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First team

Media view: Expert insight on Everton


AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

AFC Bournemouth meet Premier League rivals Everton at Goodison Park on Sunday.

Ahead of the game, afcb.co.uk caught up with Liverpool Echo writer Sam Carroll to get the lowdown on Marco Silva’s side.

afcb.co.uk: How has the season so far gone for Everton?

SC: They started strongly. Every team gets that new manager bump and they were playing some nice football.

Supporters were quite disappointed under Sam Allardyce last season and there was a lot of optimism when Marco Silva came in.

They brought in Yerry Mina, Kurt Zouma, Lucas Digne and Andre Gomes and Richarlison started really brightly.

But there has been a bit of a drop-off since they lost to Liverpool in heart-breaking circumstances at Anfield last month.

They beat Burnley on Boxing Day but have been struggling a bit. If you were looking back on how they started under Marco Silva, it has been a mixed bag and a Jekyll and Hyde first half to the season.

afcb.co.uk: What’s the mood on the terraces?

SC: It’s a frustrating time to be an Evertonian. Supporters saw how they could play in those earlier stages of the season when they put in some really good performances, especially at home.

They went to Chelsea and drew 0-0 in November and went toe to toe with them. It wasn’t as if it was a battling 0-0. It was the first time in a long time that they had gone away and tried to win. They played really well that day.

But before Christmas, they were beaten 3-1 at Manchester City and 6-2 by Spurs at Goodison. They beat Burnley 5-1 on Boxing Day but then lost at Brighton (0-1) and at home to Leicester (0-1) and haven’t really put in anything like the performances supporters know they can.

afcb.co.uk: What are the expectations for the rest of the season?

SC: Similar to Bournemouth. They know there are three or four teams – Everton, Bournemouth, Leicester and Wolves – who are going for seventh place.

With the way things are shaping up in the FA Cup and Carabao Cup, it looks like seventh could be enough to secure Europa League football. That has to be the aim.

If they could get themselves playing good football again, they know they are probably the best team outside the top six.

afcb.co.uk: Who do you think will be Everton’s dangerman? 

SC: Andre Gomes. He looks a class above when he’s on his game. He’s looked a little jaded in recent weeks but is definitely one of the most exciting Everton signings of recent times.

He’s really comfortable on the ball and has a really good eye for a pass. A lot of Evertonians hope they can sign him permanently from Barcelona, if not now then in the summer.

afcb.co.uk: What’s the mood among Everton fans about Liverpool doing so well?

SC: It’s annoying to see how they have built step by step under Jurgen Klopp over the past few years. They have added players in the right positions and spent a lot of money but spent it wisely.

They spent £80m on Virgil van Dijk and £70m on Alisson. Nobody really talks about their price tags whereas Everton have wasted a lot of money on players who haven’t been up to scratch like Yannick Bolasie, Sandro Ramirez, Davy Klaassen and Wayne Rooney.

I wouldn’t say it hurts supporters, it just makes them want Everton to do even better and they are more driven to see them succeed so they can have something to brag about as well.

They are still in the FA Cup and looking to get back into Europe under Marco Silva in the next few years so they can try to start creating some memories of their own.

You can follow Sam on Twitter at @samcarroll0

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