Solid opposition from Genk in latest run-out

Saturday, 22 July, 2017 192comments  |  Jump to most recent
KRC Genk 1 - 1 Everton

Everton's third pre-season warm-up game is against KRC Genk in Belgium. Kick-off 3 pm BST.

Rooney, Klaassen, Sandro and Schneiderlin are all in from the start, alongside the likes of Gueye, Keane and Pickford, with another chance for Kieran Dowell to stake a claim for next season too.

Genk had the better of the early exchanges, moving the ball a little better than the visitors, testing Pickford with a couple of early potshots. Dowell clipped a beautiful ball in for Rooney to try a flick header but he didn't get enough on it.

The home side if anything got more of the ball as the game progressed, and came close to opening the scoring with Everton unable to keep possession effectively. Everton won a free-kick that Rooney came close to converting from quite a distance.

Article continues below video content

After half-an-hour, the Blues-in-Grey had settled a little more and were switching to play forward a little more but it led to a turnover and a good shot Pickford had to stretch to parry away from his goal. An even better chance followed for Genk but Pickford was there to collect.

Keane was penalized for a heavy challenge and awarded with a yellow card from the ref, nothing coming from the Genk free-kick, with Everton receiving a good stern test of their resolve and defensive organization. Sandro and Rooney looked to combine but Rooney's shot was poor.

Finally, some classy play from Sandro and Rooney sliced the Genk defence apart in the final minute of the half, Rooney sliding the ball home.

Ronald Koeman made three changes after the break. A very poor header by Martina in defence set up Samatta to rifle home past Stekelenburg. Genk got through again, a diving header from Samatta drew a great reaction save, up onto the bar, and he lay injured on the goalline afterward.

Koeman made three more changes in personnel midway through the second half but the passing was still below par and Everton could not retain possession long enough to be dangerous. Besic was one of the changes and his first involvement was a ridiculous rash tackle that saw yellow inside his first few seconds on the field.

Three more changes left only Michael Keane and Wayne Rooney from the starting line-up, Rooney then giving way to Dominic Calvert-Lewin. Not much action of real note after all the changes and it ended 1-1.

KRC Genk: Jackers, Nastic, Brabec, Colley, Khammas, Berge, Malinovskyi, Trossard, Buffel, Benson, Samatta.

Everton: Pickford (46' Stekelenburg); Holgate (46' Martina), Keane [Y:34'], Williams (73' Besic [Y:74']), Baines (67' Connolly); Schneiderlin (67' Barry), Gueye (73' Davies), Klaassen (73' McCarthy) ; Dowell (67' Lookman), Sandro (46' Mirallas), Rooney (79' Calvert-Lewin).
Subs not Used: Robles, Kenny.


Reader Comments (192)

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Geoff Lambert
1 Posted 22/07/2017 at 14:37:54
Rooney and Sandro up front and Dowell gets a start in midfield today.
Geoff Lambert
2 Posted 22/07/2017 at 14:38:38

Team for today.

Geoff Lambert
3 Posted 22/07/2017 at 14:40:14
Will be good to see Rooney and Sandro start up top and hope Dowell can score another cracker...
Vince Furnier
4 Posted 22/07/2017 at 14:43:54
I had to look twice at the team selection as at first I wondered whether we had signed an African defender under the radar. :)
Mark Tanton
5 Posted 22/07/2017 at 14:47:09
That is a team that would have had us salivating all over the place last season.
Colin Glassar
6 Posted 22/07/2017 at 14:47:12
3 at the back?
James Watts
7 Posted 22/07/2017 at 14:48:14
Nah, it will be a back 4, Colin, Holgate at right-back.
Chris Williams
8 Posted 22/07/2017 at 14:48:51
Looks pretty much his first pick side as the squad currently stands.

They will play 4-3-3 perhaps?

David Morgan
9 Posted 22/07/2017 at 14:49:37
The Everton website won't let me pay for the stream, something to do with Sagepay? Anyone else getting this? Or just me?
Charlie McCann
10 Posted 22/07/2017 at 14:53:00
Same problem for me, David (#8). Hopefully it will be sorted out quickly!
Sam Barrett
11 Posted 22/07/2017 at 14:53:41
David, I'm getting the same problem! Anyone got any links?
David Morgan
12 Posted 22/07/2017 at 14:55:24
It's working now... must be busy.
Neil Thomas
13 Posted 22/07/2017 at 14:55:46
Just seen we're on ITV4 Thursday at 7:30. I thought BT Sports had the rights to European football...
Neil Thomas
14 Posted 22/07/2017 at 15:00:04
Excited by the line-up today – more or less the team that will start Thursday night, I would imagine. I can't wait to see Sandro and Pickford in action; it will be interesting to see how Klaassen and Rooney combine today. COYB
Paul Williams
15 Posted 22/07/2017 at 15:00:32
Looks like a first choice 11 with Dowell getting the nod over Davies. Just Holgate and Baines left from Martinez days. Six changes from first team end of last season!
Sean Dylan
16 Posted 22/07/2017 at 15:04:38
Brent Stephens
17 Posted 22/07/2017 at 15:04:44
Almost 5 minutes past 3 and we still haven't progressed into their half.
Joseph Terrence
18 Posted 22/07/2017 at 15:07:01
Baines given the armband over Rooney. Interesting.
Ernie Baywood
19 Posted 22/07/2017 at 15:13:40
Jordan trying to prove how good his distribution is there? Play your natural game, Jordan.
Alex Parr
20 Posted 22/07/2017 at 15:16:23
Official stream has slowed down audio on the replay – sounds like something from The Exorcist.
Tom Roberts
21 Posted 22/07/2017 at 15:26:10
There's a decent stream on at cricfree.
Nick Wall
22 Posted 22/07/2017 at 15:50:35
The speed with which the team has been changed is incredible. Of the XI starting here, five are summer signings, one was a January signing, and three made their Everton debuts last August. Baines and Dowell are the only two who played under Martinez (and Dowell only played 5 minutes of Premier League football under Martinez – his one Premier League start was handed to him by David Unsworth!)
Kunal Desai
23 Posted 22/07/2017 at 15:53:57
What a ball from Sandro for Wayne to slot in.
Joseph Terrence
24 Posted 22/07/2017 at 15:55:19
A few thoughts from the first half. Klaassen is very composed on the ball, tidy player. Sandro's first touch was a bit off but his work rate is top notch. Beautiful cross for Wayne's goal as well.

Schneiderlin has been great. Gana still not able to get in that key pass in the final third.

Joe Foster
25 Posted 22/07/2017 at 15:57:14
This is not being played like a friendly so far. We are looking like what we are, a team getting to know each other.

It's looking like a good workout for our boys.

Jay Wood
26 Posted 22/07/2017 at 15:57:34
Competitive game. Nice combo between Dowell, Sandro and Rooney for the goal.

He had a couple of stuttering moments, but I really like how Kieran Dowell is playing this pre-season.

I said during the Twente game he could be playing himself into the starting XI. His quick feet and ability to either get off a shot or put a telling pass in around the penalty area will be impressing Koeman, I'm sure.

Of the new signings, Klaassen looks the least impressive to me thus far. Maybe not yet up to speed, but he does get caught on the ball a fair bit.

Phil Jeffries
27 Posted 22/07/2017 at 15:58:45

I'm in Australia and this is working tops!

Eddie McBride
28 Posted 22/07/2017 at 16:01:41
Live on YouTube if anyone is looking for a stream.
Chris Williams
29 Posted 22/07/2017 at 16:05:17
They are sharper and fitter, being further along in their pre-season than us, but notwithstanding that, Sandro looks like an intelligent hardworking player who makes runs off the ball. He's been clattered a couple of times but has got up without any histrionics.

Klaassen is also an intelligent player who finds space and moves the ball quickly. He puts his foot in too, which is good to see.

Rooney looked off the pace and sloppy but got slowly better as the half went on.

Interesting times for sure for Evertonians.

Nitesh Kanchan
30 Posted 22/07/2017 at 16:19:34
Sandro running a lot and not staying in the box? That's what Barcelona academy players are taught, high pressing stuff. I hope he continues with that and probably teaches some others to do that as well along with him rather than just standing and just waving his arms like our previous striker.

Sandro was the only one up front doing the pressing in the first half, hence he looked different to all other players who were uninterested to do that. Truly impressed by him to do that in a pre-season game.

Alan J Thompson
31 Posted 22/07/2017 at 16:35:31
Is Davies injured or can we only play one of the youngsters at the expense of another?
Alan J Thompson
32 Posted 22/07/2017 at 16:54:46
Sorry, looks like he just came on.
John Pierce
34 Posted 22/07/2017 at 17:11:18
Disjointed but interesting. Lots of movement in Everton's team.

Sandro, Rooney, Klaassen, & Idrissa all showing brains. We lack a focal point. Absolutely need a target man style centre forward.

Dowell showed some clever touches, bollard-like going the other way. I'd say he might be worth keeping in the first-team squad.

Keane looks the most settled. A very uncomplicated and neat player. A good purchase.

Width was an issue, the full-backs no were near the right end of the pitch. Definitely a concern.

But we have a decent sized squad with reasonable quality to pick from.

Roll on Thursday.

John G Davies
35 Posted 22/07/2017 at 17:15:43
Another week closer to the real stuff. A good workout by all accounts against a team more advanced in their preparation.

The new players will learn more about their team mates with every game. Centre-forward in the next week after teams return from tour and we're on our way. Onwards and upwards.

Jay Harris
36 Posted 22/07/2017 at 17:21:48
I was a bit disappointed in our passing, particularly Gana and Klaassen. However we do look more solid and disciplined than in previous years.

Holgate played okay but is not a right-back.

We definitely need more presence up front if we are going to do anything this season.

William Cartwright
37 Posted 22/07/2017 at 17:31:46
Downward header apart Cuco Martina looks OK. However, disappointed that Jonjoe Kenny did not get a look-in... Early days but does this mean he may not be the shoe-in for right back we were expecting?

Dowel still looking good and Sandro very impressive.

Jeff Armstrong
38 Posted 22/07/2017 at 17:35:48
Disappointed Jonjoe Kenny didn't get a look in, he is better than both Holgate and Martina, we are overloaded with midfielders, and lack width and forward options, by that I mean Sandro and Rooney are similar, we need a proper centre forward as an alternative, but we also need wide man to supplement that too.

I thought defensively we did okay although I think I'd prefer Jags with Keane rather than Williams, didn't see the point of bringing Pickford off at half time, how can a goalie need a rest?

I just feel Koeman is defence first,.. offence second – is this the right way around for winning football? I don't believe so, but we'll have to wait and see.

Eddie Dunn
40 Posted 22/07/2017 at 17:39:13
The only blots on the landscape were the physical condition of Williams, and the brainless cameo from Besic.

However, Rooney looks in good fettle and Klaassen and Sandro look like quality. Gareth Barry just oozes class.

Derek Knox
41 Posted 22/07/2017 at 17:39:27
Good point Jay @36, I thought a few potential forward runs never materialised, because they either dithered or gave the ball away cheaply, must sharpen up by next week !
Tom Bowers
42 Posted 22/07/2017 at 17:43:05
Whilst Rooney did score I really don't want to see him way up front for the Premier League games. In a game like this for purely fitness attainment it's okay but Wayne's days as an out and out striker are gone.

This was an okay game that Everton always had control of and I suspect if it had been a meaningful game they would have won quite easily.

All the chopping and changing interrupts the flow and it was obvious fitness was the key.

Len Hawkins
43 Posted 22/07/2017 at 18:39:37
Don't worry, Tom Bowers, the manager Ronald Koeman has a fair bit of experience way above the Wednesday Business House League.
David McMullen
44 Posted 22/07/2017 at 18:44:59
Early days. As it was, it was a good workout. Besic reminded me of early Fellaini. Not a compliment.
Frank Crewe
45 Posted 22/07/2017 at 18:51:54
Just seen Rooney's goal. If anyone hasn't here's the likn

Must say that was a great ball from Sandro right into his path. If he keeps that up I'll be more than happy.

Phil Walling
46 Posted 22/07/2017 at 19:00:13
I guess I saw about half the action as the stream kept dying on me. However, I saw enough to realise that although the team will be much changed next season, Rooney is no longer a threat to anyone and we will be sadly lacking in the goals department.

Clearly Koeman has no time for Kenny and Dowell is now favoured over Davies – even if it is only for the bench.

I can't see this lot pulling up any trees so 7th again. Hopefully.

Frank Crewe
47 Posted 22/07/2017 at 19:07:11
Hi Phil. Still Mr Positivity I see.
Kieran Kinsella
48 Posted 22/07/2017 at 19:10:13
I suspect he's giving Dowell plenty of game time to see if he's up to it. He knows what Mirallas and Lookman can do already.
Liam Reilly
49 Posted 22/07/2017 at 19:13:49
Great ball from Sandro, though have to agree that we need a centre forward and quick, with Rooney and Sandro pulling the strings.
Jon Withey
50 Posted 22/07/2017 at 19:15:11
Davies, Klaassen, Gana, Schneiderlin, Barry, McCarthy, Besic, Barkley – even Dowell – we seem to have a silly amount of midfielders now – even Rooney could probably play there.

Forwards of Rooney, Sandro, Mirallas, Calvert-Lewin, Lookman is a little under-powered – but we were always going to miss Lukaku.

Perhaps it is time to move Besic on with Barkley.

Need a centre-forward, winger and left-/centre-back.

Dave Ganley
51 Posted 22/07/2017 at 19:18:41
Sorry, Phil, I don't see it like that at all. Rooney was decent, played some lovely balls through, scored a good goal off a good pass from Sandro (not sure how scoring 2 in 3 makes him not a threat to anyone) and we could have scored more.

Lukaku going will probably be the making of this team. So many more players were looking to score. If we can get double figures from 4 or 5 players this season then it will be happy days.

Today's game was a good workout. There are still quite a few things to work on which is no great surprise seeing as there were 5 new players playing at the start. Pickford looked good as did Keane. Klaassen after a nervy start played some lovely passes with Rooney and looked a cut above as the game wore on.

I was surprised Sandro went off after 45 mins as he looked very lively and once he settled into the half looked threatening. I think Kenny isn't out of the picture despite not figuring today and Dowell will be there or thereabouts this season. A draw was probably about right I think given how we finished the 2nd half and we had chances as did they. Genk are no mugs.

We will probably get a couple more in this window and I can't imagine that we won't get in a centre forward but one that will actually bring others into play and not just play for himself. I am quite positive about the coming season and have seen enough in the 3 warm up games to suggest that we can play incisive football.

The goals against Twente and Genk today have been crackers. I can't understand peoples negativity so early, even before the season has started. We are actually unbeaten which is more than can be said of the previous couple of preseasons. It's as if people are just waiting for it all to tits up just so they can say "I told you so." Surely some Evertonians can't be so rotten, can they?

John G Davies
53 Posted 22/07/2017 at 19:27:52
Get a few Keos down you, you never know you may crack a smile.

Locals will put it down to wind though.

John G Davies
54 Posted 22/07/2017 at 19:30:20
Wayne showed his experience for the goal.
Pulling the defender to the ground as the cross was coming in allowed him the space to score.
Good awareness.
Sam Hoare
55 Posted 22/07/2017 at 19:34:07
A mixed bag as I saw it. Missed the last 15 but what I did see was Genk creating many more openings than us. They weren't clear cut chances often and we did look fairly solid at the back but there was a lack of something up front.

I'm not sure if that something is Giroud/Benteke type figure who can make the ball stick and bring others in or a Mane/Sanchez type with great pace and energy to stretch defenses. Sandro looked like he could add something in the latter mold but we still struggled to create.

Keane, Sandro and Dowell were the highlights for me. Dowell will be a dilemma as he obviously drifts in and out a bit but the chip he played in for Rooneys early chance shows he has a vision and artistry that though others in our squad possess. He reminds me of Ozil a bit, insipid one moment and inspired the next.

Klaassen did little for me and I'm still to see Schneiderlin and Gueye work really well together.

Early days still, let's see how they do in a meaningful match next week.

Tony Twist
58 Posted 22/07/2017 at 20:23:26
Poor, I am not convinced that these signings will cut it in the Premier League. They should be up to speed by now and we are still mediocre. I am waiting for Koeman to make the excuse that he doesn't pick the players that we buy.

We should be beating teams and not conceding. Very disappointing but it is pre-season. Fingers crossed for a settled, balanced side and an indication of a good team forming.

Darren Hind
59 Posted 22/07/2017 at 20:27:10
Wonder how many points we will have to drop before people realise and accept there is not enough creativity or goals in this team?

Being positive is realising the short comings of the team; being really positive is doing something about it.

John Otway
60 Posted 22/07/2017 at 20:30:54
Tony Twist. Thanks for posting twice. I couldn't believe my eyes the first time I read it!!
Paul Tran
61 Posted 22/07/2017 at 20:49:32
People keep going on about all the centre mids we have.

Besic: not good enough
McCarthy: not good enough
Barkley: talented, not good enough
Barry: bit-part player due to age. I'd always have him at the club in some capacity.
Davies: very promising. Koeman needs to define his role better.
Schneiderlin: class player. Hope he's fitter now.
Gueye: excellent tackling machine (sorry Darren!).

Lots of games this season, hopefully. We might have plenty of centre mids; we need a clearout and better ones.

We desperately need some guile in there. I don't think playing two 'defensive midfielders' is an issue. The real issue is the lack of consistency in front of them. The decent transfer business so far will only be successful if we strengthen our creative dept.

Joe McMahon
62 Posted 22/07/2017 at 20:57:20
Phil W – For Christ's sake lighten up, the season has not started yet.
John Otway
63 Posted 22/07/2017 at 21:04:12
Well thanks mods for removing Tony Twist's repeated posting and ruining the gag. My comment that I couldn't believe what I was reading stands!!
Brent Stephens
64 Posted 22/07/2017 at 21:08:01
Phil (#46), "Dowell is now favoured over Davies".

Not by a long chalk, in my view, Phil.

Dan Davies
65 Posted 22/07/2017 at 21:10:23
These lads haven't got to know each other's game yet! It will happen, give them a chance. Practically half a new team to bed in.

Does anyone else think playing Dowell all of a sudden is sending Barkley an obvious message?

Chris Williams
66 Posted 22/07/2017 at 21:17:16
As far as I'm aware Genk play their first game of the season next week, so they're pretty much at peak fitness for their season.

We're not.

Does that make a difference do you think?

Jon Withey
67 Posted 22/07/2017 at 21:19:34
7th is about right just because of the quality above us, unless Arsenal or Liverpool collapse.

The added bonus for this better squad would be cup runs.

I think Dowell would be a great option in the squad, I'll be disappointed if he is loaned. I'm not sure Kenny or Callum are quite ready and loans would do them good.

Still think Davies is great, I hope he develops at this rate over the next few years.

Ste Traverse
68 Posted 22/07/2017 at 21:19:53
We draw a friendly, and the 'sense of entitlement' crew are out in force with their predictable doom and gloom.

If they are like this over a bleedin' friendly, god only knows what they'll be like when we fail to win a Premier League game.

Derek Knox
69 Posted 22/07/2017 at 21:31:54
Let's try and take some positives from the game today, yes, it was a step up both in opposition and tempo, did we get slaughtered, no! Who created the most chances, us or them?

Their goal was from a stupid mistake, from Martina, (jury's still out on him, by the way) I doubt if he will be our regular right back, while Seamus is recovering, did anyone disgrace themselves? No!

I think when you look at the broader picture, are we ready for the season, no, but we have three weeks yet, and a Europa Cup fixture, coming up, Koeman's not daft, he knows we need a bit more fitness, and a couple of additions.

I am sure, well, sure enough, to think that these issues will be addressed, by the time the Premier League starts.

Dave Williams
71 Posted 22/07/2017 at 21:59:56
Can't believe negative comments at this stage. Anyone who has ever played football should know that it takes a good few games for players to bed in and get to know how to play with the new boys.

Some players never play well in friendlies and the usual crap about so and so can't play etc really does get tedious at times. For god's sake, give them all a break and can the criticism whilst they all settle in.

Mark McParlan
72 Posted 22/07/2017 at 22:04:31
It was a mixed bag today, but I think we learnt a lot and there were positives to take.

Pickford seemed composed in the 45 minutes he played – did everything he was called to do (which wasn't much). Thanks mostly to the back line who I thought were very good again today, but most of all Michael Keane, who in the limited playing time he's had has been head and shoulders above any of our defenders. I think he's an incredible player, a massive buy for us who will strengthen our back line for perhaps a decade to come. From what I've seen he's been absolutely excellent and a joy to watch.

I also think Williams and Holgate looked decent at the back as well, as did Baines (although I'm very worried about Leighton's) the seemingly rapid decline of Baines' sattacking ability.

Martina seems to be the opposite to Holgate – dangerous and exciting going forward (his crossing is very good), but defensively he is extremely suspect and has me very worried. Thank God he has Michael Keane next to him. Finally on the defenders, I think we still need a backup left-back, unless Connolly shows us something incredible.

I think judging by these pre season friendlies, as well as how we played in the latter half of last season, that Koeman will generally opt to deploy a midfield 3 next season, which will presumably consist of Schneiderlin at holding mid, Gueye as the ball-winner, as Klaassen as more of a box-to-box.

I think on paper that's a very classy midfield, yet I've was disappointed in all three today. They should have done a lot better. I still feel they have the quality to come through though. We have capable backup in Barry, McCarthy/Besic, and Davies.

The remaining front 3 still appears a conundrum and a selection headache for Koeman. I was impressed by Sandro today, definitely, and I also believe he's made it clear in 45 minutes today that he's a very different type of striker to Lukaku. He never, ever, stops moving. He's always making random darting runs everywhere, pulling defenders all over the place, and making penetrating runs into the channels. And that's great, we've been crying out for a striker like this.

This lad seems the real deal, even at his age (and full credit goes to Mr Steve "release clause" Walsh on this one), but I don't think he should be playing in the middle of the three. You need a Romelu style player there – a big target man who wins aerial battles and brings teammates into play. Then the likes of Sandro, Rooney, Barkley, Mirallas play off him on either flank.

This man is surely Giroud, I think if we secure his services our front 3 is complete. If you think back to how Koeman's teams played at Southampton, he would put the target man Pelle in the centre, and have the likes of Mane running off. I think we need to go for the same here – Rooney and Sandro aren't really the target men. Between them and a 'Giroud', we've got as close as we ever will to replacing Rom.

This turned into a massive wall of text; apologies. I see us lining up against Stoke like so:

Rooney (New CF) Sandro
Klaassen Gueye
Baines Williams Keane Martina

(And a final note – anyone who seriously believes Jonjoe Kenny is going to be our first choice RB next season will find themselves very disappointed.)

Andrew James
73 Posted 22/07/2017 at 22:06:14
Phil Walling,

Come on, Phil, pre-season matches are always misleading. We will see youngsters get some time, other older pros just trying to get through the 90 minutes, fringe players will get more time than normal. Come season start, he'll settle on a very different looking team that is probably our most competitive.

Those experienced players who have been there will be named plus maybe a youngster on a roll. And with our new signings and maybe more plus kids breaking through, we are capable of picking off some of the teams above us.

I suspect out team goal tally will be higher now with them spread out, Keane and Pickford should reduce the goals against column and we are good to go. We've bought so many new players in plus the likes of Lookman coming in will give us the surprise factor.

Trevor Peers
74 Posted 22/07/2017 at 22:13:02
I know it's early days but I'm still not getting Koeman's thinking in midfield. No clear tactics emerging there, still the same lack of creativity.

On the positive side, it was a well taken goal by Rooney and we looked solid enough while defending. We improved towards the end of the game, when we attacked more, but their goalkeeper had little to do, as he did for most of the game.

We will probably do well at home, but I'm honestly beginning to doubt that Koeman knows what he's doing when we go forward; we lack genuine creativity, cohesion and firepower in midfield, and will struggle just as we did last season away from Goodison, unless there is more quality added.

Gio Mero
75 Posted 22/07/2017 at 22:28:41
Lots of positives considering this was only our third outing. Bit worried our fourth outing is a Europa League match though...

I can see loads of goals coming from our midfield once Koeman's tactics click and we manage to add some width to our game.

Talking of on earth are we still playing Holgate at right-back? And has Baines forgotten how to whip in a cross as it looks he's no longer even trying?

Very excited about some of our new signings but my first two names on the team sheet would be Davies and Dowell.

Jeff Armstrong
76 Posted 22/07/2017 at 22:56:21
Trevor # you're quite right, Koeman does not have a clue after the first 7 positions: back 5... 2 defensive midfielders and then... errr, 2 wide mids.... err + 2 strikers, err, WTF?

"I know – 9 defendersh, everyone back for cornersh, keep what we have.... 38 points – Bingo!!!"

Simon Bates
77 Posted 22/07/2017 at 23:08:59
If we don't have a target man in by next week, then I think Rooney will have to play up top with Klaassen and Sandro either side of a front three, Davies in the midfield with Gana and Schneiderlin.

On another note , does anyone else think , if Besic is being deployed as a left sided central defender, that he could be turned into a more than fair and useful left-back?
We know he can bomb on, is tenacious in the tackle, less vulnerable in the air, and can actually defend.

Just needs to work on his crossing, who knows what could happen?

Colin Glassar
79 Posted 22/07/2017 at 23:26:31
Siggurdsson and Giroud to sign this week (or next) then we will have the required firepower.

I don't know why people get so het up about pre-season friendlies. They are to improve fitness levels, nothing more.

Geoff Lambert
80 Posted 22/07/2017 at 23:28:51
If we do sign Sigurdsson and Giroud, who would they replace in the team?
Colin Glassar
81 Posted 22/07/2017 at 23:30:06
They would strengthen the squad, Geoff. Loads of games to play next season.
Paul A Smith
82 Posted 22/07/2017 at 23:47:06
If these games were anything to go by football wise, Gareth Barry is still our best midfielder.

I suppose by that example they are nothing but fitness but what an example of a proper professional.

Mark McParlan
83 Posted 22/07/2017 at 23:49:32
Geoff (#80),

I suppose the person Giroud would replace in the first team is Lukaku. He would be in the centre of the front 3, with the likes of Rooney and Sandro playing off him to the left and right.

And Sigurdsson? I think if he comes, he is replacing Barkley who will then surely go. Now if Barkley stays and yet we sign Sigurdsson, that'd be pointless. There's only one role there (and it'd involve pushing someone, maybe Sandro out the front 3).

Jay Wood
84 Posted 22/07/2017 at 00:25:34
I think Koeman has marshalled his resources in the three preparation games to date extremely well.

The one game they are preparing for above all others in this period is against MFK Ruzomberok next Thursday. Until two days ago, we didn't even know who our opposition would be.

The squad (for Everton, this early in the season) has had a huge influx of new players to bed in. Some of those were given an extended break due to their summer international commitments.

They have travelled to Tanzania, Holland and Belgium. Pretty much every player has been given decent and well-balanced game time. The multiple substitutions across all three games did not seriously impact negatively on the team performance. Nobody looks hapless and hopeless. Rather, a good many have impressed – seasoned players, young 'uns and new 'uns.

To be curmudgeonly about the team or individuals before a ball has been kicked in competitive anger is a tad premature.

There are positions I think we still need to bring in. Primary of those is a point man – an established striker who will get you goals.

Goalkeeper cover is a concern, as I anticipate Robles is leaving and Stekelenburg remains unconvincing. Connolly is impressing at left-back but, as with Kenny on the right, I fancy we need further cover there for Leighton. Unless Koeman trusts his young 'uns (and Pennington, Browning and Galloway have all gone out on season long loans), I think we need another centre back in, all the more so with Funes Mori's extended injury.

Then there is the Barkley question: is he staying or going? His groin operation certainly complicates things for all concerned. A genuine ball playing midfielder orchestrating things is, for me, the second top priority after a goal scoring forward.

Unlike some in this thread, I am happy at how this summer and pre-season is progressing.

Gordon Crawford
85 Posted 23/07/2017 at 00:29:12
There is so much negativity on this thread, it is really quite scary. It was a pre-season match and nothing more than this. Players are not up to speed yet and won't be for at least a month or so. It takes matches to get you fit, not running laps and doing drills.

Roll on Thursday night, I can't wait. Oh and we need four more players and then we will be ready to tackle this long season a head.

Jamie Sweet
86 Posted 23/07/2017 at 00:40:45
You've really got to question the mental capacity of anyone who is willing to write off any player after 45 and 60 minute appearances in a couple of preseason friendlies.
James Watts
87 Posted 23/07/2017 at 01:01:43
I, like the couple of posts above me, don't get all the negativity. That's crazy. Sure, we still need some players and hopefully they'll come in sooner rather than later, but it's still July!! July!! Get a grip.

I'm reasonably happy with most things so far, most of the signings looks good (especially impressed with Keane). Would liked to have seen more of Kenny but can understand Koeman wanted to give some game time to Holgate as it's his first game without splitting up his obvious first choice center backs.

All in all, reasonably happy.

Charlie Lloyd
88 Posted 23/07/2017 at 01:45:01
It was a very average performance. So what? Let's move on. Enough said.
Danyal Kadir
89 Posted 23/07/2017 at 01:57:07
Honestly baffles me reading some of the comments here, I'm only 25 and have supported the Blues as long as I can remember. Yet there are some on here that think we are capable of competing for champions league.

Get real, best we can do is be consistent patient and build a solid squad. Anyone thinking were going to pull a Spurs is going to be disappointed.

David Ellis
90 Posted 23/07/2017 at 03:04:22
Overall I was slightly disappointed – but I is only pre-season. Of the new boys:

● Keane was excellent.
● Pickford looked good.
● Klaassen is slow – a couple of times the Gent midfield just waltzed right past him. I think this may be a problem, but on the other hand he linked well with Rooney (mind you the first time I saw Arteta play in the Premiership I thought he was well off the pace)
● Sandro impressed me – and once the team understand his runs I think he/we will cause a lot of damage
● Martina – was okay apart from gifting Genk their goal with a schoolboy heading back into the danger area.
● Rooney – has lost some pace. But he did score and certainly brings something to the team.

For the young guns, Dowell and Lookman looked dangerous but largely didn't come off for them (apart from Dowell's feed to Sandro for the goal). Dowell tracks back well. Lookman and Calvert Lewin and Holgate all look like they've beefed up over the summer.

Holgate looked elegant on the ball and I would like to see him as a centre back in place of Williams. Connolly did okay at left back. Calvert-Lewin is a year away from being effective but does the right things.

I don't think we are getting the best of Schneiderlin and Gana – Barry looked in a different league when he came on. Basic as a centre back...oh lordy – his judgement is very suspect, but I kind of like it.

Ernie Baywood
91 Posted 23/07/2017 at 04:16:10
Klaassen seems to divide opinion already. I've liked what I've seen of him so far. He doesn't look like the deep forward I was expecting, looks more like a midfielder with an attacking bent to me. Maybe more like a Paul Scholes?

He moves it quickly, he's neat and tidy. I've got a good feeling about him. He could fill that creative gap we've had since Arteta went.

Alasdair Mackay
92 Posted 23/07/2017 at 06:36:41
I was impressed with Pickford. He didn't have a lot to do, but he seemed to always be in a good position.

Keane looked a little over-aggressive with his positioning at times. He went chasing the ball and got rolled. He has all the tools – just needs an older head alongside him this season.

Klaassen is an odd one for me. I thought he was signed for his aggression, leadership and goals from midfield, but he seemed more technical than that – still a good player, but not what I was expecting. I think he will grow as he becomes more settled.

Sandro's workrate vs Lukaku's is hilarious, but it does make you realise what a different type of player he is. My hope is that his movement will drag defenders out of position and create room for the likes of Rooney, Klaassen and Mirallas to exploit the gaps.

Nitesh Kanchan
93 Posted 23/07/2017 at 07:14:40
How about giving Niasse a chance up front in the next game? Koeman needs to think about it rather than being stubborn about it.

Niasse was impressive with Hull City. Sandro, Niasse, Rooney, Mirallas, Sigurdsson, Klaassen, Barkley...t hey should provide decent attacking options with the right combinations for the season with Lookman, Davies, and Calvert-Lewin as subs.

Dave Speed
94 Posted 23/07/2017 at 07:23:39
Unfit and not quite ready yet, but not far off it. If it had been a cooler day I believe that there would have been more zip. It would be like Hereford beating the Geordies if we slip up against Rumbelows or whatever they are called. I saw many good signs today that I didn't see last preseason.

The only direct call I would make is that we must persist with Dowell. He will, as I have said before, be as good as Sheedy, and we must make a place for him in this team. By the time we need to be properly fit, we will be.

Chris Williams
95 Posted 23/07/2017 at 07:38:22
There was an interview with Koeman in the Dutch media yesterday, and one of the issues he discussed was the roles that Klaassen would fill.

To paraphrase, he said that when we played with a holding midfielder he would play 'right half or left half' but at other times he would play number 10 and the team would need to be aware of this and the goal threat he could provide.

So I guess what we saw mostly yesterday was role 1, with him coming from a bit deeper and interpassing with Rooney and Gueye. He also is capable of putting himself about.

We saw the other side of him in the Twente match when a late run into the box almost brought a goal, only denied by a good save.

By implication, his role could change from match to match, depending on the set up, or within a match, depending on circumstances.

He looks an interesting player, technical, physical, intelligent and also a leader, having been captain of Ajax at 21.

I look forward to watching him and this new team develop over the weeks.

Alan J Thompson
96 Posted 23/07/2017 at 08:01:16
A lot of truth in posts; they are only friendly matches, they may only be about improving fitness. It is only July and we have our first serious game this week against a team we think we should beat. Even Brann thought that.
Dermot Byrne
97 Posted 23/07/2017 at 08:22:20
I think we all saw flashes of good play by all new recruits. Klaassen was really good to my eyes in his first game for us.
Tony Abrahams
98 Posted 23/07/2017 at 09:25:06
I don't know if I'm sticking my neck out but I think only Rooney is more technical than Klaassen in our present squad. I've only saw the kid play a couple of times but I think it's clear that he's very much a thinking mans footballer.

I might be wrong, but he seems to move the ball on very quickly because he already knows what he wants to do next and it's our players who are the ones who are going to have to get on his level of thought, if we are to get the best out of him?

It's going to take time, especially because I still think we are going to sign a couple more which effectively means we have got a brand new team, but the whole mentality of the club has changed, and if a squad have no bad players, as Jay Wood says, then it's definitely on the right lines.

To finish 7th maybe? according to resident doom, but if we can win a cup, then it might just be the start of better times for our loyal, passionate and desperate fanbase. I'm starting to look forward to the season already, and slow starts have never really bothered me unless I'm sitting on an aeroplane... so let's finish off the squad and let's get going!

Colin Glassar
99 Posted 23/07/2017 at 09:39:24
Every summer (friendly season?) the same old comments, the same old moans, the same old "we need 15 new defenders cos the ones we've got are shite" etc

We're in July ffs!! The lads have only been back together for a few weeks and already some of you are panicking, writing our season off already!

The new players still need time to settle in and there will be more of them coming so give them a chance will yez.

Stephen Brown
100 Posted 23/07/2017 at 10:19:13
Some promising performances so far and I'm definitely in the "glass half-full" team. However, the one concern I do have is whatever team we put out seems to lack width and pace!

We need Bolasie back asap just to offer an alternative!

Paul Tran
101 Posted 23/07/2017 at 10:20:45
Tony, you're spot on. Too many people are comparing him to existing players, rather than appreciating him for what he is and why he was bought; an intelligent player who can move the ball quickly, who can spot a pass and can sneak forward and get goals.

He's not what I'd call a flair player, but I suspect he'll prove a very effective one.

Stan Schofield
102 Posted 23/07/2017 at 10:29:02
Paul, yes, an intelligent player who seems to have a clue what he's going to do with the ball before he receives it. In a way, his movement and quick mental processing reminds me of Alan Ball (dare I say it, although I'm not saying he's that good!).

There's a lot of focus these days on 'pressing', which is important in the modern game. However, a footballing brain, with quick thinking and anticipation of the next move (and beyond) is vitally important, and cannot be replaced by cross-country running.

Ian Bennett
103 Posted 23/07/2017 at 10:56:09
I only watched the 2nd half, and based on that we looked really average.

Baines appears to be a stay at home left back. Martina looked like a weak link at right back, Mirallas was not in the game, we lacked presence up front, and we lacked pace/threat on the wings.

A lot of work ahead. We don't have a goal threat and having nothing out wide until Coleman & Bolasie get back and that's half a season away. I'm just not convinced that Giroud & Sigurdsson are the answer...

John G Davies
104 Posted 23/07/2017 at 11:05:05
May as well send my season ticket back, looking at some of the comments on this thread.
Ed Fitzgerald
105 Posted 23/07/2017 at 11:13:45
It's pre-season FFS – You can't read anything into the performances – good, average, or poor – particularly when so many subs are used.

It seems that unless you come on here extolling the virtues of Koeman and Walsh with the passion of a religious zealot you are portrayed as some kind of miserable cynic.

I would love to see the likes of Lookman, Dowell and Barkley (if he stays) getting some significant game time as they are players who are creative and entertain. If Klopp can manage to turn Liverpool into an attractive team to watch that employs a high press then surely Koeman can at Everton. I know it's heresy for some to say that they are better to watch than us, but they are.

I will expect the usual 'dogs abuse' for having the temerity to speak the truth from the fundamentalists on here and be told to fuck off to Anfield. I hope that Koeman can be more flexible in his strategy and value and find room for creativity and flair as well as energy and endeavour. Can he? That's a question I'm hoping we get a positive answer to over the course of a whole season.

Neither Martinez or Moyes had the adaptability to change their strategy when required and up to now Koeman seems equally if not more dogmatic.

I'm not professing a gung-ho approach to every game; I do however expect to see to see a more entertaining brand of football.

Derek Knox
106 Posted 23/07/2017 at 11:19:20
John @104, I'll have it mate, because I treat the comments, as opinions, and file them accordingly.

Now, about this ticket? :-)

Paul Thompson
107 Posted 23/07/2017 at 11:24:56
'We should be beating teams and not conceding' (Tony #58). Err, yes that would be good, but if that is the template, there's going to be even more moaning than usual as the season progresses as even Barcelona can't deliver on that.

Difficult to draw any conclusions about the second half given the amount of changes, but the first showed a fitter, harder working side, solid in defence, but lacking some guile and width. As others had noted, the return of Bolasie and Coleman will solve the latter, but we need to buy the former. Time to deliver on Sigurdsson or move on?

Stan Schofield
108 Posted 23/07/2017 at 11:27:59
Ed@105: Just fuck off to Anfield.

Seriously, you're right, they were more entertaining than us last season, but that wasn't too difficult. I don't think they're particularly better, and for me our home form was an indicator of what we can do. We just need to be more adventurous away from home.

But like you, I'm not convinced that Koeman is adaptable enough to achieve that. But I hope I'm being pessimistic.

Phil Walling
109 Posted 23/07/2017 at 11:48:04
There is no pessimism about me predicting another seventh place finish – and no higher. Does anyone seriously believe that the quality of these signings will trouble 'the big boys'?

None of them have interested the Top Six and with Lukaku gone, goals will be a rarity. Given Pickford and Keane will improve the defence, midfield looks likely to be 'a bugger's muddle' and it will be to Barry, Koeman turns to sort it out. Nothing wrong with that but hardly indicative of progress, is it?

Anyway, Thursday may tell us more but my fear is – as Spurs discovered – quantity never brings success. So, in short, I'm looking for seventh because this is what the quality of our roster indicates – however much we may hope for more.

Eddie Dunn
110 Posted 23/07/2017 at 11:54:18
Ian (#103). Mirallas was out wide and did make a few inroads as we tried for a winner late on.

It is too early to judge this group, but the signs are encouraging and with a proper big man up top, we will cause more problems.

Tony Rutherford
111 Posted 23/07/2017 at 11:55:35
I just popped in to see what people are saying and, by the looks of it, we are doomed! Let's see how we get on this week and who we bring in before the transfer window closes!

Never happy us blues. 20 years of penny pinching and when we do spend we still aren't happy!

Is our squad better than last year? Yes! Do we need a decent centre forward still? Yes – but please let's remain positive until at least 6 games in!

Phil Walling
112 Posted 23/07/2017 at 12:08:10
So many comments that replicate the optimism Martinez engendered after his first season. Just remember we have no God-given right to expect a new season will be any improvement on the one just past – surely the Spaniard proved that to be true.

So as Tony asks above, let's reserve judgement until after game 6. But then it will be game 12 and after that will be where we are at Xmas that counts. !

This is a forum for discussion on all things Everton – not a talking shop for only those who feel a need to be optimistic whatever the evidence !

James Watts
113 Posted 23/07/2017 at 12:12:52
Phil (#108), to paraphrase:

"There is no pessimism about me predicting"
- "seventh place finish"
- "these signings will trouble 'the big boys'?"
- "Lukaku gone, goals will be a rarity"
- "midfield looks likely to be 'a bugger's muddle' "
- "hardly indicative of progress, is it ?"
- " in short, I'm looking for seventh because this is what the quality of our roster indicates – however much we may hope for more."

You're absolutely right, you're a ray of sunshine as always. You're household must be the light of where all happiness stems from!

John G Davies
114 Posted 23/07/2017 at 12:16:32
Derek (#106),

With the optimism Koeman has instilled in the fans, you can't get a season ticket for love nor money. 8,000 in the queue I believe.

Guarantees my seat in the new stadium? No can do – sorry, pal.

Jim Knightley
115 Posted 23/07/2017 at 12:17:45
Phil, I wasn't optimistic about Martinez's second season and openly stated it on here. But there was more evidence for that – we looked weak defensively and unfit – there were also cracks showing during the previous season.

We've been generally very good in pre season so far – unbeaten and we've scored some great goals, despite the loss of our top goal scorer and imo, most essential player.

There is work to be done in the market still – we need another striker, a Ross replacement if he goes, and another defender. But lamenting us because of one pre season performance is utterly absurd.

The table at Xmas and our progress in the Europa League and League Cup will indicate some things. As I've stated, I don't expect major league improvement. We are still some way off the top clubs although Liverpool and arsenal are not so far way. We need to improve our away form and make inroads in the cups.

We are well set for a Europa League run, and we are building a squad big enough to compete in other tournaments. We need to finish the transfer market how we've started it but add that little extra quality.

Also, expect Rooney, even at 31, to look a class above this season. He will illustrate the gap between our attacking players and the competition.

Ernie Baywood
116 Posted 23/07/2017 at 12:33:32
I don't think it's pessimistic to predict we'll finish 7th. That's where I think we're most likely to end up and I'm feeling very optimistic about our transfer dealings.

Hopefully we improve as a team. Entertain a bit more (though I'd settle for 38 1-0 wins), find a few new avenues for goals, and give the cups a good crack.

Chris Williams
117 Posted 23/07/2017 at 12:38:07
It's difficult to be definitive about where we will finish, because the window is still not closed and we don't know how we, and other teams are going to look at the end of it all. And of course how we finish the season depends not just about us, but how others have strengthened too.

We finished 7th and a long way behind 6th and upwards so we have a lot of improving and strengthening to do relatively, to overtake them.

What can we tell about the top 6 so far? Well, Chelsea and Man City are spending like drunken sailors and show no signs of slowing down, and as they were far better than us to start with, they will probably finish ahead of us, if their signings work out. And everyone else too possibly. Man City in particular seem to be in transition.

Spurs have signed nobody but have sold a full back and are said to be interested in getting Barkley for a pittance. They have a stadium to pay for and have to play at Wembley next season, where they have not exactly excelled. If they don't recruit, they might be vulnerable, especially as they have Europe to deal with.

Our neighbours seem obsessed with buying expensive wingers, but have just bought a decent left back, but not a game changer. Their defence was poor last season, and if they leave it as is, they also might be vulnerable.

Manchester United scored less than we did last season and their top scorer is not there any more. He has been replaced by some bloke who divides opinion but who will undoubtedly score goals. Whether enough goals will be scored, remains to be seen. Not sure about them.

Arsenal are another team under pressure and scrutiny from their fans. They may still lose two of their best players, and so far it is not clear whether they have sorted themselves out from last season. Wenger will want to prove he is part of the solution and not the problem but they look vulnerable.

So where does that leave us?

As it stands, the target for us is positions 3-6, assuming Chelsea and Man City might be too strong.

Can we overtake Arsenal? Possibly as it stands.

Can we overtake one other team? Possibly one from the other teams mentioned.

Any higher? I'd be delighted and surprised but perhaps not this season.

5th an acceptable performance? Maybe with a cup. But would be looking for better the following year.

It's all a game basically, conjecture and guesswork and we haven't got all the final teams yet. But it makes no sense to draw any conclusions, positive or negative, from performances in three pre-season friendlies

So who knows? Relax, enjoy, and let life unfold.

Jim Knightley
118 Posted 23/07/2017 at 12:44:21
The issue, Chris, is that these teams were all better than us last season and have all, bar Spurs, improved. Spurs have comfortably a better first 11 – realistically, only a fit Coleman and Gueye could get into their starting line up. Arsenal have signed a great wing back and a very good striker. Salah will be a massive signing for Liverpool and Robertson will improve them.

We've brought well but some of the players are younger and will need time. We also have an issue that the others don't – we've sold our most effective player. That will be a blow, and it will improve an Ibra-less Man Utd, who have also added a much superior centre-back.

Realistically, we will come 7th with the additional pressures of Europa to contend with. Perhaps we could catch Liverpool and Arsenal.

Tom Bowers
119 Posted 23/07/2017 at 12:45:45
Not sure if we can take anything from these pre-season games. They are mostly for getting up to match fitness and sharpness as we know and with the wholesale changes being made it's hard to define if the signs are there for an improvement over last season.

Sure there are new faces which should add to the competitiveness but what will the finished product be like?
Some sloppy passing out of defence yesterday and Besic looked like a crazy man when he came on for his stint. Rooney showed he still has that magical scoring touch but I hope he isn't used as the second striker.

Lots of conundrums for debate and maybe after the Europa League game and the Seville game, we will all be in a better position to see what Koeman is trying to achieve.

Colin Glassar
120 Posted 23/07/2017 at 12:45:54
Phil (#112), and neither is it a forum for the chronically pessimistic. Let's try and have some balance and realism on here please.

We are not going to win the league, do the double, or get relegated this season. A sign of real progress would be a serious challenge to make the top 4 and to get to the latter stages of all 3 cup competitions (winning one of them would be even better).

For the first time in decades, we can see some light at the end of the tunnel but this is a work in progress and it might be frustrating at times but it's also bloody exciting imo.

Charlie Lloyd
121 Posted 23/07/2017 at 12:48:44
Did anyone notice Rooney trip the defender as they approached the penalty box prior to him scoring. It may have been accidental but that may be the first evidence we have of making crucial decisions at key times and using experience to influence play to your advantage. He went on to score. Do we care if it was accidental or orchestrated? No.
Colin Glassar
122 Posted 23/07/2017 at 12:48:50
Btw, Phil, I'm predicting a 6th place finish and a League Cup win this season.
Dermot Byrne
123 Posted 23/07/2017 at 12:53:12
Pessimists and optimists always annoy each other and both claim evidence.

Thankfully it is a forum for all of us.

Chris Williams
124 Posted 23/07/2017 at 12:54:34
I think we're probably violently agreeing, Jim. I said we were a long way behind them and relatively had much improving to do.

Have we done enough? No and I hope we'll all be surprised with some fine signings, but then so will the other teams probably. They may lose some too.

Nobody knows where we will finish, and we have issues, but then so do the teams above us.

Will we finish 7th or above? Hopefully.

Higher than 5th? Nah.

A cup win hopefully?

Would that be progress? Yes.

Realistic? Maybe.

But to draw concrete conclusions from 3 pre-season games is a nonsense.

Derek Knox
125 Posted 23/07/2017 at 12:59:14
Funny you should mention fouls, Charlie, and in this case it must have been the only one that did go unnoticed. I noted that both in this game, and the game against Twente, the officials were quick to penalise us for almost anything, whether it be intentional or not.

Whereas with both teams, more especially yesterday, any fouls, and there were a few, went unpunished, by Genk!

We picked up I think three yellows, to their none; I am not sure if cards in a friendly, have any bearing back home, or in the Europa Cup. Maybe someone can enlighten us on that one!

David Ellis
126 Posted 23/07/2017 at 13:01:31
The range of opinions on here seems to be vast and unbridgeable. The pessimists think we'll finish seventh. The optimists think we'll finish sixth.

How will we ever get along?

Kevin Tully
127 Posted 23/07/2017 at 13:02:59
I never take any interest in pre-season games, I haven't even bothered watching. Pointless trying to garner any evidence towards how the season will pan out. Some loons obviously think differently though, they're entitled to their opinion of course... the absolute weapons.

As far as expectations go, we've got a manager who is being paid a fortune, players being paid top 4 type wages, and we will probably spend upwards of £150m in the transfer market. For those reasons, I fully expect us to be challenging for a Champions League spot and to go all-out at the likes of Anfield and match these 'bogey teams.'

If we can't expect success this season, then when can we? Maybe if some of these bottle jobs we have playing for us knew that some of these recent performances were not acceptable, then they would try a little harder?

As fans, it's partly up to us to set the expectations of these millionaire footballers. If they think 6th is good enough, then what chance is there of Champions League football at Goodison?

Ray Roche
128 Posted 23/07/2017 at 13:03:20
Jim (#118).

"These teams were all better than us last season and have all, bar Spurs, improved"

Thing is, Jim, we've improved as well and, if we can get our results against these teams to improve, we can stir the mix up a bit. If we can manage a couple of wins away from home against Man City, Man Utd etc, and continue our decent home form from last season, we can surprise a few people. Many of the current crop do not have the inferiority complex that has permeated throughout the club so won't be bricking it at the prospect of a trip to Anfield.

I'm cautiously optimistic, especially if Koeman brings in the two players he's mentioned in the press.

Andrew Ellams
129 Posted 23/07/2017 at 13:16:15
I doubt we'll win the League Cup this season – purely because I can't see Koeman taking it seriously enough.
Colin Glassar
130 Posted 23/07/2017 at 13:18:23
Same here, Kevin, these are get match sharp games, nothing else. I look for the results but can't be bothered watching them live.

Didn't we lose all our pre-season friendlies the season we finished 4th?

Stephen McNally
131 Posted 23/07/2017 at 13:25:25
I think Evertonians need to have a more optimistic outlook about the new season because quite a few still seem unconvinced. This has got to be the most exciting preseason I can ever recall; and, yes, I'm aware the big transfer fees don't guarantee successful acquisitions but quite a number of our signings are proven in the Premier League.

Also, currently Everton have the best U23s set up in the league with quite a few having the quality to break through this season. Why not aim for Champions League? I'm pretty sure that Moshiri is aiming high with Everton; and, there can be no doubt that his short time as Everton's majority shareholder has made an enormous difference. COYB.

Gordon Crawford
133 Posted 23/07/2017 at 13:38:57
So much hope on this site. :p

But I do think how well we do this season depends on our next few signings. It's been reported that we need two more, but I honestly think it's a minimum of four – more likely six, which is not going to happen.

In order of priority:

1. Top striker or two
2. Left-sided centre-half
3. Speedy winger, left side
4. Sigurdsson
5. Another left-back/left-wingback

Thomas Lennon
134 Posted 23/07/2017 at 13:57:36
The pessimists might remember the poor fitness levels last season up until late November. Once the team started to come together, we went on a run that still saw us in Champions League places till strength in depth found us out (February?).

This season we are already fit and strength in depth has been transformed. I am confident we will not miss Lukaku too much so the main test compared with last year will be European matches in midweek, though of course there will be a settling in period needed for all those new players too.

We aren't that far away from a Champions League place in first team quality but further strengthening over the next few years will be important to consolidate.

Overall: 6/7th and a good Europa League run will be success this year with a decent chance of better. Oh, and of course – spades in the ground at the docks.

Jay Harris
135 Posted 23/07/2017 at 14:02:14
The one thing Koeman is developing is a winning mentality rather than a bottler's mentality.

I really can't see us getting turned over badly by any team and I think with the addition of Sigurdsson and a top class centre-forward, we will be as close to the top teams as we can going into this season.

Top 4 will be a big ask but we are certainly geared up for it.

Paul Tran
136 Posted 23/07/2017 at 14:11:15
Agreed, Stan (#102), and that also explains why we appear to be focusing on Sigurdsson, who, overpriced or not, has a footballing brain and proven Premier League experience.
Chris Williams
137 Posted 23/07/2017 at 14:14:00
A few leaders out there too. Rooney, Klaassen, Schneiderlin, Keane, Williams, Barry, and Pickford is not backward in coming forward either.

Bottlers have all gone, hopefully, and a team of leaders all over the park will drive better performances and not tolerate some of the faint-hearted displays we've witnessed at the likes of Anfield for far too long.

Brian Williams
138 Posted 23/07/2017 at 14:44:58
I think we've done extremely well considering we haven't actually "spent" any money, or very little anyway.

The next couple of signings will be by far the most important IMO and I hope one is an out-and-out striker/goal-scorer. Has to be, surely?

Phil Walling
139 Posted 23/07/2017 at 15:03:41
Jay, are you kidding? Our buys are not in the same class as the 'Big Six' are signing and we weren't that good to start with.

Building the team up to knock it down seems to be the game. The more realistic of us will settle for last season's seventh!

Neil Thomas
140 Posted 23/07/2017 at 15:03:42
Well, I for one am very optimistic about this season, yeah I understand Lukaku is a big loss but we seem to forget who are manager is and what he as achieved in his career. Look at Moyes or Martinez – pretty basic football careers compared to Koeman.

He has brought in a different type of players to obviously play a different style of football. Last season, we had to rely on one man to score, and when his form dipped or he didn't play, we were knackered.

By the look of the players brought in, it seems he's looking at goals from all over the pitch. Lukaku this season will be a marked man and it will be interesting to see how he handles it.

Derek Knox
141 Posted 23/07/2017 at 15:13:57
Hear, hear, Neil. I think on the one hand, yes we are getting players on board, who are going to improve us at the very least.

Maybe Chelsea and Man City, to name two, are spending mega amounts on players but that doesn't always work out in every case, and some are mega flops.

What I look back on last season, is the amount of points we threw away in games in either turning a narrow margin of a potential win, by mistakes, and either drawing or losing in some cases.

I think with the better personnel, several leaders with a winning mentality, we will eliminate those costly errors.

Brian Williams
142 Posted 23/07/2017 at 15:14:38
Speak for yourself, Phil. I consider myself realistic, and totally disagree with your last sentence. Settling for "anything" before a ball's been kicked is, IMO, a defeatists attitude.

I said at the outset if we progress, under Koeman, by half as much as the preceding season, during his three-year tenure, then that'll be great.

● First season: four-place improvement.
● Second season: two-place improvement.
● Third season: one-place improvement.

That, to me, represents a realistic goal.

Neil Thomas
143 Posted 23/07/2017 at 15:24:36
Phil (#139),

Do you think it's all about the amount you spend on players or the reputation of them? Because its not its about bringing in the right players to suit the system you want to play.

You only have to look at the decline of Barcelona or the Spanish national team to see that filling a team full of superstars who won't press or do the donkey work soon get sussed out.

The Germans have now overtook Spain nationally and on paper there players are nowhere near as flash, but hell don't they play and work for each other. Just go back 12 months to Portugal – one massive name in Ronaldo and 9 players around him who worked like hell.

Neil Thomas
144 Posted 23/07/2017 at 15:33:09
Cheers, Derek. It will be interesting to see how many of these £40m plus players for Chelsea and Man City end up either loaned out or shipped out next season. Just look at John Stones – he's only just hanging in there by his fingertips.

Another good example I've made before is why have Chelsea just sold an outstanding young talent to Watford for £5m only to bring in the same type of player from Monaco who's the same age for £40m – it's crazy – and is he guaranteed to be a success?

Tom Bowers
145 Posted 23/07/2017 at 15:36:25
The new signings mean only that Koeman is building his squad and he will be judged on what it can achieve. It may be very little this season because as we know other top teams have cemented their own squads and usually have the pick of the cream from Europe and elsewhere due to bigger financing and wages.

They may have to settle for a similar position in the Premier League unless what they have now can get into an immediate winning frame of mind and be very difficult to beat which will get the respect of the other clubs.

Being sound defensively is the main key and building around Keane is a good start. They need to press hard from midfield to force other teams into errors, something lacking in recent seasons.

Sure it would have been nice to have the presence of Bolasie up front but, without him, it would appear initially that Everton do not have the firepower to sustain a top four push. I did think that they would have gone for Josh King but that interest if ever there was seems to have waned.

We can remain ever optimistic however as Everton have as good a young group of players as anyone which is maturing fast and may just surprise us this season.

Derek Knox
146 Posted 23/07/2017 at 15:36:50
Neil, I think the phrase is 'money laundering' – look who the Chairman is! :-)
David Barks
147 Posted 23/07/2017 at 15:37:43
The state of our squad isn't as bad as some want to make out, nor is it as good as others seem to be celebrating.

We have improved across the pitch with the additions of Keane, Klaassen, Rooney, Sandro. Pickford I think we will have to wait and see how good he really will be this season, but hopefully an improvement. If we add Sigurdsson as well, that further improves our team.

But we also lost Lukaku which will be felt. We still haven't added that top class striker. Other sides like Man Utd and Man City are spending and improving their sides, as is Chelsea now.

We haven't overtaken those clubs on paper, but we've improved. We still need to strengthen up top in my opinion, but we should be much more competitive at the top of the table. As always, a lot will depend on which clubs above us might struggle this season.

But I don't think we're fighting to finish above Man Utd, like last season. I think they will be genuine contenders this season. Instead, I feel like Arsenal might struggle for consistency again and that any adversity will severely challenge them given the continuous chatter around their best players and Wenger. If Coutinho goes to Barca I could see Liverpool struggle a bit.

But nobody really knows. All that is certain in my view is that we have added quality from last season's squad. But we need some breakthrough from one of our younger players like Lookman, to have a Raheem Sterling type jump in performances, and a big-time addition up top. We should be firmly in competition with those six that finished above us and firmly ahead of those that finished below us last season.

It will be interesting to see how we do going into the New Year when Coleman and Bolasie are expected to make their returns to the squad.

Neil Thomas
148 Posted 23/07/2017 at 15:56:47
There are plenty of positives in our advantage this season to improve our position in the league this season.

Are we forgetting that (1) we have a improved team; (2) Arsenal have brought in an unproven player and seem certain to lose Sanchez; (3) Spurs are playing a whole season at Wembley where they can't win for shit; and (4) Liverpool won't have as good a season as last for a while – especially if their top signing is a Chelsea reject.

So, all-in-all, there is plenty of opportunity for us to improve our position this season.

Paul Thompson
149 Posted 23/07/2017 at 16:34:26
On excessive pessimism - from the Peoples' Forum resident poet genius (he woofs under the name dog...). It's only the first half – visit the site to see the estimable rest. Link

I didn't see the game lad, but I reckon we was shit!
I had to wash me hair last night and go out for a bit,
but the one lad isn't worth his pay, the other is a brick;
by that I mean he doesn't move and he's dead fukin' thick.

I read bits of the match report, the first two lines, before
I had to go out shoppin' (‘cos just now they'll close the store),
but the one twat with the funny hair, I forget his stupid name,
shouldn't pull the shirt on – ‘e should never get a game.

Me old man's uncle's plumber mate said he heard it from some git,
that our inside-right or centre-half or ‘keeper isn't fit
and it's all down to the coaching staff, the manager and board:
the lot should do the right thing and each fall on his sword.

Our team will never get nowhere. Dem owners are arse holes!
We need to win, week-out week-in, by 20-thousand goals.
And if it wasn't 'cos I've got to work all day at some daft job,
I'd run our team like clockwork, and make a fair old bob.

Raymond Fox
150 Posted 23/07/2017 at 16:43:32
Neil, anyone on here being positive or negative doesn't make a blind bit of difference to what happens on the field.

Fans are making honest assessments on the state of the team at the moment.

Odds for us now, for what it's worth, are 9/1 top 4 and 2/1 for top 6.

Jay Harris
151 Posted 23/07/2017 at 16:48:33

We may not be buying household names for exorbitant fees but you are ignoring the Koeman factor and the return of dressing room harmony.

As we saw under Moyes, a team playing as a team regularly got the better of a team of "star" individuals like Man City were then.

None of us are clairvoyant and luck and officials play a part in results too but, as I said, with the addition of Sigurdsson and a quality Lukaku replacement, I think we are in with a fighters chance.

Did anyone foresee Martinez first season almost got fourth (yes I still ponder how that happened) or Leicester winning the damn league.

Anything is possible with the right belief and confidence.

We as fans should be thinking like the RS that we expect to win things.

Dare to dream... it might do you some good.

Neil Thomas
153 Posted 23/07/2017 at 17:03:41
Jay (#151), Great comment; I agree 100%.
Stan Schofield
154 Posted 23/07/2017 at 17:04:39
Jay, spot on. The recent signings, added to our under-23 Premier League 2 and under-20 World Cup winners, has a good likelihood of introducing a much-needed winning mentality, where players naturally go out to win, in part because quite a few of them have got used to winning something. That's the quality we appear to be finally developing, and that can win games over technically superior individual players.

Recent developments are encouraging, but not exciting as yet. To get excited, we'll have to see how we perform in anger in real competition.

Clive Rogers
155 Posted 23/07/2017 at 17:07:35
Some positives. Klaassen and Sandro looked a bit rusty, but improved as the game went on. The negatives imo were that we looked like we needed a front man for Rooney and Sandro to play off, and very little came from the flanks. An out-and-out winger would help.
Neil Thomas
156 Posted 23/07/2017 at 17:14:48
Yeah I think we could do with a class winger. Would like to see Yarmolenko but that's gone dead quiet, does anyone know if he is still on this planet because I can't even find him on Fifa?
Michael Kenrick
157 Posted 23/07/2017 at 17:24:38
Good question, Neil. Why is there no mention of Yarmolenko this window?

Last season's stats were as good as ever - 19 goals in all competitions... but crucially only one in Europe? Perhaps that's what determines visibility...

And didn't he sign a 5-year contract, I vaguely recall... Not that that should be a real impediment if someone really wanted him – especially with the astronomic inflation in fees!

Paul Tran
158 Posted 23/07/2017 at 17:36:42
I'm going to stick my neck out here, so please bear with me.

I remember an Everton team that had little or no star names. They made virtue of the fact that they worked like dervishes off the ball and liked to play in the other team's half. That gave space for the more skilful players to do their stuff. I believe these days it's called 'pressing'.

It was a fairly inexpensive team. Two young players cost £700 & 800k (lot of money in those days). The rest were a mix of local lads, cheap buys and players who 'weren't good enough for the teams above us'.

That team had a fabulous, cussed, winner's mindset. Of course most of them could play a bit, a lot in some cases, but that team had no stars, no standout flair players as such, but they were very, very effective. And they could mix it with the hardest of them. Fans of other teams told me they knew how that team would play, but it was hard to do anything about it.

Now I know football has changed, that there are teams that can and will outspend us, that we're behind some teams in terms of development, but let's see what this team and the inevitable additions can do.

I'm not asking you to compare our current team to that great side of 1985. I'm asking you to compare them to the side we had in 1983-84 before it had a chance to build up a head of steam.

Optimism is a good state of mind when backed up with evidence. What I've seen of the players we have recently bought is more of that winner's mentality. Will they be good enough? Will Koeman trust them to let them off the leash? Who knows?

Either way, let's give them a chance. If you can't be optimistic right now, when can you be?

Clive Rogers
159 Posted 23/07/2017 at 17:56:22
Yarmolenko is still at Dynamo Kiev, but they held out for a big fee, then he had a terrible Euros and interest collapsed.
John Pierce
160 Posted 23/07/2017 at 18:18:52
David, your comment echos what I believe Koeman has planned this summer.

Balance. He has addressed many areas of weakness, the spine and general depth.

The buys are not top six because we don't have the reputation yet. But we have improved the standard of the squad.

Many believe a serious challenge for higher is unlikely. But at some point we need to over achieve to get in the group above us.

It all comes down to Koeman. My reticence comes down to how attacking he wants to be. I've seen signs in the friendlies of Everton playing higher up the pitch. Encouraging. If he persists with tactics from last season, then my patience will wear thin rapidly.

I can deal with losing a few in search of a win. Everton simply draw too many games. That has to change.

Phil Walling
161 Posted 23/07/2017 at 18:31:21
Jay, I don't begrudge you your dreams – even though they be of the 'pipe' variety. Until reality struck me about 20 years ago, I suffered the same delusions.

Truth is, I just don't see Koeman as much of an advance on Moyes in the player motivation and inspiration stakes so all those 'ordinary 'players you speak of will prove to be just that. Ordinary.

I've placed money on a seventh place finish so I'm a long way from forecasting failure. Seventh is what Everton is all about. Anything higher and I'll share your excitement.

Clive Rogers
162 Posted 23/07/2017 at 18:38:44
John (#160), I think Koeman is clearly going for an attacking line-up this season, having signed three attacking players already in Rooney, Sandro and Klaassen, with probably Sigurdsson and a centre forward to come. The question is, how is he going to fit them all in?
Neil Thomas
163 Posted 23/07/2017 at 18:51:26
Clive, how about 5-3-3 system Sandro Rooney Sigurdsson up front with Klaassen, Gueye and Schneiderlin behind?
Colin Glassar
164 Posted 23/07/2017 at 18:57:56
Phil, are you the 7th son of a 7th son? You either have Mystic Meg abilities or you just like the number seven.

As for Yarmolenko, I'll add him to my blacklist which includes Sissoko, Ghalil(?), Fernandes, Barmby, Arnautovic, Shaquiri, Gosling, Radzinski, McMahon, David Johnston, Byram, The Kyles, Riquelme etc . Anyone who has ever turned us down or bad mouthed us. My memory is long and unforgiving.

Neil Thomas
165 Posted 23/07/2017 at 19:05:02
Yeah, Colin... and look what a great success they went on to have after turning us down. Puts a smug smile on our faces, don't it?
Tony Abrahams
166 Posted 23/07/2017 at 19:34:57
I was only messing about, calling you resident doom, Phil, but if seventh is a long way from predicting failure, then it doesn't matter if we come first or twentieth, because unless you're bang on the money then surely your bets gonna lose?

I will take seventh if we win a cup, or seventh if I can see signs of real progress, and agree with the posters who are more interested in the team, which has got to be the most important thing, if we ever are to progress?

Back Seventh, with the FA Cup, Phil! Brings back great memories of when The Rat went up to lift the FA Cup, and we was there!!!

Phil Walling
167 Posted 23/07/2017 at 19:35:06
Schadenfreude is all well and good, Neil, but none of them missed much in the way of trophies by rejecting us, did they?
Nitesh Kanchan
168 Posted 23/07/2017 at 19:52:47
More than Lukaku, I think Coleman will be missed badly. A defender making runs into the opponent's box. Take out Lukaku's goal we still would have 50 points which is same 7th position.

Yes, goals are goals but he was a Chelsea reject when he joined us, he is a Made In Everton product. Whereas the likes of Klaassen and Sandro have already proved themselves at Ajax and Malaga, who were very important for them. So we have proven quality players in them, it is just a matter of time for them to get used to playing in a different team.

My only disappointment is Koeman not giving a chance to Niasse. I feel he has a future with us if he is given an opportunity.

Neil Thomas
169 Posted 23/07/2017 at 20:07:32
You're right, Phil, but has any of them got a cabinet full of trophies by turning us down?
Damian Wilde
170 Posted 23/07/2017 at 20:09:50
Nitesh, re: Niasse, are you joking?
Tony Hill
171 Posted 23/07/2017 at 20:13:13
Pace and power. We're still lacking those essential Premier League qualities, and obviously so. Koeman has spoken of one or two more quality additions.

I assume Sigurdsson is one and he will add neither pace nor power. I hope the other signing is someone special to give us serious attacking threat.

Andy Crooks
172 Posted 23/07/2017 at 20:18:09
Phil, if the word "seventh" was barred on here what would you post? Might you just stick your neck out and show some hope, optimism and ambition and introduce "sixth" to your vocabulary?
Clive Rogers
173 Posted 23/07/2017 at 20:25:40
Neil (#1630, what about the centre-forward who will certainly be coming in?
Martin Mason
174 Posted 23/07/2017 at 20:29:25
Phil @161

A negative view for sure but a very realistic one. We could finish below 7th if Koeman and staff can't gel them into a good squad. As you say, none of our buys are exceptional and depth is no guarantee of success.

Dave Abrahams
175 Posted 23/07/2017 at 20:38:45
Phil (#161),

Moyes had 11 years... Koeman has had 11 months – give him a chance.

Neil Thomas
176 Posted 23/07/2017 at 20:40:45
Clive (#173), Yeah but who? There as been no concrete rumour to who that is. Dembele? Giroud? Benteke? None of these we have actually bid for. Your opinion, Clive, but who do you think we should go for?
Mark Stone
177 Posted 23/07/2017 at 20:45:32
Nitesh, Lukaku a Chelsea reject when he joined us? The lad was 20 years old and had just had a blinder of a season at West Brom! How many strikers starting up front for Champions League teams at 20?
Neil Thomas
178 Posted 23/07/2017 at 20:54:42
Mark (#177), We just signed one – his name is Rooney.
Tony Hill
179 Posted 23/07/2017 at 21:15:34
By the way, that save from Stekelenburg was extraordinary.
Phil Walling
180 Posted 23/07/2017 at 21:47:18
Andy @ 172. As long as there are six better teams than us, we have to hope for seventh, surely?
Gordon Crawford
181 Posted 23/07/2017 at 21:52:45
Tony (#171) we don't do pace and power. For years now, we have had some seriously slow teams. The players that we have bought will improve the team, which is great to see.

But we need two fast movers on the wings and one in the middle. Sigurdsson is another cart horse when it comes to pace.

John Pierce
182 Posted 23/07/2017 at 22:28:38

Moyes had 11 years on a shoe string, Koeman has had 1 year and spent more than any Everton manager.

His tenure will be measured in hard terms and rightly so. He's had one year to transition and needs to show we can compete this year whilst offering more attractive football.

The bar is high for reason; otherwise, it's just the same mediocrity we've suffered for years.

Laurie Hartley
183 Posted 24/07/2017 at 01:30:28
Phil (#161) – I understand your pragmatic position and in all honesty I can't fault your logic.

But I have to ask you: What do you get out of being an Evertonian and a long standing one at that? Surely you must have moments of hope and times when you get excited – even dreams of us getting back to the top of the pile?

In Martinez's first season I was overjoyed to see us play that Sin Miedo football. Sure, I got brought back down to earth with a Big Bang the following season but it was wonderful while it lasted. That game at the Emirates when we played Arsenal off the park will always remain in my memory.

The following two seasons were terrible – I really thought we were going down on a couple of occasions but fortunately for us Moshiri bought into the club and started fixing things. I am again full of hope for the future.

I too think Koeman is a bit dour but I have to give him credit for what he achieved last season in steadying the ship – he even got us expecting to win games at Goodison again! He also seems to have a pragmatic approach – there appears to be no room for sentiment with him. Perhaps that is what we need.

Having said all that I am a fan – a daft one maybe -– but as such I have a license to expect and hope for the best. You quite rightly point out that Koeman has had miles more money to spend than any other Everton manager. For that reason, I'll bet you our billionaire stake holder is expecting a better outcome than 7th.

As for there being six better teams than us this season – who says so? They have it all to prove again just like us.

What I am seeing is the putting together of a group of players that have the right mental attitude and level of fitness. There are some football brains in the mix also.

So my hope is that, if we do improve, it won't be by one place but that we will rattle several cages. If we sign Giroud have another bet on us finishing fourth.

Up the Blues.

Barry Jones
184 Posted 24/07/2017 at 01:34:24
Phil Walling, unless you didn't know it, football is in fact a team sport. I don't know how you can talk about "the quality of our signings" in an individual sense.

There have been many clubs with high quality individuals that have never gelled as teams. We need to give the manager and players a fair crack of the whip before your pessimism rains down on them.

Barry Jones
185 Posted 24/07/2017 at 01:48:49
In terms of transfer activity, I can honestly say that this is the happiest I have felt since we signed Bally after the 1966 World Cup Final.
Ernie Baywood
186 Posted 24/07/2017 at 02:36:50
If this coming season was all that mattered, then we wouldn't be signing 21- to 24-year-olds. We may well finish 7th... but that doesn't mean that is the medium-term aim.
David Ellis
187 Posted 24/07/2017 at 03:20:24

Don't you miss the hope you used to have 20 years ago? You may well be right about us finishing 7th – it's hard to see us going beyond that... but surely we can hope for big breakthrough?

It happened for us in 1984... it happened for Leicester... Off the pitch, the signs are as good as they have been since the 1960s...

Go on... dare to hope again.

Alan J Thompson
188 Posted 24/07/2017 at 04:44:37
You've been told, Phil, stop saying 7th. Try, "just below 5th and 6th." or, "qualified for Europe, again."
Nitesh Kanchan
189 Posted 24/07/2017 at 06:45:25
Ah, my memory. The guy was so used to banging about big clubs, I forgot he used to play for West Brom. Thanks for remembrance, Mark.
Anthony Hughes
190 Posted 24/07/2017 at 07:13:09
Never mind 5th, 6th or 7th... I want to win the bloody thing!
Tony Abrahams
191 Posted 24/07/2017 at 07:38:23
Great post, Ernie. I know football is about "now" but you have just said it all, in just two sentences.

Anthony, the bloody thing? I remember coming out of Feyenoord's stadium, in May 1985, and the song the toffees were singing still gives me shivers to this very day mate.

"Just like the team, that's gonna win the fuckin lot, we shall not be moved" – and we very nearly did mate.

I don't expect too much this season, but in all seriousness, how good is the Premier League right now?

Ian Jones
192 Posted 24/07/2017 at 07:58:59
Whilst I agree with many who suggest we don't seem to have much pace in the team, movement is also important, as is finding space. I haven't seen enough of Sandro to comment so hope he provides enough of both.

Putting the fee aside re Sigurdsson and wondering whether he would be any good for us, who knows until you try him in the team? But I would rather be playing with him in my team than against.

As for Ross, well... I hope he works out whatever is holding his ability back and goes on to have a great career, whether with us or elsewhere. Of course, I would prefer it to be with us. There definitely is a player there .

I saw an article in one of the papers mentioning comments made by Roy Hodgson about Ross. I will find another thread to comment on those..

Ciarán McGlone
193 Posted 24/07/2017 at 09:10:18
A couple of back heels and people are salivating. I suppose the hyperbole and overwhelming support for this move shows how much we've been starved of a decent Number 10 over the years.

Sigurdsson is a decent midfielder, who is head a shoulders above the rest of the Swansea team. I guess if this is all £50mill gets you for a Number 10 and Koeman wants him, then so be it.

I remain thoroughly underwhelmed.

Dave Abrahams
194 Posted 24/07/2017 at 09:25:42
Phil Walling, I enjoy your posts, I really do, but you will not be happy until you come back to Liverpool / Wigan and watch your team at Goodison Park.

Admit it, that's what is missing from your life. You are jealous of us fans who still go to watch the Blues and miss the misery and joy of it all. Come back, that's what you need.

Unless of course you are just a miserable bleeder by nature, and I don't think you are.

Brian Williams
195 Posted 24/07/2017 at 10:45:42
Wrong thread to post this on but it seems to be the one that's "alive" at the moment. Just heard on TalkShite (I know, I know) that Marseilles are interested in Dembele of Celtic, and Celtic want – wait for it – £20M for him.

Now if ever there was a chance to take a punt on a player that I believe will score goals anywhere, then this could be that chance. I'd be onto Celtic today offering £25m with a view to getting the deal done this week.

Said on here weeks ago if we offered Celtic £35m they'd bite our hand off (what do I know?) If there's any truth at all in them looking for £20m, he cost them £400k remember, we should definitely be in there!!!

I think him and Sandro could run defences ragged!

Tony Abrahams
196 Posted 24/07/2017 at 10:55:20
I think it will all depend on Celtic qualifying for the Champions League, Brian? They only sold Van Dyke, once they never qualified, and I think they must be telling anyone who's interested the same thing.

I like James McCarthy, but would hope he could become a big bargaining tool for Everton, if and when Celtic decide to sell, because I would love us to sign Dembele.

Dave, stop winding Phil up. Get him a ticket for the seventh game, unless there are any matches before which are being played on the seventh. Get back to Goodison Phil, it'll be like seventh heaven!

James Ebden
197 Posted 24/07/2017 at 11:45:38
I'm liking the debate and different opinions. I'm a realist, but that doesn't stop the fan side of me getting swept up in excitement.

This transfer window has been pretty "un-everton" in that we have spent well and early. Yes, we've lost a key player, but there is time and money to replace him still. In terms of expectations and what would be considered a successful season:

1 – Higher points total that last year. we shipped a few points in games that we can hopefully tighten up this year.

2 – League position? we were a fair distance clear in 7th, but also a fair gap to 6th. 7th is the obvious safe conclusion again, but I believe we have the improved quality across the pitch now and competition for places that can push us on.

Yes, the other teams have also bought players, but Spurs are at Wembley, Liverpool might lose Coutinho, Arsenal might lose Sanchez and more, so until the transfer window closes and we've seen the form in the first few games, it's anybody's guess. I'd be happy with 7th if we have closed the points gap and stayed in the hunt for 6th up until the last games, along with a decent run in a couple of cups.

Also snatching a few more points from the big six home and away. I'd love 6th or better, and think we have a shot, but we need a decent start through our opening run of tricky fixtures with a team that is fairly new to each other.

3 – Cup runs? With the improved squad depth ,it would be nice to have a good run in Europe, at least Quarters, and in one of the domestic cups. I hope Europe doesn't affect our league form too much as it will be new for some of the players.

I have a lot of optimism for the future – new owner and money, new stadium (provided it has a decent atmosphere unlike West Ham!), a manager with proven record and no nonsense approach, decent scouting and youth set up. The building blocks are all there for progress over the next few years, but that is the key bit. As they say, "Rome wasn't built in a day".

I think we can crack top 4 and be contenders again, but that won't be this season. This season will be consolidation, with Koeman having a team of his own choosing to start playing the system he prefers. Then next season with a few more additions and a few youth graduates we will hopefully kick on.

the futures bright, the futures blue!!

Brian Furey
198 Posted 24/07/2017 at 16:41:17
I've not seen much of Sandro yet but from what I've seen on YouTube and brief match highlights he looks a very different player to Deulofeu. I know Sandro is more of a striker who can play out on the wing whereas Deulofeu was the opposite (we think).

Personally I'm very pleased with the deal we've done. We bought Deulofeu for £4.5M I think and sold him for £10M I believe. I've read that he said once that he was used to Barca always having possession in matches so he wouldn't have to chase and harry or make tackles unlike he was expected to do elsewhere.

In my eyes, Deulofeu was (still is) a spoilt little brat who had so much skill and pace but is willing to waste it all just cos he won't work hard enough or apply himself enough. He thinks he's better than he really is and has struggled at every club he has been to.

Compare him to Sandro and how he approaches the game. He is one year younger, also came up through the Barçha Academy, realised he's not going to make it to the first team that often so he moved to Malaga and scored 14 goals in 30 games.

It looks like he runs his butt off, works hard for the team and has a good attitude to better himself. Geri has played an amazing 36 times for the Spanish U21s scoring 17 goals. He started to play with them at 18 and is still there aged 23. I think that is the difference between the two players that Sandro has matured and looks like a senior player now whereas Geri is still thinking he's a great prospect.

Sandro Deulofeu

Age 22 23
Barca B 61 (15) 68 (27)
Barcelona 17(2) 2 (0)
2016-17 30 (14) 17 (4)
Spain U21 7 (1) 36 (17)

I could be totally wrong but I was very surprised that Sandro signed for us for only £5.2M and I am really looking forward to him playing this season. It is very early days but, when Bolasie comes back into the side as well, and with Lookman, we will have some very good skillful attackers along with Rooney and Klaassen I think our style of play will be very different to last year when everything was going through Rom. We will be a lot less predictable this year. I just hope that Koeman and Co have got one more ace up their sleeve with a striker that will get us 15+ goals a season.

I don't particular rate him but I wonder would signing Benteke and him doing well with us, really annoy the RS. Haha. I think I prefer Giroud to be honest. Slimani didn't do great last season.

Laurie Hartley
199 Posted 24/07/2017 at 23:20:36
Brian (#198) – good shout on Sandro. It looks like we have a cracking player on our hands.

The missing piece of the jigsaw is a target man that will score and bring his team mates into play.

Giroud would have been a perfect fit but it looks like he is staying put. Benteke would fit the bill also but I am going to throw a wild card into the mix – Rondon from West Brom.

Don Alexander
200 Posted 24/07/2017 at 00:11:33
Most of us posters are, I'd guess, around 60 years old on average. If so, Phil Walling's realism-conditioned-by-twenty-plus-years-of-relentless-zilch must be recognised as valid.

But this coming season is different. We have a manager one year already into a three-year deal to get us qualified for the Champions League. This coming season really demands improvement on seventh I'd respectfully suggest, regardless of cups (although any one of them would be very welcome indeed).

If we end up seventh again, or worse, after the expenditure on players to date I suspect Koeman may well be sacked, and deservedly so. I don't know what the Latin is for "Stagnation Equals Shite" but I suspect Farhad Moshiri knows it way better than our quaint "Nil Satis Nisi Optimum". That's why he's a billionaire.

David Ellis
201 Posted 25/07/2017 at 04:26:37
James (#197) – great post; I completely agree.

Brian (#198) – another good post. On Slimani I've had a look at some Leicester fan sites and they are split on him. However, three things come out:

(1) He was injured a lot so did not get a full season in.

(2) He was played out of position. They see him as a number 9 (which is where we will play him) but Leicester played him as a No 10 to back up Vardy. Also, Leicester play to allow Vardy (on the shoulder of the last defender) to score. None of this suited Slimani.

(3) Leicester were really poor overall last season – so very hard for the strikers.

So, although a little underwhelming, I think he will do better for us as he's good in the air – the Pelle type striker that works well under Koeman. I also think he's quite likely to come as Leicester want to sell him.

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