An Interview With A Toffee
1) So has the season panned out as you'd expected?
Well, ask me this 6 weeks ago and I tell you it's been great, we would of been sat above 'that lot' in 4th and in the last 16 of the UEFA Cup. Then, the lads lost in the UEFA Cup, and well gave up entirely! I can't remember exactly but I think we were at least 10 points away from Pompey and yourselves at one point, we now have to fight for the spot again. I suppose it has been as I expect really, one hell of a roller coaster! I think 5/6th is what I would of realistically expected, along with good runs in the Carling and UEFA Cup.
2) Who has been your best player / s this year?
Again, if you'd asked me this 6 weeks ago. Without hesitation I would of said Yakubu, Pienaar or Lescott. They were great until the UEFA exit, since all 3 have been, frankly, abysmal! The only player to of kept going is little Leon Osman, so I guess I'd have to say him now!
3) Who has disappointed you the most for the Toffees?
'There's nobody better, than Mikel Arteta...' It feels so wrong singing that now, because again frankly there has been many better. Last season he was sensational, this season he's been poor. So although he probably hasn't been our worst player, he's the one I'm most disappointed with, as I simply, expect better!
4) Do you see Everton challenging the top four any time soon or will the up one season, struggling the next cycle continue?
I think we may be bringing the yo yo years to an end, we will more than likely finish top 6 again this season. So that would be twice in a row, and about where I'd expect us to be next. To finish 4th we'd realistically need to spend £40/50 million, and we simply can't do that when our owner has a large mortgage on his house. Liverpool spent more on 2 players last year, than it cost to assemble our entire squad with £8 million to spare! I'd say top 5/6 for another few years and solid progress in the cups, and then maybe we can try and push onto that next level. realistically there's not much to choose between Everton, Villa, City, Pompey, Blackburn, Spurs, etc the list goes on. I'd expect every team there to spend more than us, so it will be tough no question!
5) What is your opinion of Martin O'Neill and Villa.
I have a very high opinion of Villa, a good traditional English side. Great fans, and a proper football stadium. I like a lot of the playing staff too, and can only see Villa moving forwards in the next 5 years. I think the future of both clubs will see, in time, both catching the big 3 and Liverpool.
I think out of all the foreign investors you probably got the best. And if you believe reports we could of had him if Bumbling Bill was prepared to share his train set! He seems to be running your club properly, which is great to see as Villa would definitely be my 'second team'.
MON I do not rate quite so highly however, he is a decent manager no doubt. But he makes some questionable signings. Reo Coker for £10 million? With the greatest respect intended, he is not a £10 million player, pay half of that and I'd be thinking it's a bit steep. And if he pays that figure again for Carson, well I think most Villa fans will accept Scot Carson is not a £10 million goal keeper!
6) Do you think you'll finish 5th, if not who will?
Villa, I think we'll finish 6th.
Injuries have come at the wrong time with moral so low for us.
7) Do you fancy your chances this weekend and which of our players do you fear the most?
Nope, I expect to get leathered in all honesty. Spirits couldn't be any lower in camp Goodison, or any higher at Villa Park! There's not better time for you to play us, and no worse time for us to play you!
Who do I fear the most? A certain Ashley Young. Tremendous player and one I'd love for us to of got. Pace, skill, a great shot. And he'll be up against one of Hibbert or Neville....
8) Come on then, head on the block time, Lawro says 0-2, what is your prediction?
1-4 A right old royal humping. If Neville and Carsley line up in central midfield, you can double that 4.
With thanks to Everton Mike. My answers at Vital Everton: www.everton.vitalfootball.co.uk