Toffees Going to Brazil – An OverviewBy Unclassified • May 16th, 2014 • Category: News |
Toffees Going to Brazil
It’s been a season to remember for most at Goodison Park. The likes of Ross Barkley and John Stones have taken the Premier League by storm, whilst Jagielka and Baines have once again been solid under the stewardship of Roberto Martinez.
Most onlookers would hazard a guess that Everton players don’t want the season to end. And for some it won’t.
The FIFA World Cup in Brazil is almost upon us and a host of Toffees stars are about to pack their sunscreen ahead of the flight to Rio. But how will the Blues in-form stars fare this summer? And with Roy Hodgson having announced a provisional squad that includes 3 Evertonians dare we say a few could return to Merseyside adorned with winner’s medals?
Although most will agree he hasn’t hit the dizzy heights of the 12/13 campaign, Baines’ consistency over the last few seasons has earned him the right to be number one when it comes to the number three shirt. He’s worked on his defensive game and is arguably one of the most threatening full-backs in world football. A certain starter for the Three Lions, injury permitting, and boy do England need him.
Baines, who has scored 6 times for Everton this season, has not put a foot wrong in his 22 caps so far, and we all hope that won’t change come June 14th in Manaus against Italy.
The 31-year-old has 24 caps to his name and his performances have also earned him the tag of first choice centre-half for Roy Hodgson. However, after missing the entirety of March and April through injury, he could be little rusty. He returned to the team in May to secure some vital game time, and, on the flip side, he will at least be a little fresher than some heading into the tournament.
It’ll be tough work for Jags, who alongside Gary Cahill will have to cope with the likes of Suarez, Cavani and Balotelli in the Group Stage. However, the Everton skipper has never lost a competitive game for the Three Lions, so we should have plenty of reasons to be optimistic (or not).
What a season this boy has had. Forming a formidable partnership with compatriot Romelu Lukaku, the number 11 has netted eight times this term, including three in his last four games, before he was ruled out for the remainder of the season with a groin injury.
The 26-year-old is expected to be back fit for the Red Devils though, who take on Luxembourg, Sweden, Tunisia and the USA in friendlies before lining up against Algeria for their first taste of a World Cup football since 2002.
I’m expecting massive things from Kevin Mirallas next season, he’s coming into his peak and is still not out of 3rd gear. He is a superb finisher and could bag 10-15 goals for us next season. Hopefully Lukaku will be back too to support his good friend.
Everton’s resurgence of English talent can be encapsulated by one star, Ross Barkley. Like Rooney before him, the 20-year-old has burst onto the scene this season with moments of pure magic, epitomised by a wonder-goal against champions Manchester City.
His technique, power and pace could prove to be a major advantage for England; particularly if the youngster springs up off the bench to burst at some weary defences in the searing heat. Freebets World Cup group odds show that England are around 4/6 to qualify out of what looks set to be a tight group. Barkley could be that special player England need to ensure progress to the latter stages – but he has a lot of competition with Lallana, Wilshire and even converted winger Sterling playing in a similar position to Ross.
With 97 caps to his name, Tim Howard is no stranger to the pressures of international football. He’s been in the last two World Cup squads, but he won’t have come across a group like this before. The ‘Group of Death’ will be more than a struggle for Jurgen Klinsmann’s USA, but if Howard can do what he’s been doing for the Toffees all season, they could be in with a chance (even if that does mean shutting Cristiano Ronaldo out). Howard has been outstanding for Everton this season and has been one of the best goalkeepers in league – if not the best. He’ll need to replicate his Everton form for his country if they are to stand a chance!
Which of our players will progress further? I think Mirallas with Belgium. Considering we have so many international footballers it’s a shame we have so few going to the world cup. Lukaku and Traore could be back next season, so we’ll be keeping an eye on them.