A Never-Ending Nightmare

By Paul Traill 04/03/2018 44comments  |  Jump to last
Burnley 2 - 1 Everton

If driving to away games I’ll usually borrow my parents’ car given its increased reliability, and with more snowfall overnight it gave my ever-caring mother ample opportunity to worry. “Drive safe”, “don’t go too fast”, “stay warm”, and “text me when you get there” were the main commands, but fair enough, I am only 35-years-old.

With the recent adverse weather we set off in good time and had a very clear run up the M58, arriving in Burnley at 10.30am. We parked up pretty handy. In years gone by I would find myself diving into the first place I saw with a sign outside stating “CAR PARK £5”, but now I’ll try and assess where is most suitable for getting away quickly after the game, and the Pay & Display by the ring road provided that. You feel like getting away quickly after an Everton away game lately.

One of my bugbears about away games is when all the pubs say “HOME FANS ONLY”. You travel a long way and can’t even get a drink. Thankfully, after asking a steward, we were able to get into ‘Burnley Cricket Club’ and once in there, in scanning around for somewhere to perch a couple of guys sitting down pointed out a few empty seats near them and said “we don’t bight you know”. It was nice to finally see a friendly face from Burnley and we were lucky to get a seat as shortly afterwards the place got very busy. We doubled up, or quadrupled up in Gary’s case, at the bar and were nice and set for an hour or so.

Once we got into the stadium we mingled in the outdoor heated tent before heading up to our seats. It was so cold up there. The players were about ready to go when we got there, Everon with Seamus Coleman back in the team, Dominic Calvert-Lewin on the left and Cenk Tosun in attack. Jonjo Kenny, Oumar Niasse and Wayne Rooney the ones who made way. It was great to see Aaron Lennon in the team meanwhile for Burnley.

The first half, in the main, was pleasing and though Jordan Pickford did make one outstanding save, it was ourselves who created more chances. Theo Walcott wasted three of them, one a particularly good one which he should have left for Tom Davies. This didn’t stop us from going ahead though and tremendous work by Gylfi Sigurdsson in the middle winning the ball, carrying it and finding a good pass out to Theo Walcott on the right. His cross was helped on by Seamus Coleman and nicely headed in by Cenk Tosun. A good goal by Everton and come the break we were good value for our lead.

At the break we all, at various times, went downstairs to try and warm up a little bit. It was so cold you could barely feel your toes. It felt like our players felt the same in the second half and we didn’t match Burnley for intensity. That said, what will frustrate Sam Allardyce most was how easily we surrendered our lead. Calvert-Lewin lost the ball on the left and while Sean Dyke called Matt Lowton’s pass the “ball of the season” which set away Ashley Barnes, Michael Keane let it get past him too easily. Also, Jordan Pickford should have been out to gather it, or at least force Barnes into a decision. I’m not even sure if Barnes took a touch before sweeping it in, and he ended up scoring from about six yards. I liked that Idrissa Gana Gueye was quick to point this out to our goalkeeper as nobody else had the bottle to. When Burnley tried, again with astonishing ease, the same trick a little later, this time Jordan was wise to it and came out to smother.

Our poor defending didn’t end there as with 10 minutes left on the clock Chris Wood headed in easily from a corner kick to give Burnley the lead. Our players were incensed at referee Chris Kavanagh but I’ve no idea why, it seemed a clean goal to me. Prior to this Allardyce will also have rued missed opportunities from substitute Oumar Niasse and more-so, from Gylfi Sigurdsson who did ever so well to shimmy in the penalty area and create space, only to flash his effort wide. I thought he’d scored for a second then.

To compound things further, Ashley Williams was dismissed for swinging an arm in the direction of Barnes as they scuffled for space from a free kick. It was reckless from Williams and it rather sums up his Everton career really. I assume that’s three games out for Williams? I doubt many will be disappointed.

Despite countless long balls and Michael Keane left up front, we failed to carve out another chance and trudged off to another dismal defeat. The worst away record in the whole division, yet we sell out every away game. Our players don’t deserve the support they get, they really don’t.

On the way out an Evertonian was walking along the road with his young son though didn’t realise a road wasn’t closed off and a car had to stop fairly suddenly to avoid hitting his young boy. Everyone was OK though and it was an honest mistake, the fella was a bit embarrassed about it. This didn’t require an older Burnley supporter to start yelling and f’ing and blinding at him for it, before spitefully shouting “I’m s’prised yer didn’t nick the car end all”. It’s some place Burnley. I won’t be back in a hurry.

We were then away quickly, though in following my sat nav I soon realised it had send me back via M6 then M56 rather than the M58. It was just as well as we were going back to Wirral, and it later emerged there was an incident in Birkenhead tunnel and it was closed in both directions and had we have gone the other way getting back would have taken an age. A shed of light for us in an otherwise dismal afternoon.

It’s one for another article (God knows there’s plenty of them), but I, for one, feel a little sorry for Sam Alladyce and will try to defend him somewhat. Before I start, I want to make it clear that I don’t think he should be at the club. It was the wrong appointment and we hit the panic button way too early in bringing in him and his many men of backroom staff. His methods are dated and it’s not what we need as a club moving forward. That said, why is it always he and not the players who gets the criticism? Can he legislate for such poor defending? Can he legislate for ridiculous misses by Walcott, SIgurdsson and Niasse? Can he legislate for Williams getting sent off? Can he legislate for Rooney giving the ball away endlessly at Watford the other week, or the whole team all of a sudden switching off to give Troy Deeney the goal in a very tight game? If it was me I’d be slagging them players off as well.

I get people’s annoyance with his tactics and his substitutions can be questionable and yes, criticise him for this by all means. But this has become vitriol. Abusing him because of his appearance is not on. “Fat Sam”, “Gravy drinking” stuff like that I read on Twitter and I think “come on, is this what we’ve become?”. Whatever his substitution now, people will scream their heads off. It’s become so toxic now supporting Everton that I’m not even sure I heard anyone sing to get behind the team yesterday, it was all aimed at Big Sam. “Fuck off Sam Allardyce” was shouted many a time. Nice.

I see credence in people saying “get rid of him now and get the new guy in so he’s got a head start on pre-season”, I really do. But only once we are definitely safe from relegation, and, if the guy is lined up to replace Sam Allardyce and ready to start. Otherwise we could be back to square one, with another panic appointment.

It’s a real nightmare this, and when Sam has gone and we have that new appointment in, it’ll be quite a relief for all. But Everton really have to get it right this time.

Player ratings:

Pickford: He made a few great saves but was certainly culpable for their equaliser. 6

Martina: Did well enough defensively but we really missed that attacking option to combine with Calvert-Lewin in the second half. Let’s give Baines some minutes next weekend against Brighton. 6

Williams: His distribution was horrendous throughout and then he got himself sent off. While he always seemed a good defender at Swansea, I never quite liked his attitude. At Everton he seems to have shown both poor attitude and poor form. You feel his time is running out at Everton and I don’t think many will be disappointed to see the back of him. 4

Keane: Generally good and commanding, though he let Barnes in too easily for Burnley’s equaliser. He won’t have enjoyed his first season that’s for sure and will probably be wondering if he’s made the right choice. 6

Coleman: Didn’t do a lot wrong really though it was difficult for him to be his buccaneering self. I fancy him to fare better at home to Brighton next weekend. 6

Gueye: I wonder if he should be captain? He certainly takes responsibility on the pitch and at least somebody had the balls to lambaste Pickford for his mistake. He did well sweeping up in front of the defence and made a lot of tackles and interceptions. Probably our best player out there. My man of the match. 7

Davies: Struggled really and couldn’t impact on the game in tough conditions. 5

Calvert-Lewin: Not shy of effort but end product was lacking. Was also somewhat culpable for the equaliser. 5

Walcott: Was a threat on the counter attack in the first half and put in the ball for our opener, but missed some very good chances and didn’t offer anything in the second half. 5

Sigurdsson: One of the better ones by far. Was very instrumental in our goal and did well to create his chance which he missed in the second half. I was amazed he was substituted. 7

Tosun: Had a bright first half before fading and is clearly not there yet fitness wise, but I do see a good player in him. He doesn’t have pace, but does have intelligence and took his goal well. Reminds me a bit of Nikica Jelavic. Now he’s off the mark, what price for a similar goal scoring impact to the Croat when he arrived? 6


Rooney (for Davies): Tried to impact on the game but didn’t quite get going. 5

Niasse (for Tosun): I couldn’t believe the reaction to the substitution. Tosun was clearly spent and couldn’t stay on, plus in Calvert-Lewin, Walcott, Sigurdsson and Rooney there was still a lot of attacking options on the pitch. This is what I mean when I say it has gotten toxic. Sam had to make that substitution and got told to “fuck off” for it. Anyhow, Oumar, though he missed a good chance, did quite well and got involved. 6

Bolasie (for Sigurdsson): Now this reaction I could believe as Gylfi looked the one most likely to create or score a goal for us. Why he was taken off beggars belief. Anyway Yannick didn’t do too bad, in what was a tough situation to enter the fray in front of an away end baying for blood. 6

Reader Comments (44)

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Jack Convery
1 Posted 04/03/2018 at 15:31:55
Brighton 10th – we are now 11th.

Great report as always. Toxic is the word. A toxic atmosphere caused by an irresponsible board who couldn't give a damn about what we feel. Heads need to roll in the summer – lots of them.

Put money on Murray to score the first goal for Brighton next weekend.

Brent Stephens
2 Posted 04/03/2018 at 15:36:46
How can you give Pickford only 6? The same as Keane!
Neil Cremin
3 Posted 04/03/2018 at 15:43:51

Because he was at fault for both goals.

First, he had plenty of time to come off his line and didn't. Second, any keeper who cannot command his box two yards out must take blame.

Yes, he made some great saves, but that's his job – it is no more than a defender making a goal-bound block.

Pickford is continually being absolved of all blame but, if you look at the goals conceded by him this season and last, one of his most important jobs is to organise the defenders in front of him which I for one believe his is sadly lacking.

Pat Kelly
4 Posted 04/03/2018 at 15:59:59
Ignore Allardyce and get behind the team at Goodison next week. Time for the fans to play their part and cheer the team to a win. The players will react positively if the fans are positive. A toxic negative barracking will make the team even more nervous.
Brent Stephens
5 Posted 04/03/2018 at 16:00:46
Neil, Pickford was "blocked in" for the second goal.
Mike Gaynes
6 Posted 04/03/2018 at 16:06:24
Neil, Pickford had no chance on the second goal and deserves zero blame.

The sole blame for that goes to Williams, who literally walked away from the 6'3" CB he was supposed to mark and allowed him a completely free header.

My only disappointment in Pickford on that play is that he didn't immediately peel Williams afterwards.

Neil Cremin
7 Posted 04/03/2018 at 16:28:50
Then is should have been a free out. He should be more commanding and not be bullied in the box. Good keepers do not let themselves get blocked is such situations.
James Hughes
8 Posted 04/03/2018 at 16:39:14
And now Brighton have beaten Arsenal (at home – not tonked 1-5) and are above us. Is everyone still sure we are safe?
Kevin Prytherch
9 Posted 04/03/2018 at 16:40:11
Jordan Pickford is one of many players who we need patience with and is probably the only one who is getting it.

He's probably been at fault for around 10 goals this season in one way or another, including both yesterday. Do you reckon Southall would have got “blocked” like that?

Pickford will be an outstanding keeper but was at fault for both goals yesterday and shouldn't be England's Number 1 for this years tournament for this reason.

Be patient, accept he'll make mistakes but don't be blind enough to ignore them when they happen. He'll only learn from acknowledging them and a big part of that will come from listening to fans.

Neil Cremin
11 Posted 04/03/2018 at 16:40:40
I do not understand that a keeper who has let in as many goals as Pickford has, both this season and last season, is absolved of all blame. He is continuously defended in threads where every other player in the squad at some time or other has been slated. He must take some responsibility for what is happening in front and around him.

At the end of Howard's days, it was his unrealiabilty on crosses that was causing our defence to be unsure. Cuts both ways.

Neil Cremin
12 Posted 04/03/2018 at 16:43:29

Thanks for some reasoned analysis. I agree he has potential but he has an awful lot to learn and is far from the finished article.

I believe he could be because his does have very good reactions but has many flaws which need to be coached out.

Lawrence Green
13 Posted 04/03/2018 at 16:44:14
Pickford is still very very young for a goalkeeper and he does make mistakes due to his inexperience and he does have some bad habits that he should work on eradicating, but he has saved more points for Everton than he has lost, he made a couple of top class saves again yesterday which kept Everton in the game for longer than the team deserved.

It's unfortunate for him that his last two clubs couldn't form a decent back four between them, he is being overworked and he will show how good he is when he inevitably joins a club who have a proper defensive set-up with proper defenders.That may happen sooner than I would like with Man U allegedly keeping tabs on Jordan.

Neil Cremin
14 Posted 04/03/2018 at 16:45:44

Here is what I posted on another thread:

Firstly, with Brighton's result today we are going to slip into the bottom half of the table.

Secondly, I do believe there is a team there but I cannot for the life of me see what Sam has brought. Remember our best performance was Unsy last game in charge. Unsy was not appointed because he didn't get the results but most of his games were away from home. Sam's recorded is not any better.

We are now in serious trouble as I cannot see three worse teams with the possible exception of West Brom, We are only 7 points ahead of the second from bottom and all of these are getting significant results.

My biggest worry is Sam, his lack of responsibility for what is going on, his substitutions. If I was a conspiracy theorist I would say that it would suit Sam that we go down because then we would not get the high profile manager we need and he would be in a prime position to say I can bring you straight back up because I have the experience.

Maybe I am paranoid but nothing at the moment makes any sense.

Ken Kneale
15 Posted 04/03/2018 at 16:49:17
Imagine what Southall would have said (or done!) to the defenders this season. Whilst I agree ordinarily with getting behind the team, sadly after three decades of mismanagement at all levels, I am afraid positive action and protest needed.
Paul Tran
16 Posted 04/03/2018 at 16:54:35
James (#8), I'm still sure we won't go down. If you're convinced, you can get 50/1 on our relegation.
Stephen Davies
17 Posted 04/03/2018 at 16:58:51
Brent (#5)

He may have been blocked in but he wasn't fouled – the Burnley player just stood his ground.

Dave Abrahams
18 Posted 04/03/2018 at 17:07:41
Paul (16), those odds will keep coming down with every game we play, nine more to play, and we are getting worse with every game. Still I hope you are right.
Brent Stephens
19 Posted 04/03/2018 at 17:10:35
Stephen, he was blocked in by a Burnley player and Seamus. Have a look. He couldn't get round both of them.
Kevin Prytherch
20 Posted 04/03/2018 at 17:17:14
Brent – maybe he couldn't get round them, but they didn't exactly move to block him. They were stood in the same place before the corner was taken and, if he was blocked in that much, he should have made some attempt to move them.

I suspect that if he'd have tried to jump over the Burnley player and fell to the ground trying he'd have got a foul, instead he did nothing.

Andy Meighan
21 Posted 04/03/2018 at 17:36:15
I'd love to know what game you were watching?

"Keane: Generally good and commanding" Along with the hapless Williams, he was bullied all afternoon.

A terrible terrible acquisition; I can't fathom what them two morons Koeman and Walsh seen in him. He's stiff, slow, can't read the game, and his positional sense is awful. Whatever we paid for him, I think £25M rising to £30M... we were well seen coming.

Ditto Williams. Two terrible centre-backs and the sooner Fat Head sees fit to restore Jagielka and Holgate, the better it will be for everyone.

Oh, and by the way, Paul, people can vent their feelings any way they see fit as regards Allardyce. He's got no affinity with us and his post-match interviews sum his feelings up towards us.

Paul Tran
22 Posted 04/03/2018 at 17:41:02
Dave, I was banking on my stay-up bets getting paid out before Cheltenham. No such luck with softlad in charge! If I had any thoughts of us going down, I'd have some of that 50/1.
Brent Stephens
23 Posted 04/03/2018 at 17:45:35
Kevin, I don't see how Pickford could have jumped over the Burnley player and Seamus to get to the ball. It was too far away.
Kevin Prytherch
24 Posted 04/03/2018 at 18:17:16
If he'd have jumped and gone over the top of the Burnley player, collapsing in a heap on the floor, it would have been a free kick for obstructing the goalkeeper.

By doing nothing, he didn't get a free kick and got nowhere near the ball.

Brent Stephens
25 Posted 04/03/2018 at 18:24:33
OK, Kevin, that's one way to see it.
James Hughes
26 Posted 04/03/2018 at 18:39:38
Paul #16, not convinced. just worried and raising the question. Besides I could never bet against us and relegation is the big no.

I would still like another 9 points from our remaining games as I am over-cautious.

Jason Wilkinson
27 Posted 04/03/2018 at 18:42:19
Pickford made some great "TV" saves. The problem is positionally he still has a lot to learn. With the players in front of him either too slow or, in Cuco Martina's case, out of position and out of his depth. It makes learning on the job more difficult than it should be.

Once we are rid of Sam and can find a young and dynamic coach, I believe we will see a back 3. A left wing-back being bought in and Seamus and Jonjoe being coached as similar on the left flank.

The ineptitude in playing Calvert-Lewin on the left wing beggars belief! Sigurdsson looked a threat all through the game. Theo didn't have his best performance but still contributed.

Gueye did exactly what was asked of him. Meanwhile Tom Davies struggled to make an impact and should have been removed earlier.

Rooney is too slow in Premier League games and his passing (whilst accurate) is predictable.

Ashley Williams, Morgan Schneiderlin, Cuco Martina and Ramiro Funes Mori should all be "thanked" for their services and promptly moved on. A big rebuilding job in the summer. Not to compete with Man City, Man Utd etc but just to stay ahead of the rest.

Dave Abrahams
28 Posted 04/03/2018 at 18:52:58
Paul (#22), well, I certainly hope you eventually get paid out on your staying-up bets.

Any chance of a few tips for Cheltenham? I've never been very good picking horses, and I've been having a go since I was a young boy with the back-street bookies.

Paul Tran
29 Posted 04/03/2018 at 19:13:07
James, I'd like at least nine points, don't like relying on anyone else.

Dave, I'm not sure that Cheltenham tips would get past the editors, though it's more fun than abusing Allardyce! Would be happy to pass my views on if permitted. Best to wait and see what's happening with the ground in the next week.

Brian Harrison
30 Posted 04/03/2018 at 19:20:12
Koeman got 8 points from his first 9 games and got the sack – this included playing 5 of the previous season's top 6 sides. In Allardyce's last 9 games he has got 7 points and only 2 games were against any of last season's top 6.
Davie Turner
31 Posted 04/03/2018 at 19:36:37
Brian (#30),

What you say is true but we have to remember that England's greatest manager is hurting, hurting more than the fans and that it is most certainly not his fault.

It's Klaassen who trains hard but isn't Messi yet, it's the other players who keep thinking the next evolution in football tactics is a long ball somewhere in any direction, it's the fact that Sigurdsson and Rooney should never play together, as the record shows.

And it's definitely because the tea lady forgot the tea and the Toffee Girl gave it all away and not just dropped all the toffees in England's Greatest Manager's office.

We are not far behind Burnley who are doing great, so that means so are we. Newcastle and West Ham are the same, and we above them, and it has nothing to do with the fact that England's Greatest Manager is a complete &£!@ (insert your own ending).

Brian Harrison
32 Posted 04/03/2018 at 19:45:05

I think it was clear to everyone how much Allardyce was hurting when he was leaving the pitch. He must have been dying inside, it's just a pity the cameras caught him with a smile on his face when the fans gave him a piece of their mind.

But later, the pain was etched all over his face when the MotD interviewer said the fans couldn't understand taking Sigurdsson off, and he broke into a broad smile and said "I was going two up front."

I bet he has hardly slept a wink since the game finished, worrying where our next win will come from. I know he is on ٤ million a year but that's little comfort when you can see these results are killing him.

Steve Carse
34 Posted 05/03/2018 at 02:06:10
It was a panic measure that saw Allardyce appointed; so would sacking him be. It is particularly ironic that the criticism comes after the side's best 45 minutes played under Allardyce. He's got to go obviously but not at this time.

A 7-point cushion is a healthy margin to go in to the last 9 games of the season with. Short of failure to win a single game out of these, relegation is still the least likely outcome of this dreadful season.

(For one for the statisticians amongst us: Has any side in the history of the PL thrown away a safety margin of this size going into the last 9 games of the season?).

William Cartwright
35 Posted 05/03/2018 at 03:08:48
Steve; No they probably haven't...

That's what makes Everton such a wonderful club, we can fall to any occasion!

Mike Gaynes
36 Posted 05/03/2018 at 06:55:12
No, Kevin (#24), it wouldn't. He would have looked like a complete ass and you would have slated him for that. And he never would have reached that ball. No, he was at fault for only one goal yesterday, not two, and I challenge you to name the "around 10 goals this season" he's been responsible for.

And Neil, please dispense with the straw-man crapola about him being "absolved of all blame"... when he deserves blame, he gets it. But if you really, truly believe that he was more at fault for the second goal than the clueless fucking moron who stood there with his thumb in his mouth and left the opposing centre-back completely unmarked, all I can say is that I hope it's a nice day on your planet and whatever remote galaxy it is orbiting.

Jim Bennings
37 Posted 05/03/2018 at 08:11:05
The biggest problem is our midfield which lacks any kind of shape or pace and there is a total lack of dynamism.

You aren't going to really win many midfield battles with players like Tom Davies (too young for this mess, lacks strength and awareness, and offers virtually nothing with the ball at his feet) .

Idrissa Gana Gueye who mostly just runs about like a 6 year old in the Park not actually doing anything that worthwhile and again his passing, positioning and first touch is poor compared to other clubs' holding midfielders.

Sigurdsson is trying to make things happen but it's just not happening enough for a guy that cost 㿙 million, he should have put us 2-1 up second half but the cross-shot missed the target, it's moments like that we need better quality.

Walcott has pace and is always dangerous but again in the penalty box he should be taking those chances he was gifted.

Calvert-Lewin – I'm sorry but this lad has been used far too much this season for one so very technically limited on the ball; he's not an out and out goal scorer and rarely looks like being a considerable threat even when he plays up top. Saturday he was more left but still offered zero input anyway. He should be loaned out next season, he should have been last summer in reality.

Rooney has the football brain but we knew come New Year his legs would be gone and that's exactly what's happened and it's a sad indictment on the rest of the attacking players that Wayne is still top scorer with 10 and he hasn't found the net since before Christmas.

Bolasie? Well I'm not sure what the hell has happened with him but he quite simply looks about as effective as an inflatable dartboard right now when he does get on the pitch.

This midfield to me is why we don't hold the ball enough; the amount of times we concede sloppy possession when not really under great pressure is alarming, and there's no pressure from any of our midfielders when opponents have the ball either which doesn't help our donkey-like defence.

Ken Kneale
38 Posted 05/03/2018 at 08:11:39
Steve, I hope you are well but please do not tempt fate. This is EFC and anything possible. I agree, it should be remote but, if you look at the stats for the 1951 relegation again, they should have been safe then!
Christopher Timmins
39 Posted 05/03/2018 at 13:05:17
Paul, a great report as always, unfortunately your adventures getting to and coming from the games are more exciting than the games themselves.

I think that you are correct about the manager, he does not deserve the nastiness that is being aimed at him. This mess is not of his making and while I to want to see a new man in charge come the start of next season, I will thank him for his contribution in keeping us in the Premier League once we hit the 40-point mark. He was appointed after the shambles at Southampton before Christmas and his two signings are no worse than those made by others in the previous 12 months. Indeed, they may prove to be a lot better.

I note that Kenwright is pushing for Arteta as the next occupant of the hot-seat; I am sure that would be such a good move, no experience as a manager and just like Rooney, he forced a transfer back in the day!

Sean Patton
40 Posted 05/03/2018 at 15:08:22

A very accurate description of the game. As you say the vitrol has started now and there is only one way this ends.

As a fanbase, though, we have to change because we cant keep hounding out managers as chopping and changing wont get us anywhere. However, Allardyce was never going to be more than a temporary choice.

Haha – I can't believe Dyche said that he is as deluded as Samuel if he thinks a pass clipped through that any alert keeper would kick out for a throw-in is the 'ball of the season'.

Alan Bodell
41 Posted 05/03/2018 at 15:38:55
Totally agree with everything Andy (#21) posted. If the fat man smirks too much more at post-match pressers after being questioned about the fans' responses to him, then he'll need to employ a squad of security until we can finally get rid.
John Pierce
42 Posted 05/03/2018 at 16:15:54
Paul, despite my loathing for the affliction that is Allardyce I have empathy with your defence of the him.

He like many despite what we think would jump at managing Everton, those who decided such an ill suited match was appropriate need the finger sharply pointed at them, jabbed actually.

But that's were it ends. Since he's arrived, instead of getting on with it and finding a side to pick and sticking with it, he has continually baited the support. Why?

For no other reason other than ego, he's failed to do what he was meant to do and tried in the process to blame everyone other than the person accountable: him.

I'll weigh in on Pickford too. I've noted several things that need work, made comment at times this season. He will be a very good goalkeeper but as we are getting battered each week his errors feel less important as he has often kept the score down etc.

The 2nd goal was a team failure. Burnley had many corners in the game, mostly under bar and a Pickford hadn't gotten near many. When a corner is in your six-yard box, it's his or should be.

He was caught under the ball, I won't excuse Williams as he patently lost Wood doing a soft-shoe shuffle.

Much has been made by many Pickford was impeded but the whole game he allowed it to develop and made nothing of it. Was it out of kilter with the game? No, so even if he was fouled the referee hadn't penalized that level of contact, why now?

Fundamentally Pickford's fault; but sure, Williams ineptitude was right up there at that one specific corner.

I fear if we wait until the summer for a managerial change the very nature of a short off-season and transfer window because of the World Cup will leave us with the leftovers to pick through.

Not appetizing at all, a recipe for more misery. Change it now and pick well, Mr Moshiri, money you have yes, but picking a third dud in a row – just don't.

Kevin Prytherch
43 Posted 05/03/2018 at 17:56:49
Mike 36 - he might not have been more at fault, but an experienced keeper would have dealt with that situation better and would never have allowed himself to be stood motionless with a player in front of him doing nothing to move the player. It's a situation that should have been dealt with before the corner was taken.

With regards to him looking like an ass if he'd have gone over the Burnley player - I'd rather him look like an ass getting a free kick than standing there doing nothing then making a half arsed complaint afterwards.

As for calling people morons for having a different opinion to you, try a dictionary or thesaurus. ( A person of mild mental retardation having a mental age of from 7 to 12 years and generally having communication and social skills enabling some degree of academic or vocational education. ) - bit harsh don't you think?

Kevin Prytherch
44 Posted 05/03/2018 at 17:58:39
Mike - my apologies, I misread your post and thought you'd called Neil a moron.
The rest stands though!!!!
Mike Gaynes
45 Posted 05/03/2018 at 20:19:56
No problem, Kevin... and given the vapid 7-year-old's expression on Williams's face during that play, and his subsequent 12-year-old's behavior in getting the red, I think "moron" is the appropriate word.

However, your scenario on Pickford relies on the massive assumption – and wrong in my opinion – that he'd have gotten a free kick out of it. The player in front of him was careful not to move. As a former pro referee myself, I never called that "foul" and Premier League refs call it only rarely these days. Pickford would have simply fallen over him and been lying there when the goal was scored, and you'd have slated him even more.

I stand on my statement that the goal was 100% Williams's fault and no other.

Jim Hardin
46 Posted 06/03/2018 at 14:54:23
Mike Gaynes,

Stop being sensible will ya? It doesn't matter that good judgment, physics, and well, every other law of the universe, dictate that Pickford should not and could not get the ball by jumping into the players ahead of him. Fact is he still should have tried. If he had tried and fallen over, and the goal was then scored in the empty net over our helpless prone keeper, no-one would have criticized him.

You are correct though that obstructing and fouling the keeper is not called even when the player moves. James Milner backed into Adrian for West Ham a couple of weeks ago. Adrian pushed him out and Milner backed into him again, actually knocking him backwards a step, obstructing him, and preventing him from coming out for a cross resulting in a Liverpool goal. I will call it as a foul if the offensive player moves a lot or tries to undercut the keeper to take away his ability to jump, But I am a keeper, so perhaps I am a little more sensitive to it than others.

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