Might Morgan Schneiderlin have played his way to another starting berth with his performance in the derby last week?
Everton travel to South Wales to face Swansea City in the first of their three remaining away matches of the season.
Successive home games without a win, coupled with Burnley's uptick in form means that the prospect of finishing seventh — and, possibly, securing European football for another season — has become a remote one. It has also, therefore, reduced the Blues' last five games to being essentially meaningless beyond the need to secure as much prize money as possible.
Not that they won't lack meaning and importance for their opponents, four of whom are still not clear of relegation (West Ham will almost certainly be safe by the time they entertain Everton on the final day), and that includes Swansea who are on course to complete a remarkable act of self-salvation under new manager Carlos Carvalhal.
The Swans looked to be on their way back to the Championship after their 3-1 defeat in the reverse of this fixture in December. Four points adrift at the bottom of the table heading into Christmas, by statistical tradition a death knell, their plight was a desperate one when their board of directors took the somewhat surprising decision to appoint Carvalhal.
Without a Premier League pedigree and having just been fired by Sheffield Wednesday, the Portuguese wouldn't ordinarily have been high on many chairmen's shortlists. Just one defeat in his first seven League games, however, lifted Swansea out of the bottom three and they come into the weekend sitting four points above the drop zone with a game in hand over four of the sides below them.
Importantly, in the context of this Saturday's game, Carvalhal has overseen home wins over three sides from the top seven at the Liberty Stadium since he took over from Paul Clement having seen off Liverpool, Arsenal and Burnley. With Everton notoriously poor travellers this season and Swansea having established a rhythm at home (their recent 3-0 defeat to Tottenham notwithstanding), it has the makings of a difficult afternoon for the Toffees.
With little to play for, these final games present an opportunity for Allardyce to hand some opportunities to some of the fringe players in the squad but you rather sense that the manager's desire for self-preservation, one enunciated himself during a radio interview with talkSPORT this past week, could trump any impulse on his part to throw the likes of Davy Klaassen, Nikola Vlasic, Ramiro Funes Mori and Oumar Niasse a proverbial bone.
By the same token, however, the idea has been thrown up enough times by supporters online and the local press over the past few days that it wouldn't be beyond Allardyce to field a couple of those forgotten names and present it as his own idea.
It's hard to see beyond a familiar line-up, though, with, perhaps, the odd change here and there to accommodate the return to the starting XI of Idrissa Gueye and a reversion to the team that started against Stoke, Everton's last win.
With Mason Holgate out injured and Ashley Williams having possibly blotted his copybook significantly with his red card at Burnley, the back five is likely to remain unchanged. In midfield, Morgan Schneiderlin could partner Gueye at the expense of Tom Davies as reward for a markedly improved performance in last week's Merseyside derby, with Wayne Rooney sitting in front of them while Yannick Bolasie and Theo Walcott would provide width down the flanks.
Victory would keep those faint hopes of finishing seventh alive while also keeping the pressure on Leicester in eighth place above but, on the flip side, a defeat for Everton here and a win for Newcastle over Arsenal on Sunday would put the formerly relegation-threatened Barcodes level on points with the Blues. Some indignity that would be but par for the course in a dreadful campaign.
Kick-off: 3pm, Saturday 14 April, 2018
Referee: Lee Mason
Last Time: Swansea City 1 - 0 Everton
Predicted Line-up: Pickford, Coleman, Jagielka, Keane, Baines, Schneiderlin, Gueye, Rooney, Bolasie, Walcott, Tosun
Reader Comments (74)
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1 Posted 13/04/2018 at 08:16:55
I just hope we see something different tomorrow, a bold approach rather than the same old “oh we can stifle these and nick a 0-0 draw” mentality.
Go for the bloody win! And that means committing men forward and changing the personnel.
What are we going to find out from the same old midfield trio of Davies, Rooney, and Gueye or Schneiderlin? Nothing is the answer, so we ought to try mixing it up by giving Klaassen the start next to say Gueye and I'd like to see Vlasic involved at some point too, either coming on in the middle or starting in Bolasie's place?
Also, how about a little bit of help for Cenk Tosun this week? We could be really daring and even play a partner with him?
Just bloody let the shackles off and try a bit of entertainment for a change, eh?
2 Posted 13/04/2018 at 08:52:30
I don't think we have the mental fortitude in midfield to cope when the chips are down. In games like this which are predominantly a battle, all our failings come to the fore.
We get out-battled. We give simple passes away in midfield. We make schoolboy errors in defence.
If we come out with a draw, I will be surprised.
Sorry for the negativity, I just feel the club needs change desperately to inspire a modicum of optimism.
Roll on June.
3 Posted 13/04/2018 at 09:01:06
Tottenham sold Bale in August 2013 and within 3 years they were challenging for the Premier League title and regularly finishing in the top 4.
Liverpool sell Suarez, Coutinho and lose their iconic figure of Steven Gerrard but still somehow manage to produce a good team that's capable of working hard for the full 90 minutes, entertaining fans and challenging for honours.
Until someone stands up and starts asking serious questions and getting some serious answers on where this club has gone wrong, it's just going to flounder around achieving nothing, simply thinking mediocrity and stability is success and continue struggling to challenge for the top 7, never looking like winning a trophy and simply not looking like an upwardly mobile club.
4 Posted 13/04/2018 at 09:24:07
Still, we've got The Dixies to look forward to in May.
5 Posted 13/04/2018 at 09:47:23
6 Posted 13/04/2018 at 09:54:07
I can't remember the atmosphere at Goodison being as bad as it is now in the 60 odd years I have been going to the game. We longed for a wealthy owner believing it was just the lack of money holding us back. But we now have a wealthy owner, and we don't seem to be moving forward as many of us would have expected.
Now we have achieved enough points to guarantee Premier League football for next season, I cant see a turnaround in form over the remaining games. Things have got that bad that the possibility of a new stadium is all we have got to look forward too, and even that is beginning to run into choppy waters.
7 Posted 13/04/2018 at 10:13:36
He will be gone in May with a handshake, a thank you, and a “Fat Sum”.
His departure will be one of the highlights of our season and will give me a microbe of irrational optimism.
8 Posted 13/04/2018 at 10:39:21
It's sad how this club isn't run like a refined corporate business at all. There is so much focus on non-successful on-the-field matters at this club, when it should be focusing on putting steps and plans in place to obtain measurable goals and achievements.
What we have on and off the pitch resembles a jumble sale. All very mishmash.
9 Posted 13/04/2018 at 10:43:21
10 Posted 13/04/2018 at 11:06:02
I do hope you're right, mate, but like that TV advert I have a 'nagging doubt' about Sam's continued presence at the club. He has the support of the legend that is Duncan who praised Allardyce for the “respect and presence” he commands
“He's brought his vast experience and he's got tremendous knowledge,” said Ferguson. “He brought that wee bit of defensive solidity that we needed, and that's been his main qualities. And he's a leader. “He has respect, he has the presence and has been there and done it. He has been the England manager and has managed a lot of clubs so has a lot of respect in the game. That is one thing I took when he first came in the building, he has a presence.
“He has respect, he has the presence and has been there and done it. He has been the England manager and has managed a lot of clubs so has a lot of respect in the game. That is one thing I took when he first came in the building, he has a presence.
“The manager gave me a lot of leeway with my coaching, he has a lot of experience so I have learnt a lot from him.”
Sam himself pointed towards his wonderful derby record but forgot to mention our last hopes of silverware disappeared on their pitch. Sam also seems to think that, with season ticket sales approaching record levels, he has the full support of most Evertonians.
It could be that both Sam and Ferguson realise that the end is nigh and they are putting on a united front; or, god forbid, they are both certain that Moshiri isn't going to pull the trigger.
11 Posted 13/04/2018 at 11:08:34
These last 6 games will be used a shop window for the players that we want sold. Williams, Schneiderlin and Bolasie will feature in all and be offloaded in the summer.
12 Posted 13/04/2018 at 11:13:53
Coleman Jagielka Keane Baines
Walcott Rooney Bolasie
Subs: Robles, Funes Mori, Kenny, Davies, Klaassen, Vlasic, Niasse.
13 Posted 13/04/2018 at 11:25:59
A few hours later, I had second thoughts... went back to find the season ticket on the ground – someone had nicked the nail!
14 Posted 13/04/2018 at 11:53:25
I, like you, have a nagging doubt that we may not get rid of Allardyce come the end of the season. I did say on another post a week or so ago, I hope me and the rest of the loyal Everton fanbase who have renewed our season tickets are not perceived as backing Allardyce as that couldn't be further from the truth.
I would also ask why Everton seem to be getting earlier and earlier with renewing season tickets? I have friends who have season tickets at other Premier League clubs and their renewal dates are in May, as ours used to be.
15 Posted 13/04/2018 at 12:01:25
Not that I'd consider Joe a decent website, but it gives you an idea of how we are now perceived.
16 Posted 13/04/2018 at 12:03:40
I am no fan of Sam but will not be at all surprised to see him squeezing into the dug out next season.
17 Posted 13/04/2018 at 12:13:17
18 Posted 13/04/2018 at 12:34:28
When is this club going to get an ambitious leader?
19 Posted 13/04/2018 at 12:38:23
When Allardyce arrived, I said I hoped we would finish 8th to 10th. I think we'll be lucky to get 10th.
20 Posted 13/04/2018 at 12:38:29
Supreme optimists we are but this horrible season has deflated most of us to a point that we cannot wait until it's over.
I cannot see how things will change tomorrow unless they start off boringly like the RS game and hope to snatch it late which they could have done last week with a class striker up front.
Nothing really to play for so I can only see another yawnfest.
21 Posted 13/04/2018 at 12:48:14
Admittedly they have improved under the tutelage of Carvalho, but come on, these are the sort of games where we should be disappointed, and shocked, if we were only to get a draw.
Please do not include Schneiderlin; although he has been slightly improved in the last two games, that is a recipe for certain defeat.
As we have nothing to play for anymore, and we are 'safe', why don't we just sack Sam now, which would give most fans a lift, not having to endure his dour, drab style of play?
22 Posted 13/04/2018 at 12:59:02
23 Posted 13/04/2018 at 13:25:03
I suspect that the reason that the Season Ticket renewal date is so early is because it helps the cash-flow for the current campaign.
I used to work for a company which got paid before the goods were sent to the customer, by virtue of an agreement with the bank. I think it was called 'factoring' the company got a huge chunk of the total invoice amount and the bank charged a percentage for providing the facility.
24 Posted 13/04/2018 at 13:37:45
25 Posted 13/04/2018 at 13:38:01
Coleman, Jagielka, Keane, Baines
Walcott, Klaassen, Vlasic
Along with a mental approach to attack and a will to win and take the three points. The mentality is the foundation to succeed!
Allardyce out now!!
26 Posted 13/04/2018 at 14:45:49
Two people who need dropping is Rooney and Bolasie, I would have added Schneiderlin as well, but to be fair he played well in the derby so would stick to see if he can do it again. Yes, he's been poor in previous games but, at the same time, if he earned his place last week, we should not drop the guy but build his confidence and see if he can repeat it.
Others have been unlucky: I am not sure what Niasse has done to warrant being dropped and not used from the bench? For me, he has been the most important impact player for Everton this season; without his contributions, we would be fighting off relegation now.
The likes of Vlasic, Klaassen, Niasse, and Baningime need to be used in the remaining games coming up, but not all at the same time; bring them in, in stages.
For now, though, Rooney and Bolasie benched is a start.
27 Posted 13/04/2018 at 15:19:22
28 Posted 13/04/2018 at 15:21:33
29 Posted 13/04/2018 at 15:31:13
I see Kevin Sheedy is back in the country. Get him back at the club.
30 Posted 13/04/2018 at 15:31:49
With Swansea desperate for points, I think we will need Davies's energy and drive, and I think Vlasic is long overdue some game time.
The back 4 picks itself but I would have a midfield of Davies, Gueye and Vlasic and a front three of Walcott Tosun and Calvert-Lewin.
Bring Niasse on second half to get the equaliser and Sam will be happy.
31 Posted 13/04/2018 at 15:39:10
I want Allardyce to go all out to win the last 5 games, to give us some hope for the next season. If Holgate is not injured, I would like to see him play - he was doing well until he had an injury. A Back 3 of Holgate, Keane and Funes Mori, could possibly be a foundation for a strong, mobile, athletic, ball playing, defense next year. At the middle, Coleman and Bolasie as wing backs, with Baningime and Davies and an attacking 3 of Walcott, Rooney and Tosun would be my starting XI:
Holgate, Keane, Funes Mori
Coleman, Baningime, Davies, Bolasie
With Klaassen replacing Rooney after the usual 1-hour mark, Schneiderlin replacing Davies or Baningime, and perhaps Niasse or Calvert-Lewin on for Walcott or Tosun.
Subs: Robles, Jagielka, Baines, Schneiderlin, Klaassen, Niasse, Calvert-Lewin.
32 Posted 13/04/2018 at 15:46:39
33 Posted 13/04/2018 at 16:28:19
34 Posted 13/04/2018 at 18:07:24
35 Posted 13/04/2018 at 18:28:29
Vlasic, Calvert-Lewin, Kenny (is he healthy? with Seamus back he's not been seen), Baningime, Davies with them, and any others I've overlooked / forgotten.
Thing is, I know Big Sam won't do this.
And my hatred and disdain for him will grow.
36 Posted 13/04/2018 at 18:35:18
37 Posted 13/04/2018 at 18:36:08
38 Posted 13/04/2018 at 18:48:08
39 Posted 13/04/2018 at 18:59:37
Regarding the Gueye/Schneiderlin issue, if I remember correctly, they were in the team together last season, and they didn't do too bad. In fact they were much applauded on here, and people lauded their partnership, which last season was really good. I can acknowledge that Schneiderlin hasn't been that good this season, but we know what he actually can do. We need a deep-lying play-maker along with Gueye because his play-making abilities are limited. He has other qualities, but needs a good passer of the ball beside him.
I've been aware that Schneiderlin hasn't put the effort we crave in, but I have watched him "objectively" since the criticism of him started and he does actually also do "good" stuff... He's breaking up play several times per game, stopping opposition to attack, and he also passes the ball really well, switching play from one side to the other, also several occasions per game.
His confidence has dropped, and his effort with it, and he's playing for a manager that doesn't suit his game, that's were I think the problem lies... However, right now, I think he's the best option alongside Gueye that we have. Rooney is too slow and looses possession a lot, and we don't have another player with good passing ability to play there... maybe Klaassen, but I've seen to little of him to judge... as you know, he's rarely played...
Allardyce out now!!
40 Posted 13/04/2018 at 19:16:41
[I was struggling a bit there, to be honest; for all the midfielders we've signed and brought through... we are utterly dogshit in midfield!]
41 Posted 13/04/2018 at 20:43:02
42 Posted 13/04/2018 at 21:31:05
Hopefully we'll be better than last season, but I fear Swansea will steam into us, and we'll be defending the 6-yard box.
I hope the tactics change and we go for it, but I'll be surprised. Let's hope Sam watched Roma and Juve games and have the team set up to have a good go.
43 Posted 13/04/2018 at 23:11:32
I just wonder if it will be as easy to swing opinion on Allardyce staying in his job into next season. I reckon a couple more wins should do it!
44 Posted 13/04/2018 at 00:05:33
I never want us to lose and don't either tomorrow, but I've got an uneasy feeling that, if we win a few between now and the end of this forgettable season, Sam will be given a chance by Moshiri! I hope I'm wrong but, when I hear him going on about planning for next season, it fills me with dread.
46 Posted 13/04/2018 at 00:26:53
47 Posted 14/04/2018 at 01:37:47
I want Lardiola out when the season ends, but I do get the feeling it's as much about our players as it is our manager(s).
48 Posted 14/04/2018 at 07:09:58
49 Posted 14/04/2018 at 07:53:34
We will certainly not see this team:
Coleman Keane Jagielka Baines
Walcott Klaassen Vlasic
You could even give Funes Mori a try but back 4 has been working relatively well recently.
50 Posted 14/04/2018 at 08:39:30
51 Posted 14/04/2018 at 09:18:57
52 Posted 14/04/2018 at 09:23:49
53 Posted 14/04/2018 at 10:12:08
But his whole business plan is flawed, particularly if it continues to include the 'old brigade' of Kenwright and crew. If ever there was a let-down, it's Usmanov's bagman although if he was daft enough to enrich Boys Pen Bill to the extent he did without taking total control, we should have known he was an idiot!
54 Posted 14/04/2018 at 10:31:02
I have never felt that way before but it would be disastrous if he is still here next season.
55 Posted 14/04/2018 at 10:42:39
Fonseca has the best chance of getting the job, he looks the part at least and that seems to be a crucial asset with most on TW and one of the reasons Roberto was so popular, however he has no Premier League experience and is almost certain to be an expensive failure.
I'll be surprised if Allardyce can get a tune out of the team today, this team is notoriously hard to motivate, even for the bigger games. For most of this lot, the Swansea game will be the chance for another day off.
56 Posted 14/04/2018 at 11:10:02
But whoever it were to be, his inheritance is a coterie of really crap players capable of getting any manager into big trouble. Probably the only aspect of Big Sam's work that appeals to me is his proven ability 'to move players on'. Perhaps on that record alone he will be spared the early chop!
Burned? Scalded? You takes yer pick!
57 Posted 14/04/2018 at 11:23:34
I caught up with Ashley Williams who's captain for the day on his return to the Liberty, and of course returning to the side after his stunning display against Burnley. Speaking from his deckchair, piña colada in hand, he said "This will give the fans something to shout about after an admittedly poor season. Me and the rest of the lads should look in the mirror and say,'yeah right', well 'yeah right'".
58 Posted 14/04/2018 at 11:28:20
When our defence had the ball, he never made himself available for a pass, simply stood in a space that was a little too close to a Liverpool player.
He didn't tackle he jockeyed players and gave up in a number of occasions.
He played a number of suicidal balls to players about 2 yards from him when under pressure so at least he didn't lose the ball.
He made a few clearances, but that was generally when he was so deep he was like a 3rd centre back.
Everton play better when Davies is in the team, regardless of how well Davies actually plays.
59 Posted 14/04/2018 at 11:29:19
Absolutely nobody can be a worse choice than Allardyce, there are no redeeming factors for having Allardyce, unless we have given up completely on entertaining the fans now and again. Even more worrying is listening to TalkSport this morning Tony Cascarino believes the Everton fans are split over whether to keep Allardyce or not. Well I can tell him quite categorically 96% of fans don't want him here next season.
So maybe we will have to make it perfectly clear to Moshiri and the rest of the board that we don't want this man here next season. Because otherwise we might be sleepwalking into another season with Allardyce.
60 Posted 14/04/2018 at 11:45:04
Don't you believe it. There are dozens home and abroad all waiting to prove you wrong. We've even had a couple of them recently!
61 Posted 14/04/2018 at 11:46:02
The behind-the-scenes shenanigans is top priority. We need one strong individual to come in and bang heads together and ship out the unwilling. The way good players have been performing this season tells me that the people coaching/managing them need to be either shipped out or sorted out.
62 Posted 14/04/2018 at 11:46:07
63 Posted 14/04/2018 at 11:47:41
64 Posted 14/04/2018 at 12:06:25
As far as the next manager is concerned, there is an obsession on here of "change the manager and every thing will be better".
Allardyce's brief was to avoid relegation, he's done that with a bit to spare. There's been four managers in the last five seasons who have had a go at making us a quality side. Roberto's first season was great and Koeman's first season was decent; they both failed to carry on the good work. David Unsworth had a dabble with moderate success and now it's Sams turn.
The common denominator is the playing staff, in my opinion, there's no-one out there that will make us a top 6 side.
I'm not saying keep Sam, I'm not too bothered one way or another, but the next manager will be faced with the same lack of top 6 quality players to seriously challenge the now six strongest clubs.
What we really need is someone far richer than Moshiri to go out and buy players that are on par with the present big six. That's a pipe dream I know, so we will probably muddle on in the same old way we have for the last 20+ years!
65 Posted 14/04/2018 at 12:14:18
"So maybe we will have to make it perfectly clear to Moshiri and the rest of the board that we don't want this man here next season."
Maybe we shouldn't be biting the hand that is feeding us. I don't know if Moshiri wants Sam as manager next season or not. What I do know is that Moshiri signs all the cheques so whoever he wants as manager is okay with me be it Sam or some other guy.
I'm not big on this "the next manager is definitely the one to turn us into Citeh Mark II". We have had Martinez and Koeman and now Allardyce. Things haven't improved much with any of them and there is no reason to believe the next guy will be any more successful given the bunch of bog standard one pace players at his disposal.
66 Posted 14/04/2018 at 12:23:35
I don't know if you go the game regularly or not, but I can tell you that most match going fans I speak to in the Upper Bullens don't want him at any price. And the reason is simple: we play with no ambition. Even lowly West Brom came here and played us off the park for most of the game.
Football is very much about opinions and if you are happy with Allardyce fair enough. I will be very interested to read your posts 3 months into next season if he is still here.
67 Posted 14/04/2018 at 12:44:22
This is the downside of having a billionaire running your club. Moshiri holds all the cards. If he wants Jeremy Corbyn as manager there is not a lot we can do about it short of not buying tickets.
68 Posted 14/04/2018 at 12:58:06
Poor old Dixie Dean has been written out of history.
As George Orwell said "He who controls the present controls the past and he who controls the past controls the future."
69 Posted 14/04/2018 at 13:00:07
forget we have some players until their names come up in posts. We've got players out on loan and, according to your point of view, we have a batch of young players coming through the ranks who deserve a run out at the top level.
What are we going to do with all these surplus-to-requirements players who are no doubt costing a fortune in wages? fire sale two for one?
70 Posted 14/04/2018 at 13:19:46
I have no insight into the financial workings of the club but I would imagine that, rather than put the money up Moshiri probably just guarantees the loans which may mean that walking away from the club doesn't mean he walks away from being the guarantor; otherwise there is little point in it in the first place.
As for doing what he sees fit or wants that is the prerogative of the major shareholder in the same way as it has been Mr Kenwright's.
72 Posted 14/04/2018 at 13:42:27
We are sleepwalking our way through to the summer holidays. No amount of meaningless platitudes from Big Dunc can hide the fact that the selections and performances have been ordinary. We haven't played well for a whole game all season.
We had a win at Stoke but today I think Sam will stick with Schneiderlin and even Rooney. Personally, I would keep the same defence but bring in Baningime, Davies and Evans with Gueye. Play 4-4-2 with Tosun and Walcott up top, no wingers. Baines and Coleman can provide the width, with the midfield tucking-in.
73 Posted 14/04/2018 at 13:48:36
74 Posted 14/04/2018 at 14:09:33
75 Posted 14/04/2018 at 14:52:46
76 Posted 14/04/2018 at 15:01:01
The fact that Allardyce is still here picking the same shit formation game after game when it would make sense to most of us if he actually played the Under-23s tells me that the manager is not the biggest problem anymore.
If he was going to go, it would have happened 3 weeks ago or last week at the latest so now I can see my nightmare coming true as I have this feeling that Big Sam and Moshiri are getting on well. Being in the Premier League is back to being our priority as it makes enough money to suit our owner.
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