Unsworth proud of battling Blues

Thursday 26 October 2017  43 Comments  [Jump to last]
David Unsworth has praised his players for sticking to a game-plan at Chelsea that very nearly worked last night in the Carabao Cup.

Everton lost the tie 2-1 after falling behind in the first half to arguably their only real error before the interval and then conceded a second as they were chasing the game in stoppage time.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin scored an even later consolation goal but there wasn't enough time left to stage a miraculous comeback.

Nevertheless, Unsworth, taking charge of his first game as caretaker boss following the sacking of Ronald Koeman, said he couldn't fault his players and he reserved special praise for 19-year-old debutant Beni Baningime who was put into the starting XI after Morgan Schneiderlin fell ill.

“We stuck to the gameplan and I'm very proud of them," the 44-year-old said. "Nobody likes losing, but there's so much I saw tonight to work with. A great, committed performance.

“I'm pleased, but not too pleased because we lost the game. It reflects well on the players, they have put in that committed display. I'm sure every Evertonian who watched the game was proud of that performance.

“We can't be where we are and expect to win every game from there. We have to start with a performance and I thought we started with a great performance tonight. We have to get on a winning streak very, very quickly, hopefully starting at Leicester on Sunday.

“When I see and hear experienced players helping the young lads out like they did, there's a lot to work with. I'm quite excited to take that on.”  

Reader Comments (43)

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Liam Reilly
1 Posted 26/10/2017 at 08:28:23
I thought the lads played really well second half, forcing Conte to bring on experienced players.

They played with confidence and pace. Their keeper made several saves to keep them ahead and got caught with a sucker punch...

Definitely signs of a new dawn and Beni looks a player, but a result at Leicester is a must to keep the confidence levels up.

Damien McKay
2 Posted 26/10/2017 at 08:46:42
What a difference in just one performance! it had everything that we have been lacking... pace, direct running, nice passing, width and passion. 2nd Half was really good and we had about 5 clear cut chances but didn't take them unfortunately.

I thought Beni Baningime had a great game and deserves a huge amount of credit thought he was excellent and my motm. Hope he now gets a start against Leicester on Sunday.

The away fans were exceptional last night and we have the best away support in the Country imo. Hope we produce a similar atmosphere at Goodison this weekend. Overall a lot of positives but we now need to start getting the results in the League.

Christy Ring
3 Posted 26/10/2017 at 08:56:38
David, you brought pride heart and desire back into the jersey, which we were totally lacking. You picked a team, with players in their proper positions, and width and pace.
Sunday against Leicester is a huge game, but I'm a lot more optimistic, our balance and formation are a lot better, it's a breath of fresh air. Delighted to see Mccarthy back, and Lennon who Koeman said wasn't fit?
Jim Lloyd
4 Posted 26/10/2017 at 09:33:52
Well done David Unsworth and well done to the players. You gave a lot of pride to the fans who, no matter how poor we've been doing, gave such great support to our team down in London.

A good night; with more belief in the club and us, that we can at least hold our own with good teams. A lot to do and a long way to go but it seems now that there's a belief we can make a bloody good start. Well done all; a good start.

Alasdair Mackay
5 Posted 26/10/2017 at 09:52:07
Great to hear that he expected us to win at Chelsea and was disappointed that we didn't.

15 years of knives to gunfights, phenomenal 4-0 defeats and Dutch tactical ineptitude (ok, that's football), we finally have a manager that understands Everton.

Paul Hay
6 Posted 26/10/2017 at 10:38:51
Well done Dave Unsworth, his support team and all the lads who played.
Spirit and willingness to be combative were clearly evident and it was heart-warming to see the lift in the squad. Chelsea mates here thought we were well worth a draw.
Can't see us going down at all based on this performance - the best I've seen this season.

COYB and Keep the Faith.

John Smith
7 Posted 26/10/2017 at 11:34:33
Love ya work, David Unsworth!
Richard Reeves
8 Posted 26/10/2017 at 11:43:04
It was a very good performance and says a lot about Unsworth and his half-time team talk for the players to produce that second-half display. I'm confident he'll do well given time and create a young attacking team on a fraction of the budget Koeman had, another reason why it's the right time for him after so much money has been wasted.

Also, it just looks right him and his backroom staff in the dugout. I hope the board don't just recognise the results (obviously we need enough wins) but the performances, the introduction of very talented youngsters and the whole feeling around the club.

John Wilson
9 Posted 26/10/2017 at 12:38:57
The only quite disappointment with Unsy was that he brought Niasse on too late - even though without Niasse it's highly unlikely the Everton Unders would be as successful as they were. One thing about Niasse he does not usually miss goals. As much as I like Rooney, Lookman, DCL - these do miss many chances to score. If Unsy could integrate Niasse in the right position with the right support, Niasse has scoring potential in the final third (say no later than 30 mins to end of match.

**Caveat: Niasse could be brought on earlier but he needs the right support so that he can score.** Except for these suitable adjustments, I can't see Niasse being effective.

Victor Jones
11 Posted 26/10/2017 at 13:07:13
No guarantees of anything in football. But Unsworth has been saying all the right things. He wasn't afraid to change a few things. He seems to have no problem playing youngsters. And he seems to be a man with a plan. A man on a mission. I like all that. So let's give the guy a proper chance. Let's see what he can do.

And any players not getting on board. Are out. No matter who they are. This is Everton FC. We are bigger than any fancy Dan prima Donna footballers.

I wanted Koeman gone. But I also think that a few players were just not performing. I realise that teams need to be set up proper. They need structure. They need a plan. A philosophy. And Koeman fell woefully short on all that. But a number of our players (mainly senior) failed even to do the basics. Players (especially top top players) should have been able to adapt to a situation. Ours did not. Or could not. Or did not want to. Unsworth needs to insure that does not happen under his tenure. If the signs are that it might, then he needs to act fast. With a large broom. We have always been guilty of sticking far too long with under performing players. Players now need pi led on merit. The best player in each position plays. Hopefully no more favourites. No more square pegs in round holes.

Players downed tools with Martinez.I think that they also did with Koeman. (Are we really that bad?).Are our players really that bad? It cannot happen with Rhino and Big Joe. Sorry folks. But I just don't trust some of our players. I really don't. But Unsworth will no doubt sort out who is up for the fight. He needs to.

We need players who will fight. Players who will run that extra mile. Passion. Pace. Teamwork. And just that little bit of thought to detail . A plan. A proper set up. Players playing in their natural comfortable positions. I think that we showed much of all that last night. Its a step in the right direction. Its as a start. Now we need to turn all that into a few wins. Not rocket science.

Maybe another foreign manager might turn this club around. But no guarantees. So I'll stick with Rhino. As the man said .I like the cut of his jib. He will do for me.

Do Rhinos roar? I think that they do. Let's hope that our very own Rhino roars .loud and clear. And our players listen and respond on Sunday. The season starts now. I've wiped out the last few months. They are gone. Thank fook Up The Toffees. The new look Rhino and Royle Toffees .

Tom Bowers
12 Posted 26/10/2017 at 13:19:11
Yes, I was surprised at the Niasse omission. I still cannot get over the fact that Rooney was played where he was. Anyway it was a spirited performance and we know Chelskibr have skill in depth more than most teams so I wasn't disappointed too much.

The bright spots where obviously the new boy who showed great tenacity and could be a real gem but on the side of caution we said that not too long ago about other lads who did not progress as well as we would have hoped.

I certainly feel better about the prospects at Leicester on Sunday but striking is still the problem and may remain so until January.

John Wilson
13 Posted 26/10/2017 at 13:43:45
Tom, no Vlasic either, was he inured or something?
Phil Smith
14 Posted 26/10/2017 at 13:54:27
I actually think he was resting Niasse for the weekend. I suspect he'll start on Sunday with Lookman and Rooney will be on the bench.
Liam Reilly
15 Posted 26/10/2017 at 15:55:32
Vlasic was injured John - picked it up against the Arse.

Also, just a word of caution on the above selection of youngsters.

Unsworth has said that Beni only played because Schneiderlin was taken ill before the game, so I would expect he won't be starting on Sunday with Schneiderlin and Gueye both back available.

It will be interesting.

Paul Tran
17 Posted 26/10/2017 at 16:59:12
This is a squad that played poorly for much of last season and got seventh down to Lukaku goals. So for me, this squad properly organised and motivated, creating chances like we did last night, is able to get there again.

If you add in the players bought this summer, who I think will look better under this regime, we have reason to be optimistic. If we can uncover a goalscorer, even better.

Dennis Stevens
18 Posted 26/10/2017 at 18:32:14
Paul, Lukaku's goals didn't make any difference, without them we'd have been 10 points worse off & finished in 7th place!
Paul Birmingham
19 Posted 26/10/2017 at 18:44:09
Good to see some belief and honest endeavour.

Hopefully the mindset of the squad has changed and the salvaging of this season has started.

Clive Rogers
20 Posted 26/10/2017 at 19:07:06
We shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that major problems remain, in spite of Unsy’s motivation of the team. Our two CB’s are too slow and cannot play the ball out of defence. Baines cannot provide the assists he used to. Mirallas and Lennon are not good enough long term. Kenny was far better going forward when Lennon was taken off. We have no reliable striker.
I rate Unsworth and hope he gets the job, but the squad is deeply flawed and not helped by the summer signings. There was not one outfield player, including the subs, who was signed for a fee in the summer, involved last night. That sums up our transfer dealings.
Brent Stephens
21 Posted 26/10/2017 at 19:27:58
Denis 18. That one has been demolished several times in the past. It assumes teams wouldn’t have come back into when we were ahead.
Aidan Baker
22 Posted 26/10/2017 at 20:06:13
Unsworth started with the basics . With the exception of Pickford and Williams he choose only players he has worked with him before either in the U23s, the short temporary charge he had after Martinez left or played with him (Rooney). He was saying that Everton would restart from players who understand him, the club and the supporters.
The formation was also more traditional in style and players were in their natural positions. Width was also guaranteed with Lennon, Mirallas and later Lookman on the park. This width was crucial in producing scoring occasions in the second half as both fullbacks started planting crosses.

I reckon on Sunday he will keep the same basic formation but will change a few faces especially with the number of games coming up. He will reintroduce the new signings but with care, once they understand what he expects of them and hopefully into a winning team with a winning mentality. It will make it easier for them because they are all potentially good signings.

Kase Chow
23 Posted 26/10/2017 at 20:40:49
Dennis #18

No disrespect mate but your post doesn’t make any sense to anyone that’s ever played or watched the game of football

Goals win games, buffer a lead etc

You cannot look at statistics and draw a spurious point

Lukaku is an exceptional striker. Isn’t the Lukaku sized hole obvious yet???

Dennis Stevens
24 Posted 26/10/2017 at 21:13:26
Brent & Kase - obviously, it's a silly hypothetical argument. However, you can't claim that without his goals we wouldn't have finished 7th as there is no evidence to support that claim - it's merely conjecture. Indeed, you both allude to this in your responses because you are then adding in additional factors, such as whatever the other team might or might not have done if Lukaku hadn't scored those goals. The simple fact is we don't know what would have happened in alternative reality as we only have this reality, all else is just letting our imagination run loose.

I'm not making any claim about the merits or otherwise of Lukaku, merely pointing out that Paul's statement that the squad last season "got seventh down to Lukaku goals" is not supported by the facts. I believe Paul is the one making a spurious point, as we can only speculate as to what else would have happened without Lukaku scoring those goals.

As to there being a "Lukaku sized hole" now, well we all knew he was off at the end of last season & the Club failed to act. I'd have expected another striker to have been signed when Koeman took over last summer & this summer we should have been looking for another one. Waiting until the last minute, with everything seemingly hanging on one particular deal seems very poor to me.

& yes, Kase, patronising comments are disrespectful.

Stan Schofield
25 Posted 26/10/2017 at 21:24:38
Dennis, if Lukaku hadn't played, we don't know what points total or league position we would have finished at. Taking his goals away is a purely abstract exercise that has nothing to do with the real world.

An analogous erroneous argument similar to yours concerns scores. For example, if we are losing 1-0, then score three goals and win 3-1, some people would say that if we hadn't conceded the goal we would have won 3-0. They would be wrong, analogously to you being wrong when subtracting Lukaku's goals, because if we hadn't conceded the goal, we wouldn't know what the final score line would have been. The course of a game changes whether a goal is scored or not, or whether a shot hits a post or goes wide, etc etc.

Your argument about taking Lukaku's goals away has been put on TW a number of times before, and corrected as above.

Dennis Stevens
26 Posted 26/10/2017 at 21:34:25
Exactly, Stan - we don't know what would happen if you were to change reality. Maybe we would still finish 7th, or 10th, or 17th, or 4th - nobody knows because it's all hypothetical. That is why I disagree with Paul's claim that Lukaku's goals carried the team to 7th place. The bald statistics don't support his point &, as you point out, we don't know what would have happened instead.
Stan Schofield
27 Posted 26/10/2017 at 22:13:21
Dennis, I would agree with you that it is not strictly correct to say that Lukaku's goals carried the team to 7th place. But it is true that Lukaku's goals were instrumental in us getting to 7th place. In this sense, they HELPED carry the team to 7th place. Not only helped, but helped very significantly.

I disagree with your post @18 that says that without Lukaku's goals we would have been 10 points worse off and finished in 7th place. Without Lukaku's goals, we don't know where we would have finished, because without those goals the course of the relevant games would have been different.

I think we are agreeing that nobody knows where we would have finished. But what you said @18 is inconsistent with this.

Dennis Stevens
28 Posted 26/10/2017 at 22:33:38
I think we're dancing on a pin head here, Stan. Paul's point was simply about the goals &, purely looking at the stats, his point didn't stack up. Furthermore, to assume that without those goals we would have failed to achieve the 7th place finish is mere supposition. Whichever way you want to argue it, I don't think his point is valid. It's exactly as groundless as the assumption that without them we would still have finished 7th with 10 points less.

To draw an analogy - it's rather like Koeman claiming that he'd still be in a job if Giroud had signed for Everton. The assumption is dependant upon the signing being a success, although I suppose there has to be exception to the rule somewhere (!), & not breaking his leg within the first few matches of the season.

Stan Schofield
29 Posted 26/10/2017 at 23:11:12
Dennis, I don't think it is dancing on a pin head. What you said@18 is not correct, but @18 has been said quite a few times before on TW. It's very simple, Lukaku scored his goals, we finished 7th, that's it. Anything else, like your statement @18, is simply wrong.
Andy Crooks
30 Posted 26/10/2017 at 23:31:48
It seems to me, that David Unsworth should be given a chance to show what he can do. He knows the club, he knows the players and he has, albeit at a lower level, an unblemished record. Every thing about him suggests to me that he is the right man.

I don' t think he should have a trial period. He should be given the job and time to do it. As it stands, as caretaker, he is on a hiding to nothing. He will have, unlike any other appointee, a vast reservoir of goodwill. He is not, and I use a phrase, again, first mentioned by the admirable Dave Wilson, a hired hand. He is one of us. How much worse can we do by trusting him?

James Stewart
32 Posted 26/10/2017 at 23:41:56
It seems surreal to be that the Unsworth bandwagon is at breakneck speed on here without him even winning a game. At best it's blue spec thinking and at worst it's dangerous.

We have had two managers who have flopped and cost the club £20m in compensation; let's not rush into a third.
We were awful first half against Chelsea with Rooney as the lone striker, so I'll be reserving judgment until we actually, you know... win a game.

David Pearl
34 Posted 26/10/2017 at 23:46:51
I might of entered the twighlight zone but I know for a fact that without Lukaku and his goals we would not have finished as high as 7th last season.
I’m hoping and confident Bani will get a lot more game time in the coming weeks. Busy little player with a bit more skill set than Gana. I can see Rooney playing a bit deeper on the weekend and then again the pace we’d lose from that change will be offset by playing a more mobile striker. Aldo hope Sandro and Klaassen get some acclimation time in the reserves. Carra was right about most of our signings... one of them would make the RS first team. Pickford. Unsworth is the man for the job.
Andrew James
35 Posted 26/10/2017 at 00:03:18
Can we stop about Lukaku, bang average footballer, deadly finisher when on his terms, laid on a plate...shooting fish in a barrel.

He was a sulky and pretentious prima donna and, for me, stitched himself up in the FA Cup semi and when the ball never stuck with him.

You know when Tyson Fury calls AJ the "body builder", I feel like it is similar to Lukaku.

But he's gone now...thankfully. We don't have to listen to him leaving us in every international break...

Todd Watkins
36 Posted 27/10/2017 at 00:13:48
We need a striker ASAP. Splash out me thinks.
Dennis Stevens
37 Posted 26/10/2017 at 00:18:08
I respect your point Stan, but I'm only aware of two facts in this situation: firstly, what actually happened last season ; secondly, that nobody knows what would happen in the alternative universe where something about last season is changed - such as Lukaku not scoring those League goals. Everything else is a matter of opinion, in my opinion.
Peter Warren
38 Posted 27/10/2017 at 00:18:45
Sorry to bang on about Lukaku Andrew but it's doing my head in that we're missing him. How many goals did he score against same league opposition last season?

Stoke at home 0
Burnley home 1
Spurs home 0
Arsenal home 0
Man Utd away 0
Chelsea away 0
Man City away 1

I'm not criticising Lukaku but don't understand how anybody can blame our poor results and performances on lack of Lukaku's goals. It's not like his all around performance is good in those same games last year either, he didn't play against Spurs and his running stats were weakest in the league! Rooney's record in these game better than Lukaku's. .

Dennis Stevens
39 Posted 27/10/2017 at 00:23:16
Tbh, Peter, I think it's more to do with the overall team performance than the presence or lack of a particular individual. Hopefully we'll see a marked improvement in the aftermath of the change in Manager.
Joseph Terrence
40 Posted 27/10/2017 at 00:23:18
Peter, that is a naïve view. Lukaku gave those teams something to worry about which then took pressure off of other players. While he may not have scored (indeed many of his performances were disappointing) he gave the opposition something to worry about. With the way we have played this year, bar the second half at Chelsea, there has been zero threat to the opposition.
Mike Green
41 Posted 27/10/2017 at 00:36:15
Don Alexander
42 Posted 27/10/2017 at 01:20:35
On the "absent" centre-forward debate I think it's misguided to think a prolific goal-scorer, devoid of any other attribute, would be the answer. Latchford and Lineker were prolific goal-scorers but with them in the team we won sod all.

Royle, Sharp and Gray were not prolific goal-scorers but with them in the team we won the league, and the reason for that was that they serviced the team rather than demand that the team service them. They scored a good few too by the way and that's the rub.

We need a centre-forward who looks admiringly around his team-mates in the dressing room instead of admiringly in the mirror in the manner so much in evidence with Lukaku. Finding such a guy seems to be the role of the DoF, or am I missing something?

Put it this way, where would Leicester have ended up two seasons ago with their plethora of talented signings, Walsh acquired - allegedly, had they not also had Jamie Vardy? That begs the question why, yet again, with Walsh's "expertise", did we so appallingly fail in the summer?

Derek Thomas
43 Posted 27/10/2017 at 01:37:38
Dennis @39; Fair point about the overall team thing, But Joseph @40 lets not be 'absence makes the heart grow fonder' with Lukaku (or Barkley either) there are plenty of times they were none descript.

Old joke alert; Manager to Centrehalf - 'If that Lukaku so much as moves you follow him. Why boss is he that dangerous, No, it'll be half time and you don't want to miss your cup of tea do you.'

He trailed the Kms. run stats for a reason - he didn't do much bar score (yes I know, but you all know what I mean) There were more than a few times he made poor, but well organised defences look excellent...There was a fair part of him justified the Anichebe jibe - 'built like Tarzan, plays like Jane.'

I was always told, you're making it easy for the defender if you stand still, you're effectively marking yourself. You move off him, you pull him left, you pull him right...anyway he's gone, it is what it is.

Thinking now on Lukaku's run stats, it would be interesting to see how his United stats compare, is he still the lowest in distance?

What are Rooney's distance stats?I wonder is the a site with all this gubbins on - bound to be.

If Rooney could discipline himself (off the field as well, but that's another thread) not to chase all over the place trying to be 18 again, he could play up front - He could play No. 10 or The Carsley Role - quality not quantity - without blowing up after 60 or 70 mins.

Over to you Unsworth.

Peter Warren
44 Posted 27/10/2017 at 07:44:01
Joseph, not naieve at all mate. Against Spurs at home he didn't even play so they had nothing to think about. Against Chelsea last season he (and whole team were utter shite). Against Man City he scored a great goal but it was backs to the wall (like this season). Against Utd he was so bad his own team mate berated him - he as more interested in cracking jokes with Pogba.

Sorry but your naieve believing this media view. The whole team performances have been shit this season not because of Lukaku. My view is because we have played shit players out of form and had no goal threat owing to no speed or width.

Steve Ferns
45 Posted 27/10/2017 at 08:50:58
Rooney has 4 in 9 (league only), despite the tough run. That’s on course for 15+ in the league only. Rooney is scoring as much as anyone could hope for. We need the other players to step up and score those extra 10 goals to replace Lukaku. Problem is no one else is scoring. So having Lukaku wouldn’t make them score. He’d just have done what Rooney did only a bit better in terms of goals.
Dave Abrahams
47 Posted 27/10/2017 at 09:31:45
Steve (45), we all want Wayne to succeed, same as we did with Ross Barkley, and his goals for us are good, but most of the rest of his game is very poor, he has been lucky that his misplaced passes, and there have been many, haven't resulted in goals against the team.

There is plenty of effort from Rooney, he can't be faulted for that, but his body just cannot do what it used to, he may not look all that poor because the rest of the team have been as bad, if they continue as they did versus Chelsea then Wayne will stand out as poor as he has been, his best days went two or three seasons ago, that's why he has finished up with us.

Ajay Gopal
48 Posted 27/10/2017 at 09:50:29
Steve (45), no one else is scoring? I make Niasse at 3 in the league - just 1 less than Rooney with maybe 20% of Rooney's playing time. But, I get your point.

To be fair to Koeman, I think he hoped (and I agreed at that time) that instead of having one 25-goal player, we wanted to spread that around and hence got Rooney, Sandro (14 goals in La Liga last season), Klaassen (also 14-15 goals in Holland), Siggy (9 goals for Swans), etc. But, it backfired spectacularly because the new players took a long time to bed in (Klaassen and Sandro have really not done it at all).

Remember, we are missing Coleman's 4-5 goals per season, and Bolasie would have scored about 5-6 himself. At the end of the day, it was Koeman's arrogance and poor man-management that did him in.

I have no doubt that Unsworth will get the best out of the players, and we will see a new Everton. Hopefully, he will start getting the results as well, because I sense that Moshiri is skeptical about Unsy's abilities and would prefer a big name manager (Tuchel, Ancelotti, etc).

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