Blues collapse in poor second-half display

By Michael Kenrick 01/01/2018 205comments  |  Jump to last
Everton 0 - 2 Manchester United

Everton kicked off 2018 hosting Manchester United at Goodison Park.

Tom Davies, Yannick Bolasie, Wayne Rooney, Nikola Vlasic and Oumar Niasse all started in a very unusual line-up that reflected the need to rotate the squad in the congested holiday schedule with Jagielka, Lennon, McCarthy, Sigurdsson, Calvert-Lewin, and Kenny all on the bench; no place for Davy Klaassen or Sandro Ramirez and none of the other promising Everton youngsters (Baningime, Feeney, Lookman) considered by Sam Allardyce for this game. Gueye was out injured.

There was no return to Goodison for Romelu Lukaku, who was out injured. Zlatan Ibrahimovic had a knee injury and Ashley Young was serving a three-match suspension. Marouanne Fellaini was also not involved for the Red Devils.

Bolasie got down the left wing early on but crossed harmlessly into De Gea's arms. Niasse then won a ball down the right and headed it similarly into De Gea's arms. Bolasie then tried to run through the middle but straight into trouble; Everton however already looked a lot better than recently and created a chance and a shot from Rooney that was blocked behind for an early corner, headed over Holgate.

Holgate was fouled wide right, Rooney over-hit it poorly beyond everyone. Davies clumsily fouled as the quality of the game deteriorated but Holgate's cross was headed behind, winning another Everton corner from Rooney that did not beat the first man.

Everton were playing smoe better possession football bu Rooney could not create anything and eventually gave up possession cheaply. Pogba played a neat on-two to get behind the Everton defence but his pull-back was dummied by two Utd players and cleared by Bolasie.

Rooney tried to play in Holgate down the right but it slid out. Form the throw-in, Davies fired in a shot deflected behind; again, nothing from Rooney's corner.

Nice play from Niasse almost created an opening, only to overplay it. Despite Everton dominating the forward play, at the other end, a defence-splitting pass almost got Martial in on Pickford. Very dangerous. Niasse called offside on the half-way line, without the ball getting into the Man Utd half.

Niasse got through but wanted an extra touch and the ball was whipped off his toe by Rojo for another corner. Everton tried to build but Niasse gave the ball away direct to a defender, allowing the Reds switch into attack.

Lingard was tripped by Keane, taken by Mata but no threat. Niasse again tried to dribble through three defenders and failed. Man Utd stormed forward, Martial slipping an inviting ball that Pickford got a desperate hand to, so fortunate Lukaku was not there to convert!

Bolasie had not been involved for a while and was forced to spoon a cross well ahead of and beyond everyone. Utd were playing a very slow build-up, Pogba amusingly falling over the ball.

Everton were also painfully slow and laboured with their build-up breaking down when Davies crossed to no-one. Herrera stole the ball off Rooney and fired a snap-shot over the bar.

More Everton passes made slow forward progress until Niasse lost the ball. Davies got forward with more pace on a Man Utd mistake but his shot was deflected, but more follow-up play looked to be building to something with Everton looking to attack until the next turnover and Pogba lashed a wicked shot that was deflected just wide.

Bolasie went on a tremendous run, beating 2 men, but the cross at the end of it was all-too easily defended, leading to another Man Utd attacked and won a corner, defended away.

A slightly faster build-up from Everton but Holgate's cross was weak and too close to De Gea. However, the attacks were more aggressive, Lingard driving forward and firing wide of Pickford. Everton's attack was slow, and ended when Holgate gave the ball away.

Martial looked to get through but Rooney fouled him and was booked. Mata's free-kick was repelled. Lingard fouled Schneiderlin but was not booked.

The pattern of the half was each attack taking turns at trying to probe and prod away, thwarted by solid defences in front of them until they fired high, wide or lost the ball. So no shots on target from Everton to speak of. Still, the play was fairly open and a little more interesting to watch.

After the break, Mata let fly and Pickford helped it flash a foot over the bar. Man Utd continued to press the Blues defence until the inevitable turnover but Niasse fouled on the half-way line. A fantastic shot from Mata smacked the face of the post with Pickford well beaten.

The next attack saw Shaw firing in low and it needed a fantastic clearance from Martina. Everton made a rare break but were soon pressed back again, Pogba dancing in and firing across goal, behind for a goalkick. This was now a completely different game,all United.

Keane did well to head a smart ball forward into Pickford. On the next attack, it was so easy, Pogba in to Martial who picked his spot from 25 yards. Everton had been hopeless since the restart and paid the price for their poor quality.

As if it hadn't been on sided enough, it became a continuous onslaught for the Everton defence. Allardyce acted, bringing off Rooney and Bolasie, with McCarthy and Lennon their replacements. So, whatever creativity Everton might have had...

Pogba danced into the Everton area and stung Pickford's gloves with a fierce shot. Davies won a tackled and hoofed the ball away to no-pone. Williams had a chance to go forward but played it straight to Mata, Martial galloped forward an his cross needed just a touch from Pogba to score but incredibly he missed it.

Everton were totally bereft of ideas and desire, and took a while string anything like a sequence of passes that was promising but once again ended with Holgate overplaying it but they won the ball black and this time Holgate beat his man and fired in a beautiful cross for Niasse to head home... only he put it the wrong side of the post with De Gea beaten.

Much better stuff from Everton, Vlasic creating a chance but Davies was completely blocked. Even better play on the other side, Davies winning a corner with Martial off the field. The corner almost went in but somehow bounced wide.

Everton attacked again, in a far, far better spell, McCarthy making some incredible crunching tackles,a and he was like a tiger. The intensity form Everton was astounding and the action almost impossible to track as the Blues were like men possessed.

But United got forward, Pogba setting up Lingard for a shot that Pickford saved brilliantly. diving low to his left. Everton's pressure had not delivered and now they were back under the cosh and Lingard made it two with another piece of unstoppable brilliance after gliding past Keane and Williams. Calvert-Lewin replaced Niasse, with Everton now well beaten into the last 10 minutes.

Holgate made a dreadful tackle from behind on Lingard and Pogba decided to get involved, putting hius hand in Holgate's face as Andre Marriner was booking the Everton player. But of course no punishment for the Man Utd player.

A late corner taken by Davies after a much better cross from Holgate was headed well wide by Keane. But Everton's 'attack' was shown to be non-existent for the third game in succession.

» Full match details

Reader Comments (205)

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Matthew Williams
1 Posted 01/01/2018 at 16:35:14
Can we try a new approach this year Blues... called Attack!
Chris Gould
2 Posted 01/01/2018 at 16:38:44
I would never have predicted that lineup. It's certainly more attacking than I expected, and it actually looks quite pacey.

Here's hoping for a positive performance and a new attitude for 2018!!

Paul Kelly
4 Posted 01/01/2018 at 16:45:42
Really putting his faith in Bolasie!
Joe McMahon
5 Posted 01/01/2018 at 16:47:22
Pleased that Niasse is at last starting but no Lookman (again) not even on the bench.
Darren Hind
6 Posted 01/01/2018 at 16:48:52
Let's just attack.

This crew will be very happy to see us surrender territory, but if we get on the front foot. they will not be as comfortable.

I'm expecting/ hoping for a win here

Dan Davies
7 Posted 01/01/2018 at 16:52:40
I was hoping to see Vlasic in there as well as Niasse. A more attacking line up as it should be at Goodison. Beat Man Utd today, great start to the New Year!

COYBB! Get at em!

Lenny Kingman
8 Posted 01/01/2018 at 17:00:16
Rooney is the key that may bring a surprise outcome this evening. In fact I think the errant blue boy will deliver the goods tonight.
Christy Ring
9 Posted 01/01/2018 at 17:07:13
Why Sam rushed back Gueye to play at Bournemouth, and now injured for the Man Utd game, doesn't make sense. We look weak depending on Schneiderlin in midfield.
Tom Bowers
10 Posted 01/01/2018 at 17:16:54
What else can Sam do? This is a shake-up but Schneiderlin should have been replaced by Macca who is a much better tackler and more mobile.

Nothing to lose but another 3 points. Let's go for it!

Steve Bingham
11 Posted 01/01/2018 at 18:51:11
So the downward spiral begins again .
Spencer Ramsay
12 Posted 01/01/2018 at 19:27:02
Pathetic! Not a single shot on target at home. We need more than a striker in January transfer window...
Carl Allan
13 Posted 01/01/2018 at 19:27:08
Worst Everton side ever, and the support isn't much better.
Phil Walling
14 Posted 01/01/2018 at 19:32:56
Why, were you there cheering the lads on today, Carl?
Tony Hill
15 Posted 01/01/2018 at 19:33:05
I thought Allardyce picked an attacking side, or as attacking as he could make it, and that we held our own in the first half. We were beaten by a United team which played in the second half as well as I've seen them for a while with two excellent finishes. We do not have a Pogba, Martial or Mata. Having said that, the Niasse miss was critical and might have changed things.

Good cameo from McCarthy and Martina played well once more. Our lack of stamina showed again but there were some signs of a better passing game and better intent.

Disappointing, of course, but it didn't tell us anything we didn't know.

Peter Cummings
16 Posted 01/01/2018 at 19:33:20
Another nice mess, at least we signed a good 'Keeper
I think the new stadium will now turn into a pipe dream,
Chris Perry
17 Posted 01/01/2018 at 19:33:33
The fact is, as I keep saying, we have only 1 winner; the rest are from mid-table or relegation-fodder teams. Koeman did to Everton what he did to Valencia. Sam will at best hold us mid-table.

Here it hear – the stadium will not happen. Moshiri is looking to walk as he has had enough of Kenwright and the other board members. We are in complete free fall.

Michael Lynch
18 Posted 01/01/2018 at 19:39:41
Tony Hill: pretty good assessment - I don't think many will come on here and do more than rant unfortunately.

I thought Davies was good in the first half, Pickford superb throughout. Macca was a terrific sub, I'd begun to write him off.

We need more than just a striker in this window though unfortunately.

Darren Hind
19 Posted 01/01/2018 at 19:40:13
The luck has deserted us (although the woodwork did its best to save us again).

Cowardly football always ends up getting what it deserves. Very depressing.

Andy Meighan
20 Posted 01/01/2018 at 19:42:05
It doesn't look like we've got a goal in us. Nothing to do with Allardyce and everything to do with Koeman. Shit performance and the squad that's been assembled by Koeman and Walsh is shocking.

Not one player in that squad who was up for sale would get in a top 10 side. A sad indictment of a great football club.

Jim Bennings
21 Posted 01/01/2018 at 19:45:40
Rick Tarleton
22 Posted 01/01/2018 at 19:45:43
Their two goals showed the difference. They were clinical and skilful. We huffed and puffed but offered little beyond the huff and puff. We don't look like a team that is going to score two once the opponents have scored.

You can't fault Everton for effort but they are a long way behind the top six for skill. I hope effort will be enough on Friday, but I fear the worst.

Phil Walling
23 Posted 01/01/2018 at 19:46:26
We have so many players who are no more than average. It's not more we want – it's better quality. The Koeman era will come to be remembered for a novice owner throwing tens of millions away on sheer rubbish!
Jay Wood

24 Posted 01/01/2018 at 19:46:33
That's the spirit, Steve!

Very even game in the first half. Competed well and carried some threat. A pity Bolasie clearly can't yet last 90 minutes. His pace and crossing brings something to the team sorely lacking all season.

So I was disappointed why we simply didn't get the ball to him more often and why both Martina and Niasse on occasions occupied the space in front of him that should have been left free for him to run into.

That tactic was never going to be available to us all game because, as happened, Yannick needed to be subbed out at some poinnt.

The way we started the 2nd half it was inevitable we were going to concede because the defence looked nowhere near as resilient as they did in the Chelsea game.

But both goals came from poor play by us. The 1st started when Rooney played a blind pass coughing up possession on the edge of their box. Thereafter, Holgate, Keane and Schneiderlin were not properly set, Pogba was too cute for them and credit to Martial for a good finish.

Apart from a 10-15 minute after McCarthy came on and psyched up the crowd with a couple of crunching tackles, we offered very little threat.

The 2nd goal was also cheaply coughed up. A really poor throw in by Holgate, another non-challenge by Keane as Lingard jinked around him to score and another good finish.

Holgate has played very well under Sam Allardyce, but he was poor today. Defensively, he seemed to drift centrally too often rather than occupy the left back position he was selected for. This in turn resulted in Vlasic tracking back as cover, which he did well sometimes, but also poorly or not at all on others.

Mason was also poor offensively when getting into good positions in and around the United penalty area.

A poor return in 3 festive season games, which also exposed the shallowness of a disjointed squad.

Ah well...a week off from the PL and a nice easy cup tie on Friday to get back on track.

Joe Clitherow
25 Posted 01/01/2018 at 19:46:45
Usually I wait until I get home to post but we gave in second half. Looks like we had a dead cat bounce past few weeks and once again I am worried for this team.

This was the poorest United side I have seen in years but the key difference is that they were able to fashion two quality attempts for their goals. We are absolutely pathetic going forward. I don't recall a single shot on target.

Despite Rooney giving away possession today he was still most likely to create something. I really don't understand why he was subbed for yet another DM when we were losing, and that's no disrespect to McCarthy who did OK when he came on, but the game passed Tom Davies by who was really poor today I thought. I really think that substitution was a shocking decision. I don't get what he was looking to achieve at all.

Dave Lynch
26 Posted 01/01/2018 at 19:47:52
Never expected anything else TBH.

Sam Allardyce has never been anything other than an a journeyman middle of the table merchant who would not know expansive and attacking football if it bit him on the arse.

Dour, dire and frustrating as it is, he will keep us up, no more, no less and it's pointless expecting anything more.

Friday could well be the most painful derby since that painful Martinez derby, which was the most painful derby since the last painful derby.

I'm totally ambivalent toward the whole fucking thing.

Jim Bennings
27 Posted 01/01/2018 at 19:48:02
Can't fault for effort??

What five minutes in the whole game???

So that's acceptable now is it?

Dave Williams
28 Posted 01/01/2018 at 19:48:05
I agree with Tony Hill and Michael Lynch. We played quite well first half and Davies in particular was very good. Rooney was well involved albeit some of his passing is appalling for a player of his quality. Bolasie showed enough to suggest he will come back as good as before.

We didn't get started in the second half. Tom and Wayne were quiet and Schneiderlin again did not control the middle. They exploited Holgate mercilessly – he is a good CB so play him there Sam- but for a while we made a game of it with James very aggressive and showing how much better he is than Schneiderlin. Niasse tried but is more effective as a sub. Whilst Lennon and Calvert-Lewin didn't make an impact.

A word for Martina – yes, the attack slows due to his lack of a left foot but he had a decent game and very little trouble came from his flank.

Terribly biased commentating from the two RS guys on Sky who belittled what I thought was a decent enough first half from us.

Let's hope we get a few new signings and a decent performance on Friday night.

Carl Allan
29 Posted 01/01/2018 at 19:49:41
Phil (#14), Certainly was there today, never heard it so quiet for an Everton - Man Utd game in 30 years.
Dermot Byrne
30 Posted 01/01/2018 at 19:49:50
Another nice mess, at least we signed a good 'Keeper.

Will say again... the strategy is we stay in the Premier League and get better towards 2021.

Bet ya.

Dave Williams
31 Posted 01/01/2018 at 19:50:55
Tom Davies critics please watch the first half again. Rarely lost the ball, beat men consistently and was a threat.

Anonymous second half but so were the rest of the team in an attacking sense but be fair to the lad please.

David Barks
32 Posted 01/01/2018 at 19:52:21
We had men getting forward and actually going at the United defense in the first half. As a result they couldn't just send men forward and had to honor our attack.

Second half, they came out instructed to sit back. I say instructed because all five midfielders were staying in a line, nobody attempting to move forward or press up the field. They were filling defined spaces and none of them would move out of that formation.

It was clear they were instructed to tighten up coming out of the half and they completely gave the game to United. The United midfield and defense picked up on it immediately and just swarmed our half. It was pathetic, negative, defensive garbage from the manager.

With every match the Sam Allardyce era has seen less and less attacking play. From beating West Ham 4-0 at home, the goals and shots just keep decreasing. We can't even fashion a shot on goal anymore. If it wasn't for those penalties we were awarded early on in his tenure, we'd hardly have anything. And now the results will predictably get worse. Happy New Year.

Tony Twist
33 Posted 01/01/2018 at 19:52:22
2nd rate, Unhappy New Year from the blues. The performance doesn't matter to me – it's the results that count. Unfortunately big Sam just isn't doing it and if he is not careful we will be in the mire again.

Big transfer window ahead but I have absolutely no faith in the people in change of this. If we are lucky it will be one centre forward and a player who plays in a position we are heavily stocked with and a future star who will play in the Under-23s... as I say... if we are lucky.

This club is just as much a shambles as it has been since the 90s. Very disappointed with today. More embarrassment and humbling. Well done, Blues.

Amit Vithlani
35 Posted 01/01/2018 at 19:53:42
Pickford pur best player as once again we became easy meat for the top 6. Niasse was poor but I suppose we know Martinez brought in a player who is all enthusiasm, a few goals and little else. The re integration of injured players and a heavy fixture list have been disruptive.

I thought Keane looked alot better today whilst McCarthy actually got stuck in far more than Schneiderlin, who looked lost in the second half after a decent first half.

I can see why Vlasic does not get picked. In the last third he flatters to deceive and did not put in any quality from the wide areas. Once Shaw starting bombing on he was continually caught out and Pogba had loads of joy out wide.

I think we would have been outclassed whoever the manager was. We looked every inch a bunch of journeymen cloggers which the transfer guru Walsh and Koeman had collected in their wisdom.

I do not see Cenk Tosun as being a game changer for this side - another Walsh gem with no pace from an inferior league - and so the solutions to our poor attacking displays may come down to full fitness for Rooney, Siggy finding some form and Bolasie returning to match sharpness.

Tony Williams
36 Posted 01/01/2018 at 19:54:10
What an absolute bore, entertainment value, nil. Defend then concede, then what. Not a bad squad but it is the way the team is set up. Hands up, who wants to watch that each week, are they really going to give Allardyce £100M to spend?
Andy Crooks
37 Posted 01/01/2018 at 19:55:24
Sam deserved loads of stick for his last two performances. Not today, in my view. We lost to a much better team but we competed and his selection and set-up was imaginative.

I bow to no-one in the emptiness of glasses but I saw a lot to like today.

George Cumiskey
38 Posted 01/01/2018 at 20:00:19
I watched the match, just a few observations. Holgate a nightmare at right back, Sigurdsson should've come on for Rooney, Schneiderlin who gave a master class in doing nothing should've made way for Macca, and leaving it so late to sub Niasse was unbelievable.

I wouldn't give Allardyce any money to spend in this window, I'd make him work till the end of the season because I don't think we will go down. Then I'd sack him and get someone in with a bit of vision, which Allardyce is obviously lacking.

Frank Crewe
39 Posted 01/01/2018 at 20:00:20
Joe 25. "Tom Davies who was really poor today I thought."
Dave 28. "Davies in particular was very good."

It's all in the eye of the beholder. Until we get some decent forwards we will struggle. Well all know it so why spend time griping about how lousy we were today.

BTW. I thought Davies was his usual headless chicken self. But the rest of them, older and supposedly better players struggled as well. So no change there.

Carl Allan
40 Posted 01/01/2018 at 20:04:48
Schneiderlin isn't fit to link Cleverleys boots,from where I was sitting on the half way line he never once attempted to sprint forward when we had the ball in the last third (1st half), just trotted at a leisurely couldn't be arsed pace.
Mark Riley
41 Posted 01/01/2018 at 20:05:37
Better team first half but gave them too much respect in the second. Certainly a better performance than WBA and Bournemouth.

Tom Davies wasn't poor at all. Not sure where that came from.
Andy Crooks
42 Posted 01/01/2018 at 20:06:12
George, I must agree about Schneiderlin. He is a thief in a blue shirt.
Stephen Brown
43 Posted 01/01/2018 at 20:06:40
I don't want to jump on the Sneiderlin bashing but we really need a midfielder who can control possession better and move the play on quicker!

Arteta in his day!?

Our attacking play is pretty shocking at the moment and we still need a couple of wins quickly not to get dragged into the relegation dog fight

Jim Bennings
45 Posted 01/01/2018 at 20:09:23
We are just a shocking team .

This was meant to be the season we really pushed on but it's just descended into another false dawn and farce in the typical Everton way.

I really thought when Moshiri came on board we would see a bolder more fearless Everton team wanting to mix with the big boys but the truth is we are now miles away from even the Moyes and Martinez first year.

The next two games define our season, lose at Anfield and Spurs then it's going to be another relegation battle on the horizon scrapping it out with West Brom and out of the cup again in January.

Shite being an Evertonian

Andy Ellis
46 Posted 01/01/2018 at 20:09:36
Half time team talks made the difference, one wanted to win it.
Roman Sidey
47 Posted 01/01/2018 at 20:10:10
A few positives came from that but at the end of the day, a loss with zero shots on target. I am going to get blasted for saying this, but regardless of whether we bring in a forward this month, the club needs to find a lower league loan move for DCL. It's an old cliche, but him coming on as a sub was like going down to 10 men. All the best to him becoming a footballer, but this is the Premier League and every minute played is important. Players shouldn't be learning the trade on our dime.
Chris Watts
48 Posted 01/01/2018 at 20:10:37
First half was pretty good. We've missed Bolasie so much I'm surprised more on here aren't saying how well he played, he shredded the defence a few times. Niasse was turkey awful though. Seeing him on the same pitch as Pogba martial and kind hard was embarrassing and he should not play for us again.

Likewise Holgate was exploited at every opportunity. Commentators on sky pointed it out after 5 minutes

2nd half was dreadful and a goal was inevitable. What wasn't inevitable was that we'd bring our best 2 players off.

Sams interview was interesting. He basically said if we are going to win we need to keep a clean sheet- he doesn't think we can score more than 1 goal in a game. Woeful squad and it's going to take years to rebuild. Happy new year

Neil Cremin
49 Posted 01/01/2018 at 20:11:10
Disgraceful from our own supporters who booed our own player when he came on as a sub. But by god did he show some guts, drive and most of all fight which we are sadly lacking and certainly got the crowd going.

One thing Koeman did say was we were to nice and in that respect he was right. Today Macca put some badly needed bite in the side that we looked like we were going to score until Lingard ghosted passed Keane for a superb finish. That is the second time in two weeks that the goal came through him.

Holgate and Williams are out best options at the moment but badly need a ball playing center half and center forward who could take chances. Niasse has great heart and commitment but his ball control is limited and is not the one you want in the box when crosses come in.

Now maybe the naysayer will give him a break and stop looking for the first bad pass to have another go at him. Look at all the other bad passes in the match also.

George Cumiskey
50 Posted 01/01/2018 at 20:13:03
Who the hell is saying Davies had a bad game ? For me he was the M O M , the only player to drive forward from midfield ! .
Jay Wood

51 Posted 01/01/2018 at 20:14:57
Roman @ 47.

Sorry Roman, but you really show little or no understanding of what a footballer fit-for-purpose to play in the PL league is by your comments on DCL.

Dave Ganley
52 Posted 01/01/2018 at 20:15:30
Just back from the game, absolutely shocking 2nd half performance. Gutless springs to mind. This is a poor United team but we made them look like world beaters in that 2nd half. Rubbish tactics and rubbish ball retention. Chasing the game we take Rooney off and put McCarthy on. Would have replaced either Schneiderlin or Davis with McCarthy but to take off Rooney and not put Siggurdson on was just criminal.

I have absolutely no positives from that game. Holgate has been doing OK at centre half so why put him back at full back when he blatantly isn't one? Bolasie was OK and worried United in the 1st half as did Vlasic, so what did we do in 2nd half? Just don't give them the ball of course. This is Allardyce football. Darren Hind is spot on, shit tactics and rubbish football. No intention of winning that game in the 2nd half. The RS are going to tear us a new one on Friday. So disheartened by this shower of shite served up to us.

Tony Hill
53 Posted 01/01/2018 at 20:15:54
Well said, Andy Crooks (#37). Give credit to United and let's accept that we were just outgunned. That doesn't mean that there are not things for us to do much better but the idea that we let this game slip is absurd. They went up a couple of gears with world class players and we couldn't match them.
Colin Glassar
54 Posted 01/01/2018 at 20:18:50
I think Sam knows where are problems lie (see his interviews) I just don't think he knows how to fix them.

All this chopping and changing is killing us. Why the fuck Kenny didn't start at right-back beggars belief. Poor Holgate was murdered down the right wing. He's a good centre-back but he's not a right-back.

Roman Sidey
55 Posted 01/01/2018 at 20:20:01
Jay, tell me what he brings to the game?
Jeff Armstrong
56 Posted 01/01/2018 at 20:21:56
First half we where okay, couple of decent runs from Bolasie, no shots on target pretty even, second half we where awful, Schneiderlin is a disgrace and as someone has said a thief, at least Davies's chicken with no head impression shows him having a go, but with little quality I'm afraid.

Substitutions where abysmal, Sigurdsson for Schneiderlin, McCarthy for Davies and Calvert-Lewin for Bolasie would have at least left us with some attacking intent at 1-0 down; instead, it looked like Allardyce was trying to keep it to a 1-0 defeat!
Michael Lynch
57 Posted 01/01/2018 at 20:22:24
Yup, I'm with Andy Crooks @37 too - I didn't expect this line up, but Sam seemed to get it right... well, at least until United upped their game. Certainly we looked pretty positive in the first half. I was baffled by Rooney off for Macca, but it turned out to be just what we needed.

I know there are loads on here who are desperate to blame everything on Sam, but I can't put this one on his head myself. I thought the manager did okay, as did a couple of players. We're a long way off being a decent team though, IMO.

Jay Wood

58 Posted 01/01/2018 at 20:23:14

Goals, assists, great hold up play, can pass and lay off the ball accurately, good in the air, pace, the ability to occupy an entire back line on his Jack Todd as he tirelessly chases down what to others would be lost causes.

And he is only 20.

Other than that, you're right. He's shite.

Phillip Warrington
59 Posted 01/01/2018 at 20:23:28
Since our rich so-called saviour has taken over, the club has got to a stage where you just shake your head, because what you are seeing defies logic.

The football we play is utter garbage and, once again, the bit that defies logic is that the players bought in were good players at their previous clubs. The youngsters we have are some of the best in the country and the world if you go by 5 in a squad that won their age group's World Cup.

Now we have a stadium that will continue to blow out in costs, so is it really viable or is it good way for a Russian steel company to make a lot of money at Everton's expense?

We are overloaded with midfielders and yet, to defy logic, we are supposedly chasing another one. We have supposedly one of the best talent finders in the country that seems to have run dry on the finding talent bit and instead seems intent on chasing has-beens that can't get game time at their present clubs.

Although I don't think we will get relegated, I think it will be a lot closer than people think; it will be a long season of watching Everton and shaking your head in disbelief as to what happened... We finished 7th, spent £150 mill on players, so you would think "Finally!" – only to walk away shell-shocked and speechless as to what has happened.

We used to play some good football and you always knew you were still in it until the whistle was blown. We arguably improved the squad in general; we were never going to replace a 30-goal-a-season striker unless we spent as much or more on another striker; the team's fitness and basic football skills are so inadequate, it prevents the team playing any kind of football.

It is the most intimidated team to ever wear the Everton blue... which is another debate – it's not the royal blue Everton shirt, at the moment its just not Everton – and the worst part is, it doesn't seem to get better.

Jay Harris
60 Posted 01/01/2018 at 20:24:28
I thought our shape and tactics were good today and but for a couple of defensive errors we could have got something out of the game.

My take is that we are heading in the right direction but lack sufficient quality to trouble the top 6 or 7 sides at the moment.

Keane is very poor at facing up to players and could have helped prevent both goals. By contrast I thought Martina had his best game in a blue shirt.

Steve Bingham
61 Posted 01/01/2018 at 20:27:35
I believe that a big message can be delivered to everyone this month by who is shipped out just as much as who is bought in. January is notoriously a horrible time for teams to buy unless clubs have the Monopoly-sized budgets to pay hugely inflated prices. Surely cutting loose the uninterested (Mirallas?), incapable (Schneiderlin, Klaassen?) along with possibly Williams and Martina, would give a kick up the backside to the rest.

Personally I think Garbutt has to come in and Barkley must be given a chance, even if he goes on a free at the end of the season. Finally, Lookman has to be used much more to give us something more in attack, particularly at Goodison Park.

Roman Sidey
62 Posted 01/01/2018 at 20:28:10
Sorry, Jay, but I just don't see that stuff when he plays. You're right, he's 20, but he plays like he's 16. I'm not saying he's not going to be a good footballer, and he's definitely not the reason that the team is where it is, but at 0-1 down, did you honestly think him coming on was going to have a positive outcome? I slumped in my chair.
Jay Woods

63 Posted 01/01/2018 at 20:31:34
United plainly got roasted by Mourinho at half time and told to shoot from range at every opportunity. You could see them trying it every chance they got and it worked out very well for them as both their goals came that way.

We're incapable of dominating midfield and still possess powderpuff attacking prowess against all sides north of mid-table.

There is definitely a playing staff problem there, not just a managerial / coaching issue; that said, Allardyce has tinkered and it's been disastrous. His popularity is not such as to buy him much automatic forgiveness or patience; he needs to urgently get it right or he'll be hounded out, and even his apologists – like me – will turn on him.

Colin Glassar
64 Posted 01/01/2018 at 20:32:08
I think Rooney was taken off cos he's still feeling the effects of the virus. I can tell you from experience, it's not nice.

Love the way some people seem to enjoy picking on the youngest players to vent their frustrations. A few seasons ago it was all, our squad is too old. Now it's what? Too young?

George Cumiskey
65 Posted 01/01/2018 at 20:33:54
Oh Jesus... some people are saying we did okay and are heading in the the right direction.

Is it me or have my 50-odd years of following Everton addled my brain?

Paul A Smith
66 Posted 01/01/2018 at 20:34:47
George (#50). There is a terrible mindset amongst many at Goodison Park. The groans after 1 minute when Pogba turned Davies showed how many had decided before the game Davies wasn't going to play well.
Mike Dixon
67 Posted 01/01/2018 at 20:35:02
Andy (#20). Spot on. This rubbish is not Sam's doing, it's his inheritance.

He cannot be held responsible for the Rooney pass to Man Utd on their box that led to first goal.

Mistakes by highly paid players demonstrates the uphill hurdle he has!

Tony Twist
68 Posted 01/01/2018 at 20:36:05
It reminded me of the days when united had the likes of Beckham, Keane and Giggs and just rolled into town, just cruised and teased us in the first half and then scored a couple of goals then slyly looking at us as if to say that's half of what I've got. Walsh days should be numbered with the players he has assembled so far.
Andy Meighan
69 Posted 01/01/2018 at 20:38:07
As Darren 19 said – Cowardly football gets what it exactly it deserves.
Ian Bennett
70 Posted 01/01/2018 at 20:41:16
No ambition, it was coming from a poor team. Sign a left back asap, it's embarrassing playing with no balance to the team.

Hope Vlasic gets another chance over the unproductive Lennon.

Nick Lacey
71 Posted 01/01/2018 at 20:41:18
Can anyone actually tell me what Schneiderlin actually does in the team and why three consecutive managers continue to pick him? It's like we play with a man down before we even start when he players. It really angers me when he plays. Cut our loses and get him out of the team.

We have really missed a fit McCarthy over the last few years.

Trevor Lynes
72 Posted 01/01/2018 at 20:42:47
Face the obvious facts. We do not have enough quality in the present squad and no manager could turn this around without changes. Hopefully we will pick up enough points to remain safe from relegation but I do not see much more.
Mike Dixon
73 Posted 01/01/2018 at 20:43:34
Colin 54.

I agree, if you listen to Sam's interviews, he is honest. This lot are piss poor.

Rome was neither built in a day, nor dismantled. We need to do both.

Jay Wood

74 Posted 01/01/2018 at 20:44:25
Then I'm sorry for you Roman. And I'm really puzzled as to why in the aftermath of the game you zero in on a player who only came on as a late sub and played just 9 minutes.

To further claim as you do that Calvert-Lewin plays like a 16-year-old are the words of someone clearly ill-disposed to the player and who, as I originally wrote, really shows little or no understanding of what constitutes a footballer fit-for-purpose to play in the Premier League.

Calvert-Lewin, for all the silky skills he shows (that you are blind to), is both surprisingly physically strong for his apparent slight build and not averse to the dark arts of professional football, as demonstrated when he helped get Kyle Walker sent off at Man City, plus other sly game plays I have seen him make to gain an advantage on the blind side of the ref.

Calvert-Lewin's performances this season alone make a nonsense of your claims. If he can maintain that level of performance, I believe he will be a shoo-in for the club's Young Player of the Year award and a serious challenge for the main prize, the Player of the Year.

Chris Watts
75 Posted 01/01/2018 at 20:45:33
ps: Interesting interview from Sam after the match basically saying if we don't keep a clean sheet we won't win, ie, we won't score more than 1 goal per game. It was interesting and honest.

The bare bones are there. Pickford, Keane, Holgate (at centre back), Coleman, Kenny, Davies, Rooney, Sigurdsson, Bolasie, Vlasic, Lookman, McCarthy, Gana, Barkley should all stay. Sandro, Klaassen should be given a chance. Anyone over 25 has to go.

Mike Dixon
76 Posted 01/01/2018 at 20:45:35
Nick 71.

Have you not seen his girlfriend!!

Kevin Moorcroft
77 Posted 01/01/2018 at 20:52:31
A very poor lot as we all know. No point in blaming Sam. He's got a face to save and still testing this lot out.

If it were me – I'd clear out Mirallas, Sandro, Klaassen, Schneiderlin & Niasse for a start. I don't reckon any of these are any good for the top flight.

Amazing how Koeman destroyed the squad and walked away with no redress and if Walsh is doing what his title states then he should be gone surely. Why is he here? Gross misconduct in my book.

The two Sam's are only doing a saving job and there will be heavy losses in some games that cannot be stopped against the top clubs.

What a shit management team we have at Director level, allowing this to occur... Koeman on the fucking golf course every day; Walsh not seeing Lukaku's loss leaving us with no strikers one's gone. Leave the other fucker in Turkey; he was only lucky with Vardy anyway.

I didn't even communicate today just waited for result. I knew the outcome well before the start. Management all know we are in a very bad position so just trying to avoid the drop would be a bonus to me.

Most of these players have just not got the ability or desire some need a bloody good talking to. How many more supporters are totally pissed off! Without season tickets, they'd be down to 18,000 gates for sure.

Nicholas Ryan
78 Posted 01/01/2018 at 20:54:09
If I won a competition, the prize for which, was the ability to ask Professor Steven Hawking 2 questions: one easy, one hard, my choices would be:

Easy: What is the meaning of life?

Hard: What is the point of Schneiderlin?

Guido Blumberg
79 Posted 01/01/2018 at 20:55:07
Only one point from the last 9. What are the fans of Sam Allardyce going to talk about now? On playing styles, they said nothing, their only argument was good results. But at this time, the numbers are not good either.

A single comment to fans of Sam Allardyce who like numbers and not watch the games: David de Gea did not have a single important save in 90 minutes. Everton is much bigger than this. As another fan said before: Cowardly football always ends up getting what it deserves.

John Keating
80 Posted 01/01/2018 at 20:57:20
I'm just in so haven't read the comments.

Hopefully this game will have shown all those calling for Allardyce's head exactly what he has to work with.

Posters wanted a more attacking line up, well they got it. Bolasie was knackered after 50 minutes. The guy behind me pointed him out and he had hands on hips and blowing like a flogged horse.

Vlasic knows one way, forward, defensively he hasn't sussed it out yet! But hey, apparently him and Lookman are the new way forward.

Rooney was definitely under the weather and struggled after half-time.

It doesn't matter what team Allardyce puts out and what system he employs, man for man we were poor all over the pitch.

This has got fuck all to do with Allardyce, the players he inherited are below par. Bringing one or two back after injury or bringing one or two in will not change anything significantly. Like Unsworth, he has been dealt a dud hand.

Manchester United's movement and skill were a different level than ours. Two stupid mistakes gave United the win and these mistakes are costing us.

I just hope Rooney and Gana are 100% for Friday and the half-hour or so McCarthy got is enough for him to replace Sigurdsson.

We are where we are tonight and, regardless of the transfer window, I doubt we'll get much higher. Daft mistakes by players need sorting. They are the problem.

Roman Sidey
81 Posted 01/01/2018 at 20:57:41
Jay, I'm open to discussion on things, such is the nature of these forums, but I didn't see the point in repeating what 30-odd posts before me said that I thought were valid, so I brought up a point that hadn't been mentioned yet. Do we all have to tow a line and/or explain every minutiae of a match in our posts?

I think you're now in the realm of overcompensating a point. There is no way you see all that you say you see when Calvert-Lewin plays at the moment. I don't blame the man, I blame the club, wholeheartedly. But this "he's doing his best in a bad situation" mentality is exactly what the board wants the supporters thinking.

Steavey Buckley
82 Posted 01/01/2018 at 20:59:42
If Sam Allardyce is going to play a defensive game and hit teams on the break, then have 2 banks of 4 players in each and have 2 strikers. Everton have become a graveyard for strikers in recent times, who have to plough the middle by themselves. If they manage to get past one defender, there is another just waiting.

What I learnt to day, Bolasie and Vlasic have no end product, can't cross the ball or shoot. In fact, Everton have no players who have the confidence to shoot outside the penalty area. Once a player is around the box they will pass out wide.

For the first goal, Rooney could not break a habit of a life time football with Manchester United and set up the pass that led to their first goal when Everton had players out of position in forward positions.

I was disappointed with Pickford for both goals, he was out of position with their 2 shots that were not actually arrowing to the top corner but relatively safer.

Michael Lynch
83 Posted 01/01/2018 at 21:02:00
What worries me most about Schneiderlin is the way he seems to completely cut out for a moment and let play carry on around him. His team mates will be expecting him to run for a ball, but he'll suddenly freeze as if the ref has blow the whistle, and the ball will roll towards an opponent. I'm wondering if he has some previously unheard-of illness, switchy-offy-itis or something.

It reminds me of my car when the mass air-flow sensor was fucked, it just used to switch off without warning when I was cruising along, and by the time I'd realised, every fucker was honking me from behind. That's Schneiderlin.

Roman Sidey
84 Posted 01/01/2018 at 21:04:39
Very noticeable, that, Michael. I assumed it was his seasons at Utd that primed him for hearing fouls called by the ref so often.
Paul A Smith
87 Posted 01/01/2018 at 21:05:03
A week ago there was a comment on here along the lines of "Give me Calvert-Lewin's energy over Lazy Lukaku anyday."

Now without using swear words here, from rubbish like that to the rubbish the club have provided us with since the summer, no wonder we are where we are.

Go through the thread and look at how many closed-minded fans we have. Thousands judging by this. Still expecting good football from average performers. Unreal. Only at Everton.

We had the first attack today and were level at half time but for some reason there are negative football comments. Dim on every level.

Colin Glassar
88 Posted 01/01/2018 at 21:06:46
It was very noticeable, Roman.
Shaun McGough
89 Posted 01/01/2018 at 21:07:40
Poor Tom Davies and Co, all having to do so much extra to compensate for Schneiderlin to play.
Ian Hollingworth
90 Posted 01/01/2018 at 21:08:27
Quality is everything and we have very little. Man Utd have more quality than us and that was the difference. Blame Sam all you like but, without better quality, no manager would make this lot win anything.

Niasse is awful; he tries hard but if we want to improve we need better options for the attacking positions.

We are shite and we definitely need to rebuild.

Jay Wood

91 Posted 01/01/2018 at 21:08:29
Roman, you chose to make the chief subject of your opening post in this thread @ 47 about Calvert-Lewin. You even pre-fixed it with the words: "I am going to get blasted for saying this..." before making the claims you did against the player. So take responsibility for the (seemingly anticipated) consequences of those words.

To now state "There is no way you see all that you say you see when Calvert-Lewin plays at the moment" (my emphasis) is quite correct.

Why? Because until today he has been a constant starter under Sam. I said 3 games ago, I was surprised he was picked for the West Brom, because he needed a break. After the match I said he looked absolutely goosed and we were in danger of burning him out.

Other than the last week, for the reasons mentioned above, I (and others) do see alllthe things I praised him for consistently within single matches and across a sequence of games.

I repeat, his overall performances this season already make a nonsense of your claims IMO. If his development continues at the rate it has since joining the club, he will make a total mockery of them, is my very firm belief.

John Boon
92 Posted 01/01/2018 at 21:09:23
It continues to be very difficult to see our team really outplayed in the second half. I am not sure if we are as fit as other teams.

It is a waste of time stating who you think played well and who didn't, because everybody sees a game differently. This is so obvious from reading all the posts. However, generally I don't think it was a lack of effort. More likely a lack of fitness, skill, very poor tackling and no-one who is able to score. It is hard to believe how many games we have played with zero shots on net.

I am not letting Allardyce off the hook, but I don't think any manager would be able to significantly improve the team with the present group of players. This is almost entirely due to the criminal management of Koeman. It is also due to those higher up who gave him a huge amount of money to waste.

I agree with Colin (#64) Lay off the younger players. In fact personal bile directed at any player is generally useless, although it will help to handle the frustrations of being an Evertonian. On a positive note, we have only lost once this year.

Michael Lynch
93 Posted 01/01/2018 at 21:10:29
Niasse is a fans' favourite, in the same way Stracq was. We love a trier, but between them they are two of the least talented players ever to wear a blue shirt.

Fair play to Oumar, it's not his fault, but he's fucking terrible.

Dave Williams
94 Posted 01/01/2018 at 21:11:43
Jay, great defence of Calvert-Lewin. The older players are to blame not the youngsters who are all doing their best without much help.

I would love to hear someone tell the truth about the last transfer window. Phil Walling is wrong to blame "a novice owner". The owner made a lot of money available to an experienced and at the time highly rated manager supported by a man who ToffeeWebbers saw as a transfer guru.

Was it Steve or was it Ron? Whoever it was is responsible for this shambles, not Sam who really needs to get cracking in this window to move some out and move some in.

Paul Birmingham
95 Posted 01/01/2018 at 21:12:49
Too many changes, I don't see the point, and Ill stand corrected, but consistency will never be, changing on this scale. Does any one know if Lookman is injured or is being sold as, 12 months on, this lad must wonder what life as an EFC player is about?

More to the point, sick to the back teeth of the anti Sam brigade boos and rants at the game.and this rate there will be split factions at our old place on Friday.

I don't see the point of negativity in our own place by diehards, when the odds are against us, any way..

I must be getting too old, and each and every one has and is entitled to their view but when in that Street, unity and strength in numbers counts.

It seems in reality we need a miracle on Friday, as now we are not even getting a sniff, let alone a shot on goal.. The Dutch Kloggs have done some voodoo and I don't see any easy route out, regardless of any money.

This salvage plan will be Titanic and there's too many variables that suggest the future is gonna be tough.

Hammered and dejected and it's a bad start to 2018.

Roman Sidey
96 Posted 01/01/2018 at 21:15:24
I just don't agree with you on this, Jay. Apologies if that upsets you, but I have seen very little from him this season to fill me with confidence.

He's not alone, as most players in a blue shirt this season have looked below average or worse. And this is coming from someone who was very excited from his first few games last season.

David Connor
97 Posted 01/01/2018 at 21:16:42
This squad is piss poor and needs dismantling ASAP. We are a bang average team at best and that's isn't good enough for Everton Football Club.

At least 9 players need to be to be shipped out. I can see Klaassen, Ramirez & Mirallas going this transfer window. And as much as I didn't give a fuck whether Ross Barkley signed another contract or not, he is by far the best forward thinking midfielder we have at the club. But not for long I fear.

No way is this team clear of a relegation battle – we are that bad. A bad run of results will drag us right back in the shit.

How much big Sam will be given to spend on new players we will find out soon enough. One thing's for certain: we need quality in midfield and up front. We are absolutely fucking awful...

Alan McGuffog
98 Posted 01/01/2018 at 21:25:07
There are people (I hesitate to call them players) who would not be picked by any other side in the Premier League, including those sides fighting the drop. This cannot be right surely?

The season, other than the fight against relegation, ends next Friday evening. What has happened to our club that we can even entertain this state of affairs? And that we are so accepting of it???

Paul A Smith
99 Posted 01/01/2018 at 21:25:10
Tom Davies is one you all called better than Barkley after about 3 appearances last season. Now he's in the Barkley category of let's blame him for everything.

Let's sell Lukaku. Let's buy Klaassen, who's just played Anonymously against Man Utd, so we can be right about Barkley. Let's call Moshiri the saviour after he's sold all our biggest assets with our blessing. Let's say Steve Walsh is some shrewd Director of Football.

Then, when it fails, let's blame Davies. Let's blame the 3rd manager to have a crack at these misfits.

Jay Wood

100 Posted 01/01/2018 at 21:25:33
Roman, you opinion doesn't upset me. It is so absurd I can't take it seriously.

But it does astonish me that you (now) admit you were impressed by him last season, but apparently not this when his performances are so markedly improved from 12 months ago, even in an under-performing side.

You categorically state that:
* having him on the pitch is like going down to 10 men
* he isn't good enough for the PL and should be loaned to a lower league side
* he is effectively stealing a wage from us because "he shouldn't be learning the trade on our dime"

Hyperbolic nonsense IMO Roman.

Sorry if that 'upsets' you.

Neil Cremin
101 Posted 01/01/2018 at 21:27:31
Schneiderlin's trademark is to bring the ball in one direction and then change and possibly change again meaning we have lost momentum, then he plays a semi-hospital pass to a covered player who then is landed with the problem when the opposing defence is set up. Replace him with Macca.

Steavey, I am continually questioning the Pickford adoration society because of his ball distribution and his tendency to parry shots but today he played well. I think your criticism is harsh.

My biggest worry is Keane. Too timid for a centre half. God, we should have never sold Duffy.

Roman Sidey
102 Posted 01/01/2018 at 21:28:40
If you don't take it seriously, why are you so focused on responding, Jay?
Paul A Smith
103 Posted 01/01/2018 at 21:39:20
Ian Rush sums us up in his first comment. And Andy Gray and Peter Reid don't disagree:

John Charles
104 Posted 01/01/2018 at 21:39:58
A very quiet Goodison – except for the 10 minutes Macca wound us up.

Better display in the first half – don't know what Sam said to get them to come out so poorly in the second. Man Utd are better than us. That is not Sam's fault.

What is his fault is the negative defensive defeatist mindset. Keeping Schneiderlin on all game. Keeping Holgate on at right-back all game. Take off the only player in the team with any guile or craft (he wasn't having a great game). Taking off our centre-forward when losing.

Finally, the boos were for Sam and this defeatist attitude shown in his substitutions – not for the players.

John Keating
105 Posted 01/01/2018 at 21:41:18
I can't believe there are some on here slagging the Young lads. These kids, like Unsworth and Allardyce, have been thrown in the deep end due to the gross incompetence of the board and past management.

They give 100% against experienced Premier League teams and players every week when they should be getting introduced slowly over a season into a winning side.

Before you slag them off, what alternatives are there at the club presently ? Who would you pick over Holgate, Kenny, Davies, Calvert-Lewin?

This present squad are a million miles off the top six. We are lucky to be in our present position but don't forget, if it wasn't for these kids, we'd be a lot worse off.

Paul Holmes
106 Posted 01/01/2018 at 21:43:12
We all watch the games and just by using your own intelligence you can quite easily see that we lack quality. We have plenty of players (31 Sam said), but not many are the quality that is required to improve the team.

We spent £140 million, the 7th most spent on players in Europe! Koeman and Walsh have put the club back years. We have average players who are on big money contracts who we will find it hard to move on. (What other teams want rubbish players for big wages?)

In my opinion, I would keep the goalkeeper and change the rest over the next couple of years' transfer windows, it really is that bad unfortunately!
Brent Stephens
107 Posted 01/01/2018 at 21:43:49
Live Forum went into meltdown when Macca came on. Why Macca!!! But Rooney was poor.

Macca did more in his few minutes than Rooney did before him. Much more aggression and attacking intent.

Dave Abrahams
108 Posted 01/01/2018 at 21:46:23
We competed better than we have done going forward in the first half without really threatening to score. In the second half I thought United moved up a couple of gears and deserved their victory.

Of the three midfielders on display, I thought Davies was easier the better of them, although he didn't have much to beat, but he brings energy and effort and is constantly moving looking for the ball and harrassing the opposition, Schniederlin is one paced and doesn't give the impression of being really bothered.

Some fans have said Rooney is still weakened by the virus, giving the ball away, poor passing and getting caught in possession, well maybe he is but apart from his very welcome goals that is the way he has played all season to me. A few decent passes but a very average footballer now, time has definitely took its toll on Wayne and that is very sad to see.

The team, no doubt will have a few changes again on Friday and hopefully Gana is fit and along with Kenny will bring some energy and movement to the side, with maybe Sigurdsson getting a game in his proper position.

We might surprise them and give them a game, the fans lucky (?) enough to get a ticket deserve to see the team, manager and club give them something back for once at least; here's hoping.

Dave Pritchard
109 Posted 01/01/2018 at 21:49:12
First half hour was better but dire after that apart from a very brief period in the second half.

Many, probably most players are just not good enough and we will need to take very large financial losses when moving players on. Recruitment is going to be even harder now we are seen as a club going nowhere rather than a club that looked like it was progressing last summer.

We need a minor miracle on Friday.

David Edwards
110 Posted 01/01/2018 at 21:49:13
First post for several months, as I'm completely deflated about our team at present, and couldn't add anything to the often incisive contributions of most of the regulars posters.

However, just wanted to start the year by adding my humble views that as a result of the last few years and general mis-management and poor transfer activity, we have a very average squad of ageing warhorses, or youth not sufficiently near their potential to cut it consistently in the Premier League. We are unbalanced and lacking creativity, attacking threat or a consistently solid defensive foundation and any team should look forward to playing us at present.

We have managed to somehow claw together enough points over the last month to crawl up the table but, as far as I'm concerned, we are still in need of 13 more points to get fully out of the hole we dug ourselves into earlier in the season.

Sam is not the man to turn this squad into anything more than they are (in fact, most managers would struggle too), but if he is able to grind out the odd draw and fluke win with any roulette combination of players the training sessions suggest, or basement bargains in this window, to get us to that safety level – then he has done his job. I have no expectations of creative football at present – as this season must have seen the least attacking flair stats-wise in our history.

I have no idea what is our best team, who our manager next season should be, or who we should keep, loan out or sell. Sadly, I fear our board and backroom staff don't either!

It's going to be a long winter/spring, if we don't have our usual unexpected run of points to keep us above the chasing pack that we have benefitted from previously (such as towards the end of Martinez's reign), we will feel the breath of many teams on our neck in the next month or so.

Forget the calls for attractive, flowing football at present – we need to eek out point after point now up to May and then tear up whatever project we are working to and start all over again in the Summer. What a sad time to be an Evertonian!

I honestly can't see a team below us who are not capable of beating us on the day if they raise their game and we don't. Now that is a bit of a first over the last couple of decades!

Paul Birmingham
111 Posted 01/01/2018 at 21:50:19
Macca if he can believe in himself, his fitness routine, the club physics etc should be a regular.

He owes the club a packet in lost hope and rejuvenation.

What turned his mindset?

John Charles
112 Posted 01/01/2018 at 21:51:14
Dave, ticket got fit Friday. Everything crossed. Just have to, try to win and you never know.
Steavey Buckley
113 Posted 01/01/2018 at 21:56:28
Neil, both shots were outside the penalty area that were not heading for the top corner, usually, where most goal keepers don't reach if they are well hit. But those shots were not heading for the top corner, where goal keepers can reach for. That's why I pointed this out.
Paul Jones
114 Posted 01/01/2018 at 21:56:38
It beggars belief why anyone keeps blaming Koeman for the paucity of our squad. He was on record saying we needed a centre forward, centre half and left back. None of those positions were filled when the summer transfer window closed. The people responsible for this failure are still ensconced in our club.

Yes, some of the people we did sign may have been Koeman's choice (Klaassen seems to be the obvious candidate), but those signings will have been sanctioned by this board. If you want to justify Allardyce's performance by blaming his inheritance, stop deluding yourselves by thinking the elephant is no longer in the room. Truth is, the people running the club who got us into this mess are still pulling the strings.

Tony Hill
115 Posted 01/01/2018 at 22:02:14
Paul (#103), an interesting discussion. I agree with you about Rush but Gray says it best I think. I understand Reidy's sentiments but all he can offer is that we should be growling a bit more.

These are difficult times. We can only hope that the sun breaks through unexpectedly.

John Keating
116 Posted 01/01/2018 at 22:09:40
Paul, I think why Koeman, and our so called director of football, need brought to task is that they knew these positions needed covered last season and didn't do anything about it but talk.

Our pre-season games only highlighted the deficiencies and still they did nothing.

At that Sigurdsson position was the least of our problem but it seemed that all our energies were given to getting him rather than address more pressing positions.

We still wonder who was ultimately responsible for this incompetence, Koeman or Walsh or both ?

The reason we are in our present situation should be laid firmly at their door and how Walsh has escaped is beyond me.

George Cumiskey
117 Posted 01/01/2018 at 22:14:35
Some people are putting Sam Allardyce and honesty in the same sentence! Do you (honestly) believe he will buy the right players to take us forward?

For god's sake, he picked Schneiderlin and kept him on for the whole match.

Tony Abrahams
118 Posted 01/01/2018 at 22:16:50
I agree with your first comment about Tom Davies, Paul A. I also thought people were ready to give him stick from the start. He's different from Ross, maybe not as individually gifted, but he doesn't hide though, and it's not the kids fault that he's getting picked, even though his form has dipped.

Give me Davies over Schneiderlin every day of the week though, because this fella is just going through the motions and looks like he just doesn't care? Nick asked what Morgan does? It's a simple answer, he just frustrates the life out of us.

It's painful, not all the manager's fault, but if he doesn't think we can score two goals in a game, I don't think he's trying hard enough. Maybe he's telling lies to protect his defenders? Because the minute they don't get enough protection, we look like we are going to concede.

It's been said before but Walsh is one very lucky man to still be in a job, because our lack of quality, for the money we have spent, is an absolute scandal. Maybe we are not good enough to play on the front foot for long periods, but only when we do will we engage the crowd, and this is a very important factor when you stop and think about it for a minute?

Anyway, I've just got a ticket for Anfield and still think if we pick the right team, we can beat them. Carl said our support was poor today, but I think Goodison has been mostly a graveyard for years, simply because we have had a succession of managers, who have stopped us playing on the front foot. Play without fear at Anfield, and I know the fans will do the rest!

Ray Robinson
119 Posted 01/01/2018 at 22:17:54
My God that was depressing tonight but, on reflection, I'm struggling to see what else we could have done about it. Perhaps start with McCarthy rather than Schneiderlin, perhaps pair Niasse with Calvert-Lewin up front – but these are just subjective opinions.

The truth is that whichever way we juggle the pack, the cards seem to come out the same. There's no creativity, no link-up play and no firepower in our squad and I'm not certain any manager could do much more about it – so, aside from individual mistakes (which all managers make from time to time) like playing 3 defensive midfielders at Bournemouth, I'm not generally blaming Allardyce for the failings of his predecessor.

Furthermore, I didn't think tonight's football was "cowardly". The same line-up that coped reasonably well in the first half just collapsed for a number of reasons in the second but perhaps some of the credit for that has to be given to United who certainly stepped up a gear.

I hope that "cowardly" football isn't going to become the strapline for a new anti-Sam campaign, replacing the previous "zombie" football one aimed at Koeman!

The sooner we limp over the finish line the better – then we can re-assess.

Stephen Williams
120 Posted 01/01/2018 at 22:19:26
Well the fabled early boost from a new manager is well and truly over. In fact, even in the games we gained points, we were second best and relied on the opposition squandering chances.

We've had the (joint) worst points return of anyone over Christmas. Two games from four with no shot on target! One shot on target in another and a massive 3 against the mighty (second from bottom) West Brom (with 2 of those coming in the 89th minute!).

Those deluded souls on here that expect Fat Sam to improve the team as time goes by must have just this second landed on earth – they certainly haven't witnessed him over the last 25 years – this is his MO.

Slow, boring, negative shite. On the few occasions that his teams get the ball, smash it as long and high as you can in the totally vain hope of snatching something. Even his lauded (on here at least!) ability to stop conceding goals has disappeared.

Before anyone dares suggest that its the players fault, who is it that 'coaches' them to sit so deep with the midfield almost on top of the back four that then allows the opposition acres of space to pop the ball round at will? Who is it that 'coaches' the rest of the team to be 40 yards detached from the sole striker?

Pathetic and the sooner this dinosaur is drummed out of our club the better. Realistically, I can't see the imbeciles that appointed him to do that before the summer – because that would need them accept that they've dropped a bollock appointing the fraudster in the first place.

Looks like we're stuck with it, at least in the short term. Just don't expect it to be anything other than painfully tortuous.

God help us at Anfield on Friday – this is going to be brutal.

Dave Pritchard
121 Posted 01/01/2018 at 22:20:14
Only people at the club know who was responsible for the transfer activity. Koeman and Walsh are obvious people to point the finger at. Most of us were excited by our early dealings last summer, for example I was one of many saying what a great deal we'd done getting Sandro in for £5 million.

Things are so bad that it is hard to see how much better we would have been with, say, Giroud in the team. Obviously we need a goal scoring centre forward but the problems at the club run much deeper.

Kevin Moorcroft
122 Posted 01/01/2018 at 22:25:26
We've a lot of very average players. Some will be gone I don't doubt. Sam is too experienced to not know the truth even after a month. Whether the idiots upstairs have it realised is another matter.

When we used to go fishing in the canal my Grandad used to say 'there's nothing here today we could sit all day and get nowt. Well in a way it's like that at Everton nothing here and it could be a long wait for everything that's needed to sustain consistency and results.

No real quality no depth no desire – okay, more organised under Sam but and the real issue is that these are not good enough. He can keep trying with em in different positions but I'm afraid they'd be better elsewhere plying their trade in the lower leagues. He Knows it – I'm sure you can read inside his interviews.

Difficult for anyone outside the top six nowadays 6 decent teams with money foundations and stability the rest shite.

Unfortunately we are in the shite to put it bluntly.Long time til End of April for us all.

Jamie Crowley
123 Posted 01/01/2018 at 22:30:20
Joe Clitherow nails it for me @25.

We played (much to my delight and surprise as I was anticipating a defensive shit-show) very well in the first half. It was actually fun to watch. Well, at least one hell of a lot better than recent performances.

We go down 1-0 and what does Sam do? Subs Rooney, our only playmaking threat and the guy that should be running the show from a deep-lying MF position, for McCarthy???!!!!

James McCarthy actually didn't play poorly. But what in the hell do you expect to accomplish with that substitution? It just makes zero sense! Couple that with Lennon - who again didn't play poorly - going in for Bolasie, and you've now removed two goal threats!

All the comments of 'get this guy in, get that guy out' mean nothing if you either:
1. Set a team up with three defensive mids a la Bournemouth
2. Substitute your goal scoring threats while behind

Sam has gotten us points. But he's scared of his own shadow when it comes to having a go.

Sickening. Be prepared for a backs-to-the-wall show against the shite.

Ray Robinson
124 Posted 01/01/2018 at 22:34:32
Stephen #120, "slow, boring, negative shite" as opposed to the fast, entertaining stuff that we played before Allardyce arrived, you mean?
John Charles
125 Posted 01/01/2018 at 22:42:52
Unfortunately, it seems Sam's luck has ran out. We were outplayed by Liverpool, Newcastle, West Brom and Chelsea but managed to get points on the board. After spurs away is West Brom and Leicester at home. Surely we can have go at these. Am not banking on it though luck swings both ways.
Ray Roche
126 Posted 01/01/2018 at 22:45:59
Jamie (#123),

When I saw McCarthy coming on, I shook my head in despair. To be fair, though, he certainly showed us (and Schneiderlin) what a defensive midfielder can do. Tackle. But he is not a game changer in as much as a killer pass is unlikely to come from his boot.

Gio Mero
127 Posted 01/01/2018 at 22:46:20
I keep reading "get rid of Schneiderlin in January" but how can you expect him to be sold when he's starting all our games?

It's true if we were to buy a mdfielder able to dictate the tempo of a game, pick good passes and make himself available to the defenders in possession he'd be surplus. I can't see many players with the above qualities available in January though.

On another subject: I thought we were doing pretty decent with Kenny, Holgate, Williams and Martina at the back. What happened to that back line?

David Israel
128 Posted 01/01/2018 at 22:47:28
Andy #37, my thoughts exactly. We had a very poor performance against Chelsea, but somehow we hung out against all probability. A different game today, even-handed in the first half, we didn't just recoil before a superior opponent. The second half was poorer, but both their goals were top-quality, and we only have about one player capable of fashioning such stuff. After their first goal we put some pressure on them, and with a bit of luck or better finishing we could have scored.

A defeat is always a defeat, but against a better team than us, the way we played today didn't leave me disheartened.

We all know what the shortcomings in our squad are, and it does indeed beggar belief that so much money was spent to so little purpose.

In terms of individuals, Tom Davies had a rather good first half, as did Yannick Bolasie. And Oumar Niasse was a threat, much more than Dominic Calvert-Lewin usually is (no reflection on the lad).

I make no predictions for the FA Cup based on this game. A totally different thing.

Paul A Smith
129 Posted 01/01/2018 at 22:50:55
Tony (#115), it was interesting, mate, and I know exactly where they are coming from. It's dead simple for me. The players are not very good. Its beats me how fans either can't see it or refuse to.

For example, how can we watch a top drawer Rooney performance or even go back to Lukaku Stones Arteta. And not be able to see there are no players on their level.

One is better than none of course but for gods sake its about time the fans who love to voice an opinion, started demanding the club give us some players to be excited about.

It's all good having youngsters but it's plain to see now the likes of Davies and Calvert-Lewin are not ready to be week-in & week-out boys in a side with no edge or quality.

Davies has been well over-played. Fans should check how many games he's been played in compared to everyone his age before killing him off.

Kevin Moorcroft
130 Posted 01/01/2018 at 22:51:41
You can be pretty sure that Sam will keep us up. Koeman would not have – he had to go. Martinez would have taken us down – he had to go.

Moyes gave stability although many didn't like him. Old red nose took him away anyway – or no doubt Moyes would still be our manager.

The way forward is to try to maintain mid-table with a few additional skilful lads who will gel and work hard for the club. Sam knows this – he's been around. Anyone who thinks a bloke, either English or foreign can come along a wave a magic wand is talking bollocks.

It will be harder to sort this out than any Bramley-Moore Dock building job because this has no respite. If he sorts us to mid-table this season with this lot then he deserves a fucking medal and needs a bit of backing. Good Luck to us all.

By the way Happy New all – I don't say that sarcastically either. Just wish for success like any supporter of Everton Football Club. Remember, it's only a game but, bloody hell, how it affects people.

Dave Williams
131 Posted 01/01/2018 at 22:52:55
Jamie, Bolasie looked absolutely knackered and has to build up his fitness. Rooney has been ill. The error was not in who he took off but in who he put on. You are right – we needed a goal threat which could have been provided by Sigurdsson and Calvert-Lewin.
Jamie Crowley
132 Posted 01/01/2018 at 22:55:51
Sam I agree - McCarthy played well.

But for the love of God put him in for Schneiderlin!

I too shook my head - and belted out a LOT of four letter words. And when I saw Lennon coming on - who again is a good player in his “role” - I knew hope was lost.

Why in the world does Sam make these substitutions down a goal?

We are literally on a road to no where with this man in charge.

Rick Tarleton
133 Posted 01/01/2018 at 22:56:38
Philip Warrington (#59), not a name I recognise as one of our more regular contributors, but he has some very perceptive things to say about the club and its headless chicken owners.

I agree whole-heartedly about Schneiderlin and what he doesn't bring to the table. The result is that Tom Davies is unrecognisable from the young boy whose goal against Man City promised a real talent. Now he runs and tries to tackle, because otherwise he never sees the ball, so that his creative skills could be utilised.

Niasse tries, but brings few other qualities to the team. We need to sign a goal scorer, maybe we'll bring one back from Turkey, I hope so.

Allardyce is exactly what it said on the tin. He'll organise a team defensively, he expects to keep a clean sheet and hopes to nick a goal, that's it. He doesn't promise possession football or breath-taking excitement, he promises organisation. Most times the top six can overcome this organisation, he's never beaten Mourinho in his managerial career, but against most teams we'll get a point, unless a last minute shot hits a defender's heel of course.

I hope Allardyce keeps us mid-table and that in the summer we hire a young manager with vision and a long-term plan. I don't want him to carry on into next season.

Peter Laing
134 Posted 01/01/2018 at 22:57:04
Catch-22 situation for Everton. Disjointed, lacking in goals and creativity. A Manager on an 18-month contract and a Director of Football that has been a flop.

Since last January, we have bought players that have failed to deliver – Schneiderlin, Klaassen, Keane, Sandro, Sigurdsson. Moshiri must be wincing at the outlay and the lack of return on investment to date.

Mike Price
135 Posted 01/01/2018 at 22:58:13
I wasn't fooled by the unbeaten run, we were very lucky for once and that can't go on.

We are staggeringly poor and the recruitment has been a shambolic disgrace. How do they always get their recruitment right? they could triple their money on Salah and Mane already and got Coutinho for peanuts.

We are definitely in a relegation fight because this team could easily go into a death spiral.

Jamie Crowley
136 Posted 01/01/2018 at 23:02:29
Fair enough Dave on fitness, but

Start Lennon and bring Bolasie on at 60 minutes when the opposing RB has run after Lennon for an hour.

And ride Rooney until he drops, or put Siggurdson on for him.

Or maybe down a goal put two men up top?

Something, anything that actually allows you to get a result?

The abject negativity of the lineups and substitutions the last 3 games are driving me apeshit.

Brent Stephens
137 Posted 01/01/2018 at 23:06:55
Rooney was gash. Macca was a big improvement on him.
Christy Ring
138 Posted 01/01/2018 at 23:10:38
Don't understand why Sam didn't play Kenny and Holgate, who is a centreback. Vlasic had a good first half, but ran out of steam, and for their 2nd goal, was behind his man for our throw, which is where their goal came from. Rooney is not a midfielder, and McCarthy showed the doubters, what he brings to the team, and we badly need a striker, because Niasse was their best defender.

Jamie Crowley
139 Posted 01/01/2018 at 23:13:03
Brent, while praying we are still not on a six comment maximum here on TW, I couldn't disagree with you more.

And frankly I'm shocked because you speak such sense.

Wayne Rooney is the only Everton player who continually plays a cutting pass, plays a 60 yard switch the point of attack cross-field ball on a dime, scores, and creates.

I don't believe for a second he was poor. He made errors, but was in no way “poor”.

He's the only player who plays dangerous, cutting passes and our most likely person to score. I'd only remove him if he broke a leg!

McCarthy is not a goal scorer. So to what end do you make that substitution? All the while taking off your most creative and dangerous player?


Don Alexander
140 Posted 01/01/2018 at 23:16:46
I just wonder, the way the Premier League's going, whether it's going to eat itself in the near future.

We and fourteen other clubs have no chance of winning the league, every year, because the same six clubs dominate the top six by way of money. In a so-called good year (for Sky and the fans of the relevant clubs alone) there's two or three competing for the winners' trophy. Admittedly Leicester bucked the trend and as far as I could see they did it with players all round the park that simply played with real effort and enthusiasm and a never changing game plan that totally did for the complacent, loaded, lazy, petulant squads of even the Sky-Babes, never mind us.

So to me anyone with a squad showing real effort and enthusiasm should be able to mount a credible attack on a top six place but the squads we've accumulated seem totally bereft of those characteristics, for years and years. They don't give a toss, their contracts guaranteeing them £millions regardless of performance and results. We employ managers who are paid millions regardless of effort or enthusiasm or results. Hell, a bad run of results makes them even more wealthy.

I'm coming to the conclusion that no matter who we employ we're consigned to ordinariness at best. There's simply no incentive attractive to complacent, loaded, lazy, petulant non-winners, and signing only one or two such players will see them sink like a stone at Finch Farm where fitness and practice seem to be optional.

Kevin Tully
141 Posted 01/01/2018 at 23:26:37
Work tomorrow - yee haaaa.

Don't argue what player should be doing what, or where they should be on the pitch. Forget about the manager.

Personally, I would have every fool in front of me and ask one question "How did we end up with all the reserves representing this club after spending 𧶀m?"

Then, there would be a fleet of taxis waiting for the idiots who have ruined this club. Driving off right into the Mersey without stopping from L4. The fucking gang of goons.

Andy Dempsey
142 Posted 01/01/2018 at 23:27:59
Rick (133) ,

I second your seconding of Phillip's comment (#59).

And I'll add, not to get too conspiratorial, but it does not seem like this ownership/management model is about nothing more than avoiding relegation.

Hopefully we will get to the next stage in my lifetime which is top four finishes being considered the ultimate achievement, like the Arsenal board do.

John Pierce
143 Posted 01/01/2018 at 23:31:17
The first half offered a glimpse of maybe a way out of the crap we've been served to date.

I liked the attacking changes he made. Vlasic has a lot of potential, Bolasie despite being more up & down than a yo yo does get Everton up the pitch. Legs around Rooney too with Davies.

The changes in the back four less welcome. A return to the four which have done well was my preferred option, it seems Kenny paid the price for his shortfall in both Bournemouth's goals or maybe he's fatigued.

The second half was embarrassing, capitulation and a subsidence of a ship slipping beneath the waves without sound.

The second-half substitutions were poor, in conception and the changes to the formation rendered us impotent.

Rooney is still the only player who makes us look even remotely dangerous was removed and replaced with no creativity. We just gave up against a Man Utd side who were fragile and hardly intimidating.

My anger is not at today, meek as it was, but that the approach wasn't applied to the two previous games. I'm sure that we'd have more points than we currently have.

Bring on the Redshite.

Phil Sammon
144 Posted 01/01/2018 at 23:33:24
Jamie (#139),

I must be missing these 60-yard balls Rooney is sticking ‘on a dime'. 90% of the ones I've seen the past 2 months have resulted in Aaron Lennon vying for a header with someone 2 feet taller than him.

David Hallwood
145 Posted 01/01/2018 at 23:39:36
For their goal we had NINE men behind the ball, yet not one bust a gut to close Martial down. So what do defensive midfielders do, aren't they suppose to sit in front of the back four and close midfield runners down; because ours don't and never have.

Once again Schneiderlin was bullied in MF, wasn't quick enough, obsessed with getting back in position as opposed to closing down opponents, the way McCarthy did when he came on.

All's we see is teams carving us open down the middle, and 3 managers have been seeing the same thing as me, and still fail to remedy it. Schneiderlin cannot play the Makalele role, perhaps if he had a MF of De Bruynes or Silva or Hazard he could give those little wall passes to a more talented player.

But please let's not see him in an Everton shirt again.

Paul A Smith
146 Posted 01/01/2018 at 23:50:13
I hope I mis-judged but didn't think Allardyce sounded too confident on signing Tosun?

If he does sign he has to play Friday surely? (Will he be eligible?) We can't go 2 games without a shot on target and expect to win a derby away.

Damian Wilde
147 Posted 01/01/2018 at 23:56:50
Jay Woods, what are Dominic Calvert-Lewin's stats? Goals? Assists? This may help in your debate with Roman.
Colin Malone
148 Posted 01/01/2018 at 00:00:28
Knee-jerk comments at Goodison Park and ToffeeWeb are disappointing. Pre 30th November, we where in the mire. Four weeks later, we are 9th, yes four weeks. Can you critics please explain?
Pete Clarke
149 Posted 01/01/2018 at 00:06:03
Did not see any of the game but sounds like we have run out of ideas and luck with Big Sam.

I have a feeling that there is a struggle going on between Moshiri and Bill too regarding signings for what is a temporary manager. With the money that is being paid to our manager and given his experience then should we not expect a lot more than the dross we have been served up?

We have players in this squad who are better than what's been dished out and it's his duty to get the best out of them and so far he is failing the players and us with this pathetic approach to football.

Jamie Crowley
150 Posted 02/01/2018 at 00:25:40

Rooney has played multiple balls across the pitch (approx. 60 yards) to switch the point of attack. Most of them find their man.

There was one particular today earlier in the game that was sublime. If you'd like, I'll check the replay and give you the exact time it happened...

I can't speak to Lennon's diminutive stature in this regard. Can't remember it being an issue.

Keith Monaghan
151 Posted 02/01/2018 at 00:34:26
Playing 60-yard balls across the park doesn't work – only bad defenders get caught out by them. And Rooney can't play them accurately & consistently enough anyway; he slows the game down too much and gifts the ball away too much.

Our season went badly wrong in mid-July when Bill Kenwright gifted Lukaku to Man Utd for 㿷M to get his beloved son back, who stopped being a top 6 player 3+ years ago – ask any Man Utd fan. If we wanted to sell Rom, he should have been replaced first – if we'd have got in a decent striker early, he might even have wanted to stay.

The people dealing with our transfers appear to be useless – to add insult to injury, the RS have bought a central defender for the same price we gifted Lukaku away for less than 6 months ago!

Kenwright Out Now!

Gerry Ring
152 Posted 02/01/2018 at 00:55:57
We have to look at the positives. With McCarthy back we no longer have a “soft underbelly” where the opposition waltzes through us knowing a hard tackle wont be coming their way. That's now changed with Macca back, who in my opinion, is in the same mould as Peter Reid & Roy Keane.

If we get Barkley back & buy a decent striker then we can go after teams. As it is we have no one to drive forward with purpose to unsettle opposition defenses. Everything is slow & methodical & easily defended. At the moment we are far too predictable.

Si Cooper
153 Posted 01/01/2018 at 00:57:54
Does anyone think we could have gotten something against Bournemouth with tonight's line-up?

I don't think Schneiderlin and Davies make a good midfield pairing as they are both relatively slow. Young Tom (at some stage) needs a couple of months concentrating on explosive power and sprinting.

Vlasic and Bolasie are both currently short of game time so will struggle to maintain work rate, Schneiderlin and Davies relatively slow, Rooney's legs are aging and he is recovering from illness – it shouldn't have surprised anyone that we had a large period of retreat against their midfield.

Baningime is probably closest to Gueye in motion so maybe he should have replaced Davies after 45 minutes?

Si Cooper
154 Posted 02/01/2018 at 01:09:18
Sorry, re my comment at 153, I don't actually know if Benni Baningime was on our bench or not. Point I intended was that we lose a particular dimension if Gueye is out that is not really a strength of those who did play today.
Sean McCarthy
155 Posted 02/01/2018 at 01:20:23
Joe #5 can you explain why you were glad Niasse was playing this evening? He is utter shite and if he's a premier league class player there truly is hope for all of us!! He might run about a lot, but surely that's the least we can expect?

I'm more concerned with his ability as a footballer which quite frankly are embarrassing. It's testament to how low our stock has fallen that you, anyone, would be "glad" a player of such piss poor quality is playing for our club. The only saving grace he's got is that Sandro is even worse!!!

To think we laughed when Liverpool bought Rickie Lambert. Niasse makes him look like a world beater!!!

James Flynn
157 Posted 01/01/2018 at 01:50:21
It's the mid-field. We're weak.

Chasing, harassing? Fine. Transitioning into the attack? No.

McCarthy brought his energy and it showed. No Barry to hand it off to. So . . . . nothing.

Yes, we need a striker. No doubt of that.

But our problem is in the mid-field. We offer not a single thing for any opposing manager to worry about.

Ernie Baywood
158 Posted 02/01/2018 at 02:16:08
We created nothing of great note in either half but looked a bit more like a football team in the first. That's because we had some attacking intent.

In the second we sat so very, very deep. Now Sam doesn't seem concerned about that in his post match interview - in fact he indicated that it's what he wanted for us to stay in the game. He's bothered that individual mistakes cost us goals when we were "still in the game".

In what way where we "still in the game"? We'd stopped contributing anything to the game. It's just a matter of time before you do something that isn't defensively perfect and gets punished by a good side. What happened was completely predictable.

Sam's recipe seems to me like it will only reduce the extremes - we're not going to score or concede loads. Then he'll trade on the success of a reduced number of goals conceded.

We're not actually any better off are we?

And what the hell does he do in a cup game? Losing by a reduced margin doesn't help.

I'm feeling like we had a club which was directionless. So we've picked a direction that isn't where we wanted to go. I'm not convinced that's better!

David Barks
159 Posted 02/01/2018 at 02:22:28
Agreed Ernie. To me it's madness.
John Pierce
160 Posted 02/01/2018 at 03:33:31
The deal was Allardyce comes in steadies the ship. Seemingly in a short space of time he did just that. Bravo.

With the main hump of things broken and the spectre of relegation a mathematical glint he faced a Christmas schedule knowing the presuure to grind it out had lessened significantly.

A chance to show he was more than the figure of ridicule so often painted. However across the 3/4 fixtures he chose to play the same way, without adventure or some attacking intent.

Even when the opportunity presented itself to influence and change minds with a more balanced approach to winning games he steadfastly stuck to moribund selections and dismal tactics.

Why? Thats my question. The notion a man whose career has been built on percentages would change things when given the change is as many have suggested both unheard of and ludicrous.

The most temporary respite is on offer come Friday night, but percentages suggest otherwise.

Steavey Buckley
161 Posted 02/01/2018 at 03:53:49
Everton in my estimation have gone back to square one once again, whatever team is picked can't pass the ball forward accurately, and control the ball. Crosses come in, but usually don't find an Everton player. Yet, again, Everton are relegation candidates if SA can't find a winning formula, because Everton are again easy to play against. The fans won't stand this for too long. So who ever is pulling the strings at Everton are on notice.
Phil Sammon
162 Posted 02/01/2018 at 04:42:48
Jamie 150

So your blaming Lennon for being small rather than blaming Rooney for drilling balls at his head? Surely a good footballer plays to the strengths of those around him.

All this talk of strikers seems irrelevant to me. I doubt there's a striker in the world who would look good in this Everton team. DCL or Niasse basically have half a pitch to cover, meanwhile the remaining 10 players potter around the edge of our 18 yard box.

There are no willing runners. We desperately need someone in the middle of the park who will go forward. Gueye, Schneiderlin, MCarthy, even Rooney, all of them like to sit deep. Get Sigurdsson in the middle and stick some other poor sap on the left. We sit back and invite pressure for 90 minutes. How is that ‘playing it safe'? It's a dreadful tactic and excruciating to watch as a fan.

Anyone know, can we register Garbutt now it's January? I would be nice to have a left back with a left foot

James Watts
163 Posted 02/01/2018 at 04:46:56
Seriously what did people expect? When we appoint a manager such as this it was always going to be this way until he leaves, which I hope is in May.

Bang average manager who plays defensive dinosaur tactics with only one trick, which is back to the wall, get some luck and hopefully nick a goal. No matter who the opposition is.

Buying Tosun will make no difference. Schneridlin seems to have the same magic he had over Koeman as he's obviously undroppable. Looks like Macca will be now until he gets injured again which means it will be a guaranteed 3 def mid's per game as he won't drop Gana either. Mind you, when we do play wingers they play as full backs for most of the game anyway. Not even Messi or Ronaldo would score in this set up.

Frank Fearns
164 Posted 02/01/2018 at 07:20:07
Beaten by quality and two superb goals. To point the obvious Everton do not possess any players that can match the quality of the top teams. Talk about effort etc but effort will never match ball control and pace. We possess neither.
What quality players -- those that possess ball control and pace will want to sign for Everton?

The team consists of inexperienced players, experienced players who are past it and players who do not possess the skills to play at top level. Why - poor investment, poor planning, poor management which equals poor leadership.

Passion and words are not enough.

Yes Everton will scrape the odd win and draw and probably end up mid table or so but that is not good enough.

The club need to re structure - that takes time and time is limited. The club needs quality players - how do you attract them? Money is not the answer. Look at some of the players Everton have spent millions on - all to no avail -- average and just not good enough - poor scouting, assessment and analysis as to whether they have the skills or the confidence to to be equipped to play at this level.

A blue for over 60 years. Please Everton give me some hope for a Happy New Year!!!!

Rob Young
165 Posted 02/01/2018 at 07:37:33
We don't press, we don't tackle (apart from McCarthy) and we don't try to score goals.
Seriously, what is the point?

Sam Hoare
166 Posted 02/01/2018 at 07:56:40
I read somewhere that we've had 2 shots on goal in the last 4 matches. That is unacceptable. Especially when 2 of the matches were against relegation candidates.

Our players are not top 4 quality but that's no excuse to not have some type of plan to create chances.

For the last 4 games we have been in the top 10. Why are we still playing like we are 19th? Desperately poor stuff.

Phil Walling
167 Posted 02/01/2018 at 08:51:18
Frank @ 164 sums up the situation precisely. It's still early days in the latest manager's reign but as an emergency appointment, I suspect the money men will be loathe to gamble too much on January signings.

Depending on what comes in for Barkley, we may have to be content with a run of the mill striker and a left-footed full-back. The suffering will go on.

Kunal Desai
168 Posted 02/01/2018 at 09:04:47
New year but the same old shit will continue. You know how the January window plays out we'll still be scambling on deadline day for signings and nothing will materialise. I don't think we'll get a striker in this window or one players that won't join the club. We'll stumble to around 45-48 points. Everton are a very predictable club.
Stephen Brown
169 Posted 02/01/2018 at 09:19:46
All our play looks rushed and difficult! We never seem to have space and time on the ball!

I can't remember the last time we actually had first choice WIDE players who stayed wide to create space?

Praying for a result on Friday but loooks like this season has been a complete waste and not sure wasting a load more cash in January is the answer?!

Craig Walker
170 Posted 02/01/2018 at 09:26:27
The positives: we won't get relegated this season.

The negatives: we'll go out of the FA cup on Friday and will have nothing to play for but survival. We are watching one of the worst Everton teams in living memory with very few players who are good enough for this club. I'd say, only Pickford is of the calibre we require. I want better for Everton FC than watching us try and get draws. That United team yesterday were far from brilliant but they looked miles better than us, especially in the second half.

Dave Abrahams
171 Posted 02/01/2018 at 09:29:47
Kunai. (45, 45-48 points, I would be delighted with any number of points that keep us up, after the last three games I've got that knot right in the middle of my stomach and it isn't very pleasant.

Players are needed desperately to get the team moving again and to get that knot out of my system, decent first half last night but when United moved up a couple of gears the arse fell out of us again, on and off the pitch.

Oliver Molloy
172 Posted 02/01/2018 at 09:40:35
Stephen @ 169
Maybe that's because the other team work harder than us!
I said the other day that the players must show commitment and be up for it - sadly it wasn't until McCarthy came on that HE showed what is required.
People slag Pogba off , but he is a leader , never stopped running until the final whistle , yes he loves the limelight but his performance back him up.
That's the type of player I want at Everton.
Kim Vivian
173 Posted 02/01/2018 at 09:59:39
Haven't seen any TV replays or read much of the thread but just jumping in with my own initial reaction. The view of the game makes a big difference to how you see it, and the shape and so on, but the first half yesterday was a million time better than the corresponding half on Friday.

I thought if we came out in the second half and continued the same way - maybe step it up a bit after a half time talk - we might shade it yesterday.

Well, as it transpired, to me the Mancs made us look like Sam had dressed the ball boys up and sent them out for a kick about. The writing was on the wall from the 46th minute onwards. Apart from that brief flurry about half way through when the crowd woke up it was painful.

We showed we are able to play and press so I can't get my head around why we don't. I believe if we played to win against W Brom and Bournemouth we would have got at least 3 point rather than the 1 we managed.

As I said on another thread I can honestly see only 2 points between now and early Feb, an exit from the cup and maybe only another 15 points by the end of the season.

Sam unfortunately is reverting to type despite forlorn hopes that now that we had got to were we are he might step out a bit. It's going to be a long painful run to the end of this term.

We then take stock again hopefully with one of our preferred incumbents.

But again I live more in hope than expectation.

Happy New Year all.

Brent Stephens
174 Posted 02/01/2018 at 10:07:59
Jamie #139 - I was probably overstating the case, in the minutes after arriving home and despondent! You're right about what Rooney can do with a perceptive pass etc. And Macca is not a goal scorer. But I just felt that something had to change last night (though that should have been Schneids off) and I felt Rooney gave too many balls away.

As for Macca, he was not there to score but to drive us forward and the tempo increased markedly when he came on. I thought he was excellent. Maybe a start for him on Friday.

Paul A Smith
175 Posted 02/01/2018 at 10:34:34
James Flynn spot on and I fear if we don't fix that midfield problem the new attacker will be fed up within a short time of trying to play football with slouches.
Peter Lee
176 Posted 02/01/2018 at 10:35:41
Disappointed, especially after the first half.

Understand all the angst above but got to see the task the (any) manager has been presented with.

To understand that better just look at Sam's extended press conferences and post-match interviews, rather than the selected quotes. Anyone who wants to know what he thinks about the squad, individuals and how things are progressing just needs to listen.

Aside from the need he expresses for forward reinforcements, he is very clear about the need to win the ball and control the centre of midfield. His praise for what James McCarthy did when he came on (he was trying to make that change prior to the first goal and said he should have done it earlier) says two things. Firstly, he doesn't rate the job currently being done by any of the other so-called defensive midfielders, and secondly that there may well be substance to the Nzonzi rumours.

Lots of posters continually bemoan the use of two and three DMs. I gave up pointing out that none of this season have we actually been doing that. All of them, Gueye included, look to play five yards too far forward. They present no physical or visual block to the opposition and when they do tackle it is most often sideways or, usually back towards our own goal and late.

Playing proper DMs isn't about defence solely. It is where you control the game. It is what Peter Reid and Paul Bracewell, Howard Kendall and Colin Harvey, and Jimmy Gabriel and Brian Harris did. Yes they then brought more to the game but you have to fight for the right to okay pretty football.

It is basics.

A fit James Mc Carthy, an imponderable, would be half of the solution. The only player currently at the club who has played in the same way is Benni Beningime. I suspect (hope) that Idrissa Gana Gueye could be coached into it.

With Nzonzi added we would have the personnel to face the remainder of the season knowing that we would at least have a greater possession of the ball. If you don't have that it isn't surprising that we create so little, and allow shots like the two yesterday to be taken without confronting the striker.

Longer term, we need to balance the squad down the left.

Mike Allen
177 Posted 02/01/2018 at 10:59:14
Bottom line is we have been very lucky not to have suffered more defeats All this nonsense thinking a striker or two will make the difference we just don't create anything, the striker whoever he is more often than not is isolated, all for first time clearances but we are static waiting for the ball to come straight back. there is a lot more to do than just bringing in a striker. Anyone know if Garbut can be registered in this window
Michael Lynch
178 Posted 02/01/2018 at 11:09:30
We're all experts on here of course, and my expertise says that when Barkley's fit we should tell his agent that he can leave on a free at the end of the season, but he's not going before that unless someone wants to pay us £100m. He's exactly what we need right now, if he can get anywhere near his potential.
Andrew Clare
179 Posted 02/01/2018 at 11:10:02
The difference between top four and ninth is enormous.
Even a very average injury depleted Man Utd team can 'run the show' against mid table teams.
I have a horrible feeling that 2018 is going to be a very bad year for us.
We have a clueless board ( who are the main problem) a bang average manager and a mediocre/past it/ not ready, bunch of players.
Very sad to see Everton like this.
We will get whipped by our neighbours- even if it's only 1-0 to them.
Bloody awful state of affairs.
Stephen Brown
180 Posted 02/01/2018 at 11:10:08
when coaching kids isn't the basic instruction of a midfielder to attack when we have the ball and defend when we haven't! Whilst there's a lot of emphasis put onto our midfielders and what they do defensively we are totally neglecting the fact that they need to be offering more offensively!

Gana, Sneiderlin, McCarthey, Besic, Davies offer hardly any goal threat or create any chances! Add to the fact that our wide men rarely score then it's no wonder we are struggling to win games!

Can a fully fit McCarthy be used as a single DM then Rooney or Barkley used as the other midfielder with Sigurdsson in no 10 role! ( still not had a proper chance there 6 months on !!!)

Kevin Gillen
181 Posted 02/01/2018 at 11:33:22
I travelled from Grimsby to see the game. I thought we were good in the first half and you certainly couldn't call our approach cowardly. Lacking in some real belief that we could win yes but cowardly is a bit strong. I thought we showed signs of improvement. I was encouraged by the skill shown by Holgate, a bit more confidence from Keane and by Vlasic, who gave Shaw no end of problems in the first half. Bolasie did well at times but he doesn't really try to get in from the left and score. He ball watches when he should be getting into the box. I don't see the point in Schneiderlin to be honest but I swear I saw him pass it forward at least twice so evidence of improvement. I don't agree with the criticism of Calvert-Lewin or Tom Davies. They are the future of our club without a doubt. It's not their fault they are being schooled in public in a team that has been ravaged by defections and by poor management. We are where we are, Lingard, Pogba, Mata, Martial - none of these players would play for Everton at their peak.
One final point. Classy effort from the Man United fans supporting Rooney taking a corner for Everton.
Jim Bennings
182 Posted 02/01/2018 at 11:38:45
McCarthy has been badly missed but the doubts whether he's ever going to be fit enough to play consistently are always there.

He's the only energetic combative athletic runner we have in midfield that can get the team cranked up , I spotted this in the Goodison derby last season when he was subbed at half time it completely swung momentum in Liverpool's favour, we had lost our source of energy and aggression.

In Martinez first season he complimented Gareth Barry immensely and formed a quite impressive partnership behind Ross Barkley and Lukaku.

Schneiderlin and Davies , I'm sorry but they have played the game all season like they are in a pre-season tournament in Thailand.

Whilst Gueye has been pretty average he has the most likely potential in my opinion to be the man next to a fit McCarthy but that's the problem isn't it?

Ciarán McGlone
183 Posted 02/01/2018 at 11:48:00
Much better selection and tactics from our manager.. width and attacking intent... And sigurdsson rightly dropped. The first half was refreshing.. unfortunately in the second we dropped back and reverted to type. The weak links were Schneiderlin, Davies and Niasse.

Better than the last two draws.

Rob Young
184 Posted 02/01/2018 at 12:04:39
I reckon Niase did fine actaully. I realise I seem to be the only one.

Somehow he always creates at least one chance for himself to score. He had our bets effort against West Brom, an assist and almost two against Bournemouth. Yesterday he'd fashioned two, somehow.

Also, I reckon he gave their defenders more of a match then CL normally does.

The problem both strikers face is obviously how isolated they are. What are they supposed to do?

Brent Stephens
185 Posted 02/01/2018 at 12:13:41
Kevin #181 "I travelled from Grimsby to see the game".

Not sure what's worse, Kevin, travelling all that way from Grimsby or having to go back there!

Soz, I've never actually been to Grimsby. Hull was the nearest, for a (cup?) game in the mid 60s - when the grass was cut in pretty concentric circles.

Steve Ferns
186 Posted 02/01/2018 at 12:46:36
We were terrible last night. That doesn't tell the full story though, as there was a period where we were very much in the game. For me, the turning point was a free kick we won late in the first half, in the right back spot, near the half way line. We faffed about with it and failed to get it into their half. We almost gifted them a goal from it, and after that we failed to recover control of the game and had no real domination until late in the game when McCarthy came on and they sat back and let us have the ball.

There were two positives for me. First Bolasie. He showed he can recover fully. There were glimpses of his speed, there was a repertoire of tricks, and there were little or no signs of fear or an inability to move the way he used to. He just needs to get fit now, and then to stay fit and I think he could be a massive player for us. What he offers is speed, power, trickery, and crossing. Bolasie cannot pick a pass and he hasn't got the best shot on him, so he will always attack that byline and get the cross in. He can go past men easily, even top defenders like last night, and he can do it on either flank. His crossing from the right is better than the left, but he still whipped a few in off his left. It was a shame he came off last night, I assume he was tiring, but I hoped he would be the one to make the difference.

I do not understand why Lennon didn't start on the right. He was ineffective on the left. Vlasic could have come on then for Bolasie. He showed a glimpse of what he can do, but was largely too ineffective and too anonymous. Replacing Bolasie and a tiring defence worn out from Bolasie would have been a better opportunity for him to showcase his talent. God knows where Lookman is, has he even played since Cyprus? I saw him ready to come on against Liverpool, only to be sat down after we scored. I do not recall him playing since, but I may be wrong. Either way, he needs to be on the bench, and more importantly, coming off it late in games.

The other positive for me was McCarthy. He was poor against Bournemouth, but he was better here. He can recover his form, no doubt, but will he be able to sustain a run in the side free from injury? That's the doubtful part.

The biggest two problems for me was 1) no Sigurdsson, ok play two wingers, but actually push them up and wide, but then when you bring Rooney off, put Sigurdsson on. And 2) No Calvert-Lewin. Niasse creates chaos. He is hard to stop due to his unorthodox style of play. But it is impossible to play with him. We launched it long to him, like we do Calvert-Lewin, but it did not stick, it kept coming back. He won no more than 5 headers all came. He rarely held it up. He cannot pass in the final third. He offered nothing, and missed an easy header.

Calvert-Lewin is only 20. He can cope with this run of games. He then has 5 days to rest for Anfield, and then after that, we should have a new striker to rest him for Spurs away, if a 20 year old really needs more than 8 days to rest.

I think Calvert-Lewin leading the line would have made it a different game and would have brought Bolasie and Vlasic into it more. Poor decision by Allardyce to start Niasse, and Niasse needs to be limited to appearances from the bench.

Stan Schofield
187 Posted 02/01/2018 at 14:09:07
Brent@185: If you want to know more about Grimsby, there's documentary with Sascha Baron Cohen. At least I think it's a documentary, it seems accurate enough.
Greg Hasbrouck
188 Posted 02/01/2018 at 14:15:36
How anyone is blaming Sam for anything is simply beyond me. Had someone told me before the West Ham match, that on January 2nd we'd be sitting at 9th on the table, I would have told them they were insane. And yet, here we sit in 9th, with McCarthy and Bolasie returning to form, Coleman and Barkley's returns imminent, and hopefully the completion of the Tosun deal before our next league match.
Brent Stephens
189 Posted 02/01/2018 at 14:18:09
Stan '187 - I smell a rat!
Rob Young
191 Posted 02/01/2018 at 14:25:32
Greg, but don't you reckon we should be in 8th?

Why be satisfied with 9th when a different approach in the last few games could well have seen us above Leicester City and closing in on Burnley.

Or at least would have been easier on the eye.

Jim Bennings
192 Posted 02/01/2018 at 15:31:54
What I've seen of Leicester though they look a more productive team than us , can't see us finishing above them, maybe we can catch Burnley but not with the current squad we have.
James Marshall
193 Posted 02/01/2018 at 15:54:07
I live a long way from Goodison these days - a good 4.5 hour drive for sure, and it's telling that I have zero desire to drive all that way to see a home game at the moment, since it'll be such torturous viewing with little chance of us scoring goals or winning.

I'm still pretty confident we'll finish in the top 10, but I couldn't really tell you that's because I have faith in whatever team is put out - it's as much about the rest of the division beating each other all the time as well.

At Christmas (now) you pretty much know where your team will finish, so I don't really see us moving that much in any direction even if we couldn't hit a barn door with a banjo.

The safety first approach in the second half was a piss take yesterday - Utd were there for the taking, and we were decent first half. There was no reason to change anything, and at 1-0 down don't take Rooney off FFS. It was so weird watching the second half.

Les Martin
194 Posted 02/01/2018 at 16:26:09
A poor second half mainly due to Bolaisie running out of gas which is to be expected after his time off. Prior to that I thought he was really good and offered an outlet.
As for the midfielders, no ball winner or enough legs to run at their defence, hence Sam looking at N'Zonzi.
If the latter and Tosun can be enticed we may yet find a winning combination, until only takes one piece to finish
a jigsaw !
James Marshall
195 Posted 02/01/2018 at 16:41:02
Fair point, Les. We really do lack runners from midfield. They're all so static, and just walk about backwards & sideways all the time.

We don't get anyone running beyond the striker in support at any time in any match, regardless of whether were sitting deep or trying to push forward. Even yesterday when we tried a bit in the first half, we still have no willing runners from midfield apart from Bolasie.

In my view, this is as much our problem as the striker issue, if not more so.

Kim Vivian
196 Posted 02/01/2018 at 17:03:47
Steve - interesting your take on he game. I pretty much concur except on a couple of things which I will get to.

I also noticed that free kick you refer to on the far side (from me) half way line. I forget who it was took it (Keane?) but cursed at the time. What was the fucking point of that? Try and keep possession for a couple of minutes until the break? Why not launch into the area and try to grab one just before the end.

We were pretty terrible, but no way as terrible as Friday at the Vitality. Our first half corners stats must have been what - 6/7 -1 to us? We did make chances, played some snatches of decent football and as I said up the thread a bit I had hopes for the second half which were dashed of course. If we could just grow the balls and have a pop when we get a chance instead of bottling it and passing the ball, something would surely go in.

I agree we should have got Siggy on for someone when Rooney went off to retain creative input but we evidently were tasked to try and see out a point. Bolasie, indeed, looked well threatening and lifted the crowd whenever he got the ball.

Where I don't agree is with your Niasse points. First off, on Friday I thought DC-L looked knackered. He's been run ragged for a few weeks now chasing down stuff on his own, holding play up when he could and in all has done a bloody decent job of it in my opinion. His mental agility seems to be improving with each game together with his execution. However, as you say, he is only 20 and that in my view is going to give him less long term staying power, not more as you allude to.

So I think that was the right decision to start Niasse and as you say he does cause havoc and is another who chases everything. He might easily have scored on a couple of occasions last night - once near the beginning and that powerful header in the scond half which grazed the post. If either (or both) of those had converted we would be seeing a polar opposite thread here today. Anyway, DC-L will be back for the cup game with fresh legs we hope, but I would be interested in hearing your views as to whether they could play together. That would be interesting to see as I don't think they have shared the park yet, have they?

I am sure anyone who was at the Bournemouth game will agree we were pitiful there so it wasn't a big ask to step up from that. Certainly in the first half we managed that.

I think Lookman will be gone soon unfortunately, to be lured back to London - expect the Arse to come in for him - sadly. He would be a popular figure with us. Maybe the Sam/Mola chemistry ain't to good.

So off the back of all this we look forard (?!) to Friday. Klopp will be planning a spanking for us after the recent derby. I know Sam isn't a cup man but he is not going to be on the pitch. Our guys will want this and I expect fucking mayhem on Friday. Could be fun.

Roger Helm
197 Posted 02/01/2018 at 17:20:01
Top players aren't going to want to come here because we have been mediocre too long. Historically our best signings have been good players from the Championship or abroad who are hungry to make a mark - Cahill, Arteta, Lescott, Baines, Coleman, Fellaini, etc. I thought Steve Walsh was supposed to do this, but it hasn't happened. We have loads of expensive signings, with only Pickford being good value.

What makes it more frustrating is that Liverpool seem to manage a constant supply of top signings, mainly goalscoring forwards.

Darren Hind
198 Posted 02/01/2018 at 17:33:17
Our standards have dropped – actually, they have fallen from the clifftop and I worry we may never see them rise again.

Our problems at board level have been well documented. If we are honest we know they didn't begin with Kenwright. His subsequent buffoonery and deceitfulness has hardly helped our situation, but anyone who believes we were not already on a very slippery slope need only check how little Boys Pen Bill had to fork out to get control of this club.

The staggering amount of money Sky have pumped in could not have been foreseen, but it has made Kenwright rich beyond his wildest, He's won the lottery 20 times over. But make no mistake as a business and a football club, at the time, the smart guys were given us a very wide berth. We needed a multi millionaire, we got Gordon Clegg and when we eventually did bag a multi millionaire... we needed a multi billionaire.

These things have been out of our control, but my worry is the way the level of expectation amongst so many fans has so dramatically declined. how far the tolerance levels have been stretched. That IS within our control.

During the past four years we have large sections of the fan base support and excuse the mindless tripe Martinez served up for years. We have seen them defend and excuse the Zombie football we were regularly served up by Koeman and now we People defending and supporting the cowardly anti football we are seeing now.

There has always always always been arguments for and against managers, but its now getting to a point where some can not/ will not hear any criticism at all against the manager. Ask for a little more adventure and they will scream at you for "expecting us to play like Barca" ...Ask for the guy to stop his players hoofing it and they will regurgitate his nonsense and tell you the players "not good enough to play football". Anyone asking to attack teams such as WBA or Bournemouth and you're told you have no patience... "give him time" they say. To do what??? What on earth do people think Sam is going to do ? Does anybody really believe he will change now ? . . Really?

We gave Martinez time, we gave Koeman time and both of them did their level best to ruin us. If we know a shite manager has been appointed why do we insist on waiting for him to prove it beyond all possible doubt. ?

Lets get one thing clear here. Substituting Rooney for Macca was one of the most brainless substitutions ever ? Rooney may have been having a poor game, but he still remained our only real hope of getting something out of it. I wont have a go at Macca because he s a fine player and he did raise the noise levels with a couple of uncompromising hits... but come on? We were losing, we needed to score a goal why on earth take off your best hope of a goal for somebody who's goals in the past 4 years can be counted on one hand. Be of no doubt. This was damage limitation, selfish cowardly damage limitation. We did need Macca in there, but instead of Schneiderlin, not Rooney our most creative player. Please., please let's draw the line here and stop defending this substitution.

I know people will claim I have posted "50,000 times" against Allardyce (good luck finding 50) but having defended him for his tactics at Anfield, I now realise that a more adventurous approach against lesser opposition isn't going to happen. No shots on target are as rare as hen's teeth in the Premier League. How many more games are we to suffer where we cant muster a single shot on target?

Expectations? When I heard the cheer after we had successfully spoiled the game enough to get a poxy clean sheet against a Chelsea team who had been turned over by Burnley, West Ham and Palace, I realised that many Evertonians don't have any.

No wonder we are a breeding ground for the richest failures in sport.

Brian Williams
199 Posted 02/01/2018 at 17:34:25
I'm not even gonna bother trying to post about our performance or even our players.
I'm going to do something I never thought I'd do and that's salute the Man Utd supporters (not fans supporters).
Not only did they get off on the right foot by having a banner with Happy New 20-18 YSB (You Scouse Bastards) on , which I thought was dead funny, but they respected and applauded throughout the minutes tribute to Evertonians who passed in 2017.
They also chanted "Rooney, Rooney," when Rooney went to take the first corner and without pausing "You fat bastard, you fat bastard" which again I thought was really funny.
They went on to applaud Wayne as he was subbed and again chanted his name.
Good sense of humour just like us!
Max Murphy
200 Posted 02/01/2018 at 20:22:26
Everton Football Club is dying on its feet. The only cure is to exorcise the rot and decay from every level: including owners, management, training staff and players.

If it means sinking into the mire of relegation, then so be it – this happened to Man U in 1974, and Man City in 1996, and they've never looked back.

The club has been infected with this disease for the past 30 years, and if something radical is not done immediately we are finished as a serious football club.

We are the laughing stock of the Football League, and more humiliation is heading Everton's way on Friday evening, when they will probably suffer a record cup defeat at the hands of their fiercest rivals, which will be televised across the nation.
Mick Conalty
201 Posted 02/01/2018 at 20:24:07
Well sais Darren Hind 198# Your comments cannot be
Jamie Crowley
202 Posted 02/01/2018 at 20:54:11

Funny thing is no one (with a level head) would blame Sam for setting up against Liverpool the way he did. Their attack, it pains me to say, is fantastic and very dangerous. So yes, by all means, be hard to beat and take your chances on the counter.

But to set up in a very similar, safety-first way against West Brom, Bournemouth, and then just shell up like a turtle in the second half and remove your goal-scoring threats – just begging for a single point at home – against Man Utd?

Why can't you have both approaches?? Seems Sam is so focused on not conceding he's obsessed with it. And opportunities to snatch three points go missing.

And that's the man's major fault. And he ain't changin' any time soon.

Plus, it's boring as shit to watch most of the time... in fact it's painful.

Anyway good post @198.

John G Davies
203 Posted 02/01/2018 at 21:05:26
Let's sack him tomorrow. £8 million quid it will cost. Along with £10 million to Martinez and the who knows how much to Koeman.

If the next manager doesn't completely turn it around in seven weeks sack him. Ditto for the one after him.

Only need 21 weeks to get four new managers in. Plenty of time for that. Surely one of them would get it right.

Brent Stephens
204 Posted 02/01/2018 at 21:24:12
John G. - we could have the flavour of each month. Maybe that Watford wonder will be tasty again (for a while)!
Jeff Armstrong
205 Posted 02/01/2018 at 21:48:55
Darren is quite right, Allardyce brought McCarthy on for Rooney to do one thing, keep the score down, I said as soon as the sub was made he's going for the 0-1, and I'm afraid that's is what we are now dealing with, same mindset at Bournemouth and West Brom as we got against Chelsea and Liverpool, safety first, keep what we've got.

I think we will stay up but it will be a slog between now and April, I remember West Ham going down on 42 points so let's not count our chickens. This guy makes Moyes look like Mario Zagallo.
Stan Schofield
206 Posted 02/01/2018 at 23:52:26
Max@200: I don't know where you get the idea that we're a laughing stock. In fact, nobody except Evertonians pays us much attention, because we're mid table and never win anything. It's only a perception of Evertonians that we're a laughing stock. We're just not interesting enough to be that.
Darren Hind
207 Posted 03/01/2018 at 03:46:54
Na... let's not sack him. Let's stick with this cowardly excuse for football. Let's pretend that everything is okay and that bringing on a stopper for a creator when you are trailing is a good idea. Especially when it's confirmed because the stopper makes two good tackles.

Let's pretend that we don't wince when, game after game, our only idea of attack is to boot it 50 yards to a kid and expect him to battle it out with 2 or 3 experienced defenders... and if we can't pretend, let's blame the kid.

Let's ignore the fact that opposition goalkeepers are finishing games against us with their gloves in pristine condition. Let's excuse and apologise for this dross.

So what if we consistently spend more money than anyone outside the top six. It doesn't give us the right to expect our managers to try to win.

Let's not demand better, let's support the manager – no matter how excruciating it gets and how much he damages the image of our club. After all – isn't that what we do?

Never mind the quality, feel the width!

John G Davies
208 Posted 03/01/2018 at 07:57:38
Tenders posted to Finch Farm please

David Price
209 Posted 03/01/2018 at 08:07:26
I fail to see how even beginning to critisise Big Sam is possible given that he has inherited a side that is bereft of both talent and self belief.He has to my mind steadied a ship that was starting to sink and even the most rational supporter would have taken that six weeks ago.We were outclassed by a side that has quality players and has cost huge amounts of money to assemble,what we wouldnt give to have Pogba in our side he tore us to shreds.Jordon pickford kept us in the game with some outstanding saves and then is slagged off by some fans on here for having a poor game!!! did those people see the goals they were brilliant and placed in the goal by very technical players.
For gods sake get behind Sam like him or not he will only develop the sort of passion for the club we need if he hears the fans positive backing,i have been a blues fan all my life and I have never heard the ground as quiet as it was against man utd you would swear we were the away team!!! COYB get behind Sam and the team .Happy new year

Andy Meighan
210 Posted 03/01/2018 at 09:30:04
As much as it pains me to say it, Darren (#198) has pretty much nailed it there. We don't look like we've got a shot never mind a goal in us at the minute and one goal in 4 games pretty much tells it's own sorry story. Carp on about strikers all we want... Messi and Ronaldo would struggle in that set-up. It's painful to watch.

I'm not even bothering to tune in on Friday night to see us hang on for a draw. Fat lot of good it'd do having to play them bastards again. Never thought I'd hear myself saying or thinking this, but I'd actually take a 1-0 defeat now to save us the indignity of a mauling. And how sad is that?

Kim Vivian
211 Posted 03/01/2018 at 10:05:30
David - a word about the crowd. I agree it was ridiculously quiet for a home game of this stature apart from that 10min spell in the second half. The away support at Bournemouth made more noise.

Sadly it is just a reflection of the anticipation instilled by the quality of our game currently. We are all die hard fans but it's really hard to get up for it as a 30,000 strong unit when we know in our hearts what's coming. Even the team on the touchline seem to struggle.

This will change, but not dramatically until after Sam has moved on, and in the meantime I will continue to be behind the team through thick and thin and stick with the hope.

Onward to the FA cup and what I think may be a good old traditional blood and guts effort. Lets make some noise - It's time to take a scalp! COYBB

Max Murphy
212 Posted 03/01/2018 at 16:21:37
Stan (#206) - Just look at the way EFC have been treated on MotD. We could beat Man City 6-0 and they'd still put our game on last.

The smugness of Sky presenters, with their anti-Everton inuendoes. They're laughing under their breaths if we're described as "once a great club". In general, supporters from other clubs regard us as Premier League goal fodder. That prick Lawrenson takes great delight predicting our defeats – not that I give a toss for his opinion.

Maybe it is a perception, but I feel it's very real, and has been for a very long time.

Perhaps all Everton supporters were evil monsters in a previous life, and this is our punishment: an eternity of continual failure.

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