Everton vs West Bromwich Albion

Friday 10 March 2017  90 Comments  [Jump to last]
Match Preview

Dominic Calvert-Lewin is fit again and could be named among the substitutes

Everton play the first of two successive home games this weekend that Ronald Koeman hopes will help the club's push for Europe.

West Bromwich Albion, the team that has been keeping pace behind the Blues as the only realistic challengers from below for the seventh place, come to Goodison Park tomorrow but it's on the places above that Koeman and Evertonians have their sights focused.

Last Sunday's game at White Hart Lane may not have gone as hoped — Tottenham prevailed just as the form book and league table suggested they would — but with 11 games to play and 33 points in the offing, there is still the possibility that Everton can capitalise on any prolonged slips by the likes of Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool.

Eight points currently separate the Blues in seventh from the Reds in fourth but Jurgen Klopp's team's form has been chequered of late even if they beat Arsenal handily last weekend. United under Jose Mourinho are on a long unbeaten run but aren't winning enough games to push themselves into the Champions League places.

The Gunners, however, are struggling through something of a crisis as Arsene Wenger's time there looks to be coming to an end and they, perhaps, could be a team Everton could catch if they can keep stringing results together.

Neither of the next two matches against the Baggies and Hull will be easy but they are both at Goodison where the Blues are unbeaten since the derby in December. Tony Pulis has bought wisely and instilled genuine consistency in West Brom's game and they are solid candidates to finish in the top eight.

In Salomon Rondon, the match winner in this fixture last year, they have a bustling physical striker that epitomises their style, goalscoring defenders — indeed, Gareth McAuley is now their joint-top scorer — and a generally uncompromising approach that makes them tough to beat. They lost 2-0 at home to Crystal Palace last weekend, however, in a game they had been expected to win and both that fallibility and the recency of the defeat will hopefully play into Everton's hands and thinking.

In terms of his own approach, Koeman will almost certainly make changes to his line-up and formation. The starting XI against Spurs was aimed more at containing an expansive and creative side and, at the very least, the Dutchman is expected to remove one of the three defensive midfielders he deployed in North London.

Gareth Barry would be the obvious candidate, with perhaps Kevin Mirallas earning a recall to play off Romelu Lukaku up front in the role occupied by Ademola Lookman against Sunderland a fortnight ago. Other than that, it should be a familiar line-up, with Dominic Calvert-Lewin a possible returnee to the substitutes' bench now that he has recovered from an ankle injury.

A sold-out Goodison will expect a victory and maybe another goal for Lukaku against his former club but unless Everton can get ahead by a couple of goals early, they look likely to be three points earned the hard way. It has the feel of a tight game won by the odd goal but it's not one where you'd want the Blues to be trying to hold on to a one-goal margin in the closing stages given West Brom's threat from set-pieces.

Kick-off: 3pm Saturday, 11 March, 2017
Referee: Graham Scott
Last Time: Everton 0-1 West Bromwich Albion

Predicted Line-up: Robles, Coleman, Williams, Funes Mori, Baines, Gueye, Schneiderlin, Davies, Barkley, Mirallas, Lukaku

Full details: ToffeeWeb match page


Reader Comments (90)

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Mick Davies
1 Posted 10/03/2017 at 12:19:42
This is a game we must win, as 7th should be the lowest we finish this season. WBA are organised but not a side that can win at Goodison, given our strong home form. I'd like to see Macca in the team due to the physicality of Pulis' players.
Chris Williams
2 Posted 10/03/2017 at 12:32:44
Tough, must win game this. Albion a hard, physical, defensive team. Typically Pulis, you could say. Solid at the back and midfield and strong from set pieces, and the central defenders can expect a bombardment. So maybe a back three?

Don't concede first and be ahead at half-time, then hopefully pick them off.

But it won't be pretty!

Matthew Williams
3 Posted 10/03/2017 at 12:48:15
The Baggies always make it a tough slog,decent side, but always blow hot & cold... Blues to edge this one 2-1.

Bound to be a sombre start after the Golden Vision's passing... but we really have to get all 3 points... onwards Blue Boys... do the legend proud!

Jim Bennings
4 Posted 10/03/2017 at 12:49:50
We do NOT, I reiterate Do NOT need a shed load of defensive holding players tomorrow against a West Brom side that will happily come and sit back and allow us to break them down, something which we haven't done at Goodison in the past three seasons.

This will not be an easy game in any way shape or form and it depends on the attitude and application of the players. Since coming back from Dubai we have hardly sparkled in terms of freshness, the Sunderland performance was a bit patchy and could have been different if that Defoe shot bounced in off the bar. Last week, we were just never at it from early on which was disappointing when we should have expected what Spurs would do.

Need to set the tone from early on tomorrow.

Mike Berry
5 Posted 10/03/2017 at 13:04:07
Let's hope that Ronald has learned from the tactical mistakes of last week.

Yes, we must be solid at the back, competitive in midfield but have more striking options to support the attack.

3-1 Everton.

Laura Round
6 Posted 10/03/2017 at 13:26:53
Where we live, everyone is Wolves or Baggies so this is a big game for us! The Baggies fans are confident... we must score first! Coyb!
Dave Abrahams
7 Posted 10/03/2017 at 13:34:22
I hope Koeman plays a team that is much more adventurous than lasts weeks effort, boring and ineffective, I wouldn't mind if he started the game tomorrow with the eleven that finished last week, although I wouldn't complain if he made room for Holgate.

Clive Rogers
8 Posted 10/03/2017 at 13:51:25
After their recent performances, neither Williams nor Funes Mori warrant their inclusion. Holgate should be given the nod for one of them, probably Williams whose legs seem to have gone.
Dean Adams
9 Posted 10/03/2017 at 14:08:45
Baggies have 40 points secured. Pullis teams tend to sit back and relax at 40 so let's hope for a rout!
Kevin Day
10 Posted 10/03/2017 at 14:23:42
Laura Round.

You mustn't live too far from me then, my neighbor is a Baggies fan, he's not so confident though.

Laura Round
11 Posted 10/03/2017 at 14:58:11
Kevin, we live near Dudley... where are you? I think we'll beat them but I don't think they'll roll over. This is the best way to put that gap between us and them and protect our 7th (plus) finish. This is like my personal derby so I'll be fuming with a loss!
Steavey Buckley
12 Posted 10/03/2017 at 15:04:57
Tothenham as a bench mark should begin tomorrow by the dropping of Barry to the subs bench and then tell Gueye and Baines not to allow players to get away from them and score. Also, remind Scheinderlin when he has his back to the goal when receiving a pass from the goalkeeper not to turn around and lose the ball to the opposition who then promptly score.

Other than that, McCarthy should return to the Everton team in place of Scheinderlin (who I don't rate that highly) and Valencia replacing Barry. That should provide Everton with more pace and bite in midfield with McCarthy and Gueye.

Barkley and Davies are a good attacking combination, while Valencia should provide Lukaku with more support, because WBA, as usual, will park the bus. The usual Everton defence and goalkeeper will pick themselves, as there is no one really else to start.

Jay Harris
13 Posted 10/03/2017 at 15:14:28
Baines and Coleman can be like wingers and defensive midfielders so it's a no-brainer for me.

3 at the back, Gueye and Schneiderlin in midfield and Lukaku and Barkley up front.

Surely Williams and Funes Mori can't be as bad again?

Mike Gaynes
15 Posted 10/03/2017 at 15:35:57
Agree with Lyndon's predicted lineup, but I'm with Jay #13, I'd like to see three at the back once again with Holgate. Aside from getting our wings up the field, it brings in an extra tall head for defending set-pieces.
Kevin Day
16 Posted 10/03/2017 at 16:16:02
Laura.

I'm in Rowley Regis, also near Dudley. So this is the same derby feeling for me too, local bragging rights lol.

Won't be easy, but I do think we will run out eventual winners, 3-1.

Craig Walker
17 Posted 10/03/2017 at 16:23:59
Let's not give stupid free-kicks away in dangerous areas. We will get punished.
Tom Bowers
18 Posted 10/03/2017 at 17:20:37
Play with intensity from the off. Don't let Albion settle into a defensive comfort zone. They have some big players and will hope to get free-kicks to take advantage.

Lookman should start.Other players have to take more of the load off Rom.

Laura Round
19 Posted 10/03/2017 at 17:27:26
Kevin, we live in Kingswinford! So close! Have to meet up sometime! Or share the drive to GP!
Paul Conway
20 Posted 10/03/2017 at 17:43:25
A lot of optimism, let's hope there won't be a lot of call for heads to roll come Saturday evening.

Personally, when I see this line-up, it fills me with dread. To see Williams, Funes Mori, Robles, Baines, Mirallas playing for a club with high ambitions. There is a serious lack of quality in our squad, and the team is picked on what's available. It's like going out and trying to look for something decent to wear because all your good kit is at the bottom of the laundry basket.

Okay, tin hat at the ready, but honestly folks, that's how I see it. Only an opinion mind.

Mark Morrissey
21 Posted 10/03/2017 at 18:19:24
Kevin, Laura, better check your star signs. For me 3-1 tomorrow. COYB!!!
Laura Round
22 Posted 10/03/2017 at 18:25:20
Mark, my hubbie would prob pay him to take me. 😂
Kevin Day
23 Posted 10/03/2017 at 18:30:27
Defo Laura!

I've been looking to take my two daughters, but tickets are selling out before I get chance to bag some, they are dying to go, I'll keep trying and let you know somehow if and when I make it up. my email by the way is kr.day2905@yahoo.co.uk.

Anyway, I've got a few friends over Kingswinford, both Baggie fans, hopefully they won't be talking to me come 16:50 tomorrow! :-)

Laura Round
24 Posted 10/03/2017 at 18:32:32
Kevin
I have 6 season tickets! I'm sure we can sort a trip! I have three boys but they don't always come. :)
James Stewart
25 Posted 10/03/2017 at 18:32:47
I would make a few changes for this one actually. Coleman and Mori have been wretched recently and WBA have no pace up front so Jagielka should come in. Valencia should start over Mirallas, more goal threat.

Stekelenburg
Holgate Jagielka Willams Baines
Davies Gueye Schneiderlin
Barkley Valencia
Lukaku

Ian Bennett
27 Posted 10/03/2017 at 18:42:58
Robles

Holgate
Williams
Funes Mori

Coleman
Baines
Schneiderlin
Davies

Mirallas and McCarthy to freshen up if needed.

Lukaku
Valencia
Barkley

Kunal Desai
28 Posted 10/03/2017 at 19:44:58
I think th Baggies will pinch a point tomorrow. I'm just not comfortable with Williams and Funes Mori unless it's three at the back.

McAuley and Dawson will be all over Lukaku which is why Valencia should start alongside him.

Will Mabon
29 Posted 10/03/2017 at 20:11:39
Not an easy one to call for team set-up. I tend towards a back three, and to go at them in whirlwind mode from the off, I think that might rock 'em.
Jamie Morgan
30 Posted 10/03/2017 at 20:14:12
Kevin and Laura! And here I was in Cradley Heath thinking I was a rare chosen Evertonian! My partner and her family are all Baggies fans so it's a no-win for me tomorrow! But I'll happily stuff them and live with the grief!
Laura Round
31 Posted 10/03/2017 at 20:18:31
Oh Jamie!!!! We need to start our own little gang! This is great! We'll have enough for a coach!
Kevin Day
32 Posted 10/03/2017 at 20:36:35
Hey Jamie!! You're literally just down the road from me then! I lived in Quarry Bank not that long back!
Jamie Morgan
33 Posted 10/03/2017 at 20:37:42
Kevin, I'm just by Old Hill train station! By the Waterfall pub mate!
John Malone
34 Posted 10/03/2017 at 20:39:18
Very surprised with some of the comments about Pulis stopping at 40 points, and that we will blow West Brom away!!

West Brom under Pulis remind me of us under Moyes when started to turn a corner and win games consistently. West Brom have got a couple of decent players like Darren Fletcher, Rondom and a lot of physically strong solid performers like McCauley and Jacob!

I think tommorrow is our real bench mark game not the Tottenham one and it will come down to our manager picking the right team in the right shape.

I want to see Mirallas start either on the left or up top with Rom say what you want about him but he is definitely a goal threat and has that touch of class you need in tight games, plus he links up well with Rom!!

I don't want to see three defensive midfielder's at home and if I'm being honest I'm not sure Gueye and Schneiderlin compliment each other at the minute but it is a hard one as Gueye gives so much off the ball!!

Laura Round
35 Posted 10/03/2017 at 20:42:11
Boys... fancy meeting up for the Derby then?
Kevin Day
36 Posted 10/03/2017 at 20:46:09
Jamie, I'm just at the top of the hill by the dentist opposite that little church.

As Laura has just said, got to all meet up for the derby!

Jamie Morgan
37 Posted 10/03/2017 at 20:51:20
Small world, Kevin, I'll drop you an email so we don't annoy our fellow ToffeeWebbers with this blatant taking over the public thread!
Laura Round
38 Posted 10/03/2017 at 20:53:18
Copy me in lauraloveskitty@hotmail.com :)
John Pierce
39 Posted 10/03/2017 at 21:14:19
With a stubborn but formulaic WBA at Goodison, width will be the key to victory.

I really hope Koeman goes back to 3-5-2, the width from the full backs as naturally WBA will still in.

I've yet to see, Bolaise apart, any player able to play as part of a front 3 with Rom. To date, the players tasked with being part of an attacking trio sag back into midfield: 4-5-1.

It's so important we play high and stay high, and occupy their defenders. If he goes 4-3-3 or whatever variant thereof, then I suspect nothing more than nil-nil.

Team for tomorrow:

Robles
Holgate, Williams, Funes Mori
Coleman, Davies, Schneiderlin, Barkley, Baines
Lukaku, Mirallas

UTFT

Steavey Buckley
40 Posted 10/03/2017 at 21:15:53
The underlying cause for the need of a back 3 is because the 4 at the back at the moment are not good enough defenders to help the rest of the team become a part of the top 4 in the Premier League.

Williams or Funes Mori are not on the same wavelength when playing together, so there is no real understanding of where both should be. Williams tends to drift away to the right side of defence while Funes Mori goes to the left, while Schneiderlin has been drafted into the heart of the defence.

Both Baines and Coleman seemed to get bogged down defensively and can't clear the danger when pressurised. It could be because they are not big enough and strong enough for defensive positions, no matter how good they are getting forward.

Peter Anthony
41 Posted 10/03/2017 at 21:28:58
Jamie, Laura, Kevin. I am in Worcestershire too (Stourport), so will gladly join your local toffee gang!
Laura Round
42 Posted 10/03/2017 at 21:32:28
Welcome Peter!! Not too far at all! Welcome at our meets! Pub for Derby?
Peter Fearon
43 Posted 10/03/2017 at 21:47:15
Geri Deulofeu now leads Milan in creating goals – and he has only been there since January! He set up another beautiful one Friday against Juventus. We have lent out gold and kept copper and iron for ourselves. Ludicrous!
Lev Vellene
44 Posted 10/03/2017 at 21:49:06
I think we got too scared by the early drubbing at Chelsea with a back three, when we still had little experience. We just feel so toothless if we can't have Baines or Coleman be able to run up their side of the field...

But vs WBA we'll need some attacking effort!

Tony Hill
45 Posted 10/03/2017 at 22:15:36
We were absolutely dreadful last week and I think the overall reaction on here was surprisingly generous to both players and manager (whose team selection was one of the worst I have ever seen at the club, in the context). I have just about emerged from my post-match sulk.

I remain dismayed by how weak, confused, technically inept and cowardly we were in a match that really mattered against Spurs. I shared the suspicion that some of our lot had been up too late watching the boxing and if that was so then it would be, at least, an explanation for yet another public flop.

The hope that Everton may at some point show some nous and courage when under a degree of pressure, and then show it consistently to make themselves winners, persists in the teeth of the evidence.

I have found my faith again, as we all do – fucking idiots that we are.

I would play McCarthy who made an immediate difference when he came on last week (a similar difference has been obvious when he has had to go off this season) and is generally underrated by us. He is exactly the powerful, quick midfielder we lacked last Sunday when all of Gueye, Schneiderlin and Davies were terrible.

Hard game tomorrow and WBA have always been bit of a bogey side for us. A 1-0 will do.

Ernie Baywood
46 Posted 10/03/2017 at 22:18:40
I reckon West Brom will see this as a big game. They got embarrassed last week and will have been accused of settling now they've got 40 points.

Finishing top 7 would be seen as a huge achievement for WBA.

For us, we're in the odd position of being the most 7th placed team you could imagine. We're both first and last in our own minileague. Finishing second in a one horse race (likely for Europe) would be unacceptable.

Got a bad feeling about this game.

Eddie Dunn
47 Posted 10/03/2017 at 22:50:34
This game is very big for the Baggies; it is their big chance to close the gap on us. Let's hope that they make the same mistake that we did last week, and play a defensive game, allowing us to dictate the game.

If they were brave enough, they would find holes in our poor centre-back pairing. Although I have been patient with Williams, I feel like it is only fair to give Jags a go. Funes Mori must be told not to try to pass further than 4 yards.

More ambition, please. I would like Rom to have a bit of help from the start.

Don Alexander
48 Posted 10/03/2017 at 22:59:50
Ernie, that feeling comes to all of us given what we've had to live through since 1995!

It's the repeatedly dashed hope that kills you. All I want to see is 100% from all eleven on the pitch because I'm sure that's better than WBA's 100%.

Therefore we'll win. Won't we??!!

Mike Gaynes
49 Posted 11/03/2017 at 01:10:34
Peter #43... sorry, mate, THAT'S ludicrous.

Geri isn't remotely close to "leading Milan in creating goals"... he now has two assists. Suso has 7. And his assist for Bacca tonight was a fine run and an easy pass that he actually waited too long to make – Bacca was offside by the time the ball was played, but the call was missed.

As for him being "gold"... not hardly. Geri had been nickel-plated shite for nearly a year when we loaned him out. And we went unbeaten in our next five after he got on the plane, so we haven't missed him a bit.

If he is finding his game in Italy, that's nice. If he comes back to us with more game, great. If we can make some money off him, fabulous. But that's it.

Laurie Hartley
50 Posted 10/03/2017 at 05:22:44
Mirallas and McCarthy must start at the expense of Davies and Lookman and if he decides to go three at the back he should put Jagielka in the middle of Williams and Jagielka.

Williams, Jagielka, Funes Mori
Coleman, McCarthy, Schneiderlin, Gueye, Baines
Barkley, Mirallas
Lukaku

Spurs outmuscled them about a month ago, but I reckon they still run them a close second ahead of Stoke as the most physical side in the competition.

We will have to play proper footy to beat this lot.

Michael Kenrick
51 Posted 11/03/2017 at 06:22:41
Playing without a goalie, eh, Laurie. That's bold!

Or is Jags in goal???

Tim Kells
52 Posted 11/03/2017 at 06:33:51
Fourth game of the season for me and successive home game, three wins and one draw so far so hoping for another win. Anybody who remembers this game last year will know what they will do, try and nick one then park the bus. Let's hope that we score first then pick them off. COYB
Mike Gaynes
53 Posted 11/03/2017 at 07:51:32
Actually, the one time I saw Jags in goal he was outstanding. And he certainly won't roll the ball up the middle.
Gareth Clark
54 Posted 11/03/2017 at 08:42:12
Would like 3 at the back – Davies coming out for Holgate. We are a lot more stable at the back with 3.

Also I'd start Mirallas.

Robles
Holgate Williams Funes Mori
Coleman Idrissa Schneiderlin Baines
Barkley Mirallas
Lukaku

Stekelenburg, Jagielka, Barry, McCarthy, Davies, Lookman, Valencia.

Karl Graham
55 Posted 11/03/2017 at 08:52:02
Robles
Coleman, Williams, Funes Mori, Baines
McCarthy, Schneiderlin, Gueye
Barkley
Mirallas, Lukaku

I would have swapped Holgate for Williams but believe we need a talker back there. Davies to come on after an hour to add fresh legs to the midfield. I would play Mirallas right up top with Lukaku and tell Barkley to look for pockets of space to operate in. I'm a fan of Calvert-Lewin but I would rather him play an U23 game first.

Win this and 7th should be wrapped up and basically we have a free shot at them above as the worst that can happen is we stay where we are. I hope the players realise this and have got the Spurs game out of their heads!

Karl Graham
56 Posted 11/03/2017 at 08:56:23
Gareth Clark, I almost went for your line up but last minute changed McCarthy for Holgate as we were at home.
Tony Abrahams
57 Posted 11/03/2017 at 09:03:01
Where's George? Hope you have one of your special Saturdays, mate, and hope Goodison Park is looking great from New Brighton this good morning!
Kevin Day
58 Posted 11/03/2017 at 09:13:54
Peter @41.

Drop me an email mate, it's further up. be good to get a group of blues together for the derby.

Andrew Clare
59 Posted 11/03/2017 at 09:15:04
It's the usual scenario for this one. Get an early goal and dictate the play. Don't get an early goal and get increasingly frustrated as the clock ticks on. As long as our central defenders don't mess up I think we will make it.

Pulis is a shrewd customer so we must be well prepared. I hope Koeman puts an attacking line-up out for this one.

George McKane
60 Posted 11/03/2017 at 10:14:38
Morning Tony and All - - a bit knackered this lovely morning - - was asked to take photos of last nights wonderful Event at The Hilton in Liverpool One (Everton Two) - - it was the Hall Of fame event and I was asked to take photos and send them to the great David France - - he is recovering from illness and couldn't attend - - so feeling quite privileged and tired - - a great night of Blue Brotherhood - - really special to be a Blue - - we really must (and do ) appreciate it - - so I am playing The Who "Who Are You" in the background just now - - next play is The Impressions "It's Allright" - - met some of my good friends - - Ronny Goodlass, John Bailey, neville Southall, Derek Mountfield, Ian Snodin and was lucky through them to chat to a few new friends including Bobby Latchford ( who looked like Sinatra at The Sands) and had a brief handshake and chat to TW's Lyndon who won an Award - - well done.

Just finished my second coffee while reading a bit of Anna Achmatovah - - "“I go forth to seek —
To seek and claim the lovely magic garden
Where grasses softly sigh and Muses speak.”

Now getting my camera recharged for The Dark House - - have to leave home at 11.40 to continue all my rituals - - looking over my shoulder in my writing room to the Domo at New Brighton - - like Brunelleschi overlooking his work in Firenzi - - just going to the other window - - ahhh Yes - - there it is - - shimmering like some Whistler Nocturn in the silver light of Saturday Match Day - don't you love 3.00pm KO's - - into my top sitting room and the Waterfront - - soon to be home of a new "Cathedral" on the skyline - - Joe Anderson said(last night) on our new
stadium "what for an announcement not this week but NEXT WEEK" - - -Mmmmm - - the great thing is the wall alongside my Beatles photos and a beautiful print of John Lennon in bed in Amsterdam - - that wall blocks of the "Towering (Red) Inferno" (Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter Here) .

Normal Saturday match day - -dark House for 12.00ish - - chat last weeks game - - my Grandson Liam - aka Liam The Team - - announces The team news dead on 2.00 - -then talk of today's game - - back to TDH and around 8.00pm Everton Quiz among the survivors.

Love it all.

"With an eye made quiet by the power of harmony, and the deep power of joy, we see into the life of things."

Just listening Lamont Dozier - -"I'm zipping up my boots - - going back to the roots - - to the place of my birth - - get down to earth - - going back to being myself " - - knew he was a Blue.

"God Bless all Blues " said Tiny Tim Cahill.

Keep it cool but mainly keep it cosmic.

Phil Walling
61 Posted 11/03/2017 at 10:20:18
Week after week, Koeman has to choose between two dodgy keepers and three dodgy central defenders. That fact will virtually guarantee that an 'admirable seventh' is as good as it will get this season.
Paul Birmingham
62 Posted 11/03/2017 at 10:29:25
This a must-win, as we can't afford any slip-ups now and hopefully lessons learned from the Spurs game.

I'd start with McCarthy in place of Barrry. WBA will park the bus and it will be long balls and on the break for Rondon.

No easy game this so this team must show its backbone today.

Here's to the passing of TGV, RIP Alex Young, may his inspiration shine down on our club, and inspire greatness.


Laurie Hartley
63 Posted 11/03/2017 at 10:50:54
Worth a try Michael (#51) – I'm stuck. 😉
Tony Abrahams
64 Posted 11/03/2017 at 10:51:52
I'm glad I asked, George. I look forward to your posts before every home game, but that was something else. Did "Physco Pat" join the ranks last night, mate?
George McKane
65 Posted 11/03/2017 at 11:05:21
Yes he did - - he is an old friend on mine - - quite a regular in TDH - - also Nigel Martyn who was incredibly modest and well spoken and had quite an hilarious with Big Nev - - you can imagine quiet Nigel and wonderfully larger than life Nev - - really hilarious - - and John Bailey(long time friend) - - God Bless Him - - and Ian Snodin - - again spoke wonderfully well of "Being Blue" - - a few things comes across at all these does and I am privileged to meet these guys personally and behind the scenes as it were - - is that they all absolutely love Everton and all speak graciously of the fans and with true love and appreciation of Howard - - repeating what a great man manager he was and truly lovely human being and as a friend of Howards' I can endorse those sentiments fully.

I have just heard through my window the "feudal horns" calling me from Goodison - - like Ragnar or Kirk Douglas I will soon be on my "longboat" (or my wife will drive me - - one of the two) and sail across the Mighty Mersey Fjord to My Nirvana - - I can hear hear it now - -"Baruouooo - Barouuooo - - Odin - -Odin" - - will have to stop having a second coffee on weekends - - just listening to Stringman by Neil Young -- breaks your heart - - will put a bit of Van on soon and then off.

Have a good day Blues. cosmic grooves all the way.

Tony - - feel free to contact me and we can always have a cuppa and a cake.

Eugene Ruane
66 Posted 11/03/2017 at 11:27:45
This avvy?

I'm hoping that we don't invite their forwards to move with the ball towards our goal, unchallenged to the point they think 'maybe I'll leather one, they're practically inviting me to.'

Like we did for Kane's first last week.

And it'd be great if our keeper, instead of fart-arsing about, concen-fuckin-trated and cleared the ball rather than rolling it to the opposition's top scorer. Like he did for Kane's second last week.

And I hope, should any free-kicks be chipped into our box, our defenders don't react like Nugget has just lobbed the magic boomerang (one for the teenagers there Link )

Like they did for Dele Alli last week.

A tough game if we make it tough, but if we concentrate and battle for the full 90 mins, we should get the points.

Up the Toffees!

Ian McDowell
67 Posted 11/03/2017 at 11:34:19
As Koeman correctly pointed out last week, the next 2 games will define where we are heading this season. Wins v West Brom and Hull will see us being in with a chance, however slim, of getting into the top 6. Failure to get 6 points and 7th will be the best we can hope for which could also get a Europa League spot.
Eugene Ruane
68 Posted 11/03/2017 at 11:35:28
George, here's how I always imagined Ernest Borgnine's script from The Vikings..

Ragnar: (scene 2) 'HAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRHARHARHARHAAAR!!!"

Ragnar: (scene 5) 'AAAAAAAAHHHH-HA-HA-HA-HA-HAAAAR! AAAAHH-HA-HAR-HAR!!!'

Ragnar: (scene 8) "Ha! HA! AHHHHHHHAHAHAHAHA...AAAAHAHAHAHAHA!"

Etc

Xavier Spencer
69 Posted 11/03/2017 at 11:37:25
George, I was there last night as well. Never attended the now legendary nights at The Adelphi and from what I gather last night was somewhat tame in comparison. Even so, it was a cracking night. I agree that Big Nev and Nigel Marytn were the highlights. Yep, not next week but the week after for new stadium announcement according to Joe Anderson.

Nice meeting Lyndon Lloyd at the end of the night who had flown in especially for the evening (and today's match) all the way from San Francisco. Even managed to briefly talk politics and he actually admitted to being scared at the prospect of what Trump was going to do to his country.

All-in-all, a great night. Up the Blues!

Brian Harrison
70 Posted 11/03/2017 at 11:40:01
Pulis as usual will have his team well drilled and all his teams love the physical battle. They will see this as an excellent chance to close the gap so I don't expect an easy game today. Hopefully we will get back to winning ways, but we need to be a lot more positive than we were against Spurs.
Dave Williams
71 Posted 11/03/2017 at 11:40:23
Whatever you're on, George, can I have some too? Cracking posts – great Saturday morning read.

Phil Walling – much derided at times on here – makes a very good point about the mediocrity at the back. Harsh on Robles assuming Spurs was a hiccup but all three senior centre-backs are sub standard and need replacing before we can progress. Sort them and the midfield will settle down in the knowledge that the centre-backs can cope without them.

Jason Bowen
72 Posted 11/03/2017 at 11:49:17
I'd start with both Lukaku and Gabbiadini upfront Oh hang on! We screwed that one right up, didn't we!
Tom Bowers
73 Posted 11/03/2017 at 11:58:49
I agree, Dave, we need a real kingpin at centre-back before this team can be a real force again. What we have at the moment doesn't cut it. I had thought Funes Mori would be it but he makes silly errors.

As I seem to say every week, all games are tough in the Premier League and attitude from the off usually determines how the game will turn out. Albion will be a tough nut if Everton don't have their game face on like last week. Hopefully Koeman will have bounced them all week regarding that and Everton get at them early.

Paul Johnson
74 Posted 11/03/2017 at 12:11:31
Tom @73, the kid at Hull City is a monster and can pick a pass as well.
Sam Barrett
75 Posted 11/03/2017 at 12:18:24
George, was looking forward to your matchday ritual and you haven't let me down, brilliant as usual, glad to know your listening to Neil Young. Cosmic Grooves. 😀
David Midgley
76 Posted 11/03/2017 at 12:21:46
Odin!! Odin!! Send a wind and turn the West Brom tide.
Jim Hillier
77 Posted 11/03/2017 at 12:36:12
Lamont Dozier getting a mention in a ToffeeWeb post just about made my day already, George, and Lukaku hasn't even scored yet. Glad to hear he is a blue. Hope Eddie Holland is too.

Off to play This Old Heart of Mine and a hundred other great Holland-Dozier-Holland Motown tunes to warm up for the match.

Dave Brierley
78 Posted 11/03/2017 at 12:50:19
Brilliant stuff, George. Just love your zest for life and everything blue! Living in the south, I only get to half-a-dozen Goodison games but reading your stuff almost makes me feel like I'm going.

Congrats Lyndon. Well deserved. COYB.

Colin Glassar
79 Posted 11/03/2017 at 13:02:23
Great post, George, sounds like a fab night. I hate playing WBA, as they are always tough games. It's like playing a team of Ents.
Neil Wood
80 Posted 11/03/2017 at 13:13:18
Think positive today, Colin. Think we will destroy them today. I just have a feeling that everything's gunna click today. Going to stick my neck out and say 5-0.... Believe!

Andrew Clare
82 Posted 11/03/2017 at 13:16:37
George, I love your pre-match posts on here. Like your music choices and your cultural references. Have a great day at Goodison.
Andy Meighan
83 Posted 11/03/2017 at 13:37:31
You never fail, Georgie lad... Brilliant post as usual. Bit of Van. Well what else would you listen to before a Saturday afternoon game? Trust it was Enlightenment – one of the great man's finest.

Ah well, into battle. Scruffy 1-0 to the blues. But it'll be no spectacle. Nooooo sireeeee....

Paul Titherington
84 Posted 11/03/2017 at 13:39:06
A little off subject, just back from a concert at the ANZ stadium in Sydney. 95,000 punters, walking up from the train station, the tingle down the spine thinking of the stadium to be built on the banks of the Royal Blue Mersey... How the RS are going to hate it, just build it BIG. and they will come!
Tony Abrahams
85 Posted 11/03/2017 at 14:02:06
I haven't got a great memory, but I can still remember that first Hall of Fame night all those years ago because it was fucking brilliant. Hilarious from start to finish, it was one of my favourite Everton nights. I'm gutted I missed last night's, because I would have liked to have seen Van den Hauwe getting inducted alongside John Bailey and it would have been great to also bump into Lyndon.

I will have to come The Dark House and see you soon, George, simply because I can't wait to see you play the harmonica!

Sean Smythe
86 Posted 11/03/2017 at 14:03:01
Barry starts.
Colin Glassar
87 Posted 11/03/2017 at 14:05:20
Starts where, Sean?
Steavey Buckley
88 Posted 11/03/2017 at 14:05:30
With Barry playing today, Everton must be parking the bus today. Even I can run faster than Barry.
Colin Glassar
89 Posted 11/03/2017 at 14:06:17
Sorry Sean, didn't see him initially.
Mark Tanton
90 Posted 11/03/2017 at 14:07:08
Interestingly Steavey I once saw a parked bus overtake Barry.
Colin Glassar
91 Posted 11/03/2017 at 14:09:29
Does Ronald think the WBA players will outmuscle Gana? He was pushed off the ball a lot against Spurs but then so was Barry.
Charlie Lloyd
93 Posted 11/03/2017 at 14:15:02
Barry stays in. Funes Mori and Gueye drop out. Mirallas back in. No McCarthy on the bench.

Wouldn't have thought it was a game for Barry to be honest. I expect Davies and Schneiderlin to be getting forward then. Gueye and Funes Mori appear to pay the price for average performances last week. Not saying I agree there but it sends a message that you perform every week or else. McCarthy not in even on the bench though. Disappointing. Maybe just not wanting to risk him due to a slight injury. If he was available I'd have had him in all day long. Didn't think Davies was too impressive last week, this will happen with young lads, so Koeman has given him a good vote of confidence there.

It'll be tough to break down "park the bus" West Brom today. Need to be aware of their maverick maestro Chadli who could be dangerous given time and space around our box.

Simon Jones
95 Posted 11/03/2017 at 14:16:52
This will be a tough one, Pullis has got WBA ticking and they look a decent side. We need to defend well otherwise they will do us on set pieces. If we win then that result could prove we are right to be looking up the table.

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