Writer: J P Fear
Date:Saturday April 11 2009
1) So how has your season been, do you think you'd be doing even better if not for the awful injury run?
I think a lot has been made (certainly by us Evertonians) about playing for a majority of this season without a fully fit and reliable striker. Missing Yakubu was always going to be a problem for us. This is a lad who scored 20+ goals for us last season, you could say it is the equivalent of Liverpool losing Torres or any good team losing the one player who they rely on to get a bucket-load of goals for you. Losing Arteta was completely different however, because the Spaniard was in scintillating form and really finding his true position in centre midfield. We were playing our best football for a long, long time with him in the middle orchestrating. Everton being Everton however we've kept plucking away and done fantastically considering. If we'd have the duo fit, with Yak's goals and Mikel controlling things from midfield... who knows!
2) Talking of injury problems, are you still fielding an understrength team or have you got some back now? (Asked for obvious selfish reasons!)
I think apart from the long term injuries to Anichebe, the Yak and Arteta we have just about come about of a terrible injury situation where we were having to play Tim Cahill and Marouane Fellaini upfront! We have Jo on loan who has given us another option and Louis Saha has popped up with a few goals so things are a little bit more rosey in the attacking positions once again. It's also nice to see Brummie James Vaughan coming back from a nasty injury as I rate him.
3) Realistically do you think Everton can expect to challenge the top four any time soon? What do you expect from your club when each new season starts?
I think there is a real barrier to break above fifth position and it would take an extraordinarily shrewd manager to be able to bring in the quality players, without spending millions, to break that barrier. Unfortunately in Everton's situation, although the foundations have been laid, the millions are still lacking and we are not in the position to be able to lump money left, right and centre to budget for a push for the top four. The beauty of what Moyes is doing is aiming for there abouts and usually we end up getting caught up in the whole furor around this time of year about the possibility of actually finishing fourth! Considering the amount we spend and the squad we have, to be doing that for the past two seasons is a real testament to the manager's ability and the squad's efforts.
4) What do you think of Aston Villa, MON and have you been pleased to see another club trying to challenge the top four monopoly?
It's definitely refreshing to see someone new involved and if it wasn't for us breathing down your necks I'd be willing you on further. It's natural I want you to slip up a bit between now and the end of the season though! :P
5) Who are Everton's danger men for tomorrow?
Compared to our recent games at Goodison, (we are unbeaten in seven home games) we are a completely different kettle of fish away from home and judging by our recent away games it would be difficult to pick even one danger man out as pretty much everyone has been dire. But I'd say naturally look out for Tim Cahill, Marouane Fellaini and possibly Joleon Lescott who seems to enjoy scoring against you!
6) If you could have two of our players, who would they be and why?
I think we have a distinct lack of pace and directness in our side so I'd opt for Ashley Young and perhaps Gareth Barry.
7) You asked me, so I'll ask you right back, what did you think of Villa not taking the UEFA Cup seriously having got so far (and having chosen to enter via the inter two bob)
I think it was a terrible decision. It's silverware and it's prestige. Everyone wants to be in the Champions' League but there are no excuses financially for a team like Villa, it definitely should have been taken more seriously.
8) David Moyes... what next? Should he be getting a 'bigger' job like Man Utd or is Everton his spiritual home?
All the talk is that he will be Sir Alex Ferguson's successor but I'm not too sure myself. I think there is a lot of scope here at Everton, a big opportunity for him to forge a legacy at Goodison a la Ferguson. I just wish the board would back him and find someone to finance his vision.
9) You asked me, I'll ask back just for a laugh... tough one but who would you rather win the PL, Liverpool or Manchester United - or would Chelsea help solve your dilemma?!
Well obviously I don't want Liverpool to win. Either Chelsea or United would suffice, but just to rub salt in the wounds of the Liverpool fans, United!
10) Score prediction please kind sir!?
My heart says 2-1 Everton, however my head says 1-1.
With thanks to Dominic at Vital Toffee Central, for my interview with Vital Everton, with me spreading a little joy and my infinite genius: http://www.everton.vitalfootball.co.uk/article
Date:Saturday April 11 2009
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