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Grand Moff Mithrandir

Football LXXXI: As The Saints Go Marching Out

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Is Lukaku in need of grooming, though?


We are talking about a guy who scored 17 and 15 Premiership goals in the past two seasons, playing for West Brom and Everton with much weaker service than he could get at Chelsea.


An aging mentor who'd take some of his time on the pitch is the last thing he'd need.


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Hes still only 21. I agree he doesnt "need" grooming, I just had a thought that that was one of the reasons they brought Drogba back. Guess not, though I do not think coming up under Drogba would hurt, I certainly don't see it as "the last thing he'd need"

I think dumping Torres would have been the better option obviously with Costa as the number #1, Lukaku #2 and Drogba getting minutes every once in a while but I guess he just didn't want to fight for his place at Chelsea or Mourinho simply didn't have him in his plans idk. Still think its dumb to sell.

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"The last thing he'd need" was a bit strong, but it's not really that far from truth.


Lukaku is not a young player who shows promise and played well in the weaker league and would benefit from grooming under Drogba and hasn't been one for a while now.


That would do wonders for Origi, for example, but I don't quite see how would that improve Lukaku more than a season of regular first team football.



Keeping Torres and selling Lukaku makes no sense, but Lukaku seems to be out of favor at Chelsea and him leaving the club would probably be best for everyone involved.


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There was some talk that Lukaku would look to sign for a CL team, so this is great news for Everton.

Hopefully they have another strong year and keep things interesting at the top.

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I have to say, I wasn't aware there was any mystery to the Lukaku situation.

Rightly or wrongly, Jose doesn't rate him as a player or seem to warm to him personally. That's been obvious for a while now. Remember this?

Romelu likes to speak. He's a young boy who likes to speak. But the only thing he didn't say is why he went to Everton on loan. That's the only thing he never says. And my last contact with him was to tell him exactly that. I said 'Why do you never say why you are not here?' So it's something he should talk about because he likes to speak. It's something he should say, the reason why he's not with Chelsea and is in Everton.

Or this?

It is one thing to play for Everton and another to play for Chelsea.

If Jose doesn't like a player, he's not shy about saying so.

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Its a shame that chelsea have let him go and an even bigger shame that he's joined those rotten toffees.

Everton, unlike southampton, have actually done a good job of keeping a hold of their starlets. They should perform admirably yet again this season. Although I do feel like they haven't done enough strengthening, besides the addition of Besic and retention of Barry & Lukaku.

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Getting Barkley to sign a new contract is a great achievement for Everton as well. He should be immense for them this season. Their starting XI is good enough to challenge anyone on their day - they just need strength in depth, something that can be hard to achieve on such a limited budget. But if they can get another striker in, I think they will be in with an (outside) chance of making the CL next season.


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Any other year I'd agree that Everton have a legit champions league shot but the top 4 is too strong this time round. Liverpool are the most vulnerable I reckon, but probably not by much.

Will take a massive effort or anyone else to break in this year.

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If it's anyone, it's probably going to be United, no? In an idea world, we would see Chelsea plummet until Jose tries to gouge out Terry's eyeballs. But unfortunately, that will probably never happen.


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Everton will probably finish seventh tbh. Tottenham and Liverpool fighting for fifth and sixth.


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If it's anyone, it's probably going to be United, no? In an idea world, we would see Chelsea plummet until Jose tries to gouge out Terry's eyeballs. But unfortunately, that will probably never happen.

Got a feeling United are going to get absolutely hammered by the first proper team they play. They still don't have the depth. Of course the transfer window hasn't ended yet.

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That's huge for Everton, good for them. They didn't seem to have a good alternate idea for his role. I think their squad still needs a lot of good fortune with injuries to compete for top 4 while playing in Europe.

Liverpool are unfortunately the most likely candidates to drop out of the top 4 this year, but they were only outsiders for it last year. There's enough uncertainty to give me hope and our recent track record of young players developing is in our favor.

ManU aren't guaranteed a triumphant return even if Van Gaal gives them some backbone. That squad still has many of the same flaws and other teams are less likely to just roll over for them like in past years. They'll have to stay ahead of Liverpool, Everton and Spurs -- the first two are coming off strong seasons with good momentum and Spurs also have a new manager with a lot to prove

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Absolutely wonderful news about Lukaku, seeing as our alternatives were Kone and Naismith atm. And, unless he's not arsed anymore, he'll get somewhere between 15 and 20 goals. That's something we desperately need!



Also, Barkley signing an extention, Coleman likewise (I seem to remember) - our first XI's looking good. We are, however, still desperately short on numbers and have to pray for luck regarding injuries, or for a miracle involving our youth setup, where suddenly four of them step up and are ready for first team action (my guess is that Luke Garbutt is the closest talent-wise, but he's a left back - with Baines and Oviedo already in the squad, he'll struggle to get a look-in).



Still, most positive pre-season in a while. When Kenwright told us he was hoping for Barry and Lukaku, I counted them as lost, given his record.


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Securing Lukaku is a good piece of business for Everton as well as Barkley signing a new contract. This will give the club a big boost going into the new season.



On United: I expect us to have a much better season this time around but I am still concerned about our defence and midfield. Smalling, Jones and Evans are the only recognised CB's, Evra leaving and Carricks injury leaves us short at LB and CM as well. I expect a few more signings once the club concludes its US tour. LVG should have a clearer picture by then on which players are surplus to requirements and what type of players need to be brought in.


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Celtic are absolutely appaling. 4-1 so far and the opposition have missed two penalties.


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On United: I expect us to have a much better season this time around but I am still concerned about our defence and midfield. Smalling, Jones and Evans are the only recognised CB's, Evra leaving and Carricks injury leaves us short at LB and CM as well. I expect a few more signings once the club concludes its US tour. LVG should have a clearer picture by then on which players are surplus to requirements and what type of players need to be brought in.

Tyler Blackett has been excellent in pre-season and played a lot, so I think Van Gaal likes him and he'll get chances. Whether he's up to scratch in the Prem remains to be seen. Either way we definitely need more defenders, but we might only go for one CB even though we're playing 3 at the back if he rates Blackett highly enough.

I am, however, very worried by the fact that Van Gaal sees Young as a wing-back. The notion of Shaw getting injured and leaving Young as the sole choice against, say, Alexis Sanchez is a terrifying one.

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Its a shame that chelsea have let him go and an even bigger shame that he's joined those rotten toffees.

Everton, unlike southampton, have actually done a good job of keeping a hold of their starlets. They should perform admirably yet again this season. Although I do feel like they haven't done enough strengthening, besides the addition of Besic and retention of Barry & Lukaku.

I don't know if we let him go. It seems as if him and KdB drove their own agenda and when that happens there's only so much you can do.

Keeping Torres and selling Lukaku makes no sense, but Lukaku seems to be out of favor at Chelsea and him leaving the club would probably be best for everyone involved.

Keeping Torres is not a strategic decision, it is not a statement of intent, it's not a choice. It's an inevitability. Who are we selling Torres to? I don't think Torres has anything to do with this. We may not be able to sell him but I don't think that he's going to be starting ahead of Costa and Lukaku.

Wasn't it Lukaku who asked for a loan last season?I don't think Jose pushed him out. I think this is what he means by Lukaku talking about why he left on loan. It seems as if it's totally the same situation as KdB, except he got spooked by Costa, not the WC. Which is fair to him, if he thinks that he can get more play in Everton but it was his choice.

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Pre-season scouting report:

Joe Allen is still utterly, utterly shit.

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Well, a good game overall, with some pretty exciting moments.

Allen and Gerrard were poor for Liverpool, and Coutinho was his usual frustrating toothless self, but Henderson and Sterling were both great. Henderson's fitness levels are ridiculous - apparently he played a full 90 minutes 4 days after returning from holiday. Sterling looking very sharp in front of goal too - he really should be aiming for 20 goals in the league this year.

Jovetic and Navas both looked good for City, but then our defence did have Kolo, Enrique and Coates in it so it would have been embarrassing for them not to do well.

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DC win again and Eddie Johnson did a thing!


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