No goals: another clean-sheet, another point

By Michael Kenrick 26/12/2017 376comments  |  Jump to last
Everton's remarkable new-found defensive solidity under Sam Allardyce was in evidence again at the Hawthorns against struggling West Brom.

Yannick Bolasie was given a start for the first time since recovering, while was still ruled out with the flu.

Phil Jagielka wasn't asked to play another 90 minutes with Williams (as captain) and Holgate reunited at the back. Idrissa Gueye's injury picked up against Chelsea meant Tom Davies coming back into the side.

Rondon came very close to scoring the opener for the home side on 5 minutes, a wicked cross from the Everton right clipped his heel and flew wide. For Everton, Calvert-Lewin got wide behind the West Brom defence but his cross was controolled by Barry.

Another attack for the home side again came close to scoring, Phillips crossing well from the left this time a back-header from Solomon across the Everton goal but there was no-one there to convert.

Bolasie got some touches down the left until fouled by Barry, giving Sigurdsson a chance to swing in a wicked one that just bounced harmless through and out for a goal-kick.

Another corner was defended by Pickford punching wide but the ball came right back and Dawson powered his header just over the Everton bar. Bolasie put on a good cross to win Everton's first corner that Sigurdsson swung in well but no-one could profit. As the ball went back to midfield, Livermore fouled Schneiderlin and Sigurdsson delivered another very dangerous ball in.

Bolasie saw some space and took a potshot from distance that was well off target. Bolasie showed some more good touches, beating his man and putting in a decent cross, but West Brom were able to clear it. Bolasie was then fouled but no free-kick and he exuberantly fouled his man in return, leading to a West Brom attack and corner that Pickford punched clear.

Some better passing down the left saw a cross come in for Calvert-Lewin but he couldn't control it and Martina then fouled to stop the breakaway which ended with Dawson heading over. Another Everton attack seemed to be shaping well, with good passing around the West Brom Area, but there was no end product.

Brunt took a decent shot that Pickford had covered all the way. Bolasie appeared to win the ball in a tussle with Phillips and Brunt delivered well to the far post but the header was onto the top of the net.

The half came to an end with both sides looking fairly evenly matched, West Brom having had the better chances, Everton not really doing enough on the end of some fine deliveries from Sigurdsson.

The game restarted in similar fashion with no changes. Rondon got behind the Everton defence, beating Holgate, but slips as he tries to shoot, blasting wide. Clever work from Bolasie fed Kenny and his cross was blocked behind for a corner. Rondon had pulled his hamstring with that shot and was replaced by Robson-Kanu.

Davies played to Bolasie's feet but the forward was called offside. Keane headed straight to Blunt and it needed smart response from Kenny to block the shot. After the hour mark, Bolasie and Calvert-Lewin were withdrawn to be replaced by Lennon and Bolasie, but West Brom continued to have the better ideas in terms of attack.

Sigurdsson next free-kick was poor and easily defended, Dawson getting a card for holding back Martina but Sigurdssson's delivery was again short. The ball fell nicely for Davies but he fired over. Another foul, almost identical by Dawson, was not punished but Sigurdsson's delivery was spurned yet again as the Blues continued to live dangerously at the other end of the field.

A couple of West Brom corners were defended and Holgate had to head away a very good cross fro another corner st West Brom threatened, Holgate, heading behind for the fourth corner in a tight spell, Pickford punching the last one away while being impeded.

West Brom kept probing, winning yet another corner that Pickford punched away, then he fielded an incoming shot with confidence. At the other end, the attack looked frankly lame, Davies turning away from goal rather than trying to use the ball to create something, and Everton had still not created a clear chance on Foster's goal into the final 10 minutes.

Another West Brom attack and Williams was called for a high foot, right in the dee, Phillips blasting well over from the free-kick. The ball seemed to fall well for Gibbs but Kenny coming on put him off and he screwed the shot well off target.

Everton tried to build down the left but a poor giveaway by Davies put them under pressure again. Another fantastic cross was headed away brilliantly by Kenny. Another corner again handled well byu Pickford, and Davies was withdrawn fro Baningime.

Niasse and Lennon finally got behind the West Brom defence but the angle was too tight for him to beat Foster, despite getting two bites of the cherry. Each side tried to fashion something in the 3 minutes of added time but it was not happening and Everton came away with a point and another clean sheet to extend Sam Allardyce's increasingly remarkable unbeaten record since taking over the reins.

Kick-off: 3pm, Tuesday 26 December 2017

West Brom: Foster, Dawson [Y:65'], Hegazi, Evans, Gibbs, Phillips (88' McClean), Livermore (69' Krychowiak), Barry, Brunt, Rodriguez, Rondon (52' Robson-Kanu).
Subs not Used: Nyom, Yacob, Myhill, McAuley.

Everton: Pickford, Keane, Williams, Holgate, Kenny, Sigurdsson, Schneiderlin, Davies (87' Baningime), Martina, Bolasie (61' Lennon), Calvert-Lewin (61' Niasse).
Subs not Used: Jagielka, Sandro, Lookman, Robles.

Referee: Roger East

Attendance: 25,364

Reader Comments (376)

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Neil Cremin
1 Posted 26/12/2017 at 15:10:50
What was Bolasie doing there
Neil Cremin
2 Posted 26/12/2017 at 15:12:38
We are allowing them into the game.
Neil Cremin
3 Posted 26/12/2017 at 15:13:14
Am I the only one on the live thread
Colin Glassar
4 Posted 26/12/2017 at 15:14:24
Which live thread, Neil? I can't see where the live forum is.
Aarron Stobie
5 Posted 26/12/2017 at 15:16:23
Where is the live forum, and are there any links?
Colin Glassar
6 Posted 26/12/2017 at 15:17:57
Mods must still be sleeping off the hangover.
Afzan Yusuf
7 Posted 26/12/2017 at 15:23:36
Anyone can share live stream link, please
Sam Hoare
8 Posted 26/12/2017 at 15:27:37
Sounds like West Brom should be winning, after two bad misses.
Dave Williams
9 Posted 26/12/2017 at 15:29:10
Any live forum today chaps?
Colin Glassar
10 Posted 26/12/2017 at 15:31:08
Doesn't look like Dave. Poor for(u)m.
Dave Williams
11 Posted 26/12/2017 at 15:32:22
Commentary on Everton FC official site with Darren GRiffiths
Sandra Williams
12 Posted 26/12/2017 at 15:33:21
Click on the Live Forum under the Chelsea report .that's where today's live forum seems to be!!
Dave Dann
13 Posted 26/12/2017 at 15:35:01
Lads click on live forum for Chelsea game to get today's live forum
Dave Williams
14 Posted 26/12/2017 at 15:38:05
Thanks - see you there!
George Cumiskey
15 Posted 26/12/2017 at 15:48:13
Who's the £45mil player is it Siggy or Barry, I certainly can't tell.
Ciarán McGlone
16 Posted 26/12/2017 at 15:54:00
Very poor to watch. Thank God for Redbreast 15.
John G Davies
17 Posted 26/12/2017 at 16:02:22
Morgan best 45 minutes this season
Carl Allan
18 Posted 26/12/2017 at 16:02:40
These haven't won in 17 games yet we look terrified to put them under any pressure by committing men into the box. We have a very small club mentality and the recent upturn in results had just papered over the sink holes (I'm done with cracks).
Jerome Shields
19 Posted 26/12/2017 at 16:06:47
This is where Big Sam earns his corn. Needs to start moving to the next level.
Jay Wood

20 Posted 26/12/2017 at 16:51:53
Well the highlights reel of this game will be a tough edit.
Trevor Lynes
21 Posted 26/12/2017 at 16:53:40
We are without doubt the worst side in the Premier League to actually watch!! Survival is the obvious aim without entertainment value. We have conceded possession to every side we play, even West Brom had the chances to beat us.
Ciarán McGlone
22 Posted 26/12/2017 at 16:53:43
Superb point. All that matters is the results.. anybody who expects actual passing or semi literate football needs to get real.. etc etc
Geoff Trenner
23 Posted 26/12/2017 at 16:53:53
Without, arguably, our best two players this season, Gana and Rooney, and introducing Bolasie again after a year, this was always going to be tough.

Not good to watch though!

Ben Mackenzie
24 Posted 26/12/2017 at 16:54:00
Big Sam, first Everton manager to go first 7 games unbeaten. Not pretty, but it's what we needed.
Ernie Baywood
25 Posted 26/12/2017 at 16:54:55
Be interesting to see how long we'll put up with this.

It's a real struggle to watch but, at the moment, is improving results.

Paul Holmes
26 Posted 26/12/2017 at 16:55:32
Championship quality football.

I feel sorry for the fantastic away support – they deserve better.

Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
27 Posted 26/12/2017 at 16:57:16
If it's okay with everyone, I'm just gonna close the thread now, and refer you all to the same back-and-forth, entertainment versus dogged defence, performance versus results as we had after... well most games since Big Sam arrived.

Nah... just kidding. But please – try to post something different this time!

Brian Porter
28 Posted 26/12/2017 at 16:58:27
Worst performance yet under Sam. No ambition, no attempt to win against a team in dire straits. At times we made them look like bloody Barcelona!!!

Gave them far too much respect. Poor showing from the team as a whole. No attacking thoughts at all in Sam's strategy today.

I've backed him so far but if he won't have a go against the poorest teams in the league, just where does he expect our next win to come from?

Ian McPherson
29 Posted 26/12/2017 at 17:01:02
Toilet football.
Carl Allan
30 Posted 26/12/2017 at 17:02:51
Can't believe some of our fans are happy with a draw and being second best against arguably the worst side in Premier League. We are totally inept going forward and will get tonked Saturday against another side in the bottom 3, Bournemouth, who had 26 attempts on goal today, scoring 3.
Tony Hill
31 Posted 26/12/2017 at 17:03:43
The first Allardyce performance in which I have been disappointed. We were very poor, even making allowances, and we should have been well beaten by a dreadful side.

The other way of looking at it, of course, is that we are a poor side too and should be pleased with every point gathered for the moment. I continue to think that the second view is more correct.

It's gruelling but let's acknowledge how damaged we are.

Jeff Armstrong
32 Posted 26/12/2017 at 17:05:08
Okay, honeymoon is over now, Sam. You've achieved probable safety, can we start playing football now?

Or there will be lot of supporters going off you, very quickly.

Mike Hughes
33 Posted 26/12/2017 at 17:06:16
Ben (#24)

Absolutely correct. Big Sam is the first manager of this great club to go his first 7 games unbeaten.

And just to gloat about it, he has achieved this with a demoralised, illness- and injury-hit team. And without a transfer window. Not pretty but, as you rightly state, just what we need.

An away draw against a side battling for their lives with a new manager on board is not to be sniffed at. Very well done, Sam Allardyce. A superb achievement.

Sam wins points, we win points. Simples.

Dan Parker
34 Posted 26/12/2017 at 17:07:03
Happy with a decent away point albeit against a struggling side as the bigger picture is an upward tick in results. If we're able to get a decent striker in during the window, hopefully add a few more goals in with the results. Good start by Sam, ending the year much better than the diabolical period ending Koeman's reign. Missing Rooney's creativity today.

The Cherries will be a tricky one, always score a few goals and play attacking football, can we punish their leaky defense? Hope so!

Jay Wood

35 Posted 26/12/2017 at 17:09:07
It looked like one of the festive season games when players helped themselves to an extra serving of Xmas pud.

Quite a few low on energy and looking a bit leggy, possibly none more so than Calvert-Lewin. The poor lad had virtually zero service all game, but even so, this was possibly a game he could have been given a wee rest. He looked goosed all game.

Kenny, another cracking game. Keane, getting back (but still short of) the form he showed when he first arrived. Schneiderlin another solid performance.

A shout out for Holgate, too. He wasn't always successful with his passing, but he was the one centre back who consistently tried to pass the ball out to his midfielders, rather than always launch it long and hopeful over their heads.

Bolasie had a decent first game back. You could see by his wide smile how much it meant to him and he was almost solely responsible for the flickers of nice football Everton showed today.

Otherwise, a game to erase from the memory banks.

Dennis Ng
36 Posted 26/12/2017 at 17:10:39
I share the disappointment in not beating West Brom but as some pointed out, it is still a good point gained. I do hope we can improve from this performance because we should not settle for a sharp dropoff in performance just because we're missing Rooney and Gana.
Peter Hughes
37 Posted 26/12/2017 at 17:10:47
Correct, Carl Allen, I find it sad – the small club mentality amongst some of our 'fans'.
Sean Patton
38 Posted 26/12/2017 at 17:11:22
I'm afraid it's going to be like this as a leopard doesn't change his spots and you can't teach an old dog new tricks whichever strange animal saying you want to profer. This is what he does but if he doesn't at least try something new he will be gone at the end of the season so we won't have to endure it for much longer.
Michael Williams
39 Posted 26/12/2017 at 17:11:27
Our midfielders were awful today. Worst passing and possession I've seen from them in long while. I hope today's overall performance is just a post-Christmas hangover so to speak.
Alan McGuffog
40 Posted 26/12/2017 at 17:11:29
I realise that I am in a minority but I'm rather pleased that we are unlikely to now be relegated. We are a poor team but, as I have said before, I much prefer being poor in the Premier League with the hope of a new stadium than being glorious failures in the Championship and a move to Gillmoss!
Derek Knox
41 Posted 26/12/2017 at 17:12:12
Michael, I think the Headline is the highlight of this match. That was so poor, passing woeful, shots on goal non-existent.

Like someone mentioned on the Live Forum, the last couple of games have been more down to poor finishing by the opposition, than good play from us.

It seems when one or two are poor, the whole team follow suit. I suppose the only positive to take is another clean sheet and unbeaten.

Steve Brown
42 Posted 26/12/2017 at 17:12:15
A cowardly selection, packing five in defence and three midfielders screening them against a team who have not won in 18 games.

Embarrassing to watch and I feel sorry for the crowd who travelled and paid money to see that managerial dinosaur at work.

Bill Gienapp
43 Posted 26/12/2017 at 17:13:31
I've been willing to roll with Big Sam's pragmatic tactics up to this point and thought the draw against Chelsea was well-earned, but that was a pretty cynical showing. A back five against West Brom, one of the most toothless teams in the league? No attempt to go for the win by hauling off one of the centre-backs for Lookman or Sandro?

Another point, another clean sheet and another solid defensive showing (though West Brom was fashioning plenty of opportunities – they just lacked the quality to take advantage of them)... but a wasted opportunity, as this (along with the Bournemouth match) represented a good opportunity to pick up a chunk of points with Man Utd and Spurs looming on the schedule.

John G Davies
44 Posted 26/12/2017 at 17:15:37
We can add a new one to 'Dinosaur', 'old-fashioned' manager, 'defensive-obsessed' etc etc.

Sam is a coward now.

Rob Dolby
45 Posted 26/12/2017 at 17:16:58
Not sure why we had to change our shape today. Lennon and Kenny have been great down the right so why change things?

In the end, it was a hard fought draw but we showed nothing at all going forward which is a worry. Good job they are awful otherwise we would have been beaten.

Peter Gorman
46 Posted 26/12/2017 at 17:21:02
I don't know why anybody is complaining; we managed 3 shots on target – are you not entertained!?

But seriously, we remain unbeaten so Sam is obviously a genius. And now we don't even need to bother watching the games, we can just check the score at full-time to see we remain unbeaten. That is after all, what counts.

And people thought our football under Koeman was the worst in the league. We all know how this ends; with Allardyce getting a 5-year contract and Everton no closer to achieving a steam of piss.

Steve Brown
47 Posted 26/12/2017 at 17:21:30
Correct John (despite your irony), those tactics and selection were cowardly. We could have played four at the back and put an extra winger on. Increased the tempo and put a central attacking midfielder in and around the striker. He did none of that because that would require creativity and courage.

If that dross is what you enjoy, then you are in for a treat as that is all we will ever get from him.

Amit Vithlani
48 Posted 26/12/2017 at 17:23:21
Dissappointed with the performance. This is Russian roulette football. We are very vulnerable if we go behind given how defensive we are lining up in almost every game.

I appreciate this fragile squad is one or two defeats away from suffering a collapse in form. But surely we need to find a better way than being so defensive in every game in order to bank wins against sides in the lower half of the table.

Those wins are needed to cushion us against the time when the rub of the green is against us or we hit a patch of difficult fixtures.

Brian Williams
49 Posted 26/12/2017 at 17:23:58
I'm hoping Allardyce's plan is to eke out points in the manner we've been doing before unleashing our "new game" after the creative and goal scoring signings are made early January.

I was hoping for lots of things for Crimbo too and they didn't materialise either.

Surely we could have had a plan to beat a team who have simply forgotten how to win. August ffs since they won a game!!

Max Murphy
50 Posted 26/12/2017 at 17:25:53
2 games, no goals scored; 2 games no Rooney.

Get better soon, Wayne!

Don Alexander
51 Posted 26/12/2017 at 17:27:19
The summer antics of the transfer window were guaranteed to knacker our season. The board/owner has/have to accept responsibility.

There's no way Calvert-Lewin or Bolasie deserve criticism today but the number of times Sigurdsson put good balls in without anyone having the ability to anticipate or meet them just emphasizes what a shambles unfolded in summer. Had some foresight and competence been evident in summer we should have had a fully-fledged "English-type" centre-forward, and another accomplished left-back with the ability to get forward and deliver crosses confident that the other new centre-half we also failed to sign was part of a solid defence not condemned to having always to defend deep. Defending as deep as we do makes it all but impossible to pressure opposing defences, especially when we're all but incapable of retaining the ball up front.

It ain't rocket science Mr Moshiri. Hell, I expect even Sam Allardyce, the guy you fannied around for weeks, can sort it out if you give him the tools, starting in January.

Dermot Byrne
52 Posted 26/12/2017 at 17:28:47
"Morgan best 45 minutes this season"

Oh heck!

Paul Thompson
53 Posted 26/12/2017 at 17:30:02
I think this result tells us more about the players than the manager. We just don't have the players, or at least the players available, to push on and build on the defensive solidity that Sam has created. Rooney is the exception to the creativity gap and boy do we miss him!

If we bring this Turkish striker in, he will be similarly starved of service. Never mind another centre-back, we need a creative attacking mid (as well as a left back and striker).

A shout-out for Keane today. Not only good defensively, but sprayed the ball around nicely.

John G Davies
54 Posted 26/12/2017 at 17:30:06
Do you disagree, Dermot?
Luke Welch
55 Posted 26/12/2017 at 17:31:57
Well it's a results business, Sam is doing well in that department; hell to watch though.
Darren Hind
56 Posted 26/12/2017 at 17:32:03
Absolute Cowardice from Allardyce.

88th minute before we got a shot on target (after getting lucky from a big boot) against a team without a win in 18?

I don't want to hear that we don't have the players to score goals, – we scored 10 goals in the five Premier League games before he got the gig; we have now scored 7 goals in 6 games... thank goodness for those penalties.

You need courage to attack and create chances, Sam ain't got it. This is how he made his living in the past and he won't change. I'll be amazed if we don't start dropping down the table again.

Not many teams could look uglier than West Brom... we managed.

John G Davies
57 Posted 26/12/2017 at 17:32:52
No irony intended, Steve. I thought your statement was a typical knee-jerk reaction we get from a few.

Where did I say I enjoyed watching it?

Phil Smith
58 Posted 26/12/2017 at 17:34:28
Once again we don't look like scoring when Calvert-Lewin is on his own upfront! Crying out for him and Niasse up top. Niasse was the only player looking like he might nick a goal. Lack of ambition alarming.

We all know now that we can stay solid at the back but what's the point if we're never gonna create any chances, especially against teams like West Brom! Disappointing...

David Barks
59 Posted 26/12/2017 at 17:34:43
The results will turn, make no mistake about it. And when they do, if you thought it was hostile at Goodison during Koeman's last days wait until they have to sit through this.

We are living on incredible luck. That is not something to build around. Against Liverpool, Sane somehow made a complete mess when in on goal and with three teammates just waiting to tap it into our net. Against Chelsea, three times we cleared off the line. Today, Rondon simply missed the ball when unmarked from three yards out. Minutes later they had an unmarked header that flew over the bar.

Eventually those chances start falling. We are offering absolutely nothing in attack, not even trying. We are simply hoofing it over the midfield. When we do have some sort of possession, everyone is standing still, as if they are petrified to move out of their position for fear of being exposed in defense.

We went to West fucking Brom with a five-man defense. We for some reason tried to use Bolasie as a striker when his entire game is about pace down the wings. We seemingly always have 20 yards between players when in possession, never even trying to pass it around the opposition. So when those lucky breaks stop going our way, it's going to get very ugly around here.

Brian Williams
60 Posted 26/12/2017 at 17:34:50
I do John. He was average at best. Gareth Barry was miles better.

If anyone had their best 45 minutes for Everton in that game, then they must have played complete shite previously.

Ray Jacques
61 Posted 26/12/2017 at 17:36:48
Ffs, all the experts on here we're telling everyone we were the worst team in the league 4 weeks ago and certs for relegation. We are now in the top half and hopefully safe.

Stop moaning and whingeing as it's embarrassing. Whatever Allardyce does there will be some who will never be happy. You all loved Joe Royle's Dogs of War... whats the difference now??

Peter Gorman
62 Posted 26/12/2017 at 17:37:59
er...goals, Ray
John Boon
63 Posted 26/12/2017 at 17:39:26
Awful game to watch. Only consolation is that we didn't lose. Agree midfield were out to lunch. Bolasie did okay for first game. Difficult to analyse because the game was so bad. Strangely nobody was really dreadful, just lousy as regards team work.

Why did we wear blue? The back of West Brom's shirt were identical to ours. Perhaps that is why we passed to them so often.

Steve Brown
64 Posted 26/12/2017 at 17:40:14
Not knee-jerk, John, an apt reaction from supporters who have any standards whatsoever.

Say whatever you want and I'll do the same.

Mike Hughes
65 Posted 26/12/2017 at 17:44:12
Paul (#53),

I totally agree with your point. Sam Allardyce is cutting his cloth accordingly, as I have stated many times on here. Let's see how things evolve when he is given a transfer window or two.

Nobody wants us to play like this. It's a case of having to in order to accrue points, something Allardyce has excelled at. There are too many grinches / ‘fans' on here who are totally unrealistic in their assessments given the context.

Anyway, time for my Boxing Day nosh after winning a few £ on the horses today. :)

John G Davies
66 Posted 26/12/2017 at 17:44:37
Brian, two things.

He had more touches than Barry.

He has played shite previously.

Steve, I hadn't realised you had higher standards than me as a Blue.

Steve Brown
68 Posted 26/12/2017 at 17:46:13
I obviously do, John.
Paul Smith
69 Posted 26/12/2017 at 17:51:14
Awful performance but I've just listened to Sam's post match ToffeeTV interview and not a word of bullshit. He knows it's not good enough going forward in both senses.

Thinking back to the Saints game, there was no doubt in my mind we were relegation foder. Ut heartens me then to be pissed off with a jump up the table, 7 game unbeaten run (history making), 2 goals conceded, –6 Goal Difference, not –13 and all gut-wrenching fear of relegation resolved. I'm grateful today!

Steavey Buckley
70 Posted 26/12/2017 at 17:55:07
Apart from the back 5, Scheiderlin and Pickford, who achieved what Allardyce wanted, a clean sheet, the rest were dire. Yet, Gareth Barry still shows he is better than what Everton had in midfied today.

The team started to play better with the introduction Niasse and Lennon. Calvert-Lewin isn't strong enough to lead the team by himself. Bolasie should not have started, he is not match fit. Tom Davies is not the dynamic player of last season.

Sigurdsson could not deliver any good balls into the penalty area. Is the ball too heavy? It seems there is a tendency with most players in the Premier Leaguenot being able to lift the ball high enough into the box without hitting the first defender in the way.

Tony Abrahams
72 Posted 26/12/2017 at 18:00:11
You should have stopped this thread Michael, because there is nothing much to say that hasn't already been said.

Poor to watch, but a damn sight better than lying down to Southampton. It's early days for Allardyce, but It already feels like he's been here for a lot longer than he actually has.

The reason for this? I'm really not sure, even if I didn't expect much from an attacking point of view, considering the defensive shape, and the lack of talent we had in the team today, further up the pitch.

Si Cooper
73 Posted 26/12/2017 at 18:01:40
History is being revised so that now we were guaranteed to be relegated and incapable of eking out a point away at the likes of West Brom if anyone other than Big Sam had taken over from Koeman.

That is an opinion, not a fact so please don't post as if it were unchallengeable with snippets such as ‘it's not pretty, but it's what we needed' or ‘it's gruelling buts let's acknowledge how damaged we are' being totally subjective. Koeman and his staff were supposed to be the people who really needed to be replaced.

Sam Allardyce has done well up to now but he will only be judged to be good enough (by many of us) if he can get a better performance than this out players similar to what he already has available, especially as some are getting very little game time.

Paul A Smith
74 Posted 26/12/2017 at 18:02:01
Shame Barkley wants off. The gaps in the midfield later on would suit a Barkley type but we haven't got it. We need a ball carrier. A player of that ilk in tight games like that could be the difference to nicking 3 points.

Calvert-Lewin is virtually on his knees now. I feel sorry for the lad but again he's got to work and work because nobody can carry the ball.

Brian Williams
75 Posted 26/12/2017 at 18:02:26
John (#66).

Number of touches means nothing. I go by what I (and obviously others) see.

Schneiderlin could get the ball and pass it back two metres (a touch). Barry could get it and ping a 30-metre pass to a winger on a run (a touch).

Stats .......bollocks without detail.

John G Davies
76 Posted 26/12/2017 at 18:06:43

What obvious others?

After my post, Schneiderlin is only mentioned once. And that was to say he played well.

Terry Underwood
77 Posted 26/12/2017 at 18:07:28
Like most posters here, I ain't too chuffed about the result, but I am taking the positive view. Another game undefeated and another clean sheet. To be honest, I am expecting nothing more at the moment. Good to see Bolasie back as well. I will be expecting better things after the transfer window.
Brian Williams
78 Posted 26/12/2017 at 18:08:36
Okay, John, whatever you say. Not gonna argue with you.
Stan Schofield
80 Posted 26/12/2017 at 18:12:27
Michael @27: Some stats on points per game etc for this season so far under Koeman, Unsworth and Allardyce:

Koeman: Points/game = 0.89, goal difference = -11, points extrapolated to 38 games = 34.

Unsy: Points/game = 1.4, goal difference = 0, points extrapolated to 38 games = 53.

Allardyce: Points/game = 1.73, goal difference = 5, points extrapolated to 38 games = 76.

Under Koeman, that's relegation performance, under Unsworth it's mid-table, and under Allardyce it's top-6 and qualifying for the Champions League.

John Keating
81 Posted 26/12/2017 at 18:13:13
As Allardyce has been saying for the past couple of games we need to do more when we have possession.

I don't know why our professional footballers can't pass the ball to each other. How does Allardyce legislate for that? He's tried our squad out, he watches them in training and unless we actually practise not passing the ball to each other what else can he do?

And some people want this lot to play open expansive football?

Oliver Brunel
82 Posted 26/12/2017 at 18:14:00
I think we have been a bit lucky so far tbh, the results could have been worse. But Sam has done what he was employed for. Sort the mess out, shore it up. He wont be taking us to the 'next level'. The football is what it is. It was necessary, don't get me wrong. But its kind of like selling your soul to Faustus just to stay mid table... forever.
John G Davies
83 Posted 26/12/2017 at 18:14:19

I thought we were just swapping different opinions.

I said in reply he has been "shite previously". I have this season repeatedly said I wouldn't start him. But credit where it's due, he did well today imo.

Mick Conalty
84 Posted 26/12/2017 at 18:14:57
Nearly time to buy a couple of strikers.
Neil Copeland
85 Posted 26/12/2017 at 18:17:35
Those expecting us to go out and comfortably beat anyone away from home at the moment need a reality check. We are in full recovery mode with defence and not losing being the priority;, that is being achieved.

Yes, the football is poor but we are much stronger defensively and picking up much needed points and confidence. Players who looked completely lost previously now have a system they clearly understand.

Progress is being made; be patient and give Sam time to improve our creativity and attacking play. He knows it is a problem as highlighted now in a number of his pressies.

He deserves a lot of credit for hauling us up the table. I am looking forward to seeing better more attacking football and confident it will happen. Sam knows what he is doing.

Tony Abrahams
86 Posted 26/12/2017 at 18:21:36
Agree with that Brian@75. Barry tries to play forward, and only if there is nothing on, will he go sideways or backwards. Even when Schneiderlin, done that nice pirouette, away from two players, he never bursts forward, he just can't wait to get rid of the ball.

I might be wrong, but he's probably got at least 㿀 million in the bank, and he still won't try and really impose himself, and nor does he ever try and express himself either, which are the things that really frustrate me.

Really trying to play football, is what you want to see off everyone, especially when they are made for life so, although Sam has done very well to steady the ship, most of the the natives will be very restless until we add real craft and quality, which is staggering really considering how much money Everton spent in the summer.

Geoff Trenner
87 Posted 26/12/2017 at 18:22:16
Not sure about your maths there Stan @ 80... but point taken.
David Pearl
88 Posted 26/12/2017 at 18:24:06
We played 3 centre backs so that our full backs could go forward and try to get more numbers forward. With a flat back 4, our fullbacks don't go forward enough for fear of leaving a hole. That's how we play, with fear. How far we have fallen since Martinez. We must be the Worst team to watch in the Premier League. And to think I've read on ToffeeWeb recently that we shouldn't sign anyone. We can't stand still. We miss Rooney.

I'm 48 and I can still pass and cross and shoot better than anyone on our team (though I can't run), We played for a nil-nil in our last home game. I don't care who we play, we should never do that.

I hope we have some players lined up. I can't watch this shit any more. No creativity, no shape. We don't move as a team. We also played for a nil-nil against a team that is winless for ages. So enough is enough, Sam. Don't play it again. I didn't watch the game today. I did the washing up, it was more fun

Alan Smith
89 Posted 26/12/2017 at 18:26:17
Just a guess but we probably had the most non first choice current internationals in our line up, out of all the prem teams today. I'd also say that we had probably had the worst group of players to choose from. Just kids, cast-offs and a player with a year out. Not one of our starters today would get a game for Southampton.

Someone on this thread also mentioned Keane returning to his good form.

1. He's never shown any. I remember people praising him after seeing of the mighty Ruzumberok but even in that game it was obvious the lad can't turn fast enough, adjust his feet or close down quickly.
2. He allowed Rondon to get goal side early in the first half today who should have easily scored.

I'm also shocked by the rewriting of history in terms of Schneiderlin. Last season he stood in tons of space controlled the ball slightly slower than Barry and passed it slight slower always sideways.

Not one of our outfield players today would get on the bench of a top 6 side. Let's judge Allardyce after two windows.

To do anything other than praise him for this run of results is utterly ridiculous! IMHO.

Dermot Byrne
90 Posted 26/12/2017 at 18:26:49
Re Schneiderlin's best 45 mins. Maybe but if it was the best he can raise his game to under a new manager with his age and experience, I say again Oh Heck.

As for the game. One thing to be sure of, they would have scored from one of those corners under Koeman and Unsy.

But we are not fun to watch or as good as the champions teams of the 80's, or any half good team since. This we all know. All that is left is to compete who is most angry, hopeful, disappointed, relieved or convinced they are a better Blue.

Oh, and there is also tactics and team selection. Tried that on Live Forum as a new angle to my posting before. Talked to myself!

So sod that, you miserable optimistic part-time Blue gobshites! (in jest)

Mark Andrews
91 Posted 26/12/2017 at 18:30:24
Well we're not losing any more but it's turgid stuff. I hope this is just a transition to brighter, more exiting time, post transfer window.

I'm a hopeless optimist.

Soren Moyer
92 Posted 26/12/2017 at 18:31:19
Where are the gems who where supposed to be unearthed by Steve Walsh!? He is a fraud.
Colin Malone
93 Posted 26/12/2017 at 18:34:01
Where the fuck is Vlasic, Sam?
Stan Schofield
94 Posted 26/12/2017 at 18:37:00
Geoff @87: Well pointed out.

Under Allardyce, it's 2 points per game so far, which is the 76 points when extrapolated to 38 games. I mistakenly typed 1.73 points per game, which applies to Unsy + Allardyce, equating to 66 points when extrapolated to 38 games.

John Roberts
95 Posted 26/12/2017 at 18:38:35
Creativity & pace is and has been an issue all season. You think Barkley, Lukaku, Coleman and Baines were our go-to players last season for creativity.

I would like to think – provided we get to 30 points in the next 2/3 games – we can experiment a bit then.

Eddie Dunn
96 Posted 26/12/2017 at 18:39:32
It was far from pretty but another point gained.

Calvert-Lewin looked worn-out and Davies had too much to do with Schneiderlin too slow to get upfield. It would have been good to see Sigurdsson play in the Number 10 role.

Hopefully we will improve as the season continues.

David Pearl
97 Posted 26/12/2017 at 18:40:40
I'm miserable Dermot, especially after going to Goodison to sit squashed on a wooden seat not being able to get a drink at half time because of shitty facilities and poor management. Shit pies kept warm in plastic. Shit football. We're all miserable. But I've heard it's kopites that are gobshites...
Raymond Fox
98 Posted 26/12/2017 at 18:40:52
Joint 8th now on points, just where do the disgruntled expect this squad to be?

Today we were missing Rooney and Gana, have an inexperienced young right back, a left back who is not a left back. The midfield players today have proved over the 20 games this season that they find it difficult to create anything. A young centre forward who's trying his heart out, without much quality ball.

Nothing has really changed much in the last 20+ years, we are still a moderate team – ie, We don't have top 6 quality players... I can't see one anyway!

Colin Glassar
100 Posted 26/12/2017 at 18:48:27
Luke Shaw, Steven Nzonzi and a centre-forward and we should be okay for the rest of the season. Mirallas, Klaassen, McCarthy, Lennon etc... can all leave.
Stan Schofield
101 Posted 26/12/2017 at 18:52:31
Raymond @98: We're 9th, because Leicester have a better Goal Difference. But we would have been 4th if the performances (reflected in points/game) so far under Allardyce had been in place since the start of the season.
Amit Vithlani
102 Posted 26/12/2017 at 18:55:03
I don't see the point in Extrapolating Sam's results for a full season as his games so far have seen us play Liverpool and Chelsea from the top 6. Koeman had games against 5 of the top 6 and Unsy none. Unsy had 2 out of 5 at home, Allardyce 3 out of 6 (in the league).

Makes a big difference.

John McFarlane
103 Posted 26/12/2017 at 18:55:50
Hi everyone, I have tried hard not to get involved in the pro/anti Sam Allardyce debate, but I'm afraid that temptation overtook me. I have no doubt that both camps want the same thing, which is a team playing attractive football, and hopefully winning trophies.

I must confess that I am firmly in the pro camp, but that does not mean that I am delighted with the football that is being served up at the moment, I am far from delighted, but I'm quietly pleased with the results.

I must stress that I believe all of the supporters who share my view, also share my hopes, and to expect the current players to play expansive football is unrealistic. I am of the opinion that we must wait to see what activity takes place in the transfer window, and what style of play is adopted.

I can't accept that anyone can predict with any degree of accuracy, [as some have attempted] that Sam Allardyce will continue with a negative attitude, and neither do I predict that he will play the free flowing football that we all crave. We can but hope, and in the meantime continue to support the manager and the team. Seasons greetings to all.

Ray Robinson
104 Posted 26/12/2017 at 19:03:41
Okay, slightly disappointed with the result but am I alone in thinking that two of our more attack-minded players are in danger of being blunted by overwork? I'm not specifically referring to today's game but for me, Calvert-Lewin is spending too much time having to run the line on his own rather than concentrating on honing his striking skills and Lennon is having his attacking capabilities stifled by having to track back and cover so much.

I'm not having a go at Allardyce; he is doing what has to be done but the transfer window(s) is / are essential to redressing some balance in the side so that responsibilities are more equally shared.

I truly believe that there isn't much more than can be achieved with the squad as it stands, so gathering the points towards edging to safety is the best policy at the moment while a new strategy is devised – with hopefully a different pool of players to choose from.

Jerome Shields
106 Posted 26/12/2017 at 19:14:08
At least Niasse got a run out. His value clearly visible; he needs to be played more. He should have been on against Chelsea and earlier today. We could have nicked the points in both games if he had been played the last 20 minutes.
Phil Walling
107 Posted 26/12/2017 at 19:15:07
As soon as he gets us to 40 points pay the bugger off and send us all an apology.

Never did I imagine we would sink to these depths of pragmatism!

Barry Williams
108 Posted 26/12/2017 at 19:18:28
Kenny – 20 years old, Holgate – 21 years old, Davies – 19 years old, Calvert-Lewin – 20 years old. That is 4 out of 10 outfield players being on the very young side. Baningime came on, 19 years old.

We are getting results with a lot of kids in the team, that bodes well. No Rooney or Gueye today, a player playing after a year out and a right back playing left back. I won't mention the other long-term injuries. Kids are inconsistent by their shear nature.

Considering all that, I will take a point away against anyone considering where we were very recently. Some of the performances lately have been industrial to say the least, functional if you want to be kind. However, I can understand why people are a bit disappointed why we didn't take it to West Brom today, but in the general scheme of things the upturn since Allardyce took over has been nothing short of miraculous points and results wise. Fixtures are coming thick and fast, expect changes galore, especially with injuries.

For one, I thought we looked much better with Niasse on the pitch and would play him in our next few matches and give Calvert-Lewin some time out.

How many on here would have thought we would be 9th going into the festive period? The Southampton game was a month ago today, literally 1 month ago! 7 league games played, W-4, D-3, L-0. F-11, A-2. Stats wise, that is pretty incredible. Performances really are secondary at the moment. I couldn't imagine anyone turning results around and being aesthetically pleasing too in such a short time, no manager whatsoever could do that imo. 1 month is a ridiculously short time. Add the Europa League game into the equation, 8 games in a month, none lost, 2 goals conceded, 14 scored!

It speaks for itself!

John G Davies
109 Posted 26/12/2017 at 19:21:01
A thinly disguised move towards a coup Phil.
I know you have been touted as a replacement manager but bide your time.

John 103
Ray 104.
Patience required.

Roger Helm
110 Posted 26/12/2017 at 19:33:36
It's all very well serving up statistics, but they have to be interpreted. Koeman had to face Man City, Man Utd, Chelsea and Spurs in his first month and Allardyce has had to deal with West Ham, Huddersfield, Newcastle and Swansea, so the two records are not really comparable.
Stan Schofield
111 Posted 26/12/2017 at 19:36:11
Amit@102: Extrapolation is indeed a dodgy thing to do, but ToffeeWeb is rife with posts extrapolating non-numerically. We're only a few games into the Allardyce regime, but some folks are complaining about the state of the football. If they assumed that the quality would improve soon, with similar results, they would be unlikely to complain. Their complaining has within it the implicit assumption that the quality won't improve because Allardyce is the manager.

All I've done is extrapolate numerically without expressing any opinion.

Roger Helm
112 Posted 26/12/2017 at 19:38:34
Related to this thread, my son is visiting for Christmas and he saw my seasoncard car sticker with its Nil Satis Nisi Optimum. I asked him what it meant and he suggested “Neither satisfaction nor optimism”.

It occurred to me this could be the ToffeeWeb motto.

Dave Abrahams
113 Posted 26/12/2017 at 19:39:54
I never saw the game, listened to the Live Forum, a few funny moments on there, absolutely nothing to do with the football.

I looked at the team and the subs and didn't expect any real attacking play, it stems from the midfield, there is nobody there to inspire and coax the rest of the team into moving forward and creating space, they are like sheep grazing in the same couple of yards. It will stay like this until January when some new signings have to be made, just have to be, either permanent or on loan, this squad is not good enough to defend the way we do and attack the opposition with any real threat, hopefully it will come very soon but not until the squad is strengthened.

Some of the young players currently playing I expect to improve enormously with the experience they are getting now.

It would be interesting to get the views of some of the supporters returning from today's game, they have my utmost respect for the way they continue to support the Blues in this very disappointing season and they will be at Bournemouth in their droves again on Saturday, take a bow each and every one of you.

Barry Williams
114 Posted 26/12/2017 at 19:48:36
Roger Helm - 110

Fair point, but Koeman was facing these teams with his players and with ample time to prepare for them. Allardyce has taken another manager's team with no preseason or preparation time. Plus, we have faced both Chelsea and Liverpool in his first month in charge. Everton's slump started last season, not this!

Alan McGuffog
115 Posted 26/12/2017 at 19:52:56
The football that we are serving up is dire. Defensive and boring. Compare this to the scintillating fare that we have dined upon from 1972 until now (excepting 1984 -89). Who can forget those days in the early 1980s. Or the glory years from 1990 onwards?

And some on here hearten back to the Dogs of War – oh the way Parkinson, Horne and Ebbrell could tear teams another one with their Nil Satis attitude. Have I been watching another Everton?

Joe McMahon
116 Posted 26/12/2017 at 19:53:19
Dave Abrahams (113) agree 100% the damage done by Koeman and Walsh, spending 䀋 Million on Sigurdsson, Keane and Klaassen is a dereliction of duty, and Sam or any Everton Manager is stuck with all the overpaid shite we have. The squad is unbalanced, and just plain awful.

I see Liverpool are now 4th after another high scoring victory, and we are stuck with the slowest team I've seen in the Premier League with a 20-year-old (who in my opinion) who would never even make a league cup squad for any top 6 team. Why on earth and how is Steve Walsh still at Everton?

1995 last time we won anything, Nothing is gonna change until we eventually move into the stadium at the docks. By the time that happens (in 3 to 5 years time) we will be even further behind and 20 years after Kings Dock fell through.

Stan Schofield
117 Posted 26/12/2017 at 19:58:32
Joe, Liverpool are relevant only in respect to playing against us. And we restricted them to three shots on target, whilst exploiting their weak defence with minimal attack.
Jamie Evans
118 Posted 26/12/2017 at 20:05:49
Only / still 5 more wins needed and we are safe. Altogether now, "We found love in a hopeless place."
John G Davies
119 Posted 26/12/2017 at 20:09:55
No all bad, Jamie.

Hopefully the posters who informed us we were 100% certs for relegation can relax then.

Phil Walling
120 Posted 26/12/2017 at 20:15:28
I do understand that needs must and we have to tolerate this shite football to save our Premier League place. Trouble is that at West Ham and Sunderland, he pulled it off but the the 'entertainment 'on offer was so excruciating that he had to be moved on.

I just hope the geniuses that turned to him are already working on finding his replacement.

Mike Gaynes
121 Posted 26/12/2017 at 20:17:10
Joe #116, not sure what it was you were agreeing with, but Dave #113 didn't say any of that.
John Davies
122 Posted 26/12/2017 at 20:18:47
I don't get the team selection today at all. Five at the back and no attempt whatsoever to get on the front foot and take 3 points off a completely shite WBA side.

Young Lookman will be off somewhere else in no time. As will Sandro and Vlasic and who could blame them. And before anyone jumps on TW to tell me they are not good enough anyway – Bollocks, they haven't been given any chance to show what they can do. So none of us know but what was wrong with having a look at them today for Christ's sake?

I can't stand watching the shite we are playing at the moment (we were fucking awful today) but I can put up with it until we are safe.

I totally get what Allardyce had to do to begin with and for that he gets a 10/10. But he has to show that he has another side to his game – just as soon as it is mathematically impossible for us to get relegated – and if he hasn't then he needs to be shown the door.

Andy Crooks
123 Posted 26/12/2017 at 20:21:47
I have been waiting for a sign, after the pragmatism, which, I have praised, just a sign, of better to come. I have asked that the standards we require of Sam should be no more than we expected of Unsworth. Quite recently, I said that had David Unsworth produced the results that Sam has, I would have described it as a magnificent achievement, so, I will continue to be fair.

Had David Unsworth sent out that side today, set up like it was, I would have described it as one of the most cowardly performances by a coach that I have witnessed in 50 years as an Evertonian. That was turgid, spineless, negative, defeatist, uninspired, guileless, defensive, cowardly safety-first, insulting shite.

Anyone could do it. I used the phrase a while ago, but it is the non-league approach. Don't lose, don't worry about scoring; if we keep a clean sheet for long enough they will, like chimps writing Shakespeare, score one for us.

Today was the day for Sam to take a step forward. No excuses, we have better players than them. I fear he hasn't got it in him. If Unsworth had served that up today, after the confidence-building run we have had, I would have stated that he wasn't fit to manage our club.

Will Mabon
124 Posted 26/12/2017 at 20:23:55
It's a professional master plan. 13 more games, 13 more draws, takes us to the safety of 40 points. The remaining five games will be played with daring gusto and attacking fire. Then, onto season 18-19.
Barry Williams
125 Posted 26/12/2017 at 20:24:21
Can I just reiterate, a month today we were drubbed 4-1 by Southampton, a few days before this we let in 5 to Atalanta! The man has had 1 month in charge!!!!

In that time we have played 8 games, thus leaving very little time on the training ground, thus going back to basics and thus making us very hard to beat! Maybe I missed something and we were playing fantastically pleasing on the eye football before this!

What are people's realistic expectations?

Phil Sammon
126 Posted 26/12/2017 at 20:25:54
I didn't watch the game due to Christmas commitments. It sounded shit, and even Allardyce knows that offensively, it was shit. Surely you have to give the bloke a chance though. And this is coming from someone who never wanted to see Allardyce in Everton colours. The defensive solidity is what we badly needed. I'm not so sure he has what it takes to make the team an attacking force...but he's done more than Koeman could with this squad.

Do Ajax have a decent striker we can swap for Klassen?

John G Davies
127 Posted 26/12/2017 at 20:26:07
Can I take it the honeymoon is well and truly over Andy?
Steven Jones
128 Posted 26/12/2017 at 20:28:22
We are now level with Leicester on points with 8th position.

Even a top six side has a bad day at the office and gets beat by a lowly club Ask Chelsea versus West ham, Manu at Huddersfield

SA knows we have to be better in possession and his coaching team will now gradually instead of focusing 90/10 in training on defensive shape etc will look tom be more 60/40 and progressively get us going forward better.

We also need Wayne back in the side.

Si Cooper
129 Posted 26/12/2017 at 20:29:26
Stan, what is galling for many of us is the attitude that only Sam Allardyce could have turned our season around and we should bow to the superior knowledge of those who wanted him all along.

None of us know how much credit Unsworth should get for whatever he changed when he was in charge (though some have automatically awarded Big Sam the plaudits for the West Ham result just for visiting the dressing room and sitting in the stands!!!). It remains debatable whether Unsworth could have done a better job than he did if he had actually been awarded full manager status.

As far as I am concerned it is a good start so far with a fair amount of luck lending a helping hand. I want to see much more before I'm prepared to concede that Big Sam was undoubtedly the best choice for the job.

John Pierce
130 Posted 26/12/2017 at 20:30:43
Didn't want him, still don't. Everything feels a little less than it did.

But not having posted all but a few times since he was appointed there are things to admire that I've not see in a Everton manager for some time.

Paul A Smith mentioned from game one how professional he and his team are. A point worth echoing. Meticulous, methodical and the preparation is evident. Can't honestly say the team has been as well prepared since Moyes.

A clear pattern of play, structure and direction is to be noted for helping players executing their responsibilities.

He has retained the younger players and even tried to rouse Sandro from a mid winter slumber. Fair dos.

But nothing on the pitch has surprised me nor stoked a fire which might I rekindle thing for me.

People compare back to Koeman, often to good effect, me just my own standards. Both he and Allardyce aren't up to it.

Today's performance was by any standards not anywhere near good enough.

Furthermore In light of the fixtures-ahead in the new year this game and Bournemouth need more than what was provided today.

Very tough sledding at the moment. ☹️

Steven Jones
131 Posted 26/12/2017 at 20:45:03
Not sure those who want something better and point to a different manager selection. Who do you want; who would come with what credentials?

So many top continental so called fashionable coaches could not guarantee going away to any Premier League team and not be turned over. All the top names either would not come or are only suited to Champions League squads .

Those throwing toys out of prams for the lack of attacking prowess and team continuity going forward are living in cloud cuckoo land if they think this management team is beatable in any way shape or form for what we need – stabilisation, professionalism and then continuous improvement and build.

Who are more likely to be here in 12-18 months Sam's Management Team or Williams, Martina, Schneiderlin, Lennon, Niasse, Mirallas, Klaassen, Baines, Jagielka, Funes Mori, Vlasic,

Sam will recruit better and balance the squad somewhat in January; and on the basis of strong shape get us moving forward scoring more goals and entertaining with new personnel and the improved young talent we have . He will make strides after new recruits in Jan and then move forward with more his team when further changes can be made in the summer and a proper pre-season.

Long live Sam!!

John Malone
132 Posted 26/12/2017 at 20:49:47
Phil 126, Ajax have Justin Kluivert who is the son of Patrick a fast left sided winger who cuts inside and has a habit of firing spectacular strikes into the top corner!

They also have David Neres who is a brazilian right sided winger who cuts inside on his left foot and is very clever at creating chances and has a turn of pace he for me with his brazilian pedigree looks like he could be worth a punt!

And also there is the previously Kasper Dolberg who still banging them in most weeks!

Klassen has got to be on his way in January he has shown himself to be nowhere near the standard we require to progress. Need to get as much as possible for him or like you suggest Phil a swap for one of Ajax's best talent's but preferably on a loan with option to buy at first to see if they can cut it!!

Peter Gorman
133 Posted 26/12/2017 at 20:54:18
Here is my tuppence; Everton is better than Sam Allardyce.

Am I happy we no longer look like relegation candidates? Of course.
Does he deserve credit for sorting out our defence? Sure

Do I think he is the man for anything like the long-term? Absolutely not.

You see, we already know Sam Allardyce. What we are seeing so far doesn't exactly change our pre-conceptions.

I thought he did a good job at Bolton; took them into the league, staved off relegation and then improved them enough to take them into the Europa league.


Not once in that period did his team finish higher nor player more entertaining football than Everton under David Moyes.

Let that sink in.

I don't actually hold any personal ill-will towards the man and I am pleased he has stopped the rot set in by two duff predecessors (that's Martinez and Koeman btw) but I fear our moronic board will give him the contract of a lifetime at the end of the season and we'll continue our slide away from the stable platform that the much-maligned nearly-man Moyes left us.

p.s. I quite like football, playing it and watching it. This stuff is almost unwatchable.

Tony Abrahams
134 Posted 26/12/2017 at 20:55:05
He left Sunderland, of his own accord Phil, to take the England job, and sadly the Mackems, have yet to recover.

We were very poor offensively, but the only players, who we have in the squad who can beat a man, and who also could have played today are Lookman, or Vlassic?

As others have stated, we need new players, and also some of the injured ones to recover. It's already been said but we used five kids today, and our keeper is also only very young for his position, so it's not all doom and gloom, even though it's hard to watch us at this present moment in time?

Andy Crooks
135 Posted 26/12/2017 at 21:02:24
Steven, I described what Sam has done so far as magnificent. I challenge any Evertonian, however, to justify setting up a side to play against Barcelona when we were, in fact, away to West Brom.

No doubt, though, Sam will win us over by agreeing that it was, indeed, turgid shite. He will be as baffled as the rest of us and we will admire his refreshing straight talking. Sometime soon, though, there will be a change. The shite being served will no longer be palatable just because the man serving it agrees that it is shite.

Today was bitterly disappointing because I was starting to believe that there was much more to Sam.

John G Davies
136 Posted 26/12/2017 at 21:04:14
I hope Sam continues to play ultra defensive football for the remainder of his contract. I hope he signs a decent centre-forward and plays him as a track-back wide man. 6-4-0 is the formation to take us forward.

I hope he makes sure we keep a clean sheet at the expense of any attacking football.

Not for a second am I happy that he has taken a shambles and made us a team fighting for their lives, putting their bodies on the line by queuing up to throw themselves in the way of shots.

And I hope he doesn't take the next step to develop our attacking prowess. I'm a happy clapper you see.

Peter Cummings
137 Posted 26/12/2017 at 21:04:19
One shot on target, another shambolic disgrace to the game. No cohesion, no aggression, no ambition, we lost every 50-50 tackle. The passing was non-existent, hoofball the order of the day, most to the opposition. A sad day all round for 'the beautiful game' as far as EFC was concerned. God Help Us Every One.
Oliver Brunel
138 Posted 26/12/2017 at 21:04:25
Peter (#133) that's a good point because if you look at the history of decisions by this board in terms of transfers, and that they originally wanted the Watford guy who's now lost his shirt, they will now be under the control of The Samster.
Guido Blumberg
139 Posted 26/12/2017 at 21:05:38
Let's review the last matches:

Against Liverpool, Lovren makes a children's penalty. Otherwise, that game would have been lost.

Against Swansea, the referee sees two non-existent penalties. Otherwise, we probably would have lost the game.

Against Chelsea, our players take the ball out on the goal line. They also had a shot in the crossbar. Pickford flew from post to post to clear the danger. Under normal circumstances, we should have lost the game.

Against West Brom, Salomon Rondon slips when he goes to shoot the goal at a time that he was alone. Maybe, the result of the game would have been another.

In short, Sam Allardyce is the luckiest man in the world. There is no one with more luck than him. But you can not rely on luck all your life. Everton's performance has been terrible, I feel shame every time I see such a defensive and cowardly team. Maybe, when luck ends soon, the fans will understand who Sam Allardyce really is.

Ray Robinson
140 Posted 26/12/2017 at 21:06:44
Perhaps some would like the Paul Clements type approach at Swansea – ie, try to play your way out of trouble. It didn't get him very far and Swansea, who undoubtedly try to play decent football, got a 5-0 hammering tonight at a ground where we got a (lucky) 1-1 draw recently.

I'll judge Sam after a few transfer windows. Admittedly, the football is turgid right now but his hands are tied with one of the worst balanced squads I've ever seen. Good players – terrible cohesion. If we're still seeing such pragmatic but painful football in 12 months time, I'll be the first to complain.

Geoff Evans
142 Posted 26/12/2017 at 21:15:00
Not as hard to watch as the Southampton game.
Matt Muzi
143 Posted 26/12/2017 at 21:16:42
Am I happy with today's performance? No, certainly not.

Did I want him as manager? Definitely not.

However, he has turned us round, there's no denying that.

He inherited a squad with players bereft of confidence, a number of key players long-term injured & a squad numerous people have identified & commented upon which is un-balanced, weak in key areas & has a number of players at the end of their Premier League careers.

That said, if this turgid football on show doesn't improve, I can see fans in their droves reacting.

Me personally I'll judge him when he's had an opportunity to bring his own players in, then let's see what he can do.

Do I expect things to change, no not immediately, if at all TBH, but I say give him a chance.

Gordon White
144 Posted 26/12/2017 at 21:19:52
It's all to do with the pyramid of expectations.
Sam Hoare
145 Posted 26/12/2017 at 21:23:23
The results have been good. Very good. And I'm more than satisfied because of that.

But the performances do concern me and as others have said it feels that we have had a little Lady Luck for once. If that luck runs out then the mood will change dramatically. Most can stomach poor football so long as the points are rolling in...

James Hill
146 Posted 26/12/2017 at 21:24:17
It was a crap game, it won't be the last this season so get over it. Time will tell if Sam is the man for the future. Judging him now is just ridiculous and by the way he had a good team at Bolton, for those who remember, hard to beat physically and with skillful players and the league was a higher quality back then. Gary Speed, JJ Akocha to name just two.
John Charles
147 Posted 26/12/2017 at 21:24:49
There is absolutely no evidence to suggest that at some time in the future Sam will change the way we play. This is his style; see Bolton, WHU, Newcastle and Sunderland. The odd decent game, the rest is boring negative mind-numbing dross. What makes anyone think he will change?

Along the same lines, why does Sam get all the praise for defensive solidity – everything he does is geared to this – but it is the crap players who aren't good enough going forward?

Will we stay up? Almost certainly.

Will Sam ever produce an attacking inventive team for more than the odd game? Personally I believe not

Paul Tran
148 Posted 26/12/2017 at 21:29:18
John G #141. Chase The Spud & Mysteree. Now get back to the footy!
Andy Crooks
149 Posted 26/12/2017 at 21:30:03
Sam, the intent concerned me more than the performance. I loved what we did to Liverpool, Chelsea was good and essential, but, today was , well it was just, inferior and utterly disappointing.
Dave Williams
150 Posted 26/12/2017 at 21:30:16
Our players have trouble passing the ball to their teammates – is that Sam's fault?

We have no genuine left-back to release the wide left midfielder to press forward more and combine on overlaps – is that Sam's fault?

We have no top-class centre-forward although Dominic Caclvert-Lewin has done very well – is that Sam's fault?

Our new centre-half lost his confidence before Sam arrived – is that Sam's fault?

Our record signing is still trying to find his form, though Sam didn't sign him – is that Sam's fault?

Our big buy from Palace got injured before Sam joined – is that Sams' fault?

Our big box-to-box midfielder buy from Ajax looks lightweight and overwhelmed. Not bought by Sam – is that Sam's fault?

I could go on even more but really anyone who criticises Sam at the moment is being a tad silly. He has been handed an unbalanced, dispirited, physically lightweight and mentally weak squad and has done wonders so far. I haven't a clue whether he can get his own preferred team to play decent football but we will know by the end of the season and he has done enough so far in my opinion to deserve the chance to show what he can do.

Christmas in 9th place rather than 18th is progress, however poor the entertainment is. A work in progress for me!

Oliver Brunel
151 Posted 26/12/2017 at 21:31:07
I think the honeymoon period is over, that period where the manager is new and all's rosy. Usually 3-4 games. There's an initial lift then a gradual slide.

Now it's gritty realism and the same problems come back to haunt us. I hope I'm wrong, I really do...

Andy Crooks
152 Posted 26/12/2017 at 21:38:11
James, (#146), I have decided not to "get over it"; also, I don' t believe the league was better then when the mighty Akocha was helping Sam into the top six every season.

John G Davies
153 Posted 26/12/2017 at 21:40:59
Paul, they were in the four. With Rock the Kasbah (too much weight?)
And one other I've dismissed.
Have another look tomorrow 👍
Mike Connolly
154 Posted 26/12/2017 at 21:43:58
Can't believe people moaning about getting a point off the bottom-of-the-league club. Before Sam came, we were a bottom-of-the-league club.

Sam has inherited a shit team and it is probably a lot worse than most of the teams below. But where the bottom teams failed, Sam has found out our weaknesses (we cannot control a football) and he put 11 men behind the ball. Until Sam can wheedle out the crap and get his own players in, things will be the same.

Some people are saying they feel sorry for our away support. I bet our away support are happy with our blanks as opposed to getting goals shipped past us pre-Sam.

Mark Wynne
155 Posted 26/12/2017 at 21:48:30
The club sold its soul because they believed we were going down. All we needed was stability. You saw that in Rhino's last match in charge when the players knew where they stood with the contract signed. Who knows where we'd be if Unsworth had been afforded that chance.
Andy Crooks
156 Posted 26/12/2017 at 21:50:36
Dave, spot on , absolutely nothing is Sam's fault. Under no circumstances should the coach be questioned after a poor show. If the players cannot find a team mate with a pass, why in the name of God would anyone look at the coach? What happens on the pitch is fuck all to do with him.

The players, against, Sam's wishes, decided to treat WBA like Barcelona and set out to get a point. It may be" a tad silly", but I thought the performance of our coach today was abject.

By the way, when will Sam be open to crticism? I have praised him; not today.

Ben Dyke
157 Posted 26/12/2017 at 21:52:26
Sam himself has stated over and over that our performance with the ball has been poor. What the hell did we expect him to serve up really? We were dead certs for relegation in my book. No clue, no hope, no results!

Now we have a clue, some hope for better things and good results. When he's not been firefighting, his Bolton team had some flair. But it was founded on being solid defensively too and all on a small budget at a weak team.

I fully expect to see better football after January and then after next summer but without sacrificing too much solidity either. It's been terrible watching us thus far the whole season but it's not Sam's fault! Those trying to minimise the stats are also forgetting that Koeman spent more than any Everton manager ever.

Les Martin
158 Posted 26/12/2017 at 21:52:51
When we beat Man Utd on New Year's Day, any misgivings about Sam will be forgotten.
John G Davies
159 Posted 26/12/2017 at 21:53:51
At the end of January.
Stan Schofield
160 Posted 26/12/2017 at 21:59:11
Si@129: Well, I for one didn't want Allardyce, and voted against him in both the original ToffeeWeb poll that went 80/20 against, and in the second poll that changed to 52/48 against. My argument was that he hadn't managed a club at Everton's level (over the last decade and more) of averaging just under 60 points per season and league position of 8th.

But he's here now. To be honest the football is no worse than under Koeman, but we are more solid, so far. So long as we maintain solidity, that will be an improvement on Koeman. If we also play progressively better football, which is what Allardyce has intimated at, then it'll be even more improvement.

Unsworth began the increased solidity, and Allardyce has developed it further, based on the results we are seeing. Although I'm one of those who didn't want Allardyce, and would like nice football, I appreciate the steadying of the ship by Unsworth and him. I hope for and expect more quality in the football as we go on, once the solidity has led to assured safety. I must admit, I can't really see any gloating about superior knowledge from those who wanted him here. All I saw was a desire for solidity and safety before anything else, given the state we were in under Koeman.

Bill Watson
161 Posted 26/12/2017 at 21:59:30
The amount of centres they were allowed to get in was alarming, especially down our left.

We also lack any sort of creativity in midfield with possession being given away, cheaply, time after time.

Kim Vivian
162 Posted 26/12/2017 at 22:02:10
I said earlier I would be disappointed if we came away with a draw today and thought we might shade it with the odd goal. My impressions of the game thus far a pretty much only what I have learned on ToffeeWeb.

Well fellas, luckily, it seems, I was unable to watch any of that game and only followed sporadically on the forum (where Colin's turkey soup offered about the most interest) but it appears we were running off 11 Christmas dinners today, and I note from the Premier League Fantasy lLeague stats that Pickford was worth 10 points today including a 3-point bonus. Does that mean he was our MotM? Because, if that was the case, it paints a sorry picture of our intent vs West Brom who should have been there for the taking.

I never thought I would say this but I think for the sake of being 1 point worse off I would prefer to have learned that we had had a real go at this game with the intention of winning even if it resulted in a loss. I am quite sure significant lessons would have been learned.

It seems our midfield today were unable to offer anything much and the obvious conclusion from the last two games to me is that, without Rooney on the pitch, we are bereft of ideas. Please feel free to correct me if I am wrong.

Next weekend I am going to Bournemouth with two of my sons and we are thoroughly looking forward to our first competitive match this season. Perhaps this time on Saturday I will be able to write more considered opinions and after today I sincerely trust Sam will put together a real attempt to win despite anticipation of a visit from the Mancs on Monday and a trip to Anfield on Friday.

After all, there is nothing that will give the boys a bigger lift for those games than to go in after a win.

Andy Finigan
164 Posted 26/12/2017 at 22:09:29
No point looking back, Joe, but so glad you mentioned our new home in three to five years.

Did you notice we had 7 players under 21 at some stage who are Everton to the core, running there socks of against seasoned pros! With good coaching, these lads could well be playing superb football in Bramley-Moore.

So I for one am still dreaming about the future.

Bill Gienapp
165 Posted 26/12/2017 at 22:11:37
Personally, I'm taking the Allardyce era match by match. I was against his appointment, but upon his arrival I chose to embrace the optimistic viewpoint that, given a greater degree of talent, wealth and ambition at his disposal, his tactics would evolve accordingly.

Liverpool and Chelsea were necessarily pragmatic, while Huddersfield and Swansea were matches we started flat but ended strong. Today was the first outing under Big Sam in which I felt actively frustrated and dispirited by the approach. That being said, I'll continue to take things match by match, see how things shake out during the January transfer window and judge where things stand at season's end.

Andy Crooks
166 Posted 26/12/2017 at 22:12:08
Mike, 154, you are actually serious in your assertion that Sam put 10 men behind the ball because he discovered our weakness? " We cannot control a football"? Top stuff.
John G Davies
167 Posted 26/12/2017 at 22:13:52

I voted against Sam, I don't know anyone who voted for him. It would be interesting to know who did.

My take now is he is here now. Let's back him while he is.

Danny Baily
168 Posted 26/12/2017 at 22:22:02
Point away from home so I'm happy.

Because of the start we had there's effectively nothing to play for in the league so I'm not concerned about dropping 2 points in this kind of match.

Stan Schofield
169 Posted 26/12/2017 at 22:30:26
John, exactly, let's back him, and see how it pans out.

I also don't know anyone who voted for him, but then I haven't asked. Presumably he was voted for by those who argued for him to be here when Unsworth was in charge.

John Raftery
170 Posted 26/12/2017 at 22:30:39
We currently have a bunch of very expensive but distinctły average players not wanted by the top six clubs. That is why they signed for us. They are below the standard of those they were bought to replace. It is no surprise therefore we are struggling to the extent we have won only two league away matches in 12 months.

No incoming manager could turn this lot into a decent team in a matter of weeks. So for the time being I am content to let Sam get on with the job of garnering points wherever he can, make us safe and hopefully use the January and summer transfer windows to rebalance the squad.

I see a few are protesting that Sam is a lucky manager. It is about time we had one of those.

Dave Abrahams
171 Posted 26/12/2017 at 22:30:42
John G (167), got to admit because of our desperate situation I voted for Sam, never thought Shakespeare would be part of the deal but fully expected Sammie Lee to join up with Sam and that influenced my vote. I've been happy up to now; I can understand the frustration at the ultra defensive mode but see the need for it at the moment. I expect a change in the play fairly soon.
David Israel
172 Posted 26/12/2017 at 22:30:59

I agree it was dreadful to watch, and can't accept that defensive solidity prevents some linked-up play, some creativity, and a few chances. And I don't think Sam Allardyce accepts that either, but he's the man in charge, and he's the one who has to change that.

I think the game at Bournemouth will be more favourable (if Rooney is back), as the Cherries are much more suspicious defensively than West Brom.

The three centre backs are intended to give the full-backs more freedom to attack; they are not meant to add another man to the defence, and I don't think that would have been Allardyce's intent, either. Chelsea deploy such a system all the time, as we all know.

Dave Older
173 Posted 26/12/2017 at 22:32:40
I think we all knew what kind of football we were gonna get when Sam arrived. I did not want him, like most. To be perfectly honest, Sam is grinding out results with half of a first team. Right now, who else could do better with the squad Koeman assembled?The team had zero confidence and could not defend at all. The football we are playing is pants to watch, but 1 month ago we were dead certs to go down. Sam is unbeaten and has been a tad lucky but does he not deserve a little bit of credit??? He is not the long term answer of course, but for now we need to escape the bottom and so far he is getting the required results. Let's get behind the team, he has been here for five minutes. Give the man a chance.
Dave Williams
174 Posted 26/12/2017 at 22:34:52
Andy- the point I was making is that the current problems were here before Sam arrived. He has sorted the first by tightening up and ok this is maybe at the expense of good football though we were not playing at all well even back then.

There are a number of players he clearly does not rate so let's see what happens when he can buy and sell. Only then will we see if he can move further forward or if his limit is defending. I think there is more there yet but who knows – I just give thanks he came and has taken us from 18th to 9th. If he can't produce a good footballing side he will be moved on – that's why the contract is short!

Minik Hansen
175 Posted 26/12/2017 at 22:36:57
It was going to be tough, West Brom at home trying to give the fans deservedly something in these festive days, and as others have mentioned Gana and Rooney not being involved and Bolasie lacking match sharpness. In these tight games, it's good to come away with a clean sheet and a point away from home. Now a couple of players have rested more or less, we should have a decent fresh squad in the next match.
Nicholas Ryan
176 Posted 26/12/2017 at 22:40:45
We stank the place out, but got a draw away from home: You can do an awful lot worse than that!
Laurie Hartley
177 Posted 26/12/2017 at 22:42:35
I can hear the knives being sharpened ready for Saturday.

When he came here one month ago we had 12 points and were certainties for relegation because there was no fight or will to win in the team whatsoever.

At that stage I was trying to figure out how we would get 20 points by the end of December. We now have 27.

The priority was to avoid relegation because, in my view, our whole future as a football club depended on it. We are nearly there. The other stuff can wait until we are.

That is why I am behind him 100%. I am tipping our major shareholder is also.

Mike Hughes
178 Posted 26/12/2017 at 22:47:00
All this crap about ‘cowardice'.
An alternative view is that they were clear ‘rope-a-dope' tactics (‘dopes' - no I won't go there!)
Another tactical master stroke from SA.

For every OTT anti-SA comment, there will be an OTT pro-SA one.

It's so easy to poke holes in the entrenched views on here. But it's getting very dull now -and repetitive -like trying to convince that Spinal Tap guitarist that the music isn't louder just because his amp goes up to 11. My last post on the subject as the comment also applies to me. I just hate obvious bias when I see it.

For example:

John #147 states there is no evidence SA will change the way we play. Well there is no evidence he won't change the way we play either. FFS - he's been here a month with the same inherited shite that was shipping goals and points for fun prior to his arrival. He's had no transfer window but has the best first 7 results of any EFC manager. In the same breath, John believes we would have stayed up under Unsy. No evidence provided but hey-ho who needs evidence with entrenched views?

The football is crap - agreed.
But that is because the squad is crap / unbalanced. Nothing to do with SA but he's doing a damn good job of accruing points in a very short space of time with the resources available. Points are what was required. Fact.

If we've had a bit of luck for once why complain? We've had more than our fair share of the other stuff over the years. But there is no evidence of luck. (If an opponent's shot hits the woodwork, it's not bad luck. It was an inaccurate shot.)

Guido's post at #139 is one of the unluckiest / disingenuous comments i've read for a while however (which is some achievement on here). And Guido, i'm guessing (in the dark because I don't have any evidence) i've been a ‘real fan' much longer than you have - with all the associated costs, emotional turmoil, frustrations etc. You feel shame? Did you feel proud when we were getting humiliated under Koeman? I feel relief rather than shame as a ‘real fan'.

For those who want to see “much more” before getting on the Sam train, it cuts both ways.
Give Sam a bleeding chance.
He's been here a ‘kin month.
He was hung, drawn and quartered by some on here before he started.

Sam wins, we win. Simples.

Ray Robinson #140 - spot on! My sentiments exactly.

Apologies for the long post.

Back to my film :)

John G Davies
179 Posted 26/12/2017 at 22:54:17
Dave, your vote has given you exactly what you and I hoped for. For the record I was hoping for Silva, look how he has turned out.

We both won't be happy if he doesn't have us attacking a lot more by the end of the transfer window, equally we are both happy with the turn around he has overseen. I think he may surprise us to be honest.

Dan Davies
181 Posted 26/12/2017 at 22:58:07
'Coward' - Middle English from Old French 'Couard' based on the Latin ' Cauda' meaning 'Tail'.

Possibly with reference to a frightened animal with its tail between its legs.

Sound like Sam Allardyce does it?

Paul Birmingham
182 Posted 26/12/2017 at 23:10:14
This is a massive WIP, and is getting back to basics. It's providing a solid structure based on resilient defence and staying together, which were values devoid 2 months ago as Koeman and his football philosophy had erased all belief and confidence from this squad. I hope like we all do for much better days, and I hope soon they will come back.

For now it ain't pretty but the rot has stopped. Hopefully and pending Rodney's availability and fitness some guile and shape will return to our game.

For me lacking Rooney and Gana there was no threat today. Bolasie I'm made up is back but bringing him back as a sub , with gradual longer stints, I in my view would be more effective.

Here's to the very best of the rest of the Festive Season to all Evertonians.🍺👍

Paul Hewitt
183 Posted 26/12/2017 at 23:12:30
Until Sam came, we were certain for relegation. Now we will finish top 8. I don't expect Sam to be manager next season anyway.
Andy Williams
184 Posted 26/12/2017 at 23:25:53
Mike (#178). What you said. People also need to realise that, despite West Brom's lowly position, they have recently taken points from Spurs, Liverpool, a resurgent Palace, and were unlucky not too do so against Man Utd. Under Pardew, despite a couple of dodgy results, they have been playing well.
Peter Gorman
185 Posted 26/12/2017 at 23:26:05
Mike Hughes – "there is no evidence SA will change the way we play. Well there is no evidence he won't change the way we play either... No evidence provided but hey-ho who needs evidence with entrenched views?"

Mike, how about almost 400 games managed at Bolton, 200 at West Ham and generous stints at Newcastle and Blackburn?

So many fans acting like they don't know the man. Okay, feeling protective of him for the now whilst results have improved is one thing, but surely nobody thinks he should be here for the long-term.

Mike Hughes
186 Posted 26/12/2017 at 23:35:30
Peter - the answer is in your own post if you care to give it a little thought (here's a clue - “Bolton”, “West Ham””Newcastle”, “Blackburn”).
Relegation fodder.

“So many fans acting like they don't know the man”
Like you do? Please enlighten us.

All of my posts point to one thing - give the man a chance. But bias / entrenched views are rife when it comes to SA.

I hope he is here long term because that means he will have been successful.

You provided no evidence against my points.
Very poor. Must try harder.

(And i've had a few tonight as well.)

Andy #184 - good point.

Brent Stephens
187 Posted 26/12/2017 at 23:48:18
The football doesn't get that much better but the points do. I'm okay with that for now. But I went today thinking we would get 3 points. An empty feeling. I also try to see a few positives – so Kenny again showed quite well (let's lay off him when he has a few stinkers). And Pickford's throw-outs were tremendous (just nobody to go past the defender).
Derek Thomas
188 Posted 26/12/2017 at 23:56:31
I'll admit I was totally against 'the idea of Sam' but could go along with the concept of 'need over want'...The key point will be how long will we put up with it, especially one the 40 pt. mark is reached.

Allardyce is instilling good habits, this takes time and we've seen with Martinez just how quick it takes to lose them.

You can't, well shouldn't just sack him off in May and go for some sexy flavour of the moment.

Given the 18th position when Koeman was sacked...18thkeep that at the front of your mind - don't brush it into the inconvenient truth box, his was a crucial appointment, I think he must be given the chance - in a properly managed way, to grow into the job.

How long do we wait is the key?

Which makes the choice of his successor, if and when, even more important.

What? The game? One of the most boring I've ever seen, FWD'd half of it then turned over for the Ashes.

Peter Gorman
189 Posted 26/12/2017 at 23:58:25
Too right you've had a few Mike, I'll try again.

I say we should 'know' the man because he has been a manager for a long time and we've seen how his teams have performed for hundreds of games.

Not a smoking gun I know but pretty much circumstantial evidence that he won't change the way we play much. Maybe you don't watch much football outside of Everton, I don't know.

Time at the bar!

Don Alexander
190 Posted 26/12/2017 at 00:11:55
I'm really surprised that so few of us make no comment on the irresponsibility of the board/owner in ending up with the squad we have when the main departure (United's current latest failure) made his intentions to bugger off known months before he went.

They authorise the expenditure and sales, they accrue even more wealth from success and they therefore surely deserve criticism for the ineptitude they displayed. The pro-anti Allardyce discussion is a very convenient side-show for the truly culpable.

Expecting Allardyce or anyone else to cook up a gourmet dish from ingredients with next to no provenance, such as he's inherited, is asking too much. Christ, producing even a tasty meal is beyond him right now as he rightly strives (with success) to stop others shitting in our pan.

In doing what he does so well he serves up stodge all the way but if the board/owner don't pull their finger(s) out in January I hope there'll be a visible diminution of gates to signify that it's just not acceptable, because even those numbskulls will know what that means.

Si Cooper
191 Posted 26/12/2017 at 00:15:29
Mike Hughes (#178), what are you accusing Guido of? I find your insinuation that his post is ‘disingenuous' or ‘unlucky' extremely insulting.

Personally, I consider your post to be all over the place. Those of us who want to see ‘much more' are not automatically those who were shredding him before he was appointed so why link the two? Oh that's right – it suits your ‘narrative' that we've prejudged him and aren't giving him a fair chance. I'm happy to give him time and I am pleased with the results so far but equally I'm not astounded by anything that has happened since he took charge.

People complain about our bad luck all the time, so how can it be wrong to point out when the opposition has been unusually profligate or the officials mistaken in our favour when it is necessary to counter the barrage of posts that want the manager to get all the credit for the results?

You applaud Ray's post and see nothing wrong with it? So a straw man argument that the only viable alternative is to be just like Swansea, and a 12-month timescale before we see any improvement on the current ‘turgid shite' is okay by you?

Mike Hughes
192 Posted 27/12/2017 at 00:16:23
Peter -

If you are sober posting such nonsense, God help you.

Circumstantial evidence?

I refer you back to my previous post as the penny has not dropped with you despite the big clue provided.

You are comparing those clubs (resources, ambitions etc) with EFC?
So how can a manager's record be compared?
It's an entirely different brief.
Maybe you don't watch much football?

(No offence, I can't be bothered replying any more. But enjoy your evening. And definitely do not drink.)

David Israel
193 Posted 27/12/2017 at 00:20:08
Stan #169, I voted against him before I voted for him, I confess ;-). I've said this before here (but no one has to read what I post, much less remember it), but after the Southampton debacle I became a firm Sam man, just as the Tory wets became pro-Winston men afer the Norway debacle. It's called realism.

Anyway, does every thread on a match have to be a debate on the merits or lack thereof of Samuel Allardyce Esq? It is, frankly, becoming a bit – how shall I put it? – yes, boring, and 'turgid'.

Carl Allan
194 Posted 27/12/2017 at 00:26:53
Bournemouth is a must win in my opinion or it will be 3 without a victory with our first three games of 2018 being Man U at home followed by Liverpool away then Spurs at Wembley, could quite easily become six without a victory and season starting to crumble again.
Mike Hughes
195 Posted 27/12/2017 at 00:28:32
Si -

You found my post to Guido extremely insulting?
Oh dear. Sensitive chap, are you?
Or does that fit “your narrative”?

You are not astounded by anything Allardyce has done so far? (He's been here a month.)

The rest of your post is all over the place. >(Must try harder).

I'm off to bed. To be continued. If I can be bothered.

Steven Jones
196 Posted 27/12/2017 at 00:36:08
The "I didn't want Sam Allardyce" badge holders just look like naïve sheep.

Why not suggest who you would want and then lets see the colour of your football knowledge . no wouldn't think so . see you all running to hide behind the couch or a convenient bus. No – don't expect any of you would suggest anyone – as there is no one better for EFC where we are.

Some are so naive and waste our emotional energy with slagging off Moyes, Martinez, Koeman and now Allardyce.

My message is suggest an alternative to see the colour of your analysis and knowledge and then in the mean time get behind our club. get behind the next and best chance we have.

Every manager and every managers era is an opportunity . one of these days they will succeed – so get behind every one of them; that will help them, our fans and our players.

I did not like Gordon Lee - but I got behind him and our players. Please do the courtesy and respect the club, the players, the fans on here and the management team. Alternatively, keep typing ridiculous hypocritical, hyperbole and subjective bigotry so you feel better but not help the club or your fellow fans.

Barry Williams
197 Posted 27/12/2017 at 00:39:11
1 month in charge folks (to the day)! Terrible football before this, what did people think would be acceptable at this stage on Allardye's appointment?

Me wrong, he was conformed as manager on 30th November, less than 4 weeks in the job!

Where are we now? Where were we 4 weeks ago?

Geoff Lambert
198 Posted 27/12/2017 at 00:40:37
Sam out shit football lets get Silva in, I think he won one again today.

Or Dyche Burnley going to be in the Champions league aren't they??

Or is it Eddie Howe doing a fantastic job at Bournemouth.

Or maybe some German, French , Spanish manager !!! Got to improve on the shit we are playing.

Hang on a minute Are we still going down? Losing 4 or 5 on the bounce? conceding 3 or 4 every game.

Who cares? so long as we play like we used to in the 60s or 80s School of science and all that... Fat sam out? Not for me lets see what he can do at a real football club with a bit of cash.

Guilty untill proven innocent by some on here.

Don't get me wrong I like entertaining football like the next person, But to entertain you need the players to do it. We don't have them.


Ian Horan
199 Posted 27/12/2017 at 01:02:50
A month ago we were in the bottom 3 shipping goals like a sinking skip takes in water. Forget our current position let's get to basics we are now 10 points clear of the bottom 3. We have halved our negative goal difference. Oh yes, Sam Allardyce is using another manager's players.

In my book, the turn around is excellent. I want flowing football and entertainment, however not relegation. Get to 40 points by hook crook or bloody good luck – I really don't care. The flowing stuff will come.

Denny Kerr
200 Posted 27/12/2017 at 01:03:58
The ball has definitely run for us in the last month, but my goodness, it's about time it did, as we have had some terrible luck over the years.

As far as Allardyce is concerned, we know what he has done for other clubs – that's why we brought him in – and it looks like he has already almost achieved that goal to keep us up... period! If he does nothing else this season, he has earned his money and, after the Southampton game, most of us would have been happy with that, because make no mistake, we were odds on to go down.

Allardyce has the reputation he has, because of what he has achieved with other teams in similar positions as we were in. Teams who were in a shambles, no spirit, unable to pick up points home or away, heading for relegation. He kept them up – that's what he does!

Now, is that all we want as Evertonians? Of course not! But, for now, I think we have to grin and bear it, support the team and manager, and hope for more stable times ahead.

Will Allardyce push on to make us a force in the Premier League? I don't know. He has never had a team with the potential we have, or the money to back him up (supposedly)... So I guess we'll see.

Si Cooper
201 Posted 27/12/2017 at 01:18:08
Mike, - “he's been here a month”. So what? The man himself says he doesn't know why the players were performing so badly. All he has done is knock them into shape and got them scrapping more – hardly miraculous fare – and there is literally no way of telling how much of that improvement may be attributable to the work David Unsworth did with the squad.

I also don't think Guido should suggest what constitutes a fan but to insinuate he is a liar or stupid is not on. He is entitled to an opinion. Fine if you disagree but if you sink to a lower level expect some criticism.

David Israel, it seems natural to me to comment both on what you think of the team's performance and whether there are any clues to the potential longer term future of our club. I don't have a problem with any rationally argued point of view, just those who try to shut down debate by misrepresenting what is being said.

Steven Jones, sometimes the honest answer is that people just don't know what is the best option. As none of us actually have a crystal ball it is impossible to say whether we would actually now be better or worse off if we had appointed Unsworth, Silva, Tuchel or anyone else. As none of us know the answer, it is actually a bit annoying when people are posting that nobody could actually have done better than Sam Allardyce. Considering the manager is continually stating that the players still aren't performing to the level he would expect from them, why should fans have to be happy with what he is producing?

He's done well in terms of results so far, and he is making the right noises about the performances. It should be okay to debate everything else.

Dan Davies
202 Posted 27/12/2017 at 01:29:00
Si Cooper, if the improvement was attributable to Rhino then why is he coaching the Under-23s again?

I mean if he was as good as you and others are still trying to make out, surely the likes of Swansea are banging on his door begging him seen as he did such a miraculous job?

Andy Mead
203 Posted 27/12/2017 at 01:29:45
Probably the most boring football match I have ever watched. Niasse shot on target in 86th minute the only chance we created. Another clean sheet is welcome but no creative spark at all.

£45M for Sigurdsson? Having a laugh! I could deliver the free kicks he did tonight. We can't keep the ball and must be the worst team to watch in the Premier League; it was like watching 2 pub teams on the local park.

Mark Taylor
204 Posted 27/12/2017 at 01:32:26
Didn't see the game live, just MOTD highlights.

Can't comment on our attacking 'prowess' because the BBC didn't show any. Presumably because we didn't show any.

I predicted 0-0 earlier, based on the fact these are toothless teams right now. West Brom demonstrated this by at least showing they had only gums, no teeth. Maybe we have some but we didn't even try opening our mouth.

To be fair to Allardyce, he has actually managed teams that play decent football. Bolton were most definitely not wham-bam football when they had their best team. But then they also had players like Okocha, Djorkaeff, N'Gotty, Campo, Hierro and solid top flight players like Nolan and Davies. Maybe that's more than we have right now. Let's face it, it is more.

And as he rightly pointed out in his post match interview, repeatedly giving the ball away is not in his game plan. In truth, so fragile is confidence right now, they all look scared of making a progressive pass. How to fix that is the next challenge for Sam.

I'm still grateful for every point we get at the moment but next game, I'd like to see Davies and Calvert-Lewin rested, the former because his form is pretty awful right now, the latter because we are burning him out by expecting him to run around after lost causes from our current 'hoof it forward' approach and anyway, Niasse is at least as good at doing that.

Andy Maxwell
205 Posted 27/12/2017 at 01:35:32
It's starting to remind me of Sam at West Ham. He can fix defensive frailties but can't build an effective offensive unit. Let's hope I'm wrong.
Karl Meighan
206 Posted 27/12/2017 at 01:36:13
Si if we win every game 1 nill in a 12month period then turgid shite will suit me.

We have very average players imo go out not playing percentages being organised and making ourselves hard to beat will result in the form and results prior to Allardyce taking over.

New managers need time and a decent transfer kitty, Allardyce has earned that with the run he has managed to achieve with the players he currently has to choose from.

Peter Gorman
207 Posted 27/12/2017 at 01:43:04
Sleep well, Mike.
Si Cooper
208 Posted 27/12/2017 at 01:55:38
Dan Davies – you are missing the point entirely. It is not me who is trying to quantify how much each man has contributed to the first team, and I certainly haven't championed one over the other.

Some people gave all the credit for the West Ham performance to Allardyce, others are saying how much fitter he has got the players compared to when Koeman was in charge. One is pure conjecture and the other ignores the incremental progression of fitness at the top level. Why should people not be challenged for making such claims when it is simply to confirm their own bias?

I am trying to eliminate the bias by making sure that everyone gets their share of the credit where it can reasonably be allocated. I'm not ‘for' Rhino in exactly the same way that I'm not ‘for' Big Sam. I have seen nothing this season that guaranteed that Unsworth couldn't have turned things around, and nothing that guarantees that Big Sam was the best appointment.

I remain open minded on the subject, even though some people seem to think that is some sort of crime.

Barry Williams
209 Posted 27/12/2017 at 01:57:43
Good job he hasn't lost a game yet. What will be said when he does!!??

Here are the results pre-Allardyce, with shit football included. Personally I thought Unsworth was hung out to dry and the managers we could realistically get were all below par for what we needed, including Allardyce! However, in the (less than a) month he's been in charge though, he has performed miracles, well almost!

Just as a reminder here are the results before he joined, minus the Euro qualifiers. I can quantify why I left them out if anyone really needs an explanation!

Koeman's results in bold!

Everton 4- 0 West Ham United

Southampton 4 -1 Everton

Everton 1-5 Atalanta

Crystal Palace 2-2 Everton

Everton 3 -2 Watford

Lyon 3- 0 Everton

Leicester City 2-0 Everton

Carabao Cup Chelsea 2-1 Everton

Everton 2-5 Arsenal

Everton 1-2 Lyon

Brighton and Hove Albion 1-1 Everton

Everton 0-1 Burnley

Everton 2-2 Apollon Limassol

Everton 2-1 Bournemouth

Everton 3-0 Sunderland

Manchester United 4-0 Everton

Atalanta 3-0 Everton

Everton 0-3 Tottenham Hotspur

Chelsea 2- 0 Everton

Manchester City 1-1 Everton

Everton 1- 0 Stoke City

Dan Davies
210 Posted 27/12/2017 at 02:00:32
So what about all of the games Unsworth was in charge of before West Ham? Great results I'm sure you'd agree?
Pete Clarke
211 Posted 27/12/2017 at 02:00:56
I said it would wear very thin quickly. The other option however would have been to take a risk with Unsy in charge but, one game apart, that did not look like working.

We had to make a very drastic change which was to most of our dislike and we are seeing the positives and negatives of that change right now. The football is embarrassingly horrible to watch and the quicker we reach safety the better so another change can take place in the form of players or manager or probably both.

A big positive in this is the amount of young players in our team right now and most of them British. I don't think there can be another club in the top flight with so many.

Steve Brown
212 Posted 27/12/2017 at 02:01:41
Mike 178, well I might bother replying to you, if it is not too dull, but really you are all over the place. You really must try harder!

I read your posts and for one nano second I think he actually might have deeper insights that we could all learn from. Gain a deeper insights into Allardyce...then I read his insight that Everton's tactical gameplan was "rope a dope" amd I am forced to just laugh my ass off.

Barry Williams
213 Posted 27/12/2017 at 02:01:57
Results since Allardyce arrived!

West Bromwich Albion 0 0 Everton

Everton 0 0 Chelsea

Everton 3 1 Swansea City

Newcastle United 0 1 Everton

Liverpool 1 1 Everton

Apollon Limassol 0 3 Everton

Everton 2 0 Huddersfield Town

Ben Howard
214 Posted 27/12/2017 at 02:02:29
I'm no mathematician but Sam has taken us from 18th to 9th in a month. By the end of January we should be 1st, or am I missing something?

In all seriousness, I was against him but have changed my mind, appreciate the emphasis on shape and defence until we find a renewed confidence, and welcome his honest, and dare I say it, charismatic interviews.

I'm perfectly willing to give him a lot longer in the seat and look forward to seeing what he can do. Along with Shakespeare and Sammy I finally think we are, at the very least, being managed.

A question. Although I don't expect him to be back up to speed, what were peoples' impressions of Bolasie? Did he seem like he had lost part of his game or are the signs positive for a full return to form. I hope he will play a big part in our resurgence.

In summary, not a day to remember but another away point. Bring on United, who actually looked shit today.

Si Cooper
215 Posted 27/12/2017 at 02:05:17
Karl, I'd agree with you if ‘turgid shite' guaranteed you a one-nil victory!

It surely can't be unreasonable to expect two transfer windows and the projected return of players from injury to yield a decent improvement in performances before next Christmas, can it?

Si Cooper
216 Posted 27/12/2017 at 02:35:31
Dan, surely it is only fair to consider that Unsworth took over from Koeman, when the players were already all over the place and not as fit as they could have been. It is perfectly rational to believe that it would take some time to change that situation, especially since Unsworth only had the dubious authority of a caretaker manager.

Although the results were undoubtedly terrible, I think some reasonable overall performances were tarnished by defensive collapses. What is harder to judge is when improvements in the players training may be likely to actually bear fruit.

Is it possible to ascribe all the improvements post Koeman to just the most recent regime? Only if you believe Unsworth changed nothing or any of the players say he contributed nothing.

Equally, some very ropey performances since Sam took over don't have to be ignored just because the results were okay. I'm just looking for balance in the arguments from both sides.

Karl Meighan
217 Posted 27/12/2017 at 02:39:13
No Si its not unreasonable but there are a lot of people expecting us to play tika taka football and to be winning games easily when Sam is a month into the job.

Any away point gained away from home when not anywhere near are best regardless of what place the opponents occupy, is not a bad sign imo.

I would rather play shite and earn a point than go away be great going forward but lose 4-3 .

James Hill
218 Posted 27/12/2017 at 02:47:03
Andy Crooks,

4-0 5-0 results used to be shock results – now they are the norm. That's because the Premier League at the lower levels has too many foreign managers who are trying to play like dear old Pep and Her Klopp.

Klopp was praising Swansea's style of football. Why? Because they are easy to beat. This is the lowest standard I've seen the league. You're entitled to your opinion. Defence wins leagues and always will.

Derek Knox
219 Posted 27/12/2017 at 02:47:47
I don't blame Sam for the result or the performance generally, but having said that, I think his substitutions could have been better.

It takes two to Tango as they say, and West Brom were pretty dire too, and being the home side, they did manage a few wayward shots, which I think were meant for goal.

It exemplified how much Rooney and Gana were missed, we were basically lucky in defence and Martina, well enough said!

I watched the highlights of Bournemouth v West Ham, and we will get battered if we play anything like we did today.

I don't know what has happened to young Tom Davies, he was awful today, and wasn't alone there either by the way.

I could see the Sam's on the touchline via the camera and neither was happy with what was going on, which is why I alluded to the sub selection previously.

Steavey Buckley
220 Posted 27/12/2017 at 02:48:32
Allardyce inherited a dysfunctional team that has been dragged up the table by going back to defensive basics, while the likes of Rooney are in a 'golden patch' of form.

If Everton have a good transfer window with 1 or 2 better players may give the team better flowing football. But that's a big if. More likely, Everton will graft to the end of the season. The next season is when the expectations begin all over again. That's when Big Sam will have to start earning his wages.

Jay Harris
221 Posted 27/12/2017 at 03:14:40
I am glad we got Sam Allardyce and can see the improved organisation and motivation but to me his team selection today was to keep his centre-backs happy and not to get beat rather than to go out and win.

Why play three centre-backs when the opposition attack is useless.

Why play Marina and Kenny as wing-backs when we have Lennon and Vlasic.

We are leaving Calvert-Lewin on his own up front and almost every ball is booted out of defence.

When you have 5 at the back and two defensive midfielders you have to play the ball out not kick it long because no-one is there..

When you talk about complacency I think that's what Sam did today. He wanted to give Bolasie a run out and thought we could sneak 1 or 2 goals.

I don't expect this line-up against Bournemouth and I have to praise Schneiderlin and Martina today who I thought played well. Bolasie and Davies were the weak links today. I also have my doubts about Michael Keane who goes to sleep too often for my liking.

Ernie Baywood
222 Posted 27/12/2017 at 03:22:20
The "he's only been here a month" crowd are missing the point.

He's massively experienced. He's managed at 7 Premier League clubs. The vast majority of the time, his football has been dire.

People defended the appointment by saying that maybe this is finally a chance for him to change the opinions held by the public. Well, he hasn't done it his whole career and hasn't shown any sign so far with us. He's the scorpion in the take off the scorpion and the frog.

We're getting exacting what 'we' paid for.

I'm happy he's arrested the slide, and that a team that has been paid above mistake wages out are safe from relegating. He's done exactly was expected. But anything beyond this season is too long.

Michael Long
223 Posted 27/12/2017 at 04:05:19
I am not slating Big Sam in this because the defence has improved and are more confident and solid. However going forward, a lot lot more needs doing.

I accept the way we set up against Liverpool and Chelsea for a draw. But against West Brom, the priority on the minds should be 3 points. Good to have Bolasie back, gonna take him time but am sure he will be sound. Barkley gets in this team hands down. I personally do hope he stays. I like the lad and think he can do a job for us but if he won't sign the deal, then maybe it's best we sell him rather than a free in the summer.

It's January – next month a lot of improvement needed.

Left Back
Centre Back
Wingers (pace and creativity)

A difficult period for signings but Walsh and the board need to redeem themselves after the summer fail. This to me is make or break for Walsh next month.

Bournemouth next. Will it be easy?? No (thinking of our last two visits). Tight at the back again please. But please more and more pace and creativity up the field. Vlasic or Lookman. Hopefully we'll have Rooney back for this one. And end an abysmal 2017 away record with a rare win away from home.

Steven Jones
225 Posted 27/12/2017 at 07:56:35
On the ball retention and playing better out.

We were better in the last game and only for a short while in this with Beni on the pitch. He has good positional sense, has a good first touch, good awareness and plays a positive ball calmly in tight situations.

He is much better at this than Tom. He is certainly better at this than Schneiderlin.

Along with Rooney back and Gana, we could have much better transition.

Steven Jones
226 Posted 27/12/2017 at 08:05:07
On the evolution from relegation fodder to mid table safety to developing more progressive style of football.

It does take time and the highly experienced and professional coaching team which includes yes Sammy, Shakespeare and Ryland Morgans.

Ryland is exceptional at fitness, performance and it will progressively contribute to playing a higher pressing tempo to deliver more transition ball in the oppositions half and more defensive resilience and high speed breaking. This will begin to show great value from January onwards. Neither Koeman nor Martinez had this in their locker.

The incoming signings will also fit into this attacking style of progressive football with what Allardyce calls "quality up front" – we have poor Calvert-Lewin running him self daft to play a crucial role but he is only learning his trade.

Patience for the full jigsaw to come together. I for one am looking forward to the Sam evolution unfolding.

BTW, we are not ready for expanding the play with Man Utd and LFC after the Bournemouth away trip.

Paul Kelly
227 Posted 27/12/2017 at 08:15:10
Results decent; performances shite.

End of.

Tony Everan
228 Posted 27/12/2017 at 08:32:55
Phase 1: (Do whatever it takes to) Stabilise the club, don't get relegated, organise the defence, keep clean sheets, become hard to beat.

Phase 2: Get a quality striker, get a quality left-back, become more offensive with better possession and link-up play, become more aesthetically pleasing to watch.... Entertain, above all, do better than Phase 1!

This is the plan; get used to it. At the moment, it could hardly be going any better.

It has been a dramatic turnaround since the sad Southampton performance. We need to be thankful for the fact that the combined efforts of Sam his team, Unsy and the players have turned it around and given us an opportunity to move to Phase 2.

Peter Warren
229 Posted 27/12/2017 at 08:35:11
We had to pick up points and stop others doing so and gain confidence. You do that by clean sheets. Big tick for Sam and his team to do this immediately, nothing short of impressive.

We have loads injured, no striker, and our full backs are not creative. I don't believe telling them to bomb forward (even Kenny) would help produce anything creatively. Our first-choice full-backs are creative.

Schneiderlin has been pants since he joined us although even he in last two games has looked better.

We have two creative promising youngsters in our squad, Lookman and Vlasic. Both have massive flaws which hopefully will get better but they need to play to do this. However, better for creative players unless exceptional (which they're not) to do this is a better side than ours is currently.

We could play better football, Swansea, Bournemouth, Huddersfield and Palace all play better but Big Sam was not brought into do this with this team. He was brought in to make us safe – we were serious relegation candidates.

Kim Vivian
230 Posted 27/12/2017 at 08:47:17
A little off topic, but he's a lovely fella 'n' all, but all the talk surrounding Bolasie I don't get tbh.

I didn't see a great player even before his injury. Competent for sure but not tearing the grass up. Why are people expecting such great things from him on his return after a year out?

I wish him well for the sake of all of us but don't see the second coming here.

Phil (Kelsall) Roberts
231 Posted 27/12/2017 at 08:55:43
Little-known fact about yesterday's team:

Youngest Everton team since Newcastle away in Feb 2009 (the game Nolan did Anichebe and Arteta did his knee).

Only Williams over 30. Davies 19, Calvert-Lewin & Kenny 20, Holgate 21, Pickford 23, Keane 24.

Future looking good.

Tony Abrahams
232 Posted 27/12/2017 at 09:01:48
Many a true word said in jest – I'm pretty sure is how Michael felt, when he talked of ending this thread early?

Pros and Cons, we think we know them both, but the sentence that has stood out to me this morning was written by Derek Thomas @188.

He said that Allardyce is instilling good habits and this takes time, and we all saw how quick it is to lose them, when we think back to Martinez.

Not to mention Koeman though, Derek, because it looks like he never looked at our defence at the start of this season, because he was that busy trying to put his square peg signings into round holes.

Peter Lee
233 Posted 27/12/2017 at 09:03:03
I went to the game, and have slept on it.

Thought before the game with Rooney we would prevail. When I saw the team I couldn't see past 0-0.

Those complaining about negativity are wide of the mark though. It was three at the back, not five. Every time we got possession the full-backs got into the opposition half. We played two up front, playing there and under no expectations of defensive duties.

We had a midfield three, one of which, sometimes two, looked to get forward when we were in possession. So the team set-up was not at all negative.

It wasn't what I'd have done. Firstly, with only one days training to get into the shape, it was a risk too far. Secondly, when we have done this with Holgate on the right he has looked vulnerable when pulled wide. It was admittedly two years ago but we did the same at Stoke and got turned over.

Pulling Sigurdsson into the centre negated any real influence he might have had on the game. Out wide left is far from his best position but at least it gives him some space to work in. That said, forced into a more defensive approach, West Brom worked their humps off, he did a professional job.

The main beef I had was the poor quality of passing. We weren't good enough overall as the opposition closed us down. It's clear that the manager wants the ball played forward and we are never content to play it around at the back for any length of time now, as we had been previously. There is an obvious pressure to pass forward coming from the bench as you watch.

Credit to the opposition. As soon as they lost control of the ball, they got behind the ball and stayed deep until they got it back. In those circumstances,I'd have been less inclined to get forward and tried to stretch the play and make the spaces for easier passes. In some respects, not doing that made it easier for West Brom.

A couple of final points. I suspect Sam would never have sold Gareth Barry. He would have been a big plus for us yesterday.

Tom Davies is struggling. He has physical strength to resist challenges but his range of passing seems limited over distance. Anyone noticed that his shooting seems to lack any power?

Three days to set up for this wasn't enough. Between Bournemouth and Man Utd, it's two. Play "You are the manager": How would you manage that?

Trevor Peers
234 Posted 27/12/2017 at 09:04:03
Allardyce will be judged on his signings like any other manager The absence of Rooney, our top scorer, in the last two games have left us without a goal threat, so understandably the last two games have been pretty awful.

Saying that, we did pick up two points. Let's see who Sam signs in January before slagging him off. The squad is very unbalanced lacking pace and cohesion, we do look a lot better however when Rooney is involved. Overall, Sam has done a excellent job so far.

John Keating
235 Posted 27/12/2017 at 09:12:07
I think we all know the positions that need to be strengthened; however, it might be easier said than done.

January is notorious for lack of available quality at the right price.

Be prepared to be underwhelmed. We will be lucky to get good long-term signings in. We have been lucky in some games... maybe Sam's luck will continue in the transfer window?

Philip Yensen
236 Posted 27/12/2017 at 09:34:11
Is this is how we lined up yesterday? 4-5-1?

What is Calvert-Lewin supposed to do with 50-60 yard balls pumped at him and two centre-halves on him and no support for knock downs?

Time to take Williams out of the side and away from Goodison – he couldn't mark a bingo board, can't jump and to top it off, has a fucking stupid haircut.

Martina is neither a right- nor left-back. Another player to be shown the exit door,

Tom Davies... headless chicken. He hasn't got a clue what he is going to do when he has the ball, his tackling is woeful and his general awareness on the pitch seems to be like a 7-year-old playing with his mate, as long as he gets a kick it don't matter where it goes. Championship player at best.

Do our players actually use a football in training? Our ball control and passing is abysmal. It seems our players get a pass and do not know where their next potential pass should go. I often see a potential pass and a player making a great run but the ball goes in the opposite way.

We made West Brom look a decent side and if bringing in a new striker/goalscorer people think that would be the answer, wrong, not with long passes from goalie or centre-half.

Well done, the two Sams, for steadying the ship... let's change this shipwreck to a Royal (Blue) yacht!!!

Stan Schofield
237 Posted 27/12/2017 at 09:40:29
David @193: That's pretty much my point, that the debate is futile. Michael@27 basically said this, so I posted the stats @80 & 94. Everything else is opinion. Let's just get behind the manager.
Mark Murphy
238 Posted 27/12/2017 at 09:44:40
Seven games ago we had no attack and were on our way down. There weren't 3 teams worse than us in the division.

Now, 4 wins and 3 draws later with two goals against and 10 for, and in the top half and still with the same attack options we've had since Lukaku left, people are moaning cos were not Brazil @1970! Oh, and never will be apparently!

We've improved more in 7 games than in the 18 months previous and whilst the koppites and Adrian Durham may sneer – no-one is laughing at us anymore!

Believe it or not I am NOT an Allardyce fan - I howled when he was appointed, but he's sorting out the defensive frailties without an attacking option to speak of, hopefully until the window. It's not going to be pretty until our defence is confidently solid.

He's going about it the right way in my opinion but I hope (and do believe) that this isn't the long term plan. Do yourselves a favour and put “I must have more patience” at the top of your New Year resolutions!

John G Davies
239 Posted 27/12/2017 at 09:56:04
I think with our troubles at the moment with players missing, I suppose it's only to be expected that we're not delivering anything like the performance in possession you would expect. But in terms of what we're doing defensively, only conceding two in eight is a remarkable turnaround from a team that conceded 28 in eight.”

That will do me for now.

Stan Schofield
240 Posted 27/12/2017 at 10:00:56
Not long ago, some folks on here were saying we were a laughing stock, and that even Kopites felt sorry for us.

They're not saying that now. Far from being a laughing stock, we're now hard to beat, even against the 'top-6'. And I'm still smiling at Klopp's meltdown and stupidity after the derby. One thing he'll be doing now is not taking any chances against us. That's how much things have changed.

Tony Everan
241 Posted 27/12/2017 at 10:04:52
Batshuyai and Giroud are not getting any game time at all. Them two signed or on loan until June would do for starters.

Tierney or Bryan in at left-back, Nzonzi in or Barkley given a new contract. Keeping the resilience while add an attacking threat is the next step. We will see what Mr Walsh has been up to very soon...

Gary Grant
242 Posted 27/12/2017 at 10:13:17
I wasn't happy at all when Allardyce was appointed, I think he has a track record of corruption.

But he has done well. Being unbeaten after 7 games given how it was going under Rhino is a superb start.

However, playing 5 at the back and ultra-defensively against the league's 19th best team might be acceptable for now, to steady the ship, but it's not good enough going forward.

I am prepared, as Mark Murphy says, to be patient but that patience is not infinite. By the end of the season, given how much we spent in summer, grinding out dismal nil-nils needs to be a thing of the past. But, for now, he's done well, even if I still don't like the man.

Brian Harrison
243 Posted 27/12/2017 at 10:27:15
I think Allardyce is unique of all the managers I have seen manage Everton, my first being Ian Buchan. Sam is the only one who sets out not to get beat. All the others tried to win the game, and we have had far worse teams than this.

Some fans say he has made us more solid at the back, well if you are going to play 10 men behind the ball then I would expect to be more solid. Apart from the shot from Niasse towards the end of the game, we have played 3 halves of football without a shot on target. When he took over after the West Ham game we were 13th not 18th as someone suggested.

I can't believe so many will accept this style of football, and I know many wil say we needed points when he came. Well accepting that at what point do you expect us to be playing a more offensive game.

I said a couple of weeks back that Calvert-Lewin was nowhere near ready to be leading the line and the sooner the window opens and we can get at least another striker the better. But I cant accept with the players at his disposal we cant play a more attacking game. By the way this brilliantly organized defence could have lost to Newcastle, Liverpool, Chelsea and West Brom but we got lucky.

Ray Roche
244 Posted 27/12/2017 at 10:27:19
John Keating (#235):

"January is notorious for lack of available quality at the right price."

The difference is, John, is that we are entering a World Cup year and there will be players who are not getting regular football who will see that as an end to their World Cup hopes. A loan deal or a deal which allows them to showcase their talents will be easier to negotiate, don't you think?

Mark Murphy
245 Posted 27/12/2017 at 10:51:18
Brian, I really hope that very few accept this style of football once the team is sorted and we have some semblance of an attack in a balanced side but 6 (or 7 depending on opinion) games in to Allardyce's reign I think the change is remarkable.

I don't think many would argue that we wouldn't have lost heavily vs the Koppites and Chelsea and Newcastle and West Brom would almost certainly have broken their bad runs of form under the previous manager. I can't prove that obviously but does anyone disagree?

Here's to a brand new year and continuing improvement with a couple of decent signings and at least two statement wins in January!

Eric Paul
246 Posted 27/12/2017 at 10:51:20

You didn't watch many Walter Smith or David Moyes games, then?

Chris Gould
247 Posted 27/12/2017 at 10:54:20
We have the same 'too old' and 'rubbish' defenders that have shipped goals all season. Sam hasn't made them better players. That wasn't possible.

He has set us up to get the best out of them and support them as best we can. Now we aren't conceding 3-4 goals a game and are able to compete. If he plays any other way then we will almost certainly go back to being terrible at the back and losing.

We should be grateful for his skillset. It's the best we can hope for until we get better players.

Clive Rogers
248 Posted 27/12/2017 at 10:54:37
Tony (#241), Barkley has been offered a new contract. He wants to leave. End of.
Paul A Smith
249 Posted 27/12/2017 at 10:56:57
John (#239) has simply touched on what is wrong. I mean come on all you moaners, who or what players are you expecting to see good football from?

The players you are all worried have lost their way IE Schneiderlin, didn't play nice football in his best form. Gana neither.

Can you lot honestly say having Lukaku last season didn't save our performances game after game? We beat city 4-0 with 4 shots on target. That doesn't happen every week. That was with a £70 million striker in our favour. Apart from Lukaku, who in our squad is worth half of that fee? Barkley and Coleman maybe? 2 players missing.

Your already saying Sigurdsson is good but not worth £40 million. How on earth can you expect good football?

Allardyce in my opinion knows the limitations of these players available now and we are getting points from very average tired players. The players who can carry the ball and take pressure off the team, allowing them to move around the pitch better are all missing. When Coleman, Barkley and Bolasie are all fit and playing in the same side you would have to be mad to think the football won't improve.

On Batshuayi, I wouldn't sign him while Chelsea will start games with no recognised striker and he's on the bench. What does that say?

Geoff Lambert
250 Posted 27/12/2017 at 10:57:47
Brian "I can't believe so many will accept this style of football."

What did you expext? Free-flowing Barcelona type attacking football with the squad we have?

You would think this has been going on for months not a couple of weeks.

We are now well away from the danger zone and looking up not behind us. What did you expect???? Who did you want in and where would we be now with your choice?

If you are not happy with the style of play that has got us out of the shit what do you think we should have done over the last couple of weeks with the players available?

Ciarán McGlone
251 Posted 27/12/2017 at 11:02:41
I'm changing my mind on the 5 post limit.
Brent Stephens
252 Posted 27/12/2017 at 11:05:14
If we'd won yesterday, there would have been praises for the defensive side (again no goals conceded) and the attacking side of our game.

Just because we didn't get the attacking outcome we wanted doesn't mean to say we can't praise the defensive side yesterday. And that's what we'll build on. A pity Sam didn't buy wisely for us in the last couple of transfer windows...!

Andy Williams
253 Posted 27/12/2017 at 11:09:17
Peter (#233). Thanks for your first-hand insights. Everybody moaning please read.
Karl Meighan
254 Posted 27/12/2017 at 11:15:43
Brian Harrison @243,

We could have been in the Champions League places if Koeman or even Unsworth were just as lucky as Allardyce. Do you seriously put the change in results – and being a much better organised team who now happen to have a gameplan which wasn't evident under the former manager – down to luck?

Dave Williams
255 Posted 27/12/2017 at 11:23:32
Just logged back in and amazed to see this debate continuing from last night.

Reading the posts, it is basically a case that we are all delighted with the results but not with the quality of football. Some are prepared to give him time and others – do you think we should get rid of him already after this run of results? Really????

He has had barely five weeks and has done wonders with our resilience and league placing – he has earned the chance to show what he can do with the rest of the team once he has got rid of the dross and brought his own players in. Judge him then, not now.

John G Davies
256 Posted 27/12/2017 at 11:30:18
Note to Eds: You can close the thread after Dave's post at 255?

No need for anything further. Dave sums it up perfectly.

Tim James
257 Posted 27/12/2017 at 11:36:57
In the words of a very famous and successful golfer, name escapes me – “The more I practise, the luckier I seem to get.” We now have a manager who manages! Not talks a good game or blames everyone but himself. A very Happy New Year to Big Sam.
Ray Smith
258 Posted 27/12/2017 at 11:48:33
Tim (#257),

The golfer you refer too is Gary Player. However, he was quoting a fellow golfer, Jerry Barber.

Credit to Player, he has always acknowledged Barber for making the comment.

Tony Abrahams
259 Posted 27/12/2017 at 11:59:00
People have been saying how lucky Allardyce is, Tim, and probably the biggest slice of luck he has been given is inheriting a squad that was very thread-bare in attack.

Maybe I'm looking for positives, but like a lot of people (99.9% I hope) I don't think any Everton manager would get away with playing like this long-term so maybe Koeman's transfer policy has made Big Sam's job a lot easier?

Brian Harrison
260 Posted 27/12/2017 at 12:20:12
I said Allardyce was lucky because Newcastle hit the post twice either could have gone in, Chelsea and Liverpool both should have scored – nothing to do with Allardyce defensive systems keeping them out. Then yesterday, Rondon fails to connect from a yard out to put the ball into an empty net. So yes he has been lucky, as I said if he had been unlucky we could have lost all those games I mentioned.

This is the same set of players that, prior to Allardyce taking over, scored 4 against West Ham and 2 away at Crystal Palace, so it wasn't a team that couldn't score goals. Also, apart from 2 players leaving and 5 or 6 coming in, finished 7th well clear of the 8th club.

John G Davies
261 Posted 27/12/2017 at 12:27:27
“Give me lucky generals” Napoleon Bonaparte is supposed to have said, preferring them to talented ones.

Bonjour, Monsieur Brian.

Andrew Presly
262 Posted 27/12/2017 at 12:47:21
Agree with Tony E (#241). Batshuyai or Giroud must be available on a loan in a World Cup year and Nzonzi for midfield and Tierney for left back would leave us with a strong squad for another European push and Cup run. As much as we can currently ask for.

I can't take paying for TV, live matches or merchandise to condone the hiring of this guy and won't until he's gone but have to say he's done a good job in steadying the ship, restoring both professionalism and pride. Still wrong seeing him & Lee on our touchline though.

Ideally, Walsh is making the signings with a new longer term manager in mind starting this summer. Thanks “Big Sam”, you were a strange albeit necessary chapter in this great Club's history, goodbye. Here's hoping.

Tony Abrahams
264 Posted 27/12/2017 at 13:40:29
I'm not saying they couldn't score, Brian, I'm just saying if I was a defensive-minded coach, then the Everton job would have been perfect for two reasons.

Firstly, they haven't got that much in attack, and secondly the defence had been neglected, so this would hopefully give me more time to work on what I do best, which is to organise a team in how to defend.

Palace, we cheated for a penalty, then the keeper gave us a gift-horse, and I think the manager was already in the building for the West Ham game, simply because it was the first time our defence had looked really organised since before Koeman, decided to go 4-4-2 to let Man City back in the game at the start of this season.

Of course we all want more in attack, no Everton manager will get away with not producing this, but less than a month ago, newly promoted Huddersfield left out six players at Arsenal because their manager had decided that he had a much better chance of going to “soft Everton” a few days later, and targeted the "easier" match...

We aren't soft no more, but we are very sloppy in possession and, until we get better or much more confident players, then this side of the game is not going to change. So it's got to be the lesser of the two evils for me because, after the Southampton game, we really were in a lot of trouble.

I know I'm going on but, just before he left, even Koeman – the man who had spent a fortune – was saying that with the squad he'd assembled, it might be better to just go long.

Jerome Shields
265 Posted 27/12/2017 at 13:43:15
I have my doubts the January transfer window will make much difference. It is only possible for it to add to our defensive system, which is Big Sam's tactical base. He hasn't shown yet that he can organise an offensive system, bringing forwards into play with support. His attacking tactics are easily predicted and thus are neutralised out of existence. He doesn't see the value of the unorthodox and unpredictable Oumar Niasse, who would make all the difference. January Transfer window? Bah Humbug!
Paul Kossoff
266 Posted 27/12/2017 at 13:47:11
How we escaped with a point God only knows. We will get a hiding one day with these tactics and team. Big Sam said the players must take responsibility, and I laughed when he said, "I don't tell players to go and give the ball to West Brom players."

We made West Brom look like Real Madrid. We have skated on thin ice with this team, let's hope the ice doesn't crack.

Rudi Coote
267 Posted 27/12/2017 at 13:47:49
Andrew Presley are you for feckin real? Where do you get off on having the moral high ground where the two Sams are concerned? Pious or what? And of course you know the players you mentioned can't wait to pull the blue jersey on you have inside info no doubt.

Sam is proving his worth as far as I'm concerned. Don't see any "big name" beating a path to Goodison. And why would they? We aren't an attractive club anymore. Reality check!

Mark Wynne
268 Posted 27/12/2017 at 13:55:50
In reference to Karl (#254), I honestly think the difference is in the mind of players. Prior to the appointment of Allardyce the players must have been doing the same as us, trawling the rumours and wondering who would be coming in,who would be in favour and who wouldn't. That simply had to affect results under Unsworth, where players weren't playing for their spot, rather waiting and seeing who was coming in to see where they might stand. The minute they knew for certain it was Allardyce, that's when they pulled up their sleeves and knuckled down - not because Sam is a miracle worker, but because they knew who would be picking the team for the rest of the season.

I happen to think that if Unsworth had been on anything other than a match to match basis then he would have seen a response. To say somehow that Unsworth's results mean he is inferior to Allardyce is oversimplifying the matter and being disingenuous at best to a true blue.

Like the days when I woke up to find Trump in the White House or Boris Johnson in the Foreign Office finding Big Sam in the dugout at Goodison feels like some sort of surreal nightmare. I'm glad some of you guys are reconciled to it, I for one am not.

James Marshall
269 Posted 27/12/2017 at 14:10:33
Sam Allardyce's brief was to stop us losing goals, and stop us losing games. He's done exactly that. The next step is to score more goals and win more games. Give it time.

We have a shitty squad half full of shitty players, and there's only one creative player in the whole squad – Rooney. And even he has his off-days.

Football supporters are so short sighted, and I don't just mean Evertonians, I mean all supporters – we're fickle and increasingly expect instant gratification on all levels, so we're more often than not, left disappointed – this is the burden of lifelong football support.

Sam Allardyce himself even said in interview that he doesn't coach the players to go out and pass the ball to the opposition, yet that's what they've been doing a lot lately – why? Because they're being coached not to lose games, which is different to being coached to go out and win them – which takes me full circle back to the original point - Sam Allardye's brief is to not lose games.

We all have to keep this in mind for now and – despite what some people claim – football IS a results business first & foremost, entertainment is secondary.

We were a sinking ship 5 weeks ago, now we're 9th, not far behind Burnley (6 points) which is about where we can expect to be aside from Burnley & Leicester ahead of us – I believe we'll finish 7th which will be a minor miracle given our squad, and where we were under Koeman.

It's time for a reality check, and to be thankful for where we are based on where we were.

Geoff Lambert
270 Posted 27/12/2017 at 14:17:20
Brian (#260) you said,

"Then yesterday,Rondon fails to connect from a yard out to put the ball into an empty net."

Rondon was 18 yards out and had Pickford and a defender on the line!!!

Len Hawkins
271 Posted 27/12/2017 at 14:27:16
Yesterday on the Live Forum posters were complaining that the players are unable to make a simple pass from one Everton player to another Everton player.

I am no visionary or an expert on Freud but my guess is (and it is only a guess) that Sam Allardyce may just have picked up on that and having sorted the defence out now has to do the same with the rest. If he has and, I genuinely believe he has, he realises that to go forward there is one hell of a job to get his teeth into.

Is now the time to start experimenting or do all you anti Sammers think perhaps he may have decided to make sure of safety before the confidence is shot by swapping around players that are dragging us up the table bit by bit.

I think a midfield playmaker who has no problem finding his team mates with a pass and a striker may be his priorities but he has been in the game a long time and may just know a thing or two more than his detractors.

Christ ,I imagine sparks, plumbers, joiners, brickies etc only work for some of you lot once after you have stood behind them telling them how it should be done.

Colin Malone
272 Posted 27/12/2017 at 14:28:39
We missed the energy of Vlasic. IMO, the lad hasn't had a chance since Unsworth dropped him. Big Sam said he had to use an unfit Bolasie??? I know who I would rather have.
Jay Woods

273 Posted 27/12/2017 at 14:39:15
It's the total lack of attacking threat our fullbacks present that worries me most, even more than the striker issue.

I think both Martina and Kenny are solid stoppers but very, very limited in attack (especially Martina) but in the modern game fullbacks are the new box-to-box players and must offer more than just defensive solidity.

Andy Crooks
274 Posted 27/12/2017 at 14:53:46
James (#269), I know about as much as Sam's brief as you do. He has made us hard to beat and hard to score against. He has made us play anti football and that is just about palatable while we pick up points.

We do not have a "shitty squad"; Rooney is not our only creative player. The shitty squad took a point at Man City. Yesterday was defeatist shite. Whatever anyone on this thread says, West Brom are utter shite and Sam treated them like Barcelona.

Too many are denigrating our players to support Sam. Pickford, Kenny, Sigurdsson, Lookman, Calvert-Lewin, Gana, Lennon, and others are not "shitty", players; to refer to them as such in order to defend Sam fucking Allardyce is poor indeed. Some of them can actually control a ball and make a pass.

Sam is the man, he needs time and patience. However, when he sets up shite, I believe it should be called shite. If this is not Sam's team, then whose us it? The tea lady's?

Paul A Smith
275 Posted 27/12/2017 at 15:18:21
Andy (#274), the problem is we have too many players of the same kind. Workhorses grafters whatever you want to call them but nowhere near enough skill Creativity or speed.

I know some people find it insulting to talk about a player in a negative tone but I for one have no problem admitting we have very little quality and virtually no speed.

Gareth Barry shone over Schneiderlin yesterday in one of Schneiderlin's better games. Does that about sum up the personnel we have here?

Too many views are of the emotional nature because we have witnessed effort that should come naturally anyway.

Simon Harris
276 Posted 27/12/2017 at 15:29:44
Jay – I agree and that's why it's effectively 5 at the back and not as some would say 3. Their natural habitat is defence and Cuco is what he is – a utility squad player – who has rightly been given praise for his contribution in recent weeks.

A fit Coleman and a Baines of yesteryear would be a different kettle of fish, but as it is, I'd prefer the flat back four he adopted in his early games. With the option of swapping Lennon for Vlasic or Lookman for a little more attacking zip until reinforcements and injured players return to fitness.

Karl Meighan
278 Posted 27/12/2017 at 15:42:01
Mark @268 Do you think 2 experienced so-called senior players would have carried on the way Schneiderlin and Mirallas did if Allardyce was in charge? I don't and, for me, that is one of the big differences between Sam and Unsworth as well as the wealth of experience and the fact he was considered good enough to manage his Country.

I've read many comments on this site were people wanted Dyche given the job. This ain't aimed at you, Mark, but I would like to know – apart from being relegated – what he has achieved that Sam ain't? And please not "his team plays great creative attacking score-for-fun football"?

David Barks
279 Posted 27/12/2017 at 15:44:18
Geoff (#270),

Incorrect. You're thinking of the chance in the second half when he slipped when through on Pickford. The chance he missed from one yard out was early in the first half, when he was directly in front of goal and the ball was played straight into him on the ground, Keane was behind him and unable to challenge him, and Rondon simply missed the ball. It was an open net from 1-2 yards out.

Sam Barrett
280 Posted 27/12/2017 at 15:51:16
Give me a 'lucky' manager any day of the week please? About time we had a bit. Anyone seen the RS's luck over the last 40 years?
James Marshall
281 Posted 27/12/2017 at 15:57:33

He didn't buy a single one of them, hence he's inherited them all. That's what I meant.

Tom Bowers
282 Posted 27/12/2017 at 16:00:22
Your so right Sam about the RS luck.

Sure all teams have some element of luck in some games and some say teams make their own luck which is not something I agree with but I think the RS had much more than their fair share of it in many season's gone by.

I know when we say that it is akin to being sour grapes but last minute goals and refereeing decisions have been their saviour many times.

I welcome the luck that is coming our way at present but the team is trying hard to recover from a brutal phase under Koeman when they were in freefall.

Was the double goal-line clearance by Jagielka against Chelsea luck or just experienced defending from a seasoned veteran? I suspect the latter.

Phil Walling
283 Posted 27/12/2017 at 16:03:41
Sam walks on water? More like thin ice if you ask me!

Nobody can keep getting spawny results like he has for long playing shite football the like of which I haven't seen from Everton in nearly 60 years!

John G Davies
284 Posted 27/12/2017 at 16:11:01

Get yer skates on Sam.

Michael Kenrick
285 Posted 27/12/2017 at 16:15:31
Philip Yensen (#236),

Tom Davies... headless chicken. He hasn't got a clue what he is going to do when he has the ball, his tackling is woeful and his general awareness on the pitch seems to be like a 7-year-old playing with his mate, as long as he gets a kick it don't matter where it goes. Championship player at best.

We're not allowed to critique players, especially if they're young, especially if they're Blue, especially if they're local... but Philip, you nailed it. Watching him 'play' now drives me insane. He is utterly fucking hopeless. Time for a spell back in the Under-23s with Unsworth to try and get some football back into him.

And this description of our general play also struck an equally painful note:

"Our ball control and passing is abysmal. It seems our players get a pass and do not know where their next potential pass should go. I often see a potential pass and a player making a great run but the ball goes in the opposite way."

The two Sams have done a brilliant job with defensive organization, forcing clean sheets and an amazing string of results. Absolutely brilliant. But please, can anything be done about these aspects of our play without us endangering that superb record?

Tony Marsh
286 Posted 27/12/2017 at 16:21:21
Phil Walking (#238),

Talk about not giving a manager a chance to stamp his authority on a side. What would you have Allardyce do? Go gung-ho at Anfield and at home to Chelsea and get twatted? You are becoming a serial laughing stock.

Allardyce has taken on the most unbalanced injury-ravaged paceless squad in Premier League history and you want sexy football when we were in a relegation battle. Little wonder no-one on here pays any attention to you. Allardyce has worked miracles since he came here.

Kevin Tully
287 Posted 27/12/2017 at 16:28:34
I think we can safely say we are safe from relegation – well done to all concerned. We are currently 150/1 on SkyBet to go down.

So, as far as I'm concerned, that surely negates any requirement for the type of safety first hoofball we are witnessing from this point onwards?

Take the next couple of games, Bournemouth and Man Utd. Will anyone on here be happy to see a backs-to-the-wall performance with a couple of attempts on goal, even though we are now 150/1 to be relegated?

It's okay to see a team keeping things tight at the back, absolutely no problem there, but watching professional footballers brainlessly hoofing balls down the line isn't my idea of fun to be honest. The passing and movement of this crop is laughable. I wish everyone would stop pinning their hopes on a few kids coming through. One may make it, possibly two if we are still a mid-table side.

A few crosses into the box would be nice, with more than one or two attackers hoping to get on the end of it, whilst up against 6 defenders. I apologise if I'm asking too much in advance, but the threat of relegation is gone, let's have a go please.

Andy Crooks
288 Posted 27/12/2017 at 16:29:32
Michael, Tom Davies is struggling right now in an ultra defensive lineup. However, your description of him as" utterly fucking hopeless", is unfair. It is like something I would say in the heat of the moment about, say, Sam Allardyce. Not worthy of a respected editor.
Tony Marsh
289 Posted 27/12/2017 at 16:29:57
MK – when I criticised Tom Davies a few months ago for the same things being pointed out now, I was slaughtered on here. It's obvious Davies isn't top notch. Some of our fans think that if you are an Everton player and also an Everton supporter, you can be shite and escape any form of critique.

I always look at teams above us or who we are trying to match and consider which players we have that they would want... The answer is virtually none.

Michael Kenrick
290 Posted 27/12/2017 at 16:40:03
Sorry, Andy. Just telling you the way I feel when I watch him play.

Not happy with it. I take no pleasure in agreeing with Phillip but Tom really should not be getting a game at the moment.

ps: I respect your opinions but don't necessarily agree with all of them.

Jay Harris
291 Posted 27/12/2017 at 16:47:52
I think our main problem and this is not a Sam problem because we've been like this for years is we play far too deep.

I think a lot of it has to do with confidence and our lack of pace at the back but when ever a player gets a ball there is very little in front of him to pass to, hence our penchant with hoofing it forward for Calvert-Lewin to chase.

We need more strength on the ball and more movement and forward running. The only time we get more than two players in the opposition box is for corners and free-kicks.

There is a lot of work to be done and players who have totally lost their form to be replaced and it cant be done overnight.

James Hughes
292 Posted 27/12/2017 at 16:51:29
Kevin T, I have to agree with that post the football we are playing is awful. Many more of those games and we'll only be in the credits on MotD never mind last. Sky will deride even us more and only show us when utterly obliged to.

When it comes to Sam's appointment, I am so on the fence about it, that I have splinters in my arse. Having been fooled by Martinez and agreeing with the sentiment to give Koeman some time, this time, it should be until the end of the season only. If this shite is still being portrayed as football in February & March, then he needs his P45.

I remember the 82-83 season being awful, including that day of 6 November 1982, such joy. We were bad off the pitch and even worse on it. Going the game was such fun as you had plenty of room and no queue for halftime beer.

John G Davies
293 Posted 27/12/2017 at 16:51:44
The problem is in selecting Tom for too many starts. A few on here had him down as the player to build a team around.

It always happens with young players. Good spell, bad spell. It was always going to bite the arse of the people who put him on a pedestal.

Give Beni a go and leave Tom out for a while. Rotate the game time for the young players.

Steavey Buckley
294 Posted 27/12/2017 at 16:54:42
Another type of performance against Bournemouth resulting in a 0-0 draw will suit me. Everton are where they are because of Koeman and Walsh who bought players that would have resulted in Everton getting relegated this season. The both of them have proved they know little about quality players at the right price. The amount of 'gems' picked up by other Premier League managers proves this point.
David Barks
295 Posted 27/12/2017 at 16:55:55
Davies has been absolutely woeful for months now. He has no defensive positional awareness, doesn't read the game, struggles with the simplest of passes and doesn't seem to be able to have a shot on him. So, other than running around a lot and having the name Davies instead of Ramirez or some other foreign name, I can not understand him being in the first team.

Klaassen was given a few starts when the entire team was coming across. He is without question more talented than Davies and if it's between the two of them, he should be in that role. I still remember when Eriksen was first coming into the Spurs team, the team struggled. But he was given time and has proven to be one of their best players.

But as James wants to make us all accept, we have to go with a "don't lose" mentality instead of maybe trying to actually win the match. So I guess we have to just accept not even trying to attack the opposition no matter who they might be.

Phil Walling
296 Posted 27/12/2017 at 16:59:54
Time for us to accept that decent managers don't grow on trees. The only one I've ever had faith in since Joe Royle was Moyes – and he was no genius. That's just one in 20 years so thank feck he stayed for 11 of them!

Allardyce deserves the plaudits for digging us out of the shit but I suspect that, by season's end, we all shall have had enough of the crap he serves up. Just like they felt at all his many clubs!

Guess we will never be able to settle on anybody out of the ordinary...

Frank Crewe
297 Posted 27/12/2017 at 17:14:03
Phil, this is the problem. There are far too many fans of all clubs, not just Everton, who appear to think that there is some super manager out there who will take them to the pinnacle of football while playing the best attacking football they've ever seen. Unfortunately those people are living in a dream world.

We have all seen how much City have had to spend because relentless spending is the only way to reach the top on a consistent basis in football. Now I'm sure there are those who would point to Leicester City. They were a fluke, a one off never to be repeated. I'll bet if we had took Ranieri as our manager before Leicester did the howls of outrage would have been heard in Manchester.

As I've said before, most managers win nothing their entire careers they just do what they do. The pool of managers is very small and if you get one that suits your club consider yourself lucky. We currently have one that is doing Okay. I don't know how long it will last but I hope it's for a good while.

As far as I'm concerned the only good football is winning football. If we can win by attacking great. If we can win by defending that's just as good. Because, no matter how you win, it still only gets you three points.

Tony Everan
298 Posted 27/12/2017 at 17:16:48
I think it is unfair and over the top to lay into Tom Davies. In normal times he would still be developing with the u23s and fighting to get a start.

Consistency is the number one issue with younger players. Week in week out putting in top performances is tough, not many kids achieve it.

He needs a break from first team duties; Calvert-Lewin does too. Regroup and come into the team for the last 8 games refreshed. I think, there is some quality there with Tom, but he is a year or two away from showing it.

David Barks
299 Posted 27/12/2017 at 17:25:14

I know what you're saying, and this isn't directed at you, but every year we're told we have to accept mediocrity or being second to someone else. While Leicester win the league we have to settle for hoping for a Cup run. Then when the Cup run fails, we're told we have to settle for fighting for Premier League placing to get into Europe, because that's more valuable to attract quality players. Then when the European campaign fails, we're told it's better because that competition is shite and we need to focus on the Premier League.

Other clubs with lesser players than us play better football than us. But we have to accept it. We used to be on equal footing with Spurs. They kept pushing forward, refused to accept 5th or 6th as the limit to their ambitions. We were told to accept where we are, we can't afford the type of players needed.

Then we got the supposed billionaire owner, after watching many clubs around us be sold before us. We were told to accept Bill Kenwright, because he's a true Evertonian. But then Moshiri comes and everything is going to change, although we need to accept Kenwright staying on as Chairman. Transfer window after transfer window comes and goes, and we've sold our best players. We sold Stones, sold Lukaku, agreed to sell Barkley. We're told we had to do that, without even putting up a fight. First bidder, sold. I ask for us to go for that huge money signing that will make people take notice, but I'm told to accept that we can't do that.

Now, I ask that the Everton manager go into a match at least trying to win. Not expecting to win, but to try. No, I can't ask for that. I must accept that Sam Allardyce will send us out to not lose, and that is all that we can ask for. To ask for anything more, to actually make the opposition have to consider that you might pose a threat to them, that's too much. We can't ask for that. Five at the back with a single striker up front at West Brom, that's what we must accept.

At what point in a relationship do you reach the limit of what you're willing to accept? Because right now, my lifelong relationship with Everaon't have to accept it. Liverpool don't accept it. United didn't accept it. Spurs didn't accept it.

The only ones I can relate to a little are Arsenal supporters, except with the massive difference in what they are told to accept versus what we have to accept. They have to accept not being able to challenge for the league now, and were told to be content with Top Four finishes, Champions League runs, and the odd domestic Cup. Year after year Wenger's failings and the owner's failure to spend the money required has seen them slowly fall out of prominence. Many of their supporters have been sick of it for years now. But a section tells them they're not being True Supporters, and to get behind the manager and the team. But for what purpose? It's the same thing so many on this site like to lecture others about. Being "True Blues" and "Real Supporters" or labelling some as "So-called Fans".

I'm sorry, but I can not accept going to West Brom and seeing that type of a performance as anything but woeful and completely unacceptable. It's one thing to get a 0-0 away to them if you were unlucky, striking the bar, having their dogged defense keep you out. It's completely different when we go there to not even try to win the match. Going into any match without the intent to try to win, that will always be unacceptable to me.

Neil Wood
300 Posted 27/12/2017 at 17:26:42
David Barks... exactly right. How Klaassen hasn't been utilised more (and Sandro) is beyond me.

You don't adapt by not playing at all.

Frank Crewe
301 Posted 27/12/2017 at 17:29:20
Davies is crap. He's a blond John Barnes. Living on the goal he scored against Man City. He's a lightweight. Doesn't tackle, no positional sense, muscled off the ball. He needs putting back in the U23s where he belongs. There's far too much of this 'local boy' nonsense. Either he's worthy of his place because he's playing well or he isn't. Right now he isn't and I've no doubt Sam will replace him with someone who is good enough the first chance he gets.
Frank Crewe
302 Posted 27/12/2017 at 17:31:59
@David Barks 299;

We are told this or that. By who? We are not being "told" anything. It's all in your mind.

David Israel
303 Posted 27/12/2017 at 17:37:28
In defence of Sam Allardyce, since he seems to be the thread's theme (with brief incursions into the merits of David Unsworth), and not the game at West Brom, let me remind everyone that the season we finished 4th under Moyes (2004-05), Bolton finished just three points behind us. Somehow, it's hard to imagine they achieved that position solely by playing 'hoof-ball'. It all sounds like Arse Wenger sour grapes after he'd just been beaten – yet again – by that Bolton team.
Stan Schofield
304 Posted 27/12/2017 at 17:39:04
Football is ultimately about entertainment. Trouble is though, whenever we have highly skilled entertaining players like Deulofeu or Barkley, a lot on here call them shite, fancy show ponies, and want to get rid, to be replaced by hard workers who'll put in a shift for Everton.

The criticisms even extend to our younger players, where Lookman, Davies, et al become subject to negative comments on here when they have the inevitable bad game.

Well, we're losing our entertainers one by one, and replacing them with disciplined workers who will fit within a system that's not entertaining but hard to beat. Allardyce's system. So to those now complaining yet again, be careful what you wish for.

On the subject of entertainment, football entertainment isn't always just on the pitch. Like after the derby, that was sheer entertainment of the highest order. It actually shut up all the reds I know, because they're embarrassed. I'll be dining out on that for some time to come, because Klopp and Co will not live that down. And it was down to Allardyce.

So he's already provided me with some entertainment to complement the dour but effective tactics on the pitch.

Tommy Bowman
305 Posted 27/12/2017 at 17:52:52
Yeah, we're racking up the points, slowly but surely, and he's tightened up the defence in a remarkable way.

But watching this shite is putting me off football, it's like the worst of Davy Moyes tactics circa 2003-04. “All hands to the pumps“ in defence and let's try an nick a goal.

It's fucking soul destroying. I've not missed a game home or away this season and for 30 odd seasons before that. I'm seriously considering jacking it in and taking up watching paint dry on a Weekend. Far more engaging than the shite we're being sold packaged as football. The club hierarchy should be prosecuted under the Sale of Goods Act 1979.

Allardyce is doing what he has been paid to do – keep the club up, and in that respect he's succeeding – but fuck me, it makes painful viewing.

Karl Meighan
306 Posted 27/12/2017 at 17:52:57
My guess is that, if Vlasic and Lookman – 2 players who could not get in a poor Everton side under 3 different managers I should add, we may score the odd goal more but we would also concede many more. These 2 both have potential but also give the ball away for fun leave the fullback playing behind them isolated and hung out to dry and also need to learn when to release the ball.

I keep reading bring in Lookman, Vlasic for pace and creativity, now these lads have had chances more than one and have failed to impress enough to be given a run of games.

I also believe that most of the formations and teams that the fans who don't like Allardyce could post here have been tried and failed badly or are basically nonsense similar to the shouts like "Jack Rodwell is a centre-back".

Unbeaten since he took over with the mess left by Koeman and still fans here want Klaassen, a player who I don't remember being in either penalty box which is some feat for a so-called box-to-box midfielder and Lookman and Vlasic brought back.

Dave Abrahams
307 Posted 27/12/2017 at 17:58:40
David Barks (#299), I honestly feel your frustration coming through on my iPad. I've felt the same as you and I understand how galling it must be to see us standing still and going backwards and slightly forward year after year, it's worse for you as you suffer home and away.

Not going on and on about Kenwright but he has kept the club back, now Moshiri, is he going to be the same? I hope not. He has not been here long but there has been a lot done by him in a short space of time including the big prize of a new ground, hopefully.

You are right to question about the amount of time you put in following the Blues and getting hardly enjoyment out of your commitment, it does drag you down to the point of "What the fuck am I doing it for" and I have felt like that many times; however, four weeks ago I was in despair of us staying even in this awful state, could only see us going out of this league. Now we look like we are out of that predicament through the change in manager, I like many of us, don't know if Sam is the answer, but the panic is over, for a bit.

Let's see what transpires in the next few weeks with the transfer window, things will surely get better. The defensive football will have to be matched with an attacking desire to provide entertainment as well as points.

David, I hope your cry for improvement by many fans as well as your own and a lot of us who are wishing and hoping for this is not lost on those running the club, but again you are absolutely correct in screaming for such a change. You are most definitely not alone in demanding this.

Jay Wood

308 Posted 27/12/2017 at 17:59:32
Hang on, hang on!

Yes, along with pretty much every member of the squad – senior and junior – Tom Davies's form has been poor this season. Even so, he has still had good games and good games.

Just last season at 18 years old - let me repeat that and spell it out - at E-I-G-H-T-E-E-N Y-E-A-R-S O-L-D, when he came into the side this time last year he remained an ever-present until the end of the season.

Not out of sentiment. Not of out necessity due to injuries to other players. But simply because game after game he was the best option wherever he was asked to play.

List the poor games he had last season. For me, there is only one that comes to mind – the very final Premier League game of the season away to Arsenal when he was subbed off before half time.

Other than that, he maintained remarkable levels of consistency, commitment and performances, with no little skill.

He deservedly won the Club's Young Player of the Year award and certainly, on second half of the season performances, Tom was one of our players of the season, young or old.

He is even now still only 19-years-old. NINETEEN!!!

Of course he is going to have highs and lows in his form and individual match day performances. It is even tougher for a young player playing in a side performing as poorly as Everton has for the most part of the season.

As for calls presuming David Klaassen is a better footballer than Tom Davies, you cannot make that claim judged solely on the two players' performances in the Blue of Everton.

To be clear, I am not dismissing Klaassen as readily as others on TW. I remain hopeful he can step up and adjust to playing in the Premier League.

But I recall reporting on the single game I attended live at Goodison Park this season – the 3-0 League Cup victory vs Sunderland – that on the evidence of that one game, Tom Davies merited a start ahead of Klaassen and that Tom was the main creative and driving force in midfield for Everton that night.

Yes, Tom could do with a spell of not being selected for the starting XI and possibly even the bench, as I suggested a few weeks ago, to allow him to get his 'Mojo' back.

But I for one am not having or buying into the outright condemnation of the lad that some are suddenly expressing on this thread.

Kim Vivian
309 Posted 27/12/2017 at 18:00:10
Off topic but just hearing that RS about to tie up a deal for Van Dijk at £75m. Father Xmas must live in Southampton to gift them that wedge for him. Joke if true. They are desperate though.
John G Davies
310 Posted 27/12/2017 at 18:01:32
Duncan's birthday today.

All the best, Big Yin.

Tom Bowers
311 Posted 27/12/2017 at 18:11:53
Everton have a few players who flatter to deceive. They need a class striker and another attacking midfielder who can supplement Gylfi and/or Rooney.

Bolasie will do a decent job when he has a few more games under his belt but he is not a true target man. Calvert-Lewin and Niasse are triers but not quality Premier League starters.

Until these problems are dealt with, then, as an attacking team, we will be mostly non-existent.

Don Alexander
312 Posted 27/12/2017 at 18:29:44
Stan (#304), I think you over-simplify things, with due respect. Most fans would be delighted had Barkley or Deulofeu been consistent in providing victory, but they were consistently nowhere near that quality and if they weren't doing that they were visibly doing nothing else.

We got rid of Duncan McKenzie for having the same sort of attitude as Deulofeu, deeming his 14 goals in 48 appearances, and zilch otherwise, to be insufficient. Compare that to Deulofeu's 5 goals in 62 appearances for us. Woeful.

Barkley suffers severely when compared with Dele Alli, by no means the total midfielder himself but who's scored 32 in 89 Spurs games against Barkley's 21 in 150 for us, and Dele Alli is far more effective in winning the ball back.

Talent does not excuse lack of effort in the "workhorse" department. Ask anyone who saw the teams that won the league for us. Shirkers, such as Deulofeu and Barkley, were conspicuous by their absence.

Ray Robinson
313 Posted 27/12/2017 at 18:33:52
In defence of Tom Davies, wasn't it as recently as the Swansea game that he came on and transformed our fortunes?

I agree that this season he hasn't shaped up as well as he might have done. I suspect that he has one fatal flaw that he might struggle to overcome and that is he is quite slow off the mark, which means that when he does sidestep a man or get ahead of a player, he allows his opponent to catch up with him.

There's a decent player in there and I do think that he reads the game well but perhaps he's not the absolute gem we thought we'd unearthed. He routinely seems to be anonymous in away games. Having no real pace is a common theme with so many of our squad. He's not alone.

Paul A Smith
314 Posted 27/12/2017 at 18:42:36
Don those stats look useful until people start looking into them. Some of those Deulofeu appearances were about 4 minutes long. The sub appearances when he did get more minutes we were usually chasing the game.

While having a pop at them did you look at who created most goals and chances during their time on the pitch.

I am sure you will find it was either Barkley or Deulofeu.

Stan Schofield
315 Posted 27/12/2017 at 18:43:45
Don@312: I probably am over-simplifying, but I think the essence of what I'm saying is correct. We've had mediocre to bad managers while those creative players were here, and it would be mighty interesting to see how they'd perform under a manager who was organised and disciplined as well as promoting creativity. As Evertonians, it's dead easy to blame players when actually there's crap organisation. When there's the latter, players just get worse.

Is was Gordon Lee who got rid of Duncan McKenzie. The former was shite, while the latter was tremendous.

Phil Walling
316 Posted 27/12/2017 at 18:48:02
With you all the way, David. I know many of my generation who gave up on Everton years ago. Fortunately for the Club, younger beings have stepped in and have not yet reached the peak of our suffering.

I decided enough was enough when I retired to Cyprus three years ago. Lounge tickets were surrendered, magazine subscriptions cancelled and donations to EitC terminated. The Club chased me for a while but soon wrote me off – probably thinking I was deceased! Now I don't even go to games during my annual trip home.

I guess I'm still an Evertonian – at least as much a one as most who use this medium to vent their spleen -– but my interest is now purely academic. And, when I see via TV what the followers have to pretend to find acceptable, I begin to believe that Aphrodite's Isle is no longer far enough away!

Barry Williams
317 Posted 27/12/2017 at 18:58:20
Frank Crewe - 301

'Davies is crap'


Brent Stephens
318 Posted 27/12/2017 at 19:03:59
Stan (#304), "The criticisms even extend to our younger players, where Lookman, Davies, et al become subject to negative comments on here when they have the inevitable bad game".

And it's even within a single game that you can hear those negative comments when one of them, say, runs into a cul-de-sac.

Peter Mills
319 Posted 27/12/2017 at 19:04:08
Just logged on to see what's going on. First thing I read was “Davies is crap”.

Signing off now.

Dave Williams
320 Posted 27/12/2017 at 19:06:33
Frank Crewe- Davies is not crap. He is young with a lot to learn and currently not many shining examples to learn from. You call him " a blond John Barnes"- I wish!!!!

I have seen young players crumble many times over the years from criticism like this and it really is inadvisable. Do it to the experienced guys if you must but Tom and the other youngsters need encouragement and support as they are trying their best whilst being given little support from players who should step up and help them.

If you are old enough, you may recall a certain Colin Harvey getting terrible stick around 1965 and 1966 before becoming one of the best players I have seen.

Adrian Heath and Graeme Sharp were targets before they blossomed and even Joe Royle took dog's abuse from the bully-boys who called themselves supporters of the club.

Tom has had an iffy season so far but is a very promising player – not crap.

Jay Woods

321 Posted 27/12/2017 at 19:11:51
I have to agree with the more excoriating candid assessments of Tom Davies and the non sequitor of giving him a special pass because he's one of us.

The kid has had only one truly wow-ish performance (v Man City last season), yet it seems his entire career thus far and reputation have been built on that inch-deep foundation combined with his Toffeehood.

Ever since, it's been mediocrity and, as time has progressed, less than that; he's a liability and should not, must not be started without some hardcore remedial coaching work off-piste to remove that headless chicken act.

Moving on, maybe once the fixture congestion eases, Sam will be able to take a more adventurous / less pragmatic approach to team selection and we'll see if Klaassen gets a second chance. I'm not optimistic about either the chance or his prospects of taking it, but I am settled on the view that Davies is not first team material for the remainder of this season.

Steavey Buckley
322 Posted 27/12/2017 at 19:12:44
I have no doubt in my mind, if Moyes was given money like Liverpool FC were given, Moyes would have won the Permier League not once, but more. Unfortunately, Everton had no financial backers just a theatre impresario with no money as chairman.

Then when Everton did have money, Koeman comes along and squanders a talented squad Martinez left behind and more. It does appear, as an Evertonian, you just can't win.

Phil Walling
323 Posted 27/12/2017 at 19:16:46
I see Davies is the latest of Everton players to be outed as total crap following the likes of Fellaini, Stones, Lukaku and Barkley.

Aren't we fortunate that there are clubs out there prepared to take them off our hands – even if it is at bargain prices?

I wonder who will the next 'man we love to hate'? My bet is it will be between Coleman and Baines as soon as they return!

John G Davies
324 Posted 27/12/2017 at 19:20:30
There is one more in the field, Phil. 😀
Barry Williams
325 Posted 27/12/2017 at 19:21:17
Jay Woods [LAT] - 321

He is a 19-year-old kid that had a good first season and also had some decent games at right back too. He hasn't been up to his 1st season standard, granted, but the whole team, including senior pros have been under-performing.

Under Koeman we never had a balanced and consistent midfield for Davies to operate in. He's a teenager learning his trade and considering the circumstances, has done well.

The idea that he gets a free pass because he is one of us doesn't wash with me – look at the treatment of Barkley. I believe that being born in the area is the proverbial double-edged sword.

Also, he has operated in a team full of young lads, the West Brom game had Davies, Kenny, Calvert-Lewin, Holgate and Baningime involved. All teens or just out of their teens. That is a lot of youth in 1 team, meaning less senior pros to take the burden off them, especially in a midfield shorn of Rooney and Gueye! This means less direction and advice!

Barry Williams
326 Posted 27/12/2017 at 19:23:55
John G Davies - 324

2 John. Kenny was getting it on another thread!

Tony Abrahams
327 Posted 27/12/2017 at 19:24:58
Steavey, I remember Moyes with money after he sold Lescott... it was then that I knew he wasn't good enough!
Geoff Lambert
328 Posted 27/12/2017 at 19:29:10
David (#279),

No mate I was just exaggerating the point my way rather that to suit Brian.

See what I did there Not 1 yard, empty net; not 18 yards 2 players on line okay..

Darren Hind
329 Posted 27/12/2017 at 19:32:36
Please can we stop describing what Allardyce is serving up as "safety-first football"?

What we have witnessed in the past two games and at Anfield is anti-football. A coward's excuse for competing, a deliberate intention to spoil the game through lack of belief in one's own ability... He's done it for years.

When I look at the number of teams who have brushed West Brom aside or how West Ham, Palace and Burnley all went toe-to-toe with Chelsea and beat them, I feel ashamed... properly ashamed.

We will be the same again against an Eddie Howe team that cost a fraction of ours... don't be surprised if they turn us over.

This is not football as I know it.

John Keating
330 Posted 27/12/2017 at 19:38:29
To me it is a great shame that some posters on here are slagging off our young lads.

These young guys have been put into the limelight due to the gross incompetence of people managing our Club. These kids, whether good or bad, go out every game and try and give 100% usually to the shame of the so-called older more established players.

These kids are played week after week because we do not have anyone better in our squad.

Tom Davies appears to be the latest target of our so-called experts and, rather than appreciate what this kid is trying to do, we have a load of arseholes who can do nothing but criticise the lad. Bloody shame on you.

Well let me say as another arsehole that, maybe fortunately where I go, the people around me have the decency to accept these lads have been thrown in the deep end and are trying their best; consequently, they don't get the slagging during the game they seem to get on this forum.

Everyone has the right to their opinion but, before they open their mouths, think about the realistic alternatives we have at present to the youngsters.

John Wilson
331 Posted 27/12/2017 at 19:39:16
I looked at Niasse and the way he moves his body in place to be in a position to score, in my view looks special. In addition to his athletic body, he is more than capable of scoring in the Premier League as he has proven already.

Yes, he is a limited player – but he has lightning quick reactions in his passing and his finishing off ability. The potential is clearly there but his opponents know his strengths and weaknesses too. This is evident by how they take Niasse out of the game.

This was not the case when he was playing for Hull against Liverpool and Man Utd, where he scored some good goals. Sam has to deal with this problem.

Steavey Buckley
332 Posted 27/12/2017 at 19:41:26
Everton under Moyes always over achieved with a squad of players available to him. Everton under the Kenwright board of directors never used what money they had even though Philip Green was a billionaire. When players were bought, they had to use Goodison or the training facilities at Bellefield or Finch Farm as collateral. That is no way to run a successful football club with ambition.
Jack Convery
333 Posted 27/12/2017 at 19:53:43
If the Bournemouth forwards get the chances West Brom did, we will lose, make no mistake. Defoe, Wilson and King are not Rondon, and the posts at Newcastle are still at Newcastle – the Bournemouth posts may not be so kind.
Steve Hogan
334 Posted 27/12/2017 at 19:55:07
Clearly, the number of right 'arseholes' on this site seem's to be growing year on year. The toxicity directed at our younger players is quite frankly staggering, and those involved ought to take a long hard look at themselves.

What on earth do they think they will achieve? Maybe they're so shallow, it makes them feel a little bit better about themselves. No player needs reminding to that degree when their having a 'mare'.

No wonder that Barkley want's out.

Andy Crooks
335 Posted 27/12/2017 at 19:56:58
Jay Woods (#321), "I am settled on the view that Davies is not first team material for the remainder of the season". No matter what, eh?

Have another read at your post, Jay and maybe you will get an idea of just how ludicrous it is. Maybe your beloved Sam differs with you on this. Now how could that be?

Jay Wood

336 Posted 27/12/2017 at 20:09:57
Jack @ 333.

Regarding the 'potency' of Bournemouth's attack, this season Wilson has 4 goals, Defoe 3 and King 2. What is to fear about those numbers, given our recent defensive record?

Add to the mix Defoe is out for 10 weeks and there is even less to worry about.

As to the reference to goal posts which you and others make about the Newcastle and Chelsea games (implying Everton just 'got lucky'), you do understand such efforts do not count as goals. Indeed, they are not even counted as 'shots on target.'

Probably not, I'm guessing.

Andy Crooks
337 Posted 27/12/2017 at 20:14:11
Tony Marsh (#289),

I don' t know how I missed that beaut. Anyway, Tony, how about providing a link to where Evertonians, in fact fucking anyone, one single person, has suggested that if you are an Everton player and (God forbid) an Everton supporter, you are immune from criticism?

It seems to me that the opposite might be true. Davies may not become "top notch"; perhaps it takes a more discerning judge, like you, to decide this early in his career.

Tony Abrahams
338 Posted 27/12/2017 at 20:14:28
Agree with your last post, Steavey, more than the one before, but David Moyes was in bed with Kenwright for years, it actually stopped me going to Goodison for his last few games in charge.

Tom Davies is struggling and needs to be taken out of the firing line for a bit, but I suppose it comes with the territory, when it comes to playing football, with the words 'shit' or 'shite' never too far away from many tongues!

Dave Brierley
339 Posted 27/12/2017 at 20:22:40
Jay Woods (#321), "I am settled on the view that Davies is not first team material for the remainder of the season." Ridiculous comment.

If you've ever played, Jay, you should know every player, even the great ones, have an 'off time'. Tom is a very good footballer and has played in so many different positions with a variety of different plans and yet has still been a a massive influence in several games.

It 's very clear that he has huge potential and will be a key player in our fortunes going forward. He's a young guy and has simply been the victim of recent conflicting managerial systems. He's in my first eleven every time.

Geoff Lambert
340 Posted 27/12/2017 at 20:27:52
Phill Walling,

Why don't you give up on ToffeeWeb then?

As you don't go to games or watch them any more, What's the point?

Frank Crewe
341 Posted 27/12/2017 at 20:28:25
If all you Davies fans are correct why are there no Davies to Man City, Man United, Arsenal, RS, Chelsea rumours like there were for Lukaku, Stones and now Barkley?

When good young players, especially English ones come along the moneybags clubs are on them like a rash. Yet I don't see clubs lining up at our door waving huge cheques under our nose.

Somebody mentioned Colin Harvey being a late bloomer. Well, here's a couple of names: John Ebrell and Tony Grant. Remember when they were going to be the next big thing? How many seasons did we wait before finally realising they were bog standard? What about the recently retired Osman? How much slagging off did he get? But at least he scored relatively often.

Davies is a bog-standard player at best. I'm sure in the next transfer window or two Sam will replace him and he will be relegated to the bench or back to the U23s until he improves or gets moved on.

Jay Wood

343 Posted 27/12/2017 at 20:41:51
Frank @ 341.

That is a bewildering facile argument.

Kinda sits well with your original post on Tom Davies @ 301.

How easily forgotten by some how consistently well he played - at 18! - last season.

Still, enough supporters thought enough of Tom to vote him Young Player of the Season as well as award him goal of the season and performance of the season.


Obviously all lacking your precognition and prescience, Frank.

Dave Abrahams
344 Posted 27/12/2017 at 20:42:39
Good to see a few Evertonians coming to the support of Tom Davies. He's not playing as well as he did when he first came into the team, but it is a different team with a different style and a much more defensive attitude.

His energy is what he is being played for and as another poster pointed out it helped to change the game last week versus Swansea when the much more experienced French, costly, International was having another poor game and the former world class Rooney had done little right in the game until Tom came on.

Yes, he needs a rest; he has been giving much more experienced players a lift instead of the other way round. He will come back refreshed and a better player in a team that is playing more progressive and attacking football than it is at the moment.

Frank Crewe
345 Posted 27/12/2017 at 20:44:24
Jay. So what? We had a reasonable season and he scored a great goal. But times change. I'll bet he doesn't win it this year. Jonjoe all the way.
Phil Bellis
346 Posted 27/12/2017 at 20:45:51
Jesus, Frank. You seem a bit down... comma do down down. I shall respond when more soberish... Don't wait up!

Lev Vellene
347 Posted 27/12/2017 at 20:46:31
It was more or less sheer desperation that made Sir Alex Ferguson stick with his young ones way back in the nineties, and how many of those benefited from those tough initial games until the team gelled and won the League? "You'll never win anything with kids!"...

Well, the world has changed, and we probably won't easily compete with all the money's worth of players amassed by the top teams within the last decade. We're playing serious catch-up there!

I say we have an equally good opportunity here! No one except those locked into their own reality really expects anything except survival and a top-half finish this year (we all hope, though!). I think we have that in hand already. I don't think our youngsters will make us win the Premier League next year, but we have this opportunity to make them mature into proper players to either keep out, or compete with anyone we bring in in January or during the summer. It's all about self-confidence for the young ones!

With all our injuries, we have this surprise season to blood our young ones properly, no matter if we buy any much-needed pros in key areas. Who would know about Kenny if Coleman was fit all season?

We so easily forget that there is so seemingly little British talent lately, mostly because they were never given the time to learn under fire at the top level, after the money & results made clubs buy the already-proven foreign mercenaries for instant impact!

Alan Smith
348 Posted 27/12/2017 at 20:48:59
Koeman sold Lukaku and played Calvert-Lewin up front on his own. And often three centre backs.

Roberto Martinez played two defensive midfielders for four seasons. The same two. They were instructed never to get ahead of the ball. They actually had a side!!! Right and left defensive midfielders. Their attacking contributions extremely poor.

David Moyes at one point had Fellaini, Cahill, Rodwell, Arteta, Pienaar, a number of wingers but a 30-odd-year-old Neville still got games – and was captain!

Royle had his FA Cup winning dogs of war. My favourite Everton team. Which was entertaining to me as Pep's Barca for many different reasons.

I just want to follow Steve Ferns logic through now though.

He wanted Silva. But he said he and Unsworth have no time to teach the players anything because the games were too close together and there was not enough sessions.

Allardyce, under the same constraints and more injuries. Has managed not only get his methods accepted by the players, but implement them to great effect.

He also started below Silva in the league. Silva has his own signings and a whole summer to get his message across in numerous sessions. But Sam is looking down on Silva now. Therefore, I can only assume he is a better coach. In fact I'm sure Mr Ferns would agree he is a miracle man to change our tactics and make them work in so few sessions.

As for style of play, I do not hear anyone on here saying they have been scouring the Internet in order to watch the entertaining Watford games.

Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe Guardiola could have got Martina bombing past Sigurdsson and Kenny flying down the right. I can just see Calvert-Lewin in the false 9, playing it round the corner to a marauding Gana.

Then again re-watch Sigurdsson's last goal, and look who does bomb past him allowing him to cut inside and shoot. Although, I bet some on here think Allardyce was telling him get back. Which he wasn't. And they can't remember Moyes laughing when being interviewed after a game "I was screaming at him to get back, when he scored". Or putting on countless defenders trying to defend a goal lead and it back firing.

I suppose Allardyce will never shake his label. And Paul Scholes couldn't tackle either.

If he got the Barca job I bet he would tell pique to bang it long to Messi.

Jay Wood

349 Posted 27/12/2017 at 20:52:37
Another facile response Frank.

It's not a case of whether Tom Davies will be a candidate to win the Young Player of the Year award again this year, or the goal of the season. (And on that front, I rather think Calvert-Lewin is ahead of Kenny or any other young player for the first award)

You made exceedingly strong assertions against Tom Davies which many a poster has countered.

You don't like him. Got it. Others do.

You demonstrate a total absence of tolerance and patience with the lad. Got it. Others do.

Do you get that?

David Johnson
350 Posted 27/12/2017 at 20:58:40
Sam has fixed the defence and has got remarkable results considering what he inherited. Yes, we were absolutely non-existent as an attacking force against West Brom but the squad he inherited was shite and perhaps not always capable of a good all-round performance.

The worrying thing is, he's already hinted that there'll be no money in January, so the best we can expect is that he is given all the money from sales. I'd like to see him backed by the board who hired him because I think he's capable of much more.

My fear is he doesn't get backed and we just end up with a fixed defence and bore the arse of everybody.

Brian Denton
351 Posted 27/12/2017 at 20:59:39
I can remember Howard Kendall taking stick in the early part of his Everton career. Howard Kendall ffs!

It's too early to write Tom off.

Seamus McCrudden
352 Posted 27/12/2017 at 20:59:53
Lads, I like Tom but he's only a kid. He's been shown up a bit recently with poor performances but needs must I suppose... But so what – who hasn't been poor this season?

He needs to be taken out of the limelight & pressure taken off when we sign another midfielder. Then his upward journey may well continue. Have faith.

Lev Vellene
353 Posted 27/12/2017 at 21:05:39
Tom Davies has the proper heart! Now he needs to learn self-discipline!

I was actually screaming in frustration at times last match, as he gave away the ball much too often! His passing was often sloppy, as if it was just a matter of waving his foot onto the ball, expecting it to go where he hoped for it to go...

Now, if he can take that extra half-a-second to aim his passes, with the proper force needed, I'll be over the moon!

David Johnson
354 Posted 27/12/2017 at 21:07:41
What Tom provides is incessant drive and energy in a forward direction. He should never be risked in games where we know we'll be parking the bus. Tom's best games are when we go out with attacking intent and his little mistakes happen further up the field.
Lev Vellene
355 Posted 27/12/2017 at 21:16:27
David (#354),

Yes, that is what he does now! I don't really complain, when it works... Which it doesn't do every game... Think what his drive and energy can be turned into when he starts to consciously direct it?

So I'll want him to keep playing whenever possible! I just hope he can learn to temper that enthusiasm and energy into a consciously directed process of how to outplay any opposition! :)

And 'temper' does not mean 'dampen'! I just hope he can focus his often wayward energy!

Ray Robinson
356 Posted 27/12/2017 at 21:22:14
Seems Sam Allardyce's tactics against Chelsea (regrettably justifiable in my view in the circumstances) are being copied by Rafa in tonight's game at St James's against Man City. Currently 0-1 with the away side having 82% possession. Are the better sides just getting better or are more managers practising safety-first tactics? Entertainment or damage limitation?
Lev Vellene
357 Posted 27/12/2017 at 21:32:59
Ray (#356),

Or it may just be that there seems quite a point in not letting in too many goals in a game you already expect to lose, with the actual points being so close at the half-way season? Goal difference may be worth millions at the end of the season, after all! And Rafa isn't a footballing fool, after all! Early positioning, maybe?

Paul Birmingham
358 Posted 27/12/2017 at 21:35:10
Let's see what happens in the transfer window and bearing the RS and the derby result, 3 weeks ago, plus the next RS game, Friday week, I'm sure that the Sams are building up a game plan.

The RS will be stating their gonna win the Premier League after buying Virgil van Dijk, but I'm not yet convinced this will be the move – the RS hordes claim it will be.

Each to their own view, but let's cut some slack and luck is made and hope is found, for the 2nd half of this epic season.

Bournemouth next, hopefully a win and then we turn over Man Utd.

Happy 2018 for all Evertonians, it can only get better!

Ray Robinson
359 Posted 27/12/2017 at 21:36:50
Yes, Lev. Just highlighting that Allardyce isn't the only pragmatic manager. Benitez has won the Champions League and yet still felt it appropriate tonight to shut up shop – even at home.
Tony Everan
360 Posted 27/12/2017 at 22:28:16
Tom needs a bit of maturity and experience, he is very, very young still. His body is going at 90 mph, his brain only at 80.

I am certain we will have a great midfielder in the future in Tom Davies. The lad needs those increasingly rare commodities in premier league football, time and patience.

Stan Schofield
361 Posted 27/12/2017 at 22:52:24
Brian@351: And Colin Harvey. Also, Alan Ball got stick when his form dropped after the 1970 World Cup. So did Kendall when he suffered a brief drop in form in the early 70s, at a time when he was keepng us in the first division.

I was especially gobsmacked in the Ball and (70s) Kendall episodes. I was young, and queried my dad as to why Evertonians were giving them stick. He said, there's no pleasing some people, and that some are just narks, including some Evertonians.

Andy Williams
362 Posted 27/12/2017 at 23:04:15
Some utter bollocks written on this thread. No player or manager is immune from criticism but some of the vitriol and nonsense poured out here is just plain ignorant.

Every player and every team suffers dips in form. We are recovering from 2 managers who tried to impose their philosophies on the team. As a result, the players – all of them – obviously lost some confidence and their game has suffered.

Things are far from perfect. Players are finding their feet again. Anybody who has ever played knows that is almost impossible to play well unless you know where your team mates are going to be. A solid structure is in the process of being built. It will take time for fluidity.

This is a supporters site yet it often reads like a post match BBC comments thread with comments from fans of other teams. The negativity on here is unbelievable.

The quality of some of our youth players, the new stadium, an owner with money – all things that offer more hope than at many times in the 45 years I have been watching Everton. Constructive criticism is good; much of this shite is inane drivel.

Tom Bowers
363 Posted 27/12/2017 at 23:17:31
Spot on, Andy (#362).
Tom Bowers
364 Posted 27/12/2017 at 23:21:46
RS in for Rip Van Dyke. £75 million! you have got to be kidding me. We could have given them Williams for £1 million.
Don Alexander
365 Posted 27/12/2017 at 23:36:39
Tom, are you related to Blue Bill? :)

If that Dick van Dyke, is worth 㿷 mill, our Ashley must be in the region of 㿊mill minimum!

Dick Fearon
366 Posted 27/12/2017 at 00:09:37
Stan 361, I also remember the great Alan Ball getting stick from our own fans.
Steve Carse
367 Posted 28/12/2017 at 00:16:28
Dick (366), indeed he did – because he was stinking the place out for a large chunk of the 70-71 season, burnt out after having been given the "chase everything" role by Ramsey in the heat and rarefied atmosphere of Mexico in the summer of 1970. Poor performances draw adverse criticism wherever you play your football.
Darren Hind
368 Posted 28/12/2017 at 06:05:22
Those questioning Tome Davies need only look at how we play when he's on the pitch and how we play when he isn't.

Schneidrlin played against Southampton – we were Mullered

Tom was back for West Ham –we did the mullering.

He played in the win against Huddersfield.

He was rested against Swansea when we threaten to put 40,000 into a coma... until he came on and transformed the game.

Tom's got miles to go and the wins cant be put solely down to him, but he is a tremendous prospect who provides a much needed energy... we look like the walking dead without him.

Stan Schofield
369 Posted 28/12/2017 at 09:33:52
Steve, he certainly didn't stink the place out. His form wasn't up to his world class standards, but it was good enough for Arsenal to pay double what we paid for him 5 years earlier.

Obviously, criticism is warranted where it's due, but fans giving players stick for mistakes that, quite frankly, they are not making deliberately, is to me totally verboten. I thought that when I was a teenager back then, and still think it now. When I hear it at a game, I just think, what a twat.

Ian Hollingworth
370 Posted 28/12/2017 at 09:38:57
We are miles behind a lot of the teams due to the years of neglect by Bill Kenwright. The tenure of the greatest ever Evertonian sees us with a squad of players that do not live up to the expectations of the fans and hence all the bickering about who is and isn't good enough. We are over reliant on youngsters as the mis-management of the club has left managers with little choice but to throw them in.

We now have a manager who appears to be addressing some of the basic problems and it is only a few weeks into his reign.

Great post earlier about 2004-05 when we finished 4th with Sams Bolton only 3 points behind. They also scored 4 more goals than we did and conceded 2 less but that is all history. Let's see who we get in, how the team improves etc.

However on the matter of what we should accept, I want to accept nothing less than ambition to be a winning team that wins trophies. That ambition has to start at the top of the club.

Tony Abrahams
371 Posted 28/12/2017 at 10:15:31
If the great Alan Ball, suffered burn-out, then I can't wait for it to happen over the Park!
Len Hawkins
372 Posted 28/12/2017 at 10:21:04
Brian (#351),

I too remember it taking a while for Howard Kendall to settle in when we signed him. That is what surprises me about the expectation on this season's imports who started off playing for a manager who was stealing a living, not in a virtually settled team as Kendall came into.

The constant chopping and changing of Koeman's team and the amount of new faces coupled with Koeman's alleged attitude towards them gave us the team we grew to denigrate at every opportunity and it is taking a lot to turn around both the team and the tactics. The difference in a lot of the players in the last month is testament to the mismanagement of clueless Koeman.

Yes, I know the football may not be great YET but how that defence was turned around in such a short time from shipping goals like there was no tomorrow to being as tight as a duck's ring piece is astounding.

John G Davies
373 Posted 28/12/2017 at 10:34:43

In the 8 games before Sam took over we conceded 28 goals.

In the 8 games he has been in charge we have conceded 2.
Astounding as you say.

Tony, he burnt Dortmund out with his style of play. Fingers crossed.

Tony Abrahams
374 Posted 28/12/2017 at 13:03:59
If not now, then when John G? I live in hope I know, but I don't think their style can be long-term sustainable.

Same with our own style also, I'm not convinced what Allardyce has done is astounding because part of the problem, was just a basic neglect, but it doesn't mean I'm not impressed by it though.

The real proof, will be if he can keep us tight, when we move onto the next phase, but he's just signed a forward, that he has had his eye on for quite a while I believe?

Now I'm just hoping we can sign a fetch, carry midfielder, but there doesn't seem to be many about, or maybe the game has just changed?

Pete Clarke
375 Posted 28/12/2017 at 13:15:19
I am sure most of the players we have right now are capable of playing better football but their instructions are to hold position and stay tight.

I am reading a lot of criticism of Davies, Kenny and Calvert-Lewin. What a load of nonsense that is ! While I agree that they are going to have bad moments, if people want to criticise then start with seasoned pros like Schneiderlin , Williams and even Gana who for all of his ball winning cannot seem to pass the ball more than 2 yards. These youngsters have got great ability and fight which we need and I am sure they will blossom in a settled team with better players around them.

On the subject of Big Sam, well here came here to keep us up and as galling as the football is he is getting points on the board. If the footy does not improve then he will be released with credit for keeping us up and a few more million in his pocket. He will get little credit from me if the footy stays the same, that's for sure. If he somehow manages to to get some nice football going then we can all win.

It's tough being a blue with so many disappointments but I still watch and hope that one day we can put our name on a trophy and hear outsiders talking about Everton being a nice team to watch.

John Boon
376 Posted 28/12/2017 at 14:49:42
Completely agree with Peter (375). Slagging off younger players can only be detrimental. However, constructive criticism with a plan for future improvement can prove fruitful. Realistically this can mainly be achieved on the training ground or, if possible, during a break in a game.

To me Davies has been over used and sometimes far too much is expected of him. Same with Calvert-Lewin. Just plain insulting any player, young or old, is very unlikely to do anything other than abate personal frustrations. The latter has been a common feeling for all Blues.

Dave Lynch
377 Posted 28/12/2017 at 15:41:05
He reminds me of Jimmy Husband when running with the ball. Always seems to be a step in front of it and never has total control over it.

John G Davies
378 Posted 28/12/2017 at 15:50:13
Nzonzi would be perfect for us, Tony. We need a midfielder who can get the ball deep and carry it (at pace) 30-40 yards forward.
Steven Jones
379 Posted 28/12/2017 at 16:06:50
Lev (#347) – Great call, the group of young U20 World Cup and Premier League 2 winners, could go on and be the foundation of a great Everton side. At least with the level of exposure and experience given them this year, they will save around –100Million plus in transfer fees if they become key parts of the first team squad over the next 5 to 10 years.

I note with Holgate's form and Keane's MotM last week, the question of a new centre-back has gone away a bit. This can help focus resource on a left-back, dynamic central midfielders... and striker power.

Dave Abrahams
380 Posted 28/12/2017 at 19:20:20
Stan (369), I understand your point about players not making mistakes deliberately, but for the last three years players from all positions are continually making very very poor passes; now they might not be doing it deliberately but they are doing very little to try and improve this very simple and basic requirement. Young kids get better at it the more they play, and I'm talking about professional footballers on upwards of 㿊,000 per week.

At least after three or four weeks Allardyce in expressing his disappointment at how poor we are at finding another player in a blue shirt, I hope this filters down to the players, it's doing my head in watching it week after week after week.

Stan Schofield
381 Posted 28/12/2017 at 20:11:34
Dave, I agree that professional players should get the basics right. In my opinion, that is best aided by repetitive training with drills, so that when they get out on the pitch they know where the others are almost instinctively and are so practiced in the drills that the likelihood of poor passing is reduced. It seemed apparent that Koeman didn't do this, or at least a lot of us were bewildered as to what was going on at Finch Farm. With Allardyce, it seems that discipline, organisation and drills are the order of the day, in which case we should reasonably anticipate the quality of football improving.

Regarding players making mistakes, we agree they're not doing it deliberately. They'd much rather play well. For example, Alan Ball was the supreme example of a player giving his all for both Everton and England in every game; hence his burnout in Mexico (heat and altitude). But even he was barracked at Goodison.

Now, we all want the players to play well, as do they. We're more likely to help by encouragement, or even silence if they're not playing well. Barracking has the opposite effect of what we want. An action that has the opposite effect of we want is called 'irrational'. Thus, when I think someone who does it is being a twat, they're not just a twat, they're a completely daft twat.

Paul Tran
383 Posted 28/12/2017 at 21:06:16
Interesting case, Tom Davies. Young player, who is being played a bit too much and in danger of burning out. He's being played because we had a manager who revamped our team and couldn't explain what he wanted, so while all these seasoned pros shrank into their shells, all three mangers this season have trusted Davies's energy, desire and willingness to work his socks off.

Tom isn't the finished article and can be a bit raw, but he is an admirable shining light in this (so far) wreck of a season.

That said, I hope we get Nzonzi, who would be the ideal player for Tom to watch and learn from.

Dave Abrahams
384 Posted 28/12/2017 at 21:13:53
Stan (381), sorry, I just don't get that. If a player is making continual bad passes, and some of them are four and five yard passes, I just jump up automatically and ask out loud why these daft twats are doing it.
Stan Schofield
385 Posted 28/12/2017 at 21:48:13
Dave, don't get me wrong mate, I get frustrated as well, and will often mutter to myself, "For fuck's sake, pass the fucking ball properly", or some such, but I have never, and will never, shout out a criticism to a player. When folks do that, it's likely to make the player make even more mistakes, to a point where they don't even want the ball.
Dave Abrahams
386 Posted 28/12/2017 at 21:59:49
Stan, yes you are correct, I would never shout out directly to a player, I'm up,in the Upper Bullens, they can't hear me, but people around me can and many are shouting with me, it's only a misplaced pass, but it is a mistake and it is very basic, like a spark unable to wire a plug properly.
Stan Schofield
387 Posted 28/12/2017 at 22:05:49
Dave, I'd consider that last mistake shocking.
Dave Abrahams
388 Posted 28/12/2017 at 22:15:34
Stan, very good, LOL.
Steven Jones
389 Posted 30/12/2017 at 09:47:11
The thing about moaning – even to those who sit around us – it gets the atmosphere down, it gets in the way of the crowd encouraging and supporting the team. In fact the effect is double as it gets in the way of a COYB's – lets get behind the team.

When we moan and don't support, the opposition win. The opposition call it 'quietening the crowd' and they get motivated and more confident.

This is a double whammy of negative comments hurting the home crowd's energy and helping the opposition enjoy a signal of success.

They call on one hand "the home crowd getting on the back of their team" or they call it "The home crowd getting behind their team"

They want to quieten the home crowd at Goodison – we should not be unconsciously helping the opposition by getting on the backs of our players.

When we pick on one in particular then that can be devastating for the player, the team and the atmosphere in the ground. Daft twats should stop! Yes, in the pub afterwards, but not in the ground.

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