Venue: Goodison Park, Liverpool.
Date: Mon 30th Sep, 2013.
Kick off: 8.00pm.
Referee: Phil Dowd (Staffs).
UK TV: Sky Sports.
Everton vs Newcastle United, or indeed, Newcastle United vs Everton is always an interesting encounter, a kind of benchmark as in recent times, they have been the closest side to ours in terms of the strength of our respective squads.
Above, there is a runaway top six (you know who they are), with a big gap separating them from Newcastle United and Everton. Then, behind the magpies and the Toffees there is another chasm, until we find a chasing pack consisting of the likes of Blunderland, the rapidly rising Swansea and Southampton squads, moving down through the Aston Villas, the West Broms and so on down to the poorest, Hull, Crystal Palace and Cardiff. Hence, it should should usually be a very close game.
Thinking about Newcastle vs Everton in very recent seasons, I usually end up recalling Alan Pardew’s comments about the two respective teams back in May 2012, one of those classic ‘foot in mouth’ moments he does so well. Whilst it was widely quoted that Pardew said Newcastle United “operate in a different league” to Everton, what he actually said was more like:
“Forget about Everton and Aston Villa, we have put ourselves in a similar position to Arsenal. The one security I have is that Mike Ashley is a difficult seller. He is not going to let someone go for £7m, he is going to want top, top money.”
Everton then proceeded to beat Pardew’s Noocarssel 3-1 a couple of days after those comments, the Magpies never made it to the Champions League like the Arsenal he compared Newcastle with, and the Silver Fox was left looking like an arrogant fool once again. I think it’s safe to say that Everton’s manager of the time, David Moyes, is now in a position where Pardew will never be, except in his dreams perhaps.
More recently, the legendary former Everton goalkeeper, Neville Southall, has talking about Pardew, sounding distinctly unimpressed. Here’s what he said about the Silver Supremo:
“I have doubts about the manager. Alan Pardew makes excuse after excuse when they lose. Even before they played Manchester City he was blaming Yohann Cabaye because he was supposedly on the verge of joining Arsenal. He’s one of these managers who writes notes. I don’t understand why managers need to write notes. Can’t he remember 45 minutes of football?”
However he was far more complementary about Newcastle United’s fans and one or two previous managers when he added:
“I always loved playing Newcastle. It was always a game I looked forward to because their fans were brilliant. They turn up whether the team is top of the league or bottom of the league. The team have always played the right way. They’ve had some brilliant players and managers, Kevin Keegan, Alan Shearer, Bobby Robson – even if he couldn’t get your name right, he was brilliant – one of the best in the history of British football.”
Though only eighth in the Premiership table at the time of writing, Everton are the only side to remain unbeaten in the Premier League this term with three draws in their first three games against Norwich City, West Brom and Cardiff City, and in their last two games, two wins against Chelsea and West Ham United. Meanwhile, Newcastle United lost their last game against Hull of course, though this was preceded by two wins against Aston Villa and Fulham, a 0-0 draw with West Ham preceded by a 4-0 drubbing by Manchester City in the Magpies’ first game of the season.
In previous games between the two protagonists, Newcastle lost the last game at St James’ Park 1-2 last season, getting a very fortunate Archbishop Desmond 2-2 in the previous away fixture at Goodison Park.
Injured: Antolín Alcaraz (hernia),
Injured: Ryan Taylor (Anterior Cruciate Ligament).
Doubtful: Shola Ameobi (‘flu), Jonas Gutierrez and Steven Taylor (both hamstring), Massadio Haidara (match fitness)
What the managers have been saying…
Roberto Martinez (on Newcastle United): “I really value the quality of that squad. There has been alot of talk about a lack of activity in the transfer window. It can be perceived as a negative, but I don’t see it like that. This squad is very well balanced. They have a good threat going forward and the major signings were made in January. Take away the Manchester City game, this squad is as strong as you’re going to sign. They are really well balanced in terms of experience and attacking threat.”
Alan Pardew: “They’ve alwats been a difficult side to beat, expecially at Goodison, it’s a tough place to go. We got a 2-2 last year and we really had to work hard to get that. I think they’re in good form, I think they’re unbeaten. They’re in good shape and it’s a tough game to play there.”
You can see a videos of the Silver Fox’s pre match press conference, and another pre match interview for Sky Sports below.
Pre match press conference.
Sky Sports pre match interview.
So, that only leaves it for me to remind you that I will be doing my regular “match banter” feature for the game tomorrow, where I’ll be posting the official team sheets, links to watch the game online and other news on the eve of the game. As well as this, I will also be posting match highlights when it’s all over, and probably a video of the whole game for those of you who can’t see it live, or might wnat to watch it all over again.
So stay tuned!