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Saturday, December 3, 2016

Roberto Martinez Impressed by “Fighting” Villa and Considers Ron Vlaar

Everton v Aston Villa 2015

After a precious point against Manchester City, everything looks a little brighter. Until you look at the table that is. Yes, there’s still plenty of games left, but a first win of the Garde era is a big ask at Goodison Park. Martinez’s Everton can be inconsistent, but sitting in a respectable ninth place in the League, they’ll be confident of three points on Saturday.

With Amavi set to miss the rest of the season, the hits keep on coming for Villa. Can Garde help us erase our 11 league game winless streak?

Villa have not won at goodison since 2008.

Martinez on Villa

“I went to watch the game when they drew against Manchester City and they were very impressive.

“The new manager has come in with a very clear idea of the way he wants to see Villa playing and has really good experience of the British game from his time as a player.

“You are going to see a team based on attacking football and the fighting spirit they had against City is a really good starting point.”

Martinez on Vlaar

“I think you are talking about a player with good experience in the Premier League and he is not attached to any club.

“At the moment, it is not for me to talk about any players other than the ones we have in the squad.  We have to make sure we get everyone fully fit and ready to participate. I have got nothing to comment on.”

Garde on Everton

“I’ve watched two Everton games. I’m really aware of the team we are playing against this weekend. My staff have also worked a lot to watch Everton. I’ll do the job the most conscientiously I can.

“We don’t have much time between games before travelling to Everton, but it’s the same for them. This is the way football is now.”

Garde on Villa’s attitude

“I don’t see players who don’t care about the situation or didn’t believe in themselves.

“I know it’s going to be very, very difficult. When you build a house you don’t start with the roof, you start with the base and that’s what I’m trying to do.”

Memory Match

18th October 2014 Everton 3 Aston Villa 0

After a decent start to the season Villa simply didn’t show up resulting in an easy win for the Toffees.

Everton – Last five matches at home: W 2, D 1, L 2

Villa – Last five matches away: L 5

Villa have not won any of the last five visits to Goodison

One to Watch

Romelu Lukaku – the Belgian striker has scored in each of his three Everton league matches against Villa, scoring once each game

Facts to Sweep Under the Carpet

Nobody expected a point against Manchester City, and in some ways you could forgive Villa fans for fearing the worst on Saturday.

While Everton are not quite the calibre of Pellegrini’s men, our record at Goodison is bizarrely win-less.

The last time we recorded three points at Everton was almost seven years ago, the days in which Villa fans were more used to the top six than the prospect of the Football League.

While Villa are still recovering from the sale of Benteke, Everton have managed to hold onto their Belgian frontman, and Lukaku will be eyeing a milestone.

If he scores against Villa, which he tends to do, he’ll be only the fifth player in League history to record 50 goals before turning 23.

With attacking options like that at their disposal it’s no surprise that Everton have scored either two or three goals in each of their last nine League games against Villa.

During those nine games, Villa have only won once, which we managed under Sherwood at the back-end of last season.

My staff have also worked a lot to watch Everton. I’ll do the job the most conscientiously I can.” – Garde on everton

What We Pray the Football Gods Will Provide

Villa’s last win at Goodison Park was the game in which Ashley Young scored a last grasp winner. While such excitement seems a million miles away, there is at least a sense of optimism around the club at present.

Villa apparently looked at Martinez when they were weighing up managerial options a few years ago. With the appointment of Garde at least, you do get the sense most Villa fans are behind him – apart from the occasional sensationalised soundbite from those demanding “Premier League experience.” Apparently Koeman and Pochettino didn’t need that…

Stopping the rot was important for Garde, and the performance against Man City showed a pleasing tough side of Villa. We had one or two chances but, as can be expected, the nature of the game meant any real attacking football was severely limited.

With the likes of Gil and Veretout clearly figuring in the plans of Garde, hopefully we get more of a chance to see some creative, attacking play from the team on Saturday.

Why Villa Have Got This Game in the Bag

As good as Everton can be from an attacking perspective, they always look like they can concede a goal.

They’ve actually gone six league games without keeping a clean sheet, and encouragingly for Villa, they are yet to keep a clean sheet at Goodison so far this campaign.

Factor in the fact that Everton have won just two of their last eight home games and suddenly the trip to Merseyside doesn’t look quite as intimidating.

The substitute appearance of ex-Martinez favourite N’Zogbia a fortnight ago was proof that Garde will give all the players a chance, which subsequently makes Garde’s approach on Saturday unpredictable. 

For whatever reason we don’t seem to do too well against Martinez’s teams. We’ve shown we can defend well under Garde. Hopefully on Saturday we see an impressive attacking display to show we can produce the goals to help climb out of the Premier League basement.

UTV.

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3 COMMENTS

  1. Its 3.30am in Adelaide. Im utterly depressed I dont think i can watch anymore. We are going down this time for sure.

  2. Enjoyed the article, thanks. Martinez is pretty much bang on, and hope we keep the defensive stability. Read a piece from Vertout and he is much happier now, seems TS didn’t speak to him, also might have Captain qualities based on JV’s character. Guzan felt like TS spoke too much on the other hand, Garde is a “calming presence”. Lets see how Grealish responds to Garde’s “unfinished” comment. In light of the rumoured Chelsea interest as well. Worried about Cleverly today, Garde identified most of Everton’s threat except hasn’t seen TC and he might have a point to prove, Vlaar would be good cover for most teams, though it’s getting shameful the number of ex villans in teams higher up the league. Still we have many games to do it, we will.

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