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There's something special about an English game of football in cold, wet and windy conditions, and walking on to Goodison Park from the pub, you really felt that buzz amongst the pre-game bustle
The team remained unchanged from the bore draw at Middlesbrough prior to the enforced break. The fun quiz in the pub prior to the game was to guess how many ex-Everton players would feature in the Sunderland line-up, the answer of which turned out to be the two most recently departed – Darron Gibson and Bryan Oviedo. Joleon Lescott suffered the boos from the substitutes bench for probably one last time.
Overall, a terrible game but not the worst result. It's a shame to lose ground on the top six, but the reality is seventh is the best we can achieve this term in my opinion.
An extraordinary afternoon at Goodison Park. Though Romelu Lukaku rightly gets all the plaudits for his exceptional efforts in front of goal, it was nice to see Ross Barkley have the final say on the game. Ross had an excellent game, this characterising his form since the turn of the year and you have to expect that an England recall must be on the cards if he can keep up this form.
So three wins on the bounce in the Premier League and with the gap between us and Manchester United now down to just five points we find ourselves very much looking up rather than down. Things feel really positive. Let's just keep it going.
We were just awesome. Can anyone tell me when we last played this well?
We were poor today. We could have done with an easier fixture to kick off our campaign, such as Plymouth Argyle at home let's say, but we got the home draw against a team we're above in the league so it's difficult to whinge too much really.
A flattering 3-0 victory finalises a good Christmas period. Though our draw at Hull City was disappointing, the seven points haul out of the available nine is not to be sniffed at.
I wish we could just abandon this fixture such is our pitiful record. I expect defeat every time now and just can't wait for that patronising head nod "unlucky mate" wince from my Liverpool FC supporting colleagues tomorrow. Happy bloody Christmas.
What a game and what a night. Now that's the rot stopped. Let's do it again next Monday and turn this season around.
t full-time we had to be pleased with a point given it looked so bleak earlier in the game. Hopefully that is the spark we need to re-ignite our faltering campaign.
Though nervy at times we were resolute in the second half and did well to stand firm from a series of corners. We were however dangerous on the counter attack and this is how we sealed the game when two of our most impressive performers on the day combined to hammer the death nail for West Ham United.
Before kick-off, I was lucky enough to be asked along to Carling In Off The Bar a show which aired on YouTube by Sky Sports presented by Adam Smith and Laura Woods. The show airs every Friday night game and is set in a pub in the city of the home team, this being MacKenzie's Whisky Bar on Rodney Street in Liverpool. I brought Ste along for the entertainment and free Carling.
An unforgettable dinner in the splendor of the Anglican Cathedral to celebrate Everton and Dr David France's book, Everton Crazy.
The defeat would feel much worse had we not have started the season so brightly. Let's be a little pragmatic also – on another day, it could have been different.
"With half time beckoning I felt that I could join a few of the fellas for a half time drink and went down just after Coleman scored. I wasn't expecting to miss another goal of course and though delighted Everton have scored, you find yourself a bit cheesed off to have missed the goal."
On opportunities alone you would say we deserved the win though it did come with quite a slice of luck.
The 4-0 scoreline certainly put some gloss on the scoresheet, and though we have to be satisfied with a comfortable victory and safe passage into the Third Round, we can certainly make more of our opportunities in and around the penalty area.
A great result and it's great to have that positive feeling back. Actually, when did we last have it? So what have we learnt so far about Ronald Koeman? Well I like that he isn't one to wait. Koeman's willingness to change what he doesn't like and react to situations is very refreshing, and without his bullishness, we would not have won this game.
Whilst the game was a real challenge and the result was one we would have taken prior to kick off, the mood was very positive after the game as we sunk a few beers in the city centre. We have to accept that the season is going to be a learning curve as we adapt from one style to the next and get the players fitness up to scratch.