Pre season: Good, bad or ugly?
Such is the club’s inability to begin a season until sometime around Christmas, it could be seen as a little premature to comment on Everton’s pre-season, extending as it does well into the winter. But by a conventional definition of pre-season, the summer months have been remarkably upbeat for Evertonians. Not only have we managed to hold on to key players such as Baines and Fellaini, but we’ve also signed two players. Granted, one of those came on a free and the other is a player who the club is buying back for a higher price than we sold him for, but still, by Everton standards this level of activity is unheard of. And there might be more to come. While it’s unlikely that the money the club has received for Jack Rodwell will be blown in one go, a few extra additions to the squad at least now seem possible.
Hopes for the season:
To finish in the top five
To build a better squad
To finally win a trophy
To finish above Liverpool
That Brendan Rogers will be to Liverpool what Mike Walker was to Everton
Fears for the season:
The nineties cast a long shadow for many Evertonians and so the threat of relegation always lurks at the back of our minds. Although David Moyes’ success at the club has largely put these fears to rest they do occasionally bubble-up, specifically because Everton start the season so badly.
Absolute bare minimum you’ll accept
Staying up. As long as the club maintains its Premiership status then I’m happy.
As something of a glutton for punishment, I’m also looking forward to this season’s derbies.
Fixture you’re most looking forward to?
I’m looking forward to Everton v West Ham, largely because I’ve always had a soft spot for the club and it’s good to see them back where they belong. As something of a glutton for punishment, I’m also looking forward to this season’s derbies. Last season, both league bouts were marred (poor refereeing in the first, poor team selection by Moyes in the second) and so it would be good to play Liverpool on an even level this season and get a true reflection of the each side’s capabilities.
Got the right manager?
Unquestionably. Thank God Moyes never went to Spurs. His loss would have been keenly felt at Everton. What’s more, had he gone then there was every chance the club could have ended up with Roberto Martinez. How embarrassing would that have been, being stuck with the one prom date nobody else wanted?
By Christmas you’ll be…
Everton will probably be languishing near the bottom of the table, readying themselves for the club’s traditional second-half-of-the season surge.
Player you’d most like to sign?
There’s been a lot of talk in the papers about Everton going after Clint Dempsey but for a club with a limited budget, buying an arl’arse like Dempsey doesn’t make sense. Everton would only get a few good years out of him. Better instead to look at youth, such as Matt Phillips from Blackpool.
Which player should we look out for?
Ross Barkley is tipped for great things. He’s another midfielder to emerge from the club’s youth system. He hasn’t had much of a chance to shine to date but this season could be the one where he breaks through, which should be of interest to any Man City fans (if the career progression of our last young-promising-midfielder is anything to go by).
John Terry won’t win a MOBO.
Which player would you love to ditch?
All the bit-part players that we had last season have already been shown the door.
Opposition hate figure?
Luis Suarez seems to be a pretty contemptible human being. His lack of contrition over the racism debacle last season, his appalling theatrics during the Goodison derby, his willingness to openly cheat all add up to a presence that English football would be better off without. From a purely football perspective, it’s also odd that a player who couldn’t hit a barn door from three yards (but who could probably viscously attack it and ridicule its ethnicity) is rated so highly.
Tell us something we don’t know about your club?
The little jail or ‘bridewell’ that features in Everton’s crest is known as Prince Rupert’s Tower, and is still located on Everton Brow, in Netherfield Road, Liverpool. The tower takes its name from Prince Rupert of the Rhine who once stayed nearby. I’m not sure if he was an Evertonian.
What won’t happen this season?
Everton won’t win the league
Luis Suarez won’t become the next chair of the Commission for Racial Equality
John Terry won’t win a MOBO
Sheikh Mansour won’t go to a game
Joey Barton won’t be featured in the Guardian again
The John W Henry Mark II Cyborg will still be unable to seamlessly blend in with mankind
Where will you finish?
7th. Or maybe 8th. Then again it could be 9th. Or 10th. And you can never rule out 11th. Or 12th for that matter.
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