Anthony Gordon returns to Goodison Park in the form of his life on Thursday and Everton fans have their worries.
Ash reached out to his former Podcast co-host Liam Kelly to get his take on Thursday's game.
Liam used to write for Vital Football Everton and The Boot Room and was my right-hand man on the, sadly, now defunct, They Think It's All O-VAR podcast. We have had many a run-in over the status of our two clubs, so this one is personal.
To be honest, I think Liam has gone quite easy on us in this Q&A, I expected many jibes about Jordan Pickford vs Nick Pope, maybe some needling about Anthony Gordon, but it turns out his animosity towards our great club is borne from another player entirely.
What are your hopes and expectations for this season, especially in light of the points deduction?
"Start of the season I believed we could be mid-table. 9th-13th and without the minus 10 we would currently be two points behind Chelsea who have spent over a billion in a year. But we won’t get into that. We are two points from “safety” and I believe we will be fine. We just need to improve on our home form and make Goodison Park a place no one wants to go but it’s been so easy in recent years."
How would you rate Sean Dyche’s impact at Everton?
"He did his job last season. He wasn’t my first choice and so far he is proving me wrong. We are creating a lot of chances and sooner or later we will whack someone 4 or 5-0. I WOULD LOVE IT, I WOULD LOVE IT TO BE THIS THURSDAY. See what I did there?"
Who is your best player? Who is one to watch for the future?
"Dominic Calvert-Lewin. We are a completely different team when he is leading the line but at the moment I think we have a solid team and 10/11 pick themselves. Pickford, James Tarkowski and Jarrad Brathwaite have a solid partnership and Vitalii Mykolenko at LB just seems to be getting better and better. James Garner, Amadou Onana and Abdoulaye Doucoure in midfield have been immense but Onana has picked up a knock recently."
What are your thoughts on Newcastle and Eddie Howe?
"He is showing you don’t need to waste money on anyone to make a squad. You have spent a lot of money, let’s not forget that, but he has bought the players he wants. Not the chairman, or the DoF or someone else not in charge of the club as we have done for the last 7 years."
What do you think of the supposed rivalry that exists online between the two clubs?
"You lot are obsessed, aren’t you? It’s that simple. I never liked Newcastle simply because you signed my hero Duncan Ferguson when I was a kid and I was devastated."
If you could steal one Newcastle player for your own team, who would it be and why?
"Kieran Trippier. He’s the one position we desperately need, Nathan Patterson doesn’t seem to get a chance under Dyche and Seamus Coleman as much as I love him doesn’t have the legs anymore. Young. Let’s not get started on that one."
Finally, what is your score prediction?
"Hopefully, it’s closer than the last meeting between the two as that was an embarrassment. I just don’t want to see Ashley Young vs Anthony Gordon as that will not be fun to watch. Hopefully, Onana and DCL are back and if they are I’d maybe go 2-1 but it’s Everton so I’ll go 1-1."
Thanks again to Liam for taking the time to indulge us with his thoughts. Look out for a bonus Q&A from Toffee Web where we ask them the same questions.
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