03/01/2024 114comments  |  Jump to last
FA Cup 3rd Round Preview

Abdoulaye Doucouré is still not completely fit following a hamstring injury but could be named in the squad

Following four successive defeats in all competitions and a real back-down-to-earth feeling after their comprehensive loss to Wolves, Everton begin their FA Cup campaign away to Crystal Palace in front of the ITV cameras on Thursday evening.

With the painful elimination from the Carabao Cup at the quarter-final stage last month, the Toffees' only path to silverware this season is now the FA Cup but with injuries affecting  Sean Dyche's small squad, there is a feeling among money that the manager should prioritise the Premier League and rest key players at Selhurst Park.

Idrissa Gueye and Abdoulaye Doucouré have been significant losses in midfield in recent games and, based on Dyche's comments in his pre-match press conference, it doesn't seem likely that either will be involved against Palace, at least from the start.

Gueye is still undergoing treatment in a calf problem and Doucouré was once again described by the gaffer as "touch-and-go" in terms of readiness with his hamstring now recovered as he returned to full training this week.

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Dyche indicated that he hoped to have "one or two back in", which perhaps hints that Ashley Young might be fit again having missed the last month or so with his own hamstring issue.

Should he decide to make changes to the core side that was called upon to play eight games in December, the likes of Arnaut Danjuma, Beto, Youssef Chermiti, Ben Godfrey and André Gomes would, no doubt, be hoping for more chances to impress while Seamus Coleman, a second-half substitute at Molineux last Saturday, would also benefit from more minutes.

There may even be scope for Jordan Pickford to be given a rest to give Joao Virginia a rare outing but that may be further than Dyche would be prepared to go in destabilising the team and risking a cup exit at the first hurdle.

Palace, who arrested a two-month winless streak when they beat Brentford last weekend, will be without key winger Michael Olise after he was ruled out this week with a thigh injury. Goalkeeper Sam Johnstone, defenders Rob Holding and Joel Ward, and midfielder Cheick Doucouré are also unavailable.

For Everton, they will be hoping for a result closer to their last visit to this ground in November when they came away with a 3-2 win rather than the 4-0 hammering they suffered under Frank Lampard in the last eight of this competition in 2022.

Kick-off: 8pm, Thursday 4 January, 2024
Last Time: Crystal Palace 4 - 0 Everton 

 

Reader Comments (114)

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Brian Wilkinson
1 Posted 30/12/2023 at 20:53:02
I am normally one of those saying let's go for the cup; after Saturday's showing at Wolves, apart from the wrong set-up, some of those players look like they are running on half-empty.

After the cup game, we have got 10 days until our next Premier League match, I think I would be tempted to give Dobin and Djanuma a run on the flanks, rest McNeil and Harrison, and possibly have Calvert-Lewin on the bench and start with both Beto and Chermiti; I would not risk Doucouré.

Then we should be up to speed for the Aston Villa game, fully refreshed and charged.

Jay Evans
2 Posted 30/12/2023 at 21:08:58
Fully refreshed and up for the Aston Villa game, Brian, yes … but also out of the cup.

The next game is almost always the most important, so play your best eleven from the start and let's get back to basics.

That must include Doucouré if he is close, not sure about Chermiti, Dobbin, and Danjuma.

John Raftery
3 Posted 30/12/2023 at 21:36:10
Brian, I agree.

Many of our starting eleven looked knackered from the start today. They have given everything in recent weeks but today the well ran dry.

Sticking to exactly the same group for another game in five days will very likely produce the same outcome, another defeat. Bringing a few new faces with something to prove into the team at Palace might just freshen up the performance level.

Tony Everan
4 Posted 30/12/2023 at 22:00:11
I agree we looked tired, how would this team have got on? Not ideal but maybe more energy in it. Possibly we'll see something like it on Thursday.

Pickford
Coleman Tarkowski Branthwaite Mykolenko
Onana Garner
Dobbin Gomes Danjuma
Beto

Both Onana and Garner looked tired, but with Gana out we are desperately short at centre-midfield. We've got to be looking for a loan on Monday. Thelwell will have to trade Godfrey to get some wriggle room.

Bobby Mallon
5 Posted 30/12/2023 at 23:28:58
Play second string v Palace as we need to stay in the Premier League:

Virginia
Coleman
Godfrey
Keane
Young
Hunt
Onyango
Danjuma
Chermiti
Dobbin
Beto

Phillip Warrington
6 Posted 31/12/2023 at 06:28:41
Hopefully they will regain the work rate and spirit so we stay in the cup at least, as I suspect Crystal Palace will be putting out a full-strength team as they, like us, have only really a lucky cup run to play for.

Andy Crooks
7 Posted 31/12/2023 at 20:54:55
Play the strongest team against Palace, and in every game.

No player should walk on to Goodison Park to the sound of Z-Cars and be tired. Every Blue who posts here would run till they drop.

Sean Dyche and his team will do the same.

Danny O’Neill
8 Posted 01/01/2024 at 07:10:48
We've got Palace in the Cup in 3 days. There are going to be thousands travelling for an 8pm kick off at one of the most difficult grounds to get to.

I want to stay up. I want to win the cup. We can do both.

Tony Abrahams
9 Posted 01/01/2024 at 10:31:45
I've just read that the human body has got seven trillion nerves, and without being emotional, I think whenever I hear any Evertonian say they are not that bothered about the cup, then it gets on every single one of my seven trillion fuckin' nerves.
Colin Glassar
10 Posted 01/01/2024 at 10:42:20
James,

McNeil looking after his sick girlfriend, Dele Alli buggered his groin again, Onana and Branthwaite carrying knocks etc… Sometimes we are too quick to rush to judgement, me included.

We have a minuscule squad (talent-wise) so only a few injuries is enough to knock us off our stride. Let’s hope these next few days rest will see these lads back to their best.

Rob Halligan
11 Posted 01/01/2024 at 10:51:52
Tony, the away end for the cup game has been sold out for a while now, with I believe 4,000 blues. It's a Thursday night with an 8-pm kick off. The vast majority of us won't be getting home until after 4 am on Friday morning.

I would like to see anyone telling any of those 4,000 face to face that the FA Cup doesn't matter, or you're not bothered. I wouldn't like to be in their shoes if they had the nerve to do it!

Anthony Dove
12 Posted 01/01/2024 at 10:54:32
Please no resting of players for the cup tie.

A good cup run boosts the morale of the supporters and the players.

An early cup exit would do the opposite.

Raymond Fox
13 Posted 01/01/2024 at 11:04:05
Yeah, and get half the squad crocked, that will be a big help!
Brian Harrison
14 Posted 01/01/2024 at 11:21:58
While there is no doubt we have a small squad to select from and with injuries it has made it even more difficult, I do wonder why Dobbin hasn't had hardly any minutes since his goal a few weeks back and Chermetti has even less time.

Surely the whole point of having a squad of players is to be able to utilise them, but most of our substitutions are always the same. Beto comes on for Calvert-Lewin, Danjuma comes on for Harrison, other than for injuries.

I don't know what Sean Dyche's record was like at Burnley for his use of subs or giving youngsters some minutes, but he seems quite reticent to change things and often the changes come to late to change the game.

Despite this season being better than last points-wise until the Premier League deducted 10 points from us, we have still to win a game once we have gone behind.

Anthony Dove
15 Posted 01/01/2024 at 11:23:45
Times have changed.

I remember Everton being fined for playing a weakened team in the league game before the 1966 FA Cup semi-final.

Tony Abrahams
16 Posted 01/01/2024 at 11:33:32
I just think that it is a complete acceptance of mediocrity, Rob. Evertonians have accepted mediocrity for way too long, and if the end result is struggling to stay in the Premier League, then I genuinely don't see the point.

Of course I'm not stupid, I know there will soon be new owners coming into our football club, and this will be followed by Everton finally moving into a stadium that is befitting of our motto. But isn't it about time we started adhering to our motto, now that the man who completely changed the narrative – in every single way, but with romantic words – is no longer here to split the fanbase?

Besides “Mystic Meg”, who thought we would win the cup in 1995? I remember being amongst five or six thousand Evertonians, at Ashton Gate, one dreary Sunday in January, watching Everton getting battered by Bristol City, then, out of the blue, Matt Jackson hit a screamer and us Toffees never stopped screaming until Dave Watson picked up the famous trophy against the famous Man Utd. Remembering the song of that day – any Evertonian who is not interested in winning the cup should just fuck off! imo.

I'm getting off this website for a bit. I hope to come back on when the clocks go forward – and Everton are still in the cup. 🤞

Dave Abrahams
17 Posted 01/01/2024 at 11:35:36
Yes Brian,

Sean hasn’t got a lot to choose from all over the pitch but Dobbin should always be used especially in the last quarter of the game and not just on the wing but right across the line,

Robert Tressell
18 Posted 01/01/2024 at 11:50:27
I want to see us win the cup. Simple as that.

There's a few players who might benefit from a start like Beto, Danjuma and Gomes but hopefully we are going to take it very seriously.

Dave Abrahams
19 Posted 01/01/2024 at 11:51:51
Tony,

Well, we are being forced to accept mediocrity at the moment, on the field, because that's what we have mostly got. But Sean Dyche is using that mediocrity to the best of his ability and getting some surprising results out of them.

Not surprisingly injuries have taken their toll in the last couple of games but I believe Dyche will get them regrouped in the New Year and we will get enough points to stay up.

That's all we can hope for at the present time. None of us want this mediocrity, it's here because of the way the club has been run for a long time. with the new ground, new owners and new ideas not far away, we can start the slow but necessary move back to being a properly run business and club.

By the way, you won't stay off ToffeeWeb ‘til Spring – you can't bleedin' help yourself, like plenty of us!!

Tony Abrahams
20 Posted 01/01/2024 at 12:16:05
I remember going to a mate's funeral, and hearing The Last Post, Dave, and I often think of the young kid I first met at Anfield when attending to pick up a pendant for the school. So on the very same day, I was told I was no longer allowed to go to Colomendy (who didn't love Colomendy? What a place that was – bastards!), they had me going on the pitch at Anfield to represent the school.

I ended up playing for both Liverpool schoolboys and The Stanfield, with Vinny Scott, and hearing The Last Post always makes me sad and reminds me of my childhood football friend who was blown to pieces in Northern Ireland a few years after we had spent an absolutely wonderful weekend in that great place doing the things we loved most.

This is my last post, and because it's clear (to me) that Everton won't be fighting relegation, right until the bitter end this season, then I believe we should be putting all our energy into winning the cup. You know it makes sense really, so get your head up straight, think logically, and banish the thoughts of constantly worrying about relegation, because this only makes us put our head down, imo.

Contradiction is a word that constantly amazes me, so get yer heads down, Everton, and then lift them up with pride, when the hard work pays off. I love Everton, with every single fibre of my body, but I don't love what way too many Evertonians are willing to accept anymore.

Jim Lloyd
21 Posted 01/01/2024 at 12:26:33
Happy New Year all and to your families.

Well, we'll all have to think what we think, yet still be Evertonians, whether we go home and away, go to home, watch as many as they can on the telly, or listen on the radio.

My view is that, above all, I want to see our club when they run onto the pitch down at the Bramley Moore, be in the Permiership. I don't see it it as accepting mediocrity.

I certainly don't think I'm accepting mediocrity, by wanting every player we've got, available for as many league games as possible for the next five months. These months and the games we've got left are what decide our fate,

No wonder that T.at Klopp wanted 5 subs from a bench of nearly another team. They, and at least another half dozen can put almost two 1st teams on the pitch. We are lucky if we have our full first choice team, available every week.

Accepting mediocrity? I don't see it like that.

I've been going the match since the fifties and during that time, I've seen way to much mediocrity! We've had much of the sixties where we had very little of mediocrity, in fact we had had a magical period in the sixties til, in my humble opinion, Catterick buggered it up. We had the very early 70's...then mediocrity, plenty of it, til Howard gave us magic again in the mid 80's and that went all too soon.

Joe got us the Cup in 95.

I remember being at the final against Chelsea and our surrender.

I don't want to go on after that, except to repeat what that useless (and I'm being kind!) Chairman said to us "We've had some good times!"

What we;ve got now? From what I've seen McNeil looks knackered, Calvert-Lewin looks off the pace, How many goals has he scored this season since he's comer back Patterson is a good lad but is the weak link in our defence, as he's got a lot to learn. Seamus? is he able to play a run of games? Keane?? whole hearted but!!

Chermiti, Danjuma, Beto, well I like them all, but are they ready for the first team for a run of games.

I don't see this next five months as accepting mediocrity, I've had way too much of that. What I want to see is every first-team player possible, ready to play in as many of the remaining league matches as possible.

We saw what it's like with Doucouré and Seamus missing. Any one of our first-team players missing and we're a weakened team.

I'll willingly accept mediocrity if it improves our chances of playing in the new Everton Stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock and still being in the Premier League!

Danny O’Neill
22 Posted 01/01/2024 at 12:51:13
Tony,

Sadly I've had to listen to The Last Post too many times as we put the boys on the back of a Chinook Helicopter or Hercules aircraft in a wooden box on a near weekly basis to send them home from Afghanistan. Very sobering but, as the military saying goes, you turn to the right and crack on.

Your reference to your mate in Northern Ireland reminds of when we were on a helicopter back from South Armagh. We diverted to pick up a young Infantry man who had been shot in the chest. As the medics desperately tried to save him on the way to Newry hospital, we were mopping up his blood with blue roll. He didn't make it. I never knew his name. We headed back to get ready for the next job.

Rob, for once, I won't have your journey as opposed to when I attend Goodison. But bang on. Don't tell the thousands that the cup doesn't matter.

Stoke almost 40 years to the date when we were struggling and Howard Kendall's now legendary method of opening the windows and telling the players to not let the near 10,000 travelling supporters down.

From the depths of despair at the home match against Coventry in December, we finished 7th and won our first trophy in 14 years.

Anything is possible. Go to win every game, Everton. None of this modern "it doesn't matter" shite. Every game matters.

We are definitely missing Doucoure right now.

On to Selhurst Park.

Brian Wilkinson
23 Posted 01/01/2024 at 13:34:59
I am sort of on the same page of Jim here, there is no doubt some players need resting for the cup game, it might well be 10 Days after that before our next game, however starting McNeil and Harrison in this game after 4 quick games needs to be managed.

I would have them both on the bench if needed, but I would certainly try Danjuma and Dobbin on both flanks, some fresh legs, if anyone thinks that is surrendering the cup, as far as I can see it is making use of the squad, it's hardly 16-year-old rookies we would be throwing in, both have played in the league.

I would certainly start with Coleman, to give him some much-needed game time, we have some players waiting to come in and get a chance, now is the time to make a couple of adjustments, see if any of those coming in can do a job, that's not saying I do not want a cup run, of course I do, for me it's about rotating the team and bringing in similar players to try and get the job done.

If it is not going to plan, there is always a chance to bring McNeil, Harrison off the bench, if plan a is working leave them on the bench and save them for the Villa game.

Now I cannot see any harm in trying a few fresh legs, utilising the squad, not too many changes, but enough to have a chance of getting a result..

Pickford
Coleman, Tarkowski, Branthwaite, Mykolenko
Dobbin, Garner, Onana, Danjuma
Gomes,
Calvert-Lewin or Beto

A few tweaks but I think the above could give a good account of themselves, Gomes playing just behind the striker, and giving options on the bench if needed.

Danny O’Neill
24 Posted 01/01/2024 at 14:04:27
Raymond,

They could get crocked in any number of league games.

Go out to win every match with your best starting 11 available.

We could rest players against Palace and then they go and get injured against Villa in the league.

I want to win the FA Cup — as will 4,000 of us at Selhurst Park this week.

Rob Halligan
25 Posted 01/01/2024 at 14:28:28
For anyone criticising Dwight McNeil for his performances over the last few games, then just take a look at this story in the red echo about his partner. You may then wish to re-consider your criticism of him.

Everton star Dwight McNeil's secret struggle as partner details major surgery in emotional message

Apologies if this has already been posted elsewhere.

Danny O’Neill
26 Posted 01/01/2024 at 14:38:14
As I have just commented to you personally Rob, we often forget that footballers are human beings and have lives and challenges outside of football like all of us.

They are not robots.

See you Thursday in that cesspit of a ground with McNeil getting the winner.

Best wishes to Dwight and his partner. God bless and god speed.

Jim Lloyd
27 Posted 01/01/2024 at 14:43:22
It isn't criticising McNeil to say he needs a rest. I think he's probably as good a goalscorer ass Doucouré, but he looks goosed to me. It's a reason to be looking to get our best players as much rest as they can get.

With a small squad, and not a lot in reserve, then the longer the season goes on, the worse it's going to get.

Michael Kenrick
28 Posted 01/01/2024 at 16:30:10
Seems James Tarkowski isn't exactly up for throwing in the towel:

“It gives us a bit more time on the training pitch to work on other things. Hopefully we get a couple of players back in that time, which would be nice.

"Also, it’s a month where we can go and win games. If we beat Crystal Palace in the cup we get another round at the end of the month so we have the opportunity to go and win.

“It definitely feels like we’ve made big strides in this year for me. Definitely stronger, the team seems to be in a much better place. The club seems to be in a better place. There is definitely a unified feel between everyone at the club so we’re definitely in better shape than at the start [of 2023].”

Christopher Timmins
29 Posted 01/01/2024 at 17:14:19
We play to win with the strongest team possibles!
Jim Bennings
30 Posted 01/01/2024 at 20:23:38
We can't have a passive attitude.

Thousands of fans traveling down there on a ridiculous Thursday night in early January.

They've got to put in a big shift, we've a long 10 day break before Villa so no excuses.

John Raftery
31 Posted 01/01/2024 at 22:55:05
Many fans would like Dyche to freshen things up by using his squad reserves earlier in matches. Yet any suggestion he might freshen things up by using those same squad reserves from the beginning of matches is met with doubt if not disdain.

The time has come to give Dobbin more playing time. He is 23 on Wednesday, nearly 8 months older than Amadou Onana. Dyche needs to find out this month if Lewis can contribute more than the occasional cameo in the rest of the season. If he can’t the player needs a loan move. At his age spending most of his time on the bench will not be helping his development.

Jack Convery
32 Posted 02/01/2024 at 06:19:18
Maybe Dyche used the Wolves game to show 777 Partnerswe need money for new players as the squad is so thin. Also, if we get points back, a transfer ban will come into place. This may be the last window to get players and get some deadwood out.

I would play our strongest available team v Palace. Let's get the winning spirit back asap.

Jon Harding
33 Posted 02/01/2024 at 09:56:02
I was pleasantly surprised at the strong teams Dyche sent out in the League Cup games this season. Hopefully there will be minimal rotation ahead of Thursday.

I wonder if Palace might rest a few? Olise and Eze preferably.

John Hall
34 Posted 02/01/2024 at 16:48:14
Bobby Mallon @5,

Dyche would have to balls the size of watermelons to play that team! I'm not sure he will. :)

Brian Wilkinson
35 Posted 03/01/2024 at 17:32:42
After my earlier posts on resting McNeil and Harrison, it has now come to light about McNeil's sick girlfriend.

For me, McNeil needs to be given a little bit of passionate leave for the cup game, let him spend some time at the side of his girlfriend.

Everyone knows my current favourite player is McNeil, so I for one would certainly look at letting him recharge his batteries, the guy gives everything, four quick game turnarounds take it out on players, more so wingers who are up and down the pitch, if not attacking, then defending.

I just think the guy could do with sitting the cup game out, and yes there is a 10-day grace after that, but you have to question what a fifth game so quick would do to the player, especially now not being able to switch off.

By all means demand our strongest 11; me personally, I would make a few tweaks with fresh legs: McNeil and Harrison, rested with Dobbin and Danjuma filling in out wide.

If Gomes is not in the plans, mad as it may seem, I would look to push Michael Keane just behind a striker. Laugh all you want, but I think Michael Keane could do a job just outside their penalty area… that's if Doucouré is still missing.

Paul Tran
36 Posted 03/01/2024 at 17:36:25
John #33,

Olise is injured and won't be playing.

Danny O’Neill
37 Posted 03/01/2024 at 17:40:24
I think it's a decision for the player and the manager, Brian.

I agree with you, I am a big fan of McNeil. Great delivery and not shy of a goal or two. Enjoys his football and gives everything regardless as to whether it comes off or not. You can also see he is popular with the other players.

Always difficult. We see many occasions, not just in football, but life, when faced with challenging situations we make decisions. For some, they need to step back. Others need to stay focussed.

I am sure that Dwight, with the support of his family and Everton, will make the decision that's best for him.

Paul Birmingham
38 Posted 03/01/2024 at 17:53:07
The mindset must be to win every game, and pick the best squad available to the manager.

More so, the current dynamic has seen Everton play very well in 3 out of 4 games, where they could easily have won 2 and at least drawn with Man City but bad fortune and cack officials and the VAR saw to it.

Wolves was an off day.

Rebuild momentum for a strong start to 2024, starting v Palace.

UTFTs!

Barry Hesketh
39 Posted 03/01/2024 at 18:29:58
Since Wigan won the FA Cup in 2013 by beating Manchester City, only Hull, Villa, Palace and Watford, from outside the group of Manchester City, Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal have made it to the final.

Leicester City did beat Chelsea to lift the FA Cup in 2021, the only time in the last five seasons that a club from outside of that select group has even made it to the final.

The last cup final that didn't have a team from that select group in the final was in 2008 when Portsmouth beat Cardiff City.

The odds on Everton lifting the trophy aloft in May are very much against it happening. It would be nice, it would be fantastic, but I suspect that one of the serial winners will in all likelihood be once again parading the trophy around Wembley.

Given that Spurs haven't appeared in a final since 1991, I'd put an imaginary fiver on them lifting the trophy in May, only because they are a half-decent team, and their manager is the type who might be able to steer that club through to the final.

During my time of watching Everton, unfashionable teams that have lifted the cup, include, Sunderland, West Ham (2) Southampton, Ipswich Town, Coventry, Wimbledon, Portsmouth, Wigan and Leicester City. So that equates to an 'unfashionable' team lifting the cup about once every 5 years, since 1973.

Since the formation of the Premier League that number increases to about a once in every 10 years event.

Romance of the cup? It doesn't exist, if it ever truly did.

Danny O’Neill
40 Posted 03/01/2024 at 19:44:13
Time to focus on who we've got and who walks on the pitch tomorrow, whoever they are.

For all the travelling Blue Army making the trip, safe travels and see you all there.

A terrible ground to get to. Especially for those on coaches.

Let's be loud and proud amongst the fake Italian ultras.

Remember Stoke. Open the dressing room windows, Sean Dyche.

Paul Kossoff
41 Posted 03/01/2024 at 23:03:00
Everton need to finish out of the relegation zone, and have new responsible owners.

You can keep the FA Cup… but it would be nice to win it though.

Eric Haworth
43 Posted 03/01/2024 at 23:21:28
Perhaps I should've posted this comment on the Dwight/Megan thread, but pinching my lads suggestion:

It would be nice if those of us at the game tomorrow could show him our support by giving him a round of applause on 7 minutes, whether he's playing or not, and irrespective of whether you're a fan of his or not, the man is a class human being and one of us.

Paul Birmingham
44 Posted 03/01/2024 at 23:45:11
Barry, that's the reality of the FA Cup.

35 years ago, Everton were in the top 5 of semi-finalists as history proves. Since then, Everton's FA Cup pedigree has slumped year on year.

But tomorrow, I believe Everton will get over this Beechers Brook in terms of a fence challenge and await the luck of the draw for the 4th Round.

Arsenal will see off Liverpool, providing they get an exorcism of their stadium before the match.

In 1981, Imre Varadi and Peter Eastoe beat Old Nick at the Old Lady, a great day in very difficult times for the club and communities – no one expected Everton to win.

Those were the days.

UTFTs!

Derek Knox
45 Posted 04/01/2024 at 04:28:17
Paul @ 44,

Wow there's two names from the past Imre Varadi and Peter Eastoe, a player who I admired greatly. He was a bit of an unsung non-glory hunter. His ability to control the ball wouldn't go amiss on some of our present players.

I know it's a different ball these days, but even so! By the way not sure if it has been mentioned but we are on ITV 4 tonight for our encounter with Palace.

COYB 💙💙👍

Paul Ferry
46 Posted 04/01/2024 at 05:35:18
Bobby Mallon @5,

I dare you to justify your attitude and that team to the thousands of us who will be at Selhurst Park, including good old Rob, who lay the mantle down. You won't, of course, because you don't have to.

It's dead easy online, isn't it?

Sam Hoare
47 Posted 04/01/2024 at 06:37:02
After tonight, we don't have another game for 10 days. I've no doubt Dyche will put out his strongest team, though of course if he thinks certain players are carrying knocks or simply have nothing left in the tank, then they may not constitute our strongest team.

Doucouré back would be a crucial lift as he enables us to play our strongest formation and his energy in the middle is hard to replace.

Big worry for me is the form of Calvert-Lewin. I predicted this season that, if he was mostly fit, he'd get 15 goals for us. He only has 4 so far, with only 3 in the league, from an xG of over 7 which simply put means he is not scoring nearly as many as he should.

His all-round game has also dropped off in the last few games. Not sure if it's a confidence thing or physical struggles but we need him to do better. Or Beto.

James Hughes
48 Posted 04/01/2024 at 07:05:26
Dyche has said he wants to win every game in his prezzer yesterday, so hopefully he has learnt his lesson and no Keane in the team tonight.

A good performance please to put to bed the dross from last weekend behind us.

COYB

Danny O’Neill
49 Posted 04/01/2024 at 08:31:37
Well put, Paul Ferry.

For the sceptics out there, think about how the FA Cup kick-started our season in early 1984 in what was previously a pretty grim situation.

Think how we felt in 1995 and we looked as if we could rise again, attracting Kanchelskis.

On to Selhurst Park. Have no fear, Everton. Kickstart the season and take that momentum into the league and next round.

Here we go.

I actually think there will be more than 4,000 of us there as Palace haven't sold out.

Paul Hewitt
50 Posted 04/01/2024 at 08:43:37
Well Palace are without 7 first team players. So am sure Bobby's team would win tonight.
Phillip Warrington
51 Posted 04/01/2024 at 09:01:52
They have 10 days to recover surely we have to put our strongest team out, maybe we should put more effort into better recovery structures for the players. Get a lucky cup run and just being in the final could put us in Europe.
Jerome Shields
52 Posted 04/01/2024 at 09:27:35
Dyche has not got the squad or players to win every game. He needs results and to prioritised the Premiership.Because of his selection and game management starting with the Fulham game he had lost 4 games in all competitions.

He is now in the position that he has to prioritise the Premiership. Where had he managed the four previous fixtures better he would have been in a different situation now.

Everton could be back in the relegation zone in January.

Rob Dolby
53 Posted 04/01/2024 at 09:40:39
Dyche has a chance to see how Beto and DCL can play together tonight maybe one dropping a bit deeper where doucoure has played.

I have seen enough of Gomes to know he doesn't do enough.Nice on the eye but not really effective at either end of the pitch.

I would also stick with Patterson, the lad needs minutes and a bit of confidence. The coaches should be working him hard on the training ground, his defensive work is child like at times but he is showing improvement.

Go there sit tight then grow into the game. We can't play expansive stuff.

Pickford
Patterson tarky jarred Myko
O'Neil Garner onana Harrison
Beto
DCL

Coyb.

Steve Dowdeswell
54 Posted 04/01/2024 at 10:08:21
I am torn with this between resting a few but still wanting to put out the strongest team we can.
I would like to see DCL and Beto on together with Beto playing a Doucure-esk role maybe.
That would give Chermiti a chance to come on at 60 minutes to give him game too.
I would say rest McNeil and Garner but can't think of any suitable replacement for either.
Would I use Keane this match - NO!

Like others I obviously am desperate for success in the league but should that come at a cost of possible success and revenue in the cup and further disappointment for travelling fans tonight? I don't think so myself...

Jack Convery
55 Posted 04/01/2024 at 10:22:49
If Godfrey and Gomes are not included tonight, then surely they are on their way out this month. The way Dyche spoke about Holgate yesterday suggests his days at EFC are also over. We need money and we need it quick. Unless Southampton can make a commitment to sign him permanently, we should bring him back and try and get £4m. at least for him. His contract is up next summer. Ben has 18 months left on his contract, so at least £12 - £15m should be the fee. Gomes can go for £4m to a Saudi team or Benfica. That's at least £20m in the coffers.

We can then get in a couple of loans, a freebie and a £5m signing, surely.

Brian Harrison
56 Posted 04/01/2024 at 10:23:50
I wonder if Dyche will give any of the fringe players any game time tonight. I don't think Dobbin has had any minutes since his goal a couple of weeks back, also I think Beto needs a run of games and maybe it would benefit DCL to be taken out of the firing line seeing as he is struggling for goals. Apart from Gomes, Garner and Onana he doesn't have many options in midfield, and I would imagine if Godfrey doesn't get a game then its possible the club will accept an offer for him.
Dave Abrahams
57 Posted 04/01/2024 at 10:30:09
I’ll be watching this game with mixed feelings, one eye on staying in the premier league and the other hoping for a win purely for the Everton fans at the game.

It could be a game with both teams holding players back with the Premier League more important to both clubs.

Jack Convery
58 Posted 04/01/2024 at 10:44:13
On another point: but for the 10 point deduction, we would be 4 wins and a couple of draws away from 40 points. Makes you think doesn't it ?
Niall McIlhone
59 Posted 04/01/2024 at 10:59:07
As I can't get to the game, my hope is that our travelling fans can get to Thornton Heath / Crystal Palace without too much delay, as London has been beset by transport nightmares since before Christmas.

My other hope is that whosoever pulls on the (grey?) jersey tonight knows what this means to the fans, and that they give their all, especially given the sacrifices our fans make to get to these god-awful places where there is little chance of getting home until the sun is rising in the East.

If we can somehow pull off a victory tonight, it would do wonders for our morale, players and fans alike. I really like the quote from Tarkowski, and although he needs a rest like several others, I feel he has become indispensable in our defence and hope Dyche plays him tonight.

Jim Bennings
60 Posted 04/01/2024 at 11:08:23
Obviously a big game.

The FA Cup should never been discarded lightly by a club that hasn't won a trophy for 28 years.

We can't worry about tiredness, they will have a 10-day rest before the Villa game after tonight so it's important that we apply ourselves in the right manner tonight.

Losing becomes a habit in the same way winning does, and a win tonight could just give everyone that timely shot in the arm after a few disappointing results. On the other side of the coin, a defeat brings more negative feelings.

Let's hope they can go out there and put in a big effort.

Geoff Lambert
61 Posted 04/01/2024 at 12:00:09
Jim, the poor little souls have done the equivalent of 12 hours work (playing football) in the last month… give them a break —
it must be exhausting for them.

Best team playing every match to win.

Andy Crooks
62 Posted 04/01/2024 at 12:02:21
John @34,

I think Dyche would have to have a brain like a watermelon to play Bobbie's team!

Colin Metcalfe
63 Posted 04/01/2024 at 12:16:13
Enough of this "We are going to sell players this month" – and with whom do you suggest we replace these players if we get a couple of injuries?

We have a threadbare squad as it is and selling the likes of Gomes and Godfrey just doesn't make sense.

Jim Bennings
64 Posted 04/01/2024 at 12:19:38
Geoff

My sentiments too.

I've never understood this tiredness excuse in football.

90 minutes when you are a normal fella playing as a hobby twice a week in between putting a shift in at work, fair enough, tiredness can be used.

But these are super fit athletes where everything they do, everywhere they go, is laid on a gold plate for them, they travel business class, they fly to venues in the UK for heaven's sake.

I can't imagine tiredness being a factor when we've had a 5-day break since Wolves and a 10-day break before Villa.

Ian Hollingworth
65 Posted 04/01/2024 at 12:41:20
Go to win or don't go at all.

I want Everton to progress in the FA Cup as much as I want them to stay in the Premier League.

Every game is key and we should aim to win as many as possible.

UTFT

Andy Crooks
66 Posted 04/01/2024 at 12:56:34
Geoff, I see your point. I've made that argument for years.

Then someone put up a case explaining (might have been Sam H or Robert T) the fatigue issues and I found it quite convincing.

However, I don't think that many of our players feel the same about our club as we do (kissing the badge is toe-curling). For us, Z-Cars and the shirt would banish tiredness.

Kevin Edward
67 Posted 04/01/2024 at 13:07:27
After the disappointment of the League Cup (I'm still seething about it), I want to see the strongest first team starting at Palace.

Going out of the FA Cup in the 3rd Round without a fight should not be an option so go to win the game; at the very least, do not lose. I believe we can do that and bounce back after the poor show at Wolves.

We need to see a performance, the fans deserve it, the Premier League need another reminder of who we are, and this cup final - trophy drought must be put behind us.

If this is a new improved Everton then I want to see it carry on past 4 January. UTT!

Jim Bennings
68 Posted 04/01/2024 at 13:20:58
Agree with the comments above.

To be eliminated from cup competition is not a good thing and we need to get away from the mindset that we are a club that can pass up the domestic cups when any hope of European football is not likely to be forthcoming by league position.

The Carabao Cup loss to Fulham last month initially really annoyed me, because it was a massive opportunity; yes, it would have taken a herculean effort to beat that lot over two legs but you never know unless you get to that stage.

Kevin Molloy
69 Posted 04/01/2024 at 13:35:57
You normally only rest players when they have another game as well in the next 3 days, but after tonight we've got an extended break, so unless Dyche is worried about exacerbating injuries, I expect he'll play his strongest team tonight.

Problem is we're knackered. That doesn't mean as pros they can't run around, but they'll be lacking that extra 5% (?) that 7 days rest gets you.

Dave Abrahams
70 Posted 04/01/2024 at 13:44:47
For those complaining about tiredness not being an issue, didn't any of you watch the Wolves game? It certainly was an issue from the start of the match.

I definitely don't want Doucouré risked tonight; has Gueye gone to the African Nations Cup? He is another I wouldn't risk tonight.

Geoff Lambert
71 Posted 04/01/2024 at 13:59:42
Wolves played 24th, 27th, 30th; we played 23rd, 27th, 30th. Did Wolves look tired?

Maybe it's the training making them tired? How about less chasing cones in the fastest time when we have a busy run of games, and more shooting, passing and defending practice.

Rob Hooton
72 Posted 04/01/2024 at 14:05:06
Strongest team please, we need a win after recent results and (currently) only have two more games to play in a whole month. There's plenty of time to rest after tonight.

I remember players being rested in the past, only for them to then get injured in training. If there's a risk for a player, then stick them on the bench or rest them. If you're fit, you're in.

Dave Abrahams
73 Posted 04/01/2024 at 14:05:27
Geoff (71),

Or maybe it is the small threadbare squad hit by two,or three injuries which showed how much we are depleted with even one injury, I don't want to risk any more injuries or bringing back players before they are ready.

Barry Hesketh
74 Posted 04/01/2024 at 14:13:11
Geoff @71,

What you say is true; however, Everton also had a Quarter-Final game against Fulham, which ended in disappointment on 19 December, plus the league games were away to Spurs and at home to Man City.

I think it's more to do with mental tiredness than physical tiredness, that causes the standards to dip during such busy periods. The Wolves manager asked for a delay of the Everton match and his team that faced the Blues on 30 December were inspired and motivated by the death of one of their teammate's parents.

It is a different story for Wolves, whose players paid tribute to the absent Mario Lemina by holding up the shirt of the midfielder who was missing following the death of his father. A show of togetherness from a team now closer to the top four than the bottom three. source: Sky Sports

Onana's penalty miss may have changed the season for Everton, in more ways than one.

Bill Gall
75 Posted 04/01/2024 at 14:15:28
There is no such thing in a fixture that it does not matter. These players and management are professionals and they are paid handsomely to perform as per their contracts.

To play a weakened team because you think the fixture is not worth giving 100% effort is a slap in the face to the supporters – especially to those traveling to the game. Winning regains confidence; losing gets a negative effect.

Living 4,000 miles away does not lower the emotions I get watching Everton play and I want them to win every game, and I want every player to be fully fit to play in every game.
I have booked a trip back home in April and can't wait to see them at Goodison Park.

James Marshall
76 Posted 04/01/2024 at 14:30:48
Gana's not fit and going to the Afcon next week anyway. Doucouré will be on the bench at best, the rest will be as you were.

I don't think there's anything to worry about regarding the players who play. I also don't really care if we go out of the cup – the league is the priority. If we go down, we're screwed.

Winning a cup would be nice but would do nothing for us financially.

Danny O’Neill
77 Posted 04/01/2024 at 14:37:16
Exactly that, Bill.

I'm on my way across to Selhurst Park to be amongst the 4,000.

I know there will be the likes of you and countless others watching from around the globe, some at ridiculous hours.

We only have to read the words of John Moores.

We are not travelling or waking up with the mindset of throwing the towel in.

Mark Murphy
78 Posted 04/01/2024 at 14:48:59
If Gana's not fit enough for Everton, the club shouldn't let him risk further injury by playing at Afcon.
Mihir Ambardekar
79 Posted 04/01/2024 at 14:57:00
I do not see us winning this one. We are on 4-match winless streak. In this we played very well against Tottenham and 1st half vs Man City but lost.

Apart from that we have been quite rubbish. We were totally pathetic against Wolves. We also have our injury woes.

Through this season there will be patches were we will win and play well and lose as well. At the end, our aim should be to finish as high as possible and keep distance from relegation.

John Raftery
80 Posted 04/01/2024 at 15:01:58
Mark (78),

Unfortunately we don't have that option. It's for the player to choose.

Ed Prytherch
81 Posted 04/01/2024 at 15:08:47
Injuries are more likely with tired muscles, especially with highly trained elite athletes.

It would be good if Dyche could use all of our allowed subs tonight.

Ed Prytherch
82 Posted 04/01/2024 at 15:11:06
Mark #78,

Can a club stop a player from representing his country?

Eddie Dunn
83 Posted 04/01/2024 at 15:17:43
We have to pick our best eleven.

They have 10 days off afterwards.

John Gall
84 Posted 04/01/2024 at 15:32:34
Bill #75 - I'm with you. Young men of extreme fitness and professionalism ought to be capable of 90 minutes of ultra commitment to the cause.

They have masseurs and dietary experts and people analysing their every emission, so they are pampered and prepared beyond belief.

And you're right about the fans and the emotions stirred when backing Everton. My dad, your namesake with whom you played table tennis in Clubmoor in the 1950s when you both probably had teddy boy quiffs and brothel creepers, is now basically housebound, but still in Liverpool L9, and his connection with and passion for Everton is undiminished.

He will be going mental tonight watching us on ITV, so come on Blues and give us a lift after that miserable Wolves game where we looked absolutely bloody terrible.

Brian Harrison
85 Posted 04/01/2024 at 15:42:28
As far as I understand the rules, if a player isn't fit to join up with his country after being selected, then he can't play for his club side till his country is knocked out of the Afcoon.

There was talk a few years back about Liverpool stopping Salah playing in the Afcon for Egypt, and the same rules would have applied as they do for an injured player that doesn't go to the tournament: any player selected who refuses to go or is injured and can't go, they still can't play till their country is knocked out.

Billy Shears
86 Posted 04/01/2024 at 16:24:57
It wouldn't surprise me if we draw tonight's game only to fuck up back at Goodison in the replay!

As for tonight's match... a 2-2 methinks.

Billy Shears
87 Posted 04/01/2024 at 16:40:37
Danny's post #8. Fucking nailed it, lad, go for both!

Our magnificent away support deserve a decent showing from our lads tonight, whoever is in our team. If not, before we know it, it'll be 30 years without silverware.

James Marshall
88 Posted 04/01/2024 at 16:54:25
Dyche said Gana is not fit for tonight but will go to the Afcon because he's been selected and wants to go.

His words, not mine.

You can't stop a player as far as I'm aware.

That's the same as stopping a player going to the Euros or the World Cup. Just because it's the Afcon, people seem to think it's meaningless and the club can do whatever they like to stop players going – it's not the case.

William Cartwright
89 Posted 04/01/2024 at 17:06:27
Possibly / probably off-topic, but have just been browsing the penalties for and against records thus far this season. No surprise really that Everton is the lowest in the former, being the only club thus far not to have been awarded a penalty. More surprising is that Everton is in the group of the highest for penalties against. . . . . . . on 5. Mmmmm. . . . Thats interesting. I'm not a statistician or expert in anything really, but the odds of being top of both lists simultaneously seem rather odd. Very suspiciously so.Especially given that the Mordor Residents' similar stats are almost the complete reversal. I have long since given up looking for a level playing field at any premier league club, but if one thing drives Everton into the Championship it will not be the points deduction penalty, but penalties of another sort. And yes, I am biased as every rabid supporter can be considered to be, but stats are generally neutral, aren't they? I fully expect a flurry of penalties to be awarded to Everton in the coming weeks and the reverse to happen in the season-end run-in.. . . . .
Bill Gall
90 Posted 04/01/2024 at 17:10:36
John Gall #84,

Hi, John, as I mentioned, I will be back in Liverpool for 2 weeks in April. If your name is in the phone book, I will try to reach you, I would like to meet your Dad.

Si Cooper
91 Posted 04/01/2024 at 17:18:32
We are going to need some squad rotation to get through this season anyway so I'd rather any fringe players are blooded in fixtures that won't actually effect whether we avoid relegation or not (I wish I could assume we get our points back but I don't think we can).

It's not about a weakened team or essentially throwing this game; just about giving any that need it a break whenever we can.

It's rubbish to say it's just about 90 minutes of effort. You can't separate these 90 minutes out of the cumulative effort already put in during the season in both games and training sessions. Sensible supporters will realise that. If this squad is decimated with 3 games to go and needing to win to avoid relegation then the complaints will all be about poor management.

I want effort and competition tonight, but if it is a starting 11 that reflects the main focus is on the league then I won't have any complaints if we don't prevail against useful (but patchy) opponents.

COYB!

Brian Wilkinson
92 Posted 04/01/2024 at 17:21:18
One of the main points here is the game is on a Thursday, hardly anytime for a rest period.

If this game was played Saturday or Sunday instead, I would fully back playing as near our strongest squad as possible being played.

I still stand by giving Coleman, Danjuma and Dobbin a start, along with Beto, with options on the bench if needed.

We simply cannot risk another key player picking up an injury, let some of the players recover from fatigue, at least then we have 10 days to be ready for the Villa game, or the very least bring a couple of loan signings in.

I fully understand there will be thousands attending the game, but we simply cannot risk not rotating to please us fans, it's not weakening the team, players like Coleman, Danjuma and Dobbin are experienced players, why not use our squad depth?

That's not throwing the towel in, or accepting going out of the cup; players given a chance have a point to prove. I would rather try a couple who will be working their socks off to make an impression, than someone who might be running on fumes after 25 minutes.

Rob Halligan
93 Posted 04/01/2024 at 17:26:06
Why do people have this theory that players can only get injured in cup games?

Just in case you didn't know, they can also get injured in league games and even in training. Strongest possible team is required tonight!

William Cartwright
94 Posted 04/01/2024 at 17:27:07
If Everton submits Bobby Mallon's team, Post #5 – a very interesting selection, by the way – they might just win.

However, they would likely be the first team – (I think?) to be fined, either financially if they lose, and probably eliminated if they were to win on the grounds of subversive activities.

Shit, I need therapy – this cynicism is killing my interest in football…

Andrew Ellams
95 Posted 04/01/2024 at 17:31:46
We haven't won an FA Cup game in London since the 1995 Final. 12 attempts since.
John Raftery
96 Posted 04/01/2024 at 17:36:54
Time to change that, Andrew.

We did win the penalty shootout at Stamford Bridge in 2011.

Andrew Ellams
97 Posted 04/01/2024 at 17:41:23
Very true John, on both points
Brian Wilkinson
98 Posted 04/01/2024 at 17:41:47
Pickford
Coleman, Tarkowski, Branthwaite, Mykolenko
Dobbin, Garner, Onana, Danjuma
Gomes
Beto

Nothing up with that team, with the likes of Calvert-Lewin, Harrison, McNeil, Patterson on the bench if needed.

Ian Bennett
99 Posted 04/01/2024 at 17:50:37
Pickford

Coleman
Branthwaite
Tarkowski
Mykolenko

Garner
Onana

Dobbin right
McNeil centre
Danjuma left

Beto

Subs: Gomes, Godfrey, Calvert-Lewin, Harrison, Keane can all come on for the last 30 minutes to give breathers.

Will Mabon
100 Posted 04/01/2024 at 17:50:43
I'm sure all those not bothered about the cups or worrying about injuries will not be watching or listening this evening. Nor would they watch were we to reach a final.
Dave Cashen
101 Posted 04/01/2024 at 17:59:06
Rob Halligan @93,

Absolutely spot on. Dyche must play what he feels is his strongest possible team. Anything else will be a slap in the face to those of us who have waited patiently for 29 years.

It will be more like a punch in the face for younger Blues who have never seen their team lift a trophy.

Paul Kossoff
102 Posted 04/01/2024 at 18:01:00
Someone should remind Dyche and the team that they have a 10-day rest after this game, play the strongest side, win then have a rest.

Jesus, it's a game of football that apparently they are trained and paid handsomely to compete in, it's not a trek across the bleeding Sahara — enough of the mollycoddling already!!!

Brian Wilkinson
103 Posted 04/01/2024 at 18:04:59
Will, not sure who you are referring to about not bothered about the cup, I am sure all fans are bothered about the cup.

On my side of things I am simply suggesting using the squad depth, bring in Coleman, Dobbin, Danjuma and Beto, make use of fresh legs and players pushing for a start, you can still make subs with a strong bench.

But if those brought in do a job, then why risk key players starting.

We looked tired in the Fulham cup game later on, to be honest, why not try some fresh legs, if anything happens to McNeil, Harrison or Calvert-Lewin, they would be the players to bring in for our next league game anyway.

I just do not get people thinking people are not bothered about the cup, of course they are.

It's just the fact we have to play this game 2 days earlier normally than we would have to play, the extra 2 days would have given us at least a fair crack, for me the game has come around too early and game management will hopefully come into play tonight.

Paul, yes, there is a 10-day rest after this, the problem lies with a fifth game on such a short turnaround and having to play 2 days earlier than we normally would play a 3rd Round tie.

Joe McMahon
104 Posted 04/01/2024 at 18:05:25
Fully agree, Paul, or a 18-hour shift on a farm or A&E.
James Marshall
105 Posted 04/01/2024 at 18:09:55
Of course I'll watch tonight and of course I'll watch a final (I was at Wembley in 89 and 2009) if we made it.

When I say I'm not bothered about cups, it's in the context of staying in the Premier League over winning a cup.

Danny Baily
106 Posted 04/01/2024 at 18:13:58
Nothing wrong with rotating the squad a bit. As long as it's set up to win.
Barry Rathbone
107 Posted 04/01/2024 at 18:15:03
Wenger made replacing the first team with squad players for cup competitions popular years ago but it's conveniently forgotten his reserves were better than most Premier League first elevens.

Managers with crap squads have jumped on the bandwagon enjoying the shot to nothing opportunity it presents. A win sees them basking in the false light of genius a loss doesn't matter – it was only cup.

It's where I feel totally removed from the game because I'd give an organ to see us to win a cup at Wembley again.

Anthony Dove
108 Posted 04/01/2024 at 18:19:53
Does anyone really believe players and supporters will feel better if we put out a weakened team tonight and go out of the cup at the first stage?

I actually think we will struggle even with a full-strength team, but will have no chance with a load of reserves.

Eddie Dunn
109 Posted 04/01/2024 at 18:25:38
William @89,

I would think that, as we have less possession than the opposition in most games, then naturally we will be more likely to concede penalties.

As we have so little possession, we are also less likely to be awarded them.

We are also near the top of "shots blocked", ditto hands being hit and own goals being deflected in.

Andrew Keatley
110 Posted 04/01/2024 at 18:25:50
Andrew (95),

We also won the 2009 Wembley Semi-Final vs Man Utd (on penalties). Maybe we can only win penalty shoot-outs if they are in London…

Si Cooper
111 Posted 04/01/2024 at 18:37:01
Barry, if you have a ‘crap squad’ when should you play the ‘crap’ players? And no, you cannot presume ‘never’ is a realistic option.

You feel removed from the game because you can’t understand the reasoning behind husbanding limited resources?

No one is ever going to ask you to donate any part of your body to magic a trophy for EFC. My organs are reserved for saving people’s lives. Everton can trade them for silverware when I’ve finished with them and if no one needs them.

Jim Lloyd
112 Posted 04/01/2024 at 18:42:40
To me, it's not a matter of not being bothered about the FA Cup.

I was lucky enough to go to every round in '66 and it was magic. I know everyone who has ever been to a final understands that.

This season, I don't believe it is a matter of not being bothered. This season, we've been docked 10 points and we don't know if we'll get any back, and if so, when, or how many.

Would I feel better if we go out tonight? What I'll feel is a huge sense of relief if we get no injuries, and no yellow or red cards.

It's all about priorities to me. Someone has posted "Would we feel better if we go out tonight, if we put out a weakened team?" I don't know about 'better'. I'll feel relieved if we go out and have a full squad available for the next Premier League match.

The priority is to have as many players available for the next league match, not the cup.

We have a tiny squad, with not much in the way of swapping around if injuries or suspensions hit.

I want to see us have every chance possible to go to the new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock while we are still in the Premier League.

Will Mabon
113 Posted 04/01/2024 at 18:48:55
Brian,

It wasn't aimed at any particular individual or I would've addressed them. Quite honestly, I hadn't read the whole thread when I posted; no need.

It just gets a bit old to read it every time there's a cup tie. Of course we're low in the table, of course there's a chance of injury.

Imagine we got to semi-final stage and then fielded a weakened team due to fighting in the table. I wonder how that would fly. Not that I'd want to do a Wigan, but...

As Barry above alludes, I guess it all comes down to one's view between business-esque resource management versus sport. I just see it as, we're in the FA Cup.

Will Mabon
114 Posted 04/01/2024 at 19:01:15
Jim,

yYou're right about the 10 points (however the penalty finally plays out) but our magical 4-game Fuck-You response has left us with a workable chance. :-)

Si Cooper
115 Posted 04/01/2024 at 19:08:22
Will (113), do you not think there is anything different about the circumstances this particular season?

No previous season have I been in favour of perhaps dialling it down a bit in the Cup competitions.

I’d consider it professionalism for a professional sports club to be run with more attention to resource management than you’d get in Sunday league or a knockabout with your work colleagues.

I’m not sure why you are clinging to Barry’s point of view. He is never going to be asked to trade one of his organs for any Everton victory and we all know it.

Is that a winking smiley face at the end of your other post? Even kids will have worked out by now that, despite the media announcements, you cannot wipe out a points deficit simply by winning games. You are still 10 points less well off (and currently just above relegation places).

UTFT!


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