Rightly or wrongly, Sam Allardyce’s name has often been associated with “ale house football”, usually on account of his preference for keeping things simple and direct when his teams go forward. He is supposedly renowned for a back-to-basics approach for coaching defences, too, but Everton’s pub-league defending was ripped apart by Arsenal at the Emirates today.
Not for the first time this year, the Evertonians who had made the long journey south to the Capital were forced to endure an unacceptable capitulation by their team and a miserable journey home. Allardyce was adamant that it wouldn’t happen again after watching the Blues embarrass themselves against Tottenham last month and yet here he was again, in the very next away game, having to explain another abject defeat. (Groundhog Day isn't just the 2nd of February if you're a Blue.)
As it was at Wembley, his instinct was to blame the players for failing to carry out his instructions — to essentially copy Swansea’s game plan from the other night when they beat Arsenal at the Liberty Stadium — and the almost inconceivable statistic rolled out at the interval that Everton had managed to make just three successful tackles in the first 45 minutes lent his stance plenty of credence.
There were horror-show performances throughout his starting XI in the first period and while the second was marginally better, the Gunners were still able to carve them open with consummate ease to allow Aaron Ramsey, of all people, to claim a hat-trick and complete the 5-1 drubbing. Only the helpless Jordan Pickford, the energetic Theo Walcott and, perhaps, the industrious Oumar Niasse could look at themselves in the mirror during the break; the rest were simply wretched.
It took the introduction of Tom Davies at half-time and, later, that of Dominic Calvert-Lewin to lift this Everton display above the embarrassing. With a combined age of 39, they demonstrated character, drive and pride in the shirt where before there had been precious little of it from their more experienced team-mates and the young striker was rewarded with a consolation goal. Davies, meanwhile, was rightly singled out for praise by his manager after the final whistle.
The performance may have been unforgivably bad but Everton’s players were, arguably, set up to fail by a manager who looked for all the world to have waved the white flag from the outset, his eyes set firmly on next weekend’s more winnable date with Crystal Palace instead.
He made a point in his pre-match press conference of highlighting his belief that Arsenal are defensively weak but sent his charges into the Emirates with both hands tied behind their backs with a poor team selection and formation. He railed against his players’ inconsistency in his post-match interviews but had made five changes to the team that beat Leicester City in midweek, a lack of consistency in his own team selections that have been a feature of his short tenure thus far.
Gylfi Sigurdsson, one of the architects of the midweek win, and Wayne Rooney watched on from the bench alongside £21m signing Cenk Tosun. Allardyce then deployed a five-man defensive line, with Eliaquim Mangala thrown into an unfamiliar system in an equally foreign team just three days after arriving on loan, behind dual “defensive”midfielders — in quotes because Morgan Schneiderlin makes a mockery of the term — and it quickly became apparent that no one knew who was responsible for what and who was supposed to be picking up whom. It was no surprise, then, that the Blues’ back line looked all at sea in what was a devastating first 20 minutes.
Henrik Mkhitaryan and Mezut Özil revelled in the space afforded them and Ramsey profited as early as the sixth minute when a rapier-like move on the edge of the visitors’ box ended with the Armenian midfielder firing in a low cross that found the Welsh international unmarked in the centre to tuck home.
If that was deemed easy from the hosts’ perspective, so, too, would their second and third goals which arrived eight minutes and 13 minutes later respectively. First, Shkodran Mustafi beat Ashley Williams to Özil’s corner and flicked it into the six-yard box where Mangala was left trying to pick up two men and Laurent Koscielny stooped to head in easily at the far post.
Then, with Özil and Alex Iwobi enjoying oceans of space on the left flank as none of Kenny, Schneiderlin or Michael Keane made any attempt to press the ball, the Arsenal duo combined to set Ramsey up for an uncontested pot-shot from 25 yards that took a decisive deflection off Mangala and fly into the roof of the net via Pickford’s despairing glove.
It was nearly four after Walcott had been denied a goal on his ill-fated return to the Emirates by a tremendous covering challenge by Mustafi when Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was sent into the clear after Keane had missed a tackle in the Gunners’ half. Pickford came to the rescue on that occasion, saving the Gabonese striker’s shot, but he was left stranded by abysmal officiating eight minutes before the break.
Again, with no one closing any of the advancing red jerseys down, Mkhitaryan played the ball neatly through the Everton defence for Aubameyang who was clearly a yard offside but the referee’s assistant’s flag remained at his side and the scoreboard was changed to read 4-0.
It was the first time an Everton team had conceded four goals in the first half in the Premier League era and it was very nearly five just three minutes later. Nacho Monreal connected with a corner from the right but saw his header bounce back off the post and then had a fierce drive deflected wide after Arsenal had kept the move alive.
With the hapless Keane removed, Davies on and Everton playing with a more orthodox back four, things improved and Walcott and Niasse almost combined impressively to make it 4-1. Though the Senegalese striker connected with the former England international’s whipped cross, his effort only found the woodwork.
It was a lofted delivery from the other side, however, that did produce a goal for the Blues 19 minutes into the second half and it came from Martina – Everton's much-maligned makeshift left back had more attacking output than Yannick Bolasie – who picked out Calvert-Lewin to head powerfully home.
The young striker was, unfortunately, partially responsible for the fifth Arsenal goal, though. His sliding attempt to keep the ball in on the touchline in his own half gifted possession to Mkhitaryan and he quickly spotted Ramsey completely unmarked in the centre. The rest was simple enough — low cross, side-foot finish, humiliation complete.
Calvert-Lewin will learn from the error, one that could be excused given his overall efforts in tandem with Davies trying to drag this Everton display into the realms of the respectable. For others, like Schneiderlin, player supposedly at their peaks, there could be no excuses.
As he has done so often this season, the Frenchman jogged and strolled his way through the game with nary a concern for tackling, pressing or closing Arsenal players down. He wasn’t alone but he was the glaring and infuriating standout amongst the dross. Whether it’s irreparable confidence or a lack of buy-in from the players for what they know to be an interim hire short-term, there appears to be little respect between this group of players and their manager.
The previous defeat of similar magnitude to Arsenal cost the last manager his job and if there is any accountability in the corridors of power at Goodison Park, this abject capitulation should see Sam Allardyce out the door as well. It won’t be immediately — there’s surely only so much embarrassment a club can endure in one season — but Farhad Moshiri and the board would do well to remember days like this at the end of the season and not let any uptick in results in the coming sequence of theoretically more favourable games cloud their judgement.
Since the Blues’ last clean sheet on Boxing Day, the wily “Fireman Sam” and his defensive imperative has overseen 17 goals against in all competitions. Everton are clawing their way to 40 points at the moment but should he succeed in his remit of keeping this Everton side up, Allardyce should be moved aside, with the task of building for the future handed off to a long-term hire with the vision to rebuild this broken squad with a new five-year plan in mind.
This is a club desperately in need of leadership and direction.
Reader Comments (105)
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1 Posted 04/02/2018 at 08:00:11
This has been an embarrassing season for us fans. We could have easily scored 4 or 5 alone in that second half against that equally woeful Arsenal defence like ours, but the joke of the day happened to be all their midfielders walking into our box to take shots with us having no midfield to push them back.
2 Posted 04/02/2018 at 08:27:43
It's a complete disgrace that last night's was just another carbon copy of the trip to Tottenham after Allardyce promised it could never happen again, well it has Sam, just three weeks later!!!!
What really alarms me most though is just how bloody easy we are to beat these days.
I have counted eight times that Everton have conceded three goals in one half of football this season and in both games against Arsenal we conceded four in one half.
What happened to the days of Everton being hard to play against??
We are simply a whipping boy for most teams and it's sad how far behind the top six we are now, every time we set foot on the pitch against it's quite clear to see that mentally of us, the way we play, the way we set up that we look a million miles away from beating one of them.
Everton have spent so much money to become a really really poor team.
3 Posted 04/02/2018 at 08:35:15
4 Posted 04/02/2018 at 08:40:40
5 Posted 04/02/2018 at 08:47:02
6 Posted 04/02/2018 at 09:06:39
Fans need to look at the bigger picture and see how inept the people running our club really are, worse than fucking Sam Allardyce, and not just on his appointment but many catastrophic decisions which are routinely made.
7 Posted 04/02/2018 at 09:09:42
Or in our manager's case, just 9 more draws.
8 Posted 04/02/2018 at 09:15:09
Dutch football is pathetic and we hire dutch coaches?! And buy dutch players?! Ineptitude rules the roost at Everton.
Moshiri's only hope is Usmanov coming in and sorting the club out properly. The leadership is too spineless at the moment. Who will be the first fan to leg it on the pitch a la Nyarko?!
9 Posted 04/02/2018 at 09:25:41
After cleaning the scum off the top go through the squad from top to bottom and get rid of the deadwood (I will not name names) and those who can't be arsed. We need to become a professional club, run by professionals. Not a retirement home for fat bastards who have had their day.
10 Posted 04/02/2018 at 09:26:06
11 Posted 04/02/2018 at 09:28:28
The perma-rot of a once proud club and the adoration and passion of thousands of fans won't last forever; something seismic needs to be done to save the club from further humiliation and ridicule.
I reckon we'd all get rich by backing against EFC at most games now. All away fans see the club to a degree as falling away rapido. Getting 41 points plus with this squad is gonna be tough and I sense Wimbledon and Coventry style scrapes this season.
For the life of me, I've never seen a team that barely shoots on goal and inside the box. How the hell are you supposed to win a game and arguably what's the point of playing so negatively? I sense the Sams will aim to see out their mission, get the plaudits for keeping us up, and then they'll vanish into the sunset, another great escape achieved. Such is the state of the club, what's the point of a top class ground with no decent team to play in it?
Palace will be straight in next week, and you can sense there will be quite rightfully little contrition and sympathy at Goodison Park if the players, yet again, don't turn up.
Time for a shrink at Finch Farm?
12 Posted 04/02/2018 at 09:37:57
"Alehouse" football is right; I have played in pub teams whose managers would have changed it at 2-0. If Fat Sam is here next season, I will not follow this club after 30+ years. I will look the other way. I am not surprised to hear the players agents were hammering on his door on transfer deadline day looking for an out.
The kid Lookman who looks a great prospect in the right manager's hands, but was seemingly "homesick" at Goodison, has gone to a country whose language he cannot speak to get away from here!!!
He is already proving this Clown/Dinosaur wrong as will Sandro, mark my words!! Shocking.
13 Posted 04/02/2018 at 09:38:41
He has been clear that he prioritises clean sheets. So the appalling inconsistency is no surprise to me. He sets the team up to defend in difficult away fixtures. He sets the team up to defend in difficult home fixtures. In winnable home games of which we have 4 remaining the line-up is more adventurous.
This is Russian roulette football. One which will prove costly if the games he is banking on winning turns against us. Starting out to defend a point and handing the initiative to your opponents is as risky as going gung-ho.
As far as the amateur set up at the club, that requires another op-ed from Lyndon. This has been the strangest season I can remember. The off-the-pitch developments have been surreal. This week we add the Lookman saga. In addition, I want to point out one more matter which may have gone under the radar.
A TW poster put up our line-up at 2 pm today. This was not a lucky guess that line up was very hard to guess. He had to have had a proper source.
I am staggered at the unprofessionalism that exists in this football club, that someone inside the club could leak the line-up in this way. I put no blame on the poster. But someone inside the club thought it was okay to share this. This was 3 hours before kick-off. Proof of the amateur culture at EFC.
14 Posted 04/02/2018 at 09:42:50
15 Posted 04/02/2018 at 09:44:25
Williams, Bolasie, Martina and Schneiderlin along with Niasse are simply not good enough. Gueye and Keane are a total liability. There is a total lack of team spirit so is it any wonder we are pathetic?
If I was the owner, I would want to know why, how, having spent so much money in the past 18 months, that a team can be devoid of so much talent???
Sam Allardyce simply isn't up to the job. All the good results were down to him but, every time we perform like yesterday, it is the players' fault.
Yesterday's team selection was a disgrace and most regular attenders at matches knew what was coming but it still hurt.
16 Posted 04/02/2018 at 09:45:30
We will be back to the side that played Leicester next week but it's me or them for Allardyce now and it shows.
17 Posted 04/02/2018 at 09:47:32
However, going with 5 at the back was nonsensical as it requires 2 wing backs capable of getting forward. We've not seen any evidence of Kenny or Martina being able to do this. Although, in fairness to Martina he can do it when playing on the right and did get the assist yesterday.
With a fit Coleman and Baines then maybe the formation would have had a chance, but you can't simply attempt to 'copy' Swansea!! They have different players and were playing to their strengths.
Schneiderlin plays as if he's too cool to break a sweat. We cannot carry a player that isn't prepared to roll his sleeves up and fight. Hopefully Davies can carry on from his second half performance and Schneiderlin can revert back to the bench. Why we didn't sell when we had the chance I'll never understand. Obviously with Besic gone and McCarthy out we would have needed to bring someone in, but surely there were options out there?
Yesterday was desperately disappointing and these players and Allardyce had better put it right for Palace, Watford, and Burnley.
18 Posted 04/02/2018 at 09:50:08
Each incompetent incumbent or appointment, begats further incompetence as we go along.
Not quite a death spiral yet but it's getting there.
19 Posted 04/02/2018 at 10:07:15
You look at the likes of Bournemouth, the players sweat blood for the badge, Burnley do the same even Swansea for however limited they may be there is a desire to want to play for their clubs.
Everton players just amble around disinterested in doing any running, turn their back when attempting to block shots, don't close down, don't look arsed if they make a show of themselves like yesterday.
Where has the heart and passion in my club gone?
Where is the hunger and desire and pride to be an Everton player??
I'm not asking for much, just at least bloody try an put in a 110% shift on a weekly basis.
20 Posted 04/02/2018 at 10:16:26
21 Posted 04/02/2018 at 10:20:42
Schneiderlin and Williams should never put a blue shirt on again. Gueye should only be used as a sub to tighten things up if needed and Bolasie should be given to the end of the season to show big improvement or be sold.
I hope we are clear of relegation worries within the next 6 games so Allardyce can be thrown out as I cannot give any credit whatsoever to this phoney but, given that we are clearly run by amateurs, then it won't surprise me to see him with us next season.
We need to let Moshiri know how we all feel and it should start this Saturday.
22 Posted 04/02/2018 at 10:22:26
There are some players at Everton who should be nowhere near the club and there are others who are playing well below their best. I know Moshiri has the money and the business acumen but to me it looks like he hasn't got a clue about football.
23 Posted 04/02/2018 at 10:22:42
Some people say we're too nice. We're not too nice at all. We're just consistently mediocre, and that stems from incompetence from the board downwards.
And the only way to get this change is if some mega-billionaire (like Usmanov) comes in and makes a clean sweep of things. If that doesn't happen, then things nothing will change, no matter how often we change the manager and relace middling players with other middling players.
24 Posted 04/02/2018 at 10:23:27
Anyone know where we can see his stats for distance covered during the game?
Keane too was all over the place.
The club is a shambles at the moment.
25 Posted 04/02/2018 at 10:37:43
I had a letter this week about renewing my season ticket. If Kenwright is still in charge, I won't renew. I have had enough of him.
26 Posted 04/02/2018 at 10:38:56
27 Posted 04/02/2018 at 10:41:09
On a player front, I can't understand why Beni Baningime doesn't get more game time. Apart from the time he was deployed as a full-back which he clearly isn't. I think he's looked very accomplished in the midfield, composed on the ball, gets about the pitch, looks to pass forward. What I'm saying he's a better option than Schneiderlin, yet hardly gets a look-in.
28 Posted 04/02/2018 at 10:41:16
I have watched some piss poor players pull on the blue shirt in my time but never have I despised a player as much as Schneiderlin.
He sums everything that is wrong with our club on the pitch you don't have be a body language expert to see he is plainly not arsed, thinks he is above having to work for his money, and never once has he looked despondent or embarrassed after a game
29 Posted 04/02/2018 at 10:45:39
When he first came in regularly under Unsworth, he looked like Coleman's natural replacement and did get forward. This was also a massive trait of his in the U20 World Cup and in the U23s. It was his defensive side of the game which some feared might be exposed.
It seems now under Allardyce he is either afraid to go forward, or has been coached not to and to stay defensive. The previously strongest part of his game has been completely nullified. I doubt that Allardyce will have the bottle to coach Coleman this way but I think it's apparent he want full backs to be full backs where he can.
It's a shame for the lad that he's getting stick now as he always puts in 100% and isn't being allowed to play his natural game.
Another example of Allardyce's mismanagement.
30 Posted 04/02/2018 at 10:49:15
If that phoney isn't out of our club before next season we will be subjected to yet another season watching the dross that is Allardyce's staple diet. I didn't want him at GP but,Goodison Park I must admit, after he'd steadied the ship and appeared to have tightened up our defence I thought that maybe we can put up with him for a while; after all, he's never had the opportunity to manage a big club with ambition. And maybe his defensive reputation has been forced on him due to circumstances..
But the guy is clueless. 12 changes in the last two games. He hasn't got any idea what his best team is, he alienates youngsters like Lookman and Vlasic, drops his new centre forward and plays Niasse who he wanted to sell last month... I mean, where do we start with a prat like Allardyce?
I doubt if there will be a waiting list for Season Tickets for next season if we have to endure more garbage like last night.
31 Posted 04/02/2018 at 10:50:23
We needed a striker now. Surely that was the point!
What is going on buying a player who is not ready or able to start? I just don't get it. Aubameyang looked okay to start yesterday, 3 days after arriving. Is this another recruitment and scouting debacle? Something is not right at all.
It is beyond incompetence and bordering on sabotage.
32 Posted 04/02/2018 at 10:58:01
What a mess. I've been watching Everton since old days of Division 2; I've not seen or heard so much bollocks in all that time, and what the fuck is Walsh all about? Get someone in who manages the club.
33 Posted 04/02/2018 at 11:06:39
The players looked confused and disoriented. And it's easy to understand why... Defensive play must be drilled, it should be in your spine so the players make automatic decisions. Instead they were hesitating and being caught out of position in every passage of play yesterday.
It's laughable that a manager at this level, who by the way is paid ٤M a year, would prepare a team that way... It's inconceivable really... each one of us here on the forum could do that.
We must get this fraud of a manager out of our club. Blame the players, blame the new players that they need to "adapt", that they are struggling.. well it's not strange that they are struggling when there is no gameplan to follow, they don't know how to play. Not even the players who have been here for years know how to play. It's pathetic from a grown man, blaming everyone else but himself.
Allardyce out now!!
34 Posted 04/02/2018 at 11:18:30
Difference? Arsenal have a gameplan, with well-drilled players. It's easy to fit in in those circumstances...
Allardyce out now!!
35 Posted 04/02/2018 at 11:19:34
He bemoans our lack of consistency yet changes his selections from week to week; we sign Managala on Wednesday and he plays on Saturday. So how many sessions did he have with his new team 1 at best I would suggest.
He makes 5 changes to the side that beat Leicester, why we hadn't played for 10 days before this game so all the players would have been quite fresh.
I would also love to know who is in charge of player recruitment because there seems to be no clear process. We have Walsh who has said that no player will be bought unless he and the manager both agree, so he and Koeman and now he and Allardyce have that understanding that was rubber-stamped at the AGM.
So that being the case how come that we sign Tosun not for a measly amount but for 㿇 million, but, within days of signing, Allardyce says he isn't sure if Tosun is ready for the Premier League. Then yesterday, when asked in his post-match pd of the season. So why spend 㿇 million on somebody you now think wont be uress conference about Tosun ,says he thinks he will be starting games towards the end of the season. So why spend 㿇 million on somebody you now think wont be up to speed till April.
He was also asked did he think Lookman might have made a difference if he had played, Allardyce said he wouldn't and then cited he played Bolasie a 㿊 million player and Walcott a 㿀 million player. Again why was Lookman allowed to go on loan?
I think he thinks he has no future while Allardyce is in charge. His goal for Leipzig will get him more game time for a Champions league side than playing in a relegation threatened team. Mind Allardyce said he made the wrong choice in joining Leipzig as he won't get any game time. Yes, that prophecy seems to be working, he actually scores the winner for Leipzig.
There is so much wrong at Everton, but ultimately the manager is responsible for the performances. We have only won 1 away game in 30 when we have played a team ahead of us in the league. That sums up the ambition of this club.
36 Posted 04/02/2018 at 11:21:30
It's cost 㾶 million to pay off Martinez, god knows how much to sack Ronald and then another King's Ransom to employ this soft defensive duffer Allardyce, and it will cost another big wad of cash to pay him off when we need to sack him (8 more games like the last 8 and there's no denying that talk of a sacking must be imminent).
Absolutely fantastic leadership from Everton's bungling board.
37 Posted 04/02/2018 at 11:26:01
Or why is it, players can only kick with one foot?
38 Posted 04/02/2018 at 11:29:54
39 Posted 04/02/2018 at 11:48:31
As Baines is coming to the end of his great Everton career, why wasn't a left-footed full-back targeted as a replacement, if there are so few to choose from?
40 Posted 04/02/2018 at 11:56:03
41 Posted 04/02/2018 at 12:10:26
Anyway, carry on like this and we can look forward to some special times doing basic maths counting up to 40 points.
Yesterday was embarrassing (when you know you've lost after 10 minutes, it's bad). My Red Scum mates will be waiting for us to get to work to commence the now weekly piss-taking.
Very sad times.
42 Posted 04/02/2018 at 12:23:18
This manager cannot be allowed to be in charge next season.
43 Posted 04/02/2018 at 12:35:10
What's killing me is that our last 3 managers were all defenders; one of them one of the greatest that has played the game. So WTF are they looking at, what are these â€˜experts' looking at that's escaping my amateur eyes.
I had an article posted on ToffeeWeb some months ago (thanks, Lyndon) about playing 2 DMs unless you have 2 superstar wing backs gives us nothing going forward and we're shipping 50+ goals season after season.
As soon as I saw the team I decided not to watch or listen to it because I knew that we were going to get tonked by an Arsenal side that if you let them pass the ball round they'll kill any team, but, in the words of Corporal Jones, they don't like it up em. So they put Schneiderlin who hasn't put a tackle in all year and strolls around the centre circle giving 5 yard passes. To repeat what are the coaching staff seeing that I'm missing.
Finally, it's obvious that he was doing a Mark Hughes and his mindset is small club survival at all costs. Get him and Walsh and all the other fraudsters out of my club. My pick would be Eddie Howe but, by fuck, he'd have some dead wood to sort through.
44 Posted 04/02/2018 at 12:53:16
Sack 'em all, sack 'em all, the dicks and the pricks, sack' em all!!
45 Posted 04/02/2018 at 13:33:11
Sack Allardyce by all means but please don't imagine that anything is going to change very much in the foreseeable future. As others have said, we must hope that we find our Pochettino as well as a club organisation fit for purpose. Pretty much what we've been waiting for since 1987 and, for some of us, since 1970.
46 Posted 04/02/2018 at 13:44:31
Since Moshiri arrived and we spent like a rich man's mistress in Harrod's, it really has gone so wrong... it's unbelievable, I always enjoyed watching other teams make fools of themselves in the transfer market and never thought we would be the laughing stock we are.
I wonder if Moshiri has considered sacking our lot and employing the Bournemouth or Burnley backroom staff as it would save him from the soup kitchen with the tits he currently employs.
47 Posted 04/02/2018 at 14:01:12
We may have a few bob more because of Moshiri, but we still act like a pound shop.
48 Posted 04/02/2018 at 14:15:11
A better analogy would be a restaurant using overpriced produce producing inedible food.
49 Posted 04/02/2018 at 14:25:57
The problem of not being able to compete better near the top-6 is a management problem. If that problem is ever sorted and we start competing better, then to get even better, and actually be one of the elite, would take massive amounts of money, much more than we have now.
But for the moment, the management set-up, from the board downwards, looks shite, and in terms of shop analogies we are like a pound shop in some shit hole at the arse end of the universe.
50 Posted 04/02/2018 at 14:35:56
Total clear-out of all the 'good ol' boys', and for the price of one more disaster signing, hire a backroom squad that knows what their job is.
51 Posted 04/02/2018 at 14:49:13
If the board don't see what we all feel and see, then the club is not destined but will be managed by default into a very bad place, for which they may not recover. Leeds, Villa, Forest, dark reminders of what can happen.
Hopefully the ears of the Board are burning. That's 18 goals conceded this season against the two north London teams. Frustration... and embarrassment.
52 Posted 04/02/2018 at 14:56:37
53 Posted 04/02/2018 at 15:08:17
54 Posted 04/02/2018 at 15:24:28
Excuse my ignorance, being just a supporter and all, but isn't he a left-back, and hasn't our Director of Football, Steve â€˜discovered Mahrez y'know' Walsh, been scouring the globe for left-backs either to buy or on a loan but couldn't find one. Funny that, innit.
55 Posted 04/02/2018 at 15:45:42
With an ailing manager in Harry Catterick and the likes of West, Labone and even Bally fading from the scene, we garnered no more than 37 points in each of those 42 game seasons to finish very near the relegation mark.
Not prepared to suffer the dubious skills of Bernie Wright, Rodney Belfitt and Dai Davies, crowds slumped to the 20k mark and match-going became the chore I imagine it to be today.
But take heart, dear friends, only 13 or 14 seasons later, we were again pronounced Champions. There is always hope!
56 Posted 04/02/2018 at 15:56:29
57 Posted 04/02/2018 at 16:12:41
58 Posted 04/02/2018 at 16:13:40
Looking to history for comfort, consolation or inspiration is a common trait on these pages.
Looking for hope in events that happened 50 years ago is a stretch.
59 Posted 04/02/2018 at 16:13:40
The difference between us and the rest of the also-rans is that our season so far would be considered a triumph for the likes of Huddersfield, and perfectly acceptable for the likes of Watford and West Brom. We're caught between being a big club and being an also-ran.
60 Posted 04/02/2018 at 16:37:14
Why do Liverpool play the game against the top clubs to WIN??
Yet Everton aspire to be like Swansea and simply “stopâ€ or try to stop them playing???
The difference in ambitions and expectations I guess are now worlds apart between us and them.
61 Posted 04/02/2018 at 16:46:57
The problem is: How on earth do Everton attract a new generation of fans? Unfashionable, awful to watch, and a dump of a stadium, we never win (on TV for the Sky Generations). Everything about Everton is not going to attract youngsters.
Everton walk on the pitch to a dated 60s twee theme tune, even Burnley walk on to the Foo Fighters followed by Arcade Fire. Don't think fucking Z-Cars is gonna do it for the average teenager. I'm nearly 50 and I'd rather have the Foos etc.
62 Posted 04/02/2018 at 16:47:35
We have Tosun, Calvert-Lewin and Niasse.
63 Posted 04/02/2018 at 16:51:20
64 Posted 04/02/2018 at 16:52:10
We have no household names that fans will give cult following to (Salah, Kane, Aguero, De Bruyne, Lukaku etc); we big up donkeys like Niasse.
We never have any Champions League exposure, don't win trophies, don't play in big matches, don't set out to win matches .
How are we meant to get a new generation of fans?????
65 Posted 04/02/2018 at 16:52:22
66 Posted 04/02/2018 at 17:37:21
You can watch exciting football by following Man City, Barcelona and Madrid. Everton? Really? I think our supporters will die away in the next 20 years.
67 Posted 04/02/2018 at 17:46:32
68 Posted 04/02/2018 at 18:03:47
Success with the tangible manifestation of silverware/championships will guarantee it. Failing that footballers with character, playing exciting, positive football, both attacking and defending will do it.
The dross we are being subject to could well halt or stunt the growth and development of our future fanbase.
Another worry on top of everything we Evertonians have to endure in the here and now!
69 Posted 04/02/2018 at 18:16:02
Attendances rapidly decreased in the early 90s due to the seating being brought in and the end of the standing era.
The success of winning the Cup brought back thousands coupled with the financial backing that brought Kanchelskis, Barmby etc .
These days there is quite frankly no hope there for Evertonians anymore. In the past, when we had no real money, there was always the hope a sugar daddy would make a big difference to Everton challenging the big boys.
Now, the realisation is that nothing is going to change because this is Everton and we screw things up endlessly.
Fans are going to disappear.
70 Posted 04/02/2018 at 18:21:59
71 Posted 04/02/2018 at 18:28:54
We need as fans to believe in our team. We need the hope that they might just win a trophy. Without any of that you can stick your shiny new stadium as what's the point?
It's business to Moshiri so the rest doesn't matter and Kenwright is just happy to continue playing with his train set. So much so that the world's greatest Evertonian can't or won't see his club rotting away.
72 Posted 04/02/2018 at 18:40:48
I suggest this as the new “walk to songâ€.
Are you ready??!!
73 Posted 04/02/2018 at 18:41:43
74 Posted 04/02/2018 at 18:51:06
75 Posted 04/02/2018 at 18:53:14
I often quote Villa's Randy Lerner ('You are only one manager away from disaster') and in a couple of years, Moshiri has suffered two. Luck? Bad judgement? Being led by the nose by Bill Kenwright who can say for sure? But the 'takeover that quite isn't' has been a disaster and will likely go on being such whoever is next into the managerial hot seat.
Of course there will be no Bramley-Moore unless and until things stabilise and at present we are 'going south' in a big way. I just thank the Lord that I've seen some good days when so many of our number have been denied the privilege!
76 Posted 04/02/2018 at 19:10:28
Kevin (#74) Waterfront if Bramley-Moore Dock ever happens would also be a good shout, the intro is fab. I don't like them that much but Rage Against The Machine Killing In the Name, (after about 30 seconds in) would be great to walk out to.
But No we have the Grand Old Team and Z-Cars... yup, that's gonna bring the next generation in, Bill, just as much as the death zombie football.
78 Posted 04/02/2018 at 19:31:18
79 Posted 04/02/2018 at 19:32:47
81 Posted 04/02/2018 at 19:39:33
In the face of such abject football and frankly utter despair, can we not have a tiny bit of fun and smile?
A bit too literal Geoff.
82 Posted 04/02/2018 at 19:41:34
84 Posted 04/02/2018 at 20:05:12
We ain't down yet and, whilst we aren't in the clear, you might believe that we are bottom of the table and miles behind the rest if you took some posters' views on board. Everton FC isn't quite dead yet and as long as there are enough people who care about it, it won't die for a long long time.
It is not a happy time to be an Evertonian but it's not ledge-jumping time either. When Big Sam 'retires' and a new man is appointed, we can only hope that whomever he is, he talks sense and is a motivator of men as that is what the club needs at all times and especially now and in the near future.
85 Posted 04/02/2018 at 20:07:11
86 Posted 04/02/2018 at 20:23:37
He has bought a player for almost 㿊 million whom he now deems inadequate for the Premier League. He plays a back three which our players cannot do. He refuses to play a left back and drops both Sigurdsson and Rooney.
This man is so full of his own importance that he cannot see that he is ultimately responsible for the team and its tactics. I suspect there's a hidden agenda and Allardyce is upset about something. The length of his contract? The fact that after four or five reasonable results (not performances) he was not lauded or offered a longer contract?
I don't know, but no sane manager who wanted to succeed could have selected the teams he did for the last two games. Unbalanced doesn't even begin to describe them. I suspect he expected the team in the Leicester game to fail and therefore dismantled that team against Arsenal in case they amazed us and him and won again.
Moshiri and Kenwright are not running this club with any degree of competence or efficiency. Kenwright needs to retire and spend his life producing feel-good musicals and leave Everton to a competent chairman.
Crystal Palace has become a must win game. I await his team selection with trepidation, all we know is there will be a new formation and at least five changes from the last two starting elevens.
He has I imagine managed to "lose" his dressing-room after his outburst about it all being the players fault. Good managers distract blame from their players, this egocentric fool cannot do that. It's not his fault, he claims, then whose fault is it, Mr. Allardyce?
87 Posted 04/02/2018 at 20:44:39
On my way out, I had my lad on my shoulders as we made our way to the tube and he started singing "Ar-se-n-al, Ar-sen-al." It summed-up my day. The lad has only been to one other game to see Tranmere lose to Leicester in the League Cup Final. I tried but failed.
At least I have brainwashed my Grandson, here in West Wales he is singing our songs, aged six. I think I'll wait till we're playing better before introducing him to the real thing.
88 Posted 04/02/2018 at 21:19:31
89 Posted 04/02/2018 at 21:41:41
We have all thought for a while that the managers over the last few years (except Unsy) had lost the confidence in the dressing room despite some players saying it didn't happen but surely what he said after yesterday's game will only make things worse.
Allardyce failed badly yesterday and whilst I applaud bringing back Bolasie, the leaving out of other players to play 4 stiffs at the back is beyond me.
How many more times this season will Everton come out cold, concede first and struggle the rest of the game?
Another miserable game day but at least the RS got robbed today when they thought they had three points in the bag.
90 Posted 04/02/2018 at 21:50:21
I say people as opposed to players because I am talking about managing any sort of organization, whether it be an office, a factory, a club or, in this case, a football team. The leader needs to be discrete, well informed and have the strength to recognise and admit when he has made a mistake. This will enable him or her to sensibly correct what may be wrong. Most of all he needs to get the very best out of his staff by, not only focusing on their weaknesses, but building on their natural ability and innate strengths
Allardyce doesn't have ANY of the essential qualities to manage or coach Everton Football Club. His recognition of ability is pathetic. His pregame and post game utterances are always, yes always, mortifying and cringe worthy. I used "utterance", because "analysis" would be giving him credit for actually being capable of analysing a football game. He is a complete oaf, and displays himself as such every time he opens his mouth. When Everton win he redirects ALL the credit to himself. When we lose he crucifies the players and throws them under the bus. In this case the "Bus" is the Press and other media who are all too pleased to print his spiteful rhetoric.
I am always glad to be able to write just how feel on ToffeeWeb because it is usually the only way to vent and somehow ease frustrations. I just wish I could come on to rave about our team and manager.
92 Posted 04/02/2018 at 22:50:05
The second of those derby nightmares was the most shaming Everton performance I can remember. Capitulations are part of our woeful recent history and are not an Allardyce phenomenon which does not make them any easier to accept when they keep happening.
93 Posted 04/02/2018 at 23:01:57
For me, Allardyce is middle-ranking so far as our managers go. Below Moyes, above Koeman, below Kendall, above Mike Walker etc. Of course, by the end of the season he could be bottom of the list but he could be near the top if we go on an unbeaten run including a 5-0 trouncing of the Shite.
94 Posted 05/02/2018 at 02:03:24
95 Posted 05/02/2018 at 04:21:59
I've so much I want to say and sympathize with in an American way.
But I can't. It wouldn't do it justice and it would be in a fucked up American parallel that would be short of meaning.
But... as you say, and I trust your years of analysis:
Allardyce doesn't have any of the essential qualities to manage or coach Everton Football Club.
I have so many parallels to your comment. But they are all American and not "Everton".
But yes. Yes.
96 Posted 05/02/2018 at 06:58:03
They train all week in the best facilities around, get paid film stars' wages, and have the audacity to play like rank amateurs playing Walk-In Football.
While I regard the subject of the last paragraph abhorrent, I fail to see that, once that chasm between Players and Manager has transpired; that it is an irrevocable process; ultimately he has to go we can't do anything about the players till the next window.
The very fact as well, that he has publicly slated them will have only fuelled the fire and widened the rift; let's not forget mathematically we are not safe.
No team wants relegation, so the ones who are in that group will fight even harder to avoid it.
97 Posted 05/02/2018 at 07:21:59
98 Posted 05/02/2018 at 07:37:07
99 Posted 05/02/2018 at 09:47:49
"This season has seen Everton splurge 𧵮 million on 16 players. But the true cost runs even deeper in a club that has lost direction, identity, any sense of long-term planning.
Allardyce was parachuted in with the simple task of keeping the club clear of relegation and so has little interest in developing the likes of Lookman. Ditto Tom Davies, who started this thrashing on the substitutes' bench. Allardyce is a short-term fix with short-term objectives, unwilling to see beyond a player's price-tag and what they can offer his nuts and bolts team in the here and now.
And really, can anybody blame him? He has made a career being the right man at the wrong time. he knows his hard-boiled brand of football does not naturally fit at Goodison Park, and that there is precious little chance of his contract extending beyond next season. There is no personal reward for him on gambling on the likes of Lookman"
I couldn't have put it better myself !
100 Posted 05/02/2018 at 09:59:30
Irrespective of whether they deserve it, any manager with medium-long term aspirations wouldn't be publicly castigating his players.
101 Posted 05/02/2018 at 11:11:17
What time is it now?
102 Posted 05/02/2018 at 12:42:04
On a funny note?! Into my 65th year and having a go at walking football. Fuck me, I"m struggling! But having a go with passion and heart.
Take note Mr, Allardyce, would love to get stuck into your prima donnas. Anyone interested please flag up my Jumpers for Goalposts theme on the maim pages. Worth a laugh in these dark days.
103 Posted 05/02/2018 at 12:54:40
If Rooney and Sigurdsson cannot a) play together or b) play two games in a row then we have bigger issues.
Is Schneiderlin carrying an injury that prevents him from running at all? If he is - then rest him or give him an op. if not then he needs to be sold immediately the opportunity arises. He doesn't currently add benefit to the team.
The back four is struggling. Changing the line up here is just begging for other teams to take advantage. Whilst I fully agree the back line isn't working, it's tough to blame players who have such inconsistent partnering, eg, Keane played really well with Jagielka but sucked with Williams. Martina is being abused by being asked to play left-back. It's not his fault he's being asked to play out of position even if we don't know what his best position is (aside from the bench!). Coleman is a breath of fresh air (and like a new signing!) but he's just come back so can't be expected to play twice in a week at this point. Holgate is doing well to provide cover but welcoming Coleman back shows just what we've been missing!
The midfield is ridiculous. I have no words to describe how bad our midfield is. It offers nothing other than numbers to make up the 11 players. Davies is excluded from this statement. He's about the only positive in the mix and the only midfield player I'd want to write on the team sheet right now.
We saw against Leicester how Everton's midfield was made complete impotent by two quick passes from defense into attack. It came as no surprise that Arsenal annihilated the midfield and destroyed the defense based on that and the many changes in the line up.
Our forwards, particularly when one or more plays, are doing the best they can. Niasse is not elegant but he is effective. Is there something wrong with Tosun or is he still bedding in?
The two positives, if there were any are: Allardyce is only here for a maximum of 18 months although that may be more than any fan can bear.
The other is that we have the start of a new spine for the future team:
Sadly the remaining players simply do not deserve a starting place.
104 Posted 05/02/2018 at 15:25:34
I don't think any one doubts that Allardyce is short term. The point of the article is to show how a football reporter, not one of us Evertonians, perceives our once great club: "a club that has lost direction, identity, any sense of long-term planning".
The second point is the sheer cynicism of Allardyce's approach it's not just short term, it's a deliberate narrowness of vision and objectives.
105 Posted 05/02/2018 at 17:08:25
It's strange that we give the manager overwhelming praise when a team clicks and performs to a greater degree than the sum of its parts. (Think Kendall Mk 1.)
So flip that around... when the team of talented international highly paid professional footballers does not perform to anything like their best, don't you think the shockingly poor manager they are obligated to turn out for might have just a little something to do with it?
106 Posted 05/02/2018 at 17:20:08
That's absolutely correct but when four managers cant get a tune out of the players you have to question the players attitude and mental strength.
107 Posted 05/02/2018 at 17:36:52
And if none of those managers are good enough or inspiring enough to counter the inherent problems (whatever they may be) festering among these supremely talented players, and dragging them down to the depths we have witnessed, then they will simply play like donkeys... kinda like what we have seen so far this season.
108 Posted 05/02/2018 at 19:56:09
If I'm being honest, I really don't want a Manager who has already been relegated, especially from the Premier League.
I'm not sure if Eddie Howe has been relegated in a lower league before ?
109 Posted 06/02/2018 at 21:42:10
I like the Foo Fighters but I hope in Bramley-Moore we still run out to Johnny Todd. Hopefully we will also have players with a bit of fight.
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