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Scout Report: Everton

So another game done and another 3 points on the board and low and behold we finally have a MOTD pundit recognising us as potential league winners! Ladies and gentlemen we have arrived and anything we achieve after this will be a bonus.

Joking aside the game against Hull went the way I think most of us expected (even if a few team selection issues caught us unawares) and the team won by playing confident and professional football. We didn`t run up a cricket score but I think on another night we could have and it was great to give Nicky B some game time, the goal and his overall performance was a bonus. This weekend however, we face a very different type of challenge when high flying Everton come to visit.

The centre back pairing of Jagielka and Distin is very good. They are both players that I rate very highly and ones that we have been linked to in the past. Giroud is going to really have a tough physical battle from these two and will have to really put in the work to create chances for his team mates. It will be a very difficult game from him to score in himself but his running and work rate will at least create space for others. Tactics wise Everton line up 4-2-3-1 which but unlike last season those occupying the positions wide on their back four are really encouraged to get forward as much as possible. It`s telling that these positions have contributed a total of 25% (5 goals) of their overall league tally (20 goals). Baines is likely to miss out and while Oviedo was their hero during their midweek win over United he`s not as good a player as Baines and is a weak link in their back line

They can get forward down the lines safe in the knowledge that they have a solid pairing of Barry and McCarthy who sit in front of the defence and are a good mix of guile and youthful energy. Barry is playing more games than he has in the past few seasons at City where he was, for large parts of his time there, a bit part player. He was never the fastest player on the pitch but he`s experienced and willing to resort to less savoury means to stop a player when he has to. I`ve been honestly surprised at how good he`s been this season. McCarthy followed his old boss from Wigan and despite costing a few quid (13m I believe) has settled in very well to the Everton team. He has amazing energy levels and simply never stops running. I don`t think he has the skills to make it at a very top team but I think he`ll prove an excellent purchase for Everton and will benefit for greater exposure at International level. These two mightn`t offer a huge amount going forward but they allow others to do their job and both put in a solid shift.

Further forward their attacking 3 is made up of Mirallas, Barkley and possibly Osman (I think Pienaar will be used as a sub as Osman offers a bit more defensively) all working to support the loan front man-monster that is Lukaku. Barkley is starting to deliver on the promise that was shown in his few appearances last season. He`s already a good player but is not quite there yet. He`s solid and strong and has a nice turn of pace about him but he is also inexperienced and I think prone to the odd lapse of judgement particularly when it comes to tackling. Smart players will buy a lot of free kicks from him. A player, possibly a big one, for the future but not quite ready for me as yet and maybe has been over-used lately. Osman we know about, solid, dependable professional. He lacks the speed and directness of Pienaar but I think will start against us so that Martinez can keep the South African in reserve should he need to chase the game.

Mirallas is a very interesting player and I think the stand out one among their midfield 5. He`s still relatively young at 25-26 so you can excuse some levels of inconsistency in his play and without doubt he most certainly has the talent. If he`s on song Flamini will have to watch him very closely. He`s a dangerous player without a doubt but I can see Arteta and Flamini being able to keep him quiet. I expect both Flamini and Arteta to start with one coming off as the game opens up.

Up front, the real stand out star of this team is Lukaku. A real gem of a player and one that Everton fans must cheer each of his goals with a heavy heart - he is getting them wins but also making it less likely that he will be back next year. I don`t think that there is any chance in hell that Chelsea will sell him, like even Jose couldn`t be that pig headed surely? While his goals grab a lot of the attention I think his work off the ball, his willingness to go wide and chase to the corner flag doesn`t get the attention it deserves. He is a frightful prospect for our defenders to be facing and his direct style of play (no turning to play the ball back for this guy) means that Per and Kos are going to be in for a rough or at least a rest free day!

Matrinez I think has answered those who questioned his ability to take the step up. He has shown a level of flexibility in team formation compared to how he played at Wigan while at the same time staying loyal to the quick passing game philosophy. I like him and have always felt he would be a good fit at Arsenal for when Wenger steps down. While he hasn`t fully managed to drop the dirty side of Everton`s game (they`ve avoid a fair few red cards over the past few weeks) he has instilled a real sense of excitement in their play that was missing for years under Moyes (regardless of how "successful" they were).

Everton are doing well sitting in a lofty 5th position and I think they will among those 3-4 teams chasing 4th position down at the end of the season. But I think injuries and suspensions will mean that they will finish towards the bottom of this pack. That`s taking nothing away from Matinez and the great work he has done in replacing a club legend (David Moyes take note). He`s come in and taken the best aspects of the team (hard work, great attitude) and mixed them with his own creating a team very much in his own image. They`ve only lost once in the league all season (away at City) and their six away games have yielded 11 points which isn`t bad when you consider they`ve played both Manchester sides. Matrinez`s approach means that they create chances as a team but they also give them up, so they will be goals.

We had a nice run out midweek against a tired Hull team and managed to give 3 of our first 11 a well deserved rest while Everton had a tough 90 minutes of running in a game that really, on chances created, they should have lost.. That extra energy could be vital when deciding this one. They are on a high after a great result as were Hull but just like Hull they didn`t face a midfield that kept the ball like ours will. We also have the advantage of having a far superior bench (Renelofeu and Pienaar are good options but not in the same class as what we have). We will grind them down and I`d expect late goals in this one as legs begin to tire and impact players come on. Yellow cards could be issued like confetti and I just hope we avoid any injuries - some of the Everton players have a nasty streak!

It`s going to be a tough game for us but I can only see one winner here.

Arsenal win 3-1.

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The Journalist

Writer: Galway Gooner Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday December 6 2013

Time: 7:24PM

Your Comments

A positive and great review GG 'bout time someone cut the BS about getting a point here or I'll settle for this and that. And If your wondering who this is it's BLP who can't for the life of him get this F****ng site to accept any passwords or resets. And if the Admin are reading this SORT IT OUT FFS So so
OK rant over, 3-1 sounds good to me COYG!
Ooooh look an abuse button shall we push it perchance?
Why isn't BLP posting anymore? It's because he's fed up arguing with his own pseudonym.
Igiveupireal email RIcky the editor of the site or better still get BLP to do it for you!
Galway Gooner
I'm confused who I really am anymore GG I'd rather be posting as Bradysleftpeg! Hope your well and great report mate keep 'em coming.
It wouldn't accept my password for awhile so I changed from Internet explorer to Chrome and it worked fine!
Galway Gooner
Hmm for some reason I read the userid as "I give up I real yiddo"
Like the report/preview, Galway. Everton do work together as an effective, determined unit, with some players who can hurt us on their day. But then, they haven't played against a side brimming with confidence and able to keep the ball, while playing neat passes in tight places. I think instead of worrying about Lukaku, Mirallas and Barkley (That kid is one to keep an eye on; never afraid to shoot), we would have them worrying about winning the ball back which would isolate Lukaku and limit the danger the others pose. I do hope Flamini is fit. This is a game where we need both of Arteta and Flamster to start. It is going to be an intense game but one we should win. Another 3 points on the board. Good luck, boys.
Another concern is how we may have to play Jenks for this one. Sagna is reportedly, still unfit. I do hope this "injury" has nothing to do with his contract situation. Good thing Jenks has had game time versus Hull and should cope. He has to cut off the need to face his own goal too often and give the back pass (usually, without warning) at the least sign of pressure where he can use his right foot to flick the ball to an available midfielder or to the forward areas.
I do find it a nonsense that a key player like Lukaku isnt allowed to play against his parent club. Its arguably unsporting. But then again i wouldnt expect anything less from the chavs.
Wyn Mills
Ha ha Sajit you need glasses! The username is paying homage to my monumental efforts in trying to access this site for 3 weeks now. I really do give up, and posting under another name is weird and alien to me. @ GG not a bad idea I'll give Chrome a whirl (However much I dispise Google).
Sagna not fit is a real blow, while Lukaku does like coming through the middle he spends most his time on the wings, expect him to try to get Jenks, big game for him!
Galway Gooner
I hadn't realised just how few goals Everton have shipped of late but they were very very lucky not to let a few in against a weaker Man U team than we faced, so that should give us encouragement. This is not going to be an easy game and I think it will be won by a one goal margin.
No 10
cazorla late goal , arsenal to win 1-0...i predict
Good report. Manure lost at home again. I thought they were pretty weak last year alo but somehow managed to win. We need to keep our concentration for 90minutes against Everton.
ManU look a shadow of themselves (not that it worries me) and it just shows how quickly things can change in this game. They had no fight and just looked there for the taking which the bar codes duly obliged. A chance to peel further away from them, tomorrow.
Moyes apointment has proven to be the begining of the end for man u, here's hoping we take full advantage.
Chelsea lose. City draw. It is written in the stars.
We really need to win everton tomorrow to consolidate out position on top with chelsea and man u losing, and city drawing.
Good day for us. Chelsea slip up. City drop points. We could take advantage here if we can get past Everton tommorrow. Would be happy just to come through without injuries and not lose.
Wyn Mills
after today, i think Arsenal are not in the race, Manutd are definitely in the race.....for 4th spot.... How valuable is the derided 4th place trophy for manutd now?
With Chelsea losing and City's draw. This is a wonderful opportunity for the Gunners, I pray that we take it. This a real COYG.
What a brilliant, brilliant season this is so far. Very tight match tomorrow I reckon with Everton doing so well and Lukaku very strong. If we could hold our nerve and get a another win tomorrow, we'd have a 7 point cushion heading into the games with the 2 lotto winners. What a fantastic feeling that would be. Come on Arsenal. Crossing everything for tomorrow.
Don't count your chickens goons. I feel we might drop points tomorrow.
back in the day,

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