Tag Archives: Goodison Park

WSL Update: Nick Cushing signs off with a win against Arsenal

Departing Manchester City manger Nick Cushing ended his six-year stint with the club this past weekend by completing a 2-1 win over Arsenal.

Cushing was presented with an achievement award before the game by current club captain Steph Houghton.

During Cushing’s time with the club he led them to one league title, two Women’s FA Cups and three Women’s League Cup’s.

In form striker Pauline Bremer scored the opener for City just before half time from close range. Lauren Hemp doubled their advantage with a looping header.

Danielle Van de Donk pulled a goal back for the Gunners but it was not enough to deny Cushing a dream send off.

The win leaves City a point ahead of closest challengers Chelsea, however the Citizens have played a game more than Emma Hayes’ side.

Chelsea maintained their impressive form by scoring eight goals past West Ham United in an 8-0 win over Matt Beard’s team.

Both Maren Mjelde and Beth England scored twice, while further goals from Scottish winger Erin Cuthbert, Sophie Ingle and substitutes Ramona Bachmann and Emily Murphy completed the scoring.

Casey Stoney’s Manchester United were denied all three points at Adams Park thanks to a Fara Williams penalty, which earned Reading a 1-1 draw with the Red Devils. Both sides remain fourth and sixth respectively in the WSL.

Elsewhere Brighton secured a crucial home win against Everton thanks to a goal from Aileen Whelan, who found the bottom right hand corner of the net against her former club.

This win means that the Seagulls are now six points clear of the relegation zone and are in ninth place.

The other two WSL matches, Liverpool versus Birmingham City and Tottenham Hotspur against Bristol City suffered postponements due to waterlogged pitches.

A Look ahead to this weekend’s fixtures

Sunday 9 February

Everton vs Liverpool (Kick-off 2pm)

Goodison Park is set to host its first Women Super League Merseyside Derby. The previous league meeting between the sides took place at Anfield for the first time last November where Everton secured a 1-0 win.

The Toffee’s recent home form in all competitions has been strong, as they have won three of their last five matches.

Everton’s Merseyside rivals meanwhile have also witnessed an upsurge in form having only lost one of their last five matches.  Although the Reds match with Birmingham City was postponed last weekend.

In terms of the head to head meetings both sides have now won two matches apiece, however the Toffees have won two of their last three encounters with their fierce rivals.

Prediction 1-1 draw

We are anticipating a closely fought encounter between these two sides, predicting that the spoils will be shared on this occasion. 

Arsenal vs Tottenham Hotspur (2pm)

The WSL fixture list has provided another famous English derby this weekend.

Joe Montemurro’s Arsenal side have endured a tricky time of it as of late, having lost to both their title rivals consecutively in the league.

Their North London rivals however are also going through a difficult spell, particularly away from home where they have lost four of their last five matches.

Prediction: Arsenal 2-0 win

Predicting the Gunners to get back to winning ways.

Birmingham City vs Brighton & Hove Albion (2pm)

Only one place separates these teams in the table ahead of this weekends matches.

Hope Powell’s Brighton got a big win against Everton last time out, though they are still to record a victory away from home in the WSL this season.

Birmingham meanwhile is also struggling for results, having lost four of their last five games.  Their last league win came against fellow strugglers Bristol City at the start of December.

The Seagulls have got a slight edge over their relegation rivals in terms of head-to head encounters having won two of their three meetings.

Prediction: Birmingham 2-1 win

We think due to the fact the pressure is on Birmingham to win this weekend that they will get the result they need.

Bristol City vs Reading (3pm)

This is a crucial game for the league’s bottom side, with two of their relegation rivals playing each other this weekend.

Bristol City are still to win a home league game in this campaign and they have also lost their last five matches in all competitions so the signs do not look good for Tanya Oxtoby’s team.

Reading also have enjoyed a lot of success against the West Midlands club having won five and drawn just once against them in the league.

Prediction: Reading 3-1 win

We believe that all signs seem to point to a relatively comfortable Reading victory.

West Ham United vs Manchester City (3pm)

The WSL leaders Manchester City begin life without Nick Cushing with a trip to East London.

Alan Mahon, previously the assistant manager, is taking interim charge until the end of the season and he will be determined to get off to a good start.

West Ham meanwhile are coming off the back of a heavy 8-0 defeat to City’s title rivals Chelsea, so they will be coming into this one looking to avoid further humiliation.

The reverse fixture between these sides resulted in 5-0 for Manchester City so it promises to be a tough afternoon for the Hammers.

Prediction: Manchester City 3-0 win

Manchester City has won all three previous encounters with West Ham in the league and we believe they will get the three points in this one to get Mahon off to a winning start.

Manchester United vs Chelsea (4:30pm) – BT Sport

The final game of the weekend promises to be an intriguing one.  Both of these teams met in the Continental Tyres Cup Semi-Final just a week ago with Chelsea coming out 1-0 winners on that occasion, setting up an all London final with Arsenal next month.

In the league’s reverse fixture the Blues also ran out 1-0 winners so all signs seem to point to another close encounter.

Casey Stoney’s side has also only lost twice in the league at home this season.

Prediction Chelsea 2-1 win

We believe this will be another close game with the title favourites Chelsea just coming away with the win.  

FA Investigating Barkley Coin Throwing Incident

It has been confirmed today, that the FA are investigating an incident, with which a coin was thrown at Chelsea Midfielder Ross Barkely, during the Premier League match on Sunday.A match which marked the Chelsea Midfielder’s first appearance back at Everton since his transfer to Chelsea over  a year ago.

The match which Chelsea lost 2~0 saw Barkley, until he was subbed midway through the second half of the game, subjected to a constant barrage of boos from the Everton fans, to which he responded in a very professional manner, by making good passes, creating chances and appearing to thoroughly enjoy showing his former employers, how much he has improved since his move to London.

It is understood that the FA were made aware of the incident after the game and have written to both clubs for their observations, before making any further comment. This incident comes on top and hard on the heels of the alleged rascist abuse of their players during their recent away trip to Dynamo Kiev in the Europa League.

One thing is certain,should the offender be identified, then they could face a lifetime ban from Goodison Park, as a response to this incident.

What do you think needs to be done to help prevent incidents like this at football?

Should Everton fans get to vote on the performance of manager Sam Allardyce’s?

Sam Allardyce has steadied the ship at Everton and took a team with a genuine fear of a relegation scrap to a comfortable position in mid-table. Often the story when Allardyce gets a job in the Premier League.

But perhaps unsurprisingly, he isn’t the most popular man on Merseyside, with his drab style of play and negative football turning most fans against him. Not the first time Allardyce’s effective but limited methods have been criticised by home fans, with West Ham and Newcastle fans feeling the same way during his stints there.

News coming out of Everton recently has revealed the club have sent a survey out to fans, allowing them to rate their confidence in the current management system. In a  supposed attempt to discover how connected fans feel to the club, the survey asks fans how much confidence they have in the current management team in regards to making decisions, and also asks whether fans believe the current squad is loyal and performing to the best.

This is not a new phenomenon with Everton, who regularly send out fan surveys, and sent a similar one out last May, asking similar questions of then manager Ronald Koeman. Everton have endured one of their worst seasons in recent history, especially when you consider the money they spent in the summer, and the increased expectations that brought.

The debate amongst fans is whether Allardyce deserves a chance to bring his own players in, and a full preseason program, or whether he just isn’t the right man for the job. Meaning the results of this survey may have some effect on the future of Allardyce, as an overwhelmingly negative response may have an influence on the boards decision. And with Marco Silva and Shakhtar Donetsk gaffer Paulo Fonseca waiting in the wings, owner Farhad Moshiri will not be short of alternatives if he does decide to wield the axe.

But is it right that the board have sent out this survey? Knowing there is a high chance the response will not be positive. Allardyce has done the job he was brought in to do, and perhaps deserves a little more respect from the board, who have basically threw him under the bus. While the idea of giving the fans a voice at the club is a brilliant one, this should not include the manager, and is possibly giving fans more power and influence than they deserve.

Allardyce signed a contract until 2019, meaning he has one year left to run on his deal, but will he still be there come the start of the 18/19 season?


Is Loris Karius the answer to Liverpool’s goalkeeping problems?

Loris Karius and Simon Mignolet have been heavily criticised this season and last for being at fault for being too weak to play for Liverpool FC.

However, since a reported altercation between Mignolet and Jurgen Klopp, Karius has been playing regularly instead of swapping games with the Belgian.

Since the start of 2018, Karius has played all games for Liverpool apart from the New Years’ Day victory at Burnley and the 3-2 FA Cup loss to West Brom.

Since this run, Karius has kept seven clean sheets out of 14 games, conceding 11 goals, three of them in the thriller against Manchester City.

But now, with Karius looking like Liverpool’s number one, the Reds are now third in the Premier League and are 3-0 up in the Champions League quarter-final against Manchester City.

It looked like Klopp would be on the lookout for a new goalkeeper, but Karius now looks to be paying back the German manager for his faith in him.

Karius has two big games to prove himself further to the Anfield faithful, the Merseyside derby away at Goodison Park and the Champions League second leg at the Etihad.

The Reds have six games left to play before Klopp starts preparing for next season, where the goalkeeping position may not now be his priority.

Karius is still only 24 and has many years to play and has now proven himself and adapted to the English game following his difficult start.

It now looks like if Klopp were to bring in a new goalkeeper in the upcoming transfer window, it may be as a back up if Mignolet were to leave.

Who next for Everton?

Ronald Koeman has this afternoon been sacked by Everton following bad results throughout the season, domestically and in Europe, and the 5-2 home defeat at home to Arsenal proved to be the straw that broke the camel’s back, as Koeman is now no longer connected to Goodison Park. However, as the Dutchman becomes the second managerial casualty of the season, there is one question which follows each of them, who will replace him?

Sean Dyche

One manager capable of taking up the helm at Goodison is Sean Dyche. The current Burnley manager, who has already taken three points off Koeman this season, is unlikely to leave Turf Moor where he is having amazing success. However, the Everton job has to be one he can’t turn down straight away. He knows how to work in the Premier League and how to win matches, and Everton is a massive club with amazing talent that would benefit hugely from the 46 year old.

Thomas Tuchel

Another manager could be former Borussia Dortmund manager Thomas Tuchel. The German could bring that boost to Everton, being currently out of work and having led Dortmund to DFB-Pokal glory last season. He is very young and although has no Premier League experience, has helped guide Dortmund to third place last season and into the Champions League. Perhaps he could do well in the English game.

Carlo Ancelotti

Finally, and certainly the biggest name, is Carlo Ancelotti. The Italian has recently been booted out of Bayern Munich, and was seen at Wembley yesterday watching Tottenham vs Liverpool, showing his love for English football. He has proven himself in England and has much more fight in him. He has been European champion three times and so can definitely bring something to Merseyside that can help bring Everton more points and up the Premier League table.