FA Cup 3rd Round Preview
Nathan Patterson and Vitaliy Mykolenko are eligible to make their debuts but Rafael Benitez is waiting to assess their match readiness
Rafael Benitez says he has yet to make a decision about whether either of his two new signings will feature against Hull City this weekend when Everton enter the FA Cup with a tie at the MKM Stadium.
The club moved quickly when the winter transfer window opened by securing left-back Vitality Mykolenko from Dynamo Kiev and right-back Nathan Patterson from Rangers for what could end up being a combined £34m but Benitez said that their readiness is still being assessed.
“The first training session was just for them to settle down.” Benitez said of the new boys in his press conference today at Finch Farm. “Yesterday the session was much better, [with] more communication with their other team-mates.
“Both players are fine. They showed that they want to do well. Are they ready? We will see. Today we have another training session and we will see how they feel.
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“If you have to play them, they can play but, in terms of fitness, they've had 15, 20 days without training so we will have to consider all the aspects.”
Benitez's presser was dominated by talk of Lucas Digne whom he says no longer wants to play for Everton after the pair fell out over the latter's role in the side.
Digne has been left out of the side for the past month and has been attracting interest from potential suitors in Italy and England but, in the meantime, his position has been filled by Ben Godfrey and Seamus Coleman.
Coleman was deployed awkwardly out of position against Brighton last Sunday, a game Everton lost 3-2, but it remains to be seen whether Benitez will opt for that formation against the Tigers from the Championship.
Elsewhere in the side, Dominic Calvert-Lewin is expected to be rested after he complained of tightness in his quadricep following his first appearance in four months in the defeat to the Seagulls. The striker ended up playing the full 90 minutes as the Toffees chased the game, a lengthy outing that was not in the manager's plans for the returning player.
Reader Comments (89)
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1 Posted 07/01/2022 at 21:50:43
2 Posted 07/01/2022 at 21:50:43
3 Posted 07/01/2022 at 22:06:32
So much for improving all areas of the club….
4 Posted 07/01/2022 at 22:16:01
Patterson - Godfrey - Branthwaite - Mykolenko. Go on, Rafa, I dare you. As Paul says above, what does he have to lose?
We've won diddly for years anyway and surely that back line is our future anyway. Either they'll surprise you and be right up for it… or crap out as per usual.
The problem for Rafa is, if he risks it & we lose, he surely edges even closer to the exit door. A "damned if you do, damned if you don't" situation, at least partially of his own making, it has to be said.
5 Posted 07/01/2022 at 22:22:00
6 Posted 08/01/2022 at 00:30:00
Its a good job you werent on the Titanic.
You would have created panic before they even hit the iceberg and there would have been no survivors.
7 Posted 08/01/2022 at 01:05:51
It imperative that new players, especially younger ones, be given enough time to acclimatize to their surroundings, teammates, coaches tactics and expectations etc. They need to feel comfortable and confident when they play in order to succeed. These full-backs must succeed and we must give them the time they need and be patient as they gain experience in the best, toughest and most physically-demanding football league in the world.
8 Posted 08/01/2022 at 01:25:56
Godfrey, Coleman or the guy we just spent the best part of 20m on?
How will we know if players are ready unless we play them in an FA cup game.
Coleman has been slaughtered this year, we have just bought a new full back, why not play him?
You say new signings have to get used to tactics and formations. When full international players are struggling to carry out the managers instructions or understand tactics, when is the right time to blood new expensive signings.
9 Posted 08/01/2022 at 01:40:35
I would agree with Michael's sentiment in league games, at least if & until we lose the next two when we're right in the poo, but I'm definately with Rob re tomorrow. If it's a shit show by half time, that's what the bench is for. If we actually have anyone to sit on it of course. Going back many years I remember the ref getting injured and we got a qualified ref out of the Goodison crowd to run the line. I'll bring my replica shirt just incase!
10 Posted 08/01/2022 at 03:00:42
It's a game in a tournament we are not going to win and most likely will not advance very far if we do win tomorrow. If either of our full-backs are not ready for tomorrow than I am fine if they don't play.
However, maybe some game time against a low-level Championship team would do Mykolenko some good. I am not at Finch Farm so I have no idea how ready either new guy is.
My point is that we must do all we can to make sure the new players succeed. They are making a huge jump in their careers and in their personal lives. I am willing to give them the time they need to give them the best chance to come good. Who knows? Maybe Mykolonko won't need very long. I hope so.
11 Posted 08/01/2022 at 07:07:03
"These full-backs must succeed and we must give them the time they need and be patient as they gain experience in the best, toughest and most physically-demanding football league in the world."
But how do they gain experience unless they play? And Hull are near the bottom of the Championship, so why not give them a no-pressure initiation into how the team plays? If they're no good, Rafa can always bring Leighton on at right-back and Seamus on at left-back.
12 Posted 08/01/2022 at 07:33:20
Priority has to be Leicester on Tuesday night, followed by Norwich away.
13 Posted 08/01/2022 at 07:43:16
Both must have had a good idea that a transfer was imminent so would have trained even if on their own, so they would pass the medical and be available from the off.
14 Posted 08/01/2022 at 07:50:35
15 Posted 08/01/2022 at 07:51:54
(1) pick a "strong" team and lose. Out tomorrow.
(2) Pick a "weakened" team and lose. Out after Tuesday.
(3) Win the game with either (1) or (2). Spend tomorrow on his knees thanking the Lord for a small miracle and for his good fortune in the penalty shootout.
16 Posted 08/01/2022 at 08:07:58
So maybe introduce him that way with Godfrey behind as orthodox left-back.
5-3-2 or 5-2-2-1 might also work but we generally look hopeless in this formation.
Whatever, we must be prepared for a battle.
17 Posted 08/01/2022 at 08:15:16
18 Posted 08/01/2022 at 08:16:52
19 Posted 08/01/2022 at 08:18:18
No way should we be resting anyone, why? It's time to roll the sleeves up get out there and perform. Play the strongest team, get the win and get some confidence flowing back. This is no time to be conservative, that would cause its own problems. Pick our best available 11.
Get the new boys blooded in, this is a great match to bring them up to speed and to gel them to the team. Get the highly promising young back four playing together, it could be a game-changer for the club.
We need to grab this opportunity to let go of the hesitant, defensive, fear-ridden mindset that has infected the team. This younger team will get onto the front foot and be more willing to attack and take the game to the opponents rather than us be the inevitable supplicants.
It will give the team and Everton FC itself a whole new feel and identity. One with energy, passion, belief and fight. Renewed hope for the future based on young hungry players, who are delighted to be wearing the shirt. It will give the supporters a real lift too if they turn in a great performance.
Patterson Godfrey Branthwaite Mykolenko
Allan Doucoure Gomes
Gordon Calvert-Lewin? Gray
If Calvert-Lewin isn't fit enough, then I'd rather have Simms than Rondon.
20 Posted 08/01/2022 at 08:27:39
21 Posted 08/01/2022 at 08:29:37
'It's a game in a tournament we are not going to win and most likely will not advance very far if we do win tomorrow'
That's the spirit!
Appreciate your reasoning and your comments, but in recent years, since we were last in the final, teams like Aston Villa, Hull, Stoke, Wigan, Watford, Portsmouth, Crystal Palace have reached the final.
Only one winner amongst them but it would be great to put the strongest team out and take the competition seriously.
22 Posted 08/01/2022 at 08:31:23
Patterson, Keane, Godfrey, Mykolenko
Doucouré, Allan, Gomes
Gordon, Simms, Dobbin
23 Posted 08/01/2022 at 08:32:29
Michael Williams @ various, you say we won't win the cup anyway… we won't win the league so a cup is our only chance of any glory.
I hope he picks both new players and the strongest side possible. If we go out tonight, this sad excuse of a manager has to go. I absolutely despise him and his arrogant attitude, Benitez out!
Tony @19. I totally agree with that side and I'd rather have a dose than Rondon.
24 Posted 08/01/2022 at 08:41:03
Ben Godfrey, from what I have seen, is not a natural centre-back and there must be someone in the academy to challenge Gomes and Allan.
This game seems like a good one to see what the future could hold, to play on the front foot with pace and endeavour.
25 Posted 08/01/2022 at 08:45:59
Interesting team. Ideal for this game.
26 Posted 08/01/2022 at 08:58:28
27 Posted 08/01/2022 at 09:17:26
28 Posted 08/01/2022 at 09:20:42
But its ok as Sharpey is a NED now, strategic review over, problems solved.
29 Posted 08/01/2022 at 09:23:52
For the Hull game, I would be very surprised if Benitez went gung-ho and played both new full-backs from the start. Probably, Mykolenko may start at LB and Kenny at RB with Patterson getting some time later if the team is leading.
Tony, I don't think Branthwaite is still ready to play because I did not notice him in the training video put out by the club yesterday (surprisingly, Digne was training normally with the rest of the team!).
Kenny Godfrey Keane Mykolenko
Doucoure Gbamin (or Gomes) Allan
Gordon DCL Gray
SUBS: Patterson, Coleman, Holgate, Gomes, Rondon, Dobbin, Simms
30 Posted 08/01/2022 at 09:24:42
31 Posted 08/01/2022 at 09:33:52
32 Posted 08/01/2022 at 09:36:10
Bring back the 4th round and us being one step closer to Wembley.
33 Posted 08/01/2022 at 09:36:44
Go there and win by three goals and the team will have some confidence for the important PL games next week.
We will see how "together" the team is.
The arrival of the new lads is bound to help the morale, and Rafa has made it clear that it is his way or the highway.
I noticed the training video showed all the lads applauding each other before their warm-up run yesterday, so perhaps the squad is in better fettle than we think?
As for Digne. I have been as frustrated with him, as he has been with the tactics of late.
Last season, he was no longer taking free kicks, and I wondered if he had an underlying foot problem.
His main contribution has been his assists. Defensively we have always seen him struggle positionally. I can recall Coleman having to switch right across the backline to clear balls while Luca was still jogging back.
Chelsea won't take him - I think he will go abroad.
Onwards and upwards.
Today we could see us turn the proverbial corner.
On the other hand. If we lose, then morale will be shot and I expect Rafa to be removed.
Plenty at stake.
34 Posted 08/01/2022 at 09:44:51
35 Posted 08/01/2022 at 10:10:23
36 Posted 08/01/2022 at 10:13:55
37 Posted 08/01/2022 at 10:21:32
Patterson (he will play Coleman)
Mykolenko (he will play Kenny)
Gomes (he will play holgate)
Dobbin (he will play the tree)
2 losses in the a couple of days, and he's gone. You cant be losing to bottom of the championship during one win in 12.
38 Posted 08/01/2022 at 10:29:42
39 Posted 08/01/2022 at 10:42:36
40 Posted 08/01/2022 at 10:47:37
Some have said this game is a free hit which I can understand in terms of there being no points at stake. That said if we lose it will pile more pressure on him- he will be blamed for not playing the new lads or if he does, he will be blamed for playing them too soon after signing them.
I think we need Ben in central defence and Id play Keane to use his experience to settle the full backs down- Keane should enjoy playing against a lower division attack likely to be direct in their approach. Id gamble on the new boys because we need them ready for the league games next week and the alternatives would give us a very shaky defence. Simms did very well against championship defences last season and Gordon is on such a high that he has to start. Id like to see Onyango given a decent run out maybe later when we are a few goals up( well I am allowed to dream arent I??!!).
Patterson Godfrey Keane Mykolenko
Allan Doucoure Gomes
Gordon Simms( or Dobbin) Gray
41 Posted 08/01/2022 at 11:03:05
Hopefully whichever players are sent out, they'll show enough to get through, but my spidey senses say we're in for another roller-coaster match, and the issue will be can we convert the few chances that we are likely to create and more importanlty can we keep a clean-sheet.
Remember when the FA cup used to get us all excited, now it fills quite a lot us with dread.
42 Posted 08/01/2022 at 11:20:11
A risk, yes, but I bet the hunger and desire would be there though and my word have we been missing some of that these past years. Go on Rafa, please!
43 Posted 08/01/2022 at 11:28:52
I like that line-up too!
44 Posted 08/01/2022 at 11:36:18
So - 4-0 this evening, and I don't mind if Hull can grab a consolation.
45 Posted 08/01/2022 at 11:38:56
46 Posted 08/01/2022 at 12:05:08
Kendall came from Preston where he had been a revelation at 17. It took him ages before we started seeing the player we all came to love. Joe Royle, 16 when he was brought in... if they are good enough then they are old enough.
We all have our own theories but it is down to Benitez and, after all, the youngsters and newbies can't be any worse than our first team "stars". If you were training with the first team and watching some of the dross from the sidelines, it's no wonder they clear off if they can't get in this team.
47 Posted 08/01/2022 at 12:09:26
Reckon it's more likely to be:
Coleman Holgate Keane Godfrey
Townsend Gordon Gray
Townsend will go off after about 70 minutes, 40 minutes after he started struggling with the injury he shouldn't be back playing from. Gomes and Kenny will come on, with one of the new boys added only in the unlikely event we're cruising.
Hope I'm wrong… but one way or the other, Rafa will again frustrate us and puff out his chest knowing the number he's done on Moshiri leaves him safe regardless.
48 Posted 08/01/2022 at 12:31:01
Think we'll win by the odd goal, COYB.
49 Posted 08/01/2022 at 12:38:34
50 Posted 08/01/2022 at 12:53:03
“Your honour and members of the jury, I call on you to find Mr Moshiri guilty as charged of dereliction of duty as owner of Everton Football Club. I call on you to demand that he sell up and leave Everton Football Club as quickly as possible, before the damage he is causing such a great institution becomes terminal.”
51 Posted 08/01/2022 at 13:03:15
52 Posted 08/01/2022 at 13:11:23
53 Posted 08/01/2022 at 13:21:08
54 Posted 08/01/2022 at 13:29:16
Assuming a new Buyer/Owner came on board, would everything just carry on as is/was, with regard to BMD ? I know we would all (well, nearly all) embrace a Board reshuffle, (about as much use as an Ashtray on a Motorbike) like 'Manna From Heaven' by the Israelites !
The Transfer List made an interesting reminder of just how profligate the Club has been, out of all the Players listed very few have been worth it (in today's crazy World of Fees) notably Pickford, Richarlison, Branthwaite and Mina (when fit) and more recently Demarai Gray and Townsend (free), the rest is made up of donkeys and below par journeymen. I suppose you could argue that, (ignoring the Fee) Sigurdsson until recent events was a decent (ish) player.
55 Posted 08/01/2022 at 13:31:05
It is absolutely a 'must win' game.
For the club. The owner. The team. Individual players. And us, the fans.
Lose this and the manager is deep, DEEP in the do-dah.
56 Posted 08/01/2022 at 13:37:49
57 Posted 08/01/2022 at 13:38:32
The M62 carriageway was split at Stott Hall Farm due to the topography; there is a similar section on the M6 between Tebay and Shap.
The farmer simply stayed on when the motorway was built and his descendants still live there.
“The Fool on the Hill” was recorded in 1967,
well before construction work began.
58 Posted 08/01/2022 at 13:41:13
If Coleman or Godfrey or god forbid both get injured today they will be thrown in at the deep end on Tuesday.
59 Posted 08/01/2022 at 13:43:17
As I mentioned above I leave open the possibility that Mykolenko may benefit from a run-out this week, maybe even a start. What more do you want?
What I'm not willing to do is say the new ones must start. If there ready then sure. Why? Because we need to start thinking like a real organization. It's more important to put the development of players over this FA Cup game. Part of helping a player achieve success is putting them in a position to succeed.
Look at the flip-side. What if they are not ready and they start? What if one of them gets chewed up and spit out - costs us a goal? All of a sudden you have a youngster, in a new country and club, low on confidence, That takes even more development time and kid gloves to work back from.
We don't know if the players are ready? We don't know if the new players think they are ready. Let's take the time to develop these players the right way start getting it right. And let us all be patient when they make mistakes, even big ones, because they will.
60 Posted 08/01/2022 at 13:50:29
61 Posted 08/01/2022 at 13:50:56
If he fields a weakened side and we lose, then even more pressure will load on the Leicester match.
I would go for the win.
62 Posted 08/01/2022 at 13:51:24
63 Posted 08/01/2022 at 13:54:35
64 Posted 08/01/2022 at 13:58:27
65 Posted 08/01/2022 at 14:00:35
66 Posted 08/01/2022 at 14:02:29
He certainly can't pick Coleman today and a few days later against Leicester, so it'll be JJK or Coleman for either one or both games.
Godfrey will then be LB for both games
Play the young lad's
I'd sooner have a 100% Dobbin playing creating havoc up front than Rondon
67 Posted 08/01/2022 at 14:15:22
Not showing him as injured on the OS!!
68 Posted 08/01/2022 at 14:16:55
If we can get Gray and Flash on the ball as much as possible,then we have every chance of getting through this one,I'll still be watching through me fingers though and no doubt Picks will be a busy boy today!
69 Posted 08/01/2022 at 14:20:50
70 Posted 08/01/2022 at 14:21:53
We will defeat Brighton in the Final.
Anthony Gordon will score the winner.
71 Posted 08/01/2022 at 14:24:13
72 Posted 08/01/2022 at 14:32:41
This playing for a draw, or damage limitation is a very negative, and an extremely dangerous attitude. Winning games does breed confidence, whether it is against top or bottom.
73 Posted 08/01/2022 at 14:34:03
74 Posted 08/01/2022 at 15:01:07
75 Posted 08/01/2022 at 15:01:49
76 Posted 08/01/2022 at 15:28:43
77 Posted 08/01/2022 at 15:46:49
78 Posted 08/01/2022 at 15:51:25
79 Posted 08/01/2022 at 15:54:09
80 Posted 08/01/2022 at 16:01:52
Thanks for your concern
81 Posted 08/01/2022 at 16:06:45
Benitez doesn't do cup ties?
Besides the Uefa Cup twice, the FA Cup, The Italian Cup, The Champions league, then the one offs... Fifa World club Cup, the Italian super Cup, The uefa super Cup and the charity shield. you are absolutely spot on!!
82 Posted 08/01/2022 at 16:08:20
83 Posted 08/01/2022 at 16:10:10
Play the best available starting 11, in their best suited positions, and beat Hull City.
84 Posted 08/01/2022 at 16:12:52
85 Posted 08/01/2022 at 16:19:20
That is so apt st the moment. We do all need to pull together and stop this negativity. Lets rise from the ashes and worry about the manager later.
86 Posted 08/01/2022 at 16:23:24
87 Posted 08/01/2022 at 16:24:29
These last 27 years have taught ME that it's Blues like YOU that want jolliness.
I want success.
IF that's unjolly of Me then tough.
Are you really Bill Kenwright ?
88 Posted 08/01/2022 at 16:29:42
From being brought up on 2 title successes and FA Cups I know exactly what I want our football club to be. I also know we need to be united to win games and maybe even win the cup. Thanks for the inference but Billy blue has more money in his kecks than I will ever have. Welcome to the party pal
"These last 27 years have taught ME that it's Blues like YOU that want jolliness."
Is the most laughable thing i've heard in my life!
89 Posted 08/01/2022 at 16:33:19
Also agree about Olise. Very gifted player and no surprise he's now performing for Palace.
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