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Manchester United vs Everton Preview

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Everton make the short journey to Old Trafford looking to bounce back from a disappointing derby defeat at Liverpool.

Everton have played two games more at this stage of the campaign, but an away win would be enough to see Everton at least temporarily move into fifth spot.

Team news

Morgan Schneiderlin will be denied an Old Trafford return as he struggles to overcome a calf problem, with Gareth Barry and Kevin Mirallas tipped to start after both coming off the bench against Liverpool.

Injuries to Ramiro Funes Mori and Seamus Coleman have depleted Koeman’s options in defence, while James McCarthy and Yannick Bolasie remain on the sidelines and Ronald Koeman also ruled out Aaron Lennon.

“We will have the same players available as last weekend. Morgan is doing really well. I think he can be available for the Leicester game, but not for Manchester United.

“It is the same for Lennon. He is not in a physical way to be part of the team tomorrow.”

Man United welcome Zlatan Ibrahimovic back into the fold at Old Trafford, with the experienced Swede now having served his four-match suspension. Ander Herrera, meanwhile, is also back from suspension and is expected to be handed an immediate return to the XI.

Paul Pogba is also expected to feature after overcoming the hamstring problem that he picked up last month, while Marouane Fellaini’s impressive recent form should see the Belgian handed another starting role.

Marcus Rashford was criticised following the goalless draw with West Brom and could drop out, but Anthony Martial and Henrikh Mkhitaryan are expected to continue in the final third, joining Ibrahimovic in a three-pronged attack.

Chris Smalling and Phil Jones remain on the sidelines with long-term injuries, however, while Juan Mata is expected to miss the remainder of the season after being forced to undergo groin surgery.

Luke Shaw is also expected to be left out of the matchday squad once again after Mourinho questioned the defender’s commitment to the club in a scathing interview at the weekend.

View from Manchester United Fan @AlexShawESPN

Everton at Old Trafford conjures chilling memories of that 4-4 draw back in 2012 that was a killer blow to United’s title hopes. Nice one, Moyesie
United have been a laughing stock since Fergie retired. He must have made a pact with the devil or something, because everything that was so good about his teams seemed to evaporate upon retirement.

Everton have been troublesome opposition in the intervening years, winning at Old Trafford (nice one, Moyesie) in 2013 as well as handing out a beating at Goodison before Fergie’s wretched mistake was axed.

I like Everton. We share a common enemy in That Lot from across Stanley Park and United have been good to the Blues in the past. Wouldn’t be surprised to see you go for Luke Shaw in the summer either, as Baines isn’t getting younger.

Jesus Christ, Joel Robles what are you doing? He was an utter mess in the derby, but sod’s law dictates he’ll have a stormer on Tuesday. United don’t create much and are crap at finishing, so more dirge is likely.

Zlatan is back from his ban and Pogba may feature. It’s weird how so many people want to dig Pogba out — he’s largely been fine this season in all honesty. But granted, he needs to put his mark on a game against a big team. Tuesday would be a good time to start.

Discuss in our community

The post Manchester United vs Everton Preview appeared first on GrandOldTeam.

Davies Agrees New Deal

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Tom Davies has agreed a new five-year deal with Everton until the end of June 2022.

Davies: “It means everything to me to get a chance to be in the Everton first team and to try to stay there. It’s an unbelievable feeling.

“Everton has a long tradition of bringing young players through and the incentive has always been there for me to try to progress with the Club.

“I used to look at Mikel Arteta and aspire to be out there playing alongside my heroes and, obviously, Wayne Rooney and Ross Barkley who came through the Academy here, too, have been inspirational figures for me.

“Hopefully, young players in the Academy now can see how I have been able to progress and make my way to the Everton first team, just as Matty, Callum, Kieran and Jonjoe have also done, but we all know that the hard work doesn’t stop because we want to be part of taking the Club to the next level as well.

“We’ve had some big results this season and we’re fighting for a European place in the Premier League and we want to help get Everton to where the Club needs to be and where the supporters want us to be.

“People like David Unsworth have been great in helping me and other players to develop our game and become Everton players and it’s a privilege to be playing under this manager with everything he’s done and achieved in the game. I’m learning more and improving every day and I’m delighted to have been given this opportunity by the Club.”

Discuss in our community

The post Davies Agrees New Deal appeared first on GrandOldTeam.

Everton need to lose that defeatist mentality

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Another Anfield derby, another bottle job by the Blues.

The 228th Merseyside showdown ended in an easy win for our lovable neighbours.

Not the first time.

No wins against the Reds in seven painfully long years. Worse still, the wait for a victory at their place adds up to a humiliating 18 years.

Makes you ask the question, is there a losers’ mentality deeply embedded in this football club?

Our wait for a win away at the Premier League’s current top six is truly diabolical.

Chelsea dates back to 1994. Arsenal, 1996. Liverpool, 1999. Spurs, 2008. Manchester City, 2010. Manchester United, 2013 – after a 21 year wait for a triumph at Old Trafford before the 1-0 success over a depleted David Moyes side.

Not to mention the 22 year trophy drought.

It doesn’t seem to matter what set of players take the field and what manager is instructing the boys in blue, they crumble in the big games.

Horrible as it is, it’s a fact. And boy does it hurt.

Something is fundamentally wrong with the mindset of this club. This was never more evident than in the build up to the latest miserable demolition job at Anfield.

Club captain, Phil Jagielka, was interviewed before the clash, expressing how we could hopefully go to Anfield and get a ‘positive’ result whereas on the other side of Stanley Park you had Philippe Coutinho saying how it is imperative that Liverpool win the derby, not worrying about our current run of form. Only winning.

Jamie Carragher, in an interview with GrandOldTeamTV, publicly embarrassed senior pros past and present at Everton when he exposed players such as Leighton Baines, Leon Osman and Tony Hibbert for being nice and friendly on derby day.

What do you make to this?

Full interview;

PART 1: https://t.co/apcTXj85YE
PART 2: https://t.co/ybRBPZ37PK pic.twitter.com/9evQncw0Tj

— GrandOldTeam (@grandoldteam) March 28, 2017

The suggestion was they behaved like the game was already lost even before kick off.

Ronald Koeman’s Martinez-esque ‘performance didn’t reflect the result’ comments on Saturday was not the biggest confidence booster – but he’s the man to make Everton the winners we want them to be, I’m sure of it.

With Farhad Moshiri’s backing, getting rid of the losers on and off the pitch has to be the main priority.

The current record is not good enough and serious change is needed. Quickly.

The boys of L4 can’t expect to break into to that coveted top 4 or win any trophies until the mentality changes.

We might have money, plans for a glorious new stadium and new signings – but until we start turning over the top six, starting with Liverpool, the city, or trophies, will never be ours

The post Everton need to lose that defeatist mentality appeared first on GrandOldTeam.

Out on Loan – EFC’s Younger Players 02.04.17

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atrottel provides his weekly round up of Everton players out on loan.

Callum Connolly again played a full match and had a couple of efforts on goal in a not unexpected 1-2 defeat for Wigan Athletic at Newcastle United.

Calum Dyson yet again had a hard-working but lonely game on his own up front in the bad 1-5 home defeat for Grimsby Town against Doncaster Rovers.

Anthony Evans came on for the last 10 minutes or so of Morecambe’s 1-2 away defeat to Cheltenham.

A host of loan players weren’t picked in their squads for various reasons or did not get off the bench:
Brendan Galloway (WBA – not in squad)
Russell Griffiths (Motherwell – unused sub)
Gethin Jones (Barnsley – illness)
Tyias Browning (Preston – knee injury)
Conor Grant (Doncaster – groin injury)
Shani Tarashaj (Frankfurt – not in squad)

The post Out on Loan – EFC’s Younger Players 02.04.17 appeared first on GrandOldTeam.

FANS EMAILS: Liverpool 3-1 Everton

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We started the game with umpteen injuries to key players yet with a youthful starting line up.

Thoughts on the team? COYB!!! #MerseysideDerby pic.twitter.com/glHMzb4ZEy

— GrandOldTeam (@grandoldteam) April 1, 2017

And what did you expect from the start? Mane put Liverpool ahead within minutes of kick off. Bad defending (although Holgate looked decent), and Pennington in a bit of a baptism of fire, needing guidance from the two more experienced defenders, which he sadly didn’t get.

He did however, get a goal to equalise for us in our first real attacking chance. Well in lad. Not that we were level for long – a goal from Coutinho put them ahead again.

No changes at half time, and we saw a slightly better showing at first, but it was not enough. Origi made it 3-1 to Liverpool and that was how it stayed despite Everton’s best efforts to let Liverpool win by a larger margin.

Even after the introduction of Mirallas, Barry and Valencia, there will be no MOTM for me today. In mean that as no disrespect to the young lads, but something has got to change against these.

The zero desire shown is not the Everton I recognise.

The post FANS EMAILS: Liverpool 3-1 Everton appeared first on GrandOldTeam.

“We are aware of what it means”

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Everton fitness coach Jan Kluitenberg reckons he has a good handle on what the Merseyside Derby means to fans.

Speaking to evertonfc.com, Kluitenberg said: “This derby is amazing. You can read a lot, you can watch it on television – but when you’re really involved in Everton, you know this is the most important game of the season. Of course, the coaching staff and I try to prepare the players for what is a big challenge. I know the players will do everything they possibly can to get a good result.

Kluitenberg worked with Ronald Koeman at Benfica during the 2005/06 season, with Benfica recording a double over arch-rivals Porto, including a first away win for more than 14 years.

“It’s intense. We experienced the Benfica-Porto derby twice, but I have to say this is more intense than we’ve had before.

“The Portuguese derby, we won two times in 14 years so that was a great result. Southern European people are excited about their derby but sometimes it looks like it’s more intense when you’re outside of the stadium, compared to when you’re inside it. Here it is on a higher level. There are two big teams on Merseyside and we are aware of what it means.”

Discuss in our community

The post “We are aware of what it means” appeared first on GrandOldTeam.

Carragher: Everton expect to lose derbies

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We sent Adam to Anfield last week to talk to Jamie Carragher about the derby.

Within a candid interview (Part 1 here, part 2 here) Carragher admits that Ronald Koeman’s Everton are increasingly becoming a force to be reckoned with on Merseyside and that Liverpool should be wary but he reckons Koeman has a job on to change the mentality of Everton.

Carragher: “A big thing for Koeman is he’s got to change the mentality of the club, the players and even the supporters, in terms of derby games…I think Everton go into the derby game expecting to lose – I think the players do. There’s that feeling: ‘Oh we can’t beat Liverpool because the referee will give them something…’, there’s that negative mentality.

“Just a little thing. When you shake hands before the game, I’d be like a lunatic, steam coming out of my ears, wanting to [international sign for get stuck in], and the [Everton] players would be saying hello and ‘Hiya Carra!’ I’d be thinking, the games kicking off in a minute, why are you even saying my name? Why are you even speaking to me?

“I wasn’t saying ‘Alright Ossie’ or ‘Alright Hibbo’ or ‘Alright Leighton’, I was like…I already thought we had the advantage. It’s like a boxer coming out and wanting to shake hands with other boxer, and it’s like ‘No! I wanna punch ya!”

“I never felt that they were as aggressive or as nasty as us – in the nicest possible way – about winning those games. I always felt we had the advantage mentally and physically…I always felt that was strange.”

What do you make to this?

Full interview;

PART 1: https://t.co/apcTXj85YE
PART 2: https://t.co/ybRBPZ37PK pic.twitter.com/9evQncw0Tj

— GrandOldTeam (@grandoldteam) March 28, 2017

Liverpool v Everton: Merseyside Derby Preview

The post Carragher: Everton expect to lose derbies appeared first on GrandOldTeam.

Dear Gareth Southgate, What More Does Ross Barkley Have to Do?

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Seriously, what more does Ross Barkley have to do to get on the pitch for England? Since January 15th, Barkley has assisted five goals whilst scoring once in nine appearances – a solid effort to say the least. If you look past the statistics and focus primarily on his own individual performances, it is even more difficult to justify his exclusion. Sugar-coat it whichever way you want, it is time for Barkley to be given a chance in England’s starting line-up.

It wasn’t a huge surprise to see Barkley like a recent relevant tweet; most footballers would be frustrated if they were snubbed seven times in a row. At the end of the day, the Everton man is human and he is well within his rights to express frustration at a lack of game time. Southgate has taken charge of six England matches since his appointment but he is yet to give Barkley the chance to prove his worth on the international stage.

Tottenham’s Dele Alli is a top talent but Barkley is more than capable of doing his job just as well, if not more effectively. According to WhoScored, Barkley has completed 82.7% of his passes in 2190 minutes of top flight football this season; Alli has a 79.7% success rate in 2168 minutes. In addition, his physicality should give him an edge. On average, Barkley wins 1.3 aerial battles per game whilst Alli has just 0.3.

For Everton, Barkley has been a revelation this campaign after last season’s struggles. The 23-year-old has a lot to learn but Ronald Koeman has found a way to get the most out of his young star and Everton certainly wouldn’t be challenging for a top-six finish without his presence in midfield. It won’t be easy but the Toffees, priced at 5/1 in bet365’s Premier League betting odds to achieve the feat, could break the top flight monopoly this campaign.

Ross Barkley vs QPR

Barkley was once labelled as England’s brightest talent but comparisons to Wayne Rooney have indirectly hindered his progress on the big stage. The added pressure to emulate Rooney affected his confidence but he appears to have regained his mojo and Barkley is back to his brilliant best. At club level, the Everton star is a beast and Koeman will do his utmost to tie the youngster down to a new deal before the end of the campaign.

At just 23 years old, Barkley has time on his side. He has been one of the best players in the top flight since the turn of the calendar year and Everton have lost just once in nine games since his resurgence back to form. WhoScored’s ratings show that Barkley has been given a score of less than 7.00 just once during the same spell and Southgate would do well to consider the Toffees man ahead of England’s next international fixture.

Getting into the squad hasn’t been a problem for Barkley but earning a spot in Southgate’s side has. The best way for the Everton man to change the national side manager’s view is by continuing to play at his best, assisting lots of goals whilst chipping in with the odd strike here and there. Then, and only then, will Southgate realise what England have been missing out on.

The post Dear Gareth Southgate, What More Does Ross Barkley Have to Do? appeared first on GrandOldTeam.

Liverpool v Everton: Merseyside Derby Preview

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“Pessimism of the intellect, Optimism of the will”
Antonio Gramsci in Prison Notebooks

The bi-annual occurrence of the Merseyside Derby has become for Evertonian’s at least an exercise in routine humiliation. It is often remarked that there are 3 ways to approach a football match (or any other contest), hoping to win, expecting to win or expecting to lose. Over the last 15 years we have slowly learned to expect to lose. Rather than seeing the derby as a big game, an opportunity to restore local pride, cause an upset (a cup final as you were) it is now a game many Evertonian’s could rather do without. As the initial quote elucidates, we need to be somber and pessimistic about what’s gone before but be open to the possibility improvement can come.

As I watched Liverpool score the winner in the season’s earlier derby I felt no overwhelming feelings of anger, dejection or unease only inevitability. We lose derbies. Seemingly however well we are playing or how poorly they are playing we still lose derbies. The fixture in December didn’t fit those criteria yet even a barnstorming performance and result against high flying Arsenal couldn’t translate to the derby as it has done in the 3 months that followed it. Coincidence? Well quite possibly in isolation, yet over the last decade or so there have been too many subsequent occasions for it to merely be a coincidence.

Watching us go deeper and deeper in the last 15 minutes of the game, and having an acute sense that a sucker punch was coming has become a learnt behavior and a behavior that is a result of a prolonged period of losing in derbies. Yet this wasn’t always my experience. It is my own belief that experiences in childhood play an incredibly central role in formulating the life choices and personality we have as adults. The same is true for football. Your experiences of initially following your team will shape how you view them. These years are normally between 5/6-11.

My introductory years of supporting Everton were between around 1994-2000. Looking back 3 thinks stick out of that time:

1) we were awful and were going to be relegated.
2) we won a cup.
3) however bad we were we didn’t lose to Liverpool.

While everyone’s introduction to their team tends to be fraught, exciting and chaotic there was something unique in the 90’s over and beyond the standard ups and downs of supporting a team. My initiation began with Everton needed 2 goals in 25 minutes to stay up, travelled through a cup win and European qualification, back to annual relegation dog fights in 97, 98 & 99. This provided a very unique experience, one which someone even 5 years older or younger would not replicate (the former experiencing the slow decline of a Championship winning team, the later the monotonous drive to security under Smith & Moyes) in their introductory years.

For the purpose of a Derby preview though, I was blessed with not losing them in that period. Joe Royle never lost a derby (and never looked like losing one). Neither did Kendall Mk3. No matter how bad we were (94 & 97 come to mind, when we bottom of the league cut adrift while they were in the top 3) we ran out convincing winners. We went the entirety of the 90’s without losing a home Derby. In my final year of Primary school we lost and much like my education would never look the same, neither too would results in derbies.

Some reading will undoubtedly point out of successive spell without a defeat was 5 years and we have suffered 15 years of having a poor spell. It has taken a lot more bad years to finally overcome the in built arrogance I had that we would turn up and win against Liverpool. I put that down to me being primarily an optimist but also in the relativity of time. 5 years when you are 7 feels a lot different to 5 years when you are 27. Consider how recent something 6 years ago felt, then balance that against what the entirety of your time in Primary Education felt. The same time exists, yet people’s experiences of this differ.

Pessimism of the intellect? This Liverpool team is a very good team. Perhaps not to the degree of eulogizing sections of the media (or the ex Liverpool players) would have you believe but it remains a team on course to get 70+ points which is the mark of a good side. More specifically it is a side that has excelled in taking points against side in and around them. So far they have not lost to anybody in the top 7 and as our loveable neighbors are keen to tell us, they have won the top 7 league this season. While we shouldn’t point fall into the trap of considering this a real award to be substituted for an actual trophy (in lieu of supposed “European royalty” hurtling towards 30 years without winning a league) it is an important statistic. It shows us that if you are in the top 7, your hardest game this season will be Liverpool.

It’s easy to see why this situation has arisen. In his early briefing notes on strategy Klopp noted he would “drag sides down to our level before beating them”. Whilst at Dortmund, Mainz and now Liverpool he has reveled in being the underdog. Like Everton it is clear Liverpool players and fans revel in this role. There is something inherent in Scousers that when the chips are down rather than turning away, people re-double their efforts. That seeps into both clubs. Yet like Everton they do look uneasy with the favourites tag.

Klopps tactics reflect this mindset. His game plan could be simplified into one word: “run” if you were to use 3 they would be: “press, tackle & intercept”. All of them are about making life more difficult for opposition players. When it has worked well it has been a frightening sight for opposing teams. Arsenal and Spurs were recently blown away by the high press. Last season Manchester City, Chelsea, Dortmund and Villareal had completely lost their heads under the well executed strategy of Klopp’s Liverpool. For Koeman he must look to Mourinho’s United, who stifled Liverpool to a 0-0 as the best way to prevent such a head of steam being built up. He approached the game as Burnley, Swansea, Wolves or Plymouth did and was rewarded accordingly. While Liverpool excel at “heavy metal football” there is a nagging doubt about a lack of guile in such games.

The good form shown is not just a tactical question though, it is at least in part down to a strong mentality that exists with the squad of Liverpool, a squad which I maintain on paper is no stronger than our own. They haven’t a goal scorer as good as Lukaku. Their goalkeepers are not as consistent. Our full backs are better and Ross Barkley is the most natural talented midfielder from either team. They have eeked more consistency from their mercurial stars (Coutinho, Lallana & Mane) compare to Mirallas & Deulofeu, but that loosely links to the point I’ll make. The key differential between the squads does not lie in ability or technique but in mentality and ability to produce big performances under pressure. Lallana, Milner, Wijnaldum and Henderson are all leaders. Firmino while unspectacular is very adept at pressing defenders from teams who want to play out. These lads drag the others through and ensure they left their game for the big matches. Whereas we freeze, they rise.

As if this is not enough, for Everton the preparation has been far from ideal. The loss of Coleman as he was showing his most consistent form for at least 4 seasons is a body blow (when we talk about mentality he is one of the few for us who has “it”). Schneiderlin pulling up injured and no McCarthy means the possibility of Barry, which given the power and fitness of Liverpool midfielders would likely overwhelm Everton. His introduction was a key factor in the Goodison Derby defeat, preventing Everton from being able to play at the required intensity.

Optimism of the will? In spite of the difficulties highlighted it is crucial we don’t lose site of possibilities we face. As I stated at the start of the article, sequences do end, and opportunities to build ones own record of wins are presented to football teams. Everton’s good form in the 90’s came off the back of turning around a record against a side who were the bets club side in the world over a 20 year period. This is a good Liverpool team, yet it is a long way from those sides we faced.

We also have everything to gain from this fixture. We have to start changing the way we view derbies. That is not necessarily going from expected to lose to expecting to win (though that would be a great help) but viewing it as just another game to get where we want to be. Being able to avoid being bogged down in negativity is an essential trait of any successful dynasty. I am reminded of Cruyff who on arriving at Barcelona said they had to re-jig their attitude towards the al powerful Madrid (which he labeled Madriditis). It led to a victim mentality and ultimately victims will never be successful.

You sense Moshiri is on board with this idea, and his first disciple Ronald Koeman is himself a protégé of Cruyff and learned with him at Ajax. Koeman is a winner and will not be cowered by 18 years of failure at Anfield. He may not win at Anfield on Saturday, but he will change the way we approach the fixture. Even an adversity he doesn’t deflect from the core idea that you take responsibility and control what you have control over. On the recent Lukaku episode he was almost blasé in his retort that he hopes he will stay but it’s up to the player. When comparing that to the huge negativity that surrounded players leaving under Moyes and the voluntaristic optimism that Martinez presented (but ultimately could not keep too) it is a refreshing third way position. Everton’s job is to compete for trophies, keeping Lukaku will help us greatly however if he goes we will get others in.

For Koeman you feel the next two games will go a long way to finalizing how he feels about players. So far the season has been a success (relative from were we have come from) but he is not going to want to stop at 6th or 7th. As he said at his first press conference “I left (Southampton) because I don’t just want to finish 6th”. The impending top 7 finish feels like the first step on the journey under Koeman, as opposed to the end point for Moyes. He will learn more about his players on Saturday than he did in the 10 game unbeaten run that came in the New Year. If we want to get to where Koeman wants to get too, we need to go to grounds like Anfield and Old Trafford while giving a good account of ourselves. On Saturday we get to test who can deliver under pressure, which is a crucial skill only learnt in high pressure situations.

I have always curiously held Gramsci’s statement of “pessimism of the intellect, optimism of the will” as embryonic of a much wider world view than he intended when he wrote it from the prison cell of Mussolini’s Fascist Italy. It was the reflections of a man who had lost his liberty and saw no need to sugar coat this, yet never lost faith of opportunities that could arise. Even in the most pessimistic situation there are ways to look forward positively remains a key idea that would benefit Everton’s outlook on the derby, and probably more broadly than that.

In the face of this seasons gruesome derby record and the strength Liverpool’s form against the top 7 there should be an understanding the task facing Everton is enormous. Yet on Saturday opportunity awaits. We can close the gap to 3 points against a side who at the turn of the year had 14 points on us. Do this and heads will falls off at Anfield while you sense it could be the making of Koeman’s young Everton team.

Discuss in our community

The post Liverpool v Everton: Merseyside Derby Preview appeared first on GrandOldTeam.

GrandOldTeam Meets Jamie Carragher – (Part 2)

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Adam recently went to Anfield to speak to Jamie about a whole host of different Everton related topics.

If you haven’t watched it already, you can see their first discussion here. In part 2, Adam starts by giving Carragher a few presents (one of them doesn’t go down too well…) and the pair go on to talk about previous derby meetings, Duncan Ferguson and predictions for the coming encounter on April 1st.

Leave your comments below, remember to like, subscribe (if you haven’t already), and share.

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The post GrandOldTeam Meets Jamie Carragher – (Part 2) appeared first on GrandOldTeam.

Who and what should the blues be looking at?

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With four of the PL top six contesting the FA Cup semi-finals, and Manchester United already the EFL Cup winner, seventh place will guarantee European football next season.

Everton, seven points clear of closest rivals West Brom, are in pole position to fill that slot.

With European football comes greater demands, least of all a large squad full of top quality – something the Blues are lacking at the moment.

Goalkeeper

England’s No1, Joe Hart, has been linked with Everton ever since Pep Guardiola dumped the two time Premier League champion.

He is a top shot stopper but like most keepers, has his blood rush to the head moments. Certainly one Ronald Koeman could look at once his loan move at Torino has expired.

Two more English ‘keepers under the spotlight are Fraser Forster, a former player under Koeman at Southampton.

And then there’s Jack Butland, a target whilst at Birmingham. The injury prone 23 year old has a massive future once he shakes off his fitness issues.

Left Back

Leighton Baines isn’t getting any younger and niggling injuries over the past few seasons aren’t a great sign for the England ace.

With no back up after Bryan Oviedo’s exit and Brendan Galloway’s pointless benchwarming stint at The Hawthorns it’s time to think about the future.

Young Ben Chilwell of Leicester and Scotland international Andrew Robertson of Hull fit the bill.

Right Back

Seamus Coleman’s devastating broken leg leaves a monumental gap at right back. The club’s youth system is filled with right backs so is it time to give Mason Holgate a run? Under 23 skipper

Jonjoe Kenny is a right full back, as well as loan trio Tyias Browning, Callum Connolly and Gethin Jones.

Is it time for the kids to step up and shine or do the blues have to invest?

Centre Half

Burnley’s Michael Keane has proved himself a real talent, recognised by him receiving his first England cap. The former Manchester United youngster is the perfect fit to replace an ageing Phil Jagielka.

Of course, the dream is Dutch international Virgil van Dijk, another former Koeman player. VvD is arguably the best centre back in the league so it would be a massive task to win him over any Champions League suitors.

Left Midfield

The left hand side has been a huge problem since Steven Pienaar’s exit. The club haven’t managed to find a replacement but it was never going to be easy.
Has anyone caught your eye who could do a job like the South African?

Attacking Midfielder

Competition for Ross Barkley’s place in the side is minimal if at all. This I feel, is a large contribution to inconsistent and poor spells that have plagued his Everton career so far.

Wayne Rooney is a name never too far away from Everton’s on the back pages.

Man United’s all time leading goalscorer’s time at Old Trafford is up and he is ready for one last hurrah.

The captain of England has looked a little stale over the past few seasons so maybe a change will lift him.

Gylfi Sigurdsson, the Premier League’s top assist maker – in a truly abysmal Swansea side – is the one Koeman surely has his eyes on.

A set piece specialist and eight league goals to his name this campaign, he’s the perfect candidate, even maybe to fill that troublesome left hand side slot.

Striker

Enner Valencia, Arouna Koné and youngsters Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Ademola Lookman join Romelu Lukaku as the L4 striking power.

They may have 26 goals between them in the league but 21 have came from Lukaku. Not great, is it?

Finding a striker who can bag 15/20 goals a term as well as the big man is an enormous ask. The Toffees cannot rely on one man to score all their goals forever, and of course, he may be off sooner rather than later.

Anyone in particular you would want on Everton’s list of potential transfers?

Agree with anything, everything, nothing at all what I’ve said? Let me know in the comments or with a tweet at @TomFerguson.

COYB.

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The post Who and what should the blues be looking at? appeared first on GrandOldTeam.

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