Vital Everton (www.everton.vitalfootball.co.uk) eds Holroyd and Dominic Fitzpatrick have done an interview ahead of the weekend's game. Sadly they didn't want my opinions so it is a one way this time! :o)
1) So, average start to the season really, do you think this is set to be a poor yo-yo type season or are you just getting started?!
Average start? It's been woeful! Our only hope is to stay around the top half of the league come Christmas/January time and then start to push on once we have our injured players back. We never start well and it's always a case of catch up, simply because we don't buy anyone till after the season is started. We've kept struggling this season after signing those players because of our injury list. Yakubu, Leighton Baines, Leon Osman, Bilyaltedinov, Steven Pienaar, Phil Neville, Phil Jagielka, Victor Anichebe, Mikel Arteta, James Vaughan and Joseph Yobo all missed the game against Bolton, could any side in the league really cope with 11 first team players injured? Thankfully this season we are at least still in Europe and the carling cup, last year we had a similarly bad league start and went out of both straight away, thank God for small mercies I say! (by the time this is published we will probably be out of the carling cup, having had to play 3 away games in a 5 day spell.)
2) Without the money some clubs have, just how far can Moyes take Everton and will he get frustrated and want a move to a cash rich club?
Money isn't everything in football and we've regularly finished in the top 6 for five years now despite having nothing to spend, it only takes a bad season from one of the SKY 4 media darlings and your in the Champions League. From there the skys the limit! But the reality is we will only go so far with Moyes basic lack of tactical nouse. He only has two plans:
Plan A : Cross, cross, cross, cross and cross the ball some more
And when that doesn't work, our only Plan B is to hoof it in the general direction of our forwards.
His over negative rubbish will keep us in the top 6 area of the league in all likelihood, but we'll never win the thing under Moyes, and he wouldn't win it at any club. We showed last year we were one Tony Hibbert shambles away from winning the FA Cup, so he can achieve all he ever will here.
3) What are your hopes for this season?
Top 6 and a cup win. Anything less has to be seen as failure with the side we have now when they're all fit. However with our injuries this year, and Sunderland/Spurs/City seemingly having got their act together, it may be tough to achieve in the long run. We will be playing catch up, but the reality is the bottom half of the league is full of utter rubbish, and having a bad season should achieve 9th at a canter.
Dominic Fitzpatrick: I think we are going through a bit of a depression at Goodison and we just want a fully fit side to choose from, if this was the case then I'd fancy a challenge on a few fronts, including making the chase for fourth that little bit more interesting as well as a cup run here or there. Unfortunately we are really struggling for bodies at the moment, we have some important players missing and some still some way off making a return.
4) Important game v Villa who are usually in and around yourselves in the league, any opinions on Villa and our manager MON?
I used to like villa, but seem to be developing a growing dislike for them over the last few years, after the Fat Spanish Waiter and Dodgy Harry, O'Neill annoys me more than any other manager in the league. And because of a dislike for O'Neill I enjoy seeing Villa fail now to be honest!
Dominic Fitzpatrick: I like MON's philosophy towards his squad and signings; you have some cracking players there at VP, including Milner, Delph, Agbonlahor, Young. I think you'll have a solid season once again and hopefully along with ourselves make the final few weeks interesting, especially with the likes of City and Spurs challenging once again.
5) If you could have one of our players, who would it be and why?
Right now? any of them! Send us Reo Coker and it would help us massively with our injury crisis right now. Rodwell plays in every game, and we've even had to start including Gosling regularly now, who is the definition of average. If I could cherry pick though it would Ashley Young, he's not set the world alight this season by any means, but we badly lack pace and a natural winger.
Dominic Fitzpatrick: I'd love to have signed Milner, and apparently we were in for him before you snapped him up. He has a excellent footballing brain and is such an exciting player.
6) Who should Villa be watching out for on Saturday?
All depends who plays, whatever patched up side we send out there will include our exotic winger Tony Hibbert though. He likes to bomb down the wing every game, and regularly wins us penalties with his magical runs.
Dominic Fitzpatrick: I think Louis Saha will have to be watched carefully, he's on the goal trail this season, and he is a real threat.
7) I'm up for this game, any advice on beer and pies!!??!
Avoid the watered down rat piss (also known as Chang) that's served in the ground. And I'd advise you avoid the food too to be honest, in fact don't but anything while in the ground and you should have a good trip. Cost cutting attempts have meant we probably offer the worst catering in the league.
Dominic Fitzpatrick: You might as well have a pint of Chang while you're up here!
8) What do you make of the fuss about the new money at Manchester City, kick in the teeth or a good thing?
It's obviously frustrating that City are just buying up mercenaries now to undo all our hard work, and I'd love it, just love it if they failed. mark Hughes seems to be kidding himself he's a good manager again now so it will be great he's shown up. Obviously Lescott is now a hate figure at Goodison after handing in a transfer request a week before the deadline. I can't see in any way how it will be a good thing for the league having them splashing the cash at anyone who will listen, as it only means prices go up even more (£24 million for Lescott LMAO!!!).
Dominic Fitzpatrick: It's nice that there is someone else with the potential to crack the top four monopoly. I can't say I'm a fan of the way City have gone about things, but then again, I wouldn't complain if I had their money. I think if Moyes had that kind of money Everton would definitely be title contenders.
9) Go on then, what is your prediction for the game?
If we can field a decent side we're in with a shout, if it's the same side as vs Bolton though (Howard, Neill, Hibbert, Distin, Heitinga, Rodwell, Gosling, Fellaini, Jo and Saha), we frankly have no chance. 4-1 to the Villa.
Dominic Fitzpatrick: Considering our recent injury headaches, I'd be satisfied with a draw. We need to ride out this injury storm and then when we have more players fit an available we should kick on.
Manager Tim Sherwood has spoken of his disappointment - and shouldered the blame - for today's one nil loss to Stoke City.
All the stats from Aston Villa (0) vs (1) Stoke, Villa Park, 3/10/15 Att: 33,189
Statistics, damn lies and Aston Villa..
Bit of a mix and match today from manager Tim Sherwood's pre Stoke press conference.
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