By Bulldog Drummond
Rob Holding has served his suspension and so will be available for the final game of the season.
Kieran Tierney has undergone surgery and so is obviously out as is Thomas Partey.
Takehiro Tomiyasu suffered from a muscular strain in the last match and is unlikely to be risked for this final game, given that Arsenal’s chances over overtaking Tottenham are so slim.
Emile Smith Rowe, Gabriel Magalhaes and Ben White were reported to have missed training on Wednesday and so might have a problem or might have simply missed that session in order to help recovery ahead of the final game.
Everton meanwhile have, as the league table shows, had a grotty season. However having won just one game in six (a 1-0 league win over Manchester United), between 20 March and 24 April, they have since then had a much better run beating Chelsea, Leicester and Crystal Palace, while drawing with Watford and losing just one game – a 2-3 home defeat to Brentford.
In the Palace game there were significant crowd events which included a pitch invasion of some significance
There were just four arrests; the official police report says that “One male was arrested for a breach of the peace… and three were arrested “on suspicion of entering or attempting to enter a football ground while in possession of a flare, smoke bomb or firework.”
Also, “police vehicles were targeted with bricks and bottles, [and] a total of seven men were arrested.” Additionally, “Five men were arrested on suspicion of being drunk and disorderly in a public place and one was arrested on suspicion of assaulting an officer in the execution of their duty. They were later de-arrested and will be dealt with at a later date.” I think “de-arrested” means released.
Interestingly, considering the number of people who entered the field of play the Chief Inspector, Andy Rankine said: “We’re grateful to the majority of fans who were well behaved and engaged with the police and stewards before, during and after yesterday’s crucial match.”
But most concerning of all, because I think this is something that is happening more and more in some areas of the country, as “a large group gathered in a residential area on County Road to cause a significant nuisance and destruction to property…. Damage was caused to emergency vehicles, while our officers were working to maintain order and keep others safe. Two key vehicles were forced to be taken off the road as a result of this despicable behaviour and will now need to be repaired.”
Just in case anyone is in any doubt, it is illegal to bring flares etc into football grounds. Whether some Everton fans will continue with this behaviour on Sunday of course, we don’t know.
Back with the football, much of Everton’s season has been of significant contrast with their season-opening, in which they were unbeaten in five matches.
|14 Aug 2021||Everton v Southampton||W||3-1||Premier League|
|21 Aug 2021||Leeds United v Everton||D||2-2||Premier League|
|24 Aug 2021||Huddersfield Town v Everton||W||1-2||League Cup|
|28 Aug 2021||Brighton and Hove Albion v Everton||W||0-2||Premier League|
|13 Sep 2021||Everton v Burnley||W||3-1||Premier League|
and it is interesting to remember what the league table looked like at that Burnley game….
|6||Brighton and Hove A||4||3||0||1||5||3||2||9|
|8||West Ham United||4||2||2||0||10||5||5||8|
At this point Talk Sport, in its normal moderate style and with a full grasp of what was going on at Asenal, ran the headline on its website
Arsenal fans call for Mikel Arteta to be sacked after humiliating back-to-back defeats, as bookmakers slash odds on Gunners to be relegated
Such gibberish carried on of course as Sports Mole later came up with “Arsenal could reportedly consider sacking head coach Mikel Arteta if they fail to qualify for the Champions League.”
But back to that moment of being 16th and Everton fourth, journalists really ought to realise that if they make predictions based on the first four games of the season, they can look even bigger chumps than they normally appear. That’s tough I know, but it is possible.
- All change with PGMO and the refs.. But what change?
- The last five years proves one big thing: nothing is guaranteed.
- Injuries Time to sack Tierney according to one part of the media
- Next season starting lineup and the new Financial Fair Play rules
- The huge bias of referees is proven. PGMO and media fight back.