So we've been pretty bad about keeping up with this feature recently, and to make matters worse when I scheduled this post to publish I got the day wrong. Yes, I am on a roll. Anyway, the guys from SBN's excellent Everton blog Royal Blue Mersey got in touch with us this week, and we did a nice old fashioned question exchange. Brian Lewis was kind enough to answer all of our Toffee-related questions, hit the jump to check em out.Four of Everton's last six league goals at home have come in the final 10 minutes of the match. What has been the key to Everton's late rallying recently?
Brian Lews: Substitutions have really made the difference. David Moyes has had a negative look to his starting lineups recently, but the players on the bench are all creative options and tend to open up the game. Royson Drenthe in particular has looked good, and Magaye Gueye has also provided some pace out wide.
Real American hero Landon Donovan will be making his return to Merseyside on a second loan stint with the Toffees. How do you think it will go this time?
BL: Playing wise Donovan will be just as effective as last time. He is an attacking player Moyes trusts, and this means he is likely to slot in to the starting lineup to provide a spark. Expectations have been blown so far out of proportion, that the only way I think the fans will deem him a success is if Everton wins every match he takes part in for the club. Hopefully we will get a taste of what he will provide during this match where he seems likely to come off the bench.
Everton is exactly half way through the season right now and sit right in the middle of the table. How has the season gone so far? What have been key aspects of Everton's play? What are the expectations for the second half of the season?
BL: This season has been an improvement over last year. With 24 points from 18 games, we are on a better pace than last season where we had 22 points from 19 matches and still managed to finish 7th. Based on previous seasons we should finish 6th, possibly 5th if the club has a normal second half surge. The key aspect really does seem to be luck for the club. We have not scored during the first half in the last 7 EPL matches, so our subs have also had a pretty good impact. In fact the Bolton match may have been the last time we really put together a solid 90 minutes of football. The expectations are that somehow the club will find away to improve our record as we have done over the past 6-7 years. There is also hope for a deep run in the FA Cup, but that is always a bit of luck. In the end the only important thing is to avoid a relegation battle.
Which player should the Bolton defense be most worried about on Wednesday?
BL: If he plays I would say Royson Drenthe, the midfielder on loan from Real Madrid has shown a willingness to take on players and use his pace in the attack. He is really the only player who has been effective in doing it this season, unless maybe Landon Donovan gets in the match, then I'd watch out for him too.
And lastly can I have a prediction for the match?
BL: This is a must win match for Everton, there is no excuse for to get anything less than 3 points, and I think Everton struggles early, but gets a 2-1 win with 2 second half goals once again.
To check out what Mark said to the enemy, head over here.