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Talking With A Pack Of Toffees

1) ) The first game of the season wasn't the best way to start a campaign, but how do you think Everton have gone since then?

We've had a shocking season this year so far, absolutely dreadful. It shows how bad the standard of the bottom half of the league is, that if we win our game in hand we'll be 10th. We are badly missing Mikel Arteta, he is more important to us than Gerarrd is to Liverpool, or Rooney to United, or Drogba to Chelsea or Fabregas to Arsenal, he is simply by far and away our best player and without him we're just a mid table side really. We'll likely still struggle along until he returns, safe from relegation due to the shocking standard of the division but little more than that.

2) As we enter a new decade what was the best moment of the 'Noughties' as an Everton fan, and who scored the best Everton goal of the last ten years?

The best moment would be when Phil Jagielka slotted home the winning penalty in last years semi final against United in the FA Cup for me, but with very special mention to Dan Gosling's 118th minute winner also in the FA Cup last year against Liverpool, and Duncan Fergusons header against United in 2005 when we won 1-0 adding a new sense of belief we were going to secure Champions League football with our seasons stuttering until then, we promptly marched home ahead of Liverpool after that. As far as success goes a very poor decade for Everton, but there was still heroes in there.

3)Who would be your ideal signing in this current transfer window?

Difficult one this, so I'll give two answers. If we had a decent amount of money to spend I'd like to sign Steven Defour from Standard Liege and reform the Defour-Fellaini partnership that was so successful. However we don't have any money and will be looking at loan players, I'd love Manny Fernandes to return a third time on loan if possible.

4) If you could take any Arsenal player under the age of 21 (Cesc is 22) on loan for the season who would it be?

Difficult question this that involves me having to know how old some of your younger players are! I'll go with Keiran Gibbs as I'm almost certain he's under 21, and we only have one left back at the club.

5) Which Toffee should we fear the most this weekend?

Depends who plays, but Fellaini has been our best player by far for the last 8 or 9 games. Since finally playing in his proper position in central midfield he has really come on and is becoming every bit the 15 million player. If he keeps up this kind of form there's no chance we'll keep hold of him for long before a club like Arsenal or United take notice.

6) Most fans of clubs other than Arsenal often refer to our fearless leader as a whinger, moaner, voyeur and much much worse things, what is your honest opinion of Arsene, go on, be truthful, I won't hold it against you ;)

I have nothing but respect for Wenger, he's arguably the best manager of the Premier League era after Sir Alex (and of course Davey Moyes!). Although his policy of only signing young players my be starting to hold Arsenal back in my opinion, it's great when you see a young player coming through but sometimes you need a big name signing who is already brilliant not just potentially brilliant. Obviously Arshavin was signed at the finished article, and he is a fantastic player if you signed more players of his calibre instead of always looking for the 'next xxxx' you'd still be back to dominating sides like Chelsea and United again.

7) What are your hopes for Everton over the next 6 months?

All depends when Arteta, and to a less but also important extent Jagielka, return to fitness. Our final 10 games are Hull (H), Birmingham (A), Bolton (H), Wolves (A), West Ham (H), Villa (A), Blackburn (A), Fulham (H), Stoke (A), Pompey (H) for which we should have our key players back so I'd expect us to win at least 8 of them. If we can keep scraping a few results together until then, I still believe we'll finish top 6 with another good FA Cup run. We have Birmingham/Forest at home in the 4th round, and should have Arteta and Jagielka back by the 5th so there's every chance of us winning the thing.

8) Finally, give us a prediction for the game.

1-1



e owe you for the opening day shambles, but with missing too many key players it will be hard to win but I can't see us losing.



vertonMike.

-----

A big thanks to EvertonMike for taking time out of his busy schedule to answer these few questions.




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The Journalist

Writer: Rocky7 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday January 7 2010

Time: 12:56PM

Your Comments

Have to agree with him, the standard of the prem has certainly dropped this year - the top clubs losing games they usually wouldnt and the lower clubs playing on the whole some shocking football. Makes it interesting though.
HuddersfieldYiddo
Arsenal have improved, you cannot deny that.
Tom14
And compared with this stage last season so have spurts ... but it's not that hard to get more than 9 points in 6 months.
Rocky7
All the best to Everton for the rest of the season after Saturday.
deltaforce
I watched Everton's pre season game against River Plate in Edmonton Canada, although they fielded most of their top players I thought they were very poor on the day, consequently it came as no surprise when thet lost badly to Arsenal. They have since picked up their game and should be treated with respect when they come to the groove. 2 - 0 to the gunners.
phreddy
Off Topic, sorry. but, Is the African Cup of Nations on TV here in the US? i would love to see this Cup. please let me know. thanks
collow
I think a sceptic could easily deny that Arsenal have improved Tom, they could simply argue the other sides have gotten worse, and going by Liverpool and United, plus Chelsea's recent form, that wouldn't be to hard a case to put forward.
Ozi Gooner
Fair point Ozi, but nobody that watched us at the beginning of last season could deny we've gotten better this season. It wasn't that hard to do honestly. We were pants.
gunnerkid107
we certainly were gk, AW's worst season with Arsenal. Collow, no, the ACN is unfortunatley NOT shown in the US. I live in the US and believe me, I've done the research, I can only watch the tournament online (sometimes). Good interview, always respected Everton but IS THIS GAME EVEN GOING TO HAPPEN DUE TO THE WEATHER AGAIN???
jaelle
Don't hold your breath Jaelle, more snow is forecast at some stage before the weekend.
nikolaijns
Last season wouldn't have been AW's worst. Not in the PL anyway. That would have been the 05/06 season when we needed the last game of the season to claim a CL place. Maybe reaching the CL final should have compensated for it. By the end of last season we were playing quite well. Hopefully we can do as well or better this season. The forecast is for snow showers over Norf London tomorrow but nothing today so fingers crossed it'll be game on.
Amos.
We've definitely improved since last season, no 2 ways about it, not denying the rest have weakened (perhaps) but we've got better. A sceptic can take the negative side to whatever they want.
shewore
Amos, you're right that in 05-06 we were worse in the league than last season, I'll concede that. I think we lost something like 10 or 11 games? But in compensation we had a brilliant CL campaign.
jaelle
I gotta agree with what he said about Arteta, that guy is class and they're missing him dearly.
FuiKaka
 

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