Everton fans acknowledge a minutes applause to honour the late (and great) Gary Speed prior to the Barclays Premier League match between Everton and Stoke City at Goodison Park.
With the weekend game looming, its time for the away end feature, where we chase up an opposition fan and ask them a few questions about their club and how the season is going for them so far. Unfortuantly for Brain Lewis over at Royal Blue Mersey, he was the one stuck answering our questions.
I have also answered some for them. But check them out after you have heard what Brain has to say.You had a slow start to the season, what do you put that down to?
A simple lack of creativity along with our players not performing well caused our problems. Everton has always started poorly for various reasons, but this year we didn’t have anyone who could create chances, or score them.
It’s common knowledge of Everton’s unfortunate financial state, is that affecting the clubs ability to compete with the top teams?
To an extent yes, unless the club receives significant investment, we will struggle just to compete for a top 7 finish. I would say based on talent we should always challenge for 8th place, but he often gets us in position to go after a European place. If he leaves before we get some real money it will be a depressing day on Goodison
Do you miss Mikeal Arteta? Losing him on the last day of summer transfer window must have hit your team hard.
Based on how he has played for Arsenal this year we do miss him, but Arteta had a horrid 2010-2011 season for us. He seemed to be 1-2 steps behind the flow of play and most of his passes went amiss. He did have a few weeks of good form in February before getting injured, but it seemed like he was out of sync for most of the season. It would have been nice to keep him, but given the financial straights we are in, the money was useful to the club.
How do you feel the January Transfer window went for you? Did you buy who you thought you would? Or where there some surprises?
January went extremely well for Everton. We got rid of some dead weight in Saha and Bilyaletdinov, while bringing in Darron Gibson from Manchester United and Jelavic from Rangers. This helped solidify the midfield as well as give us a chance to field a striker who can actually score goals. The addition of Landon Donovan on a two month loan was also nice due to his quality and success from 2 years ago. The big surprises were the arrival of former Everton player Steven Pienaar on a loan from Spurs, and letting Saha go to Spurs in reverse. Neither of these moves was expected, and it will be interesting to see if Pienaar can regain his pre World Cup 2010 form for the club.
Who will cause Wigan trouble of the Everton line up?
Landon Donovan is one to watch out for. The American is once again in fine form for the Toffees and has provided 4 assists in the past 3 games. He has been helping fulfil the creative midfielder role and Wigan will need to stop him if they have any hope of gaining three points from the match
Out of the current Wigan squad which player(s) would you have, and why?
I would take all of your forwards. I really don’t care if they belong in the Championship or not, I’ll take them. Everton’s current leading scorer is Leighton Baines with 4 goals, all from penalty kicks. Victor Anichebe has started in 6 games and scored 3 goals and he has the second most. Heck for a time period Tim Howard was tied for our third highest goal scorer. Needless to say we need forwards, and I’ll take a chance with pretty much anyone at this point, even the guy who handcuffed himself to the post during the Everton Manchester City match
What is your result prediction? And how do you think the match will play out?
Everton has done much better away from home this year, and that coupled with the run of form over the past 3 matches makes me think we are looking at a 2-1 win. That said it wouldn’t surprise me at all if this ended in a draw. We have dropped too many points to sides lower than us in the table, and if we have any hope of Europe it needs to end now.
And finally what is your favourite flavoured pie?
Hmmm, I’d have to say apple pie. After all I am American so I may as well fit the cliché