At the end of a week that promised much, Everton were forced to settle for a point as Roberto Martinez’ Blues missed the opportunity to go second in the Premier League with fellow top four challengers Tottenham Hotspur leaving Goodison Park with a goalless draw.
The level to which expectations have risen throughout the opening months of the season is perfectly reflected in the level of disappointment and frustration felt in and outside Goodison Park on Sunday afternoon. The referee and the weather were the main protagonists in this weeks encounter and although the Premier League is incredibly tight, Everton find themselves in seventh position with a quarter of the season gone. The result did confirm that Everton are genuine contenders for the Champions League places and with the Blues riding high, Matty Williams looked at how Everton would fare in Europe’s Premier competition.
The week began however with a look back at the win over Aston Villa, where Roberto Martinez continued to show his excellent in-game management. With Everton struggling to contain a rampant Villa, Martinez made a number of tactical changes to nullify the threat from the pacey opposition attack before a vital game changing substitution won the match for the Blues.
Everton won the Villa game thanks to another goal from the brilliant Romelu Lukaku, but with the big Belgium only at Goodison on a one season loan deal, regular columnist Tom Hennessy looked forward to the end of the campaign and pondered whether Everton can even hope to replace the Chelsea man next season.
Martinez is doing a sterling job with the first team and Kevin Sheedy and Duncan Ferguson have got the u18 Academy side playing with confidence and style. The young Toffees have been in such good form that the a number of the playing squad are already tipped for a bright future career for Everton and England. We looked in detail at four such players, who will be looking to follow Ross Barkley into the Everton team.
St Domingo’s is a celebration of Everton past and present and we often look back at the great teams of years gone by, particularly the brilliant team of the 1980s. Earlier this year, Howard Kendall released his autobiography and described how he put together the all-conquering team that went on to win the historic League and European Cup Winners Cup double.
If the history of Everton is littered with genuinely great players, then they is also many who failed to fulfill their undoubted potential. One player who burst onto the scene in the 1990’s was the lightening quick Michael Branch. Unfortunately Branch failed to cope with the huge expectations placed on his young shoulders and dropped through the leagues before falling on difficult times outside of the game.
A player who followed Michael Branch through the successful Everton Academy 10 years later was Jack Rodwell. Now at Manchester City, Rodwell is struggling to establish himself in Manchester and with growing rumours of a return to Merseyside, we posed the question, should Everton consider a move for the former Evertonian.
It is not only at Manchester City where players go missing. A number of players have found themselves out of the picture following the change of manager at Everton. At differing moments, Apostolos Vellios, Maguye Gueye and Francisco Junior appeared to make the breakthrough under the leadership of David Moyes only to fail to perform on the big stage. However, since Roberto Martinez was appointed Everton manager in the summer, the three have struggled to even earn a place on the substitutes bench, with Junior now out of loan and Vellios and Gueye struggling to earn a place in Alan Stubbs’ u21 squad. Our Obstructed View columnist Ross Crombie had a look at the careers of the three and asked what has happened to Everton’s missing men.
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