Mar 052014

It’s official – almost six out of 10 Everton fans believe they will win this year’s FA Cup, while two-thirds would prefer to lift the cup in May instead of finishing fourth.

Blues fans will also be mainly looking out for Tottenham’s results until the end of the season, while James McCarthy has been their best player since the turn of the year.

These are just some of the results from our ECHO survey, where as asked 10 questions to Everton supporters to find out their thoughts on 2014 so far, and what lies ahead for the rest of the season.

You can still have your say by leaving a comment below or tweeting us @LivEchoEFC.

1. Who has been the Blues’ best player since the turn of the year?

Republic of Ireland international McCarthy has impressed throughout the season, but even more so since 2014 began.

In the ECHO’s half-term survey, he was voted player of the season so far by 16.7% of voters, but he was a strong winner on 48.8%, Winner of the previous survey, Seamus Coleman, came second with 32.9% of the vote.

Sylvain Distin (13.4%) came third, while Tim Howard was fourth and Gareth Barry was a strong vote otherwise.

Supporters’ comments:

“Sheamus Coleman is the best right-back in the division.”

“McCarthy’s passing is a joy and he plays so well with Barry.”

“No love for Stones? He’s a massive talent.”            

Who has been the Blues' best player in 2014? Who has been the Blues’ best player in 2014?  

2. Out of 10, how would you rate the Blues’ performances in 2014?

A wide range of opinion from Evertonians on their performances in 2014, which has seen them win three and draw two of their eight league games, as well as progress to the quarter-finals of the FA Cup.

A mark of 7/10 is the most common, with almost 40% scoring them as such. 8/10 and 6/10 are next popular with 24.6% and 23.0% respectively.

A handful of people went 2/10, 3/10, 9/10 and 10/10 – but on the whole, Evertonians were positive about 2014 so far, with 91% scoring it 6/10 or higher.

Supporters’ comments:

“Injuries majorly impacted. Lacked cutting edge from earlier in season.”

“Although capable of dominating other sides it never seemed to result in goals. If Lukaku had remained fit perhaps this would have been an 8.”

“Sadly we’ve flopped in the games that matter – Spurs, Chelsea and Liverpool.”            

Out of 10, how would you rate the Blues' performances in 2014? Out of 10, how would you rate the Blues’ performances in 2014?  

3. Will the Blues lift the FA Cup?

Everton will travel to the Emirates Stadium full of confidence on Saturday if the ECHO survey is a measure. 57.7% believe Everton will win the FA Cup, while 42.3% say no, no doubt considering a potential meeting with Manchester City later in the competition.

Supporters’ comments:

“Even by the law of averages, it must be our turn to have a bit of luck in the cup.”

“We’ll beat Arsenal after a replay, Sunderland in the semis and City in the final.”

“Arsenal will prove too much in the quarter final away from home.”            

Daniel Amokachi celebrates with Graham Stuart as Everton beat Spurs in the 1995 FA Cup semi-final Daniel Amokachi celebrates with Graham Stuart as Everton beat Spurs in the 1995 FA Cup semi-final  

4. Where will the Blues finish this season?

Currently in sixth, three points clear of seventh-placed Manchester United, the Blues will be looking both up and down the table – but for the fans, where they are right now seems the most popular choice.

A sixth-placed finish is the belief of almost half – 45.5% – while 36% think they can move up a place into fifth. Optimism runs through 8% of Blues as well, who say they will finish fourth.

There is also pessimism. 9.9% believe seventh is most likely, while 0.3% have even suggested eighth.

Supporters’ comments:

“City, Chelsea and Liverpool are not going to drop that many points. So fourth and fifth is between us and Arsenal,and their record suggests that they’ll get there. Man U will be below us, as will Spurs.”

“The squad isn’t big enough compared to the opponents.”

“Don’t see us getting past Spurs, but hopefully can hold off United.”            

Where will the Blues finish this season? Where will the Blues finish this season?  

5. Would you prefer to win the FA Cup or come fourth?

It is one of football’s eternal dilemmas, but no surprise two-thirds of Blues would rather win their first trophy since 1995.

63.8% have voted in favour of winning the FA Cup, while 36.2% would rather come fourth and qualify for the Champions League.

Supporters’ comments:

“The money and increased profile right now could help us achieve more in the long run than a cup win.”

“For my generation the FA cup is the competition to win.”

“Think 1984 and what can happen after winning a trophy.”

“Champions league football is everything.”

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Archive pictures of Goodison Park, home of Everton FC

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6. With 11 fixtures remaining, what is an acceptable points return?

With 33 points left to play for, the Blues need 17 to equal their best-ever Premier League points tally of 65 points in 2007/08. Plenty are backing them to beat that total.

Supporters’ comments:

“We should get over 20 points from the remaining games, but allowing for relegation battlers and top four contenders, I feel 18 will be about right.”

“24 points would be great, no less than 18.”

“With the three ‘big’ teams we’ve yet to face being at home and plenty of winnable remaining games, I would expect at least 20 points.”

“We’ve got 11 games left and an acceptable points return would be 28.”

7. In the league, which is the most important game remaining?

A brief glimpse of the remaining 11 fixtures for the Blues makes something abundantly clear: there are some huge home games remaining.

From April, they will host Arsenal, Manchester United and Manchester City, as well as make trips to Sunderland, Southampton and Hull.

The postponed home fixture with Crystal Palace is yet to be re-arranged.

The game with United appears most important with 40% of votes, while 9% have chosen Arsenal, and 5% City.

Supporters’ comments:

“The game against City – having lost at the Etihad we have to prove we can beat anyone.”

“There are 3 crucial games Arsenal, Man City & Man U at home.”

“Fulham, three points here should make a excellent haul in March and will set Everton up for the last three difficult home games.”

David Moyes and Roberto Martinez David Moyes and Roberto Martinez

8. Which part of the team needs to improve the most over the next few months?

Not much debate here from Evertonians – the strike force needs to improve between now and the end of the season. Though injury to Romelu Lukaku has been a key factor, the Blues have only scored four goals in the last six league games.

93.8% believe the attack is what must get better, while Blues are relatively pleased with the defence (2.6%) and midfield (3.6%).

Supporters’ comments:

“We need at least two established strikers.”

“Defence and midfield doing a fine job. Cant finish in the final third.”

“We need a cutting edge and imagination in the box”

Which part of the squad needs to improve this season? Which part of the squad needs to improve this season?

9. Which youth team would you like to see given a chance towards the end of the season?

As the season reaches its climax and legs become tired, it may be for youthful exuberance to take the Blues over the finish line.

Roberto Martinez has already spoken well of John Stones this week, heralding him for his performance against West Ham.

And it is Stones, along with striker Conor McAleny, who have earned 22% of the vote each. George Green, just 18-years-old, is third with 21%.

The results are tighter in this category than any other, with Matthew Kennedy (7%), Luke Garbutt (6%) and Tyias Browning (5%) all receiving support as well.

Supporters’ comments:

“George Green a long term replacement for Osman.”

“McAlney will give something off the bench.”

“None, this is not the time for experiments, leave that for next year.”

John Stones John Stones  

10. Whose results will you look for first from now until the end of the season, other than Everton’s?

10. Whose results will you look for first from now until the end of the season, other than Everton’s?

It is now the stage of the season where anticipating rivals’ results becomes even more important. Three points won can feel like six if those nearby lose, while a point is most certainly gained if two are dropped by others elsewhere.

Blues will be most interested in Tottenham’s results (44.2%) for the rest of the season with the London club in direct competition for fourth and fifth. After that, Liverpool (26.1%) and Manchester United (18.5%) are the teams Evertonians will care about most.

Arsenal, who are now favourites to drop out of the top four, will be keenly watched by 7.3% of Blues.

Supporters’ comments:

“Man United. Sixth place will be enough for Europe next year, out side of the current top sides only they have the ability to take that place.

“Tottenham are a threat for 5th and 4th spot, I’d also watch Liverpool.”

“Any team that stops Liverpool from winning the league.”

Whose results will you look for first from now until the end of the season, other than Everton's? Whose results will you look for first from now until the end of the season, other than Everton’s?

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