18
195 Posted 13/09/2020 at 15:36:27
196 Posted 13/09/2020 at 15:36:52
197 Posted 13/09/2020 at 15:39:13
198 Posted 13/09/2020 at 15:40:00
199 Posted 13/09/2020 at 15:40:18
200 Posted 13/09/2020 at 15:40:27
201 Posted 13/09/2020 at 15:42:11
202 Posted 13/09/2020 at 15:43:59
203 Posted 13/09/2020 at 15:51:51
Fantastic George. Glad you are doing well and on the mend.
John Mc Snr glad you are about and well, too.
Let's do this.
204 Posted 13/09/2020 at 15:55:12
205 Posted 13/09/2020 at 22:52:01
It's been a great day for Evertonians, and yes, let's celebrate and stick tight for what I'm sure will be a good season for EFC.
This is our season, in context and with the teamwork and spirit today, let's see what happens.
Great Day, all enjoy and celebrate and credit were it's due, to all Evertonians.
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