Muhamed Besic could be asked to deputise at either right back or centre half
Everton stage their penultimate home game of the 2015-16 season this weekend as Bournemouth visit Goodison Park looking to continue their laudable first season in the top flight.
It will be the third meeting between the two clubs this season following the reverse fixture in the Premier League last November and the FA Cup 5th Round tie in February but the first time that the Cherries have played a League fixture on Everton's turf.
It will be a game played against the backdrop of bitter disappointment on the Blue half of Merseyside that, four games from the end of the campaign, the Toffees have nothing to play for beyond pride and the hope of perhaps beating Chelsea and Stoke to ninth place.
Indeed, it's an illustration of how poorly Everton have performed for a second successive season that Eddie Howe's promoted side are level on points going into the weekend and can, of course, leapfrog their more decorated and prestigious hosts with a victory. Furthermore, while it would take a catastrophic and highly unlikely sequence of results for them to get sucked into the bottom three by season's end, Roberto Martinez's team are still not mathematically safe from relegation.
It's little wonder then that 10 days on from their disgraceful performance at Anfield and a week since the painful but not altogether unexpected exit from the FA Cup by Manchester United, much of the focus will be on Martinez as his future as Everton manager. Reports have claimed that the board of directors will meet today to discuss the Catalan's position in the Goodison Park hot-seat but, if true, regardless of what, if anything, is decided, he will almost certainly be in the home dugout come 3pm tomorrow.
Martinez has said he understands the passion and the hurt felt by Blues fans at performances on the pitch but, should a section of supporters follow through with their plan to lead peaceful protests from the stands, it could make for an uncomfortable afternoon for the 42-year-old.
His hopes of registering what would be only his fifth home league win in over a calendar year won't be helped by a continuing selection crisis at the back, however. Phil Jagielka and Seamus Coleman are ruled out with hamstring injuries and Ramiro Funes Mori is suspended, leaving Martinez with just one fit senior centre-half and no experienced cover in terms of a natural right back.
Gareth Barry, the most natural choice to drop back from midfield into the back four, is also sidelined with a groin strain, leaving only the option to deploy someone like Muhamed Besic or James McCarthy as an emergency centre half or, more sensibly, hand Matthew Pennington his first senior start in the Premier League. The 21-year-old was recalled from a successful spell with Walsall last weekend and would be a natural choice to start.
Besic deputised at fullback at Wembley last weekend and was often exposed by the likes of Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford but it remains to be seen if Martinez feels he could cope better with Bournemouth's less potent wide and forward players. Callum Connolly, a debutant in the last home game against Southampton, is an option as a starter, however, which would free Besic up to play in defensive midfield.
Elsewhere in the side, much will depend on whom Martinez feels is deserving of a run-out based on recent performances. Gerard Deulofeu made a positive impact when he came on in the semi-final and could get the nod over Aaron Lennon but, with Kevin Mirallas only being thrown on in injury time against United, it would be surprising to see him start given what appears to be a cool relationship with his manager.
Martinez insisted in his pre-match press conference that every point is important but, given that there is little riding on the outcome of this game, it would seem to be the ideal opportunity to give Oumar Niasse some minutes and Evertonians another glimpse of the club's third-most expensive signing who has yet to make a start since joining almost three months ago.
For their part, Bournemouth will be without Harry Arter who has a leg injury but could welcome back forward Max Gradel following a thigh injury.
Following his side's stirring but ultimately fruitless second-half comeback last Saturday, an Everton win would be seized upon by Martinez as evidence that he can find the formula for success at Goodison despite what is two full seasons of evidence to contrary now.
It would seem that there can be no way back for a large majority of Blues fans where Martinez is concerned even if results were to pick up in the final weeks of the campaign but a decent display from the team would at least take the worst of the edge off the frustration and offer something to cheer after last week's agony at Wembley.
Referee: Neil Swarbrick
Predicted Line-up: Robles, Connolly, Stones, Besic, Baines, McCarthy, Cleverley, Lennon, Barkley, Deulofeu, Lukaku
Full details: ToffeeWeb match page
Reader Comments (85)
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1 Posted 29/04/2016 at 07:49:08
Team selection is also a factor and I would not be surprised to see a confident Bourmouth team come to Goodison and get all 3 points.
No doubt there will be loads of posts with different starting teams. Play some of the kids in this one.
2 Posted 29/04/2016 at 08:12:30
Connolly Stones Galloway Baines
Deulofeu Dowell Lennon
If not why not - Lukaku can piss off with his attitude lately.
3 Posted 29/04/2016 at 08:12:52
4 Posted 29/04/2016 at 08:24:19
6 Posted 29/04/2016 at 08:51:24
So it looks as though the 'pivotal' week maybe wasn't quite as pivotal as all that. "All pivots are created equal, but some are more equal than others."
It must by like the Fuhrerbunker at Goodison now, everyone pretending that everything is fine with the leader going bonkers in a corner and being told by his propaganda chief that "We are on the verge of Champions League football. Ignore the stupid supporters, they don't understand anything."
7 Posted 29/04/2016 at 08:53:30
Time to Go
Time to Go
Time to Go
Time to Go
Time to Go
Instead of hankies, and tennis balls, nothing like a vocal mass of noise towards the end of the game to make feeling know.
10 Posted 29/04/2016 at 09:06:14
Well, I don't really BELIEVE that but bets on a 4-0 0r 5-0 win against one of the Prem's very worst sides defensively, means I have to have hope !
12 Posted 29/04/2016 at 10:00:13
13 Posted 29/04/2016 at 10:09:06
14 Posted 29/04/2016 at 10:23:25
15 Posted 29/04/2016 at 10:49:02
He will then bring him on at 87 minutes.
Yeah thanks Bobby
16 Posted 29/04/2016 at 10:50:54
17 Posted 29/04/2016 at 11:12:19
18 Posted 29/04/2016 at 11:21:04
As for going to the match, but does anyone else feel like it's a chore these days? Waste of half a day. But we go 'cause we're Evertonians. And tonorrow we go to be heard.
19 Posted 29/04/2016 at 11:37:25
Regarding the various demonstrations, I am confused do I wait till they have played 18 minutes before entering the ground. At what point do I throw my tennis ball on the pitch, is that before or after I wave my white hanky. Then I get up and leave 18 minutes before the end of the game.
20 Posted 29/04/2016 at 11:48:15
For the game itself I would love to see Kieran Dowell start in the number ten role. Barkley has looked like a man pulling a coal truck in the last few games and deserves to be dropped. Mirallas should start the game. He is one of our few class players but like the whole squad has been badly managed this season.
21 Posted 29/04/2016 at 12:01:32
Whatever happens, we'll show 'incredible intensity'.
22 Posted 29/04/2016 at 12:05:13
it is a chore.
So much so yesterday I decided I wasn't going. That's me finished this season.
I just got on line and am pissing off for a few days in the sun. A couple of hours and I'll be in the airport lounge and like the arsehole journalists at the Echo will be swigging down quintuple GTs
It's a pity really as I had my tennis balls ready.
Anyway bollocks to them. Hopefully I can resist streaming the match but doubt it.
Enjoy it gents. My enjoyment finished 2 years ago.
23 Posted 29/04/2016 at 12:07:26
I do however agree I fancy Everton to win by a couple of goals.
On a seperate note, Barkley holding back on extending his contract, I do not blame the guy, the stick some of our fans give him, instead of supporting the lad is unbelievable.
24 Posted 29/04/2016 at 12:12:08
25 Posted 29/04/2016 at 12:14:57
why do you think Barkley should be exempt from any criticism, I have never booed a player or the team but Ross,s performances in the last 4/5 months have been woeful. I will be amazed if Hodgson takes him to the Euros yet 12 months ago he was a certainty, thats how much he has gone backwards this season.
I don't think we can keep saying he is still a kid, he is a regular in the team as well as being selected for England games for the past 12 months.
26 Posted 29/04/2016 at 12:18:48
27 Posted 29/04/2016 at 12:56:06
28 Posted 29/04/2016 at 13:25:48
29 Posted 29/04/2016 at 13:54:34
We have 4 winnable games to go so lets win them all.
And if we win them all ( and its a big if ) he still has to go
30 Posted 29/04/2016 at 14:14:44
31 Posted 29/04/2016 at 14:18:03
Well, as my late pater used to tell me 'There are many chores in life.'
'What chores?' I would respond.
'Oh thank you, I'll have a pint of Mild' would come the answer (followed by an Arthur Askey-style 'Iiiiiithangyew!')
Up the Toffeemen!
32 Posted 29/04/2016 at 16:03:35
It might be me being a bit paranoid but I am just wondering if this is a contributary reason why the club have reduced season ticket prices.
Just checked my bank and they've cashed my cheque already!
33 Posted 29/04/2016 at 16:13:01
34 Posted 29/04/2016 at 16:29:31
I believe it has all been said about Martinez and his 'future' ,If any, at Goodison, hopefully it will be resolved and he will do the decent thing with as much dignity as possible from all sides. It appears the whole footballing world is now rooting for Leicester to take the title either on Sunday or with our help next game, even here in Ontario our local sports media, newscast featured a live broadcast describing the Foxes ''Soccer Miracle'' from Leicester city centre this morning, just hope they, deservedly, do it on Sunday after we beat Bournemouth tomorrow
35 Posted 29/04/2016 at 16:34:39
36 Posted 29/04/2016 at 16:38:09
I think Pennington, Connolly and Dowell all deserve a chance and I would love the crowd to get behind Ross Barkley and John Stones.
Mr big licks can take care of himself and show he is worth a CL team.
37 Posted 29/04/2016 at 16:39:17
Niasse has to play some, at least half an hour.
Will also be interesting to see how born mouth set themselves up. Like it or not, Howe is likely to be one of the front-runners for the Job this summer.
38 Posted 29/04/2016 at 16:49:44
Result is almost meaningless but I hope we've at the very least learnt that Besic cannot play at RB.
Time to blood a couple of younguns, which may calm the crowd a bit.
As for the tennis balls, why are they to be thrown on the pitch? Wouldn't it be better to aim them at the brown shoe'd one in the tech area? Would be hilarious to see a rain of tennis balls falling as he's trying to take cover.
39 Posted 29/04/2016 at 17:30:01
40 Posted 29/04/2016 at 18:50:53
41 Posted 29/04/2016 at 19:09:39
He lost both defining games. He now states he wasn't given funding (Lukaku and Niasse - hello!).
For someone who states that he is not one for excuses, that is all he trots out. I would be tempted to put Pennington, Dowell and Tom Davies on tomorrow.
I really don't like the cunning weasel at all now and wish he would just go. But maybe he is hanging on for his payout.
Then he will bullshit his way into another job. Probably in the championship.
42 Posted 29/04/2016 at 21:06:50
44 Posted 29/04/2016 at 21:50:35
Great photo up top. Obviously something ungood had just happened. What game was this?
45 Posted 29/04/2016 at 22:18:25
All the best for the future!
Learn from your mistakes and your come back stronger!
46 Posted 30/04/2016 at 01:09:39
A couple at the pantomime (cash) cow would get the message across too
47 Posted 30/04/2016 at 01:19:47
Part of me wants to believe that too. It's all to easy to park the bus and make yourself hard to break down but to be exceptional you have to take risks. I buy in that that
Where it falls down is that we haven't even been very attacking since the start of the year and the players look like they've lost faith. There also seems to be a lack of grit to complement it, thus the constant dropped points from winning positions. A good read though
48 Posted 30/04/2016 at 01:58:13
I hope the home the crowd take that on board. After all the disappointment of this season and especially the last couple of weeks we have to look to the future. They are a big part of it.
Chris # 47 - I read the article and agree it is a good read. Carragher asked him some very pertinent questions and surprisingly for me, his answers made sense. Just wish he had translated it all onto the pitch and into results.
49 Posted 30/04/2016 at 03:30:40
He cant even talk a good game without bullshitting. The reality is most fans think his style of football on the field is boring and not effective, the stats back that up.
He WILL take us down next season, 3 young players he has worked with for the last 3 years want away. They bought into his philosophy, but 3 years down the track they know it wont work, it's turned the fans against them and the lads now want out and who could blame them.
It must be hard to have to listen to his shite talk every day. Well good luck with your protests lad's & gals . Hope you walk away from Goodison with 3 points and made your point.
50 Posted 30/04/2016 at 04:19:41
I am not saying Barkley should be exempt from critism, what I am saying is whenever Barkley tries anything, you can hear the groans from some not all in the crowd, if he goes past two players, some want him to pass, others shout get rid.
He is not playing as well as he can, maybe just maybe, if some supporters clapped and encouraged the lad, instead of booing, his confidence will grow.
I am sure yourself included, have heard the groans from the odd fan, Barkley your shite etc, if Lukaku miscontrols a ball, you can hear an odd murmour, soon as Barkley mis controls, the groan volume is definitely louder.
So no Brian I do not think Barkley should be excluded from critism, at the same time, I still feel he gets unjust stick at Goodison by some fans.
At least with Howard playing in goal, the whipping boys just might give Ross a day off, I do not include yourself or other posters on here in regards to booing Barkley, but the minority should ty to support Ross, instead of shooting the lad down, everytime he gets the ball.
51 Posted 30/04/2016 at 06:09:49
The semi-final was a case in point. He got almost nothing right the entire game. Even simple five-yard passes were going amiss. The groans were groans of simple exasperation with a player we know has talent but too rarely demonstrates he has the brains to match.
52 Posted 30/04/2016 at 06:32:45
You've completely proven the point being made. You're looking for Barkley's mistakes. You're waiting for them. That's why you think he got nothing right in the semi, when clearly that's a ridiculous claim.
53 Posted 30/04/2016 at 07:33:15
There will of course be pockets of hostility, one or two banners dotted around, but that hostility will be directed at the wrong man.
Kenwright will put a protective arm around his man, he will tell himself it is the noble thing to do. Misguided anger directed at the dug out will never see the removal of an Everton manager.
Only when the hostility and anger is aimed at the directors box will action be taken.
Its painfully Ironic; With the possible exceptions of messrs Mason and Pickering, nobody wants to see us lose, ever ! Yet I fear its going to take another shite performance to create the sort of atmosphere which will force the directors hands.
This club will be the fucking death of me
54 Posted 30/04/2016 at 07:59:13
"Bournemouth registered 10 shots on target against Everton in November's reverse fixture, the most they have ever managed in a Premier League match."
That was when we were at least getting into positions when we looked liked we would get a win......
55 Posted 30/04/2016 at 08:10:49
Why would they call a board meeting this week? I would like to know the reason. Season ticket sales down? Only one outcome. Martinez is going. It would be foolish to keep him here with the fans so unhappy.
A manager who dosen't care for results over performances is very worrying. The motivation to travel 200 miles to watch us under him next season will be tested big time. What is keeping me going now is Martinez will be sacked. I don't see any other outcome!
58 Posted 30/04/2016 at 09:04:05
Halfway through this season, Ross was playing well, had popped in a few goals and had some useful assists.
His form over the last 3 months has dropped off.
This could be explained by the fact that he has been used in different roles by the manager.
He clearly is not suited to the deep lying midfield slot, but when he is pushed forward, the lack of width on the left and the reluctance of Macca or Barry to get up in support restricts his passing options.
He has been at his best away from home, as we play on the counter. He can then use his pace and passing ability.
All too often, particularly at home, he runs out of ideas with banks of defenders in front of him.
The fans expect a lot of him, but his confidence is low, and it is a vicious circle of goans and less confidence.
His stats are reasonable with 5 goals and 8 assists in all competitions, but we know he is capable of so much more.
Today, I expect quite an open game and although we may be shaky at the back without Barry and Jags, it would be nice to get the win, that they denied us down south.
Barkley to get a late winner!
59 Posted 30/04/2016 at 09:15:31
Great to keep a sense of humour. My old chemistry teacher at Oldershaw in the sixties used to say " Boys, a sense of humour is a sense of proportion!" Mind you, he also said, while sniffing deeply on a test tube, "Boys, this is cyanogen, the most poisonous gas known in the world, today." So I wonder.
Today's Everton requires a sense of proportion. It's like being a member of the WTF are we tribe! Let's hope somebody will cut the grass.
61 Posted 30/04/2016 at 09:40:21
Talking a good game has never been a problem for him, it's translating the verbiage into action on the pitch that's let him down. But if he was ever called to a meeting, I am positive he would give a good account of himself and be well able 'to melt the heart' of our new investor's proxy !
The inclusion of Old Tim Howard and a few of the kids in today's team will provide ready excuse in defeat or- as is more likely- cause for tear-jerking celebration of a stonking good win !
62 Posted 30/04/2016 at 10:21:57
Old Bill would be all smiles, and Roberto would be standing on the touchline giving himself that personal hug, in his quilted jacket, thinking that he might just squeeze another year out of the old luvvie.
And the fans we'd have to applaud! As we consign ourselves to more of the same....
63 Posted 30/04/2016 at 10:27:03
For the record not mine.
But you reckon he is smarter than Moshiri's man? I don't think so but we will see next week.
64 Posted 30/04/2016 at 10:35:44
To The Investor and his proxy, he's something new, I imagine but he must have 'sold them his ' dream as well as his (and others') shares.
I think he's somehow stitched up Moshiri but other on here say I'm talking bollox. Hope I am , really !
65 Posted 30/04/2016 at 10:41:28
Carra was extremely sympathetic with his questions certainly compared to that Sky defense interrogation, and I am not sure the reason for that. All very chummy as I read it.
Now maybe if Roberto could encourage Carra to join us as a defensive coach (and sounding board), and also replace that knob Jones (plus maybe some other ex Wigan backroom chums) we could maybe have something to look forward to. Must most importantly RM has GOT to start actually using his ears and mouth in proportion to each other.
It's certainly not what I want at this moment in time but I am thinking he may be here early next season. One thing is for sure something has to change even if RM stays. Otherwise it has to be a shiny new broom.
66 Posted 30/04/2016 at 10:47:16
We are all used to the various humiliations and disasters served up by attending football matches but what is likely to happen this afternoon goes beyond distasteful and really should be aimed at the board members.
I for one will be cheering the team on, particularly any youngsters, my hatred will be aimed at the area behind RM.
67 Posted 30/04/2016 at 10:54:16
When Martinez arrived, he made a big deal about training with the ball, as opposed to lots of running. He claimed that fitness levels were higher with this method. It appears the contrary is true. He accepts that good organisation and playing on the break gets results, but claims that Leicester are dependent on individuals like Vardy and Mehrez.
He claims his system means anyone can come in and fit the pattern. However, Leicester have got results without either of their talisman, because their system is easier to use with changes in personnel.
If Roberto's way is not dependent on individuals, then who could score goals when Rom was missing? His arguments don't add up. To play the Cruyff/ Barca way you surely need players who are comfortable on the ball, and have the tactical awareness to change the shape of the team during play, and adjust the tempo of the game to suit their need.
Our shape, with 2 holding midfielders is so far from that principle, we look pedestrian and predictable. His approach seems to drain the passion from the players, and this only returns when calamity threatens or the crowd get on their backs.
Martinez has his vision, but it doesn't work, and his obstinacy is costing us.
68 Posted 30/04/2016 at 10:59:35
69 Posted 30/04/2016 at 11:02:13
He should not have to face the humiliatation that will pour down on him today, like Ron, I've had enough of Martinez but my utter scorn is for that phoney luvvie Billy "fuckin'Liar" and if he's there today, most likely not, he is the one who should receive the crowds anger.
I hope we win today but any win in the rest of the season is really meaningless. What a club we have become under The Luvvie.
70 Posted 30/04/2016 at 11:09:44
He seems to have "lost" key players. To continue is untenable. Mark Hughes has been touted recently. I hope not as my own view is that it need a Klopf type character in the role at Everton and with a great back room that includes defence experts with real experience.
Grass roots, true blue blood. Now there's a conundrum!!?? Who fits the bill?
71 Posted 30/04/2016 at 11:10:01
72 Posted 30/04/2016 at 11:13:43
74 Posted 30/04/2016 at 11:48:42
75 Posted 30/04/2016 at 11:53:28
Fan power can and will overcome all this. The more fans who protest at the game, the better. Banners, chants, boos and whistles will no doubt be dismissed as a passionate and misguided fewâ€¦
So, at our website, www.adios.org.uk we have provided a free download to your phone or tablet, or the option to download and print a small A4 poster.
The reason we have done this is to make it easy to protest visually which will be hard to dismiss. It saves you time, allows you the option to decide there and then and deliver a simple messageâ€¦ AdiÃ³s.
SACK Martinez NOW!
76 Posted 30/04/2016 at 11:56:05
The only danger I see is if Moshiri is only interested in the P&L and balance sheet and keeping our Premier league status.
I don't think that is the case because according to the intel he pulled his investment in Arsenal because he and Usmanov were unable to influence the performance of the club on the pitch.
By the way I have always had a gut feeling that Usmanov somehow has an interest in how things pan out for Moshiri. Remember he bought Moshiri's Arsenal shares off him which effectively financed the investment in Everton.
In my view it would take some pulling the wool over this threesome's eyes and I think they will have a plan which will include success on the pitch and raising the club's global profile.
The question they will be asking themselves is can OPM help deliver this?
Anyway - I hope we hammer Bournemouth and Stones and Barkley play blinders. We need something to cheer us up.
Up the Blues (Forever)
77 Posted 30/04/2016 at 12:22:21
We are mathematically safe, and we get our point across that "Nil Satis Nisi Optimum"
78 Posted 30/04/2016 at 12:48:52
79 Posted 30/04/2016 at 12:54:48
80 Posted 30/04/2016 at 13:12:35
They will ring me back.
81 Posted 30/04/2016 at 13:19:14
What are the odds on BK appearing, teary eyed, on the big screen before KO and thus defusing any anti-Martinez protests?
82 Posted 30/04/2016 at 13:40:55
83 Posted 30/04/2016 at 13:42:35
Why why why, Martinez
Bye bye bye, Martinez
We've booked you a plane
Now piss off back to Spain
Fuck off, Martinez, we just can't take any more pain.
84 Posted 30/04/2016 at 13:43:12
'Fuck off, Mourinho',
'Fuck off, Mourinho'
Also works well swapping Mourinho with Martinez...
85 Posted 30/04/2016 at 13:49:53
86 Posted 30/04/2016 at 13:50:10
Robles (unless we have a bolter from the youth setup);
Coleman, Jagielka, Pennington, Baines;
Lennon, Besic or Barkley, Oviedo;
4-1-3-2 with the widemen working in tandem with the wingbacks.
Deulofeu, Mirallas, Connolly, Funes Mori, Davies and Dowell on the bench just in case.
Anyway, it's nice to dream. I think the future is looking rosy even before Mr Moshiri starts flexing his wealth.
COYB, let's send Martinez off with a win!
87 Posted 30/04/2016 at 13:53:21
Anyone who refuses to do this will be made to listen to every Martinez press conference, on a loop, for three days running.
88 Posted 30/04/2016 at 14:01:38
Let's hope we show class on and off the field.
Support the team but protest against the management.
I hope we win but fear another draw.
89 Posted 30/04/2016 at 14:03:51
90 Posted 30/04/2016 at 14:07:17
91 Posted 30/04/2016 at 14:24:45
92 Posted 30/04/2016 at 14:24:55
93 Posted 30/04/2016 at 14:30:45
94 Posted 30/04/2016 at 14:34:14
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