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Sunday, 12 August 2012

Everton Season Preview 2012-13

Only one week to go now until the season kicks off and Everton fans are quietly optimistic about the forthcoming campaign. The summer has been a nervy one at times with several of the big name players linked with moves away and even the manager Moyes himself apparently close to moving on.

Some big names have gone though, Cahill and Rodwell both moving on to pastures new with the latter the most notable. Cahill struggled last year and it made sense for the loyal Aussie to move on however Rodwell is a different kettle of fish. 

A young home grown player who has come through the ranks he has struggled a lot with injuries and living up to the hype surrounding his potential. Most Evertonian's would possibly agree that if the fee is eventually worth up to something around £15 million then its a good bit of business.

Here is our quick preview ahead of the new season looking at some of Everton's strengths and weakness's

Everton's Strengths
Steven Pienaar has returned on a permanent deal and Evertonian's can look forward to the tricky South African again linking up down the left hand side with Leighton Baines.

Everton's Weaknesses
Everton could struggle if we get a few injuries, especially in midfield with the likes of Tim Cahill and Jack Rodwell now gone.

What We've Learnt From Last Season?
Same old story, a Slow Start To The Season has cost us year after year! Despite the club experimenting with several gruelling different training regimes over the various pre season campaigns, it seems Moyes and his staff cant quite put their finger on why it always happens. Perhaps we're trying too hard and a more relaxed approach could be need or more competitive opposition in pre season maybe, who knows?

Player To Watch
Nikica Jelavic will begin his first full season for the Blues and if he starts where he left off last season then he could really help Everton kick on and get off to a good start. His partnership with new boy Steven Naismith will be very interesting to watch too.

The New Signings
Steven Naismith joined us on a free transfer after Rangers went bust, labelled a mercenary by some of the Rangers faithful, Nace will look to put all that behind him and settle in quick at Goodison. A hat-trick in Hibbo's testimonial gave us all a glimpse of what he's capable of.

The Gaffer
The manager David Moyes looked at one point to be on the verge of entering into negotiations with Tottenham and had many Everton fans worried whether he would still be here come the start of the season! With Tottenham now appointing a new manager, the speculation has gone away for now and we can focus more on the new season and not feel as unsettled as we perhaps were. Many believe Moyes's time to move will come, possibly in two years once another certain Scotsman decides to get out his pipe and slippers!

Best We Can Hope For?
It looks like Manchester City, Man United and Chelsea will all most definitely finish above us next season so Any Higher Than Fourth Would Be A Miracle! Arsenal too will probably finish above us, however they are in transition somewhat and if they start poorly when its up to Everton to remain consistent if we are to stand any chance of finishing above the Gunners.

It's not impossible though and the same applies with regards to finishing above their North London rivals Tottenham, Spurs looked strong under Harry but it remain to be seen whether the new manager will keep them on track.

Outside all that there is only really Newcastle Utd and Liverpool standing in our way of finishing in the top Six.

Liverpool could take a while to get going and it remains to be seen how well Brendan Rodgers can do there. Newcastle have to show they are not a one season wonder, we are more than capable of finishing above these. A good cup run would be nice as we always say, but getting our hands on some silverware is what we all want really! The League Cup will do, Mickey mouse maybe but it's another one to tick off the honours check-list!

And The Worst?
If we start slow then it could end up like the previous few seasons and having to catch up and have the pundits crying "If only they'd have started the season like that!" Finishing Below Liverpool would be bad but realistically it could be tough to do that but not impossible! Anything lower than 8th would resemble a poor season maybe to Evertonians.

Youngsters To Come Through This Season
The main youngster who will hopefully shine this season though will be Ross Barkley.

Moyes has kept him in cotton wool for much of last season in the hope of protecting him and letting him play with players his own age after a long term injury.

Barkley was probably a bit frustrated at this sometimes but he will realise that it was for his own good and this season could be his chance to shine for Everton! Aslo John Lundstram is progressing well for the reserves somewhat on the quiet, as is strong youngster Anton Forrester who probably hasn't always got the recognition he deserves.

Players We'd Like To Get Rid Of?
Victor Anichebe is never really going to be a regular starter for Everton, he is some player given his strength and power but with his poor injury record and a seemingly constant axe to grind (admittedly this has improved last season and he has matured!) means that most Everton fans wouldn't mind if the likes of Wigan or someone put a bid in for the forward.

And The Manager?
Stick To What You've Been Doing So Far! Naismith gives us more options and when he's up with Jelavic and not playing on the left. One thing we'd love to see is a good display at Anfield, the self imposed inferiority complex has gone on for way too long now!

Team We'd Like To Beat This Season?
Liverpool at Goodison at least! But hopefully at Anfield too! A result at one of the top three or four would be nice too!

Our Predictions
Premier League: 6th Place
FA Cup Progress: 6th Round
League Cup Progress: Semi Finals
Top Goalscorer: Nikica Jelavic 14

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