Everton 3 - 1 Swansea City
Gylfi Sigurdsson's trademark strike made it 2-1 against his old club and Everton eventually prevailed comfortably
The Icelandic star ignited what was another largely dire performance with a wonderful curling strike in front of the Gwladys Street End that put Everton 2-1 up after Dominic Calvert-Lewin's equaliser in first-half stoppage time had cancelled out Leroy Fer's opener.
Wayne Rooney, whose spot-kick for the equaliser had come off the post via Lukas Fabianski's fingertips, added a third, again from the penalty spot, as Sam Allardyce oversaw his fourth win in five games and a return of 10 points from 12 in the Premier League.
The manager made no changes from the team that started at Newcastle, Sandro Ramirez making the bench with Oumar Niasse missing from the team sheet this time, but for 45 minutes his charges turned in a display horribly reminiscent of those under Ronald Koeman earlier in the campaign.
With two holding midfielders, they created hardly any chances and were back to conceding the first goal — from a set-piece no less — as well.
Despite losing Wilfred Bony to injury with just five minutes gone, Swansea had been rewarded for their industry and desire to get forward, particularly down the flanks when they took the lead 10 minutes before the break.
Everton had been forced to cede an uncomfortable amount of possession to the visitors in the early stages but and had just an attempted flick over Fabianski that sailed over and a routine Calvert-Lewin shot following impressive control on his chest from Holgate's long ball to show for their own efforts.
For the visitors, Narsingh had surged past Martina and cut inside but shot over the bar while a missed tackle by Schneiderlin in midfield led to Dyer sprinting through on the Blues' back line but he appeared to be foiled by a terrific sliding tackle from Holgate. Referee Jon Moss adjudged it be a foul, though, and booked the young defender to the disbelief and anger of the home crowd.
Pickford got down to save the resulting free kick but the sense of injustice galvanised the home faithful who had had little cheer up to that point.
Swansea took the lead, though, in frustratingly familiar circumstances. Tammy Abraham won a corner which was swung into the six-yard box where Fer arrived unmarked to convert.
Martin Olsson then hammered a long-range effort that flew inches past the post as Swansea looked to compound Everton's misery.
The first half was drifting to an unsatisfactory conclusion from Everton's point of view as it moved into first-half stoppage time but a throw to Rooney was moved on to Aaron Lennon, arguably the Toffees' man of the match, who jinked into the box and was tripped by Roque Mesa.
Rooney, who struggled to find his form all game, stepped up to take the resulting penalty and while his spot-kick was pushed onto the post by Fabianski, Calvert-Lewin followed up to ram the rebound home.
The second period was 11 minutes old before Everton had a chance to threaten the Swans' defence when Lennon won a corner but it came to nothing. Calvert-Lewin headed another corner well wide before Tom Davies came on for Schneiderlin with an hour gone and that helped change the pattern of the match from the hosts' perspective.
And Sigurdsson, having done a trial run earlier in the half from an almost identical location, scored the decisive goal not long afterwards. With Martina bombing past him as a decoy, the midfielder lined up a curling effort that he bent around Fabianski and inside the far post from 20-plus yards to bring Goodison to its feet.
Everton were still flattering to deceive as an attacking outfit but they were awarded another penalty when Jonjoe Kenny was tripped by Olsson as he drove past the fullback from Lennon's pass.
Replays suggested the offence took place right on the edge of the box but Rooney took the honours of the spot-kick again and this time he slammed home a more powerful effort than his first to make it 3-1.
Sigurdsson's neat pass between the two fullbacks with five minutes left put Calvert-Lewin in for one more opportunity but he was challenged as he shot and his effort was saved.
The football may not yet be pretty but Everton's improvement under Allardyce continues. The win marks a sixth game unbeaten for Everton in all competitions and moves them over Watford into ninth place, to within one point of Leicester and just six behind Tottenham Hotspur.
Reader Comments (271)
Note: the following content is not moderated or vetted by the site owners at the time of submission. Comments are the responsibility of the poster. Disclaimer
1 Posted 18/12/2017 at 19:08:59
I expect us to win this comfortably, but if we can't show some decent offensive intent against this Swansea side, then we don't have it in us.
2 Posted 18/12/2017 at 19:12:29
Oviously a couple of early goals would help.
4 Posted 18/12/2017 at 19:36:47
5 Posted 18/12/2017 at 19:38:40
It will harder tonight than many of us expect but you never know if the feel good factor is really alive and well, then perhaps Everton will break a habit and put them to the sword early doors. It will be interesting whatever happens.
6 Posted 18/12/2017 at 20:40:07
7 Posted 18/12/2017 at 20:44:09
No need for this deep defensive line.
8 Posted 18/12/2017 at 20:53:40
Well done to Calvert-Lewin for being alert enough to follow up on the penalty. Calvert-Lewin and Lennon in particularly offering our best penetration going forward.
Ball retention, being strong on the ball, is sadly absent from our better footballers Rooney and Sigurdsson. Gana off beam with his passing. Schneiderlin playing better.
TBH, Swansea looked untroubled and comfortable. They have real pace down both flanks we need to be alert to.
Strong words from Sam needed at half-time and a higher tempo and intensity required by all in the 2nd half to secure a win from here.
9 Posted 18/12/2017 at 21:39:09
10 Posted 18/12/2017 at 21:57:50
Gana MotM again.
Best part of the game for me: Calvert-Lewin, Holgate, Davies all fronting Fer up. With Kenny snarling on his chest like a Staffordshire Bull.
Great team spirit instilled in these kids by Unsy. Fight one you have to fight them all.
11 Posted 18/12/2017 at 22:03:53
Holgate and Gana the best of our bunch.. Sigurdsson took his goal well, but other than that, lost the ball far too often.
We looked better when Schneiderlin went off... him and Williams slow the play down too much.
Could've been far more adventurous against a very poor Swansea.
12 Posted 18/12/2017 at 22:04:01
The change of Davies for Schneiderlin made a difference. Morgan had a better game tonight, but with Gana taking up the deeper defensive midfield role, Rooney dropping further back into midfield and the running and forward movement of young Tom, the side had a much better balance and carried far more offensive threat.
Sigurdsson's goal was a peach. Got lucky with the 2nd pen - the foul was clearly outside the box.
Special mentions again for Lennon, both offensively and defensively a greatly under appreciated player by some and Calvert-Lewin. Still needs to sharpen his finishing, but what a target and hold up man he is proving.
The league table is looking better and better.
13 Posted 18/12/2017 at 22:08:38
And the blind could see
And those who despised him
Came to love him
And, the high principled ones,
Silenced by their own bollocks
Cried on their knees, ‘we love you Big Sam'
The Book of Allardyce
Chapter 1, verse 5
OTT? That's nothing compared to the flack Allardyce got on here a month ago.
People were preferring relegation, burning season tickets etc.
Not ‘the beautiful game'?
Boo friggin' hoo
(Check out the results prior to 29th November)
The best ever start to a managerial career at EFC?
Well done EFC.
6 points behind media darlings Spurs.
Up the Blues.
14 Posted 18/12/2017 at 22:09:08
15 Posted 18/12/2017 at 22:13:44
I thought Sigurdson played very well, Rooney forgot what a ball was but the kids were all outstanding.
Jonjoe has cemented his position for me, Holgate looked like the player we hoped Stones would become, Calvert-Lewin's unselfish contribution is first class and Tom Davies brought the energy to the game that we were sadly lacking throughout.
For me, the kids carried the so-called "senior" pros and that is a big worry.
16 Posted 18/12/2017 at 22:16:29
17 Posted 18/12/2017 at 22:17:50
He's obviously tactically disciplined and that's probably enough to get him a place in the starting XI at this stage but we definitely need someone with more attributes in that area.
18 Posted 18/12/2017 at 22:18:52
Why didn't he give Sandro more game time, when the result was already in the bag?
19 Posted 18/12/2017 at 22:19:24
Ciarán, the crowd WAS weird, but that comment made me laugh.
Roll on the Chelsea skanks.
20 Posted 18/12/2017 at 22:25:05
The squad seem to be building confidence by the day and playing to the strengths he has identified. The younger players are keen as mustard to play for the blue shirt which is so great to see after the shocking start to the season.
Rooney is once again playing some great football along with the likes of Gana and Calvert-Lewin.
It would be good to see Lookman and Sandro given a chance of a longer run out over a few games. I rate Lookman and think Sandro could provide goals given the opportunity.
So much has improved over a short space of time I am going into the Christmas period of games looking up the table thinking the likes of Burnley and Leicester are going to start dropping points soon. Is sixth place or higher possible this season after all? Who knows... but we are no longer looking over our shoulder that's for sure.
21 Posted 18/12/2017 at 22:25:41
Not taking nothing away from the new manager because he's got us organised, and he's also taken away the fear of relegation, but other than Sigurdsson's fantastic goal, it really was a very boring game to watch.
22 Posted 18/12/2017 at 22:29:36
I really think our luck has changed going by some of the events that have occurred since the Southampton game. This is something we should enjoy.
23 Posted 18/12/2017 at 22:29:45
24 Posted 18/12/2017 at 22:37:22
Interestingly we are the highest ranking team with a negative goal difference.
Bring on Chelsea. With our luck running the way it is...
25 Posted 18/12/2017 at 22:37:32
It wasn't pretty but treating the bottom dude with respect was professional and I'd take a 2 goal win.
Different test on Saturday though.
26 Posted 18/12/2017 at 22:38:18
Can't remember us winning so many in such a short space of time. Wasn't there a season when we didn't win a single one until the final game?
27 Posted 18/12/2017 at 22:44:25
I do hope, and I think from his comments post-match, that Schneiderlin has been sussed by Sam, and he is, 'the epicentre of negativity'!
28 Posted 18/12/2017 at 22:45:44
29 Posted 18/12/2017 at 22:55:17
We still arent playing well by any stretch so expect a fall from grace for some at the weekend.
30 Posted 18/12/2017 at 22:57:38
I thought we looked very pedestrian the first half, and thanks to Lennon we got the pen and equalized the hard way with Calvert-Lewin.
The second half was a professional display that we controlled in the main. We deserved the three points.
Roll on Chelsea. Have to say, any result against that team and I'll be thrilled.
31 Posted 18/12/2017 at 23:00:05
He could have easily stuck with Keane and dropped Williams, but he stuck to his belief and seems to have fixed the defence. I have to say playing Holgate at centre half has been a big plus.
For all the flak Martina gets, the guy is playing on his less favoured left side, but certainly giving a good go of it.
Both Siggurdsson and Rooney have come into their own under Sam.
Lennon is doing everything required, made up for the guy.
But for me Calvert-Lewin just gets better, feeds off the scraps and his control bringing the ball down whether with his chest or feet has improved vastly.
I know fans want beautiful football, for me results are more important than trying to play like Barcelona, so a big thumbs up from me for Sam and the team.
32 Posted 18/12/2017 at 23:03:55
33 Posted 18/12/2017 at 23:03:57
Deffo shouldn't get carried away though. We're still nowhere near the Top 6 clubs at the moment. I'd love us to sustain the momentum with at least a draw against Chelsea, but realistically I'm still of the opinion that Top 8 would be a decent showing this season after the nightmare first three months.
34 Posted 18/12/2017 at 23:06:20
Step forward a month and we are not just tight defensively, but scoring and winning without playing well, a good sign. We got a point at Anfield, managed our first away win in 11 months and players who seemed not up to it are performing well.
That brings me onto Martina. The last few games he has defended well, made some excellent runs and today some of his passing bordered on the cheeky. I know many will not agree, but he has played well recently and has been an integral part of a defence that has become stingey.
The team looks organised, players know their jobs, all in stark contrast to the previous 12 league games or so (not to mention Europe). Am I watching Everton?
Kenny has proven to be a proper right back, but the biggest surprises for me are the form of Holgate and Calvert-Lewin. With each game they are looking more and more accomplished. I wasn't sure whether they'd be robust enough to occupy their no doubt very important positions on the park, but they really have been more than up to it.
We have excellent youth coming through and growing together and being familiar with each other's game. Kenny, Holgate, Davies, Baningime, Calvert-Lewin, Lookman and the likes of Dowell etc. does bode well.
On top of that there were 3 local lads playing at Anfield, none for Liverpool. Speaks volumes about how the game has gone.
We are looking like a team again!
35 Posted 18/12/2017 at 23:08:04
36 Posted 18/12/2017 at 23:13:19
I still think Rooney, Gana and Sigurdsson best in middle with 2 wide players and striker up front
37 Posted 18/12/2017 at 23:13:51
Could care less if he gets stuck in against Chelsea and picks up a yellow. That approach will probably be needed against that well-to-do bunch of arrogant jackwagons.
38 Posted 18/12/2017 at 23:16:07
39 Posted 18/12/2017 at 23:16:14
I thought Rooney had his worst game so far this season but still did enough. As others have said, the kids were great and getting better with each game.
A word for the unjustly, imo, criticised Schneiderlin. He does a Busquets type job for us. It's not pretty, it's not eye catching but it's effective. It's no surprise that all three managers have used him this season. And he'll be in the French World Cup squad next summer without a doubt.
40 Posted 18/12/2017 at 23:17:07
Great goal from Sigurdsson and we won so I'm happy with the result, I think it is best not to say too much about some of the other players' performances.
41 Posted 18/12/2017 at 23:22:18
Kenny hacks down some dude on the break in the second half Leroy Fer gets up in his gourd.
Every single "kid" on the pitch Calvert-Lewin, Holgate, and Davies run to Kenny's defense and basically jump in and say, "not today, no, no, you're not fucking with one of ours..."
That's the team spirit and togetherness I want to see. Great to see all the youngsters sticking up for one-another and coming to aid when needed.
42 Posted 18/12/2017 at 23:30:28
I don't think Morgan will make the squad. I also think he was poor again tonight. His best 5 minutes was right before he got hooked off. He just goes too sleep a bit too often. Doesn't follow the runner and seems very casual in his approach.
Another thing to look out for is the fact he either chooses the wrong ball or dallies a bit too much for my liking. While he doesn't directly give the ball away, the player he passes too more often than not will. I'm not sure if that's due to his decision-making or him telegraphing it and the receiving player being closed down before the pass is even played.
I much prefer our deep laying player to recycle the ball and dictate tempo. He seems to do neither
43 Posted 18/12/2017 at 23:32:19
Compare that with Gueye or Davies always looking for a forward pass and lots of drive and energy shown.
When Davies came on I felt for the first time tonight that we weren't just sitting back and coasting.
The energy that the kids bring inspires one or two of the seniors to liven up whereas Schneiderlin, Williams and Rooney all slow the game down and then find themselves closed down.
44 Posted 18/12/2017 at 23:32:34
45 Posted 18/12/2017 at 23:33:10
We ain't dead yet!
46 Posted 18/12/2017 at 23:40:59
47 Posted 18/12/2017 at 23:41:06
48 Posted 18/12/2017 at 23:46:00
49 Posted 18/12/2017 at 23:47:10
50 Posted 18/12/2017 at 23:50:35
Schneiderlin and Gueye are too defensive. A blind man can see that the team shape is better if you put Gueye and Davies in the middle, with Rooney just in front. We cant get up the pitch effectively with Schneiderlin babysitting Gueye in front of the back 4...
51 Posted 18/12/2017 at 23:52:07
However, he still tends to dwell on the ball before knocking safe little sideway or backward passes most of the time. He is not always alert to threats around him when the other team are in possession and simply loses his man or lunges in late to concede cheap free kicks in dangerous positions too often.
I've long held he usurped Gana's position in which he excelled before Morgan arrived in January and to accommodate the 2, Koeman moved Gana forward 10-15mts in midfield where he proves less effective.
When Morgan went off, Gana looked so much better and more comfortable in that deeper lying role.
Davies' introduction also allowed Rooney to play from deep (I agree with Colin Glassar: until Rooney made this switch, it was his worst game since returning), whilst Tom had license to run from midfield attacking their back line.
The balance and threat from the team looked so much better for it.
52 Posted 18/12/2017 at 23:55:05
The first half proved that thought to be right. It was absolutely dire. Apart from the kids the rest were abysmal. I think Rooney had his worst game since coming back.
It was so quiet in the ground and matched the footy.
Chelsea will be a totally different matter where I think we will have to play 2 defensive midfielders. Cover for both full backs will be imperative.
A dire game, a great result. God only knows how lucky we've been this season.
53 Posted 18/12/2017 at 23:55:45
Schneiderlin giving way to Davies helped a lot because at least he moves forward.
Impressed with Gana, Holgate, Sigurdsson, Calvert-Lewin, Lennon, Rooney, Kenny actually most played pretty well, if not fluently.
This is a team that could get better and we are already winning so I'll leave the Sam sniping to the media.
Chelsea a much bigger test of course.
54 Posted 18/12/2017 at 23:57:24
A challenging and character building schedule we have over the next couple of weeks or so. It's going to be interesting to see Sam's strategies for handling this.
55 Posted 18/12/2017 at 00:01:07
I did think Schneiderlin was better than he has been but not by much and the bar is low.
Gana was MotM and seems much more assured when Davies is alongside him.
Rooney was terrible first half but looked in total control when he moved further back in the second.
Sigurdsson is definitely improving and his goal was superb.
Lookman seems to be growing in height by the week and is bulking up. He looks like he could be the real deal. Mirallas must be fifth choice winger now.
Much better organised and the spirit and confidence is certainly growing. Actually starting to enjoy the game again.
56 Posted 18/12/2017 at 00:01:53
57 Posted 18/12/2017 at 00:03:01
58 Posted 19/12/2017 at 00:09:23
The football in the first half was dreadful. And it was poor to start the second half. It improved when Schneiderlin went off and we looked far more dangerous when Lookman came on.
The positive is the reaction from the team after going down, which should have never happened, but it did. Instead of heads going down they seem to now believe that they can still win. That's the mental aspect of the game. And that's also the purpose of sports psychologists. I'm glad we won. I also do not want to see Gana and Schneiderlin in the starting 12 again.
59 Posted 18/12/2017 at 00:21:09
Dull as we look, Sam knows it too and manages accordingly. Just have to live with it for now.
Also, a Tip-o-The-Cap to Leroy Fer. These 5-6 years later, that knee is still holding up.
60 Posted 19/12/2017 at 00:29:19
61 Posted 18/12/2017 at 00:29:44
We still look vulnerable from set pieces and a little suspect clearing our penalty area when the high ball comes in. This is one of the easier frailties to coach out of the players. The harder part is to get the forwards to make space, offer an option to get the ball and hence play in the opponents half.
Sam needs to (have the option) get a player with pace and a good first touch to allow the team to get 20-30 yards up the pitch and turn opposing defenders. Calvert-Lewin is doing his bit but it's not enough and he then becomes isolated too quickly and loses possession.
De Bruyne, Manè, Sanchez etc. All look very good on the break because other players in their respective teams give the passer options giving them space to turn and carry the ball. I think Sam knows he has the very player coming back to fitness in Bolasie.
Vlasiç, Lookman and Lennon need to learn to offer themselves, pull defenders away, make space for others to get in good positions then go again and look for the next ball.
Once we see a bit more movement from the forwards I think Sigurdsson, Davies and Rooney will start to become very effective as a midfield unit. I think the whole team will get to play 10-15 yards higher up the pitch.
Small steps at the moment but a good display second half. Confidence must be getting better.
62 Posted 19/12/2017 at 00:32:17
63 Posted 19/12/2017 at 00:32:42
64 Posted 19/12/2017 at 00:33:15
All I seen him do was try an take on five players into a crowded box and lose the ball, then on another occasion cut inside put it threw someones leg's then give it straight back to them hardly ‘dangerous' to the opposition!
Lookman has got tons to learn before he earns a start in the Premier League he is a kid street footballer with a nutmeg up his sleeve playing against grown men who know how to run, jump and tackle a lot harder and faster than him!
He has definitely got ability but, in my opinion, Deulofeu offered more going forward at this stage and he wasn't deemed good enough in the end!
I will second the luck shouts! We've had more pens than WH Smith's lately!
65 Posted 19/12/2017 at 00:33:27
66 Posted 19/12/2017 at 00:37:23
Gana was strong. Calvert-Lewin yet again battling effectively, so often on his own.
Almost no need to mention Kenny. Solid as usual. What else did we expect? My word, that says everything about how he has settled in!
67 Posted 19/12/2017 at 00:43:17
68 Posted 19/12/2017 at 00:43:35
I agree I at home against bottom of the league we should not be playing Gueye and Schneiderlin. However, Colin is right to say the Frenchman had an improved game tonight.
Davies really injected some enthusiasm into the midfield and Gueye was MotM.
Bring on Chelsea!
69 Posted 19/12/2017 at 00:49:51
Yes, you can ask. He took on half the Swansea team at one point, beat them single-handedly, before getting the ball pinched. But he sucked the entire defense toward him. The problem was we didn't have enough players willing to support him and offer for a quick one-two.
He also took the ball and turned up field every single time. The defense knew he was a threat with the ball and had to commit to him. As opposed to when Schneiderlin would get the ball and they drop off knowing he will just play it safely backward or sideways.
The entire point of his game is to take a man on and force them into mistakes. Of course, it doesn't work out every single time, just as it doesn't for the world's best at Man City. But the point is that you try and you impose yourself on the defense. You make them commit and force them into mistakes. It's the same thing Kenny did to win a penalty today.
Davies did the same today, better than I've seen him do just about all year. His first touch was always to turn toward the opposition goal. Put the defense on the back foot instead of letting them safely press up field. Of course he has room to improve. It would be a real shame if we spent £10 million on a teenager who was as good as he'd ever be. Just look at what Pep is doing with Sterling and De Bruyne.
70 Posted 19/12/2017 at 00:54:12
I have observed from his very candid and sensible comments that he is a little taken aback himself with what he has achieved in such a short time. I have always maintained that we have a nucleus of good players but there are a few issues of flotsam and jetsam to be addressed in January.
I give all credit to the man; he has quite simply identified the problems and applied an effective remedy. But there is a caveat. of course: can it be maintained?
We have a testing set of fixtures approaching; if we can achieve respectability and remain unbeaten in those matches, then Sam is King in my eyes.
Long Live The King! :-)
71 Posted 19/12/2017 at 01:01:53
72 Posted 19/12/2017 at 01:16:13
"I shtill have my £10M booty!"
73 Posted 19/12/2017 at 01:17:27
In the post-match interview when the game against Chelsea came up, he said this about his players "We will see what they are made of on Saturday."
That is music to my ears.
74 Posted 19/12/2017 at 01:29:09
To the many posters who condemned Sam Allardyce, please read (Mike Hughes @ 13) his post is brilliant.
I am not getting carried away with our wins, luck or standard of play, because we just don't have the top class players that are able to win and entertain.
The anti Sam brigade that still believe in the mythical "School of Science" just dream on because it will never happen.
75 Posted 19/12/2017 at 03:26:43
As a Kopite friend said to another friend who's a Cherry fan as a sly dig at us: ‘At least you tried to play football'. Guess what, Kopite clowns it's about points on the board.
With the talent at his disposal, Sam doing a sterling job thus far. Long may it continue.
76 Posted 19/12/2017 at 03:34:46
My view is the latter against Chelsea and the former at home against the likes of Swansea.
Sigurdsson and Rooney seem to be building a (to quote a former manager) footballing partnership, looking for each other most of the time in the final quarter this evening. That may work well if they are both central to retain possession before having he option to hit the ‘runner on either side.
77 Posted 19/12/2017 at 03:44:37
78 Posted 19/12/2017 at 03:47:04
They will in time improve the team with new acquisitions, but they will make sure that the players who are playing play to their best in positions best suited to the team to get results that's what counts at the end of the day.
When Everton were getting beat 1-0 at home last night there was no panic from the bench, because the manager and his assistants knew, if the players stuck to their instructions, it would be alright on the night.
79 Posted 19/12/2017 at 03:52:26
The fires didnt get my house, luckily stayed a couple of blocks away. My parents were evacuated in the middle of the night that first night but were able to return home a few days later. Thanks for asking.
The fire has been horrible. A lot of our friends lost everything. And until yesterday the air quality has been horrific. But its been amazing to see the miracles those fire fighters work.
80 Posted 19/12/2017 at 03:52:50
81 Posted 19/12/2017 at 04:07:44
I am sure all ToffeeWebbers will wish all California blues a safe and secure holiday period after what you have all been through this year.
82 Posted 19/12/2017 at 04:35:36
You could be forgiven if you saw him for the first time and had no idea who he was, he looks like a complete novice. He receives the ball with team mates in front of him, he stops, does his little pirouette then makes a sideways or back pass. His tackling is untidy and he seems unaware of who to mark.
It just baffles me that this is a seasoned international who I rated highly 3 years ago at Southampton. Surely he must be let go in January.
83 Posted 19/12/2017 at 04:52:26
84 Posted 19/12/2017 at 05:27:43
Coleman is going to have a hard time getting his old job back. Kenny is playing lights out.
Lookman is going to be a star. Pace, quick feet, not afraid to take on his man, always looking for a shot on goal.
Calvert-Lewin will only get better. A couple of quality finishes will get his confidence up.
Sigurdsson is finding his form.
Rooney has found his form.
85 Posted 19/12/2017 at 05:31:05
86 Posted 19/12/2017 at 05:54:21
We have to be pleased at the luck we are getting (always better than the alternative) but did the crowd like it? It was like a church in there, I could hear the players from the Top Balcony for most of the game.
I keep hearing that the football will get better, it will have to, much more of this will empty the place.
88 Posted 19/12/2017 at 06:28:06
Calvert-Lewin is going to be a really important player for us, he already is!
Not much talk of the "R" word on the forum anymore. Keep it going boys over the busy Christmas period, big games against Chelsea, Man Utd and Spurs in the coming month oh, and an FA Cup tie to take care of.
89 Posted 19/12/2017 at 07:01:21
I was not supportive of the idea of bringing in Sam, but I have to say he has done a great job so far. First job to stop us conceding and return some confidence check. He has also done and stuck to what he has said. The frustrations of Martinez (positive mumbo jumbo) and Koeman (deluded nonsense) have been replaced with clear directives and intentions. His man management has also been shown in flickers; collective challenging of the team, praise appropriately dished out in the media and a lid kept on the dressing room.
Now, stage 1 has been impressive and was delivered far quicker than (at least I) expected. It's the next step where Sam will really earn his stripes. It's one thing to make us hard to beat and steady the ship, it's a totally different proposition for us to take it to teams and add some flair. This is also where Sam doesn't have quite as much form or experience. He is also working with an unbalanced (mis-managed) squad. I think he has earned some patience for this transition. I will certainly afford him a few more weeks of cautious, conservative football until he is able to restructure in January. I fully expect a similar approach to Chelsea as we saw vs Liverpool and then similar style as we saw last night v West Brom/Bournemouth. If we return 6 or 7 points from those then I can stomach it . for now.
Personally, after such a bad start I'm willing to stick it out until around February before I expect to see a more adventurous approach from Sam. But, to have any longevity at Everton he will need to find this formula, in all expectation before the season is out. The next few months will be very interesting to see if Sam is really a one-trick pony or, as he once claimed, he really can deal with big jobs if given an opportunity.
90 Posted 19/12/2017 at 07:14:20
Apart from Siggy's Stardust.
We need to be pragmatic here and take these wins in context. We had without doubt the most disjointed recruitment window in the club's history. Maybe Koeman's overbearing influence adversely affected transfer policy.
For me one player deserves special recognition and that is Dominic Calvert-Lewin. Goodness me, for a very young man to be thrust into leading the line on his own he is doing an amazing job. Battling non-stop, winning headers, giving as good as he gets to opposition defenders. For 90 mins too. There's no resting or hiding from the lad.
I just can't praise him enough for what he is doing for the team. He's going to get smarter and stronger too and it was great for all concerned giving him a new long-term contract.
91 Posted 19/12/2017 at 07:25:08
That's about as close to a positive post I think I have ever seen from you, yet it still came with a barb. You put it down to luck, the recent improvement. Yet would you class the early Europa League start with two of Europe's stronger teams, a run of fixtures that would have made Pep a touch sweaty, significant injuries at right back, wing and centre back as bad luck?
Can't remember who said it, maybe an actor, but the quote goes along these lines, “ the better I play the luckier I get”. Perhaps the upturn in performance (didn't take much and is not nearly enough) has meant we are getting in positions where lucky calls pay off, and the opposition are getting less lucky breaks in and around our area as the def nice has tightened up?
Big Sam has a lot to do to convince that he can be anything more than a short term solution, but credit where it is due, he has turned a sticky situation around very quickly and seems to have managed to get Rooney and Sigurdsson in to some sort of groove.
The jury is still out. But ugly wins provide the platform. I would never expect you to drop your standards, but in the short term perhaps you can appreciate the upturn in results as a step back towards where we all want the team to be?
92 Posted 19/12/2017 at 07:33:00
93 Posted 19/12/2017 at 07:33:36
The idea that under Allardyce we are playing anti-football compared to a hazy vision of past Everton glories overlooks that we have achieved three-fifths of nothing for decades. Sam Allardyce has done what seemed unlikely just two or three weeks ago and got us playing solid organised, if unexceptional football. I have been watching this for years at Goodison Park with the occasional outburst of excitement.
94 Posted 19/12/2017 at 07:35:41
Schneiderlin and Williams are simply not good enough with Martina nothing more than a stop gap.
We mustn't get carried away; Liverpool apart, we've played some very poor teams of late. Chelsea will be the litmus test.
95 Posted 19/12/2017 at 07:43:46
However, it must surely be some relief to move from a relegation position to a top 10 place. Sigurdsson is finding his feet and Kenny is a great player in the making. Liking Holgate too.
There is no doubt that others range from poor and indifferent to having bad days and Sam really needs to make sure he never plays Schneiderlin again. But, there is progress under Sam in a very short time... not a dream, but progress.
96 Posted 19/12/2017 at 08:01:04
What is the point in trying to keep with football narratives when they don't make sense? It's clear in my mind that these players are nowhere near good enough.
In your ideal world, does Calvert-Lewin start up front? Sigurdsson wide? Martina? Williams? The list goes on. If they do, you can carry on waiting for them all to hit the same level. If you don't see these players in your ideal team, you can't moan about the football.
If we want to move on as a club we need less of the mindset comments that come related to Allardyce and seriously look at what he's got to work with.
97 Posted 19/12/2017 at 08:08:30
98 Posted 19/12/2017 at 08:30:50
If you want to argue we overpaid for him, have at it... but to suggest there's any scenario in which we're better off with him on the bench than on the pitch is simply daft.
99 Posted 19/12/2017 at 08:41:15
God knows what the moaners will say when we actually lose a game!
100 Posted 19/12/2017 at 08:41:26
I suppose if you upgrade to Eriksen, Coutinho, De Bruyne, Pogba it will cost you £70-100m nowadays.
A special mention for Pickford, Holgate, Kenny, Davies and Calvert-Lewin 5 young English lads competing in the Premier League all at once and doing a decent job at the moment.
Is there any team around or above us who comes close to that? Tottenham maybe ?
101 Posted 19/12/2017 at 08:42:15
As opposed to losing beautifully... I will take it every time.
102 Posted 19/12/2017 at 08:42:29
Give him time and also January and we could yet have a great season.
104 Posted 19/12/2017 at 09:18:10
Huddersfield beat Watford away 4-1;
West Ham beat Chelsea,held Arsenal and beat Stoke 3-0 away right after we beat them 4-0.
May be you mean out-of-form teams when they played us.
105 Posted 19/12/2017 at 09:34:11
In fact if we keep this up they will start not liking us again.
Bring on Chelsea, I've got a mental impression of our manager shoving another chewy in his mouth and Conte running his hands through his hair in frustration.
106 Posted 19/12/2017 at 09:35:04
107 Posted 19/12/2017 at 09:41:49
On the plus side last night, I thought Gana answered a few critics with a fine performance and Calvert-Lewin is proving to be a fine footballer. His problem is going to be when the club eventually do sign a striker is where is he going to fit into the team, given that he is clearly not a natural finisher, the one area that he really does need to improve in. Rooney had a stinker but showed bottle, Sigurdsson, despite not being worth £45m, scored the type of game-changing goal that only quality players do, and Kenny continues to improve his all round play. Holgate too.
The team just seemed to pick up when Davies came on and it was great to see so many young lads on towards the end.
108 Posted 19/12/2017 at 09:46:54
I thought Rooney was too slow in possession last night but he came up with an assist and took the second penalty well. Idrissa Gueye and Jonjoe Kenny had good games and Lennon was one of the few positives from the first half.
Sigurdsson is the one player we have who will try and shoot from outside the box. Another great goal from him but I still think his corner deliveries could be better. We'll have to be an awful lot better to get anything against Chelsea.
I was against Allardyce as manager but I'm impressed with what he has done in such a short space of time. I hope he uses the January window well though and strengthens in the areas that obviously need it. He was hinting last night that we might not need too many new signings but I still see a lot of areas that need improving in this Everton team. At least we have our pride back though.
109 Posted 19/12/2017 at 09:48:10
A few, in my opinion, are using Manchester City as the yardstick, which is not a bad thing to do; however, a little patience is required, and I never like it when one player is vilified it's unlikely that he's playing poorly on purpose.
To all Blues fans, I would like to think that we are all after the same thing for our club, but it appears that some are a little less patient than others.
110 Posted 19/12/2017 at 09:55:19
That is what Allardyce is improving on so far, and there is every reason to believe that we'll improve further and significantly. So if and when he intimates that there may not necessarily be any new signings in January, I can see where he's coming from.
111 Posted 19/12/2017 at 10:04:59
On Rooney he looked fit last night and tried a lot of things to create something he was brave and even if he was caught or lost the ball a few times he kept on trying. His quick flick pass got us the penalty. His assist to Sigurdsson, his penalties and his presence were worth it in the end.
When Tom came on, he was finding passes quicker to Wayne and others and allowed them to create more and keep possession and put Swansea on the back foot.
No more Schneiderlin for me.
112 Posted 19/12/2017 at 10:07:43
The second half was everything that has pleasantly surprised me from having Sam Allardyce as our manager: well organised and very solid at the back whilst still being able to create chances moving forwards. And a helpful dollop of luck!
I'm delighted with how the last month has gone and not a lot more could be asked for. We needed results, solidity and improved confidence and have received all those things in abundance. We've played a fair few teams who are low on points and confidence but in this league those teams can always surprise you but we have put them away (if not with aplomb). The test now will be how we perform against clubs in the top ten and whether we can see a bit more fluency on the ball to accompany the defence which is looking comfortably more comfortable.
Like others I loved the Kenny flare up moment and the likes of Holgate and Davies coming to his side. These kids give me hope and I hope that they are not brushed aside in the January window. In particular I think we are seeing a truly rounded striker beginning to emerge in Calvert-Lewin who has looked so much better in the last 5 games (3 goals and 3 assists?) than at the start of the season. I hope if we get a new striker it is to support and supplement and not to replace him.
I also thought that Gana was MotM. His energy around the middle is fantastic and his passing was much better too last night. second most tackles per game in the league. Top player.
114 Posted 19/12/2017 at 10:10:35
115 Posted 19/12/2017 at 10:15:21
Our third goal was a penalty but the lead up to it involved half-a-dozen players and 15 passes including a fantastic cross-field ball from Gueye and a great reverse ball from Lennon.
I'll take that every game.
116 Posted 19/12/2017 at 10:16:06
If you take the 2nd Penalty out of the equation did he have a good game.
For me he took too long on the ball and more often than not had the ball nicked of him.
117 Posted 19/12/2017 at 10:22:28
From what I have seen of Sandro his movement off the ball is very good. I have a feeling he and Calvert-Lewin are made for each other.
Perhaps if the manager wants to go with two up top at some stage this is the partnership he has in mind.
118 Posted 19/12/2017 at 11:00:50
I'll repeat what I said in case you misunderstood, Schneiderlin was crap; we played a lot better when Davies came on, and Sandro needs more game time.
That's observation – not criticism.
119 Posted 19/12/2017 at 11:05:45
Swansea had no way of testing our full backs and I thought Ayew posed Kenny a problem with his direct running. Full back area is a big problem and in our next game Pedro, Willian, Zappacosta, Alonso and Hazard will certainly pose a major threat in wide areas, especially to Martina.
The Chelsea game is less about progress for me, and more about seeing the extent to which we need the January window to rectify a squad ill equipped to compete with the Sky 6, requiring Allardyce to resort to highly defensive tactics. Allardyce is a good organiser but will he be able to adequately paper over the cracks?
I watched the post game analysis with a wry smile. The managerial failure that was Sherwood was dispensing advice that we needed to open up more, and play better football. He knew nothing about the abilities of this squad.
The current lot assembled by Messrs Martinez, Koeman and Walsh has proven itself incapable of doing the basics during a game, including defending crosses, defending the flanks, and defending set pieces.
Until we get players in who can mix Artistry with Artisanship, and also a squad where players all play in their proper positions, I expect to see a similar pattern as we have seen over the last month.
Namely against the Sky 6, deeply defensive and negative tactics in the hope of scraping a result, and covering up our inadequacies.
Against the rest, hoofball interspersed with good bits of play and individual magic, ie, what we witnessed last night.
January is a big window in the grand ambitions of Moshiri. If Walsh and Big Sam get the signings we need there can be no justifications from thereon for performances like last night which paper over the cracks, nay chasms, in this squad.
120 Posted 19/12/2017 at 11:08:48
To me, Rooney is a huge influence in these games. You can see him orchestrating, guiding and encouraging particularly the younger players throughout he games and he always has a potential defining moment in his locker.
No player will ever have a fault free game on the ball, and I just felt sometimes last night he was trying to be a little too clever at times which led to him ceding possession, generally in a non-threatening position. If more of the little flicks, back-heels and so on had come off, there would be little or no criticism from this game.
The guy's experience and vision are invaluable to the team right now and if we can attract in a couple of quality individuals to plug the gaps in our squad and keep the current players improving I believe we might see a really 'Pirloesque' role evolving from Wayne.
Moving on from Rooney the recent games have thrown up some real surprises for me. Not least of which has been Martina. I was pretty surprised when we announced him and was one of his biggest critics, but he has developed way beyond my own expectations. He still has weaknesses but is playing way better for us than he did with Southampton.
It's fantastic to see the camaraderie back on the pitch, Sam seems to be enjoying the moment and appears to have embraced the 'Everton' thing. Long may this resurgence continue.
We will inevitably take backward steps and suffer setbacks along the way, but as long as the general progress remains forwards overall I shall remain happy.
121 Posted 19/12/2017 at 11:09:21
I believe the basis of any good performance is good organisation of the team by the manager. Once you have that, players can start to excel, to express themselves. Without that organisation, they are very likely to struggle, regardless of whether some folks perceive them as not putting a shift in.
In all my years of supporting Everton, I have never criticised individual players, even the relatively mediocre ones. As far as I'm concerned, once they put that royal blue jersey on, they're beyond my criticism.
At least Allardyce seems to be organising us effectively, at least at the moment, which makes a pleasant change after the management we've seen over the last few seasons.
122 Posted 19/12/2017 at 11:21:45
despite him scoring the rebound off Rooney's penalty I just don't think Calvert-Lewin is anywhere near ready to play the lone striker role. His goal return per games is poor, not his fault he shouldn't have been put in this position in the first place.
I though both Holgate and Kenny were very very good, and Williams looks like the defender we bought from Swansea. Maybe having Holgate with his extra pace has helped Williams.
123 Posted 19/12/2017 at 11:26:22
I think you meant Gary player's statement, quote, "The more I practice, the luckier I get!"
124 Posted 19/12/2017 at 11:32:04
I hope Sam isn't going to push Niasse out the way Koeman did. The lad has proved he can score if given the chance.
125 Posted 19/12/2017 at 11:32:43
Calvert-Lewin needs to add better finishing to his game certainly but he has now been involved in more goals for us than any player bar Rooney.
He's got more goals this season than the likes of Benteke, Deeney, Andre Gray, Jermaine Defoe, Jay Rodriguez, Josh King, Rondon, Arnautovic and Gabbiadini to name a few.
I'm not sure it's at all fair to say he's not ready when you compare his output to some of the seasoned pros and players we have been linked to in the past. He has many areas to improve on certainly and I think we have already seen him begin to do that. If he is going to be replaced in our team it needs to be someone of a noteably higher calibre (such as Giroud perhaps).
127 Posted 19/12/2017 at 11:38:33
Maybe we have accepted a decent offer and he is off in January. He would be further down the pecking order once Giroud, or whoever comes in.
128 Posted 19/12/2017 at 11:51:58
The most important thing for me is that when I first suggested Allardyce as the manager to take us through to next season, it was when we were third from bottom and I saw that our run up to Christmas and New Year was predominantly against the teams immediately above us at that point (as well as a couple below). The results thus far are what I wanted, ie, wins against the other relegation candidates. Extra points picked up against tops 5 or 6 teams are icing on the cake. The next target has to be 42 points.
The only thing I want at this moment in time is safety; what comes after that will be an unexpected reward for a team that are slowly coming together as a unit and playing for each other as well as for the fans.
129 Posted 19/12/2017 at 11:53:20
I accept the performances have not been great but that is not down to style of play or management it is a quality problem. We still lack quality in too many positions.
However the performances have been bad for a long time and I would rather be winning with a clear sign of improvement than losing like we were doing.
Well done Sam, I think it is very difficult for anyone to criticise the excellent job you have done so far.
This may be just the job he always craved and if the board back him we may just be starting out on an interesting journey.
130 Posted 19/12/2017 at 11:55:07
131 Posted 19/12/2017 at 11:55:10
I like his physique, tall and lean with plenty of room to beef out without becoming bulky. He already gives defenders a hard time physically and I reckon in a year or two he' be pretty imposing.
I remember last season when Koeman kept picking him and we could not work out why as he wasn't really producing. I think we are seeing this season, what Koeman had been seeing in training.
His goal ratio may not be anything to write home about but neither was Kane's, Drogba's or Costa's at the age of 20. A good piece of scouting by Rhino I believe!
132 Posted 19/12/2017 at 12:02:06
January prices are always inflated (as if they weren't enough already). It "appears" we should be safe this season with a mid to upper mid table finish. Anyone we did buy isn't going to lift us into the Champions League slots (realistically speaking). So the thinking may be that if the players we may buy in this window won't make a huge difference, don't buy 'em but wait 'til the summer.
Just my take on things before people start to rage when it looks like we won't be drafting in a plethora of world beaters in January.
ps: Calvert-Lewin is an outstanding player, absolute gem. I can't understand how some can't see that.
133 Posted 19/12/2017 at 12:08:16
Sharper finishing is the one area Calvert-LewinL needs to improve on more than any other aspect of his game. Even then, he is only behind Rooney in goals and assists for Everton this season.
Sam @ 125 neatly compares his goal return to other 'known' strikers in his role.
At only 20, I think he is having a wonderful season and if he maintains this form I could see him as a candidate for both the club player and young player of the year award.
And by way of another comparison, can somebody please explain to me how on this season's first team club form the Swansea sub Tammy Abraham and the Liverpool fringe player Solanke got selected ahead of Dom for England in the recent internationals against Germany and Brazil?
134 Posted 19/12/2017 at 12:30:42
Sam also needs to clear out a few, eg, Mirallas, Stekelenburg, possibly Klaassen and maybe try and get a more creative type midfield player in. Our present bunch are all too similar in style.
135 Posted 19/12/2017 at 12:38:45
For me the priority is left-back. Martina has done manfully but is playing out of position and is not the long term solution. If Allardyce likes the look of Connolly or Robinson who have both been doing okay on loan then great but otherwise i'd see if we can find someone to be the next Baines, who I think no longer has the physical attributes to play as a Premier League full-back. Luke Shaw would deserve some attention if available.
136 Posted 19/12/2017 at 12:47:00
Good win last night although only available @ 4/5.
137 Posted 19/12/2017 at 12:49:38
Calvert-Lewin has been involved in 11 goals after 18 games at the same age Lukaku had his first season with us and was involved in 21 at the end of the season, admittedly scoring more but assisting less. Keep developing young man.
And lucky! Give it a rest. Luck is made when you take a chance and it falls your way. In the past, we haven't been taking those chances.
Moshiri will be wanting more entertainment for his new stadium. We have moved so quickly from an impending disaster to safety and routine wins it has been mind-boggling. What was Koeman doing?? Perhaps he was trying to develop a game that could take on the top 4 but doing it waaayyy too fast for these players. I would prefer entertainment to come second to stability and results, once we have the latter then lets try for the former.
138 Posted 19/12/2017 at 13:01:32
Hopefully we will continue in this vein and probably finish around this position- up or down 1 or 2 - even if we spent a shedload on January overpriced players.
Possibly 1 or 2 loan signings who can help us and themselves with the World Cup coming up and needing regular playing time.
The rest of the season should be on identifying who and what we need and get them in very early doors close season.
139 Posted 19/12/2017 at 13:07:03
Do me a favour the only thing Koeman got right was his assessment of Niasse (but not his treatment of him). Don't let sentiment get in the way he's another Stracqualursi!!!
140 Posted 19/12/2017 at 13:11:23
Personally, I hope he gets the full season as our lone striker because if he continues to develop at his current rate then by next season he will be better than anything we will be able to attract/buy.
When he was put through by Sigurdsson last night he did everything right. He cut across Fernandes and may well have finished it if Fernandes hadn't illegally tugged his arm as he was pulling the trigger. It was a clever bit of defending as opposed to a poor finish.
141 Posted 19/12/2017 at 13:15:27
A look across the park will tell you that they also play a front three (of Salah, Firmino, Mane). Salah is on fire and scoring all the goals, whereas Firmino is clearly a 10-goal-a-season man.
Calvert-Lewin is showing himself to be a terrific focal point for the side. He is improving at a rapid rate. Forget the goals for a minute, and look at the way he plays as the outball for the long ball team we are becoming, and he is top notch. The one he took on the chest last night was world class. He gets his head on everything, he chases his own flick-ons and he occupies an entire defence on his own. The term "a handful" really does apply to him.
Allardyce has only been here five minutes, and he's not spoken too much about Calvert-Lewin, but the one time he did, I could see a twinkle in the old fella's eyes. He clearly thinks a lot of him and consider the big number 9s Allardyce loves, well Calvert-Lewin is it. Goals for the Number 9s have never been essential. Just ask Heskey and Davies. Kevin Davies had a 22-year career. He broke the 10-league goal barrier just twice, once as an 18-year-old kid in the 4th tier, and the second time at his peak as a 32-year-old in the Premier League.
For Allardyce, goals from the Number 9 is not essential. Hold up play, link up play, the outball, these are all the things Allardyce is looking for from Dominic. And I doubt anyone can say that he is not at least good at them. I would put good money on us not signing a number 9 this January, such is the performance and development of Calvert-Lewin.
Back to Firmino and the evil reds. Firmino is similarly a good link up man for them, and brings others into the game, or takes defenders away to create space for others. The others mainly being Salah. And that's what we need to do, use Calvert-Lewin to do what he is doing very well, and to expect others to play off him and score. To be fair, in the second half at least, we did that with Sigurdsson, Lennon and Rooney all doing so.
I'm not writing off Dominic's goal-scoring abilities, I think he has them, I think he is going to be a top player, but let's appreciate him for all he brings to the table, and it's much, much more than goals, and as long as others score the goals using his strengths, then it's job done.
142 Posted 19/12/2017 at 13:19:23
143 Posted 19/12/2017 at 13:29:38
Phil, are you like me stuck on this page?
It has a form for personal details to fill in and under that an option to make a donation? But when you select the amount and click a Single Donation button . it opens the same page in a new tab!!!
That page comes with the message: "Everton in the Community couldn't operate without your generous help. You can donate here, right now."
And then they make it impossible to quickly and easily donate!
Barking! Everton and their IT and official site structure are really woeful, I'm afraid to report.
I've sent an email to them, explaining the road to nowhere loop and am waiting on an answer. If and when I hear anything, I'll share the info with you.
144 Posted 19/12/2017 at 13:32:36
I think he's going to become the complete package but I would still go for a striker in the window as he will need a break from time to time.
145 Posted 19/12/2017 at 13:33:16
I think Moshiri will want us to wait. I base this on his conversation with Jim White live on deadline day on Sky Sports News where he said Koeman has the players he needs. I'm guessing here, but I believe Allardyce got the job telling Moshiri that he could build a team out of the present squad and keep us up.
If so, Moshiri is unlikely to open up the chequebook and allow us to bring in another 3 or 4. Maybe, if we can ship a few out, for what we paid, then we will bring others in. But Moshiri sees the squad as an investment and he wants a return on that investment; he won't simply write a load of players off and invest more money.
146 Posted 19/12/2017 at 13:34:18
I agree with you up to a point but that still doesn't excuse his (relatively) poor finishing. He was one on one with the keeper last night and managed a powder puff finish, one shot in the first half was lame and he should have buried a chance at Palace.
I absolutely rate the lad, always have, but he does need to improve his finishing – even if deployed as a target man. It is possible to do both!
147 Posted 19/12/2017 at 13:35:50
Same goes for Jonjoe, Tom, Beni and Co. I'm sure Big Sam agrees with me.
148 Posted 19/12/2017 at 13:37:28
149 Posted 19/12/2017 at 13:42:37
This underlines, IMO, the massive importance of getting the organisation, the tactics, right. Without that, players will struggle relatively, and no amount of transfer window dealings will solve that. In this sense, I can't say I'm particularly bothered about the January transfer window.
Of much greater interest is seeing how we improve with the players we have. In my mind, that has always been most important, and it's just been the case that Martinez and Koeman didn't seem up to the task of organising us to maximise performance. So far, Allardyce seems to fit the bill.
150 Posted 19/12/2017 at 13:45:55
I agree with Colin too, he is shouldering an enormous burden for a 20-year-old in his first full season.
151 Posted 19/12/2017 at 13:48:21
Now we have some stability, continuity and form, let's not jeopardize that by going gung-ho in the January market.
Martina is doing okay as a makeshift left back but, as was widely recognized by many, loaning out so many youngsters who could cover that position and not recruiting a more seasoned pro left us overly dependent on the fitness and good form of Baines.
That is one position that does need looking at as I don't believe the loanees can be recalled. Of course the rarely spotted Luke Garbutt is still at the club, but he hasn't exactly pulled up trees at his loan clubs in the last couple of seasons, so I really don't know if he is up to the task.
Otherwise, defence and midfield is largely covered. Attacking options could certainly be added to. I guess it really depends on who is shipped out and who if the timing and price is right is available to recruit.
But I'm with Brian. Let's not go filling our shopping trolley with shiny glittering toys which we barely play with or even take out of the box after January.
152 Posted 19/12/2017 at 13:49:57
153 Posted 19/12/2017 at 13:53:35
154 Posted 19/12/2017 at 13:57:17
But it's not just that. Unsworth's tactics for the U23s are interesting. He played under Kendall, Royle and Moyes. All British managers who loved a tackle, hard work and were more direct in their play. Kendall's 80s teams could play, but Unsworth played under Kendall Mark III. Unsworth was also heavily influenced by his friend Martinez who taught him a thing or two about coaching. Fortunately, Unsworth retained his ability to setup a defence and maintains a preference for getting the ball forwards (or playing on the front foot, as he calls it).
This meant that Allardyce inherited a team that was already being drilled to be more direct than Koeman, Which means that he can build upon what was already going on, rather than having to rip it all up and start again, which is what Unsworth was having to do after Koeman.
Then there's the players thriving, as you mention Stan, Kenny, Holgate, Calvert-Lewin and I'd throw in Lennon and Davies, as being all Unsworth players in and around the first team who are already in tune with that more direct style of football and so take less time to adjust.
Rooney is often called a street footballer, and no doubt his natural style is direct. Gueye and Schneiderlin have started to figure more and have played more direct, but Gueye looks better without his old partner as without him he plays direct easier. Sigurdsson is clearly starting to adjust and looks better in a more direct style of play.
155 Posted 19/12/2017 at 14:03:28
The fact that Davies made a difference is neither here nor there, he probably would have done so with either of them on the park.
Schneiderlin last night wasn't a stand-out player, but neither was he as bad as some are making out.
156 Posted 19/12/2017 at 14:12:07
"Man of the match Idrissa Gueye (Everton)
Idrissa Gueye won possession for his team 10 times and made more passes (71) than any player on the pitch during a dynamic display"
It's all a matter of perspective, I suppose.
157 Posted 19/12/2017 at 14:18:04
The match against Limassol was surely heavily influenced by Unsworth's efforts, and his advice to Shakespeare. I think Allardyce himself refers to the whole management team, not just himself, in getting the improved organisation of the pitch that we're seeing.
158 Posted 19/12/2017 at 14:18:40
One man watches Guardiola's Barcelona and says it's the best football he's ever seen, another labels it boring.
Some say the Premier League is the best league with end to end football and excitement. Others say that it's error strewn and low grade on a technical basis and therefore less interesting to watch. Others say Serie A is boring, too slow, whilst some say it's an enthralling tactical battle between highly technical sides.
It's always perspective.
159 Posted 19/12/2017 at 14:39:07
From some earlier posts of yours on other threads, I think you and I are of the same age group. Forgive me if I'm putting years on you, after all isn't that what Everton have been doing quite well for a very long time.
I Sympathise with those supporters who have never seen a successful Everton team, and I appreciate the fact that there are some, who have experienced those heady days, and would love a return to the former glories.
I include myself among the latter, and if I may be so bold as to pass on what I have learned over the years, which is to recognise the qualities of the opposition, and make allowances for human error.
An example I make whenever I discuss football is this, if Gylfi Sigurdsson scores a screamer as he did last night, the consensus of opinion is, "No goalie in the world would have stopped that".
Fast forward 10 minutes and Tammy Abraham scores an exact replica then the cry goes up, "Ashley Williams should have closed him down, and anyway, no goalie should be so badly positioned". It's exactly the same goal but seen in a different light.
I hope you forgive the ramblings of an old man; like any football supporter I don't enjoy a defeat or indeed a sub-standard performance, but I have learned to accept that the players are not robots. They're just the same as you and I, other than that they can play football to a higher standard, and like us they are prone to make mistakes.
160 Posted 19/12/2017 at 14:49:46
Yes, he is improving week by week, but at this moment this team need a more experienced lone striker. But just to reiterate I think in time Calvert-Lewin could become a very good centre-forward.
161 Posted 19/12/2017 at 14:52:15
162 Posted 19/12/2017 at 15:24:41
You seem to revel in our club sticking to the lowest common denominator. Those who challenged the hiring of Allardyce accepted that he would dig us out of a hole. That is his modus operandi and the only reason he has been employed as a manager for over 25 years.
The reservations centred on whether he was the right appointment to build a sustainable challenge for a Champions League spot. Despite comparisons made by a poster to Pep and Jose in how he will develop a free-flowing brand of football (comedy gold), everyone knows this is beyond him. So let's enjoy the hard fought wins when they come and grimace at the dire football until the inevitable happens and he leaves. Hallelujah to that.
163 Posted 19/12/2017 at 15:30:13
If the development of the previously mentioned Solanke and Abraham are any form of yardstick, the added burden of an England berth has done them no favours. Dom seems to be improving with every match for us and long may it continue.
164 Posted 19/12/2017 at 15:34:38
165 Posted 19/12/2017 at 15:36:05
The subject of mistakes is interesting. When players make mistakes, they are as you say simple errors like we all make. They make them at random if you like, in that there's no systemic underlying problem, apart from loss of form or injury or the like that's beyond their control. Such mistakes can be forgiven, it's what we all do.
In contrast, there are systemic mistakes, like ones that owners and managers make. Errors that are within their control, and which are often repeated in the face of warnings to the contrary. These are mistakes that I will happily criticise, as opposed to the 'random' mistakes that we all make from time to time.
As I say, I've never criticised players (expressed frustration privately, yes, but not criticised), which I think is just instinctive. But the above distinction between 'random' mistakes and systemic ones gives me some logic behind that instinctive response.
I recall in the past even Alan Ball and Howard Kendall being criticised from the terraces when they've made 'random' errors. I suppose you can't please all of the people all of the time!
166 Posted 19/12/2017 at 15:41:22
Have we not seen enough to know/suspect that the majority of our players are not skilled/good enough to play both a winning and great flowing passing game, ie, Man City like.
It takes a special type of player to be able to produce both consistently. Martinez failed because he wanted us to play like Barcelona with players who were not capable of producing football of that quality. We don't really want to go down that road again do we?
Give Sam a chance, he's not been manager for more than 5 minutes.
I'm not denigrating our players, we have some very good players but they don't quite match up to the very best in our League unfortunately. As we are now I think we have to win in any way we can and hope to improve the squad in the summer.
We are about to go into a very difficult spell of games, where wins are likely to be thin on the ground. Allardyce said that Saturdays game will tell him/us how good we are. There's a few more in the near future where the same could be said. I think most of us are willing to wait and see what happens and where we are at the end of the season.
I'll tell you what we are in much better shape than we were a short time ago, and I don't know about you, I'm feeling more optimistic than I have for a long time.
167 Posted 19/12/2017 at 15:42:27
Davies can beat a player, once in between the lines the defensive line has to come out and a player commit.
It's just a matter of can Tom find the vision to play the killer pass?
Schneiderlin offers something different, that's all I can muster on him.
168 Posted 19/12/2017 at 15:46:39
He is often isolated on his own with little support and that is where I expect an improvement soon because, with a bit of one-twoing up front, his goalscoring ratio will go up significantly.
169 Posted 19/12/2017 at 15:54:26
170 Posted 19/12/2017 at 15:54:39
Tom Davies was superb last night, changed the game. Best thing of the night was watching the three newly contracted youngsters and Tom applauding all sides of Goodison at the end after the seniors had trooped off. Their togetherness is hugely encouraging.
171 Posted 19/12/2017 at 16:04:10
The league table very accurately reflects our season so far. Compare the following our record against teams above us and our record against teams below us. It's very stark:
Results v teams above us:
P W D L F A Pts
8 0 2 6 4 19 2
Results v teams below us:
P W D L F A Pts
10 7 2 1 20 11 23
NO wins against any team above us in the league. The Southampton debacle was the only loss to teams below us. And look at the respective goal tallies.
This is clearly not a team under threat of relegation, but it is equally clear how much we need to improve against teams currently above us.
172 Posted 19/12/2017 at 16:05:39
The lad is progressing and doing us proud. There is no need for anyone to jump in his defence when its obvious he would be 2nd choice if we had bought a striker.
173 Posted 19/12/2017 at 16:18:32
Maybe it's a good idea to let Sandro go on loan and give him a fresh start next season? The lad has got some quality about him and he may adjust better in 9 months time.
I hope Sam doesn't go after Benteke. Calvert-Lewin is better already and improving.
174 Posted 19/12/2017 at 16:22:25
He's going all the way for me, this kid.
175 Posted 19/12/2017 at 16:23:40
176 Posted 19/12/2017 at 16:31:09
177 Posted 19/12/2017 at 16:52:01
Tony (#176) anyone who says that is a loon. I mean can you imagine Lukaku where Calvert Lewin broke through last night. I'd put anything on Lukaku slotting that all day. Give me that over running around all day too.
I have to admit I don't really judge players quality until they play a top team/teams and are well established as a Premier League player.
Calvert Lewin, Davies, Lookman, Vlasic all have great futures if they get the right breaks from the team and carry on enjoying football. Schneiderlin, Williams, Martina, and Keane I feel I already know are not good enough for top teams. Lennon has give his all lately and played okay but he has seen his best and can't hurt top sides.
Jay Wood – great post, highlighting the issues. We need a very well-planned summer recruitment to take this club forward.
178 Posted 19/12/2017 at 17:07:03
Kim (#120) you saw a completely different Rooney to the one I watched, but that is football and opinions.
179 Posted 19/12/2017 at 17:08:49
Like any supporter I have on occasion, been critical of top class international players, the criticism being the result of frustration, I can honestly say I do not give opponents stick, and I never subject our own players to some of the vile comments I hear from some fans who sit near me in the Park End.
I understand that being what some might refer to as "Old School", and acknowledging the fact through the internet medium, today's supporters are more concerned with matters off the field, my sole interest has always been what I see before me.
I have always believed that I can influence events by encouraging the players, whereas regarding the events off the field, I consider I have no control over them, so I try not to get involved.
180 Posted 19/12/2017 at 17:38:22
I don't think we are ready for the Chelsea game. We're still recovering and we still need to play some more cannon fodder before we can attempt a more expansive game. That means we will need to revert to backs to the wall football, as enjoyed at Anfield.
One final thing on Calvert-Lewin: if 7th is the best we can hope for, and assuming 6th or better is it for Europe (ie, someone qualifies through League Cup or FA Cup) then the season is something of a write off. Is it not better that we have come through the season developing the likes of Calvert-Lewin, Davies, Kenny, and Holgate? If we put Calvert-Lewin back on the bench and he plays a handful of games, and if Coleman comes in for Kenny, and if Davies is kept out by Schneiderlin, and if Keane comes back in for Holgate, then these lads development will pause. They are Premier League ready, they need games.
Calvert-Lewin was not head and shoulders better than Abraham and Solanke, in fact the neutral press rated him last of the three, and asked questions as to why he was starting games in the U20 World Cup. Now he is head and shoulders better than the other two and so it all comes down to games. Cut off the oxygen supply to his development, that is games, and it may be to the detriment of the club in the long term.
I think we should be looking to buy someone to support his development not to hinder it, and that anyone taking his place would need to be top class not Troy Deeney or Christian Benteke.
181 Posted 19/12/2017 at 17:45:34
That said, "gelling" to me seems a bit of a mystery. We're talking about playing football after all where the best teams seem to mostly rely on Allardyce's time-honored maxim "keep it simple, stupid" or "KISS".
(Apologies if the image of Allardyce and a kiss has put anyone off their tea by the way!)
182 Posted 19/12/2017 at 17:50:43
183 Posted 19/12/2017 at 17:53:30
Didn't Calvert-Lewin score last night?
184 Posted 19/12/2017 at 17:55:55
So his goal last night is null and void and we only won 2-1 then...?
185 Posted 19/12/2017 at 18:03:36
186 Posted 19/12/2017 at 18:06:57
Did it look like a foul on the telly, or to anyone who was closer to the incident than me?
187 Posted 19/12/2017 at 18:11:44
188 Posted 19/12/2017 at 18:14:44
Mason took the ball clean as a whistle, consistent with the trajectory of the ball following his excellent tackle.
Dunno if the club can appeal such yellow cards these days and have it overturned.
189 Posted 19/12/2017 at 18:18:19
Maybe a fit Bolasie could help him or a rejuvenated Niasse or another striker, because this young man is awesome.
190 Posted 19/12/2017 at 18:20:26
Calvert-Lewin seen coming out of a brothel last night looking decidedly weak at the knees.
191 Posted 19/12/2017 at 18:25:45
192 Posted 19/12/2017 at 18:25:46
193 Posted 19/12/2017 at 18:38:41
I don't think he needs a brothel!
He has scored 7 and assisted 4 in all competitions. He has been learning his trade in a very underwhelming team too!
You are aware he scored last night!!??
194 Posted 19/12/2017 at 18:39:16
Koeman was not trying to bring entertainment,he was only bringing misery to us fans.The way he messed up in transfer window on the final day going for golfing instead of working to bring in a striker. Even Martinez was doing his job till the last minute of transfer window, when he called up Lukaku on deadline day and convinced him on a loan move.
Thing is he never really cared about this club. The treatment to Niasse, ignoring Kenny, constantly playing players out of position, allowing players to drop their heads in the final games of last season instead of finishing strong, blaming the players in the media when his own tactic and lineups was not understandable by a single fan before the game. It was a forgettable nightmare and thank God it ended before it got worse.
195 Posted 19/12/2017 at 18:43:28
It's harsh, because its almost impossible for the sliding foot not to raise in those circumstances, but when I watched it again, this is the only other reason why it could be both a foul, but also deemed deliberately fouling to impede play (yellow).
Alternatively, it could just be a yellow because John Moss is a bit of fuckwit.
196 Posted 19/12/2017 at 19:08:25
"Getting the ball first has minimal relevance as to whether a foul has occurred. There is no reference to making contact with the ball in the section relating to Fouls and Misconduct in the Laws of the Game, but it may be considered by the referee in deciding whether contact was careless, reckless or excessively forceful."
IMHO it wasn't careless, reckless or excessively forceful, but he did take out the man after just about winning the ball. Bottom line is: 1. It's the refs call, ie, it may be part of his consideration, it may not... he gets to judge it; and 2. Winning the ball (per se) is a myth!
Sorry to be pedantic but the facts of the matter are... it's a foul if the ref deems it's a foul or, in other words, it's difficult to say or prove that the Ref is 'wrong' unless of course he simply never physically contacted him in any way, in which case why is he deeming it a foul!
Personally, my own view would be, whilst it may have arguably been a foul, it was not worthy of a yellow card!
Anyway, it does appear our luck has changed; I thought they were by far the better football team in 1st half and could have easily led by 2. Long may it continue
197 Posted 19/12/2017 at 19:09:08
198 Posted 19/12/2017 at 19:34:54
199 Posted 19/12/2017 at 20:02:45
200 Posted 19/12/2017 at 20:45:22
How come she just walks back into her old job (which she's extremely crap at btw)? Is it another sign of the RedShite domination of the media?
201 Posted 19/12/2017 at 20:50:55
202 Posted 19/12/2017 at 21:05:41
203 Posted 19/12/2017 at 22:23:21
204 Posted 19/12/2017 at 22:25:21
As for Kelly Cates, I've met her and she was a nice lady. She knows more about the game than her brother! In the days of increasing the number of females in football, we've been flooded on the BBC by a load who are well below standard. I don't think she is at all.
It's a shame Gabby Yorath (I forget her married name) didn't stick around in football as she is a much better presenter than Gary Lineker.
205 Posted 19/12/2017 at 22:26:52
206 Posted 19/12/2017 at 22:38:07
I'm looking forward to getting paid out on 4/6 & 1/1 to stay up.
207 Posted 19/12/2017 at 22:45:27
We still have a long way to go and will have some set backs along the way. This season is more or less a right off, lack of pre-season, embarrassed in the Europa League and horrendous pre-Allardyce league campaign.
When we do have a reverse, Saturday will be a test, expect the knowledgeable, holier than thous anti Allardyce mob to tell everyone they told us so.
This won't be a sprint. Allardyce was brought here to stabilise the Club in the short term, in my opinion that means this season, not half a dozen games. He's off to a good start but for some it will never be acceptable.
208 Posted 19/12/2017 at 22:53:59
Before you continue to trumpet your omniscience, I'd highlight that things have been turned around by precisely the manager that you stated, on numerous occasions, that you didn't want.
209 Posted 19/12/2017 at 23:09:19
If we can go to Mordor and come from a goal down to draw the game, I reckon we can get a result against Chelsea at Goodison if the 12th man turns up.
210 Posted 19/12/2017 at 23:17:15
The point I was trying to make was that we have to not get too excited by Allardyce's start, as good as it is.
As you know, there was quite a strong anti-Allardyce feeling prior to his appointment and, rather than give him the benefit of the doubt and a fair crack at the job, many have just refused to accept him, which is their right.
Although many have been quiet during this period of decent results, not so much performances, I would expect them out in full force after our first reversal.
211 Posted 19/12/2017 at 23:20:04
We beat West Ham 4-0.
We are capable of getting at least a draw against Chelsea, and I expect Sam won't accept the half-arsed dross we showed in the first half against Swansea.
We are capable of doing what West Ham did to them, especially at Goodison Park.
212 Posted 19/12/2017 at 23:36:06
I am still concerned about the current back four who still look shaky at times, so that is also an area that will need to improve greatly for the next 2 games.
213 Posted 19/12/2017 at 23:42:56
His appointment was always going to polarise us at least in the short term. I have hope that he will continue the good work he has done in restoring some pride to our club.
I expect him to do so. In fact, I will go out on a limb and say he will win the vast majority of fans over in the coming months because I believe he is capable of producing a football team that will do us proud.
Time will tell.
214 Posted 19/12/2017 at 00:36:53
Virtually everything I post is positive (unless I'm talking about managers I have been banging on about our youngsters for a year now. I was calling for the inclusion of Kenny, Calvert-Lewin (in his right position) Holgate and Davies when Koeman was saying they were not ready. If he had realised they were and played them in their correct positions, he may still be in a job. I don't think my comment was barbed, The luck we are enjoying is obvious. At least it is to me.
Calvert-Lewin can be anything. He's skilful, brave, quick and his finishing will improve with maturity, but he is being asked to perform the "Kevin Davies" role. He's better than that. The excessive amount of get-after-that balls being knocked up to him at the moment is shocking and is not going to help him develop his finishing. That needs to stop... now would be a good time.
215 Posted 20/12/2017 at 00:45:23
Can we get Naismith back in as a ringer for one game, nobody will spot him, it being nearly Christmas and that.
216 Posted 20/12/2017 at 02:11:58
I hope it continues and he becomes an Everton legend. I still won't like the man, even though I'd clearly be wrong about his ability to play expansive football.
217 Posted 20/12/2017 at 02:21:16
218 Posted 20/12/2017 at 03:18:44
Your posts in this thread and how your coming across is much better than your tactical deconstruction previous. Keep the posts coming, and don't mention Schneiderlin unless you fuck him off!!!
219 Posted 20/12/2017 at 04:56:46
Just to remind myself to ensure I wasn't living in a parallel universe I had another look at our results since the season started and I just cannot see any improvement in results that would qualify any sort of improvement.
In fact in the few days before Allardyces appointment was announced we had been beaten by the mighty Atalanta at home 5-1 and the equally impressive Southampton 4-1 away.
Now some may say that the West Ham game was this so called turning point but I also remember the false dawns that were Bournemouth and Watford.
I suppose we will just have to accept that under no circumstances will Allardyce and his staff get any credit whatsoever from his detractors. A shame really as it seems quite small-minded; some people are never wrong.
220 Posted 20/12/2017 at 06:47:48
If ever there was a comment that has no foundation whatsoever...
221 Posted 20/12/2017 at 08:04:26
He is trying to get over clear and simple messages to the players, making them clearly understand the simple things he wants them to do.
I think in this short time Sam has brought in this fundamental change. The fact that the players actually know their position and are made fully and clearly aware of their responsibility for that position.
Each player's role in the team is simple and clear. This lets them concentrate fully on the job in hand. I was skeptical about Sam's appointment but I believe he is the right man at the right time. I am hoping for incremental progress from him and his team, along with better balance in recruitment.
Where there was confusion, now there is clarity. It's good for the players, and good for the club.
222 Posted 20/12/2017 at 08:10:30
223 Posted 20/12/2017 at 08:45:19
Anyone who watched the Southampton game and wants to tell me what positives there were should form a queue outside the Lion on Moorfields at 11 am this Saturday and I'll buy you all a pint. Your carers too.
I'll have a tenner in my pocket, should be enough.
224 Posted 20/12/2017 at 09:21:53
When Sam sat in the stand for the West Ham match that's when things started to happen. Before that, we were no better than Swansea and look where they are.
225 Posted 20/12/2017 at 09:48:41
I'm not saying that Unsworth would have got the same results, I highly doubt he would.
We didn't see any passion whatsoever before Unsworth came in, we saw it against Chelsea and the 2 league games we got points out of. This started to build confidence and getting Kenny and Lennon in the side permanently was a big plus.
The players responded to Allardyce being in the stands the same way they responded to Unsworth for his first few games when they thought he might get the job. They stopped again (Atalanta and Southampton) when it was clear he wasn't going to have the job on a full-time basis.
Allardyce has undoubtedly done better than Unsworth would have done and the defence in particular is where Unsworth failed. I think there's a potentially great manager in Unsworth though, and a couple of years learning under Allardyce could bring out the best in him.
Unsworth did a good job under the circumstances, but Allardyce has built on it and done a lot better.
226 Posted 20/12/2017 at 10:18:22
And while they're at it, Vardy was up to his old leg-dangling tricks trying to win a penalty. He should be banned too.
Maybe MotD could have a Dive of the Month competition. As voted by viewers. There's normally about 20-30 to choose from.
227 Posted 20/12/2017 at 10:29:45
The worrying thing for me was that we have now witnessed 2 episodes that have seriously undermined our season.
Firstly, the failure to replace Lukaku despite knowing for so long that he would leave.
Secondly, the decision to sack Koeman without a successor lined-up.
These two events suggest that there is a lack of unity within the hierarchy of the club, perhaps a power struggle. It smacks of amateurism. Allardyce should take the credit.
Unsworth is a loyal Blue, but he had no authority with the first team, and if it were not the fact that he was one of us, he would have been slated more harshly for the strange selections and poor results. However, Unsworth did a good thing in bringing both Kenny and Lennon into the team, and they have gone from strength to strength.
229 Posted 20/12/2017 at 11:30:32
230 Posted 20/12/2017 at 11:35:58
Anyone who wants to argue that things were already on the up before Allardyce's appointment needs to see footage of two things: the way we warmed up on the pitch before any match at Goodison this season; and the way we did so before the Huddersfield game. The contrast was stark. In the latter case, the players were being yelled at sergeant major style as they went through the drills. It lifted your optimism for the match quite a bit.
231 Posted 20/12/2017 at 12:38:10
Things were turning around before Sam arrived?
Before the 4-0 trouncing of West Ham, we had just been twatted 5-1 at home by Atlanta and 4-1 away to Southampton.
Now I, seemingly like you, honestly believed we were never in threat of relegation. Why? Because of the following data I've already shared on this thread, but will repeat here:
Results v teams above us:
P W D L F A Pts
8 0 2 6 4 19 2
Results v teams below us:
P W D L F A Pts
10 7 2 1 20 11 23
The correlation is very clear. This is a team that was never in real danger of relegation.
I anticipated an upturn in fortunes when, as has happened, we had a run of fixtures against bottom half clubs. But let's give this some context.
The Southampton debacle is the only loss to teams below us.
In the 12 games before playing us the Saints had scored a paltry 9 league goals all season. Their only other league wins this season reads as follows:
H WHU 3-2 in August
A Palace 1-0 in September
H WBA 1-0 in October
That's it. How were those respective teams performing in those months and where did/do they lie in the league?
In the 5 games since playing us Southampton's form reads L-D-D-L-L with 4 goals for and 9 against.
As I've repeated many times, I genuinely wanted David Unsworth to succeed. He didn't. The West Ham result was a wonderful send off to him and the Goodison crowd showed their appreciation for his efforts and the dignity he showed in seeing us through a difficult time.
Other than that, there was little or no sign that the core issue greater defensive solidity was being addressed or arrested.
Acknowledge it or not, but Sam and his team appear to have done just that.
232 Posted 20/12/2017 at 12:40:36
I have a lot of Everton love for Unsworth but it wasn't working, simple as that. The fact players have spoken about this sort of confirms it but you minority keep searching your souls for justified reasons to knock the appointment of a man much smarter than most in English football.
Give it the old "I might be wrong though" instead of "I am wrong so far." Keep that open line for yourself and you can say "I told you so" if it turns out bad.
This is possibly the worst Everton squad I have seen in my 35 years.
233 Posted 20/12/2017 at 12:53:14
I think you are possibly wrong.
234 Posted 20/12/2017 at 13:09:01
One was announced as the permanent manager on an 18 month contract.
The other was told he would be manager game by game, and was kept on for 7 games when the board fucked up their managerial search and had to revert to someone they originally turned down.
Would Unsworth have done equally as badly if he was given an 18-month contract? We will not know. Its a pointless comparison, but by the same token, dismissing Unsworth's efforts without acknowledging the shit hand he was dealt with by the cretinous owners is plain wrong.
As for the nonsensical fixture comparison, I think we have won once away to Southampton in 10-odd years so our defeat there was true to form. West Ham is pretty much a home banker. We have done okay in recent fixtures at home against Watford, but have had a mixed bag against Leicester. Palace away we have usually collected a result.
It was the appalling performances against Atalanta, Lyon and then Southampton (even though the loss went to form) which forced the board to panic.
It's right that they did appoint a full time manager, but Unsworth was hung out to dry over 7 games.
Whats more, he was doing his admirable best with a horribly imbalanced squad bequeathed by the cretinous team of Koeman, Walsh, Kenwright and Moshiri.
Allardyce's early successes do not need to be toasted at the expense and denigration of Unsworth's managerial abilities.
If anyone needs eviscerating it is the board and Walsh who presided over
1. Disastrous Summer Window;
2. Disastrous last 6 months of Koeman's reign, which saw us play a losing brand of football and alienate members of the squad such as Barkley;
3. Disastrous search for a manager, which undermined Unsworth and must have affected results after Koeman's departure.
All of which resulted in the pressing of a big red button marked SOS for Big Sam.
235 Posted 20/12/2017 at 13:14:32
Jay, I might be wrong but are your teams below us stats misleading as they are based on the present?
Surely the ONLY point we got prior to the Southampton game against teams below us was against Palace in a 2-2 draw?
Obviously after West Ham points accrued have been against teams below apart from the RS.
Surely if, in your opinion, we were in no danger of a relegation battle why then change the manager?
It's easy now to say we would never have been in a dogfight but, had Koeman or Unsworth still been here, can you honestly say our poor form and zero confidence would have improved? Personally, I doubt it. We can guess and have an opinion but to say definitely?? Thankfully and hopefully we will never know.
236 Posted 20/12/2017 at 13:19:39
As for style of play, well it is open to interpretation, and yes we are practical at the moment; given what has gone before, that is fine. But on Monday the two penalties were the results of quite good and aesthetically pleasing moves and Sigurdsson scored a worldy. No-one seems to mention that!
237 Posted 20/12/2017 at 13:24:29
Before Allardyce, came in, Everton were an absolute mess, and although I agree with the people who said we wouldn't go down, I'm not sure that this would have been the case if we hadn't appointed a “strong” manager.
238 Posted 20/12/2017 at 13:50:29
We may have had worse managers in this time. But man for man, a worse 11 or squad? I can't think of one.
Tony they will be pedestrian in a lot of games. Write down the quality we have. It becomes more apparent then.
The three managers this season have worked with slow, 2nd level players.
One manager has himself to blame; the other two have done very well to gain any points from the lack of quality we have.
We beat Swansea the other night. The way they moved the ball through us sometimes showed they have some okay players?
Not really. Just 2 teams full of bottom half players having okay moments in the game. The goal was a great finish.
Do Chelsea let us through like that? We will see but i very much doubt it.
239 Posted 20/12/2017 at 14:08:36
Under Koeman we were aesthetically poor AND losing badly, whereas under Allardyce we are aesthetically poor but the results are massively better.
Even if we don't improve aesthetically, getting decent results is an improvement on what went before. If we continue a trend of decent results, any aesthetic improvement is a big bonus.
We may well improve aesthetically, so from any angle it's looked at we're progressing. Therefore, no complaints from me so far.
240 Posted 20/12/2017 at 14:12:15
I can understand where you are coming from, but the facts are these:
Koeman was sacked 9 games into the season after the 5-2 home tanking by Arsenal. In those 9 games we played - and lost, heavily in most cases - to the following teams:
Arsenal (as mentioned), Chelsea, Spurs, United and Burnley. The only point garnered from teams NOW above us was of course the draw at City.
The other 'positive' results came with wins against Stoke and Watford and a draw at Brighton - all NOW below us.
Even on that small data range, you could see a correlation. I never considered as you appear to have done, that after a mere 9 games we were in a relegation battle. Even with the continued bad results under Unsworth, that belief has proven correct.
I looked ahead to our fixture list and - like our resident punter Paul Tran - I could see a trend that suggested to me we would not realistically be in a relegation battle.
I only wish I had been as shrewd as Paul to back my hunch at the bookies with hard cash.
The way the team performed in those opening 9 games (and I haven't included the EL games) and Koeman's disposition led to the inevitable decision that his position had become 'untenable'.
Like many, as I've said, I had a genuine desire to see Unsworth succeed. Like I've also said, he didn't. Maybe if the board had appointed him as full time manager, rather than merely caretaker, he could have carried more authority and got more from the team.
The appointment of Sam Allardyce has been made and - as I also clearly referenced in my previous post that you seem to be challenging - he and his coaching team have immediately and successfully addressed the core issue: make as more resilient defensively and stop conceding goals.
I was replying specifically to Steve Ferns claim that "things were turning around before Sam arrived."
You and I clearly thought otherwise. Unlike you, I genuinely believed with the fixtures to come we would - and have - rapidly climb away from the wrong end of the table.
The rest, as you yourself say, is all very speculative.
As for my 'split results' data, we are 1 game shy of completing half a season, so they accurately reflect how we have performed against every other team in the league (apart from WBA - we haven't played them yet), so IMO they constitute legitimate data as we approach half time in the season.
241 Posted 20/12/2017 at 14:26:36
Yes I was only looking at things up to the West Ham game. There was nobody really below us - I think we were about 18th at the time ? We were abysmal to put it mildly.
Confidence and strategy was nil and to be honest regardless of the opposition I just couldn't see where the next point was coming from. We certainly showed no sign up to West ham of turning anything around, in my opinion.
I remember coming out the ground after the West Ham game and just wondering where that result had come from. Had that shot gone in and not hit the bar or the pen gone in it could have been curtains.
As we agree it's a moot point about a relegation battle or not as we will, hopefully, never know.
242 Posted 20/12/2017 at 14:29:49
I would like to see Vlasic, Lookman, or Bolasie, play out wide, and I would like to see Sigurdsson play more central, and then I think our midfield will become so much better overnight.
I'm aware of how bad it was when Big Sam came in, and I'm aware that our defence still needs overly covering, because of how poor it had been, but I've seen much worse squads, and although you rightly point out it's deficiencies, look at some of our most recent goals, and you will have to agree that only footballers with genuine quality could have scored them.
243 Posted 20/12/2017 at 14:48:00
Thanks for the name check Jay. If I'd done your statistical analysis I'd have lumped on more (if they'd let me!).
My take was that we have a decent squad that needs a left back and striker. Problem was that the players looked unfit, didn't know what they were meant to be doing and did it slowly. That's why Koeman had to go. On that basis, I thought that as soon as we got a manager that could communicate and organise, we'd climb the table.
There's a tendency on here for some to swing from one extreme to another and miss the big picture. A badly performing manager doesn't make good players poor players. Football is a simple game best kept simple. Only an elite few managers can make it complicated and articulate what they want. Our last two managers palpably couldn't. We now have one with a track record in communication and simplicity for whom the job is a step up. That's why we're on the way up for now.
Let's see if he can take us where we want.
244 Posted 20/12/2017 at 14:50:24
On this day, 138 years ago, Everton Football Club played their first ever game.
It was a good start as well, a 6-0 win over St Peter's in fact, as the Everton players had to adopt a Sunday League-approach of carrying the goalposts, and marking out the lines.
245 Posted 20/12/2017 at 14:51:00
246 Posted 20/12/2017 at 15:00:22
I had to post this one to show the obvious intelligence on show.
The loon who has been gaoled for kicking Sterling outside the trading ground verballed him with the following pearler.
"I hope your mum and child wake up dead"
247 Posted 20/12/2017 at 15:02:54
248 Posted 20/12/2017 at 15:15:32
249 Posted 20/12/2017 at 15:40:19
I have seen some awful sides like yourself. I don't see more ability in this side as some of the other worse ones and in this day and age we lack all the ingredients to do anything dangerous against the best sides.
In all them bad sides we have spoke of, we could still go to good sides places and beat them.
250 Posted 20/12/2017 at 16:29:52
If you look at the Unsworth league games, because that is all he can be rightly judged on, then we went LWDLW, and after a succession of defeats, it was very clear to me that things had bottomed out under Unsworth.
He lost to Leicester and Southampton, both of which were away. The latter were 8th last season and Leicester still have a very good team, defeats (but not the manner of them) are no great shame. Victories over West Ham and Watford at home. A draw with Palace away. Then he had a run of games that he was denied, the playoff team at home, the derby, a promoted team away, bottom of the league at home. Are you seriously telling me that you did not expect Unsworth to build on the 3 points against West Ham, and to add another 2 or 3 wins and to push us up the table more.
As Jay's stats show, a lot of our worst moments this season played out because of the hand the fixture list computer dealt us.
No one is arguing that Allardyce hasn't got good results, they are certainly a point better than I think we could have realistically hoped for. But let's not dismiss Unsworth role or say that Allarduce came in and waved a magic wand. Unsworth had bottomed us out, and turned us around, and Allardyce's job was far easier than anyone was expecting. He even said so himself.
251 Posted 20/12/2017 at 16:35:11
I won't use Atalanta as an example. Lyon was bad enough. Southampton awful and the Palace Leicester games no good either.
252 Posted 20/12/2017 at 16:48:33
W Stoke h
D Man City a
L Chelsea a
L Spurs h
L Man Utd a
L Burnley h
D Brighton a
L Arsenal h
sacked after 9 games with 5 points and in 18th place
L Leicester a
W Watford h
D C. Palace a
L Southampton a
W West Ham h
tenure ends after 5 games, winning 7 points, and 13th place
So how on earth is that not turning things around?
Turning things around means that things are getting better, we won more points in almost half the games, we were 5 places higher in the league. Things had got better. It doesn't mean things were great. It doesn't mean that it would all be plain sailing from here on in. But the run of games that came next were ones were we were always expecting to pick up points.
253 Posted 20/12/2017 at 16:50:00
There were and are PLENTY of people who sympathized with Unsworth and the hand he was dealt. Even in this very thread.
So people are not lambasting him, just describing the cold hard facts as they interpret them.
To blithely dismiss the Atlanta and Southampton results as you attempt is to ignore what David Unsworth himself said about the two performances:
v Atlanta: "To concede the way we did and in the schoolboy manner we did was just not acceptable and the players know that wasnt acceptable.
“It takes a special type of player to have the guts to get on the ball at Goodison Park. There was no pressure on the game tonight and it was an opportunity for players who havent been playing to stake a claim. But when we concede and lose the game in the manner we did, they cant complain when theyre not in the team.”
v Southampton: "I am absolutely gutted. The second-half performance from all our team was unacceptable. I'm sorry for all the Everton fans who came down here and all the ones who were watching as well.
"We can't keep performing like this, it's just not good enough."
Note in particular that last quoted sentence.
The man himself clearly did not consider that 'things were turning around' as you continue to insist.
254 Posted 20/12/2017 at 16:52:03
LLLDL to LWDLW is an improvement and ergo getting better.
255 Posted 20/12/2017 at 16:55:34
Fair enough. Carry on.
256 Posted 20/12/2017 at 17:01:02
He's going to be here for another 17 months. Please can you at least try to get his name right?
It's Allardyce (two 'A's)... NOT 'Allerdyce' as you keep typing it (and I keep correcting it).
257 Posted 20/12/2017 at 17:06:09
258 Posted 20/12/2017 at 17:06:09
As I did when, as you'll remember, I inadvertently referred to you as Michael Kenwright!! It was an honest error but I should have been banned for that what an insult!!
259 Posted 20/12/2017 at 17:07:38
260 Posted 20/12/2017 at 17:10:13
In theory, what we all suspected is probably true? You don't want to like Allardyce and never will as you said so your basically saying Unsworth set up our recent run of results?
You could also put into the argument the opponents we had under Koeman compared to the other 2. Like I said I hold nothing against Unsworth. Performances were nowhere near what they have been since Unsworth moved. Nowhere near it.
262 Posted 20/12/2017 at 17:14:20
Look at the fixtures you posted, mate.
Rhino got it easy comparatively and didn't shower himself in glory. Not his time.
Big Sam has given the team a bounce. How long it lasts is yet to be seen, but if we had continued with Unsworth, I think we would have struggled for the rest of the season.
263 Posted 20/12/2017 at 17:19:10
It wasn't just the defeats that were concerning, it was the manner of the defeats. The complete lack of team organisation and fight was the worst I've ever seen and we were in free-fall, without a parachute.
Initially, I wanted Unsworth to get the job but as time went on it became clear he wasn't the man. Although he installed a bit more effort into the side he, patently, failed to address the defensive shambles he inherited.
Make no mistake: we were nailed on relegation fodder. Even if we lose the next few games I'm pretty sure we'll finish halfway, or higher. I certainly couldn't have said that after the Southampton game!
265 Posted 20/12/2017 at 17:25:46
Ten goals - 33.33333% of the overall total - were conceded in just 4 games - 22.22222% of our total PL games - on David Unsworth's watch.
And that's without including a further 10 goals conceded in the 3 cup games against Chelsea, Lyon and Atlanta under David.
In his 5 games to date, including the 3-0 win in Cyprus, Sam Allardyce's Everton has conceded just 2 goals.
THAT is addressing and turning around the key problem Everton has faced all season, both under Koeman and Unsworth.
266 Posted 20/12/2017 at 17:27:27
"Barclay" is the favourite wrong 'un.
267 Posted 20/12/2017 at 17:28:05
268 Posted 20/12/2017 at 17:28:36
269 Posted 20/12/2017 at 17:32:12
Before the Southampton game, we were still getting demolished. The relegation fears were real, and they were being shouted all over the media in England as well as in the US. It was clear to all unbiased, objective observers that the club needed to act and act quickly to get the permanent manager in. It was then quickly reported that Sam was in negotiations, and then he was present in the Director's box for the West Ham game.
Up until that match with West Ham, we had accumulated a whopping 4 points under Unsworth. We were leaking goals like we were the Titanic. Then the new manager is in the stadium the players see the man that they will need to impress going forward, and suddenly they give their best performance against a club that had also just changed managers. It was no coincidence that there was a response as the new permanent manager was named.
You want to give Unsworth credit for that West Ham match and ignore the impact of the new manager being in the stadium and watching, fine. I don't care. All I ask is to please move on from talking about David F'ing Unsworth as manager because it didn't happen and isn't going to happen.
270 Posted 20/12/2017 at 17:35:21
Can we not just say things under Koeman were increasingly poor.
Things were mixed under Unsworth – good, to shockingly poor... ending with really good again (that last one with an unquantifiable Allardyce factor thrown in).
Since Allardyce took his first game, things have been increasingly better in terms of results... brilliant, in fact – although poor to (at best) mixed in terms performances, Swansea first half being one of the worst.
So it's up and down... it's a roller-coaster. It's football!!!
No need for this annoying point-scoring nonsense, please!!!
271 Posted 20/12/2017 at 17:38:35
I like to analyze it against what I would define as expected points. I would take the liberty to define us as the 7th best team in the Premier League.
I would expect us to win at home against the 13 non-Sky 6 clubs and draw at home to the SKY 6 clubs.
Then I would expect to draw away to the 13 non SKY 6 and loose away to the 6. That would give 58 points which is normally 7.
If you want to compare results this way you can factor in the strength of the opponents. And I think we can all agree that we had a very difficult sequence of matches early on.
If you then compare Koeman's 9 matches with Unsworth's 5 matches. You will see that Koeman in 9 matches was 3 point short of expected. While Unsworth in 5 matches was 2 point short of expected.
Looking at the expected points tally when Allardyce was appointed we were only 5 short of the expected. With that angle I thought it was a bit panic reaction to talk about relegation battle.
But when we look at our performances and the way we surrendered then I could see why Koeman had to go. We were really awful in our losses and lucky winning against Stoke and Bournemouth.
Expected point wise Unsworth and Koeman were comparable. I am afraid that our performances (off course this is subjective) did not improve much under Unsworth. Lucky win against Watford and somehow a little hope. But the way we again surrendered against Southampton was again unacceptable like the Arsenal, Spurs, Chelsea etc games under Koeman. Credit to Unsworth for kick-starting our good run of results with a win against West Ham.
At that time I thought we were a bit lucky against West Ham and did not play very well. Moreover it was like Unsworth did not have a plan, and it was like preseason with trying different players and tactics.
It was an ungrateful job for Unsworth but I don't think he did much better than Koeman. I thought it was good he was replaced. However, like many others I did not want Allardyce. But his results are accepted. (And he is on plus 3 compared to expected results)
272 Posted 20/12/2017 at 17:39:30
Michael, our new manager has took that much stick, that I was just trying to put an “E” in his name mate. Sorry for my deliberate mistake! but surely hes going to be here longer than Ronald?
274 Posted 20/12/2017 at 17:45:08
275 Posted 20/12/2017 at 17:52:48
We have some very expensive recruits who have played Premier League football. If. and for me it's a big if. They need to be organised to play as a team then there is something very wrong with their mind set. Under Koeman and Saints away you would think half of them had never met each other.
The only thing Sam should have to do is pick the best 11 and kick them round the dressing room when they play a first half like they did against Swansea.
I expect 100% every game from every player. Sadly this has not been the case all season.
276 Posted 20/12/2017 at 17:56:31
277 Posted 20/12/2017 at 17:56:48
From what I read people are not disputing your stated position over mere semantics.
They are disputing your interpretation of game data and actual performances, some with supporting evidence to counter your claims.
That includes an evaluation of the situation pre- and post-Unsworth and on the man's watch itself.
As David Barks says, Rhino has gone. Sam is the man.
278 Posted 20/12/2017 at 18:00:14
279 Posted 20/12/2017 at 18:10:04
As an honest guy, Unsworth was always going to hold his hands up when a team under his charge produced pish performances, as they surely did in more games than the two you pinpoint. Yet, his final assessment of his interim spell in charge shows that Unsworth (for what it's worth) did feel he ultimately improved the situation he was saddled with, albeit not drastically or swiftly enough for many supporters or the board.
"I took over when we were in the bottom three and we've managed to get out of that over the period of six weeks so I'm satisfied."
That's what it boils down to really. We were in deep shit before his first game and slightly less shit after his final game in charge.
However haphazard, horrendous or hole tightening the performances, however patchy or slight any positive signs, Unsworth did still manage to pick up enough points to push the team a few places up the table and provide the bloke coming in with a little bit of breathing space.
Not a roaring success by any means, but certainly a less rancid baton to pass on than the one Ron had left protruding out of a surrender monkey's arse six weeks earlier.
So far, Allardyce has picked it up and ran with it and here's hoping he's got the legs to keep such momentum going over the coming months. He certainly wouldn't have been my choice for Everton manager, but credit where it's due he's done about as well as anybody could have expected thus far and we're looking a much tougher proposition to take points off as a result.
280 Posted 20/12/2017 at 18:15:00
The reason... his wife was watching up on the balcony! (Not even his new manager!)
Add Your Comments
In order to post a comment, you need to be logged in as a registered user of the site.
Or Sign up as a ToffeeWeb Member — it's free, takes just a few minutes and will allow you to post your comments on articles and Talking Points submissions across the site.