Everton - Mikel's Euro goal
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Mikel's Euro goal

After holding fourth position for a period last season, Everton found themselves fighting for fifth come the end of the season.

It took some sterling performances from David Moyes' side in order to make a European finish a certainty as the Blues were being pressed hard by the chasing pack.

This season, a top five finish would be some achievement, baring in mind Everton's poor start and the competitive nature of this season's Premier League.

Yet Arteta firmly believes a run of positive results over the Christmas period, which over the years has proven a real testing time for Everton, could work wonders for the Club's aspirations of European football next term.

"As it is, we remain close to the top six so hopefully we can keep going and have a good result against Chelsea, said Arteta.

Hopefully the Blues can make it to January with the current group of players still injury-free. Just one or two injuries over the hectic festive period could really hinder such ambitions of climbing the table.

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

The Journalist

Writer: Dominic Fitzpatrick Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday December 16 2008

Time: 8:14PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
Nice to see Mikel coming back into his own in centre mid. If you're David Moyes, what do you do? You have a player on the flank in Leon Osman who isn't a natural wide player yet always gives 100% and busts a gut for the team. I realise how much we crave an out-and-out wide player to hug the touchline, but I don't blame Moyes in sticking Ossie there for now, you can't go wrong.
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16/12/2008 20:20:00

Arteta was only ever shunted out wide when he first came as a temporary measure, so he could get used to the league. It's no coincidence since he's been in the centre our form has been leaps and bounds ahead of what it was. We're actually able to keep the ball for more than 3 seconds now! Ossie outwide will do for now, but once again he's a central player. The answer is to actually buy a sodding wide player, instead of collecting centre mids an attempting to compose a formation with them
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16/12/2008 21:48:00

Who would you like to see in wide positions then Mike? I have to admit the idea of signing Joaquin pre-season really excited me! Shame...
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17/12/2008 00:07:00

Anyone with a bit of pace, preferably able to cut in a shoot, or hug the line and cross it. Obinna would of been ideal, but he isn't the only pacey young winger on the continent. Our scouting system is abysmal outside of the UK. Look at our first team now, only Pienaar and Fellaini were bought without having played in Britain before, and both had played in european competitions, so weren't exactly hard to find.
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17/12/2008 00:44:00

I agree Mike. We've never been a team who go out and unearth some foreign gem. This is something we need to address cause we end up paying a stupidly over inflated fee for a player who we coulde sign for half the price from abroad. We desperately need a winger or two. There has been talk of Obinna again but I don't see why we'd get a WP for him now as opposed to 4 months previous. Jaoquin will not be coming as Valencia are doing really well this season and I believe he's been quite integral to their upturn in form from last season. Anyone else got any ideas? I've heard Ledley mentioned as well but at 6m I don't think we could afford him.
Toffee Joe
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17/12/2008 09:12:00

If we tried to buy Obinna rather than loan him it would dramatically increase the chance of getting a WP, but I doubt we could afford him. Rumours is we have less than 1 million to spend in January. So it's looking like a loan deal at best for any kind of quality.
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17/12/2008 10:32:00

I'm not even sure we'd get him on loan. Apparently he's started to break into the Inter first team now so I think any of the rumours that have re-surfaced are pure fabrication due to previous interest. I'm wracking my brain for good quality wingers who would be available on loan and I can't think of any. I wouldn't be surprised to see us only getting a striker in January.
Toffee Joe
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17/12/2008 12:54:00

I wouldn't be surprised if he buys some random defender from somewhere lol. Whenever we desperately need a player for a position, he seems to just want to stock up on defenders.
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17/12/2008 13:13:00

I totally agree with you about our scouting system we never find anyone new. as there anyone in Arsenal's young ranks who could do a job possibly?
Feed The Yak
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17/12/2008 19:02:00

Going to be some confusing match reports after the next match! Which Mikel is which? But I'm guessing if there's a goal involved it won't be Chelsea's Mikel! Arteta is a quality player though. He and Cahill are both top class players. I do worry about the match at Goodison, to be honest. We're not quite at our best at the moment and you've had a long spell of not necessarily playing to your full potential but still getting results. If the motivation of a big 4 scalp is on the table, I fear that your players will be at their best!
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17/12/2008 20:32:00

There's no reason to fear coming to Goodison these days fella, we're bloody *****e here! We should actually have a striker available for this one though at least. Our away record second best in the league, just imagine where we'd be if we actually did even average at goodison. Blackburn, Boro, Newcastle, Villa, Pompey all should of been dispatched and we would be joint top now. 5 average teams came and took, you should have no fear whatsoever.
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17/12/2008 23:04:00

Yep. Unfortunately, what was fortress Goodison in the last few years has become more like a 2-bedroom terrace without so much as a Yale lock on the front door. We have been inexplicably bad at home this year and have showed no signs of improving it. We look like a completely different team away from home. It almost appears that the players are too under pressure at home and just crumble. It's something we desperately need to sort out and although I'd love to see us get some sort of a result against Chelsea, I can't see it happening. And yes Mike, we've been linked with Sheff Wed defender Mark Beevers again today. Chances are we'll sign him for 5mil and forget about a striker till deadline day, upon which we'll coax Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink out of retirement on a 6 month contract.
Toffee Joe
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18/12/2008 08:38:00

I know exactly how you feel guys! The Bridge isn't a happy hunting ground at the moment either. But those sort of things don't last for top quality teams. Your squad has enough quality to get a result out of ANY of the Premiership teams --- it'll only be a matter of time until you sort out your home record.
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20/12/2008 18:19:00


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