David Moyes will be determined to end Everton’s South Coast hoodoo when they travel to St Marys on Monday night. After picking up just one win on our last 11 visits, courtesy of a goal from makeshift striker Steve Watson; our latest trip down south couldn’t come at a better time.
Such is the lack of loyalty shown by Premier League chairman these days; Nigel Adkins was ‘relieved on his duties’ on Friday, after leading the club to two successive promotions and a superb point at Stamford Bridge in midweek.
Former Espanyol boss Mauricio Pochettino has been brought in, with the decision receiving widespread criticism, not just from Saints’ fans but from key figures across the footballing world. I don’t think it would be right to say the club is in turmoil, but this news will not have gone down well with the Southampton players and will have undoubtedly disrupted their preparations ahead of Monday night’s game.
Usually, teams enjoy a new-found belief when a new manager is appointed, but I think the situation at St Mary’s could have an adverse impact on their side. This can only be a good thing for David Moyes and Everton and it is fundamental that we take full advantage.
Another boost, is the difficult fixtures that the teams in and around us face. Sunday’s double bill sees Arsenal travel to London rivals Chelsea, whereas Tottenham host league leaders Manchester United. Besides last season’s 5 - 3 victory, The Gunners record at Stamford Bridge isn’t great. However, with Rafael Benitez’s side lying only five points ahead of us, I don’t see any result that would really favour us.
On the other hand, Tottenham face a really difficult challenge when they host Sir Alex Ferguson’s team. United have been in excellent form so far in this campaign and will be confident, although Spurs’ 3 - 2 win at Old Trafford in September will give them a huge boost.
Despite Liverpool and West Bromwich Albion facing home fixtures, which they should win, come Monday, I expect us to still be in 5th place. Last Saturday’s goalless draw against Swansea was largely frustrating for the Goodison faithful, but I think the Blues boss will have taken some consolation from registering only our second clean sheet of the season.
Nikica Jelavic is struggling in front of goal at the moment and looks short of confidence and this is the first time this has happened since his move from Rangers, 12 months ago. After scoring just one goal in his last 11 games, Everton fans are beginning to become frustrated with The Croatian, but I believe it is only a matter of time before he starts finding his range again.
The news of Kevin Mirallas’s return to training will be welcomed by David Moyes, who has admitted his side have lacked a bit of creativity, when the speedy Belgian has been missing. Moyes has confirmed that he won’t rush the winger and it is unlikely he will feature at St Mary’s on Monday night. I don’t see any changes being made for this one, with Victor Anichebe again filling the void on the right flank in the absence of Mirallas.
We have had so many games this season where we have dominated and had to settle for a point, or in the matches against Chelsea and Reading, been beaten. The players will be determined to finally turn chances and possession into goals and will be looking at Monday night’s clash as one we should be winning.
Our performances in front of the Sky cameras have been largely excellent this season and I expect us to make the journey back to Goodison with three points in the bag, after another strong showing.
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657 Posted 18/01/2013 at 20:30:57
No easy away games in the league....ask Chelsea!
663 Posted 18/01/2013 at 20:59:24
It will be by no means easy mind!
700 Posted 18/01/2013 at 23:07:23
713 Posted 19/01/2013 at 03:04:34
(Jelly 2, Fellaini, Victor)
790 Posted 19/01/2013 at 16:22:48
808 Posted 19/01/2013 at 17:13:18
811 Posted 19/01/2013 at 17:21:07
831 Posted 19/01/2013 at 19:04:36
On another matter... COYB, let's rout em..
837 Posted 19/01/2013 at 20:02:32
838 Posted 19/01/2013 at 20:02:07
UP THE BLUES
848 Posted 19/01/2013 at 21:13:39
Dreadful treatment of Nigel Atkins, two successive promotions, out the relegation zone and you lose your job, shame.
891 Posted 19/01/2013 at 23:25:48
Southhampton are there for the taking and I believe we will beat them but as there will be 15 more games after this one we need to strengthen for those games.
The fact that we have not brought anyone in so far just makes my blood boil with our inept board. The shite are getting better and are making productive signings and they will probably finish above us if we don't have more squad strength. We don't need much but we should have them already.
No matter what they say, our board have access to money. It may be their own money but being an owner sometimes involves investing to improve your returns.
938 Posted 20/01/2013 at 07:45:50
950 Posted 20/01/2013 at 09:18:22
We need to strengthen in this window and it honestly wouldn't require that much investment by the Board. A couple of million each per Board member would give £10 to £12 million for Moyes to buy two decent players. They may not be billionaires but the Board members are all wealthy in their own right, Bill apparently excepted.
It is sickening to see but the RS have the right attitude. They very obviously needed a second striker to support Rat Boy as he has been carrying the team. Hey presto, here's £12m in the January window to buy Sturridge and he has already scored three or four goals. Even with all the money they blew under Dagliesh they still found the cash when they needed it.
Brian (#837), I definitely agree with you about Oveido. We need to be utilising our squad more and Oveido has shown that he is a valid option.
059 Posted 20/01/2013 at 15:54:01
I remember when we were relegation dogfighters, 10-15 years' ago. Then you needed to win once every three games and pick up the odd point on top to make you safe. Even going four or five was not a disaster as you could still hope to pick up a back-to-back win sequence and you'd be up to 15th, or even 14th.
Thankfully those days seem and hopefully will remain history. But when you're 5th, you need to win every other game, not one of three, as well as pick up some draws.
We have 16 to play, and will need a minimum of 8 wins, and at least half the others as draws just to have a smidgeon of a chance. That would bag 28 points for a total of 65; we got that about 4 years ago, and it delivered 5th. So we missed out on the elite.
I reckon that would get us 5th at best again. So I reckon 9 wins will be needed for a realistic shot at top 4; nine out of 16. And Southampton should certainly be one of them.
198 Posted 21/01/2013 at 04:00:42
Another draw is the likely result at St Mary's although the two extra points from a win are vital if we are to continue to have hopes of bettering our likely 6/7th finish.
206 Posted 21/01/2013 at 08:25:07
It may well be the weather will play a part but if it is played then let's hope for a win of any kind. It's time for Everton to get a run going.
212 Posted 21/01/2013 at 09:33:36
They drew with Man Utd.
251 Posted 21/01/2013 at 14:02:29
263 Posted 21/01/2013 at 14:24:35
We're draw specialists as you all know, and Southampton clearly don't lose many at the moment – the whole Adkins saga must have been decided long ago when they were struggling, but it's taken time to get Pochettino in.
Personally I see yet another draw, leaving us still 3 points behind Spurs but still in with a good shout of a top 4 finish. That said, I think Spurs look a strong outfit, and their squad is definitely better than ours so it's a tough ask.
357 Posted 21/01/2013 at 18:57:08
478 Posted 21/01/2013 at 22:21:07
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