Bohemians manager Pat Fenlon says his players can’t wait to test themselves against Everton on Monday night (8pm).
The Blues are in Dublin for a friendly match at Dalymount Park following the postponement of their Premier League opener at Spurs at the weekend.
Their hosts are currently two thirds of the way through their own league campaign and Fenlon says his side will try and make the match as competitive as possible in front of what he is anticipating to be a big crowd.
There is a stark contrast between the Everton of August 2011 and 2010. Unfortunately for the club’s board, although not necessarily David Moyes and his team, it lies in the prevailing mood around Goodison Park where optimism has given way to protest.
This time last year there were no major additions to the senior squad at Everton, merely Jermaine Beckford signed on a free from Leeds United, and the available budget was spent securing Mikel Arteta, Tim Cahill, Jack Rodwell and Leighton Baines on new long-term contracts. The end result was relief plus a sense that retaining a team who finished the previous campaign so convincingly, losing only twice in its final 24 matches, could challenge for Champions League qualification. It was a view endorsed by Moyes and Sir Alex Ferguson, albeit with a prescient warning from the younger Glaswegian that a lack of a top-class striker could hinder those ambitions.
There’s also a video:
In David Moyes’ 10th season with the club, can he survive with a weakened squad and little money to strengthen it? Although if he can retain key players, a return to Europe and, potentially, some silverware will not be beyond the realms of possibility.
Paul Doyle and Amy Lawrence discuss Everton’s prospects for the coming season