Many Bolton fans (including myself) may not have been following the Premiership very closely, due to lack of time, lack of motivation, or in my case, plain old bitterness. In order to get a better idea of what may lay ahead in the FA Cup fixture tomorrow, we spoke with mysteriously surname-less Calvin of SBN's Everton blog Royal Blue Mersey. Read on to get the low down.
The last few years, Everton have been known for their slow starts in the league. This year was completely different. What was the thing that made them come out firing on all cylinders?
Calvin: I feel it was always going to be just a matter of time before they put together a great start. The core of the current team has been playing together for a few years now, and newer signings like Darron Gibson and Kevin Mirallas provided the impetus during the first few games of the year.
With less than half of the season to go, Everton are 5th in the Premiership. As a club, do you think aiming for one of the top 4 places is reasonable? What are the overall goals of this season, and what would you be disappointed by? Calvin: A lot of the momentum from the great start has been lost with the incessant dropping of points against inferior teams. Poor finishing and lackadaisical defending have been mostly to blame.
From here on out, Everton will need to play injury-free, inspirational football to break into the top 4. European football and a serious challenge for the FA Cup have to be the highest priorities, and missing out on either or both would be disastrous.
Nowadays some football clubs go through managers like pairs of socks. Everton buck this trend, David Moyes is the third-longest serving manager in the Premiership with over 10 years under his belt. It appears that the stability is paying off this season, but have you ever wanted him to go? What is the line that would have to be crossed for the two parties to go their separate ways?
Calvin: There is no doubt that Moyes is the right man for the job, the worry has always been that he will tire of the financial situation at Goodison and move to richer climes. If Everton end the season disastrously and there is no more money forthcoming to build the squad, I'm pretty certain Moyes will be moving on.
Since it is that time, what have Everton been doing in the transfer market? Are there any particular gaps in the squad you would like to see plugged?
Calvin: It's been a whole lot of hot air. Prior to the transfer window opening Moyes had said he hadn't planned on any big purchases, and it's looking like he meant it too. We've been linked with a bunch of players but no signings as yet.
Two consecutive 0-0 draws have proved that the midfield desperately needs some creative input, while Nikica Jelavic could use a top-class striker to spell him while he's firing blanks.
And finally, could we have a prediction for the match?
Calvin: Bolton will be fired up by the home crowd, and the longer in the game Everton go without scoring the tougher it will get for the Blues. I call a 1-1 draw and a replay at Goodison.