Everton vs Arsenal

Friday, 20 December, 2019 83comments  |  Jump to last

Fabian Delph is getting closer to fitness but it remains to be seen whether or not he will be passed fit for this match

Everton play the second of three successive home games when they face Arsenal in the Saturday lunchtime encounter, a fixture that comes quickly on the heels of an intense cup quarter-final on Wednesday evening.

With the club still waiting to rubber-stamp to widely reported appointment of Carlo Ancelotti, Duncan Ferguson will be in the dugout once more having overseen a win and a draw in the Premier League and a 2-2 tie over 90 minutes with Leicester before the disappointment of defeat on penalties in the Carabao Cup.

The Scot has had a galvanising effect since taking the reins from Marco Silva and he will need to summon more energy from his charges despite the quick turnaround. Everton's players exhibited some signs of fatigue against the Foxes, particularly in a poor first-half, but rallied in the second to claw back a 2-0 deficit.

That kind of resolve and determination will be needed again this weekend as the Gunners travel looking for their second consecutive away win, with their own imminent managerial appointment in the form of Mikel Arteta perhaps providing a fillip for a team that has also been struggling for form this season. If he is chosen as Unai Emery's successor, Arteta won't be in the visitors' dugout but he could be watching on from the stands.

Ferguson's pre-match press conference will no doubt shed light on which players he might have available for this one after he was forced to deploy Mason Holgate as an emergency central midfielder in the last two matches. Fabian Delph is getting closer to recovering from a hamstring strain but might

not be risked but Gylfi Sigurdsson could be available after missing the Manchester United and Leicester games through illness. There is also a question mark over Bernard who

Djibril Sidibé appears to have been afflicted by the same bug but he might also return but Lucas Digne is likely to be ruled out again with a groin strain. Thankfully, Leighton Baines has been turning back the clock by doing an impressive job as his replacement.

For Arsenal, caretaker boss Freddie Ljungberg will have Hector Bellerin (hamstring), Sead Kolasinac (ankle), and Granit Xhaka (concussion) assessed before making his team selection. The Swede has seen his team draw at Norwich and Standard Liege but lose at home to Brighton and Manchester City since he took temporary charge but did record a 3-1 win at West Ham two weeks ago.

The feeling watching Everton blitz Chelsea was that the teetering Gunners would find it difficult to live with the Toffees in that kind of mood but much depends on how great a toll the high-energy matches under Ferguson have taken on the players physically.

Regardless, if the home team can retain the spirit that has been such a welcome feature of Ferguson's interim tenure while nullifying the Gunners' undoubtedly talented attack, there is every chance they can grind out another three points to usher in the new regime on a high.

Kick-off: 12:30pm Saturday, 21 December 2019
Referee: Kevin Friend
Last Time: Everton 1 - 0 Arsenal

Predicted Line-up: Pickford, Coleman, Holgate, Mina, Baines, Davies, Sigurdsson, Iwobi, Bernard, Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin


Reader Comments (83)

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Darryl Ritchie
1 Posted 20/12/2019 at 07:00:46
If we play this match the way we have been playing the previous few and Arsenal play the way they have been playing lately, it can be done. They are a shadow of the side of last season.

3-1 Toffees!

Derek Knox
2 Posted 20/12/2019 at 07:07:55
Good pre-match assessment Lyndon, and one match again I am really looking forward to. Don't know how long since I have felt like that. I have always tried to be optimistic, but have known that in reality, recently the chance of losing was higher than that of winning.

The start of a new era hopefully, and in the matches thus far that Duncan has been involved in he has restored pride amongst the players and fans alike.

Knowing in all probability, that this will be his last match in charge as Interim Manager, he will want to retain his unbeaten record and although he has little to choose from squad-wise, I believe and hope he will again deliver.

The good thing will be, that after tomorrow he will still have a direct influence on the playing staff, and as injuries and illnesses subside, he will, alongside Carlo have more options. A hitherto unexpected run of games may just yield a few more much needed points than previously feared.

I just hope and pray that the first half display against Leicester has been banished to Room 101, never to be seen again.

Kunal Desai
3 Posted 20/12/2019 at 07:14:45
This lot are poor. Won once in three months. One of the poorest Arsenal sides for many years.
The centre back pairing of Sokratis and Luiz is laughable. Sokratis is suspended for tomorrow, not sure if that's a positive. They are in greater mess than we are and Arteta will have his hands full sorting them out.

Hopefully we have a few players back. More of the second half performance from wednesday and I think we win this.

David Greenwood
4 Posted 20/12/2019 at 07:18:31
There's nothing to fear playing Arsenal any more.

They are a shambles and I expect us to win tomorrow.

Goodison will be rocking.
Carlo announced later today, Duncans last game in charge, it will be emotional and noisy and these arsenal players are even softer and more spineless than any thing Marco served up.

I won't even worry if they score first, we will bounce back.

At least a 3-1 win tomorrow, if not more.


Mike Allison
5 Posted 20/12/2019 at 07:42:52
”I won't even worry if they score first, we will bounce back.“

David I wish I'd been watching your Everton lately.

I'll worry if we're 2-0 up with ten minutes to go.

James Hughes
6 Posted 20/12/2019 at 08:01:22
Its March 2021 and Lyndon's pre-match article has the following-

Fabian Delph is getting closer to recovering from a hamstring strain

Is this fella related to Gibson?

Jim Bennings
7 Posted 20/12/2019 at 08:54:48
It's a game we can win but the way we defend, you would probably feel it's going to take two or three goals to actually win it.

We haven't kept a clean sheet for ages and against Arsenal's pretty potent forwards (the only thing that keeps them together) it's hard to see a clean sheet tomorrow.

We need to go out with a win for Dunc, then the hard work starts for Ancelotti.

Don Carlo is faced with Manchester City and Liverpool away in two of his first four games, not to mention another tricky away game against Newcastle fast on the tails of Burnley at home Boxing Day.

I'm looking at the likes Iwobi and Bernard and thinking these types of players need to start producing better quality in the final third.

You know Davies and Holgate will battle but creatively going forward we need something with a sprinkling of class.

The time out might have done Sigurdsson some good and hopefully he can start getting on some kind of scoring run akin to last season, with Ancelotti coming in you would imagine Sigurdsson's time here could be up for debate unless he pulls his finger out soon.

Neil Lawson
8 Posted 20/12/2019 at 09:22:35
I wish that I could get excited about the likely appointment of Ancellotti. I can not. Especially when I hear the sums involved and the demand that we employ all his acolytes too. Duncan has been an absolute breath of fresh air. His commitment and enthusiasm is magnificent and he has produced performances and results. I really hope he can do it tomorrow also. Ever the grumpy pessimist, I fear that in 6 months time this page may be miserable again. Batter the Arse tomorrow and start the New Year, at least, on a positive note and hope for the best.
John Keating
9 Posted 20/12/2019 at 09:23:30
Glad Duncan is here for this one
We need fresh legs in the team but as long as we show the same commitment as the Chelsea game we can't complain
Jim Bennings
10 Posted 20/12/2019 at 09:33:43

I feel more content and assured now though that Ancelotti will be here for three years, make his mark and then Duncan will take over after that.

Three more years for Dunc learning under Ancelotti, I think it's almost set in stone now that Duncan takes over in 2022. (Maybe sooner).

We have seen first hand now that tactically and motivational wise, Dunc has got what it takes.

Paul Tran
11 Posted 20/12/2019 at 10:43:02
Duncans last match - for now! And he's blessed with meeting a club that's achieved the distinction of being a bigger basket case than us.

They have strikers I'd love us to have. The rest of that team is an incoherent, unhappy shell.

I'm looking forward to a raucous send off for Duncan, a rousing welcome for Carlo and an in your face victory.

And how about at half time they cheer us up by playing a recording of Teary Bill's phone call to his beloved son Davey?

Derek Taylor
12 Posted 20/12/2019 at 11:03:27
I'll be making a special effort to be there as old age may mean it's the last sight I'll ever get of the lads at Goodison. Let us hope Big Dunc can sign off on the bright note he has brought to being an Evertonian in recent days. We shall be all the worse, I fear, for being so keen to replace him with yet another tribe of show ponies.
Jimmy Hogan
13 Posted 20/12/2019 at 11:11:33
Have they not heard of the flu jab? Also, is anyone else hearing that Kenwright is selling his remaining shares? I've no source for this - just gossip. I think Moshiri realises Bill needs to go. The whole world knows the board is split over the new manager and that's not the image we need to project. Anyway, back on topic, I'm going for 2-0.
Christopher Timmins
14 Posted 20/12/2019 at 11:28:22
Unless Duncan can bring in some fresh legs I fear we might struggle in this one.
Neil Lawson
15 Posted 20/12/2019 at 11:47:51
Jim. Christmas cheer and good sense from you. Thank you. I hope that you are correct.
James Marshall
16 Posted 20/12/2019 at 11:56:09
Anyone thinking this will be a walkover is likely to be disappointed in my view. Arsenal players will be looking to impress Mikel Arteta, and in Aubemeyang/Lacazette etc they still have the ability to score freely and quickly.

I've watched a fair bit of Arsenal lately, and while at times they lack quality, and drive, they still have the ability to score plenty of goals at will.

Their front line is still potent, and I've seen milk turn quicker than our centre halves. Pacey front players are a problem for us, so I'm still very wary. We're also running on empty with the bare bones out so expect a struggle. Again.

Mick Davies
17 Posted 20/12/2019 at 12:26:42
I just hope Mikel isn't appointed today as we all know what a new manager bounce can do for the players
Derek Knox
18 Posted 20/12/2019 at 12:45:55
Jimmy @ 13, I sincerely hope there is some truth in your information re; Kenwright selling his shares! I was under the impression, and he said some time ago, that he was going to stand down due to deteriorating health.

He's either had several trips to Lourdes since that statement, found the elixir of life, (probably snake oil!) or signed a similar pact with the Horny Fellow like those across the park at Mordor.

Either way he seems very reluctant to go, but his departure which has been long overdue, will not be mourned by many!

Wonder what will happen with DBB when he goes?

Colin Malone
19 Posted 20/12/2019 at 12:54:02
We know at Goodison tomorrow, we'll see 120% from every player and that's down to Duncan Ferguson. Very few of us, me included, thought that Duncan could do so well. We had the two ugly sisters in Fat Sam and Ronald Koeman, while Big Dunc was left to do all the menial chores. Credit should also go to John Ebbrell.

Let's hope if Michelangelo (there's a song there) becomes Everton coach, he's not going to be like a kid in a sweetshop, like Koeman.

Richard Duff
20 Posted 20/12/2019 at 13:20:45
This is a must win. Positive momentum for the new regime and January transfer market, get out of the bottom third of the table. our next game is the halfway point of the league and we really have to be over 21 points.
Matthew Williams
21 Posted 20/12/2019 at 14:09:08
I think we'll nick this one, but it all seems a bit fruitless to be honest. 3 more points just to stay in the division (sigh), no Cups to look forward to and even a Euro Cup placing is very unlikely. Sorry, folks, but my pint pot is fucking empty at the moment!
Brian Williams
23 Posted 20/12/2019 at 14:35:43
Anyone fancy a couple of celebratory drinks in town after tomorrow's game?
I've emailed you Derek!
Steve Ferns
24 Posted 20/12/2019 at 14:40:39
Brian, I was going to try and meet Dave A before the game, with it being Christmas, I have a lot to do on Saturday and so won't be able to meet after the game. if you want to meet beforehand, then let me know.
Jay Wood

25 Posted 20/12/2019 at 14:42:55
Arteta appointment confirmed, but he will only start officially on Sunday. Lundberg remains in charge of the Arse for Saturday.


Brian Williams
26 Posted 20/12/2019 at 14:43:38
Cheers Steve but I'm in a driving rota and the driver for tomorrow has "got a lot on" so I won't be getting the handy unfortunately. Cheers though mate.
Jay Harris
27 Posted 20/12/2019 at 14:50:41
This game could go either way and I don't see a clean sheet for either team.

Arsenal are in disarray in the dressing room but have real quality on the pitch except in defence.

We are running on empty with injuries and the amount of effort in recent games and lack their attacking ability.

We need to start like an express train, ramp up the Goodison effect and hope a couple of goals will kill off their spirit.

We need alert defenders for this one so injuries permitting Keane sits this one out.

I hope Siggy is back as I don't think Bernard has recovered sufficiently and hope that Walcott is fit again.

I do hope that Tom Davies is OK and not running totally on empty but Mason Holgate has been a stalwart for the team in the last few games.

My team.


Coleman(or Sidibe) Holgate Mina Baines

Davies Siggy Delph (Iwobi)

Richy DCL Gordon (Iwobi)


Steve Ferns
28 Posted 20/12/2019 at 15:00:30
Jay H. you under-estimate the Steve Round factor!
Dave Lynch
29 Posted 20/12/2019 at 15:02:08
I'm more confident about this fixture than the last 2.

They are a bigger shambles than we are, with a load of underperforming average players.

Easy but hard fought win for me.

John Pierce
30 Posted 20/12/2019 at 15:03:56
I do wonder if we will hit an emotional wall tomorrow?!
The mental energy it's taking and the physical toll on a small number of fit players could be a game too far?

If Sidibe and Sigurdsson are fit, for me they play, moving Holgate back to centre back for the Easter island statue that is Michael Keane.

The impact of Duncan's 4-4-2 is Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison are prominent and benefit from directness, Iwobi and Bernard (ball players) are reduced to doing doggies up and down and look shocking.

That's the nub of ceding possession and being direct.

Hugh Jenkins
31 Posted 20/12/2019 at 15:10:27
Jimmy (13) - I still think this is connected to Usmanov and the original deal with BK.

BK probably had it written into his agreement that he would remain chairman until either his death, or he decided to step down.

Usmanov long made it known that he wanted to be Chairman of Arsenal and have a hand in the running of the club.

I think a deal was in place after he cut his losses at Arsenal that he would buy BK's shares and take over as Chairman of EFC as soon as BK indicated he was ready to sell and step down.

That is all speculation on my part but it is a scenario that fits the current known facts.

I don't doubt, for one minute, that the current rules on FFP can easily be breached / flaunted by a new major sponsorship deal with "unrelated" entities.

Christy Ring
32 Posted 20/12/2019 at 15:13:27
I'd still play Holgate in midfield, even if by some miracle, Delph is fit, his physical presence has been immense, in a problem area for us.
Jay Wood

33 Posted 20/12/2019 at 15:23:03
It would be nice to freshen up the squad, but then options remain extremely limited.

I could see Sidibe and Siggy returning to the starting XI, presuming they have both fully recovered from the virus that struck them down last weekend, to do just that.

Sidibe would be a straight swap in for Seamus. Siggy could switch in for Iwobi or Bernard, who in my eyes both have been very poor in the last couple of games. Or possibly even Tom Davies if he risks aggravating the knock he is said to playing through the pain barrier with.

There might even be a place in the squad for Delph, if now (almost!) match fit.

Personally, I would be very surprised if Duncan goes with near enough the same starting XI as in the last two games. The team needs rotating with so many fixtures coming on top of each other at this time of year.

Liam Reilly
34 Posted 20/12/2019 at 15:31:00
I think we've dodged a bullet with Arteta; a good coach doesn't necessarily make a good Manager.

And "Steve Round' is to be part of his team. How is this impostor still getting jobs?

Tony Abrahams
35 Posted 20/12/2019 at 15:40:16
I can't even get to the game tomorrow, but I will definitely try and have a pint with you soon Brian. Maybe when Bill sells his shares, I can celebrate him leaving, and you can drown your sorrows, but all in good spirits either way!

I Expect us to start the game tomorrow with a similar formation than the one we finished with the other night, and if it is to be Duncan's last game in charge, I just hope he can get one more big performance full of fight, because I don't know anyone who isn't enjoying this side of the game at the moment, and the feeling that we are finally getting “our Everton” back!

Ray Smith
36 Posted 20/12/2019 at 15:45:23
James 16

I agree with your comments re Arsenal players, playing to impress Arteta.

However, the reverse is also true as our players will be playing in front of Ancelotti observing from the directors box.

Jay Wood

37 Posted 20/12/2019 at 15:47:53
Duncan remaining very coy in his latest presser as to who our next manager is going to be:


"I don't know who the new manager will be, but [Ancelotti] is incredible and he's won everything. That's the type of calibre of manager I'm sure the club are looking for.

"Hopefully we will get a top top guy coming in. We are really ambitious as a club, and we want to attract the best guys, it's a massive club, Everton. Guys who you are talking about have done it all in the game, and we'd love these type of guys at our club.

"Nobody knows the players better than me, I've been here many a year and hopefully the new guy coming in, he uses me."

Happy to step aside and learn from (as well as teach!) the new guy, that reads to me.

Steve Ferns
38 Posted 20/12/2019 at 15:48:33
Ray, I would expect him to come onto the pitch and wave to the fans like when Allardyce and Lee and their entourage did before the West Ham game.
Liam Reilly
39 Posted 20/12/2019 at 15:50:06
Jay, Everton have been burnt a few times previously by publicly celebrating before deals have been signed.

I think they are handling this correctly by not committing to anything until a deal is finalised.

Steve Ferns
40 Posted 20/12/2019 at 15:51:08
Liam, are they also delaying the announcement so as not to distract from the game tomorrow?
Brian Williams
41 Posted 20/12/2019 at 15:53:18
Tony I'll be as glad as you mate to be honest. We DO need to move forward, with the times, and become a modern professionally run club.
I'll not be sorry to see him go at all I just don't think he's all bad, rather like me in fact. :-)
Mike Gaynes
42 Posted 20/12/2019 at 15:59:23
Brian, you're bad to the bone, we all know that.
Jay Wood

43 Posted 20/12/2019 at 16:04:16
Liam @ 39.

Absolutely no criticism of the club from me and the way they are handling the appointment of the new manager with their near total news blackout on the subject.

In recent years it has been the club's (very good, IMO) modus operandi.

Never been one to berate the club for not giving us every-5-minutes updates on such sensitive matters.

Raymond Fox
44 Posted 20/12/2019 at 16:15:32
Hard to know what to expect off Arsenal tomorrow they seem to be a collection of good players but not together as a team.
They will be on their toes though because of the appointment of Arteta. They also have two world class forwards in Lacazette and Aubameyang who can produce a goal out of nothing.
The betting is 11/8 Everton 15/8 Arsenal 11/4 draw.
Their expecting a few goals too - 4/7 over 2.5 goals. 6/4 under 2.5 goals.
The way things are at the moment for both teams I haven't a clue what the outcome will be, would love a win obviously.
Kieran Kinsella
45 Posted 20/12/2019 at 17:05:59
So many sub plots. Fergie's last game. The traitor's first game as Arsenal boss. Going to be emotionally charged.
Kieran Kinsella
46 Posted 20/12/2019 at 17:07:43
Liam 34,

Steve Round? One quote sums that joker up. He was appointed after we had just finished FIFTH and he said "Next year we are aiming for top SIX." Nice, lower the bar right away you complete joker.

Steve Ferns
47 Posted 20/12/2019 at 17:13:45
Kieran, wasn't Moyes still talking about 40 points after we finished 4th?
Kieran Kinsella
48 Posted 20/12/2019 at 17:25:49
Steve. No Kidding. I suspect that if Moyes won the lottery he'd complain about how the ticket cost him a quid.
Allan Board
49 Posted 20/12/2019 at 18:12:19
Aha! The return of clip board Steve at Arsenal! Didn't he get the nickname "hieroglyphics " because of all the incomprehensible scribble nonsense he used to use on our players? It's a long time ago but I seem to remember he was a complete tube.
Whatever though, we will still beat these tomorrow.
Jay Harris
50 Posted 20/12/2019 at 18:16:18
Interesting that Arteta made him his first appointment must be fast at getting the bottles of water and good with the magic sponge. Cant think they have too much in common tactically.
Brian Wilkinson
51 Posted 20/12/2019 at 18:17:40
Hugh@31, the rumours may be true, I am trying to use logic here and for my two pence worth, could it be Usmanov is waiting to see if the new stadium application gets accepted.

We are submitting this on December 23rd and although it will run into the new year before a decision is made, plans may be putting into place for Bill to step down if we get the New stadium.

Joe McMahon
52 Posted 20/12/2019 at 18:19:54
Steve @47, when joining Sunderland Moyes spoke about being in a relegation battle before the first game. I suppose he was correct as he took them down. And plenty of Evertonians still want him back.
Derek Knox
53 Posted 20/12/2019 at 18:22:29
Liam and Steve F, not unduly worried about no announcement yet, and for once I believe diplomacy has been appropriate before an early kick-off tomorrow.

Although it would be encouraging to know even if it was a definite for a post-match announcement, or Sunday/Monday.

The longer it goes on (given Everton's History) one can't help thinking that there is a hitch, cock-up, or whatever! 😏

Conor McCourt
54 Posted 20/12/2019 at 19:48:17
Just watched Arteta's unveiling and feel like I've just seen my dream girl say all the right things to a flash prick whose not right for her and will fuck her over the first chance he gets.

If anyone thinks Arteta is a nice guy in the mould of Silva just watch this and you will see the hunger in him. Honestly his interview was exactly what I want to hear from an incoming Everton manager and I had championed him because I felt he would marry the dynamic young coach we have striven for with someone who would uphold the ethos and values which big dunc has rekindled.

Cest la vie

Mike Gwyer
55 Posted 20/12/2019 at 19:57:58

Conor McCourt #54.

It's all blah blah blah.

When we beat Arsenal tomorrow Arteta will have all the ready made excuses to hand. If the Arsenal win then he will be like the second coming and all Gooners will go out, get pissed and start dreaming of top 4.

The following Saturday, it starts again..

Dick Fearon
56 Posted 20/12/2019 at 19:58:48
Back to the main topic and here I have to say that DCL is slowly gaining in my estimation.
With a bit of tweaking he and Richie will make a good dual strike force. ie: to meet crosses into the opponents area one of them should run to the near post while the other takes the back one. I have noticed that currently both attack the same space.
Brian Wilkinson
57 Posted 20/12/2019 at 21:39:48
Another thing as well Dick, why do we always pull every single player in or around our penalty area, when we concede a corner, why not have someone towards the half way line, it will either draw one of their players further back, or Pickford plays a quick ball out to our forward player.
Hugh Jenkins
58 Posted 20/12/2019 at 22:09:44
Conor (54). When Sooty was unveiled as the next manager of Arsenal Football Club, millions across the world vowed undying allegiance to him and swore that he would be the greatest manager ever. His opening, introductory speech, struck all the right chords and his assistant (Sweep) looked up to him admiringly and made all the right noises.
Then, Harry Corbett died and the audience grew up and became more knowledgeable and sophisticated.

Many millions still believe in Sooty (and Sweep) and Matthew Corbett did his best to pretend that Sooty was still alive.

However, all we adults know that what we are told on the TV is not always the truth and no matter who is waving the magic wand - it doesn't always work.

I fear that Mr. M Arteta is about to find out that his magic wand is not going to instantly work at Arsenal.

Mr. D Ferguson has already found out that his did at Everton.

Our next question is, - will Mr. C Ancelotti agree to join Everton and, if, so, is his magic wand in good working order?

Paul Birmingham
59 Posted 20/12/2019 at 23:06:42
In respect to the Gunners, I don't see the “Best Little Spaniard, You, Know”, to be in charge tomorrow.

Hopefully, tomorrow, EFC and Duncan, take the Gunners apart, and show no mercy.

Let's hope the tides of time the next few days, show up for EFC.

Phil Sammon
60 Posted 20/12/2019 at 23:35:12
Very interesting that Arteta has appointed Steve Round. As far as I remember he had every coaching badge under the sun but something about him made you feel like he was a text-book coach rather than someone who had a great passion for the game.

I'm quick to take a dislike to people for no apparent reason so Round was a bit of a no-brainer. His pearly white smile and boilerplate haircut. The kind of clean-cuttery sported only by those that you know have something despicable to hide.

Paul O'Neill
61 Posted 20/12/2019 at 23:39:30
Have a lovely Christmas all fellow Blues xxx
Jerome Shields
62 Posted 20/12/2019 at 23:42:48
Duncan will find that Arsenal set up shop and try to channel Ever tons attack. They will also try to maintain possession in midfield like Lecicester. Aleast Duncan has shown he can counter such play.
Steve Ferns
63 Posted 21/12/2019 at 00:05:41
You too Paul.

How good would it be to see this lad make his premier league debut tomorrow: Link only to fulfil his dream and score the winner.

Mike Gaynes
64 Posted 21/12/2019 at 00:23:36
Would be lovely indeed, Steve. And with our reduced ranks, he'll never have a better opportunity.
Tony Abrahams
65 Posted 21/12/2019 at 08:05:20
The perfect description of a modern football fan, Mike@55!
Tony Everan
66 Posted 21/12/2019 at 08:36:56
I am expecting a good performance today, I think Arsenal's defence will be worried about DCL and Richarlison up front. They will give Arsenal's dodgy defence problems, especially with Kolasinac out.

I think a decisive goal today will come from Mina. He should have scored 5 or 6 already this season. Duncan will be talking to him about ruthlessness in front of goal. I will have a tenner on it that the penny has dropped and back Mina at 12/1 to score today at any time, Arsenal will be all at sea at times and I can see one or two headed goals from us.

Everton 3 Arsenal 1

Paul Smith
67 Posted 21/12/2019 at 08:50:23
Can see this going the way of Arsenal with the new manager effect even watching from the stands they will all be up for it, fighting for their places.

A hard fought loss for me.

Colin Glassar
68 Posted 21/12/2019 at 09:10:58
I'll put my neck on the line and say, Dunc will go out with a resounding 3-0 win.
Derek Knox
69 Posted 21/12/2019 at 09:13:47
Colin @ 68, hope you have checked the Train Times!

Sincerely hope you are right, I wonder if there will be a special guest in the Stands and an announcement after the Match?

Paul Birmingham
70 Posted 21/12/2019 at 09:26:18
The Very Best of The Seasons Greetings for Evertonians, and it's a feel good factor around the place, that's been missing for a long, long time.

At the business end let's hope we can demolish Arsenal today, as speaking mid week with a few of their fans I know via work, they reckon, we should take them apart, and hammer them.

But we've been here before, so a w8n, and a great celebration thanks to Duncan and an early Chrimbo present for us all.

Let's show the Capo dei Tutti - Don Carlo, what Everton is and start the new era in high spirits, and ready to take up the fight to get the club on the road to success.

I'm genuinely on a high about the club, and some RS at work, have been quieter than normal this week, with their wise cracks..

Let's see.🍀👍🍻🍺⚽️

George McKane
71 Posted 21/12/2019 at 09:29:41
Off to the game in the next 10 minutes - need to leave very early - so very quick post - hope the last few weeks have blown a few cobwebs away and created a “posso” wave to float all over Blues today and in the future - so off now but sending cosmic grooves to all Fellow Blues for a Bluetiful Day.
With a firm handshake - - your friend - - George
Martin Faulkner
72 Posted 21/12/2019 at 09:44:29
Tony @66 that's not a bad call, I just put $5 on Everton win with Mina anytime scorer for $166. He should've had 2 against Leicester for sure
George McKane
73 Posted 21/12/2019 at 10:01:56
Just packed my camera for TDH and my mouth organ and leaving The House but a quick look out of the window and gazed upon the roof of Goodison from my window - - set's your heart on fire.
James Hughes
74 Posted 21/12/2019 at 10:04:37
George, no songs today mate ?

Eddie Dunn
75 Posted 21/12/2019 at 10:04:39
Never mind fatigue, these are young lads and can manage it.
I would simply like Keane dropped along with Iwobi.
Keane seems to be unsuited to football, immobile, slow and lacking intelligence. Iwobi is the proverbial headless chicken.
I hope Sigurdsson is fit to slot into midfield alongside Tom Davies, allowing Holgate to join Mina at the back.
I would have Richarlison on the left instead of the unfit, powderpuff that is Bernard and DCL at Centre forward.
Pickford, Baines, Mina, Holgate, Sidibe(or Coleman)
Richarlison, Sigurdsson, Davies, Gordon,
Domenic Calvert-Lewin.
Derek Knox
76 Posted 21/12/2019 at 10:04:59
All the best George, wish I could sample the atmosphere today but won't miss anything as it is televised, and of course the Live Forum.
George McKane
77 Posted 21/12/2019 at 10:12:40
Cheers Derek and James - had to rush off this mor due to family stuff - nothing bad just Chrissy Things - certainly back to normal for Burnley - Up The Blues - Cosmic Grooves All The Way - George - in car on way to The Dark House - getting dropped off by Gosia - having a pint today - will be interesting after my enforced abstinence.
Brian Harrison
78 Posted 21/12/2019 at 10:19:27
Would be great if we can get the win today and what a send off Duncan will get from the Goodison faithful. I know with injuries he is still limited to what changes he can make, but Iwobi and Bernard are just not good enough going forward. Yes they both put a shift in and both track back, but they were bought for what they can do offensively and so far they have contributed very little.

Maybe move Richarlison back to the left hand side and maybe play Kean next to DCL. I would move Holgate back alongside Mina and play Sigurdsson in midfield with Davies.

Jerome Shields
79 Posted 21/12/2019 at 11:05:23
Listened to Arteta on his new role. Came across as a Guardiola clone. This Culture may or may not work at Arsenal, that has had a definitive Culture well before Guerrilla existed. I would think it would be better to add a winning culture to the existing Culture, which was weakened by Wengers defensive fai!ings.

Definitely Arsenal will try to set up shop and channel Evertons attacking play into bottlenecks. Arteta will want control of the midfield with tic tac play, that was successful for Lecicester in the first half.

Brian Hennessy
80 Posted 21/12/2019 at 11:06:56
I have visions of Mina scoring a winner, running to the touchline and jumping into Duncan's arms ballboy-style - so I hope Ferguson has had his Wheatabix this morning.

By the way, did anyone see Mina's spear tackle on Baines after he scored on Wednesday? Poor Leighton didn't know what happened him.

Jon Bentley
81 Posted 21/12/2019 at 11:19:28
Just read this from Dunc in his programme notes. You gotta love him havent you?

"I couldn't have conceived two weeks ago that this experience would surpass my expectations.

“But it has, for two reasons. Firstly, because of you. I've never disguised my feelings about Evertonians, I think you're a magic set of fans. But feeling that depth of support as the man on the touchline has opened my eyes even further to the impact you have on this team.

“I felt that electric surge your backing generates as a player. But that sensation is stronger when you're responsible for these guys and can see their confidence and energy levels flying off the charts because you've got their backs.

“And the attitude of those players is the other factor which has contributed to this being one of the best periods of my life.

“I've demanded a lot of them - and it will be no different today - and the way they've responded has made me incredibly proud"

John Raftery
82 Posted 21/12/2019 at 11:24:27
Carlo has signed up!
John Keating
83 Posted 21/12/2019 at 11:27:08
Official Carlo onboard!!
Joe Corgan
84 Posted 21/12/2019 at 11:29:09
Just announced in the lounges at Goodison too. Seems like a choreographed timed announcement.

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