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A Toffees point of view

When we played in December you said that you were 'definitely' happy with how your season was going at that point - is that still the case now?
December was when we played our best football and climbed the table, we had a poor spell during the ACN but now we're right back on track. How could I not be happy now though? 4th in the league, looking down on the red side and last 16 of the UEFA Cup. I'm very optimistic at the chance we could finish 4th AND lift the UEFA Cup, there's no ceiling to how far this side can go now. We have an 11 now capable of going far, and we've done it all without selling our soul to some foreign sugar daddy, a great time to be an Evertonian.

You were 'very happy' with David Moyes' signings from last summer but felt you needed more in January - did you get what you wanted?
I'd be lying if I said I was pleased with January signings, simply because we bought a kid and made a loan. Losing 4 players... However Jagielka has come on leaps and bounds (since he came into the side 10 clean sheets in 13 league games) and he was effectively a new signing, after he was poor first part of the season. You look at our side and really only need a midfield general and right back to be complete.

'Arteta, Pienaar, Yakubu and Cahill' were the men that you said Pompey should watch in our last meeting - are these still the danger men for us now?
Arteta and Cahill have been poor for 6 weeks now, I wouldn't worry about them. Yakubu however has been immense the last 2 games, and Pienaar is a fantastic footballer. The fact we have a £2 million agreed for this fella, is another phenomenal signing. Your main concern will be getting past Jagielka, Yobo and Lescott however.

Where do you reckon Everton will finish this season then?
4th. No doubt it will be hard but we have players capable of stepping up. We may need to win at Analfield, which will be tough, but there's no reason it's not possible.

What about Pompey?
6th. You look at the fixtures of all the teams around us, Pompey's is head and shoulders easier than anyone else's. Very surprised if you finished below Villa or City.

I remember you saying 'I don't think there are any real outstanding players in your side' when asked which Pompey player you would take from our squad and put in yours, although you did give Niko Kranjcar a mention - any changes on these thoughts?
I stand by the fact whenever I watch Pompey it seems more of a team performance than an individual. But if I had to pick out an individual, it would be Defoe.

You went for a score draw last time; I went for a Pompey win - you were right with the draw at least… So go on then who is going to win this time Everton or Pompey?
3-0 Everton think we will just have too much for you.

Questions answered by EvertonMike from Vital Everton.


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The Journalist

Writer: pompeyrug Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday February 29 2008

Time: 2:16PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
EvertonMike do you think you have the squad to see yourselves through to the end of the season and compete in the UEFA and EPL on the same form as now? Agree re our run in, but on the other hand yours' isn't so easy.
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29/02/2008 16:18:00

Nice one Mike no tears on Sunday though please.
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29/02/2008 16:41:00

Definatly yes Chris. Have a look at our games the weekend after a UEFA game. we have won all but 1, which we drew. It hasn't hindered us at all, and don't think it will start to
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29/02/2008 17:23:00

Think 3-0 is vastly underestimating us Mike. Dont forget the man in green between the sticks! I got a feeling about this game. 1-0 Pompey I think.
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29/02/2008 18:23:00

I don't think we'll concede. And if we get 1 i think we'll get 2 or 3. Obviously you guys will expect to win, I'd be more worried if you didn't!
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29/02/2008 19:30:00

0-1 Pompey. Our midfield is way too strong for you lot. Good luck the rest of the way though !
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29/02/2008 20:16:00

Toffee fans rate their current midfield with the likes of Kendall, Harvey and Ball but I do not Pompey should control the middle of the park and that can be the platform to a win.
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29/02/2008 20:32:00

rivals for a Euro spot perhaps
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29/02/2008 21:26:00

For the Aussies. Austar have advised me that the game will be shown Monday Morning at 5am Melbourne and Sydney time. There was some confusion over it being shown at all but apparently it will be on FOX 1 now.
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01/03/2008 00:29:00

And for the Canucks, its on The Score, Sunday at 11 a.m.
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01/03/2008 02:47:00

Excellent Public service information fellas it's good to know you'll be watching in your respective parts of the world___________ EvertonMike, I'd love to see you finish 4th above the reds but I'd much rather it was 5th and you win the UEFA... gives the other chasing teams a little bit more to play for ... On the subject of tomorrows game It's gonna be a tough one and I think it'll al hinge on what happens in the middle. Pompey are stronger on paper and if Diarra and Muntari click you might be in trouble when they unlock Defoe than said your back four is strong and like ours do not concede many.. It's a tough one to call but I think I'm gonna go for a score draw.
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01/03/2008 07:22:00

im sorry evertonMike but pompey will win this game
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01/03/2008 07:49:00

If, Big If as well, If Muntari can hit form and Diop can start passing to his own team-mates again, Pompeys midfield will again be one of the strongest around
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01/03/2008 09:23:00

we 'might' get beaten but if we got spanked 3-0 again this season, by everton or anyone else i would be surprised - i 'hope' im not tempting fate saying this... im almost always positive that we will win, but i really do have this feeling that we will be going to win as a win will be so important to our season, and everyone from sacha down knows this...
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01/03/2008 09:45:00

I think Everton is the club where we should be setting our sights. Along with Spurs they are the only 2 clubs in recent sesons to be challenging the big 4. Money of course makes a difference eventually but the Harry factor is a huge bonus for us.
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01/03/2008 09:57:00

this could be our spring board to fa cup success...or even re-launch our challenge for europe, which has been failing in recent weeks. A big performance from muntari and diara, and possibly the return of 5-5-1 formation is what i would expect...although defoe cant play the lone striker role...
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01/03/2008 15:46:00

5-5-1? your not liverpool you won't get special dispension and be allowed 12 players
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01/03/2008 16:00:00

If Man City fail to win against Wigan ( it's still 0-0 as I write ) and with Villa managing to snatch a draw from the jaws of victory against Arsenal, a win against the Toffee's would be a huge result for us. I truly believe this is a game we have to be aggressive in. We have to go for three points even if it means taking more chances.
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01/03/2008 18:17:00

sorry, (obviosly) i meant to say 4-5-1...although getting an extra player in... might be worth a try... No, i think that playing 4-4-2 is just asking for trouble, and whilst a win would be fantastic, i cant see us getting it playing 4-4-2. (bear in mind that i have yet to score a point in the pompey predictions league, and i managed to get chelsea relegated in my first season on championship manager...but hey)
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01/03/2008 21:18:00

Correction: Austar previously advised me that the Everton/Pompey match was a delayed telecast starting at 5am Monday Melbourne and Sydney time. They are now advertising it as a 3am M/S time live broadcast. So Aussie guys best be up at 3 and be prepared for a long night. 2am if u are in Qld.
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01/03/2008 23:05:00

So Mike you weren't far off after all with your prediction (3-0).. You looked a good team and for large parts of the game bossed the midfield whereas we couldn't get the ball to Defoe... Thougth Yak took his goals well and seems to be in a rich vein of form at the mo .. hope he keeps it up for you and go on to grab 4th and the UEFA cup although I guess you'd probably just settle for one of those.. Good luck for the rest of the season.
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