The Holly and the Ivy – #FM20 OS9 C3 S1 – Part 94 – Everton – December 2027

Christmas 2027 – A busy one

Welcome back to Goodison for Christmas 2027 – A big month in our 27/28 campaign.

A quick start, Leicester away will be a tough one, 19th placed Watford at home shouldn’t be. Another trip to the Midlands it is then.

There’s a full programme this Wednesday 1st December 2027 evening – Man City v Arsenal is the pick of the games.

Matt Harris gets 2nd in the EPL Player of the Month, but Kris De Moor wins the Young Player award 🙂

I come 3rd in the EPL Manager of the Month after Chris Wilder (West Brom) and Tommy Tuchel (Liverpool) – we all won 3 matches out of 3.

Finances are OK – Just under £40M in the bank – £6M down on the start of November but that’s with just 1 home game.

I’m a B with the board, Dynamics are Good/Excellent/Excellent – Would be hoping Cohesion would be higher TBH.

1st December 2027 – Leicester (A) – English Premier League

Back to the King Power for the 2nd time in just over a month. Leicester sit 11th, losing 2-0 to Spurs last time out. Though out of our last 7 games Leicester came closest to getting a result against us. Rui Faria is coming up to a year as manager of Leicester (he’s in Qatar IRL) but back between 2020 and 2022 in game he managed Everton!

FT Leicester 0 Everton 1 (Prescott 52) Att 36,263 (3,000 Away)

We play in the Coral away strip this evening, and its a slow start in the rain. A pretty even game. 0-0 at the break. I give them the rocket and we go 1-0 up in the 52nd minute – another set piece goal – Bradders with a header this time from a Zinchenko corner, well battled. Time ticking down, we enter the last 20. Zinchenko picks up a knock just after I make the last sub… Should be able to get him to the end. Last 10. Jimmy Errington (On for Felliphe) should have made it 2 – he did all the hard work but couldn’t finish. Stoppages… And it’s there. 1-0, another 3 points from a tricky away game 🙂

We draw level with Arsenal on points as they lose 1-0 to Man City. Man Utd sneak past Derby, Liverpool continue doing Liverpool things, Chelsea thump West Brom and Norwich leap-frog Spurs. Bournemouth continue their good form as well. Our next game is in 4 days hosting a Watford side who have drawn Newcastle into the relegation scrap with a 1-0 win at Vicarage Road.

Zinchenko out of the Watford game with a twisted knee.

Our U18’s beat Stoke 2-1 in the U18 Premier Division Cup, qualifying for the next round. An O.G. and Sean McCulloch the goals.

And a couple of days later our U18’s draw 1-1 with Norwich – Garreth Cross with the goal.

Saturday 4th December. 2nd play 1st – Man Utd v Liverpool in the early game. Man Utd hand Liverpool their first defeat of the season, 2-1, after being 1-0 down in the first minute.

Arsenal, Chelsea & Man City all win meaning we sit in 6th, but a win on Sunday (We’re the late game) puts us back up to 4th at least.

Spurs face Brighton in the 2pm on Sunday before our match – Spurs nicking a 3-2 in the 94th minute.

5th December 2027 – Watford (H) – English Premier League

We welcome 18th placed Watford to Goodison today – Their best non-newgen (they have a young squad) is a 24-yo Jude Bellingham, who joined Watford in-game in 21/22 from Birmingham and has been there ever since. He’s not moved on in FM20. Scot Jack Ross is their manager currently – With Hibs IRL, who came here a few in-game months ago having managed Rangers for 6 years.

FT Everton 2 (Harris 20, Felliphe 27) Watford 1 (Romullo 58) Att 48,030 (1,576 Away)

We go up against a defensive 4-1-4-1 so I’m expecting Watford to be difficult to break down. We have an early highlight – Prescott heading over, but we take the lead in the 20th minute – Matt Harris, back after his bruised thigh, heading home well as a corner isn’t cleared well. And 7 minutes later it’s 2 – A lighting fast break by Matt Harris after a cleared corner leads to a beautiful cross and headed finish by Felliphe 🙂 Lovely play. 2-0 at the break, no shots from Watford, who I’ve been warned are trying to hit us on the counter. 48th minute, De Moor cracks the Crossbar from 30 yards. Watford back in the game – 58th minute, Romullo sliding home a deep free kick. Watford looking good. Last 10 – Jimmy Errington cracks the bar with a header. But we see it out. A 2-1 win. 3 more points. And 8 straight wins now.

Just 2 goals back on Arsenal now – 22 games left, it looks like it will be a really good fight for all the European spots.

We have Brighton in 6 days time, who lost to Spurs but had beaten Arsenal at the end of November, so will be a tough game at theirs.

Monday night football – a 9-man Norwich hold out for a 1-1 draw versus bottom-team Villa.

Dodo injured again for another 3 weeks in training – thinking he may have to go. Munoz is suspended for yellows so Trujillo starts versus Brighton.

Our U23’s beat Barnsley 5-1 in the Trophy 2nd Round North – Goals from Enzo Lacoste, Ricky Davies, 19yo AMR Grant Collin and a brace from 20yo STC Kevin Kennedy.

Our U18’s beat non-league Wootton Blue Cross in a friendly 8-2 – goals from Stephen Walsh, Lloyd Burton, an O.G., 2 from Alan Short and a hat-trick from Eddie Nketiah.

James Errington showing pleasing progress.

And we get to the next game-day – Saturday 11th – we are a 3pm kick off, Man City play Newcastle in the early game. Man City 3 Newcastle 0 – 22 yo John Hill is 19 goals in 17 in the EPL so far this season. He’s a bit of a player!

Saturday 11th December 2027 – Brighton (A) – English Premier League

The American Express Community Stadium – Capacity 30,666 (Same IRL)

We make the long trip south (Most probably would fly into Gatwick) to Brighton for a tricky game versus a team 15th in the EPL. Mason Greenwood, currently on 2 caps for England with 2 goals, is one of their best players, with Krepin Diatta (IRL at Monaco). They have Paco Jemez as their manager for the last 3 years in game – IRL he’s without a club since last year, when he left Rayo Vallecano. We are without Munoz (Suspended), Dodo and Lewis (Both injured).

FT Brighton 0 Everton 4 (de Jong 2, Harris 12, Errington 36, 73) Att 29,848 (3,000 Away)

A really quick start – 100 seconds, 1-0 Everton in their Coral kit, de Jong with a back-post header from a Zinchenko free kick. Boom! And Matt Harris makes it 2 with his 9th of the season – a lovely back post header from a Felliphe cross after Felliphe harried Bernardo and dispossessed him. A great start. Brighton lose Kristensen to an injury after 17 minutes. Everton very much on top. Mat Ryan (Now 35, 150 caps for Australia) keeping them in it. And we make it 3 after 36 minutes – James Errington finishing a great break away – we counter really well. 3-0 at the break – it could have been 6. The second half is quiet – but Matt Harris gets a red injury in the 67th – potential knee…. Fuck. But we go 4 up, Jimmy Errington with his 2nd, set free by a 70-yard Lacoste ball. Gorgeous. Brighton showing a bit more after the 4th, but we finish 4-0 to the good. Superb, but a worry on Harris.

Temporarily 3rd – 36 points off of 17 games is a great start. One game stands out – 9 goals at Molineux. Wolves were 3-2 and 4-3 up. We beat Wolves 5-0 two weeks ago…

MATT HARRIS – SPRAINED KNEE LIGAMENTS – 5-7 WEEKS – Buggertits. That him out of the Christmas period. And that’s 10 injuries in under 2 years… £150M??? Definitely Maybe.

Two really big games in the next 7 days – Chelsea in the Carabao QF, followed by Man City in the League, both at Fortress Goodison.

Our U23’s beat Leicester 4-1 – Goals from Harry Boyle, Alan Short and 2 from Shay Walker. They are currently top of the U23 Premier League.

Two huge games on the Sunday – Chelsea v Spurs and Liverpool v Arsenal…

We sit clear in 3rd as Arsenal lose 3-0 to Liverpool. W15 D1 L1 for Liverpool is a bit special.

We’ve had a youth intake preview:

Attacking players. Maybe a 3* PA or 2?

Four of the lads in the EPL Team of the Week – Rogerio, Dario Maresic, Paul de Jong & Jefferson Felliphe.

The first two Carabao QF’s are on the Tuesday:

Man City & Arsenal through to the Semis – A 31yo Dele Alli (127 caps, 34 goals for England) and 30yo Gabriel Jesus on the scoresheet, not to forget a now-29yo Dani Olmo. We play them next in the League.

Our U23’s drew with Inverness CT in the U23 Premier Division International Cup, Qualifying for the next round.

15th December 2027 – Chelsea (H) – Carabao Cup Quarter Final

A biggie today – a shot a Silverware is never to be sniffed at. We built Chelsea at the end of October 3-1 at Home, but that was the last game they lost… Pretty sure they will put a good side out as this is a Quarter Final… We are without Matt Harris so will try Bradders as an IF(A) on the left, cutting inside.

FT Everton 1 (Felliphe 10) Chelsea 1 (Mount 3) Att 50,000 (2,000 Away)

Its a wet 4C at Fortress Goodison tonight – hoping for a solid performance. Chelsea hit first, Mason Mount from 20 yards in the 3rd minute. 9th minute – Jimmy Errington crashes a shot against the bar after great work by Enzo Lacoste. But almost straight after that we are on level terms – Felliphe heading home a back-post Zinchenko cross. 1-1, game on. And then a real kick in the balls – Felliphe off with a Red Injury (Lower Leg) – 23rd minute. So both first-team wingers injured. Zhegrova on, Prescott to the right. FUCK OFF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Prescott now injured as well!!!!, WTF is going on! Foot Injury this time. Renault on. 42nd minute. Going hard tackling done the right now – both challenges for the injuries looked pretty hard. 1-1 at the break. 50th minute, Errington saved acrobatically by Kepa. From the following corner and clearance Lacoste hits the bottom of the right-hand post… It’s a good open game for the neutral. Time ticking away. Straight to Pens….

Mount, goal, Renault, goal, Fabio Silva, goal, Zhegrova, goal, Frenkie de Jong, MISS (Wide right), Errington, goal (Everton 3-2), Rangel, goal, Munoz, goal, Charalabous (To stay in the game), goal, Zinchenko (To send us to the Semi Final)…….. FUCKING HORRIBLE PENALTY, wide right. FFS. Sudden Death. 4-4.

Opoku, MISS (Bottom of left-hand post), Lacoste, FTW…………. GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLLL. We go on 🙂 But at what cost….

Championship Southampton make the semis with a penalty win also. Fingers crossed on the draw.

Jefferson Felliphe – Pulled Calf Muscle – 2/3 Weeks – Could have been a lot worse, but not ideal.

Bradley Prescott – Pulled Ankle Ligaments – 2/3 Weeks – Same. Some of the lads are going to have to step up.

We’ve had a scout report on Man City. Definitely not as strong as Chelsea… Though their star player, newgen John Hill (22yo, 27 caps, 9 goals for England) is a tad special. And we are favourites with the bookies!! Though we are 3 attacking-first-teamers down.

And we have the Carabao Semi Final Draw…

Would rather have Man City than Arsenal TBH. The 1st leg is on 4th January, 2nd 3 weeks later. So we play Man City 3 times in the next 5 weeks.

Marcelino (IRL manager of Bilbao) giving it large in the Media – we are only where we are because other teams have been complacent apparently…

Friday night Football – Norwich beat Newcastle 2-0 at St. James’s and go 4 points clear of Spurs in 8th.

Our U18’s beat Sunderland 3-1 – Goals from Jimmy King (16yo MC), Sean McCulloch and Joe Thornton.

We are the early game for TV – 12:30 at Fortress Goodison. Lets go.

Saturday 18th December 2027 – Man City (H) – English Premier League

Man City are unbeaten since a 2-1 loss to Man Utd at the end of October and have won 7 on the bounce; we are unbeaten since a 2-1 loss to Arsenal at the start of October, and have won 11 in a row (9 in normal time, 2 on pens) so 1st play 2nd by form (Chelsea join 2nd with Man City). This is going to be a toughie, and I’ll take a point.

FT Everton 3 (Renault 22, 46, Zhegrova 76) Man City 1 (Hill 31) Att 50,000 (3,000 Away)

Man City go 4-4-F-ing-2. They start strong in the pouring rain. But we should be 1-0 up – 6th minute, Jimmy Errington heading wide, unchallenged from a corner. He does head home in the 11th minute, but is a fair way offside. We end up taking the lead in the 22nd minute – Mathieu Renault, 3rd choice right winger, heading home well from a Zinchenko cross. 1-0 Everton. Adailson at fault(21yo Newgen) – Renault slips him. But its 1-1 eight minutes later – John Hill finishing from a lovely through-ball. His 24th goal of the season!!!!! In December!! 1-1 at the break. And 58 seconds into the 2nd half it’s 2-1 Everton!! One of the best goals I’ve seen in FM20 – a full-pitch move ending with Renault getting his 2nd of the game, a belter of a left foot across Ederson from just inside the area. Then calamity… Dario Maresic now injured (48th minute – Groin). Trujillo coming on. We get to the last 20 with no further highlights. Highlight, 76th minute. The ball works out to Renault, who takes it towards the by-line, crosses, AND ZHEGROVA SCORES!!! unmarked, a tap-in volley!! 3-1 Everton, Renault with his 3rd goal-involvement. Superb play from the lads. Renault wants his hat-trick!! Five minutes of stoppages. Errington has the ball in the net again, and again he’s offside. And another injury!! Trujillo gets an orange (Groin as well) but we see the game out. 3-1. That’s 10 straight wins in the league!!!

DARIO MARESIC – PULLED GROIN – 3/4 WEEKS – Bollocks. Never good to be missing a starting Centre Back.

FERNANDO TRUJILLO – PULLED GROIN – 4/7 DAYS – And that’s Maresic’s like-for-like replacement maybe out of the next league game (8 Days time v Leeds)

The big result of the day – West Brom handing Liverpool their 2nd defeat of the season, Patrick Roberts (IRL of Troyes, on loan from Man City) with the brace. We’re now 2 games ahead of Man City. Leeds next up at Elland Road on Boxing Day before we round the month out when we entertain Burnley on the 29th. The Leeds game is the start of a run of 11 games in 5 weeks – most of which we could be without 4 first-teamers with injury. We will do what we can do. Chelsea go to Burnley tomorrow, Villa host Leicester.

It’s a good fight for the Champions League spots (Would be so chuffed to be playing UCL Football next season).

Spurs play Derby on the Monday night – 5-1 to Spurs, Newgen STC Joao Sambu with a hat-trick.

Our U23’s drew 1-1 with Norwich, Alan Short with the goal. We are currently top of the U23 Premier Division 1.

Mathieu Renault makes the EPL Team of the Week.

Our U18’s beat Sunderland U23’s 5-1 in a friendly – Goals from Declan Garrick, Eddie Nketiah, Alan Short & a brace from Sean McCulloch. Nketiah injured though, Twisted Ankle – 3-4 weeks. Our 9th injury currently, worst in the League… Lowered all the training intensities.

And so we get to Boxing Day – It’s the North London Derby in the early game… 1-1, Spurs up early through Troy Parrott, Newgen Alessio equalising with 9 minutes of normal time left.

Sunday 26th December 2027 – Leeds (A) – English Premier League

Elland Road. Capacity 37,890 (IRL 37,792)

We make the trip east on the M62 to a Leeds side currently sitting 14th. Manager Oscar Alvarez (IRL without a job after leaving Valencia as an Ass Man in June 2021) has been in post for just over 3 years, gaining promotion in 25/26 and finishing 15th last term. We should have enough to deal with them, even with these injuries.

FT Leeds 2 (Nilo 14, Szymanski 36) Everton 3 (Errington 9, 30, Zhegrova 65) Att 33,113 (3,000 Away)

It’s a Sleety 3C here in Yorkshire today, but it doesn’t stop the boys in Blue 🙂 9th Minute, Jimmy Errington slotting home after a long-ball over the top from Rafa Munoz – Route One at its finest. And not long after it should have been 2 – Kris de Moor beating 6 before hitting the side netting when it was easier to score. But it’s 1-1 in the 14th minute – Just a long hoof by the Keeper, and neither defender goes for it. Very poor but that happens when your centre-back partnership gets broken up by injury. We regain the lead on the half-hour, Errington with a strong finish after a great team move and pull-back by De Moor. But again we are pulled back, 36th minute, Szymanski with the DFK, 1st of the season… 2-2 at the break. Nothing doing in the 2nd half until the 65th minute, where Zhegrova powers home a weak clearance from a Zinchenko Free kick. 3-2 Everton. Errington nearly with his hat-trick soon after, his shot deflected away from the goal by the Newgen Leeds Keeper Brown. And then in an identikit chance he hits the post… I think I know where this is going… Injury time… No, we see it out. A hard-fought 3-2 win.

Liverpool lose again!!!!! At home to Norwich this time. Man City in a madness of a game with Wolves, Hill getting 4. All we can do is keep winning, keep piling on the pressure on those clubs around us – I would have snapped your hand off for 3rd place at the half-way point of the season. 19th placed Burnley up next in 3 days time. And we are lucky – there are 9 games on Tuesday – 48 hours time!!!

And we get to those Tuesday games:

Man City get a hiding from Chelsea – A win for us against Burnley puts them 9 points back. Norwich just a point behind them now in 7th – The top 7 opening a gap up on the rest.

Wednesday 29th December 2027 – Burnley (H) – English Premier League

We don’t kick off until 8pm – so a bit more than 3 days rest before our 20th league game of the season. We beat Burnley 4-0 at theirs in mid-October, same again please.

FT Everton 4 (Lacoste 7, Renault 12, 37, pen 62) Burnley 0 Att 50,000 (3,000 Away)

It’s hovering just above freezing tonight at Fortress Goodison. Burnley go with a 4-4-1-1. 1-0 Everton in the 7th minute, and its a 25-yard banger from Enzo Lacoste 🙂 Pope maybe should have done better. It’s 2 in the 12th minute – Renault finishing off a lovely team move at the back post – Assist Zhegrova, woeful marking. And Burnley down to 10 with over an hour left to play – South Korean international Kim Jin-Ya heading for an early bath after impeding Zhegrova. Gaps appearing now, and its 3-0 in the 37th, Renault getting space and his 2nd of the game as we pass the ball around Burnley well. The runs aren’t being tracked. 3-0 at the break. A bit quiet in the first 15, but we get a penalty, the first in ages in normal time, Renault pushed by Boskovic. Renault for his hat-trick… just. Hits Pope and goes in as he drives it down the middle. 4-0. And the game ticks away from there. 4-0. Professional and merciless.

We end 2027 in 3rd place, 12 straight wins since losing to Arsenal on 3rd October. 4 of our last 6 home games have been 50,000 sell-outs.

RAFAEL MUNOZ – BRUISED THIGH – 5/8 Days – Didn’t see this one in the game – Dodo will need to step up.

We’ve had a team report on West Ham for our FA Cup 3rd round game on New Years Day – currently 2nd in the Championship – and they have a couple of beasts at that level – Rhian Brewster (27yo now) – a 90 Scout rating and Newgen Dennis Wynter (24, 91 Scout Summary). They are not a young squad – lots of 30+ year olds.

There is an FA Cup game on Thursday 30th – An all Championship game between Swansea and Southampton. Southampton winning 4-0.

Kris De Moor is the Belgian Golden Boot for his time at AA Gent (Second half of the 2026/27 season). Also Young Player of the year, and Matteo Rossi gets 3rd in the Belgian Goalkeeper of the year for his time with Sint-Truidense.

And a new-year Present…

JAMES ERRINGTON – CALF STRAIN – 4/7 WEEKS – FFS – 3 strikers all out. The kiddies will need to step up. And Bradders will be there or thereabouts for the Carabao Cup Semi Final 1st Leg versus Man City.

And with that the firework displays go off. Goodbye 2027, its been emotional.

December has been superb – big wins over Chelsea & Man City. January is huge – Carabao Semis, Arsenal and Man Utd, both at Fortress Goodison, in the League and the start of a (hopefully) strong FA Cup campaign. Also we have a transfer window – expecting offers, lots of Chinese interest in my players. See you next time for the start of the run-in 🙂

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: