Kee from the Love Everton forum gives us the lowdown on our semi-final opponents
Ahead of the first leg of the Capital One Cup semi-final, Kee from the Love Everton Forum gave us an insight into tomorrow's opponents...
What are your expectations for the remainder of this season?
It's been a frustrating first half to say the least, with a catalogue of missed opportunity and failed expectation. Perhaps it's foolish to talk about titles as a modern day Everton fan without being mocked and ridiculed, but every year at the start of the season, that's what I'm dreaming of, and the usual scenario is that as the weeks go by, the dream turns to reality, and we wonder why we dared to dream. With our current squad though, you can't help but feel that is once again where our ambitions should lie, with European football a definite goal, but despite it being one of the most bizaare seasons in terms of no team dominating, Everton are nowhere to be seen.
We're not even in the top half of the table, yet boast some of the brightest talent within our squad that we've seen in some time. Our Capital Cup semi final status is responsible for a glimmer of hope, yet we've had a remarkably easy list of cup fixtures to get to this point, and made hard work of it, and now face one of the countries top sides. I wouldn't put it past Martinez to get lucky and actually win the cup, but I'm dreaming again.
I still think the top 4 (and definitely the top 6) is there for any club that gets it's act together, but I feel that isn't going to be us, and we will finish outside of the European places once again, wondering why and where it all went wrong.
Are you happy with the manager?
I've always been sceptical from day one of Roberto's credentials, while lots of fans jumped on the Luv Fest bandwagon, and sceptical I remain. I see a manager with good intentions, but at the same time I see a manager who has the proverbial Goldfish memory, and appears incapable of learning. I no longer look at a team sheet, but instead look at the substitute bench, as I know roughly what the team is going to be, such is the lack of competition for places when all are fit. I find his press conferences frustrating, with long winded answers that rarely address the actual question, and positive words irritating, and no fan wants to hear their manager bigging up the opposition before a game. Martinez has a plan, but only Martinez knows what that is, and either he is so phenomenally intelligent that mere mortals can't possibly comprehend his logic, or he is, to be diplomatic, not. Albert Einstein apparently said "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Roberto Martinez is determined to prove him wrong.
Who are your key players?
Romelu Lukaku is in good form and I would also praise Gareth Barry. I'm not as impressed with the rest as some.
Do you think you'll do any business during the transfer window?
Martinez regularly states that he is not a fan of the January window. A Keeper, a Striker, a Creative mid, a Left Winger, a Central Defender, and competition for Right Back are all on my wish list, but I'm not expecting Martinez to buy, although he does appear to like right sided players.
McGeady, Naismith, and Mirallas are all players who have been linked with moves away, and I expect at least one of them to depart. We've already done some u21 business, but for the seniors I'm not holding my breath.
Are there any rising stars in the squad that we might not have heard of?
I'm very optimistic where our younger players are concerned, and certainly Tyias Browning, Luke Garbutt, Brendan Galloway spring to mind, but digging deeper we've players such as Joe Williams, Conor Grant, Kieron Dowell, Callum Connelly, infact, I could keep naming them such is the pool of talent.
Your Achilles heel?
You know, everybody is on Tim Howard's case, and our defending could be better, but I'm going to upset a few natives and actually say our Achilles heel is the manager himself.
If you could have any City player in your team who would you choose?
What a choice there is, but from your current squad David Silva, Vincent Kompany, and Joe Hart will do. Is that greedy? Aguero might not get a game ha ha. We are desperate in my mind for a genuine leader, and there are one or two in the City camp, let's face it.
What is your perception of City as a club?
When you were first taken over, I found the whole ordeal a bit irritating, as you bought and sold, hired and fired, not to mention the change in mindset of one or two fans, but as things have settled, and you've made your bed if you like, I've come to terms with it a bit more, and found it easier to accept. I spent 3 years working in and around Manchester, and so I was always fond of the club and fans in that respect, and wish them well. I will also be honest though and say that the Premier league is now a 4 club competition, and that poses it's own dilema for the future of clubs like Everton.
Likely starting XI for the game, and score prediction?
I actually think a win over City is overdue, so I'm going to be brave and say 2-0 to Everton.
Robles - Coleman - Stones - Mori - Baines - Barkley - Deulofeu - Barry - Besic - Cleverley - Lukaku
Subs - Howard - Mirallas - Lennon - Galloway - Osman - Kone - Jagielka
Generally Martinez plays Kone, but I'm hoping he has learned something against Spurs, and will bolster midfield.
Good luck to Man City and Happy New Year to you all.