Calvert-Lewin seals tie for uninspired Blues

Thursday 3 August 2017  262 Comments  [Jump to last]

Dominic Calvert-Lewin stepped off the bench to score the only goal of another tedious contest as Everton booked their expected place in the Europa League playoff round.

The 20-year-old striker came on for full debutant Sandro with 20 minutes to go and when he was set away into space behind the Ružomberok defence, he made no mistake with an accomplished finish past the stranded goalkeeper.

It was a moment of rare incisiveness from the Toffees who again toiled against the well-drilled Slovakian side despite having a further week of pre-season under their belts.

Ronald Koeman started Sandro for the first time in a forward role alongside Wayne Rooney and deployed Tom Davies in a wing-back role to the right of a three-man central defence but the team was generally devoid of pace, urgency and imagination.

As was the case in the first leg, the Blues had the bulk of the possession in the early going but struggled to make inroads into Ružomberok's defence despite Sandro's willing running.

It was the home side who had the first half chance when Kruzliak popped up with a free header after five minutes but could only plant a header well over the bar.

Five minutes later, Eric Daniel crossed low with Hazkic lurking but Pickford was on hand to block the ball before it could reach him.

For Everton, Rooney tried an ambitious chip that cleared the crossbar and Michael Keane drove an attempted shot following a corner well wide after Sandro had delayed his shot and seen an effort deflected behind.

The Spaniard then had a chance from a similar position but fired over from a tight angle before half time.

The Slovakians began the second period briefly on the front foot and Daniel drifted a speculative effort over the bar while at the other end, Sandro sliced wide after space momentarily opened up in front of him.

It was Daniel who went the closest so far of either team when he curled a deep cross towards the back post that may have grazed the woodwork on its way tio the far side.

Sandro was the one sacrificed when Koeman decided to make a change with a little over 20 minutes left, making way for Calvert-Lewin as Everton continued to toil against Ružomberok's disciplined rearguard.

And it was the youngster who made the difference to a dreadful game, latching onto Klaassen's first-time pass to slow coolly past the goalkeeper and potentially seal the tie 10 minutes from time.

Kick-off: 7:45pm BST, Thursday 3rd August, 2017
Everton: Pickford, A. Williams, Keane, Jagielka, Baines, Schneiderlin, Gueye, Klaassen, Davies, Rooney, Sandro

Subs: Stekelenburg, Martina, Barry, Holgate, Lookman, Mirallas, Calvert-Lewin


Reader Comments (262)

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Jay Harris
1 Posted 03/08/2017 at 18:57:16
Looking for good interplay between the midfielders leading to a few goals.

Not many will have predicted that line-up but let's go and win the game.

Will Mabon
2 Posted 03/08/2017 at 18:57:47
Cuco... Cuco... where are you?
Will Mabon
3 Posted 03/08/2017 at 18:59:40
Jay - true. Except for perhaps the two holding.
David K Shaw
4 Posted 03/08/2017 at 19:01:06
Close to full strength this time COYB
Brent Stephens
5 Posted 03/08/2017 at 19:05:56
Well, defence is a surprise.
Lev Vellene
6 Posted 03/08/2017 at 19:07:26
Well, Jags couldn't really be played as a right-back, so this must be a three-back line, with Schneiderlin as the right-back? Or Davies at right-back?


Ciarán McGlone
7 Posted 03/08/2017 at 19:10:42
A 5-man back line and two defensive midfielders against a pub team.
Dave Williams
8 Posted 03/08/2017 at 19:13:51
Ciaran – the objective is not to lose.
Bill Gienapp
9 Posted 03/08/2017 at 19:14:57
To be fair though, what firepower are we leaving on the bench? Lookman's the only one I'd really like to see out there.
Lev Vellene
10 Posted 03/08/2017 at 19:16:36
Pragmatism! Why does that seem familiar???

Still, it gives us a choice to switch things around! And never underestimate the abilities of any teams that are playing for their own honour/glory vs a Premier League team!

If we don't have a proper fight with them, I'll be very happily surprised!

Dave Ganley
11 Posted 03/08/2017 at 19:16:45
Ah Ciaran it's always good to read your comments to keep the spirits. up
Jay Harris
12 Posted 03/08/2017 at 19:16:57
Or arguably a 3-man backline and 4 offensive midfield players Ciaran depending on whether you like the manager or not.
Ciarán McGlone
13 Posted 03/08/2017 at 19:18:21
I suppose, let's see how they perform. I expect a lot of movement when we have the ball and when we don't have the ball.
Thomas Surgenor
14 Posted 03/08/2017 at 19:18:38
So who got on the plane and missed out on the match day squad?

From the pics of training I only notice Lennon. Did McCarthy, Besic or Robles travel?

Just curious of our "strength in depth" for the forth coming season.

Keith Slinger
15 Posted 03/08/2017 at 19:19:23
I would have player Lennon in the right wing role to add some pace down the right flank; however, Davies will do a good job.
Will Mabon
16 Posted 03/08/2017 at 19:23:49
It's gonna be ball on the floor and high possession as the plan, which we saw some of in the home game, 80% possession at one point. They could struggle to get the ball from us if we're on it. Defence needs to stay calm.

Just a question of how "Safe" Koeman wants to play it, as to whether we try to run through them much up front.

David Pearl
18 Posted 03/08/2017 at 19:27:11
It's not 5 at the back it's 3. That's the team l'd of gone for. Thankfully Ron read my text.

Davies is our best option on the right by a mile.

Alex Jones
19 Posted 03/08/2017 at 19:31:55
I really don't see that side as an improvement on last season's at all.

Schneiderlin and Gana don't play together, why do they keep getting picked? It's McCarthy and Barry all over again.

Still, we should win and hopefully before the actual season starts we'll sign a proper striker and add some pace and creativity to that insipid midfield.

Ciarán McGlone
20 Posted 03/08/2017 at 19:37:05
It's 3 centre halves and two-wing backs. That's a five-man defence. It may be malleable depending on possession but it's a five-man defence whatever way you slice it... Finished off with two defensive midfielders.
Steve Ferns
21 Posted 03/08/2017 at 19:38:49
Five at the back with two holding midfielders. That's seven defensive players for me. Can't be more defensive than that.
Brian Williams
23 Posted 03/08/2017 at 19:43:30
No, it's three at the back, Steve.
Steve Ferns
24 Posted 03/08/2017 at 19:44:46
Three centre backs and two full backs is five. If it was midfielders, we would see Lennon and Mirallas.
Dean Cooper
26 Posted 03/08/2017 at 19:46:06
Whether you call it three at the back, or five at the back, it's a system set up for counter-attacking football. And that is exactly how we should be playing when we hold a 1-0 lead.

Very happy with this lineup if I'm honest. Let's hope it gets the job done!


Steve Ferns
27 Posted 03/08/2017 at 19:48:09
Seven defensive players, one midfielder and two forwards against a Slovakian pub side. Yeah. Very positive.
James Flynn
28 Posted 03/08/2017 at 19:49:46
Let's just get the first goal and force them to attack.
Steve Ferns
29 Posted 03/08/2017 at 19:56:30
All the passing is coming from defensive players who are our less competent players on the ball. We are having more possession. We are not playing counter-attacking football.

He's set the team up wrong. He needs less defensive players on the pitch so we can actually pass the ball better and faster.

Alan McGuffog
32 Posted 03/08/2017 at 20:13:05
25 minutes gone and we haven't been in their penalty area. This is abysmal!
Neil Cremin
33 Posted 03/08/2017 at 20:16:03
Two comments:

1. After spending £100m, I do not see any improvement from last season.

2. Is Klaassen playing?

Steve Ferns
34 Posted 03/08/2017 at 20:16:27
What do you expect with seven defensive players on the pitch? Where's the insightful passes going to come from?
Steve Ferns
35 Posted 03/08/2017 at 20:18:28
Now Rooney is dropping deep and we've two players near their box and we are on the attack.
Andy Crooks
36 Posted 03/08/2017 at 20:18:28
Negative selection. We set up with fear.
Neil Cremin
37 Posted 03/08/2017 at 20:20:06
Gana having a mare. Bring back McCarthy.
Steve Ferns
38 Posted 03/08/2017 at 20:22:26
What's the point in Gueye and Schneiderlin? They're stood around with the three centre backs marking three players.

We need to take at least two men out of defence and put them 20 yards further up the pitch.

Neil Cremin
39 Posted 03/08/2017 at 20:23:36
Look at the positive: The energy level of there players is brilliant. Maybe we could get somebody on the cheap to add a bit of pace to our team.
Ciarán McGlone
40 Posted 03/08/2017 at 20:28:50
All very predictable. Players played out of position and playing a formation we don't have the personnel for. Backwards and sidewards passes with little link-up play with the front 3. And why is Sandro taking corners? Knock that on the head right now.

Turgid and dull.

George Cumiskey
41 Posted 03/08/2017 at 20:29:42
Didn't think we could play any worse than last week but we have managed it. They are showing us how to play the pressing game!
Alan McGuffog
43 Posted 03/08/2017 at 20:31:07
All set up to burst into the top six.
Andy Meighan
44 Posted 03/08/2017 at 20:32:28
What a negative line-up. Hence the negative performance. Have we actually created a chance?

What is this man's obsession with 2 defensive midfielders? Can the 2nd half be any worse?

Only plus point: 80p a pint for the lads and lasses who have gone. Nothing finer.

Rick Pattinson
45 Posted 03/08/2017 at 20:32:49
Why exactly did we buy Klaassen????
Steve Ferns
46 Posted 03/08/2017 at 20:33:43
Klaassen is a class player. But the formation and the slow build up is not his game. He'll be a different player with Sigurdsson.
Neil Cremin
47 Posted 03/08/2017 at 20:34:25
There is a sense of déjà vu about this match.

Has nothing changed?

Steve Ferns
48 Posted 03/08/2017 at 20:35:36
Without Lukaku and Barkley, we are a much worse side. But we can only really judge them once Sigurdsson arrives. He's put all his eggs in that basket. So can't judge them without his star man.
Barry Pearce
49 Posted 03/08/2017 at 20:36:28
So far... shocking. Klaassen not in the game. Really hoping this isn't the norm.
Jeff Armstrong
50 Posted 03/08/2017 at 20:38:04
Let's be honest we are shit. We've spent million and millions and are still awful. Maybe another £50 million spend on the pace of Sigurdsson will improve us... ahem!
Ian Lloyd
51 Posted 03/08/2017 at 20:41:11
This is hopeless – surely the slowest team in the Premier League? Worrying indeed – l can't see where any goals will be coming from all season!
Tony Abrahams
52 Posted 03/08/2017 at 20:42:51
Agree with Ste Fearns, the problem is coming from the middle of the park. Not exactly a problem, but nowhere near enough penetration.

Talking to my lad who has scaled a fence and climbed up some drainpipe to get a decent spek (well done kid) and he's saying it's roasting hot, a bit like my ears having to listen to Andy Townsend.

Players slipping everywhere and he's saying "I don't think the pitch is that slow?" It's a lot fuckin quicker than Everton at the minute, Andy, but maybe now Sandro can change his boots and score?

Chris Williams
53 Posted 03/08/2017 at 20:45:10
Still laboured and ponderous and lacking in pace. Generally speaking, though, in control against a West Brom lookalike team who seem to rely on set pieces. Sandro looks raw and has copped a bit of clatter but come back.

Everton need to hold firm for first ten minutes and we need a goal and then hit them on the break. All the pace seems to be on the bench.

Everton can get better, but currently lack cohesion like last week. Do a job and be in the hat. Could do without extra time.

George Cumiskey
54 Posted 03/08/2017 at 20:46:22
Buying Siggy and Giroud isn't going to add any pace to the team, I'm afraid. Koeman should be looking to add out-and-out pace to the team.
Anish Dosani
55 Posted 03/08/2017 at 20:47:44
We really need someone to pick the ball up in the last third and run at them rather than pass it in. This will open things up and give other players room. Barkley anyone???
George Cumiskey
56 Posted 03/08/2017 at 20:48:41
Is Lookman on the bench ?.
Neil Cremin
57 Posted 03/08/2017 at 20:55:01
Again Gana having a mare. We need a creative midfielder whether Sigurdsson is the answer worries me that we are so dependent on one player.

Why do we always seem to pass the ball behind a player?

Neil Cremin
58 Posted 03/08/2017 at 20:56:59
These guys are making us look very ordinary... Which we are at the moment.

I'm afraid...

David Pearl
59 Posted 03/08/2017 at 20:57:26
Zzzzzzz... Individual good players.. together?? It doesn't matter what formation we play if we have no urgency or a creative spark, Plus no target man. Not that it should matter considering our opposition.

I'm also still seeing 3 at the back. What style is this we playing? Bring back Martinez!!

George Cumiskey
60 Posted 03/08/2017 at 20:58:19
Gana having a mare? They are all having one!
Ian Lloyd
61 Posted 03/08/2017 at 21:02:59
It's ok saying let's not be negative etc etc but what I'm watching here is as bad as I've seen in a long time and all my optimism with the "great" signings we've made has gone already!

Man City and Chelsea must be quaking in their boots!
Alan McGuffog
62 Posted 03/08/2017 at 21:04:38
What colour is the pub team playing in?
George Cumiskey
63 Posted 03/08/2017 at 21:05:45
There's no getting away from it – these are the better team. Their manager can show Koeman how to play the pressing game.
Charles Barrow
64 Posted 03/08/2017 at 21:09:39
Difference between Martinez and Koeman? Koeman is paid more!
Damian Nolan
65 Posted 03/08/2017 at 21:11:26
Very poor. No pace or guile. Williams should be selected for the Bradley Lowery charity match and that is it. Keane is ponderous on the pass. Is Sigurdsson so good that he will solve all these problems?
Daniel Lawrence
66 Posted 03/08/2017 at 21:13:07
Martinez was great in Europe though. Wolfsburg home and away particularly.

No pace, no width, no creativity, no goalscorers. £100m and counting.

Dave Bowen
67 Posted 03/08/2017 at 21:16:25
Does Koeman not want to go through? Crying out for pace up front & he brings on Calvert-Lewin. What about Lookman?
Neil Cremin
68 Posted 03/08/2017 at 21:18:03
Calvert-Lewin certainly has injected pace into the side.

Bring on Mirallas and Lookman for Rooney and Klaassen.

Martin Mason
69 Posted 03/08/2017 at 21:18:45
I believe that the nightmare is continuing and will continue.
Steve Ferns
70 Posted 03/08/2017 at 21:19:06
Calvert-Lewin has done well so far, Dave. And he has added pace. Of course they are trying to push further up, they are tired and there is more in behind, but he's taking advantage.
Michael Burke
71 Posted 03/08/2017 at 21:22:03
Schneiderlin and Gueye have to offer more going forward if they are to play together. Klaassen needs better service from them.

I hope I'm wrong but Sandro does not fill me with confidence. Headless chicken running about and a very poor shot on him today.

Rooney had some nice touches and Davies is the real deal. Did anyone else think Pickford looked a little bit fat?

Neil Cremin
72 Posted 03/08/2017 at 21:22:37
Calvert-Lewin – well done!
Paul Doyle
73 Posted 03/08/2017 at 21:23:00
Sandro hauled off, lots of running around and falling over, a sort of tattooed Dennis Stracqualursi with less hair; Klaassen looks like someone in health and safety, how old is he?

Has Ronnie been reading the Moyes manual on attractive football over the summer?

By the shape of him on the touch line, he looks like he has had too much mayonnaise on his Cheeps

Get in!! All forgiven!!

Neil Cremin
74 Posted 03/08/2017 at 21:23:13
Barry coming on ????
Steve Ferns
75 Posted 03/08/2017 at 21:23:27
Very well taken goal!
Dave Bowen
76 Posted 03/08/2017 at 21:24:03
Well I take that back. Who needs pace? Get in Dom!
Chris Williams
77 Posted 03/08/2017 at 21:25:14
That hopefully should be that.

All about the result. Job done

Steve Ferns
78 Posted 03/08/2017 at 21:27:09
Michael Burke:

"Schneiderlin and Gueye, have to offer more going forward if they are to play together."

I'm afraid they've done exactly what the manager wanted. They're playing five / ten yards in front of three centre halves. Watch the highlights and pause it at any stage and see how many of their attackers are being marked by these central five defensive players.

It's the set up of the team that is the problem here. We've too many defensive players playing.

But clearly he wanted a defensive win with a clean sheet.

Michael Burke
79 Posted 03/08/2017 at 21:28:33
Steve, they can still pass the ball forwards, instead of sideways or back!
Martin Mason
80 Posted 03/08/2017 at 21:29:17
Correct Steve, a totally negative set-up.
Steve Ferns
81 Posted 03/08/2017 at 21:30:20
Michael, there's no one ahead of them to pass to.
Steve Ferns
82 Posted 03/08/2017 at 21:31:38
I'm glad it's 80p a pint there. I'd want to ensure I couldn't remember the game if I was there!
James Fletcher
83 Posted 03/08/2017 at 21:33:25
Everton playing like they've been told "Whatever you do, don't cross or shoot!"
Steve Ferns
84 Posted 03/08/2017 at 21:34:12
And "don't pass forward or get forward – you might lose your defensive shape"!
Steve Ferns
85 Posted 03/08/2017 at 21:35:07
Erik Dols – what is Dutch for keep it tight and pinch one?
Chris Williams
87 Posted 03/08/2017 at 21:37:28
We were not very good.

We won both legs.

We didn't concede

In the next round

Job done.

Peter Hughes
88 Posted 03/08/2017 at 21:38:50
Atrocious display! Very worrying...
George Cumiskey
89 Posted 03/08/2017 at 21:40:08
You have got to admire these, they outplayed and outfought us but just couldn't score. We had one breakaway and scored; never looked like scoring besides that.

And I think Baines is going to have a torrid time in the league this season. He's definitely finished as a top Premier League player.

John G Davies
90 Posted 03/08/2017 at 21:40:17
Job done. Onwards and upwards.

Professional performance. Clean sheet the first requirement. Young Dom's goal a bonus.

And a week closer to full fitness.

Tony Hill
91 Posted 03/08/2017 at 21:41:55
We can all see the problems but I am just hugely relieved we're through. I am also very pleased that we have made two excellent signings in Keane and Pickford who I can see as our foundation for another 10 years.

Mark Morrissey
93 Posted 03/08/2017 at 21:42:37
Get Gylfi in. All the people saying we have to many midfielder ? Jesus H Christ. SOS Sigurdsson. Early days and all that but our midfield were so inept.
Chris Leyland
94 Posted 03/08/2017 at 21:43:15
Ron's revolution is rolling on. Two competitive games played since the new signings came in and a 100% record with no goals conceded. Now, if we keep this up, we will win the league with a record 114 points and a goal difference of +38
Lev Vellene
95 Posted 03/08/2017 at 21:43:40
This is horrible! We played an away leg, with an astronomical 1-0 lead from the first leg! How on earth could we not go all out to score lots more goals that wouldn't really mean anything??? Instead, we just do what is needed to progress to the next round? This beats me...

Koeman Out!

Ciarán McGlone
96 Posted 03/08/2017 at 21:46:41
Roll on Stoke. We'll hammer 'em 10-0, I reckon.
Kevin Tully
98 Posted 03/08/2017 at 21:50:46
All credit to the opposition, ran around & tackled for 180 mins like their lives depended upon it. If you've ever witnessed an FA Cup tie against a 3rd division side (League One as its now known) then this was Lincoln Town in a nutshell.

You can't possibly take anything away from this as regards to the upcoming season, as these games are always a one off. No doubt their players were all dreaming of the relative lottery win of a Premier League contract, and played out of their skins.

Sit back, relax, and let's wait for everyone to prove they are worth the millions the club are paying them. If they don't perform accordingly, they will be replaced. That includes the manager.

Kim Vivian
99 Posted 03/08/2017 at 21:50:46
What happens now in this bloody competition?
George Cumiskey
100 Posted 03/08/2017 at 21:51:34
Let's hope Stoke are yards off the pace, don't pass forward and don't have a shot at goal like us. Should make for a great game! .
Colin Glassar
101 Posted 03/08/2017 at 21:52:20
That was bloody awful but job done.
Trevor Powell
102 Posted 03/08/2017 at 21:52:40
Those of us who remember the great eighties team may cast their minds back to a 1-0 aggregate win over the students from Dublin University in the old Cup Winners Cup. They went on to win the League, Cup--Winners Cup and lose an FA Cup Final.

Let's have a bit of perspective all round!

Will Mabon
103 Posted 03/08/2017 at 21:55:22
Lev, the result is there for sure, but the performance was not encouraging. We didn't look like a top team playing within ourselves, we looked like a slightly better team than the opposition.

Keane and Pickford stood out – which illustrates that being early in the season, new in the team and with intermediate fitness is not an excuse for poor performance.

These two look the part, Rooney partly so. Sandro and Klaassen have shown nothing so far.

And I have to say – Klaassen in, Barkley out? In what football universe? I'll have to be proved very wrong before I see what Klaassen is all about... and that's already.

Clive Rogers
104 Posted 03/08/2017 at 21:55:26
Still work to be done and players needed. Rooney very poor. Gueye our best player. Schneiderlin was very sluggish for some reason. Keane, and Davies impressive.

Klaassen very good quick passing but needs to do more round the box. Sigurdsson can't be signed soon enough. After that, a line leader is priority.

George Cumiskey
106 Posted 03/08/2017 at 21:57:20
Why do people always have to look to the past, just comment on what you have seen tonight. As if something that happened over 30 years ago has any relevance!
Lev Vellene
107 Posted 03/08/2017 at 21:58:24
Two competitive games as part of the pre-season! And we actually won both! I don't worry too much about the leaden asses at this stage!

One more pre-season game, and then we can find something worthwhile to moan about if we're still not fit for the Premier League!

Dave Abrahams
108 Posted 03/08/2017 at 21:59:04
Tony (52), only good thing about game and the night was Sonny getting in.

Good result, terrible performance, Davies MotM, what energy and movement the lad has got, could have done with him in midfield instead of Schneiderlin who looked drained from the start, along with a few others.

We will get better... for the simple reason we just cannot get any worse.

Colin Glassar
109 Posted 03/08/2017 at 22:00:38
Pickford - 7
Keane - 6
Williams - 4
Jagielka - 5
Davies - 8
Gana - 3
Schneiderlin - -1
Baines - 5
Klaassen - 0
Rooney - 2
Sandro - 4

They're not minuses btw, onlySchneiderlin gets a minus.

Ralph Basnett
110 Posted 03/08/2017 at 22:01:42
The commentators keep harping on about us being in different parts of our pre-season?

Unless mistaken our first Premier League game is next week and we are know where near ready.

I thought we would be more up to pace by now, another long season with the likes of Jags and Williams getting in to the team. Davies is much better through the middle and, although a skeptic, I thought Rooney did well and put himself about.

Results matter so no going wrong there, but we need a lot more effort.

Tony Abrahams
111 Posted 03/08/2017 at 22:02:51
Good performance in the end. A long way to go, a very long way for some, but for some reason I can see real progress taking place?

Slow, boring, but very professional. A team might just be taking shape, but it still needs a few more players, and time!

Will Mabon
113 Posted 03/08/2017 at 22:03:55
Davies MOTM,

I'd go with that, with Keane on his tail. Some said he was merely a stopper at Burnley and not so much a footballer. Completely untrue on tonight's showing.

Ron Sear
114 Posted 03/08/2017 at 22:04:05
If the beer over there is 80p a pint why can't they serve it at Goodison? It might take the sense of foreboding away.
John Pierce
115 Posted 03/08/2017 at 22:07:16
A fairly standard Koeman game that. Dour, pragmatic and with all the fluidity of a Subbutteo team in concrete.

Set up not to lose, players out of position. The pattern of play ain't one jot different to last year, even with new personnel.

Still waiting for that evolution in those tactics, Ron??

Andy Crooks
116 Posted 03/08/2017 at 22:07:50
I thought that was a truly dreadful show. No guile, no creativity, no pace, no imagination. I have defended and supported Koeman but any notion that we will be title contenders has, for me, disappeared. There would need to be a miraculous transformation in 10 days.
Barry Williams
117 Posted 03/08/2017 at 22:08:33
Job done. Early days and as one Trevor Powell (#102) pointed out our greatest team just scraped through in a similar competition back in 1984.

It wasn't a great performance, loads of stray passing, Gana, Rooney and Schneiderlin were particularly guilty of this, but were not alone. On a plus note I thought Davis was excellent at wing back and I actually mentioned his usage as a right-back on an earlier post (clever me) and he didn't disappoint today.

Remember, early days, 5 new players and still the potential to add to the squad.

Calvert-Lewin made a difference not only with the goal, but creating space for others and running the channels and providing an outlet. Rooney looked well off pace, but check out him setting the move up from which Everton scored. He made space for himself in a very tight area of the pitch that just reeked pure class.

Will Mabon
118 Posted 03/08/2017 at 22:08:53
Colin, similar marks from me, though I thought Rooney showed that he will be better if he can get fitter. I thought Williams, quietly, was about the equal of Jagielka.
Barry McNally
119 Posted 03/08/2017 at 22:08:58
Colin, I didn't see the match – appreciate your brutal honesty!
Sam Hoare
120 Posted 03/08/2017 at 22:12:47
Job done but a few issues to sort out.

Need better movement.

Need some more pace up front or on wings.

Need Koeman to work out how Gueye and Schneiderlin can work better when in possession.

Need passing to be faster and sharper.

I'm most worried about Rooney. Our highest paid player lost the ball a lot. The mind may still be there but the body cannot supplement it. I'm worried that Koeman will play him regardless and that people will keep expecting him to turn back the clock 4 years which I don't think he can.

Frank Crewe
121 Posted 03/08/2017 at 22:13:26
Considering they were at home and 1-0 down they didn't actually try all that hard to score. Just parked the bus to stop us and mount the odd attack from time to time.

I still say we can't keep playing with two defensive midfielders. If we do get Sigurdsson, one of them will have to be benched. Koeman finally played Calvert-Lewin down the centre and guess what? He

scored. Rooney huffed and puffed but not much else. Sandro is still finding his feet. Too early to decide on him yet.

Keane looked solid and he got forward. Pickford didn't have a save to make. Klaassen looked okay and he passed the through ball for the goal.

Overall it wasn't great but we won and kept a clean sheet. That will do for now.

Phil (Kelsall) Roberts
122 Posted 03/08/2017 at 22:16:21
Next up - 12 noon BST the draw.

We are seeded 15th as 4 teams above us (Sparta Prague, PSV, Gent and Bordeaux have gone out with Braga a possible 5th as they are losing at HT).

It also means we can afford 4 of the 7 teams with a better rating than us in the Champions League 4th qualifying round to be knocked out and we are still in the 2nd seeded group in the Group Stages. I would be quite happy we dropped on place if Liverpool were in pot 1!

First off we have to win the next round. Possible opponents are:

Panathinaikos (Gre) or AIK (Swe) if they beat Braga
Maritimo Funchal (Por)
Rosenborg BK (Nor)
Hajduk Split (Cro)
Sheriff Tiraspol (Mol)
Apollon Limassol (Cyp)
FC Oleksandriya (Ukr)
Videoton Fehérvár (Hun)
Red Star Belgrade (Srb)
Skënderbeu Korçë (Alb)
FC Utrecht (Ned)
AEK Athens (Gre)
SCR Altach (Aut)
AEK Larnaca (Cyp)
FH Hafnarfjardar (Isl)
Viitorul Constanta (Rom)
NK Osijek (Cro)
Vardar Skopje (Mac)
NK Domzale (Slo)
Östersunds FK (Swe)
Shkendija Tetovo (Mac)
Suduva Marijampole (Lit)

Who do you fancy?

Colin Glassar
123 Posted 03/08/2017 at 22:18:15
I hope we get Maritimo, I love Funchal.
Phil (Kelsall) Roberts
125 Posted 03/08/2017 at 22:20:22
Forgot to add - matches

August 17th and 24th.

Me, I fancy Utrecht, Östersund (we played them a couple of years ago as a pre-season for them) or Hafnarfjardar from Iceland. Last one is expensive beer but an awesome country.

Jay Harris
126 Posted 03/08/2017 at 22:20:23
Stand out players for me were Keane, Baines, Gana and Davies.

Rooney looks shot and struggled to get to the ball at times.

Schneiderlin was well off the pace and the lack of someone to run at their defense with the front players man marked was obvious.

I would have thought Lookman or Mirallas would have suited this game... but hey, we got through with none conceded.

Damian Nolan
127 Posted 03/08/2017 at 22:21:26
Colin, you scored Williams higher than Schneiderlin – really?

Even when playing devil's advocate I can't see how you arrive at that point. AW is not going to assist in moving us into the top 6. Koeman must agree or why else is he so open about getting a defender.

Discretion prevents him from being candid but the defender sought will be one to go straight in I feel – not simply a cover player. Surely, that has to be at Williams 's expense.

David Hallwood
128 Posted 03/08/2017 at 22:25:56
A few seasons ago, Gordon Strachan was the match summariser at one of our games in Bobby's good period. He was full of praise for the holding DMs and how the way they let the backs bomb on.

When asked would he set up the Scotland side like that, he said no because if you haven't got great overlapping full-backs (which we had the best in the Premier League at the time) then it just becomes on overly defensive system.

Wise words and Ronny should take note; with Seamus out and Baines coming to the end of his career, we just haven't got enough going forward.

Stephen McNally
129 Posted 03/08/2017 at 22:26:38
I really don't know what to make of tonight's performance. What I do think, is that we lack balance. Why Koeman has an obsession with signing midfielders is beyond me because the team currently lacks creativity and pace in the final third.

If Everton remain this predictable, a top six finish is completely out of the question. A striker and winger need to be the next signings. Taking the positives from tonight's game, Pickford and Keane look to be good buys; as for Klaassen, Sandro and Rooney, the jury is out!

Jay Harris
130 Posted 03/08/2017 at 22:26:43
Thanks for that list, Phil.

Surprised to see 2 Cyprus teams through to the next round.

Let's hope for a favorable draw.

Oliver Molloy
131 Posted 03/08/2017 at 22:26:53

Schneiderlin played like he was asked to play and how you have come up with minus one is beyond me.

Go back and watch the match again.

Will Mabon
132 Posted 03/08/2017 at 22:28:23
"Koeman must agree or why else is he so open about getting a defender. Discretion prevents him from being candid but..."

Discretion? You can't be serious.

Tony Hill
133 Posted 03/08/2017 at 22:28:47
Pickford made an important early intervention when they got in down our left and his punch from the difficult ball into the box later on was perfect.

He made one dodgy pass out but he looked in control which is something I haven't seen from one of our keepers for a long time. It will make a big difference over the season.

Dave Williams
134 Posted 03/08/2017 at 22:29:13
What a mixed bag of posts on here. Some say Keane was poor others that he was MotM. Some liked Gana others say he was crap. Did we all watch the same game or was it all about the level of expectation we had as individuals?

For my part, I thought Keane was excellent, Davies (as he did last year) showed Ron that he has to be in the team with a fine display. Gana and Morgan showed (again) that they cannot play in the same side unless we intend to park the bus – play one or the other but not both.

Davy is a good player – his pass to Calvert-Lewin was superbly weighted – but he needs the right players around him as he isn't a focal point. I didn't see how Williams or Jags were crap – they were okay – and as for Pickford looking a bit fat!!!!!!!!

The big disappointment for me is the failure to give the much criticised Calvert-Lewin due credit for a sparkling cameo and excellent goal. I have previously likened him to the young Graeme Sharp but tonight I thought his goal and general play was in the style of Lineker. He looked very good and more so for being more central. I think we have a good one there.

So yes it was a dreadfully boring game, several players need to step it up for the Stoke game but there is plenty of potential and with Sigurdsson on board and Tom a first choice we might take a few games to tell but we may actually have a decent season.

There again, I always was a glass two thirds full kind of a guy so maybe the doommongers are right – we shall see soon enough!

Neil Thomas
135 Posted 03/08/2017 at 22:31:58
Another wasted 90 mins of my life; wish I watched Midsomer Murders now.

Rooney off pace and passing awful, Klaassen nowhere near as good as Barkley, Williams scares me when he gets the ball, Sandro looked weak.

Only plus points was Keane, Davies and Lewis. Baines needs replacing asap and Schneiderlin and Gueye can't play together.

Gareth Cooper
136 Posted 03/08/2017 at 22:32:22
Any one else get the feeling that over both legs we were trying to get through with as minimal effort as possible? Both matches looked like purely a fitness activity and no-one wanting to get injured. Job done in that respect.

Totally uninspiring, but that's not really the point. I think Koeman had a similar approach when he was at Southampton . and they ended up going out to FC Midtjylland. At least we didn't end up out like them.

I don't necessarily think it was the right tactic, certainly not from an entertainment point of view; however, it may pay off come season start. It's a long season, especially if we continue to progress in the Europa League. Over exertion is a consideration.

All that said ,we definitely need another striker and to show more dynamism at some point. Last pre-season match would be a good time to start. It would be nice to have a confidence boost before the Stoke game.

John Roberts
137 Posted 03/08/2017 at 22:33:16
I'm worried; pretty much 180 minutes without creating a decent opening against a poor side apart from the goal with 10 mins to go.

I know a lot of changes but our creativity up front looked pretty much non-existent.

Gareth Cooper
138 Posted 03/08/2017 at 22:35:01
As for who next... might not be the easiest match, but I'd take Utrecht as the shortest away trip.
Dave Williams
139 Posted 03/08/2017 at 22:36:20
Gareth – yes that struck me in the first leg too. A few players steered clear of what we're looking like heavy challenges tonight and we seemed content to play it around with no purpose and keep out of situations with potential for injury.
Barry Williams
140 Posted 03/08/2017 at 22:36:21
Dave Williams (#134)

I too expressed my admiration for Calvert-Lewinin a previous post on this thread. Still young, but it would be good to see him given more game time as a central striker.

Gavin Johnson
141 Posted 03/08/2017 at 22:37:26
Great finish by Calvert-Lewin. Other than that we were very poor.

I have the same fear now as I did a few weeks ago when we were linked with Rooney, Giroud and Sigurdsson. Where will the pace be in this side?

We looked very cumbersome at times this evening. Hopefully it's do with them being into the season and us being in pre-season. I have my doubts though.

I think we should go for Dembele from Celtic. At the same time, if Sigurdsson's coming in I do see the logic of a top class target man like Giroud. If we do only bring in Sigurdsson and Giroud, we need to play Lookman more and keep Lennon for the bench.

Michael Lynch
142 Posted 03/08/2017 at 22:38:57
I'm not too worried. Rooney is still a superb footballer – some of his touches were sublime. Klaassen showed enough to make me think that in a few months we'll all be singing his name, and Sandro showed bags of energy but looks a couple of weeks off full match sharpness.

Keane I thought was excellent, as was Davies despite being given an unfamiliar role. Calvert-Lewin's little cameo at the end was the best I've seen him - perhaps this is what Koeman is seeing in training, hence why he gets more time than some of the other lads and isn't being loaned out.

We need Sigurdsson and we need better wing backs if we play three at a back - Baines didn't do all that well there, and it's clearly not the right position for Davies.

For pace, we've still got Bolasie and Coleman to come back into the squad, and we've got options like Lookman on the bench. A couple more signings and we've got a very good squad.

Dave Williams
143 Posted 03/08/2017 at 22:39:02
Sorry, Barry, I missed that first time. He looks a lot stronger to me than last season and has plenty of pace and skill too. I can see him playing a fair few games this season as a central striker.
Michael Burke
144 Posted 03/08/2017 at 22:40:25
Dave (#134), it was a question, not a statement about Pickford. On my tele, with that shirt on, it looked like he had a bit of a belly. I am happy to stand corrected.
Will Mabon
145 Posted 03/08/2017 at 22:40:32
"Where will the pace be in this side?"

Sold to a team in the top six, alas.

Barry Williams
146 Posted 03/08/2017 at 22:43:00
Dave Williams (#143),

He provided much needed height and a focal point.

Barry Williams
147 Posted 03/08/2017 at 22:43:11
Dave Williams (#143),

I think his exploits in the U20 World Cup would have done the lad no harm at all, but he does look a different player when played centrally than out wide.

John Pierce
148 Posted 03/08/2017 at 22:44:27
Neil (#134), Lewis? Definitely too much detective shows on your mind.
Mike Green
149 Posted 03/08/2017 at 22:44:35
Colin (#109) – fair ratings but Klaassen must get 1 just for the pass for the goal, surely?
Tom Hadley
150 Posted 03/08/2017 at 22:47:22
I remember Videoton beating Man Utd in Europe in '85 as we were on our way to winning the ECWC. Might be fun to play them in the next round!
Danny Broderick
151 Posted 03/08/2017 at 22:48:05
I have criticised Calvert-Lewin in the past as I just couldn't see him being a first-team player. Tonight, he was really good and changed the game.

I'm happy to admit I may have been too harsh. What a great finish for his goal – it's been a great summer for the lad...

Neil Thomas
152 Posted 03/08/2017 at 22:49:01
True, John (#148). But so many of our players murdered that game, it was a crime.
David Booth
153 Posted 03/08/2017 at 22:54:48
'We've got a diamond called Tom Davies...'

And what a cool finish from Calvert-Lewin.

Koeman seems to have finally realised he is actually a centre-forward – and potentially a very fine one too.

Echoes of Graeme Sharp in the way he plays, in that he makes things look quite effortless and easy.

That was as perfect a finish as we will see all season.

Charlie Lloyd
154 Posted 03/08/2017 at 22:54:57
I've said this on here before.

Calvert-Lewin is quite Harry Kane-esque. Remember this.

Everything else was fairly average but it's early doors.

Let's not start losing heads. We are through.

Neil Thomas
155 Posted 03/08/2017 at 22:55:11
Hate to admit it but we really missed Lukaku and Barkley. No pace or anybody running at players. Forgive me for such bad language but watching RS the other night, they looked much better. Sorry for that comment and please forgive my sins.
Keith Monaghan
156 Posted 03/08/2017 at 22:56:17
A poor performance, but job done.

Calvert-Lewin did okay in the 1st leg, deserved to come on tonight & did well when he did. I thought Tom Davies was probably our best – Keane did quite well & Sandro tried hard but got roughed up big style.

Rooney showed exactly why we shouldn't have signed him – needs to sort out his life-style & get fit, something he hasn't been for 2 years at least – he makes Lukaku look like a bundle of energy & movement.

No use going on about Ross – he doesn't want to play for us; central midfield was poor – Gana & Schneiderlin giving ball away too much – them & Rooney, plus lack of pace, a big factor in why we didn't create much.

Why does Baines just about never pass the ball forward – needs replacing I'm sad to say. Williams not good enough, as most of us know – he was a panic replacement for Stones.

But we will get better!

David Booth
157 Posted 03/08/2017 at 23:00:10
Michael (142), 'Some of (Rooney's) touches were sublime'?

Er, which ones in particular? Or one, for that matter?

He looked a complete waste of space to me and had he not been who he is – or rather, was – I cannot see one reason so far to put him in the team for Seville, never mind the Stoke opener.

He looks more like a second-rate Wayne Rooney impersonator!

Colin Glassar
158 Posted 03/08/2017 at 23:01:01
Okay, Klaassen gets a revised 2.

Oliver, Schneiderlin was awful; no-one told him to walk around and have a successful pass rate of about 3%.

Peter Mills
159 Posted 03/08/2017 at 23:02:17
I was crying out for Lookman to come on rather than Calvert-Lewin.

So I guess for now I have to repeat my mantra that Ronald Koeman knows a lot more about football than I do.

(He is testing me a bit with the performances we have seen over the last two Thursdays.)

Neil Thomas
160 Posted 03/08/2017 at 23:03:42
David (#157) – Totally right, watching him and Williams makes me feel sorry for Lookman and Holgate, they must be thinking, "How shit are we if we're behind them in the pecking order?"
Neil Thomas
161 Posted 03/08/2017 at 23:06:27
Kenny at right-back and Davies where he belongs, in the centre, giving us energy and driving forward.
Tim Lever
162 Posted 03/08/2017 at 23:07:45
Not a great game(!) . everything was a foot too short/wide A few good moves were let down by that – and a lot of balls given away... I was waiting for it to click and suddenly go three- up. Oh well.

Rooney's distribution was good, if not his shooting.

Davies had a great game – fantastic chest-turn in the first half, among other things.
Keane looked good
Jags was solid.
Gueye had a shocker.
Schneiderlin was anonymous.
Klaassen didn't have a great game either.

I assume Sandro was taking corners because he isn't the tallest for set pieces? Even though he has the Number 9.

It should all settle down, though. Massive change in personnel from last season, so will need a bit of time.

Anthony Dwyer
163 Posted 03/08/2017 at 23:14:21
Nothing much in the way of quality again in this tie if we're honest.

If we had to find anything to speak highly of, it wouldn't be easy, but Davies back in the side was a plus, a clean sheet for Pickford, Keane looked decent, Calvert-Lewin looked better through the centre as a sub, full stop.

We still lack pace, we still lack creativity and to me Rooney still looked like the useless twat Man Utd have put up with for the last two years.

Signings need sorting asap.

Mike Keating
164 Posted 03/08/2017 at 23:16:09
Bring on Fortunate Sittard!
Jamie Crowley
165 Posted 03/08/2017 at 23:19:06
I couldn't watch the game with work commitments, but it sounds as if that's a good thing.

We won. We're through. I could care less how ugly a game on August the fucking 3rd looks.

Every year Koeman was at Southampton I didn't really pay attention to them. Every year I'd look at the table sometime in March or so, and they'd magically be in 6th or 7th place. I'd think, "How the fuck did he do that?"

Probably with a lot of games like the (seemingly) shit one today.

Just win. Ugly happens. Just win.

Terry White
166 Posted 03/08/2017 at 23:19:49
Not sure what shirt number has to do with who takes corners, Tim (#162)? Or do you want #7 to take all right wing corners and #11 to take all the left wing corners? I think that idea went out of style a long time ago.
Andrew James
167 Posted 03/08/2017 at 23:23:35
We were poor. There was no urgency going forward. For me we lacked a box-to-box central midfielder – would normally be a Ross or a Tom (the latter playing elsewhere).

I am yet to be convinced by Koeman.

But we have to be circumspect. We're playing competitive games earlier than most sides with an influx of new players. Our attack tonight was not one any one of us could have guessed it would be in May.

I hope we get through our horrible Premier League start due to an advantage of being more match fit. I am not expecting us to be firing by then with players clicking but maybe that will come as we head into late September.

Tonight confirmed to me we need to keep Ross. He's played with Rooney before and knows the defensive midfielders. We let him go, bring in Sigurdsson and there's yet another player to integrate...

Oliver Molloy
168 Posted 03/08/2017 at 23:23:59
Jesus lads, all you knockers need to get a fecking grip. We are where we are, lots of new players, Koeman trying players in different positions and this will continue.

Don't expect this team to gatecrash the Champions League positions this season just because we have spent a few bob on new players, it's not going to happen in my opinion.

It will take at the very least half the season for these new players and Koeman to get to know each other.

Mike Green
169 Posted 03/08/2017 at 23:26:09
Agree with much of that, Tim.

There were some positives. Clean sheet. Pickford looks very good as does Keane. They should only get better. Davies on the whole was impressive. Everyone else a bit out on their own.

I think the whole two defensive midfielders might be the issue. Play one Ron, rotate them, see what happens.

As worrying as much of tonight was remember we've got a lot of new faces. It might sound trivial but a couple have not just moved into a new club and league, they've moved into a new house, city and country. They'll be finding their feet in many ways.

I've not really seen it but Calvert-Lewin did look decent tonight, his goal a perfect answer to the doubts I've had, he might have it after all.

We're through and I had a dram in the end too so all's well that ends well.

Paul Kossoff
170 Posted 03/08/2017 at 23:27:57
Pile of over-hyped shite! That lot will be lucky to not be involved with the bottom half of the Premier League. If that's Koeman's idea of a top six side, he's more crazy than Martinez. No more penetration than a castrated bull, no shape to the side, no pace, clueless.

This side of inept, the other side of woeful, a sorry site. Sandro looks like a poor Niasse, constantly wanting to go outside instead of inside when in a shooting position, that's doing the defenders job for him! What in the name of God is he doing taking corners?

Rooney, sorry but he looks like he's passing time and nothing else.

This side at the moment looks no better than last season, and we have no Lukaku for goals.

Charlie Lloyd
171 Posted 03/08/2017 at 23:40:10
Seriously calm down!!!

Mike Keating
172 Posted 03/08/2017 at 23:40:21
Mike @ 164,

Shorely shome mishtake?

UnFortunate Sittard perhaps?

Charlie Lloyd
173 Posted 03/08/2017 at 23:43:35
I think of how devastating we were at home from Christmas till Easter and it's obviously not what we are at.

However the knee jerk reactions are way off the mark.

Patience is a virtue.

Charlie Lloyd
174 Posted 03/08/2017 at 23:46:48
Just seen it "Sandro looks like a poor Niasse".

Paul Kossoff –WTF!!

I'm off to bed to get some sleep – don't dwell on this, everybody.

Bill Gienapp
175 Posted 03/08/2017 at 23:48:33
Neither leg was particularly impressive, but two goals, two clean sheets – job done. Kinks to be worked out, additional signings to be made. Onwards and upwards.

Random question – putting aside history and going strictly off ability/potential, would you rather have John Stones or Michael Keane right now?

Si Cooper
176 Posted 03/08/2017 at 23:56:06
Klaassen wasn't bought to be a Barkley clone, they are very different players. Klaassen is surely all about link-up play, pinging the ball about with rapid passes and through balls.

I actually thought Klaassen showed a lot more tonight than last week, but he needs to be more robust and actively drop back to take the ball from Schneiderlin and Gueye much more quickly. Hopefully he is still adjusting and will soon be buzzing about the middle of the park and generally much more involved.

I also thought Calvert-Lewin showed promise last week and continued in that vein when he came on tonight. His confidence seems sky high and he is trying a lot of little tricks. Okay, they don't all come off, but he will create chances or gain free kicks in useful positions with some of them.

Keane had another solid performance with good composure on the ball and a range of passes. Pickford was calm and assured, which can only bode well.

Davies deserves to be playing regularly but will he get significant game time as a midfielder, especially if Sigurdsson does join us? Besic and McCarthy can't have much of a future under Koeman if neither of them were deemed suitable for inclusion in the subs tonight.

Chris Gould
177 Posted 03/08/2017 at 23:59:36
I find it frustrating when some on here make ignorant comments regarding our young players. The amount of flak that Calvert-Lewin received during previous performances was ridiculous and premature.

Also, the comments regarding Koeman playing him out of position:
Not many managers will play young players with very little experience as a main striker. They will often get game time and first team experience on the wing as it is a position with less responsibility. Being the main focal point of attack and having the responsibility of being the goalscorer is a lot of pressure and you come up against grizzly, experienced centre backs who take no prisoners.

It's the same with young centre backs, they often get blooded as full backs as their mistakes can be covered by experienced centre backs and the role has less pressure.

Obviously Koeman is aware of Calvert-Lewin's strengths and where his best position is. He clearly rates him highly enough to give him game time and experience out wide, with the intention of playing him in his favoured role when he's ready. Koeman will know that Calvert-Lewin is never going to be a winger, but he's willing to play Calvert-Lewin there for the purpose of his development in the knowledge that he'll improve, become more confident, and eventually play up front.

Rashford plays out wide for Man Utd regularly for the same reasons. He's not ready to lead the line for them yet, but one day he may well be.

Mike Gaynes
178 Posted 03/08/2017 at 00:00:15
George (#89), I have no idea what you're on about, and I don't think you do either. We were not "outplayed" in any way, sense, fashion or interpretation.

And I will guaran-fucking-tee you that Baines is anything but "finished"... he had a very good game today and put in some of the best tackles we saw.

And Colin, no idea what you saw either, but I'm joining the chorus on your Schneiderlin rating.

James Marshall
179 Posted 04/08/2017 at 00:01:59
Excellent professional performance – dull as dishwater both legs, 1-0 both legs, thoroughly professional. Move on.

There's no positive reasons to rake over this tie with such negativity – just move on.

Clive Mitchell
180 Posted 03/08/2017 at 00:02:03
Colin (#158) – you should have stuck to your guns on Klaassen mate. We'll all be prepared to give him a chance into the season but that was a lightweight nothing performance.
Paul McParlan
181 Posted 04/08/2017 at 00:02:59
Well, as we often sing, "If you know your history", I think Trevor Powell's (#102) point is relevant.

Positives tonight: we won, we didn't concede, we are in the next round. Very impressed with Michael Keane, the skill of John Stones but with a footballing brain. Pickford organised his defence well and gets defenders to listen to him. We need more "shouters" in the team.

I still think the back three experiment does not work and, although Tom Davies played well, neither he nor Leighton are wingbacks. The pass from Klaassen for goal was excellent. Gana Gueye needs to improve his passing. Really pleased for Dominic, showed he is a forward, not a winger, took his chance well.

Need to bring in another tall striker + left sided defender, assuming Sigurdsson is a done deal.

This is the type of game we would have lost under Bobby, so – regardless of the performance – we are making progress.

James Marshall
182 Posted 04/08/2017 at 00:04:28
Personally, I think Klaassen is a class act, and he will show it over a season.
Tony Moore
183 Posted 03/08/2017 at 00:04:40
Well what did anyone expect? Yes, it was frustrating to watch. But if you have suffered Everton like those who went the match and you really understand European football, then it was a good day out to see us win away. The team did the job, no injuries and another step in match fitness. They also got to know each other a bit more before the main event.

We have 5 difficult games ahead. After that then you can moan or praise.
Derek Thomas
184 Posted 03/08/2017 at 00:05:38
KITAP1 by the Dutch Moyes. Another game under the belt, through to the next round. Jeez it's uninspiring fare though.

Having said that, not many would turn down a similar 30 or so come next many would be in the ground watching is another question.

Sex it up a bit, Ronny, ffs.

Bill Gienapp
185 Posted 04/08/2017 at 00:16:49
Great post, Chris (#177). Spot-on.
Andrew James
186 Posted 04/08/2017 at 00:17:30
Mike Gaynes - over the pond...

I am Leighton Baines biased...

Yet I thought he was good tonight and yes, he still has a future and, yes, he still does well on the stats front for assists etc.

Fond regards

The Leighton Baines Fan Club

Eddie Dunn
187 Posted 04/08/2017 at 00:21:44
Said on team news that it was a workmanlike selection designed to get through the round. That is what it said on the tin, and that is what happened. I can't criticise the manager or the players... we move on.
James Watts
188 Posted 04/08/2017 at 00:22:02
Agree with some of the comments on here. Some good, some bad. But we're through and far from the finished article.

We need more pace for sure, and we do have some in the squad but Koeman doesn't play them (Lookman & Lennon plus Bolasie when he's fit).

Some of the comments though are mind-numbingly stupid. Even by TW standards.

Paul Kossoff just about wins it with Sandro the poor man's Niasse. Paul. You muppet.

And those of you calling for Barkley. Get over it. He ain't going to play. Remember, he wants to leave. End of. Classic case of the player being better than he is when he's not playing.

Hopefully Sigurdsson, a good striker and defender all signed up by next week and let's see where we are in October as they will need time.

Andrew James
189 Posted 04/08/2017 at 00:26:47
@James Watts

I agree with you regarding the Kossoff remarks but we are going to lose out when Ross goes. Not many sides have a 6 foot 2 playmaker. He's been our creative link man for 4 seasons.

It will be missed and I wish he wasn't going for whatever weird reason he wants to.

Tony Kost
190 Posted 04/08/2017 at 00:31:37
Calvert-Lewin did well when he came on – he wasn't afraid to give it a go. He made a very decent target man and he took his goal well.

He showed great timing and control – striking a well placed shot just wide of the keeper's trailing leg into the corner of the net.

I think we have been critical of his performances at the back end of last season, but – to be fair to the lad – he had been played out of position by Koeman for those games.

Fair play to him tonight – take the plaudits Dominic Calvert-Lewin!!

Tony Hill
191 Posted 04/08/2017 at 00:31:39
Calvert-Lewin is strong in the air (yet to be honed, naturally), has actual pace, has greatly improved his first touch and looks as though he's learning to compose himself as a finisher. He also has the unteachable gift of self-confidence.

If he comes through as a proper striker, then it will be a massive bonus. I've wanted him to do well ever since his cameo in the centre against Southampton when he got injured. There have been times when he's looked all at sea; but not tonight. Very encouraging.

Dan Davies
192 Posted 04/08/2017 at 00:44:24
Both Jags and Baines need replacing ASAP. To think otherwise is embarrassing. Sorry if that upsets you, tough.

To put across an argument regularly brought up by others on here, would they be playing for the teams above us?

Peter Fearon
193 Posted 04/08/2017 at 00:48:08
I am delighted for Dominic Calvert-Lewin, especially in view of all the nabobs of negativity and naysayers who have been putting the young man down on TW. He has the makings of a superb opportunist and he certainly made the most of his opportunity from the subs bench tonight when his so-called betters had dragged their feet.

Thank God we had someone who can find the onion bag. Cue for Koeman to put him out on loan.

Andrew James
194 Posted 04/08/2017 at 00:54:29
@ Dan Davies

Yes, they are in their latter years but both would get a game across the park and Jags is better than that joker Smalling at Man Utd.

I would also argue for Baines over Danny Rose at Spurs.

Neither have long left but they're still good.

Dick Fearon
195 Posted 04/08/2017 at 00:55:27
After that dreary performance, my only suggestion is that Koeman needs to get a bit of fire in his belly. Some of those players cannot be as poor as they looked, er... can they?
Jamie Crowley
196 Posted 04/08/2017 at 00:57:05
I just had a gander at the 5-minute highlights on the official site.

Wasn't that Klaassen who played that ball to a streaking Calvert-Lewin for the winning goal?

Surely he wasn't that bad??

Dennis Ng
197 Posted 04/08/2017 at 01:26:13
Very pleased with the win and that Calvert-Lewin scored the winner. I hear the groans and can feel the pain of watching the labored performance but realistically, we're still in pre-season shape. For all the lack of creative spark, perhaps we can solve that with Sigurdsson soon.
Gordon Crawford
198 Posted 04/08/2017 at 01:37:36
He was, Jamie. Apart from that ball and one or two other passes, he was awful. Davies, Keane, Pickford, and Lewin stood out, the rest looked like amateur league players.

The thing that's bugging me the most is our lack of fast players. Why aren't we buying players who can run in behind and stretch defensive lines? We are crying out for them. Over to you, Ronald.

James Watts
199 Posted 04/08/2017 at 01:40:15
He wasn't bad Jamie.

He did okay for a lad who's new to the team. He's tidy and intelligent and some of his link-up play was decent. Like the goal. He did go missing at some points and needs to improve overall as he will have a lot to offer but people need to realise he's more Tim Cahill than a Messi, Ronaldo, Pele, Maradonna or Cruff clone they thought they were getting for £24 mill.

David Pearl
200 Posted 04/08/2017 at 02:01:40
Hmm... £24 mil is the new £2.4 mil. The new boys deserve a chance to bed in properly with new team mates. Rooney scored a hat-trick on his debut for them lot. Not many players hit the ground running. Although they had a decent pre-season, without playing too many games.

I think our pre-season has been poor. Are we even close to ready for the off? I want to see more from Koeman too. I like the 3-4-1-2 formation but it looks as though all he does is pick his team and throw them on the pitch... "Okay, we must press the opposition" and then what??

Calvert-Lewin has that touch of class about him so let's hope he continues to improve.

Rudi Coote
201 Posted 04/08/2017 at 02:30:15
Ugly... Ugly... Ugly!

But a win is a win! Though I don't expect we'll get through the next round on this performance. New players same crap football. Nothing's changed... nothing.

Jamie Crowley
202 Posted 04/08/2017 at 02:49:26
Gordon - Yes Jamie, he was shite

James - Not that bad 'tall. Tidy. TW overreaction.

If 198 and 199 doesn't sum up ToffeeWeb in one microcosmic beauty!

I'd prob side with James - I think the torches and pitchforks out en mass in August is a bit much.

Give them a little time to gel!

Although Klaassen needs to shave his head. He's got a 27-year-old comb-over and it's just fucking awful. Call the fashion police, someone... If he doesn't go all suave-bald-handsome guy by year's end,he is shite – sell him!

Nitesh Kanchan
203 Posted 04/08/2017 at 02:59:55
Any news on why Niasse is not getting to play? He might well make the cut in the current team if given the opportunity or we can sell him for better price if he gets few goals.What has he done to Koeman?
David Ellis
204 Posted 04/08/2017 at 03:23:11
Calvert-Lewin looks a much better player than last season. Very nicely taken goal. Confident and direct.

As for the overall performance – well we can't really argue with how the team was set up. It was set up to keep a clean sheet and perhaps score against limited opposition and it did just that. Not great to watch but completely effective.

Lots of sloppy passes and players not reading each others runs etc – but we have 7 new players and its still pre-season. I wouldn't worry too much just yet. Pre-season is not a good indicator of how the team will perform later on.

Pickford and Keane are good players and definitely improve the first XI

James Watts
205 Posted 04/08/2017 at 03:24:20
Indeed Jamie. I thought the same after my post and refreshed it. Proves we all see games differently. But it do think people are being too harsh on some players seeing the season hasn't even started in earnest yet.

Sure we want to see more and we didn't play well overall but we have to be realistic. It will take time and it's far to early to judge and write players off based on two semi-friendly games.

James Watts
206 Posted 04/08/2017 at 03:29:13
David (#204). Correction. Calvert-Lewin is a much better player when played in his best position. Hopefully Koeman won't persist on sticking him on the wing again at any point.

And if we get another player in, of Giroud's ilk, I can see Rooney, Sandro, Klaassen and Sigurdsson (!?) in various combinations combining really well around him giving us lots of variety in attack.

Alan J Thompson
207 Posted 04/08/2017 at 03:45:31
Martinez's second and third season 11th may look a lot better after this season.

Next round? Panathinaikos, we owe them!

Michael Penley
208 Posted 04/08/2017 at 04:18:46
All this criticism is harsh, to say the least. In my view ,our last 3 seasons have been dreadful and bereft of any attacking nous.

The last two games we have faced a well organised defence, and before we sold Lukaku against such a side we would have seen us pass around the back endlessly followed by lumping the ball up the pitch to no effect.

I've seen signs that we're starting to try a bit more than that. It's very early days and extremely unpolished, but at least it's progress. Rome wasn't built in a day. If we keep working at it the missed passes will start to come off and things will come together.

Lee Brownlie
209 Posted 04/08/2017 at 05:17:11
Well put, Michael Penley (#208)! At least thats how I'm trying to see it, in perspective. Some positive signs, at least.
Lewis Barclay
210 Posted 04/08/2017 at 05:32:40
2 games, 2 wins, 2 goals, 2 clean sheets.


Darren Hind
211 Posted 04/08/2017 at 05:45:20
Well, we have a week to go and there is still no sign of creativity, balance, adventure, or cohesion. Still no sign that the manager is going to bring in a striker to replace the one he inherited.

Rooney is shot, but he will be selected before Calvert-Lewin next week, the Spanish Andy Johnson will probably get a game too... Stoke'll be shitting themselves.

Klaassen won't be creating enough to trouble the big boys; Gana and Schneiderlin continue to win the ball, but have no clue what to do with it. Keane, Williams and Jagielka will try to out-hoof Stoke... Even a goalkeeper renowned for his distribution was following suit last night.

Get used to it, folks. This is entertainment Koeman style, His team, His tactics.

Please don't tell me I'm being negative. The most negative thing an Evertonian could do was to clap and whoop all summer as the club paid extraordinary prices for ordinary players. "Bring in Gylfi" ... yeah, he'll really quicken things up.

I can only hope the penny will drop for Moshiri and he ejects Koeman in short order. The thought of so many people telling themselves how excited they are by the prospect of finishing 7th is soul destroying.

Holgate in for Williams, Calvert-Lewin up top, Davies restored to midfield and Kenny in.

They may not be Koeman players, but they are better than the ones he has brought in... or do we need to wait another year to finally agree on what is already blindingly obvious?

The most positive thing any Evertonian can do right now, is to stop accepting, excusing, apologising for this utter dross.


Guy Hastings
212 Posted 04/08/2017 at 06:44:14
Steve Walsh on secret scouting trip to sign Galapagos international, hope giant tortoise will give us a bit of pace.
Ian Hollingworth
213 Posted 04/08/2017 at 06:57:16
Bloody hell guys get real. This set of players have only been together a short time. Yes, the performances have not been scintillating and yes, we still need more quality but I am sure the manager has clearly stated he wants more players in.

It makes me laugh the cries for players who have left or about to leave as I remember many turgid and abysmal performances in recent years with those players involved.

Also the cries to fill the team with youth. Remember the derby and how we slated the manager for putting so many in and where do you think the England U20 team would finish in the Premier League?

Facts are the very best players needed to challenge for the Premier League will not yet come to Everton. We are building and it will be a slow process but we are building.

Christopher Timmins
214 Posted 04/08/2017 at 07:06:15
Season starts in two weeks and a lot of improvement is required. The midfield as presently constructed just does not work. We might need two holding players against Real Madrid but not against Barrow Town.

I would be much happier if we were spending huge money on a direct replacement for Rom than another link-up player. Rooney is either going to play in the hole behind the main striker or he is going to warm the bench.

If we acquire an additional centre-half he should be someone who will be first choice with Keane.

This is a big year for the manager and, assuming he acquires the three additional players he is after, there can be no hiding place for him.

Nitesh Kanchan
215 Posted 04/08/2017 at 07:11:19
I watched only the first half. Based on what I saw, there was absolutely nothing up front – no runs into box and no hold-up play, no link-up, no triangles? Absolutely zero movement from the center – all there was to see was balls being played wide.

Rooney is not the answer in the centre. We need to get this position sorted ASAP as the start of the season is just a week away. Those first 5 games can easily make or break our season. Damn Walsh – do something, else everything positive in this transfer window will be ruined.

Dickie Langley
216 Posted 04/08/2017 at 07:14:00
I was impressed with Keane and Calvert-Lewin last night, but I am really looking forward to seeing more of Klaassen this season. His vision and technique are the best in the team, and he made some good runs into the box (I just hope he can finish better than Barkley).

Gueye struggled from having to cover Davies (who was good, but is not a defender/wingback).

If we play that formation in the league, we will be ripped to shreds. Jags cannot cope with being so isolated.

I was happy that Calvert-Lewin didn't start – I'm not sure he's ready to be clattered like Sandro was.

On a positive note, there was movement up front. Sandro and Klaassen were actually trying to find space (as was a slower Rooney). It's something we've been dreadful at for a while.

John G Davies
217 Posted 04/08/2017 at 07:25:56
Michael (#208),

Good post, I didn't see any hoof ball last night. Keane is a centre half with very good distribution.

The signs of inter play on the edge of the box were there, a few more games and they will click. A centre-forward before the window shuts will obviously improve us.

Ian, 213.

Another good post. A bit of perspective required here.

Sandro, the Spanish Andy Johnson? Que?

James Watts
218 Posted 04/08/2017 at 07:26:54
Darren #211.

I'm not a big fan of Koeman but let's recap. You're saying:
- no sign of a striker coming so we're doomed
- Rooney is crap
- Klaassen won't create anything against anyone decent
- Gana and Schneiderlin are crap
- Sandro is Andy Johnson, therefore crap
- no point in bringing in Sigurdsson, as we're crap anyway
- central defenders only hoof the ball
- Pickford's distribution is crap
- play over a third of the team from youth ranks as the first XI are crap
- Moshiri should sack Koeman

All after an okay season finishing 7th plus two semi pre-season games, with half the team being new.

"Please don't tell me I'm being negative.".

Best. Quote. Ever.

Close this thread up. Can't beat that!

Ray Robinson
219 Posted 04/08/2017 at 07:27:02
Darren #211, I'm not sure that I speak for others but I know that I tend to dismiss any valid points that you make (and there are always quite a few) because of the overwhelming negativity and repetition of your posts.

We realise that you don't like Koeman – we get it! For example, calling Sandro the "Spanish Andy Johnson" after just a handful of games is way over the top. The funny thing is that you could be right eventually but why criticise the lad who is trying to adapt to a new team so early on?

I reckon that by scattering around enough such comments, you'll be proved correct with at least some of them and therefore be able to come back at us and say "I told you so".

If you want to be taken seriously by the likes of me, be more measured in your criticism. Your posts are morale-sapping.

Tony Abrahams
220 Posted 04/08/2017 at 07:58:13
Some good points, Darren. I would like to see the team you have just picked, but I've said it before, mate, you don't half know how to wind people up!

I know it's not your fault, Darren, I'm blaming Ronald, but I have just seen something I haven't seen off Everton in years – real professionalism. I didn't think that game was easy, but if we sign the right players, I honestly think we are in for massive improvement, but it's going to take time.

Geoff Lambert
221 Posted 04/08/2017 at 08:06:11
Darren! "the Spanish Andy Johnson"! Ha ha! I was thinking Naysmith but without the goals.
Dermot Byrne
222 Posted 04/08/2017 at 08:13:04
Tony: that was the only positive I could get from last night, so-called professionalism. But if that means arsing around until we eke out a 1-0, it won't be much fun this season.
James Hill
223 Posted 04/08/2017 at 08:15:49
Yeeees won. 1st gear all the way. Minimal effort. Perfect performance, bang on tactics. Get in, bring on the next round. Anyone who thinks they were even close is dreaming.
Ben Dyke
224 Posted 04/08/2017 at 08:26:35
Not sure what our expectations should have been when pretty much a whole team of players has been brought in.

The good: signs of good, intelligent play on edge of box.

The bad: we seem to lack pace up front.

The ugly: I don't like Lukaku but boy despite his seemingly lazy attitude at times and poor first touch, I'm realising what a monster he is and what a huge miss he will be (we're trying to replace him with Giroud!)

Bobby Mallon
225 Posted 04/08/2017 at 08:30:11
Stop bloody moaning. We have virtually a new team and are unbeaten. These boys need to gel and they will and Ramirez will come good.
Andrew Ellams
226 Posted 04/08/2017 at 08:37:52
Anybody else think the ball into Calvert-Lewin and the finish looked a lot like a Barkley - Lukaku effort?

And seriously how is there any criticism of Michael Keane's performance last night? If the rest of them had matched him and Tom Davies for effort, then it would have been a whole lot more comfortable.

James Marshall
227 Posted 04/08/2017 at 08:39:03
All the moaning on here is just ridiculous. We won both legs without conceding a goal with a new team that isn't fit yet. Job done.

All the people saying Calvert-Lewin showed the senior players how it's done are wide of the mark too. The game had opened up by the time he came on, which is why he had the time and space not afforded to players earlier in the game.

That's why managers wait till later on games to make attacking substitutions. It's not rocket science. It's also not a forum for people to just slag them all off every week. ToffeeWeb is so tiring with all the misery these days. We're a team on the up, ffs!

Daniel Lim
228 Posted 04/08/2017 at 08:46:51
Agree, Jamie @196.

I also watched the 5 minutes highlight a couple of hours ago. Besides the goal, Klaassen also made the pass to Sandro which I believe with more match fitness Sandro would have scored.

Paul Mackie
229 Posted 04/08/2017 at 09:06:35
I don't particularly want to join the knee-jerk reaction crew, but that was two very poor games of football we've just witnessed.

We have a complete lack of creativity in midfield at the moment. Last night was like watching the worst of the Martinez era. Lots of pointless passing around the opposition 18-yard box and nothing in the way of chances or movement. Until Calvert-Lewin came on we never looked anywhere near scoring.

We're really missing Coleman down the right hand side and, despite him being inconsistent, we're missing that spark that Barkley sometimes provides.

Stoke are going to be another team that are hard to break down and like to defend. I'm predicting a 0-0 draw.

Dave Ganley
230 Posted 04/08/2017 at 09:09:48
Crikey you'd think we'd got beat last night 10-0!! We won, we are through to the next round and we have another 90 minutes under the belt. It wasn't pretty, granted but we had half a team of new signings on the pitch, it's going to take us a while for everything to gel. As to those saying we got dominated by a so called pub team then I guess I was watching a different game.

They were okay, it was no different to playing a lower league team in the FA Cup, they gave it all they had and it wasn't enough. We got through, we move on and forget all about this. Judging by some of the comments on here some are nearly baying for a loss just so they can spout their bile and say "I told you so". Certain people on live feed last night were lauding the RS.

As we all know, the season finishes in October and they win the league every year!!! Let's just take the positives for once. We are unbeaten, we are through to the next round of the cup and we haven't finished in the transfer market yet and the league season hasn't even started yet!!

David Peate
231 Posted 04/08/2017 at 09:25:39
I grew up with the Everton of the 1940s. In those days, you could rely on the team (bad as it was) giving effort, entertainment and Everton. I don't care what the team may or may not win, in my opinion, the current players do to give any of the three essential Es.
Drew Shortis
232 Posted 04/08/2017 at 09:28:44
With a sharper, fully fit team and all the players included (Giroud & Sigurdsson) we would have beaten that lot 3-0 or 4-0 in both legs. No need to panic. This was in effect a pre-season warm-up and we got the job done. Against a more self-confident team

it would have been a more open game and we would have seen more chances at both ends. They had a game plan and that was to remain tight & disciplined, not concede early on and hope to nick a goal from a set play or counter attack. This meant they were hard to break down.

To give them credit, they were fit, well organized and disciplined and put in a really good effort, giving us one or two minor scares. At no point in either game did I doubt that Everton would prevail.

Of course, a more entertaining performance would have been nice, but our priority is to get into the group stages and we're on course for that. I wonder who we will draw for the playoff?

Russell Smith
233 Posted 04/08/2017 at 09:28:44
Poor performance and, as many have, said very unbalanced. But we are through which is the priority in knock-out competitions.

I thought Koeman wanted to play a pressing game, and when I saw the line-up and formation believed this was what we would see. We played too deep, Gana and Schneiderlin can play together but they need to be further up the field, as do the back three/five.

If the pitch was more compressed Klaassen, Sandro and Rooney would not look too slow/headless chicken-esque and their flicks and short burst movement would be better suited.

Plus points were Pickford and Keane who looked very comfortable on the ball but did the ugly defensive work when required. Their previous Premier League experience will make them stand-out performers once the Premier League starts but I think Klaassen and Sandro could struggle initially. If Sigurdsson signs then I do not think Rooney will be in the starting eleven.

I can remember when we first signed Graham Sharp and his early displays were not unlike Calvert-Lewin, as was the criticism from many Evertonians. Maybe the requirement to sign a Giroud or similar is not quite as desperate as many on TW think.

These younger players will only improve if they are playing, no-one improves by sitting on the bench for 85 minutes.

David Milner
234 Posted 04/08/2017 at 09:28:59
I watched the game live but thought I would wait until today to post. A good night's sleep might put things into prospective.

Pickford 7 – did not do anything wrong & looked composed. Covered for Jags howler in the first few minutes at the near post, when Hasik left Jags for dead. Distribution very good as we expected.

Keane 7 – Good defender & ball playing centre back, good in the air also. Reminded me of Gerard Pique the way he controlled the ball out of defence. His link up play with Davies explained why most of our attacks started down the right hand side.

Williams 5 – Did what it said on the tin. No nonsense centre back who looked short of pace at times but did a job.

Jagielka 3 – Afraid Jags is finished at this level, cannot pass the ball but we all know that. Lacks pace & positioning is bad. Got skinned in the first few minutes & was the reason we did not attack down the left much. Link up play with Baines non existent. Cannot fault his attitude, but Ronald has a difficult decision to make.

Davies 8 – His attitude is first class (Barkley take note) will do a job wherever he is asked to play. Non stop energy & made 3 times as many crosses as Baines. Link up play with Keane good. Still learning but look forward to seeing him in his normal attacking midfield role.

Baines 4 – Not at his best but cannot fault his effort. I used to look forward to Baines crosses from the left but now he only passes backwards. Not helped by playing next to Jags.

Gueye 5 – Was constant movement but this was not his night, made some good tackles but then gave the ball away. What IS his best position?

Schneiderlin 3 – Had a very dreadful night, not sure why, was he ill? One of Ronald's favourites so he would get selected anyway. Have seen him play much better & hope we will this season. Gave the ball away too much.

Klaassen 6 – Thought he played better than a lot of others think. Played out of position, too deep, but maybe this was necessary & Ronald told him to. Put himself about & made a superb pass for the goal. Still getting used to his team mates.

Rooney 5 – Did try hard but not a lot went his way. His experience showed & his leadership qualities. Still does not look fully fit but we are informed that he had been carrying a groin injury. Should have been subbed earlier though.

Sandro 6 – Tried hard but not a lot went for him. Can strike a ball though & with a bit of luck could have had a couple of goals. Still learning that the English style of football is completely different than La Liga. Some nice touches & always willing to run for others. Think he will come good.

Calvert-Lewin 8 – What can I say other than this is what we had been missing all night. Pacey with direct runs & a well taken goal. Stretched the defence from the moment he came on, maybe this was Ronald's plan B. Looks better each time & played in his proper position for once. Okay not a Lukaku but is improving & not Lazy. A breath of fresh air.

Mirallas ? – Not on long enough to give a mark but knows how to run the clock down & showed his experience.

Barry 7 – Should have started on the left hand side of the back 3, looked composed. Showed some of his team mates how it should be played. In complete control.

Overall we have to accept that a win is a win. We need to get to the group stages before we worry about the attractive football we crave. Neither game was a compliment to football but the Eastern European teams always make it difficult for you to play football. The opposition played above themselves in both matches but they had nothing to lose. Remember we have lost cup matches to park teams in the past.

I for one am looking forward to the draw at lunchtime & hopefully we will draw the Portuguese side so I can drive across the border to the match.

Paul Tran
235 Posted 04/08/2017 at 09:44:35
Very solid defensively. One-dimensional going forward. Calvert-Lewin coming on in his proper position gave us a focal point against tiring opposition. So we need him there from now on, or the striker we're going to buy.

Rooney is looking every inch the sentimental buy I feared. His brain is way ahead of his feet and legs. He moves ever deeper, desperately looking for a role. I'm hoping his 'status' doesn't preclude him from being dropped.

Going forward, the team lacks purpose. Only Davies and Calvert-Lewin looked interested in running at the opposition. How many times did Davies wave his hands at the lack of movement in front of him?

With the players we have now, I'd drop Rooney and put Klaassen there and put Davies where Klaassen is now. Those two would go well together, driving us forward. I'd give Kenny a go at right back and team up Sandro and Calvert-Lewin.

The 'pressing' game is simple stuff, not too dissimilar to what we saw in 1985. I'm beginning to wonder whether we have the second manager in a row who is unable to get his message across to his players. They look confused and disjointed, he looks unhappy. Just a thought.

Still, early days. Fitness and time may bring the cohesion. I think clear tactics and a defined pattern of play would help more.

John Charles
236 Posted 04/08/2017 at 09:56:42
Positives from last night:

Pickford looks competent and confident.

Davies showed he is a good player again; Calvert-Lewin much better through the middle.

We won; did not concede


Rooney, Klaassen and Schneiderlin competing for worst performance (Rooney?)

Back three (5? 6 given how deep Schneiderlin plays) needs players able to come out with the ball (Keane maybe; others no chance).

No width. No pace. Sandro looks miles off the pace. How does Sigurdsson speed this team up?

Baines and Jags shadows of their former selves. Williams...

Finally, Koeman seems perplexed by our shortcomings, able to point them out to all and sundry as if none of it is his responsibility. But he's far less able to change.

Hopefully things will improve over next 8 days or we may be in store for a torrid start to the season.

Michael Coffey
237 Posted 04/08/2017 at 10:04:49
Did anyone else notice that for a short time last night we had nine British players on the pitch? Is that some kind of record for a Premier League team?
Arild Andersen
238 Posted 04/08/2017 at 10:10:48
I agree with some here, you'd think we lost. But we did not, it was a professional job done and an oaky away performance against a well organized, hard working side who played their eighth or so competitive game this season, and obviously ahead of us fitness-wise, so we are in the draw today and that's what matters. (Freiburg, 7th in the Bundesliga last season who like us had a 1-0 lead after 1st leg messed up against Domzale).

I'm not saying that everything is rosy, absolutely not, Rooney looks far from match fit, both Williams and Gana was too sloppy at times and Schneiderlin was really poor (but I hope he just had a bad night), Jagielka was exposed and his understanding with Baines was non-existent.

Up front it was mixed at best, but Calvert-Lewin was fresh air. Was surprised Lookman didn't get some minutes.

I also join the "Kenny deserves a chance"-Choir, and would like us to keep Connolly and bring in Giroud.

I hope we avoid the teams that are halfway through their season in the playoff (Scandinavians, some of the Eastern Europeans).

Dean Johnson
239 Posted 04/08/2017 at 10:17:52
For me:

Rooney – Looked sharp and then faded towards the end. Linked up well at times with Sandro and Klaassen, made some good runs into the channels.

Sandro – showed some good touches but seems to be getting used to his team mates – one time he moved inside and then darted outside to receive the ball, but Baines didn't read him.

Klaassen – linked up well but probably needed to come a bit deeper at times to receive the ball off Gueye and Schneiderlin. Won the ball back quite a bit.

Gueye – seemingly only has 1 foot, had a bit of a mare, made a few interceptions as is his style, but gave the ball away lots. Plus lots of his "tackles" just seemed to help the opposition move forward.

Schneiderlin – Better than Gueye but that's not saying much, mostly did his job though of breaking up play.

Davies – Quickly becoming my favourite player – playing out of position but showed more enthusiasm and energy than most. Such a great touch on the ball.

Baines – Okay but unspectacular, offered lots going forward.

Keane – quietly effective.

Jagielka – as above.

Williams – all at sea when people are running at him. people just pass and run round him leaving the other guys to cover. I am so unconvinced by this guy, he is an accident waiting to happen.

Pickford – Like the distribution and that's all I could comment on as he didn't have to do much.

Calvert-Lewin – was asking why him and not Lookman but boy when he's in his proper position, he looks fantastic. Great feet, direct, quite a few tricks too and can finish. Lukak-who? :-)

Barry – showed in 5 minutes how to make tackles and win the ball, rather than tackle by making a pass to the opposition

All-in-all, mostly rusty, but promising signs and not half as bad as most make out. Players did the job when half fit, against a team that were fully fit.

Job done; well done, lads.

Tony Abrahams
240 Posted 04/08/2017 at 10:31:36
Paul Tran, I would play Davies instead of Gueye. Think little Gana does more defensive work than Tom but "the kid" is much better at driving us forward.

It's taking shape, but we deffo need a few more attacking players to join our squad and I would love another top class defender to play next to the impressive Michael Keane.

Tony Abrahams
241 Posted 04/08/2017 at 10:36:15
It's Koeman's team now though, John (#236), so if he can't get the players to understand then implement what he wants, then Darren will be right about another Everton manager very soon!
Colin Malone
242 Posted 04/08/2017 at 10:38:08
We missed the guile of Ross Barkley. Idrissa and Schneiderlin are top class but in my opinion lack the guile of Gareth Barry, I say the word guile because that was missing big time from our midfield.

If Koeman doesn't fancy Jonjoe Kenny at right back, he needs to bring Tyias Browning back.

Jamie Evans
243 Posted 04/08/2017 at 10:44:55
Played 2, won 2, none conceded. Congratulations blues, into the hat we go. Very comfortable defensively unlike the first leg.

Plenty of work to do going forward, which is perhaps to be expected with so many new players? Please Ronald, let's not waste Tom Davies out wide.

Mark Taylor
244 Posted 04/08/2017 at 10:48:40
The Slovakians were described beforehand as akin to a League Two side, but we certainly never saw that type of gulf in class. At times, they looked the more penetrative while we looked slow and cumbersome.

In trying to find some excuses, you could argue we are still way short of match sharp and the new players haven't gelled. Attempt at quick interplay around the box foundered consistently, for example. Let's just hope that is a case of players getting to know each other better.

Others have pointed out the shortfalls in our defence; Gana and Morgan both had poor games and Klaassen, apart from the goal, seemed to watch the game go by him. But they are surely better players than they showed last night.

It was upfront that I think we have the biggest problem. You need pace somewhere along the front line and right now, we don't have it. You could have someone like Giroud if he has a pacy winger or two to feed him but we don't have that (at least not till Bolasie gets back) or at worst, overlapping full-backs, and we don't have those (Baines is just not the player he was, Seamus is out for a long while). I'm even more perplexed by the focus on Sigurdsson because, good player though he is, I can't see the question he is the answer to.

I could maybe see it working with a different formation, with say Calvert Lewin(who is most definitely not a winger) playing in a front two with Sandro, who I think needs someone alongside him. Then play Rooney or Klaassen behind them.

Plan B would be a Giroud type as lone striker, then hope Lookman kicks on (at the Under-20s, I thought he looked a level up from Calvert Lewin) and Bolasie comes back quickly and shows us his best.

I feel we need 4 players minimum- a left back to push Baines and as an option to him, a centre-back, a quick wide forward/winger and an established centre-forward. To me, these are the priority ahead of Sigurdsson, so he would make 5. Right now, our squad feels and looks very disjointed with a surfeit of players in some positions (Besic, McCarthy, even Barry for example)

I'm not willing to view what is really still a pre-season as cause for serious pessimism, it is quite normal for teams to be very different when the real games start, but I think we have had a bit of a wake-up call.

Derek Knox
245 Posted 04/08/2017 at 10:59:46
While not entirely inspired by last night's performance, it was, nevertheless a win, and no goals conceded.

Some people are writing us off already, but all I say is have faith, we will surely improve in the coming weeks.

In the team's defence, sometimes these unknown sides from different countries are very difficult to play against, and they virtually go all out to prove themselves, with the "we've got nothing to lose attitude".

Anyway we are through, and will know by the afternoon, who our next opponents will be. Whoever we get, we shall have to try and move up a gear, the more positive play and wins improve confidence.

David Booth
246 Posted 04/08/2017 at 11:16:23
The five unseeded teams in our pot (group two), that we can potentially be drawn against are:

Vitorul (Romania) - capacity 4,500

FH Hafnarfjördur (Iceland) - 6,450

Hajduk Split (Croatia) - 35,000

Apollon Limassol (Cyprus) - 13,300


Panathinaikos (Greece) - 16,000

Draw takes place at 12:00 noon today

Paul Tran
247 Posted 04/08/2017 at 11:33:11
Tony (#240), I'd be happy with that switch as well. Koeman has sussed out that Tom can play anywhere, gets on with the role he's given and combines attacking play with wonderful discipline for a young player. So he'll always find a place for him.

Koeman often talks about Barry's 'clever' play; the control, the assurance, the simple short passes that some people forget while complaining about his lack of pace. I'm guessing that this, as well as the crossing and set pieces, etc, is the main interest in Sigurdsson.

I'm not convinced by the Klopp/Pochettino crash-bang-wallop football. Can look good, not for a 38-game English season. There's something between that and our current ponderous stuff that's going to be the key.

Paul Tran
248 Posted 04/08/2017 at 11:42:08
Oh no, not Panascouse as my arl feller called them! What a shocking night that was at Goodison in 1971. We're owed a win against them!
Dave Wilson
249 Posted 04/08/2017 at 11:47:06
Agree, Paul Tran.

Very difficult to sustain the high tempo pressing game demanded by Klopp and Pochettino over the 38.

Although it is worth pointing they both qualified for the Champions League so their teams managed it often enough and they were also far better watch than us.

James Hughes
259 Posted 04/08/2017 at 12:42:15
A view from a neutral who watched us last night, a workmate who is a Hammer. We were poor and lack pace, especially in midfield, where the ball seems to get stuck allowing the opposition plenty of time to organise themselves.

The first leg needs to be high tempo from us as they will be up for it. As Heggelund #256 mentions Croatian fans are vocal and passionate, so a rockin Old Lady won't bother them too much.

Lenny Kingman
260 Posted 04/08/2017 at 12:43:43
Sandro = Donkey.

What else can you expect for £5m from a club at the bum end of the Spanish league.

Still he may turn into the 21st century version of Andy Gray, but younger. Though doesn't look it.

Looks more like a foreign legion prospect than a footballer par excellence.

Brent Stephens
265 Posted 04/08/2017 at 13:06:44
Cheers, James. A much easier week now! Yes, bring on the new players.
Christy Ring
266 Posted 04/08/2017 at 13:16:43
I thought Rooney put in a good shift last night, Davies has to go back into midfield, we're very slow and pedestrian. I know he's going, but we're a poorer team without Barkley. I also fear, Baines is going to be a weak link this season, okay going forward, but way too loose at defending. I'd have a fit McCarthy on the bench, for his pressing and aggressive style.
Christy Ring
268 Posted 04/08/2017 at 13:22:52
I forgot to mention a new striker is a must, and Calvert-Lewin
is a striker, not a winger.
Denis Richardson
269 Posted 04/08/2017 at 13:24:29
Well one things for sure – we'll need to be a shit load sharper when we play Hajduk to get into the group stage.

First hurdle overcome, will gladly forget about the two performances and hopefully put these down 100% to pre-season rustiness.

Dave Rusk
273 Posted 04/08/2017 at 13:51:21
Before and during WW2 there was an ultra fascist organisation in Croatia called the Ustasi. It came out of the Catholic Church which soon disowned them. They collaborated with the Nazis but the relationship did not endure – even Hitler thought the Ustasi were too right wing!

I think this background explains some more recent racism in Croatia – eg. abuse of our U21s a few years back.

Terry Underwood
274 Posted 04/08/2017 at 14:04:20
Okay, It wasn't pretty. Hands up all those who will happily take 5 such non-pretty wins given our early fixture list?
Phil Jeffries
277 Posted 04/08/2017 at 14:12:34
Lenny (#260) – Sandro = Donkey?

I take it you have no clue just how good this kid is? I think you need to check out the quality of the goals he has scored for Malaga and wait to see him up top as the main striker before you go making comments like that!

He would have been at Atletico Madrid had it not been for their ban. Give him 6 weeks and you'll be wearing him on the back of your shirt fella! Trust me.

Si Cooper
278 Posted 04/08/2017 at 14:13:33
Terry, what is the likelihood of us winning our Premier League games if we continue to play like the last two games?
Gary Edwards
280 Posted 04/08/2017 at 14:16:27
Dean (# 239). I'd like to borrow your rose-tinted glasses because what I watched last night was dire. We lacked width, pace, a progressive physical presence. We were extremely dis-jointed until we started making substitutions.

Rooney has been poor but is not alone in this regard. The player I think that stifles us is Schneiderlin I'd like us to play with one defensive midfielder (Gana), drop Schneiderlin and re-shuffle the midfield, possibly Davies in central midfield Besic gets stuck in and tries to play quick, penetrative passes, he's no worse than Schneiderlin on current form.

Calvert-Lewin looked good but we desperately need a striker and height.

Steavey Buckley
281 Posted 04/08/2017 at 14:17:23
The midfield partnership of Schneiderlin and Gueye does not work, and is the basic reason why Everton don't 'fire on all cylinders' in midfield – they basically go in different directions instead of working together as a unit on the field.

Yet, for all the money spent so far on transfers, Everton lack attacking width, a striker; a left back and left-sided centre-half. It's going to cost Everton more money to be a top 4 Premier League team.

Liam Reilly
283 Posted 04/08/2017 at 14:19:39
Jesus, Lenny (#260), Sandro put in a shift for near 70 minutes and has only had a very short pre-season up to now; but hey don't let that get in the way of your tirade. Give the boy a chance.

Tony Everan
284 Posted 04/08/2017 at 14:22:39
Okay, it was tedious fayre, but it is still pre-season and we have a 100% record if you want to look on the bright side. Also the young lads stood out: Davies, Pickford... Calvert-Lewin took his goal well.

A few more players on the way will take us up a notch; we will be fitter and sharper come the opening day (in theory).

Phil Walling
286 Posted 04/08/2017 at 14:41:43
We can not possibly know until half a dozen Premier League games have been played but, on the basis of the pre-season and two Europa League games, we seen far less coordinated than at anytime last season.

None of the much-lauded signings seem any improvement on those they have replaced, with the exception of the goalkeeper; in particular, midfield is a mess and a muddle.

Thank gawd, Davies has lost none of his skills and enthusiasm and was a stand-out performer but such a pity that all his mates have been shipped out to ply their trade at a lower level.

Like others, it is difficult to discern what tactics are being applied although echoes of Martinez have haunted both the Europa League games. Oh dear!

Derek Knox
288 Posted 04/08/2017 at 14:55:14
Phil @ 286, glad to see you are putting a positive spin on things as usual.

What would we do if we didn't have stalwarts on here like yourself? :-)

Brent Stephens
290 Posted 04/08/2017 at 16:05:38
Phil Wailing #286 "We can not possibly know until half a dozen Premier League games have been played...".

But it didn't stop you with your "None of the much-lauded signings seem any improvement on those they have replaced".

Rob Baker
291 Posted 04/08/2017 at 16:17:26
Hard to digest all the comments but here's my feedback sandwich.

Positive: We got the job done, with no drama and are through to play the Croats. Tom Davies looked excellent at right-back and I would like to see him there more as cover for Coleman. I was pleased for Calvert-Lewin's finish as it was taken with some aplomb. Pickford's jersey and gloves didn't need cleaning so a saving on Persil.

Negative: Woeful movement up top. I think Rooney is a spent force sadly. In the two matches, he has mirrored why Jose froze him out. Gana's passing was so wasteful and Schneiderlin offered nowt so I don't want to see those two paired together very often. Williams panics every time he gets the ball at the back, in fact there were a few unnecessary moments at the back with pointless balls to each other. Give it to the lads in the middle.

Positive: Sandro and Klaassen were beginning to link up and I reckon they will come good in time. I'm not a pro-footballer so don't know how long it takes to re-become match sharp so hopefully a better display vs Sevilla beckons

John G Davies
292 Posted 04/08/2017 at 16:59:17

I thought Tom looked good in the wing back role yet Koeman gets stick for playing them out of position.

Koeman obviously knows Calvert-Lewin is not a winger, by giving him game time he learns the different areas of the pitch. He will make a good centre forward.

Anyone remember one of our all time great centre-halves starting his career at left back?

Brian Williams
293 Posted 04/08/2017 at 17:27:31
It's the creativity that's missing. That a d the desire to actually move the ball forward quickly.

I sat with my son and watched from an analytical point of view instead of "pure Evertonian" and the number of times our midfield passed the ball half a yard behind the player, forcing him to turn back as he's receiving the ball. Playing safe and keeping possession for the sake of it.

On a few occasions, Schneiderlin in particular, had yards of space in front of him five yards or so from the box and just wouldn't take the chance and run forward with the ball.

I'm all for giving teams time to gel but there were a lot of very basic things that we couldn't manage last night, and in the game at Goodison.

Tony Kost
295 Posted 04/08/2017 at 22:29:35
Disappointing that EFC couldn't, wouldn't, didn't think of putting a bid in for Kelechi Iheanacho – £25m (given the inflated market).

I think that it's a great buy – for Leicester City!!
Come on, Walshy! – still working for the Foxes?

He would have been a great purchase for EFC – someone belonging to the future and not the "blue-eyed" Rooney past.

Dennis Ng
296 Posted 05/08/2017 at 03:35:00
Jamie (#294), is this 2018? Are these doomsayers right? LOL

Very excited that it is our boy Calvert-Lewin who sealed the tie. Agree with you that the naysayers need to chill until it is starting to be pear-shaped. Didn't Bayern lose nearly all their pre-season games?

Tony (#295), agree on Iheanacho, we should have gone for him. It could well be that he's not a player Koeman or Walsh rates. Walsh can rate him but he won't buy one Koeman doesn't. Still, we did get a good deal on Sandro.

Mike Berry
297 Posted 05/08/2017 at 22:20:45
Calvert-Lewin is going to be a top top playing centre forward, he is only just 20 years of age. He is physically strong, quick and can finish, I will even predict he can be another Harry Kane.

Koeman knows a player and he knows he is a centre-forward, and has shown great faith, we have only seen glimpses but you can see its there, we have a real talent. Just give him time and patience

Bob Butchard
298 Posted 06/08/2017 at 07:07:21
After all the hype in the press about the quality of transfer acquisitions we have gained, I'm concerned about the amount of time Koeman has to get a cohesive competitive side on the park to face the horror fixture draw they face in the first month. Apart from the inspirational lead that Davies provides whenever and wherever he plays, I haven't seen any spark amongst the remainder of the squad so far.

It is disappointing to see Dowell shoved out the door without as much as a fair go, if he came up short and isn't ready yet surely the loan decision could have come in the January window.

I know planning for the future is high on the club priorities hence the signing of so many promising youngsters, but to have a year like Dowell and Kenny have had and then not given a chance could set them back in confidence.

Darren Hind
299 Posted 06/08/2017 at 09:46:55
James @218

What I actually said was: Rooney is shot – explanation: He is past his best. Long past his best.

Gana and Schneiderlin continue to win the ball but don't know what to do with it – explanation: They are not good enough going forward.

Sandro is a Spanish Andy Johnson – explanation: He will work hard but will not score enough (needs a dozen in his first season to even match AJ).

I said Sigurdsson won't add pace – explanation: none needed.

I said a goalkeeper who is "renowned for his distribution" was following suit and hoofing it – explanation: The rest of the defence are so used to hoofing it, they didn't bother showing for him and he was forced to put his foot through it a few times.

Now I believe all the above to be incontestable, so I didn't originally offer explanations as I didn't see them necessary. However. I now see they are... If you are going to try to ridicule somebody else's post, you need to be able to demonstrate that you actually understand it.

You have used the word 'crap' half-a-dozen times in your attempted "recap" of what I said. You may want to count how many times I actually used it.

When you hear me use the word 'crap', You can be very sure I will be talking about the safety-first, directionless, passionless, dull as fucking ditch water crap this manager is trying to pass off as football.

That may be negative to you... but, as far as I'm concerned, it's not nearly as negative as defending it.

I don't care that these players have only been together for a few weeks. Nothing can excuse the lethargic passionless dross we have witnessed against a team made up of players who wouldn't even dare dream of playing for a club like Everton.

The longer people apologise for it, the longer the football lovers amongst us will be forced to endure it.

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