Starting the Journey to the Top – #FM20 OS9 C3 S1 – Part 90 – Everton – August 2027

Base Camp. Let’s start the climb.

Welcome to Merseyside for August 2027 – The start of the 27/28 campaign. Looking forward to it, I’m confident that we have a broad-enough squad to get a really good finish (Injury Crises aside).

We have West Brom today at a 34,032 capacity Goodison while the expansion to 50,000 is ongoing. Let’s go

7th August 2027 – West Brom (H) – English Premier League

FT Everton 3 (Zhegrova 36, Errington 72, 78) West Brom 1 (Sanchez 45 + 2) Att 34,032 (3,000 Away)

An Interesting 12:30 result – Man City scrape a 1-1 versus a Bournemouth side that played the second half with 10 men. The First day of the season is often a bit odd. We are one of 5 games at the traditional 3pm. West Brom have a had a solid if unremarkable pre-season – a tour of Singapore, a draw versus Penafiel (Promoted to the Portuguese Top Tier this season) and a 2-0 win over TNS (Welsh Champions). A slow start, we’re having shots but not highlights. We end up taking the lead in the 36th minute – Edon Zhegrova with the final finish after Olex Zinchenko’s initial shot from a great De Moor cross was deflected. Good to get that first goal. We go in even however, injury time, a free kick headed in by Sanchez. Fucking Set Pieces. A quiet second half, we end up taking the lead in the 72nd minute, James Errington with the finish after lovely pressing panics the West Brom players into some bad passes. Brad Prescott with the assist. And we make it three 6 minutes later – Errington again, Johnny-on-the-Spot beating 3 West Brom players to the ball to stab home after a Prescott shot is parried. Better. And that’s how it finishes. Three points on the board in front of a full house.

Arsenal & Chelsea start off strongly, Liverpool get a good win at St. James’s against newly-promoted Newcastle, and fellow promotees Villa get a 3-2 win versus Burnley. Spurs sneak a win versus Watford.

All possible season tickets (30,713) have been sold 🙂

Not a good weekend for Manchester – United, who we face next, well beaten by a Leicester side that finished last season 14th. Derby get a good 3 points versus Leeds – they may be few and far between for them this season.

Finishing the weekend we have a good 3-2 win for Norwich over Wolves, 34yo Romelu Lukaku scoring for Wolves late on.

James Errington makes the EPL Team of the Week after his brace versus West Brom.

Our U23’s beat QPR 5-0 – Goals from 21yo MC Ricky Davies, 21yo STC Alan Short and a hat-trick from 19yo STC Shay Walker. BPD Vaclav Prochazka with 5 Key Passes and an assist, taking corners 🙂

It’s so nice to have a few really good young English players 🙂 James is getting better and better.

We’ve had the Carabao Cup 2nd Round Draw.

Bolton of League Two Away. They are relegated from League One last season and have been in League Two 5 years out of the last 7. They are secure financially now apparently.

Dundalk – They bomb out of the Europa League with a 2-0 aggregate loss to Universitatea Craiova of Romania… They play KR in the Conference League 4th Qualifying Round now. Win that and they will have Conference League Group Stage Football. Poor.

18yo Gary Lemon is off on loan to Oldham until Christmas. 2.5* PA.

Our U18’s drew 1-1 with Leicester – 17yo AMR Jamie Moncur with the goal.

We play Man Utd on the Sunday – As such there’s a Saturday programme to report on first.

Not a good start for Man City! 1 point from 6 As Liverpool demolish them at Anfield. Arsenal also get their second win away to Burnley. Fulham sneak past Villa and West Brom do a number on Spurs! Lastly Bournemouth showing they are going to be difficult opposition with a second point of the season versus Chelsea after drawing with Man City on opening day.

We are the 2pm kick-off as we make the short journey East to Old Trafford.

15th August 2027 – Man Utd (A) – English Premier League

FT Man Utd 4 (Chiesa 15, Dias 31, Rodrygo 45, Martinez 84) Everton 2 (Gomes 28, Errington 89) Att 75,635 (3,000 Away)

Man U lost 2-0 to Leicester on opening weekend at Leicester so I’m expecting a backlash from that. They have Lautaro Martinez up top and Bruno Fernandes still with them in the middle and overall have a cracking squad. Let’s give it a go. It’s a man-for-man 4-4-2 battle. Maybe a more defensive approach? Quiet early on, with a couple of Everton highlights, both headers over. We go 1-0 down to a deep free kick – Chiesa breaking the offside trap to head past Rossi. Poor defending. But we get back level 13 minutes later – a ding-dong end-to-end phase of play ends up with a Toffee break – Gomes finishing with a placed-shot from the edge of the area after a final pass from Zhegrova. Interestingly I’d just pulled both lines back to Standard, so I’m taking full credit 🙂 I see Gomes is wanted by PSG… The lead lasts 3 minutes. Another set piece, Dias being in the right place to volley home after a corner pinged-about the 6-yard box. Bollocks. And it’s 3-1 just before the break – Rodrygo finishing off a good move. Lacking composure, losing the ball higher up the field, and this is what happens. Think i’ll try and slow it down a bit. 3-1 at the break. A flurry of Yellows at the start of the 2nd half for Man U. A quiet half, but Man U get their 4th in the 84th minute – Martinez with a header after fine work from Chiesa on the wing. Yep, not good enough (Yet). We get a consolation in the 89th – James Errington, anonymous all game, with a thunderbolt volley from 20 yards after a Zhegrova head-down. Man U then have the ball in the net again straight from kick-off, but Felix was a few yards off. It finishes 4-2 – Good lessons learned (Maybe two holding midfielders a la Southgate against the bigger teams??)

The Match stats really weren’t too bad, it’s just being clinical at this level. Norwich next up in 6 days. There’s one game left – the late Sunday game…

Leicester with a beat-down on Watford. Three teams 2-for-2. And on Monday Wolves lose 2-1 to Derby at home – The Newly-Promoted Rams now 2-for-2 as well!

Our U23’s beat Leicester 3-0 – 2 goals from 21yo MC Ricky Davies, 1 from Joe Aribo.

Jimmy Errington got in the EPD team of the week after his wonder-goal.

We have a Friday night game in the Premier Division – Brighton host Wolves. 1-1, 30yo Raphinha with the equaliser for Brighton.

And onto Saturday. There’s a 12:30, and it’s a biggie – Chelsea host Liverpool!

Before then our U18’s thump Sunderland 5-1 – goals from 17yo DC Lloyd Burton, and 2 braces – Jamie Moncur (170 AMR) and MotM Sean McCulloch (17yo AML).

Back to Stamford Bridge. Chelsea 1 Liverpool 2, a Dybala (Now 33) pen cancelled out by Frenkie de Jong (Now 30yo), and Casteneda (23yo Newgen Mexican) wins it for Liverpool 3 minuted from time. Liverpool 3-for-3!

21st August 2027 – Norwich (H) – English Premier League

FT Everton 0 Norwich 0 Att 34,032 (2,879 Away)

We host Patrick Vieira’s Norwich today in what could be a tricky fixture. Norwich finished mid table last season and are W1 D1 this season. We should beat them, but I’m hoping the 4-2 loss last time out won’t have affected the morale too much. 4-4-2 plays 4-2-3-1 Wide.

Norwich playing in Red today – Canary Yellow does not clash with our Blue. A quiet first half – We should possibly be 1-0 up after a fine break, Prescott’s shot parried by the Keeper, trickling past the post. 0-0 at the break. Jordan Pickford (33yo) has made a couple of good saves today, another one from Gomes at the start of the half. Norwich starting to look more dangerous – Tammy Abraham (now 29) having a 1-on-1 saved well by Rossi after a long bomb from Pickford. Time ticking down, and the chance for a winner missed – Jefferson Felliphe shooting wide after winning the ball back near the half-way line. And just after Alvarez breaks the line for Norwich, but misses with just Rossi in between him and the goal. It finishes 0-0, a fair result on the balance of play. Jordan Pickford man of the match with a 7.7!

Only Arsenal are now 3-from-3 with a good win over Leicester. Both Manchester’s get 1-0 wins away.

Bolton up next in the Carabao 2nd Round in 3 days – expect rotation 🙂

There were a couple of Sunday games – Leeds hammering Fulham (Who we travel to in the League next) 5-2, West Brom winning the Midlands Derby over Villa 1-0.

Our U23’s drew 1-1 with West Brom – 19yo STC Shay Walker with the goal.

24th August 2027 – Bolton (A) – Carabao Cup 2nd Round

University of Bolton Stadium – Capacity 28,723

FT Bolton 0 Everton 3 (Felliphe 34, Prescott 61, 90+3) Att 28,018 (1,400 Away)

We make the short trip to Bolton to face a side 5th in League Two currently. Since their relegation to League Two in game in 19/20 they’ve been in League Two in all but two years. I’ve rotated (I’ve not got a massive first team squad but I’m resting most of the First Teamers) and I hope that doesn’t mean a disjointed performance. 4-4-2 v 4-4-2.

A quiet start in the pouring rain. We take the lead in the 34th minute, Jefferson Felliphe with a fine finish after a corner wasn’t cleared particularly well. Assist for Mitchell Douglas (England U21 that we picked up from Sporting Kansas City in the summer). Bolton with the bigger share of possession interestingly, but we go in 1-0 up. 2-0 in the 61st after a 6-yard-box pingathon. Prescott with the final touch, 19yo Mexican Libero(!) Fernando Trujillo with the assist. Vaclav Prochaska (18yo Czech Wonderkid) comes on for 20 playing as BBM and looks like an absolute nuisance. At 6ft 5in he really stands out. And in stoppages Prescott gets his second of the game after a fine break and 70-yard run by Ricky Davies on the left. 3-0 it finished, a professional performance.

No real shocks in the other games.

Just one game left this month – Fulham at Craven Cottage in the League in 5 days.

We’ve had 5 international call-ups for the start of September window – Rafa Munoz to Spain U23, Kris De Moor to Belgium U21, Tiberiu Hagi, on loan at Konyaspor to Romania U21, Jamal Lewis to Northern Ireland and Keeper Matteo Rossi to the Belgium first team.

No real shocks in the other 2nd Round games in the Carabao.

We’ve had the 3rd Round draw…

A toughie – Norwich away (again). Note Liverpool v Man City 🙂 This will be in late September.

Another 11 players with international call-ups:

  • Joe Aribo (Nigeria)
  • Vaclav Prochazka (Czechia U21)
  • Mitchell Douglas (England U21)
  • Gareth Cross (England U20)
  • Obinna Ali (England U20)
  • Olexandr Zinchenko (Ukraine)
  • Steven Guest (England U19)
  • Chris Whitehead (England U19)
  • Dario Maresic (Austria)
  • Edon Zhegrova (Kosovo)
  • Fernando Trujillo (Mexico U23)

Our U18’s beat Norwich 3-1 – goals from Jimmy King (16yo MC) and a brace from AML Joseph Thornton

There was a 8-game Saturday program before we play on Sunday.

Norwich with a big win versus Chelsea in Injury time. They may be the weak link where we could sneak 4th as Liverpool, Man U and Man City are all a bit naughty. Arsenal are not bad either.

29th August 2027 – Norwich (H) – English Premier League

Craven Cottage, Capacity 28,000 (In Game), 19,359 IRL

FT Fulham x (Diego 66) Everton x (Prescott 24) Att 28,000 (2,800 Away)

We make the trip to SW6 to face a Fulham side sitting 17th, W1 L2, and who were thumped 5-2 by Leeds last time out and 3-0 by Lille 3 days ago in the Conference League 4th Qually Round, so I’m hoping to pile on the misery. Rafa Munoz is already off on international duty so Dodo gets a full game. 5-4-1 Fulham.

Quiet again from a highlight standpoint, Zhegrova picking up a tight groin early, Ricky Davies on in his place. We take the lead in the 24th minute, a well worked move across the face of the Fulham area ends with Prescott getting a tap-in, Jimmy Errington with the nod-down assist. They look dangerous on the break – we are having lots of chances, just a lack of composure I think. 1-0 at the break.

Fulham have the better of it in the 2nd half, and get back to 1-1 in the 66th – Gomes losing the ball high up, Fulham break and Diego finishing well. Poor. And Fulham score again near the end, but Wilmot was offside. 1-1 it finished. We dominated, but lack composure.

We’ve got to be doing better than that. Hoping its early-season gelling that is required. Watford look doomed already. And I need talisman Matt Harris back!

That’s it for games for the month, as a load of players go off on international duty.

Seen a news article – apparently Lionel Messi is manging Kasimpasa In the Turkish Super Lig……..

Our U23’s beat Norwich 2-0 – goals from 19yo STC Kevin Kennedy and 18yo MotM MC Stephen Garner.

And in the Auto Windscreens (Then Trophy) our U23’s went t o Valley Parade to play Bradford, winning 6-1! Goals from 19yo DL Jason Purrington, a brace from 22yo STC Alan Short and a hat-trick from 19yo Shay Walker. £12k for the win 🙂

We are 8th in the EPL by Commercial Income (£44M – Chelsea top at £238M, Newcastle bottom at just under £12M). we are 7th in leading player production (16, Man City & Chelsea on 34)

Ezequial Barco has gone to AS Saint-Etienne on loan until the end of the season – 70% of his wage (£55k/wk) being paid.

A bit of an up-and-down month – Can’t afford the draws. Three league games and the cup, including the Merseyside Derby at Anfield. A tough start to the league. See you soon.

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