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    Leighton Baines

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  1. It's getting close to the start of the season and it's around this time of year I get nostalgic for my childhood years of following Everton (I'm 38 now). Back then, opening day of the season was just behind Christmas for the day I looked forward to most. I used to follow the transfers throughout the summer, spend hours piecing together my Daily Mirror Fantasy Football team (I had only one uncompromisable principle - David Unsworth had to be in there; his penalties were worth their weight in gold, or rather, Fantasy Football points), and on the first Saturday of the season I'd wake up early and 'savour' the build up to a new season. I lived close to the ground back then and just going outside on the street at about 10am you could feel the change in the atmosphere. People were wearing football shirts, you could hear people talking about the upcoming games, guys just generally looked simultaneously happier and more worried than usual. I still maintain to this day that football towns like Liverpool, Newcastle or Manchester (all 3 of which I've lived in) have a different kind of energy in the air come season opener day. It was great to have football back, to see the names of the goalscorers showing up on teletext, and the next day, having a league table to pore over in the Sunday papers, even if it did just show half the teams on 3 points, Norwich was top, and the 'top scorer' was usually some non-entity at Charlton who'd bagged a freak hattrick. I still get a lot of the same thrills now, but as with most things, it's not quite the same as it was in childhood. It doesn't help that the opening 'day' has become an opening '4 days', beginning on Friday evening and ending on Monday night. But that aside, I can say that my excitement for the opening day is still very high. I wish everyone kicked off their first game at 3pm on a Saturday, but I know that money rules everything in the game now. What about you, do you still get as excited for the start of the new season as much as you did as a kid, or has something changed for you over the years? Those of you who have kids, do they look forward to it they way you did back in the day?
  2. This. Pretty sure it's just a playful wind up.
  3. I'm not sure I'd call him worthy of a 'worst 11', but the biggest disappointment that I've seen live (i.e as a spectator in the stadium) was Ibrahima Bakayoko. I had really high hopes for him when Smith signed him but he was a major letdown (4 league goals and then shipped out after 1 season). 4.5 million was a lot of money back then for us, I didn't expect him to flop like he did.
  4. I really hope we sign Gomes, but I'd take that twitter feed with a huge pinch of salt. 90% of its posts read like Daily Star 'rumours' (just now: "West Ham have told Man Utd Issa Diop is NOT FOR SALE" - this just isn't how stuff like this works). Next to this Gomes DONE DEAL! tweet they claim Lampard is on his way to manage Chelsea, even though Derby just said there's not even been an approach. Like I said I hope Gomes signs, and I believe he will, but that twitter feed is just throwing 100 clumps a mud per hour at a wall and banking on 5 of them sticking.
  5. If Barca want him (which I doubt, they've already got Dembele and Malcom warming the bench) they can throw in Gomes and Malcom on top of 20 million. I'd be happy with that (never in a million years happen though).
  6. Oh well, Europa chance officially over (Wolves just won). Anyway, go for the win and finish on a high.
  7. Yeah, stick with the same team if Richie is fit. If Gomes wants to play again in our colours (and I really hope he does) he'll just have to push for a move this summer. I can see us winning this. Spurs are depleted and unless something weird happens this weekend, it'll be a meaningless game for them league-wise. Hopefully they beat Ajax and have to rest their first team against us for the CL final. I really want us to get Europa (I live in Russia so it's easy for me to get to all those eastern European places that tend to feature). Rooting for Fulham to get a result at Wolves tomorrow. If they do, then we should go all out for the win next Sunday (because I can't see Wolves beating Liverpool at Anfield).
  8. Didn't know where else to post this. This is an excellent article - https://www.irishtimes.com/sport/soccer/english-soccer/ken-early-football-s-new-age-neutralises-philosophies-of-the-past-1.3874358?mode=amp
  9. No matter how many times this question gets asked around here (and it seems to get asked a lot), I'll keep on giving the same reply: this is the part of the forum where people who want to discuss players who don't play for Everton can do so.
  10. Dreadful cameo from him tonight (and I've taken stick for saying this in the past but fuck me he's overweight). I watched the game with 2 United fans and it was interesting to watch them explode with the same anger I used to when Lukaku would do that 'thumbs up' gesture to the player who'd just created a perfectly good chance for him (only to have him piss it away). Lingard must have been thinking "never mind your fucking thumbs up, just bury the damn chance!"
  11. What I've loved about the last two games (Chelsea and West Ham) is that after the devastating collapse at Newcastle, it would have been so easy for the team to just give up on the season and cruise the last 8 games. And in my opinion, a team that wasn't playing for the manager would have given up. But they've bounced back in style. There's an aggression to their play. They want to win. That's down to Silva in my opinion. They're playing for him and for the pride of the shirt, and that's brilliant to see. I'm really optimistic about the direction of the team. The reaction to the Newcastle result could not have been better, and I think that's down to Marco.
  12. Very good weekend for us so far as regards snagging the last Europa spot (which I really want us to do). Come on Everton!!!!!
  13. Most satisfying thing for me was the 2nd clean sheet in a row. Yes it's not exactly a great run, but it's a start. Gifting the opposition goals rather than making them work really hard for them has been the most annoying thing about this season for me. If we stop that, we'll be much higher up the table.
  14. It's Cardiff for Christ's sake. Already one of the worst teams in the Premier League, and on top of that missing some of their key players. If those players Silva has put out can't beat Cardiff then it's on the players' efforts, not the formation or the line-up.
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