Today we had the pleasure of speaking with Everton Legend and current club ambassador Ian Snodin on the telephone. We spoke to Snods about the upcoming game with Krasnodar and European competition in general.
Tomorrows game against Krasnodar is somewhat of a dead rubber, and Snods thinks that it gives Roberto Martinez the perfect opportunity to bring some youth in to the team for experience, as well as giving some game time to the senior players that need it, Robles, Kone and Ovideo being prime examples:
“I think we might see maybe 3 or 4 young lads. Like Tyias Browning, Garbutt. I think Ryan Ledson will probably start the game.”
“I think it’s a great opportunity for the lads who need games. A competitive game, a European game. It’s great for the youngsters to get experience in front of 20,000+ at Goodison.”
Asked about whether he thought Martinez would use the game to get McCarthey back to full fitness Snodin was unsure:
“I think he might give him another week. I think James is one of them players that doesn’t really need a game to get himself fit. I think he’s a naturally fit lad, and I think the way he plays the game, we’re just better off leaving him out. And then if he’s fit enough for the QPR game he’ll play against QPR.”
Indeed this afternoon Martinez has all but named his starting 11 for the game, naming 9 players and hinting at 2 ‘exciting prospects’ which would rule out a return for McCarthey.
In goal Joel Robles is set to get some game time, and with John Ruddy linked to the club today he might be thinking his place in the squad is under threat but Snods had a differing view:
“I don’t know if it’s speculation about John Ruddy or if it’s truth but I think the manager knows Joel inside out to be honest, he’s had him long enough at Wigan to know ‘yea he can do a job’. If Tim does retire and he becomes our number 1 he will do really well. It’s not a position I would like to think the manager is going to strengthen. I think given time Joel will do really well, whether that’s here or at another club.”
Of two of the senior players starting tomorrow I am sure, like myself, most Evertonians are looking forward to having Kone and Oviedo back. Snodin echoed these sentiments:
“I class myself as a fan and I’m looking forward to Bryan getting back to what he was before his unfortunate injury. He gives us a buzz down the left hand side. I can’t wait to see Bryan back.”
“And as for Arouna , nobody’s really seen him, what he has to offer, because I didn’t really see that much of him for Wigan, only against us, when he played particularly well. He gave us a lot of worrying times and I though yea, what a good player he looks. And when we signed him I thought we’ve got a decent striker there but unfortunately because of his injury we’ve not even seen anything of him, so I’m just hoping that he’s fully recovered.”
“I am hoping he’s 100% fit and hoping we can see the best of Arouna Kone.”
“Obviously you’ve got the strength and power of Big Rom, the touch and elegance of Samuel and Kone has pace to burn as well, so if we have 100% Arouna Kone it’s not a bad little choice.”
With the group already won Everton look set to avoid some of the more household names of European football including our neighbours who drop down from the Champions League. Winning the group was key to the target of winning the Europa League according to Snods:
“It’s been a fantastic achievement in Europe so far. There are some quality teams coming down from the champions league and whoever we get we know its going to be a tough draw but I feel that we have the style of play to do well in Europe, I feel we defend well, we counter attack as well. We keep the ball, which a lot of European teams do, so I think our game is suited to European football and I think we’ll go on and win this competition if the draw is kind to us.”
Snodin is not impressed with the fact that teams get a second bite of European glory when they have failed in their Champions League groups however:
“I think once you’ve done your Champions League, I don’t think there should be any second chance. You’ve had your opportunity and not been good enough. I think the Europa league should be just for the teams that were first in it. I am not a fan of the teams dropping down, and I am sure there is a lot of the teams that drop down don’t really want to come into the Europa League so I’m not a lover of that no.”
Tickets are still available for tomorrow nights game to see some of the brightest stars in our future in a senior competition game.
Tickets for Season Ticket holders
Over-65s and 16-20s: £6
Non-Season Ticket holders
Over-65s and 16-20s: £7.50
To buy, visit evertonfc.com or call 0871 663 1878.
Alternatively, visit the Goodison Park Box Office, Everton Two or TicketQuarter.
Everton officials are advising supporters to arrive as early as possible for Thursday’s game against FC Krasnodar (kick off 8.05pm).