Facing mounting questions about his team's form, Ronald Koeman has asked for harder work from his charges
In a wretched run of form, Everton welcome second-place Arsenal to Goodison Park looking for some fortitude and inspiration to overcome the red-hot Gunners.
Serial under-performers in the Champions League, Arsene Wenger's team topped their group this year while at home, with Manchester City faltering badly, their 14-match unbeaten run in the Premier League that stretches back to the second game of the campaign makes them Chelsea's strongest competition in the chase for the title.
Ronald Koeman's Toffees, meanwhile, boast just one win in 11 games in all competitions and are approaching turmoil on a scale that rivals the chaos that engulfed the last months of Roberto Martinez's reign. The Dutchman is enduring his worst sequence of results since coming to England and, to most observers, doesn't appear as yet to have an immediate answer as to how he can rectify it.
In his first few weeks in the Goodison hotseat he appeared to have fulfilled his first remit by shoring up a leaky defence that couldn't stop conceding in the final few weeks under Martinez. In recent weeks, however, the Blues have been hammered 5-0 by Chelsea and they conceded three to Watford last Saturday, thereby digging themselves a hole they couldn't dig themselves out of despite another late push and a second goal for Romelu Lukaku.
The upshot is that the feeling pervading the Everton fanbase coming into this match is one of dread. Having witnessed how Koeman's side has toiled through much of the season thus far, it's hard to imagine how they can win this one. They have failed to put together anything that could be described as a full 90-minute performance so far this term and they're going to need to be on their game for the entire contest if they are to get anything against the Gunners.
To his credit, Martinez was responsible for one of the most memorable displays from an Everton side that the Grand Old Lady has witnessed over the past few years and it was accomplished thanks to a masterful tactical shift. That 3-0 win over Arsenal in 2014 lived long in the memory; a momentary glimmer that the Toffees were back and, perhaps, heading for the Champions League themselves.
Koeman arrived over the summer with a rich pedigree but apart from a couple of first-half savvy reshuffles when he identified that things weren't working, he has displayed a remarkably stubborn refusal to try anything new other than deploy the same system and rotate the same personnel.
Whether the visit of an Arsenal side that has scored 11 goals in their last three league games ands conceded just three is the kind of occasion where he will suddenly make a change in formation or approach remains to be seen but there is no doubt that Everton have, on the whole, looked better with two strikers on the field, albeit when they have been pouring forward chasing the game. Romelu Lukaku scored twice at Watford on Saturday and you find the best odds of him repeating the feat at bestbettingwebsites.org.uk
Koeman will almost certainly resist any pressure to field either of his two experienced youth players — his argument would be that this probably isn't the fixture to throw them into, even if all evidence so far shows that they aren't fazed by the big teams — but it's hard to know what, if any, changes he will ring from the side that started at Watford. He confirmed in his pre-match press conference that he has no new injury worries.
Wenger, meanwhile, will be forced into one change at least after Shkodran Mustafi damaged a hamstring and was ruled out for three weeks. The former Everton reserve defender has been in impressive form since signing for Arsenal from Valencia but for the Blues to really make the Gunners feel his absence, they are going to have to be a good deal more productive going forward than they have been for quite a while now.
This being the Premier League, anything is possible and if the Blues can find some resolve, some cohesion and give Goodison under the lights something to cheer, then you never know what might happen. Lord knows they need something and an unexpected win over Arsenal would be just the kind of lift the club could use.
Kick off: 7.45pm, 13 December, 2016
Mike Dean Mark Clattenburg
Last Time: Everton 0-2 Arsenal
Full details: ToffeeWeb match page
Reader Comments (108)
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1 Posted 13/12/2016 at 06:24:20
2 Posted 13/12/2016 at 06:47:51
3 Posted 13/12/2016 at 06:48:39
4 Posted 13/12/2016 at 07:01:50
Holgate, Williams, Funes Mori
Coleman, Idrissa, Barry, Baines
Robles, Jagielka, McCarthy, Davies, Lennon, Mirallas, Valencia
I was tempted to go with Deulofeu at CAM & Valencia up front.
5 Posted 13/12/2016 at 07:43:21
Holgate, Jagielka, Funes Mori
Coleman, Gana, Baines
Lukaku needs support and we need to give the opposition a bit more to think about than playing not to lose.
6 Posted 13/12/2016 at 07:43:29
I'll gladly settle right now for a draw and a gritty performance that gives hope for the derby.
7 Posted 13/12/2016 at 08:23:53
Compared to my listening time of 2:45 am, your 6:45 am is a bit of a lie-in.
Since Optus bought the Premier League television rights and me being locked in to Foxtel, I rely on pub trawling to see the games. There won't be any pubs around here that open at 2:45am. I will listen to a radio commentary on the Arsenal FC channel.
It is a sore point to me is why do Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Man United and Spurs have their own free-to-air Broadcast channels while our own miserable mob demands payment?
8 Posted 13/12/2016 at 08:24:11
9 Posted 13/12/2016 at 08:33:35
10 Posted 13/12/2016 at 08:35:53
11 Posted 13/12/2016 at 08:39:07
12 Posted 13/12/2016 at 08:45:00
Holgate, Jagielka, Williams, Funes Mori
Cleverley, Gueye, Barry, Barkley
Subs: Stekelenburg, Coleman, Baines, Mirallas, Valencia, McCarthy, Lennon<./p>
13 Posted 13/12/2016 at 08:54:36
Holgate, Williams, Funes Mori, Baines
Coleman, Gana, Barkley, Barry, Lennon
I would've put Davies in there in the midfield instead of Barkley only he played last night. Also good to see Browning back as well... hopefully he'll be back in the first team soon.
14 Posted 13/12/2016 at 08:59:19
We have always played at our best against quality teams and tonight should be no differrent. All teams are beatable on the night and a full house of the best supporters in the land, getting behind every Blue shirt, will win it for us. COYB.
15 Posted 13/12/2016 at 09:07:38
The center back pairing needs surgery and we lack creativity in the center of the park. I'd like to see Barkley dropped deeper in an axis of three with Barry and Gana where he'll have more time to create and remove one of the two wingers.
So 4-3-2-1 with the ball and 4-5-1 without the ball.
16 Posted 13/12/2016 at 09:11:32
17 Posted 13/12/2016 at 09:12:08
I've always said, if you're on a winless streak you want to play Everton. If your a striker in a dry patch you will score against Everton. If you're in a relegation battle there's no better club to play against than Everton, etc.
18 Posted 13/12/2016 at 09:23:18
19 Posted 13/12/2016 at 09:36:07
20 Posted 13/12/2016 at 09:45:19
Download Mobdro onto any android device and BOOM select pretty much any channel you can think of from Sky Sports to BT to ABS and NBC.
21 Posted 13/12/2016 at 09:45:31
22 Posted 13/12/2016 at 09:47:00
23 Posted 13/12/2016 at 10:01:15
Look at us over the same period of time, there's no need to tell you we have been a disaster. I'm talking about by the standards of a big club historically here, not a perennial mid table outfit.
The owners of our great club have allowed us to fall from grace by allowing the acceptance of low standards and mediocrity, hiring average managers and persevering with one for far too long. For example, when Walter Smith was appointed my heart sank. How come I felt that way and I'm not even in the know yet our board hired him?
Then in amongst all the other bad appointments we kept faith in a manager who was taking us nowhere for so long, he'd still be here today if it was up to Kenwright; the same probably goes for Martinez. We are talking about one of the biggest clubs in England here...
That is why our record against Arsenal over that period is abysmal because it has coincided with it being the worst (nigh on) 30 years in our history and they along with Liverpool have been two of the most consistent teams over that time frame, coupled with Chelsea and Man Utd having the greatest era in their histories, it's no wonder our record against them is so bad.
Unfortunately, it will continue tonight.
24 Posted 13/12/2016 at 10:07:58
A massive game looking ahead to the derby fixture. C'mon Koeman, engender some belief. I hope we try and show some nerve, otherwise we're doomed. They just need some belief.
25 Posted 13/12/2016 at 10:16:17
26 Posted 13/12/2016 at 10:23:19
Although I do believe in fairytales!
27 Posted 13/12/2016 at 10:28:23
28 Posted 13/12/2016 at 10:43:58
Considering Everton have never come close to winning it, the statistic you've provided is hardly worth mentioning.
29 Posted 13/12/2016 at 10:44:04
30 Posted 13/12/2016 at 10:47:11
31 Posted 13/12/2016 at 10:49:41
32 Posted 13/12/2016 at 10:56:13
He'll go two up top tonight and he will be rewarded. Hopefully he will realise that fortune favours the brave and cowardly tactics get exactly what they deserve.
Funes Mori and Williams have got to stop surrendering possession with their mindless hoofball, if we keep giving them the ball they will kill us.
The only serious flaw with this Arsenal team is they don't like a fight. Our players have to find their balls tonight and fight them all over the park. The crowd need to be at their intimidating best too.
Where there is a collective will, there is a way and I fancy us to find it.
I can't wait.
33 Posted 13/12/2016 at 10:58:03
34 Posted 13/12/2016 at 10:58:22
Please, no Barkley tonight what we don't need is him losing the ball in the middle of the park as Arsenal will kill us.
35 Posted 13/12/2016 at 11:23:05
I'm thinking Jags (arse-kicked) in for Williams (arse needs kicking).
Barry, McCarthy, Gana and Barkley in a diamond in midfield to put pressure on their three, although I'd nearly put Cleverley in there as Barry will get booked too early.
Lukaku and Valencia up front.
36 Posted 13/12/2016 at 11:28:44
Oh for a Duncan Ferguson in Royle's first game in charge moment. Who, in our squad can deliver when it matters or even stand up and be counted?
I'm not exaggerating but I would get rid of every single player apart from Idrissa Gueye and maybe Coleman and start again. This current crop of players believe the hyperbole that Martinez bestowed on them whilst being amongst the worst players to ever pull on a blue shirt. At least players like Kilbane and Pembridge put a shift in.
37 Posted 13/12/2016 at 11:31:37
Like Santa, you'll get the sack on Boxing Day.
38 Posted 13/12/2016 at 11:31:44
39 Posted 13/12/2016 at 11:50:58
Funny old game, football. Only certainty tonight is that Giroud scores a header.
40 Posted 13/12/2016 at 12:03:43
Martinez finished 5th with roughly the same squad that we have now. He did that because he coached the Moyes defensive squad into a very effective attacking team. They finished 5th because they still had the Moyes defensive mentality in them but were now better at attacking.
It all went wrong because Martinez eventually coached all of their defensive capabilities out of them, which is why he will do well at international level.
So, with roughly the same squad, why is Koeman not doing any better? I really hope we can get something this week but I'm actually thinking we won't.
41 Posted 13/12/2016 at 12:06:50
42 Posted 13/12/2016 at 12:13:57
43 Posted 13/12/2016 at 12:20:12
44 Posted 13/12/2016 at 12:23:23
Coleman, Jagielka, Holgate, Funes Mori
Lennon, Gueye, McCarthy, Deulofeu
45 Posted 13/12/2016 at 12:27:43
I would love to be positive and hope Arsenal bottle it before a baying Goodison but fear the worst tonight. Sincerely hope I am wrong though.
46 Posted 13/12/2016 at 12:54:44
I would like us to have Valencia up alongside Lukaku with Mirallas and Lennon on the wings with Deulofeu just behind the front 2. Be positive from the start, not bring in these players when we are behind, as we have in the last 2 games.
48 Posted 13/12/2016 at 13:25:50
50 Posted 13/12/2016 at 13:38:54
Maybe? Just maybe?
53 Posted 13/12/2016 at 14:10:41
I'm actually quite positive tonight but this would be my starting line-up:
Stekelenburg (not much in it to be fair)
Holgate, Jagielka, Funes Mori
55 Posted 13/12/2016 at 14:17:50
56 Posted 13/12/2016 at 14:20:33
My bet tonight is that he will stick with the same THREE defensive midfielders he chose at Watford and bring that useless puffer, Lennon, back in, AGAIN. Or god forbid, Cleverley!
I'm not a great one for picking teams on here, but I'd play Deulofeu behind Lukaku as he did to great effect at Sunderland and latterly at the weekend and bring in Valencia to give us the ability to occupy the Arsenal defenders, and Barkley to push on as those in front of him create the space for him to express himself.
To make way, I'd drop McCarthy, who was anonymous as ever, and Mirallas, who just cannot seem to get any traction whatsoever this season. That, surely, would at least give us the chance to pose Arsenal some problems.
Wenger, of all people, will have done his homework and If we stick to the brain-dead battleplan we have used in every game so far, his team will teach us a lesson of Chelsea proportions. Worse maybe...
If Koeman sticks to his default stubborn, failed, futile philosophy, I would be amazed if we got a point and would instead expect nothing less than a comprehensive 3-0 drubbing.
57 Posted 13/12/2016 at 14:38:30
Cliche but attack is the best form of defence! Not always but against Arsenal, I think it is. Start negative and slowly get ripped apart.
Laura, that sounds like me at half time! My 5-year-old just shows no interest despite my constant pushing!!! Ha!
58 Posted 13/12/2016 at 14:55:43
Koeman has nothing to loose as he is safe in the job. Give the fans what they want and the kids might repay you with the high-energy pressing the senior pros refuse to do.
60 Posted 13/12/2016 at 15:01:25
Holgate, Jagielka, Williams, Baines
McCarthy, Barry, Gana
Valencia, Lukaku, Barkley
61 Posted 13/12/2016 at 15:17:21
62 Posted 13/12/2016 at 15:28:28
No Mustafi for them, likely to be Gabriel, almost a carbon copy of Funes Mori. A weakish spot to exploit.
Goodison will be tense and an early Arsenal goal with prick the atmosphere a sag our little party balloon.
Little hope for tonight barring an aberration from the opposition and a helping hand from Clattenberg.
Leaving for NYC, hopefully the alcohol will numb the pain.
63 Posted 13/12/2016 at 15:32:46
Holgate, Williams, Funes Mori
Coleman, Idrissa, Barry, Baines
Subs: Robles, Jagielka, McCarthy, Barkley, Lennon, Mirallas, Calvert-Lewin
64 Posted 13/12/2016 at 15:50:07
(of a person or mood) melancholy, sad, or depressed.
"he's feeling blue"
synonyms: depressed, down, sad, saddened, unhappy, melancholy, miserable, sorrowful, gloomy, dejected, downhearted, disheartened, despondent, dispirited, low, in low spirits, low-spirited, heavy-hearted, glum, morose, dismal, downcast, cast down, tearful...
65 Posted 13/12/2016 at 15:53:44
66 Posted 13/12/2016 at 16:05:47
67 Posted 13/12/2016 at 16:13:42
68 Posted 13/12/2016 at 16:23:58
69 Posted 13/12/2016 at 16:27:37
We have definitely got a team within the squad that is good enough to win tonight, but not the way we have been playing though.
Koeman, worries me, because he's been around football long enough to know how to get a lot more out of these present players, which tells me we either have big problems behind the scenes, or he's simply just not good enough?
It's simply not "OUR EVERTON" at the minute, which is a major worry, because we have finished both of our previous two matches, well on top.
Just pick a team (and formation) to get Goodison Park, on its feet tonight Ronald, and I'm sure the crowd will do the rest, especially since you're the one calling for a Man Utd, Everton!
70 Posted 13/12/2016 at 16:37:05
We were a big Club, that was way back then. Try asking the average neutral how big we are. Especially the neutrals outside the UK, where a large amount of TV deal revenue comes from.
Let's not forget... Leeds Utd, Nottingham Forest, Aston Villa, Newcastle and Blackburn Rovers. You could even throw Bolton, Fulham.. Any of these former greats would probably put us to shame on the park with our current team.
71 Posted 13/12/2016 at 16:43:41
Holgate, Williams, Funes Mori
Coleman, Idrissa, Barry, Baines
As the world famous philosopher, Albert Steptoe, once said, 'Gawd elp us!'
72 Posted 13/12/2016 at 16:46:46
73 Posted 13/12/2016 at 16:49:46
74 Posted 13/12/2016 at 16:50:41
75 Posted 13/12/2016 at 17:12:38
I doubt it; when by Christmas and a couple of good thrashings by the Gooners and Pool and he might be on thin ice and an attractive severance payment.
Personally, I'm still in the "Let's give him two transfer windows" camp as he hasn't had time to build his own team and I'd expect a fire-sale in the summer with these under performing charlatans.
76 Posted 13/12/2016 at 17:14:02
Gut says maybe 1-1
... We'll lose.
77 Posted 13/12/2016 at 17:19:49
Defeat or not, I really think we need to keep faith in Koeman for the entire season. A sacking will get us nowhere, and he deserves the January window at the very least, and probably needs a good summer to get us back on track next season.
78 Posted 13/12/2016 at 17:21:13
It will take a huge effort from this team no matter who starts. The Gunners have superior talent all around and play with confidence.
They do however fall asleep on defence at times and with injuries back there Everton could have a chance but obviously Everton shutting out Arsenal is a big ask on current form especially keeping Sanchez quiet.
79 Posted 13/12/2016 at 17:28:05
If we get thrashing tonight and then go on to lose the derby I reckon big Ron is a gonna!
80 Posted 13/12/2016 at 17:28:53
This is definitely a game we can win. 2-1 to the Mighty Blues.
81 Posted 13/12/2016 at 17:37:22
And forget about playing Barkley tonight because he will loose position in the midfield and that will cost us.
82 Posted 13/12/2016 at 17:41:00
Hoping the earlier posts are correct and a much needed change of shape / formation actually happens. I have never been a fan of the 4-2-3-1 especially at home, unless one of the '2' is a play-maker with defence splitting passes and forward thinking intent.
But I have my usual couple of quid on us... COYMB
83 Posted 13/12/2016 at 17:43:25
You or I wouldn't quit but he's hardly in the poor house. He can walk away, rehab his career with an easy gig at Ajax then try and get a club he actually wants.
84 Posted 13/12/2016 at 17:43:35
Anyhow ..let's hope that Koeman has some sort of a plan. But I doubt that very much. My plan is to take the dog for a walk .and hope that we are leading by three goals when I come in Well that's my plan. Because I'm finding this all, at present ,very hard to watch. And I'm going to a few games in the new year ...I don't know if I'm wise or foolish . COYBs..
85 Posted 13/12/2016 at 17:45:24
86 Posted 13/12/2016 at 17:46:50
Robles (Stekelenburg has become a liability)
Coleman, Holgate, Williams, Baines
Lennon, Gueye, Barkley, Mirallas
Subs: Stekelenburg, Barry, Valencia, Funes Mori, Cleverley.
I'd like to see Del up front because he'd give us some pace and movement in the box. Also he has an eye for a pass. I know that some would like to see Valencia up front with Rom but I think they would both chase the same ball. Also if Lukaku or Deulofeu isn't working, we can bring him on.
Gueye can sit in front of the back four and Barkley can support the attack.
4-4-2 is a simple uncomplicated system that can give us a decent blend of defense and offense and I think suits our players. Not to mention it gives Rom some support up front. 4-2-3-1 just isolates Rom and puts pressure on our leaky defense.
No doubt Koeman will go with 4-2-3-1. Like a lot of managers he appears to have an obsession with playing a particular way regardless if it suits the players or not.
87 Posted 13/12/2016 at 17:49:30
I do think he's made mistakes and I do think he's made some silly comments but whose to say any manager we appointed wouldn't of done.
I think until he can bring some players in this transfer window then he needs to be braver Me personally would rather lose 3-0 at home after going at them from the start than lose 3-0 trying to contain them with three defensive midfielders. We are capable of beating these and a win of this nature can potentially change the course of a season.
Play Del Boy in a floating number 10 role and basically tell him to get the ball, run at folk and do what the hell you like I think this would pay dividends and allow him to express his talents. I've said it before but you don't become Spanish U23 top scorer without having some pedigree. He just needs to be allowed to roam.
88 Posted 13/12/2016 at 17:53:41
Arsenal and Liverpool are the two teams in this league that we can NEVER play against. We nearly always lose to both. Why will anything be any different this next week when we have a team as bad as anything we've seen for years with no spirit or fight or tactics? We are going to get two royal stuffings! That is not just pessimism, it's realism!
I also agree that I think Koeman will resign. We are in a right mess from the top down.
89 Posted 13/12/2016 at 17:54:59
Too many of these clowns have been robbing a living at our club, and it is about time someone sent them packing. These guys can play a bit of football now and again, but lots of them have let us all down on so many occasions. remember the last 7 or so games of Roberto's record points season. We went to sleep for those, the defeat in Kiev, the Derby fiasco, and last season's semi-final fuck-up.
I look forward to watching players grafting hard, working as a unit, playing good football, and never giving up. I hope that Ronald finds us what we need.
Let's all hope for an encouraging performance tonight, as a draw will be seen as progress, and a win would bring the house down.
90 Posted 13/12/2016 at 17:56:30
Next summer, sacked Sunderland boss Moyes will come in as director of football but he will quit when Risdale releases Jags and Baines to cut wages. Fast forward 15 years and Everton FC – a fan built club will come up against the renamed Wirral FC in the Northern Pontins league and win 1-0 with a goal from Kieran Dowell.
91 Posted 13/12/2016 at 18:02:25
Anyway, I think I dreamt last night that Koeman resigned after our next game. If we lose tonight, I would be shocked if he walked away, but not too shocked.
92 Posted 13/12/2016 at 18:02:35
93 Posted 13/12/2016 at 18:04:19
What is he going to do to try to stop the rot and give Arsenal a game this evening: will it be Cleverley, will it be Lennon or will it be McCarthy again? I simply cannot wait to find out...
Or will it penetrate his thick skin that his perpetual, come-what-may Plan A, is a shambles?
Surely, seriously, Valencia has got to start up front with Lukaku? Can he not see that on £6m a year?
We all can on a lot less!
For god's sake try something different. Take a risk. Shake things up. Be adventurous and go for it you Dutch dickhead.
What have we got to lose, when we're already set for a double thrashing at home within a week?
If he sticks to his knitting and loses both without a fight, I think he may well be gone: voluntarily or otherwise.
And as it stands right now - I think it would already be for the best. He/it is not working...
94 Posted 13/12/2016 at 18:04:49
95 Posted 13/12/2016 at 18:08:02
96 Posted 13/12/2016 at 18:11:54
He has I believed walked on 3 occasions in his managerial career.
I hope this might be the best way.
97 Posted 13/12/2016 at 18:13:28
Holgate, Williams, Funes Mori
Let's have width predominantly from the wingbacks. I am a fan of Barry but think we need quicker, younger central midfielders against teams like Arsenal and Liverpool.
98 Posted 13/12/2016 at 18:14:41
99 Posted 13/12/2016 at 18:30:35
One thing I think we'll see is plenty of effort from them, because they should be stoked up tonight after all the criticism and Koeman will surely send them out with a flea in their ear.
If Arsenal score first and early, I think it could turn into a nightmare. My head says they will have too much class for us, but we can live in hope.
The way things are set up though, Arsenal playing real good football and us the exact opposite, it feels like its one of those occasions when having a bet on a good thing on paper i.e. Arsenal, goes tits up and we win.
Having said all that, I'll be pretty surprised if we do get something out of the game.
100 Posted 13/12/2016 at 18:30:35
They offered me 16/1 for an Arsenal 3-0 win.
Sorry lads couldn't resist it, will be very happy to lose me fiver though.
101 Posted 13/12/2016 at 18:36:30
Remember them... from 10 yards, 15 yards, from a distance, from anywhere,! The goalie will be that surprised Everton, yes Everton are having a shot on goal
He is likely to spill a couple... come on, for God's sake, have a go.
102 Posted 13/12/2016 at 18:39:20
I am not expecting miracles in January as there will only be has been has-beens and mercenaries looking for a last payday on offer. I personally feel it's time to introduce some of the YOUNG blood on a regular basis it's an old squad with little or no balance to it and disheartened and unmotivated players at its core.
I agree with #87 that geriatric should be given a free role ahead of Barkley who is as consistent as Donald Trump at a United Nations conference. A draw will do me tonight but I really am expecting the worst with this pile of shite, and to think they were being touted as the best Everton team in a generation!!! Shame on the lot of them. Wankers to the last man the lot of them.
103 Posted 13/12/2016 at 18:39:34
105 Posted 13/12/2016 at 18:41:29
106 Posted 13/12/2016 at 18:45:16
Then again... maybe I should just keep schtumm!
107 Posted 13/12/2016 at 18:45:56
108 Posted 13/12/2016 at 18:47:15
God knows I've spent enough on them over the years travelling all over the country and the odd foray into Europe.
109 Posted 13/12/2016 at 18:48:20
110 Posted 13/12/2016 at 18:48:47
111 Posted 13/12/2016 at 18:51:28
The best we've played is when we went 4-4-2 against the Mancs and we actually looked like a football team. Lukaku cannot play the lone striker, he isn't Costa or a Mark Hughes even, but looks a different player running onto balls.
Ross is a centre mid all day long, but because of the fashionable 4-2-3-1 he gets played, IMO out of position. People that say he doesn't track back enough, well neither did Arteta or Fabregas but it didn't stop them being an influence on games.
The 2 holders has passed its sell by date. If the idea is to protect the back 4; it hasn't done that with either Martinez or Koeman. Plus it has virtually nothing offer to when we're attacking.
That being said, I'm expecting to see Barry & Gana behind Mirallas, Deulofeu & Lennon and of course Lukaku-after all why change a winning formula.
112 Posted 13/12/2016 at 18:52:59
And then draws out the names...
113 Posted 13/12/2016 at 19:01:28
114 Posted 13/12/2016 at 19:04:08
116 Posted 14/12/2016 at 02:07:44