Si from Nil Satis Nisi Optimum gives us the lowdown on Everton
Ahead of tomorrow's clash at The Etihad, Bluemoon caught up with Si from Nil Satis Nisi Optimum to get the lowdown on the opposition...
What are your expectations for this season?
Well, they *were* to finish top four and get to a cup final, but after the start we've had then there's been a bit of a rethink! I expect us to win a cup, especially with the way we're playing in the Europa League, but we seem to be struggling with second season syndrome in the Premier League so a top 8 finish would do for me.
Are you happy with the manager?
In a word, yes. He has brought a new approach to Everton and completely allayed any fears anyone might have had about David Moyes leaving. His undeterred positivity might be getting a little hard to swallow after bad performances, but that's the nature of Martinez. He secured our young prospects on long term contracts in the summer, and brought in two of the players we'd had on loan with permanent deals. He is one of the brightest managerial prospects in Europe at the moment and I'm made up he's with us.
Who are your key players?
Lukaku definitely, while Kevin Mirallas is in blistering form at the moment too. I think Gareth Barry and Mo Besic will be key against City's midfield powerhouses though.
Were you happy with the business conducted during the transfer window?
Are there any rising stars in the squad that we might not have heard of?
Luke Garbutt who plays at left back and could deputise for Baines if he needs to go off has been performing very well over the last twelve months and is unlucky that he has someone as good as Baines ahead of him. Ryan Ledson has drifted away from the first team fringes after threatening to make his debut last season, but is expected to be there or thereabouts in the future. Tyias Browning is an excellent young defender who played against Liverpool at Anfield and did well, but again has drifted back to the bench in favour of Sylvain Distin.
Your Achilles heel?
A lack of real penetrating pace on the break of late has hurt us, as has Sylvain Distin being pulled apart by rubbish such as Sone Aluko. Tim Howard isn't as commanding in his box as we'd like either, so if Dzeko plays we could have a few issues from crosses.
If you could have any City player in your team who would you choose?
Does it have to be only one? There's about 11 I'd take! It'd be Yaya Toure for me though. When he's on form he is unplayable and controls games at a canter.
What is your perception of City as a club?
There is a lot of jealousy around the Premier League with City, but I'm quite glad you got the cash injection - obviously I'd rather it was us, but if it couldn't be us then there were worse clubs it could have happened to. You have always brought good support to Goodison and all this "Where were you when you were s***" nonsense is just that, nonsense. It seems that your owners are in it for the long haul as well, and want to leave a legacy behind with the investment in the youth system too, which can only benefit the game.
Likely starting XI for the game, and score prediction?
We've got a few injuries so we won't have our best eleven out, but we'll play 4-2-3-1 I reckon.
Howard, Coleman, Jagielka, Distin, Baines, Barry, Besic, Mirallas, Barkley, McGeady, Lukaku.
We'll be lucky to sneak it 2-1 but could have a hefty reverse to face if we play like we have in the last two games.