Scintillating football returns to Goodison Park

By Michael Kenrick 18/08/2018 180comments  |  Jump to last

With Phil Jagielka suspended, Mason Holgate gets the nod over Kurt Zouma to start in central defence.
Everton 2 - 1 Southampton

Marco Silva orchestrated a splendid start to his first home Premier League fixture as Everton put two finely worked goals past Southampton in a bright and expansive first half. The Saints pushed back in the second half but Walcott should have wrapped it up.

Mason Holgate retains his place in defence for the suspended Phil Jagielka. Otherwise, Everton are unchanged, with no other new signings starting, except the dynamic Richarlison, who is sure to receive a massive Goodison Park welcome. Seamus Coleman is Captain.

Kurt Zouma is the only new face on the bench, where Ademola Lookman is named for the first time this season.

After a fine welcome for the team and the new manager, the visitors kicked off. Everton's early passing was questionable at best, Walcott and Gueye not following the plan, but there was an intent to move the ball forward more quickly.

A blocked shot from Austin spun away for an early corner that went straight to Pickford after being played short. Sigurdsson was fouled, he delivered a very fine ball for Richarlison to power a header at McCarthy. Another deep free-kick followed, Tosun connecting in the Dee.

Neat work down the left saw Baines win a corner smartly, Sigurdsson, floating it deep for Gana running in to volley, but it was blocked. Everton looked so much brighter than last season, Tosun and Richarlison trying to create something that Walcott spoilt with a sloppy touch.

A free-kick for Southampton exposed the Everton defence, though, Austin getting on the end of it but heading wide when he could easily have threatened the Everton goal. Fine defensive work by Richarlison was warmly appreciated by the Goodison faithful.

Sigurdsson was clipped, this time much closer to the Soton goal, the Islander yielding to Baines, whose smart routine brought a cleverly worked goal from Walcott off a brilliant touch by Schneiderlin. Textbook brilliance thanks to Marco Silva!

Another foul, this time a yellow card for Hoedt, and another fine delivery, met again by Tosun but straight at McCarthy. Schneiderlin was clipped, Lemina getting a yellow card also.

At the other end, Ings got ahead of Keane but his shot was wayward, as Schneiderlin went down again, clutching his hamstring, Tom Davies coming on for him.

An astounding shot from Cedric caught out Pickford and there was Ings to volley hard but incredibly Pickford got a firm had to it forcing the ball up onto the face of the bar, with the goal gaping, but it was a poor spill by the England No 1.

Richarlison spun and twisted horribly, pulling his groin badly, while Southampton galloped away and forced Pickford to come out, with questions of a foul on Austin. Thankfully, Richarlison resumed.

But some absolutely top-notch passing down the right between Gueye, Coleman And Walcott brought the second goal in excellent style, a beautiful cross from Walcott powered home by Richarlison. Pure class from Everton.

Baiens was horribly sold short by a poor pass from Gueye that led to a rare Southampton corner, Ward-Prowse putting in a very fine ball and a totally free header for Ings that he incredibly put wide. Another stark warning to the sleepy Everton defence.

Romeu cynically chopped down Richarlison after the Brazilian had produced a lovely moment otherwise classed as 'showboating', Baines putting in the free-kick and Tosun first to it but no clean contact.

Fine work by Sigurdsson in winning the ball was spoilt by a heavy pass forward. But the movement, desire, and speedier passing from Everton, looking to go forward in the beautiful Goodison sunshine was a thing to behold.

Another deep set-piece, Sigurdsson, swinging it in brilliantly but this time a defender was first to head it behind. Sigurdsson's corner was met awkwardly by Richarlison. In the follow-up, Cedric took out Richarlison, Lee Mason correctly playing advantage, and showing Southampton's 4th yellow card of the half 5 minutes later.

Some tricky footwork by Davies invited a foul from Austin but Baines's delivery was too deep. Lemina fired well wide at the other end to underline the balance of the first half very much in Everton's favour despite a somewhat charmed life for the Everton goal — the scoreline could so easily have been 2-3 instead of 2-0!

Tom Davies kicked off the second half, Tosun getting forward down the left. Bertrand got behind Coleman a little too easily and his cross won a corner, Keane defending well. It was a little scrppy until Tosun and Richarlison exchanged passes and advanced with intent down the left. But things kept breaking down.

Southampton showed more desire, and won a corner that was unsurprisingly powered home by Danny Ings to put them back in the game thanks to dreadful zonal marking after a slow and faltering restart from the Blues.

Lemina went in a little hard on Gueye, conceding another set-piece that almost came off, Walcott not quite alert enough to convert. Stephens trod on Tosun's foot, but was off the field for the free-kick which came to nothing and the visitors mounted another threatening attack.

Everton realised they needed to do more and pushed a little harder, Richarlison again going to ground, this time a clip to his foot that seemed to be nothing, but plenty of treatment was required.

Southampton continued to press for their equalizer, whole Everton looked a little better with a slick pass from Richarlison through the middle that almost set up Tosun. But everything they did, Southampton kept coming back at them.

Finally, a nice move saw Walcott finish cleanly off a great cutback from Tosun, only for him to have been ruled (wrongly) offside. Walcott got another chance off a brilliant exchange with Sigurdsson but he incredibly drove wide.

Another threatening cross saw Holgate head behind above Ings, but more unwanted warnings and another strong chance for the Saints.

Everton were trying to play the same bright football going forward but it just wasn't working and Silva finally decide to switch out Tosun for Calvert-Lewin, the Turk getting a fine round of applause.

It became a little scrappy, Long fouling Gueye, then Pickford having to come out and high-kick a ball, connecting with Ings on the follow-through, ripping the Liverpool man's shirt and leaving some nice red stud marks across the tramp-stamp tattoo on his lower back.

A free-kick fired in by Ward-Prowse forced an unconventional but ultimately effective punch of the ball into the ground and behind off a Southampton player, with Everton still looking uncomfortably shakey and unable to get that vital third goal. A third bookable offence by Lemina was ignored by Lee Mason.

Coleman did his best to create something from a decent cross but it just was not happening, Calvert-Lewin was next to be released but he elected to cross carefully between two Everton attackers. Gueye then shot low, forcing a save.

A poor sign of Everton's frustrations was a deep free-kick played to no-one, Richarlison was then withdrawn for Oumar Niasse, the final ploy. Niasse almost broke through but Coleman spoilt the move this time with a wayward cross.

Walcott tried a classic strike from the corner of the are but overhit the ball as Everton looked to play out 5 minutes of added time. But more pressure from Mark Hughes's side kept hearts in mouths and few in the crowd brave enough to leave before the final whistle.

A final set-piece for Everton was wasted by Gueye, played straight to a defender, Southampton advancing from the second ball but the game finally ended with the Blues victorious after a massively testing second half.

Scorers: Walcott (17'), Richarlison (31'); Ings (54')

Everton: Pickford, Coleman, Holgate, Keane, Baines, Schneiderlin (24' Davies), Gueye, Walcott, Sigurdsson, Richarlison (86' Niasse), Tosun (75' Calvert-Lewin).
Subs not Used: Stekelenburg, Zouma, Kenny, Lookman.

Southampton: McCarthy, Cedric [Y:44'], Stephens [Y:58'], Hoedt [Y:17'], Bertrand, Ward-Prowse (84' Armstrong), Lemina [Y:20'], Romeu [Y:36'] (72' Gabbiadini), Redmond, Austin (58' Long), Ings.
Subs not Used: Gunn, Yoshida, Targett, Hojbjerg.

Referee: Lee Mason

Attendance: 38,601

Reader Comments (180)

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George Cumiskey
1 Posted 18/08/2018 at 14:19:19
Two defensive midfielders against Southampton?
Bill Gienapp
3 Posted 18/08/2018 at 14:35:07
Coleman given the Captain’s armband. Now we’re talking!
Ernie Baywood
4 Posted 18/08/2018 at 14:45:38
No Digne at all?

I'll predict we'll all be calling out Schneiderlin today.

Jay Wood

5 Posted 18/08/2018 at 14:58:11
Sensible management by Silva.

Southampton play the same formation as last week's opponents Wolves and nobody played themselves out of the XI.

Holgate the man in possession of the shirt following Jags' sending off, correctly retains his place. This signals to Zouma and Mina you have to earn your place in Silva's team.

Canny of Silva to have the young 'uns on the bench, including Kenny and Lookman who didn't feature at all last week.

I bet there is a buzz around the Old Lady today.

Jay Wood

6 Posted 18/08/2018 at 16:03:50
Dominant. Totally, totally dominant.

The four yellow cards for Saints confirm that. They have no answer to us, other than to foul us.

If they keep doing that, with the quality Siggy is showing in this game on dead ball duty, we can further capitalize on that.

The first goal was a thing of beauty. Clearly a set routine worked on in training. Everybody correctly in position. Everybody wired for it to happen. The earlier free kicks all taken by Siggy helped confuse Southampton further as, when Baines stepped up to take it from the right hand side, all expected a shot on goal or an inswinging cross.

The dummied short ball into Walcott, the lay-off back to Schneiderlin, the blind lookaway round the corner pass back into Walcott to completely open up the back line, the touch and finish by Walcott, everything, top-top drawer.

That was the first time I have seen Silva smile as Everton manager on the sideline. He is usually intensely engaged. That was the smile of satisfaction that something worked on at Finch Farm paid off.

More wonderful movement by all for the second goal. Yes, 3 goals in 2 games is a great return from Richarlison, but what impresses me most about him is he is evidently no big-time Charlie. His work rate and tracking back to help out in defence is phenomenal. He looks a player who can claim at the end of every game that he didn't leave anything in reserve.

For their first shot on target it looked as if Jordan cocked up then got extremely lucky, but on replay it is actually a stunning, stunning recovery save.

Bernard to come in. Possibly Mina or Zouma attacking some exquisitely delivered balls into the opposition's penalty area.

Who else is getting a nice tingly feeling about how things are shaping up?

What a pleasure that half of football was.

Ernie Baywood
7 Posted 18/08/2018 at 16:24:40
Well, after a good first half, it's very sloppy in the second. Terrible marking from corners.

Wouldn't mind seeing Niasse have a run. Tosun's 'movement' has been disappointing. He just trots towards the back post every time we attack.

Grant Rorrison
8 Posted 18/08/2018 at 16:58:26
Should have had 4 or more there. Silly goal conceded making it much tighter and nervy than the game really was against a shit team.

Why was no-one marking a striker in and around the 6-yard box? Even though it was Ings, there's still a chance he might score... and so it proved.

I'll take the points and some nice passing football. Onwards and upwards.

George Cumiskey
9 Posted 18/08/2018 at 16:59:36
Great first half, awful second, the sooner the new players are in the better.

Sigurdsson a passenger again for the second week running, and why he brought Calvert-Lewin on instead of Niasse and Lookman is beyond me.

John G Davies
10 Posted 18/08/2018 at 17:02:06
Sigurdsson a passenger, George? What a difference a good coach can make.

Who would have believed the same eleven players, bar Richarlison, could play like that? Even in the very early days, it's plain to see his influence.

Ciarán McGlone
11 Posted 18/08/2018 at 17:02:25
Enjoyed that game... but the usual problems were still evident... especially in the second half.

Siggurdsson, Keane, Davies and Tosun are not first team material for me.

However... I'm mildly optimistic. So I'll not dwell on their limitations.

Full points.

Ian Hams
13 Posted 18/08/2018 at 17:04:58
Really, Ciaran? I thought Sigurdsson, Tosun, and particularly Davies were great.
Pat Kelly
14 Posted 18/08/2018 at 17:05:01
Coleman really needs to work on his crossing... He wasted a certain goal last week and again scuffed a few this week.

A win is a win, but we made it look hard. Still... moving in the right direction. The sooner we get the new signings playing, the better.

Jay Wood

15 Posted 18/08/2018 at 17:05:44
Well, that proved more difficult than necessary.

Southampton had to play better in the 2nd half and they duly did.

If we are going to play zonal marking at dead ball plays around our own area, then I rather think you need to put a player or two in THE zone: centre of the 6-yard box. Absolutely criminal (non-)marking for their goal.

The corner they scored from came about by poor play between Pickford and Keane. A ball over the top looked to be an easy claim for Jordan, but he backed off. Keane got in a bit of a panic, slicing the ball high to the edge of the area and a deflected shot resulted in the corner. And Ward-Prowse is right up there with the best in the Premier League from corners and free kicks.

Even though the Saints were much improved, we still had really good chances to put it to bed. Theo's disallowed goal was a marginal call against Siggy. Theo immediately had a great chance to score from a lovely interchange between the same two players, but – unlike Walcott in those situations – wasn't clinical enough in his finishing.

There were other "nearly... but not quite" moments, but overall much to be encouraged by. The one who was most off for me today was the skip, Seamus. He had some good moments, but he had more bad moments particularly with his distribution.

But compared to what we had to endure last year, this is much more palatable.


Ernie Baywood
16 Posted 18/08/2018 at 17:12:23
I'm another who was impressed by Davies today. Much better than I've seen him in a long time.

There was plenty to like. The wingers looked dangerous throughout. I thought Sigurdsson controlled the game. Gana was my MotM – he was everywhere.

Holgate had a strong game alongside the slightly iffy Keane.

The only one troubling me is Tosun. He always does 'alright'. But does he ever do more than that? He's the lone striker in an attacking team – he should be loving this, shouldn't be?

Steve Brown
17 Posted 18/08/2018 at 17:15:09
Ciaran @ 11, the four players you called out played well, particularly Cenk and Sigurdsson. Not as well as the superb Gana of course, who had a great game.

The attacking movement and interchanges were impressive, our midfield did well and the defence was good – apart from the zonal marking for corners.

I was very impressed that Silva kept the attacking intensity by bringing on Calvert-Lewin and Niasse. It is to be expected that there is still work to do, but that side only featured one of our new signings.

Frank Crewe
18 Posted 18/08/2018 at 17:17:07
"Siggurdsson, Keane, Davies and Tosun"

By an amazing coincidence, three of the players brought in by Koeman and Big Sam. Talk about axe to grind.

George Cumiskey
19 Posted 18/08/2018 at 17:18:30
Ernie, Davis and Holgate did play well, and Gana... but Sigurdsson controlled the game? I'll have to disagree with that one.
Fran Mitchell
20 Posted 18/08/2018 at 17:18:53
Terrible defending for their goal made that a tad more tense than it should have been. But, apart from Richarlison, it is the same team as last season and is incomparable.

Davies struggled to get into the game, but grew as it wore on. A performance he can build on.

Tosun leads the line well, really helps the two wide forwards get into space.

Walcott showed well, exactly what he is. He can be great, but that miss! Had he hammered it in the back of the net, it could have been fantastic.

Sigurdsson played well imo, he ain't our star player, Gomes or Bernard will challenge for his position, but he is a progressive, direct attacking midfielder.

Holgate staking his claim for a first-team role; Keane less so.

Gueye is a monster, we need him in our team. The amount of time he wins the ball for us, does the dirty work, and his energy levels always 120%. Not much finesse to his game, but to play the pressing game, a player like him is essential.

Coleman needs to improve his final ball, but great energy.

Baines played well and Digne will not walk easily into the team.

Niasse came on and did what we expect him to do in the 15-minute cameos he will make this season.

Richarlison looks a hell of a player. Yes, on the floor a lot, but he is on the receiving end of so many fouls. When he gets the ball, there is that feeling that he will do something, and he usually does. If he can continue in this vein, well, £40 million will look a bargain.

Steve Ferns
21 Posted 18/08/2018 at 17:18:56
I thought we struggled second half, losing control of midfield. I love Tom Davies but I thought he didn't have a good game. However, Sheedy just said he couldn't pick a Man of the Match and singled out Tom Davies for particular praise. I could never disagree with that man. It was the highlight of my day to shake the great man's hand.

Also great to see Silva come on the pitch and keep the players there to keep building that connection with us fans he wants so badly.

Ian Bennett
22 Posted 18/08/2018 at 17:22:36
A good win. Had chances to make it 3-1, but the final ball/finish was wayward.

Held on just. Room for improvement around ball retention. Man of the match for me was Richarlison – a great workrate and threat. Holgate just behind – a great game at centre back.

Sort out the zonal marking, FFS, though.

Frank Wade
23 Posted 18/08/2018 at 17:23:24
George (#9)

Sigurdsson a passenger again for the second week running — Best I've seen him play today and, by the way, he was withdrawn in 1st half last week, so I agree: a passenger for 2nd half last week... but I couldn't fault him today. Set up a couple of chances for Theo, free kick for 1st goal, marginal at best offside for the disallowed goal.

Ernie Baywood
24 Posted 18/08/2018 at 17:23:37
It's all about opinions, George. I thought Sigurdsson was our 'go to' ball. Dictates when we're going to break and when we're going to hold the ball up.

Always available and not a passenger defensively either.

Jay Wood

25 Posted 18/08/2018 at 17:25:11
As someone else has already said, today Tom Davies was more like the Tom Davies of his first season, rather than his second. Much improved, even from his pre-season performances.

We are going to benefit from the now genuine competition for places in every position, except keeper.

Steve Ferns
26 Posted 18/08/2018 at 17:25:11
What about Schneiderlin though? He didn't do anything outstanding but it was not a coincidence for me that we were less effective without him. Davies and Gueye went ball hunting and left gaps that Saints exploited.
Frank Wade
27 Posted 18/08/2018 at 17:25:18
Steve, Only watched on TV, but I think we missed Schneiderlin. It did give Gana more freedom to do what he does best, seek and destroy.
Steve Ferns
28 Posted 18/08/2018 at 17:26:40
Check out page 69 of the programme.
Frank Wade
30 Posted 18/08/2018 at 17:28:10
I think Schneiderlin is much more expansive this season. Last season, he wouldn't have been winning the ball in Saints' half as he did when fouled. Looked a very hard knock. Hope it's just a dead leg.
Rian Magee
31 Posted 18/08/2018 at 17:30:02
Siggy and Gana didn't control the game? Are you sure you weren't watching a match from last season by mistake. Both of them played great today, a few wayward passes but all in all some great movement, more often than not picking out excellent passes and solid tracking and intercepting. I have to say Davies played better today than I've seen for a long time, but I'm still not convinced he's Premier League level... just yet.

I think we missed Schneids in the second half (there I said it). Under proper coaching I think we're starting to see the real morgan return. His reception from the fans suggest I'm not the only one.

Plenty to work on but more to be positive about. My only peeve is the zonal marking thing. All in all I'm feeling might positive. More new players coming in and those 3 up top look really dangerous. Its a good thing when we can win and the only real negative that we should have won by more...that will come! COYB!!

Jamie Crowley
32 Posted 18/08/2018 at 17:30:55
Gueye was my MotM. Yes, he's fine in a deeper role. Yes, we look better IMO with him and Davies than with him and Schneids. He was everything on his lists of positives today. Won the ball, tackled, covered acres of space, and despite 3 balls in the first half, he passed well too!

Tosun superb – I honestly don't see or understand the criticism. He pressured from the front, had men flying off him all day, his hold-up and flicks are excellent, passed well. I dunno.

I also thought Davies was excellent. Siggy was also superb.

It's amazing how the same people can watch a game and come to polar opposite conclusions!

Let's not get too crazy positive (doubt that'll ever happen on TW). We had issues at the back that better teams will absolutely punish us for. We have to tighten up at the back.

And today we figured out the "lynch Silva" cries that will come in the future - zonal marking. Just no. It never works, it's a disaster, I hope Marco changes his zonal marking.

But overall very, very happy with the game!

Derek Knox
33 Posted 18/08/2018 at 17:31:13
Certainly more positive at home, but still scary defending at times, with benevolent marking we need to tighten up. Seamus was okay but still below par.

I would have liked to have seen Lookman on at some stage, but at least he was on the bench this week. Gana was good again, as was Sigurdsson.

Ciarán McGlone
34 Posted 18/08/2018 at 17:32:21
People see things differently, I suppose. I thought Siggurdsson slowed the ball down a lot... and also had a number of obvious errors and sloppy play. For me, he's an average Number 10.

Keane also made a lot of his usual mistakes, usually down to bad positioning or his mobility.

As for Tosun, I simply don't think he's a very good Number 9.

Davies didn't have a bad game, but I just don't think he's got the quality to run a midfield.

Anyway.. more positives than negatives and we won so I'll not labour the points.

Frank Wade
35 Posted 18/08/2018 at 17:37:11
Steve, Schneiderlin's lay off to Walcott for the 1st goal looked 'outstanding' from my vantage point in my kitchen !
Paul Tran
36 Posted 18/08/2018 at 17:37:43
Plenty of good individual performances today. The only exception was Coleman, who I'm sure will be back to his best soon.

Collectively poor at the back. The players will take time to get used to zonal marking, perhaps that's another reason why we bought Mina?

A lot to like going forward. Movement pace, trickery and players that look liberated and unrecognisable from last season.

We won a game we should be winning. And we saw it out after a good first half. Plenty to like, plenty to work on. I enjoyed it and I'm looking forward to next Saturday. Nice to say that, isn't it?,

Amit Vithlani
37 Posted 18/08/2018 at 17:39:03
Happy with the win and, crucially some moments of very good football. As the understanding between the front 4 develops I think we will be even more exciting.

It was a good test. Southampton were intent on being physical and we know we have some players that can't withstand physical play. But we did well and never stopped trying to play forward passes. Even at the end with the free kick we tried to create an opening.

There is no doubt that we look better going forward than at the back. Its a start.

I look at Wolves and Fulham and they have very good players but have been found out by how ruthless the Premier League is if you don't take your chances.

Kieran Kinsella
38 Posted 18/08/2018 at 17:40:02
Didn't see it but interesting to read diverse opinions on player performances here and on BBC. The first two results are positive and if we maintain that and gradually work in the new signings -- who are better suited to the style of play -- hopefully things are looking up. My concern is with the defense based on zonal marking and Silva's record with Watford and Hull. However, I have read comments on here from others more familiar with Silva's time in Greece and Portugal where apparently he had sides that were very strong defensively. Hopefully, with the right personnel that will be the case at Everton also.

Fitness apart, I imagine after all the upheaval of the past two years that Silva is sensitive to team morale. Therefore, he probably doesn't want rock the boat by coming in and immediately ditching stalwarts like Baines and Jags. I suspect we will see them eased out gradually when convenient injuries or suspensions hit. With the midfield, I think he will be more eager to get Gomez and Silva into the action as soon as they are match fit. The guys in their way (Schneiderlin, Davies etc) don't have the same gravitas at the club that Bainsey and Jags do.

Ed Prytherch
39 Posted 18/08/2018 at 17:40:26
I watched the game in Mulligan's Irish Pub in Fort Collins, Colorado. There were 4 other Everton fans in there at 8:00 am. What a change in playing style from the stuff that we had to put up with last season.

I thought that Sigurdsson was MotM and I too was impressed with Tom Davies. He was much better than last season and another impressive performance from Richarlison. Holgate and Keane had decent games but I expect that Mina and Zuma will be starting in the near future.

The next few games look winnable. This could be a good season to be an Evertonian.

Paul Jones
40 Posted 18/08/2018 at 17:42:11
One thing I noticed in the first half is that when the team plays at a higher tempo, the weaker links become more apparent because they can't hide. Keane is the obvious first cut; as has been said on here before, backs to the wall and he's fine – when we're higher up the pitch and pressing the opposition, every time someone wellies it into our half, you cross your fingers and hope that Keane is still awake.

Second on the list is Davies. He looked OK when no one else was putting a shift in; when everyone ups the tempo he just looks one-paced and a little lost.

Finally Tosun and Sigurdsson; they seem to be 2 seconds behind play all the time. But I think/hope they can become sharper.

Fortunately I think there are better options at the club just climbing their ways back to fitness.

Richarlison was superb attacking and defending. Holgate assured and a growing presence. Gueye as industrious as ever but with a bit more hutzpa in his all-round play as well. All in all I feel were going forwards and that's all we can ask for now!

Darren Murphy
41 Posted 18/08/2018 at 17:43:31
Good to be home, great 3 points, Ricki needs to man up and stop falling over a blade of grass, good enough display and happy my lil ones saw it. No need for essays ffs, enjoy you weekend lads.
John Pierce
42 Posted 18/08/2018 at 17:45:01
Steve, I thought Tom was more himself, tenacious one touch and far more disciplined. He and Schniederlin are different and yes it felt like we lost something when he left the field.

Sigurdsson was stand-out today. I think if you don't appreciate what he brings today might have you feel he was invisible.

His set pieces were very good, his passing assured and accurate. He was always available. Arguably his interchange with Walcott should have resulted in Theo rolling it to him into an empty net.

Mostly the same players as last season but asked to go forward which most of them naturally suit.

Even the poorest players had 5s/6s rather than three or four players having 2s/3s. Overall, the bar has been set higher and it shows.

Thoroughly enjoyable.

Oh — get to fuck with zonal marking.

Christy Ring
43 Posted 18/08/2018 at 17:47:57
I thought Tosun ran his heart out, and Davies had his best game for a long time. What I really liked, was the way we played after conceding a poor goal; we stayed attacking and should have regained our 2-goal lead.

I hope our new signings aren't too far away from the first team. Is Digne injured?

Jeff Armstrong
44 Posted 18/08/2018 at 17:48:48
Steve Ferns, I have a lot of respect for your opinions, but to say Davies did not have good game is doing the lad an injustice. I'm not his biggest fan but I thought he reached the levels of his first season today.

Last season, he was winning ball but giving it away constantly; I didn't see him give it away all game. He was my MotM too, so me and Sheeds know a thing or two!

Mike Powell
45 Posted 18/08/2018 at 17:51:54
So much better thàn last season, a few defensive errors to iron out but much better. I think we should go for a striker in January, the jury is still out on Tosun, he is just to slow. We need better than him but, besides that, much improved.
Robert Workman
46 Posted 18/08/2018 at 17:52:03
I thought Tom Davies made a big difference to the game, particularly in the second half. He intercepted so well and kept the Blues moving forward. So much energy on show, probably a better performance than any from last season.
John G Davies
47 Posted 18/08/2018 at 17:54:12
I'm not the biggest fan of zonal marking. I will wait until we have a centre-back pairing of Mina and Zouma to pass judgement on it, though.
Steve Brown
48 Posted 18/08/2018 at 17:54:43
Jamie @ 32, spot on about Cenk. He was an absolute nightmare to play against today if you were a Soton defender. Held the ball up well, pressed and harried the centre backs, combined well with the wingers and Sigurdsson, put himself about and was physical.

And if Walcott's golden opportunity had come to him, it would have been 3-1 and game over.

Mark McParlan
49 Posted 18/08/2018 at 18:03:09
Just back from the match. Massively encouraged by that performance.

Match ratings:

Pickford - 7. Couple dodgy moments but generally no massive issues.

Coleman - 8. Excellent again. He always has a mad moment in him but yet another brilliant performance.

Holgate - 7. Such an underrated player. Excellent defensively as always. Although he needs to improve his distribution forward.

Keane - 6. Did not particularly convince me today... not as good as he was against Wolves but no absolutel clangers, which is always a positive.

Baines - 9. Magnificent. He's been a rejuvenated player under Silva these last two games. The signing of Digne has really made him up his game.

Schneiderlin - 6. Was fine. Then got injured first half.

Gueye - 6. Wasn't his best performance today to be honest. Pretty poor at the start of the first half but was more back to his old self second half.

Sigurdsson - 8. Yep. The Sigurdsson we want. Excellent linking up front with the attackers, one two's, etc. Good set pieces today.

Walcott - 7. Took his goal well but missed a couple other big chances to put us further ahead.

Richarlison - 8. What a guy. Gives his all. Fights. Lunges into huge slide tickles. Busts a fucking gut to get back. And that's before I've even talked about his killer instinct in front of goal. His ridiculous skills. Crossing leaves a little to be desired but I haven't been this excited about an Everton signing in ages. A lovely touch again at the end to give his shirt away again in the Gwladys street. Twice injured, but fought on no matter what. No matter how many times Southampton hacked him down.

Tosun - 6. He works hard and is alright, but I'd honestly be surprised if he managed 10 goals this season.

Davies - 7. New look Tom Davies? Assured and confident passing. Always looks to go forward. Could the Tom Davies of 16/17 be back?

However, we still gave away far too many golden chances to Southampton that would have been punished by a more clinical team. Defence still isn't quite there. Hopefully Mina for Keane should fix that. Nice to actually have some defensive options. And we have lots of new players still to come into the team across the pitch - Bernard, Gomes, Digne, Mina, Zouma.

There is a feeling that Silva and Brands could be building something here.

Onwards and upwards, Evertonians. NSNO.

John Keating
50 Posted 18/08/2018 at 18:03:43
Good start to the season and good to see us playing with a bit of freedom and style.

Of course our players, especially the young ones, will learn by their mistakes but so must Silva.

I hope in the next week or so he concentrates on defending as we are extremely poor and have been from pre-season. Hopefully the new guys will help but it's not just individually we are poor – we are poor as a unit.

So far, zonal marking is embarrassing. Either Silva sorts it out or goes man-for-man.

Bill Watson
51 Posted 18/08/2018 at 18:04:43
Lots of positives today, not least that we had 10 of last season's crew on the pitch and they worked their socks off.

Still some new men to slot in (and Seamus to get up to speed!) so, hopefully, we'll get better. I thought we lost a lot, in midfield, when Schneiderlin had to go off even though Davies had a half decent game.

Glass half-full and we're looking at top 6; half-empty and we already have 10% of the 40 in the bag!

John Raftery
52 Posted 18/08/2018 at 18:15:08
We made extremely hard work of a game in which we were leading 2-0 against a team likely to struggle at the wrong end of the table. The front three generally acquitted themselves well but our inability to kill the game left the crowd more than a little anxious in the final 20 minutes. Without our 2018 signings we would have lost that game.

So much work to be done, especially in midfield and defence, if we are to sustain a challenge for the top six.

Alan J Thompson
53 Posted 18/08/2018 at 18:15:26
Everton seemed to come out in the second half thinking the game was all over, the effort wasn't there and the substitutions – Niasse and Calvert-Lewin – seemed a bit dodgy when more legs in midfield for one of those two looked a better move.

The defence seems to lack someone in control, a dominant centre-half that the rest of the defence can work around; anything in the air left me wondering who could deal with it.

And I really don't see what others do about Schneiderlin. He may have played better than he has previously but it still looks a long way from what is needed and Davies looked a far superior, more positive option.

I'd like to see Silva have a word about overlooking a simple 1-2 to go past an opponent and drawing out another player rather than a more complicated pass, draw the man and then use the space.

Still, a win is a win, onward and upward.

Frank Wade
54 Posted 18/08/2018 at 18:17:02
I think a mix of zonal and man to man marking is best. One zone that must be manned is centre goal where Ings was totally unmarked. Another is near the corner of the 6-yard box to attack the ball. I hope we can work on that.
Brian Williams
55 Posted 18/08/2018 at 18:17:37
The good, the bad, and the ugly.

The good was that there was definitely a big change in our style of play and some of the players are relishing it. Richarlison is a gem of a player.

The bad was that we were unable to kill the game off when we had the chance.

The ugly was a Soton team that seemed intent on clogging us off the pitch each and every time we broke or looked to break.

Hughes has no doubt had a hand in their cynical play. Never seen a Soton team so dirty.

Hard three points well won in my book.

Darren Murphy
56 Posted 18/08/2018 at 18:20:22
Good win, could've been more if we had a decent strike partner. 3 points, nanightz.
Jerome Shields
57 Posted 18/08/2018 at 18:21:36
We look more like a team now. Players are beginning to get more confident. Defence and second-half performance a bit better, but still weak.

We are getting an easy start to the season, we will need to step up and get new signings settled in so as to be able to compete at the deep end of the Premier League.

Last season against Southampton, we looked under pressure and looking for a draw. They were playing the football; we played the football today.

Eugene Kearney
58 Posted 18/08/2018 at 18:21:38
Great to get that first win under the belt.

Second half was not good for the nerves, but we won out in the end.

Should have been 3 or 4 goals for Everton.

New team, new earnestness... onwards and upwards.


Rian Magee
59 Posted 18/08/2018 at 18:21:40
See Mark Hughs stating Pickford's clearance and follow through on Ings was 'a clear sending off' — hahaha! What planet is that fecking muppet on???
Charles Brewer
60 Posted 18/08/2018 at 18:24:52
Rian, in that case, I'm sure Hughes would have agreed that Pickford should have been joined by five or six Southampton players in an early return to the changing room.
Martin Berry
61 Posted 18/08/2018 at 18:24:55
Consider the dinosaur football we were playing under the previous two chumps against Marco's regime? We should be ecstatic that we are already 40 yards further up the pitch and creating far more chances.

The impatient, and there seems to be a few on this thread, should surely realize that we're just two games in, only one of the signings has kissed the grass yet. The play is only going to get better and we are going to have some great moments this season.

Derek Taylor
62 Posted 18/08/2018 at 18:29:53
I just hope Mason Holgate will not be summarily replaced by one of our 'star' centre half signings when they are fully fit.

I trust Silva will wait for the guy to have a stinker before sending him into obscurity.

Charles Brewer
63 Posted 18/08/2018 at 18:32:55
Nice to see that Everton have the top scoring player in the Premier League. So I'm sure we'll be hearing much more from the BBC etc about ... Salah and Mane.
Simon Dalzell
64 Posted 18/08/2018 at 18:35:02
Perplexed by Steve Ferns's comments about Tom Davies. I thought he was excellent in defence and attack. I would play him before Schneiderlin every time.

I hate this zonal crap. A lot to be positive about, it should have been more comfortable than it was. We need to get our new centre-halves in to team ASAP.

Jeff Armstrong
65 Posted 18/08/2018 at 18:36:22
Hughes was lucky to finish with 11 men, Lamena should have gone midway through the second half and if the muppet Pawson was in the middle the game would have finished 10 men vs 7...
Jay Wood

66 Posted 18/08/2018 at 18:38:35
As others have already mentioned, other than Richarlison and a very fleeting cameo by Digne at Wolves, the players selected in the opening two games are the same players that performed so dreadfully under three different managers last season.

That rather affirms what a number of posters commented on both last and already this season: we already had good players at the club before this summer's incomings.

What they needed was proper coaching and a strategy. There are signs we now have that.

There will be tougher challenges and bumps in the road, but as an Evertonian you would have to be a bit of an Ebenezer Scrooge to say "Bah! Humbug!" and not be encouraged by what we've seen in the Premier League under Silva thus far.

Derek Knox
67 Posted 18/08/2018 at 18:49:30
Jay @63, totally agree, but the defence at times is very worrying, and unless something happens on the Training Pitch, better sides will destroy us.

That Mammoth Melt Muppet Merson, has been praising Danny Ings' performance, stating he could be in line for an England call up.

I know he's ex RS, but the holes in the defence at times, any forward player could score unmarked.

Dave Abrahams
68 Posted 18/08/2018 at 18:51:35
We were good in the first half even though Southampton could have gone off on level terms, in the second half we made hard work of finishing off a team that look likely to struggle again.

Early days so can't criticise too much and some good players (hopefully) to come in and strengthen the team, as a lot of fans have pointed out the manager has to come to terms with zonal marking, especially with one slow thinking defender. !!!!

69 Posted 18/08/2018 at 18:54:10
Satisfied with that performance in only the second league game for Silva, against a team of Hughes' spoilers.

I know the second half disappointed in comparison with the first, but that first half gives us momentum, a base to build on, confidence to take forwards. It's very, very early days, with a few new boys yet to start even.

Holgate very steady. Schneids looking again as if he's got it back this season. Siggy very good - some of those interchanges with Tosun and Richie were sublime (practice ground stuff). Richie again well in the mix and Tosun working tirelessly and effectively. I think Silva is getting another 10% out these players - just wait till he's worked his magic further and the new lads come in.

70 Posted 18/08/2018 at 18:58:20
Jay "There will be tougher challenges and bumps in the road, but as an Evertonian you would have to be a bit of an Ebenezer Scrooge to say "Bah! Humbug!" and not be encouraged by what we've seen in the Premier League under Silva thus far".

Bumps there will be but I'm happy to clap at that first half. My dog Mudgeon is less convinced.

Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
71 Posted 18/08/2018 at 19:00:29
Brent, is that you? System seems to have made you into the Invisible Man?

72 Posted 18/08/2018 at 19:11:03
Michael, yes it's me! I know I'm small but have I shrunk that much?Always was shy. Can you bring me back to my normal size?

73 Posted 18/08/2018 at 19:13:38
Haha, and again. Lilly the Pink's medicinal compound at work again - seen but never 'eard.
Derek Knox
74 Posted 18/08/2018 at 19:14:08
Thank Gawd for that Brent, I was thinking it may have been that Peter Brady!

75 Posted 18/08/2018 at 19:15:40
No, just joking it's not Brent. You're all bastards on ToffeeWeb and this is Derek Knox so ban me if you dare (snigger).
Derek Taylor
76 Posted 18/08/2018 at 19:19:15
Can't say zonal marking is any improvement on the Big Sam defensive drills. Good teams will still murder us!
Julian Wait
77 Posted 18/08/2018 at 19:19:49
@Alan #53 - Agree we came out slow second half, but I thought the subs helped to put us back on the front foot again, and we looked more and more like the team to score again as the game came to a close.

Plenty to work on but given the options available today, I thought the subs were very good, including the (forced) Davies substitution. My main criticisms on the day would be Seamus's crossing, the way we (as a team) managed the right side of defence, and Walcott's profligacy.

Peter Warren
78 Posted 18/08/2018 at 19:29:27
Only watched second half but was exciting. That’s a massive improvement. Lots of postives and we have what seems an easy start of the season which is good given new players to bed in.
Tom Bowers
79 Posted 18/08/2018 at 19:35:29
Yes, a much improved Everton these days.

Still some kinks to iron out and I am sure Silva has some work to do with the defence but, all-in-all, a work in progress which should get better when the other new guys are off and running.

Colin Metcalfe
80 Posted 18/08/2018 at 19:36:17
Just back from the game, I thought we played really well in the first half... not so much in the second, but overall, I enjoyed our football.

I don't think anyone had a bad game; however, our defence were pretty sloppy in the first 15 to 20 mins of the second half; I just wish Keane would have a bit more awareness of who is around him, he seems to switch off every now and then.

Silva has definitely made a difference: we're moving the ball a lot quicker and looking to pass the ball forward. I thought young Tom Davies did okay when he came on but he needs to be a bit more proactive instead of sideways and backwards.

Jim Bennings
81 Posted 18/08/2018 at 19:40:04
Hardworking energetic performance and some great attacking football at times, tiredness caught up a bit after the 70 minute mark but that was the most aggressive I’ve seen us press and harry an opposing team for God knows how many years.

A good solid start for Silva and what makes me relatively pleased is already I can see what he’s trying to do and there is a clear change to the style this season.

There are many things still to work on and defensively on occasions we look sloppy and careless but you’d think the introductions of a fully fit Mina and Zouma will make a difference to that problem.

Bournemouth next week will be a right tough test though and Silva still needs to quickly address the lack of away victories that have been dogging the club for the best part of two years.

83 Posted 18/08/2018 at 19:48:31
Derek Knox
84 Posted 18/08/2018 at 19:50:40
Brent, failed, we still can't see you, it's just like Pantomime Season has come early!

Oh no it hasn't.

Jay Wood

85 Posted 18/08/2018 at 19:53:42
Very testing, I would say...
Derek Knox
86 Posted 18/08/2018 at 19:55:02
Brent, you bought your season ticket too early, you could have got entry to every game in your present state, but you could sell your ticket and still do the same .


Brent Stephens
87 Posted 18/08/2018 at 19:55:43
Oh yes it has.

Anyway, I was impressed with the pressing game again today. They do look fitter as a team. And he's got them passing that ball more quickly.

Eddie Dunn
88 Posted 18/08/2018 at 20:00:02
What a pleasant experience. Some errors but I loved the way we continued to take the game to them in the latter stages. I wonder what Koeman or Allardyce would have done? Toscun and Gueye put in so much effort and Richarlison is fantastic.

I am also bemused by zonal marking.

Derek Knox
89 Posted 18/08/2018 at 20:06:50
Eddie, you are not alone in your bemusement of zonal marking, I've heard of 'parking the bus', but you could have driven a fleet of buses through those gaps today.

Looking forward to MotD tonight to see the goal that was disallowed, to me it looked marginal, if anything, but we still finished with the three points.

We must be better against Bournemouth next week as they have started well.

Phillip Warrington
90 Posted 18/08/2018 at 20:08:14
At last, there is a direction and a system in place that can take Everton forward. The trick now is to keep Brands and Silva at the club.
Rian Magee
91 Posted 18/08/2018 at 20:12:55
Charles @60 hahaha aye funny he didn't mention their persistent fouling. Very lucky to have kept all 11 on the pitch.

The majority of us here on TW seem to be singing off the same sheet, which is a bloody good sign. Yes there are kinks to iron out, only the irrational or utterly dillusional would expect anything other than that with a change of regime...but the signs are all looking good. Give it a tad more time for Silva and the lads to gel and get used to things and I can see some very exciting games ahead. Its early days and I know there will be set backs and upsets but all in all its looking up. One of the major things Ive noticed is the players all look much happier and 'together'...and it shows in how we're playing.

If I'm not blethering until next time, enjoy your weekend my fellow blues!

Jack Convery
92 Posted 18/08/2018 at 20:16:03
It's defo getting better, getting so much better all the time.

Marchisio is available on a free from Juve - class act. Go get him, Brands. 2 good seasons from a truly professional footballer.

Jack Convery
93 Posted 18/08/2018 at 20:18:21
By the way, zonal marking only works if someone called Zonal is playing for the opposition and someone actually marks him.
Sandra Bowen
94 Posted 18/08/2018 at 20:18:47
Good win, should have been more comfortable with better finishing. We definitely missed Schneiderlin when he went off. Say what you like about him but he's our most effective player in that position. Keeps it simple but that's his job, to recycle possession.

I don't really think anyone had a bad game... Keane looked a bit ropey at times but not too bad; Sigurdson was much improved; Tosun held and linked well – I hope a goal comes soon for him.

All-in-all, a positive result and many things improving. Long may it continue.

Darren Hind
95 Posted 18/08/2018 at 20:23:57
It's just nice to come home and feel like you've watched a proper game of footy. Sure, there were a few problems, but this bore a striking resemblance to entertainment.

This was a good fixture for us today. Silva would have been pleased to see Mark Hughes opting for the strong arm over guile and strategy. We were always superior in open play ad the extra man our flexibility afforded us in the middle was enough to ensure Davies, Gana and Walcott were able to get a nice confidence booster under their belts.

Siggy for me isn't a 90-minute player, he can go missing for long periods, but some of his passing today was sublime, perfectly weighted. This for me was his best game in a blue shirt.

Holgate surely keeps his place. He's better than Mina and miles better than Zouma.

A good day!

Paul Tran
96 Posted 18/08/2018 at 20:28:58
Footballers like being fit and enjoy expressing themslves. They all did that today.

Still plenty of work to do, but I can see what Silva is trying to do, it makes sense and although it's just manager and players doing things some of us call basics, it's a good start.

Long may it continue and evolve.

Paul Jeronovich
97 Posted 18/08/2018 at 20:30:14
First home game, first win. Richarlison is boss. I’m made up.
John Malone
98 Posted 18/08/2018 at 20:32:29
Really enjoyed the game today – the difference in style and tempo was plain to see. The attacking play was so much better than under Allardyce and I thought we were unlucky not to score more.

The negatives are the high defensive line we play to enable the high press and to compact the space in midfield means we are really susceptible to long passes into the space behind and I've got no doubt any decent team with fast forwards like the RS would stretch us and punish us.

Also as someone mentioned above we continued to attack late in the game even though we had the lead, I'd be interested to see if that was still the case if we were winning 3-1.

I have no problem with a manager protecting a lead and nullyfying the opposition's threat by taking off an attacker and putting on a defender late on in a game in fact I think it is good management and shows tactical nouse. Time will tell if Silva thinks the same way!

Anyway first sign's under the new management with the new faces are good. Up the Toffees!

Derek Knox
99 Posted 18/08/2018 at 20:35:23
Jack, @92, I have been reading about Marchisio, and several sources have strongly linked us with him, so hopefully there is a bit of substance to the stories.

I believe we can still sign a Bosman type player, who is out of contract at any time.

We could certainly do with a player of his quality, and as some have mentioned we are not overstocked with defensive Midfielders.

John G Davies
100 Posted 18/08/2018 at 20:40:25
Paul (#96)

The team will evolve as they get more games under the tutelage of Silva. It's obvious to see the difference he has made already. He will tighten the defence, and improve our all-round performance.

I know you like a bet, Paul. Did you get on at 10/11?

Gavin Johnson
101 Posted 18/08/2018 at 20:40:55
It was the best first half display I'd seen at Goodison for years. That all said. I don't think we should get to carried away with the superlatives. We will play entertaining football this season under Silva but, against a better side like Man City or the RS, we would have lost today. The defence still needs a lot of work.

Okay, we saw under Watford that Silva's teams concede goals but he's going to have to do a lot more work in that area of his game if we are to have any hope of gatecrashing the top 6 this season. But he's made a very good start, and Richarlison is the most exciting Everton player I've seen in years.

Tony Hill
102 Posted 18/08/2018 at 20:52:51
Such lies we tell ourselves.

We have played two sides who will be in the bottom 6. Scintillating football? Steady on.

Richarlison was excellent today and is the real difference. So, in parts, was Walcott. Gueye had a fine last 30 minutes and Sigurdsson played better in his favoured position. We played football as good as this quite a lot last season (Leicester, Palace, Liverpool in Cup, Brighton, Huddersfield) but, of course, no-one wants to believe that because now we have a new narrative.

Stop making stuff up; it will end in disappointment and will mean that Silva is put under unnecessary pressure when things go wrong against decent teams.

I don't think Silva is the man for us, but he needs full support over a long period of time. We must not indulge ourselves in fictions in the meantime.

Colin Malone
103 Posted 18/08/2018 at 21:00:36
Same old with more fitness and the ball played more on the ground. Still no guile in midfield, with our midfielders looking for the simple back pass and sideways ball.

Just wish we had a fat bastard who can pass through an eye of a needle, instead of an athlete that's all the rave with these scientist coaches.

Andy Crooks
104 Posted 18/08/2018 at 21:11:45
For the first time in quite a while, it is good to watch. I have got my enthusiasm back. I want to save and go to a few games. I want to meet Mike Gaynes, Darren Hind, anyone in fact.

Did Sam fucking Allardyce actually manage our club?

Paul Rimmer
105 Posted 18/08/2018 at 21:13:40
Played well first half despite conceding some sloppy chances. The goal from the free kick showed the work on the training field (sublime and the first we've scored like this for a long time).

All played well with room for improvement but that zonal marking is dreadful and needs to be addressed before we play Bournemouth.

Kase Chow
106 Posted 18/08/2018 at 21:34:27
Excellent to get the win. Well done, the lads.

Also nice to see some evidence of the training behind the scenes with the first goal. Excellent. Hope we see more invention like that.

Good news.

Derek Knox
107 Posted 18/08/2018 at 21:38:24
Andy @104, football apart, well not really, I would imagine I am in a somewhat similar position to yourself, I cannot get to every match, although I did have a season ticket for years, back in the Eighties.

It would be nice if, when Mike Gaynes comes over, we could all meet up at a pre-determined venue, before the match, and I dare say after too.

It would be nice to meet all the well-known names on TW, and put a face to them. None of us are getting any younger, so it may not be possible at any time in the future.

Neil Copeland
108 Posted 18/08/2018 at 21:45:52
The difference between today and at least the last 3 seasons was, I thought, our fitness. We just had much more zest and go about us.

Tony 102, I went/saw each of the games you mention and have to disagree, our performance today was much better than any of those games. I agree there is still plenty to work on but at least we are shaping into a team that is looking to win rather than one trying not to lose.

Rob Dolby
109 Posted 18/08/2018 at 21:47:37
We played some good stuff at times today and, dare I say it, we missed Schneiderlin when he went off which meant that their midfield started to win more 2nd ball.

Richarlison looks a player despite what Merson thinks. He has given Baines a new lease of life down the left.

Let's get some momentum behind us before we start to play the big guns.


Gavin Johnson
111 Posted 18/08/2018 at 22:01:13
Yes Rob, I agree, Schneiderlin was having a good game setting up Walcott for the 1st goal and was looking like his old self marshalling the midfield. Maybe he has a future here after all.

It's true of Baines too. I was ready to see Digne replace him but it was vintage stuff today.

Tony Hill
115 Posted 18/08/2018 at 22:33:15
What is very pleasing is the form of Baines whom I had written off. He's always infuriated me because I think he could have been great, instead of merely being very good; but he has suffered because he's a nice man and has never been prepared to push himself forward. Never mind, if he'd pushed himself forward he wouldn't have been Leighton Baines and we've been delighted to have him as he is.

I thought he was great today and hope he flourishes with Richarlison: an Indian Summer alongside a man in the Spring of his career. If not, what a joy he's been to have in our side.

Paul Tran
116 Posted 18/08/2018 at 22:34:51
Yes, John G, put it in a double with Hamada.
Andy Williams
117 Posted 18/08/2018 at 22:48:55
Fun to watch – most of it. Siggy's dead ball delivery was fantastic. I reckon Mina could have had a hat trick today – Keane had about 3 decent chances.

Tosun's goals will come – he works so hard and some of his touches are superb. Loads of energy – not surprising that they faded a little 2nd half.

Shay said the training is very hard in order to get them fit enough for Marco's game. Everyone was decent. And I love Richie.

John G Davies
118 Posted 18/08/2018 at 22:50:16
👍 I knew you would have Paul.
Stood out at 10/11
In my eyes we were a 8/13 or 4/6 shot at best.
My second biggest bet of the year.
Mike Gaynes
119 Posted 18/08/2018 at 22:53:33
Andy (#104) and Derek (#107), I already have my air ticket for the derby on December 1. I would love to meet up with you guys that weekend. Pete, Rob, Keith and I will probably pick out a restaurant to party at the night before, and hoping as many TWers as possible will show up. First round is on me.
John Raftery
120 Posted 18/08/2018 at 23:00:14
Tony (102) Spot on.
Jay Wood

121 Posted 18/08/2018 at 23:15:35
Tony @ 102 'spot on' John?

I rather think he is well wide of the mark in much of his post.

Steve Ferns
122 Posted 18/08/2018 at 23:20:02
I just watched Match of the Day. The main reason I watched it was to see the disallowed goal and work out why. They didn't show it. In fact, the BBC editors made a very one-sided game look much less so, concentrating on Saints' best spells. I understand editing to show the best chances can make a game appear like so, but why fail to show the disallowed goal?
Colin Metcalfe
123 Posted 18/08/2018 at 23:23:41
Fellas, any opinion on Jordan Pickford's clearance? I think it was just follow through that can't be helped but he clearly ripped through Ings shirt.
Steve Ferns
124 Posted 18/08/2018 at 23:25:23

Silva is not a scientific coach. And he's brought in two players like you requested, namely Bernard and Gomes. The latter is exactly the kind of passer you want.

Andy Williams
125 Posted 18/08/2018 at 23:25:43
Bizarre that wasn't it Steve. I would have loved to see Richie's little flick over the defender as well but that's just because it was wonderful to see.
Jay Harris
126 Posted 18/08/2018 at 23:27:01
Thought it was a little bit of the old and the new today.

The new joined-up passing and movement together with proper organisation.

The old complacency and lethargy when we were 2-0 up and some players decided it was holiday time again. Silva will have noted and will no doubt take action.

Cant understand criticism of Sigurdsson. I thought he dictated the game and ran his socks off.

Still very concerned about Keane's concentration. A few wayward passes and an awful attempted clearance that led to their goal. Anybody else think that Pickford seemed a bit shaky too?

Si Cooper
127 Posted 18/08/2018 at 23:29:44
Steve, they did show it in the after game analysis. They used it as an example of our threat throughout the game. They said that goal was disallowed but didn't explain why or scrutinise it, much like they didn't explain why so much good and interesting play was left out of the main footage.

It's a bit weird because they do seem to be acknowledging that Silva has altered the whole landscape but it doesn't go as far as showing a true representation in the bit that most neutrals would be paying attention to.

Derek Knox
128 Posted 18/08/2018 at 23:31:46
Mike @119, that would be fantastic Mike, even if I can't get a ticket for the game, I would still turn up to meet you all, it will most definitely be on the TV in some capacity.

Obviously will be able to arrange things in the near future, but it is a definite yes from me. Cheers mate!

Steve @122, I did too, but typically, the BBC chose to make the 'highlights' appear that Southampton were unlucky to lose, rather than illustrate that it was the other way round.

I am quite happy with being portrayed as the 'underdogs', softly, softly, catchy monkey!

Steve Ferns
129 Posted 18/08/2018 at 23:31:51
Yes Si, I saw that. But it takes it out the flow of the highlights. That we were actually trading attacks with Saints in that period when they chased the equaliser. It wasn't a true reflection of the game that the BBC showed.
Steve Ferns
130 Posted 18/08/2018 at 23:38:11
Jay, I'm amazed if there's been criticism of Gylfi. He has got all the plaudits in everything I've seen or read after the game.

Our two biggest rivals for 7th before the season kicked off were Wolves and West Ham. Some were wishing we'd got Pellegrini in and we'd signed the players they had.

I do think Wolves will get better, but they're a long way off 7th. West Ham seem very poor. Pellegrini has been even worse than I expected.

Leicester look the main rivals for 7th.

With Arsenal looking even more fragile than us at the back, if we can keep getting better, and pick up wins before the big games start coming, then can we grab 6th?

Si Cooper
131 Posted 18/08/2018 at 23:38:45
Colin, I view Pickford’s clearance much like Jags challenge last week; careless rather than reckless, a yellow card if you are dead set on making the game risk free. There have been loads worse this week (as there will be every week) which have attracted a massively inconsistent range of punishment (or not).
Steve Ferns
132 Posted 18/08/2018 at 23:40:45
Surely Pickford is free to clear that ball and if Ings throws himself in the way of it like he did, then he’s taking his own risk. He’s the one charging in recklessly. Pickford has the right to boot that and if you race into a flying boot and get caught, it’s your own fault.
Jay Wood

133 Posted 18/08/2018 at 23:41:37
Anybody ever wanting to view FULL match highlights after a game (and I do mean every minute of the game), try this site:


Everton's game today is here:


Conveniently, it has two different tabs for 1st and 2nd half, depending on what you want to watch.

WARNING: depending on how alert the original broadcaster is, games listed on this site may stay up for weeks, days or just hours. Currently, you can still review today's match in all its glory.

Steve Ferns
134 Posted 18/08/2018 at 23:43:04
Cheers, Jay.
Tony Williams
135 Posted 18/08/2018 at 23:44:05
Liked the positive attitude especially when we were under a bit of pressure he didn't bring on a defender (Zouma) but brought on Niasse and went for the third. As I said a really positive attitude – Alex Ferguson-esque.
Derek Knox
136 Posted 18/08/2018 at 23:47:02
Jay @133, thanks you are a diamond!
Ernie Baywood
137 Posted 18/08/2018 at 23:48:13
Jay, I'm in complete agreement with your perspective.

I'll add that the debate between Schneiderlin and Davies comes down to what you're looking for. We lost defensive organisation when Schneiderlin went off. But we gained a guy who will take the ball forward and Davies did that really well.

The reality is that both have weaknesses and neither are quite what we need in that position. Someone mentioned a Darron Gibson type – I think that's exactly what we need. They just need to be a proper central midfielder... not someone who is badged as "deep lying", "defensive" or "creative". I'm looking forward to seeing if Gomes is the answer.

All round, let's enjoy the win and the green shoots... but let's be careful not to get carried away. That game had plenty of elements of the old script from the last few seasons. A late equaliser from Southampton and we're saying "same old Everton" aren't we?

Ernie Baywood
138 Posted 18/08/2018 at 23:51:11
On Pickford... you would never see that given as a foul. But he's got to have some responsibility for those around him. I thought it was a bit reckless.
Ray Smith
139 Posted 18/08/2018 at 23:55:04
I've just watched MotD highlights which didn't reflect the game I watched this afternoon!

Mark Hughes sent his team out to crock Richarlison in particular, as well as Sigurdsson and Tosun. They also got Schneiderlin. He hypocritically then calls for Pickford to have been red carded. I do agree with Hughes that the referee was (very) poor.

I saw the Pickford challenge from the other end of the ground and thought it was a solid challenge that Hughes wasn't averse to handing out himself. Pity he is turning Southampton into a bunch of thugs, and I hope they struggle this season.

The referee chose to ignore the rough stuff handed out to Richarlison, who dusted himself down and got on with it. He will continue to be a marked man, but he seems to have the temperament to get up and walk away, and let his football do the talking. What a motivator and a breath of fresh air.

Minik Hansen
140 Posted 18/08/2018 at 00:01:41
Same team from last season? Just remember we were doing a tad better after the New Year, with Walcott and Tosun coming in. Richarlison has added even more pace and now with attack and goals from both sides of the flank.

Next is to bring in Mina and Zouma and see if it helps to shut off the opposition's goals.

Clive Mitchell
141 Posted 19/08/2018 at 00:32:07
Not long back, MotD highlights seemed to set out to show Soton deserved more, which they didn't.

Overall, all positive for us – this and that, this and that, but what a difference it is to have a team sent out to attack the opposition that contains three good finishers up top. And Oumar off the bench to drive defenders crazy!

Good start, well done.

Marcus Taylor
142 Posted 19/08/2018 at 00:36:41
The Pickford 'challenge' wasn't even a challenge. He got to the ball first and kicked it away, Ings then ran into him. Completely accidental on Pickford's part.

Mark Hughes must be the most bitter manager in the Premier League. Always blames the ref. No mention of the fact that they spent 90 minutes kicking lumps out of us, of course.

Phil Sammon
143 Posted 19/08/2018 at 00:45:46
Colin 103

Definitely the oddest comment so far.

Pete Clarke
144 Posted 19/08/2018 at 00:54:07
A lot of positives from this game and remember, if Walcott did not miss that sitter, then the game was comfortably won (and we would be comfortably numb).

Richarlison has the makings of a top-class front man with that hunger for goals and great link-up play. The fact that he tracks back is a big bonus too and shows the lad's got energy to burn.

Big shouts for the whole team today and great to see Tom Davies snapping at the heels and playing some nice football. It does not matter who we play, there will be chances for the opposition so it's a learning curve for Silva and the players.

A win is a win and confidence is everything for the players, manager and all of us long-suffering blues.

Gavin Johnson
145 Posted 19/08/2018 at 01:05:21
I thought the MotD wasn't representative of the game as a whole.

Case in point. Not showing the disallowed goal. It was great play by us and was unfortunately just offside. It was still a talking point and should have been shown nevertheless.

Derek Thomas
146 Posted 19/08/2018 at 01:50:35
We're calling it 'Zonal Marking' now, but all it is in real terms is the same shite defending we have seen since Martinez's first season.

Attack The 'Kin Ball!

Joined up stuff in the first half, a bit sloppy in most of the second half.

7 out of 10, 3pts yes, but must try harder... for longer.

Ernie Baywood
147 Posted 19/08/2018 at 01:51:55
Richarlison has just a touch of the Neymar's about him. Great skill but more than happy to play the victim. He's going to wind up a lot of opposition players and fans.

We've been calling for a bit more nastiness and single mindedness. First impression is that this boy's got it. And he backs it up with hard work and ability.

I just need to decide whether I'm happy about it!

Jim Harrison
148 Posted 19/08/2018 at 02:21:09
Anyone else think Ings would be a useful player for us? Not as first choice but as a squad player. Every time I have seen him play us, he has caused problem. He's a bit like Naismith for me.
John Boon
149 Posted 19/08/2018 at 02:31:52
Still too early to make any definitive statements. However with the same players as last season there are obvious improvements, plus we don't have to listen to Senile Sam making absurd statements before or after the game.

I still think we defend really badly on corners. I wonder how many goals we give up on corners. It needs to be looked at.

Richarlison does add a new dimension to the game. The only complaint I have is that he does the "South American Routine" when injured. Somebody should tell him that scousers don't need theatrics. He is a good player and should expect to get rough treatment from players who just aren't up to his level.

Bob Parrington
150 Posted 19/08/2018 at 02:46:17
Those who have been critical of this performance, the most poignant reminder is that this is fundamentally last season's team with the one exception of the addition of Richarlison.

So, defensively, there would still be the same fundamental flaws and this was clearly evident. Roll on the introduction of some of the new defender signings together with a rethink of the so-called "zonal" marking. Is the definition of this: "Mark the space but forget what the opposition players are doing"? — because this is what it looked like in this game!!

David Pearl
151 Posted 19/08/2018 at 03:05:07
Ashley Roberts
152 Posted 19/08/2018 at 03:42:23
A game of two halves and, from my perspective, it was not down to Davies replacing Schneiderlin. Yes, Southampton were better in the second half but they were dreadful in the first 45 minutes.

I agree it was a well worked first goal from the training field and a nice through ball by Shneiderlin but that was pretty much his only forward pass he made. I know Tom is not the finished article, which is not surprising as he is only 20, but at least he looks to move the ball forward and can run and beat people with the ball at his feet. I cannot see Shneiderlin improving at his age but I think Tom has the makings of a pretty decent Blues midfielder.

I also thought Holgate had a good game as did Calvert-Lewin when he came on. We definitely have some good youngsters to build on for the future, including Richarlison who is only 21 as well.

Steavey Buckley
153 Posted 19/08/2018 at 05:55:01
Everton will get better when Everton have their new recruits fit and well. The 4-3-3 formation has improved Everton a lot, because the defence and midfield are encouraged to move the ball forward rather than sideways and back.
Derek Thomas
154 Posted 19/08/2018 at 06:32:24
Tony @ 102; A valid if pessimistic point, but as they say – you can only beat what is put in front of you.

But for the intervention of Referee Pawson... or in his case – 'very poor, son' – who had another shocker yesterday. Wolves most likely would have been dead and buried.

Walcott coulda, shoulda had a hat-trick, but then again Southampton coulda / shoulda too.

Hopefully the performances, and the quality of the starting 11, should ramp up as the weeks roll on and the opposition, as it will, gets a bit better.

Darren Hind
155 Posted 19/08/2018 at 07:26:29
Just looked at that Pickford clearance again — excellent goalkeeping.

Ings was going for a ball that he knew was never his, but he knew the ball was not coming down for Jordan so he tried to make it as difficult as possible. Our boy was having none of it and put his foot through it.

When I read some of the comments on here, I sometimes wonder if the people making them have ever played the game. We had this shite last week. To get to a ball first, you have to do things quickly, this will generate momentum. What happens after the ball is played is the responsibility of both players.

Ings knew exactly what he was doing. He was testing Pickford's metal. If our boy was to have bottled that, every forward in the country would have made note. Now they will think twice before they try to intimidate him. Marker laid down.

There's a touch of the James Vaughan about Ings. He is always getting hurt because he is always going for balls that are not his. Bryan Robson would have been world class, if he could have removed that particular aspect from his game.

Bravery or Knobheadery? I guess it's in the eye of the beholder, but lay off our boy. He was put in a position and he dealt with it.

Paul Mackay
156 Posted 19/08/2018 at 07:46:29
I don't think anyone had a bad game today. High energy, attacking and direct, such a contrast to last season.

Pickford 6
Coleman 6
Holgate 8
Keane 7
Baines 7
Gueye 9
Schneiderlin 7 (Davies 7)
Walcott 8
Sigurdsson 8
Richarlison 8
Tosun 8

Few people knocking Tosun on here, I thought he played well, big engine and linked up well. He just needs a goal but that will come.

Onwards and upwards...

Neil Cremin
157 Posted 19/08/2018 at 08:30:08

I seem to be the only one on TW constantly questioning Pickford. Again, my criticism is based on:

1. Punches and Parries rather than holding the ball. He could have cost us two goals today.

2. Doesn't come off is line to collect corners — again, probably because he prefers 1 above. Essential if we are using zonal marking where the 6-yard box is the 'keeper's zone.

3. His distribution on kicking is very poor (although I didn't see much evidence of that today).

4. Finally, a trait which is more obvious since the World Cup of berating his defence every time a goal is scored.

I have maintained that, as the last defender, he should see the danger better than most and should be organising the defence before the goal is scored — not after. I would be afraid he is listening to the hype about himself and forgetting that this is a team game where he also has a responsibility for goals scored.

Dave Abrahams
158 Posted 19/08/2018 at 09:09:16
Ashley (#152), good post.

IMO, I thought Davies, apart from one diabolical pass late in the game, was a lot better than he was last season; steadier, thought a bit more, and brought his energy to the game which Everton need more of.

Holgate was very impressive and improved the defence; while Calvert-Lewin wasn't on long, he showed a glimpse of what he can become, and there are a few more young players waiting in the wings if one or two don't up their game.

Paul Tran
159 Posted 19/08/2018 at 09:19:14

Bryan Robson would have been a world class player if he hadn't been such a lush. Huge correlation between players that were big drinkers having a series of injuries.

Tony McNulty
160 Posted 19/08/2018 at 09:20:17
The Pickford incident is Mark Hughes doing a Donald Trump: lighting a fire in another part of the building to deflect attention away from an unpleasant reality right in front of his nose.

In the case of Mark Hughes, the unpleasant reality is his mediocrity as a manager.

John McGimpsey
161 Posted 19/08/2018 at 09:31:55
I read 160 comments and the last one was spot on.
Bobby Mallon
162 Posted 19/08/2018 at 10:25:37
Ashley Roberts @152 — the reason we did play better in the first half is because Schneiderlin is a better defender than Davies and a better player. That's why every manager who has been at Everton and has managed him has played him. I don't think he's the future but neither is Tom Davies. Tom is a poorer Barkley.
Mike Benjamin
163 Posted 19/08/2018 at 10:37:01
There is a new professionalism on and off the field at this club. The on-field part was illustrated brilliantly yesterday during the pre-match warm-up.

For the last 10 mins, all the subs were cleared away with 10 outfield players going through what they would do doing in the game. Back four in a line interchanging passes while midfield and forward doing shooting practice.

That was then followed by Holgate and Keane doing heading practice while the rest were practicing build-up play from both wings – Coleman and Walcott on the right with Baines and Richarlison with the rest attacking the ball when crossed into the middle.

The move similar to the second goal must have been completed a dozen times before they finished.

Perfect Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance — not any more.

Paul Birmingham
164 Posted 19/08/2018 at 11:37:17
No complaints from me, it's a work in progress but the early signs are very promising. There's been more vision, guile and guts in two games than all of last season.

Defence as a unit needs to improve but room for optimism for this season. There's a different air across Goodison Park now – M&M and the rest of the board must take credit. Pride has returned and the players are playing for their places and for the club.

It's a different world to the last 4 years; let's continue the progress.

A win at AFC Bournemouth next week would be something special.

Colin Malone
165 Posted 19/08/2018 at 12:04:45
Steve @124 & Phil @143.

My point is, the athlete comes first, football skill is secondary to these sports science people. Reidy, Gascoigne, Molby, just to name three, all weren't their ideal weight but they were magicians with the ball.

There's a lot of money in football and, in my opinion, these sports science / dietician people are a waste of time and money. Young footballers are not robots.

Danny O'Neill
166 Posted 19/08/2018 at 12:22:04
Early days and I'm not getting carried away but much more energy and pressing off the ball.

Interesting to see Scheiderlin's role when we got possession; slots in to almost form a back 3 and allow the full backs to press high. I liked the flexibility and not being fixed to a particular formation depending on whether we had possession or had lost it and were seeking the ball back.

I know he's not everyone's favourite on here but could have an important role to play in this team yet. I actually thought we lost a bit of balance when he had to go off.

Helmet & body armour suitably fastened ready for incoming!

Tom Bowers
167 Posted 19/08/2018 at 12:23:43
Battle at the top! Blues v Bournemouth next week.
Chris Corn
168 Posted 19/08/2018 at 12:46:08
Danny (#170), I agree re Schneiderlin. He played well last week and he was influential yesterday til he had to go off. The criticism he received last season has been deserved but credit where it's due.
Will Mabon
169 Posted 19/08/2018 at 16:49:33
Jay @ 133:

Thanks for that link to the full match. I got home from a trip in the early hours so watched it then before bed. Alas as you warned, it's now unavailable.

I really enjoyed the match. The whole feel, spirit and attitude of the team is vastly improved. We now look like we're trying to be a football team again, as opposed to some dull, mechanical device designed to just exist in the league.

I think there's some mileage in what many have said before – something "wrong" at Everton. That something has been a complete lack of spirit, which can completely trump all other efforts. Perhaps, perhaps, this is this start of the repairs. Fingers crossed.

The various aspects have been well discussed above but I have to mention one thing – zonal, or should I just call it, inadequate marking. What is this about? It's like the dual-mass flywheel of football; everyone sticking with it despite all the indications to the contrary. So far, we haven't suffered any worse than last year defensively, but we will.

Static players, or players with no focused direction of movement, ie, matching the run of an attacker, are at an immediate disadvantage in how high they can get off the ground, as well as being second best in the physical competition with the attacker, being more likely to be used as extra leverage for even greater height by the forward. The timing's off, everything's second-best.

Then there's the uncertainty of which forward to go or compete with in the heat of the moment as the picture changes quickly. You simply won't always cleanly get to the ball first, however fast onto it you are, and need to be properly competing with the attacker. It's fine having one or two "floaters" but the main threats have to be properly marshalled and dealt with, I believe.

I wouldn't mind watching some examples of teams playing this system at its tactical best for interest's sake, if anyone can think of any. My not-long-out-of-bed brain can't.

John Wells
170 Posted 19/08/2018 at 18:38:56
Man Utd there for the taking, folks! They ain't playing for Jose; our guys are playing FINALLY with some balls!
Mike Gwyer
171 Posted 19/08/2018 at 19:01:24


Watched the game as well and yep, the zonal marking thing is extremely trying and it seemed to leave Soton players free to do what they wanted... however, we gave as good as we got. They marked us man on man and were aggressive about it, but we were quite often able to get first touch on the ball and pressurise the keeper and both our goals came from crosses, either dead ball or in play, into a congested penalty box. Zonal or man marking?? Fuck knows, but I'm more than happy to let Silva make that decision.

So, for me, I prefer your something "Wrong" at Everton comment. We played as a team yesterday and going forward Southampton could do nothing more than just kick us, they were really incapable of matching our attacking game plan. Oh yes, we are onto something good here. Most definitely.

Si Turner
172 Posted 19/08/2018 at 20:25:23
The atmosphere within the ground was much more optimistic, especially my part of lower Gwladys Street.

I wasn't impressed with Davies or Calvert-Lewin when they came on and feel they will get no game time once we have a fully fit squad.

Holgate, Sigurdsson and Richarlison were my picks for best three today. I would be disappointed if Holgate was dropped in place of a new signing unless his performances dip or he becomes injured. Comfy on the ball and the pace to cover when playing a high line is a must in Silva's setup and he has both which I am not sure if any of our other centre-backs do?

Looking forward to an away game now for the first time in a while and feel we are set up to hurt Bournemouth on the break with a movement in the final third. Hopefully we have 7 points after next Saturday...

Gareth Ashman
173 Posted 19/08/2018 at 20:37:27
(Loosely to Sweet Caroline), let's hear you:

Gooooals, he scores us goooooals, beautiful goooooals
in front of the Goodison faithful
Reeeeee-charl-i-son oh oh oh
he was an absolute bargain
Reeeeee-charl-i-son oh oh oh
he was an absolute bargain

John Davies
174 Posted 19/08/2018 at 22:43:10
Never seen a zone score a goal from a set piece so I have no idea why teams do zonal marking. Players score goals, if they're not marked properly, so just bloody mark them. Simples!
Si Cooper
175 Posted 19/08/2018 at 23:01:45
Surely there is nothing in the coaching manual which states that opposition players are to be left unhindered under a zonal marking system?

Unless I am very badly informed, if there is an opposing player in your zone, it is your responsibility to deal with him. What seemed to be the problem is that no-one seemed to have responsibility for the central zone right by the keeper and so Ings was left entirely to his own devices whilst we had surplus defenders where there was no real threat.

So the question is: Why didn't the players take some responsibility and adapt the system to suit the situation?

David Ellis
176 Posted 20/08/2018 at 01:41:22
In the 70s and maybe the 80s English teams used zonal marking. This man-to-man marking is new fangled Johnny Foreigner nonsense.
Ian Carter
177 Posted 20/08/2018 at 03:33:26
Unreal that the only difference between the team from the last game, last season and the two games this season are the manager and Richarlison. Shows you what a proper manager can do.

I can't wait til all of the new signings are up to pace and in the squad. Team is playing great and look good attacking. Once the defense is straightened up, we might have us a formidable team!

A question for you all though: I'm coming to England Trom the States in September, and will be attending the West Ham game on the 16th. I've got 2 kids, ages 5 and 1. I would like to bring them both but wanted to know everyone's thoughts on bringing the youngest one? Also, where is a good place to sit with kids? (I obviously know of the Family Enclosure but seeing if there is something else/better?)

Thanks for any thoughts!

Julian Wait
178 Posted 20/08/2018 at 04:37:25
Ian (#177), I am from Liverpool but live in The States. I go back every couple of years and always try and get to a game.

I realize the could be sentimental objectives in taking the youngest to Goodison for what is possibly the last opportunity, as I did the same for my 16-year-old boy in April before he hits the last two years of high school.

Personally I wouldn't recommend taking the 1-year-old though. Frankly you will have your hands full with what is likely to be a very overwhelmed 5-year-old, and the 'facilities' are more 1930s Fenway than Cowboys stadium.

Paul Mackay
179 Posted 20/08/2018 at 07:43:46
Ian @177,

Coincidentally, I am also in England for the West Ham game and taking my oldest boy who is 10 for the first time. We have sorted tickets in the Family Enclosure. I would also recommend the mid tier of the Main Stand.

Have you sorted tickets yet? I had to buy a membership for both of us in order to get advanced access to tickets before they went on general sale.

If you haven't purchased tickets, yet you may have left it too late as, by the time they come onto general sale, only the worst tickets are still for sale and these are at the back of the stands and often with obstructed views.

Paul Mackay
180 Posted 20/08/2018 at 07:50:53
Yours can try this if you get stuck:


Peter Lee
181 Posted 20/08/2018 at 08:48:26
Getting a head on a cross is aided by having a run towards the ball as it comes in.

Our zonal markers Saturday were mostly static so getting a head on the cross was more difficult. Not so defending crosses from open play.

Marking man for man also leaves you static unless "your" man moves towards the ball, however as an attacking player you are more often running towards goal before your marker reacts. He then has to go with you with the more difficult header on the cards.

All the blocking that goes on restricts attacking runs but when VAR becomes regular that will reduce. At that point I'd expect zonal to become more common and blocking to become more common amongst attackers than it is now. Chelsea used to use that tactic "very effectively" to allow Terry to get headers in at their corners. Cheating bastards. In those days all their defenders used to "starfish" for crosses and shots.

Will Mabon
182 Posted 20/08/2018 at 08:58:41
Mike, Si et al,

It would be possible to discuss in depth the finer details and differences of the marking systems, and perhaps it would be ultimately said that the ideal composes elements of both to some degree.

I tend to think that, as a basic starting point, the maybe two or three major threats of a side from a corner or other set-piece should be attended specifically by the defenders best able to do it, without deviation.

This is exactly what we have not seen in recent seasons; too many headed goals conceded to unchallenged, unmarked players in space – usually on the back of a visible nervousness.

I don't know what one would attempt to call our "system" of recent times, but defending these situations was one of our strong points for many years. I just know that many teams that have used the zonal system in this league seem often to've conceded those kind of goals that leave defenders looking puzzlingly at each other as to where the unchallenged forward came from, into a big space.

In the two games so far, things look a little less edgy at the back. We'll have to wait and see what transpires, I guess.

Mike Allison
183 Posted 20/08/2018 at 08:59:25
John Davies, 174, sorry but that is just genuinely dumb. The ball is what matters. Head the ball away, no matter what the attackers are doing. If you’re too busy trying to hold an attacker, and then you’re running backwards towards your own goal because he’s running forwards towards it, you’ve made your defensive header very, very difficult.

Stand where the ball needs to come (and the attacker has to run to) give yourself one job, then head it away and defending is much, much easier. I did it for years at a low level, easily beating markers (and winning penalties from my ‘man-to-man’ marker) to score and easily winning defensive headers because it didn’t matter where the attackers were. The goals I conceded off corners were when I had to ‘man-to-man’ mark and I was either blocked or the movement was good.

Will Mabon
184 Posted 20/08/2018 at 09:04:46
Peter – some good points.

I understand what you say about the defender having to track the forward, a job in itself, but he is at least focused on that and reading cues, as opposed to trying to watch a "Zone".

Will Mabon
185 Posted 20/08/2018 at 09:07:52
I think we might end up with a new system of "Zone & No Zone" from ToffeeWeb...
Geoffrey Williams
186 Posted 20/08/2018 at 13:51:12
Zonal or man-to-man marking is not a new phenomenon, it has been part of the coaching debate since the time of Walter Winterbottom and Charlie Hughes in the 60s. Both systems have been in favour over the years and both have been found wanting.

What ever system a manager chooses to use, if defenders fail to attack the ball then it will fail. If any team sticks rigidly to any form of play, then a good opposition coach will find ways of beating it. I could write a thesis on the pros and cons of man-to-man marking and zonal marking. I personally believe it has to be a combination of both.

Drew O'Neall
187 Posted 20/08/2018 at 14:25:11
For most of my playing days, we adopted a defensive ‘line of five', similar to what I've seen Silva employ.

Basically, you form an arc of five players which covers from (the position of the first defender) about two yards from the byline, about a yard outside the width of the goalpost, to the (third defender at the) centre of the goal on the six yard line, to the sixth defender in the opposite position to the first (and obviously the second opposite to the fifth). If that's hard to follow, imagine a force field of defenders around the keeper and the goal spaced out number 1 at the front and number 5 at the back.

No-one in the line of five has anyone to mark and your three best headers of the ball occupy positions 2, 3 and 4 but they all MUST attack the ball if it comes in the space in front of them.

You have two more players marking the posts and two more marking the space either side of the penalty spot, ready to attack the ball to the edge of the box or deal with ‘seconds'. One is left up on the halfway line.

This zonal marking tactic was employed by my team (I was practically a one-club man) successfully for the entire time I played but it is absolutely predicated on having players who are good in the air and want to hunt the ball and I don't believe we have enough of those types of players in our team currently.

The difference between zonal marking and man marking is, in zonal marking, you have to attack the ball. In man marking, you only have to stop your player from being able to attack the ball.

I am an advocate of zonal marking because it works but I think successful management is about understanding the attributes and failings of your players and adjusting accordingly. I personally think we need a combination at Everton until the playing staff changes.

Bobby Mallon
188 Posted 20/08/2018 at 18:53:41
Defending corners is not a science, you just head or kick the ball clear before the opposition. You look at the ball and attack it if it comes near you that’s how to defend corners. Oh and as someone mentioned earlier put players on the bloody post.

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