Everton 1 - 0 Newcastle United
Everton won a match for the first time in four attempts, moved up a place above Leicester for the time being and the media bandwagon that has, curiously, been defending a man booted out of the England job for alleged impropriety is again, patronisingly, asking what more Blues fans want.
From Thierry Henry and Rio Ferdinand to Shay Given and, now, Jim White, pundits have been begging the question with a note of incredulity that we should dare to want better than what we’re being served up.
It’s as if we should accept that because the Roberto Martinez and Ronald Koeman experiments didn’t work, plucky little Everton should sit back down with a pat on the head and accept our lot under a journeyman manager who hasn’t won a thing in the game and is never likely to.
We certainly shouldn’t demand what we’re starved of at the moment — entertainment, attacking football and a sense that the man at the helm has a plan for how to take this club forward rather than one that seems to start with avoiding defeat and doesn’t extend much further than the bare minimum required to grind out a win.
How dare Evertonians ask for winning with a little style or at least trying to now that all the pressure is off and there’s nothing much to play for beyond claiming eighth place?
But, of course, Sam Allardyce doesn’t do style. He never has done. It’s not in his DNA whereas it’s intrinsic to Everton’s, even if it has been left dormant for far too long. Just because our School of Science tradition has had to take a back seat for the last three decades before being briefly but gleefully revived in 2013-14 doesn’t mean we should stop aspiring to its return, particularly now that we have the financial means to bring it back for good. (It’s a good thing for their supporters that Tottenham and Daniel Levy didn’t take that attitude otherwise they’d be stuck in the cycle of mediocrity as we are.)
In the latest outburst of media condescension, the Premier League table since Allardyce was appointed has been wheeled out to support his record since he took over last November. Everton have the sixth best record in the top flight over the last 21 games, one earned by beating some of the teams below them but none of those above (there was no belief from the management that we could beat the top six sides and virtually no attempt to do so; you simply can’t progress or win a anything with that mindset), but are relegation candidates by myriad other metrics that will come as no surprise to anyone who has actually watched the Blues for any length of time this season. 19th for shots taken, 19th for shots on target, 19th for chances created, 19th for dribble attempts and sit 13th for a paltry average of 44% of possession in matches.
This game actually saw an uptick in home possession but that was down to Newcastle’s strategy, one based on sitting deep and trying to hit Everton on the counter-attack. Despite having won four on the bounce, Rafael Benitez’s approach wasn’t much more enterprising than that and, ultimately, it was a lack of quality in the final third that let the Magpies down.
Newcastle were poor overall in attack but nevertheless they threatened to open Everton up a couple of times without doing so. In the end, their best opening in the first half came via a deflected Jordan Pickford clearance that hit Kenedy and fell to Ayoze Perez who just needed to thread Islam Slimani in clear on goal.
And but for a terrific Seamus Coleman clearing header near his own goal line, the Magpies might have levelled in second-half stoppage time. That’s what happens when you only create enough to score one goal of your own — you run the risk of throwing away three points as the Toffees did last week at Swansea.
Everton, for the most part, were just tedious to watch and fashioned very little from their territorial dominance. Theo Walcott had an early drive into the box curtailed by a clutch of barcoded shirts and Cenk Tosun bobbled a shot wide as the winger appealed in vain for a penalty.
With the usual tactic of driving angled, cross-field balls forward and hoping to pick up the second ball seemingly the main offensive tool, there was very little interplay around the visitors box but one decent passing move created an opening for Yannick Bolasie after a quarter of an hour but he was quickly charged down.
The most promising chance for the Blues in the first half fell to Phil Jagielka when he came crashing in to meet a Michael Keane header but he couldn’t help but half-volley the ball high over the crossbar.
It was a switch of flanks by the two wide players, a rare tactical modification by Allardyce, that eventually paid dividends, however, with five minutes gone in the second period.
Bolasie swung a cross in from the right that bounced off Deandre Yedlin as he held off Tosun and fell to Walcott who expertly made space for a shot before firing the ball high into the goal.
Once again there was a platform from which Everton could express themselves a bit and push on but, in a microcosm of Allardyce’s tenure as a whole, they offered little more in that respect. Granted, their momentum was disrupted somewhat by the loss to injury of the improved Morgan Schneiderlin and the introduction of Tom Davies who has, unfortunately, lost his way a bit under the the current regime, but the Blues would not register another shot on target for the rest of the game.
Instead, it was Newcastle who came closer to scoring, first when their substitute Dwight Gayle swept a corner narrowly over the bar and then in the dying stages when a whipped cross from the Magpies’ right looked destined for the striped shirt arriving to convert at the back post but Coleman headed it away brilliantly.
So, in the final reckoning, a largely inconsequential and dull game was won that could just as easily been drawn thanks to the thin-ness of the cushion Everton built for themselves. Allardyce asked what was the wrong with his team’s style after the game but if you have to ask after just one shot on target in a match Everton controlled, well…
Reader Comments (65)
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1 Posted 24/04/2018 at 18:15:25
Time now for another fast forward. Unless Moshiri has blown all his cash in the last 12 months, we need someone who can actually use that money to make us into a decent football team. Bear in mind that we were already safe from relegation, playing a mediocre team at home who have themselves been starved of investment to an embarrasing degree, and not only barely had a shot, but were grimly holding on at the end.
I might just about have settled for that if we were the paupers of a few years ago but what is the point of spending if that's all there is?
2 Posted 24/04/2018 at 18:22:42
A real borefest of a game. One shot on target = one goal = 100% so that'll satisfy Sam the stat man!
They are gradually sucking the enthusiasm out of me and I'm at the stage where I don't look forward to the game, anymore.
Nevertheless, I'll be at Huddersfield, on Saturday, as one lives in hope!
3 Posted 24/04/2018 at 18:32:21
While there is no guarantee that he will be a success Silva is the logical choice. If he was good enough last autumn he is good enough now!
4 Posted 24/04/2018 at 18:35:45
5 Posted 24/04/2018 at 18:41:12
White certainly does a good job of stoking the fires and playing the incredulous onlooker. He's also, in my book, a complete tosser and someone who uses Moshiri's naivety to further his own, and his employers, gain.
Michael Gray was on today too and he's another tosser of the highest order after the shite he came out with.
6 Posted 24/04/2018 at 18:42:43
We, the fans, are fast becoming the only hope our club has of remembering that the phrase “We Are Evertonâ€ actually means something and that NSNO is more than just a Latin motto.
If we don't demand higher standards across the club, stylish play and behaviour on the pitch and some pride, passion and understanding of what it means to be a Blue, well nobody else is going to - that's for sure.
7 Posted 24/04/2018 at 18:46:13
Most of the last three years has been like this. Disjointed, slow forward play, punctuated by a bit of individual skill or an out of the blue move that got us a goal.
It is possible for Lardiola to fashion an argument that he's got us to 8th after taking over in November, therefore he would do better over a full season. after buying & selling players. Problem is that despite having time with players between games (which Unsworth didn't have), the attacking play hasn't improved.
A decent coach will get more out of these players.
8 Posted 24/04/2018 at 18:54:05
9 Posted 24/04/2018 at 18:54:25
10 Posted 24/04/2018 at 18:56:10
And I wanted to scream "How about THIS MATCH that you're supposed to be COMMENTATING?! That should give you a pretty crystal clear picture of why the fans are unimpressed."
11 Posted 24/04/2018 at 19:01:10
Do you not think it likely that White is party to a decision to retain Allardyce and is therefore attempting to assuage Evertonians' anger for his pal Moshiri?
I think we are being softened up to accept the inevitable.
12 Posted 24/04/2018 at 19:02:14
Winning the league or a cup is an achievement. Moving us up from 13th to 8th is not, in my mind an actual achievement, more an improved league position, nothing more, nothing less.
But we are supposed to bow and scrape to the man who has won nothing throughout his career. Is that supposed to be the height of our ambition?
Looks like Allardyce and his PR team have done a great job in bigging him up to the media. Even Sky Sports are saying we should be grateful for all he's done for us, ffs.
Stomach churning stuff.
13 Posted 24/04/2018 at 19:02:24
14 Posted 24/04/2018 at 19:02:59
15 Posted 24/04/2018 at 19:09:51
16 Posted 24/04/2018 at 19:36:49
However, and tin hat is being firmly applied here.
Big Fat Sam will say he was brought in to avoid relegation and has succeeded. He has.
He will also say that he is the sixth best manager in the division since he took over at the club. He is.
He may also say that he had to clean up a mess very quickly to start getting the points he had got so was starting from a much worse position than the five managers who have got more points than him- and he did.
He may also say that with a transfer window, full pre-season all it would take would be potentially two more wins and we could qualify for Europe next season!!
This is the worry and the quandary. On paper, he's fulfilled his brief. So outsiders don't get why we are so underwhelmed. The worry is the board believe the (self) hype and give him a full season (although it appears Moshiris mind is made up)
I just pray we don't have a doomsday scenario next season we're we are sat round saying â€˜we finished 8th with BFS last season and sacked him-look at us now!'
The next appointment together with the appointment of a CEO and DOF are amongst the biggest decisions the cub will make and we simply can't get it wrong.
If he big question is â€˜who?'
The guy that got sacked from Watford and relegated hull or the guy that's never managed in a competitive league. Amazed that Dyche isn't being mentioned more.
17 Posted 24/04/2018 at 19:42:08
They also highlighted Allardyce career record of 34% win ratio v Wengers 54% win ratio.
18 Posted 24/04/2018 at 19:52:38
Apologies for the public message but I tried emailing you about this a couple of weeks ago. Can you (and anyone else experiencing issues) let me know what the issue is with editing posts -- lack of edit button entirely, error message, etc.
19 Posted 24/04/2018 at 19:56:44
You might even think, he deserves a chance to buy a few players to see if he can improve the attacking play. Or maybe you think Newcastle should sack Benitez?
We've never made it to the Champions League proper and finished the previous three seasons 7th, 11th and 11th. As if 8th is that bad, all things considered...
20 Posted 24/04/2018 at 19:58:12
Personally, the sooner this man leaves our club, the better; we seem to have lost our identity.
Let me enlarge a little. On last Boxing Day I took my 9-year-old boy to his first away game at West Brom and, bear in mind, they hadn't won for over 20 games; it took Everton until the 87th minute to register a shot on target â€“ they were awful and ourselves even worse.
This is how it's been since â€“ no real pattern of play, no development of our younger players, and there never will be with this buffoon and his entourage. The derby against a severely weakend side... Did we give it a go? Did we fuck!!! No yellow cards in a derby... says it all.
This man is all about himself; how he can actually claim credit for the win over West Ham is beyond me. He publically blames individual players â€“ who else does that?
He thinks we are knobheads who don't understand the game. The shite he spouted after beating a poor Newcastle side was drivel. It's all about him. Would we really give this man a summer to buy and build a new team? I for one wouldn't give him a penny!!!
Sack him now; let Unsworth do the 3 final games. Get the new man here for the last game as, immediately after, most of the squad will be away on World Cup duty, Under-21 internationals etc and back too late. Let the new manager address them prior to going away.
I've had enough of this shite and you have to finally say that, when we were crap (ie, Dogs of War), we had more character and bottle than this squad.
21 Posted 24/04/2018 at 20:08:28
22 Posted 24/04/2018 at 20:37:12
He will raise hell if dismissed â€“ possibly as leverage for the next job â€“ and be driven out next season if not.
23 Posted 24/04/2018 at 20:49:15
24 Posted 24/04/2018 at 20:52:03
26 Posted 24/04/2018 at 20:59:57
No disrespect but we will sit here and try to hype up relatively mediocre players like Calvert-Lewin, Tosun etc but none are the talismanic beasts we really need.
The closest we came to a goalscoring machine was Lukaku who had scored 48 league goals in his last two seasons.
Now he's gone you tend to notice the gaping hole and the poverty and paucity of our striking options, it just highlights things when you look at the likes of Salah etc
27 Posted 24/04/2018 at 21:15:28
28 Posted 24/04/2018 at 21:35:27
We have players, too many to mention, who are nowhere near Premier League level and senior players who are past their sell-by date. Summer recruitment is more than a must, and I wouldn't be surprised if that is what Moshiri has called Sam to London for, as some reports suggest.
No matter how many banners are flown, no matter how much we supporters criticise, I have a gnawing feeling that Sam will be the Everton Manager next season.
29 Posted 24/04/2018 at 21:36:08
It Highlights the inadequacy of the club's planning/recruitment of players that we've wasted a fortune on players that nobody else seemed to want (don't recall any “EFC to battle it out with xxxx for Bolasie's signatureâ€ stories).
Meanwhile, teams like Seville assemble a quality squad for a few books of Green Shield Stamps â€“ and as you say, Liverpool haven't done too badly either. Makes you want to weep doesn't it.
30 Posted 24/04/2018 at 21:50:05
31 Posted 24/04/2018 at 21:51:21
If anyone sees Glenn Hoddle please ask him.
32 Posted 24/04/2018 at 22:10:29
Unless there are real big plans, get used to this.
It is the inevitable outcome of the whole Premer League / Champions League setup.
33 Posted 24/04/2018 at 22:24:13
34 Posted 24/04/2018 at 22:50:46
We are not part of the Premier league elite in the eyes of the media, who believe football only started with the Premier League on Sky. We should be grateful for the 'genius' leading us to a tremendous victory over a team like Newcastle, who had a good run recently. As Lyndon writes, were it not for a remarkable clearing header by Seamus Coleman, it was just another 'crucial' point, a header that had og written all over it.
Lyndon, submitted the above post and adding this postcript to let you know the EDIT function is working for me using Mozilla Firefox on Windows 10.
35 Posted 24/04/2018 at 23:11:06
I've stopped criticising Kenwright as the buck stops with Moshiri now for me. Circa 𧷤M spent and gone backwards with a string of sacking. He's just a richer fraud in my eyes.
Apparently the media think we should be grateful to Sam for saving us, but 8th position on 45 points with three games left just highlights the complete lack of quality in the Premier League outside of the usual suspects.
36 Posted 25/04/2018 at 02:05:05
It would be good to see 9 points from the last 3 games, which is doable! Should mean we finish 8th. 54 points would be massive compared to what most of us thought possible before Big and small Sams appointments. So, what would this mean ref retention or departing of the Sams? That is the question!!!
37 Posted 25/04/2018 at 06:03:29
38 Posted 25/04/2018 at 08:05:26
Everton are looking at the South American transfer market for potential summer signings. Director of Football Steve Walsh made a pledge to expand the Blues' scouting network in the area and the club are actively scouring the continent for new players.
Everton have only struck a handful of deals with South American clubs in recent years with Ramiro Funes Mori's ٧.5m move from River Plate in 2015 the most high profile. But Walsh, together with manager Sam Allardyce, are looking to explore those leagues more closely in a bid to find bargains for a revamp of the playing squad.
Please tell me this is not true!
39 Posted 25/04/2018 at 12:13:08
The manager of that club has had a very successful club career at the top level, has won things. He has some credit in the bank.
41 Posted 25/04/2018 at 16:13:58
42 Posted 25/04/2018 at 19:15:27
We will not be put in a corner and told to be a nice mid-table club. Fuck that for a game of soldiers.
We keep on fighting with every resource possible until we are perennial top 4 challengers. Anything less is totally unacceptable for Everton FC.
The media's talking heads better get used to it. We will never lie down and never accept mediocrity.
43 Posted 26/04/2018 at 12:53:42
Goodison was devoid of atmosphere. I travel from Spain, whree I work, as often as I can to watch the club I love with a passion, that somehow, still burns bright.
Then on Tuesday night, I sat on my sofa and watched the Redshite sprint, battle, pass, dribble, run at the defence and ultimately score 5 great goals. Anfield rocked and roared at this exciting, scintillating game of football. And Allardyce and pundits you speak of, have to ask â€“ 'What more do Everton fans want?'
I want to roar and be on the edge of my seat to watch Walcott or Vlasic with their pace, ripping defences apart. I want to see Rooney, back in form (form is temporary class is permanent), spraying balls around to players in Blue shirts. I want to leave Goodison after a game, with no voice left, as I have so many times in previous seasons.
Instead I sat in virtual silence throughout the game, looking at our players who looked lost, devoid of attacking ideas and even frightened to pass a ball forward. That is not going to change while Allardyce is here.
I really don't care if we win nothing initially. I want to feel the rush as we attack without fear. That's not a lot to ask really, is it?
So I don't know how to convey this to people who have a media voice, but at least I can share it with like-minded fans, who really should have a say, even if it is in a Survey !!
44 Posted 26/04/2018 at 15:42:53
45 Posted 26/04/2018 at 16:09:16
I read your post and it actually brought a lump to my throat because it's such a sad, but honest, post. Summed up exactly how I felt/feel.
47 Posted 26/04/2018 at 16:20:22
Brilliantly summed up what I bet thousands of Evertonians think and wish for/dream of!
48 Posted 26/04/2018 at 16:27:01
So glad to know I'm not alone in what I wish for our Blueboys. Let's keep the faith. COYB!!
49 Posted 26/04/2018 at 16:57:44
This season has ripped the hearts out of Evertonians, there is no joy left. Nothing to play for and negative football are the order of the day.
As you point out the contrast is there for all to see in the 2 games on Monday and Tuesday.
A lot needs to change. First and foremost getting a manager in that we can believe in and the players can relate and give 100% to. Like the way Man City players have played their hearts out for Pep this season.
The whole club needs a breath of fresh air after this season. The fans need it.
Nothing will change with Sam Allardyce. I am counting down the weeks until the season ends and he has gone.
50 Posted 26/04/2018 at 17:02:39
Karen, I think you will also be disappointed if you ever think you will see the real and brilliant Wayne Rooney ever again, class is never permanent when age takes you by the arm. Remember the way Wayne was, outstanding and exceptional, sadly just fleetingly for us. Now it hurts me to see him perform, just a shadow of the player he once was.
51 Posted 26/04/2018 at 17:14:37
Someone send that post to Moshri.
54 Posted 26/04/2018 at 17:49:06
I have long pointed out my utter disgust at the political, commercial and social bias towards the Redshite, and that will not change. In fact it has got worse and will continue to do so. But what I can't do is bury my head in the sand like a bloody ostrich while Everton spiral downwards completely out of the footy picture.
Change has to come from the top. I am clinging to the logical faith that billionaire Moshiri is nobody's fool and that behind the scenes he is organizing a clear out which includes Kenwright. If Allardyce stays next season I really don't know how I will feel about the Club anymore; after 60 frigging years as a supporter.
Ultimately winning is important but not as important as how you play the game. That sounds like a high moral stance but for me that is exactly where Allardyce gets it wrong, and the media are loving him for it; I suspect because it is plucky little old Everton he is dismantling before our very eyes, piece by piece, player by player, and there is fuck all we can do about it other than protest collectively, or stay away collectively, and there isn't enough unity for that.
55 Posted 26/04/2018 at 18:43:55
After many years of should Wenger stay or go this seems to have forced the board's hand - despite them being in a semi-final.
56 Posted 26/04/2018 at 19:16:51
Koeman, was the one who started dismantling plucky little Everton, piece by piece, only Barnes was in the starting eleven, from the squad Ronald had inherited only 12 months earlier on the opening day against Stoke.
Allardyce is not what we need, but the football we are witnessing started at the beginning of this season. No craft coming from the midfield, the long diagonal still seems to be the preferred ball, and although we now have a centre-forward, he's mostly still in isolation
57 Posted 26/04/2018 at 19:32:01
58 Posted 26/04/2018 at 19:32:24
You don't know your i's from your r's, or something like that!!!!
59 Posted 26/04/2018 at 19:57:38
60 Posted 26/04/2018 at 19:59:37
If Allardyce is still in-charge for the Southampton game, then judging by the feelings of most Evertonians, then actions should be better than words.
Alls it will take is a pair of scissors, instead of the razor blades, that most of us feel like using after we watch us play anyway.
61 Posted 26/04/2018 at 20:21:38
Loads of them will be claiming a ticket for the Champions League Final (if they get there) because they never miss a game on the telly, silly bastards even wear a red football shirt when they go to the pub to watch it.
62 Posted 26/04/2018 at 20:42:35
Allardyce has got friends in the media, even though the media got rid of him, because he would have took England back twenty years, but none of them would be able to defend him, if Goodison was to be empty for Everton's final league game.
Forget about them Dave, I'm watching Arsenal now, and if I could see Everton pass the ball like them every week, then I'd definitely take yesterday's man for a few years.
63 Posted 26/04/2018 at 21:53:33
Mind you, I know your heart is broken by that Joseph, what a son he has turned out to be, four years of age and winding you up when Liverpool are winning, he's definitely on bread and water when he comes here, while Ava, an Angel of a Toffee, will be getting cakes, sweets, biscuits, lemonade and ٣ notes â€“ see how Joseph likes that!
On second thoughts I'm leaving the ٣ notes out; sometimes you've got to be cruel to be kind.
64 Posted 26/04/2018 at 21:58:20
65 Posted 27/04/2018 at 09:42:30
66 Posted 27/04/2018 at 14:26:04
I know these posts are and should be just about the topic of our style of play â€“ or lack if it â€“ but I just wanted to come back to you about Rooney.
He has been one of the most naturally gifted players I've seen ever. At his best, he could do everything. Dribble, pass, tackle, defend, attack, had vision & football intelligence few players can rival.
While age may mean that his speed is not what it was, all of his other attributes remain. Those are things not lost to age. I believe a decent manager will bring out the best in him again. Even if he is only 75% of what he was, he will still be a great player. His passion for his club is worth another 10%.
I know he is playing poorly at the moment, but I believe right now, like us, he is frustrated with the Manager. With the right Manager & system, I believe that you will see Rooney make a huge contribution on the pitch. 100% of what he was in his 20s would be an unrealistic expectation from even me (the eternal optimist), but I'd still have him on my team sheet at 75% of what he was.
67 Posted 27/04/2018 at 15:22:38
I, like yourself, think better days will come to Everton and all of us who carry on supporting them through thick and thin, and most of all those brilliant away fans â€“ they really are the heart and soul of this club.
68 Posted 28/04/2018 at 10:27:43
Indeed Dave. Our away fans and season ticket holders are the soul of this club. I hope that they are not ignored by Moshiri.
Let's hope for all Evertonians I am right about Rooney :-)
I don't think we should banish or castigate him until he has had a chance to play with a decent Manager at the helm. Let's be honest, none of our team are playing well, and it is hard to play well on your own in a team game. The passion and rush I felt when he scored his first goal in a Blue shirt was overwhelming. You could see what it meant to him too. So let's give the lad a chance to see what he can do to regain his form under a better coach/Manager and system. It would be a fairy tale, but we all love a happy ending, hey ?
Like you, I'll keep the faith for better football to return to the green green grass of Goodison :-) Allardyce out !
69 Posted 28/04/2018 at 10:37:33
Didn't a decent manager offload him to us, at 32 he should still have a lot to offer but his lifestyle has caught up with him. We should get rid of him if anyone else would want him which I very much doubt
70 Posted 28/04/2018 at 17:43:59
Wayne Rooney world class player 10 years ago, good premiership player 5 years, now past it and an embarrassment. I even seen some posts comparing him to Pirlo! FFS - He is finished, too slow and a liability.
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