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Everton FC – The Real Post-Moyes Era

This is my first story on these forums so I hope you guys will enjoy it. I’ve read quite a few of the stories already posted on here and thoroughly enjoyed most of them so I’ve decided to write one of my own and share it with the FM community.
Started on 10 January 2014 by Tremenator
Latest Reply on 6 February 2014 by baronia
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Tremenator's avatar Group Tremenator
8 yearsEdited
Everton Make Solid Start To League Campaign

So over the following week most of my squad went away for international duty, some of the players that stayed and were not included against Norwich were given a run out in the midweek Under 21 game, one of these players was Mohammed Sissoko who had just started training again after an injury picked up in pre-season. There was also playing time for Alcaraz and Gueye as they continued their comebacks from injury. The game didn't go to plan as I was well beaten by Arsenal Under 21s but what I found most frustrating was Sissoko was injured yet again and will face another 3 weeks on the sidelines. He's really starting to look like a flop already. Thankfully the signing of Essien is softening the blow as he played a full 90 minutes for Ghana as he increases his fitness but it still a week or so away from featuring in the Everton first team..

Going into the Swansea I stuck with the same team that beat Norwich hoping they could build on that performance. therefore the match squad to face Swansea was:

GK - T.Howard
DR - S.Coleman
DC - P.Jagielka
DC - S.Distin
DL - L.Baines
MCR - G.Barry
MCL - D.Gibson
AMR - K.Mirallas
AMC - R.Barkley
AML - S.Pienaar
ST - N.Jelavic

Subs
J.Robles
J.Heitinga
B.Oviedo
J.McCarthy
L.Osman
G.Deulofeu
R.Lukaku



Swansea City 1-4 Everton (Premier League)
Coming off the back of a win I went with the same eleven that did the job in the last match with the exact same tactics. The first portion of the game was played at a steady pace with both sides having half chances and Kevin Mirallas having a 1 on 1 against Vorm which he could only hit right at the keeper. Just when I felt I was beginning to get a hold of the goal I fell behind to a good counter attacking goal which was finished off by Michu with a first time effort into the roof of the net. This could of got Swansea’s tails up and made the afternoon difficult for me but my boys dug in and continued to create chances and their efforts were rewarded just after the half hour when a Leighton Baines corner towards the back post was superbly volleyed into the far corner by Phil Jagielka of all people. It was no more than I deserved and it allowed us to regain control of the match. Despite going into the break level I felt as though we should be ahead and told the team to relax and the goal will come if they keep playing as they were. My words proved to be accurate because just 3 minutes into the second half Pienaar received the ball and after waiting for the right moment played a through ball which Darron Gibson ran on to putting him clear of the defence allowing him to fire the ball past Vorm to give us the lead we richly deserved. Swansea stepped up a notch from here and began some pressure of their own testing Howard with some close range efforts. Thankfully my defence were aware of their surroundings and were always picking up the rebounds first preventing Swansea from retaining possession. Frantically pushing for the equaliser proved to be the undoing for the Welsh side as after misplacing a pass, Jelavic intercepted and hit Swansea on the counter attack. He took the ball to the out to the left hand side bringing two defenders with him before continuing into the box and forcing Vorm to charge out to cover the shot giving Jelavic the easy option of knocking the ball across goal and allowing Ross Barkley the easiest of tap ins to make the points safe for Everton. With 10 minutes to go I made a few changes giving Jelavic a rest after a super effort up top. I also brought off Mirallas as the Belgian hadn’t quite gotten into the game as much as I liked. Lukaku and Deulofeu were fresh and raring to go unfortunately for the Swansea defence and it was the young Spaniard that bagged himself a goal when he curled the ball around a defender and neatly into the top corner after receiving the ball from a throw in. The whistle blew to end the game giving me my second win from as many games. After two games I have a goal difference of +5 and sit 2nd in the table but more importantly the team look capable of scoring from every attack which is something I couldn’t get right in pre-season and had my concerns about going into the season itself. With the Capital One Cup game next I’ll probably run the changes to give a few others a chance to make an impression.
Swansea Scorers - Michu
Everton Scorers - Phil Jagielka, Darron Gibson, Ross Barkley, Gerard Deulofeu
Man of the Match - Phil Jagielka

Everton Unbeaten
So after two wins and two very good performances in the league my attention turned to the Capital One Cup against League 2 Bury and a chance for some of the other players to get a chance to impress. There was also a first start for Essien in the centre of midfield. I rung the changes giving me a match squad consisting of:

GK - J.Robles
DR - T.Hibbert
DC - J.Heitinga
DC - A.Alcaraz
DL - B.Oviedo
MCR - M.Essien
MCL - J.McCarthy
AMR - G.Deulofeu
AMC - L.Osman
AML - M.Gueye
ST - R.Lukaku

Subs
T.Howard
P.Jagielka
L.Baines
D.Gibson
S.Pienaar
K.Mirallas
N.Jelavic



Everton 2-0 Bury (Capital One Cup Second Round)
Perhaps a bit naïve on my part but I didn’t anticipate many problems getting past Bury and as a result I had a completely changed eleven from the ones that played in the first two PL games. There were debuts for Essien, Alcaraz, McCarthy and Joel and first starts for Hibbert, Heitinga, Osman, Deulofeu, Oviedo, Gueye and Lukaku. I did have the big boys on the bench if I needed them but I was hoping I wouldn’t. Bury only managed to keep me out for 10 minutes as their left back wandered too far forward for a throw in leaving them massively exposed down their left flank and when Hibbert won the ball all he had to do was knock it to Deulofeu and the young Spaniard had a clear run on goal from the halfway line. His pace was that quick, the Bury defenders had given up long before he arrived at the box. The goalkeeper gave his best efforts but Deulofeu slotted the ball into the far corner of the goal to give Everton the lead and the young Spaniard his second in two games. From then on my side seemed to lack their killer instinct as they never applied a consistent amount of pressure to grab a second goal. Bury themselves offered little going forward but even still I wanted that second goal to make the game more comfortable. It never came and going into the second half I warned the team against complacency and to kill the game off. Again their just didn’t seem to be a desire to finish the game off. Bury still offered little but I wasn’t going to have egg on my face so with 15 minutes to go I brought off Gueye and Alcaraz, both of whom had just recovered from long term injuries and brought on Pienaar and Mirallas in case Bury grabbed an unlikely equaliser. The game was finally made safe in the 90th minute when a cross field pass from Deulofeu found Pienaar unmarked and the South African knocked the ball past the Bury keeper to make the game safe, an almost identical goal to the one he scored against Norwich. The game finished 2-0 and I was in the hat for the 3rd round.
Everton Scorers - Gerard Deulofeu, Steven Pienaar
Bury Scorers - None
Man of the Match - Gerard Deulofeu

Everton Face A Trip To Turf Moor
I was given a tricky away game in the next round of the Capital One Cup against Championship side Burnley with the game to take place in about a months time.
Tremenator's avatar Group Tremenator
8 yearsEdited
Closing Out August

Having only a couple of days until the next league game there wasn't much to comment on except a few youngsters going out on short term loan deals. I had my first 3pm Saturday game the coming weekend against Stoke who had just come off a draw at the Emirates so they obviously had their tails up coming into this game. I reverted back to my strongest squad that had played in the league matches so far with one change. Michael Essien after a run out in midweek was to start in place of the injured Gareth Barry. Therefore the starting line up to play Stoke was:

GK - T.Howard
DR - S.Coleman
DC - P.Jagielka
DC - S.Distin
DL - L.Baines
MCR - M.Essien
MCL - D.Gibson
AMR - K.Mirallas
AMC - R.Barkley
AML - S.Pienaar
ST - N.Jelavic

Subs
J.Robles
J.Heitinga
B.Oviedo
J.McCarthy
L.Osman
G.Deulofeu
R.Lukaku



Everton 1-0 Stoke City (Premier League)
Don’t be fooled by the narrow score because this was probably the most one sided of the three league games so far. Stoke offered little going forward and just like in real life, they played like the Stoke we all know. There was plenty of heavy challenges and it was no surprise at all that they didn’t finish the match with eleven men. The only goal came on 13 minutes when Pienaar played a well-timed through ball that found Jelavic on the edge of the box. As the Croatian striker was lining up his shot he was chopped to the ground (best way I can describe it) by Geoff Cameron giving the referee one of the easiest penalty decisions he will have all season. The responsibility fell to Leighton Baines who, composed and relaxed fired the ball into the top of the net sending Sorenson the wrong way in the process. The pattern continued for the rest of the first half with Everton having chances to score and Stoke breaking up play with hard challenges. There were excellent opportunities to extend the lead for Pienaar, Barkley, Jelavic and Essien who was settling in well in his first league start. At the break I told the players to continue as they were and the result will come and that’s exactly what they did. Chance after chance went by but we couldn’t find the second goal to make the game safe. Essien came off after an hour as he continues to build up his fitness. He was replaced by McCarthy who I had a chance to give a chance to prove himself after his mouthing off denied him a starting place to begin with. Around the hour mark Pienaar had a run at goal but was the victim of a horror challenge from Robert Huth which in itself could have been a red card but as Pienaar was through on goal the referee had little option but to show the German the red and Stoke were down to 10. That pretty much killed off any chance of a Stoke equaliser as they brought off their lone front man to fill the gap in the defence. Both Mirallas and Jelavic had chances were they were one on one with the keeper but neither could find the net. Another bad challenge, this time from Stoke’s Ryan Shawcross ended Kevin Mirallas’s game early through injury but we were able to see out the rest of the game for a third win in 3 games.
Everton Scorers - Leighton Baines (Pen)
Stoke Scorers - None
Man of the Match - Leighton Baines

Following victory over Stoke I closed out August on second position in table behind leaders Southampton on goal difference.





The image below displays my transfer activity for the first window.

You had a great start in the league! And also a great deal in Essien!
2014-01-23 08:58#156149 AAN : You had a great start in the league! And also a great deal in Essien!

Chelsea kindly offered him to me for that price because their initial asking price was £4.5m. I was also looking at Javi Garcia and Darren Fletcher for the role but Garcia wanted too much money and Fletcher would fail the medical. I'm happy with the balance of my squad now for this year but I will need to address the wage bill after this season.

Just a question to people reading this, are the posts too in depth or too long to read? Being my first story I'm not sure what people prefer.

Thanks
I like this story! But you could use more photos, idk....I enjoy reading it anyway!
Having started an Everton file myself, I find this a great little read and it's interesting to compare how I get on compared to someone else. I've just reached the end of my first season, so I'm looking forward to seeing how this pans out.

Keep up with the updates :)
2014-01-23 16:09#156239 baronia : Having started an Everton file myself, I find this a great little read and it's interesting to compare how I get on compared to someone else. I've just reached the end of my first season, so I'm looking forward to seeing how this pans out.

Keep up with the updates :)

Where did you end up finishing? I'm currently in October so I need to get a move on and write up September for you guys. Apologies that it is a slow progressing game, I have a young baby at home and I often don't get much time to play but I will get on the game whenever I can.

Just to sum up the transfer activity as the image is a little blurry, the only departures from the club were all loan deals involving the youth squads, some are out for the season, others for a few months but it was my deliberate intention to not anyone leave permanently in this window because they all get a chance to show what they can do in the first season. As I've mentioned I don't pay serious attention to the potential and current ability ratings. I believe a solid backroom team with good stats determine how good a player will be which is why I completely overhauled the backroom team.

As you can see there were 5 new arrivals at the club.

Michael Essien was the only player that cost any money, still £3.5m for a player like him is good business and he fills the space I had for a holding midfielder player that can win the ball.

Mohammed Sissoko was brought in as a free initially to fill the role taken by Essien but after a serious of poor performances and injuries in his short time at the club he's now out in the cold so to speak and struggling to make an impact in the under 21's. I'm sure when he's fully fit he can do a job but getting him fit is proving to be a big issue.

Connor Hunte is a popular player for managers to recruit in the first window. He's a left winger with 4.5/5 potential ability and a free agent so it makes sense to recruit him and get him in your youth teams. Since I've signed him he has scored goals for both the under 18's and under 21's and now having turned 17 clubs are queuing up to take him on loan.

Warren Windows is a perfect example of my point about not reading too much into potential ability ratings. Having only 1/5 potential ability ratings, he along with a couple of dozen other young players without a club were offered trials at my club until the end of pre-season and played for the under 21's in a series of friendlies. While most players failed to live up to anything, Windows averaged a match rating of 7.62 in 10 games including 5 clean sheets which impressed me so I signed the 16 year old to a two year deal and put him in the under 18's where he should develop nicely.

Marcus Tremarco, well a young left back who doesn't particularly shine but given he is my real life cousin I had to give him a chance. At 19 he's already too old for the under 18's so he's on a two year deal worth £250 p/w in the under 21's to show off his skills.
2014-01-24 08:09#156377 Tremenator :
2014-01-23 16:09#156239 baronia : Having started an Everton file myself, I find this a great little read and it's interesting to compare how I get on compared to someone else. I've just reached the end of my first season, so I'm looking forward to seeing how this pans out.

Keep up with the updates :)

Where did you end up finishing? I'm currently in October so I need to get a move on and write up September for you guys. Apologies that it is a slow progressing game, I have a young baby at home and I often don't get much time to play but I will get on the game whenever I can.


I finished my first season in 9th which was a bit disappointing to be honest - I'd done quite well after a poor start, but then dipped again towards the end of the season. My second season is much more promising though...
Holy crap, this is a great story, and from someone new, what a surprise. I love that you talk about the game, tactics, player acquisition, etc. The only thing I'd say is that you could use more formatting, but the substance is definitely there. I had a FM13 story on here where I became Everton's manager. It'll be interesting to see what you do with them, but it definitely looks like the right track, even if we disagree on certain areas (playing talent vs. playing form, buying old players)
Everton Enjoying Life At the Premier League Summit As Fulham Are Sent Packing

The first part of September was dedicated to World Cup qualifiers giving me a chance to have a look at my youth squads and players on the road to recovery from injury. I attended an under 21's game where I had asked Alcaraz and Gueye to play as they continued to build their fitness after long injury lay offs. Also in the squad was the forgotton Arouna Kone who had recently asked for a transfer after struggling to settle in the area. (This is bull as he moved from Wigan and wouldn't even need to move home for this). Considering he is about my 6th choice striker I accepted his request as his 40K a week wages are a headache for me. His performance in this game was awful and based on that I couldn't be rid of him quick enough.

After the international break focus returned to the league and next for me was a trip to Craven Cottage to face Fulham. Kevin Mirallas was still a few weeks away from a return and Steven Naismith had only begun training again recently so their was a chance for Gerard Deulofeu to make an impression for a regular place in the team. The squad to face Fulham was as follows:

GK - T.Howard
DR - S.Coleman
DC - P.Jagielka
DC - S.Distin
DL - L.Baines
MCR - M.Essien
MCL - D.Gibson
AMR - G.Deulofeu
AMC - R.Barkley
AML - S.Pienaar
ST - N.Jelavic

Subs
J.Robles
J.Heitinga
B.Oviedo
G.Barry
S.Naismith
L.Osman
R.Lukaku



Fulham 1-2 Everton (Premier League)
The international break did little to stop the Everton momentum that was building up at the beginning of the season as almost from the off a good chance fell to Deulofeu who was deputising for the injured Mirallas, however the shot was tame and easy for Stekelenburg. Fulham looked shell shocked in the opening minutes of the game as they were unable to string two passes together as Everton dominated possession and pressed Fulham really deep. In the 6th minute the inevitable goal arrived as Deulofeu charged forward knocking the ball past Richardson before cutting it back inside leaving the chasing defender behind. The young Spaniard dribbled the ball into the box before knocking a pass across the face of goal and finding Jelavic for an easy tap in to give Everton a deserved 1-0 lead and the Croatian striker his first of the season. The game continued in this manner with Fulham offering very little in front of their own fans and Everton in full control of the game. Reither saved Fulham twice more in the first half from going further behind my clearing two shots off the line, the first a header from Jagielka and the second a powerful shot from Barkley. The game went into the break with the score at 1-0 and that score line was kind to Fulham. I told my players to keep it up and the goals will come and within 4 minutes of the second half starting the second goal did come. A corner from the left hand side found Sylvain Distin unmarked and the French defender powered in a header to double Everton’s lead. For some reason this gave the impression to my team that the game was safe now and they could sit back. Around the hour mark Fulham brought on reinforcements and looked like a completely different side after that. I brought off Deulofeu after 65 minutes after the youngster had ran himself into the ground for the team. He was replaced by Steven Naismith making his first appearance of the season since he was injured on international duty back in August. Fulham enjoyed good spells of possession and created a number of chances towards the end of the game with a couple falling to Bent and a long range effort from Sidwell. Fulham did get a reward for their spell of possession with just over 10 minutes to go as Howard could not keep hold of a Darren Bent shot and the rebound fell to Berbatov who tapped the ball home to make it a nervy last 10 minutes. The game was end to end now with both teams taking it in turns to have a scoring opportunity. This was frustrating as hell as no matter what instructions I gave to the players they could not cope with Fulhams late pressure. In stoppage time I had visions of the 100% record disappearing as Darren Bent had an effort from the edge of the box that beat Howard but thankfully for me the ball cannoned back off the cross bar and was cleared by Baines. That turned out to be the last action of the game as I managed to hold on for a 2-1 win after dominating the first 60 minutes. Clearly my team needs to learn how to close out games in a less nervy fashion in future.
Fulham Scorers - Dimitar Berbatov
Everton Scorers - Nikica Jelavic, Sylvain Distin
Man of the Match - Sascha Reither (Fulham)

Following todays results I find myself sitting top of the league with 4 wins from 4, however the fixtures are only going to get tougher from here as my next match was a trip to north London to face Arsenal.
Everton Gun Down The Gunners To Stay Unbeaten
Anticipating a tough game against an Arsenal side that had struggled so far this season I prepared my tactics based on a defensive style to counter the possession that Arsenal would probably have. The game would be a 5:30 kick off on Saturday evening in front of the SkySports cameras so I was eager for my team to impress. Seeing no reason to change a winning side I went with the same eleven that beat Fulham meaning Deulofeu retained his place in the squad. The starting line up to face Arsenal was:

GK - T.Howard
DR - S.Coleman
DC - P.Jagielka
DC - S.Distin
DL - L.Baines
MCR - M.Essien
MCL - D.Gibson
AMR - G.Deulofeu
AMC - R.Barkley
AML - S.Pienaar
ST - N.Jelavic

Subs
J.Robles
J.Heitinga
B.Oviedo
G.Barry
S.Naismith
L.Osman
R.Lukaku



Arsenal 1-4 Everton (Premier League)
Once again in front of the SkySports cameras, Everton put on the performance of the season so far against an underperforming Arsenal side. The first 15 minutes resulted in little more than a few half chances as both teams tried to play their way into the game. It was in the 18th minute when the game changed. Darron Gibson had a shot blocked which resulted in a corner which was taken by Leighton Baines. The ball was floated into the goal mouth area where it appeared to be headed home by Sylvain Distin to give Everton an unlikely lead at the Emirates. However upon further analysis, Distin made no contact with the ball whatsoever and in fact, Baines had scored directly from the corner kick, the most unusual of goals. However my good fortune didn’t last long as straight from the kick off Arsenal got the equaliser. Starting the move on the edge of their own area, Walcott received the ball and proceeded to sprint up field taking the ball into my half of the field and knocking the ball past both Baines and Distin before reaching the penalty area and beautifully slotting the ball into the far corner of the net to level the game at 1-1. A goal of the month candidate for sure. The rest of the first half was pretty uneventful with Arsenal creating a few chances and retaining possession well however in first half stoppage time, Pienaar charged at the Arsenal defence, knocked the ball past Sagna and was through on goal but the arsenal man pulled Pienaar down giving the referee little choice but to award Everton a penalty. Sagna received a yellow for his trouble but it should have been red as Pienaar was through on goal. Baines stepped up having netted from the spot against Stoke, he placed the ball to the goalkeepers left but Szczesny guessed the right way and saved the effort, the rebound however fell straight to Baines and he knocked the ball in at the second attempt to restore the Everton lead. This turned out to be the last action of the half and we went into the break with a slender 2-1 lead. I told the team they were playing well and to keep it up (honestly I was expecting to be defending the whole game but the attacking play was surprising me as well). The second half started but Arsenal must of not realised it as only three minutes into the half, Pienaar again broke clear of the defence but this time there was nobody to challenge him and he slotted the ball under Szczesny from a tight angle to put Everton 3-1 up. No matter what arsenal tried to change the game the Everton pressure continued and on 62 minutes a corner from Baines was knocked in at the second attempt by Jagielka to make it 4-1 to Everton. Arsenal made a triple substitution after this in an attempt to rescue the game but there was no way I was going to let this slip. I gave instructions to slow the pace down and retain possession and for once my team listened and obeyed my tactics. Arsenal struggled to create any meaningful chances as the minutes ticked by. I made a triple substitution of my own with 15 minutes to go bringing on Lukaku, Naismith and Heitinga for Jelavic who had again worked his socks off for the team, Pienaar who had taken a knock late on and Coleman who was on a yellow card. The minutes ticked away and the only chance of any meaningful note fell to Giroud in stoppage time but his close range shot was gathered by Howard at the second attempt. The whistle went and my boys had recorded a fantastic win on the road to one of the title contenders.
Arsenal Scorers - Theo Walcott
Everton Scorers - Leighton Baines (x2), Steven Pienaar, Phil Jagielka
Man of the Match - Leighton Baines

Win a 5th win from 5 league games I remained top of the pile. The next match was the Capital One Cup 3rd Round tie against Burnley at turf Moor where I would probably rotate the squad again.
Tremenator's avatar Group Tremenator
8 yearsEdited
Toffees Come Unstuck But Recover Quickly
Heading into the Capital One Cup tie I decided to again make changes for the cup and give some of the other squad members a chance to play. there was a first start for Naismith and also starts for Alcaraz and Gueye who had both fully recovered from their respective injuries. Mohammed Sissoko was finally injury free and took a place on the bench along with some of the first team squad should I need to call upon them. Therefore the team to play Burnley was:

GK - J.Robles
DR - T.Hibbert
DC - J.Heitinga
DC - A.Alcaraz
DL - B.Oviedo
MCR - G.Barry
MCL - J.McCarthy
AMR - S.Naismith
AMC - L.Osman
AML - M.Gueye
ST - R.Lukaku

Subs
J.Robles
S.Coleman
S.Distin
M.Sissoko
D.Gibson
G.Deulofeu
N.Jelavic



Burnley 3-2 Everton (Capital One Cup Third Round)
Despite sending out a completely different eleven I told the team to carry on the form shown by the first team and to begin with it looked like that would be the case as Everton dominated the first 20 or minutes retaining possession well and creating a number of chances in particular Romelu Lukaku and Steven Naismith but Heaton in the Burnley goal was coping well. Burnley slowly started getting into the game around the half hour mark and began creating some chances of their own but Robles in the Everton goal was equally coping well. The rest of the first half consisted of both teams having chances to score but most of the efforts were from a distance and the goalkeepers seemed comfortable enough dealing with them. It was goalless at the break so I told the boys to keep going and the goal would come as I didn’t need them to change their way of playing. The second half saw Burnley come out flying with Ings and Stanislas having efforts, the latter was a rebound from a corner that thundered against the cross bar before being cleared by Heitinga. Burnleys early pressure at the start of the second half was rewarded on 58 minutes when Ross Wallace received the ball on the edge of the area and with some clever footmark, he managed to deceive Hibbert and fired a shot that beat Robles at his near post to give the Championship side an unexpected but deserved lead. Needing a goal I changed my tactics to force my team to get the ball forward more quickly which had some degree of success as Lukaku was presented with a few chances but the Belgian could not make any of them count. I was beginning to dominate possession but with just under 15 minutes to go a mistake from Hibbert allowed Stanislas to win a cheap corner which was headed home by Ben Mee to give Burnley a 2-0. Needing an urgent response I threw on some of the big guns I had in reserve to try and salvage the game, Jelavic and Deulofeu and finally after 6 weeks of the season, Sissoko. The team mentality was changed to be more offensive and just 2 minutes after Burnley thought they’d grabbed an unassailable lead, we were back in the game as Deulofeu intercepted a poor pass and took the ball up field solo and calmly placed a shot into the far corner past Heaton to reduce the deficit to 2-1. The final 10 minutes was all Everton as we scrambled for the equaliser that would take the game to extra time. Jelavic won a corner by forcing Heaton to tip his initial shot wide and from the resulting corner Deulofeu whipped the ball towards the 6 yard line where Alcaraz was left unmarked to head into the net to level the game with just 3 minutes left. Deulofeu, in the 10 minutes he’d been on the pitch had scored one and made another. I was preparing for extra time here but in the 89th minute Burnley won the game with the deciding goal after a poor clearance from goal scorer Alcaraz, the ball came straight back and eventually landed at the feet of jones who had stayed forward from the initial build up and he rifled a shot past the helpless Robles to restore Burnley’s lead. The Championship side retained possession in stoppage time leaving me with no chance to build a final attack. The final whistle went giving me my first defeat as Everton manager and ended my Capital One Cup charge for this season.
Burnley Scorers - Ross Wallace, Ben Mee, David Jones
Everton Scorers - Gerard Deulofeu, Antolin Alcaraz
Man of the Match - Ben Mee (Burnley)

It's a shame really that I could not win this game especially as the fourth round would have seen a home tie against Nottingham Forest so this was a real chance to win this competition gone. Putting it aside though I turned my attention to the Super Sunday game on SkySports which would again feature my Everton team as unbeaten West Brom came to visit. Squad wise Kevin Mirallas was in the squad again but having only been in training for a couple of days he'd only been fit enough to make the bench so Deulofeu would continue to fill in, other than that I'd be sticking with the same team that seen off Fulham in the last league game meaning my match squad would be:

GK - T.howard
DR - S.Coleman
DC - P.Jagielka
DC - S.Distin
DL - L.Baines
MCR - M.Essien
MCL - D.Gibson
AMR - G.Deulofeu
AMC - R.Barkley
AML - S.Pienaar
ST - N.Jelavic

Subs
J.Robles
J.Heitinga
B.Oviedo
G.Barry
S.Naismith
K.Mirallas
R.Lukaku



Everton 4-1 West Bromwich Albion (Premier League)
I think my team enjoy playing in front of the TV cameras because they came out of the blocks like a house on fire with heavy pressure being applied and forcing the West Brom line back into their own penalty area. The first few shots were struggling to find their mark but that would not last long. In the 6th minute, Spanish wonderkid Deulofeu showed why he was keeping Mirallas out of the side when he knocked the ball past two opposition defenders before playing a perfectly timed through ball to Ross Barkley who dribbled the ball into the box which lured Foster to close him down to prevent the shot but Barkley continued to dribble the ball towards the dead ball line drawing Foster in before playing a simple pass across the goal mouth area where Jelavic was on hand to score an easy tap in to give Everton an early lead, very clever play from both youngsters. In response to going a goal down the Baggies tried some possession and link up play of their own but Essien, Gibson, Distin and Jagielka were always on hand to win back possession leaving a very frustrated Anelka with no service. The Everton chances kept coming with Deulofeu hitting a shot wide from utside of the box and Gibson firing a pile driver of an effort straight at the goalkeeper. It wasn’t long before the continued Everton pressure brought another reward though as Ross Barkley who was dominating play in the centre of midfield picked his moment excellently to feed Jelavic who had the legs to beat Olsson and the Croatian placed his shot under the advancing Foster to double the lead in the 26th minute with his second of the game. The rest of the first half was pretty much the same with Everton having a number of good chances and any attempt by West Brom to create anything was quickly shut down by Essien and Gibson. We went in at the break 2-0 up and there was really nothing I could say to the team other than congratulate them on their excellent performance. West Brom came out with a different approach in the second half which was to break up play as much as they can with a physical style of play. The free flowing game in the first half was broken up by continuous fouling by the away team which unfortunately for me did some damage to Steven Pienaar as the South African picked up a knock that he would unfortunately be unable to shake off and I would end his game early. Despite the rough style of play from the opposition they were still hopeless with the ball as a misplaced pass by Carl Jenkinson allowed Deulofeu to steal and race towards goal, the speed of the little Spaniard meant the defence could not keep up with him and after entering the penalty area he fired a shot which Foster couldn’t stop into the top of the net on 49 minutes to make it 3-0. West Brom did get a goal back on 56 minutes as a Chris Brunt corner was not dealt with by the defence and Anelka tapped in probably with his first touch of the game but it did little to spur the Baggies on as Everton continued to dominate possession despite the rough play by West Brom (16 fouls to 5 it finished). There was a goal on 72 minutes for substitute Steven Naismith who bagged his first of the season by curling a shot from outside of the area past Foster and into the corner of the net to make it 4-1. The game sort of fizzled out after that as I told my team to just retain possession and see out the game which they did with no problems. After the match I had a good go at Steve Clarke for his management style and tactics used to which he replied by telling me to focus on my own team (Erm I just kicked your teams ass 4-1 I think I did that you fool). Either way with 6 wins from 6 (three 4-1 wins) I kept my place at the top of the table.
Everton Scorers - Nikica Jelavic (x2), Gerard Deulofeu, Steven Naismith
West Brom Scorers - Nicolas Anelka
Man of the Match - Nikica Jelavic

Sitting pretty at the top of the table I had to wait 8 days for my next match which would be at home again against unbeaten Manchester United. Steven Pienaar would miss 3-4 weeks with the injury picked up against West Brom but with an international window coming I'm hoping he'll just miss the one game.

My First Award
As September drew to a close I was surprised but happy to find I'd been awarded the manager of the month award for 3 wins in all 3 league games beating off competition from Jose Mourinho and David Moyes.



My complete results for September were:

Unlucky at Burnley
4-1 at Arsenal? That, my friends, is what we're capable of!
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Very good results so far, especially the one with Arsenal. I like very much your updates. Keep it up!
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