Anfield derby scheduled days before cup semi

15/03/2016  193 Comments  [Jump to last]
Updated Everton's game across Stanley Park for the second Merseyside derby of the season has been scheduled for 8pm on 20th April while the trip to Sunderland is now on 11th May.

The derby was originally postponed by Liverpool's participation in the League Cup Final last month and will now be screened live on Sky Sports and take place just days before the Blues play at Wembley in the last four of the FA Cup.

Ordinarily, Roberto Martinez might push for Everton to get the Sunday date for their semi-final against Manchester United or West Ham but with all of the teams in the last four in action that same Wednesday night Watford and the Hammers play each other while Crystal Palace face United it will come down to a choice by the Football Association.

A Sunday game for Everton would clash with the London marathon and complicate travel for fans looking to get back to the northwest on the day but would allow for an extra day's preparation for the players from what is usually one of the most intense fixtures of the season.

Meanwhile, Everton's trip to Sunderland will take place on 11th May with a 7.45pm kick-off.

The match against Crystal Palace which will be moved due to the Blues' involvement in the FA Cup semi-finals has yet to be rescheduled.  

Reader Comments (193)

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Laura Round
1 Posted 15/03/2016 at 15:09:19
I say let 'em have it and keep a nice strong injury free team for the weekend.
Bob McEvoy
2 Posted 15/03/2016 at 15:25:50
Daft decision. Do we have any say in when fixtures are rearranged?
Dave Richman
3 Posted 15/03/2016 at 15:27:13
I have to disagree there Laura ..... Against anyone else, I would be inclined to accept it, but not against them. Moyes did it once and it was a disaster .... and we still lost the game that he was 'resting' them for.
Richard Farrington
5 Posted 15/03/2016 at 15:30:22
Dave, we didn't lose the derby that Moyes rested players for, we drew 1-1 with Sunderland at Goodison and won the replay 2-0.
Chris Corn
6 Posted 15/03/2016 at 15:31:22
He rested them for the Sunderland quarter finals didn't he? Which we drew and won the replay.
Anthony Burke
7 Posted 15/03/2016 at 15:31:33
Surely this is a wind up? 3/4 days before our biggest game of the season. The FA do all they can to screw us over .
Jim Bennings
10 Posted 15/03/2016 at 15:40:07
Just seen that there are no domestic games scheduled for Easter Monday this year because of ANOTHER pointless International break, yet we are expected to play a bruising Merseyside Derby days before a massive Semi Final...

Utter joke!!

Paul Kossoff
11 Posted 15/03/2016 at 15:40:14
That's not fair having to pay them dirty bastards before the semi. You just know they will kick Everton at every opportunity.

I don't know why we agreed to that, and isn't it strange that they always seem to be creeping around us no matter what.

I swear to God that if those dirty jinxing bastards do something to affect our chances in the semi final then that proves they are the devil's own.
Phil Williams
12 Posted 15/03/2016 at 15:40:32
Fuck the league game. I'm with Laura. Let's go and win this cup, and who is to say a fired up 2nd string wouldn't get a result over there anyway.
Shane Corcoran
13 Posted 15/03/2016 at 15:41:58
Jim (#10), how would they be pointless with just over two months til the Euros start?
Christy Ring
14 Posted 15/03/2016 at 15:43:28
Jim, I reckon we had no say, the league let Sky do what they like. They should have had the cop on to play it Tuesday night, but they don't care about the FA Cup, because they can't show it.
Iain Latchford
15 Posted 15/03/2016 at 15:45:07
Does this mean the semi-final is more likely to be on the Sunday, as we're playing Wednesday night?
Laura Round
17 Posted 15/03/2016 at 15:47:00
All I care about is the cup now. I want to take my son and give him an amazing day! I'd happy just give them the three points now! Rest those precious legs and keep them far away from any red boots..
Gerry Quinn
18 Posted 15/03/2016 at 15:48:54
Play strong team in both – win both – simple!
Charlie Fath
19 Posted 15/03/2016 at 15:51:47
Both Man Utd and West Ham Utd are also playing on the Wednesday... so it's fair enough.
Iain Latchford
20 Posted 15/03/2016 at 15:53:18
That makes it even more likely the SF will be on Sunday then.
Conor Skelly
21 Posted 15/03/2016 at 15:55:35
Great opportunity to give some of the fringe players some great experience playing in the atmosphere and the derby and I actually think they could get a result.


Phil Williams
22 Posted 15/03/2016 at 16:02:42
Hey Jim, cannot agree with you more. It's an utter joke but I don't think we would have had any influence over it. Money talks and I suppose it's the price we have to pay to get the £95million on offer from Sky. The game with the highest number of sending offs in history and we are playing it 3 or 4 days before the semi. Absolute shite.
Dave Abrahams
23 Posted 15/03/2016 at 16:04:48
Conor (#21), you can't play two of those players in the Derby, they are absolutely not ready – not even for the bench.
Liam Reilly
24 Posted 15/03/2016 at 16:07:33
Sods law this, but if the club want to be challenging for trophies then this type of schedule awaits.

The squad should be big enough to handle it but I wouldn't risk Lukaku for this one.

Bob McEvoy
25 Posted 15/03/2016 at 16:10:39
All the possible semi-finalists are playing on Wednesday April 20 the so Saturday or Sunday becomes irrelevant as everyone is in the same boat. I'd still play a reserve team though.
Mark Williams
26 Posted 15/03/2016 at 16:14:41
Joke that. Wonder if the club can still challenge it.
Terry Aylward
27 Posted 15/03/2016 at 16:29:29
Why couldn't we have played the Sunderland game on the 20th instead of the shite? At least a weakened team getting beat by them wouldn't have the same effect on confidence as it would if Liverpool beat us.

They would revel in kicking us of the park or getting someone sent off. I think I would be tempted to rest our main men. We could still put out a strong team that would give them a game

Jimmy Salt
28 Posted 15/03/2016 at 16:30:22
We could play my 7-a-side team for the derby – I couldn't care less; it means nothing but local soon-forgotten pride.

Give us a trophy!

Neil Farrell
29 Posted 15/03/2016 at 16:33:12
I hate The Shite. However, winning the cup and losing to them (we would be in Europe), is a little less bitter taste than beating them and finishing mid-table with another year of no silverware and no Europe.
Tom Bowers
30 Posted 15/03/2016 at 16:34:57
Everton winning a trophy or winning the derby match?

I would take the trophy every time especially if the Red Shite win nothing. It would be nice to win both games though and anything is possible.

Jim Bennings
31 Posted 15/03/2016 at 16:39:46
I'd take winning a trophy every time too!!

One thing is certain and that is there's no getting away from the fact that's a massive week for Everton Football Club.

Could define the entire club for the foreseeable future if we get through it positively.

Losing both doesn't even bear thinking about.

Conor Skelly
32 Posted 15/03/2016 at 16:40:44
Dave, I presume you are referring to Dowell and Holgate. I think a dead rubber derby is a great time to get a full debut. Throw them in at the deep end. Any fixture there after will feel far less scary in comparison. Dowell in particular is a real talent.
Anthony Hanlon
33 Posted 15/03/2016 at 16:41:02
So the Red Shites will target our players to get red cards in order to miss semi final. I can guarantee you if the Red Shites were playing in semis there is no way they would be playing a derby on that day.

If the semi-final is scheduled for the Saturday Everton should insist on the derby be moved to the Tuesday – if not play the U21s against the Red Shite.

Jim Bennings
34 Posted 15/03/2016 at 16:42:53

They are pointless.

There's no need for an International break on what has annually hosted Premier League fixtures (The Easter weekend).

Get together and have one more friendly by all means but not at the expense of Premier League fixtures bang at the business end of the football season.

The Euro's is for the summer, not for now.

James Hughes
35 Posted 15/03/2016 at 16:43:10
Please stop complaining this was one of the few dates available to play 'the derby' Play a good team win and gain momentum for the semi, which needs to be the Saturday evening for all our travelling fans.

Look at the plus points playing Wednesday then Saturday will get the team used to the Champions League schedule we will need in 2017-18 season.

Bob Hannigan
36 Posted 15/03/2016 at 16:47:08
Seems to me if you are going to be a side that gets to Europe and succeeds in those competitions you need to be able to handle multiple big games per week.
Tony J Williams
37 Posted 15/03/2016 at 16:55:35
Just what we need before the semi-final – our annual capitulation in front of the Norwegian bastards.
James Marshall
38 Posted 15/03/2016 at 16:56:12
It's not a pointless International break – it's a warm up for the European Championships which, believe it or not, does matter to quite a lot of people and players. I'm one of them.
Darren Hind
39 Posted 15/03/2016 at 16:56:27

No objection to giving the lads a game, but I would swap Robles, Stones and Besic, for Howard, Funes Mori and Cleverley.

The first three will be needed at Wembley.

It's too far away to know who will be fit, but if we are to win this cup, we will need to use our best players.

Darren Hind
40 Posted 15/03/2016 at 17:02:50
"It's not a pointless international break – it's a warm up for the European Championships."

So anyway...

James Marshall
41 Posted 15/03/2016 at 17:05:57
It winds me up when people slate Internationals – I'll lay money you all watch the Euros like the rest of us.
Les Martin
42 Posted 15/03/2016 at 17:06:34
We have to win the derby as there is no guarantee that we will win the semi!

Two defeats in the space of three days would be too much to bear.
Sam Hoare
43 Posted 15/03/2016 at 17:09:37
Could potentially play into our hands given that West Ham Utd and Man Utd have far more riding on the league than we do.

I'd probably be tempted to rest a few of the crucial players who's energy we need to be at full tilt for the cup game. Lukaku being the obvious one with perhaps Barkley and even Lennon, Baines and Coleman needing a full tank?

That would mean we could play something like this against the RS:

Stones, Jagielka, Funes Mori, Oviedo;
Barry, McCarthy;
Deulofeu, Mirallas, Besic;

Assuming Niasse is meant to be worth the money we've paid for him that looks like a decent team to me....

Darren Hind
44 Posted 15/03/2016 at 17:09:44
Not England, I won't; I'd rather wash somebody else's car.
Paul Conway
45 Posted 15/03/2016 at 17:24:59
If Saturday's victory was the catalyst for the 'new era' then we should hve nothing to fear! Remember '84? Losing the Milk Cup to RS? We went on the rampage for the rest of the decade.

Bring it on!!
James Hughes
46 Posted 15/03/2016 at 17:25:12
Darren, will you visit or do I have to bring the car round to your house and do you clean the inside as well????
Gavin Johnson
47 Posted 15/03/2016 at 17:26:19
I'd be tempted to field the U21s with Tim Howard in goal. Give the RS the respect they deserve. ;)
Barry Stevens
48 Posted 15/03/2016 at 17:26:42
I'd have Lukaku and Barkley on the bench. Every other postion we've got cover for if anything were to go wrong in this game.
Conor Skelly
49 Posted 15/03/2016 at 17:35:01
There's that too, Gavin. Beat them with a second team.
Andy Crooks
50 Posted 15/03/2016 at 17:37:59
Can you imagine the response of Alan Ball, Brian Labone etc if Harry Catterick had considered a derby not important enough to play the strongest team? Why not make winning both very important??

Our players have not had the Europa League to hinder them, so, if we are good enough, why not be bold enough???

Gerry Quinn
51 Posted 15/03/2016 at 17:39:52
James (#41) we slate the Internationals because they are boring as hell – especially the friendlies. Yes, we may watch the Euros and the World Cup, but that's because there are no League matches on in the summer.

If you had an option of club or country matches, which would you rather watch?

Paul Andrews
52 Posted 15/03/2016 at 17:43:42
Keep our first choice back four of Coleman, Jagielka, Funes Mori and Baines. Keep our first choice keeper. Keep Barry. Keep Lennon. Keep Rom.

Keep them some of them on the bench. Rest the others for the semi.

Brent Stephens
53 Posted 15/03/2016 at 17:55:13
Too close to the semi-final – issues of injury and full recovery time. A win for them against a second string would lose its significance for them and us.


Or bring back Garbutt from loan for one place.

Helen Mallon
54 Posted 15/03/2016 at 17:57:27
Club matches for me, anytime.
Philip Kennedy
55 Posted 15/03/2016 at 18:04:08
Does anyone one know when the the FA will announce what day the teams are playing, Saturday for Sunday?
Brian Williams
56 Posted 15/03/2016 at 18:05:44
I wouldn't risk Rom in the derby for the simple reason that, if he got injured and couldn't play in the semi, we wouldn't win it!
Paul Kossoff
57 Posted 15/03/2016 at 18:07:34
Sod the internationals, my team is Everton, and yes as football fans we will all watch the Euros especially as that ex-RedShite, grim-faced, cheating, moaning, diving, devil-worshiping bastard Gerrard won't be there.

I feel better now.

Rob Halligan
58 Posted 15/03/2016 at 18:14:55
Darren, come and wash mine, it's rotten. And I'll give you a fiver!!
Ian Jones
59 Posted 15/03/2016 at 18:24:32
Has everyone forgotten Gibson should be available for the derby? Is he injured again or has he been loaned out? Seems to have disappeared from view recently.

If he is fit, I would stick him in Barry's role for the next 2 games.

Phil Walling
60 Posted 15/03/2016 at 18:36:05
Seems reminiscent of the time 'got stoned 'by ToffeeWebbers for seeming to prioritise a cup-tie over the derby game.

Since when can't highly paid pros manage two games in a week? Think tennis and what those guys cope with.

Phil Walling
61 Posted 15/03/2016 at 18:37:30
Moyes 'got stoned'.
Kunal Desai
62 Posted 15/03/2016 at 18:42:15
This is the problem you have when an incompetent and inept Premier League committee can't fucking get anything right. We now face a fixture backlog.

Why do we not play four league fixtures in the first two weeks of the campaign in August as they used to do up until a few years ago, this then leaving a few odd weekends for teams to catch up and play there league fixtures due to cup competitions instead of having to play three games in a week towards the end of a demanding campaign. It's ridiculous.

Ian Jones
63 Posted 15/03/2016 at 18:44:28
Phil. I assume the posters suggesting fielding a weaker team is more down to not wanting Liverpool to injure any of our players prior to the semi. Not down to them being unable to play two games in a week although sometimes I do feel for the poor lambs having to work so hard during the week and have 2 games to play.

If the team is winning, I think some players would play every day of the week.

David Donnellan
64 Posted 15/03/2016 at 18:49:03
Why does it have to be one or the other?? We are good enough to win both. If we have ambitions of being a Champions League side, fixtures like this will be the norm. Whoever we are playing will have also played on Wednesday night; yes, our game is the intensity of the derby, but both Man Utd & West Ham Utd are right there in the mix for the mystical top 4, so no doubt will have a hard night's work also.

Club football every time for me, I couldn't give two figs about international football. I was brought up on Everton before I had a concept of international football, besides apart from our own, a lot of the players who pull on the 'Ingerlund' shirt, I wouldn't give the time of day. I will probably catch some games during the Euros, but not with the passion I do watching Everton, just to catch a bit of football.

Gavin Johnson
65 Posted 15/03/2016 at 18:50:45
The squad's actually big enough where could still field a strongish side.

Funes Mori
Gibson (is he fit??)

And save the legs of Lukaku, Lennon, Barkley, Cleverley, Mirallas, Besic, McCarthy, Jagielka, Baines, Oviedo & Robles.

Peter Gorman
66 Posted 15/03/2016 at 18:54:25
13 March 2012 – Everton 0 - Liverpool 3

Heitinga. Neville, Cahill, Osman and Jelavic rested for the cup against Sunderland.

I felt sick then and the idea of it now makes me feel sick. You just don't do that at Everton against that lot.

John Daley
67 Posted 15/03/2016 at 18:57:16
There would be no better confidence boost going into the semi than going into it off the back of finally shutting up the gobshites at their own gaff.

A few changes would be fair enough but an entire second string like some are advocating? Sod that.

Colin Glassar
68 Posted 15/03/2016 at 19:07:28
I agree with Peter Gorman 66, that game was embarrasing. We need to go on a run of victories to salvage something from this poor season.
James Marshall
70 Posted 15/03/2016 at 19:12:23

I don't see it as one or the other – I enjoy the World Cup and European Championships immensely and have always loved watching England in competition football. The point isn't about which people enjoy most, it's about tournament football, which you can't have without qualifiers and friendly warm-up games.

Dave Ganley
71 Posted 15/03/2016 at 19:17:26
Andy #50... totally agree. No reason why we can't win both so long as mindset is right. Should never throw a derby game.
Darren Hind
72 Posted 15/03/2016 at 19:28:17

Moyes deserved to get slaughtered, it was them we were playing in the semi, we were both in the same boat.

It's not about whether we are good enough to win both games (which we are). It's about knowing that if one of them gobshites gets the chance to put one of our players out of the semi, they won't think twice. How would we feel if The Ork put a knee in Lukaku's back?

Besides, think about how much it would piss them off if we showed them a game against them isn't that high on our priority list – then added insult to injury by beating them.

Ian Jones
73 Posted 15/03/2016 at 19:37:23
I love this positive thinking about us beating Liverpool with a weaker team. How long is it since we beat them at their place?

But would be a good time to do it.

John Daley
74 Posted 15/03/2016 at 19:43:28
1999 was the last time we won there, Ian.
Mark Daley
75 Posted 15/03/2016 at 19:47:06
Yes, it's the injury risk. I'm with Gavin Johnson (#65) except I'd be more defensive, KITANO at best, and be very happy to to see a good old-fashioned turgid boring 0-0 like they so often used to be – that would really get up the RS noses!

ps: Since when did my eldest brother become an Evertonian? You always preferred rugby John!

Tony Abrahams
76 Posted 15/03/2016 at 19:48:44
"A game against them id not that high on our priority list."

Love it, Darren. As much as we hate them, and love to beat them, it would certainly dispel a few myths.

Let's have it right mate, there is no-one more bitter than those bastards!

Ian Hollingworth
77 Posted 15/03/2016 at 19:50:33
FFS, are you serious? We should try and win every game but a derby... how can it cross anyone's mind not to go all out to beat the shite?

Since when were super fit footballers not be able to play 2 games in a week?
Ian Jones
78 Posted 15/03/2016 at 20:04:53

Not long ago then. Would be a shame to ruin their recent run.

I say put the Under 18s out and show them the future.


David Donnellan
79 Posted 15/03/2016 at 20:06:11
I don't think it will do any good going into the semi-final on the back of a derby defeat. Beat the bastards and take that momentum & confidence into the semi-final.

Lukaku is just as likely to get injured in the first 5 mins of the semi-final as he would against them lot. We don't need to wrap him in cotton wool, he is fairly durable and doesn't miss too many games with injury. Let him loose on that lot I say!

Robert Starkey
80 Posted 15/03/2016 at 20:08:30
I'm convinced Man Utd will beat West Ham Utd and both sides have games on the same night so I would only rest Lakuku and Barkley. Bring the two of them on with 15 mins to go. Makes sense.
Andy Crooks
81 Posted 15/03/2016 at 20:11:46
Ok, Darren, #72, I would leave out Lukaku, he is that important. However, if we put out the youth team and got thumped they would gloat and in ten years time it would be remembered as the thumping.

The only time I believe in fate is when it comes to Everton. If we tiptoe about they, with their fucking witchcraft, will somehow, deny us the cup. So, we give it everything, silver bullets, garlic etc. and we thump them and win the cup. Make it straightforward, no cunning plans, no putting one game ahead of another. Go for it.

Ste Traverse
82 Posted 15/03/2016 at 20:12:28
I was pissed off when I heard when this game was to be played, as given our decent away record, I thought we could finally get a win over there but now it comes miles behind the semi in priorities.

We have a fairly deep squad so for the derby I would play a lot of the players who are likely to be subs at Wembley, and would put Lukaku on the bench.

If we think this schedule is tough we should remember 1985 when we played Bayern Munich away in the ECWC semi on the Wednesday, then went to Villa Park for the FA Cup semi final against Luton on the Saturday.

Ernie Baywood
83 Posted 15/03/2016 at 20:15:23
Couldn't tell you the last time that the derby was 'bruising'. Just another game nowadays and we can't protect everyone from now until the semi.

Pick a good side.

Darren Hind
84 Posted 15/03/2016 at 20:27:34

We have sent full strength teams over there for 15 of the last 16 years and have always fell short. Why not send the fringe players over there to have a proper in-your-face battle.

We can't possibly make our record there any worse.

Martin Mason
85 Posted 15/03/2016 at 20:32:47
Send a reserve team and win. There is only one priority and it isn't the Liverpool game.
Jay Griffiths
86 Posted 15/03/2016 at 20:34:10
100% agree with No 66. The atmosphere in our end was poisonous that terrible night when Moyes played the weaker 11. He then had the temerity to say he should've made more changes!

Going to work the next day was torture. Footballers should play football – after all, we pay them to.

Tony Hill
87 Posted 15/03/2016 at 20:36:17
I agree with Martin. It's an easy call.
Andy Crooks
88 Posted 15/03/2016 at 20:42:04
Fair enough, Darren. I believe that winning the cup is supremely important to Roberto. If Bill is as ill as some say, then I would love to see the cup lifted for him. I would take a defeat in the derby if it meant that.

I would love to say our name is written on it, but our name, if I said it, would be TOO written on it. So, I have to say it's not our year, and by saying so it just might be. My God being an Evertonian is damaging to mental health.

Dave Abrahams
89 Posted 15/03/2016 at 20:54:55
Andy (88) I would love the cup to be lifted for all Evertonians, especially the thousands who never miss a match home and away, and for all the Evertonians who have followed the team all their lives.
Peter Mills
90 Posted 15/03/2016 at 20:55:41
For pity's sake....

10 April 1985, ECWC semi-final away, Bayern Munich, drew 0-0.

13 April 1985, FA Cup semi-final, Luton Town, won 2-1.

And we managed to win a few league games either side to capture the League.

Get a grip.

John Daley
91 Posted 15/03/2016 at 20:57:59
"ps: Since when did my eldest brother become an Evertonian? You always preferred rugby John!"

You think you're shocked Mary... err... sorry, Mark, is it now?

Imagine finding out under the public glare of ToffeeWeb that your one and only sibling has seemingly undergone gender reassignment, never bothered to tell you, and yet still has the temerity to make out that you're the one with an attachment to abnormally shaped balls. Well, I'll have you know that up until five minutes ago 'Scrotoplasty' was just a fancy name for 'bollocks bandage' to me, missy...err...mate.

Anyway... does mum know?

Fran Mitchell
92 Posted 15/03/2016 at 21:02:28
I actually think this works in our favour.

If we win, we will go into the Semi-Final with a huge boost. If we lose, we will go into the Semi-Final with the need to 'respond'.

Obviously, that means if we draw then we a fucked for the semi.

Frank Wade
93 Posted 15/03/2016 at 21:03:00
Just looking at the Europa Cup fixtures. Assuming they get through at Old Trafford this week, our RS friends will be playing qtr finals on Thursday 7th and 14th April with a league game on Sunday 17th.

A heavy schedule before playing the derby on the 20th, so likely they won't be at full strength either. Sturridge couldn't possibly make it through that lot, could he?

Jamie Barlow
94 Posted 15/03/2016 at 21:09:34
Play a strong side. Maybe rest one or two. Hope for the best. Beat them. Go into the semi flying and full of confidence.

We'd look pretty stupid if we rested a load and then put in a shitty performance in the semi and got beat.

John Malone
95 Posted 15/03/2016 at 21:12:03
100% rest Barkley and Lukaku for the derby and show that lot we have got more important games to worry about! How can anyone take the piss when we leave our best players on the bench and totally pull the rug from under them!

A cup final win goes down in history a derby is just another derby against a small club!

Darren Hind
96 Posted 15/03/2016 at 21:16:08
We'd look even more stupid if we went to Anfield with a full strength side, got the usual result, picked up a couple of injuries to key players... and went to Wembley with confidence and morale on the floor.

We play the Red Shite at least twice every season. Getting to a semi-final has proved more difficult in recent times...

Jay Wood
97 Posted 15/03/2016 at 21:23:57
Play 'surrender monkey' to the 'bours???

Never again, ta very much.

Why does it have to be an 'either ... or' situation, which game we prioritize and how strong a team we put out?

Why can't it be an 'and ... and' scenario? Send out a strong team in both games AND win both games.

The 'poo are also piling up a backlog of fixtures, have more injury problems than us and similarly, both of our semi-final opponents will also be playing on the same night before the Wembley game, coincidentally against the other 2 semi-finalists.

Any player can get injured at any time, even at home or in training, never mind just actual games.

Time to think like a big club again and seek to win EVERY game.

Darren Hind
98 Posted 15/03/2016 at 21:27:04
Who's suggesting we don't seek to win?

"Big clubs" do it all the time and win trophies.

Andy Kay
99 Posted 15/03/2016 at 21:27:19
Play a full-strength side in both games. And go all out to win them both!!

I bet most of the "play a 2nd string team" guys were bitching about Moyes's "knife to a gunfight" comment! We are Everton! We have the players to do this, they just need to be mentally strong!!

They need to get out there and show the watching world that we can be a brave, challenging, top football team again. How would you all feel if we WON at Anfield and Wembley in the space of 4 days!! Bring it on and go for it!!!

Mark Daley
100 Posted 15/03/2016 at 21:27:51
Well John, if we beat the Reds and win the Cup I'll be having full redmedial vaginoplasty and then offering myself to Roberto for deflowering, whatever mum thinks, and probably in competition with her.
Brent Stephens
101 Posted 15/03/2016 at 21:27:57
John #95 – "a derby is just another derby against a small club!"


Peter Bell
102 Posted 15/03/2016 at 21:29:14
Peter @90

Lets get it right:

Bayern Munich away on Wednesday night.

On Saturday, struggled like fuck and were lucky to beat a poor Luton side with a half-injured Sheedy, Bracewell and Gray. If it hadn't been for big Nev at Villa park, Luton would have put us out.

Jay Wood
103 Posted 15/03/2016 at 21:34:03
Darren @ 98

"Big clubs" do it all the time and win trophies.

I presume you mean field weaken teams? In early rounds of English cup games, certainly.

Against their strongest direct competitors in the league, never.

Darren Hind
104 Posted 15/03/2016 at 21:39:39
We are not competing in the league, Jay. If we had been, we wouldn't be having this conversation. That ship has sailed.

I look at our record at Anfield and I have to ask: Why the fuck not? Why not send a team of fringe players over there to play with absolutely no fear? That's not surrendering – it's using your squad to maximum effect.

Ernie Baywood
105 Posted 15/03/2016 at 21:42:58
Of course the debate here should have been whether we prioritise the League over the Cup.

The other way around? There are still 10 league matches to play. We can't sacrifice them all. And certainly not the biggest one.

Ian Bennett
106 Posted 15/03/2016 at 21:42:59
Play the stiffs and get Gibson out of storage...
Peter Bell
107 Posted 15/03/2016 at 21:43:48

I am with you on that one, it would be typical Everton, having not won there for 17 years, to send an unknown team out, that will confuse the shit out of them and win.

Imagine Hibbert starting.

Laurie Hartley
108 Posted 15/03/2016 at 21:51:05
Someday, somewhere, we (I include myself in that) have to put an end to our dread of playing "them" and the best way to do that is to turn up with our best team and beat them on their own turf.

Then go and win the semi-final.

Then go and win the FA Cup.

Peter Bell
109 Posted 15/03/2016 at 21:55:38

How many times has our manager put two victories together at home this season, and now you expect him to do it at an away ground and a neutral venue in the space of three days?

Laurie Hartley
111 Posted 15/03/2016 at 22:04:18
Peter – it is a big ask I know but that is what I want us to try to do.

I desperately want us to win this cup but I think if we put a weakened team out against Liverpool it will backfire on us.

Tony Abrahams
112 Posted 15/03/2016 at 22:08:06
I never dread playing Liverpool, Laurie, honestly. That's why I was made up with what Darren said, and why I highlighted it.

Only when the game stops, meaning everything, will the dread of playing them end!

People might shout me down on my last paragraph, but think how bad they become, when they couldn't beat Joe Royle.

They couldn't wait to beat us, and it made them a lot more irrational, especially when Big Joe, used to smile and come out with one of his little jokes.

I would have loved this game to be played after the semi final date, because they will be absolutely gutted if we get to the cup final. I might have even broken a long self-imposed ban!

Jay Wood
113 Posted 15/03/2016 at 22:08:09
Darren @ 104.

Putting aside I was addressing your specific point about big teams fielding weakened teams in selective games, we ARE competing in the league Darren.

38 times.

It matters and all the more so when it's t'other lot.

I get the argument about avoiding injury and fatigue ahead of the semi-final. But equally, a team and players retains its competitive edge by playing in big games.

And like it or not, but the Derby games are the biggest of the lot.

Darren Hind
114 Posted 15/03/2016 at 22:15:12
Why are people saying it would be a weakened team???

Because Martinez doesn't pick them?

We can go there with a team of players who have been or are considered first team players. The best team is in the eye of the beholder.

Forget all this "playing the stiffs", Players like Howard, Osman, Stones Galloway, Gibson, Deulofeu, Mirallas, Cleverley, Niasse, Pienaar & Besic will all consider themselves first team players and will no doubt all have to contribute in the future. Who says they won't make a better fist of it than Robbie's current first eleven?

Tony Abrahams
115 Posted 15/03/2016 at 22:17:16
Jay and Darren. If our players came up with as many answers as you two, we would be winning things every year!!!
Peter Mills
116 Posted 15/03/2016 at 22:24:56
Peter (#102). Let's get it right, our character saw us through.
Tom Bowers
117 Posted 15/03/2016 at 22:27:42
The game at Sunderland on 11th May will be academic as they will already have been relegated so the Blues could be forgiven for playing the benchwarmers before the cup final – all being well in the semi-final of course.

Beating the shite would be a massive bonus too but can we have a referee who doesn't give penalties for that game. Seems like they get a penalty almost every game.

Kevin Johnson
118 Posted 15/03/2016 at 22:34:36
Pointless game for us, play the kids, let the shite rejoice. Wrap Big Rom in cotton wool and place a 24-hour guard around him. The city's all yours... we're off to Wembley.
Andrew James
119 Posted 15/03/2016 at 23:06:41
While I find it amusing to play a second string against them (to include McGeady and maybe if Ferguson could be registered in time...) let's do them.

If we lose, our players will be motivated even more, if we win then it'll bring self belief.

Drawing might not do much admittedly.

Andrew James
120 Posted 15/03/2016 at 23:54:03
Tom - do you really think Sunderland would have been relegated by then?

I get the distinct impression they're slowly pulling away and that Norwich have been sucked in. I don't think Newcastle will survive because our loveable former RS manager is known for defending not attacking and he has feck all in either departments at the Geordies.

I think Sunderland will still be cagey by the time we play them.

It would be amusing to see Newcastle relegated with Benitez in charge.

John Raftery
121 Posted 15/03/2016 at 00:11:09
In 1966 Harry Catterick played a full reserve team at Leeds the week before we played United in the semi final. The club was fined but we went on to win the cup. The end justified the means.

This is a no win situation for the manager but I would prefer to rest our key players especially Lukaku, Lennon, Barry, Barkley, Coleman and Jagielka.

Derek Thomas
122 Posted 16/03/2016 at 00:15:54
1 doctor's note, 1 copier, hit X 12=sorted
Declan Campbell
123 Posted 16/03/2016 at 01:04:21
Darren Hind, when Moyes rested players against Liverpool, it was few days before quarterfinal against Sunderland.
Ernie Baywood
124 Posted 16/03/2016 at 01:18:58
Is that to give them a rest during the international break, Derek? Then they should be in good shape to play through April.

Surely we all know what's going to happen to Lukaku with Belgium? If his own team don't nobble him in training then the Portuguese will have a crack.

Colin Gee
125 Posted 16/03/2016 at 01:21:27
Said it in another thread, the last thing we need, is to play the Red Shite midweek before the semi-final.

Anyone sent off will miss the semi-final and those bastards will know that. Given the way refs give out cards like confetti these days, we've no chance of staying with 11 men on the pitch.

We'd be far better picking 11 lads out of the away end before kick off.

Kieran Kinsella
126 Posted 16/03/2016 at 02:24:49
Liverpool aren't exactly world beaters. If we play Robles, Hibbert, Oviedo, Stones, Jagielka, Besic, McCarthy, Deulofeu, Mirallas, Niasse, Kone with Gibson, Pienaar, Osman as subs, we should be able to get the standard 1-1 draw.
David Ellis
127 Posted 16/03/2016 at 02:36:11
We are not in Europe this season... so, despite two long cup runs, we've not had to play any replays so we've not overplayed this season.

We have the deepest squad we've ever had. I can't see the problem. Just play our strongest side available in both matches and win them both.

Liverpool, Man Utd and West Ham Utd all have similar fixture list issue – it's just the way it is in England. And to win at Anfield (highly possible – even probable for once) would be a great boost prior to the semi-final.

Abhishek Saha
129 Posted 16/03/2016 at 04:43:23
Play the best XI for the Cup which would be:

Coleman, Jagielka, Funes Mori, Baines;
Barry, Besic;
Cleverley, Lennon, Barkley;

Play the almost equal best XI against the RS:

Coleman, Jagielka, Stones, Oviedo
Besic, McCarthy,
Mirallas, Osman, Deulofeu,

7 players rested! Robles, Funes Mori, Baines, Barry, Cleverley, Lennon, Barkley,


Guy Hastings
130 Posted 16/03/2016 at 05:57:11
If players aren't up for both of those, even if they were played a day apart, they shouldn't be playing for this club.
Ernie Baywood
131 Posted 16/03/2016 at 06:35:35
Worth pointing out that our Cup opponent will have more to play for in the league than us (in terms of placings)... guaranteed that they'll be full strength.
Peter McHugh
132 Posted 16/03/2016 at 06:47:31
Comparisons with playing Bayern and then Luton 3 days later not the same. The Bayern game was a huge game – one of the biggest if not the biggest in our history – of course we would play a full strength team.

I love the derby but it's not as important as getting through the semi-final. I'm desperate for us to win the cup. These chances may not come around again for some time. We should ensure players are in peak condition for the Saturday and the end must justify the means. If that means doing what we did in '66, we should definitely do it.

Jamie Barlow
134 Posted 16/03/2016 at 07:37:18
It's all supposed, isn't it, Darren? I prefer my positive outlook.
Trevor Peers
135 Posted 16/03/2016 at 07:54:31
I agree with you, Jamie (#134) – go for it at Anfield.

Success breeds success, that's the way to go.... and hopefully it will happen.

Zahir Jaffer
136 Posted 16/03/2016 at 08:00:40
I feel like we've been screwed either way. Don't hesitate and send our second string to Anfield. I know we're gonna have to play our best to beat them with our first string but is it even worth it? Our record there is so shit anyway I don't see the point.

At least this way, Martinez will have one less excuse to pull out of his sleeve if it goes belly up during the cup.

David Hallwood
137 Posted 16/03/2016 at 08:09:42
Agree with Guy(#130) if a player can't get up for games like derbies and semis maybe they should be considering another profession.
Eric Myles
138 Posted 16/03/2016 at 08:18:23
So we lose to the neighbours and win the FA Cup, who has the last laugh??

Except those spawny bastards will go and win the Europa League AND the League Cup

Matt Traynor
139 Posted 16/03/2016 at 08:33:29
Eric (#138), I'm quite certain that Man City beat them on penalties to win the League Cup, unless you're aware of some sinister campaign by the authorities to award it retrospectively to them...

Of course, if they do win the Europa League, they'll qualify for the Champions League next season. No doubt if by some miracle we got to the final next season, UEFA would suddenly switch that rule back again.

Just because we're paranoid doesn't mean it's not a great big massive fucking conspiracy!

Steve Pugh
140 Posted 16/03/2016 at 09:05:11
One thing everyone seems to have forgotten is that most of our players aren't fit enough to last 90 minutes do you really expect them to play two big games in a few days?
Craig Walker
141 Posted 16/03/2016 at 09:26:51
This is where Everton need to change the mentality as a club. Let's stop thinking that everything is conspiring against us and go to Anfield and win and then go to Wembley and win. Twice. The derby game should involve Everton players performing at their best to make the team for the semi-final and final.
Paul Mackie
142 Posted 16/03/2016 at 10:10:55
We should play a full strength team, smash the fuckers at their own ground and enjoy the confidence boost ahead of the semi.

The RS are absolute garbage, Klopp has no idea how to get the best from Benteke and they have a keeper who makes even more howlers than Tim Howard.

Kieran Fitzgerald
143 Posted 16/03/2016 at 10:40:43
Hard one to call. It has a feel of a damned if you do, damned if you don't type scenario.

The RS have a number of games over a short period of time if the get past Man Utd in the Europa League. For them, the Europa League is going to be the priority as they have nothing else to play for. They are going to be knackered by the time they get to us. As they are average at best anyway, they should be there for the taking in the league game. Why not play a full strength squad.

However, if Lukaku or Barkley or Barry or Jagielka picks up an injury in the game or end up with tired legs, we'll be at a disadvantage for the semi. It is a very winnable game and anything can happen on the day of a final. As Man Utd and West Ham Utd both have something to play for in the league they will have both put out full strength teams midweek. This will suit us come the semi-final.

I say rest Lukaku, Barry and Barkley midweek and play a slightly weakened team. I'd be happy with a draw and a fully fit squad on the day of the semi-final.

Anthony Dwyer
144 Posted 16/03/2016 at 11:30:20
As far as I'm concerned, I'd play a makeshift team in the derby, resting all our main men.

The season is a write off as far as the league is concerned, if we win the derby but lose the semi I'd be mortified.

Lukaku, Barkley, Lennon and McCarthy could be rested with Niasse, Osman or Pienaar, Deulofeu and Gibson used as replacements.

Would also be worth considering blooding a youngster or two, local lads and seeing what they can do in such hostile surroundings. Could be lamb to the slaughter, could be a fast track, worth a punt in my opinion, especially as pre season isn't far off and any wrongs can be put back right soon enough.

Clive Mitchell
145 Posted 16/03/2016 at 12:21:38
I'm afraid RM has no choice but to play a reserve team – which will no doubt please Sky no end – but we're in the same position as Spurs were in Dortmund last week. Having said that, it's a bit strong to suggest Howard in goal. Jags could do it.
Andrew Ellams
146 Posted 16/03/2016 at 12:34:51
Rest anybody who might be one yellow card away from suspension and anybody carrying a knock. Apart from that, no excuses.
Victor Jones
147 Posted 16/03/2016 at 12:36:54
No guarantees that should we field a second string against Liverpool, that we will then win our semi final. No guarantees at all, in football. We all know that. So I would hope that we put up a performance against Liverpool, but with one eye firmly on the cup. Keep Lukaku fresh, fit and chomping at the bit, for the cup. Who else do we rest? Barkley and Lennon, are my choices. Maybe Barry. Everybody else plays in the derby. Niasse for Lukaku. Osman for Barkley. Maybe Gibson for Barkley. And Mirallas or Del for Lennon. Lennon is (for now) my first choice winger. We need to play a strong defence, and Joel, in the derby. Also a solid midfield. Protect our flair players for the cup.

I don't think that we should go too weak for the derby game. Our second string is not great. People talking about playing Pienaar and Hibbert. Really! Liverpool would run all over them. Hibbert has not played all season......but now he should play against Liverpool. Not for me. Would rather play a youngster. And that also would be risky.

In an ideal world, I want Everton to win the derby match. Then win the cup match. Lovely Jubbly....sorry for stating the bloody obvious. That's what we all want. But in the greater scheme of everything........the big picture. What will be remembered next year.....what will be remembered in future years. A win in a derby match....or winning the FA cup. I can live with a derby defeat (should it happen). And that is the only time that you will hear me say that...A derby defeat would be forgotten , and resigned to history. But to throw away this great chance (this year) of actually winning the FA cup.......well that would be bordering on unforgivable. We need to give our players the best possible chance to win this semi final.

To have to play Liverpool in the same week as our cup match is unfortunate. But Man Utd and West Ham are also playing. What has happened these days, that our players seem to struggle with a couple of games a week? I can remember, as a youngster, Everton playing Man Utd (home and away) in the space of three days. And winning both games. No tiredness....No nonsense. Those were the days.....

And just a last point on referees. I have previously said that ( as the standard of refereeing is so poor), that an important football match will someday, be won or lost by a poor decision. Let's hope that that is not the case in our semi final. We have already been done out of the League cup....for something similar to happen again, would be ........well get the picture.

Tough few weeks ahead. But we need to start winning these type of games. We really let's make a start. Beat Arsenal, and get this band wagon rolling.....Up the Toffees.....

John Crook
148 Posted 16/03/2016 at 12:37:36
Wednesday night: GK Howard, RB Hibbert, LB Oviedo, CD Funes Mori CD Stones, CM Besic, CM Gibson, RM Deulofeu, ACM Osman, LM Mirallas, CF Kone.

Saturday night: GK Robles, RB Coleman, LB Baines, CD Jagielka, CD Funes Mori, CM Barry, CM McCarthy, RM Lennon, ACM Barkley, LM Cleverley, CF Lukaku.

Only Funes Mori required to play both games. Hibbert, Osman and Howard have ample derby experience (albeit not very successful). The likes of Deulofeu, Mirallas, Besic and Oviedo hardly make it a weakened team.

The cup absolutely must be prioritised. In the similar scenario 4 years ago, we did not have enough strength in depth to play such a decent '2nd string'.

Tony J Williams
149 Posted 16/03/2016 at 12:44:19
The cup game has to be the priority.

It's not even about being tired, it's about getting a niggly injury that will affect the semi and more importantly, this is a game, that historically, ends up with lots of cards and reds.

Why take the chance? we are doing shite all in the league and it's only Liverpool.

Rest some players, especially Barry and Lukaku.

Patrick Murphy
150 Posted 16/03/2016 at 12:58:32
It doesn't seem to matter which team or group of players we send out at the other place the result is generally speaking at best a draw and most likely a defeat, with wins for Everton being as rare as hens teeth.

From that perspective I wouldn't risk our more important players in the fixture, ie, Lukaku, Barkley, Barry, Jagielka, because even if they don't get injured by the other lot there is a fair chance the referee will find an excuse to dismiss one of them 'farily' or 'unfairly' and they would then miss the Wembley date.

Whilst it would be nice to beat the other lot at their place, the cup on this occasion means so much more and who knows the replacement players may just provide a victory for the Blues. Having said all of that I don't want us helping them in their quest for Champions League football either – sod it! send a full strength side there and come away with all three points, we can worry about the cup when it comes around – great being a blue isn't it?

Franny Porter
151 Posted 16/03/2016 at 13:14:59
Paul Mackie, spot on.

The confidence boost that a victory at Castle Greyskull would give the team and fans would be immeasureable!

Imagine going to Wembley on the back of a victory at Anfield, Besic screamer sealing the win.

Ste Traverse
152 Posted 16/03/2016 at 13:42:08
Can you imagine playing a full strength side at Anfield and a usual type of derby played at full throttle and our players being utterly knackered (plus the chances of injuries,suspensions etc) before playing on a typical tiring pitch at Wembley and it going to extra time and us looking bollocksed and losing? I can imagine Martinez getting plenty of stick on here.

I know some of our LFC obsessed fans would probably rather win the derby than the semi, but for me the game at Wembley is total priority .

We have a reasonably deep squad. Let's utilise it, we don't have to play a team of kids or anything, and even at full strength, our neighbours hardly look scary these days.

And for me we really need the Sunday semi-final to give any first choice players who may play at Anfield as much rest as possible.

Sam Morrison
153 Posted 16/03/2016 at 13:54:07
Win the first game. Then win the second game.
Jay Griffiths
154 Posted 16/03/2016 at 13:55:01
Roll over at their gaff? Give me strength!
Patrick Murphy
155 Posted 16/03/2016 at 13:59:43
Jay (#154),

I don't want Everton to roll over anywhere, least of all over the park, but we can't ignore the facts that they always seem to manage to derail us, regardless of whether they are facing us out on the park or not.

By the time we play them, depending on results up to that point, the game may only be for local pride anyway, and I would get far greater pride from watching an Everton captain lifting the FA Cup than some soon forgotten victory against the other lot.

Michael Connelly
156 Posted 16/03/2016 at 14:06:39
Bring it on; we'll play them the day before if we have to!!
Eric Myles
157 Posted 16/03/2016 at 14:27:03
Matt (#139), it passed me by, I didn't realise it had been played!!
William Cartwright
158 Posted 16/03/2016 at 14:28:26
I am pleased to see Lennon obviously enjoying his time at the Blues and providing supercharged performances week in and week out. However I'm also equally disappointed to see Geri sidelined. Conundrum indeed. I would love to see them lined up in the same team on opposite wings.

Answer, rotation; either alternate games or alternative halves.

Keeping the rotation policy going as a 4-2-4 with a midfield set-up applied to any combination pairing of Barry, Besic, McCarthy, Cleverly.

Similar for the back four. With combinations of Coleman, Galloway (where's he gone?) Stones, Jagielka, Funes Mori, Oviedo, Baines and Browning.

Similar for the front four with aforementioned Lennon, Deulofeu, Mirallas, Barkley, Niasse, Lukaku, any two from Kone, Osman, Rodriguez, and Henen.

Rotation, rotation, rotation (as the property salesmen keep telling us!).

David Pearl
159 Posted 16/03/2016 at 14:41:26
Patrick is right – rest the players that are vital to us winning at Wembley and hopefully that desire to remain in the side will mean a good showing in the derby. Coleman should also be rested.

Interesting with Barry out for this weekend if we will go back to the 3 centre-backs again. Will that mean Besic, McCarthy and Barkley with Lukaku and Lennon ahead?

I've been wondering actually if we will ever see Barkley and McCarthy (or Besic) behind a front 3 of Niasse on the left, Lennon on the right and try Deulofeu behind Rom. Lots of pace and penetration.

Dennis Ng
160 Posted 16/03/2016 at 14:54:16
Agree with Patrick also. The RS might have to play 3 games in 7 days if they get to the next stage of the Europa League. If Man Utd go through in both the Europa League and the FA Cup, they might need to play 4 games in 10 days.

I won't be surprised if our semi-final opponent rests on their midweek game. A better chance to lift the trophy, by all means take it.

Jay Harris
161 Posted 16/03/2016 at 14:57:51

Galloway played in the U21 match against Sunderland on Monday which we lost 2-3 and looked the worst player on the pitch.

He looked totally bereft of confidence and his concentration was very poor.

Jim Hardin
163 Posted 16/03/2016 at 15:17:57
So, based upon the comments of many on here, is it official? Has RM turned Everton fans into Wigan fans. Suggestions that the Cup is the all important objective over a league and derby game versus the cheaters across the way, and we are not competing in the League anyway, etc. , seem very like what the Wigan fans must have been saying when they won it too.

So by all means compete for the Cup and let the Liverpool first XI have the derby. Seems a built-in excuse for not beating Liverpool again. Is this what "big clubs" with aspirations really do? Besides, why win the Cup for European football if we are so afraid of being able to handle two games a week?

I want Everton to smash the Reds and go all out against the Hammers or the Red Chevy team, and win that too. I want Everton to develop a winning ( not whining) mentality no matter what the fixture list or competition. Yes, there are risks of injury and cards but is there really a guarantee of winning the FA Cup if a certain player or players are rested? Besides, isn't that what substitutions are for?

Dennis Ng
164 Posted 16/03/2016 at 15:35:51
Jim, let's be honest. Even the "big" clubs do that when they prioritize cups like UCL over the league. I don't see it as a signal of ambition, certainly less the comparison to Wigan.

So let's say Rom gets injured by RS, what would you do then? Wish Kone becomes Rom Mk 2? I hate the RS, but winning, drawing or losing to them isn't going to make or break our lost season.

Jim Bailey
165 Posted 16/03/2016 at 15:40:39
Jim (#163).

Brilliantly put, could not agree more. No point in doing anything but sending out the strongest team we can, and we really owe the RS.

As a confidence-booster what better than turning them over a few days before the semi? It would be fantastic. Go out there with half a team and we could get a mauling. For me, it's not worth the risk.

Gavin Johnson
167 Posted 16/03/2016 at 15:51:30

No, we've not turned into a little club like Wigan.

After watching my club last lift a cup 21 years ago I want to see Everton actually win something. The leagues gone this year. If we were playing the RS at any other time it would be totally different, but it's not. This is the first time we've been semi-finalists since the 80's (we were underdogs in 95 & 09) where can go to Wembley feeling confident... That is, if we have our best side.

I don't want the spine of our team risked against the RS. They mock us saying that the derby is our cup final. You don't think they wouldn't rest their star players for a game of that magnitude coming up if they hadn't won a major trophy in two decades?! No, they'd rest players because winning a cup supersedes bragging rights.

I posted earlier in the thread that we should send out the U21 team and Tim Howard in goal. Yes, it was tongue in cheek, but looking at the squad we can still rest. Rom, Barkley, Lennon, McCarthy, Jags and Baines and still give them a game.

I'd play Niasse, Kone and Deulofeu as the front 3 and have Mirallas and Dowell as attacking options from the bench. Bring Gibson from cold storage to replace McCarthy or Besic. Go into the game with no expectations and we'll probably break our Anfield hoodoo.

Darren Hind
169 Posted 16/03/2016 at 17:00:43
Jamie Barlow.

I advocate we go with a team that Martinez does not want to play at Wembley and have a right good fucking go. You on the other hand are so terrified of the shite, you think we should take unnecessary risks of injury to players, who may be the difference between winning the cup and not... and you think you are the one who is being positive ?

You make me laugh you Martinez acolytes who think you are all "positive like". Like him you are full of empty bravado and a losing mentality – that's why you are delighted that we got to the other semi – despite being sent packing the first time we came across a semi decent team.

I really look forward to you furiously back tracking WHEN – not if – the ultra positive Martinez decides to rest players in the Derby.

Sometimes (even in for Roberto ) logic will trump Bravado and common sense will be seen as the REAL positive.

You've got to laugh when logic becomes so twisted, that absolute faith in your squad players is seen as a negative.

Dave Kelly
172 Posted 16/03/2016 at 18:12:53
I'd just like to say that teams have been playing two matches in 4 days for years. I can remember us beating Southampton(a) 2-1, Spurs (a) 2-1 and Sunderland (h) 4-1 over 8 days in 1985. We had a busy schedule back then, being still involved in both the Cup Winners Cup and the FA Cup but we were still able to perform brilliantly without wholesale rotation.

I say let's put out our strongest team against the RS and go all out for the win. The bonus of increased confidence and team spirit a victory would give us cannot be measured. If we lie down and die against Liverpool, it will create a massive downer within the club and amongst the fans and we will struggle in the semi-final.

Why can't we try and win both? We're men, aren't we?

Jay Griffiths
173 Posted 16/03/2016 at 18:44:26
When we get into their ground on the 20th should we support like "fringe fans" or "squad supporters". Be a little less raucous maybe? Reserved? That may be difficult for us to be so pragmatic.

I am a little surprised that there are so many that have that ability to be so sanguine about the derby result. Beating them on their turf can be step one in our present evolution. Martinez needs to get the rest of this season right. Amen.

Paul Hewitt
174 Posted 16/03/2016 at 18:55:02
We can't lose this derby. It's on my birthday, please don't spoil it.
Martin Mason
175 Posted 16/03/2016 at 19:03:12
I'd say that beating Liverpool is an irrelevancy compared to winning the semi-final so we should send a squad eleven with any first choice players that start only playing half a game at most. they must be absolutely fresh Saturday. If I were a fan in the position of being able to go, I wouldn't go to the game as a protest over the stupidity and unfairness.

It'll be a great chance to give games to fringe players and young hopefuls and a great snub to Liverpool by showing them to be irrelevant compared to the FA Cup big picture; not going would show the correct degree of contempt.

Mike Powell
176 Posted 16/03/2016 at 19:05:11
I don't want to lose to the Red Shite so let's put our best team out and beat them.

As for the international break... absolutely pointless. I for one don't give a shit about England; my only concern is Everton Football Club.

Ged Simpson
177 Posted 16/03/2016 at 19:07:25
Agreed, Martin.
John Daley
178 Posted 16/03/2016 at 19:16:24
Fans "not going (to the game) would show the correct degree of contempt"?

So, first you advocate Everton losing all their remaining fixtures in the hope it will hasten Martinez's exit and now you're claiming fans not turning up to support the team against the RS would somehow be the 'right thing' to do?

Fortunately, I don't think the hypothetical protest of such a hardcore supporter would carry much fucking sway.

John Daley
179 Posted 16/03/2016 at 19:23:42
Which part do you agree with Ged? That Everton should give 'fringe players and youngsters' a game or that the 'correct thing to do' would be for fans to say "fuck it" and boycott the game in some bizarre protest at the "unfairness" of having to play the same night as everybody else?
Ged Simpson
180 Posted 16/03/2016 at 19:24:37
John D: so right. Those suggestions are insane and I think not the actions of true fans. We are not in Villa's position. Everyone knows we have a good team and are desperate for a trophy but suggestions like that are the thoughts I would expect from a petulant 12-year-old.
Ged Simpson
181 Posted 16/03/2016 at 19:26:31
Wrote my post before seeing yours, John. Mine may explain my view.
Ged Simpson
182 Posted 16/03/2016 at 19:29:11
Sorry... it was the irrelevance bit I liked.
Martin Mason
183 Posted 16/03/2016 at 19:44:44
John@182, first paragraph yes but second? I didn't advocate that, are you mixing threads and getting it wrong too. I think I said the only thing that would get Martinez out would be a long run of bad results.

I can be PC but I'd accept Everton losing a run of games to get rid of RM if that would benefit us long term. 5 or 6 games is nothing.

Clubs and the FA only take any notice and stop doing very stupid things like asking Cup semi finalists to play a few days before a key game when the supporters walk out or don't turn up. It is a very powerful statement that deprives us of nothing because it will likely be an embarrassment. Many good Evertonians will pay a ridiculous amount of money to go to the SF and it is disrespect to them to expect us to give everything in an irrelevant EPL game just a few days before. It is impossible to give best effort in both.

Jamie Barlow
184 Posted 16/03/2016 at 20:04:03
All that from my two posts Darren?

Why does me wanting us to beat the shite make me terrified of them? I don't get it.

My post @94 was more positive than yours @96 was it not? Would you not prefer my scenario than yours?

You say "I really look forward to you furiously back tracking WHEN – not if – the ultra positive Martinez decides to rest players in the derby." What would I be "furiously" back tracking on?

All the other "Martinez acolyte, full of empty bravado and a losing mentality – that's why you are delighted that we got to the other semi – despite being sent packing the first time we came across a semi-decent team" nonsense, is just that.

John Daley
185 Posted 16/03/2016 at 20:04:42
"Are you mixing threads and getting it wrong too. I think I said the only thing that would get Martinez out would be a long run of bad results."

Yes, you spat forth the 'losing games' part on another thread, Martin, but there's no mistaking what I read. Your words:

"I would gladly lose all our remaining games but one and be deliriously happy if I could guarantee seeing him being put on the dole. I can't face getting beaten by Liverpool again."

It's made even more face palm due to you now saying that the Liverpool game (you know, the 'only one' you couldn't face losing not so long ago) is utterly "irrelevant".

Darren Hind
186 Posted 16/03/2016 at 20:11:46
Oh... so we didn't get sent packing the first time we met a semi-decent team in the other cup?

What happened then?

Kevin Tully
187 Posted 16/03/2016 at 20:15:31
John, don't forget Mr Mason also stated he didn't want EFC to win the FA Cup either. No doubt he'll try to deny that as well. Don't worry though, every time he posts, I'll be here to give his memory a little jolt.
Jamie Barlow
188 Posted 16/03/2016 at 20:22:47
Is that it? I knew I shouldn't have wasted my time replying.

You ask plenty of questions and answer none.

Darren Hind
189 Posted 16/03/2016 at 20:28:06
You will furiously back-peddle when Martinez rests a few players because the people who are advocating a full strength team at Anfield will turn on him... and you will do what you always do – defend him.
Jamie Barlow
190 Posted 16/03/2016 at 20:39:14
I'll defend him if I think he deserves to be and I won't if he doesn't.
Tony Abrahams
191 Posted 16/03/2016 at 20:50:39
Martin, I'm all for fans boycotting games, over ridiculous prices, or silly kick off times, just to suit the TV companies, but we would become a laughing stock if we never took any fans to Anfield for the reasons you state.

Our third FA Cup semi-final in 20 years, and we should be protesting, to both the Premier League and the FA, because they are making us play 3 or 4 days before it?

Andy Crooks
192 Posted 16/03/2016 at 21:35:32
Martin, #179, do you honestly think that Liverpool supporters will appreciate the subtlety of "the correct degree of contempt"? They will beat us and love it. What on earth has it come to when we can't put out our top side against Liverpool because we want the players "fresh"?

God almighty, surely they can get themselves up for two big games in a row. Alan Ball and George Best, in their books, talked of three games over a weekend in their young days. I would bet they were brilliant in all of them. These are well paid, fit, bloody top class players, not race horses.

I understand and accept that we might get injuries so let's save Lukaku, perhaps Barkley but put out a team to beat them.

Colin Hughes
193 Posted 16/03/2016 at 23:57:33
It's sure to be a Catch-22 situation as we could rest some of the so-called star players and lose the derby but be relieved that we have a fully fit Lukaku, Barkley, Jagielka etc for the semi-final, only for EFC to then subject us our worst week supporting us since May 1986.
Peter Barry
194 Posted 17/03/2016 at 02:47:32
If Everton want to compete with the 'big boys', as Roberto keeps saying he does, then we have to be prepared to play many such 'big games' close together like this.
Michael Polley
196 Posted 17/03/2016 at 05:17:49
Crazy that this game has been scheduled 3 days before the Cup SF. Field a changed team. Our key players cannot be risked.

The Red Shite are shite so we should get a result against them regardless.

Mark Robson
197 Posted 17/03/2016 at 07:13:46
I'd say, fuck them on this occasion and also a big two fingers to the FA and Sky in the process. Play a second string and rest the full starting eleven for the semi-final.

You never know, we might even get something from a game that we've got fuck all from for god knows how long and imagine the piss take factor if we did! I don't see what we have to lose apart from 3 unnecessary points that we'd probably get kicked or cheated out of by a crap referee anyway.

Tony Cheek
199 Posted 17/03/2016 at 17:19:17
Biggest priority: WIN A TROPHY! We'll beat em with our "benchies"...

Team as follows!

Howard, Hibbert, Stones, Galloway, Oviedo, Deulofeu, Osman, McCarthy, Mirallas, Niasse, Kone!!!

Dave Pritchard
200 Posted 17/03/2016 at 17:39:02
Tony, who is this Hibbert chap?
Graham Mockford
201 Posted 17/03/2016 at 18:26:53
The same evening, West Ham are playing Watford and Man Utd are playing Palace.

It will be interesting to see how they end up approaching it. If West Ham Utd or Man Utd are still around Champions League qualification, they would still play their strongest side.

I have no doubt Palace and Watford will rest key players, which is exactly what we should be doing.

But four players I definitely would rest are Barry, McCarthy and Lennon as we want our midfield players at 100% and Lukaku because he is irreplaceable.

Roberto Birquet
202 Posted 17/03/2016 at 21:28:50
Oh, bravo to the schedulers. One of the big games of the season, and I sincerely hope the manager puts his brain in. Play the second string and maybe one or two can force him to consider them for our biggest game of the season just days later.

If ever there was a derby I care not a jot about, it is now this one.

Paul Andrews
205 Posted 17/03/2016 at 22:08:14
The modern day game and the mileage players put in means they will inevitably tire in the second game. We should rest as many as possible.

A player would need the leg power of Chris Hoy to be in top shape physically over the two games.
Phil Walling
206 Posted 18/03/2016 at 08:38:09
Once Evertonians start writing off the significance of a derby match, you just know they have given up the fight to stay on terms with 'the dark side'.

The message coming through sounds like 'We know we never get anything there so what does it matter what team we put out.'

Okay, so we must accept that Klopp has done more to re-invigorate his side in six months than Bobby has managed here in three years but, in spite of that, we should never give up the quest.

Maybe our man will see it differently to us amateur selectors. Just maybe.

Graham Mockford
207 Posted 18/03/2016 at 09:48:25
I noticed in the Evening Standard that the semi final dates would be announced this week, so I'm guessing we should be expecting something today.
Ray Robinson
208 Posted 18/03/2016 at 10:07:23
Phil (#207) – selective use of facts, maybe? I'm not pro Martinez by any means but if you compare Roberto's first season with Klopp's, there wouldn't seem to be much difference.

Let's see how Klopp does next season. I suspect you'll be right – much better than Martinez did – but for the moment it's conjecture.

Phil Walling
209 Posted 18/03/2016 at 10:51:56
Ray, of course you are correct. But ask 100 Evertonians whether they'd prefer Klopp to Martinez and only the few who ever wear brown shoes would opt for the Catalan!
Eugene Ruane
212 Posted 18/03/2016 at 12:14:02
Phil (210) - you ask 'who wear brown shoes', hope this selection helps


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