Everton's 2021-22 Premier League campaign kicks off this weekend with the visit of Southampton as Rafael Benitez takes charge of his first competitive match as the Toffees' boss.
A close season of ever-decreasing Evertonian optimism has yielded just three new signings thus far while a cloud of uncertainty hangs over the futures of James Rodriguez and Moise Kean — players who, if the media narrative is believed, could be two very unsettled squad members if they are still with the club come 1st September.
Kean has seen his dream of a return to Paris Saint-Germain wither over the summer before it was likely extinguished completely by Lionel Messi's arrival at the Parc de Princes this week. And while speculation persists that he could yet return to Italy, he remains an Everton player even if he has reportedly been training alone this week.
James, meanwhile, has been touted around the Continent by his agent, Jorge Mendes, to little effect thus far and, if what has been reported by Marca has any veracity, Benitez has made it quite clear that the Colombian doesn't fit with what he is trying to do at Everton.
Based on Rodriguez's own comments on his Twitch channel this week, it seems highly unlikely that he will be in the starting XI on Saturday or even in the squad at all. It would have been his first appearance in front of a capacity — or close to it — crowd at Goodison Park but Everton fans, who have waited a year to see James play in the flesh, are set to have hopes of seeing him play live dashed.
If so, the focus shifts to where the creativity will come from in the absence of James. Fitness permitting, both of the Blues' new outfield signings are expected to make their debuts against Saints and they will at least offer width and pace to a side that lacked both, particularly the latter, last season.
Demarai Gray has had more of an impact in pre-season but Andros Townsend brings the greater experience so it's hard to know which is the more likely of the two to be in the line-up… although it's possible that each could start on the flanks behind a strike-force of Richarlison and Dominic Calvert-Lewin.
Abdoulaye Doucouré and Allan are the favourites to start in a central midfield that could also feature Jean-Philippe Gbamin in what would be his first start for Everton in two years. Failing that, Alex Iwobi could be handed his preferred central creative role.
In defence, Yerry Mina's return from Copa America duty means that Benitez will need to parse two from the Colombian, Ben Godfrey, Michael Keane and Mason Holgate. That is unless he opts for a five-man back line with Seamus Coleman and Lucas Digne as wing-backs rather than conventional full-backs.
If Everton's summer has been fairly dispiriting, Southampton come into the new season having made four new acquisitions to go with the permanent signing of Theo Walcott on a free transfer from the Blues after his Goodison contract expired but having lost top scorer Danny Ings and, arguably, their most dominant centre-half in Jannik Vestergaard.
Much will be expected of former Blackburn striker Adam Armstrong and fellow new arrivals, Armando Broja, Dynel Simeu and Tino Livramento from Chelsea as well as Romain Perraud who has come in from Stade Brest in France. Those key departures, along with the loss of Ryan Bertrand's experience, have many fearing that Ralph Hasenhüttl and the Saints face a testing season ahead.
That, combined with Everton's handsome home record against the Saints, bodes well for Benitez getting off to a winning start as Everton boss to keep at bay the opposition that has been voiced over his appointment. It will require a good deal more defensive organisation than was in evidence in the friendly at Old Trafford last weekend but the advantage of a packed Goodison will hopefully help tip the balance in the Toffees' favour.
Predicted line-up: Pickford, Coleman, Keane, Godfrey, Digne, Allan, Doucouré, Townsend, Iwobi, Richarlison*, Calvert-Lewin
*See clarification below
Reader Comments (178)
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1 Posted 13/08/2021 at 07:42:04
2 Posted 13/08/2021 at 07:47:00
3 Posted 13/08/2021 at 07:52:40
Maybe he keeps Richarlison on the bench, in which case Gray will start. Regardless, I expect Gray to quickly prove to be indispensable.
4 Posted 13/08/2021 at 07:59:49
I think you're right though, Gray will become one of our most important players over this season.
5 Posted 13/08/2021 at 08:05:11
6 Posted 13/08/2021 at 08:06:09
I also expect their fans are seriously lamenting the summer window – and not expecting the very young inexperienced replacements for key players to deliver much just yet. It's a transitional season for them – after a very up and down 20-21 season.
One- or two-nil to the Blues.
7 Posted 13/08/2021 at 08:08:29
Other than that, that's exactly how I think we'll lineup with, bizarrely, Iwobi now a starter.
8 Posted 13/08/2021 at 08:09:59
Strap yourselves in, lads and lasses, this whole season is going to be a bumpy ride and no mistake.
Anyone going tomorrow wanting to boo our new manager (and make no mistake, there will be some) then do so if you want... but ask yourself, "Really, what will it achieve?"
Lord knows we have waited long enough to get back inside the Grand Old Lady so let's give our boys plenty of support – they are going to need it!
I fancy us to nick it by the odd goal with Calvert-Lewin getting off the mark.
Full support …. Onward Evertonians! 💙
9 Posted 13/08/2021 at 08:25:10
10 Posted 13/08/2021 at 08:34:26
11 Posted 13/08/2021 at 08:35:15
12 Posted 13/08/2021 at 08:35:38
Tomorrow I will walk the dogs as usual at 6:30am. Leave the house at about 8am for breakfast in the local cafe. I'll catch a train from Euston around 10, maybe 11am. Have a couple of drinks in town on arrival. Still not sure how I'll get to Goodison yet. I don't know whether to go traditional and catch a bus from "the bubbles" (as we once referred to them as) or a train to Kirkdale. Or in line with my current modus operandi, just grab an Uber!!!
After the match, I will meet with my brother somewhere on County Road and then head back to town to meet my cousin in the Northwestern.
Late train back to Euston, arriving about 10pm. Cheeky one for the road in Marylebone before heading home, which should be around midnight.
A long day, circa £250 lighter but happy.
And that's before what the wife tells me what she's spent in London!!
13 Posted 13/08/2021 at 08:50:06
14 Posted 13/08/2021 at 08:54:01
15 Posted 13/08/2021 at 09:02:44
I'd love to know where this confidence comes from that Gray will be one of our most important and effective players, which flies in the face of his whole career. 19 goals from 215 starts suggests otherwise and 8 of those came in a lower league with Birmingham.
He couldn't even make the Leicester squad for the Europa League this season, let alone the Premier League, and never properly applied himself there by all accounts.
16 Posted 13/08/2021 at 09:04:57
Are you banned as well Rob?
17 Posted 13/08/2021 at 09:11:02
Or, as the British Army likes to say, a fighting withdrawal. We never retreat!!
18 Posted 13/08/2021 at 09:13:05
Townsend is a one-trick pony, who can't do anything other than cut in on to his left foot. All defenders in the league know this. Gray has bags of potential, but at 25 he should have realised it by now. I can't see him suddenly doing that. He had plenty of chances at Leicester.
I dearly hope I'm wrong, but I am predicting a 0-2 scoreline tomorrow.
I have supported Everton since 1994, but I've never felt more despondent about the team than I do just now.
19 Posted 13/08/2021 at 09:19:20
Gray joined Leicester in January 2016, just in time to win the Premier League with them. He played over 133 league games for them, and with his contract running down, he wasn't offered a new one and so joined Leverkusen in January last year. So in four years with Leicester, he averaged 33 league games per season. Not bad for someone who didn't apply himself.
Ray #16, if I took part in the Live Forum during last season, the odds are I would almost certainly have been banned. I've never read such miserable, negative stuff in all my life.
20 Posted 13/08/2021 at 09:21:56
21 Posted 13/08/2021 at 09:27:33
Not a happy place.
22 Posted 13/08/2021 at 09:35:30
They started with Shane Long up front for their last friendly which shows where they are at regarding squad depth.
If we cant turn these over then I fear the season will be even more painful than already imagined.
Be nice for the team and manager to prove me wrong but nothing Ive seen pre-season or in the press gives me much hope.
I mean only Everton could be linked with Insigne whilst telling James he has no place in the team.
23 Posted 13/08/2021 at 09:41:21
Fortunately, my wife checked Twitter, where she found the advice.
Glorious service, as always. Needless to say, I had no such problem accessing the digital ticket for Old Trafford last week.
24 Posted 13/08/2021 at 09:48:11
My issue was not with those who would argue he could surprise us because there is always the possibility that experience, last chance saloon, right manager, right environment, has attributes to suit Everton, ie, pace and directness, could see him becoming a success.
I find his description as being an effective player or important player as a little at odds with his career contribution at this stage; whereas Lookman did well when given a chance at Leipzig, Gray didn't pull up any trees at Leverkusen.
25 Posted 13/08/2021 at 09:49:04
26 Posted 13/08/2021 at 09:54:43
27 Posted 13/08/2021 at 09:59:52
28 Posted 13/08/2021 at 09:59:53
Kean training alone ?
Predicted line-up above features one new free signing. Not much of a revolution or even evolution so far. Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.
29 Posted 13/08/2021 at 10:01:31
Doucouré has been told by Benitez he is going to have a more attacking midfield role this season. I will be watching out for the formation and Doucouré's role tomorrow. I don't bet much these days but there could well be some real value on having a few £ on Doucouré as 1st goal scorer or anytime scorer in the opening matches. I'm tempted.
Width-wise it could depend upon how sharp and fresh Richarlison is. I think a good strategy will be to give him an hour then introduce the pace of Demarai Gray for the last 30 minutes to cause a tiring Southampton big problems.
Coleman Godfrey Mina Digne
Townsend Doucouré Richarlison
Prediction: Toffees 2, Saints 0
30 Posted 13/08/2021 at 10:11:20
How about a bit of optimism to go into new Premier League season?
Good or bad Everton turn out doesn't matter, at least be loving football back to our daily lives...
Fuck Covid! Fuck Lockdown!!
God bless us all!!!
31 Posted 13/08/2021 at 10:11:57
ps: 97th in the phone queue, fucking joke.
32 Posted 13/08/2021 at 10:22:42
I think we'll have a busy end to the transfer window with 3 out and 3 in but can't see us spending much money.
33 Posted 13/08/2021 at 10:23:49
34 Posted 13/08/2021 at 10:30:09
35 Posted 13/08/2021 at 10:33:45
If Calvert-Lewin can train with his toe then he can play too. It looks a decent side and, if squads were limited to say 14 players, we would look decent. It's when we have the need to dig deeper into the squad that we start to struggle.
The defence should be strong once Rafa gets them properly coached and midfield will be very different if Gbamin is and stays fit, releasing Doucouré to play further forward. Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison will score goals but need some backup as Richarlison will need some rest.
We will win this.
36 Posted 13/08/2021 at 10:41:32
37 Posted 13/08/2021 at 10:49:18
Kean wasn't looked after as his ma was promised on signing and he's never going to flourish unless he gets to feel the love. Would be surprised if anyone offered either us or either player what they need to move on so I expect they will go on loan and we will end up with loans in return. Not ideal.
38 Posted 13/08/2021 at 10:56:32
Walker-Peters Bednarek Salisu Perraud
Armstrong Ward-Prowse Romeu Djenepo
We will also likely see Walcott get some playing time. So, not a bad line-up, but their back-4 would be vulnerable with the exit of Vestergaard. I dislike Walker-Peters – he is a very sneaky kind of player, he got Digne sent off last season. The team needs to be wary of him.
I recall that the past 3 times we played Southampton, we were totally dominated in midfield, so I would like to see a hard-working midfield that can keep the ball. Rafa may play safe and play Davies, and introduce Gbamin off the bench, given his lack of match fitness. Also, Calvert-Lewin may come off the bench given his toe injury. In that case, my starting XI (4-5-1):
Godfrey Mina Keane Digne
Gray Davies Doucouré Allan Townsend
With Iwobi, Gordon, Gbamin, Calvert-Lewin, Delph, Holgate, Coleman, Begovic in the subs bench.
Decent options on the bench, but if Gomes, James and Kean are off as rumoured, it would be good to have Insigne (rumoured), Buta (right-back) and a striker (maybe Dike, the big American lad who played for Barnsley last season) to strengthen the squad immensely.
39 Posted 13/08/2021 at 10:57:37
40 Posted 13/08/2021 at 11:00:57
What a stadium, what a place. My first ever match was the opening game of the season in August '63 – what a team, what a feeling.
41 Posted 13/08/2021 at 11:14:13
I am sad to echo the thoughts of so many others that I have no optimism for the season ahead. Coleman starting a right-back is a high problem for a start.
42 Posted 13/08/2021 at 11:23:40
43 Posted 13/08/2021 at 11:34:37
44 Posted 13/08/2021 at 12:04:26
45 Posted 13/08/2021 at 12:35:17
But I like their manager, they have some good young players and are capable of playing excellent football.
They started last season very well but so did we. This is a winnable game. At home, fans back in the stadium, new player's and manager looking to impress.
But.. I'm not confident. I think who ever wins could go on a good run. Despite losing players, the Saints have consistency and good football on their side.
We have a lot more unknowns and changes trying to be implemented. This game probably sums up our season. There will be ups, downs, differences of opinion on performances and needs.
It's not easy, we are where we are and the only thing we can do now is show our positive support to the players, management and each other.
That nervous excitement is back, fans are back, football is back.
Enjoy the ride, remember it's a season long marathon not a first game sprint.
46 Posted 13/08/2021 at 12:36:56
47 Posted 13/08/2021 at 13:01:09
48 Posted 13/08/2021 at 13:02:46
49 Posted 13/08/2021 at 13:03:41
50 Posted 13/08/2021 at 13:08:11
Gana Gueye may not want to return and I cant blame him bit he's worth a try. Even on loan. This is a key position that we need to bring in cover for.
Wish Gbamin well but we need to move on. If he can contribute then great, but we cant build a team around player's that can't play. We've tried that many times.
Remember midfielders McCarthy, Besic, Gibson, Parkinson never the same again. There's many more examples too.
51 Posted 13/08/2021 at 13:19:30
I had noticed in a previous article that a number of posts just seemed to disappear. Certainly not a criticism of TW but just interested in whether there have been any changes in what is likely to be published in upcoming posts???
For Saturday COYB!!!
52 Posted 13/08/2021 at 13:20:44
53 Posted 13/08/2021 at 13:23:19
Rodridguez and Kean training separately and apparently not available for selection. .
It is all very far from being real in terms of competing in the Premier League.
54 Posted 13/08/2021 at 13:34:00
55 Posted 13/08/2021 at 13:35:08
56 Posted 13/08/2021 at 13:37:16
57 Posted 13/08/2021 at 13:37:17
58 Posted 13/08/2021 at 13:38:43
That leaves us looking a bit short ahead of tomorrow, doesn't it?
59 Posted 13/08/2021 at 13:40:05
60 Posted 13/08/2021 at 13:40:33
All that I do know is the faithful are owed a decent home performance for once.
Please deliver, eh, Blue Boys!
61 Posted 13/08/2021 at 13:45:49
Are you suggesting Benitez wasn't telling the full truth? Well, there's a thing...
Of course he isn't isolating, but y'know, Rafa knows how to play the game and James will be off somewhere sunny soon as he can.
62 Posted 13/08/2021 at 14:07:22
Sod it, we'll batter Saints anyway COYB. Hopefully a positive noisy Old Lady tomorrow.
63 Posted 13/08/2021 at 14:08:49
64 Posted 13/08/2021 at 14:13:44
ps: Anyone know what arrangements the club is making for fans who have to quarantine or self-isolate tomorrow? For example, can their ticket be passed to a friend or will stewards insist that the name on the double-vaxx certificate must match that on the ticket? Guidance seems to be silent about this.
65 Posted 13/08/2021 at 14:15:06
We'll have a better chance of winning tomorrow if the chosen players can give 100% in front of a packed Goodison Park.
66 Posted 13/08/2021 at 14:15:49
As the man several rows behind me is wont to shout, “C'mon Blues, these are shite!”
67 Posted 13/08/2021 at 14:22:46
68 Posted 13/08/2021 at 14:30:41
69 Posted 13/08/2021 at 14:35:12
He sounds like a lad who sat behind me in the days of Paul Gerrard and Earl Barrett, he went through the entire squad from goalkeeper to outside left over the course of a season. I'm generally a mild sort, but I'm afraid that I eventually ran out of patience, turning around I said, "You must be some fucking player."
70 Posted 13/08/2021 at 14:44:04
71 Posted 13/08/2021 at 14:45:24
Even with possibly a couple of late stopgap "bargain" signings, it's going to be a makeshift season ahead. A good start tomorrow is essential for confidence, without that we're a mess as we've seen too often.
72 Posted 13/08/2021 at 15:09:38
No team is a pushover in the Premier League but I anticipate a physicality and determination not shown by the players before and a good 3 points.
Call me an optimist or delusional but let's get behind this club and be the 12th man and cut out all the depressing negativity.
73 Posted 13/08/2021 at 15:40:48
The difference this season could be the support. I just hope the fans can see the big picture and understand they are a vast part of the overall team performance.
74 Posted 13/08/2021 at 15:58:29
The team's depth is going to be challenged in the first game of the season. It's usually fun to pick your starting 11 but tomorrow picking the subs might be more of a challenge. 2-0 Blues.
75 Posted 13/08/2021 at 15:59:51
76 Posted 13/08/2021 at 16:34:39
The Live Forum is an instant messaging facility for signed-up members of ToffeeWeb that we provide access to during Everton matches. Look out for blue links that will appear near the top of the page and below the Match Preview thread.
The posts are generally not moderated but we do ask people to follow our Conditions of Use when posting. Most do; some don't.
It is true that some users appear to be in a competition to be as negative about proceedings as is humanly possible. This causes friction with more positive posters but has not as yet been interdicted by our Conditions of Use. A facility is provided for offending posts to be reported. If they are deemed offensive, they may be removed.
The entire kit and caboodle of posts to the Live Forum are deleted and cleaned out shortly after the match. So, if you are deeply offended by a post, make sure you take a copy of it.
Hope this helps.
77 Posted 13/08/2021 at 16:46:40
So, if you are deeply offended by a post, make sure you take a copy of it.
I hope John's got fast fingers! ;-)
79 Posted 13/08/2021 at 17:03:47
80 Posted 13/08/2021 at 17:06:21
81 Posted 13/08/2021 at 17:18:26
82 Posted 13/08/2021 at 17:24:08
Coleman Mina Godfrey Digne
Gray Doucoure Richie
9 subs I believe:
83 Posted 13/08/2021 at 17:24:26
84 Posted 13/08/2021 at 17:32:19
85 Posted 13/08/2021 at 18:11:30
That was your priorities surfacing Brian
86 Posted 13/08/2021 at 18:16:44
87 Posted 13/08/2021 at 18:19:59
88 Posted 13/08/2021 at 18:43:08
Just a wee footnote that I see Bielsa has just signed his usual one season contract with Leeds. That's good for the board to keep in mind should we require/be looking for a new manager.
89 Posted 13/08/2021 at 18:44:52
In the National Hockey League there have been a couple of teams that have come together after some real struggles while being together for some time. The St. Louis Blues and Montreal Canadiens both came into form and no one really understands why but when they did the release from earlier frustrated chemistry offered a lot of upside and a resurgent team character. Both rode that to the Stanley Cup Finals against bigger payrolls and one of them conquered all.
90 Posted 13/08/2021 at 18:48:40
We may not win the match, we may win it handsomely but there's plenty of time for the hysterical outpourings to be used between now and May.
At least all of the trepidation about tomorrow and the season, shows that people still care about what happens to Everton, when that stops being the case, I'll start to properly worry
91 Posted 13/08/2021 at 18:52:16
The new season heralds new hope and that is just it...hope ("What oxygen is to the lungs, such is hope to the meaning of life!" - Emil Brunner). I start each season hoping that things will get better at our beloved club. My apologies for rambling on - there is a point to all this.
1. What areas are we lacking?
a)Right back - looked like we have Max Aarons/Denzel Dumfries sorted out months ago and yet...we start the season with the same two RBs as last year. I love Coleman as a person and I still see glimpses of his past glory, but we need more speed and consistency on the right side. For a long time I believed that JJK was the right heir to that position but, over time that confidence in him has reduced.
b)Ball-playing/attacking midfielder - After Arteta, we have never had a player in that position and I truly believe that it is costing us dearly. James could possibly have filled that role in my mind but Mr.Benitez (maybe via the club admin who need the money) feels otherwise. Allan provides the DM but to be honest, I am not sure he has the legs to be a Gueye/Carsley. Doucoure is good but his role often leaves me confused.
c) Striker - So many names linked with us as always but none seen yet at Finch Farm. We need to add some quality up front to help and compliment the work of DCL.
2. What about our new signings?
I like our new signings - Gray, Townsend and Begovic all add quality to our squad without breaking the bank. We need to add more quality over the next few weeks.
3. What about the youngsters trying to establish themselves?
I think Branthwaite, Nkounkou, Gordon, Broadhead, Simms and Dobbin are ready for regular places on the bench.
My ideal team for tomorrow
Coleman, Keane/Mina, Godfrey, Digne
Townsend Doucoure Richarlison
** I do not want Iwobi to start and I do not want Delph on the bench. Watch me get it wrong with both!
I am so excited about the new season. I am thrilled that fellow TWers will be at the games, cheering on the lads and helping us analyse their performances better. To those who have the privilege of going to the season opener tomorrow - give the lads an extra cheer from all us who are unable to make it...COYB
92 Posted 13/08/2021 at 18:55:29
93 Posted 13/08/2021 at 19:10:29
94 Posted 13/08/2021 at 19:17:26
95 Posted 13/08/2021 at 19:18:10
96 Posted 13/08/2021 at 19:18:49
And good thing John, I usually set the bar really low so that was unusual for me to star it off. Just wait until the Live Forum!
97 Posted 13/08/2021 at 19:28:37
2-0 Everton tomorrow and Digne back to scoring from free kicks now our designated dead ball taker is incarcerated.
98 Posted 13/08/2021 at 19:32:48
I'm afraid that I can't wait for the 'Live Forum', because I'll either be at the home games, or listening to the away games and, from what I gather from some other posters, it would be far too hot for an old 'Snowflake' like me.
99 Posted 13/08/2021 at 19:34:15
I think Gray will be a spark plug. I really hope he starts.
I'd also like to see Gbamin in the lineup. When I watched him in Florida he, Godfrey, and Gray were, by far in my opinion, our best players.
We'll finish somewhere between 7th and 10th this season is my guess. I'm hoping simply for some footy that gets me off my ass, and not a typical Rafa snooze fest, defensive first approach. We'll see.
100 Posted 13/08/2021 at 19:39:47
The Live Forum is, in my opinion, TW's best feature. It allows you to react in real time with fellow TWers / fans as to what's occurring on the field.
It is not for the feint of heart. If you offer an opinion, be prepared to back it up. It's generally very civil, full of hilarity, full of puns, and real entertainment. It can "go south" sometimes, but I'd argue it rarely crosses a line if you're a big boy and can handle some criticism.
Cheers. Check it out. And my only advice is don't sing the praises of Iwobi on the Live Forum. 😂😜
101 Posted 13/08/2021 at 19:45:51
102 Posted 13/08/2021 at 19:46:33
Cant say I'm confident we will win- they are offering evens, which is saying even though we are at home were no certs.
I think we may scrape together a win nevertheless, I hope so.
103 Posted 13/08/2021 at 19:54:45
You promised a full report on your blue night in Florida which I've been looking out for
Lets be 'avin it
104 Posted 13/08/2021 at 20:04:46
Can I sing his praises here?!
Your boys ok, Jamie? Give them my regards.
105 Posted 13/08/2021 at 20:09:02
106 Posted 13/08/2021 at 20:11:42
107 Posted 13/08/2021 at 20:17:29
I have to admit though he's doing all the right things, by the look of things he's forcing out the crap and those who aren't commited. He's trying to play fast one touch football, this is all good.
As for the players he's brought in? For what we payed for them they look like absolute bargains considering the budget he's got. If we sell Kean or Richarlison and get James, Iwobi or Gomes gone, he might be able to buy a decent forward.
I don't know what will happen tomorrow, but If I see fight and determination to the end, then I'll continue to give him the benefit of the doubt.
108 Posted 13/08/2021 at 20:30:18
109 Posted 13/08/2021 at 20:34:39
110 Posted 13/08/2021 at 20:38:54
111 Posted 13/08/2021 at 20:46:18
112 Posted 13/08/2021 at 20:58:43
113 Posted 13/08/2021 at 21:22:06
Nah, just kidding. Top 3 along with Angell and John McLaughlin.
114 Posted 13/08/2021 at 21:25:13
I've been swamped at work. I really shouldn't have even taken time to attend the game in Orlando! We are busiest when back-to-school occurs, and school starts Monday here. I've had no time to pen anything. If I get to it, it will be belated.
Boys are great, thanks for asking. Family is healthy, happy, and waiting for tomorrow's kickoff! You can sing Iwobe's praises all you want in threads! In fact, you can sing Iwobe's praises anywhere! After seeing him live and in the flesh in Orlando, I'd contend you're certifiably nuts to sing his praises anywhere! Nice man I'm sure, but good Lord his footballing ability lacks, bless him.
Cheers to all. COYB let's take 3 points tomorrow!
115 Posted 13/08/2021 at 21:41:17
116 Posted 13/08/2021 at 21:51:35
117 Posted 13/08/2021 at 21:58:23
118 Posted 13/08/2021 at 22:01:35
Everton got an unexpected result in last season's first game so anything can happen.
Saints have a different look and their new guys will be out to impress so it may be tough to grind win unless Everton come out flying and score early. Let's hope so !
119 Posted 13/08/2021 at 22:05:32
Why the hell am I defending Iwobi after all the stick I've given him? Must have had too much to drink.
120 Posted 13/08/2021 at 22:23:16
121 Posted 13/08/2021 at 22:23:57
122 Posted 13/08/2021 at 22:34:15
123 Posted 13/08/2021 at 22:35:13
124 Posted 13/08/2021 at 22:39:08
On a serious note, it even took our most successful manager time to find the right blend. And he made mistakes along the way.
Glenn Keely and that Derby. That opens up old wounds.
125 Posted 13/08/2021 at 22:49:43
126 Posted 13/08/2021 at 22:58:20
I made a great mistake in doubting the ability of Roy Vernon when he played his first game for Everton, a 2-0 home defeat against Wolves, but that was after 90 minutes. To make a decision on Glen Keeley after only 32 minutes is a bit harsh and makes my mistake more acceptable.
I can think of one or two who were inferior to Keeley but, having learned from my grave mistake with Vernon, I now base my opinion of players on more than 90 minutes, and certainly a lot more than 32 minutes.
127 Posted 13/08/2021 at 23:02:05
He's basically having to tell players to fuck off, which is still going to be very difficult, because a few of them seem to like money a lot more than they like playing football!
128 Posted 13/08/2021 at 23:14:41
Personally, I believe he does have some skills and talent. Unfortunately, I also believe he doesn't have the heart, the courage, or the out-and-out determination to use them, and that I find unforgivable.
From someone who would give up the rest of my life to play just 90 minutes at Goodison, I'd like to kick him up the arse, à la Bishop Brennan, and shame him into having some fucking bottle!
129 Posted 13/08/2021 at 23:38:20
Thanks for your clarification. I got the impression that the live forum was possibly not going to continue. I was obviously wrong and according to those who take part I am really missing something. Probably right but I have enough problems just trying to following the game. Due to my Canadian residence (emigrated in 1963 after we won the league), I have not been able to watch live games as much as I would like to. I genuinely envy all those with season tickets. Nothing like being at the game.
However, I am still very able to yell my opinions at the TV screen. I always have fellow Evertonians plus family for all games so the banter, insults etc etc are always part of the 90 plus minutes.
While I may be surprised by some of the posts on TW and very disappointed by the negativity, I am never offended in the slightest. I have been told to Fuck Off enough times in my life to let things just pass. Probably there were times when such vitriol was deserved. Mind you, there are followers of any team who should never follow Football.
Over-the-top personal criticism of individual players can sometimes go too far. Their frustrations border on insanity and the comments lack any sense of reasonable logic. Unfortunately, one post is not enough and the offenders must feel that they must multi-post in order to get their point across.
However, free speech should be considered as the right of everyone. In the eyes of every poster, they are "right" and everybody has the right to agree or disagree. Following the discussions that ensue from the daily articles is both entertaining, amusing and frustrating.
My daily dose of Toffee Web is an essential and if I am able to please or annoy by a post, so be it. I have yet to be offended enough to make me stop posting. I also enjoy reading the responses of those who have the nerve to question my "brilliant" observations about my favourite subject... "Everton"!!
130 Posted 13/08/2021 at 23:48:39
On the subject of the “F” bomb - I posted some years ago that “anyone who wants Lukaku back can “Fuck Off”. I regretted that so I would like to take the beginning of a new season as an opportunity to apologise to those concerned – Jay Woods and Mike Gaynes spring to mind. But I still don't want him back.😉
Now more than ever, we need players 110% committed to the shirt. Richarlison is one of them in my opinion – first hat-trick for the Blues tomorrow.
Up the Blues!!!
131 Posted 13/08/2021 at 00:19:00
It's a litany of immoral/illegal goings-on in present-day football and, guess what, our club "led" by Kenwright features significantly in it.
Had it not been for the principled conduct of unnamed senior Everton whistle-blower employees, who paid a price for their conduct, we could have been ruined.
So right now Benitez faffs about with selection and tactics, Brands faffs about with whatever everyone posing as being actually in charge allows him to faff about with, and the boardroom and Moshiri faff about with whoever is pulling their strings.
In the meantime most of us limit our comments to the best centre-back pairing and suchlike.
That must be music to the ears of our present boardroom and apparent (and the Al Jazeera documentary fully explains the word "apparent") owner.
132 Posted 14/08/2021 at 00:49:42
Anything to do with Mr Birch's short tenure or is it later dealings?
133 Posted 14/08/2021 at 00:51:26
134 Posted 14/08/2021 at 00:59:30
Once you've seen it, you can't unsee it. He lacks the most fundamental technique there is in football. I don't think he could even drop down a level and perform with that gaping flaw.
135 Posted 14/08/2021 at 07:05:59
136 Posted 14/08/2021 at 07:06:07
137 Posted 14/08/2021 at 07:33:22
Theres a thread on the Al Jazeera expose, elsewhere on this site already. Food for thought.
138 Posted 14/08/2021 at 08:06:47
Southampton will be decent, a fit Salisu is a good replacement for Vestegaard and Perraud is a great signing I reckon at left back. Che Adams and Adam Armstrong will keep running up front and I wouldnt be surprised to see a mistake or a set piece settle this one. Hopefully Ward-Prowse is not fit.
139 Posted 14/08/2021 at 08:32:47
Everton gave the long-awaited Andrei Kanchelskis a tumultuous welcome but by the end they were hailing unsettled Nigerian Daniel Amokachi. Kanchelskis, who finally signed on Friday after five weeks of complex dealings with Manchester United, occasionally showed his shooting power but had a quiet debut after starting his first match since surgery in March. But Amokachi, in the side only because of a late injury to Duncan Ferguson, had the crowd on their feet with his surging runs and powerful presence in the box and was rewarded with the crucial second goal when he headed over the advancing keeper Dave Beasant. Everton's other foreign star, Anders Limpar, also played a key role in his side's first victory of the season with a superb opening goal after 35 minutes. Kanchelskis dribbled across field, left the ball for Limpar and the little Swede exchanged passes with Paul Rideout and then unleashed a 25-yard left-foot drive that gave Beasant no chance. Saints had earlier dominated but a clearance off the line from David Unsworth denied Matt Le Tissier, playing in a central role, from adding to his tally.
But Amokachi, in the side only because of a late injury to Duncan Ferguson, had the crowd on their feet with his surging runs and powerful presence in the box and was rewarded with the crucial second goal when he headed over the advancing keeper Dave Beasant.
Everton's other foreign star, Anders Limpar, also played a key role in his side's first victory of the season with a superb opening goal after 35 minutes. Kanchelskis dribbled across field, left the ball for Limpar and the little Swede exchanged passes with Paul Rideout and then unleashed a 25-yard left-foot drive that gave Beasant no chance.
Saints had earlier dominated but a clearance off the line from David Unsworth denied Matt Le Tissier, playing in a central role, from adding to his tally.
140 Posted 14/08/2021 at 08:39:06
141 Posted 14/08/2021 at 08:57:52
To every blue going today, let this be a magnificent return. Enjoy every second. A new dawn, a victory.
142 Posted 14/08/2021 at 09:01:54
143 Posted 14/08/2021 at 09:47:42
Isn't he the man who Kenwright was getting involved with? Saying he was a Blue and the "Money was in the Bank" when Kenwright was opposing Paul Gregg's bid to take control? I'll watch the rest after the match, thanks again. Then I'll try and find the thread that Chris Williams mentions.
As for this season, it's the first morning of the first match, and hope springs eternal! Meet the mates in the old EFC supporters club for the first time in a year or more, walk along to the ground and let the memories flood in.
Alex Young, Bobby Collins, Roy Vernon, seeing the Blues win the League in 62-63, again in the Blueboys winning it twice in the Eighties, Barry Horne's belter that saved us from relegation, loads, Bayern Munich Night, Davie Hickson running round with that bandage on his head, many more nostalgic memories.
This season, so much doom and gloom and a ball ain't been kicked! I'm just glad that we can all go again and watch the season unfurl (Covid permitting) and then start wondering about where we'll end up.
A number are beaten before they start. This is our club, we've supported it all our lives, I'm chuffed to bits to be going. The result? Let's just see how we get on.
144 Posted 14/08/2021 at 10:06:15
Danny #124, still gives me nightmares if I think about that game.
John Mc #126, I hope you are well. My comment was a bit tongue-in-cheek really although and you are right of course but his red card played a big part in total humiliation.
145 Posted 14/08/2021 at 10:16:11
Still looking forward 2-0 the Blues this afternoon.
146 Posted 14/08/2021 at 10:20:04
Youll find it under General Forum/Messages. Samuelson is indeed the same bloke you recall. Paul Gregg is also interviewed.
147 Posted 14/08/2021 at 10:20:25
Thought for a minute, that I was going to be the oldest footy arrest of the season before a ball was even kicked
148 Posted 14/08/2021 at 10:22:12
I might get in early today though, just to see if Iwobi can do something good in the warm up, but have to agree with Brian W, whilst thinking if Alex had a bit more heart and desire, he might just be able to surprise us!
149 Posted 14/08/2021 at 10:26:13
150 Posted 14/08/2021 at 10:37:52
Can't see that happening this season, but for those interested. You can still get better than evens (11/10) for a home win today.
151 Posted 14/08/2021 at 10:44:55
In the morning, when we rise,
In the morning, when we rise.
That's the time, that's the time,
I love the best.
Mellow is the feeling that I get,
When I see her, m-hmm,
When I see her, oh yeah.
That's the time, that's the time,
I love the best.”
Morning Blues - - exactly 1 year ago today - - this day then I was rushed to hospital and entered The Tibetan Book of the Dead - - through wonderous help from all NHS staff, Blue friends and TWers and my own strength I left 7 weeks later and became You, The Living (An amazing film by Roy Andersson) - - now here I am sitting on the top floor of my House in The Costa Del New Brighton - - in my writing room - - surrounded by posters and art and poetry and listening to music - - getting ready for a visit to my Spiritual Blue Homes - - The Dark house and Goodison - - Wowwwww - - can you imagine how that feels - - absolutely wonderful - - full to the brimsicals - - “aint no one nor anything gonna stop me having a Bluetiful Day”
“Im dancing with two wooden spoons and the girl in my arms is you”
This day I will see all my friends - - some I havent seen for nearly 18 months or more - - we will meet in The Dark House and walk together as Blue Brothers and Sisters up to the Hallowed Ground - - our hearts will be full - - our minds excited and dancing with excitement - - our talk will be absolute gibberish - - but we will be Together - - Tied By A Blue Ribbon - - invisible to mere mortals - - tied around our chests - - binding each of us together - - streaming and floating on the breeze behind us - - whirling in the afternoon air - - words and poetry - - song and little dances of joy - - steps treading as if we were on the Road To Oz - - The Blue Brick Road - - as if sound and perfume swirled in the afternoon air - - I will be leaving New Brighton around 11.30 - - my wife will bring the Golden Chariot to The Door - - I shall Drive My Chariot Down Your Street and Shout Hey Its Me Im Dynamite and I Dont Know Why - - we will drive under The River - - like Dante in Search Of Beatrice - - out onto Dear Scottie - - St. Anthonys - - long by Boundary Street - - Bobs Newsagents Still there in my nostalgic eye - - earning my matchday money as the paperboy - - further onto to Smith Street - -The Brit - - St.Alphonus - - Hansons dairy - - an “udder” way to get my match money as a Milk Boy - - all gone now but still there to touch my heart and without and doubt whatsoever bring a Bluetiful Tear to my Eye and a shiver of love and affection for all those years' and family and friends tied together by being Blue - - passing Whittle Street - -33 (That Magical Mystical Number) bus every morning with Lenny Mc Cluskey, Pat Clarke, Pob Mack, Mickey Curran, Jimmy Kennedy - - upstairs on The Dockers Bus hardly able to see each other through the smoke - - along Wessie Road - - passing the Baths - - first in on Saturday morning - - and “thar she blows” - - shimmering and shivering - - The Dark House - - The Only Cathedral in The World that has the Gargoyles on the inside - - and beyond on the Blue Horizon - - - yes its Goodison - - The Home Of Memories - -
“ And we'll walk down the avenue again
And we'll sing all the songs from way back when, yeah
And we'll walk down the avenue again and the healing has begun”
Now listen - - just listening On The Road Again - - Canned heat (all good Evertonians) - - so just going to give you a quick blast on my harmonica - - here you go:
Meet the new boss
Same as the old boss
I'll tip my hat to the new constitution
Take a bow for the new revolution
Smile and grin at the change all around
Pick up my guitar and play
Just like yesterday
Then I'll get on my knees and pray
We don't get fooled again
The change, it had to come
We knew it all along
We were liberated from the fold, that's all
And the world looks just the same
And history ain't changed
'Cause (Benitez And) the banners, they are flown in the next war”
There is nothing in the world that is going to stop me feeling chocked up and clap on My Team - - there is nothing on Earth that can stop my heart beating a bit faster - - my chest and stomach getting “that” feeling - - dont care who is in “charge” - - they are just Minders for a Time - - We Are In Charge - - We Are the People - - This Is Our Club - - Made By Us and Ours - - Grafted and Crafted By Our Passions, Desires, Sweat and Blood and Tears - - Shaped in the Likeness of our Love for the Club and our Friends that we Have Stood and Sat by Over the Years - - and those who cannot be there today but are still in our hearts our memories our soul:
“And I wanna rock your gypsy soul
Just like way back in the days of old
Then magnificently we will float
Into the mystic”
OK gang - - got to go pretty soon - - meeting my daughters and going up early - - excited and absolutely delighted to be going - - we dont need to enjoy things when they have been taken away from us - - There Is Only Now - - enjoy it all and love it - - its all marvellous:
Rave on The Holy Trinity
Rave on The Golden Vision
Rave on Through The Ages
Rave On Dixie Dean
And Alex and Royston too
And Joe and little Alan Ball
Rave On You Evertonians
Rave On You Holy Fools
Rave on through a Pandemic
Rave on to Brighter Blue Future
Rave on Blue Boys
(Whisper as you read):
Finished with a final blow on my Harmonica - - there you go:
Buckets of rain
Buckets of tears
Got all them buckets comin' out of my ears
Buckets of moonbeams in my hand
Life is sad
Life is a bust
All ya can do is do what you must
You do what you must do and ya do it well
I'll do it for you
Honey baby, can't you tell?
Cosmic Blue Grooves and “Posso” Waves sent Right out there onto The Astral - - enjoy Being and Blue wherever you are and however you support and watch Our Team.
With a Firm Handshake - - George William Anthony
152 Posted 14/08/2021 at 10:55:48
Now we know it's show time again.
153 Posted 14/08/2021 at 10:57:09
154 Posted 14/08/2021 at 10:59:08
I know you weren't a fan of Ancelotti but at least you won a few bob backing Everton away from home last season; let's hope you have the same good fortune this season.
Today, I start my 66th season of following Everton, and I feel more apprehensive about this one than I did with all the others, largely down to my feelings towards the manager who I just can't take to at all.
I was deliberating about not going today but my Grandson, who is also a season ticket holder, said "Everton has been your life, so don't stop going>" So I will be going today.
Also, it will seem strange that I will be in amongst a crowd again for the first time in practically 18 months and I am a bit unsure how I will find that experience.
For all my misgivings about the manager, I think we will win today, as I think Southampton are far weaker this season than they were last season with the sale of Ings and Vestergaard.
George @151, I am sure we have all missed your musings pre-match and it seems that, unlike me, you have lost none of your enthusiasm, well done!
155 Posted 14/08/2021 at 11:16:17
156 Posted 14/08/2021 at 11:18:44
George, captured the day, the feeling and excitement of what it is to be a blue, fabulous just bursting with pride.
I shall still be awake at 2am here watching, my scarf on and ready to shout and cheer, just as well the nearest place is a couple of hundred yards away! Come on you blues! Show us what you can do!
157 Posted 14/08/2021 at 11:20:23
George, beautifully crafted as always. I confess to having an early one on the train, but that brought a tear to my eye as well as a genuine smile to my face.
Just at Stafford, a place which can sober the mind, but knowing I'm only an hour away is getting the anticipation and expectationg flowing.
Off for a second trip to Coach C and the shop!
158 Posted 14/08/2021 at 11:24:04
George #151, great stuff as usual.
159 Posted 14/08/2021 at 11:26:12
160 Posted 14/08/2021 at 11:46:09
161 Posted 14/08/2021 at 11:57:23
Let's see how they do today before eulogising and resurrecting ghosts of eras past.
162 Posted 14/08/2021 at 12:17:22
Am in Waterstones having a cuppa after travelling over by train from Nth Wales.
City centre pretty much packed just like ore- Covid.
Don't like getting to ground too early but think I better had today given Everton's previous history in fucking up ticketing foul ups.
Up THE BLUES.
163 Posted 14/08/2021 at 12:25:09
164 Posted 14/08/2021 at 12:36:45
165 Posted 14/08/2021 at 12:37:51
166 Posted 14/08/2021 at 12:39:46
167 Posted 14/08/2021 at 12:45:40
Thanks, I will.
Hope you feel better for getting that off your chest
168 Posted 14/08/2021 at 12:45:45
169 Posted 14/08/2021 at 12:46:25
170 Posted 14/08/2021 at 12:47:49
171 Posted 14/08/2021 at 12:48:54
172 Posted 14/08/2021 at 12:54:12
173 Posted 14/08/2021 at 12:55:20
I had been quite pessimistic over the close season but anything can happen. I still picked Calvert-Lewin as my fantasy football team captain yesterday, so hope springs eternal!
I fancy us edging this 2-1, hope all those attending make it a great atmosphere and have a real good time.
174 Posted 14/08/2021 at 12:56:21
175 Posted 14/08/2021 at 13:02:35
A brilliant ode to the magic of being an Evertonian and going to Goodison with music (in my head) by Van Morrison and the Who amongst others.
I don't know how you do it, but you do.
177 Posted 14/08/2021 at 13:30:46
Once Im in Im focused on a victory and how Mr. Benitez is getting them into a decent shape but conscious that it is their first game, so allowing them time and some mistakes.
You must have been posh, George William Anthony, three bleedin Christian names and coming from Scotty!! Get in there lah.
178 Posted 14/08/2021 at 13:39:00
Anyway, have a cracking day, Danny, and report back on a win tomorrow.
179 Posted 14/08/2021 at 13:47:45
180 Posted 14/08/2021 at 13:57:04
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