The Everton Forum & WFC Forums – Talking to the Enemy
The first game of the season is upon us and Everton face the hornets as Watford travel up to Goodison Park. Watford did fantastically well in gaining promotion after a turbulent season with a number of different managers and have added a number of players to their matchday squad this season.
We took to WFC Forums to get their thoughts on Watford and Everton before the new season.
1. With a new manager (again!), have you had chance to get a look at what style you’re going to be playing this season just by the pre-season outings? Are you going to be expansive or defensive etc?
Magic: Ah we love a new manager – no issue there.
Blah Blah Blah: our new coach, QSF has a great pedigree but he also has golden boots to fill after the excellent work that Slavisa Jokanovic did in getting a talented yet disjointed team to finally gel at the most perfect time. I think it’s fair to say we were all confident that SJ would have done a good job this year, but our owners the Pozzo’s thought differently.
352: It looks like we’ll be playing with a couple of holding midfielders, so that we can play with four at the back with attacking fullbacks/wingbacks instead of the three we’ve been used to with wing backs very high up the pitch. Other than that, he seems pretty adaptive in terms of style so I assume we’ll mix it up a fair bit depending on our opposition. We have the personnel to play a very defensive counterattacking style as well as a possession based game so it’s hard to make any bold predictions.
Smudger: 4-2-3-1. Defensive counter attacking style trying to retain possession of the ball for as long as possible.
Cassetti’s Beard: I imagine we’ll be lining up in a similar fashion to Chelsea, 4-2-3-1. Our back four and two holding midfielders will be pretty tough to break down and I can see a fair few bookings being picked up over the season as we try and rough team up a little. The attacking midfield trio and Deeney up will look to be creative and attacking.
Alban Hornet: We have changed formation under the new manager/HC as we have deployed a 4-2-3-1 all pre-season, I think we look more solid in defence than last year.
Northholt Horn: Hard to judge, I think we’ll play as required every game. By that I mean no ‘we keep it short’ or ‘we lump it in the mixer” I think we can mix it up either way. I’m expecting to be more expressive at home and looking to keep it tight and maybe nick something on the break, something we’re very capable of doing, away from home.
2. You’ve made 11/12 signings this summer. Who are the ones to look out for? Are they all to challenge the first team?
Magic: We’ve made 9 new signings and 1 loanee permanent
We could still field our best 11 from last season so there will be good competition
Blah Blah Blah: we’ve recruited heavily but with quality, and with an eye on the future as well. Saturday will tell us how many of the newbies QSF wants in his regular first team – I reckon half, with most of the rest on the bench.
352: All have been brought in to challenge for a starting place. I hope Capoue steps back up to the level he was at just before Spurs, and shows us why he was so highly rated before. I think our new fullbacks Nyom and Holebas could be very good, and Jurado looks really creative and calm on the ball, but the guy who I think will end up being the best in the long run is Steven Berghuis. He won’t start against you I don’t think, as his fitness isn’t there yet, but if and when he settles, he’s still young and could end up becoming a top player.
Smudger: Berguis, Jurado should provide creativity and attacking flair. Behrami some defensive solidity and likewise Holebas and Nyom in both fullback positions and Prodl a seasoned experienced centreback. Most of the new signings were brought in with the aim of playing in the first team.
Cassetti’s Beard: I’m not even sure Sanchez (Head coach) knows who his first team is going to bet yet. I’m excited to see Nyom, Jurado, Behrami and Berghuis.
Alban Hornet: I think Berghuis is the most exciting signing but I believe he is out injured, Capoue the most impressive signing. Yes all signings are challenging for first team spots, even the backup keeper.
Northholt Horn: I’d say Jurado however he’s out, it’s hard to say who’ll play. I think Capoue could surprise people who had written him off at Spurs.
- Who will be the key threats to Everton on Saturday?
Magic: Deeney will always be a threat, Vydra, Ighalo too if they start.
Blah Blah Blah: from last season expect Deeney to cause problems – he’s a very talented no9 and as strong as an ox. Your CB’s will know they’ve been in a game.
352: Troy Deeney will be a handful. He will be out to prove a point in his first PL game and I expect a strong performance from him. I also think that if Vydra gets on he will have a similar mindset after a really disappointing year at WBA a couple of seasons ago.
Smudger: Jurado/Abdi if they are fit, Vydra and Deeney if they play in tandem. Fingers crossed Anya/Berghuis/Layun provide the necessary quality supply from the wings
Cassetti’s Beard: That’s a good question, it depends who starts but I imagine Deeney will be a handful for your defenders, and the more creative players like Jurado and Berghuis should cause you some problems. Anya has looked very sharp over the Summer and his pace could cause your defence some issues, also not forgetting Matej Vydra and Ighalo
Alban Hornet: Deeney, and possibly Jurado though I still don’t know much about him. If Anya plays, his pace on the break could cause a threat.
Northholt Horn: Assuming I’ve got the line up correct. I’d say Deeney and Ighalo will cause you some problems. Deeney’s work rate is second to none and your defence won’t get much time on the ball thanks to him, and Ighalo ability to not only be in the right place at the right time but to also capitalise on it should keep you on your toes, that’s in addition to his ability to just glide past people with the ball.
- Who will be the weak points in the team?
Magic: Not having Almen Abdi is a big loss, speaking 8 languages he generally controls the whole team on the pitch
352: You are often quite strong on the wings, and I reckon the fact that a lot of these players haven’t played together long might be our undoing on Saturday. When I’ve seen Everton play well, you have players in channels and good movement between the lines. I hope we can keep up if you get into the groove. I don’t think its going to be down to individual talent if we end up conceding a goal or two this weekend, it’ll more likely be communication or a lack of experience playing with one another.
Smudger: Could be the defensive midfield. Behrami is tenacious and picks up cards, Capoue needs to show more.
Cassetti’s Beard: Perhaps with a move away from having two forward, potentially up front. We’re relying on the midfield trio behind Deeney to provide plenty of opportunities for Deeney while taking a fair few themselves.
Alban Hornet: I’m still yet to be convinced by our new left back Holebas, has given possession away a lot in pre-season.
Northholt Horn: Statistically the defence. On paper, probably our centre of the park where most of our new signings play.
- Are your season hopes just simply to survive relegation or are there more optimistic ambitions? Do you think you’ll achieve them?
Magic: Expectation is to be well safe. we will achieve them! 12th -16th
352: I honestly think that although we’d probably all take 17th place if offered it now, a lot of fans are confident of a stronger season than that. I’m not saying we’ll crack the top half or anything like that, but I don’t anticipate to be one of the 5 or 6 worst clubs in the league with the squad and setup we have now.
Smudger: Seventeenth will do fine but one should always aim high. Going along the lines of a Swansea/Southampton model will do us fine with the odd cup run. In time if we secure a footing in the division the owner probably thinks we can emulate Udinese in getting into European competition.
Cassetti’s Beard: Personally, survival is what I want, anything else is a bonus. Some of our more deluded fans think a top 10 finish is possible.
Alban Hornet: For me, I’d take finishing 17th on GD but others are more optimistic. I think realistically our only aim should be survival, which is achievable.
Northholt Horn: Aim for the stars! Although I think survival will be priority number one, fairly confident we can do it. Norwich haven’t strengthened enough and looking at some other teams who were down there last season (Villa, Sunderland, Newcastle etc.) we’ve definitely got a good chance.
Now on to Everton…
6. After a great first season and disappointing second, how do you think Everton will do this season?
Magic: Mixed Bag, really need to get rid of Kone and Keep Stones (we don’t want him)
Bring in some backup in CB, Pacey Winger and competition for Barkley he’s got a lot of talent but struggles under pressure.
You also need to find out who’s been nicking all you Hamstrings…..
352: The Europa League didn’t help things last season, but you were capable of better I’m sure. It all depends on whether certain players actually step up. I’m thinking of Ross Barkley, who could be so much more than he is now with more consistency, Lukaku, ditto, and even the likes of Kone, who will have to play a part this season. I think you’ll do better than last season but won’t make it back into Europe.
Smudger: The squad is too small to make a sustained challenge if injuries keep cropping up. Without these around 9-10th. With a big injury list 12-14th.
Cassetti’s Beard: I think the Premiership is lot more open this season which could see you sneak into the Europa – as long as you keep everyone fit.
Alban Hornet: I think it will be another mid table finish, if Lukaku and Mirallas don’t play then your forward line is pretty average.
Northholt Horn: Well the numbers say without the Europa League “distracting” (massive quotation marks) you, you should improve. Getting Delefeou back is a great piece of business, for peanuts too. You’ll definitely be a better team, how much better I wouldn’t know.
- What do you make of our manager Roberto Martinez?
Magic: Big Fan, Like his positivity and general outlook on Football
352: I like him. He’s nice
Smudger: Lovely chap. Plays the game the right way but has never managed a team that has provided him with the necessary resources to challenge for silverware league wise. Safe to say he was integral to Swansea’s development, Wigan’s success and propelling Everton to the edge of CL qualification.
Cassetti’s Beard: From the outside he’s a great manager, did amazingly well with Wigan and perhaps not lived up to expectations at Everton? Hopefully he has a good season as there’s plenty of potential there
Alban Hornet: I like Martinez, he did well with Wigan and deserved the step up. I’m not sure how well he deals with a higher expectation though, heard a lot of people say he’s their favourite for the first managerial casualty of the season.
Northholt Horn: I like Martinez, very likeable, seems very open and honest. Suits your club well.
- Who do you see as the biggest threats to your Hornets side?
Magic: Lukaku if he’s on penalties
352: The usual. Lukaku, Mirallas, Barkley, Deulofeu. Plus I think if McGeady comes on he might pull something out of the bag. The most inconsistent player with such ability, it’d be very Watford for him to come on and score a brace against us in style.
Smudger: Barkley, McCarthy and Delofeu. Creativity and presence in midfield, pace and trickery down the flanks.
Cassetti’s Beard: Honestly, I have no idea, I have no real idea who will line up for us tomorrow.
Alban Hornet: Lukaku, Barkley, Mirallas, Baines and Coleman.
Northholt Horn: Looking at the injury list I don’t know who to expect! Lukaku if he plays obviously, Coleman looks a danger too.
- Where do you feel the weak points in the Everton side lie?
Magic: Maybe Stones if Mourinhos tapping up through the media has been successful.
Similar to Lescott against Arsenal before his move to City went through***BTW Stones would be a fool to leave, when are you announcing Rooney?
WE HATE RODGERS MORE THAN YOU!!! (actually you probably like inept brenda)
352: If Stones goes, central defence. Even if he stays actually. You need better backup I think.
Smudger: None really. A solid team with internationals in it. I am amazed Tomas Andrade has decided to move to your club though. River Plate is probably the best academy in the world and he would have been in the plans of Gallardo but has decided to jump ship.Prematurely I think.
Cassetti’s Beard: I don’t know enough about Everton to comment.
Alban Hornet: Backup strikers/wingers.
Northholt Horn: With Besic missing I think your midfield will lack some quality from deep, I’ve also never thought much of Jagielka and think Deeney will give him a tough time
Magic: As everyone has already written us off, if we manage to get a result will the Evertonians lose the plot and boo the team off?
Blah Blah Blah: 1-2 … Deeney and a long range screamer from Gomes for the Orns.
352: I have absolutely no idea.
Smudger: A 1-1 draw for me.
Cassetti’s Beard: Heart says Everton 1-1 Watford
Head says Everton 3-0 Watford
Alban Hornet: Everton 3 – 1 Watford
Thanks to all from WFC Forums for contributing – you can find the original questions here: http://www.wfcforums.com/showthread.php?55786-Everton-Forum-Questionnaire
Come and chat about these on our forum www.theevertonforum.co.uk/forum