Schneiderlin not content to settle for seventh

Wednesday 8 February 2017  95 Comments  [Jump to last]

Morgan Schneiderlin hasn't ruled out Everton finishing in the automatic European qualification places this season as the Blues' recent run has closed what was a yawning gap between themselves and the top six.

Ronald Koeman's side are unbeaten in seven Premier League games since their agonising defeat to Liverpool in the Merseyside derby and currently lie five points behind Manchester United in sixth place.

Victory for the Red Devils over Southampton in the EFL Cup final on the 26th of this month and another top-six side lifting the FA Cup would ensure that the seventh placed club would qualify for the Europa League but Schneiderlin says that Everton could get into Europe off their own backs by continuing their recent run of form.

“We want to finish high,” the 27-year-old said. “We want to catch the teams above us. I think Liverpool are six points [away], Man United are five points.

“So why not? We can catch them if we have a good run of games but we need to make sure we finish strong to make a platform for the next season and to give our fans the Europa League.”

Schneiderlin was speaking at a special club event for supporters at Bierkeller in Liverpool One and he was asked about Koeman's no-nonsense approach to management, something that Schneiderlin got to know and appreciate during their season together at Southampton in 2014-15.

“He says what he thinks and that's important for the players to improve. But he's very calm and he will keep head on his shoulders when things are going well. And when things are going bad he will try to say the [right] things and keep it straight.

“He understands players, he understands their feelings before and after games, he understands what you need from a manager and that is very important."

“He's a winner. As a manager and a football player, he's used to winning.”

 

Reader Comments (95)

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Tony Abrahams
1 Posted 08/02/2017 at 18:05:29
Footbal'ls crazy sometimes and after pulling up trees for most of the season, the only reason the media darlings are ahead of us is because they beat us at Goodison Park.

If that game would have been won by Everton, we would be level on points, with the neighbours now, which is incredible really considering we have only just began to get going.

Good to hear new players come in and talk about raising the bar right away. Let's hope we can keep the season alive, and keep catching up with the teams in-front of us, and maybe go to The Emiraites on the last day of the season with everything left to play for?

Colin Glassar
2 Posted 08/02/2017 at 18:22:16
Lots of 'if's Tony. Watford, Bournemouth, Southampton etc – if we'd only drawn those games.

I think we can definitely catch Man Utd, Arsenal and Liverpool (the other three will pull away)... but this is Everton. Every time we think we've turned a corner, we trip ourselves up. Still, great talk from Morgan.

Ray Robinson
3 Posted 08/02/2017 at 18:24:53
It's great to hear the positivity and it is possible. But for it to come to pass, we will have to win several more away matches including one or two of the games at Anfield, Old Trafford, Emirates and White Hart Lane. It can be done but we'll have to break a few moulds.
Craig Fletcher
4 Posted 08/02/2017 at 18:31:06
Massive games coming up next month at Old Trafford and Anfield. If we manage minimum four points from those games, and keep up the current run of form against Boro, Sunderland, Burnley, Hull etc, we'll be a good shout of sneaking into 6th, or 5th.
Stan Schofield
5 Posted 08/02/2017 at 19:08:47
If we continue the form established since beating Arsenal, based on averaging 2.22 points per game, we'd finish on 71 points. If we assume only 2 points per game, we'd finish on 68 points. Thus, we should finish in the top-6, perhaps the top-4, unless our form dips significantly.
Lewis Barclay
6 Posted 08/02/2017 at 19:22:07
Won't happen. Just can't see it.
Phil Walling
7 Posted 08/02/2017 at 19:26:04
Getting carried away, I'm afraid. That's everybody – not just this bloke!
Stan Schofield
9 Posted 08/02/2017 at 19:43:52
Chaps, ffs, get a grip. I preceded my little analysis with 'if'. You can get carried away with optimism. But clearly, you can also get carried away with pessimisim. Cheer up.
Mark Morrissey
10 Posted 08/02/2017 at 19:44:08
We can but hope. No point being pragmatic as a fan because you stand a good chance of becoming a bore. Let's reach for the stars and hopefully, with a prevailing wind and a slice of luck we can begin to hope.

I cannot see the point in simply hoping for 7th or 8th. If the manager and the players look to settle for 7th or 8th then they will come up short of that. They need to simply keep on trying to improve, striving to win every game and then wait and see where WE finish.

Forget the others. Do a Leicester from last season. Treat each game as it comes around as if it's a cup final. See what happens... Nil Satis

Brian Williams
11 Posted 08/02/2017 at 19:46:28
6 & 7.

Ahhh there's nothing like trying to be positive, is there?

Geoff Evans
12 Posted 08/02/2017 at 19:52:23
The first step to achieving anything is to believe it. Great attitude from the man, love it.
Joe O'Brien
13 Posted 08/02/2017 at 19:52:49
With the shite playing shite and since every team have sussed them out. They look like I always thought... bang average. I see their awful and hilarious form continuing.

Add Man Utd's jam-packed schedule to the mix: Premier League, Europa League, FA Cup and League Cup Final. I think both teams are well catchable. Why bloody not, I say.

Mike Gaynes
14 Posted 08/02/2017 at 19:55:32
The problem is that Man Utd, the team we are most likely to catch, is playing just as well as we are right now.
Joe O'Brien
15 Posted 08/02/2017 at 20:10:12
They are, Mike, but they've got so many more games to play than us. Those extra matches might catch up with them. It might give us that extra 10% in our legs when we meet them at their place.

If they hadn't such a busy schedule I would say no chance but we've got a chance with them travelling all over Europe... it might catch up with them, injuries and fatigue to their team gives us a chance, a slim chance but nonetheless a chance.

Colin Glassar
16 Posted 08/02/2017 at 20:12:55
Right now I'd accept pipping the RS for 6th place. Not what we hope for but it would be nice to finish above them and knock them out of Europe.
Ben Hayes
17 Posted 08/02/2017 at 20:13:22
I agree lets aim for third here as I think only Chelsea and Tottenham are too far clear this season. Why stop at catching 6th or 5th Arsenal are only 1 point further clear of Liverpool?

If we can catch them then why not Arsenal and get 4th or Man City. That is another 2 points granted but see them slipping up just a shame they scored the last minute goal against Swansea or only be 7 points.

Brian Williams
18 Posted 08/02/2017 at 20:26:01
I was under the impression that if Man Utd win "whatever the League Cup's called now" and we finish 7th behind them, then that's us in the Europa League, or do they have to finish in the top four and win the cup for us to get the Europa League automatically in 7th.

Ffs... I need a lie down now, me heads hurting!

Colin Glassar
19 Posted 08/02/2017 at 20:30:44
I think City will get 3rd (maybe even 2nd) Ben. Arsenal will probably get their usual top 4 cup leaving 5th to 7th wide open.

Not sure Brian, it's all a bit confusing.

Brian Williams
20 Posted 08/02/2017 at 20:51:06
Doesn't really matter, Col, we'll finish fourth anyway. COYB!
Paul Mackie
21 Posted 08/02/2017 at 20:54:29
No idea where anyone will finish (except Chelsea) but one thing I'm starting to sense is that the players respect Koeman, they know he's a winner. It seems that if you don't like his straight talking style you'll be shown where the exit door is.
Colin Glassar
23 Posted 08/02/2017 at 21:14:46
I agree Brian, Paul. Sounds like the players have accepted his 'it's either my way or the highway' philosophy.

I was starting to have my doubts about Koeman when we were on that terrible run pre-xmas as he looked a bit clueless and not very interested.

I'm chuffed to bits he's weeded out the deadwood, stamped down on the prima donnas and got the fitness levels up. I'm looking forward to a strong finish this season.

Patrick Murphy
24 Posted 08/02/2017 at 21:22:14
Sounds like we'd better finish in the European berths this season as we'll back to square one according to the usual media tripe surrounding Lukaku and now Koeman.

The press don't seem to want anybody spoiling their top six favourites and have started spinning stories about our striker and manager, who they claim are destined to leave for bigger and better things. Of course they may be proved correct in the summer but until then, Everton have a job to do, let's hope they gain as many points as possible between now and the last game of the season and those points are enough to gain European football at the Old Lady next season.

Dan Davies
25 Posted 08/02/2017 at 21:27:07
Morgan not content to settle for seventh. I should hope so too! We need competitive winning mentalities at Everton.
Dean Adams
26 Posted 08/02/2017 at 21:27:23
Patrick.

It amazes me that they don't say the same things about Kane and Potch, after all, Spurs are not winners, nor have they been for quiet a long while. Seems the press has far too many redshite fans in it to produce any form of balance.

John Wilson
27 Posted 08/02/2017 at 21:30:25
Schneiderlin, you've only just got one foot through door... softly, softly, catchy monkey.
Andy Meighan
28 Posted 08/02/2017 at 21:49:21
Put it this way:

There’s more chance of us catching the RS and United than there is of them catching Chelsea. Yet certain people in the media still think they’ve got a chance of winning the title.

As our friends from across the pond would say... You do the math!

Rob Halligan
29 Posted 08/02/2017 at 21:56:55
Pretty certain if Man Utd win the League Cup, and finish in the top six, the extra Europa League place goes to 7th finish. Only problem is, though, I think that means an early start to the Europa League campaign, as I think we (or whoever) will be in the first round which is played last week in July and first week in August.
Laurie Hartley
30 Posted 08/02/2017 at 22:00:50
The "will to win" is slowly but sure being introduced into the club by Moshiri and Koeman.

It's becoming evident on the pitch and, going by most of the posts above, even we are starting to get it. LMIC.

Mark Whyment
31 Posted 08/02/2017 at 22:07:30
Well, boys, I've just put 25 of my hard earned pounds on us to finish in the top four at 50/1 with B365. More in hope than expectation... but showing a little faith in the boys, I think: COYBs.

Unlikely as it seems at the moment, we have six-pointers with the Liverpool and Man Utd as well as a finale against Arsenal. The teams above us also have some six-pointers between themselves, each one providing us with an opportunity to gain ground.

Paul Conway
32 Posted 08/02/2017 at 22:08:38
Folks, be inspired by the New England Patriots comeback . And that was to win it.

We only have so creep into the top 4, stealthily. And right now, I really think we have the players and mentality to do it. Don't forget, as Colin referred to, the deadwood has been rooted out. That includes the aura of ineptness and losing mentality that stunk out our club.

Ffs, we had Gana on the bench the last time... a player most of us thought we would flounder without, due to his international commitments.

The whole landscape has changed since the turn of the year... It's called a revolution! Things are changing while we sleep.


Brian Furey
33 Posted 08/02/2017 at 22:20:27
There are 7 European places in total for English teams.
Usually top 4 go to the Champions League.
Usually 5th place is Europa League.
Usually 2 cup winners go to the Europa League.

If either cup winner is already in the top 5, then the 6th team get their place.
If BOTH cup winners are in top 6, then 7th place gets in, like last season with West Ham.

It doesn't matter if an English team wins the Champions League or Europa League, they still only get 7 teams into Europe next season.

Patrick Murphy
34 Posted 08/02/2017 at 22:22:09
Rob I think that the FA Cup winners or League Cup winners will have to finish at least fifth in the league for the sixth spot to qualify, if for example Arsenal and Man Utd ended the season in fourth and fifth spots respectively and won the FA Cup and League Cup then seventh place in the league would qualify.

I've now got a headache and I haven't even studied what happens should English clubs win both European trophies.

John Malone
35 Posted 08/02/2017 at 22:24:41
Mark 31, I wouldn't get carried away with the feel good factor after scoring 6 at home against a defensively diabolical Bournemouth!!

Would you have made that bet after the game against Stoke away?

I'll start getting excited if we beat the redshite at Anfield now that would be a statement!!

Goodluck with your bet though mate stranger things have happened be a nice touch at 50/1!

David Hallwood
36 Posted 08/02/2017 at 22:26:18
There's another 14 games to be played which is another 42 points, therefore lots of points to be won & lost. Only give up believing when the maths tell you to.
Colin Gee
37 Posted 08/02/2017 at 22:36:50
Time for the annual, how do we get into Europe question!

3 English Clubs qualify for the Europa League, the FA Cup Winner, 5th in the League and the winner of the League Cup.

If Man Utd win the League Cup then 6th in the League then would also qualify. Providing that Man Utd also finish in the Top 5.

If a team in that Top 6 also wins the FA Cup then 7th in the League also qualifies for the Europa League, but would start in the 3rd Qualifying Round which starts at the end of July.

Rob Halligan
38 Posted 08/02/2017 at 22:43:48
Patrick, what happens if Man Utd win both cups?

Don't bother trying to work that out. We will discuss it at the Sunderland game.

Stan Schofield
39 Posted 08/02/2017 at 23:01:54
John@35: Beating the redshite at Anfield isn't much of a statement. The real statement is winning consistently, regardless of the opposition.

If we won 36 out of the 38 games, and the only two losses were to the redshite, that would be fine, They are just another team, in my opinion a fairly middling one. Derby games don't have the significance they had in the distant past.

Lewis Barclay
40 Posted 08/02/2017 at 23:18:13
My realism (I prefer that to "pessimism") is based on:

The RS, Spurs, Man Utd and Arsenal away, as well as Chelsea at home, being five of our remaining 14 games.

We are capable of winning all of them, no doubt, but we'd need to get close to that to gain the points we need on those teams. We already need to make 9 points up to catch City, in 3rd - and we have played them twice.

When you think that; Man City have lost 5 games all season, Man Utd 3, Spurs 2, RS 4. Id' say it's unlikely we'll see more than one of them "collapsing". In which case it's likely a Europa league spot. Which we'd probably get finishing 7th anyway.

I'm not suggesting we should not try and win every game that remains but just trying to be realistic about our chances.

Tom Bowers
41 Posted 08/02/2017 at 23:26:19
Let's not think beyond the next game. Things are going well and it's nice to feel confident about every game and finishing higher. Some of the top teams have had good runs and come down to earth for a while but Man Utd and Everton are stringing together some results.

The next game will be just as tough at the Riverside. Boro are desperate for points and they have a stingy defence but being at home they will be expected to attack more than they did at Spurs and, with Everton's offence looking good, this is an opportunity.

Mike Green
42 Posted 08/02/2017 at 00:19:10
Unless we completely collapse we are pretty much nailed on for 8th or higher given we are 9 points above West Ham and the goal difference pretty much makes it 10.

West Brom are consistently plugging away but beat them at home on March 11th and we should, all things being equal, have a gap to keep them at bay. So, a betting man would probably be quite happy having us in 7th place or above.

We have some easy home games on paper but as the season progresses some of those teams will be fighting for their lives and the teams above us will be too to stay in the hunt for the title and the top four.

It's stating the obvious but we've just got to keep putting teams away by winning our home games and doing what we haven't done for decades which is beat the best teams in their own back yards. If we want to be in the Top 4, and deserve to be in the Top 4, we've got to prove it against Liverpool, Chelsea, Man Utd, Spurs and Arsenal, not because it will prove a point or make a statement but simply because we cant afford to drop those points if we are going to get into those spots. Arsenal, Man City and Liverpool especially are all capable of – and will – drop points. I think Spurs, Chelsea and Man Utd less so now.

Win 3 out of 5 of those matches and we are right in it (especially if we can draw the other two...) Remember most of them will still have to play each other too...so if we continue to get "at it" I personally think it's still all to play for.

Daniel Lim
43 Posted 09/02/2017 at 00:58:50
To add to Brian @33, Patrick @34, Colin @37.

If the FA Cup is won by any top 5 team, the runners up will go into the Europa League. Unless they have changed the rule in the past few years.

Gerry Morrison
44 Posted 09/02/2017 at 02:48:05
Daniel, they have.
Mark Andersson
45 Posted 09/02/2017 at 03:05:42
It's all about having a winning mentality now for both the players and fans. We have a winner in Koeman. Liverpool have lost their way the last month but could come back strong. It's up to Everton to win as many games as possible.

Do the players have the desire to win every game. Koeman will be keeping a eye on them. Schneiderlin is right to say we must build on this season for next. Some of the players might go into holiday mode if they have a few bad results. It's Koemans job to keep them focused.

John Pierce
46 Posted 09/02/2017 at 03:33:12
We have to aim for 4th at the very least. The gap is pretty much the same to 6th in terms of wins.

I believe both cups will go to a current non European ranked side, just a touch of Evertonism there for you.

The fixture list has be benign to us allowing the potential get some momentum of winnable games before being tested; Spurs then the RS/Utd double.

I think whichever way you cut it games v Chelsea & Arsenal will be moot, I think our fate will have already been decided coming so late on the fixture list.

I think Koeman will experiment too much with the system and that will be our undoing. But we have nothing to lose. So im hoping to see us play with the hand brake off.

Dan Egerton
47 Posted 09/02/2017 at 08:37:18
I agree with Stan Schofield. We only have 3 tough games to finish the season. It's there for us to conquer.
John Malone
48 Posted 09/02/2017 at 08:47:52
Stan (#39),

I disagree! Winning at Anfield would be a huge result for our club, it's something we haven't done for 18 years this year!

Not only would it be a huge 3 points against a European spot rival who were in the title race it would be a massive monkey off our back and statement that we are top team who can take points off a top 6 team away from home!

Also, it would be a stake in their hearts if we could take points off them at their place and in turn add to us nicking a possible top four place ahead of them!

I agree winning consistently is obviously the key to finishing high up the table but that means beating teams above us and I think if you ask any Evertonian there would be no better 3 points to pick up than away at Anfield!

If we can keep winning and get into Europe, get Lukaku to sign a new deal and get an announcement over a new stadium being built, it will end up being a good season!

Gordon Crawford
49 Posted 09/02/2017 at 09:08:10
We can finish top six if we just focus on one game at a time. Love us to beat that shower at our former ground.

Keeping Lukaku will be seriously difficult though. That crap paper The Express has made it their mission to unsettle Rom by constantly linking him with Chelsea.

Eddie Dunn
50 Posted 09/02/2017 at 09:16:40
Dean Adams, they do talk about Kane and Potchettino – the other day they spent an hour on the topic, with lots of Spurs fans ringing up on Talkshite. The show with Darren Gough on. Despite Spurs finishing so high last season and doing equally well this , the media still speculate.

The pundits on this occasion were asking why either would stay there if a BIG job came up! The obsession with Man Utd, Chelsea, Man City and the Reds continues, and if that isn't enough, then throw in Barca, Real or Bayern.

The media is full of dullards telling the masses the same thing all of the time...now they like to talk of Leicester getting possibly relegated. Another lovely story – they would love it.

Chris Sikorski
51 Posted 09/02/2017 at 09:18:04
I'm just gonna enjoy the rest of the season, nothing to lose and everything to gain. If we catch up, great Champions League but if we don't a few jaunts to strange European games for Europa Qualification is on the cards so win win.
Alec Smith
52 Posted 09/02/2017 at 09:59:11
It's a great time to be a Toffee!

Change of Manager, a team that he took over looked like relegation fodder. Poor early season form. Lots of Doom.

Now the Manager looks like hes imposing his style onto the team (still in his first season), We are on a good run, even the possibility of getting into Europe is a miracle. Potential new stadium to get excited about.

It's great. Lots of hurdles still to jump, but for the first time in far too long a time I'm excited to be a Toffee. And I'm damn well gonna enjoy that while I can.

Brian Harrison
53 Posted 09/02/2017 at 10:00:03
I was listening to Anders Herrara of Man Utd saying that he believed that Everton were in the fight for the Champions League place. Nice to hear that he is making his own mind up rather than being brainwashed by the press.
Terry Underwood
54 Posted 09/02/2017 at 10:02:04
If you reach for the stars and just fall short, you may still get the moon. As far as wise words go, that's me fucked for the week...
Stan Schofield
55 Posted 09/02/2017 at 10:07:28
John@48:

Okay, I do agree in a way. I like seeing them lose almost as much as I like us winning, so beating them is obviously a double pleasure. But I was just trying to say, that if we keep winning games, and finish consistently higher than the likes of them, then we will no longer be that bothered about them.

Anyway, here's a thought. Every team has had a bad spell. Chelsea started with one, Man City have had one, the RS are currently having one, etc. We had one during that 1 win in 10 games spell. Working on the basis that we're past our bad spell, and we do seem to have momentum now, and assuming our performances from now on mirror the past ones minus the bad spell, then we've got 33 points from those 14 'non bad spell' games. We've got 14 games left, so we could 'reasonably expect' circa 33 points from those, which would leave us on 73 points, probably in top-4.

That's neither positive nor negative, just working on the basis that we've had our bad spell.

Colin Glassar
56 Posted 09/02/2017 at 10:10:52
Eddie, it's not just TalkSports it's every frigging media outlet in the UK. When I type in "NewsNow Everton", they appear by the time I get to the O. When I read the sports pages, online, they are usually the leading story, or thereabouts. Turn on the telly and they are talking about them. Change channels and they are advertising fucking face cream.

Today Lovren is talking about his childhood in war torn Croatia. I've never seen a Begovic, Dzeko or Besic interview about the real victims of the Balkan wars - Bosnia.

Now former chief rs gobshite, Ian Ayres, is travelling around Europe trying to promote the idea of the "elite" European teams (of which he obviously includes them) having their own tv deals to help preserve their status. They are complete gobshites of the highest order.

Chris Williams
57 Posted 09/02/2017 at 10:33:49
Colin, it's not like you to swear so profusely, although I can understand the frustration as they get on my fucking tits too.
John Malone
58 Posted 09/02/2017 at 10:42:27
Just heard on TalkSport from Moshiri's best pal, Jim White, that Mino Raiola has stated this morning that Lukaku will sign a new deal!!

I have no doubt if he does sign a deal, there will be a buyout clause for a Champions League team but, if he does sign, it's a good message to other potential signings!!

Peter Anthony
59 Posted 09/02/2017 at 10:53:54
I seldom place any bet, as I don't have money to burn and don't like losing. However, it seems Koeman's men have really gelled and clicked into an effective and fit proper team since the turn of the year. They seem to have the fight and drive needed as well as the ability. If they want it, it is there to go and get.

I have just stuck £20 @ 50/1 on top 4 this season. 'If' is obviously a massive word, but it is definitely possible, if we retain form and fitness. Likely? No. 50/1 unlikely? No. COME ON YOU BLUE BOYS...

Phil Sammon
60 Posted 09/02/2017 at 11:08:48
Good bet, Peter.

Long shot perhaps... but 50/1 is a great price. I hope you win, for all our sakes.

Colin Glassar
61 Posted 09/02/2017 at 11:12:55
John, I read the same and then, literally, seconds later the usual suspects said Rom was "stalling" on his contract giving hope to Chelsea. You can't make this crap up, can you?
Daniel Lim
62 Posted 09/02/2017 at 11:14:56
I would have placed the same bet, Peter. But there is no bookie to take my bet!!

Write us a nice little story about the day you collect your winnings. I'm looking forward to that.

John Pickles
63 Posted 09/02/2017 at 11:18:27
We need 3rd place in the EPL. If we finished 4th, we would end up having to win a play-off to get to the group stage.

With our luck we'd get Barca or the like.

Daniel Lim
64 Posted 09/02/2017 at 11:21:02
Thanks, Gerry @44.

Looks like I am really outdated.

John Otway
65 Posted 09/02/2017 at 11:21:38
Daniel. I've just placed the same bet as Peter via Skybet. If you can log on here, I'm sure you can log on there. Good luck.
Daniel Lim
66 Posted 09/02/2017 at 11:27:09
Thanks, John.

The government here ban all these sites. I got to check the local monopoly if they have such line. But they probably don't. Everyone in this country is the dark side's supporter.

Looking forward to your story too.

Eddie Dunn
67 Posted 09/02/2017 at 13:02:46
Colin, I turned on the telly the other night to see Robbie Flippin' Fowler on "The Jump". I'd wouldn't have minded if it was Stevie Me, coz at least him and Demba Ba could do the twin slalom together – my money would be on Demba staying upright!
Gary Russell
68 Posted 09/02/2017 at 13:07:03
Stan and Dan, come on, men!

Surely you know it's madness to predict how difficult games will or won't be. Banana Skin Central, as the Premier League is, makes it pure folly to cast ludicrous predictions, BECAUSE that's what they are.

I'll echo a common sentiment on here:. GET A GRIP, LADS!!!

Alec Smith
69 Posted 09/02/2017 at 13:24:07
Daniel Lim - You need to get yourself a VPN. Then you should be able to bypas those restriction to get to whatever site you want.

You can look here for some ideas:
Link

Joe O'Brien
70 Posted 09/02/2017 at 13:25:29
Lads, the media biased isn't going to change anytime soon. If I was Koeman I'd be using it to our advantage. Not one media outlet is giving us a chance of getting into either of the European competitions when we obviously have.

If I was Koeman I'd be shouting at the players to prove how good you are and shove their biased opinions down their throats... and if I was a player I'd be thinking the same: "Fuck them, we'll prove how fucking good we are."

Brian Williams
71 Posted 09/02/2017 at 13:31:03
Terry (#54).

Terry, (spoken in a nerds voice). Your theory must come into question as you didn't specify from which constellation the stars would be reached for.

You obviously have to allow for discrepancies in journey planning and whilst on the subject of planning a Plan B must be in place to cover the possibility of not correctly orbiting the moon before it is indeed reached for coat got, off!

David Graves
72 Posted 09/02/2017 at 13:32:30
Sorry, Stan, but to claim that we've had our bad spell and that we can "reasonably expect" another 33 points is just crazy – especially given that we've got to play 5 of the teams above us, 4 of them away from home.

We're playing well and there is a new sense of optimism so let's just enjoy the rest of the season and see where we get to because you know there's going to be some disappointments along the way.

Stan Schofield
73 Posted 09/02/2017 at 13:48:01
Gary@68:

Man, you're right, predictions are a complete waste of time, a bag of shite (apart from the obvious 'we won't win the league' and 'we won't get relegated'). That's why I never bother with them.

What I said isn't a prediction, just some possible 'what if' scenarios based on possible levels of form. The alternative to considering logical possibilities is to just not bother, but then there wouldn't be any point in commenting on TW.

Franny Porter
74 Posted 09/02/2017 at 14:14:36
The negativity on some posts here. Bejaysus!

Now I understand we are perennial "bottlers" but there seems to be a change in mind set lately.

If you can't dream big and be optimistic about your team, what's the point in watching the football at all!

(As an aside, as someone alluded to earlier, I nearly won £350 on the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday, until the most unlikely comeback of all time happened. Sad as I was to lose out on the wonga, the manner of the victory was truly inspirational).

Stan Schofield
75 Posted 09/02/2017 at 14:55:30
David @72:

I wouldn't disagree with you mate. All I'm doing is saying that IF our form follows that of the 'non bad spell' results, then we could readily finish top-6 or even top-4. It's just a way of laying out possibilities explicitly, using relevant numbers.

I wouldn't actually call it crazy doing this though, certainly not as crazy as predicting what will happen, which is just guesswork. I've been an Evertonian too long to get too excited, so I'm just playing with possibilities.

Dan Egerton
76 Posted 09/02/2017 at 15:03:20
I agree with Stan. Man Utd and Liverpool have a tougher road. And they suck.
Dan Egerton
77 Posted 09/02/2017 at 15:04:13
Oh and hasn't everyone noticed, we are the form side at the moment?
Andrew Clare
78 Posted 09/02/2017 at 15:08:40
When Leicester knocked us out of the Cup people were already saying the season was over but at that time I saw no reason why we couldn't go for top four/six and I feel the same way now.

Despite having a poor defence with the exception of Robles, who is doing great, the rest of the team is quite capable of achieving a high finish in the table.
A commanding football playing central defender is the number one priority in the summer.

Dan Egerton
79 Posted 09/02/2017 at 15:14:05
Yep. Also if Man United with the cup coming up, it opens another chance for us. They're clear favorites and should beat soton.
Brian Williams
80 Posted 09/02/2017 at 15:14:56
Andrew (#78).

That poor defence is the fourth best in the Premier League!

David Graves
81 Posted 09/02/2017 at 15:20:47
Stan - Top 6 I agree but I just think top 4 is too far away.
Dan Egerton
82 Posted 09/02/2017 at 15:24:00
"Gary 68. I'll echo a common sentiment on here:. GET A GRIP, LADS!!!"

Gary,. Liverpool are only 6 points above us. When both our teams had played 20 games, they were 14 points above us. 14 points. Only four games later, we now only trail them by 6 points.

We are, right now, the form team in the Premier League. We've gained 8 points on them in only 4 games. 4 games. And you think we can't make up another lousy 6 plus points in a whopping 14 games? Really?

Dan Egerton
83 Posted 09/02/2017 at 15:27:15
And that was without Gana, up til this point, arguably our best midfielder of the year. We are fresher than the competition above as we had a better window and we don't play in Europe.

A less congested calendar and against lesser teams. This isn't blind optimism. This is being an Evertonian.

David Graves
84 Posted 09/02/2017 at 15:35:49
Come on, Andrew, did you really think after that performance against Leicester we could still challenge for a top four spot??

I was one of those people saying that the season was over because being out of both cups in January it certainly felt like it.

Since the Leicester game, we've gone on a great run but we still have to go to Liverpool, Man Utd, Spurs and Arsenal.Pessimism or realism, I think the gap is too big and we are relying on at least 3 of the teams above us having calamitous finishes to the season. Obviously I hope I'm wrong and you can dare to dream!.

Jay Harris
85 Posted 09/02/2017 at 15:46:11
Koeman's Southampton won 7 of the last 8 games last season to finish 6th and it was put down to the fitness levels compared to rivals.

With the teams around us distracted by Europe or the cups I am feeling fairly optimistic about top 5 or 6. It may be too late for top 4 but we can dream.

With Lukaku about to sign a new contract, Lookman and Schneiderlin settling in, Tom Davies's rise to prominence, McCarthy's return to fitness and Gueye's return, we have good reason to be optimistic about the future.

Jim Bennings
86 Posted 09/02/2017 at 15:51:36
I agree that we can put pressure on Liverpool and United but seriously we'd need to win most of the so-called glimmers like Sunderland, Watford, Burnley and Hull at home and games like Boro on Saturday, we need to win it but we will need to break our habits in games at the likes of White Hart Lane, Anfield etc and we have to maybe beat Man Utd at Old Trafford to put pressure on them more.

We have played a combined 61 times at Spurs, Liverpool, Manchester United and Arsenal (the tough away games still to play this season) in the league since the turn of the century and we have recorded just the 4 wins... 3 at Spurs and 1 at Man Utd, none at Arsenal or Liverpool. That's 4 wins in 61 matches against those teams.

It's always been games at those places that has held us back from really finishing in a higher position, our lack of wins at those particular venues is at best frustrating and at worst downright annoying.

Stan Schofield
87 Posted 09/02/2017 at 16:23:33
Jim, yes, the history isn't great against those teams. This season, we've played 7 games against the top-6, and got 9 points, giving 1.28 points per game, which is better than drawing all those games (and better than many might have anticipated before the start of the season).

You might expect improvement on that given our current better form, even though 4 of the 5 remaining games against the top-6 are away. As Dan pointed out, we are the in-form side at the moment.

Paul Mackie
88 Posted 09/02/2017 at 19:21:57
Chelsea's record against the top 6 isn't great either. The difference is they rarely drop points against the rest of the league.

My point is, even if we only take 4 points against Spurs, Man Utd, Arsenal and Liverpool, we could still catch them if we keep on beating everyone else lower than us (or at the very least, getting a draw).

Probable? Not sure. Possible? Of course!

Laurie Hartley
89 Posted 09/02/2017 at 21:45:01
Jim (#86) and Stan (#87) – the shortcut to changing our record against the media darlings is to give the dark side a hammering at Mordor.

The shortest distance between two points is a straight line.

In my view, a win at Anfield would be the catalyst for ongoing success.

Colin Gee
90 Posted 09/02/2017 at 23:15:36
Thanks Jim, I was just about to post about how bad our away record is against the Sky 4, or the Big 6 or whatever the Media want to call them this month. After Middlesboro on Saturday our next three away games are, Spurs the RS and Man Utd!

I think if we can carry on the way we are at the moment, then the two games in 4 days at the beginning of April away at the Pit and Old Trafford will ultimately define our season.

Tom Bowers
91 Posted 09/02/2017 at 23:23:00
Everton have proved they can beat the top teams having dispatched Man City, Arsenal and Soton (who were playing better than they are now without Van Dijk).

Obviously beating the RS along with Man Utd and Chelsea would certainly prove something and probably make the media acknowledge that the Blues are for real.

However, I still think they have a ways to go but it doesn't hurt to have a crop of youngsters now maturing and pushing the more senior players to keep pulling their weight.

Some thing still need to be tightened up and hopefully Koeman will have this sorted by next season. A top form Lukaku with an adequate strike partner would be the key but the best teams usually have good strikers from the middle of the park also and this is were an top form Ross Barkley will be invaluable.

Drew O'Neall
92 Posted 10/02/2017 at 00:27:56
Colin (#90),

I don't think the media call 'them' the 'big six' or the 'Sky 4', it's only fans like us, usually from clubs enviously outside of those berths.

And Patrick (#24),

The idea that the media 'don't want anyone upsetting their darlings' and have started cooking up rumours about Lukaku and Koeman to unsettle us, sound like the paranoid ramblings of the delusional... Jeez, no wonder they call us "bitter blues".

Everyone's fair game and when we have notable success we are going to draw attention from the story makers.

When we finished 4th we got more coverage and more exposure in the Sky packages the following season – remember Tim Cahill punching the corner flag at the start of every Super Sunday programme and Sky Sports advert? I loved it and can't wait til they're cooing over Everton again.

Patrick Murphy
94 Posted 10/02/2017 at 09:36:52
Drew (#92),

I'm sorry but while I'm sat here in my tin-foil hat, I have no doubt that certain clubs are promoted by the media for a variety of reasons and I'm afraid, until Moshiri's relationship with Jim White blossomed, Everton FC were at best ignored and at worst treated as some sort of by-product of being in its neighbours shadow.

Take these various articles for example
http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/news/premier-leagues-big-six-clubs-9676205

http://www.dailystar.co.uk/sport/football/568970/Premier-League-substitutes-transfer-fees-most-expensive-squads-sportgalleries

http://talksport.com/football/revealed-premier-leagues-big-six-club-most-need-players-transfer-deadline-day-150828164558

That isn't a comprehensive list by any means; however, it does show that the media do 'package' certain clubs together and the last one was written in August 2015 before Leicester City had decided to gate-crash the party.

I am also very very bitter about the way my club is often perceived in the media, and about the lack of support it had from the press during its time of need in the mid-80s when through no fault of its own it was booted out of Europe. No Daily Mail campaign to see football justice done in those days eh!

I'm just off now to ensure the bunker has enough supplies and to check that ET hasn't sneaked in.

Ray Roche
95 Posted 10/02/2017 at 09:43:32
Anyone else having trouble getting on to ToffeeWeb?
Jim Burns
96 Posted 10/02/2017 at 10:15:15
One game at a time folks – one game at a time!
John Malone
97 Posted 10/02/2017 at 12:23:34
Ray (#95), yes, mate me I've had to come off my wi-fi and go on through 4G in my phone. Any ideas what the problem is??
Craig Walker
98 Posted 10/02/2017 at 12:54:10
I must say, I get nervous when we start to get optimistic. I'm not gonna start making predictions. If there's one constant to life as an Evertonian, it is that they will let you down when you're expecting good things.

To paraphrase Kevin Keegan though, "I would love it if we finished above them. Love it."

I work with a RS fan. This story just sums them up:

After they were knocked out of the cup against Wolves, he was talking to a Leeds Utd fan at work. Both of them were pleased that they'd been knocked out of the cup then Leeds could focus on a play-off place and the RS said "I just want us to get top 4". The RS fan also used the "he rested too many players" excuse, failing to recognise that Wolves themselves made 5 or 6 changes and played a young lad in goal. Just shows how you can never beat them in an argument.

COYB. Finish above them!

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