With the momentum of their good run of results since mid-January stalling, Everton face a tricky-looking trip to Swansea City as they seek a morale-boosting win ahead of the all-important FA Cup quarter-final replay at Sunderland.
The Swans only returned to the top flight at the beginning of the season but sit in eighth place with eight games of the Premier League season to go with a squad that cost a fraction of the teams around them.
Not only have they thus far out-performed a clutch of clubs who would have expected to be well above them at ths stage of the season — and that would include Everton, of course — but they have done it with style, sticking by an attractive passing game that has started to reap dividends away from the Liberty Stadium after initially struggling on the road.
Their home form has been particularly impressive, though. They've only been beaten in Swansea twice this season — to fellow new-boys Norwich City and Champions Manchester United — and their last scalp was Manchester City whom they bested by a goal to nil two weeks ago.
So David Moyes will not be taking this first visit to south Wales lightly, particularly given his team's struggles in front of goal recently. The Blues have scored just once in their last three matches in all competitions and continue to have problems creating enough chances.
Moyes's options could be bolstered by the return of Darron Gibson, though, after a month out with a knee injury. The Irishman returned to full training at the beginning of the week and could line up alongside Marouane Fellaini in central midfield.
And given the number of changes the manager rang for the Merseyside derby 10 days ago, there could more shuffling of the pack in other areas of the pitch, with Phil Neville, Magaye Gueye, Victor Anichebe and Denis Stracqualursi possible options depending on how many of his regulars Moyes feels he should rest.
These two sides have only met 14 times before but Swansea have never beaten Everton and, with the gap to Liverpool in 7th standing at just five points, it would be disappointing if the Blues succumbed to a first defeat to the Swans this weekend.
In truth, a draw with no disclipinary or injury issues would be a perfectly satisfactory outcome with the quarter-final replay in mind.
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019 Posted 23/03/2012 at 18:10:30
021 Posted 23/03/2012 at 18:20:50
022 Posted 23/03/2012 at 18:23:03
Match report done and dusted...
023 Posted 23/03/2012 at 18:27:11
If they beat us 10, would Davey resign?
What sort of humiliation will make this guy step down?
032 Posted 23/03/2012 at 20:14:15
040 Posted 23/03/2012 at 21:16:10
I'll bet you a tenner it doesn't go like that.
Haven't you got a bird you can moan to?
050 Posted 23/03/2012 at 22:07:32
I would rather he left Big Dunc in charge for this game while he took himself and Round to spy on Sunderland. I never want to suffer defeat yet I have a horrible premonition that the Taffees will wipe the floor with the Toffees.
051 Posted 23/03/2012 at 22:25:00
If we go out and twat them will Tony come back on and say we played well?
Nah, He'll just wait until we lose a game then come on and whinge.
That's why his opinions carry so little weight.
053 Posted 23/03/2012 at 22:29:56
055 Posted 23/03/2012 at 22:50:59
If you were to call any Swansea fan by the term Taffee as you did in your post 050 he would probably twat you one. That would possibly be the biggest insult you could give them as it would apply to their arch rivals Cardiff, which is situated on three rivers, the "Taff" being one.
They might wipe the floor with us, but if you want to see a hammering then just try calling them "Taffee" on Saturday.
060 Posted 23/03/2012 at 23:26:41
I hope this is one of those games when the lads surprise us and pull a win out of the bag. I would like to see Gibson playing but it is a big ask after his layoff. I would play Drenthe behind Jelavić up front to add some potency to our attack as I am sure it will need to be a "backs to the wall" performance and on-the-break opportunities. Fingers crossed that we are professional and show some quality when it's needed and put the smiles back on our faces.
062 Posted 23/03/2012 at 23:38:50
Dean, #055, OMG! Yakki Dar and all that. My deepest apologies to world wide Taffs.
063 Posted 23/03/2012 at 23:59:44
065 Posted 24/03/2012 at 00:45:04
What will that achieve?
A little bit more confidence for the Sunderland game?
066 Posted 24/03/2012 at 00:55:23
Get real for once.
067 Posted 24/03/2012 at 01:04:33
Problem is that Marshy may actually be right for once.
069 Posted 24/03/2012 at 01:11:38
070 Posted 24/03/2012 at 01:13:13
073 Posted 24/03/2012 at 04:07:33
078 Posted 24/03/2012 at 04:33:03
One of the best games I ever remember seeing was a 0 - 0 draw against Ipswich at Goodison back when they were playing well. Yes, a draw but not a Dour Davey Moyes Defensive Dross draw but a full-blooded, well-fought draw that left the crowd exhilarated and entertained.
So tell us ? Moyes acolytes ? when was the last time a Defensive Tactically Inept Dour Davey team left you feeling like that???
081 Posted 24/03/2012 at 05:32:07
I'm not a Moyes acolyte but how about when we beat City, Chelsea and Spurs? Also, take off the rose tinted glasses, the EPL produces very few exciting matches especially between the lower teams as the penalty for failure is high and fear football is the norm.
082 Posted 24/03/2012 at 05:35:21
084 Posted 24/03/2012 at 05:42:54
088 Posted 24/03/2012 at 06:35:08
089 Posted 24/03/2012 at 06:33:32
091 Posted 24/03/2012 at 06:45:17
099 Posted 24/03/2012 at 08:53:19
And he won't even admit to the possibility of having made a mistake!
Don't know if I'll bother getting up at 2am to watch the game.
102 Posted 24/03/2012 at 09:15:24
104 Posted 24/03/2012 at 09:10:40
Glad Gibson is back, but you know what that means,
Osman wide and an excuse to drop Drenthe when Osman does not deserve a subs shirt after the piss poor showing in the last two games, no wonder there have been alleged bust ups, every week he comes out having digs at the lad,yet says fuck all about the likes of our goalie who can be blamed for a good few goals in the past few months.
105 Posted 24/03/2012 at 09:16:49
However, I`m disappointed that the promise of the early New Year has not been maintained. I do think we shall start to see a more adventurous approach applied in our remaining games and my feeling of gloom dispelled by a rousing performance this afternoon.
106 Posted 24/03/2012 at 09:27:39
We have nine games remaining with only Man Utd to cause problems on paper. Who knows what our last game against Newcastle will place us.
107 Posted 24/03/2012 at 09:21:25
109 Posted 24/03/2012 at 09:38:20
I suggest if you are going, leave now.
110 Posted 24/03/2012 at 09:37:14
113 Posted 24/03/2012 at 09:52:17
I'd like us to twat every side we play. I'd also like to see the back of Moyes come the end of the season. I also agree the football can be dire too. Just winds me up hearing people give up before the game, that includes the manager.
I can't believe I'm on probably the most intelligent Everton fansite and there are calls for us to get stuffed. It's ridiculous.
118 Posted 24/03/2012 at 10:26:47
120 Posted 24/03/2012 at 10:10:48
What Moyes did to us in the derby will never be forgot nor forgiven. It threw away any chance of making the Euro league has cost a million or two league placing cash and will probably result in a drop in season ticket sales. Most of all it was a betrayal of everything we stand for.
Our 'istry under the heading of 'Traitors and Cowards' will have a chapter just for Moyes.
121 Posted 24/03/2012 at 10:31:48
123 Posted 24/03/2012 at 10:34:29
125 Posted 24/03/2012 at 10:57:06
126 Posted 24/03/2012 at 11:00:43
127 Posted 24/03/2012 at 10:54:08
We'd all like more flair football but there hasn't been a team in the league who've been successful in trying this, without the big bucks to back it up. Oddly Swansea are starting to look like the exception but it's daft to judge them on the basis of little more than half a season.
Moyes makes mistakes, Anfield probably the biggest of them, but he knows how to get his team working over a season, better than anyone.
Football is now about the haves and the have-nots. I hope he's here when the money finally comes in, he deserves a crack.
128 Posted 24/03/2012 at 11:00:00
130 Posted 24/03/2012 at 10:46:20
At least 3 teams are worse than us in the league ? job done!
Similar thoughts about the Sunderland game.
The FA semi final against "you know who" is an invitation for more humiliation.
The genius of Moyes to fold when the going gets tough has been a constant of his tenure; it's just his arrogance over the derby fiasco has shocked even his most ardent supporters.
131 Posted 24/03/2012 at 11:10:06
132 Posted 24/03/2012 at 11:12:33
Editors, why don't you create a wall of shame listing the miserable defeatists who openly state that they want us to lose a game. We can then decide to ignore any future comments from them.
133 Posted 24/03/2012 at 11:18:50
134 Posted 24/03/2012 at 11:15:05
When has Moyes ever targetted beating relegation as 'success'.
There are fair arguments against the way Moyes does things, but you shoot yourselves in the foot again by suggesting he has no Premier League ambition or that somehow he settles for mid-table mediocrity. Like Nick says, he has the best Premier League record of anyone outside of the money elite. Fact.
Simpsons, and angry mob comes to mind.
135 Posted 24/03/2012 at 11:19:29
IMO, the blind support of Moyes and his record is the most defeatist attitude there is.
136 Posted 24/03/2012 at 11:25:30
137 Posted 24/03/2012 at 11:22:35
As I said before, if you are happy with another 5 years of the same old shite then it's your prerogative. Me, I would like to see a new face with new ideas that might get us away from the hoofball and negativity that we've had for the last few years.
138 Posted 24/03/2012 at 11:27:04
139 Posted 24/03/2012 at 11:24:28
140 Posted 24/03/2012 at 11:30:47
141 Posted 24/03/2012 at 11:30:43
142 Posted 24/03/2012 at 11:33:35
You seem to have contradicted yourself in that last post: Are we safe? Or are we under threat?
144 Posted 24/03/2012 at 11:38:28
Statistically the strong probability is that our next manager will see us decline even more rapidly than we are at present, because most managers are not as successful as Moyes. If we lose 10 games on a trout Kevin and finished 17th, who do you think will come? And more importantly, how will they alter a squad with no creativity, and turn us into a footballing side without money? We are strongly defensively biased, which is why at the end of the season, we will be among the lowest scorers and the lowest conceders.
I for one, will take a pragmatical approach. We have no money and a poor squad; no manager we could afford will reform this team and take us back even to where we were 3 years ago. Liverpool have spent over £100 million in the last 14 months, and look like they will finish seventh in this league.
I'm not under any impression that Moyes is the best manager in this league, but I truly doubt we will replace him with someone who will achieve so much with so little. I would love to see myself proved wrong, but without a change financially, I believe the next manager will oversee our relegation, especially if he overhauls a tactically system which is shit to watch, but has been effective in terms of results.
146 Posted 24/03/2012 at 11:55:27
As I stated before, if you are happy for us to meander through the season playing mostly shite and scoring less than one goal a game, then you are entitled to accept that. I for one do not and think its a chance worth taking to get rid and start a fresh, If it doesn't work I'll hold my hand up but sometimes you have to take a risk. (Not sure that's in Davey's locker though.)
147 Posted 24/03/2012 at 12:02:35
148 Posted 24/03/2012 at 12:06:41
Can you really see somebody out there crazy enough to take the job and talented enough to improve us with no money to spend?
149 Posted 24/03/2012 at 12:11:14
150 Posted 24/03/2012 at 12:11:01
151 Posted 24/03/2012 at 12:16:22
153 Posted 24/03/2012 at 12:25:16
OK nurse, but it was my turn on the PC....This place is just not fun anymore!!
154 Posted 24/03/2012 at 12:29:18
155 Posted 24/03/2012 at 12:31:57
You didn't answer my questions.
156 Posted 24/03/2012 at 12:36:43
I'll state it again for the last time: if you are happy with mediocrity then you are entitled to be; me, I'm not and never will be.
157 Posted 24/03/2012 at 12:40:15
159 Posted 24/03/2012 at 12:46:45
160 Posted 24/03/2012 at 12:43:51
How would you compete to get there knowing City, Utd, Arsenal, Chelsea, Spurs, Liverpool will buy their league position?
We could have Gus Hiddink in charge and sure the football would be prettier, but what would he deliver position wise?
161 Posted 24/03/2012 at 12:50:06
162 Posted 24/03/2012 at 12:51:54
163 Posted 24/03/2012 at 12:57:34
164 Posted 24/03/2012 at 13:02:55
165 Posted 24/03/2012 at 13:03:26
166 Posted 24/03/2012 at 13:05:45
Would love to see a cup or a place in Europe, but I reckon we won't achieve either. Back to Fifa 2012 or Football Manager for me to get my cup winning kicks.
167 Posted 24/03/2012 at 12:14:18
"you want change for change's sake in the hope that we will improve when we have no basis for improvement?"
So you would wish therefore to keep things as they are and hope they change?
What was that about the definition of insanity?
Jim Knightley, so you think for £3.5 mill a year there are no managers that are better than Moyes.
After 10 years of boring turgid dour football (although NEVER wanting us to lose) I'd go for a change. Moyes has had his chance, it's time for something new.
168 Posted 24/03/2012 at 13:24:41
That quote was by Einstein and it was based on science which soccer isn't. Changing manager and bringing in another with nothing to spend has very little chance of success (improving the side ? not winning trophies), has every chance of catastrophe and at best probably no change.
There's another saying which is that you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear, I believe what we have the ultimate in sow's ears?
169 Posted 24/03/2012 at 13:28:53
173 Posted 24/03/2012 at 14:29:12
175 Posted 24/03/2012 at 14:42:07
176 Posted 24/03/2012 at 14:42:07
186 Posted 24/03/2012 at 16:42:03
Unfortunately for you we are beating Swansea...you must be annoyed.
-With regards to stagnation, I think it is more likely the result of being unable to bring in players, than the manager. Have a look at how results have changed since we brought in Jelavic and Pienarr for instance.
Yes Jon I do. Who do you imagine is going to want to come to us for 3.5million a year and who would guarantee improvement? The likes of Hiddink and Mourinho would not come for the money or the team. We could attract the likes of O'Neil or Hughes potentially, who if they fancied the job, are unlikely to have done a better job than Moyes.
I think we need to understand the position with Everton at the moment; it is about maintaining our league status. With no money we cannot expect to improve as teams around us spend. We must hope Barkley and Rodwell come on, hope we bring players from the youth set-up and hope we get a buyer. If you expect Moyes or any manager to get us playing nice football and challenging for the european places, you are unrealistic.
188 Posted 24/03/2012 at 16:58:46
Interesting to see Liverpool leading a pack of 5 for 'best of the rest' 7th. How the mighty have fallen. £150 million spent?? We have as good a chance as they have if we all stay fit.
191 Posted 24/03/2012 at 17:08:30
197 Posted 24/03/2012 at 17:17:35
Gibson has that spatial awareness defensivley that Carsley used to have that Fellaini and Rodwell don't. He also passes forward the majority of the time, a rarity in our midfield. We are so much better when he plays.
200 Posted 24/03/2012 at 17:25:11
Great result today. Hopefully gives us some confidence going into a very touch FA cup match this week. Gibson could be key though they will have Sessegnon back....COYB
201 Posted 24/03/2012 at 17:27:12
211 Posted 24/03/2012 at 17:34:25
I am not over-confident and I blame that on Moyes.
Even still, as I am an Evertonian, I have a small hope of getting to Wembley, and getting revenge on Liverpool.
218 Posted 24/03/2012 at 17:46:21
220 Posted 24/03/2012 at 17:43:58
221 Posted 24/03/2012 at 17:47:50
Never mind Tony, see you in a few months.
Gibson makes the difference. He's like Carsely and Parkinson. Does the simple things well.
382 Posted 24/03/2012 at 22:20:47
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