The views in these blogs are those held by the individual blogger and do not necessarily reflect the views of Everton Football Club.
Bainesy Is Spot On
Ruaraidh Callinan, 26th November 2010 - 11:24
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For me, the Sunderland game perfectly summed up our season so far. We were good in patches, played some lovely football, scored a good goal, gave away a poor one and didn't finish off some of our excellent approach play.
It was interesting to see Leighton Baines speak out after the game saying that we should be shooting more. I'm always at a loss to explain why, when we get within 25 yards of goal, we don't just shoot. Look at Arteta's equaliser on Monday - not his best strike by any means, but it took a deflection and got us a goal!
We've got players that can really strike a ball, the likes of Arteta, Steven Pienaar, Louis Saha, Yakubu - even Tony Hibbert will have a pop these days - so I just don't understand why they will not just hit it!
The Premier League (i'm sick already of managers throwing in 'Barclays' before it in interviews!!) is still ridiculously tight going into the last week of November, with 6 points seperating Sunderland in 7th and Wigan in 18th. Two wins will push you up the table, while a point here and there will see you stay pretty much the same.
It's because of this tightness that our early season form has not impacted us yet like it may have done in previous seasons. Everyone really does seem able to beat each other this season and teams are going to be constantly dropping points, so if we can go on a run of 4 or 5 wins in 6 or 7 games, our outlook and hopes for the season can change drastically. I still see European qualification as a realistic and achieveable goal, my bank balance however would be happy with 8th, and I do believe we are good enough to get it.
I look at our squad and it is as good, if not better than probably 14 or 15 sides in this league, but it is up to the players and management to prove it...
Saturday's visit of West Brom is a must win, as is the next home game against Wigan. These are two fixtures we have to take 6 points from, especially as they are sandwiched between two lovely trips to Chelsea and Manchester City. Then again, would anyone really be surprised if we drew both home games and won the two away ones? Didn't think so!!
Even though I'm a pessimistic Blue by nature (i'm a Walter Smith era child after all!) i'd just like to say a word about two of our players and their performances. Firstly, Sylvain Distin. Not everyone's favourite, but I will always have a soft spot for 'Spongebob' as we call him, after his performance alongside Hibbo in Minsk against BATE, which made getting drenched worthwhile!
He did take his time to settle in, but for me, his performances in the last couple of months, since the Manchester United game, have been superb and he appears to have built up a good partnership with Jags in the process.
Secondly, Steven Pienaar. Now a lot has been said over the fact that he has only 6 months left on his contract, but for me, the one thing you can not question is his level of performance.
His consistency level is remarkable and has been for the past couple of years. In my view, alongside Tim Cahill, he has been our outstanding performer this season and I hope that we can keep hold of him, as replacing him will be a very tall order.
Finally, Sunday brings along one of my favourite day's of the season - the FA Cup Third Round draw! I'll be sat there waiting patiently for ball 16 to be pulled out of the bag by either Noel Gallagher or Serge Pizzorno, hoping for a nice random away day trip like Macclesfield two years ago.
I'd love a trip home to Northampton, Torquay would be a laugh on the coach, but im just glad I won't have to go back to Shrewsbury or Brentford!!
Thanks again for reading, its appreciated!
Onwards and Upwards...
Up the Toffees!!
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