Ahead of the top of the table clash with Everton this weekend, we had a chat with BAZ from TOFFEETV and The MLS Show about last season, their start to the new campaign, the upcoming game and much more.
Q. Now that the dust has settled on a lengthy 2019-20 campaign, how are you feeling about the new season?
Looking forward to this season to be honest. Everton were quite poor towards the end of the season after initially starting post lockdown well, but the new additions we’ve made in James Rodriguez, Allan and Abdoulaye Doucoure has really strengthened us so the positivity is now flowing.
Q. Looking back, how did Everton do last season and were you happy with it in general?
We were poor last season. After a strong finish to the previous season we were hoping to challenge for a European spot but Marco Silva never settled on a proper formation and we lost too many games. Once he was sacked, Duncan Ferguson got us moving again and then the signing of Carlo Ancelotti was incredible. We improved until lockdown but still way below where we expected to be so it was a frustrating season overall.
Q. How have Everton made the best of the shortened close season and how much of an effect do you think it will have on the season ahead?
It will remain to be seen if Everton prepared properly for the shortened close season I guess with how we do. Whilst we didn’t have many pre-season games, only two, it gave the manager time to really get his expectations across and they also did a fair bit of double sessions. However, because the players only had three weeks off maybe they didn’t need as long to get fit.
Q. Have Everton been very active in the transfer window? Are there areas that still need attention before it closes?
Obviously, the signings of Rodriguez, Allan and Doucoure have really improved us in an area that was desperate for attention, at the time of writing this most Evertonians know that we still need another centre back. As well as that most are also hoping that a wide player comes in with pace but at the moment Everton need to shift a few players on for that to happen.
Q. What can we expect from Everton this season?
A better side than last season is the short answer. The expectation is that we must be in the fight for top six, not just because we have players who are good enough but also because we have spent money to be in there over the last few years and now we have one of the most successful managers ever at the helm.
Q. We are keen to see young players coming through the ranks here at TEB so is there anyone that we should keep an eye on who could make the breakthrough into the Everton first eleven?
Anthony Gordon is a young lad with a bright future who has played a handful of Premier League games already so we have high hopes for him. Jarrad Branthwaite is another young lad who has done well but we bought him from Carlisle United but looks quality. Ellis Simms and Tyler Onyango are two players in our Under 23 side who are worth keeping an eye on, Simms (19) a striker and Onyango (17) a midfielder train with the first team on a regular basis.
Q. Let’s have some predictions from you for the season;
Premier League Champions – Manchester City
Champions League spots – Liverpool, Chelsea and Man United
Relegated – WBA, Fulham and West Ham
Surprise package – Palace (If they keep Wilf )
FA Cup – Liverpool
League Cup – Everton
Q. What are your thoughts on the return of fans to games this season?
I just can’t wait to go back into the stadium but at the moment I don’t see any chance of that happening sadly.
Q. What do you make of Palace ahead of the new season?
Started the season really well and with Zaha, you always have a chance. I don’t like playing against Palace because it’s always a tough game and whilst this time at Selhurst Park won’t be the same without the fans, it will still be so tough. Big side with good players like James McCarthy, Michy Batshuayi, Joel Ward etc. Palace should always do a bit better than they seem to, but Roy Hodgson is a good manager and with the likes of Eberechi Eze and maybe another couple you’ve been linked with, it could be a good season for the Eagles.
Q. Name one player from each team that you believe will be a threat to the opposition in this match.
Zaha and Richarlison. Two match winners.
Q. …and finallly, your all important prediction?
I hate doing predictions! This will be our toughest game yet 100% but I am going for 2-1 Everton win (I am not at all convinced by that prediction though).
Hope you guys have a great season apart from the two games against us!