Josh King is still waiting for his first start since joining Everton from Bournemouth on transfer deadline day
Everton press on with their quest for European qualification with a trip to relegation-threatened West Bromwich Albion on Thursday.
The Toffees can claim fourth place with a victory, perhaps only briefly unless Liverpool and Chelsea draw at Anfield, but it would lay down another marker to further their prospects as dark horses for a Champions League place.
Although they finally got back to winning ways at home on Monday with a narrow win over Southampton, it's Everton's away form that has held them in the upper echelons of the Premier League this season and Carlo Ancelotti will be keen to make it seven away wins out of nine since this side's current unbeaten run on their travels started at Fulham in November.
While the Italian has always maintained that finishing in the top four is more a dream than a realistic goal this season, he is keen not to play down the club's ambition and has embraced the level of long-term expectation that exists among the fanbase.
“We are pleased to be in the fight,” he said. “We have to use our expectations as a motivation. If expectations are high, it is absolutely normal at a club with fantastic history. We want to be back there as they were in the past.
“Expectation is not a bad word in my opinion. It is a good word. It keeps you motivated. I think it's important to have ambition.
“I'm sure this situation with the European positions will be decided in the last game and we want to be there until the last game.”
Ancelotti will definitely be without long-term absentee Jean-Philippe Gbamin as well as Fabian Delph and Yerry Mina but he wasn't able to provide definitive updates on any of the players that missed the win over Saints because of minor knocks.
He explained that James Rodriguez, Tom Davies, Seamus Coleman and Robin Olsen would be assessed during training today before any decision is made, although he is no doubt hopeful that Davies, in particular, can play so as not to overwork Allan after three months on the sidelines himself with a torn hamstring.
Ancelotti might also rotate in the forward areas as well, where Josh King has been waiting to make his first start and Alex Iwobi will also be pressing for more action having had to bide his time on the substitute's bench as well in recent matches.
The game pits Everton against West Brom at the Hawthorns for the first time since Boxing Day 2017 when their current boss, Sam Allardyce, was fulfilling a brief interim spell as manager at Goodison Park before he was let go in favour of Marco Silva. The Premier League's renowned “fire fighter” was brought on board by the Birmingham side earlier this season after it was felt that Slaven Bilic would not be able to keep them in the top flight.
The Baggies are still mired in the relegation zone, nine points from safety and, as such, Allardyce faces arguably his toughest assignment yet in trying to keep a club from dropping out of the division. However, they have shown signs in recent weeks that they are becoming harder to beat, even if goals have been hard to come by.
Since losing at home 5-0 to Leeds and 4-0 to Arsenal in successive games, they have won at Wolves, drawn with fellow strugglers Fulham, held Manchester United and edged Brighton. Having shipped 18 goals between Christmas and the end of January, they conceded just five in February which suggests that they could be a harder nut to crack now than they were for Manchester City when they thumped them 5-0 at The Hawthorns on 26 January.
Allardyce is expected to welcome back Robert Snodgrass who has recovered from injury while Semi Ajayi is available again after serving a suspension. Those could be two of a few changes the West Brom boss makes having moaned that he will need to rotate players in view of the packed fixture schedule.
The Baggies will set up to make life difficult for Everton and Ancelotti's side can expect a physical encounter where they will need to be vigilant defending set-pieces and deep crosses. But on current form, the Toffees should go into this one expecting to win and just go in and do a professional job to get the job done. If they can get amongst them early and grab another early goal, they could well be able to prey on the insecurities and doubts of what can be a suspect defence.
Kick-off: 6pm, Thursday 4 March 2021 on Sky Sports
Referee: Darren England
VAR: Michael Oliver
Last Time: West Bromwich Albion 0 - 0 Everton
Predicted Line-up: Pickford, Holgate, Keane, Godfrey, Digne, Davies, Doucouré, Sigurdsson, Iwobi, Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin
Reader Comments (155)
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3 Posted 03/03/2021 at 18:08:35
4 Posted 03/03/2021 at 18:19:32
5 Posted 03/03/2021 at 18:20:22
6 Posted 03/03/2021 at 18:34:07
Cannot see Sam playing a weakened team.
7 Posted 03/03/2021 at 18:42:07
He may have conceded three against City, one a wonder goal, another deflected.
Said a while back, he has the ability, if he can sort his head out and stay relaxed and focused, for me he has, up to now done that.
Part of that is coming back into the team, after Olsen was given an extended run, after picking up an injury.
He now knows he cannot afford to take his selection for granted, needed Olsen coming in to give him the kick up the backside he needed.
8 Posted 03/03/2021 at 18:52:50
Can't see it being a high scoring game, which we could do with to boost that GD, but I'll settle for another 3 points however we get them. Hope we see Josh King at some stage too, and not for the last 3 minutes of normal time.
9 Posted 03/03/2021 at 19:09:47
10 Posted 03/03/2021 at 19:22:31
I would like to see Iwobi and King start and Davies come into the middle and rest Allan for the Chelsea game.
I think we are on a run now where the team treats every game as a final, they know with some winnable fixtures ahead a place in Europe is there for the taking.
11 Posted 03/03/2021 at 19:42:00
We know enough about Sam and his approach to understand that this will be a tough assignment. The problem he's got is that WBA are rank. If I'm Ancelotti I'm doing my best to encourage a football match to take place, which means selecting our best footballers, if fit, and surprising WBA with attempts to play more expansive football than we've been used to recently.
I'm going to be optimistic and predict that we will get an early goal and outplay them from there. 3-0, comfortably enjoyable win, 4th place, and on a high going into the Chelsea match.
12 Posted 03/03/2021 at 19:59:08
But I agree with you; on 17 points he has not option but to try and get something from every game. Also with Brian; he has a grudge against us now. Some would say justifiably given the way a lot of fans (myself included) treated his time with us.
I pay no attention to him as I like to erase him from memory, but my son always comments on how Allardyce always comments on Everton. There is bad feeling I suspect.
14 Posted 03/03/2021 at 20:09:14
15 Posted 03/03/2021 at 20:09:18
If we want top four I dont think there is much wriggle room for rotation. The strongest team possible must be on the pitch.
Our midfield has to work harder and close down faster. Its still a big area of concern that we are slower on the press than most of our rivals. We concede midfield possession and control because of it. To get into the top four and probably top six this needs addressing. I am looking for the Davies Allan Doucoure midfield 3 to do it. If James is fit, he plays a right side free role if injured, Iwobi out wide to provide some width.
Holgate Keane Godfrey Digne
Allan Davies Doucoure
James DCL Richarlison.
WBA 0 Everton 2
16 Posted 03/03/2021 at 20:14:05
17 Posted 03/03/2021 at 20:18:55
18 Posted 03/03/2021 at 20:19:00
To be honest I'm more annoyed at Unsworth for year on year hanging around in his cosy job at Everton without testing himself and managing in the lower leagues.
19 Posted 03/03/2021 at 20:21:45
20 Posted 03/03/2021 at 20:25:36
Whatever the outcome, we need to keep our top 5 or 6 best consisent players 'managed' until the end of the season, and we can possibly even challenge for third. It's now about which clubs have got the best squad available and secondly how much freshness they feel going into matchday - who can handle the attrition every 3/4 days almost. Swaggering football next season when we bring in a couple more class players in.
I don't think Leicester can hold on without so many of their top 5 players unfit and they should stagnate for a month at least.
21 Posted 03/03/2021 at 20:32:00
22 Posted 03/03/2021 at 20:34:12
When the taxi was called for Ronald Koeman on 22 October 2017, Everton were 18th with 8 points having won 2 and drawn 2 but lost 5 of the 9 Premier League games played. Not great, and a goal difference at the time of –11 does not make comfortable reading. But 4 of those 5 defeats and a draw away at Man City were against members of the so-called Big 6. The fifth defeat in that sequence was against Burnley who were enjoying easily their best ever Premier League season and eventually finished 7th.
The fixture computer handicapped Everton with games against 5 of the 6 acknowledged strongest teams in the country in the first nine fixtures, and Koeman paid the price. Against Man City (a), Chelsea (a), Tottenham (h), Man Utd (a) and Arsenal (h) Koeman secured one point with 3 goals for and 15 against. In the reverse fixtures, Allardyce secured an identical single point, at home to Chelsea, with 2 goals for and 14 against. Koeman didn't face Liverpool that season and to give Allardyce his due he did manage a 0-0 draw at home to Liverpool, alongside an away defeat (and a 3rd Round defeat in the FA Cup).
In the reverse fixtures against the four teams outside the so-called Big 6, Allardyce matched Koeman's defeat against Burnley and secured six points against Stoke, Bournemouth and Brighton, compared with Koeman's seven.
Everton weren't in a happy place when Koeman was sacked and he was certainly never a good fit, but Moshiri panicked. There was no real risk of relegation. We will never know but I suspect, had Koeman remained in charge, the final position would have been roughly the same as it was under Allardyce: 8th. Theo Walcott and Cenk Tosun would certainly not have been bought for transfer fees totalling perhaps £50 million with the club committed to salaries of reportedly £100,000 and £60,000 respectively, payable every week until June 2021 or, in the case of Tosun, June 2022 for two players whose 143 combined appearances for Everton is less than Tom Davies alone!
23 Posted 03/03/2021 at 21:20:07
I still think we need to play the best team we can, barring injuries, for all our games.
24 Posted 03/03/2021 at 21:43:13
As I've said elsewhere, Allardyce arrived after Unsworth had dragged us out of the relegation spots. He had a lot more experience, more time to work with the players, and a transfer window to bolster the squad. Despite all these favourable factors, Allardyce failed to perform any better than Unsworth had in the Premier League.
25 Posted 03/03/2021 at 21:52:16
Hence, nothing less than a comprehensive victory will suffice. If the team want the 3 points even more than I want to see Allardyce lose and be relegated, then a victory is guaranteed.
26 Posted 03/03/2021 at 21:52:26
27 Posted 03/03/2021 at 21:59:38
28 Posted 03/03/2021 at 22:02:11
29 Posted 03/03/2021 at 22:19:29
As for Big Sam, he was a mercenary manager from the time he negotiated his Everton contract and preceded to further negotiate a contract extension using the Everton squad to achieve it during his tenure. It took supporter pressure to cause Moshiri to rethink and scuttle Big Sam's plans, as he realised the damage Big Sam was going to do to the Club.
I doubt the West Brom supporters are happy he is back, but he seems to be doing a reasonable job. Everton will have to have the right kentality to get a result.
30 Posted 03/03/2021 at 22:21:09
I'm no fan of Big Sam but hopefully we can get a result.
Another 1-0 win will do for this and every game till the end of the season.
I just want to see the biased punters choke on their bullshit words.
31 Posted 03/03/2021 at 22:42:43
Compared to the 2016-17 season, Koeman had dropped 8 points in those 9 games. In the next 5 games, Unsworth dropped a further 5 points. In the final 24 games, Allardyce improved us by 1 point.
Hate it when the facts spoil it. That season, we didn't beat anyone we hadn't beaten the previous season.
On the other hand, during Allardyce's time, we scored 14 fewer goals and conceded the same as the previous season in those fixtures. So it stopped the rot, but it says it all – depressing football.
32 Posted 03/03/2021 at 23:04:56
33 Posted 03/03/2021 at 23:05:42
I get both sides of the Sam argument but I don't bear him any ill will. If you hire a decorator with a can of Ronsil to paint the Cistine Chapel, don't get upset when the frescos are whitewashed. I have some sympathy looking at from his perspective but he was a poor selection and that's on Moshiri.
34 Posted 03/03/2021 at 23:13:08
Play our best available and keep the composure, guile and belief shown recently, and this can be won.
Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison are turning in, and as long as we don't give soft free-kicks away around our box, Everton are capable of winning this one.
Interesting to see who starts in midfield tomorrow, and the opposition will try and rough Everton up, so let's be up for the battle and have the desire and guile to win this one.
Fat Sam is history, and tomorrow is a chance for Everton to make their mark, on the run-in, this season,
35 Posted 03/03/2021 at 23:22:10
I completely disagree, Koeman was a complete disaster, we were in free fall. By the way, Tosun and Walcott cost £50M, and the salary – £160,000 between them per week – too much, Sigurdsson cost £5M less, and £120k per week, Klaassen cost £25M + wages Rooney cost £15M + wages? Koeman was a bigger embarrassment.
36 Posted 03/03/2021 at 23:26:22
37 Posted 03/03/2021 at 23:33:58
Christy @35. We'll have to agree to disagree about who was the greater embarrassment, and as I said earlier, Koeman wasn't right for Everton either.
38 Posted 03/03/2021 at 23:50:47
39 Posted 03/03/2021 at 23:55:13
40 Posted 03/03/2021 at 00:03:25
I agree Koeman was a disaster and we paid too much for Sigurdsson but he has still been better value than Walcott and Tosun. We're still paying half of Walcott's salary and Tosun took a pay cut to return to Turkey.
I thought Rooney was a free but on but on £150,000 a week and probably Kenwright's choice. He was in double figures before Christmas, I blame Sam for the fact he never scored again.
41 Posted 03/03/2021 at 00:09:03
42 Posted 03/03/2021 at 00:11:25
He can't get too much on his fat horse what with us now having footballing royalty in the top job. Odds are he'll be thanking Mr Ancelotti come the final whistle for taking off our strikers after the third went in.
In terms of Koeman v Allardyce, Koeman created Allardyce; there would have been no need for fatty if that Dutch dickhead hadn't been quite so bad.
43 Posted 03/03/2021 at 00:14:06
44 Posted 04/03/2021 at 00:29:57
“I'm sure this situation with the European positions will be decided in the last game and we want to be there until the last game."
Hopefully we are there until the last game... vs Man City! and we have it sorted.
But City will be Champions by then and might just be going through the motions... but what motions they have, even with their foot not firmly pressed to the floor!
Leicester drew, Villa lost, so not too much gratuitous tinkering and plenty of derby application, because we need to win.
Make it so please.
45 Posted 03/03/2021 at 00:41:02
However, as much as Allardyce was totally the wrong person for Everton, how can any sensible and sensitive individual say they "hate" him? We have enough hate in the world without directing it at coaches or players. He may have been a lousy coach and we can boo him, or criticize him and point out all his faults as a representative of Everton.
He publicly made idiotic statements and still does. Laugh because we no longer have him but 'hate' is just too much. I have also noted that he actually did not do any more damage than some of other managers we have had. I am as delighted as any Evertonian that he left us and I will be even more delighted if we beat his team on Thursday. But that will be all that anybody should really need.
46 Posted 04/03/2021 at 01:10:48
The owner is not an Everton fan – just a rich person moving his money and making it work in his best interests. I hope am wrong and would love to be shot down in flames.
47 Posted 04/03/2021 at 01:26:21
I know we have a couple of niggles with minor injuries, but as has been glaringly obvious all season, where we had a leaky defence which has since been well shored up, it's the midfield department where everything seems to go pear-shaped. There are not that many games to go now and I do believe the Summer Window targets have already been earmarked, let's just hope that midfield is an area that is addressed.
We have the numbers, but out of those numbers we have, how many can we depend on, how many rarely get injured, break a toe, or fingernail, have a bad hair day, or some other reason are not available? I can count 3 off the top of my head, but any genuine injury to them or even worse two at a time, the whole show goes tits up.
Let's make Lardiola eat twice as much gum tomorrow so he gets lockjaw, at least we won't have to listen to his bullshit post game, and take credit for when he was at Everton and laid all the cornerstones that became his undoing on the night. No Tosun and no Walcott so he'll have a job to say he influenced the personnel.
48 Posted 04/03/2021 at 01:30:40
Not an easy game as they're fighting for their lives. Any football fan knows that around this stage of the season, those down at the bottom are as difficult to play against those who are at the top. Allardyce will want to beat us and will use set pieces and long balls to try and test our back line. Defence need to be up for it physically and mentally. And need to be taking our chances.
But these are games we have to be winning if we want top 4. Players are giving it the biggun in the press right now which honestly makes me nervous. But hope for once they're not all talk and actually do more of the talking on the pitch. I do expect Carlo to rotate. But hopefully this squad is or should be good enough to beat West Brom (fingers crossed). No more cock-ups now in games like this.
49 Posted 04/03/2021 at 01:48:40
He propelled us significantly up the Premier League to basically finish as high as was realistic at that time. Big picture, he did his job and the job he was brought in to do.
The football was wretched but our home record stood up reasonably well. I think most would have taken 8th the moment the previous manager to him was sacked.
Job done as far as I am concerned. We moved on, fair enough, we opted to go for Silva.
50 Posted 04/03/2021 at 02:06:15
He did an okay job in terms of results, but he was never a good fit.
I have just looked at our remaining fixtures and they are not too bad. We have already played most of the top teams twice now. We've got Chelsea and Man City away that will be tough. But I fancy us to win 6 and draw 4 of our remaining 12 games. That would give us an extra 22 points, meaning we end the season on 65. If we maintain our form and keep the mentality strong, we will be there or thereabouts for 4th position.
Of course, we could fall short at any time as well. But I just hope the players are embracing a new mentality and approach to games now. We look solid and are having a go at most teams. We've just got to keep the momentum going.
51 Posted 04/03/2021 at 02:09:08
“Interesting”? Not the word I'd use but I get your point. I fully expect this to the worst game of the season if not the decade in a true footballing sense but, as long as we win, I'm okay with that.
52 Posted 03/03/2021 at 02:25:46
I also hate constantly having games in hand! Those two cancelled matches do my head in! Always playing catch-up.
53 Posted 04/03/2021 at 03:55:37
This is one where we will need the keys to unlock their defence so James or Iwobi has to start. I would play Iwobi in front of Holgate. In view of what I heard the other day, I don't think Tom will make this one but I hope I'm wrong because he has been playing well lately.
I think we need battlers in midfield so If Tom is fit I would play Doucouré, Allan and Davies in midfield.
Let Sigurdsson sit this one out he hasn't got the pace anymore. So a front 3 of Iwobi, Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison. Back 4 stays the same for me.
54 Posted 04/03/2021 at 04:14:11
55 Posted 04/03/2021 at 04:50:13
Pickford; Holgate, Keane, Godfrey, Digne; Iwobi, Doucouré, Davies, Richarlison; James; Calvert-Lewin.
Subs: Olsen, Bernard, King, Coleman, Sigurdsson, Allan, Nkounkou, Gomes.
It should be enough with that I believe. Left some players out, but we can't afford picking up silly injuries with so much at stake. COYB!
56 Posted 04/03/2021 at 06:41:58
57 Posted 04/03/2021 at 06:46:17
59 Posted 04/03/2021 at 07:01:23
60 Posted 04/03/2021 at 07:06:44
61 Posted 04/03/2021 at 07:12:20
62 Posted 04/03/2021 at 07:41:45
I can't forgive or forget the coward not facing what was left of the crowd after the final home game of the abysmal season he was here. This was the club manager claiming he had media appointments rather than join in the lap of (dis)honour at the final home game.
Nothing less than 3 points tonight is acceptable.
63 Posted 04/03/2021 at 07:57:00
64 Posted 04/03/2021 at 08:00:23
I was completely against his Everton appointment. Yes, he did what he was employed to do... but the way he seemed to deliberately alienate the fans in his interviews was unacceptable in my opinion. I celebrated his sacking and I hope he gets fucking relegated.
65 Posted 04/03/2021 at 08:21:38
I'm cautiously optimistic about picking up another 3 points tonight, but West Brom will be scrapping for their lives.
66 Posted 04/03/2021 at 08:22:37
Despite some of our results, we have lacked creativity and we will find it hard to score tonight. Let's hope for an early goal to force them out.
67 Posted 04/03/2021 at 08:25:35
68 Posted 04/03/2021 at 08:35:27
West Brom are mainly a 10-man defence with some pace out wide and try and force set-pieces, similar to the old Stoke under Pulis. So scoring early against them is vital for the rest of the game. Then we can impose our quality on them.
Attacking centrally at a wall of clod hoppers doesn't work unless you get lucky. Getting in amongst them in multiple areas in their box and quick movement in the area will result in chances or force them to foul in the area.
So, who do we play to greatest effect to achieve this? Then, how do we set up to deal with the second phase, if we score early, to inflict maximum damage and take control of most of the remaining game? They should not be able to compete from going behind if we then adopt a more balanced attacking and quality-driven method. We have the players to break them and, unlike many others, we are clinical finishers at the moment. COYB.
69 Posted 04/03/2021 at 08:42:24
Now I know I'm coming in for criticism for leaving Calvert-Lewin out, but I think him and especially Doucouré need a rest. We have plenty in midfield to cope without Allan (I think he needs games not resting and will be up to speed for the Chelsea game) and Doucouré really needs a rest and a good massage and a bottle of champagne and some Barry White playing in the background, he's on empty.
Calvert-Lewin on the subs bench, Doucouré not even in the squad. That team should be capable of beating West brom. COYB
70 Posted 04/03/2021 at 08:43:58
71 Posted 04/03/2021 at 08:45:49
72 Posted 04/03/2021 at 08:51:14
73 Posted 04/03/2021 at 08:54:09
He did the job that was expected of him at Everton and, being the gurrier he is, tried to get an extension to his contract. In addition, he was right in saying that Everton needed to employ a Sports Psychologist, which Ancelotti has realised he has had to turn into on occasions lately, to work on the players' mentality. He also made sure he played the players that Moshiri had paid enormous sums for, knowing which side his bread was buttered on.
In the case of Walcott, Big Sam principally employed him to run at defences. In the case of Tosun, he did try to provide supporting play and employed him as an out-and-out attacker, rather than in maintaining the high press. This was better suited to their individual styles of play.
He just wasn't the right fit for anything like the School of Science going forward. I know his England career was short but he might have suited International Football.
West Brom is not going to be a easy game.
74 Posted 04/03/2021 at 08:55:24
75 Posted 04/03/2021 at 09:01:20
76 Posted 04/03/2021 at 09:04:53
77 Posted 04/03/2021 at 09:10:15
78 Posted 04/03/2021 at 09:22:49
79 Posted 04/03/2021 at 09:25:11
80 Posted 04/03/2021 at 09:26:07
Oh but he does! He though he finally had his big chance! He has been on about it since he left in a away he hasnt with his other clubs.
And its not like he was replaced with a serious upgrade in terms of results. The football got better and Silva did at least give us some high lights. He gave us Richalison, fat Sam gave us Tosun! But really the club were in a similar position when he left as when Sam came in.
He would love to do over Everton. Just like he loved doing one on Arsenal because Wenger basically accused his teams of being shite and only interested in kicking their opponents.
He would have loved a chance to show everyone what he could do with a budget and a prominent team.
81 Posted 04/03/2021 at 09:38:06
82 Posted 04/03/2021 at 09:40:26
83 Posted 04/03/2021 at 09:41:57
His time as Everton manager was a nadir for our club. The football was fucking atrocious and seeing him in the dugout made me want to wretch.
A guy I know at the club confirmed that Fat Sam was a wannabe jack-the-lad who made bizarre, inappropriate comments at random moments.
Example: mid-way through a typical shit-show of a match he turned to my mate and said:
"All women can squirt, you know...?"
A Rugby-League-manager-looking, bung-taking, ten-men-behind-the-ball-my-speciality, pie-eating turd of a man.
84 Posted 04/03/2021 at 09:42:43
Lets just twat West Brom tonight and shut the fuck up both Allardyce and his garden gnome sidekick.
85 Posted 04/03/2021 at 09:47:57
86 Posted 04/03/2021 at 09:51:01
87 Posted 04/03/2021 at 09:52:05
88 Posted 04/03/2021 at 09:58:25
Boom boom. I'm here all week folks
89 Posted 04/03/2021 at 10:22:15
I'm not a huge fan of Sam but having worked with Bolton and Blackburn fans, I can tell you they would have him back in a heartbeat.
I've a feeling the live forum tonight will be very abusive like this thread is bordering on. Just bear in mind if Sam is Lardarse, potato head or even just Fat Sam, what the hell does that make David Unsworth or Neville Southall? Sam Allardyce has achieved far more in his managerial career then David (Jabba) Unsworth will ever do.
90 Posted 04/03/2021 at 10:23:28
I expect a difficult game but if we are up for it we have by far the better team and should win.
91 Posted 04/03/2021 at 10:27:21
92 Posted 04/03/2021 at 10:31:44
93 Posted 04/03/2021 at 10:33:16
At this time of the season and in our situation if a player is fit then he should play regardless of the opposition.
To rest players tonight just because we are playing Chelsea next doesn't make sense to me. We can slip up against either team and therefore should treat every game on the run in as a one off cup final.
94 Posted 04/03/2021 at 10:48:52
Body shaming is no joke and l will be making a stand tonight by watching naked
95 Posted 04/03/2021 at 10:53:17
96 Posted 04/03/2021 at 10:54:49
97 Posted 04/03/2021 at 11:19:58
I also lived in Nottingham for a few years in the Clough era when Forest were a great team. How they hated it when the media called them Notts Forest, given that they were the city team and Notts County represented Nottinghamshire.
Football supporters and clubs are highly sensitive to these things!
98 Posted 04/03/2021 at 11:21:56
99 Posted 04/03/2021 at 11:25:10
100 Posted 04/03/2021 at 11:25:42
I think it can be. Three points absolutely imperative if it is to be so.
Up the Blues!!!
101 Posted 04/03/2021 at 11:41:07
102 Posted 04/03/2021 at 12:03:21
103 Posted 04/03/2021 at 12:03:56
104 Posted 04/03/2021 at 12:07:55
Its a mad season and I dont have a scoobies how its going to pan out.
105 Posted 04/03/2021 at 12:15:26
106 Posted 04/03/2021 at 12:19:58
107 Posted 04/03/2021 at 12:29:09
Albion will still defend and try to steal a goal and the points.
They just don't have the firepower to come out attacking and will try for the set piece situations. It's up to Everton to hit them early and avoid giving away silly free kicks.
Needless to say we cannot afford another Fulhamesque game.
108 Posted 04/03/2021 at 12:30:30
He certainly isnt one of our better players. At least in my opinion and, obviously, quite a few others.
Saying that, if he scores, or creates a goal, if he plays tonight, I will be extremely happy! We need everyone to contribute during this run in
109 Posted 04/03/2021 at 12:31:21
110 Posted 04/03/2021 at 12:34:01
111 Posted 04/03/2021 at 12:35:28
Blackburn or, more likely, Bolton. That is his level. That is being generous to (cough/splutter/gag) Mr A. (oh, and "A" is for Allardyce, although other "A's" do spring to mind )
112 Posted 04/03/2021 at 13:14:08
We can disregard, the climate or the castgrated sheep, so let us go for whether we win like the vintage Eighties team, or play poorly, the main thing for me is securing those three points.
Can we please put the spelling police away, I could not give a Monkeys how anyone else spells, or dots their I or t, as long as I can read it, that is good enough for me.
I am pretty sure we all know what the person has put down is.
Can put up with having a moan at poor performances, people having different views on the game and players, but spelling is the bottom of my list on here from other posters, who may have made a little spelling mistake.
Anyway three points tonight swill do for me c.o.y.b
113 Posted 04/03/2021 at 13:14:52
Whilst all have had some decent games here and there we need that consistency level to improve for the remaining games to get that higher spot.
The odd goal from Syggi and James is not good enough as neither do the required shift over 90 minutes nor Iwobi or Gomes.
I would be, like most, delighted to finish above RS and at least fourth but we know too well how Everton can let us down.
114 Posted 04/03/2021 at 13:16:45
115 Posted 04/03/2021 at 13:24:45
116 Posted 04/03/2021 at 13:26:34
117 Posted 04/03/2021 at 13:27:16
I just hope we come out of the blocks fast enough. Put WBA on the back foot from the start. Let them worry about our shape and let them have to respond accordingly.
118 Posted 04/03/2021 at 13:28:28
I doubt that we'll see anything like this again so the top 4 and Champions League money would really give us a springboard to get right in amongst them when things get back to some sort of normal.
119 Posted 04/03/2021 at 13:34:07
PS You don't dot T's...you cross them
120 Posted 04/03/2021 at 13:51:08
121 Posted 04/03/2021 at 14:06:51
122 Posted 04/03/2021 at 14:08:03
123 Posted 04/03/2021 at 14:08:16
124 Posted 04/03/2021 at 14:13:42
A win should be the norm. What we've had for too many years - this season included - is 'Everton that' results against teams we should be twatting away and a casual resigned shrug of the shoulders from supporters.
The mentality is slowly changing. Ben Godfrey is a new broom who is contributing much to that change as he demonstrates in this interview on tonight's game:
I personally like that we are playing 'catch up' with fixtures in hand. It helps maintain focus and performance levels knowing we cannot afford any more slip ups if we are serious about attaining a top 4-6 finish this season.
125 Posted 04/03/2021 at 14:15:19
I reckon Gbamin will be fit before Delph.
126 Posted 04/03/2021 at 14:26:15
127 Posted 04/03/2021 at 14:27:04
I can see Allan maybe resting - out for 10 weeks, so to expect 3 games in a week would be too much. So Davies in there.
James in or out? Personally I think Sigurdsson can do a job in today's match, bring on James if fit towards the end. With James key for the Chelsea match.
Also, will Calvert-Lewin be fit for another 90 minutes? May be a day to give King a start, and Calvert-Lewin for the final 30 minutes.
Doucouré could also probably do with a rest but maybe have to wait another day.
128 Posted 04/03/2021 at 14:31:25
For the first time, I'm a little bit worried about something Mr Ancelotti has said, about Davies, that he can play so as not to overwork Allan! So why was he not on the bench the day before yesterday? I can only hope it was something lost in translation or, unbelievably, something to throw Mr Allardyce off the scent.
129 Posted 04/03/2021 at 14:34:21
130 Posted 04/03/2021 at 14:40:44
Knoxxy, a fucking desperate one!
131 Posted 04/03/2021 at 14:45:52
132 Posted 04/03/2021 at 14:48:06
133 Posted 04/03/2021 at 14:54:04
Carlo frequently comes up with a team sheet that nobody predicted. I have been thinking the same about him deciding to start Josh King tonight and Calvert-Lewin being rested..
I agree with the calls to move on from Allardyce. Our central heating was broke, we got someone in to fix the boiler. He was never going to be the Architect of a new era. It was a transaction and nothing more.
134 Posted 04/03/2021 at 14:54:57
When the summer recruitment is finalised, I suspect that neither Gomes nor Sigurdsson will be first choice; however, I do accept that Sigurdsson can make a difference when called on.
Just a quick word about the opposition manager. Allardyce was at the club for less than a season and he hardly left the club in a worse state than he found it. Forget about him.
135 Posted 04/03/2021 at 14:58:16
136 Posted 04/03/2021 at 15:01:12
137 Posted 04/03/2021 at 15:13:42
Having said that, given that Lardicio (as some genius on here named him a while back), is seeking points, I doubt Sky will make much from post match DVD sales.
Lardicio is amusing though. I saw an interview the other day in which he said he wished he had had his successor's £200m to spend. Given his record of having spent £50m on Theo Walcott and Tosun, I guess he would have bought four Brett Angells at £50m a pop had he been let loose.
138 Posted 04/03/2021 at 15:14:39
139 Posted 04/03/2021 at 15:19:06
140 Posted 04/03/2021 at 15:20:07
Let's hope we can keep the momentum going tonight. A scabby 0-1 will be good enough for me.
141 Posted 04/03/2021 at 15:28:16
Tells you exactly what channel games are on, and kick off times.
Everton on Sky at 6pm. Chelsea game is on the same channel afterwards.
142 Posted 04/03/2021 at 15:34:08
I can't suggest which players should be in which positions at what stage of the game because we have a great manager who knows far better than me. I'd be happy with the starting 11 from Anfield.
143 Posted 04/03/2021 at 15:48:28
144 Posted 04/03/2021 at 15:52:29
145 Posted 04/03/2021 at 16:06:56
147 Posted 04/03/2021 at 16:21:47
Unfortunately he lost his book of spells six months ago.
An interesting article in The Times, 20 February by James Gheerbrant... might appeal to the serious followers of the game.
148 Posted 04/03/2021 at 16:23:52
149 Posted 04/03/2021 at 16:42:39
Certain players were left out or only on the subs bench because they weren't deemed fit enough to be included, or certainly Play a full game. This was a mistake that Martinez made for a midweek derby before the semi final against man Utd the following weekend. The size of the game got to Martinez and he decided to play a "Not fully fit" Gareth Barry in the derby rather than rest him for the semi final. Needless to say Barry did not make the semi as he aggregated his injury. Basically the derby match got the better of Martinez.
I don't know if anyone ever saw the Gary Neville Soccerbox programme when Phil Neville was on. Phil said that a derby match just seemed to take over the minds of some within the club, it was a be all and end all game. Nothing else mattered. He said one of the masseurs (Who I know so won't mention his name!!) would put post its on the wall at finch farm "Only 5 more sleep ins, 4 more sleep ins, 3 more sleep ins etc etc etc, the week before a derby match. Phil said such stuff wouldn't have been tolerated under Alex Ferguson in the build up to a Manchester derby, and he was certain the same would apply at liverpool. Basically a Merseyside derby completely took over the minds of fans and some players.
That's why now, Carlo will have it drilled into the squad, to just treat every game equally. I'm certain he will be saying tonight to get the thought of possibly going fourth completely of your minds and just treat the game as any other game, and go out and win the game. He hasn't won the trophies he's won just by pure luck!!
150 Posted 04/03/2021 at 16:45:52
Carlo can say what he likes but Dunc's reaction showed it was never just another game.
151 Posted 04/03/2021 at 16:50:30
There is a definite benefit to having a guy in charge who has been there and done that so many times... and so well.
152 Posted 04/03/2021 at 16:50:58
What? Jay, I usually can't fault you for accuracy but the expectation is there amongst the vast majority of us fans. We are the ones who react the most when 'Everton that' hits.
There are only a handful of apologists who usually appear very late on in the after-match aftermath to provide their annoying 'perspective' on just why the poor result against a poor team was fully expected and fully merited.
To be honest, they boil my piss. I think that's the common man's expression.
153 Posted 04/03/2021 at 16:52:21
154 Posted 04/03/2021 at 16:53:12
You are right Jim. There was a keeness about him when he sought and got the Everton job. He really did think that he had got to the big time in the Premiershipand did give that impression.
His mistake was that he give assurances that he could work with the existing many overpriced players and then tried to adapt them to his relegation beating system. He probably thought if he got another transfer window could bring more creative, as he called them and spec up his system. Something he never had the opportunity to do before.
But like Moyes and Koeman he thought money would make the difference to his Management, but it actually takes more than that in practice.
156 Posted 04/03/2021 at 17:02:46
If its the same lad I think you mean he is Everton mad.
Give me a clue.
No names, did you play against him?
157 Posted 04/03/2021 at 17:03:44
158 Posted 04/03/2021 at 17:06:27
To compete, on a regular basis, we still need 3-4 quality players with the above requirements and, mentality.
159 Posted 04/03/2021 at 20:59:40
I didn't play against him, but he does have a famous daughter!!
160 Posted 04/03/2021 at 21:04:21
A very good player her dad. Couldn't get near him on the pitch, class midfielder.
161 Posted 04/03/2021 at 21:08:02
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