Everton Weekend Preview: Return of the Saints

Hi all – well, after the end-to-end second half against Watford last weekend I can imagine that spirits are high and we’re all on board with having Kone and Lukaku up top, right? Yeah? Ah. We’re playing Southampton away. Maybe not.

The Everton Community seem to be a bit frustrated at the moment and a small split of fans (in terms of matchday attendance) seem hell-bent on being very vocal towards the Board and their lack of investment.

With it being very easy for fans to be turned against a regime when results are going badly now really is the best time for Martinez to get his team prepared well and get a positive result, otherwise next week’s game against man City could be very unpleasant indeed. We already know that some groups are organising meetings and marches plus banners within the stadium.

Even if it is only 100-250 people involved in this it still ploughs even more pressure onto the team and, with the run of fixtures we have, could spread to the players in terms of negativity and uncertainty. Why would Stones want to stay in such an environment for example? Just something to consider…

Anyway, Southampton.

We don’t do very well at Southampton.

Since 1993 we’ve played there 13 times and only won once (2002) although we normally nick a win against them at home weirdly so we can’t really consider them a bogey team as such. It does seem to be for Martinez I guess who has lost twice there and seen us score three own goals in the process.

We’ve not scored there for three years and last year was a disaster. We lost 3-0 at a time when they had lost their last 6 games and had 5 players under 21 in their side. We were halfway through a 5-match losing streak ourselves and fell apart easily as Lukaku scored an own goal and Pelle and Yoshida made it an easy victory for them.

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The previous season was perhaps even more embarrassing as we were going for the top 4 on the back of win against Man United and managed to somehow score two own goals in the first half, including a diving header from Alcaraz in the first minute…

One of the common themes that we seem to have against the south coast marauders is that we are constantly beaten on crosses by them. When they are not scoring from corners they are easily rebuffing our crosses via the beasts in their defence or they are pressurising us into knocking the ball into our own net. Honestly, this is the type of game that Big Rom should excel in and prove his worth but last season he looked terrified every time he went in for a challenge.

In terms of team news, we hear that MIrallas is a maybe and that Deleufeu could be back to make his first start for the Blues for a couple of years. I remember him being much better when coming off the bench and running at tired defenders so it should be interesting to see how he gets on.

Southampton are likely to have Oriol Romeu in the starting line-up following his move from Chelsea and have some decent players that will be dangerous such as Mane and Tadic. Despite selling their ‘best’ players every season they really do seem to do well at the moment. Sounds a bit like us. Is that all down to the management of the team and scouting perhaps?

In other news we have signed someone (hurray!!) for the development squad (hmmmm) as estate agent and part-time footballer Mason Holgate joins from Barnsley for a million or two. The defender is fancied as being a decent bet for the future but we managed to beat off (titter) the might of Bournemouth over this one.

Turns out that we’ll be being knocked out on penalties by Barnsley in the Carling Cup Second Round so that’ll be a nice return for Mason. He might even get a game now that Leighton Baines is kippered for a few months.

Baines out for three months and a fixture list piling up that looks more diffuclt by the game. This isn’t looking good for Martinez at the moment. Need to be positive though.. COYB!!!

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