The views in these blogs are those held by the individual blogger and do not necessarily reflect the views of Everton Football Club.
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It’s back! Seven days later than we bargained for, but it’s back!
The Premier League may well have resumed last Saturday, but for me and the rest of the Everton faithful, the ‘opening weekend’ - as dubbed by journalists and football fanatics alike - just didn’t seem the same without the Blues in action. The ‘real’ opening weekend, for me, starts on Saturday.
Goodison Park awaits Queens Park Rangers for the belated curtain-raiser and I think it’s vital the boys get three points on the board. No-one wants to trudge home from Goodison after the first game of the season having experienced defeat and the notorious slow start can’t occur this season.
The Premier League newcomers head here on the back of a 4-0 defeat to Bolton and with the Blues only beating one of the three of last year’s promoted clubs on home soil, there is a sense of hope that history doesn’t repeat itself. Although, talking of history, we pip QPR on the head-to-head front - with 18 league victories to QPR’s 14.
Some onlookers might say QPR travel to Goodison amid a similar summer theme to ourselves, with a small minority of supporters perhaps disgruntled at both club’s recruitment drive over the off-season. My response to criticism of the Everton squad is simple: We’ve assembled a squad of superior talent, willing to toil week in, week out. I detect no prima donnas in our TEAM. We haven’t strengthened as of yet but we’ve got to remember that we can all break the bank but pay the price in the future.
To any Evertonians finding it hard to be motivated for the new campaign, I exhort you to locate evertonfc.com’s navigation bar and click on the ‘Players’ tab, taking a look at the player profiles and perusing the squad list ahead of the new campaign. We’ve been inundated and very unlucky with injuries in the past but setting that aside, we’ve got a great crop of players who are willing to put in a shift for the cause.
While you’re on the player profiles page it may be worthwhile to have a read of rising star Ross Barkley’s depiction. After running the rule over the youngster in pre-season, I’m looking forward to seeing what he has to offer and am expecting Clive Tyldesley to urge football fans far and wide to “remember the name” very soon.
I’ve noticed in the media this week the Spurs postponement is being described as a ‘blessing in disguise’ which I thought was a perfect synopsis. I say this because heading into the game against Spurs, David Moyes was without the services of Mikel Arteta through a foot injury, and thankfully the best little Spaniard we know is ready and waiting for Saturday’s opener after a 70-minute run-out against Bohemians on Monday. Louis Saha is also fit and as far as I’m aware, we go into the game virtually full-strength.
I say virtually because the best little Irishman we know is unavailable - that’s Seamus Coleman - and he will prove a big loss for us. Seamus was already ruled out of the Spurs and QPR fixtures through suspension after he was red-carded against Chelsea on the final day of last season but, as I’m sure you’re aware, he has since discovered he has ankle ligament damage following a tackle from Carlos Marchena during the Villarreal friendly.
The prospect of not seeing Coleman teasing the opposing left-back down the Goodison flanks for weeks, or maybe even months, was particularly disheartening ahead of the new campaign but that’s football. Seamus’ ‘get at ‘um’ approach aroused us all when he burst onto the scene and adding a dose of Coleman to the mixture was definitely David Moyes’ secret recipe.
As I write this, news of Jermaine Beckford being courted by big-spending Championship outfit Leicester City has arose, and I thought it only right to voice my opinions on their apparent £3m pursuit. He enjoyed a steady introduction to the top flight, and letting a striker go is not an option. Joint top scorer with Louis last year was good enough for me, now let’s see if he can do the business this time round with a season of Premier League experience under his belt.
Finally, while David Moyes may have not been so hectic this summer, the evertonfc.com team have been busy with the BETA version of the site. I’m sure you will agree that it deserves top marks.
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