Where`ve ya players gone? (Everton Preview)
If there was ever a good time to play David Moyes` Everton side, a time in which they have a horrendous injury crisis would probably be at the top of even the Wally with the Brolly`s list of "good times yesh?"
Up to 10 senior players may be missing from the squad that will face Villa on their trip to Merseyside (they`re injured, not stolen) whilst Martin O`Neill`s side may welcome back right back Luke Young, by playing him at left back.
Some things really don`t change.
PEN SAVE GUZAN!
Kicking off with a great, confidence boosting quote from Martin O`Neill prior to his teams shooting practice at the Villa Park open training session. Fearing the worst from Gabby and go he advised those seated behind the goal:
"We don't always score enough goals, so be a bit careful."
On more serious (if I dare such delve into the realms of being serious) matters, O`Neill believes it is the resilience of Everton football club that keeps them going as he told avfc.co.uk:
"I just find that even though the results at the moment might not be going their way, there is a resilience about them.
"They bounce back and they use these things to foster team spirit, which they have plenty of. They showed that last season. They ended up finishing fifth, pipping us, and reaching the cup final.
"So I think they will obviously be disappointed by recent results but they are far from down.
"They have shown in the last couple of seasons the sort of spirit they have there and I think that has been a hallmark of their game."
If you looked for the hallmark of our game, you`d get a sore neck!
With two more games within 5 days, both on the road (take note Mr Moyes ya big whinger!) captain Stan the man Petrov has urged his squad to thrive on the pressure of so many games in a short space of time.
Petrov, who`s been er, "alrite?" this season has bizzarely claimed on avfc.co.uk (source of so many "we must do better") articles that they no longer look for excuses in defeat. Anyways here`s the man:
"We don't look for excuses any more. Before it could be this, could be that, but now to achieve something we need to go and perform.
"All these boys are looking forward to it. They want to be under pressure, because we had it last season and we enjoyed it.
"If we do our jobs we will win the game. We have prepared very well for the game."
Pass the tissues boys, here come the cry babies! Having refused to even speak to the media following Everton`s 3-2 League Cup defeat at the hands of Spurs, manager David Moyes hopes he`s not whinging butů
"It would have given us an opportunity to recover the players. That's the normal sort of thing you might do - play Saturday then Tuesday or Sunday then Wednesday.That would be the normal recovery time for most teams to make it relatively fair, and it wasn't fair. Tottenham had the chance to play on Saturday and we had to play on Sunday and then Tuesday."
"I think there were some mitigating circumstances in it, but we don't hide behind excuses here."
Nope, I couldn`t spot any whinging either!
He hasn`t actually said anything useful about the game yet, so boo hiss to him!
Everton Team News:
Anichebe, Arteta, Jagielka, Neville & Vaughan are all suffering from the curse of St.James` knee trouble. Leon Osman has a sore foot. Doubtful candidates are Bilyaletdinov (groin), Pienaar (knee), Saha (calf), Yobo (head.)
Louis Saha will get a late fitness test.
It'd have probably been quicker to name who was fit!
Player to watch: Saha-aha
Everton`s top goalscorer this season, hgas more than Gabby and if fully fit, could prove a handful for what is likely to be a re-jigged Villa back four.
Aston Vanilla Team News:
Villa are sweating on the fitness of Stephen Warnock. Apparently Nicky Shorey is waiting in the wings but the reappearance of Luke Young on the bench for the midweek League Cup match may suggest that Young will slot back into that familiar (as is now for him) left back role. Either that or Nige.
Rumours that Emile Heskey is out with a bruised arse from repeated falls to the ground are untrue. Aside from that it`s all good!
Player to watch: Brad '200 Up' Friedel
Friedel starts his 200th successive Premier League appearance tomorrow. Easily the coolest bald person around.
Ever Useless Facts!
There is absolutely no logic to this. I found it on YouTube, it baffled me. Let it baffle you.
Vital Villa editor Jonathan Fear has travelled to Liverpool for the game. He has this evening sent me an alarming txt to say his feet have been stolen, and he`s currently on bricks outside a Merseyside Travelodge.
Liverpool as we all know is famous for a ferry across the Mersey, the Beatles, robbery, Stevie G, Brookside and unemployment.
Not that I make sweeping generalisations.
Everton FC were founded in the year in 1878 as St.Domingo FC, a far catchier name if you ask me.
Other notable events in 1878, Joseph Stalin was born, as was Pancho Villa, the Phonograph (gramophone) was patented; the year also started on a Tuesday.
Who says I don`t educate?
The ref, not that it ever matters until they cock up, is Lee Probert who so far this season has managed to avoid sending a single player off. He does however now average 3.57 yellow cards a game. His highlight came in booking 7 players in his last Everton fixture.
Aston Villa: 48 and a smidgin more Everton: Pi
It`s another away game, as Villa travel to the big smoke to face West Ham on the 4th November.
Thanks for reading folks, I`m off to play the newly delivered FM2010, Marlon for captain woop woop!