5 games in and your results have been topsy-turvy. Have the performances matched the results for your wins, draws and losses, or have you been lucky or unlucky so far?
The Fish: There has been a steady if unspectacular improvement, we’ve earned the points we’ve deserved and been mauled by City, like we deserved. The game against Hull was what happens when a team with too much confidence in the one player that can make a difference, doesn’t take it upon themselves when he doesn’t show up.
OTF: We’ve got what we deserved in most cases. We were abysmal against Man City and in the second half against Hull.
Ant: Think they’ve been fair enough we’ve either been piss poor at the back/misfiring cisse up front or HBA has pulled the strings to get us something.
Who has been your key performers so far?
CleeToonFan: Ben Arfa has been class, the way he’s playing he could play for any Premier League team. Remy has impressed when played the past few games too.
aimaad22: Ben Arfa without a doubt. Remy has looked good and Anita is showing promise.
Aeris: Remy, Ben Arfa, Anita and Gouffran has been important for us, but also our young gun Dummet has been absolutely solid the little time he has played.
What are your expectations for the season?
Ant: excuses, early cup exits and about 15th in the league unless Cisse starts finding the net again with everything he hits.
aimaad22: We’ll finish 10-12th, mainly because of lack of squad depth.
The Fish: We’ve got a top-rate first team. Seriously, I look at our ‘keeper, centre backs, leftback, midfield and strike force and think we could challenge for a top 6/7th spot, the problem is that our second string is bloody awful. Midtable, average, 12th.
With that in mind, is Alan Pardew good enough to fulfill these hopes?
CleeToonFan: Pardews working with what he’s been given, the board have been afraid to spend big and he’s shown he can do a good job, such as te 5th season. However there were many times last season where he showed tactical ineptitude and he can make some utterly brain dead decisions. Still, he’s the best we can get with this board. And since Ashley is happy as long as he meets his expectations (17th or higher) every season, our opinions don’t matter.
Aeris: I hope, but sadly I think in reality not. He’s just not a very strategic manager, and seems like he struggles with having a real influence on the players in games. His media interviews are horrible aswell.
The Fish: Is Alan Pardew capable of taking a club with a top rate 1st team and a bang average squad to 12th? Yeah, sure, why not. He’s as capable as any other average manager. But he’s not the real problem, it’s the owner. A lot has been said of our £30m January spending, though not much has been said about the fact that should have been spent last summer, and so on and so forth. He’s passionate about winning, he’ll win over a lot of fans with his off-field, on-screen antics. He managed Ben Arfa very well early on, he has opened his mouth about other clubs and managers and that been a little embarrassing. He’s an arsehole, but he’s currently our arsehole.
Who will be the big threat to Everton next Monday?
OTF: Remy, Ben Arfa if they’re on their game. Cabaye is due a good performance.
McFaul: Ben Arfa would be a threat to any club in the world, when he plays his game.
aimaad22: Ben Arfa and Remy.
On to Everton…
Have you seen much of our season? How do you think we have done so far?
The Fish: You’ve struggled to score, but as soon as Lukaku becomes a 1st team regular I think that’ll change. So far I’d say you’ve not taken advantage of the opening fixtures, but, like ourselves, you’re growing in confidence. You’ve not had an aberrant result yet, hopefully it’ll come against us.
Ant: Done well, i was dubious about martinez setting you up to concede more (ala wigan) but you’ve also got a much stronger squad and it seems to be working well.
CleeToonFan: Bits and pieces. I saw the Chelsea game and didn’t think you played too great, yet you won 1-0 and defended brilliantly. Can’t complain with an undefeated team so I’m sure you’re all happy about these first few months.
Aeris: I think you’ve captured a great new manager who seems to have had an instant influence on your performances. Very clever and well-spoken man, who knows how to play strategic, and with the right squad and talent, unlike Wigan, I think he can achieve a lot.
McFaul: I think Everton will continue overachieving in 6th-8th and he’ll do well, wish we could swap.
aimaad22: Not sure to be honest, I dont to what extent Wigan struggling year after year was down to him. I think we’re going to find just how good or otherwise Martinez is after a couple of seasons with Everton.
OTF: I’d expect that it would bring about some massive changes compared to Moyes. More passing for a start, and setup with actual strikers.
If you could take one player from Everton, who would it be and why?
CleeToonFan: Barkley, great talent you have there.
OTF: Baines, he is clearly the best player at the club, the dream fullback really.
Which Everton player do you think will trouble you most?
aimaad22: Probably Baines with his runs down the left. Ben Arfa doenst track back all the time and Debuchy is inconsistent at the moment.
McFaul: Lukaku, we should’ve made a proper effort to at least get him on loan.
CleeToonFan: I’m currently just praying there’s no free kicks on the edge of the area for a certain left back…
Who is Everton‘s worst player or weak link, in your opinion?
Ant: Jagielka, never overly rated him.
The Fish: Howard isn’t a ‘keeper that would fill me with confidence, if we can take advantage of Barry‘s lack of pace in the middle Sissoko could drive past him, but to be honest you’re quite strong wherever we’re strongest. HBA v Baines, Cabaye v Barry, Colo/Mbiwa v Lukaku/A.N.Other. Remy could have fun againstColeman if he plays, but other than that I think we’ll be struggling if we turn up.
Aeris: I think you have a good collective of players who performs very consistently, but hopefully your two center-backs will come short against our attackers on Monday.
Where do you think us Toffees will finish this season?
CleeToonFan: 7/8. Top of the rest of us.
The Fish: Your competitors for the European spots have all strengthened so that 4-8th pack are going to make it tough for anyone to make any one position their own. Arsenal, Spurs, Liverpool, Swansea and yourselves will be up there. Maybe even one from teams like Southampton, Villa, West Ham and ourselves if we/they get on a good run. I’d be surprised if you finished outside the top half.
OTF: Just outside the top 6.
Ant: 7/8th or there abouts
Aeris: Top 10 definitely, I can see you grabbing a place in the euro’s this season as well.
The Fish: More comfortable than the score suggest 1-0 home win.
Ant: I’m putting my faith in HBA, cisse finding his confidence after his LG-Cup goal, 2-1 Newcastle
Aeris: 2-3 win for us