Allan looked likely to miss out in central midfield, with Duncan Ferguson admitting in midweek that the Brazilian was doubtful but he could yet be involved
Updated Duncan Ferguson is back in the home dugout as caretaker manager on Saturday as Everton face Aston Villa in a vital Premier League match layered with narratives and sub-plots.
The Scot is hoping for a repeat of the unforgettable afternoon at Goodison Park in December 2019 when he led the Blues to an adrenaline-fuelled 3-1 win over highly-fancied Chelsea that swept away the anxiety that had built up during the final weeks of Marco Silva's tenure.
This time, he will be steps away from two former Liverpool foes in the form of Steven Gerrard and Gary McAllister while Lucas Digne, still an Everton player less than 10 days ago, will be lining up for the opposition following his £25m move down the M6.
Without a win in over a month and with just one Premier League victory since late September, the Toffees desperately need to start picking up points and, as he explained in his interview with evertontv on Wednesday, Ferguson will be counting on another raucous Goodison crowd to help push the lads over the line.
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Just as was the case a little over two years ago, Ferguson will be able to call upon a twin strike-force of Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison as both players should now be fit enough to start after the Brazilian was only named on the bench by Rafael Benitez at Norwich last Saturday, the Spaniard's ill-fated last game in charge.
This time, however, the interim head coach looks likely to have Yerry Mina in the line-up — the Colombian missed that famous win over Chelsea with a hamstring injury — and though there have been calls for Nathan Patterson to come in for the faltering Seamus Coleman, Ferguson could err on the side of experience and keep the skipper in the line-up.
In the interests of making the Blues as hard to beat as possible, it would not be a surprise to see Ben Godfrey reinstated at left-back in place of raw new signing Vitalii Mykolenko and if that is the case, the question becomes whether to retain Michael Keane, a player visibly low on confidence, or use Mason Holgate, in whom Ferguson has placed his trust before, or Jarrad Branthwaite at centre-half.
The wide positions have been picking themselves these days with Demarai Gray and Anthony Gordon in impressive form of late but it's central midfield that has been the biggest issue and it is there where Ferguson will have to make some decisions.
Allan looked likely to miss out after Ferguson rated him doubtful in midweek but he could be fit enough to play but Fabian Delph is ruled out with another long-term injury. With Tom Davies sidelined as he recovers from surgery on a hamstring tendon problem, it leaves just Abdoulaye Doucouré, André Gomes and, at a push, Jean-Philippe Gbamin as an option for a third central midfielder or Andros Townsend playing a more narrow role.
Much will depend on whether the boss feels he needs to play three across the middle and sacrifice one of his wide men or rely on a more attacking but committed display across the side to counter what looks likely to be a Villa trio of Emiliano Buendia, John McGinn and Coutinho.
Gerrard will be without winger Leon Bailey who continues to battle a thigh issue and Marvelous Nakamba who is out until next month with a knee injury while he will have to assess Ezri Konsa who is significant doubt with a hip complaint. Like Everton's Alex Iwobi, Bertrand Traoré, is unavailable because of his involvement at the Africa Cup of Nations.
Villa come into the game on something of a barren run themselves having not won a match since beating Norwich at Carrow Road in mid-December. However, with Coutinho and Digne making their debuts, they demonstrated how difficult they can. be to beat by coming back from 2-0 down grab a draw against Manchester United last weekend.
They will indeed be a difficult proposition but as they proved against Arsenal a month ago, this Everton side has the talent and the ability to respond to the urging of a passionate Goodison crowd to turn in a powerhouse performance and take the points. How much would we give for a repeat of Dunc's first game in temporary charge and lift the clouds following Benitez's departure?
Kick-off: 12:30 pm, Saturday 22 January 2022
Referee: Craig Pawson
VAR: John Brooks
Last Time: Aston Villa 0 - 0 Everton
Predicted Line-up: Pickford, Coleman, Mina, Holgate, Godfrey, Doucouré, Gomes, Gordon, Gray, Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin
Reader Comments (161)
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1 Posted 21/01/2022 at 07:22:34
2 Posted 21/01/2022 at 07:43:54
I reckon it will be a classic 442, a la Chelsea 2019. But I still think 433 is the way to go. Id love to leave Keane and Gomes out, forever as its like playing with 9 men with them two on the pitch. Whatever we do the strikers need service.
3 Posted 21/01/2022 at 07:58:48
Two monumental tests of the backbone and the character of players that have had an easy ride in recent years hiding behind managers being the scapegoat.
4 Posted 21/01/2022 at 08:03:47
5 Posted 21/01/2022 at 08:31:19
Keane is weak but Holgate should never be considered a solution.
He's sat out his mistakes because he continues to make them but still thinks he's Cruyff.
Mina and Branthwaite in an ideal world, but ideal world's at Everton don't exist.
6 Posted 21/01/2022 at 08:31:24
Pro-Duncan, not Duncan. Old boys club versus get someone else in. That can be debated elsewhere.
3 points. That's all that matters. Whatever our opinions or views, that's what we all want.
7 Posted 21/01/2022 at 08:33:07
8 Posted 21/01/2022 at 08:34:21
A gaping hole in our centre. Been a problem for an awfully long time now. Thats before you get to the gaping hole in the middle of our defence of course.
9 Posted 21/01/2022 at 09:01:39
Play compact, play on the front foot, even if we have to defend deep at times, play for yourselves, and go and play for the fans. All basic stuff, but if achieved, then Im sure the fans will do the rest.
10 Posted 21/01/2022 at 09:06:09
3 points a MUST from this game!
11 Posted 21/01/2022 at 09:08:21
It's a huge game and we badly need a lift after the events of the past 3 months.
12 Posted 21/01/2022 at 09:12:38
I expect itll be 4-4-2, and if Delph fit the same lineup as Lyndon has but Gomes out for him.
13 Posted 21/01/2022 at 09:19:36
Duncan will be pumped and so will Goodison.
14 Posted 21/01/2022 at 09:40:53
15 Posted 21/01/2022 at 09:46:29
16 Posted 21/01/2022 at 09:50:25
With some important players back and fitter too, we can have some more confidence. Duncan will have them fired up, the set up will be simpler and better balanced. Goodison will be at its bear pit best.
Everton 2 Villa 1
17 Posted 21/01/2022 at 09:53:13
Firstly, please dont let any goals in, in the first ten minutes. This always sets us back, and we end up chasing the game and making us more vulnerable to counter attacks.
We are the home side, so press hard up the field and control the game.
As some say, this is a must win game, and will give us breathing space away from the bottom three.
I wouldnt pick Holgate or Gomes, Branthwaite in central defence, and put Godfrey in midfield to strengthen us up.
18 Posted 21/01/2022 at 10:00:38
19 Posted 21/01/2022 at 10:13:16
Very difficult to do with the players available. I dont think it can be done.
But here is my attempt assuming Allan is out of the equation.
Coleman, Mina, Godfrey, Mykolenko
Doucoure, Gomes, Townsend
Gordon, Richarlison, Gray
Bench: DCL, Branthwaite, Keane, Holgate, Patterson, Delph, Rondon,Begovic.
20 Posted 21/01/2022 at 10:15:41
As Dunc has said an awful lot depends on the atmosphere; get behind the team, even if we go one down... get the win!!
21 Posted 21/01/2022 at 11:11:20
22 Posted 21/01/2022 at 12:15:23
23 Posted 21/01/2022 at 12:17:01
In two months they've had one win in eight and that was five games ago away to Norwich in mid December.
A supercharged Goodison stoked by Duncan, we'll do them tomorrow.
24 Posted 21/01/2022 at 12:27:55
25 Posted 21/01/2022 at 12:31:18
Hopefully youre bang on the money about your final paragraph though.
26 Posted 21/01/2022 at 12:37:17
27 Posted 21/01/2022 at 12:44:07
I am correct in saying they have 1 win in their last 6 since 5th December, away to Norwich.
Nothing to big up. Nothing to fear.
28 Posted 21/01/2022 at 12:49:30
29 Posted 21/01/2022 at 12:58:37
30 Posted 21/01/2022 at 13:13:38
You couldnt make it up could you, Digne in opposition who is certain to cause us problems.
I don't like the look of the game one bit.
31 Posted 21/01/2022 at 13:23:56
Coleman, Mina, Branthwaite, Godfrey
Gordon, Townsend, Richie, Gray
32 Posted 21/01/2022 at 13:26:37
33 Posted 21/01/2022 at 13:27:52
34 Posted 21/01/2022 at 13:34:35
Patterson Mina Branthwaite Mykolenko
Allan Gbamin Doucoure
Richarlison DCL Gray
Moving forwards that is the team i'd like to see bedded in; maybe with a better DMC than Gbamin (Davies? A new signing?)
However now is probably not the time for risks and so I expect it to be more like:
Coleman Mina Keane Godfrey
Gordon Allan Doucouré Gray
35 Posted 21/01/2022 at 13:34:49
must win one. Things are not that desperate yet
and Villa are a decent side.
Hopefully we will see a better performance with
the crowd singing from the same song sheet.
There is no game after tomorrow until the Brentford
cup tie and I would be very surprised if there wasnt
a new manager in place by then. It looks increasingly unlikely that that will be Duncan, and as everyones now had their say on who it should or should not be, lets just hope we get it right this time. Dont ask me If I have any confidence in that as we have all had our say on that one too.
36 Posted 21/01/2022 at 13:42:26
37 Posted 21/01/2022 at 13:52:06
Reporter: Do the players understand this ?
Duncan: They do now…
Cracked me up
38 Posted 21/01/2022 at 13:58:58
Duncan at today's press conference.
Now that is going to leave someone a bit conflicted.
39 Posted 21/01/2022 at 14:04:10
40 Posted 21/01/2022 at 14:12:37
41 Posted 21/01/2022 at 14:20:59
42 Posted 21/01/2022 at 15:03:02
43 Posted 21/01/2022 at 15:12:03
Oh, and Iwobi!!
44 Posted 21/01/2022 at 15:16:54
45 Posted 21/01/2022 at 15:20:17
Having a manager with little media training and who you know actually gives a sh1t about Everton really does go a long way.
Roll on Saturday
46 Posted 21/01/2022 at 16:28:07
I severely doubt this is the game for Gbamin; I'd spend the game in constant fear of Ings, Watkins, Coutinho or any other of the wily Villa forwards picking his pocket every time he got the ball.
I fully expect Ferguson to play Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison together up top, and play direct to them whenever possible. I'd also like to see Doucouré given licence to get up the pitch as often as possible, and be that midfielder arriving late into the box.
Gray and Gordon (or Townsend) to play a bit more centrally, with the full-backs given licence to stay as wide as possible – and Allan (if fit) or Holgate to screen in front of the two centre-backs – as, if memory serves, it was Ferguson who used him there against Man Utd in his previous caretaker period.
In possession, I wouldn't be surprised to see Holgate almost make up a third centre-back, with the other two splitting wide to allow the full-backs to advance. Mina surely has to start, and it's probably pick 'em between Keane, Branthwaite and Godfrey (or Holgate if he's not chosen to play in midfield).
It will be interesting to see what happens at full-back. Ferguson will no doubt feel compelled to pick Coleman, but whether he goes for Mykolenko or Godfrey at left-back could be quite telling.
I'm not expecting anything too complicated, and he might just opt for an old-fashioned blood-and-thunder 4-4-2. Whatever happens, I just hope the players can get the energy and intensity levels right from the start, and set the tempo for the game early.
47 Posted 21/01/2022 at 16:37:33
Asked about the sacking of Benitez, Duncan said he wasn't shocked given the run of results; we were on a bad run and the results speak for themselves.
Duncan quite rightly instructed the media to speak to Benitez over the failures and he wanted to draw a line under what had happened. He was also asked would there be a change of formation or personnel? His reply was "Well, given the results we have had, then we have to make changes."
Duncan went on to say that Ancelotti had rang him to wish him well. He also said Carlo was a fantastic manager and he learned a lot from him. He went on to say he was a great tactician and he was also great with the lads, and he got on great with the lads.
He was a real inspiration to Dunc and he had the team flying at one point and it just tailed off at the back end of the season. Obviously that is quite different from what he thought about Benitez, as he never mentioned anything about Benitez.
48 Posted 21/01/2022 at 16:43:30
Back four is more speculative. Will it be Coleman or young Patterson? Will Mina and Godfrey be the centre-back pairing? Will Mykolenko get the nod?
Up front, it's Gordon, Gray and Calvert-Lewin for me with Townshend also a consideration for either Gomes or Gordon.
As others have said, it's the commitment that counts and the desire to get 3 points.
49 Posted 21/01/2022 at 16:47:24
Let's hope he has the instant effect as last time.
50 Posted 21/01/2022 at 17:15:33
51 Posted 21/01/2022 at 17:16:25
Patterson Branthwaite Mina Godfrey
Allan Doucouré Gomes
Gray Calvert-Lewin Richarlison
It would be brave to go with Patterson and Branthwaite, but Coleman and Keane have not earned an automatic first choice. Branthwaite did really well against Chelsea, not overawed or out of place despite his young age, so he gets the nod over the all-at-sea Keane.
Patterson has to be blooded soon, Duncan will have been watching him closely in training. Tomorrow is the day for his debut if he's doing well enough at Finch Farm.
Mykolenko looks like he needs a bit of time to adjust; Godfrey has impressed me at left-back and he should start tomorrow.
A bit nasty leaving Gordon and Townsend out, but they can play a big part from the bench. I want the midfield to be a proper midfield three, with licence for Doucouré to support attacks. . Gordon and Townsend will deputise for Gray and Richarlison.
52 Posted 21/01/2022 at 17:17:17
Is Richarlison not fit?
If he is, surely he's the first name on the team sheet?
53 Posted 21/01/2022 at 17:38:06
I've criticised Allan regularly, but what a pity he isn't available tomorrow. I think Duncan would have moved him higher up the pitch out of harm's way where he could go to war... I also think him and Duncan would be made for each other.
54 Posted 21/01/2022 at 17:40:36
55 Posted 21/01/2022 at 17:43:59
I think our three piano players are certainly Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin, and Gray. It's the eight carriers who need identifying tomorrow. In reality, cut that down to seven, because Pickford will play.
If Allan and Doucouré are fit, I feel sure Duncan will play them, because otherwise there is no steel in the middle. That's five left. The four-man defence is anybody's guess and, not for the first time is the hot ToffeeWeb topic. Can anyone honestly say that there are players amongst our defenders who are an absolute shoe-horn into the team?
Duncan will show his mettle by sorting the defence out. Four from Mina, Keane, Godfrey, Branthwaite, Holgate, Coleman, Mykolenko, Patterson, Kenny.
Good luck with that, Duncs!
BTW – I know that's only 10. I want a place reserved for Gordon.
56 Posted 21/01/2022 at 17:46:27
He basically called him... Carlo Fantastico! 😂
57 Posted 21/01/2022 at 17:53:02
"Do you think the players know what it takes to play for this football club?"
"I think they do now".
58 Posted 21/01/2022 at 17:53:30
Delph injured again and is out.
59 Posted 21/01/2022 at 17:55:33
60 Posted 21/01/2022 at 18:00:07
61 Posted 21/01/2022 at 18:06:25
As mentioned above, Doucoure was looking as if he could be carrying an injury.
Allan is touch and go - he might be the one getting over Covid.
Delph has managed to injure himself again, and might be out for the season.
Davies out - back in March perhaps.
Gomes - I've lost faith in him post-injury. Poor ball-winner, and gave it away too often against Norwich. Could be selected if both Doucoure and Allan are fit.
Gbamin - bit difficult to judge, seen so little of him, but Duncan should've seen enough.
Personally I might be tempted to give Onyango a go. Saw him warming up at Chelsea, and he's got the right physique.
If we don't get 3 points tomorrow, we'll need to go into the market for a midfielder, if FFP requires it for a loan.
And lastly, I see Yerry has got himself fit again, just in time for Columbia's next international.
62 Posted 21/01/2022 at 18:23:53
Well pointed out. He would be the first name on the teamsheet for me. That puts Gordon back on the bench then.
63 Posted 21/01/2022 at 18:29:44
Coleman Mina Branthwaite Mykolenko
Gray Allan Doucour Gordon
Subs: Begovic, Patterson, Godfrey, Gomes, Townsend, Dobbin, Onyango, Keane (for when Mina breaks down on 45 minutes)
64 Posted 21/01/2022 at 18:33:03
65 Posted 21/01/2022 at 18:34:28
66 Posted 21/01/2022 at 18:43:58
67 Posted 21/01/2022 at 18:47:56
But if he has a decent game, then no doubt it will be, “Why hasn't he been up for it for the last 2 months?” – which is fair comment about a professional... but it's all about tomorrow, imo.
68 Posted 21/01/2022 at 18:48:22
69 Posted 21/01/2022 at 18:49:57
70 Posted 21/01/2022 at 18:50:18
71 Posted 21/01/2022 at 18:50:44
Coleman Mina Keane Godfrey
Gray Calvert-Lewin Richarlison
72 Posted 21/01/2022 at 18:57:14
Tomorrow's game is only "important" in the sense that it's Dunc's first game. In of itself, it's not going to save or sink our season.
So if we think middle-of-the-road Aston Villa is a bridge too far for Patterso,n then when do we play him? Against Man City? In a six pointer versus one of our relegation rivals?
Coleman is past it. If Nathan Patterson is not at least equal to him, even allowing for experience, then we should hire back Brands and Rafa and sack them again for signing him, along with Kenwright, who claimed credit for handling the deal.
73 Posted 21/01/2022 at 18:58:44
Steavey, how about at left-back?
Julian, it was. I think they might get a reminder in the morning too.
Jeff @ 70 - good point.
74 Posted 21/01/2022 at 19:04:27
Patterson, Mina, Godfrey, Mykolenko
Gomes, Allan Doucouré
Sadly no Gordon. Could we play him in behind the 3 and in front of Allan or Doucoure if we don't play Gomes?
Result tomorrow. We get a result!
75 Posted 21/01/2022 at 19:10:55
So true about Patterson, but Duncan will also know the weaknesses of Digne, who is far more likely to play than Patterson.
76 Posted 21/01/2022 at 19:18:10
77 Posted 21/01/2022 at 19:19:41
Whoops – just noticed Rob has made the same point, doh...!
78 Posted 21/01/2022 at 19:30:48
79 Posted 21/01/2022 at 20:15:40
80 Posted 21/01/2022 at 20:25:42
We are in desperate need of a midfielder before the end of the transfer window. Gomes just does not cut it unless he comes on as a sub with about 20 minutes to go. Maybe Oyango should be given a go??
Without Allan tomorrow, I cannot see anything other than defeat. Duncan is not a miracle worker. We need some reinforcement in midfield and quick.
81 Posted 21/01/2022 at 20:28:10
82 Posted 21/01/2022 at 20:34:38
83 Posted 21/01/2022 at 20:52:06
Coleman Mina Keane Godfrey
Gray Calvert-Lewin Richarlison
Godfrey in beast mode at left-back. Patterson and Onyango come on in the 60th minute for Coleman and Gbamin; Gordon for Richarlison on 75 minutes...
2-0 the Toffees. Let's just hope he doesn't sub the sub again!
84 Posted 21/01/2022 at 21:22:22
I will have an pint of whatever you boys have been drinking.
85 Posted 21/01/2022 at 21:27:26
86 Posted 21/01/2022 at 21:29:57
Kenwright would play Coleman. We've seen Seamus embarrass himself for months game after game. He's too fucking slow. His initial speed has gone.
Don't play Seamus – he's past it!
87 Posted 21/01/2022 at 21:39:05
89 Posted 21/01/2022 at 21:39:54
90 Posted 21/01/2022 at 21:51:06
My team for tomorrow:
Patterson, Mina, Branthwaite (if fit), Godfrey.
Allan (if fit), Doucouré, Onyango,
Gray, Calvert-Lewin, Richarlison.
Mykolenko for Branthwaite, with Godfrey moving to centre-back and Gomes for Allan.
91 Posted 21/01/2022 at 21:58:45
92 Posted 21/01/2022 at 22:01:57
93 Posted 21/01/2022 at 22:02:42
I think we all will know in the first 10 minutes what the story is in this game.
One thing is certain, we need to avoid defeat !
94 Posted 21/01/2022 at 22:04:55
95 Posted 21/01/2022 at 22:06:57
96 Posted 21/01/2022 at 22:07:46
97 Posted 21/01/2022 at 22:32:05
98 Posted 21/01/2022 at 23:00:14
He needs a break regardless. Hes virtually an ever present in a struggling team at 33 which wear anyone out. Throw on the Irish games and Im surprised hes been as good as hes been.
99 Posted 21/01/2022 at 23:48:34
A bit of balls in that team. Dunc has said there will be changes cuz what weve seen hasnt been working. Allan is fit, hes said so himself. Lets hope DCL is better.
100 Posted 22/01/2022 at 00:05:36
101 Posted 22/01/2022 at 00:57:12
102 Posted 22/01/2022 at 01:23:41
Coleman Mina Branthwaite Godfrey
Gordon Allan Doucoure Gray
103 Posted 22/01/2022 at 01:24:52
104 Posted 22/01/2022 at 01:27:54
I would be absolutely shocked if Dunc's lineup does not include Anthony Gordon.
105 Posted 22/01/2022 at 03:41:19
I am under no illusions just because there will be a euphoric atmosphere there tomorrow, that this wilĺ be anything but an easy game.
However I do think with Duncan back in temporary charge at least, and the crowd breathing a collective sigh of relief at Rafa's departure, it may just be enough to get all three points.
That is assuming Dunc picks a team resembling our best available, and the ever faithful crowd as usual do their bit, plus a bit extra. Unfortunately won't be there, but hopefully will watch it on the box.
COYB UTFT !
106 Posted 22/01/2022 at 03:51:50
Removes one of the top names from Moshiris managerial short list
107 Posted 22/01/2022 at 04:26:35
As long as we don't loose and the players give it %100 then its a start in the right direction..
I predict there will be goals for sure...
108 Posted 22/01/2022 at 04:53:25
Haha I was going to say the same thing. That said, poor old Meatloaf was a good old entertainer and despite his peculiar style he did make some great songs. But yes he was probably on the list along with Rooney; Cannavaro, The Chuckle Brothers, Big Bird, and Willie Wonka
109 Posted 22/01/2022 at 05:21:24
Patterson Brainwaithe Keane Godfrey
Gray Dacoure Ricchy Gordon
110 Posted 22/01/2022 at 05:45:34
111 Posted 22/01/2022 at 06:21:28
I want us to get back our defensive solidity. Too risky to give Patterson his debut in such a high pressure game. He will get his chances. Keane and Coleman deserve to be dropped, they were absolutely shocking against Norwich. Gordon deserves to play.
I would go 4-4-2 with a flat back 4 of Holgate, Mina, Branthwaite, Godfrey.
The width would come from Gray and Gordon, Allan and Doucoure in the middle. DCL and Richarlison up top.
Holgate Mina Branthwaite Godfrey
Gordon Doucoure Allan Gray
SUBS: Kenny, Mykolenko, Keane, Gomes, Gbamin, Townsend, Dobbin, Tosun
112 Posted 22/01/2022 at 06:43:29
I d take Tonys@51, line up albeit without Gomes, whom I think will be even more pedestrian than normal against a fast and confident Villa, so id start with Gordon or Gray in his place. But will Seamus and Michael Keane start, remains to be seen.
But hopefully Duncan will have the players galvanised for what has been a decent fixture for Everton down the years.
Hopefully a scorching intense bear pit atmosphere at Goodison today, and put Slippy in his place but more importantly get 3 points.
This game is a must win, and could be the starting point of a good run of results, to build up confidence for the rest of this season.
113 Posted 22/01/2022 at 06:48:26
Add to that a dangerous Villa side with Gerrard and Cuotinho to spice things up a bit.
It should be a good show.
114 Posted 22/01/2022 at 06:54:45
You took the words right out of my mouth.
Absolutely. Age has caught up with Seamus and I'm dying to see the new boy in an Everton shirt, but I'd have no worries if Ferguson goes for experience. Seamus will not let us down today.
115 Posted 22/01/2022 at 07:05:37
116 Posted 22/01/2022 at 07:22:38
Here is my team for today:
Holgate Mina Branthwaite Godfrey
Allan Doucoure Gordon
Charley DCL Gray.
Think we should give Mykolenko a break and take him out the line-up.
117 Posted 22/01/2022 at 07:24:12
118 Posted 22/01/2022 at 07:27:53
119 Posted 22/01/2022 at 07:28:00
120 Posted 22/01/2022 at 07:35:18
121 Posted 22/01/2022 at 07:44:07
122 Posted 22/01/2022 at 07:46:20
Also interesting to see most lineups writing off Patterson, with Ajay not even giving him a place on the bench. Gordon in a central 3 is also a strange one.
Patterson Mina Godfrey Mykolenko
Doucoure Allan Gomes
Grey DCL Richie
Bench: Begovic, Coleman, Branthwaite, Townsend , Gbamin, Onyango, Gordon, Simms, Dobbin
123 Posted 22/01/2022 at 07:48:36
124 Posted 22/01/2022 at 07:51:45
We need to win this and really hope we do for Duncan!
125 Posted 22/01/2022 at 07:53:22
Will be roaring them on with my long suffering family from me couch here in Tokyo!
126 Posted 22/01/2022 at 07:57:19
The collapses against Villa, Watford, rs, Brighton, Norwich etc… are unacceptable. Better defending, improved passing and a bit of gumption are all required in bucketloads today.
127 Posted 22/01/2022 at 08:05:24
128 Posted 22/01/2022 at 08:07:26
129 Posted 22/01/2022 at 08:10:51
Seamus is in woeful form at the minute and has an serious error in him every game, Kenny isnt good enough and it would be a tough ask to throw Patterson in when we are 5 points off relegation. We have seen this with Mykolenko already.
130 Posted 22/01/2022 at 08:27:31
Although Allan has not been great he will be a big miss as we don't have anyone else like him in the squad. I would still try for Longstaff in the window.
5 in the midfield for me today with Gordon playing inside of gray on the right and Richy playing wide left.
Mykolenko misses out until he gets used to the pace of the game. Feel sorry for him as he is nowhere near ready but been thrown in because of the ex managers gobshite behaviour.
I wouldn't be surprised if onyango got a start in the centre. Think Duncan likes the lad.
My fear is we play 442 and lose the midfield again. Rondon can't get anywhere near the 11 surely?
We are all looking for a reaction today. Losing has become a habit over the last few months. We need to get some momentum going the other way. We need 11 men on the pitch today.
Villa looked decent last week but not great. Gerrard has them working hard for each other. We have to match that before trying to play.
Coleman Mina Keane Godfrey
Gray Gordon Gomes Doucoure Richy
131 Posted 22/01/2022 at 08:36:13
New leaf, start again (again) and all that. Hopefully with the toxic atmosphere temporarily lifted the players, whoever is picked, will express themselves.
The result is important, but I just want to see a reaction and performance. Get that and the result will follow.
132 Posted 22/01/2022 at 08:37:37
133 Posted 22/01/2022 at 08:52:04
134 Posted 22/01/2022 at 08:55:09
135 Posted 22/01/2022 at 08:55:51
I am right behind my boyhood ideal Big Dunc, I am as nervous for him as I am for a positive result. I am unsure if he actually wants the job permanently or not, if not then I have swung to having Wayne in with him and Lee Carsley. I would be concerned for Dunc's mental health and stress levels were he to take it permanently, he would put an awful lot on himself to get it right.
Rob Dolby - really interested that you mentioned Onyango, I have the same weird little hunch he might actually start him. How do you know Dunc rates him, or are you reading between the lines? Much depends on Allan's availability. We HAVE to loan in a CM for the remainder of the season as it is, he can't be sold until at least the summer. I like Allan and if he plays today we will see him at his snarling best. I would love Onyango to get a game behind Allan and Doucoure, it's probably too soon but we are hardly overrun with options, I say that as one of the few remaining optimists on here about Gomes.
So 433 for me today, any calls above for Holgate to be played over 3 RBs is insane in my opinion. I think I would play Coleman for this one but let him know any further repeats of recent weeks will likely event I him being dropped for Patterson. I would also go for Yerry and Keane with Godfrey LB, Mykolenko needs time. 433 means Gordon would drop to the bench which is harsh I know but Gray and Richy must play.
136 Posted 22/01/2022 at 08:57:23
137 Posted 22/01/2022 at 09:02:25
Whoever Duncan sends out it will be a relief to see that monkey off our backs.
A win would be great but we need our strikers to hit form. Time for Calvert-Lewin to get at it – he needs a bit of that Ferguson aggro.
The team selection will be interesting.
138 Posted 22/01/2022 at 09:15:32
No Benitez on my mind
Looking out from my Windows
Moel Famau across the way
The City slightly lit by pale blue
Illuminated with streaks of Naples Yellow
The River still and placid
Turner, Sisley, Signac, Monet and Whistler
All Blue Boys
The upstairs side window
I can see the white roof of The Palace
Excitement bursts through my whole body
“I can hear music
I can hear music
The sound of the city baby seems to disappear
I can hear music
Sweet sweet music”
I will be leaving in a moment
Picking up a friend
On to The Dark House
All our birthdays and Christmas together
Before the game
Blue adrenalin and blue blood
Running bubbling flowing
“Little darling, I feel that ice is slowly melting
Little darling, it seems like years since it's been clear
Here comes the sun do, do, do
Here comes the sun
And I say it's all right”
Nothing but Blue Cosmic Grooves
Possos All The Way
Your friend - - George
139 Posted 22/01/2022 at 09:23:05
'I really hope Digne gets roundly booed, none of this clapping an ex-player who let's face it scampered at the first opportunity'.
Did you not follow the news for the last two months of Benitez's reign?
I'll wager good money that the Goodison faithful will do the polar opposite of what you hope for and give Lucas a very warm reception as he was denied a proper send-off by the vindictive, self-sabotaging Benitez.
The crowd will use Digne as a vehicle to express their anger against Rafa-the-ex-gaffa and a display of sympathy for Lucas is my prediction.
140 Posted 22/01/2022 at 09:24:12
No negative thoughts is the only way to go, George, let's just get behind the team and roar them on to a vital win. I don't care how they do it – deservingly or the Jammy bastards way – as long as those 3 points are added to our total.
141 Posted 22/01/2022 at 09:28:55
Pickford, Kenny, Mina, Branthwaite, Godfrey, Townsend, Doucouré, Gray, Gordon, Calvert-Lewin, Richarlison.
I also want to see Simms, Dobbin, Mykolenko, Whitaker, and Onyango on the bench. This is a new start. No Rondon, no Delph... and only 1 goalkeeper, for fuck's sake!
We need to get on the front foot from the off. Coleman has been flogged this season and Kenny will be up for this game.
I am shocked by Lyndon's predicted line up. The same old same in my view some players don't deserve another chance. COYB
142 Posted 22/01/2022 at 09:29:58
143 Posted 22/01/2022 at 09:34:24
144 Posted 22/01/2022 at 09:38:19
I'm thinking Bridge, George.
145 Posted 22/01/2022 at 09:48:03
146 Posted 22/01/2022 at 09:49:43
I don't care what side Duncan puts out, you know we will have a go from minute 1 to minute 90, no sitting back and letting the opposition control the game and the tempo.
147 Posted 22/01/2022 at 09:53:35
148 Posted 22/01/2022 at 10:02:53
Why is Patterson at right back of particular concern against Gerrard? If Creasehead is any good at the coaching / managing thing, then he will be well aware of the weaknesses of all of our players. What he will never have seen is how Patterson links up with whoever gets the right-wing or central-midfield slot.
It would be nice to say Duncan's got a few games' grace to get up and running – sadly, we need positive performances and good results asap.
149 Posted 22/01/2022 at 10:17:44
Danny Ings loves playing against the Blues. Don't give him any space.
150 Posted 22/01/2022 at 10:26:34
Longstaff is a decent up-and-down centre-midfielder that isn't afraid of graft. Keeping him fit is the only issue.
He would be on an almost free transfer and we would be weakening one of our relegation rivals by bringing him here.
Bissouma is a £40M player. We won't be signing anyone like that whilst FFP is hanging over us.
Anyhow I have digressed from the main thread.
SSS then get ready for the game.
No massive black cloud today – only blue skies.
151 Posted 22/01/2022 at 10:27:14
I think the odds-makers have got this just about right, Villa have lost four since the start of December, but three of those defeats were against Man City, Liverpool and Chelsea; they have beaten Leicester and Norwich (remember them?) and fought back from being two down against Man Utd.
Gerrard has brought a feelgood factor to Villa Park. They will fancy their chances today, But Rafa out and Big Dunc in will add a feeling even gooder factor to the Old Lady today. The odds makers have not taken that into consideration.
152 Posted 22/01/2022 at 10:35:24
153 Posted 22/01/2022 at 10:41:45
154 Posted 22/01/2022 at 10:45:20
Whichever, do we include another defensive midfielder or somebody at least as mobile as Doucouré at his best albeit I would like somebody we don't seem to have who is capable of doing both.
155 Posted 22/01/2022 at 10:47:28
As Darren says, Villa are favs, they have shortened since yesterday.
I have to say I am full of trepidation about the game, you have to be a super optimist to fancy us to beat anyone just now.
It will be just like Everton if Digne comes and plays a blinder.
156 Posted 22/01/2022 at 11:00:44
157 Posted 22/01/2022 at 11:06:14
158 Posted 22/01/2022 at 11:08:19
159 Posted 22/01/2022 at 11:12:50
160 Posted 22/01/2022 at 11:17:52
Good gesture, but what about the lads in The Royal Oak and the Dark House? :-)
161 Posted 22/01/2022 at 11:18:22
Thought that was a windup Tony but a fellas just turned up here who said the same and said both those pubs are chocca!!
162 Posted 22/01/2022 at 11:18:57
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