“I would rather win the FA Cup and it’s not even a close contest.”
And now for the answers provided by Jamie:
How long have you supported Everton?
All my life, I’ve just turned 40 and can still remember watching the FA Cup finals of the mid-’80s, before going out in the back garden with my mates and playing penalties! I can’t really remember the matches or the glory days but Everton has been a large part of my life since I can remember.
Where did you finish last season?
We finished 8th in what was a pretty horrendous season.
What do you think of your Manager?
I think he has the right ideas and the right concept of how to play football. It’s high energy, quick tempo, attacking football. Whether he is the right man is yet to be seen, but I have certainly seen things this season that lead me to think he may be the right man given time. Unfortunately with the modern football fan and the advent of social media, negativity spreads quickly and good fortune can turn even quicker.
What are your hopes and expectations for this season?
I am someone who doesn’t have many expectations this season, I believe that we will start to show more next season. I’d like a cup run, although I think Lincoln could prove a really tricky tie. Really with the main 12/13 players we have, we should look to finish 7th.
One(s) to watch?
From the team that is likely to play against your boys, I will pick out 2 youngsters. The first one if he is fit (or not sold) is Ademola Lookman. He has everything you want to see in a footballer – Pace, skills to get you off your feet and raw technique. He got into football late and is a proper baller. If he plays he will cause you all kinds of trouble, but he has been injured of late and rumours are he could be sold to make way for a new winger.
The second is Dominic Calvert-Lewin. Still only a young lad, he splits opinions of some Evertonians. Personally, I think he has huge potential. A big lad that doesn’t mind the ball lumped up to him, but has a decent turn of pace too. He does need to improve his finishing, but given a run in the team, I think he can improve that.
Who do you think will finish in the top 4?
Man City, Chelsea, Spurs and Arsenal.
Who do you think will finish in the bottom 3?
Cardiff City, Fulham and Huddersfield Town.
What are your thoughts on Lincoln City?
I think you guys are having a very good season and are a real banana skin for Everton. An old Football Manager favourite of mine, John Akinde is a handful and will be a test for our defenders. In Lee Frecklington you have a very good lower league player and in Neal Eardley and Jason Shackell, you have a wealth of experience. I think you have the makings of a very good lower level team.
A good friend of mine Ben Wright used to play for the club and my daughter goes to University in Lincoln, so it’s always nice to see them do well.
What do you think the score will be?
It is very hard to predict Everton at the moment or know which team he will put out. I still think we will put out a fairly strong team with maybe 5 or 6 changes, so I will go with a 2-0 win to Everton due to home advantage.
Random fact about your Club?
We were the original tenants of Anfield.
What are your proudest and most embarrassing moments as an Everton Supporter?
Proudest would have to be our 1980’s team. They had everything you want in a team and we haven’t really come close to replicating that team.
The most embarrassing is probably some of our FA Cup exits over recent years, Shrewsbury 2-1, Tranmere 3-0 and Wigan 4-0 are up there.
Who would you say is your most underrated player?
I will pick between 2 that kind of go under the radar. The first is Idrissa Gana Gueye. He is very similar to N’Golo Kante and is a tackling/intercepting machine. He is everywhere and probably the most consistent player we have. If he could improve his passing slightly and get forward more he would be playing for a Champions League team.
The second is Lucas Digne. He is superb, like a Leighton Baines v2. He is just starting to get noticed following a couple of free-kicks in the Premier League, but he has carried on from Baines and leading the full-backs in terms of chances created.
Do you have a Supporters Trust and what role do they play at the Club?
Yes, we have Everton Supporters Trust 1878. These guys play a great role in the community by supporting food banks for local people. At every home match, they are helping either raise awareness or collecting for people that have been affected by the current political climate.
Which was your favourite FA Cup match involving Everton?
Seems strange to pick a semi-final, but the 1994/95 match against Spurs. It was the match where Daniel Amokachi came to life having been accidentally subbed on, subsequently scoring 2 goals. Paul Rideout got injured and the manager wanted to wait and see if he could recover, but Amokachi walked on the pitch and the substitution happened. The rest was history. Amokachi was a bit of a cult hero at Everton, despite never really hitting the heights that his ability deserved.
Which was your least favourite FA Cup match involving Everton?
Pretty much any match over the last 20 years. The 3-0 drubbing to Wigan Athletic in the 2013 quarter-final is up there!
Do you have a Former Players Association at Everton?
Yes, we do. Everton are a club that is really good at looking after former players and helping the local community. It’s one thing that we always generally get correct.
What sort of strength squad will the Toffees play against the Imps?
I touched on it above, but I think we will put out a decent team with maybe 5 or 6 changes. Personally, I think it will be Pickford, Kenny, Mina, Zouma, Baines, Schneiderlin, Davies, Lookman, Bernard, Tosun, DCL.
What’s your view on David Moyes as a manager?
He did a great job for the first 6 or 7 years in terms of stabilising the club, but probably stayed too long. He never trusted the players enough to properly go for it and our record against the top 4 teams was horrendous. In fairness, he never had a huge amount of money at the time and if he was managing now, he might do a better job.
Would you rather win the FA Cup or qualify for the Champions League?
FA Cup. What is football without trophies?
What do you think of Scudamore getting a £5 million pay off when grassroots football is starved of funds?
I coach at the grassroots level and was horrified when I heard about the payoff. I was really annoyed that Everton had agreed to pay their money. Grassroots is in dire need of an overhaul and that should start from the Premier League. The facilities we have are poor and all they are generally interested in is poaching talent from junior teams.
Do you take any interest in football outside the Premier League or have any knowledge of lower league clubs?
I live in South Yorkshire at the moment, so always have an interest in the clubs around here. If only to wind up work colleagues. Sheffield Wednesday are a club like Everton, who have a noisy red neighbour. They have been financially mismanaged for years and never quite live up to expectation. Sheffield United are currently the best club in South Yorkshire, playing some very attractive football. Rotherham are punching above their weight, but doing very well under Paul Warne. Doncaster are doing great in League 1 and in the promotion push as are Barnsley.
I also keep an eye out on the Peterborough United scores, having lived that way for a while.
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?
The location and the move are absolutely brilliant. The Dock will showcase Everton and be a real landmark for the city. This will be a major milestone for Everton and one that our major shareholder Farhad Moshiri can be really proud of if he brings it to fruition.
Goodison Park is a wonderful stadium, but it has had its day. The new stadium will bring fantastic commercials, a hopefully iconic stadium and a tailor-made location.
As Liverpool (or should I say Everton Athletic) fans routinely refer to you as The Bitters, how friendly is the Friendly Derby?
Like anything with modern social media, it has become less friendly recently. Locally I would say it’s still relatively friendly in the older generation. Banter is there and we still hate them as supporters, but love them if they are family. The younger social media crowd are probably a bit different, there is a bit of hate there and slowly the old ways are moving out of football.
Has 7th become the ceiling for Everton? Can the top 6 be broken? (regularly not one-off or occasionally.)
No way, football changes every 10 years. A new club comes about or an old club has a bit of a transformation. We are currently that club in transition. We have a fantastic new owner on board who has cleared all the debt we built up in the 90’s/00’s. He is pumping money into the club and trying to bring about the good times. Marco Silva is trying to build his own team that can compete and although this season is a bit of a washout I can see the things he is trying to do.
I can see us breaking into the top 4 over the next 4/5 years, just in time for our fantastic new stadium. Currently, we are a way off the top 6, but with some clever acquisitions in the summer we can 100% break back in. All of our signings from this summer have proved the manager and Marcel Brands (director of football), know what they are doing and with a couple of new strikers, help in midfield and on the wing and competition at RB we can progress.
Everton fans demand 100% and still by a lot of the older blues, not winning the title or at least competing is seen as a failure. Currently, though, we just want improvement and a chance to compete for Europe and trophies.
— Vital Lincoln City (@VitalLincoln) January 4, 2019