Premier League Preview
Idrissa Gueye is available again after returning from international duty but will he start?
Everton are back in Premier League action this weekend looking to put pressure back on the top six as Bournemouth come to town.
On a six-match unbeaten run and having ground out a draw at Stoke on Wednesday, the onus is now on the Blues to capitalise on their improved form by securing what would be a third successive win at Goodison Park.
This weekend's meeting with Bournemouth offers as good an opportunity to do so as any. The Cherries come to Merseyside on a poor run form that has seen them win just one of their last eight in all competitions, that solitary win coming against manager-less Swansea back in December.
That run included a heavy 3-0 defeat at Millwall in the FA Cup and a 2-0 home reverse to Crystal Palace last weekend and with Eddie Howe's men conceding at a rate of two goals a game, Ronald Koeman will fancy his team's chances of picking up another three points, particularly if he can get Romelu Lukaku firing again.
The Belgian failed to score in the two away games at Palace and Stoke but picked up a goal in each of the previous three at Goodison so he will be looking forward to getting back to the comforts of home.
Who will be playing around him is hard to predict. Koeman has shown his willingness to alter his line-up when he has faced two games in quick succession and he hinted at changes after the Stoke game. And despite the squad having been pared down during the January transfer window, there is plenty of competition for places, particularly in midfield where Idrissa Gueye is back from Africa Cup of Nations duty.
Morgan Schneiderlin made an impressive full debut at bet365 Stadium and Tom Davies came close to winning the game but both the Senegalese Gareth Barry will be champing at the bit to play.
Ultimately, it could come down to performances for the manager which might mean some of those who struggled more than most in midweek dropping back to the bench. That could mean Mason Holgate making way and Koeman reverting to a flat back four, Phil Jagielka perhaps coming in for Ramiro Funes Mori, both Ross Barkley and Kevin Mirallas taking a breather, Davies or Schneiderlin being pushed further forward, and Ademola Lookman making his first start.
Providing there aren't too many changes though Everton should have too much for a Bournemouth side that has been rocked by the loss of their most dangerous striker, Callum Wilson, to another anterior cruciate ligament injury.
Kick-off: 3pm, Saturday 4th February, 2017
Referee Mike Jones
Last Time: Everton 2-1 Bournemouth
Predicted Line-up: Robles, Coleman, Jagielka, Williams, Baines, Schneiderlin, Gueye, Davies, Barkley, Lookman, Lukaku
Full details: ToffeeWeb match page
Reader Comments (124)
Note: the following content is not moderated or vetted by the site owners at the time of submission. Comments are the responsibility of the poster. Disclaimer
1 Posted 03/02/2017 at 06:51:42
Jagielka should only be brought on for cover otherwise Williams and Funes Mori have to start. Jagielka is always liable to give away a penalty or give the opposition a goal from a mistake.
2 Posted 03/02/2017 at 06:52:00
But a weaker team at home... Koeman might revert to back 4 which allows him to drop (or rest) Holgate, and play Schneiderlin, Davies and Gueye from the start in a 4-3-3 formation. There are also strong hints Koeman wants Lookman to start a game and this is the type of fixture that may suit him.
So my guess would be:
Coleman, Williams, Funes Mori, Baines
Gueye, Schneiderlin, Davies
Subs:- Mirallas, Jagielka, Barry, Stekelenburg and McCarthy.
3 Posted 03/02/2017 at 07:17:57
Stekelenburg, Jagielka, Holgate, McCarthy, Barry, Mirallas, Donkor.
We should get 3 points from this one, but everyone will have to be at the races, no slacking off!
4 Posted 03/02/2017 at 07:30:38
I'd have the same starting team as last week. Lookman, Gueye, Valencia or McCarthy to change the game or close out as necessary.
5 Posted 03/02/2017 at 07:40:49
Coleman, Holgate, Williams, Funes Mori, Baines
Stekelenburg, Jagielka, Barry, McCarthy, Lookman, Mirallas, Valencia.
A back 5 (obviously Coleman & Baines will get forward a lot and give us width) with a diamond in midfield, Gana at the bottom, Davies & Schneiderlin in the middle, & Barkley at the top of the diamond.
This would be my first choice team I think... I think it's a bit harsh to drop Holgate after one poor game.
It allows Gana, Davies & Schneiderlin a lot more freedom in midfield two can get up the pitch, while one covers at the back.
This also allows us to sub Holgate for Lookman, Mirallas or Valencia, which would give us a much more attacking team.
Also, one of the midfielders could also be subbed, then play with 2 mids & put on one of the attackers.
6 Posted 03/02/2017 at 08:07:38
7 Posted 03/02/2017 at 08:16:41
It's important that we retain our width, so I'd still like to see three at the back with Baines and Coleman playing as wing-backs. Lookman supporting Lukaku up top is a good shout to pressurise a vulnerable Bournemouth back line, and we could probably rest Barkley and Mirallas for this one, so I'd go with Barry shielding the back line, Schneiderlin in central midfield, and Davies to be given license to support Lukaku and Lookman in attack.
Gueye as a sub to be given a run in the second half (he played four games in two weeks in the AFCON) and Barkley, Valencia and Mirallas as attacking options off the bench.
8 Posted 03/02/2017 at 09:27:20
I really like the look of Lyndon's lineup, but like others am not convinced that Jags should start over Funes Mori. It may be that Williams is more likely to struggle with 2 games in 3 days. Although there's been no evidence of that being the case.
I would love to see Lookman start. I actually think McCarthy may start this one and wouldn't be surprised to see Barry in the lineup. We shall see.
Bournemouth have lost Callum Wilson which is a huge loss to them. We need to take advantage and attack from the off.
9 Posted 03/02/2017 at 09:35:43
10 Posted 03/02/2017 at 09:54:02
Personally I think playing 2 holders slows the game down and offers nothing going forward, and unless you have a superstar like De Bruyne or Silva, Hazard etc in the attacking 3 you are reduced to 1-2 shots a game, which sums up our season up till Christmas.
It will be interesting to see if he shuffles the pack to accommodate Gana.
11 Posted 03/02/2017 at 09:57:22
Of course he has slowed up with age and 'always has a mistake in him' but the same goes for Holgate, Williams and most certainly Funes Mori. And the same was said of Stones.
After Ossie and Hibbo got the treatment, Howard was hounded out and the process is well advanced with our best holding midfielder-Barry! Who will be next to cop for it, I wonder?
12 Posted 03/02/2017 at 09:59:14
13 Posted 03/02/2017 at 10:29:23
Despite a threadbare squad, great to have quality options waiting in the wings.
14 Posted 03/02/2017 at 11:04:38
The centre-forward rising majestically to meet a ball... while having his Charlie George-style hair caught in (guessing) a mangle.
Oh sure, Watford push them hard - Link but The Cherries deffo have the edge.
It really does look like it was 'designed' in the late 1970s using a Ronco design-O-matik.
I can imagine it being introduced and 'Motty' interviewing some Poole second-hand car dealer millionaire chairman..
John Motson (1978): "Mr Chairman, tell us about this snazzy new club crest."
Chairman: "Well John, my nephew Jason is at art school and he's a big supporter of the club and a very talented graphic designer..."
Wonder if their supporters think it's okay, or wish that 22,500 of them had told the club "Stick that fucking monstrosity right up your hole and put the old one back."
Up the Toffees!
15 Posted 03/02/2017 at 11:07:14
17 Posted 03/02/2017 at 11:21:55
Saying that though, you would imagine Boring Mouth will come to defend and frustrate and despite our many options at CM we don't have a lot of options in the attacking side of our team. Mirallas, Lennon, Barkley and Valencia haven't exactly being setting the world on fire.
I just hope we don't concede a silly early goal again and for them to put all 11 behind the ball.
18 Posted 03/02/2017 at 11:25:52
Obviously Baines. Anyone over 30. It's the magic number. Yes it is, it's the magic number. A couple games off the pace as he's done for, past it.
I'm thinking a mid 3 of Barry, Schneiderlin, Gana. But it's anyone's guess. The 3 up top is where we lack quality in rotation.
19 Posted 03/02/2017 at 11:51:34
Up-front is where Everton are really weak with only Lukaku as the only experienced forward who can score goals.
20 Posted 03/02/2017 at 12:04:23
Gana has to earn his place in the team again, which means until someone has a howler in midfield, he's on the bench.
We should not underestimate Bournemouth at all. They're a side who can surprise and who have taken points off us before.
Holgate, Williams, Funes Mori
Davies, Schneiderlin, Barry
Rotation? It's not like we have too many games left this season. We should play the team that's in form, until they're no longer in form.
21 Posted 03/02/2017 at 12:20:57
McCarthy did not do a lot wrong when he came on. (Doesn't mean he should start, granted.) Barkley is in his best form for 18 months.
It's a tough one. Very competitive in that area all of a sudden.
22 Posted 03/02/2017 at 12:28:44
I'm sick to death of closed-minded managers predictably starting with eleven players each week.
23 Posted 03/02/2017 at 12:30:24
24 Posted 03/02/2017 at 12:34:10
I like the way Bournemouth play and Eddie Howe's team always seem like they set out to win games, not draw, it's refreshing to see from a club that's spent so little money.
Who knows what Everton will turn up tomorrow; I am hopeful that the penny has finally dropped with the players that they now play for a manager to will no longer accept below par performances. I believe Koeman has shown himself quite ruthless in quickly discarding players that he deems not good enough for his Everton revolution.
We need to keep up the pressure on Manchester United with a win.
25 Posted 03/02/2017 at 12:57:08
The establishment love him and obligingly forget how he got found out at Burnley.
[Reaches for tin hat!]
26 Posted 03/02/2017 at 13:01:12
If we're going to play with 12, I'd at least like to see us with an extra striker!
27 Posted 03/02/2017 at 13:12:10
We have an embarrassment of riches in midfield and two very good full backs who can provide width. Play them all:
Gana... Schneiderlin... McCarthy... Davies... Barkley...
Let them off the leash. Hopefully they'll eventually learn to pass it to a team mate. Any of them don't pull their weight then Mirallas and Lookman are gnawing at the bench.
28 Posted 03/02/2017 at 13:13:12
Coleman, Holgate, Williams, Baines
Gana, Schneiderlin, Davies
Mirallas, Lukaku, Barkley
Loved seeing Barkley played inside left last couple of weeks, and having the legs of Gana, Schneiderlin & Davies in midfield would allow Baines & Coleman to bomb-on as if we had a three behind them as one of the midfielders would slot in to cover.
Lookman for the last half-hour, too early for him to start, and Mirallas isn't as dangerous off the bench as him.
Agree with a couple about Donkor maybe we'll see him in the last five games when we've secured a top six position...
29 Posted 03/02/2017 at 13:17:19
I wonder if Schneiderlin is slightly miffed that the Number 4 shirt became available days after he had to take Number 2? As Gibbo hadn't played this season, surely he could have had Number 4 anyway???
30 Posted 03/02/2017 at 13:20:02
The Gueye - Schneiderlin axis will be a hard pairing for any opposition to get past in the midfield. Added to Davies, McCarthy, Besic and Barry chomping and Ronald will earn his corn keep them all happy.
The big bonus for me is that it frees up Barkley to be more expressive and effective in a forward role. It's all coming together nicely. Happy days, I think we are in for a great run in.
31 Posted 03/02/2017 at 13:23:45
When we go to a flat back 4 Lukaku often looks isolated, and it seems to reduce our attacking options. Yes, Holgate got caught out against Stoke but I am sure he will learn from that. The only alternative to Holgate if we play 3 at the back would be to play Jagielka in Holgate's place.
32 Posted 03/02/2017 at 13:39:34
It is about time that Barkley and Mirallas started scoring otherwise why play them.
33 Posted 03/02/2017 at 13:47:45
I was going to say there was suppose to be a / between Schneiderlin and Barry – but I'd be lying my arse off!
34 Posted 03/02/2017 at 14:14:24
As for the Watford one, it looks like a cross between the Cat in the Hat and the fried egg thing you find inside a Dalek. I hope the little baby Hornets don't have nightmares with that fucked-up monstrosity on their replica shirts.
35 Posted 03/02/2017 at 14:41:42
Convinced that injuries and poor form forced Koeman into 3-5-2, I'm still wondering what if...
But it has worked in the last month or so and performances are better. Now the real measure of progress it the home game with Bournemouth, were defeated at the Vitality for the first time this season, it was THE poorest performance of the season, albeit Watford comes damn close.
Can Koeman break down a lower level premier league side at home? My instincts say he might stick with things as they are, however we do need more in the final third. I'd personally go with Lookman up front with Rom. Not an overly physical side, Bournemouth should an ideal time to give him a start.
Mirallas has looked ineffectual in the last two games and perhaps needs a rest, especially since he stropped off on being substituted.
This is also a test for Ross, against Man City, Palace he thrived on open space and looked very good. Against Bournemouth on Saturday he has a much harder task, can he dictate the play?
I'd leave Ross out and let Gana anchor the midfield, Davies and Schneiderlin can get us up the pitch.
Holgate comes back in and straight back on the horse, when we play a flat back four both full backs are neutered. The balance isn't there.
We are neither going up or down with a conservative approach, something intrinsic to Koeman. The only way we will catch anyone above us is to go for it now we have enough points not worry about things.
I'd rather see us lose, if we really go for the win rather than serve up a draw. Bournemouth are on a poor run of form and we cannot walk into this as if its a formality.
36 Posted 03/02/2017 at 14:59:38
This takes us up to April 1st, when we "travel" to Anfield. If we are going to make up some ground on the top six, this period would seem to provide the opportunity... Fingers crossed.
37 Posted 03/02/2017 at 15:16:18
38 Posted 03/02/2017 at 15:27:49
39 Posted 03/02/2017 at 15:34:24
Gana has already earned his place in the team with 20 games of brilliance. He had our Player of the Season award locked up before he left, with no other candidates even on the track, and certainly none emerging while he was gone.
Did you know he STILL leads the Prem in tackles even after missing the last four games?
What does he have to do to "earn his place" for you, walk across the Mersey?
Gana. Back. In. Now.
40 Posted 03/02/2017 at 15:44:34
Jags back in?
Do you know something we don't.
Personally I think we need to look to the future and although I appreciate JAgs service to the cause his legs appear to have gone this season.
I am hoping being dragged off at halftime has shaken Holgate up a bit but not enough to shake his confidence.
I also thought Seamus had one of his poorer games (despite the goal?) and did not help him out enough.
The 3-5-2 has looked good up to the Stoke game so I would go with:
Holgate, Williams, Funes Mori
Coleman, Schneiderlin, Baines
41 Posted 03/02/2017 at 15:49:45
I believe in today's game there's no such thing as a 'banker' home or away as our neighbours found out v Swansea and Wolves, and 'upsets' now happen on a regular basis in all competitions which makes football such a fascinating game worldwide.
What annoyed most at Stoke was the virtual absence of our top scorer who still can't seem to cope with tough defenders and when will we see Barkley come up with those blockbuster goals he is capable of,
While there are encouraging signs of progress we are still showing signs of what needs to improve, passing is too often poor, possession lost too easily and defending often shambolic at times, if these problems are sorted we can start to look forward to a brighter future, starting tomorrow.
44 Posted 03/02/2017 at 16:07:23
I know Koeman covets Keane but if Burnley stay top half he will have a very high price tag and lots of suitors. If we can't land him, I hope Cook is next on our CB shopping list.
45 Posted 03/02/2017 at 16:14:45
Why is it that people say "should or could have been 2 or 3 nil down at half time?" Nonsense spiel!
The same critique after the Man City game, and Palace. We won those games because our goalie is better than theirs and we took our chances better than them! It's not rocket science!
Play poor, you lose or draw. Play well and you win! Good luck Blues!
46 Posted 03/02/2017 at 16:15:42
47 Posted 03/02/2017 at 16:22:29
So anyone thinking tomorrow's game is a home banker, I suggest you think again. Yes, they have been on a bad run lately but that will make them all the more determined to get something from this game. So for us to win we will have to be at it from the word go tomorrow, as an early goal for Bournemouth will make it very difficult.
48 Posted 03/02/2017 at 16:23:21
You're right, he was our stand out player before Christmas – I've never disputed this and I actually really like the player. However, it is fair for him to earn a place in an unbeaten team.
It sends out a completely negative message to the other players that no matter if you win, and play well, you're going to be dropped to the bench anyway.
He doesn't have to walk on the Mersey, Mike – just work hard and wait for an opportunity to present itself, in the same fashion as the midfielder who replaced him after he went on international duty.
49 Posted 03/02/2017 at 16:33:05
Bit of fun but for those who have asked about The Dark House the film shows a bit of the atmosphere before and after the game.
See you all tomorrow for Saturday 3:00pm KO – love them!!!
50 Posted 03/02/2017 at 16:41:28
Similarly, changing a team or tactical approach to take advantages of different opposition weaknesses can lead to changing a team without it being a negative message to the other players.
51 Posted 03/02/2017 at 16:45:20
52 Posted 03/02/2017 at 16:47:38
53 Posted 03/02/2017 at 16:56:28
54 Posted 03/02/2017 at 16:59:37
IMO, we should include Gana as he has proven his consistency, along with Davies and schneirderlain, who both look good.
Mirallas and Barkley are both hit and miss merchants.
There are still 'Vacancies: apply within' in both defence and attack.
55 Posted 03/02/2017 at 17:06:25
As for the "completely negative message to the other players that no matter if you win, and play well"... apparently you didn't notice that on Wednesday we neither won nor played well. Change an unbeaten side? Of course, if it improves your chances of winning. The only message the players "deserve" tomorrow is We Will Win.
As to who "deserves" to sit for Gana (there's that silly word again), it's quite obvious. Holgate got roasted alive at Stoke. Needs time for his burns to heal. Play a flat back four and put our best player back on the pitch.
In fact, I expect two more changes -- Lookman for Kev, who had a poor game, and Barry for Davies, who needs a break after four straight full-90's.
56 Posted 03/02/2017 at 17:07:41
57 Posted 03/02/2017 at 17:16:19
Copy and paste into Browser... it's working on FB OK, sorry. It's worth a watch – honestly.
58 Posted 03/02/2017 at 17:25:25
Also we cant compare the Stoke performance against tomorrows opponents. Two completely different styles of play.
59 Posted 03/02/2017 at 17:39:05
However, all I can do is to shake my head in disbelief at any suggestion that Gana hasn't long ago earned his starting slot about ten times over.
Yes, we've done well without him... all the more reason to be glad he's back. In the simplest terms possible, we have a better chance of beating Bournemouth with him on the pitch than on the bench. Nothing else matters.
60 Posted 03/02/2017 at 17:41:40
61 Posted 03/02/2017 at 18:02:00
62 Posted 03/02/2017 at 18:07:43
Felicitations! Every Everton Supporter should watch this video. Any predictions?
63 Posted 03/02/2017 at 18:07:55
64 Posted 03/02/2017 at 18:11:11
However, I have to say his attacking play leaves a lot to be desired in fact I would go as far as to say his finishing is absolutely gash. The few times he has been put though on goal he has completely fluffed his lines.
Gana is a top player but the finished article? Not even close imo! Leave Gana on the bench tomorrow we have a lot more tougher games coming up than the Cherries at home. Keep him fresh for the away game next week.
65 Posted 03/02/2017 at 18:18:24
TDH really is a Blue House I will do 4-0 as always. I really love Saturday 3:00pm KOs... what football is about.
I will be in Dark House about 11:55 thanks again for your nice comments.
66 Posted 03/02/2017 at 18:28:20
67 Posted 03/02/2017 at 18:45:42
Holgate, Williams, Funes Mori
Davies, Schneiderlin, Barry
I think that's enough
68 Posted 03/02/2017 at 19:16:27
'Jagielka is always liable to give away a penalty or give the opposition a goal from a mistake'
Over Funes Mori, Coleman and Baines, you choose to single out Jagielka as being likely to give the opposition a goal from make a mistake.
I don't know which team you have been watching but it isn't the one with our captain (by the way) in.
69 Posted 03/02/2017 at 19:37:22
70 Posted 03/02/2017 at 19:52:04
By the way, how/when/why did you meet Ken Kesey?
71 Posted 03/02/2017 at 20:13:29
Jagielka this season has given away two pens at Man City and at home to Swansea City. He was out of position for Southampton's winner and possibly at fault for Hull's opening goal.
Nothing personal against him. He has been a great servant for the club over the last 11 years but age has caught up with him and his legs have gone. Hope he gets a great send off that he deserves come May.
72 Posted 03/02/2017 at 20:23:14
From interviews I've read, I don't really think he'll take a benching as a serious criticism, but another game succeeding at doing what he normally does so well could ensure he doesn't start doubting himself.
I really think Holgate will have had a big think about what he did not do right last game, so a new game should help him cement those lessons, I think.
73 Posted 03/02/2017 at 20:44:34
I felt he was too deep at Stoke and although he was great on the ball, we need him to be great on the ball a lot further forward.
Now for me there's a big decision for Koeman to make as to who he plays out of Davies or Barkley in a 3-man midfield? I think he'll go back to his favoured 4-3-3 system tomorrow and personally I'd start with Davies. I just feel he's a better midfield player to play in a 3 than Barkley.
Davies seems to be more defensively aware than Barkley and gets back and puts a foot in, but he can go box to box and is full of energy and uses the ball well and with a midfield 3 of Gueye, Schneiderlin & Davies, a hard working and industrious trio, we can go with a back four and still have the numbers and cover to help defend but have the legs to get forward and support the attack.
Now with the backline, I'd take Funes Mori out. He's not a bad player but he is a liability and it's got to be Williams plus one. Will Koeman trust Holgate at CB in a 2, or will he stick with Mori or even bring Jags back in? It's got to be one from Jags or Holgate for me!
And I think Barkley will be looking over his shoulder and be worried about losing his place after Wednesday's showing. He was poor that night and could be at risk. Also Mirallas could be, he wasn't much better.
Is it time for Lookman to get a start? Why not, he may come in and give us a new dimension from the get go. He as the pace and can finish, and we need more of a goal threat up top to help Lukaku so why not give him the nod?!...
IF I was to pick the team, I'd go with:- Joel - Coleman, Jagielka, Williams, Baines - Schneiderlin, Gueye, Davies - Mirallas, Lukaku, Lookman
74 Posted 03/02/2017 at 21:13:59
If this isn't working then Funes Mori off Lookman on and 4-4-2 formation with Barkley off for Mirallas if the goals still failing to come and the last throw of the dice 4-3-3 with Donkor up front and one of Gana, Schneiderlin or Davies going off. Good luck blues.
75 Posted 03/02/2017 at 21:24:31
We do not have two centre-halves who can consistently play as a pair. Funes Mori is in purely because he is left footed, for every good thing there's something crazy in his locker
Williams was an expensive stop gap and would need a fast smooth player next to him to play in a back 4. Holgate, despite promise has much to learn.
Combine the three and each cover the others vulnerability, add to this that neither Baines (age) and Coleman (defense) are now suspect in a back four the back three is the way to go.
You might think our midfield could be that good that if they do their job in a four then perhaps the strain on the defense wouldn't tell.
However, the best performances have come in the last month, albeit with a very low bar, that was primarily with a back three.
Holgate shouldn't be dropped despite being singled out by some for a poor performance
Both Williams and Mori were complicit in let 'Dipplodocus Crouch meaander away from them after Holgates error, both said stoppers watched as Crouch volleyed, and then Arnuatovic got in.
Gana will score on Saturday, no doubt...
76 Posted 03/02/2017 at 21:33:14
Where do you get this garbage from, The Sun? ... Howe left Burnley for personal reasons (would you want to live there?), and nothing to do with footballing issues.
He's not doing badly now with a club in their first ever taste of the top flight – and he kept them up, with the smallest stadium in the Premier League's history.
77 Posted 03/02/2017 at 21:43:54
78 Posted 03/02/2017 at 21:49:13
If you refer to my post at 54. You saved me a hell of a lot of typing, thanks. I was too tired to go into the details.
79 Posted 03/02/2017 at 22:13:24
Did you not see the Liverpool game, when Howe changed his formation at half-time, and then saw his team overturn a two goal deficit in the second half, Phillip?
80 Posted 03/02/2017 at 22:39:56
Funes Mori isn't in just because he's a lefty. He's in because he's the only defender we have currently who can win a contested header. We've gotten marginally better at defending set-pieces since he came into the side.
As to Holgate being singled out by "some" for a poor performance, face it, he was singled out by everybody who saw the game except perhaps his mum, and even she was probably mumbling something about ball-watching. It's a hard habit to break, but Coleman did it and Holgate will too. In the meantime, however, every team we play will now start targeting him with left-wing runs off the ball.
81 Posted 03/02/2017 at 23:22:11
How can you defend that lad? His aerial ability in the box is poor. He's rash, hotheaded and has little in the way of distributing the ball.
He is by far the weakest link in the side, and was just as culpable on Wednesday as Holgate was, again why was he not subbed, balance.
It was clear as day he was at fault for Crouch getting free for his volley and was left flailing on the floor as Arnuatovic went clean through. Perhaps he needs to clue up on his positioning as well as his heading too.
Holgate has shown a certain callow nature but he easily better than Funes Mori. My money is with Holgate. No future in the Argentine, he'll be out the door in the summer whilst Holgate is ball-watching in the first XI with his Mum watching proudly on.
82 Posted 03/02/2017 at 23:32:25
All teams in the Premier League can play a bit if you let them and they will try to park the bus and hit you on the break.
With Jack Wilshere they are a better team... so keep him quiet and Everton should win.
83 Posted 03/02/2017 at 23:49:19
'His aerial ability in the box is poor'
Can't agree with that. He's the only player we have who looks even remotely keen to score from a corner.
Perhaps Galloway is the man to come in and eventually play that left centre-back role. We were always told that's where he'd end up.
84 Posted 04/02/2017 at 00:29:10
So Funes Mori is your new pet hate is there an Everton player you're happy with? I suppose you know more than Koeman as we've only conceded 6 goals in the last 8 matches be much better if Jags was in there, eh?
85 Posted 04/02/2017 at 01:13:22
86 Posted 04/02/2017 at 01:41:59
Mike, are you okay hun?
If you afford the post a second look rather than a cursory glance, you will see I said a back three covers the deficiencies of all three. At least you could recognise we were poor in the first half and Holgate was in part to blame yet others equally as culpable were left wanting but without the 'burn you applied to young Mason and his Mum.
Nothing new in my dislike of average players, which we are still riddled with, 20-odd years without a trophy colours that particular view.
As for me knowing more than Koeman, of course I do, I'm a fully paid up fan, with over 40 years of watching my blueboys.
Opinion Mike, is what it is. Stick to that and enjoy ongoing broadening of a variety of views.
87 Posted 04/02/2017 at 02:44:25
Unfortunately for young mason, Williams would not leave his comfort zone and left him vulnerable to balls played over the top or in behind, by playing everyone on side.
This was a learning curve for Holgate. he will realise Williams feels exposed when pushing up. You simply can not play a pressing game with Williams in the team.
I can't believe people wold have a go at Howe. He is performing minor miracles to have Bournemouth anywhere near the Premier League. They had a fantastic start to the season (including playing us off the park). They are the Premier League paupers though and have little depth to their squad which would explain their slide.
I expect a comfortable win, but want to see good creative, entertaining, football. Bournemouth will not come to shut up shop, they will come to play and if we can't entertain against them when they are in this form, I will give up.
88 Posted 04/02/2017 at 05:53:17
Wholesale changes aren't helpful, judicious tuning is. Holgate's first below par performance is adequate reason to drop him. Barkley's recent improvement stalled. Gana's consistently high quality performances are adequate reason for his re-inclusion. Lookman has been exciting and lively and has certainly caught Koeman's eye since arrival. Joel, surely, starts as first choice 'keeper now.
I wouldn't be surprised to see Jags in for Holgate and Lookman in for Barkley, but how to accommodate Gana?
More than two changes is risking a back-to-the-drawing board feeling, that's best avoided.
Perhaps the lacklustre midweek outing will be used to fire things up and avoid an embarrassing setback against a flimsy Bournemouth.
89 Posted 04/02/2017 at 08:13:57
I'd put Holgate as first name on the sheet. He's been playing well. He had a bad start at Stoke, who singled him out and had him all at sea. You can't shout "play the kids" and then sling them after 45 mins.
Keep Holgate and Davies in. Play Gana and Lookman. Mirallas and Barkley on the bench.
I like Howe. His teams are well organised and play good football. At some point, a 'bigger' club will gamble that he can cut it higher up the table with increased expectations.
It should be a good game with plenty of space. I'm expecting a win. With an almost happy manager having cleared out much deadwood and the team apparently playing the way he wants them to play, we should expect nothing less.
90 Posted 04/02/2017 at 08:35:53
Gana has had several, but he, like Holgate, has been consistently good overall. It might be a good idea to rest Davies after four consecutive 90 mins, given the choices we now have.
91 Posted 04/02/2017 at 08:44:52
I suspect Barkley will be dropped and reading between the lines with Koeman's comments that Morgan S will be played further forward in the 'ten' position!
I reckon he will play a 4-5-1:
92 Posted 04/02/2017 at 09:00:23
93 Posted 04/02/2017 at 09:04:40
I'm looking forward to the game though, which is something I haven't always done these last couple of years, and I'm just waiting for "Happy George" to answer Eugene's question? But on a morning like today's, he's probably looking out the window, looking across the Mersey, and probably can't wait to get to two of his favourite places!
94 Posted 04/02/2017 at 09:25:44
95 Posted 04/02/2017 at 09:37:00
Holgate will start and rightly so. A Rolls Royce of a defender,a better player than Stones even at this young age.
He was at fault for the goal at Stoke though. A defender can't step out to play an attacker offside unless he is either the last man or if he has looked along the line to see where his defensive partners are. Mason did neither.
An easy mistake for a young kid to make he will learn off it. Part of a defence that has conceded 3 goals in last 6 league games so him Williams and Funes Mori are playing well.
96 Posted 04/02/2017 at 09:53:04
Three games ago, my lad turned and said to me, "Look at Williams, he is making it impossible for the rest to move up." It's been a topic of conversation amongst our party.
If we can see it, even the tactically challenged Mark Hughes could see it. He didn't just target Holgate, they were angling balls at both the wide men of our back three. Unfortunately for Holgate, he was at the scene of the crime and it's his fingerprints, people, which were left there.
But, as the senior and central defender It is absolutely the responsibility of Williams to move us up as a unit. He has got to stop creating two stools for the others to fall between or Wednesday night will not just be a one-off. By simply advancing 3-4 yards, Williams eradicates the problem.
Just to prove to you that I can let up, I have put all of my £20 betting money on one in the 2:45 at Wetherby (bottom horse).
The irony proved far too great for me to resist.
97 Posted 04/02/2017 at 09:59:22
Sitting at my desk surrounded by art photos, Van Gogh, book of Anna Akhmatovah, Lennon and listening to Van The Man: beautiful Blue Sky over Goodison: "I shall drive my chariot down your street and shout, Hey I'm dynamite and I don't know why".
The Ken Kesey story is great. I am always quoting McMurphy in my work and Kesey came to Liverpool about 20+ years ago I wrote to him and met him, he was amazing. He had his gang with him and was in The Acid Bus. I got some photos and had a gas with him.
He was on at The Royal Court; I had booked with my mate Tony Scanlon and thought it would be heaving. It was almost empty but Kesey was fantastic, just rambled on, beautiful stories and prose. He had a Danish Helmet on with giant horns... a really nice guy.
There's too much to write; maybe we should meet for a pint and have a gas. So, off to TDH soon, my wife Gosia is in Gdansk at the moment so I will get "the bus under the River" and then walk from Scotty down "those ancient haunts"... "across the river where Angels play".
I love Saturdays / matchdays always quoting McMurphy and Cool Hand Luke. I did a talk to Criminology University Students last week did an impression of McMurphy and "old Lukas" and said you know "sometimes nothings a real cool hand to have"... They thought I was mad and I asked them if they knew the movies...? NO ,of course; I told their Lecturer that they needed me to come in and rewrite their Syllabus.
Well, off soon... I have to print some photos for the gang at TDH. Have a look at this:
It would be nice to meet one day for a long talk and a pint. Cosmic grooves all the way.
Up The Blues.
98 Posted 04/02/2017 at 10:01:43
99 Posted 04/02/2017 at 10:02:56
100 Posted 04/02/2017 at 10:06:03
THIS is your life?
101 Posted 04/02/2017 at 10:32:21
I would go Gana, Schneiderlin and Tom in a three-man midfield. Barkley in front of them and behind Rom. Same back 3 and wingbacks. Mirallas on the bench.
Hopefully the start of a little run of wins. Hard to break the top 6 this season but looking positively at it we keep winning and who knows.
102 Posted 04/02/2017 at 10:33:35
103 Posted 04/02/2017 at 10:35:30
It show's what a strong manager we have in Koeman.
104 Posted 04/02/2017 at 10:43:56
I'm just going through my pre-match routine which involves a breakfast of nothing but a coffee I like to be starving by the time I get to the supper bar.
Re Cool Hand Luke, let's hope Koeman's after-match interview isn't a narked 'What we got here is failure to communicate.'
Up the Toffees!
105 Posted 04/02/2017 at 10:46:28
106 Posted 04/02/2017 at 10:48:29
Eugene, you still in Normandy (close to Talacre)?
Just off now, keep it cool but mainly keep it cosmic.
107 Posted 04/02/2017 at 10:51:22
With this in mind I would play Lookman from the off and go for the early goal. Koeman has got to have the team primed and ready right from the word go. We always seem to start games as though we are not ready.
I would also retain Davies as he has been a great attacking threat since he came into the side. Gueye also has to be accommodated as he is such a tremendous player.
Do all these things and we will win.
108 Posted 04/02/2017 at 10:59:01
The Dutchman is a fair shout, but didn't make the cut for me today. Good luck with that.
109 Posted 04/02/2017 at 11:42:17
Great to have a manager of Ron's standing managing our great club and I trust him to get it right or change it early if it's not. His tough love is working and Ross is looking more assured. Exciting times. Koeman is god.
110 Posted 04/02/2017 at 12:13:22
Coleman, Funes Mori, Williams, Baines
If Koeman wants pressing, then Lookman no more. ;)
112 Posted 04/02/2017 at 12:41:32
We need all our best in-form players on the park as much as we can. Personally, I would go with Davies instead of Barkley in a 5-3-2.
I would stick with Mirallas over Lookman because he's generally good at home and Lookman is a great impact player. He's still very young and will get his chance to start eventually.
Coleman, Holgate, Williams, Funes Mori, Baines
Gana, Schneiderlin, Davies
Bench: Stekelenburg, Lookman, Barry, Jagielka, McCarthy, Valencia, Barkley.
Although considering that it wasn't that long ago our best midfield was Barry and McCarthy, it's good that Koeman has so many options available to him and it shows the progress we are making. Long may it continue.
ps: What about a shout for Donkor on the bench?
113 Posted 04/02/2017 at 13:37:50
I hope he starts but would like him to concentrate from the first minute along, it must be said, with the rest of the team.
114 Posted 04/02/2017 at 14:01:25
His first 5 were brilliant then he fell off and played poor for the next 5 or 6 games (where we rarely won). He passed poorly, gave a couple of goals away and proved that he has no finishing skills whatsoever (this still hasn't improved, see his open goal failure from the pass from Lukaku against Man City).
He started playing better again before the African cup games and the window for obvious reasons. I'm still not convinced of Gana's consistency, but when he plays well, he is unplayable. But to say he has had 20 brilliant games is pure nonsense.
116 Posted 04/02/2017 at 14:05:53
118 Posted 04/02/2017 at 14:08:34
119 Posted 04/02/2017 at 14:08:39
120 Posted 04/02/2017 at 14:09:06
No Gana or Davies! Is Lookman ready?
121 Posted 04/02/2017 at 14:12:01
122 Posted 04/02/2017 at 14:17:03
Rom cannot be isolated, but I guess Lookman will stay high; Ross, as is his inclination, will drop deeper.
Never will be convinced of a back four with current personnel.
That side leaves me cold, not sure people need a rest when we are barely playing one game a week for the next month or so.
123 Posted 04/02/2017 at 14:20:01
Pleased to see Lookman starting Mirallas was crap midweek so, fair enough.
125 Posted 04/02/2017 at 14:21:08
126 Posted 04/02/2017 at 14:21:23
127 Posted 04/02/2017 at 14:21:45
No doubt they will sit back and play on the break so Koeman wants plenty of bite in midfield. Hope Schneiderlin gets a few shots today.
128 Posted 04/02/2017 at 14:22:55
And what else would the manager have to do if he couldn't play his rotation games?
129 Posted 04/02/2017 at 14:26:01
Lukaku and Lookman together up front could be fun!
Worth checking out this video on the club's Facebook page (the only place I've found it) of the pair being very chummy in training and showing deadly finishing skills.
More of that today, please boys.
131 Posted 04/02/2017 at 14:26:55
Beer o'clock I think.
132 Posted 04/02/2017 at 14:36:05