Ahead of tomorrow’s match against Everton in the Third Round of The Emirates FA Cup, rather than me looking back at the last couple of meetings between the two sides, I’m simply going to quote our fantastic Match Preview.
“It is an oft-quoted statistic in these parts that the largest attendance ever to watch Lincoln City – 61,231 – came in the Second Division game at Everton on 16 April 1954. Goodison’s largest league crowd for three years strolled up expecting to see the promotion-chasing home team steamroller their lowly visitors, who were still not mathematically safe from relegation.”
Anyway, onto the Q&As. Thank you to Everton supporters Harry, Jamie and Harry for answering our questions! The answers have been published on three pages. You can get to the next set of answers by clicking “Click here for the next set of answers!” at the bottom right of the page, or by clicking the names above!
First up, the answers provided by Harry:
How long have you supported Everton?
I’m 30 years of age. My first memories of Everton were the Cup run of 1995, which was the last trophy we won.
Where did you finish last season?
We finished 8th – Not a terrible looking finish, but how we got there wasn’t good.
What do you think of your Manager?
I like the manager, but have been critical of late as we’ve hit a really poor run of form (1 win in 8).
Still, he needs to and should be given time as a switch from a defensive, boring manager in Sam Allardyce to a progressive, exciting one in Marco Silva will take more than a few months.
What are your hopes and expectations for this season?
A club like Everton shouldn’t be going 23 years without a trophy, so my hope for any season is always to win a Cup.
While we won’t be among the favourites, I believe we have the players to give anybody a tough game and a favourable run of draws could see us do it one of these years!
One(s) to watch?
I should stress, with this game coming at the end of a manic run of fixtures which we’ve struggled to cope with, it’s quite hard for any blue to accurately predict the starting 11.
Personally, as I desperately want to win this Cup, I would go full strength but with our squad looking very jaded lately, changes are quite likely. However, if we do go full strength, our star players are…
Richarlison: A pacey box of tricks who plays from the left or up front signed in the summer from Watford for £35m. He is our top scorer and probably our most exciting player.
Gylfi Sigurdsson: Capable of the spectacular from outside the area, Sigurdsson scores quite a lot from midfield and also creates his fair share. He’ll probably play just off the front man.
Bernard: Arrived in the summer from Shakhtar Donetsk, the diminutive Brazilian is nippy and creative and can operate from either flank.
Andre Gomes: A silky operator on loan from Barcelona, Gomes is the man who picks passes and dictates from midfield. A quality footballer, but I would be surprised to see him start on Saturday as he’s been carrying an injury.
Idrissa Gana Gueye: A real hard worker who covers every blade of grass, he’s not going to get anybody off the edge of their seat but we miss him badly when he doesn’t play.
Jordan Pickford: Despite not enjoying the best of seasons (call it a World Cup hangover), I’d rate him as one of the best keepers in Europe.
Without going through the entire squad, others who may feature include; Theo Walcott (everybody knows about him from his Arsenal/England days), Dominic Calvert-Lewin (promising English striker who’ll be capped by England someday), Tom Davies (shaggy-haired, energetic box-to-box midfield player), Ademola Lookman (possibly still injured, but a good dribbler who can create chances from nothing), Lucas Digne (outstanding left-back, one of our best summer signings), Cenk Tosun (Turkish target man striker), Oumar Niasse (headless chicken striker).
Who do you think will finish in the top 4?
Spurs, Liverpool, Man City, Chelsea (in no particular order, it would be nice if that second team failed to finish in it though).
Who do you think will finish in the bottom 3?
Huddersfield Town, Cardiff City and Fulham.
What are your thoughts on Lincoln City?
I won’t pretend to know lots about Lincoln City, but I know you have quite a media-friendly management duo in the Cowley brothers.
I know you’re top of League 2, so have the kind of winning mentality that makes you a dangerous Cup opponent (particularly with Everton in poor form).
I know you aren’t shy of a Cup run after last year’s exploits and you’ll bring more away fans that most Premier League teams do.
What do you think the score will be?
If you’d have asked me a month ago (or whenever the draw was done) I would’ve said a fairly comfortable home win, but I do think you meet us at such a good time. We’re struggling to score and create chances, we make mistakes at the back, we’re looking really tired, the manager is facing questions for the first time in his tenure at the club and Goodison Park does have a habit of transmitting restlessness onto the pitch that causes home players to perform nervously. So, with all that said, if you can keep us quiet for half an hour, let the crowd get nervous I see no reason why you can’t get a result.
But, if you twist my arm to give you a score, I’ll go for a closely contested 3-1 with Everton scoring late to wrap it up.
Random fact about your Club?
Goodison Park, where this tie will be played, is the World’s first purpose-built football stadium.
What are your proudest and most embarrassing moments as an Everton Supporter?
I think the solidarity that the club consistently show with our cross-city rivals in the wake of the Hillsborough disaster is cause for some pride.
As for embarrassing moments, hiring Sam Allardyce last season was certainly a bit of a low as have been many embarrassing Cup exits (more to follow below).
Who would you say is your most underrated player?
Idrissa Gana Gueye. He’s certainly not the type of player who’s going to have a highlight reel made about his Everton career but nobody else is capable of the job he does and even though some fans dislike his range of passing, he’s excellent at putting out fires.
Do you have a Supporters Trust and what role do they play at the Club?
I’m not that sure, but we do have an excellent community programme (Everton in the Community).
Which was your favourite FA Cup match involving Everton?
While the final in 1995 was brilliant because we eventually won it against the odds in something of a nail-biter, I’d say the semi-final that year against Tottenham at Elland Road, where we won 4-1.
Honourable mention should also go to the 2011 replay against Chelsea away, when a last-minute Baines free-kick sent it to penalties and we won the shootout (in true Everton style, we then lost in the next round to Championship, Reading at home).
Which was your least favourite FA Cup match involving Everton?
Everton 0-1 Oldham Athletic, 2008
Shrewsbury Town 2-1 Everton, 2003
Everton 0-3 Tranmere Rovers, 2001
Everton 1-2 Liverpool, 2012
Everton 0-3 Wigan Athletic, 2013
Liverpool 2-1 Everton, 2018
Take your pick! (we’ve got form for cupsets, as you can see)
Do you have a Former Players Association at Everton?
We have a Former Players Foundation, but I don’t know much about it.
What sort of strength squad will the Toffees play against the Imps?
To be totally honest, I don’t know for sure. You could say the manager has a bit of a lose/lose scenario on his hands…
On the one hand, if he plays a full strength side, we look knackered, get outworked and lose, he looks an idiot for not trusting his fringe players to deal with a League 2 side. On the other, if he makes a lot of changes and we lose as a result, he looks an idiot for devaluing the competition etc.
If I had to guess, I reckon you’ll see 4-6 changes from the last game, with the like of Mina, Davies, Bernard, Tosun, Baines, Coleman possibly being given a start.
What’s your view on David Moyes as a manager?
While he ultimately won nothing for us, David Moyes did a good job at Everton – except for a couple of poor seasons, we consistently finished 5th to 7th in his decade at the club, plus made 1 Cup final and also had one 4th place finish.
It should also be said that the Everton he managed is very different to that of today which actually has spending power (only Chelsea, United and Liverpool have outspent us in the last 2 years). So Moyes’ signings of Cahill, Arteta, Pienaar, Lescott, Coleman, Baines, Jagielka, Howard, Mirallas, Yakubu, Johnson etc when he had to constantly balance the books, really were very good.
As for David Moyes of now, football has changed – Moyes had a decade at Everton and was allowed to build something. Since then he’s been asked for immediate success, understandably at a club like Manchester United, but less so at other places and most recently, at West Ham, I actually thought he did alright in a short period.
Would you rather win the FA Cup or qualify for the Champions League?
I would rather win the FA Cup and it’s not even a close contest. We are a fan base that’s really desperate for a trophy.
What do you think of Scudamore getting a £5 million pay off when grassroots football is starved of funds?
I think it’s a disgrace and an example of rich men helping other rich men line their pockets.
Do you take any interest in football outside the Premier League or have any knowledge of lower league clubs?
As somebody who is partial to a few bets of a weekend I do take interest and occasionally even go to a game during the international breaks.
I listen to a couple of EFL podcasts; NTT20 and the Football League Show, which keep me across the leagues and I really love the Championship as a league – everybody beating everybody and often with plenty of ‘old school’ blood and thunder mixed with some good quality.
The Board has agreed, in principle, to a move from Goodison to new 52,000 seat stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock. An application for planning consent is due to be heard this year. Are you in favour of the proposed move and location? How important is it to Everton Football Club?
I think you’ll get a uniform response on this one – we’re sad to leave Goodison and there won’t be a dry eye in the house when it does happen, but we know that we need to take the leap. On Saturday you’ll see first-hand, the issues of Goodison (a ground built in the 19th century, remember) and why it’s key for us to progress as a club, even if just to try and keep up with the teams in the top 6.
We need to get rid of the obstructed views, get to a place that’s more central with more capacity that can really help us increase revenue as we look to grow as a club.
Plus, with the location being right on the river, slap on that iconic Liverpool skyline – our shiny state-of-the-art stadium will be the talk of the town and not some dump we used to call our own, which now has a stand that looks like a hole punch.
As Liverpool (or should I say Everton Athletic) fans routinely refer to you as The Bitters, how friendly is the Friendly Derby?
I could go off on all sorts of tangents about that football club, from the behaviour of their fans, to the freakish luck they enjoy on the football pitch, to the national media (riddled with their ex-players/supporters) force-feeding the country with their pro-Liverpool agenda.
It’s not the type of derby where you’re going in looking over your shoulder, thinking there’s a risk of violence – but it’s not exactly friendly either. They like to belittle us and think that we’re massively jealous of them (hence ‘bitters’) but really they’re just the afterbirth of Liverpool’s true football club.
Has 7th become the ceiling for Everton? Can the top 6 be broken? (regularly not one-off or occasionally.)
At the moment, I think 7th is where we should be finishing. But, that’s not to say we can’t break the top 6 eventually. Having had 3 managers in a short space of time, we need some stability, to give a manager 2 or 3 seasons to build a squad of his design and then once he has that we can start to ramp up the expectation level.
Right now Marco Silva probably has about 7-8 players who really fit the way he wants to play and the rest of them in our squad are just keeping spaces warm until we get the kind of players the manager needs to play his style of football.
Finally – I hope you enjoy the game on Saturday (not too much, of course) and to you and your fans a happy, hopefully promotional, new year!
— Vital Lincoln City (@VitalLincoln) January 4, 2019