TEAM PREVIEW: Everton – Derek Mountfield wants a more clinical Everton

 

After the fantastic highs of Roberto Martinez’s first season season at Goodison Park, last season didn’t quite go to plan for Everton. The club have moved swiftly to bring back Gerard Deulofeu to the club and overall Martinez and his men will be expecting a much better season with the squad they have.

Last Season: Premier League (11th)

Manager: Roberto Martinez

 

Squad

GKs: Joel Robles, Tim Howard
DFs: Tony Hibbert, Leighton Baines, John Stones, Phil Jagielka, Seamus Coleman, Tyias Browning, Brendan Galloway
MFs: Darron Gibson, Aiden McGeady, Bryan Oviedo, Tom Cleverley, James McCarthy, Muhamed Besic, Gareth Barry, Ross Barkley, Leon Osman, Steven Pienaar
FWs: Arouna Kone, Romelu Lukaku, Kevin Mirallas, Steven Naismith, Gerard Deulofeu, Conor McAleny

 

Transfers

In: Tom Cleverley (Manchester United), Gerard Deulofeu (Barcelona), David Henen (Olympiakos)

Out: Antolin Alcaraz (Las Palmas), Sylvain Distin (Bournemouth), George Green (Oldham Athletic), John Lundstram (Released), George Newell (Bolton Wanderers), Chris Long (Burnley), Francisco Junior (Wigan Athletic – Loan), Jonjoe Kenny (Wigan Athletic – Loan), Luke Garbutt (Fulham – Loan)

 

First Six: Watford (H), Southampton (A), Manchester City (H), Tottenham Hotspur (A), Chelsea (H), Swansea City (A)

Likely Lineup: (4-3-3) Howard – Coleman, Stones, Jagielka, Baines – Cleverley, Barry, McCarthy – Mirallas, Lukaku, Barkley

 

 

A word from…Derek Mountfield

On his memories of the club How does an Everton supporter feel about playing for the team he has followed all his life? It was an incredible time to be part of that team and what we achieved was something I am immensely proud of.

Too have watched the teams of the 70’s & early 80’s struggle to match the achievements of the team across the park, and as a blue surrounded by reds it was constant stick, but for those four years it was nice to be the matching and even bettering them reds. As a blue as a kid, it was a dream to play as a blue and I will definitely die a blue.

On defensive partners and John Stones A solid spine to a team is very important and I had an outstanding partner in Kevin Ratcliffe, with whom I developed a great understanding. He could defend and I could score, perfect!

John Stones has all the attributes to become an outstanding defender and will only get better. I feel that he can develop whilst playing regular football and he has a better chance of doing that at Everton than by moving to a more successful club, but, unfortunately every player has a price. Let’s hope he stays and the club don’t cash in

On Everton’s success in the 1980s Several things contributed to that success, the boards support for the manager, the managers forward thinking (towards training/playing style), signing of certain players and then winning that first trophy (1984 FA Cup), but more important a fantastic team ethic & spirit.

The rivalry between ourselves & Liverpool was brilliant, growing up I saw very little success against them and to play in a derby was amazing but also enjoyable

On the current side After last season I personally think that a mid-table/top 10 will be the best we will achieve.

We will all agree that we over achieved in Roberto Martinez’s first season and last year we disappointed, at times we had lots of possession with little cutting edge, goals win games and make it easier to defend, and we simply didn’t score enough.

This season we must be far more clinical and efficient in our play, getting the ball forward quicker and trying not to play the slow patient passing game.

On Roberto Martinez First season, brilliant. But second season syndrome hit us and him, as from the previous answer, quicker and more decisive play will allow us to break down defences.

Personally I feel he has to invest more in strengthening the squad.

On moving forward I still feel that we are short in several areas, including central defence, we’ve let two go and not replaced them, but does Martinez feel that the youngsters are good enough to step up?

Up front we need more depth, Lukaku needs support, what has Kone done?!

 

The Offside Rule Podcast Prediction: Whilst it’s difficult to see Everton hit the heights of the 2013-14 season, they should be safely in the top 10 without the distraction of European football. Deulofeu will prove to be a good signing but it’s crucial the club hold onto John Stones.

Key Player: Ross Barkley – Whilst the team didn’t hit their usual heights last season, neither did the promising Ross Barkley. If the youngster can find top form again this season, it already makes for a much better side Everton side.

One to Watch: Gerard Deulofeu – Whilst we already saw what the former Barcelona winger can do two years ago, it’ll be interesting to see how he has developed since. He was an exciting prospect then and could be a star for Everton again this season.

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