Manchester City vs Everton

Friday 14 October 2016  62 Comments  [Jump to last]
Match Preview

Leighton Baines returns after missing three games in all competitions with a hamstring strain
Getty Images

Fourteen points from seven games and fifth place heading into another tedious international break represented a solid start to life under Ronald Koeman but the jeering question levelled at Evertonians from fans across Stanley Park has been, “who have you played, though?” — a reference to the Toffees' comparatively comfortable run of fixtures to begin the campaign.

Having faced only Tottenham among the favourites to be challenging for the title this season so far, it's not been clear how the new-look Everton will fare against the “big teams” but with this weekend's trip to the Etihad Stadium, we're about to find out.

There are easier games the Blues could have had than facing Manchester City as the Premier League programme resumes but it represents an opportunity to make a statement, particularly in the wake of two highly disappointing results against Bournemouth and Crystal Palace.

Those two games yielded just one point and, together with the irksome exit from the EFL Cup to lower-division opposition, served to significantly deflate the balloon of optimism with which Blues fans had greeted Koeman's arrival and early record. They have also increased the importance of this weekend's game; defeat would be another set-back in terms of progress and confidence as the team jostles among the pace-setters in the top six but a draw or even an unexpected win would provide a shot in the arm ahead of the games against Burnley and West Ham that will close out October.

Both Spurs and Celtic have provided the blueprint for unsettling City in recent games from which Koeman can plot the downfall of his old friend, Pep Guardiola. Intensity, pressing and vigorously going after the league leaders early all revealed weaknesses in an otherwise formidable-looking side, traits that Everton now possess in abundance thanks to the summer transfer business and the gruelling fitness regimen instituted by Jan Kluitenburg.

Furthermore, though it's not something Everton have shown much of in central areas on the edge of the box lately, movement by the strikers between the central defensive pairing of John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi was also a key to both of those teams' success against Guardiola's men. Certainly, the Blues could benefit from the extra space on the pitch that is likely to open up as City attack something that was in very short supply against Bournemouth and Palace.

Koeman will also be boosted by the return to fitness of Leighton Baines following a hamstring strain and the continued availability of Phil Jagielka and Romelu Lukaku, both of whom look to have recovered from minor thigh problems. While the fullbacks aren't the attacking weapons that they were under Roberto Martinez, Baines remains a hugely important player and his presence can only improve on the starting XI that failed to beat the Cherries or Palace.

Lukaku, meanwhile, will have something to prove on the stage where he failed to have much of an impact in either of Everton's visits to the Etihad last season. Together with his “opposite number” Sergio Agüero, he comes into the game as the second-top goalscorer in the league with five goals but he hasn't scored in this particular fixture for a little over three years and the Toffees haven't beaten City on their own patch since December 2010.

They didn't come close in the league encounter last season either as Martinez's team put in a defensive stand of rare resilience to hold onto a 0-0 draw back in January, albeit against Manuel Pellegrini's considerably less daunting outfit and with the benefit of a fortunate decision by the referee in waving away penalty claims against new City man, Stones.

Everton's back line is considerably stronger this time around — indeed, one that has a better defensive record than their hosts this weekend — but they will have to be as focused and determined as ever against an attack that has been scoring at a rate of 2.5 goals a game this season. And things will have to come together more effectively at the other end where the Blues have scored just once in three games if they are to become the first team to beat City at the Etihad since Manchester United in March.

Having demonstrated a tendency to go with a three-man defence against the Premier League's top teams during his Southampton days, all Evertonian eyes will be on Koeman's team selection and formation. Should he opt for a central-defensive trio, it's likely that Ramiro Funes Mori would get the nod over Mason Holgate and Tom Cleverley would be the player sacrificed in midfield but Baines and Seamus Coleman are likely starters regardless, either as wingbacks or conventional fullbacks.

Further forward, Yannick Bolasie's pace, power and ability to unsettle defences will almost certainly see him keep his place with Ross Barkley likely to be retained in the hole behind the striker. Gerard Deulofeu and Kevin Mirallas may have to be content with starting on the bench and possibly deployed as impact subs in the second half.

Even with Kevin de Bruyne doubtful — it's possible he could start on the bench — Guardiola has plenty of options and depth at his disposal and with the passing intricacy and movement possessed by the likes of David Silva and Nolito, this promises to be a stern test for Everton. No team is infallible, though, and, as Leicester showed last season, they can be vulnerable from set-pieces.

If Koeman can motivate his side into putting on a high-octane, fearless display from the first whistle, there is no reason why they can't pull off a surprise and come away from Manchester with all three points but it will surely require more potency and composure than was in evidence last time out against Palace and on the south coast at Bournemouth last month.

Kick-off: 3pm, Saturday 15 October 2016
Referee: Michael Oliver
Last Time: Manchester City 0 - 0 Everton

Predicted Line-up: Stekelenburg, Coleman, Jagielka, Williams, Funes Mori, Baines, Gueye, Barry, Barkley, Bolasie, Lukaku

Full details: ToffeeWeb match page


Reader Comments (62)

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Peter Murray
1 Posted 14/10/2016 at 08:54:37
They say every game in the Premier League is important. This one is crucial. A good performance will show we are serious pace-setters. A bad one and we will drop out of the top 6... confidence will evaporate.

The attitude of "it's early days yet" is dated. The physical and mental demands of the Premier League require that you have to hit the floor running from the word go.

A key player will be Ross Barkley. He is due a game-changing performance and the news that Southgate is going to have a look at him some time should help overcome any nagging self-doubt.

Michael Penley
2 Posted 14/10/2016 at 09:26:30
Oh, is it on Saturday? I thought it was a Sunday fixture, not sure where I read that though.
Abhishek Saha
3 Posted 14/10/2016 at 09:49:58
It maybe a good idea to start with 3 centre-backs, it will help to disrupt the crisp passing game City wants to play on the edge of our box.

The other way to look at it, Funes Mori starts with the sole objective of babysitting Aguero. They both play together for the same national team so I am hoping that Funes Mori will be aware of a few tricks to keep Aguero quiet. COYB!

Ian McDowell
4 Posted 14/10/2016 at 10:08:15
We need a huge improvement in performance from the Bournemouth and Palace games if we are to even get a point here. I believe we can get at City's full backs and the pace and directness of Bolasie can cause them problems.
Peter Barry
5 Posted 14/10/2016 at 10:29:37
Not sure if I should watch it live on TV here in Bali because, every time I do, we play absolute crap!
Sam Hoare
6 Posted 14/10/2016 at 10:38:05
Fearing the worst for this one. City are dynamite when they get it together and will be hurting after the Spurs result.

A good test of Koeman's mettle and the next few weeks will hopefully see our good start consolidated, though a few more bad results and we will quickly be ensconced in the familiar mid table.

We definitely look more solid defensively and coped admirably with the barrage of Palace crosses and corners but it's been a while (Middlesborough?) since we looked in control of a game. That needs to change if we have European ambitions. Consistency is the key.

Tony Hill
7 Posted 14/10/2016 at 11:45:52
I want us to show much better commitment than in the last 3 games. I also want to see us play with a decent level of cohesiveness. It is unreasonable to expect very much from the game, at this stage of our progress under Koeman, but the manner of performance is very important.
Paul Kelly
8 Posted 14/10/2016 at 12:00:11
Thank fook the international break is over, what a load o' shite.

Back to important matters, press em consistently, there's mistakes in that defence and goalie... Problem being, can our lads do it? Or will they retreat into their fickle mentality "How dare he criticise us" mode (my opinion only, of course).

If we show them too much respect, we're in for a tonking. In their faces from the off: foul, bite, scratch, grab plums, whatever it takes. I don't need another shite, kick the dog, back hand the Mrs sort of evening if we lose.

Winston Williamson
9 Posted 14/10/2016 at 12:32:31
Stekelenburg
Jagielka, Williams, Funes Mori
Coleman, Barkley, Gana, Barry, Baines
Bolasie, Lukaku

Press, Press, Press and more Press

If Barkley is looking lost at any point, hook him off for Davies.

Max Murphy
10 Posted 14/10/2016 at 12:45:20
My gut feeling is tomorrow will be a massive embarrassment. Losing by 3 or more goals.
Kim Vivian
11 Posted 14/10/2016 at 13:30:41
City will be hurting still from the Spurs result. They did not play bad but Spurs really looked excellent. They will be looking to get back on track and we could, sadly, be whipping boys for that.

However, a big game and we know we can get up for these. The bit of complacency which helped to undermine us against Norwich, Palace and Bournemouth will obviously not be there and RonKom should have a Plan A (and B) up his sleeve against his old friend and foe, Pep.

The lads themselves will get themselves fired up and me waters are telling me there is at least a point in this for us. Probably a low scorer though.

Up and at 'em, you Blues!

Sean Patton
12 Posted 14/10/2016 at 13:41:14
Famous last words and all that but I think we have a good chance – it's whether the players believe the same. Man City have had a dip the last two matches and Guardiola will surely have his mind on his return to Barcelona who they play in midweek. If Aguero is injured as well, then we could take advantage.
John Wilson
14 Posted 14/10/2016 at 16:12:49
Everton are seriously hyped up. Discuss.
Robert Workman
15 Posted 14/10/2016 at 16:17:08
Stones was a liability for Everton. He has been a liability for England recently. I have not seen Man City this season, but I have no reason to believe that he has not proved to be a liability for them at times. Everton know his weaknesses only too well. Basically he is not a defender.

What I would like to see tomorrow is someone (Gana, Davies, Deulofeu even) pressurising him every single time he has the ball. He is bound to want to show Evertonians what a great player he really thinks he is and will take risks with some of his turns. We could potentially unsettle their whole defence with that tactic and who knows what the outcome might be.

Patrick Murphy
16 Posted 14/10/2016 at 16:20:11
John (14),

What are you on about, mate?

John Wilson
17 Posted 14/10/2016 at 16:20:28
Everton in my view are a bit like England in international games. They may have the potential but they just don't seem to develop it, which is frustrating.
Jay Harris
18 Posted 14/10/2016 at 16:24:01
As has been said oft over the years, if you can't get motivated for a big game, you shouldn't be playing football.

I would rather see Holgate than Funes Mori because he has more awareness and can help Seamus up and down that right-hand side.

However, it doesn't really matter who plays –they have to be up for it for 90 minutes and keen to get on the ball.

Old heads are important in these games and I hope Williams, Jagielka, Baines and Barry can exercise their influence on the pitch.

John Wilson
19 Posted 14/10/2016 at 16:29:05
Patrick (#16),

What I mean by that comment is that, although I am an Everton supporter, they (being Everton) just don't seem good enough for the Premier League. Look at the players Liverpool, Man Utd, Man City have got then compare them to ours.

Patrick Murphy
20 Posted 14/10/2016 at 16:35:04
Not good enough for the Premier League (John)? I wouldn't expect any club which has spent so little on transfers over the last 20 years to be able to compete with the clubs you mention, given the vast amounts they have invested in their squads over the years.

I don't think any right-minded Evertonian believes that we can regularly compete at the level we wish to just now, however, we can only hope that the new regime will make a better fist of it than the previous one.

Tomorrow is another of those games which we will, in all probability, fail to win... but you never know until the game has been played.

John Wilson
22 Posted 14/10/2016 at 16:40:39
I think Koeman has the potential to be a fabulous manager, but, in my view anyway, he should give Enner Valencia an opportunity. Lukaku, let's face it, at some point, will get itchy feet, whereas the more humble players – who don't particularly have a great rep in the Premier League – are more likely to be loyal.

I think it's about the psychology of the modern game became equally as important as it is, the physical/ fitness side. Look at Liverpool under their new, seemingly very good manager.

Koeman can provide to Everton a kick up the backside (when required), but equally, he is likely to build up each individual player's confidence, too.

Dave Abrahams
23 Posted 14/10/2016 at 16:47:30
Sean (#12) I also think Everton have a chance if they do as the manager has asked them to do, press and defend from the front, concentrate and move about for 90 minutes. Koeman has only been here for a very short period but the players have got to listen to him; they didn't in the previous couple of matches.

Sunderland, yes Sunderland, did – they pressed and worked hard and Man City seemed to run out of ideas... that was in the earlier part of this season, they eventually lost with an own-goal in the last minute of the game.

If Sunderland can give them a good game, so can we, can't we? We can if we have a go and EVERYONE rolling their sleeves up and doing the best they can.

Eugene Ruane
25 Posted 14/10/2016 at 16:53:16
John (19) - 'What I mean by that comment is that, although I am an Everton supporter, they (being Everton) just don't seem good enough for the Premier League. Look at the players Liverpool, Man Utd, Man City have got then compare them to ours'

Hmmm, 'look at the players' eh.

Okay, tell you what... give H G Wells a bell, ask him take you back to the start of last season and using the same 'logic', give us your thoughts on Leicester. (Chortle – you're going to look a right twat come May 2016.)

John Wilson
26 Posted 14/10/2016 at 17:00:45
Leicester clearly were / are an exception to the rule.
Eddie Dunn
27 Posted 14/10/2016 at 17:18:32
This is a big test for our players and new manager. After a pleasing start, they have failed to impress in the last few games. This is possibly the hardest game of the season and clearly we will need everyone on their A-game if we are to glean something to take home.

Surely the lads will be keen as mustard to prove themselves. Man City will surely bring the game to us, which normally suits our style, and if we can do a high press on their defence, then perhaps we can catch out Stones and the new keeper, who likes to play sweeper.

Aguero will be our biggest worry, as the pint-sized genius seems to enjoy unpicking our defence, even out-jumping us last season. I am longing to see Lukaku streaking away with Stones in his wake, and thumping the ball into the Man City net.

Spurs have proved that the Mancs are not unbeatable and like us, City had not played many top sides until last time out. Of course the media were happy to overlook this fact in their case and continued to fawn over Pep.

A draw would be a boost to our credibility, but a win would send shockwaves through the football world. I recall Koeman's Saints beating them 4-2 not so long ago, could we see a repeat on Saturday?

Victor Jones
28 Posted 14/10/2016 at 17:21:08
John, as we all know, Everton have been ever present in the top tier of English football since the 1950s and champions 4 times during that period. Not too bad for a team that is in your opinion "not good enough". Here endeth the history lesson.

But I do sort of get what you mean. I always feel that we are operating with half a team. When the other half turns up, we might actually have a very good team. (You have to blame our past managers and Kenwright for the shortfalls of the playing personnel.) What is that old saying? We nearly always "flatter to deceive". And yes it will always be difficult to keep up with the big spenders of the Premier League but a few teams have managed to break that mould, especially in the cups. But not Everton. We always fall short. FFS, even Wigan won a cup.

Are Everton a cup-half-full team, or a cup-half-empty? I'm proud of our history. You don't play at the top tier for over 50 years being mugs. And yes we held on by the skin of our teeth a few times but we are still here. And I cannot see our Premier League status being threatened any time soon. (Although thank fuck Martinez and his crew have departed.)But are we a hyped up? Not in my opinion. Are we a poor team? We could be better but if I wanted perfection, I'd have supported the great Barcelona team of a few years back.Do we have potential? Well again, IMO it's time that a few players started fulfilling that potential. Do we deserve to be in the Premier League? You bet we do. Can we beat City tomorrow? Hmmmm...

Mark Morrissey
29 Posted 14/10/2016 at 18:18:29
1-2 Start of a real kick-on... Lukaku and Mirallas. Stones and Bravo to come unstuck by a re-energised Everton... Come on!!!
Alan Bodell
30 Posted 14/10/2016 at 18:39:25
We have to press hard tomorrow and run them around; they're off to Barcelona on Wednesday so that may just be in the back of their mind. (I'm hoping anyway.)
Kim Vivian
31 Posted 14/10/2016 at 18:50:21
Is that mad, bad John Wilson?
Paul Kossoff
32 Posted 14/10/2016 at 20:24:56
Hopefully Ronald Koeman has his sensible hat on against this lot. You can't sit back and let them play to their strengths.

4-5-1, pack the midfield, close them down, and don't stand off admiring them. 90 minutes effort and, with some luck, we should get a point.

Andy Crooks
33 Posted 14/10/2016 at 20:39:40
I am naturally a "glass half-full" bloke. But God almighty, how can anyone come on and state that they think we will get beaten by three goals?

Unless, of course you are doing that predict every possible negative thing and then the positive outcome will be more likely to happen. Anyway, we have some good players, a good coach and the ability to win. Show no fear.

Also, to dismiss Leicester as something that can never happen again is based on what? I believe that the combination of motivated players who actually get on, who are a team, who get the thrill of walking out to Z-Cars can achieve anything. Strange stuff can happen when things fall into place.

Dermot Byrne
34 Posted 14/10/2016 at 20:45:45
I think we have top-half team. Probably still 3 or 4 players short of a good team. But we have enough to be good on our day... so pray tomorrow is one.
Michael Polley
35 Posted 14/10/2016 at 20:57:53
I'd take a point. Hopefully Koeman has studied both the Celtic and Spurs games. COYB
Ian Riley
36 Posted 14/10/2016 at 22:33:36
Playing Man City now could work out well. Players away for two weeks. Our players getting fitter and a good mindset. We might have the belief but I feel quality may come through.

I'd take a draw now. A goalfest coming up? Work rate will be crucial tomorrow. Let them play and good night! A good test to see how far we have come.

Tom Bowers
37 Posted 14/10/2016 at 22:46:31
A good result would go a long way to defining the current set-up. In past seasons, Everton teams have done quite well at Man City and I for one don't rate them that highly although they have had a quality squad in depth much more than Everton have had the luxury of.

Their new keeper is no improvement on Hart and Sterling is very over-rated. They depend so much on the individual brilliance of Aguero and Silva; if Everton can keep them subdued, then they have a chance.

Fingers crossed Everton are all focused and have the right positive attitude from the off.

Stan Schofield
38 Posted 14/10/2016 at 22:56:46
Andy @33: Spot on. There's enough real talent in the squad to make things happen once a 'spark' is ignited.
Clive Rogers
39 Posted 14/10/2016 at 23:36:53
Our problem is beginning to look like scoring goals. There's only Lukaku who can be relied on for a goal. Bolasie doesn't score many, Barkley hasn't scored since a fluke in the first game and the rest of the midfielders rarely chip in with a goal. In fact, Coleman looks the best bet after Lukaku.
Alex Jones
40 Posted 15/10/2016 at 00:30:51
We need our midfield 3 of Barry, Barkley and Gueye to really play intelligently and move the ball quickly and find space quickly. But pressing will be the key and we still seem to lack a bit of fitness compared to Spurs so think we'll struggle there.

If Lukaku is fed, he'll score... so we just have to hope we can use the space they'll provide to consistently threaten their goal. I reckon they'll play a high line and so the pace of Lukaku and Bolasie could cause problems.

Eugene Ruane
42 Posted 15/10/2016 at 00:50:08
John Wilson (26) – 'Leicester clearly were / are an exception to the rule.'

Congrats, the laziest response I've ever had on TW.

Damian Wilde
43 Posted 15/10/2016 at 00:57:31
I'm on my annual America tour/holiday. After leaving California, I'm on leg 2/4 – and currently in Vegas. Every year I'm in Vegas – Everton win. COYB!!
Brian Furey
45 Posted 15/10/2016 at 09:17:29
I'm looking forward to see how Koeman approaches this game against the league favourites. I think it's a big test for the defensive system he has set up and it will be interesting to see how we approach the game.

They will be well up for making amends for their last two games in front of their own fans. Sterling needs to be marked tightly but they have so many others too. 0-0 would please me. 0-1 even more...

Max Middleton
46 Posted 15/10/2016 at 09:50:49
I long for the day when Barkley, McCarthy, Cleverley & Oviedo are no longer considered. The sight of any of them on the pitch takes my enthusiasm away.
Laurie Hartley
47 Posted 15/10/2016 at 10:25:41
This is going to be a real test of character for our squad and the manager, especially if De Bruyne gets to partner Silva. Those two playing together are the best in the Premier League in my view.

For me, the back four picks itself:

Coleman, Jagielka, Williams, Baines.

Likewise in midfield, two certain starters are:

Gueye, Barry.

On paper, these three behind or either side of Lukaku look good:

Bolasie, Barkley, Mirallas

In front:

Lukaku.

4-2-3-1

The challenge facing Koeman as I see it is can he get the three attacking midfielders to press well enough when City have the ball.

On top of that, one of them should really be able to win the ball back. That is really what we need Ross Barkley to be doing and I suspect why Koeman wanted Sissoku.

Replace one of them three with Ozakawi or Kagawa and the whole balance of the team improves. That has me thinking that he may even start Cleverley or Oviedo instead of Mirallas.

I think we will score – they look decidedly dodgy at the back to me.

Up the Blues!!

Daniel Joseph
48 Posted 15/10/2016 at 11:00:56
Ever the pessimist, I can't see us getting much out of these. If we get a draw, I'll be pleasantly surprised. That said, I've got them 2-2 on my Super6.
Jon Cox
49 Posted 14/10/2016 at 11:28:45
Over-hyped?

Certainly not by the British media, John.

Jim Brien
50 Posted 15/10/2016 at 11:55:27
Sorry it's off topic, but as an Aussie Blue I had to post this link for your mutual appreciation. Timmy has been at it again with an outrageous goal to match his world cup volley.

http://www.foxsports.com.au/football/a-league/aleague-round-two-live-sydney-fc-v-central-coast-melbourne-derby/news-story/9fdae66585a1fe84e2fddd19f4acd345

Jon Cox
51 Posted 15/10/2016 at 12:15:25
Thanks for that, Jim,

I'm bloody speechless.

Phil Sammon
52 Posted 15/10/2016 at 12:17:53
Just been watching the game, Jim. What a homecoming! Truly ridiculous.
Gary Russell
53 Posted 15/10/2016 at 12:31:52
That man has to come back one day in some capacity... he encapsulates more than football.
Kim Vivian
54 Posted 15/10/2016 at 12:48:25
Totally off topic also - and forgive my insensitivity, but can someone help me with the black arm bands thing which is so prevalent these days.

Evidently Chelsea are in black armbands because Willian's Mum passed on. Leicester for the Thai guy. Not sure why Man Utd were decked out with them recently (or was it England?) but isn't it getting a bit daft. I sort of get the Leicester thing but Willain's Mum?

My dog snuffed it recently – maybe I should have got black bands for all my work colleagues.

Eric Paul
55 Posted 15/10/2016 at 13:00:01
John Wilson @22

So you want a team full of humble mediocre players who will stay loyal because no other team wants them?

Phil Walling
57 Posted 15/10/2016 at 13:05:05
Man City v Everton is promised at the Sports Bar in Pafos this afternoon so any Blues in town can join me for a bevvy! I'm the mouthy guy in Royal Blue shorts.

I reckon Koeman will earn his crust today; no doubt Ross was first name on the team list – I've got my eye on him!

Derek Knox
58 Posted 15/10/2016 at 13:19:26
Hi Phil,

Where's Pafos? Do I need a flight?

Hope they get some sort of result today mate, but I can't see it, if the last two performances are anything to go by!

Still, it is Everton, and as we know anything can happen!

COYB

Phil Sammon
59 Posted 15/10/2016 at 13:19:37
Kim (#54),

I hear where you're coming from. I guess it's a case of where you draw the line. The black armband is now so prevalent it's almost ceased to be a talking point. Kind of defeats the object. The same has happened with the round of applause in a specified minute. It's all very trite and uninteresting to me.

And I'm sorry to hear about your dog. I'll get the missus to wear a black strap-on tonight.

Eugene Ruane
60 Posted 15/10/2016 at 13:33:59
'It's all very trite and uninteresting to me.'

Link

Phil Sammon
61 Posted 15/10/2016 at 13:44:15
A bit frigging rich, Eugene! ToffeeWeb's resident pontificator.
Ian McDowell
62 Posted 15/10/2016 at 14:02:25
22 Stekelenburg
23 Coleman
6 Jagielka
5 Williams
20 Oviedo
18 Barry
17 Gueye
15 Cleverley
7 Deulofeu
10 Lukaku
14 Bolasie

Substitutes
1 Robles
8 Barkley
11 Mirallas
16 McCarthy
19 Valencia
25 Funes Mori
30 Holgate

Jon Cox
63 Posted 15/10/2016 at 14:11:44
Ian if that's the line up it looks to me like he's shutting up shop for the first half with the more attacking threat to be used in the second.

Hope I'm right 'cos it doesn't look a bad tactic.

I'm sure he'll use Barks and Kev when legs become tired

COYB!!

Brent Stephens
64 Posted 15/10/2016 at 14:19:24
I wonder if that team is actually designed to hit City fast on the break.
Clive Rogers
65 Posted 15/10/2016 at 14:22:02
Baines must have broken down
Phil Sammon
67 Posted 15/10/2016 at 14:31:09
Mirallas must be sick of Everton. He, Barkley and Deulofeu have all been guilty of poor form in the recent past... but at least he puts himself about.

Fingers crossed for this one.

Colin Glassar
68 Posted 15/10/2016 at 14:49:04
Kim 54, it's all part of the show isn't it? Football is show business these days and footballers are actors. Pointing to the heavens, praying, lifting of shirts to push some personal message, effeminate selfies on fucking instagram, one-minute applause for the tea lady, gushy documentaries with cheesy background music etc

I wish they would just play the fucking game and forget all the nonsensical theatrics that go on before, during and after the match. God, I hate social media and the modern player. This is all Murdoch's fault.

Martin Nicholls
70 Posted 15/10/2016 at 15:59:03
Kim (#54) et al. Why the armbands today?

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