Surely this can be handled better?

By Paul Traill 24/04/2018 23comments  |  Jump to last
Everton 1 - 0 Newcastle United

Feeling slightly under the weather and with the missus and the boy away for a few days, it was more than a little tempting to forfeit the game and watch from the comfort of my couch. That, however, isn’t quite what supporting Everton is about and, after work, Gaz picked Ste and I up and we were in the pub in good time. Poor Dan had to miss out on the pre-match boozer as he couldn’t get a parking space anywhere nearby.

In the pub, we mostly reminisced about university…which we graduated from some 13 years ago. As Gaz and I were scholars and actually met at the University of Huddersfield, we were always going to make sure we returned for Huddersfield Town’s first Premier League trip this coming weekend, and that we will be doing… hence the reminiscing.

While we harped back to the days of sleeping in late, getting drunk on a tenner, and having a much less complicated life, it was almost easy to forget we had a game to attend, and before you knew it, time had come to walk on to Goodison Park amidst a pretty tepid atmosphere. Everyone seemed to be walking up quiet and looking glum, though once inside you had to be impressed with the numbers and noise from the Newcastle United end. Credit to them for travelling up for a dead rubber on a Monday night. That was some effort.

Thankfully for Everton, the Magpies returned to the North East pointless thank to Theo Walcott’s well taken 51st minute winner but Everton’s performance beforehand, and thereafter, did not give the home supporters much to shout about. I’d say we were actually lucky to win the game as for periods of the second half we were pretty camped inside our own half as Newcastle United applied the pressure chasing an equaliser.

It was a poor game though I found myself somewhat entertained such was the tenacity of it. You don’t often see tackles flying in like that in games any more and credit to Bobby Madley for letting the game flow.

A sub-plot to the game was the ongoing feud between Mackem Jordan Pickford and the Newcastle United supporters. They booed his every touch, he retaliated by running over to them to give them the “1-0” sign (or was it “shush”?) first chance he got. At full time he jumped for joy in their direction also. Having seen his boyhood team relegated on Saturday, he’ll have enjoyed getting one over on them.

There had been a lot of talk of protests aimed at Sam Allardyce before the game but none of it materialised. I just don’t think anybody could really be bothered. One bloke near us tried desperately too and though he got quite a few nods of approval to his “FUCK OFF SAM ALLARDYCE” shouts, nobody else really fancied joining in. It’s a funny situation we find ourselves in. Everybody knows Sam Allardyce will be leaving at the end of the season. We know it, the players know it, Moshiri knows it, Sam knows it. This doesn’t stop the circus continuing on into town though and we remain a laughing stock.

Instead of all this childish cloak-and-dagger stuff, surely this could all be resolved by Everton issuing a statement saying that Sam Allardyce will be leaving Everton at the end of the season. Simple as that. That way the supporters will be less on edge and we can dream of a new beginning next season (yes, another one) and Everton can concentrate on Sam’s successor (though you’d hope they’re already on with that). If they did that, Sam might even get a nice “thank you” applause from the Evertonians at the Southampton match. Things don’t need to be so difficult. Surely it can be handled better?

You’d think, wouldn’t you?

Player ratings:

Pickford: Mostly fine. He’ll be relieved that his mis-hit clearance wasn’t seized upon and he’ll be made up with the clean sheet and win. 7

Baines: Did pretty well. I saw a photo of him near the end of the game with his headband and bloody eye. Talk about taking one for the team. 7

Jagielka: The better of the two centre backs and missed a half-decent chance of scoring in the first half. 6

Keane: Poor, all over the place at times in fact but thankfully got away with the clean sheet. 5

Coleman: Did fine. Made a crucial clearance near the end. 6

Gueye: Made plenty of interceptions and tackles and kept things going. 6

Schneiderlin: He’s been everyone’s whipping boy for most of the season but barring a few games I don’t think he’s been that bad, but has clearly been suffering a crisis of confidence. I feel that in the last four games he’s been getting that back. Sod’s Law for him then that he now gets injured. I don’t know how serious the injury is but it might be the last we’ve seen of him! If it is, well at least he managed to get applauded off. 7

Rooney: Hit and miss. Showed a few genius touches and at times his reading of the game is second to none…but then it’s followed up with a wasteful pass. 6

Bolasie: He put in a few wicked deliveries, probably not least for the goal was otherwise mostly frustrating. 5

Walcott: A great shift from Theo and he deserved his winning goal. My Man of the Match. 7

Tosun: Hopelessly isolated. If we can’t give him a bit more support up there at home to Newcastle United, then when can we? Not his best game when he did have the ball anywhere near him otherwise. 5

Davies (for Schniederlin): Christ I wish people would give him a break. We’re playing a dead rubber against Newcastle United and a 19-year-old lad trying to make his way in the game comes onto the pitch, only to be screamed at for every misplaced pass. Other players made plenty of mistakes in the game too, but got away with it. Why are the young local players, usually Evertonians, who have been developed by the club, cost us nothing and give their all, always be the ones to take the flak? Tom Davies, Leon Osman, Tony Hibbert, Davis Unsworth... have all had to put up with this; we should be getting behind such lads. Keep going and keep believing in yourself Tom. 5

Calvert-Lewin (for Bolasie): Didn’t quite get going. 5

Niasse (for Tosun): Got involved, worked hard and did OK. Go on Sam, I dare you to start two up front on Saturday. 6

Reader Comments (23)

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James Flynn
1 Posted 24/04/2018 at 14:53:28
Thanks Paul - Always interesting.

"It was a poor game though I found myself somewhat entertained such was the tenacity of it."

Felt the same way. They were going at it pretty good for a game with little meaning. I think Keane benefitted the most from Madley's handling of the game. He got in 2-3 challenges where I didn't see him get the ball, but got plenty of player. I also think there's a player in there over these last few games with Jags back in. Maybe that foot injury he had was a lot worse than we were told.

Also thought Schneiderlin was good yesterday. Not just in a "Anything had to better than he was . . . " kind of way. He's never gonna be a top pro like Gareth Barry. But he looked like the player we got in last year.

I'd like to see the back of him, just the same. His heart is definitely not at Goodison Park. He wants away. I believe his uptick in play, lately is Morgan putting himself in the shop window. I'm all for Sam playing him the last 3 games and help him on his way.

And I sure wish Gueye was better with the ball at his feet. Opposing mid-fielders, with the ball their feet, must hate him.

Chad Schofield
2 Posted 24/04/2018 at 15:00:27
I thought Keane looked pretty good until ha bashed his nose 10 mins or so before the end, Gueye could do with a little more acknowledgment than a 6... but otherwise spot on in my mind.

It was a pretty poor game - but a win.

It's a shame it's not been handled better and we're not using these games for anything other than going through the motions.

Tony Abrahams
3 Posted 24/04/2018 at 15:07:53
I'm afraid to say I stayed in and watched it on the couch, Paul. I never enjoyed it, because there was no craft, and I was already in enough pain with my back, to go and try and sit through another pointless exercise.

I'm surprised you only give Michael Keane a five, well until Gayle, came on anyway, but you are probably right, because pace kills him, even if he can pass the ball better than our central midfielders!

Steve Brown
4 Posted 24/04/2018 at 15:12:32
Feel that we are stopping '11 out of 10' Allardyce from fulfilling his potential. When Arsenal come knocking we shouldn't try to hold him back.
Lee Whitehead
5 Posted 24/04/2018 at 17:30:15
I went to the game last night. Due to work, I can't get to many games anymore, so this was only the second game I've been to this season.

I have never seen or heard so much negativity around the place. Are we Evertonians or what? Will everyone get a fucking grip and start supporting Everton Football Club!!!!!!

If everyone put as much effort into supporting the team rather than slagging the manager, coaches, players (especially local lads), Kenwright etc etc...

So come, Blues... get a fucking grip!

Duncan Lennard
6 Posted 24/04/2018 at 22:50:56
Went to the beach today and saw a group of blokes re-enacting the action from last night. Then I realised this was Crosby Beach and I was looking at the Gormley exhibit...

Walcott aside our attack is shamefully static and contained with embarrassing ease, with Bolasie the most egregious example. Yes, we look more organised these days but how any manager can not only accept such a statuesque front line but defend our style of play just floors me.

Frank McGregor
7 Posted 24/04/2018 at 23:46:32
Paul, Thanks for the article fairly good summary of the game. Yes, the game was tough to watch; however, the good part of the result has moved Everton up to eighth place.

To be honest, I believe that Sam Allardyce should complete his contract and then be replaced. Otherwise, I believe that we could get a new person in at the end of this season and then, by November, be screaming for his head – and then we would look completely ridiculous.

William Cartwright
8 Posted 25/04/2018 at 03:41:05
Like most of us I am reasonably confident Allardyce will be gone in the summer. But if it is nailed on, it is not guaranteed . . . . . .

What if he does stay on. Obviously increasing his chances is getting results in the run in when we actually don't really need them. Is the greed of the man actually putting his own interests in front of the those of the Club?

If he actually does stay on? I can't deal with that after 60 years of supporting through good times and bad. It would just leave me cold. I would honestly follow the progress of Burnley out of respect for seeing how a 'small club' are tackling the block by block building process. But emotionally it will be very hard. I simply cannot bear watching and listening to Allardyce any more.

Apart from his simply appalling defense at all costs approach it his 'persona' combined with his tactics that turn me off. No one should be judged solely upon appearance, that is simply shallow and unfair. But the combination of boorish, inarticulate, self-centered, untrustworthy, crass, insensitive, arrogant, selfish,etc., etc., coupled with his complete lack of style, just makes me want to look away and forget about football.

I never would have imagined myself feeling that emotion, and I just despise what he has, is, and god forbid may yet still be capable of doing to my Club.

Jay Harris
9 Posted 25/04/2018 at 04:25:59

Worry not as I believe he has been summoned to Moshiri's London office on Thursday.

I am guessing and hoping it is to negotiate his exit.

Ajay Gopal
10 Posted 25/04/2018 at 09:32:33
I agree, Paul, the board should show some leadership and make a simple announcement along the lines of:

“We thank Sam and his coaching staff for achieving the goal of keeping Everton out of the relegation fight. Sam and his team have met our expectations, but Everton think that in order to move ahead towards our stated ambition of going back to winning trophies, a change in the management team is necessary. We wish Sam and his staff all the very best in the future, and they leave with the gratitude and best wishes of all Evertonians”.

We show that we are a big club but humble and grateful for what has been achieved. And then, get on with the identification of the next manager. Fonseca, Howe, Silva, Arteta, Dyche, Nagelsmann – everybody should be considered. Then make a decision and announcement early to enable the new team to be put in place and start their work in earnest in the summer.

Jack Convery
11 Posted 25/04/2018 at 10:01:17
The trait in Evertonians to get on the back of local lads has been going on for years. It's the one thing that really gets me mad. Please give these kids a break.

To get in the 1st team in the Premier League is some achievement and should be applauded. Keep faith with them and encourage as much as possible at every opportunity. Davies is the latest in a long line. We all saw what he's capable of when his confidence is high v City last season - he took the piss out of them and he scored too.

Let's all get behind our kids. You wouldn't shout down your own son in a kid's league game, would you, if he / she misplaced a pass or missed a sitter... or would you? God help your kids if you do.

Lawrence Green
12 Posted 25/04/2018 at 10:18:54
The meeting on Thursday may not be as clear cut as many would seem to believe, in fact it could see Sam being kept on board until at least the end of his contract and who knows beyond.

Somebody on TW mentioned that Bill had said via the BBC that Moshiri was a wonderful partner, I haven't been able to find that quote, but if true, nothing at the club has really changed, only that Bill has managed to find another rich patsy to prop up his regime.

Bill Kenwright's Golden Years is a BBC radio programme, I find nothing golden about his tenure at Everton.

If Sam stays beyond the end of this campaign, my seat will be available on stub-hub for most if not all of next season.

Steve Carse
13 Posted 25/04/2018 at 10:34:26
Jack (11), that old myth about Blues treating young local lads differently. No, fans groan when ANY player gets things wrong. If Davies keeps giving the ball away, the negative noises from the stands will always be evident. If any evidence is needed that there is no bias against the local lads, you need look no further than the hammer given to Schneiderlin this season.
Steve Ferns
14 Posted 25/04/2018 at 10:51:47
The conversation has moved on to Allardyce getting the boot, but the title of the thread still remains, can't this be handled better.

So what's the classiest way to end to end this? It would not be sacking Sam Allardyce now. I have said numerous times why can't we get the new guy in early (if he's out of work like Silva), but to all outsiders it would simply read as:

"Everton send out SOS to Allardyce, who easily saves them, recovers them to one position less than last season and then gets sacked before the season is out".

I'm sure Moshiri wants the narrative to be:

"Allardyce leaves Everton by mutual consent after successfully turning the club around. Allardyce has been well paid for his work and the club now wish to move in a different direction to achieve their aim of qualifying for the Champions League and moving to their fantastic new stadium on Liverpool's iconic waterfront".

So I can clearly understand why Allardyce will see out the season. That said, why is Lardiola spouting crap about transfers and plans. Surely he can save face and just say that the Director of Football has his recommendations and we will disclose more details when there is a transfer to announce?

Dermot Byrne
15 Posted 25/04/2018 at 11:00:29
Steve: developing "victim" persona
John Pierce
16 Posted 25/04/2018 at 16:38:30
The famous ‘bear pit' at Goodison managed no more than a whimper in ousting a mangaer unfit for the club, Monday night under the lights on MNF.

Kopite behaviour you say? And yet the ‘fuckers are one game from a final & playing scintillating stuff. Think on.

Are we sleepwalking into believing Allardyce will be gone at seasons end? Despite the apathy, Goodison looks like it cannot even unite in anger anymore.

If he stays will only have ourselves, in part, to blame about him remaining.

Phil Walling
18 Posted 25/04/2018 at 16:53:52
'On balance, we think it only fair to give Sam the opportunity to see what he can do with the squad next season. We will try to support him with signings he regards as vital to improve the overall performances.'

Don't fret – my words today but expect something like them 'tomorrow'. God help us!

John Pierce
19 Posted 25/04/2018 at 17:26:15
Phil. Absolutely chilling. Even if that was to be the case can you see the fanbase protesting in unity to rid us of this fella?

Sure Allardyce was appointed by Moshiri and he should be far more worried to the reaction than Sam. Eventually, if not already, boredom has set in running down Allardyce, heads will truly turn towards are bumbling ‘benevolent uncle' Farhad.

He after all carries the can.

Martin Nicholls
21 Posted 26/04/2018 at 08:35:50
The away support has most certainly united in its desire to see Allardyce gone and will do so again on Saturday should the Club make any announcement today indicating that he is staying on.

That said, I suspect that – even if the anticipated London meeting does take place today – we will be left in the dark about the outcome.

Brian Williams
23 Posted 26/04/2018 at 09:10:12
I want Allardyce gone, end of.

But if people say we had little class regarding the survey how classy would it be to sack Allardyce with three games to go when I (begrudgingly) have to admit he's done what "we believe" he was asked to. I say "we believe" because none of us knows if his remit was purely to stave off the threat of relegation.

Ideally a new manager has been identified, approached, and an agreement is in place for him to start the day after Allardyce is let go, which should be after the West Ham game.

The club, as someone mentioned earlier, should make a statement saying only that he has left the club and thank him for his service. The club doesn't need to say more and doesn't have to explain, even to Jim Fucking White!

I've already renewed but I wonder if that can be reversed if he stays?

Phil Walling
24 Posted 26/04/2018 at 09:41:01
John @19, the joke is that, if the Club sacked him without paying up his contract in full, he would almost certainly sue for wrongful dismissal. I believe he has form in that direction!
Martin Nicholls
25 Posted 26/04/2018 at 10:14:46
Ajay (#10) – "With the gratitude and best wishes of all Evertonians"?? I for one feel no gratitude towards him neither do I wish him "all the best"!

My personal message to him would be "Thanks for nothing and good riddance"!

Paul Hughes
26 Posted 26/04/2018 at 14:25:23
I thought that Keane had a pretty good game. So it shows that people watching the same game see it different ways. Schneiderlin had his best 45 minutes for a season.

Tom Davies did give the ball away a lot, but at least his first movement is always forward. I'd rather he tried that than passed it backwards all the time like certain midfielders I can think of.

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