Premier League Preview Number 5: Everton

13 August 2009

Everton

Biggest Ins: No one of major note has come in for Everton this summer…that is unless you are a fan of the PDL. Cody Arnoux and Anton Peterlin come in with David Moyes giving them a one year look to see if they work. If what happened last season happens again this season, we will see one of them in action.

Biggest Outs: Nuno Valente, Lars Jacobsen and Andy van der Meyde were surplus requirements and were moved on.

Easiest Month: March. After hell month (see below), Everton get Hull City at home before a trip to Birmingham City. Bolton come to Goodison Park before Everton ends at Wolves. This is a potential ten point month.

Toughest Month: February. Any time you have to play three of the ‘top four’, you are in for a month of hell. After starting across the way at Anfield, Everton host Chelsea and Manchester United. The month ends away at Tottenham. At best, this is a four point month, but three is looking likely.

Five Questions About Everton This Season
1) Can David Moyes keep a striker healthy this season? It almost became a running joke last season that whenever someone up front would get healthy, someone else would go down. Everton have three good strikers should they stay healthy.
2) Will Tim Cahill continue to be Mr. Clutch? Whenever Everton needed something big to happen, it always seems to be Tim Cahill at the center of it all.
3) Can David Moyes keep Joleon Lescott? With Lescott handing in a formal transfer request, it just got much more difficult. However if Lescott does leave, Everton have a major problem at center back. Other than that, It’s Phil Jagielka and Joseph Yobo. It’s a position that depth is needed at pronto considering Jagielka won’t be around for at least the first third of the season.
4) Where does Mikel Arteta end up playing? Last season he was plugged wherever he was needed. He missed the end of the season with a knee injury, so it will be interesting to also see how he plays coming off that injury.
5) Who starts at right back? With Tony Hibbert being injury prone last season, can he stay fit? If he cannot, can Phil Neville adequately fill the role?

My Ultimate Reality: I love David Moyes as a manager. Should Everton stay healthy for the whole season, I expect this team to be the one that pushes the top four all season long. It will be difficult with the Europa Leauge being in the mix, but Moyes knows these players well. If Lescott goes, I expect that money to be spent on the back. When the dust settles in May, I think that February will end their push for the top four. I do, though, expect them to pip Manchester City for fifth spot.

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Johnathan Starling, the self proclaimed 'most brutally honest man on the net, dishes out his own unique brand of opinions, and analysis on the Premier League, Bundesliga, and all things US Soccer.

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