Swansea City vs Everton

Friday 5 May 2017  78 Comments  [Jump to last]
Match Preview

Awarded a new 5-year contract this week, will Dominic Calvert-Lewin get another chance in the starting line-up?

Everton travel to the Liberty Stadium for Saturday's televised tea-time kick-off against Swansea City.

Everton's away form has been problematic this season, to say the least, and a disappointing contrast to their far better home form, although they have managed draws in their last two games, away to Manchester United and West Ham United. Ronald Koeman has tried a number of different approaches to organizing his side but will not be helped by the continuing absence of Morgan Schneiderlin, who is still suffering from a thigh injury.

Mathematically, Everton approach the game with the increasingly remote possibility of finishing in 6th place at the end of the season, thus avoiding the early banana-skin third qualifying round of the Europa League. To do that, they really needed to have performed a lot better in recent games against Liverpool, West Ham and Chelsea, where only one point earned has seen them slide rapidly down off the top of the Premier League form table.

Could Joel Robles be set to return? Marteen Stekelenburg was less-than impressive against Chelsea and could have jeopardised his position in goal. However, neither keeper seems to be reliable enough but perhaps sufficient time has elapsed since that burst of madness saw Robles give up a really silly penalty against Burnley that cost him his place.

The defensive backline fought manfully for an hour to contain the far superior Chelsea players last weekend, and will be expected to continue, with Jonjoe Kenny still kicking his heels on the sidelines, waiting for his chance to make the step up. But Koeman has not even given him a minute of playing time as a sub, despite his presence on the bench for the last six games. It's as if the manager feels duty-bound to maintain the old guard of Baines, Jagielka and Williams in defence, with Mason Holgate being the only concession to youthful exuberance at the back.

Holgate has generally been very good in that role, but his crossing is not the best and Koeman continues not to play a real wide player in front of him, cutting Holgate's options significantly when he does go forward with the ball.

It seems Tom Davies and Idrissa Gana Gueye are now among the first names on the team sheet and will continue to form the heart of the side, but worrying mistakes have been creeping into the African's game with yellow cards in his last three appearances that have seen him pulled off at half-time in two of them.

Gareth Barry is being used less and less by Koeman, with fewer and fewer games where he has been partnered with Gueye from the start. It would be so refreshing to see Liam Walsh given an opportunity to provide a bit of guile and enthusiasm that has been so lacking at times in Everton's recent displays.

And then there is the perennial conundrum that is Ross Barkley. Despite going back inside his shell and resorting to the frustrating habits of earlier in the season, with fewer and fewer direct attempts on goal, he has continued to build up his remarkable assist stats — a total of 10 since he last sat out a kick-off, back on Boxing Day.

The other choices for supporting and manning Everton's attack, if you can call it that, remain bafflingly limited for Koeman, as none seem to be able to produce goals, apart from Romelu Lukaku, who may or may not turn up on Saturday, depending on mood. The others continue to be remarkably reluctant to shoot at goal, and, on the exceedingly rare occasions when they do, are shockingly wayward in terms of accuracy. Enner Valencia seems willing enough but has only scored when coming on as a sub.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin looks set to continue to be played out of position, but does not appear to be able to form any kind of meaningful linkage with Lukaku, while Kevin Mirallas has been really poor (apart from a hat-trick of assists against Leicester City). Perhaps time to brighten things up a little with some fresh young blood from the U-23s? But neither Kieran Dowell nor Harry Charsley have gotten near the first team this season and seem unlikely choices unless Koeman is really keen to reward them for a job well done in winning Premier League 2. It's more likely, however, that Ademola Lookman would be chosen ahead of either player.

Meanwhile, the Swans have their own much more pressing concerns, with the very real likelihood of relegation hanging over them as they sit in 18th place, 2 points adrift of resurgent Hull City and with little hope of catching Crystal Palace. So all the pressure will be on the home side to show the kind of spirit that overcame Stoke City in their last home match.

Since then, they were somewhat unjustly denied a victory at Old Trafford by the endemic biased refereeing that always seems to favour the top teams in the Premier League. But plenty of Blue eyes will be watching closely their star player, Gylfi Sigurdsson, who is an obvious target for improving Everton's midfield next season, especially if Paul Clement is unable to keep the Welsh side from dropping back down to The Championship after six seasons in the top flight.

Gylfi Sigurdsson's superb skill from dangerous set pieces remains a significant threat against either of Everton's leaden-footed keepers. The Iceland international curled a brilliant free-kick over the wall and into the top corner against De Gea at Old Trafford last weekend.

They do have the worst defence in the Premier League, however, with 69 goals conceded, so the odds should favour a side containing the league's leading contender for this season's Golden Boot award, provided the hunger is there for another flat-track bully performance from Lukaku to rebuild his value and prestige after massive missed opportunities to impress in front of the cameras in the recent big games.

It may not be all plain sailing for Koeman's men, who have seemed to relax noticeably given the certainty of a 7th place finish and qualification for Europe. Swansea, however, have become something of a bogie team in recent years, and are unbeaten in their last six encounters with the Blues over all competitions since a 3-2 loss in March, 2014.

Kick-Off: 17:30 on Saturday, 6 May 2017.

Last Time: Swansea City 0 - 0 Everton

Predicted Line-Up: Robles; Holgate, Williams, Jagielka, Baines; Gueye, Davies; Walsh, Barkley, Calvert-Lewin; Lukaku.

Referee: Martin Atkinson

 

Reader Comments (78)

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Kunal Desai
1 Posted 05/05/2017 at 07:18:57
Sadly I think Swansea will be up for the fight, needing the points to stay up and will get all 3 points.

Although we competed relatively well last week for an hour, once the first goal went in there was no determination to get back into the game. Everton lads have been on holiday since the West Ham game.

I wouldn't mind seeing Kenny given a start at right wingback, also give Lookman a start alongside Lukaku.

Mike Allison
2 Posted 05/05/2017 at 07:19:58
Well someone isn't feeling very positive...

I agree that our support for Lukaku is poor. The Deulofeu loan still mystifies me, I'd love to see him in the side. Mirallas simply isn't good enough for where Everton want to be.

The supporting positions in attack are the weakest part of our team and the ones where we need significant investment in the summer. You need three, four or even five players who produce for those two positions, we have one at the moment.

Dave Pritchard
3 Posted 05/05/2017 at 08:00:49
I agree with Kunal and this is based on recent showings by us, not because I'm being negative. Our best hope is that Swansea are so nervous as it is such an important game for them.
Bob Parrington
4 Posted 05/05/2017 at 08:06:23
Why these highly paid so-called "professionals" cannot be "up" for a game beats me. Poor things! It'd be interesting to work out how many quid they get per minute. Give them a rocket up their arses and, if they don't perform (at least in terms of effort) get rid and find replacements who do give a shit.

There, now, I got that off my chest! But, truly and like many others, I'm past all the mamsee pamsee excuses of those players who don't "put in".

Rocket up the arse and let's see some true character, please. Then we might come away with all 3 points, show Gylfi that we are a team worth consideration and, maybe, squeeze in to 6th spot.

Jim Bennings
6 Posted 05/05/2017 at 08:35:54
Hard to really argue with that!

I can't see Everton turning up if the last few games are anything to go by – especially given that Swansea and their fans will be bang up for this knowing if Hull have as expected beaten Sunderland in the 3pm kick-off, anything but a Swansea win effectively sends them down.

Just can't see anything from recent weeks to excite me that we are going to end the season in any kind of form.

John Keating
7 Posted 05/05/2017 at 08:38:09
Our season is now well over. Time to see if some of the kids can produce at this level.

Kenny in for Holgate. Walsh in midfield. Calvert-Lewin to replace Lukaku up top alongside Lookman.

Eddie Dunn
8 Posted 05/05/2017 at 08:42:30
I will be amazed if we win at the Liberty. Swansea are fighting for survival and will do their utmost to get the three points that may give them a hope of staying in this division.

Our recent form has seen us shot-shy and lacking creativity. The loss of Schneiderlin also leaves us a little scrappy in midfield and I expect to see Barry on from the start.

The team is looking unbalanced without Seamus on the right. Calvert-Lewin seems shoe-horned into the left wing but is surely more suited to the central role, thus we lack width. Until we have either wingbacks willing or able to get down the channels and deliver some crosses, our play will be predictably in to the big man and if he is well policed, we can expect little return, as our midfield don't get up in support of him in enough numbers.

I am afraid that we will lose this one and by a couple of goals. I would drop Barkley and Lukaku and start with Calvert-Lewin up top, with Mirallas and Lookman taking the wide roles. Barry, Davies and Gana in the engine room with the usual four across the back.

Jim Bennings
9 Posted 05/05/2017 at 08:48:05
Well we have two away games left, and the final one at Arsenal we haven't tasted victory there since 1996 so it's unlikely we are winning away again this season.

Let's just hope we can get up and running with an early away win next season, we haven't won away since January and it can quickly become a psychological factor if allowed to continue for much longer.

Dave Abrahams
10 Posted 05/05/2017 at 09:03:26
I think it is time for Koeman and the club to give a nod to the thousands of supporters who travel far and wide to go to these away games only to mostly huge defensive set ups with hardly anything offensive tactics to get the crowd in a roaring mood, it has gone on for most of the season and it stinks.

I can't see any lads from the U23's getting a game with Monday night's game with Liverpool so near, these lads need a boost to show they have a real future with the club. If not, some of them – the ones with real ambition – will be on their toes and away.

They train and try all week, run their plums off for the U23 team, and get scant reward except to see the likes of Lukaku (yes, I am pointing him out) stay on the pitch for every minute of every game no matter how he plays. Oh yes, he comes off now and again with a couple of minutes to go, to get an ovation after he has done well.

Look to the future Mr Koeman – some of these present stars (?) don't want to be here and will not be here long so sort it out – the whole playing staff that is.

Tony Hill
11 Posted 05/05/2017 at 09:04:26
Yes, I have no expectations of this one beyond a characteristic end-of-season flop against a side which needs the win. Though Williams will, I am sure, be professional, it is difficult to see how he will truly be up for sending his old team into relegation.
Gareth Clark
12 Posted 05/05/2017 at 09:10:52
I'd like to see a youngster get a game – and I think Kenny is the most deserving & most likely.

No clue who I'd start in goal... they are both embarrassing... Doubt he will bring Robles back in though.

3-4-3

Stekelenburg
Holgate Williams Jagielka
Kenny Idrissa Davies Baines
Barkley Calvert-Lewin
Lukaku

Subs: Robles, Pennington, Besic, Barry, Lookman, Mirallas, Valencia

John Daley
14 Posted 05/05/2017 at 10:08:07
Wasn't really arsed before, but I'm well up for the game now after reading that.

Basically, both keepers are sat on opposite bridges undertaking a banjo duel to see who gets first dibs on going in goal.

Three of the back four make the cast of The Golden Girls look like firm bodied, baby faced goers, with the fourth being younger, fairly decent, but about as deadly with a cross as Peter Vincent on his day off from fucking Fright Night.

Gana has taken up Gareth Barry's 'guaranteed a yellow' mantle, while the former master of the art-form mummifies even further with his arl arse moored firmly on the bench.

Barkley is back to being a mere Mutant Ninja Turtle, but minus the mitigating factor of being a teenager.

Lukaku may or may not turn up, but either way is likely to have a titty lip on and will probably only target those piss weak kids whose sole means of fighting back against a bully is sobbing and threatening to squeal to their mum.

No one else in the squad can shoot straight and so probably won't even bother their arse to make an attempt.

Valencia is a trier, but turd in front of goal unless taking to the pitch from the bench.

Calvert-Lewin and Lukaku have had about as much success striking up a tight relationship as Stalin and Trotsky.

The only thing likely to save us from another moribund match day performance is a mass promotion of untried, under 23 prospects to the starting 11 (then, if we were to get twatted, everyone would be totally sure to say "still, it made perfect sense to chuck in a whole host of kids at the same time with European qualification already assured", instead of something like "What the fuck was that tactically challenged fool doing making so many unforced changes, naming a virtual reserve side and pissing away three, still very important, points? Totally ludicrous decision-making on a day made for us to to turn around our dismal away form. 'Manage Barcelona one day', my battered arse mate").

It's the succubus of pre-match scene setting.

Ernie Baywood
15 Posted 05/05/2017 at 10:14:19
I'm in summer holiday mode. I will be surprised if the players aren't.

Some youthful input might lift things but I actually hope the manager and players suffer through a thoroughly uninspiring and sapping period and reflect on the decisions that brought this about. We didn't have to be playing dead rubbers at this point.

Brent Stephens
16 Posted 05/05/2017 at 10:32:52
John (#14) – put me down for one succubus, please (awaits LINK).
Jon Cox
17 Posted 05/05/2017 at 10:51:10
As someone else said earlier,

Play some youngsters. I'd like to see Calvert-Lewin and Lookman up top with Kev playing the No 10 role.

It would, just for for once, be nice to bench "The Almighty"!

Since he's going through his usual end-of-season "couldn't give a shit" mode, then I'm going through my "couldn't give a shit about him" mode.

We need to have a taste of life without Lukaku. The sooner the better for Everton Football Club. And us.

COYB

Andrew Ellams
18 Posted 05/05/2017 at 11:02:14
Jon Cox – do you really believe Calvert-Lewin and Lookman can replace Lukaku?
Jon Cox
19 Posted 05/05/2017 at 11:08:12
At least they want to wear the shirt and be part of a team.

That really helps if you play a team game.

Can you say that about Maximus Stroppius.

John Daley
20 Posted 05/05/2017 at 11:09:10
"..these [U23] lads need a boost.."

The same sort of boost Pennington and Calvert-Lewin have benefited from? Being panned and prematurely written off as "not Premier League players", "Championship class at best" etc, by their own supporters, simply for looking nervy or not showing immediate superstar potential from the off?

Calvert-Lewin, despite being played out of position and often having to defend deep in his own half, has done enough in his few appearances to convince his manager he is deserving of a new long-term contract, yet a number of (supposedly youth promoting) Evertonians greet the news by saying he's 'crap' and it represents a massive waste of coin.

People call for these young players constantly, all the time, but if they don't pull up any trees by some arbitrary time-scale (say, on their bloody debut or in the next game or two) then they're written off as sub-standard and seemingly incapable of ever showing more.

"Throw them in... but if they're going to take time to settle... tell them they're shit, sharpish."

Barry Pearce
21 Posted 05/05/2017 at 11:10:10
Can't believe Jonjoe Kenny, hasn't had any game time. Fantastic little player, with a great attitude.

Although it's remote, I'd also give Liam Walsh a try; same attributes as Jonjoe, but the game against the shite Monday night will most likely put paid to that.

Derek Thomas
22 Posted 05/05/2017 at 11:10:23
Talk about damning with faint praise, MK. Bordering on the too harsh... but, sadly, all true.

Over to you Ron – sort it.

John Daley
23 Posted 05/05/2017 at 11:18:27
"John #14 put me down for one succubus, please (awaits LINK)"

Link

Brian Furey
24 Posted 05/05/2017 at 11:24:24
Complicated question, folks:

West Ham finished 7th last year and went into the 3rd qualifying round for the Europa League which had matches around 15 July and the start of August.

I'm just wondering that, if Man Utd win the Europa League this season and so qualify for the Champions League, then next season there will be 5 teams in the Champions League. Then do we still have to play in the 3rd qualifying round or do we go straight into the group stage, like Southampton did last season, as there would only be 2 teams from England in the Europa League then?

Europa League 2017

A similar kind of thing happened in Spain last season with Sevilla winning the Europa League and so 5 Spanish teams qualified for the Champions League and then the remaining two went into the group stages of the Europa League, as below:

Spanish La Liga Europe qualification

I don't suppose there is a website that spells this out clearly and we'll have to wait to see that happens.

Jim Bennings
25 Posted 05/05/2017 at 11:32:11
Brian

My advice is don't even try and work it out, it's just so complicated trying to figure out who starts playing in what and when.

I'm merely going to await the pre-season fixture list coming out whenever that is in June or whatever and I'm assuming we'll hear something about this Europa League participation then.

For me the summer has to be all about making the necessary changes to the squad and making sure we add the flair and quality that we are so desperately lacking right now.

I'm anticipating a very busy summer in the transfer market both inward and outwards.

Shane Corcoran
26 Posted 05/05/2017 at 11:39:23
I think it's too early to throw in the towel on 6th place. We only need to be within three of Arsenal going into the last game.

Go full strength this weekend and then play the garcons in the last two games if we're stuck in 7th.

Dave Abrahams
27 Posted 05/05/2017 at 11:58:09
John (25) "these lads need a boost" – well Calvert-Lewin and Pennington have had a bit of a boost and as you say some fans (?) have a go at them. Some of us have give them some praise, that will always be the case, good and bad.

I was talking about some of the others who have grafted all season and not been really noticed, Jonjoe Kenny will learn loads sitting on the bench for the last six games; Liam Walsh hasn't had the pleasure of sitting on the bench but he deserves some recognition for his season's efforts. There are one or two others who will get a lift from being selected for the first team squad.

I don't know if you travel away, John? I don't... but, if I did, I wouldn't mind seeing one or two of these lads adding some energy and skill plus movement to the away performances. The regulars in these games haven't given the support much to shout about over the last few seasons.

If you do travel away, John, what's your take on how we have performed? [Keep your language down, John, while you describe it.]

John Daley
28 Posted 05/05/2017 at 12:39:53
My take would be we have been largely timid and [BEEP] unadventurous away from home and have concentrated on containment at the expense of anything remotely cavalier, certainly when coming up against the better teams.

However, I choose to put the lion's share of the blame on the bloke in charge and the fairly conservative tactics he chooses to employ in away fixtures, rather than pinning it all on [BEEP] personnel. I don't see simply throwing more youngsters in as a short-cut to spicing things up, especially when they're going to be tasked with carrying out, to the letter, the instructions of the one man they absolutely need to impress, instead of being unleashed to play with youthful [BEEP] abandon.

Again, look at Calvert-Lewin carting himself up and down the wing and tracking opposition runners at the expense of his more attacking instincts. He's hardly free to play his natural [BEEP] game out there, yet he's still being judged harshly (by some) on the back of having to perform the very particular role Ron has hand-picked him for. 


Matthew Williams
29 Posted 05/05/2017 at 12:41:46
Unless wholesale changes are made to the starting line up, we won't win this game neither.

Another drab away day methinks... 0-0.

I bet Lukaku starts... sigh.

John G Davies
30 Posted 05/05/2017 at 12:46:31
You can get the succubus from Sandhills Station. £2 drops you off by the Abbey.
Dave Abrahams
31 Posted 05/05/2017 at 12:50:30
Yes, Koeman has to shoulder a lot of the blame for the away performances, and I agree that Calvert-Lewin was played out of position which didn't help him to show what he can play like as a striker.

However, if he plays Jonjoe Kenny, it would hopefully be at right back and the same for Liam Walsh in his natural position, midfield. The point about these two lads is they would be bursting their guts out to show what they could do for Everton, even if Koeman was daft enough to put one of them in goal!!!!

Peter Lee
32 Posted 05/05/2017 at 13:43:57
We played Chelsea without a single, sitting defensive midfielder. If we do the same in the next three games, the season will rightly be written off as having shown little progress.

It isn't largely about players. The manager's tactics remain unsuited to the players we have. In any event, no matter who we sign or what shape we have at the back or who the goalkeeper is, we will struggle to control games and to contain opponents unless those change.

Koeman's pronouncements, and the links to players like Sigurdsson, don't fill me with confidence about him changing his current, haphazard approach.

There is no doubt that he will see his contract out. Talk of Barcelona is a joke.

Tom Evans
33 Posted 05/05/2017 at 14:03:53
I'm going on a scouting mission tomorrow to the KCOM to watch Hull City and Sunderland. I will keep my eyes on Maguire and Pickford for us.

Seriously, I hope City win and a few of the Hull lads that I will be with know my colours and will hope that we beat Swansea after the City game has finished.

Kieran Kinsella
34 Posted 05/05/2017 at 14:06:05
Maybe I'm old fashioned but I think Koeman should pick his best 11 whoever they may be.

Not so long ago, we were battling relegation like Hull and I'd have been pissed if teams playing our rivals treated games like testimonials sending out kids and soon-to-depart veterans. If Kenny and Walsh deserve to play on merit then play them. If not, don't play them.

Andy Meighan
35 Posted 05/05/2017 at 14:13:02
Tom,

Tell your Hull mates not to get their hopes up. It looks as if we've got one foot on the beach already...

Brian Cleveland
36 Posted 05/05/2017 at 14:45:02
Given that Swansea are fighting for survival, the U23 have the RS on Monday, I don't think this will be the game to put the kids in. More likely next week at home to Watford who have basically finished their season.

The U23s will have had their final game against Liverpool, and we will know whether we still have any chance of catching Arsenal, which I for one have not yet given up on. They go to Man Utd this weekend, so better to support United, although they'll be pretty knackered this weekend!

Brian Wilkinson
38 Posted 05/05/2017 at 15:23:57
Let's not forget Kane is breathing down Lukaku's neck for the Golden Boot. I fully expect Rom to put a shift in Saturday... now whether the other players do is a different matter.

It is a shame the Under-23s play on Monday which will hamper the chances of a couple getting a game tomorrow. I agree with another poster, give Kenny and Walsh a run-out for the Watford game.

Brent Stephens
39 Posted 05/05/2017 at 15:43:41
John (#28) – I won't sleep tonight after that (and not in anticipation).
Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
40 Posted 05/05/2017 at 16:38:01
Brilliant stuff, John (#14). Cracked me up. Far more entertaining!

You have earned the call-up slot to stand-in and write the official TW Match Preview next time Lyndon is indisposed.

Ross Edwards
41 Posted 05/05/2017 at 16:42:43
Our away record has been nowhere near good enough this season and it's something that needs to improve if we want to challenge the top 4,.

As for tomorrow, Hull should beat Sunderland as they're already gone and Marco Silva's home record is excellent, so Swansea will have to go for it otherwise they risk being 5 points from safety with 2 games left. That means the game will be more open than the West Ham one was for instance, so I fancy us to score a couple.

Terry White
42 Posted 05/05/2017 at 16:44:14
As pointed out, the U-23s have a big game on Monday night, one they have played all season to play in now, so it would be highly unlikely, not to say unfair, to pick them for Saturday and exclude them for Monday. Watford is the game to give some of them a look.

Liam Reilly
43 Posted 05/05/2017 at 16:51:50
That succubus sounds like something I got from a one night stand a long time ago.

I can't see us being up for this one unless Koeman bloods some youth, which I doubt.

It will be Barry in for Schneiderlin and very few other changes, I suspect.

John Pierce
44 Posted 05/05/2017 at 16:55:30
Bollocks all to resting U23 players because of the Liverpool game Monday. The fact is the first team are the most important thing at the club – oh, and they're all under 23, so I think they can handle it.

Me, I'm torn between giving Kenny his debut at right wing-back and letting Holgate be part of a back three, versus them being drilled into orders by Koeman and not being able to show any of their potential. (John Daley – decent shout there.) I said something very similar on the Calvert-Lewin thread.

But, if I had the reins for this, given that we've been piss-poor for a month or so, and away games are like wakes, then I'd go with:

Robles,
Holgate, Williams, Jagielka
Kenny, Davies, Gana, Barry, Baines
Lookman, Lusaka (I'm leaving this autocorrect in 'cos it's not wrong is it?!)

John Pierce
45 Posted 05/05/2017 at 17:08:40
Aw crap I'm thinking of Moussaka not Lusaka! Or perhaps that's were Rom goes when he goes missing in games?
Michael Kenrick
46 Posted 05/05/2017 at 17:09:10
Lusaka...

A large, well-built, mostly stationary edifice of African origin. Yes, I think you might have hit upon something there, John!

[Although I initially misread it as Moussaka... must get new specs.]

John Pierce
47 Posted 05/05/2017 at 17:14:24
Bailing me out there, Michael.
Tony Abrahams
48 Posted 05/05/2017 at 17:40:31
At least you're consistent, Michael!
Mark Morrissey
49 Posted 05/05/2017 at 17:41:30
If and this is a big if, IF we didn't have Moshiri onboard and there was no ground move to salivate over, how happy would we be with Koemans input so far. Isolate his performance and what do we reckon ? I'm just not convinced he's the man to manage this Summers transfers. Just a thought albeit it is a hypothetical one
James Hughes
50 Posted 05/05/2017 at 17:45:52
After another dip in form and with our poor away record in mind.
I would take a defeat in South Wales if we could win at the Emirates.

Ron – sort it out, Guv... after all, Barcelona is calling!!!

Denis Richardson
51 Posted 05/05/2017 at 18:13:21
Season well and truly over as we'll finish 7th. Half the players look like they're already on the beach.

I hope Koeman gives a few of the youngsters a run out but the serious planning for next season should already be well underway. At least 4 to 5 new faces needed and there's still some old faces that need shifting.

A good stab at getting rid of dross last year but still some left, as well as players who've reached their 'use-by dates'. To move the club forward, the likes of Barry, Jagielka, Besic, McCarthy, Kone and Lennon need to be quietly shown the door. Added to that we've still got the likes of McGeady, Cleverley, Niasse and Deulofeu on the books. So in total about 10 senior players who's futures need to be resolved away from the club, which will open a massive gap in the wage bill and so hopefully help to bring said new faces in.

Central midfield is solid with Gueye, Schneiderlin and Davies. Badly need to sort out attacking mid and striking options as well as beef up defence. Throw in a goalkeeper as well although I think with Robles there it's not such an emergency. Creativity is seriously lacking in the side and I just don't see Barkley being the long term answer. We need a Mata/Silva type player. Even Sigurdsson would be an improvement.

Over to Walsh and Co.

Robin Cannon
52 Posted 05/05/2017 at 18:36:53
I expect an underwhelming draw or defeat.

After the Burnley game I think there was some genuine hope – both for us, and within the squad – at the potential for sneaking into 5th or 6th.

Feels like Man Utd and Arsenal both coming out of tough games with 3 points in the two days after we beat Burnley led to an acceptance that we'll just finish 7th. And as a result the team aren't as motivated; as has been demonstrated by the West Ham and Chelsea performances.

Jay Harris
53 Posted 05/05/2017 at 18:40:40
Koeman has already stated that anyone slacking will not play or be hooked – not that I believe for one minute that the players are already in holiday mode.

As Seamus will not be available again this year, I would give Jonjoe a chance to see what he is made of and, as Schneiderlin is unavailable, I see no problem with a back 3 and Kenny and Baines as wingbacks with Davies and Gana anchoring the middle.

As there appears to be no movement on Barkley's contract situation I would try someone else in that position so my front 3 would be Mirallas, Lukaku and Lookman.

Robin Cannon
54 Posted 05/05/2017 at 18:44:12
I think there's a difference between "holiday mode" and simply not having a clear external impetus to provide some additional motivation. I have no doubt that the players are trying, that they have professional pride, that there's no deliberate slacking.

But, in a game of fine margins, the fact that we're almost definitely not going to finish any higher, and can't finish any lower, will still have an impact.

Karl Jones
55 Posted 05/05/2017 at 18:54:20
Similar outcome to the Sunderland game last season (0-3). They have everything to lose, we have nothing to play for.

Having watched us for many years, no matter what the players and manager says, having the incentive always makes the difference:

May 1985, Everton wer League champions and probably the best Everton squad ever. Coventry had to win to stay up. Result: Coventry 4 Everton 1 .

Dermot Byrne
56 Posted 05/05/2017 at 19:08:54
I can see a big win tomorrow. If we mess up, I seem to see Ronald Koeman giving them a kicking and us bouncing back. Enjoy.
Dermot Byrne
57 Posted 05/05/2017 at 19:09:56
Seamus certainly missed.
Ian Herbert
58 Posted 05/05/2017 at 19:16:48
I would add Baines to that list of players to be quietly shown the door too. He hasn't been the same since he returned from his last injury. Sadly age and injuries have finally caught up with him.

His free kicks are no longer a threat and he has never been the best defensively anyway. As his pace diminishes further with age, so will his effectiveness.

Time for the way-too-inconsistent Mirallas to go too.

Tony Abrahams
61 Posted 05/05/2017 at 19:30:51
Gareth, he loves Everton, that much he's had to go to Cyprus, just to get away from them, but I suppose your nature, is like your footy team, and it's something you just can't change!?
Oliver Molloy
62 Posted 05/05/2017 at 20:58:33
We have 7th and that's our season done and dusted.
Swansea fighting to stay up will be more hungrier for the maximum points.
I just can not see our team having the real motivation required to win.
Draw...
Colin Glassar
63 Posted 05/05/2017 at 21:59:25
Poor old Totteringham have messed it up once again.
Alastair Donaldson
64 Posted 05/05/2017 at 22:12:10
Stand by for a Gylfi display tomorrow.

We had a habit of buying players who scored winning goals against us in the 80s (Wilkinson for one)... wonder where he'll be playing next season.

I'd swap for Barkley in an instant.

Tony Hill
65 Posted 05/05/2017 at 23:22:11
Alastair, I seem to recall we bought Rod Belfitt after he scored against us. We've never fully recovered.
Darryl Ritchie
66 Posted 06/05/2017 at 04:01:17
They're playing for survival.

We're playing because the schedule says we have to... add to that our dismal away form and I'm not all that confident going into this one.

This will be a good test of character for both manager and players. A win would be a fantastic result, but a draw,or loss, is more likely.

Nigel Johnson
67 Posted 06/05/2017 at 04:08:00
I think the way Koeman is dealing with the young players is correct. I've read so many messages about giving this young player a start or that young player. The way forward for young players is first do well in the Under-23s then train with the first team and if you get a chance take it.

The first-team manager's role is to win things as that's how he will be remembered. If 5 or 6 young players were in the first team but Everton won nothing, people would be moaning about that.

We have a summer break coming up and I am sure 3 or 4 young players will be part of the pre-season programme and have a long chance to show the Manager what they can do.

Let's not be in a rush to have young players in the first team. The best way the young players will stay in the first team is by making it really hard to get there in the first place.

Brian Cleveland
68 Posted 06/05/2017 at 05:40:25
See Sky have their fingers on the pulse as always...

"The Gunners, who visit Goodison Park on the final day of the season, are two points ahead with two matches in hand, leaving Everton's games with Swansea and Watford as potential dead rubbers."

Plonkers

Ben Hayes
69 Posted 06/05/2017 at 08:00:12
I'd really like us to play with some youth in the side, we have won the Under-23s so apart from being against Liverpool Monday's game isn't as important as first team experience.

I'd play:

Robles
Kenny Holgate Pennington Robinson
Davies Gueye
Lookman Barkley Walsh
Lukaku

Then bring Calvert-Lewin on at half-time.

Gives the Under-23s massive encouragement to play well and you get picked. I actually think Ross will play better as this would be a fast-paced team, I think it will provide more chances for Lukaku as we would have wing backs getting forward more options for the midfielders because of this.

I know it won't happen but that's what I would like.

Phil (Kelsall) Roberts
70 Posted 06/05/2017 at 08:40:10
The "kids" play on Monday night where they will be presented with trophy and hopefully keep City in 2nd place by beating our local rivals. I am sure David Unsworth and a few of the locals in the team will want a win.

So to play 3-4 of them tonight will only make the possibility of a winning end to the U23s season being more difficult. Ain't going to happen.

Ajay Gopal
71 Posted 06/05/2017 at 09:41:47
I am keen to see Kenny being a game at RB.

Robles
Kenny Jagielka Williams Baines
Gana Davies Barry
Barkley Lukaku Calvert-Lewin

Subs: Stek, Holgate, Walsh, Besic, Lookman, Mirallas, Valencia

Gordon Roberts
72 Posted 06/05/2017 at 09:59:37
Agree with all posters who think that the Under-23 players will be kept out of the fray. Given Koeman's recent comments that he won't be giving youngsters any exposure in the final games of the season, I'm unclear as to why the article covers the point?

A bad result today and TW will be awash with anti-Koeman outbursts – maybe that was the objective. COYB

Phil Walling
73 Posted 06/05/2017 at 11:49:24
Well, Nigel @67, one way of young players getting in the team under Koeman is to be an average performer who happens to get signed from another club.

I suspect that the likes of Holgate, Calvert-Lewin and Lookman are no more talented than our own grown lads who have won the U23 trophy under Unsey. But they were spotted and signed from the lower leagues for moderate fees which have to be justified.

It paid off big time with Stonsey so why not with these three? I think we all know it's a pipe dream for all three of them!

Laurie Hartley
74 Posted 06/05/2017 at 11:56:31
I don't think you are far off the mark with your predicted line up Michael except I think Besic will start instead of Walsh.

My slant on the youngsters is that rather than throwing them into the lion's den against Swansea (who will be well up for this one and fancying their chances to win) is that they deserve to be part of Monday night when, hopefully, they show their highly paid counterparts in the first team, how to win a Derby game.

If Koeman really harbours any hope of pipping Arsenal for sixth spot, he won't start youngsters in this game unless he has no option. What he will have to do is get the "first-teamers" fired up to the same extent that Unsworth will have his players on Monday night.

Andrew Clare
75 Posted 06/05/2017 at 12:34:43
This is a dead cert defeat. Everton don't do surprises.
Eugene Ruane
76 Posted 06/05/2017 at 13:17:36
Andrew (#75) – This is a dead cert defeat. Everton don't do surprises

No surprises?

So presumably after we beat City 4-0, your reaction was Link

Dermot Byrne
77 Posted 06/05/2017 at 13:18:05
I think I've reached the point we're I don't really care what happens. Season done now.
Brent Stephens
78 Posted 06/05/2017 at 13:48:25
Phil (#73), "I suspect that the likes of Holgate, Calvert-Lewin and Lookman are no more talented than our own grown lads."

An assertion based on watching how many U23 games this season? Ah "suspect" – a suspect assertion.

Charlie Lloyd
79 Posted 06/05/2017 at 13:52:12
I would like to see Kenny and Walsh given some minutes but echo the views of many. Not likely to happen this weekend with the U23 mini-derby fixture on Monday. Let the youngsters put on a show in that game and next weekend we will hopefully see a few.

Let's not forget that there are already quite a few, Davies et al, in the squad. The game tonight we do need to be up for. I really hope the players put a shift in. I can accept defeat, though it hurts but there's no excuse for not trying.

Tom Bowers
80 Posted 06/05/2017 at 13:59:18
Most issues have been well addressed here and generally the consensus is Koeman still has work to do especially on the defensive side of things.

Today's game may again be a ho-hum end of season affair but we know sorry Swansea will be more interested in 3 points than Everton as they are in a desperate position.

I would give more time to the youngsters as you know they will be playing for their future but I would like to see at least an attacking show by the Blues to finish the season in style.

The season did have some high points but even with the games they won they looked far from a top four team.

No matter how the final 3 games pan out one would think that Koeman has some plans for next season and a top four spot.

John G Davies
81 Posted 06/05/2017 at 14:12:42
I think we all know it's a pipe dream. Another pearler.

I visit Paphos on a regular basis, Phil.

I will look for the hostelry with a dark cloud over it and give it a wide berth.

Dave Abrahams
82 Posted 06/05/2017 at 14:41:02
I hope Robles is in goal, just to prove that Koeman is playing the game. He dropped him after a howler in a game we won. Let's see if he drops Stekelenburg after at least one cock-up in a game we lost.

Only fair, isn't it?

Andrew Clare
83 Posted 06/05/2017 at 16:11:41
Eugene,

That was the one surprise I overlooked

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