Allardyce undermined as abject Everton revert to type

By Lyndon Lloyd 14/01/2018 151comments  |  Jump to last

This wasn’t supposed to happen anymore after Sam Allardyce was appointed, was it? The Premier League’s famed “fire-fighter” would whip together a sorry bunch who had, thanks to the flawed leadership and inadequate recruitment of his predecessor, helped plunge Everton into the bottom three and destroyed all the pre-season optimism generated by an unprecedented spending spree.

He would shore up the defence, make the Blues hard to beat, and slowly instil in the players a confidence that they could take on anyone in the top flight and get a result. And yet, here we are, staring at another 4-0 drubbing, four successive defeats and Everton conceding at a rate of 2½ goals a game. Allardyce’s unique selling point — defensive solidity and backs-to-the-wall defiance — has gone up in smoke since Boxing Day and it begs the question: so what now?

This was an utterly miserable performance, one only briefly lifted above the turgid and the hapless by a fleeting moment here and there early on in the final third by debutant Cenk Tosun and the brief, quickly extinguished, elation at a Wayne Rooney goal chalked off for offside. Beyond that, there were almost no redeeming facets save the continued shot-stopping form of Jordan Pickford… that is when he wasn’t left completely exposed by a flat-footed or simply non-existent back line.

I’ve resisted the temptation of hyperbole throughout this nightmare of a season but this was as abject as anything I’ve witnessed as an Evertonian. No (legitimate) shots on target for the third Premier League game in the last five and a collapse in the second half that echoed the nadirs of the Roberto Martinez and Ronald Koeman regimes.

To hear Sam Allardyce speak afterwards of having to now make his side more boring and less adventurous afterwards beggared belief. This Everton team couldn’t be more dreadful to watch, nor could they be less adventurous. The manager talked as if their maverick spirit had been punished as they poured forward in attack when, in fact, the Blues did precious little by way of getting forward beyond sending missiles forward from the boot of Jordan Pickford, aimed in the general direction of Tosun’s head.

The Turk was as isolated as his predecessors in the role before he was withdrawn in the second half — proof, as if it were needed, that you can’t just throw a striker into this team and expect all the problems going forward to melt away.

Rooney was deployed nominally in the hole with Gylfi Sigurdsson forced out wide left — a position where, by his own well-documented admission, he struggled during his own Spurs days — which went against all the logic established during the FA Cup derby, when the Icelander scored a lovely goal from a central position, while the Englishman had to be hauled off to save himself from a red card. Everton struggled as a result — Rooney again mis-placing passes left and right and Sigurdsson battling to assert himself on the contest.

And for all Allardyce’s renowned defensive bent, Tottenham picked their way through a system supposedly bolstered by twin defensive midfielders and around the fullbacks with ease.

Their first goal was an alarming case in point. With Phil Jagielka drawn way out of position to track Harry Kane, who had dropped off into attacking midfield, and Cuco Martina sucked across to centre-half to cover Son Heung-min, an ocean of space was left on Everton’s left flank for Serge Aurier to exploit. The Spurs defender delivered drove a hard and low ball into the 6-yard box where Son simply side-footed home from close range.

It’s been said numerous times but how a Premier League club of any description — let alone one with top-four aspirations which has been backed to the tune of £220m in signings under Farhad Moshiri — can go so long without acquiring cover at left-back just beggars belief. There hasn’t been a viable back-up to Leighton Baines for two seasons; while Martina has mostly acquitted himself as best as can be expected from a defensive perspective playing out position, he offers very little going forward and the simple fact remains that he isn’t near good enough even in his natural right-back role.

Tottenham’s second was almost a mirror image of the first although this time the freedom of the flank afforded Son came from Jonjoe Kenny’s inexperience as the South Korean expertly rolled him, leaving him for dead. Kane was offside when the ball was delivered to him but the defending in the middle was just as lax, with the striker easily able to steal between Jagielka and Martina.

Unforgivably, the heads went down after that as a sense of futility set in with 43 minutes plus stoppage time to go. That sense of pointlessness was echoed by Allardyce's substitutions: the ageing Aaron Lennon replaced the utterly ineffective Yannick Bolasie while Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Morgan Schneiderlin came on in unimaginative like-for-like swaps for Cenk Tosun and James McCarthy.

Kane plundered a second as blue jerseys ambled about and Eric Dier then simply passed the ball into the 6-yard box again behind the static Mason Holgate and Jagielka to toe it over Pickford.

And Christian Eriksen, the like of which Everton so desperately need in attacking midfield, finished off the rout at the end of an impressive Spurs move when he swept home Dele Alli’s flick.

It could have been worse. Pickford made a number of stops to deny Kane, Serge Aurier, Kane and Son. Son also rattled the post in the second half prior to the third goal while the Blues offered nothing going the other way.

As this played out, thoughts inevitably turned to how we go about fixing what continues to be a shambles at Everton. Allardyce was brought in with a specific purpose – one he achieved almost instantly with three wins and three draws in his first six league games in charge. There is a danger that we could get drawn back into a dogfight at the bottom if this sequence of defeats is prolonged but the hierarchy will, no doubt, have faith that the experienced “relegation specialist” will be able to stave that off.

Beyond that, you would hope that the 18-month deal he was offered — the brevity of which is being cited as a possible reason for the contempt of his leadership that some of the players appeared to show yesterday — means that work is being done in the background firming up a long-term hire with a more expansive outlook.

In the meantime, Allardyce’s rhetoric portends of more dirge to come in the next few weeks from an unbalanced squad labouring under the same limited approach as his predecessor.

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Reader Comments (151)

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Brian Williams
1 Posted 14/01/2018 at 17:21:33
All you have to do is go through that team/squad and it's very clear the vast majority are simply NOT good enough.
Kenny- yes.
Jags-sorry but no.
Martina-words fail me.
Rooney-sorry but no.
Sigurdsson-as use presntly, no.
There's half a team or so there that simply aren't good enough.
You can carry one, maybe two, weak links who offer a certain something at odd times but you can't carry half a team.
Overhaul of the midfield required. We need players who's first thought is to look forward, move forward, and carry the ball forward.
We have no creativity whatsoever and that exposes us time and time again.
I could go on but dunno if I an be arsed at the moment.

Kunal Desai
2 Posted 14/01/2018 at 17:28:09
A friend of mine told me be careful what you wish for when Moyes left.

Hate to admit it but the Moyes years will probably be the best it gets for Everton for a very very long time in terms of stability.

I cannot associate most of these players with Everton. They are simply dire. Dire players, dire manager, dire board and dire club.

Jim Bennings
3 Posted 14/01/2018 at 17:31:14
I think it's gone totally beyond signing individual players now as every player we sign we make worse and train out the skill they had.

I'd just like to ask these questions because I watch enough football , live and highlights of other Premier League clubs to want answers to these..

Why do Everton completely isolate the striker and never EVER commit men into the penalty area??
How do they expect to score goals by signing one man and merely reducing him to isolation and live off scraps??

Why do no Everton players EVER look comfortable on the ball?

Why can no Everton players run with the ball and shoot and score?
And the few who maybe can are completely discouraged from doing so and kept from the team? (Lookman, Vlasic etc )

Why do Everton seem obsessed with holding midfielders that offer absolutely nothing other than sideways passes, stupid fouls and are too slow (Gueye, Schneiderlin and Davies)

Why do we continue with the same pedestrian bullshit players week in week out and expect different results????

Why do our board continue to pull the wool over our eyes and insult the intelligence of long term match going fans with ridiculous statements like Moshiri has been spouting this week??

Why have Everton taken every bit of entertainment and enjoyment out of going the match ?

Why can we never win a match we aren't “expected “ to?
Yet Burnley can win at Chelsea this season , last season Crystal Palace can win back to back at Liverpool and Chelsea , Watford can win at Arsenal ???
Bournemouth can win at Chelsea at the first time of asking in 2015?

Why are we always told we “cannot “ win these fixtures?

Why can we not win a Merseyside derby!?

Why have we gone backwards since Moshiri has brought money to the club???

So many questions that even one or two answers would be welcome in the midst of this disgusting mess at a once famous football club.

David Barks
4 Posted 14/01/2018 at 17:38:17
We have players that want to look forward. The problem is they aren't being allowed on the pitch. Klaassen does that but can't even get on the bench. None of us have any idea how good he could be because he hasn't been given a chance at all.

I have no idea why we cant go with a 4-1-4-1. Let Gana do the only thing he seems to be capable of, running around and trying to tackle. Or now that McCarthy is temporarily healthy, let him fill that role. But why not have a 4 man midfield in front of him be Klaassen and Gilfy in the middle, both able to drop and help but also get forward and support the striker. Let Lookman and Vlasic operate on the wings for a run of games. Give them time to actually build some form. And let Tosun be up top.

That is a midfield and forward line with everyone in their natural position. Not putting Gilfy out left where he is essentially removed from our attack. We have players with quality on the ball in the middle and players who have pace and like to take their man on in the wings. But for God's sake, let the same players stay in the team to gain some cohesion.

Jay Woods

5 Posted 14/01/2018 at 17:43:11

Jim, in answer to your questions about why we don't stream forward, etc., it's primarily because we have crap players and don't demand or expect a win-at-all-costs mentality.

We need absurd wealth PLUS a ruthlessly ambitious board. We possess neither at present.

Craig Mills
6 Posted 14/01/2018 at 17:52:36
𧶔m spent in 3 windows and somehow our teams looks utterly pathetic. Creativity is at an all-time low, we show nothing going forward which is underlined by the embarrassing stat of zero shots on target in 3 of our last 5 games. So many players bought are just simply not good enough
Steavey Buckley
7 Posted 14/01/2018 at 18:07:30
Everton has become a retirement home for the over 28 year olds (and doesn't it show) who are on good salaries and a relaxing atmosphere since Koeman has gone. Walcott will be next in, he will play a few games before he is injured as he waves to cameras from the treatment home and saying how happy is to be at a great club, as Everton are drowning and floundering in their mediocrity.
Jim Bennings
8 Posted 14/01/2018 at 18:08:36
And we've got Allardyce saying what we badly need is a warm weather break after the West Brom game!!

Is he taking the piss?

No what we needed was a F.A Cup fourth round appearance you prat!!

Why do we need a break??

We don't do hardly any running in matches anyway!?

Tim Smith
9 Posted 14/01/2018 at 18:10:25
Reading all the comments on various threads since yesterday's game has bewildered me – how can so many people suddenly now be such doom merchants after that result? Yes, we were very poor and there are issues about the selection and tactics, but it wasn't long ago that people were generally happy that Sam had steadied the ship.

Since then we lost at Bournemouth with a late deflected goal, we lost at home to Man United, we then lost at Anfield to another late goal after one of our better performances their in recent times, and then we got stuffed by one if the best attacking teams in the league.

Yes, there are problems, but we need to retain some perspective and bear with Big Sam for the time being.

Geoffrey Hall
10 Posted 14/01/2018 at 18:14:47
I've always something to say or think about Everton but now I've just give up I cant believe people get paid millions of pounds and they don't give a fuck
Michael Kenrick
11 Posted 14/01/2018 at 18:15:40
Tim, "it wasn't long ago that people were generally happy that Sam had steadied the ship"

It's painfully simple – that was then, and this is now. In that period, we've played a few better teams and been utterly and totally found out.

Open your blue-tinted eyes, lad!

Kevin Tully
12 Posted 14/01/2018 at 18:16:04
Expectations were raised with our early signings and seemingly, a manager who was destined for the very top. We now find ourselves with most disjointed, unbalanced, unmotivated bunch of players who have worn the blue shirt for 25 years. And a manager who purely in post to ensure our Premier League survival.

Who is to blame? Take your pick my friends, but one thing is indisputable - every person involved in our demise has become considerably richer. The trouble with football, eh? All rewarded like a lottery winner for wasting hundreds of millions, including the players on £3-5m a season!

I watched Bournemouth today, the energy, skill and effort, all out shining our misfits who are on three times their wages, and cost probably 5 times more to assemble.

The question is, who will take the bull by the horns to fix this shambles? Too many chiefs, I'm afraid. The club needs dragging into the 21st century by the scruff of it's neck. Unfortunately, there is still too much money, and too many vested interests a stake for the reform to take place so that is so badly needed.

Football is a business like any other, expecting a long standing failed leadership to suddenly deliver any modicum of success is a futile exercise. There are people at the club who geniunely believe the charity exploits are as important as the playing side. I have the utmost respect for many charities and the good they do, but they should be a completely separate entity from any football club, especially one who is failing badly.

I am now also convinced that the Bramley-Moore stadium project only has a 50/50 chance of coming to fruition. Speaking to someone today, they are convinced there is very little chance this scheme will be voted in favour of. They say the Carillion crisis (they are building the new hospital in Liverpool) will be the death knell to any financial support to private businesses offered by LCC. He is well in the know.

Happy days.

Dennis Stevens
13 Posted 14/01/2018 at 18:22:05
I just watched a clip about the half a dozen most depressing clubs to support & couldn't believe that Everton didn't feature!
Tony Everan
14 Posted 14/01/2018 at 18:22:40
Nothing has gone right since Rooney returned.

He is giving more effort than most and scoring more, I'm not criticising him for his input.

But since his return , we have been slow slow and more slow. Pace from midfield does not exist.

The real Rooney is a mid twenty year old centre forward, one of the best.

The real Rooney is not a 33 yr old midfielder. It's not what he is . It is finding a place for someone who used to be a world class CF.

There is no place for him in a premier league side who wants top 6. We can never be a dynamic attacking side with him starting in it.

Mourinho saw that straight off.

We have to start constructing sides that can attack with pace , and get back behind the ball when not in possession. Rooney can't do it.

This is not a rant saying that he is the cause of all our troubles , that would be very unfair.

I'm trying to convey that our ability to attack and defend as a football TEAM has diminished since his arrival.

We need to avoid using him as a midfielder and use him as an attacking sub when necessary.

Leigh Parry
15 Posted 14/01/2018 at 18:23:47
We were awful. But in the first half I thought we were still in it. When they got that second goal (Which wasn't a goal), it killed us. Heads dropped then confidence went down. It doesn't help when you're not playing a left-winger and left-back. You could see it was our weakest link.

It's all doom and gloom right now, once we make a few changes, bring in Walcott and hopefully a Left Back, we should see some improvements.

Clive Rogers
16 Posted 14/01/2018 at 18:28:59
Sam has no choice but to pick some poor players as he soon runs out of decent ones, but it a fatal mistake to pick poor players who are only half fit. McCarthey and Bolasie are the players I am thinking of. The former was clearly struggling prior to being taken off. Bolasie gave one of the worst performances I have ever seen in any colour of shirt, reminiscent of Bernie Wright. Surely he must have been unfit on top of being completely useless.
Declan Brown
17 Posted 14/01/2018 at 18:30:40
It is clearly obvious that we're light years away from the top 6, we're out of our depth in every area when trying to compete with them. We can forget the Top 6 for a while now, we're so far adrfit from them even after spending 𧶔m. I'm not entertaining any more thoughts of Top 6 unless any season is over and we've actually finished in the Top 6.

With Moshiri it seems to be far too much money and not enough football sense. We finally get a bit of money and ended up facing a relegation battle. I'm wondering if the wages dished out to the likes of Schneiderlein (not just him, but the others signed by Koeman who will be on more money than those already with us before Koeman arrived) has divided and poisoned the dressing room?

If Sam goes in the summer, if West Ham are stupid enough to let Moyes go, I'd bring him back in to rebuild us again, I was delighted when Moyes left but this is bad, bad enough to think it would be better for us to get him back in this coming summer and try to start all over again.

There's no team spirit there any more, we're just getting by to survive and that's it, once we're ok we go back to don't care and getting stuffed mode again, this season's beatings have been bad, we didn't get embarrassing scorelines even in the seasons we nearly went down.

Our attempts on target in the last 5 games is shocking. This is beyond my comprehension on how to repair it.

Oh what I'd do for another Joe Royle type of manager again to come in and lift the doldrums and make us compete with everyone again, show a bit of heart, steel, determination and pride in the shirt.

A sobering weekend, been many of those this season.

Brian Ronson
18 Posted 14/01/2018 at 18:43:01
I agree with Tony.Rooney is no longer good enough to play regularly and playing him is reducing the effectiveness of Sigurdsson and blocking the development of Lookman and Valsic. . I would be critical of Sam for the way the team was set up and lost at Bournemouth but not so much for the other three games. I also agree with the comments that Gueye should be played as single defensive midfield player. Does Sam have the courage to drop Rooney and move to 4-1-4-1 or is he going to change personnel alone ?
Eric Paul
19 Posted 14/01/2018 at 18:48:14
Good post I think playing for Everton must be like playing for England as our players look scared to death. How many Bournemouth players would get in our side ( on paper) yet they can beat Arsenal
Gerry Quinn
20 Posted 14/01/2018 at 18:58:02

Allardyce said today, “At this moment in time and from what we see, it hasn't worked. The lad is prepared to fight for his place, but before I came and since I've been here, in all the other players, there seems to be more coming from them than there is from Davy.

“That's a great shame. One, for the club and two, for the player. As a person and lad he's a terrific young man, but at the moment, there's not a place in the side for him.

“It's like everyone who's in this big squad, if you get a chance, you need to be ready. You'll get one chance, you won't get any more.”

Stephen Brown
21 Posted 14/01/2018 at 19:00:10
Would it be melodramatic to say West Brom at home on Saturday is pretty much a must win game?!
Jay Harris
22 Posted 14/01/2018 at 19:02:38
I wanted to be rational after this one and not let emotion ruin judgement.

We have definitely seen signs of more effort and motivation since Sam came but the underlying problems remain.

We don't have a winning mentality anywhere in the squad except the kids and Rooney and he isn't better than championship standard now.

The people at the club cant see the urgency in getting a LB in. It is now 2 weeks into January and we are out of the cup and losing confidence and points again.

There needs to be a realisation by the management that Rooney cannot be in the same team as Sigurdson who must be played in his natural role.

There needs to be a realisation by the management that Gana and McCarthy are too similar in being able to nick a ball from the opposition but then not able to do anything preductive with it.

WTF happened to having box to box MF players like Wilshere and De Bruyne. They can win balls pass accurately and score goals.

The only player we have of that ilk is Davies and he's currently out of form and only 19 years old.

If the DOF and manager cant see these problems what chance have we got of moving forward.

Geoff Williams
25 Posted 14/01/2018 at 19:20:17
Compared to the majority of teams we carry players who lack athleticism and the ability for sustained running. Rooney and Ashley Williams being the most obvious. There are others such as Mccarthy and Bolaise who through long term injuries have yet to get anywhere near match fitness. If we then throw in players who are simply failing to produce the goods Sandra, Klassan, Schneiderlin and Keane alongside those nearing the end of their careers Jags and Baines we can see why we are struggling. Having a manager of limited aspirations doesn't help either.
Clive Rogers
26 Posted 14/01/2018 at 19:32:08
Moshiri's big mistake was keeping Kenwright as chairman, the man who has turned the club into a shambles and has surrounded himself with yes-men. There should have been a clean sweep from top to bottom with a suitable new face as chairman.
Ken Kneale
27 Posted 14/01/2018 at 19:36:44
Lyndon as ever, a very fair and balanced summary of the game and our situation. Sadly, as other contributors under this and the match report have listed, we are now so demoralised as a unit of supporters are three decades of mismanagement at all levels, under investment into the Club and the playing staff and the repeated false dawns promised but never materialising that we as a support have lost our 'nasty streak; - imagine other clubs with out heritage allowing this turgid style year on year and only venting our spleen on supporters websites to each other - sadly and I detest myself for coming to this view, but the RS cousins had it right when they protested so strong, vigorously and prolonged that they drove change within the Club hierarchy. We appear to have significantly less clout with out lot and consequently we carry on year on year under achieving, selling our best players that we should be building around and dealing ruthlessly with other clubs in the transfer market.
Seb Niemand
28 Posted 14/01/2018 at 19:41:20
This is what you get when you set the bar as low as Allardyce. The board basically wrote off this and next season when they appointed him and the players know it. I'm still ashamed that the man manages this once proud club.
Colin Glassar
29 Posted 14/01/2018 at 19:47:58
Great point, Clive. Moshiri is like sleeping beauty with Svengali next to him. Who'll give him a smacker tho?

Are we ever going to buy a left back?

Pat Kelly
31 Posted 14/01/2018 at 19:58:29
Agree with Tony (#14) regarding Rooney. His signing was wrong on a number of levels. Financially, his wages are almost ٦m a year. Man Utd must've been delighted to get off the hook for the 㾼m he would have cost them and dump it on Everton. And it cost Everton almost the same again in the reduced fee they got for Lukaku for the privilege of taking Rooney.

Rooney's return was a mistake based on sentimentality by Kenwright. This goes to the core of Everton's problems – who decides on recruiting players? Anyone and everyone seems to be the answer. With no strategy or future team building evident.

The only reason Rooney looks good at times is because he is in a very mediocre team. But he has lost it and has become petulant and ineffective overall, having to be hauled off in case he gets sent off.

Allardyce wants players between 25 and 30 who can do a job immediately to avoid relegation, so there'll be no thought of the future beyond the end of the season.

This saga has a long long way to run.

Stan Schofield
33 Posted 14/01/2018 at 20:23:03
Ken@26: I wouldn't jump to the conclusion that it was the red fans who drove any change. That's just an assumption. Their fans are not that happy, at least not the ones I know who've been die-hard reds for donkey's years, because they don't win anything.

LFC make money as a business, particularly from being in the CL, but that's a different thing from the ultimate desire of the supporters, which is to win trophies. Even if we were habitually like them, in the top-6 and Europe, ToffeeWeb would be rife with folks expressing dissatisfaction about yet another season of coming close but winning nothing.

Jim Bennings
34 Posted 14/01/2018 at 20:23:16
Personally I would not lose sleep if any of the current squad left us.

Contrast that to 10 years ago and it would have been gut wrenching to see the likes of Cahill or Arteta go in their prime years .

This squad, it just quite simply lacks the love of the Gwladys Street – no songs, no bond, no affinity.

It's never been a love affair, let alone a marriage, and I doubt it ever will be.

Ray Robinson
35 Posted 14/01/2018 at 20:33:54
Agree with those calling for Rooney to be benched. We need to replace him with someone with pace. He slows the game right down as does Martina by constantly having to check back onto his right foot. We have little enough pace in breaking anyway without these extra hindrances.

These are not the worst players that I have seen at Everton but they must rank with the biggest set of snowflakes that have ever graced the shirt.

Another point to consider surely is to release Gueye from his defensive duties. He is one of the few players in the team to go box to box and he should be given that freedom.

Yes, the WBA game is turning into a must win situation if we are to stay out of the relegation dogfight.

One final point, I think it's perhaps a little unfair Lyndon to take Allardyce literally on his "we must be more boring" statement. How can we be any more boring? I'll give him the benefit of the doubt and take it that he would rather have had a good defensive performance resulting in an uneventful 0-0, rather than that the shambles that unfolded.

Clive Rogers
36 Posted 14/01/2018 at 20:37:48
Every time someone uses the word “shambles”, I think of Kenwright.
Rick Tarleton
37 Posted 14/01/2018 at 20:42:06
There is a massive problem in the Everton midfield. We have Gueye, McCarthy, Besic , Schneiderlin and not one of them has a creative spark, none of them could get forward and add a goal threat to the so-called attack.

Davies is a shadow of the player we saw last season; now he runs around picking up yellow cards, has he any resemblance to the player who scored against Man City?

That leaves us with Sigurdsson, Rooney and Klaassen who all essentially want to play as a Number 10. We have Bolasie who is a winger and Lennon, another winger. Both have neat feet, can beat a man, Bolasie even has speed, but neither has a brain and their final ball is inevitably wrong.

Does Tosun have a clue, with that lot behind him and allegedly supporting him, about the quality of chances he is going to get?

I won't start on the defence. You all know the problems, perhaps we can use Garbutt as a left back, he must be better than Martina. Keane came here as an England player – after three months playing in our back four he looks shattered, confused and utterly drained of confidence and ability.

Mr Allardyce even sounds defeated now he realises just what he has to deal with. Still we might sign Walcott, who can't get into the almost as abject Arsenal team, that'll save us.

Nil satis nisi minimum is what we have and I can't see it getting any better in the near future.

Dave Abrahams
38 Posted 14/01/2018 at 20:52:35
Talking about Rooney, in my opinion Wayne would be doing Everton a favour, and himself a bigger one if he considered retiring at the end of this season.

He has been one of the best players in the premier league, starting sensationally with The Blues and carrying on brilliantly with Man Utd and England, breaking goal scoring records along the way and playing top class football for over 12 or more years.

But those years, where he gave his all for United and England have taken their toll on his body, he is far from the player he was and I take no pleasure in suggesting this should be his last season as a player.

It honestly saddens me to watch Wayne most of the time now. I'll never forget those first two years I watched you at Goodison.

Don Alexander
39 Posted 14/01/2018 at 20:53:19
Ray Robinson (#34), I just hope Allardyce's "more boring" was a jibe at the board and Moshiri because of the failure, again, to sign the players in the positions we and he, Allardyce, can see we desperately need. Clubs must be drooling at the prospect of meeting us and yet the owner and board refuse to even try to do anything to correct their own ineptitude. Criminal.
Jay Harris
40 Posted 14/01/2018 at 20:55:36
OMG its even translated to the club website which is "Down for maintenanace" at the moment.
Paul Hewitt
41 Posted 14/01/2018 at 21:02:13
The bloke can't work miracles. This is probably the worst squad Sam has ever taken over. Even Pep would struggle with this pile of shite.
Peter Laing
42 Posted 14/01/2018 at 21:04:04
Nail on the head Rick. The Club has no strategy, no definitive game plan and a flawed recruitment policy. Moshiri brought in Walsh to try to bring an element of semblance to the above on the back of his flash in the pan success with Leicester City. It's clear that he's out of his depth and adds little value. Other clubs have tried the DOF route and it has proven to be unsuccessful and generally failed in England consuming huge resources in the process.

I hate to say it but Liverpool have been built in recent years on attack minded formations with Managers who play to a system that use power and pace. Players are recruited to fit the system and the plan is executed and recycled accordingly.

Everton on the other hand !

Steve Hogan
43 Posted 14/01/2018 at 21:04:25
Kevin (12)

You're spot on with your comments on the 'sideshow' that is Everton's charity commitment. No-one begrudge's the amount of goodwill that Everton are involved with in the EitC project.

But I recognise a substantial amount of 'empire building' by the CEO of the charity as she engineers a move for her and her evergrowing team to the impressively refurbished Liver Buildings.

You can get away with this if the team ON the pitch is performing well, but it becomes more of an irritant when you travel 200 miles to watch the absolute shite we witnessed yesterday.

Andy Meighan
44 Posted 14/01/2018 at 21:07:34
A brilliant, well thought-out piece, Lyndon, and totally spot on. I thought the Southampton game was a low but that yesterday was just as comparable. I watched until we went a goal down, then switched off because I knew what was coming. Not a prayer we were getting back in that game. And once again, not for the first time this season, we were spared a mauling.

The stat that hit home in the report though was the one that we haven't had a shot on target in 3 out of the last 5 games. I find that astonishing, I really do. How sad is that?

But at the moment, we don't look we have anything in us to create chances. The midfield is pedestrian and bereft of ideas and, although I'm no lover of Sigurdsson, to play him out wide is a crime. Still that doesn't excuse his lack of pace.

A midfield consisting of a mix of McCarthy, Schneiderlin, Gueye (and by god hasn't he gone backwards), Davies, and to a lesser extent, Baningime, is not going to bear fruit for us. They're all too alike and haven't got a positive nerve in their bodies.

The wingers, Bolasie; a one-trick pony, was crap before he got injured and has done nothing upon his return... and isn't likely to – a shocking buy.

Lookman; yes, there's a player in there but successive managers haven't seemed to trust him. Give him 10 to 15 games to see if he can consistently do it. He couldn't do no worse than Bolasie.

I keep hearing people on here banging on about how the youngsters have done great. Sorry, not true. Davies, Kenny, and Calvert-Lewin are not good enough for the Premier League and never will be. Now that statement might hurt some Evertonians but it's the cold harsh truth. Name one side in the Premier League who'd sign any of them if they were up for sale?

It's time for this manager to get ruthless and quick because, believe me, we are in the mire. And he'll go the same way as Koeman and Unsworth.

Clive Rogers
45 Posted 14/01/2018 at 21:09:57
Rick (#36), Lennon scored 5 goals in his first few months with us, 4 of which were in his loan period when he was playing for a contract. The other was shortly after. Since then he has not scored a single goal either this season or last. This tells a story about attitude.

Bolasie has the same scoring rate as Lennon, 1 every 10 games, throughout his career, even in the lower leagues where he has spent most of his career. They are both second rate and bad signings. In recent games, Lennon has not seemed interested to me.

Paul Hewitt
46 Posted 14/01/2018 at 21:11:00
Klaassen scored 20 goals last season. Just saying.
Lawrence Green
47 Posted 14/01/2018 at 21:30:41
Big Sam the firefighter believed he had extinguished the inferno but now finds himself having to call for more cold water to stop the flames from spreading and causing greater damage than when he first arrived.

Stuck on 27 points for what seems an eternity and having to endure the last half-dozen league games is enough to test the patience of the most ardent Evertonian, add to this no FA Cup involvement to act as a welcome distraction and the bottom end clubs beginning to gain 3 points whilst we are stuck in a horrible ground hog day of no pattern and no shots at goal in 3 out of the last 5 league games.

2018 has seen us lose all three of our matches, the first time this has happened since 1960. Everton had no shots on target for the third time in their last five league games, having had no shots on target in three of their previous 222 league games. (Both stats courtesy of The Echo.)

The club has spent an incredible amount of money in the last couple of years, in transfers, wages and compensation and what has it got to show for it? Absolutely nothing that warms the cockles of the supporters hearts.

No iconic focal point for the team or supporters; no obvious leadership on or off the pitch; no identifiable method of playing save hit and hope for the best. It's not down to one man or even a group of men, it is the club itself which has lost its way.

The boardroom has been sidetracked by lofty ambitions which will mean little to the supporters, if those on the pitch are unable to muster a shot at goal or prevent the opposition over-running them on too many occasions.

A new ground would be nice; a stadium on the dock would be fantastic but not if the supporters have to put up with the manure that has been on display for much of the last three years and most certainly not producing the football that many of us wish to see.

I worried when I heard Moshiri speak about individual players by name as I care not what he thinks of any individual player or whether he likes them or doesn't. I worried when Sigurdsson was moved out to the wing again in order for Wayne to shoe-horn his way into the team. I worry when Barkley and Lukaku were able to leave without much of a fight, even if they had no desire to stay, and I worry more when youngsters like Tom Davies are being linked with David Moyes and West Ham.

We will more than likely escape the drop this season but not easily and more probably because the league is full of bad sides and there should be three that are worse than we are; however, that is no consolation to most of us and shouldn't be a cause for any sort of celebration if we do manage to find ourselves poring over the Premier League fixtures during the summer to find out who we play first.

Kenwright I think it was who said that Moshiri always said Yes when money was requested for signings etc, that could be seen as a good thing, however, saying Yes to everything could also be seen as a sign of weakness, sometimes saying No is more difficult but if it is for the right reasons it shouldn't present a problem.

Everton Football Club has to get it's priorities right – the football team should come first and foremost, every ounce of energy should be used by senior people at the club to find out the reasons why good players are seemingly unable to play the game to an acceptable level commensurate to their salary. Many of the teams below us seem to be able to muster a shot or two in any given match, why is it that we can't?

Sam may put out the fire, but the fuel which helped to start it, will remain until the club's directors and senior men focus on the reasons why this season has been such a disaster in terms of performance and results. Throwing money at it won't prevent it happening again next season under the current or another manager and if it does happen again, there'll be little point in building a new stadium, for how many fans are going to want to watch another year or two of what we've seen for the last three or so years, unobstructed views or not?

Ken Kneale
48 Posted 14/01/2018 at 21:59:40
Stan, I am in no way subscribing to the RS and what you say has truth but ultimately we have accepted the position of EFC far too long in my view. Those in powerful positions within the club have loved being big fish in a small pond but run scared of mixing with the real trendsetters of the Premier League.

It is frustrating to all of us who love our club as we all do to see, year on year, inertia leading to backward motion when we should be going forwards. My question is how do we change that?

Jason Wilkinson
49 Posted 14/01/2018 at 22:14:10
So. After the latest debacle. Where are the points coming from to keep us up?

WBA (h) 3pts? They are shite.
Leicester (h) 1pt? A battling performance.
Arsenal (a) 0pts? Can't see AW feeling sorry for us.
Palace (h) 3pts? Hope over expectation.
Watford (a) 1pt? Suits both sides.
Burnley (a) 1pt? Two goal shy sides 0-0.
Brighton (h) 3pts? Come on? Surely?.
Stoke (a) 0pts? They will be scrapping by then.
Man City (h) 0pts? OK another 4-0 home win. NOT.
Liverpool (h) 0pts? Just fuck off Klopp.
Swansea (a) 1pt? See Burnley result.
Newcastle (h) 3pts? Rafa will be looking for a move by then.
Huddersfield (a) 1pt? See Swansea result.
Southampton(h) 1pt? These are shite. So are we.
WHU (a) 0pts? Safe by then. Players on beaches etc.

Sub Total. 18pts?
Grand total. 45pts?

Probably enough to keep us up. I'm being as optimistic as I dare with the above and basing it on nothing more than gut instinct.

David Reid
50 Posted 14/01/2018 at 22:48:24
Great article, Lyndon.

Not only is Sam deluded with his comment to "make us more boring" but Moshiri likewise regarding his comments about "our fab four" equally so. Who are these guys kidding? Evertonians, unfortunately.

Jim Bennings
51 Posted 14/01/2018 at 22:57:18

That's roughly what I predicted!!

I go for 42 points though with 4 wins and 3 draws , I just don't think we are good enough to win more than that considering how appalling our away form has been for nigh on 18 months.

We will scrape 4 home wins that's about it!

Gordon White
52 Posted 14/01/2018 at 23:01:28
I didn't bother watching the second half. Better things to do.

As I said when Koeman was still here – we will do well to stay up this season. Parking the bus may not be entertaining. But at least it's a point in many matches. Points that will add towards a survival score. Which is better than nil points and a drubbing.

Hopefully, big Sam is only here until the end of the season. Even more hopefully, it's the same for half that team.

Mark Murphy
53 Posted 14/01/2018 at 23:12:47
Well that was a shit weekend! Everton embarrassed live on TV for everyone to see and then the fucking Redshite suddenly become everyone's 2nd favourite club again and can do no wrong! I'm convinced we're cursed!

As someone above said, why do we never win the unexpected matches like Burnley, Palace, West Ham do? Why can't we beat Liverpool? Even Hull did it last season!

I'm convinced that IF Eddie Howe was our manager and had the same players he used today against Arsenal, Everton would have lost!

Whatever manager we choose turns shite. Whatever promising top six elect squad we build ends up shite. Whenever we think we've turned a corner we turn into a pile of shite! It does not make sense that we haven't beaten Liverpool for so long when much lesser clubs have, some more than once.

What the fuck is it about Everton FC that we just can't break out of this mediocre state of purgatory?

I've never ever felt like this before, I'm usually positive about the blues, but maybe relegation IS what's needed to wake us the fuck up!

In the meantime – If we don't win the Goodison Derby this season, I think I just might give up and stop caring – just like half that shower of shite did yesterday!

John Raftery
54 Posted 14/01/2018 at 23:14:35
Some fans seem to be under the illusion we have good players who are under performing. We haven't. We have a bunch of very average lower table players performing to the absolute maximum of their abilities.

We have not won against any of the eight teams above us this season. Most of those teams can beat us very comfortably most of the time. Our seven wins have come against teams even weaker than us. I would expect us to continue picking up enough points against those teams to stay out of trouble.

The idea that a manager prepared to play a more expansive style could transform this lot into a cohesive unit is pie in the sky.

Jim Bennings
55 Posted 14/01/2018 at 23:23:50
I feel your pain Mark Murphy.

No club does pain and suffering to its fans quite like Everton .
Every time we are allowed to believe something positive it nearly always ends up falling flat on its face.

It's a horrible time to support Everton let's make no bones about it, especially with Liverpool looking like such an exciting entertainment machine , just when you think they lose their better players , they produce equals, Suarez goes so they get Mane , Coutinho goes but then they have Salah who is like an Egyptian Lionel Messi!!

At least in the 1990's it was a rollercoaster ride of emotions and euphoria all mixed in watching a team that played with its heart on its sleeve despite its limitations it still dragged itself to a unexpected FA Cup win and boasted a proud Merseyside derby record.

But how far behind our neighbours we have fallen is shameful.

Liverpool seems to be an institute that demands it gets things right and at the very least gives its fans a team to be proud of and entertainment is a bare minimum.

Everton appears to be like a corner shop that simply wants to keep the wolves at bay and exist without ever rumbling the big boys whilst giving Evertonians a team to be ashamed of rather than proud.

Alex Mullan
56 Posted 14/01/2018 at 23:31:06
Genuinely serious question for guys that attend regularly and thus see 90mins frequently.

Why is Holgate in the team? I promise I'm not trying to be nasty for effect, it's a serious question.

Without fail, every time I see Holgate play he costs us 1 or more goals. Am I missing something?

Steve Ferns
57 Posted 14/01/2018 at 23:44:03
Because Alex, Holgate was part of a partnership that has been by far our best partnership this season and delivered most, if not all, of our clean sheets this season, in just a few games. Allardyce selected to go with Jags and Holgate on the basis of the Liverpool game, when Williams was not able to play the full 90. We lost, and whilst Jags did alright against Liverpool, he should have been ruthless and returned to Williams and Holgate.

Why do they work together so well? By all accounts, they are mates. That is a major plus point for any partnership. They compliment each other. One is fast and technical, the other is big and strong.

I think back to around the turn of the century. Old Dave Watson played with young Michael Ball. Ball was a revelation coming in from left back to centre back. Dave Watson had been creaking and showing his age, but with Ball's young legs and his wise old head and impeccable reading of the game, our backline suddenly became solid once more.

Ashley Williams is no Dave Watson, but there is something of an echo of that partnership for me. The wise old head marshalling the youngster and coaching him through the game and using the best of what he has to offer. Holgate seeming to be a willing student.

What's the alternative? Keane / Williams? Keane / Jagielka? Williams / Jagielka? Tried, tested and found to be defective.

Jim Bennings
58 Posted 14/01/2018 at 23:54:05
I imagine our players simply lay in a big giant swimming pool/whirlpool bullshitting the day away then get a nice long massage.

We probably do very very limited work with the football nor physical fitness, stamina or endurance; it certainly shows in the performances. That is why we always look so bloody knackered!!

Kase Chow
59 Posted 15/01/2018 at 00:20:35
Half the issue is that we seem to play with no energy. No running off the ball and very few options for the player on the ball.

To win games you need creativity but our football is so pedestrian that we have none

We've been lucky this season to have been given numerous soft penalties (most of them were penalties but generally we don't get them). That has masked how crap we have been and our utter inability to score goals

If you're playing 1 striker up front that doesn't get many goals (DCL) then play lots of goal getters around him: we don't do that

We don't support the play and we don't stream forward and get players on the box

We're turgid and boring to watch. Absolutely boring

People on here hate Moyes: well he was the last manager that we had that played cohesive football with a philosophy. Since then I have no idea what the plan is

You may have hated KITANO but it was a plan. Today we have have pure boring football

I hark back to Arteta, Cahill, Pienaar, the Yak as people that could play football and did

This is rubbish performance wise and rubbish results

Si Cooper
60 Posted 15/01/2018 at 01:13:10
Strange how people see the games / performances. I watched this with a fellow migrant Toffee down in darkest Wiltshire and we both saw it the same way, with the players gamely trying to play it through the Tottenham ranks pretty much all through the game, but the approach was largely ineffective throughout.

Didn't get the idea that the players downed tools or showed contempt for the manager, simply that we were outplayed all over the park. The team was unbalanced with left flank especially exposed, and some very basic defensive lapses made it far too easy for them at times.

We both admitted that we don't have a huge amount of faith that Big Sam is the sort of manager who will have top quality players queuing up to join his revolution, either now or in the summer.

Dan Parker
61 Posted 15/01/2018 at 01:16:26
I'd agree with you in the first half Si. Second half they walked out after half time and gave up. Our £25m+ midfielders need to start earning their coin.
William Cartwright
63 Posted 15/01/2018 at 02:32:00
Nothing to add really . . .

If West Brom win then relegation beckons . . .

Redshit beat City . . .

.../.../.../ ./ . . . . . . . (I give up)

Dick Fearon
64 Posted 15/01/2018 at 02:37:00
I expect one of our failed super stars will soon regurgitate the usual verbal vomit of how 'we let down our wonderful fans".
Jeff Spiers
65 Posted 15/01/2018 at 07:42:56
My brain hurts. It really does. Help
Jim Bennings
66 Posted 15/01/2018 at 08:31:01
Another completely alarming stat that needs looking into at Everton .

How many times this season has Everton conceded THREE goals in one half of football??

Manchester United.

7 times we have shipped three goals in one half of football, that's massively concerning.

It's alarming how easily we collapse and it proves we have no backbone.

Kevin Tully
67 Posted 15/01/2018 at 10:14:50
When you have two academy prospects and a third-choice free signing as three of your four defenders, what can we expect? Dereliction of duty. We've absolutely no chance of keeping clean sheets unless we revert to type, and put ten men behind the ball.

Our luck has also ran out. We were getting penalty decisions and the woodwork was saving us for weeks. We don't have any team ethos whatsoever, just a rabble who look 5 yards slower than every team in this League. We could quite easily be dragged back into the mire.

Ben Dyke
68 Posted 15/01/2018 at 10:29:17
We're all looking for comfort at the moment but there is none Where do we start with Everton at the moment. And all the more painful when endured in the light of our neighbours "success".

Stop the world I want to get off...

Jim Bennings
69 Posted 15/01/2018 at 10:45:26
Allardyce's biggest mistake was opening his mouth at Christmas time going on about finding it amazing that Everton's defending was so bad before he arrived as manager and how HE had sorted it all out.

It was very naive to come out with a statement like that in public after just six games – especially for someone of Allardyce experience – and it came across as a bit arrogant and self-indulgent .

The results since he spoke those words are 10 goals conceded since December 29th!!

Simon Jones
70 Posted 15/01/2018 at 10:45:56
There is an old joke that goes along the lines of...

A man stuck in the middle of nowhere, stops at a farm to ask for directions, the farmer replies,

"Well I wouldn't be starting from here."

If Big Sam was the manager at the start of the season, I cannot believe the season would have started without us having a recognised no.9. He has inherited an unbalanced squad with a defence that is either aging or inexperienced. We have hardly hit the ground running and I think the magnitude of the job is starting to hit home to him and the fans.

Jim Bennings
71 Posted 15/01/2018 at 11:01:27

I think Allardyce possibly got complacent after those back-to-back clean sheets against Chelsea and West Brom hence the statement he made about having already sorted defence, now for attack!

But I agree the magnitude of how bad Everton have actually been for almost a year now is starting to dawn on him that this is not the easiest task he's had of keeping a team up. There's a very long battle for Everton ahead and 40-42 points looks a long road at this present moment in time for a team with just 7 wins all season.

I do, however, doubt that Sam has the capabilities of moving us forward as a club in terms of challenging once more at the higher end of the league table , I believe even if Allardyce starts next season then the attacking side of things and the style of play will be as equally as big a problem as it is now.

It's our style of play, not just individual players that dictate why we are so blunt going forward. I'm unsure Sam has the tools in his armoury to improve on that drastically regardless who he signs. Time will tell but I'm very doubtful.

Brian Williams
72 Posted 15/01/2018 at 11:11:03
Bring back the posting limit!!!!
Charles Barrow
73 Posted 15/01/2018 at 11:11:08
This season is an unmitigated disaster. I only hope we inch over the line and start again in the summer.

We need an optimistic new manager who plays our best players in their best position and who doesn't have favourites. Who buys a left-back and a new young centre-half; who understands that a centre forward cannot, repeat cannot, score goals on his own surrounded by two or three defenders; that a solid defence allied with creativity in midfield is required and that without pace in attack we are doomed to pass the ball across the pitch and back to the keeper.

Really I truly believe its not rocket science. You don't need to be paid £6 million to understand the obvious, do you?

Anthony Hawkins
74 Posted 15/01/2018 at 11:21:25
Everton has a mix of inexperienced and aged. There's no middle ground.

Holgate could be good supported in a quality defence. As could Keane (remember him?)

The midfield needs pulling apart and reassessing. I'd like Allardyce to try playing these - even just for laughs!:

Lookman, Gueye, sig, Vlasic

Then try Touson and DCL up front together.

It seriously can't be any worse!!

Craig Walker
75 Posted 15/01/2018 at 11:42:54
Life as an Evertonian continues. Any flickers of hope over the summer extinguished by September.

The Allardyce bounce has run out of steam and we again look like one of, if not THE worst team in the division. We can all see the failings but a succession of 3 managers can't.

The thing that annoys me is that we'll probably somehow manage to string a couple of wins together during the run-in and people will be posting on ToffeeWeb with phrases like "top 6" or even worse, using words like "bring on the RS" before the derby game. We never learn.

I said it when we appointed Allardyce, we are now a club whose raison d'etre is to exist in the top division of English football being content to come away from games against Arsenal, Spurs, Man City, Man Utd, Chelsea and the RS with a hard luck story at best or a C+ for effort. Our motto is empty rhetoric which has carried no validity for decades.

I walk round where I live in my Everton shirt with a pride for what we once stood for but complete contempt for the management, board and playing staff of our once great club. To make matters worse, the RS are only a goalkeeper and a couple of defenders away in my opinion for being back to challenging for honours and titles. We look further away from winning anything than at any point in my lifetime.

The only crumb of comfort is Bramley-Moore Dock but we still have yet to see any designs and have already got escalating costs and delays. Why do we bother wasting our lives eh? It's the hope that kills you.

Jim Bennings
76 Posted 15/01/2018 at 11:44:30
Personally if Sam stays until May and keeps us up with a maximum of 42-45 points (hard to see much more) job is done for him.

I'd then do everything I could to try and get Fonseca at Donetsk or Tuchel if possible.

Everton Football Club need a new identity, forget the School of Science, that's gone and has been for a very long time.

David McMullen
77 Posted 15/01/2018 at 11:54:31
I'm not blaming Allardyce for opening his mouth about boring football he was obviously talking about being defensive going back to being a solid unit which was the entire reason he was brought in and is something he got right at the beginning.

If anyone's bothered about the performances we we've been pretty shite all season I'd rather be shite and get a win like against West Ham and Huddersfield or get a draw like against Liverpool and Chelsea than that rubbish against Tottenham and Bournemouth.

It is a bad old season but laughably we can still get up to 7th and while it's not progress on last season we're still shite it should be our target for what's left of this season.

Raymond Fox
78 Posted 15/01/2018 at 12:01:18
Come on chaps lets have a little positivity around the place, things could be a lot better but they could also be a lot worse.

We are 9th and currently 55/1+ to be relegated (get a bet on now if you think we might), we will probably finish 8th or 9th this season, that's not a disaster. There's 11 clubs in the Premier League that wish they could do likewise.

Allardyce is not responsible for signing the players in our squad, apart from Tosun of course. His remit when he was made manager was to keep us in the Premier League; he will do that comfortably in my opinion.

Yes I agree that we as a club have messed up big time in all departments. If you believe that you learn by your mistakes, things should surely get better.

Tony McNulty
80 Posted 15/01/2018 at 12:01:40
Craig (75)

It is hard to disagree with much of your post (although I'm not quite as pessimistic as you seem to be).

However, you have given us a great chapter title if any of us ever write our autobiographies: "Life as an Evertonian continues."

Andrew Clare
81 Posted 15/01/2018 at 12:05:24
One football mad city, two teams , one blue, one red, both big clubs of equal stature, then one day the red team goes on a run of unparalleled success, the blue team slips behind, then briefly for what now seems a fleeting moment the blue team achieves great success only to fall behind again and fall in the shadow of their neighbours the red team. Why?

Well, we all know why. The blue team were sold to a man who couldn't afford them.So they slipped further and further behind the red team.

Now the blue have money but as they are so far behind the red team because expectations and standards have dropped it is going to take an exceptional man to bring them back.

I don't believe the blue team have that man in any capacity at all at the club. Very worrying times for the blue team but a fantastic challenge for someone with the guts to pull it together.

Philip Jeffries
82 Posted 15/01/2018 at 12:14:12
On the 15 January 2017, Everton beat Manchester City 4-0.

15 January 2018 and I'm thinking how has it come to this after a 4-0 reverse against Tottenham?

Steve Cotton
83 Posted 15/01/2018 at 12:22:22
Here's a thought: Why not play the best players in their own position for 5 games and stick with it.

Pickford in goal.

Williams and Holgate centre backs, end of. Kenny on the right, Davies on the left (go with me on this).

Gueye defensive mid, Sigurdsson attacking mid; Tosun up top with 2 fast attacking wingers Lookman and Vlasic (they need to be goal threats, so not Lennon) and a 'full of running' midfielder, ie, Baningime.

We need pace and as the RS proved closing down high up the pitch. McCarthy, Bolasie, Rooney, Schneiderlin, Calvert-Lewin all benched.

We also have a team bereft of height but, hey ho, one thing at a time.. .Tallest player is Sigurdsson and he takes the free kicks... What have we got to lose?

Ian Edwards
84 Posted 15/01/2018 at 12:36:25
Steve Cotton 83

Kenny has got to be taken out of the team. He was at fault for goals against Southampton, Leicester, Man Utd, and now Spurs.

If Coleman isn't fit then play Holgate at RB or as a last resort Martina.

Brian Harrison
85 Posted 15/01/2018 at 12:39:51
Going to Goodison is like visiting a dying relative in hospital – you know you have to go but you know it wont be pleasant when you get there.

There is absolutely no positive vibes for the fans to latch onto, we play some of the most negative football I can remember over the last 60-odd years. Oh we have had worst players than those playing today but at least they tried to attack and score goals.

We have Allardyce and Lee and Shakespeare, all ex-managers, yet they don't seem to come up with a plan that enables us to have meaningful attacks that can end with a shot on goal. And following the drubbing by Spurs Allardyce has suggested we will have to go back to being boring, by that I guess he means more defensive. With hardly any shots on target in our last 5 games you would think it would be impossible to be more defensive.

Next up is West Brom at home. So is Allardyce saying that we intend to play more defensively against a team who have won 1 in I think 16 games, and we are at home.

We then play Leicester at home, 2 weeks later. So between West Brom and Leicester he is taking the team for warm weather training, lets hope it gives him and his entourage a chance to work on the attacking side of the game.

Dave Abrahams
86 Posted 15/01/2018 at 12:44:26
Anthony (74), nice try for laughs Anyhony, but save that team for when we are really safe, could be a few goals in it at least.
Matt Hunter
87 Posted 15/01/2018 at 12:46:54
The biggest problems in this team all season Wayne Rooney. Misplaced backwards passes time after time, painfully slow movement slowing the team down the need to constantly move other players around to accommodate him
David Booth
88 Posted 15/01/2018 at 12:57:20
What Matt (87) said.

I never wanted Rooney anywhere near us in the first place and despite his goals, which completely distort the true picture, he is the major problem.

Let's be honest, if he wasn't 'our' Wayne, would he be anywhere near the first XI?

And would we have paid any other 32 year old 𧵎k a week, smashing the wage structure at the club?

The answers are NO.

Yet he rocks up at Goodison to earn far more than anyone else and a place right in the centre of the team - yet deserves neither. He is the ultimate waste of space. A caricature of his former self.

And you can be sure the players know that too.

He crazily displaces Sigurdsson onto the wing, slows everything down and gets caught in possession from start to finish.

How much better have we looked when he has been either benched or substituted, with Glyfi allowed to do his job - which he is very good at - with pace on the wings either side of him in the shape of Bolasie and Lookman (as at Anfield)?

Rooney is living on nothing more than his reputation, and we are paying the consequences.

I'd rather have Osman in the team - and that really is saying something!

Ian Hollingworth
89 Posted 15/01/2018 at 12:58:06
Besides the bad control and misplaced passes, our players just do not seem to gel together.

They don't really seem to fight for each other either and the result of all this is what we see on the pitch, a slow, stop start, haphazard shambles.

Jay Wood

90 Posted 15/01/2018 at 13:11:19
This is the league table as it currently stands. It also shows our results against each team - the standard w for a win, d for a draw, l for a loss. The letters BEFORE a team name shows Everton's home results. The letters AFTER a team name shows Everton's away results:

1 - Man City d
2 - l Man Utd l
3 - d Chelsea l
4 - Liverpool d
5 - l Spurs l
6 - l Arsenal
7 - l Burnley
8 - Leicester l


10 - w Watford
11 - w WHU
12 - Palace d
13 - w Bournemouth l
14 - w Huddersfield
15 - Newcastle w
16 - Brighton d
17 - S'ton l
18 - w Stoke
19 - WBA d
20 - w Swansea

The difference in results between the teams above us in the league compared to those below us could not be more obvious and starker than they are.

Our form against teams above us reads:

P 11 W 0 D 3 L 8 F 4 A 25 Pts 3 (out of a possible 33)

Our form against teams below us reads:

P 12 W 7 D 3 L 2 F 21 A 13 Pts 24 (out of a possible 36)

Given those numbers we are EXACTLY where we deserve to be in the league. We WILL (in the main) get tanked by the top six, home and away. We WILL struggle to score or force a draw against other middling clubs like ourselves currently above us.

By contrast, we will win most of our games - certainly at home - against all of the teams below us in the league. However, no matter who the opposition, as 12 months of results has shown us, we struggle to win away ANY WHERE!

We have just lost 4 on the bounce. Sadly, based on the above, 3 of those results - against United, the 'poo and Spurs - were almost inevitable. The Bournemouth default less 'forgivable'.

It is on the basis of the given data I have absolutely no fear of us being sucked into a relegation fight as some are getting twitchy about. Such twitchers are ignoring the fact there are others teams with worst form than ours.

Over the last 10 games, we sit in the same position in the form table as we currently do in the league - 9th.

Even over the last 6 games since our form nose-dived again, there are 5 teams below us in that form table - Swansea, Watford, Stoke, Southampton and (bottom of the pile) Burnley. Even in that table in which we have 5 points, 2 more teams - WBA and Leicester - also have 5 points but with a better goal difference.

Link to the above form tables:


I would add to the mix the idea that you need a minimum 40 points to avoid relegation is a myth. In the 22 seasons since the PL converted to a 20 team format, 66 clubs have been relegated. Only 3 of them were relegated with 40 points or more: Sunderland in 1996-97 and Bolton in 1997-98 (both with 40 points), then WHU in 2002-03 with 42 points.

The average final points tally of relegated clubs over those 22 seasons reads:

18th - 36
19th - 33
20th - 26

With 15 league games and 45 points still to play for, I am not fretting in the least that we can garner another 10 points to take us to the historically 'safe' number of 37 points. And before any one leaps on that statement, my ambition lies far, FAR higher than that paltry total.

Small comfort for the majority of Blues, I am sure, who wants us playing attractive football and challenging for trophies.

The wave of optimism that greeted our early summer dealings with a record transfer budget for Everton has long ago dissipated. Several leading figures at the club got that horribly, HORRIBLY wrong. We are suffering he consequences of that and the subsequent upheaval of replacing the manager.

Like many, I don't believe Sam Allardyce is likely to lead us to the 'promised land'. That said, he has my sympathy for the train wreck he inherited which was not of his making.

As I said on other threads over the weekend, I long for the appointment such as Spurs made in Pochettino who has his team playing deightful football, with a mix of good buys and home grown talent - a model Everton needs to adapt.

Who our 'Pochettino' is or could be, I have no idea. But I rather fancy unless and until we get that appointment right, we are unlikely to see any dramatic upsurge in Everton's fortunes.

Jerome Shields
91 Posted 15/01/2018 at 13:25:02
I am absolutely convinced that Allardyce was not the man for the Everton Managers job.

His tactics are based on a packed defence and long balls to a centre-forward that other players can feed off. Times have moved on in the Premier League, teams can easily neutralise such an attack with a few players and the extra players who are not needed can provide more support and options in attack.

Most people think Allardyce has no attacking plan. but the truth is he has one and it's not working. To play in the Premier League, you need an offensive system, keep possession, and have varied attacking options.

In Everton's case, Allardyce's simple attacking tactics aren't going anywhere and contribute to us losing possession. Other forward players aren't rarely in the game and are often isolated.

The defence is under more pressure and with are perennial centre-half problem of poor leadership, no organisation or support, raises its ugly head. Jagielka was told to man-mark Kane which added to the problem.

Allardyce, alarmingly, not only has simple attack tactics, but also has simple defending tactics as well. The opposition are now on to him and his luck, evident in his first three matches, as run out. Everton's defence has been inconsistent this past 5 years and no manager has copped on yet, or solved the problem. Allardyce isn't going to sort it either. He is in danger of exasperating it further.

The tide has gone out and Big Sam has been found to be swimming naked. Unsworth is better than him. How he ever got the England job makes you wonder. Hopefully whoever was looking after England will look after Everton.

Thanks for your astute analysis, Lyndon.

Ian Burns
92 Posted 15/01/2018 at 13:26:53
I agree with many posters that our players are simply below the required standard and I also accept it is a squad inherited by Sam Allardyce. I didn't want Allardyce to begin with but I came to the conclusion that now that he had been appointed, I could at least give him until the end of the season.

However, I must now go back to my original thought in that Allardyce is the wrong appointment and a lot of blame for our recent performances are down to his boring/negative approach to the point where he must be contributing to the players lack of confidence in the way that he sets them up. He is saying to them, you are not good enough so defend for all you are worth.

Going right back to David Barks point (4), with his team set up. If we are going to lose with two defending midfielders, we might as well lose with just the one and give the team some hope of achieving something going forward. At the moment, once we cross over the half way line confidence goes out of the window.

Normally the optimist, I am not looking forward to the rest of this season, I can see us sliding into uncomfortable territory because Allardyce doesn't inspire confidence in the players we have. Eddie Howe has shown what you can do with an unfashionable squad this weekend.

Out of date; out of ideas; out of a left back; out of a commanding centre back; out of a midfielder with guile; out of respect for manager and board.

Bill Gall
93 Posted 15/01/2018 at 13:32:59
The supporters who are targeting Rooney as the problem are correct, but as with other players he is played in a position he is no longer capable of performing at the highest level that this position requires.

How many more years is this board going to waste money and not replace the position Arteta played, with a player of equal or better qualities? The closest we have come was Osman when he went through a short purple patch that got him a place in the England squad.

We now seem to be in a similar position at left back with Baines being past his best, no recognized player in the squad to replace him, and it seems no player mentioned to be brought in this January window at the present time.

As bad as the team played on the weekend there is enough Premier League players in the squad to form a team to perform, that is capable of being in the 7th-8th position, as long as they are played in the position they are used to playing in with a team formation.

James Marshall
94 Posted 15/01/2018 at 13:35:20
Supporters targeting any player are wrong. If Everton offered me a contract and the manager picked me, I'd play.

I'd be shit but it wouldn't be my fault would it?

Jim Bennings
95 Posted 15/01/2018 at 13:35:23
Ian Burns

You make a good point there about Eddie Howe getting the best out of an unfashionable squad, what is very noticeable with Bournemouth is again they play the game with a far greater tempo than we do; again it comes down to fitness; again it comes down to why do Everton always look so unfit?

What I will say, though: several Bournemouth players look far more lively than our players, I said when they first got promoted in 2015 there's a player there in Callum Wilson who can really produce the goods, lad got a terrible injury but he looks a really good striker, even better than Josh King for my money.

Twice we have played Bournemouth this season and, on both occasions, they have looked the better team. Even last season, in both games against them, it was purely Lukaku's brilliance in the 6-3 game that pulled us through. (We lost 1-0 away in September 2016.)

Tom Bowers
96 Posted 15/01/2018 at 13:56:43
In retrospect I would agree Eddie Howe would have been a better choice than Allardyce. His no-name Bournemouth side play with flair and enthusiasm and whilst they are in no better a position than Everton they always give a good account of themselves and a chance of winning a game.

Perhaps he just wasn't available as many other managerial options but it now seems Big Sam has shot his bolt.

Too soon to judge? Perhaps... but Saturday was just another debacle that we Evertonians have seen too many of this season.

It's time to show some guts and drop the ''big names'' and let the youngsters in. Sam doesn't appear to be in any great hurry to sign new players in vital positions so why not use the home grown talent who certainly couldn't do any worse.

Gerry Quinn
97 Posted 15/01/2018 at 14:03:06
I see that there are quite a few mentions of Tim Cahill on this subject - well, believe it or not, he looks set to make a sensational return to Millwall in a bid to boost his World Cup hopes!'

Steve Brown
98 Posted 15/01/2018 at 14:07:56
So apparently Rooney's goals "distort the whole picture", that "he is the main problem"?

He was signed as a forward and eleven goals and two assists in a team that has scored two goals in six games. A team that averages less than one shot on target a game.

We let in ten goals in the last four games, but Rooney is the issue. Honestly.

Bill Watson
99 Posted 15/01/2018 at 14:22:32
This group of players would crucify any manager as they have Koeman, Unsworth and are currently doing to Allardyce.
David Booth
100 Posted 15/01/2018 at 14:43:19
Steve, I fully appreciate that - but such a case of lies, damned lies and statistics.

You've seen him play and I hope you realise the point I am making.

Who's to say Sigurdsson (who has a quality eye for a goal), and the centre-forward and wingers who would play alongside him in the centre of midfield, wouldn't have combined to a) score more goals and, more importantly b) get the whole team to play immeasurably better as a result of square pegs in square holes.

Rooney in centre midfield and Sigurdsson as left winger meanwhile are two of the most pronounced round pegs in square holes you will see in any team - shoehorned in simply because they have to appear on the team sheet - and it doesn't work. Neither is half as effective as they can be when played in the wrong position.

Love for Rooney cannot mask his inadequacies as the fulcrum of the team, which suffers as a whole when he muddles things up in the middle.

Play him alongside the striker if you must, but he is not some cerebral midfield genius. In my opinion, his best use is as an impact sub off the bench, to liven things up, up front, if we need him.

He's simply not good enough, in central midfield, to dictate the game and give us momentum.

Eriksen can, Hazard can, Silva can, Pogba can, Ozil can and Coutinho could (ha ha ha). Rooney simply cannot - any more than the aforementioned could transform into a striker in the twilight of their career.

He's too slow, too unaware of what's going on in close proximity and the whole team suffers as a result of having to play his way.

Sean Patton
101 Posted 15/01/2018 at 14:43:51
One man is getting away with murder here and that is Steve Walsh who should be sacked immediately, how can you spend over 200M on mostly dross.

Keane instead of Maguire
Klaassen instead of Richarlison
Williams instead of Evans
Bolasie instead of Zaha

All realistic alternatives we could have got in his time here for less money than he has squandered like Richard Pryor in Brewsters Millions.

Matt Hunter
102 Posted 15/01/2018 at 14:53:02
Steve (#99),

Rooney has scored ten league goals 4 of which are Pens he has two assists. He is the highest earner at the club.

He is far too slow to be playing for a team in the top half of the league, as he is given the best role and best wage in the team I feel he is a massive part of the problem. I watched him closely and been to most of the games; of course the pundits would never criticise him but some of his performances – such as the ones against Newcastle when he scored Brighton, Atlanta, Liverpool, Tottenham twice, Bournemouth (where subbing him won us the game) – actually make me wonder if he had been out on the ale before the games.

Yes, you can point at other problems such as the defense etc but the team is shaped around him, first with him as a striker and now in the key position in our midfield. We won't improve until he is out the side.

Phil Walling
103 Posted 15/01/2018 at 15:43:37
All these critics of the only player capable of scoring double figures in goals for us should remember how Lukaku was lampooned for being 'only a goalscorer'.

Perhaps his value is just a tad more appreciated these days !

Gerard McKean
104 Posted 15/01/2018 at 16:57:15
Kevin #12, Steve #43; you don't know the half of it, lads.

The tail that is EitC is wagging the dog that is EFC. How can the Head of a charity with no knowledge of football or business, and even with a less than stellar track record of leading a charity before she was airlifted into EitC, manage to combine this job with that of Deputy CEO of the club itself? Moreover, her elevation to the Board brings nothing to the party in terms of moving the club forward towards what should be its primary aims, and at the same time deprives a place on the Board to someone who might.

Before anybody starts down the PC route, I would genuinely love to see more women in pivotal roles in football and many of the best posts to TW are from female contributors. My gripe is not sexist; it is twofold:

a) we need people on the Executive and Board of EFC, irrespective of gender, who have the passion to want to take EFC back to where it belongs and the intellect to do something to make that happen; and

b) nobody should be allowed to hold two posts simultaneously at the club at this level. The club needs a full-time Deputy CEO.

It is my suspicion that the present incumbent's reluctance to relinquish the charity job is based upon a mixture of personal vanity (photoshoots galore!) and the pragmatism of knowing that if her lack of qualification to run a Premier League football club is ever found out and she's sent packing by a new owner then she keeps her job as head of a charity run by a board of her friends... sorry, I meant trustees.

I am appalled at what is happening to my club. Nepotism and empire building are holding the club back. The deputy CEO is the gatekeeper and nobody gets to the people above her in the food chain without having to get past her. Those below her in the middle management can enjoy a comfortable well-paid existence as long as they pay her due homage (eg, to refute posts such as this).

It's no way to run a railroad, as we used to say, and the lack of excellence at the top impacts upon every aspect of the club including, and, lest we forget, most importantly what happens on the pitch.

One day I might write the book. That will worry her.

Kunal Desai
105 Posted 15/01/2018 at 17:45:22
Spurs fans at work all in a state of shock, saying that they thought it would be difficult to beat us with Allardyce's tactics. They were expecting a victory of one possibly two goal margin, surprised that we rolled over. The only people who weren't surprised were Evertonians.

The club unfortunately will need to be ripped up again players and manager.

John Boon
106 Posted 15/01/2018 at 17:53:01
Far too many posts on what we should have done, or who we should have signed instead of who, and so on and so on. We have who we have and, despite the waste of money, the concentration should be on who we can get at the present time with a view to staying in the Premier League.

Allardyce, to me, is just too old as well as too old fashioned. I just can't imagine him on the training field saying anything more inspiring than,"Once more around the field lads." I also think he hasn't got a clue as to who we should sign.

Mysel,f as follower from the early fifties, and a one time teacher and coach, I openly realise that I too would be out of date coaching today. I think you have to be relatively young, inspirational and knowledgeable about strategy and how to get the most out of each individual player. Most important – you have to be able to blend those special talents into a team.

Please, Everton Football Club, my still beloved team, think before you leap into further darkness. The past is yesterday. I enjoy my recollections and memories of the past, but I would still like to aspire to ambitions for a future.

I am old enough to want it soon. No more drastic mistakes for 2018. Without wishing him any ill will, I would like Sam to leave at the end of this season. For your health, and mine, please retire gracefully. Is that possible?

Mark Boulle
107 Posted 15/01/2018 at 18:00:24
Meanwhile another day passes, another day closer to our next, must-win game, and not even a sniff of a hint of rumour linking us to a left back.

REACT Everton FFS! Martina cannot play another moment in that position because he entirely stymies us from attacking down that flank, not to mention being a bang average defender! If he is still the starting LB on Saturday when WBA visit, I think I will officially go mad.

Yes left-footed defensive players may be in shorter supply than say central midfielders on the sale or loan market. But there must be one out there somewhere we can buy or borrow, surely, surely?! I'm past caring who it is, just somebody who can kick the flipping thing with their left foot, that is all I ask!

GET A LEFT BACK (or recall / register Galloway or Garbutt) NOW.

I'm off to rock back and forth quietly in a corner...

David Pearl
108 Posted 15/01/2018 at 18:01:37
David Booth, of all those players you mentioned only Pogba is a central midfielder. Rooney is the only player we have that can play passes over the top or to feet or into channels. Nobody else can. I suggest you rewatch match id the day. Against WHU rooney played central midfield and he scored a hat trick.
I'm going to bed
Lev Vellene
109 Posted 15/01/2018 at 18:08:01
Rooney should be in mid-midfield (and getting lashes for each give-away pass, until he remembers there are no Man U players here to run onto his passes!). Gylfi in the #10 every game! Tosun up top, but we need a forward back off him. Two wingers who can cross.

That leaves only 4 defenders who can work well together, in addition to Pickford...

Dang, no Gana, for that... So could we have any winger who could be doubling as a foil for Tosun regularly? (In addition to Gylfi, who seemed to thrive on that...)

Jeff Spiers
110 Posted 15/01/2018 at 18:16:46
Gerard@104. Spot on!! The Club will be on I'm a celebrity get me out of here soon. We are rotten to the core. Keep EITC as it is a well deserving charity in the back ground. Listen lady, this is not about you.
Lev Vellene
111 Posted 15/01/2018 at 18:17:56

I think Allardyce has been listening too much to the Everton fans... Once we didn't lose for a few games, the manager were expected to win in swishing style quite naturally! We ARE Everton after all! We were the School of Science (maybe)! In the 60's. And that is only 5 or 25 years ago, right???

Keith Harrison
112 Posted 15/01/2018 at 18:28:14
Until there is a wind of change akin to a hurricane through the top echelons of the club, we will tread water until the rot is finally too cancerous to save us from relegation. The 'top man' at the club is undoubtedly the double-barrelled lady who by all accounts is switched on.
Otherwise we have the same old suits by and large with their nose in an ever-increasing trough despite new money (or sales money?) being brought into the club.
The soundbites from last weeks' AGM were cringeworthy in the extreme - voodoo, espionage, and the Everton bootleg beatles equivalent of the RS 'fab four' who collectively cannot hit a cows arse with a banjo in 90% of the games.
Mr Moshiri would also do well to not only stop speaking to Jim White, but stop speaking altogether until running his next proposed smart quips past a real life fan who daily has to endure the endless mirth from every other fan in the country.
It's season ticket renewal day today, the anniversary of the day a young, vibrant, hungry side tore Man City a new one.
Renewing mine? Only if a worldie left back personally delivers it to my door.
David Barks
113 Posted 15/01/2018 at 18:35:22
The most immediate way to send a message would be for season ticket sales to take a massive drop. That would resonate right at the top of the club. At some point the incompetence has to be met with consequences that actually matter to them, financial. Sadly, as a fan base this is where we continue to accept year after year of abject failure.
Grant Rorrison
114 Posted 15/01/2018 at 18:40:37
I think he wants you to think that. We've set up negatively in every game including against sides like West Brom. There is absolutely no evidence of any attempt to play more attacking, expansive football. We cant score a goal playing this way which makes keeping a clean sheet absolutely imperative. Hardly surprising if players are becoming demoralised.

He needs to grow a pair before the next game and send them out to do what an Everton side should do to a WBA side, especially at home. Not try and become even more boring and less adventurous.

Creepily, listening to him, it seems as if it's his agenda for us to be shit so he can feel he has some purpose here.

Lev Vellene
115 Posted 15/01/2018 at 18:43:14
So, we suck! Maybe we need to blood more of our youngsters until the veterans get so ashamed they actually start to perform like professionals for a sustained period of time?

However that goes, we'd not get relegated, I think! And we may very well be the last team in this money-era to get so many youngsters through to benefit the first team in the long run!

We've spent so much on youngsters these last few years, I refuse to believe there is no plan for the future in there... :)

Jerome Shields
116 Posted 15/01/2018 at 18:54:44
What I would add to my post above is Allardyce has lost the dressing room. If you are a professional footballer, you know when the Manager is not up to the job, but if the manager can't get the team to play around you, there is little you can do.

Also, there are players in the Everton team, who are not up to standard and have been for sometime, particularly in the back line and Allardyce's tactics are unsuitable for other players.

Allardyce's management has exasperated Everton's problems, rather than promises of the hype of his previous clubs.

Stan Schofield
117 Posted 15/01/2018 at 19:05:38
Gerard@104: To me, EitC is an irrelevance. We're a football club, and the only thing of importance is performing well on the pitch. Gender ratios are also irrelevant, and heaven forbid that EFC ever goes down the route of having board members based on a perceived need for a specific characteristic, be it gender or otherwise, apart from cmpetence. The only criterion should be competence towards maximising performance on the pitch. Sod everything else. Things are bad enough, we don't want them getting even worse.
Gerard McKean
118 Posted 15/01/2018 at 19:19:38
Precisely, Stan #117. My point is that none of what you rightly identify as needed is happening. It's jobs for the boys and girls who buy into the “me first, Everton second” philosophy.

Look at the salaries they pay themselves. The senior and middle managers are like the cast of Meet The Fokkers – Friends of Kenwright.

David Hallwood
119 Posted 15/01/2018 at 19:29:08
Great article Lyndon and absolutely nails it. The left back situation is, as you said, simply unbelievable.

Starting the season without a backup left back should be a sackable offence. But not having one in place to be paraded while the corks were popping on New Years Eve? I cannot remember anything like this; it's beyond inept.

Ian Edwards
120 Posted 15/01/2018 at 19:36:04
In my view supporters are scapegoating Martina in the same way they did Tim Howard. Martina's performances haven't been as bad as some. The major problem at the moment is Kenny. He's leaking goals.
Tony Abrahams
121 Posted 15/01/2018 at 19:36:28
Write that book Gerard, even though it sounds more like a horror story?

Lawrence Green
122 Posted 15/01/2018 at 19:45:50
Unfortunately, Eitc is not irrelevant to Everton Football Club and its future prospects. Would Liverpool City Council be as willing to help the club find the money for the new stadium without Eitc being a central part of the club's ethos? It might be seen as crass by some, for the club to use the charitable arm of the organisation in such a cynical way, but the steady rise in Eitc's profile isn't accidental and whilst as fans we might believe that the owner and board are useless when it comes to football matters, the same can't be said when it comes to finance, particularly if they can persuade some other party to risk their reputation and or money without too much risk to themselves personally.

As it happens I believe that the Stadium will not reach the planning stage as Mayor Anderson will have a very difficult task in persuading the full council that taking out such a huge loan, for and on behalf of Everton Football Club, is a good deal, regardless of the possible long-term benefits that the City might receive.

I also have concerns about how the cost of the Stadium will impact on the playing side of the club in years to come. Of course many will say without a new stadium we will not progress and indeed that may be true, but the devil may be in the detail as to how the Stadium, may also stunt our progress if we are tied to a long-term deal that we find difficult to finance over a period of years.

Saving the club from possible carpet-baggers in the coming quarter of a century may be a good idea in principle but what if that good idea becomes an albatross that stops us progressing when the game changes, as it is bound to do, some ten years down the line?

Steve Ferns
123 Posted 15/01/2018 at 19:51:15
ToffeeWeb this season on Rooney has been ridiculous. He came in, and did a bit better than expected and everyone got carried away.

Then his form dipped off with the team as Koeman was booted out, and he was written off. Some were calling for Usworth to ditch him and that's what he did. Then he is reinstated and scores a load of goals including that excellent hattrick. All of a sudden he's the best player in the world again, and even the national press jump on the bandwagon and start mentioning that England should coax him out of retirement.

Now the goals have dried up, the team has lost 5 in a row, and we've taken a beating. Rooney is the one who's coming in for the most criticism. You can bet a load that he'll only go and get another hat-trick on Saturday and go on another goal-laden run as we win a few of the easier games coming up.

So which is it? Is he great? Is he the reason we are losing? Or maybe he's somewhere in the middle. A fading player that was once world class, or at least close to it. As he fades he is able to roll back the years from time-to-time and almost win games singlehandedly, whilst other times, things do not go his way and he looks as bad as everyone.

I'm reminded of watching Kevin Sheedy in 1992. Sheeds was a similar age. He was about the last of the glorious team still playing. I recall one game in particular where he hit a 50 yard cross field pass which bounced twice and sailed out of play on the right flank, just in front of us. He was jeered by a few near us, and I joined in. My dad said to me, "No son, that wasn't sheedy's fault, that was a great ball, it's just we don't have someone like Trevor Steven to be making the run as it is hit, and the winger (forget who it was - Mark Ward?) just doesn't have the ability to be able to see that pass coming.

Now, that does not quite fit for Rooney. Rooney has played some terrible passes. Some terrible short passes, and I have thought, I can do better than that. But he has hit a few good long passes that other players have just not seen. He's also been restricted by the lack of movement of Everton players. You can only hit the great long pass if someone is going to make the run, and if he's looking up and seeing Sigurdsson marked and static, Calvert-Lewin / Tosun surrounded by 3/4 players, and Lennon / Bolasie walking forward almost hand in hand with the fullbacks, whilst Gueye and McCarthy are stood alongside him watching on, then what's he going to do, and maybe his poor passes come from going to option E or F, on what he wants to do.

Rooney is not the problem. He is still a vital player for us. The brain is there. He still sees things. The passing is there, in fact he's the only one hitting them now Schneiderlin has decided to play as poorly as he has. The stamina is also there. He is one of the few still getting up and down the pitch and sprinting back chasing lost causes at the end of games. Yes, he's slower than he used to be, but no he's not Sigurdsson slow.

The problem I have with Rooney is that he cannot be trusted. He also has absolutely no tactical discipline. That comes from a lifetime of being the player who is mostly on the ball or about to get the ball. Forget playing up top, he can't do it, he will go AWOL and drop too deep. Forget being no10, again he can't do it. Here he drops deep for the ball and then doesn't get forward. Wherever he plays, he plays FROM the position, not in the position.

I believe he has a lot to offer, not just goals, but in chance creation. But I've noted he's been playing higher and higher up the pitch. I want to see him deeper. My preference is to play a central midfield three, very narrow. One sits, and I do mean sits. He provides the shield and the stability and takes care of any opposition number 10. The role Schneiderlin did so well last season. Then we have the Gueye player, whose job it is to get forward and tackle. To chase the opposition up and down the pitch, safe in the knowledge that there's a man behind him if he gets by-passed by a quick triangle of passes around him. Rooney can then be free to do his thing.

Up front, we need pace. Lots of it. This formation is set to heavily counter-attack, and relies on getting the ball back and getting it to Rooney who will then smash a long pass down field and catch the opponent as they pile forwards.

Bolasie / Tosun is fine. It's the left flank where Sigurdsson is, that is the problem. He's slower than slow. I understand fully why he's played. Martina is a liability, no doubt about that, and he's there because he runs harder than anyone. Therefore, he should provide some defensive stablility. Only he didn't provide any against Spurs where we got over-run down his side. And he didn't provide an out ball. When receiving the ball, he can't use his excellent touch to take it past the defender, which he can do easily, because he cannot use his (non-existent) pace to get past his man. This means he gets the ball and he is coming back inside and slowing up the moves.

We have been far too ponderous, when really we need to play faster. and this has been the story of our season. We are too slow. Slow on the ball. Slow moving the ball. Slow closing down. Slow passing the ball. And ultimately too slow in getting the ball forwards. A lot of this comes from a lack of movement, and more from a lack of pace.

We need to shift the formation from a 451 to a 433. There's only a slight tweak here to be honest. The wingers need to step forwards slightly. But the main change is in the cover for the fullbacks. Make Gueye cover Kenny at right back. Let Rooney cover left back, he's done it before and he did it well. Then let McCarthy / Schneiderlin / Davies cover the centre and the number 10. Sure, tell the wingers to track back and provide some cover, rather than play 3 out and out strikers, but they need to be higher up the pitch and limit their coverage to about our 30 yard line. This way when we win the ball they can be charging forwards and allow Rooney to get the pass forwards quickly. The players for these wide positions should be from Bolasie, Lookman, Vlasic, and I'd even throw Sandro in there. I believe he can do such a job on the left, breaking at speed and coming inside onto his right. A move he did often last season. Of course Tosun is central, with Calvert-Lewin as sub.

Of course, my omission is Sigurdsson. He's too slow for a position on the flank. But what he can do is play Rooney's position. There's no reason he cannot be used as a sub for Rooney coming on at half-time on those days when Rooney just doesn't have it, coming on as he tires, or starting to give Rooney a rest. We should also knock on the head the notion of trying to play a number 10. Playing Rooney or Sigurdsson in this withdrawn role, getting on the ball early and getting the ball forwards quickly, is the way forwards.

Ian Bennett
124 Posted 15/01/2018 at 20:06:18
Rooney needs pace around him. In a static and slow team, he can't do it all.
David Booth
125 Posted 15/01/2018 at 20:06:27
David (108), we quibble over the term 'central midfielder' I fear - but I am sure you know what I mean.

So shall we settle on 'pivotal' midfielder for these purposes?

Whatever the description, I listed the most influential six in the teams above us (one for each), to highlight how behind he curve Rooney is and how we suffer as a consequence.

Sigurdsson does everything better than Rooney - so why not play him in the middle and push Rooney out to the wing (preferably the one nearest the bench)?

He is imperious in one respect however, in that none of the other six can be relied upon to give the ball away or get caught in possession like him. He is absolutely without peer in that department.

Whenever did you see Eriksen for example, get consistently bundled off the ball, scuff it to an opposition player, get taken by surprise, or need too much time to gather his thoughts? Rooney does all the time, every game.

There can be no disputing that everything fell into place for the West Ham game and he scored a fabulous hat-trick. However, one swallow does not a Summer make - and Rooney has been shovelling snow in virtually every other match.

Have you not noticed how we magically play better, faster, more enthusiastically, more coherently and with width and purpose when he gets substituted?

That's because we have players in their proper positions.

It is rapidly occurring to most Evertonians that he is not worth a place on sentiment alone - which is what he is being picked on now.

Sleep tight!

Stan Schofield
126 Posted 15/01/2018 at 20:16:49
Lawrence@122: Apologies if I've misunderstood you, but if you're saying that the stadium is influenced by EitC, and that you think the stadium is unlikely to go ahead, then aren't you saying (equivalently) that EitC is indeed irrelevant in this respect, or likely to be irrelevant?

That said, to be honest, even if the stadium doesn't go ahead, I can't see it would matter so long as we improve on the pitch. It's the latter that's important, whether it's a new stadium or Goodison.

Eric Paul
127 Posted 15/01/2018 at 20:26:05
Kenny has been one our best performers this season, he is a young player who is learning his trade. On the other hand I doubt if Martina is even a footballer
Tony Abrahams
128 Posted 15/01/2018 at 20:26:10
Good point about Rooney's tactical discipline Steve, but I don't agree with the rest of it though mate. You might be right about Rooney scoring a couple on Saturday, because he's always scored goals, but this team lacks real creativity from the middle of the park, and it's not only the tactics, although they don't help.

Siggy is slow, because let's have it right, he should have been playing in the centre from the minute he signed, but he's stuck to the task, probably because discipline is something that comes naturally to him, (he's not really slow!) and maybe after scoring at Anfield, and with the team looking so much more balanced once Lookman, replaced Rooney, then maybe he had just had enough on Saturday night?

Wrong? maybe. But everyone has got a breaking point, and three consecutive managers have now played our record signing out wide, even though he hasn't got the pace to run a fullback. It's soul destroying for me just watching as a spectator, so imagine what it must be like for Sigurdson, who showed us what he can do from his proper position only last week at Anfield?

Steve Ferns
129 Posted 15/01/2018 at 20:33:53
Tony, I agree that Sigurdsson should play centrally, and in the Rooney role. I think we are better when it is one or the other. But you should also bear in the mind that Sigurdsson has played a considerable amount of games from the left flank. He played there a lot for Swansea, he played there almost exclusively for Spurs.

For me, as stated above, he's far too slow to play there. I also think he's too slow to play just behind the striker, and like Rooney (and instead of Rooney) I'd like to see him play deep. But of the two I think I'd give the nod to Rooney, who I believe offers more goals, both from his boot, and by supplying them to other.

Tony Abrahams
130 Posted 15/01/2018 at 20:50:05
Fair enough Steve, but I always ask myself who I would sooner play against, if I was playing myself, and I'd sooner play against Rooney, simply because Sigurdson doesn't stop running.

You made a great point about Sheedy's pass not looking good because the standards of his team-mates had dropped, but if Bolasie had composure, we might have got a draw at Anfield, because he should have played Siggy in, who had just made another great lung busting run, in the FINAL MINUTE, instead of going for glory instead?

Neil Cremin
131 Posted 15/01/2018 at 21:02:53
Just started to read through this depressing piece and thread and again I see us getting rid of half the team. Firstly it is not a solution. Brian why you think Gana gives us any more that's McCarthy amazes me. He can tackle, run yes, but by hell he cannot pass a ball. Hence he may win a tackle but straight away we are on the defensive when he gives it away.

Our problem is we have no sense of unity or team. Why could go from destroying West Ham who are now fearing nobody to now being afraid of everybody. I thought at one stage that we were moving upwards but it now seems that all the other relegation strugglers are making progress, West Ham, Crystal Palace which means if we do not improve significantly in the next few games we are back in the dogfight and, given the spirit Saturday, I would fear for us in that situation.

Andy Crooks
132 Posted 15/01/2018 at 21:07:12
Gerard (#104), that is a very interesting post on a subject I know little about. Any chance you could do an article about it? I appreciate that you may he restricted in what you can say but if there us something stinking it needs a whistleblower.
Don Alexander
133 Posted 15/01/2018 at 21:22:38
Keith (#112), your mention of "our double-barrelled lady" reminds me a lass "starring" in a bluey I watched as a lad. Elstone and Kenwright remind me of her.
Peter Cummings
134 Posted 15/01/2018 at 21:38:14
Once again I notice a lot of space is being given asking why no replacement has been signed for the L/B position as if it is the ONLY one that needs addressing. for crying out loud you lot, apart from Pickford, not One of those currently disgracing the shirt,the club and its long suffering fans are worthy to call themselves Everton,

Only a couple of veterans even deserve that distinction and they only because they relate to past successes which some of us can still recall eg, Jagielka, Rooney, Ferguson. We still have the likes of Tom Davies, Lookman, and some kids who won the World and championship junior cups who can possibly come good; as for the rest, god help us.

John Hammond
135 Posted 15/01/2018 at 21:46:52
David Booth #88: I've been saying that all season! Rooney gets guaranteed game time regardless of his performances and it's been a detriment to the team in most of the games.

West Ham has pretty much been his one stand out performance for me and that was a game where the stars aligned against a team that at the time were one of the few worse than us.

Of course he's only one of numerous problems we have but it still infuriates me no end.

David Barks
136 Posted 15/01/2018 at 21:55:06

The reason so much attention is being paid to the ridiculous fact that the club has still done nothing to address the complete lack of a left back in the team is, well, it's a glaring miss. The full backs are incredibly important to a team's attack.

Just look at how important the following are to how their clubs play in attack. Moses and Marcos Alonso, Walker and Mendy (Delph as well), Valencia and Young or Shaw, Trippier and Davies or Rose. There is a reason Pep spent so heavily on fullbacks. They are incredibly important in getting up in attack, providing space for the midfield players and getting into the box.

There is no surprise that we are impotent down the left with Martina, not to mention being exposed when in defense. It's pathetic. Baines has been going downhill for years but the club did nothing. We were already struggling down the left because of his lack of pace. It's a massive need that the club has and continues to neglect.

Jack Convery
137 Posted 15/01/2018 at 21:58:21
I've never been so depressed as I am now about EFC. Not just as a football team – we are crap – but with EFC as an Institution. We are totally inept in everything we do.

Transfer deals takes eons, the shop sell tops with LFC photos on them. The shop even got Tosun's name wrong when people started buying them – Tuson!! FFS.

Moshiri makes everyone laugh when he opens his mouth, except us fans. Kenwright has fucked us for far too long. When I heard Tim Cahill was on his way to Millwall, I half expected to hear Bill had phoned him and said come back Tim, we need you. With you, Rooney, Bolasie, Tosun and Siggy we can have Our Own Famous Five!

Scouting is a joke and the amount we have spent on players in certain cases has been ridiculous. What does Walsh do? The amount we got for Lukaku was a joke. He scores goals for fun for EFC, and yet we sold him for a bloody pittance.

Then there was the – who is going to replace Koeman fiasco. Moshiri wants Silva, Kenwright wants a British manager. Walsh wants Allardyce and we say no. Then, lo and behold, we go begging to Big Sam "Please come and save us!!!

Show some balls, EFC – go out and buy Sanchez and Mata and FFS buy a fucking left-back!!!

Show real intent not showboat. I have run out of patience and believe me so have an awful lot of other people. Sort it out or get out, the whole fucking lot of you!!

Jon Withey
138 Posted 15/01/2018 at 22:52:29
Hope we can scrape together some wins. The world seems to have run out of left backs.

You know it's bad when you are a bit jealous of the fight shown by Bournemouth and West Ham.

Lawrence Green
139 Posted 15/01/2018 at 23:17:01
Sam 'Deer Hunter' Allardyce obviously thinks a football match has to be won with one shot and a point with none.

Roberto De Niro's character Mike says: "A deer has to be taken with one shot. I try to tell people that but they don't listen."

Shots Shocker

Stan Schofield
140 Posted 15/01/2018 at 23:17:07
Gerard@118: It strikes me that the running of EFC is akin to the way some government departments are run. Full of empty-suited time-servers bleeding us dry while inefficiency and mediocrity prevail. I'm just relieved that I became a part-time Evertonian, not contributing any of my money to this nonesense.
Jack Convery
141 Posted 15/01/2018 at 23:47:36
Stan, I can assure you that my salary of just over £16k a year is bleeding no one dry. However £145k a week is bleeding EFC dry. Btw I have not had a pay rise above 1% for over 7 years. I hate to admit it but some govt depts are run better than EFC. infact Carillion is run better than EFC !
Nicholas Ryan
142 Posted 16/01/2018 at 01:54:03
My theory about Bolasie, is that the Club actually intended to buy Wilfred Zaha; and they are now too embarrassed to admit, that they accidentally bought the wrong winger!!
Ed Prytherch
143 Posted 16/01/2018 at 02:32:30
There is enough blame to go around for that performance but the "wingers" must take the most. I don't see why Kenny should get such criticism. He was left isolated the whole time and he gave it everything while Bolasie did nothing.

Martina is terrible but he was our only option so Sigurdsson should have worked overtime to protect him but he didn't. Maybe Sam told those two to try to make the full-backs look like fools but I doubt it.

I am with those who say that Sigurdsson should be in the middle. I think that Wayne can play midfield, at least he can see a pass even if not all of them come off. Start with the workers and give the flair guys a run out for the last 15 minutes until we are solid again.

John Pierce
144 Posted 16/01/2018 at 03:55:19
Tried to shape about half a dozen comments today, each time reading them made me sink, deleted. Nothing new or commendable to say about the club anymore.

Utterly numb. Very saddened. Shame on those in charge.

Brian Porter
145 Posted 16/01/2018 at 06:13:13
I just can't see Bolasie ever being more than the headless chicken he is now, runs go nowhere, crosses overhit, can't shoot, yet some people are saying why do we need Walcott when we've got Bolasie? Walcott actually scores goals, those things some of us see as an endangered species at Everton at present.

We need proven goal scorers, it's as simple as that. We have Tosun, but he can't do it alone. Calvert-Lewin has done a great job but is nowhere near being a premier league striker yet. Sandro needs a run in the team to gain confidence and to integrate with the players around him.

I remember the good old days when you signed a new player and he was out in the team and got the chance to prove himself over a number of games. Now, they get one start and,a couple of substitute appearances and are written off without having that bedding in time.

There's a lot to be said for the old way of doing things. It produced stability, confidence and team spirit, something we will never achieve with the constant rotation and weekly chopping and changing of personnel. Not rocket science, but it used to work well in the good old days.

Tony Everan
146 Posted 16/01/2018 at 07:55:23
If Rooney was good enough to be a top 6 midfield creator Man Utd would have kept him and given him a new contract.

They knew he was way past his glory days as a striker , too slow and an undisciplined lifestyle for an elite athlete. They knew he was not a champions league quality midfield player too.

He may have the brain but midfield is not his place, he's too slow and finds himself out of position. His natural instincts are as a striker , not a midfielder. Never will be.

The problem is compounded because he is a big personality. Achieved the most. The player they all look up to and want to play through. They respect and fear him. He is central to our identity as a team and how we play.

It has contributed to a chronic condition of slow ,ponderous and mistake ridden football.

If he was still at Man Utd , he would not be playing.

I like his enthusiasm, his love for the club , and still think he has some quality as a striker. From the bench or as cover.

As a midfielder he is most definitely not the solution.

We need to wean off Wayne if we want to start winning.

George Stuart
147 Posted 16/01/2018 at 11:03:56
I think that maybe if we're looking for reasons for the mess we could look no further than the defense.
Pickford, thank god for him.
Jonjoe, clearly great potential. Not quite there yet.
Jags, at his best, very good with a small v. 5 years ago. Liked him very much.
Baines, ditto (plus his crosses and pens).
Williams, great Euro games, one good season for us, too old, too slow, too narky.
Holgate, never good enough. Like him but not good enough.
Funes Mori. Ok ish on a good day not enough of them. Injured.
Colman. Class. Missing youthful hubris. Injured.
Martina ? Martinarish.
Keane ? Biggest dissapointment of all. I'd never heared of him but the reports were he was the best of a bad bunch at Sunderland. Woo hoo! Woo not !
So. Very good goalie and one good full back who is injured. One Kid who will be the real deal. Not a recipe for sucess. A disaster five years in the making.
BTW I see Stones reverted to type over the weekend.
Stan Schofield
149 Posted 16/01/2018 at 11:51:04
Jack@140: I'm not talking about normal folks with integrity who do an honest day's work. I'm talking about the bull-shitting parasites who rise like faeces, to management positions way beyond their competence.
Christopher Timmins
150 Posted 16/01/2018 at 12:07:02
With the difficulty of attending a game at Goodison with anything other than a restricted view of the game pretty limited to non-season ticket holders and members, I targeted this game at the start of the season as one where I could just turn up on the day.

The new Wembley is impressive I suppose but when you are located in row 34 on level 5 the players start to resemble Subbuteo players.

The first 30 minutes or so was not too bad and even the period after the first goal up to half time was acceptable. However, what transpired after the break was a shambles, it was shameful.

The manager seems to think he has a free swing; if we lose it's the failures of the past and the players fault and if we win it's all down to him. His comment about playing in a more boring manner defied all logic – how many shots on target have we had since the turn of the year?

We are a distance away from where we need to be in order to compete for a top 6 place. The sooner we reach the 40 point mark the better. Based on last Saturday's performance, particularly the second half offering; we are a bottom 6 team all day long.

To those of you who follow the team home and away, week-in and week-out, you have earned my admiration. The last thing on my mind on the walk back to Wembley Park Station was the next game!

Eddie Dunn
151 Posted 16/01/2018 at 13:34:08
Heard that Allardyce didn't want Tosun but Walsh got him anyway. Which could explain the less than enthusiastic post match verdict from the big one. I understand that Sam does want Theo. Surely there needs to be some clarity in terms of who has the final say on transfers. Is it Sam or is it Walsh?
Dave Abrahams
152 Posted 16/01/2018 at 13:50:10
Eddie (#151), at the AGM last week, Steve Walsh said on the subject of transfers that him and Allardyce both have to say Yes. If one of them says No to signing a player, then the deal is off.

Like a lot of of fans on ToffeeWeb, I don't see what Walsh brings to the table at Everton. He's costing a lot more than his brother Mick did and it looks like with same result – next to nothing.

Dave Abrahams
153 Posted 16/01/2018 at 13:53:46
Sorry, that should have read ' he's costing a lot of money more than his brother Mick did'
Matthew Williams
154 Posted 16/01/2018 at 15:57:20
Not surprising really,any club that doesn't give a shit about winning trophies it's never won in it's history will always accept performances like at Spurs as long as it stays in the Premier League... pathetic.

Glory for our club starts with a LEAGUE CUP WIN,unless that happens we just coast along just making up the numbers.

Ken Kneale
155 Posted 16/01/2018 at 16:05:42
Gerard@118 - I could not agree more - no person of any gender is Omni-competent to operate across two such busy and vital roles as you and others outline, it summarises perfectly the whole structure of EFC. As I have indicated previously, under current stewardship (if that does not overstate their qualities) the Club does not acknowledge or respond to correspondence if the content is in any way questioning of the hierarchy

Dave @152 - at least they got shut of Mickey Walsh - his brother seems Teflon coated

The big question - how do we effect change in such a regime and prevent another 30 years of woe?

Neil Cremin
156 Posted 16/01/2018 at 18:41:54
Jack @137 I agree with you I have never been so depressed about the current state. We got a bounce (they say Sam but the start of it was Unsys last game) and have steadily got worse since then culminating with the Spurs game which was almost as bad as the Southampton game. What is more depressing is Sam is now starting to blame the players. He will also loose the dressing room just like Koemann did.
George @147 and many others continue to Saintify Pickford. Yes he is a good shot stopper but very far from a complete keeper. No command of area, parries the ball back into play instead of around the post, terrible distribution of ball from all too frequent back passes, decision making on coming out for crosses is inconsistent. This leaves a disjointed defensive set up. All great keepers know what they can do and boss the back four, when to go when to stay.
Same with our full backs, we persist in playing Martina at left back when we know he cant cross with his left. Why do not we switch him with Kenny and see if there is the same problem. Either way if we are playing one up fron we need the full backs to move forward which means that the forward midfield players need to be fast enough to get back and cover. Martina has been exposed because Siggy is too slow to get back.
Finally, our midfielders and centre halves are terrified in making a mistake and will not make a forward pass. Hence back to Pickford. I do believe there is the makings of a good team in ther (West Ham and Liverpool games showed this) but the coaching, direction and selection are not giving belief to the players.
I was not a Sam man, did not object however as any other suggestions were unproven risks for the situation we are in. Need however to see a bit more of change from Koemanns era to believe Sam can move us to next level i.e. comfortable at 6-8 place as near term target.
Tim Griffiths
157 Posted 17/01/2018 at 14:56:44
Quite simply we are miles away from any team in the top six. Unfortunately, our match fixtures have involved us playing Spurs, Liverpool twice, Chelsea and Man Utd in quick succession of late. It was the same at the start of the season. Losses then lead to low confidence and poor results.

What cannot be acceptable is the effort shown by some players and also the amount of attempts on goal either off or on target – this has been woeful and must improve. The latter is surely down to tactics.

Jeff Spiers
158 Posted 17/01/2018 at 19:15:30
Fellow TWs. Off topic. Those of you who played the game in the 50s 60s 70s etc at any level, what so called present day would you like to have played against?

I turned out for Crawfords (Cubs), The Lomond, to name but a few. Along side me was a guy called big Mick. Built like an Orc, and he would have buried anyone! Today's Babycham sippin, Nivea sniffin ballerinas... well, you get my drift. Personally, ex-RS Ratboy

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