Not your run-of-the-mill Old Trafford defeat

By Lyndon Lloyd 28/10/2018 96comments  |  Jump to last

When you’re arguably the biggest club in world football, you shouldn’t need a hand up from the match officials. And yet, time and time again, Manchester United and the other so-called elite clubs of Premier League football benefit from infuriatingly favourable decisions.

You can argue that “these things even themselves out over the course of a season” and, perhaps, by the end of the campaign, we Evertonians might look back and say that, overall, we got the rub of the green but it won’t have come in games against the “big six”. When you look at the fact that the penalty awarded to the Blues this afternoon was the first at Old Trafford since 1962 and that Everton have only been awarded two penalties at Anfield in the last 80 years, a it starts to build a picture of the psychology that governs referees’ decisions in these cauldrons.

Of course, there’s the mental aspect of refereeing in front of 70-odd thousand baying Mancunians and having to suffer the verbal wrath of the cantankerous Portuguese in the Red Devils’ dugout and then there’s general incompetence. And when it comes to Jon Moss, both could be said to be at play to a large degree.

Moss has screwed Everton over already this season — he was in charge for what will surely be the most glaringly egregious offside decision of the season, one that allowed Arsenal to seal the game at the Emirates last month — so there was collective dismay when the West Yorkshire-based official was assigned to this match. Some among us foresaw controversy, but it wouldn’t have taken Mystic Meg. The man is a slow-jogging disaster; a figure who courts vilification from Premier League supporters up and down the land.

So it was, then, that what was shown to be a perfectly legal tackle by Idrissa Gueye on Anthony Martial, followed by unconscionable theatrics by the Frenchman worthy of vintage Jurgen Klinsmann or Luis Suarez, was deemed to be a penalty 26 minutes into what had hitherto been a fairly evenly-balanced contest.

Both teams had tested the respective goalkeepers, André Gomes and Juan Mata with a headers at either end and Martial with a piledriver that Jordan Pickford parried away, but the award of the spot-kick unquestionably tipped the match in the home team’s direction.

Gueye challenged Martial in the Blues’ box, getting a toe on the ball, but his out-stretched thigh was an invitation for the United forward to hurl himself forward, adding the infamous spread-leg flourish to complete the con job on the officials.

Paul Pogba didn’t fool Pickford with his leisurely, stutter-step run-up for the resulting penalty but though the keeper saved the kick with a raised palm, he could only push it straight back to the Frenchman who tucked home the rebound.

The effect of the goal was fairly predictable. United, attempting to rebound from their midweek defeat to Juventus, gained in confidence for the remainder of a first half that was short on genuine chances.

And yet, this wasn’t a story solely about a poor refereeing decision; in the spirit of their exacting young manager, Everton refused to lie down and they would have their chances — three very good ones — but poor decision-making and poor finishing would undermine them in United’s third of the field.

A terrific passing move ended with Seamus Coleman crossing for Gylfi Sigurdsson but his header from 12 yards was straight at David de Gea. Then, Sigurdsson played Theo Walcott in but though the winger cut inside well, his shot was weak. And Walcott would spurn the best the first-half openings when he latched onto a sublime pass from Michael Keane but, not for the first time this season, went for glory rather than cutting it back and his shot from the angle was beaten behind by De Gea.

The Spanish keeper would be put through his paces again straight after the interval when Richarlison, deployed as the central striker for the third game running, jinked through and fired a low shot that De Gea got down low to save.

Unfortunately, any momentum Everton were trying to build early in the second half was halted by Manchester United’s second and another facet of this defeat: slack defending on the Toffees’ right-hand side.

Walcott had been slow to track back as United built an attack down their right, Kurt Zouma blocked an Ashley Young cross but only as far as Pogba who found Martial in plenty of space behind Coleman at the corner of the area. In a moment depressingly reminiscent of Alexandre Lacazette’s opener for Arsenal against Everton at the Emirates, Martial used the latitude afforded him to bend a shot around Pickford and inside the far post to make it 2-0. Coleman’s reaction, a very visible rebuke of Walcott, was telling; the skipper had been let down by the winger.

It should have been 2-1 and game very much on with plenty of time to go straight after the restart, however. Sigurdsson and Richarlison combined well just inside the opposition half before the Brazilian split the United defence with a perfectly-weighted pass for his compatriot Bernard. The diminutive winger rounded De Gea expertly enough but failed to squeeze his shot between the near post and Victor Lindelof on the goal line.

Having escaped at that end, the home side had two chances to increase their lead but found Pickford in imperious form. First he foiled Marcus Rashford in a one-on-one situation and then he got a quick, strong hand down low to stop a low Pogba effort from the angle.

Everton, meanwhile, blew another chance to get on the scoresheet in the 72nd minute after Ademola Lookman had come on for Bernard. Another brilliant pass from Richarlison sprung Coleman on the overlap but with the goal at his mercy, he got too much underneath his shot and it flew over when he had to hit the target.

The visitors did make it 2-1 four minutes later when Pogba’s error was seized upon by Lookman, Sigurdsson fed Richarlison and the forward was sent crashing to the turf by Chris Smalling. Referee Moss pointed to the spot, elected not to book the defender for a second bookable offence, and Sigurdsson stepped up to sweep a well-taken spot kick high to De Gea’s left.

That set the stage for a potentially dramatic last quarter of an hour as Everton pushed United back in search of an equaliser. Again, however, they were let down by poor decision-making in important areas, together with a general carelessness with possession as they chased the game.

Ultimately, the Blues’ finale lacked guile and it was United who almost capitalised as their opponents pressed forward, Romelu Lukaku wasting a chance to prove Mourinho was wrong for dropping him by planting a free header well wide and Pickford pulling off another world class save to foil Martial on another breakaway in the closing stages.

Despite the defeat, there were plenty of positives to be drawn from Everton’s performance, ones that continue to bode well for the future that Marco Silva is patiently trying to build. Past Blues sides — last season’s would be an obvious example — might have folded and succumbed to a heavy defeat but the Blues remained unbowed, leading to the pleasing sight of an edgy United withdrawing into a red wall on the edge of the box in the final few minutes desperately trying to hold out.

While the formation that was so successful at Leicester didn’t quite work the same way on this occasion and Bernard was a more peripheral figure, Everton still, had some good moments, particularly involving Richarlison in the second half. And, while you still get the feeling he is playing within himself as he feels his way into the English game, André Gomes was, again, cut an impressive figure of assuredness in the middle of the park.

The concern is Everton’s right flank where Coleman continues to struggle through an alarmingly poor spell of form. His crossing, that one chance for Sigurdsson in the first half aside, has become ineffectual, he is going to pieces in the box when chances arrive and defensively he is hit and miss at times.

Walcott, meanwhile, was at fault for poor control in United’s half that led to the opening goal, he neglected his covering duties for the second and his choices in the final third are becoming consistently questionable, with too many of his runs taking him into trouble and him electing to shoot when better options are on around him. In reality, it was probably he who should have made way midway through the second half and not Bernard.

There were already murmurings that Lookman looks increasingly worthy of a shot in the side and Walcott’s position is looking more vulnerable than most. For a player of his vast experience and talent, you expect more than he is providing at the moment.

So, ultimately, it was another dispiriting loss at Old Trafford but with enough to keep alive the hope and belief that Everton are moving in the right direction under Silva. On another day with a better referee, they might have taken a point that few would have begrudged them but the focus must return now to picking up important wins at home to reestablish momentum.

Reader Comments (96)

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Chris Bentham
1 Posted 29/10/2018 at 07:25:46
Time to stop talking about referees.
Jim Harrison
2 Posted 29/10/2018 at 07:45:18
Good read as always

their second goal was the difference between the two teams condensed into a few seconds. Pogba was composed and made a good decision with his well-hit pass, Martial took his chance well.

More composure with passes in the final third was what we needed, it seemed as if in some instances they were trying too hard to get the killer ball in where other options would have been better. That said, at least they try this season!!

Ultimately, the difference was a poor shout by the ref. But I can see why he gave it. But not sending off Smalling was as big a shout for me. That was a booking anywhere on the pitch. Such a clear take-down, Man Utd players didn't protest. Playing 20 mins or so against 10 men could have made the difference.

Still, we created a lot of good chances and Pickford showed exactly why he is so highly rated.

Rick Tarleton
3 Posted 29/10/2018 at 07:45:21
A poor decision, agreed. Not sure that Walcott's display was all that one would hope for from such a "famous" player in a big game. Lookman really ought to be starting games. Bernard has oodles of ability, but looks lightweight against strong defenders.

Pickford, of whom I am not the greatest fan, had an excellent game and essentially Keane and Zouma looked good, though I'd like to see Mina, who is not just a loan player, starting games as the left-sided central defender.

There was promise and United were holding on at the end. For once, I was heartened by Everton's display and I think Gomes looks a true midfielder.

However, Moss, like all the referees, favours the big six in close decisions, especially at home. I was amazed that Gueye was allowed to last 90 minutes after that early yellow and logically he should have had a second yellow for the penalty. The fact that he didn't get one suggests that Moss had his doubts at the time. But that's what one expects of modern referees.

Dave Evans
4 Posted 29/10/2018 at 07:45:31
We have gone from rolling over in games like this to competing. We created many good positions but lacked the calmness and, as the report says, guile to get a point or more from the game.

Let's not make Walcott the new bedpan. He"s had a couple of iffy games, that's all. Probably needs a short rest to refocus.

Colin Glassar
5 Posted 29/10/2018 at 08:01:52
Unfortunately, Seamus and Theo both had stinkers so Martial was free to run amok down our left side. Our decision-making in the final third was poor, to say the least, and Bernard is not a winger and Richarlison is not a centre-forward!!!

I'd like to see Bernard play a similar role to David Silva at Man City. He has the talent and vision to do the same for us. Richarlison needs to play out wide, where he's more effective and Walcott needs to be dropped and replaced by Lookman or we go to three at the back (Keane, Zouma and Mina) and push Seamus further up the pitch.

This team is still gelling and it will take some time but we can get it together until January when we will need to buy a striker (Vardy?) and really push on.

Gareth Clark
6 Posted 29/10/2018 at 08:04:01
An absolute shocker from the ref changed the game. They should never have had a penalty – and Smalling should have got a red.

Completely different game if the ref did his job!

However, there were a lot we did wrong ourselves!

Finishing really let us down and we need a lot more movement in the middle of the park – so that we can get the ball up the pitch a lot easier.

Our front three had a very average game; Richarlison just doesn't suit the #9 role for me (so far).

Coleman had a stinker.

Sigurdsson was fantastic – along with the two centre-backs and Gueye. Gomes needs to do a little more for me in terms of movement and also defense.

I would change Bernard and Walcott for our next game:

Coleman (c) Keane Zouma Digne
Gueye Gomes
Lookman Sigurdsson Richarlison

Subs: Stekelenburg, Mina, Baines, Davies, Bernard, Walcott, Calvert-Lewin, Tosun.

Jerome Shields
8 Posted 29/10/2018 at 08:10:12
You can never beat the referee.

Everton to progress have to look at themselves and where they improve. Any other analysis which apportions blame anywhere else is a waste of time achieving this objective.

Silva did not select the right forwards in the right positions. His analysis of the previous three games, which provided information on the unsuitability of players in certain positions, was clearly evident. Man Utd couldn't believe their luck when he named an unchanged team from the last game.

The right wing was the glaring weakness for a Man Utd to attack before the game. Silva did nothing prior to the game or for 75 minutes during the game to address this issue. Again, Man Utd couldn't believe their luck.

Gana was dangerously close to getting sent off, overstretching himself to try to shore up the right wing.

I agree, Man Utd where lucky. . . but they had great help from Silva.

Jim Bennings
9 Posted 29/10/2018 at 08:13:32
I agree we need to stop talking about referees because it wasn't the sole reason we lost today nor was it the reason we rarely get a result away to a top six side.

We need to remember we have also been handed five penalties against Manchester United since April 2014, two have been missed and three scored.

We can give ourselves some credit and a pat on the back but it'll only stretch so far and, if we lose as expected at Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City before Christmas, that will mean we will have again lost away to all five hoodoo grounds in the space of three months so it doesn't look good on paper no matter how close the games are.

Our troubles are that we don't take our chances at grounds like this; it was the same in the first half at Arsenal. We pass up too many presentable opportunities to give ourselves a chance of winning and you need to be clinical in these games (look at Bournemouth's 3-0 win at Chelsea in February this year).

We have too many passive players, they are neat and tidy but they are just too passive in front of goal. Then there's the problem of Seamus Coleman who really is struggling again let's be honest and hasn't looked anything like the player he was before that injury. Something has definitely been taken away from his game, the dynamism has just gone.

Our right side was a huge problem yesterday as it was last weekend against Palace and Theo Walcott has now played himself out of the Brighton game for me. It's time to give Lookman the chance he's been wanting and let's see what he can do.

Iain Love
10 Posted 29/10/2018 at 09:00:32
One thing I noticed yesterday was the amount of times Richarlison failed to hold the ball up and went to ground looking for a free kick. When we're looking to move the ball upfield, we really need someone to do that job. I'm not convinced by Tosun or Calvert-Lewin but, in that respect, they are better than Richarlison.

It also means one of our most dangerous players is to an extent nullified. I was all for trying him there but it wasn't working yesterday and should have been changed earlier.

I do think we're getting better as a team overall and I find I'm looking at previous stalwarts with a more critical eye... Coleman being one, although he is obviously still not back to his best after an awful injury, Gana's distribution is still patchy at best and Theo looks more and more like a supersub.

David Hallwood
11 Posted 29/10/2018 at 09:06:28
Great report, as ever. Sorry, gents – we NEED to talk about the referee. Before the game, I posted on here and ToffeeTV that we had no chance of winning because of 2 reasons: 1) Jon, 2) Moss — and he certainly didn't let me down.

Not only the penalty decision but the Ashley Young two-footed lunge on Digne. He had no option but to give us our penalty, but didn't give Smalling an obvious 2nd yellow. So all the crucial decisions went the way of Man Utd.

I'm getting sick looking at games and instead of thinking we need to worry about player X, or our player is way off the pace, it's the ref you're worried about.

I'm with everyone about poor decision-making, especially from the front 3, and we've all experienced enough defeats at the big 6 to accept it and look for positives, but action must be taken against refs like him as he's either a cheat or a coward; either way, he should never referee a top class game again.

Jim Bennings
12 Posted 29/10/2018 at 09:12:03

I'm sorry but, if you want to continue supporting a team outside the “Sky Six”, then you need to get over the referee obsession.

I hate them too but I've learned to live with the fact over the last 15 years that they are always going to favour the top clubs and we sadly aren't classed as a top club.

We have had some dubious penalties awarded to us in recent times against the top sides so I'm trying to make myself feel a bit better about it.

The ref was shit yesterday but, if we put our chances away (same as at Arsenal), then you make tits like Moss irrelevant in the bigger picture.

Until the likes of Walcott, Richarlison, Bernard learn how to start putting the ball away on a regular basis, we will be forever frustrated.

Jim Harrison
13 Posted 29/10/2018 at 09:17:06
Rick (#3),

Regarding Bernard looking lightweight, he didn't when he knocked Pogba over whilst taking the ball off him! I think he looks surprisingly strong, but may need a few more games to get used to the English game. He's only been on the pitch for 4 games in total so far, isn't it?

Tony Everan
14 Posted 29/10/2018 at 09:25:16
Yes, it is infuriating to be talking about the referee, but frustrations have to be aired, especially when the first goal scored in that match was going to be decisive. The ref allocated the points yesterday.

But then we have to quickly put it behind us and move on. A win on Saturday against Brighton should be the sole focus from today.

The front three configuration needs debating.

The Richarlison as centre-forward experiment is not working . His talent is wasted and would be much more dangerous on the left wing. We should stick with either Tosun or Calvert-Lewin through the middle (I can't decide who would be best) and give an opportunity to Lookman on the right as Walcott's form has dropped a peg or two.

Kenny vs Coleman needs debating too.

I thought Jonjoe was growing into a regular first teamer and improving by the game before Seamus returned. He had more energy, tenacity and fired in better crosses. Positionally he got caught out too much but seemed to be learning. At the moment, I would give Seamus a break and hand Jonjoe a chance to make the position his own.

Jim Harrison
15 Posted 29/10/2018 at 09:26:59
Jim 9,

We haven't actually played those games yet, so we don't know the results.

The difference between playing against Arsenal and Man Utd from this season to last is quite striking. Same points total, but the players on the whole won't come away from that game feeling that they were not in it. To create the amount of chances as they did at Old Trafford is a good sign. The problem yesterday was similar to the one at the Emirates, they had a top class forward who took his chance, we don't currently. But we now have players who are getting the ball in dangerous areas.

I thought that a lot of the crossing yesterday was okay, but Richarlison isn't a striker and wasn't in the right area in those situations.

It's also only 3 games these guys have been playing together in this formation. The defending has improved since early matches, as it has become more settled.

John Hall
16 Posted 29/10/2018 at 09:40:57
Silva should sit Walcott down and make him watch how he lacks concentration, bottle and football sense. 'Lazy' is an understatement, and he's never willing to put a foot in. I can see why Arsenal let him go. Coleman gets a roasting on here but what else can he do against a world class winger with no cover from the man in front of him.

Walcott was ball watching when they scored their second and sloppy in possession leading up to their penalty. He needs to grow a pair and man up.

Rick Tarleton
17 Posted 29/10/2018 at 09:46:55
Walcott is still the same player he was as a young teenager at Southampton. He has pace and once or twice a season, he is sensational, but he has never had a football brain and never had a clue as to when to pass, how to centre, when to shoot and as for tracking back, he doesn't even try.

Coleman was poor, but 50% of the reason he was poor was Walcott's inability to give him any support on the right.

David Hallwood
18 Posted 29/10/2018 at 10:08:39
Jim (#12) point taken. But if we are going to accept mediocrity as acceptable, then it's only going to get worse. Refs have an unenviable job but, saying that, I've seen some really good officials in my time. But the current crop of Premier League refs are woeful, and like any employer if they're allowed to continue in their little incompetent track, it ain't getting better anytime soon.

Moving on to decision making by players; that's the difference between talented players and the truly great. Woolcott being the perfect example. He's got all the skills in the bag of say a Willam or even a Hazard without the necessary footballing nounce or sheer will to win to take him to the next level and at 29 it isn't going to happen.

Jim Bennings
19 Posted 29/10/2018 at 10:46:26
Jim Harrison (#15),

I don't want to be overly negative but I think we can predict the results at Chelsea, Liverpool and City without claiming to be the next Mystic Meg.

The performances might be better yes but after the cash we've spent we are not going with expectations to play like the Metropolitan Police in a one-off FA Cup tie.

We are a big spending club ourselves now and the very least we expect and demand is good performances but we haven't beaten a top-six side home or away for nigh on two years (well, it was the 4-0 against Man City in January 2017 to be precise).

Lawrence Green
20 Posted 29/10/2018 at 11:12:36
In some ways, it wasn't a run-of-the-mill defeat at Old Trafford but, in many ways, it was exactly that. As has happened all too often Everton left Old Trafford, with no points.

At no point, did the Blues give me the confidence that they would score from open play and, too many times during the game, they were opened up far too easily, giving Pickford the opporunity to make important saves to at least keep the Toffees with a foothold in the game. Add in the all too familiar 'bad' decisions of the officials, the cry-arsing of Ashley Young et al and the time-wasting of the home team whenever they felt like it, it did feel like the usual narrative when Everton visit those so-called elite clubs.

Gomes does look like a player that Silva could build his team around, but unfortunately like Zouma he doesn't belong to Everton. There are a few others who have the ability to make an improvement in that team over the next few months and years, but the side still has too many passengers and it will be at least another year before we can honestly expect Everton FC to be making a proper assualt on the top six.

Everton are currently a mid-table team who are trying to improve and that much wanted improvement will take plenty of time and patience from all of those who care about the team. There are some good signs and some not so good signs; ultimately, it's up to Marco Silva and his staff to eradicate the silly mistakes and his team's seemingly obsessive need to give the ball away under little or no pressure. It is also up to Marco, whenever it is possible, to play the players in their most natural positions which will allow them to display their talents to the full.

Everton have to find a way of returning from these difficult away days with maximum points because, if it doesn't, the year on year affect is that the club will remain anonymous and irrelevant to the media and Evertonians will have to continue to accept that their club – no matter how much is invested – will remain in the mid-table wilderness.

I'd prefer a stuffy one-nil victory at any of these grounds in stark contrast to the all too familiar good display but no points scenario. We are obviously in a far better place footballing wise than we have been for a few years, but that isn't saying a great deal is it? There is still much work to be done until we can truly dream of the club playing in the Champions League or of seeing Everton end that overly long trophy drought. On the right track but not yet up to the necessary speed is my assessment of the current Everton team.

Dean Johnson
21 Posted 29/10/2018 at 11:21:37
I didn't think we played too badly. Once again, in my opinion, we don't have a quality striker.

Against the Arsenal they had Lacazette and Aubameyang. Against Man U they had Martial and Rashford with our previous striker Lukaku on the bench. This to me shows how far we are off. Until we get at least 2 quality strikers we will continue to lose these kind of games.

I am much more positive than previous years as there is so much to laud: Zouma - Keane partnership, Pickford, Digne, Gomes and Charlie and Bernie.

People like Theo are going to infuriate us in the same way that my Arsenal fans at work have been for so long with him. Coleman is done and needs to be replaced in January, Tosun and Calvert Lewin are just not good enough, Gana needs to learn how to pass or else his ball-winning means piss-all.

I have full confidence in Silva to address this issue in the new year as so far he has bought everything we needed.

Don't forget, he didn't buy Walcott or Tosun and we are complaining about those 2 now despite doing better than our previous players in that position. This means that, until we clear out our shite, we'll never break into the top six.

Check our team yesterday – only Coleman remained from previous teams, now the other players are better, he is getting found out.

So a little bit more patience and we can really think about the next steps. First thing Marco had to do was clear to dead wood, he's almost done but we really have to be ruthless now, especially with Seamus. Think of the fee we could get for him, his reputation is worth that alone.

David Pearl
22 Posted 29/10/2018 at 13:01:42
Well, the ref did make decisions that cost us the game.

Seeing the way Coleman struggled while isolated, I'd hate to think how Kenny would've done. I think Digne and Bernard are good but I still think Baines can do a job and is quicker at crossing the ball. If Kenny plays, I think it should only be if we play 3 centre-backs, which I don't think is far away from happening.

Finally Gomes. He just got better and better as the game progressed. Must be a priority to sign him permanently ASAP.

John Raftery
23 Posted 29/10/2018 at 14:08:44
Lyndon - While the penalty may have been the first we have scored at Old Trafford since 1962, we did have one there in October 2014 taken by Baines and saved by De Gea.

David (22) As regards playing three centre backs, Silva has given no indication that he might do that. He said in an early interview he intended to play with a 4-3-3 which changes to 4-4-1-1 when we are required to defend or 4-2-4 if we are chasing goals late in the game.

John Boon
24 Posted 29/10/2018 at 14:45:18
Despite his deficiencies, Walcott is fast and has good control. He can be infuriating and somewhat lazy. However, before we put him on the sidelines, I would really like to see him up front. I don't see how we can lose because nobody else has shown enough at leading the line.

I would then like to see Richarlison on the left and Lookman on the right. As someone suggested, Bernard could play more central. With Gomes and Siggy we do have some creativity. We also have a good bench for a change.

I still think Coleman has a place in the team. At the present time, Kenny is no more than a backup with potential. As regards results, we have been really unlucky against both Arsenal and Man Utd.

In fact I don't think we have deserved to lose any game this season, but I am an optimist with decidedly blue glasses. Everything this season is much better than when we had Allardyce and his idiotic post- and pre-game comments.

Jer Kiernan
25 Posted 29/10/2018 at 15:06:44
Great article, Lyndon,

As regards first 2 paragraphs, I cannot help but feel the media "write the script" for these games now (ala WWE) and the result is pretty much decided before kick-off.

In a sport where any point of contact is a justifiable penalty, when the Top 6 get a blatant dive (you will hear "the referee was well placed" "you cant stick your leg in there like that" etc etc) every description except the word "cheat", which is what it is, gets applied.

But, on the rare occasion a ref gives a poor penalty against said darlings, he is berated and the decision (and by proxy his abilities) are under the microscope for days in every media outlet. These guys are human beings at end of the day, now if that ref couldn't see that Gana got a touch from 5 yards away and that Martial threw himself to the ground, he is not fit to referee in the modern game. I don't believe this is the case; I believe he is (probably subconsciously) reading off the script handed to him by Carragher, Neville et al and, like us all, self-preservation is the most basic of human traits. Anything for a quiet life. :)

I recently heard Jim Beglin exclaim that Richarlison tends to go down easy, He would NEVER say this about that cheating clown Salah who constantly engages physically with defenders with the sole intent of "winning" a penalty from them. The Palace game is a classic example, his blatant dive on this occasion which was dutifully awarded by the ref and largely ignored by the media: "Nothing to see here; move along please."

Suffice to say we were stung yesterday and could have come away with a win by 2 goal margin, which is what you will need to do to turn over a top six side with a referee under duress.

I feel we could (referee permitting) finally do the RS in the derby next time out.

Alan McGuffog
26 Posted 29/10/2018 at 15:19:10
John... 23. I recall a great penalty in 1968, at Old Trafford, scored by Mogsy. Chortle.
Jay Harris
27 Posted 29/10/2018 at 15:42:44
I implore all Evertonians to write to to request an investigation into Martial the same way Ouma Niasse was investigated last season.

The more of us that write the stronger the pressure will be. So don't just moan on ToffeeWeb — give these guys some stick.

Tim Gerrard
28 Posted 29/10/2018 at 15:54:55
I think it was a close game. Pickford kept us in it and had to make harder saves than De Gea, and we probably deserved a point.

I think generally speaking even if Walcott is not playing particularly well (which he isn't at the moment) he has speed which frightens the opposition and works hard. Many seem to be calling for Lookman. He obviously has skill but to me seem not to want to play wide and drifts into the middle, and he does not track back.

The team is getting better, but we are some distance from the top teams at the moment and yesterday reinforces for me why we have to try to win both cups.

Steve Brown
29 Posted 29/10/2018 at 16:09:44
Keith Hackett says Everton's England striker Andrew Johnson may have been harshly treated in being denied several penalties by referees in recent weeks. The admission followed extensive talks with Everton's manager, David Moyes.

Johnson has endured incessant claims this season that he dives, a legacy of similar criticisms during his time with Crystal Palace, and Everton believe that reputation now precedes him. Their disquiet prompted the discussions with Hackett, and the head of the Professional Game Match Officials Board studied video evidence – supplied by the club – of 10 appeals before conceding that the striker seemed unfortunate in eight of them.

"It seems that with Andrew Johnson's pace and ability to go across defenders he has not been getting some of the penalties and free-kicks that he was due," Hackett said yesterday. "I want our referees to go on to the pitch with a blank slate and no preconceived ideas. Maybe it's been down to poor positioning or a lack of help from the assistant referees."

January 2007 – some things never change.

Steve Brown
30 Posted 29/10/2018 at 16:12:35
Since the war, Everton have been awarded just two penalties in Anfield derbies (both scored), while Liverpool have had 11 at Goodison ,of which three have been missed (though only one of these misses affected the result).

A full list is available at

John Raftery
31 Posted 29/10/2018 at 16:17:00
Alan (26), Correct! For those too young to remember, it was in the FA Cup semi-final against Leeds United.

Jay (27), Good call.

Dean Johnson
32 Posted 29/10/2018 at 16:26:06
Let's not get bogged down with penalties and blaming the ref.

Quite simply, if we're blaming the ref, we didn't do enough to win the game.

I never understand this. Sure, in a tight game, decisions either way are going to be under more scrutiny, but to blame the failure of 11 blokes on the pitch and a manager on a couple of minutes during a 90-minute period really is clutching at straws.

I'm just as negative as anyone but I thought the ref had a good game. With all the carping about the penalty (which at normal speed looked like a penalty), perhaps we should all consider that Idrissa Gueye had a shocker and could've been sent off.

Steavey Buckley
33 Posted 29/10/2018 at 16:28:52
Everton are lacking a cutting edge upfront. Everton started the season without a recognisable centre-forward. And with Walcott out of form and Bernard not a left winger, Everton are going to struggle upfront all season.
Dave Abrahams
34 Posted 29/10/2018 at 16:38:34
Alan (26),

Didn't Roy Vernon score the winner from a penalty at Old rafford in a 1-0 victory the year we won the league in 1962-63?

Sam Hoare
35 Posted 29/10/2018 at 16:40:10
A lot of people are saying Richarlison can't play centre-forward and, whilst I agree it may not be his best position I think there are signs he can be very effective there.

Obviously he won the penalty that got us back in it but there were many things he did pretty well: in particular, the Bernard chance: Richarlison collected a huge punt from inside our area by Coleman and held off the sturdy Lindelof to give it back to Sigurdsson; the two played a couple of quick passes to each other before Richarlison then played a perfectly weighted and timed through-ball to Bernard, from which he really should have scored.

In that one move I think we saw how Richarlison may well be the best striking option we have till we can buy someone top quality (not likely in January); he has pace, technique, vision and no small amount of strength. His problems come when he has too much time and often tries to do too much. I feel, sometimes, he is too eager to make an impression and goes for an extra touch or spectacular attempt when simplicity is called for.

I haven't seen anything from Tosun or Calvert Lewin that makes me think they could do a better job than him up front. It's not ideal as he is currently better on the wing but I still think he has the abilities to emulate the likes of Thierry Henry and become a top class striker in time, and there aren't many of those about (even fewer who want to come to us).

Jay Harris
36 Posted 29/10/2018 at 16:42:00

I can't understand where you're coming from at all.

Gueye did not have a shocker. He was instrumental in cleaning up the lack of care by both Coleman and Walcott and linked very well with Gomes, IMO.

If there was any shortcoming in the game, it was on the flanks and the referee.

Sam Hoare
37 Posted 29/10/2018 at 16:53:35
Gueye was excellent, as usual this season, he made the most tackles and interceptions on the pitch, completed more of his passes than any Everton player bar one, and cleaned up all day long. All after having been wrongly penalised having made a very good tackle on Martial in the box. Astonished that someone could think he played badly.
Kieran Kinsella
38 Posted 29/10/2018 at 16:55:39
Steve Brown 30,

Your stats don't really tell the whole story. Liverpool had to wait 60 years to be awarded a penalty at Goodison after 1902. Granted they have been awarded more at Goodison since the war – or more specifically the 1960s.

However, I suspect the number of penalties awarded has to do with the number of attacks and the better team will normally have more attacks on goal. Everton were superior prior to the '60s; since then, Liverpool have generally been title winners or at least contenders while Everton have had good sides here and there but, for the most part, we have been mid-table or relegation battlers.

Mike Gaynes
39 Posted 29/10/2018 at 17:20:03
Sam #35 and #37, great posts, agree.

With regards to Gana, there was a bit of panic on the Forum yesterday with lots of people calling for him to be subbed out at halftime because he was on a yellow – several opined that he'd be red-carded in minutes. However, in 250 top-level games (Ligue 1 and EPL), he has gotten a second yellow only once. The man is a pro and showed it.

Unlike that fucking Moss.

Brent Stephens
40 Posted 29/10/2018 at 17:21:41
Dean #32 "I thought the ref had a good game. With all the carping about the penalty (which at normal speed looked like a penalty), perhaps we should all consider that Idrissa Gueye had a shocker and could've been sent off".

Not sure which is the biggest shocker of those two statements! I counted at least 4 times the ref blew up to award us a free kick when we had a clear advantage. And Gana was, again, immense in closing down and tackles won (second in the league this season).


Rob Halligan
41 Posted 29/10/2018 at 17:26:54
Jay # 27. It seem the FA have already made a decision on Martial. It's being reported in the Red Echo that he will NOT be charged for his dive.

Mike Gaynes
42 Posted 29/10/2018 at 17:29:25
Hey Brent, actually Gana is #1 in the league in tackles this season by a wide margin. According to he has 49, with that brilliant young Wan-Bissaka from Palace a distant second at 41. Nobody else has more than 36.

Rob #41, yes, the same thing was reported on ESPN early this morning. Niasse and Lanzini remain the only players penalized for dives.

John G Davies
43 Posted 29/10/2018 at 17:30:15

It's getting on for 30 years since they won the league mate.

John Pierce
44 Posted 29/10/2018 at 17:42:08
Sam Hoare: "sturdy Lindelof" over-egged the pudding there my man.... he he he!
Rob Halligan
45 Posted 29/10/2018 at 17:43:01
Cheers Mike. We were discussing on the train back from Manchester last night whether he would be charged or not? Also we couldn't think who the other player was who had been charged for simulation. You've answered the question.

One thought, the FA must have thought there was a possibility that Martial had dived, for them to say he will not be charged?

Peter Mills
46 Posted 29/10/2018 at 17:43:46
Didn't Sheeds miss a penalty there in the 1984-85 season, with Jesper Olsen missing one for Manchester United?
Brent Stephens
47 Posted 29/10/2018 at 17:46:08
Mike #42. Cheers. Even better!
Ste Traverse
48 Posted 29/10/2018 at 17:47:03
As well as the Baines miss mentioned earlier in this thread, Kevin Sheedy missed a penalty for us at Old Trafford back in 1985.

So yesterday's certainly wasn't our first penalty there since 1962.

Peter Warren
50 Posted 29/10/2018 at 17:47:51
Gomes is absolute quality. I hope we sign him and don't see why we don't agree to in January. If we fail to, he will be snapped up by somebody else come summer.
Mike Gaynes
51 Posted 29/10/2018 at 17:50:26
Rob #45, I think it was because Silva openly called it a dive in his post-match press conference. The press would then have reached out to the FA to find out if they were investigating. And the FA told them no.

My best guess, anyway.

Mike Gaynes
52 Posted 29/10/2018 at 18:00:07
Peter #50, I'm not sure there will be that much competition for Gomes because of his price tag. Barca is likely to ask £35 million for him in order to recoup their investment when they bought him from Valencia. Plus he's on £80,000/week salary. That's pretty steep for a player who has not been able to maintain his confidence or performance levels in previous seasons.

However, I agree with you – I'd like to see his transfer completed in January.

Peter Mills
53 Posted 29/10/2018 at 18:49:43
Just checked. Sheedy had a penalty saved by Gary Bailey, while Nev saved one by Strachan.
Ray Atherton
54 Posted 29/10/2018 at 18:54:39
Dave (34),

Yes, Roy Vernon scored a penalty for a 1-0 victory. It was a night game.

Philip Yensen
55 Posted 29/10/2018 at 19:10:39
We played decent football at times, won plenty of high balls into our box. We closed them down in most areas except the area Walcott was supposed to cover.

As much as everyone saying not to blame the referee totally, I think it does get to you. If you've not played the game you won't understand the injustice of some decisions. At the top, you get the benefit. At the bottom, you just get shat on by most refs.

They should face the cameras at the end of the game and take all the questions the players and managers face after poor performances. Why haven't we got foreign referees? Ex-player referees?

Why don't the referees put a circle of their spray around themselves and only allow the captain to enter.

VAR now.

Paul Birmingham
56 Posted 29/10/2018 at 19:14:33
The ref we knew would be consistent and he was and yet again he gave farcical decisions likes he's been doing the last couple of seasons and noteably yesterday for our game and against Burnley at Man City. In any other industry, this cowboy would be made accountable.

Martial should get a post-match fine for diving. But that's not sour grapes and the reason we lost the game. Yet again, the defence and midfield didn't close the space. Great strike but surely now the team must learn from past games against Martial.

We lack a killer instinct, the ruthless streak all good sides have. Frustrating and gut-wrenching to see Walcott strolling around and taking no accountability for his defensive and support duties to the team..

For Brighton, I'd like to see Lookman start on the right wing in place of Walcott. As an experienced professional, it's noticeable that he rarely puts in a shift and his marksmanship and anticipation and cover play is not reliable for any team. Maybe he's not fully fit but he needs a rest and recharge his mojo.

Good signs and some good play, Gomes is here to stay hopefully, he's a footballer.

Pickford is inspirational, if only the whole team consistently showed his passion and focus to each moment in a game.

Now to dust down, move on and face Brighton.. Let's hope the ilk of Mr Moss is demoted and we don't see him at the Chelsea and RS games.

If we had more belief and conviction, we could have put them away. If, we had a true talisman striker...

William Gall
57 Posted 29/10/2018 at 19:41:07
Despite the final score, there were signs that Everton are starting to improve. We were at a club who finished in the top 4 last season, they were at home, and yes, they got the favorable decisions. The penalty in slow motion showed that that was the wrong decision, and despite the FA wanting to stamp out diving, I doubt very much if they will treat the Man Utd player the same as Everton's Niasse was treated.

The play and referee's decision that made me mad was Everton's penalty, when Smalling took down Richarlison from behind and swept his legs from under him, that was a candidate for a red card, and he never even received a second yellow. This incident to me was a demonstration by the officials of how the top 6 are treated.

Clubs will not reach the top 6 unless they are given the same decisions as the top 6 appear to be given. It is no use speculating that we would have done better with a proven striker, we haven't got one and I am sure the manager knows it.

Paul Tran
58 Posted 29/10/2018 at 19:50:26
There are things we can control; Walcott concentrating and protecting his full back (whether it's Coleman or Kenny), better decision-making with the final ball, taking our chances.

Silva has some decisions to make. If we're thinking long-term, right-back has to be Kenny or the guy we buy in January. I'd do anything to keep Seamus at the club, but he can't be first choice long-term. He's the wrong side of 30, needing time to get back to full fitness, and that doesn't work for me. Similarly with the centre-forward, play Calvert-Lewin or Tosun as a focal point and look to buy a scorer in January if neither delivers. I'd give Lookman a run in the team, though I wouldn't bet on him covering his full-back either.

I thought we played fairly well on Sunday; I think we'd have won with a top striker. Pity they're the hardest player to find right now!

What we have now will take us to 7th or 8th, especially as I expect us to do better as the players gel a bit more. I suspect Brands is searching the earth for that goalscorer who will make the difference.

Tony Abrahams
59 Posted 29/10/2018 at 19:50:49
Richarlson is not a centre-forward, but he forced a very good save from De Gea, got us the penalty, and also put Bernard through on goal, which isn't a bad return for a player who was nowhere near the top of his game.

I thought Bernard's legs went just before he went round their keeper and then his composure went just after but he's still adapting to the power of the Premier League and looks like he's going to be a very good player for us in the long term.

Sigurdson is strong but he's not quick which is why he sometimes doesn't look suited to the Number 10 role. He works his socks off and can pass the ball so, although Gueye does some prodigious work, I just think Silva has got a lot more at his disposal than we are currently seeing.

Chop and change? We need a bit more strength and a bit more class but, once we get a good centre-forward, then maybe everything else is already at the club and it just needs the manager to work out what and whom is best suited to really take us forward.

Pat Kelly
60 Posted 29/10/2018 at 20:35:22
Run of the mill result at Old Trafford and all the other top six.
Paul Tran
61 Posted 29/10/2018 at 20:49:53
You're dead right, Tony. A proper centre-forward is a must – the team lacks a focal point up front.

I also think the players need to make that mental leap. I remember coming home from OT in 1983 after that great performance and heart-breaking defeat wondering if that team would ever be ready to win. They were. I had the same thoughts when we lost to Palace and Southampton in four days in Martinez's first season.

Sometimes the players have to step up.

Colin Glassar
62 Posted 29/10/2018 at 20:57:54
We need a big midfield player to add some muscle to this very talented squad – Dacoure (Watford) or Dembele (Spurs) as our lot are too puny.

Also, as most have already said, a centre-forward – Vardy? Get two out of those three then we are in business.

Silva and Brands have both said they need a couple of transfer windows to get the squad they want so let's be patient. I think we are going to enjoy the ride.

Tony Abrahams
63 Posted 29/10/2018 at 21:01:07
It's all about the players, Paul, but I know that you already know this mate!

Maybe Bernard can become our Number 10?
Maybe Sigurdsson and Gomes might actually complement each other?
Maybe Lookman is ready to really step up?
Maybe this squad is much better than we think?
Maybe things might change and begin to take real shape?

But no maybes about us needing a forward, because that's definitely a deffo, that one!

Brian Harrison
64 Posted 29/10/2018 at 21:24:36
Unsually all the pundits seemed to agree that it wasn't a penalty, and while it didn't help it wasn't the reason we lost.

I posted on Saturday saying the result against Man Utd would be decided by whether we take our chances or not and sadly we didn't. We had 4 or 5 very good chances more than we usually create at Old Trafford but the result was a familiar defeat.

Yes, we played some good stuff at times, and we have to remember that Silva has only been in charge for a matter of months, so maybe its still a bit early to start expecting wins at Old Trafford just yet. Having said that, we definitely need to improve in the final third. This is the second week running that our front 3 haven't performed well.

I think in the case of Bernard he is very new to this league and the time to pass judgement on him will be next season. Richarlison has created 2 penalties in 2 of his last 3 games, I thought he would be a natural playing as the main striker but he is taking time to settle and feel comfortable there. But he is young and may still develop as a main striker or he may revert to playing out wide.

I am afraid that Walcott is neither new to this league or young, and on Sunday it was him cheaply losing the ball that led to both Man Utd's goals. Now anybody can miss control the ball but what is unforgivable is him not chasing back to rectify his mistake. I have always thought his first touch has never been great and, at 29., he certainly won't improve in that area.

Jamie Crowley
65 Posted 29/10/2018 at 21:43:23
Someone mentioned above, and I'm surprised it's not been brought up ad nauseam.

Ashley Young should have been sent off. The tackle on Digne was a card. I don't believe it was a red as he actually kept his studs down. But he flew through Digne – his entire body went past where Digne was stationed.

You can not go all the way through the player. That's a card, every single time.

Moss bottled that badly. Couple that with the "penalty" we were very hard done by!

To not talk about that, or to dismiss it, isn't fair in my opinion.

If Moss does his job properly, it's an entirely different game.

Moss was shite. And he affected the game massively in my opinion.

Mike Keating
66 Posted 29/10/2018 at 21:45:58
I agree, Jay Harris @ 27, that Martial's dive was as iffy as the one prosecuted last season against Niasse and should be looked at by the FA but they will never treat the likes of Man Utd in the same way as us lower mortals. Be interesting to see if any player this season gets done for diving after the game or whether this little intervention by the FA just dies the death.

Off to the FA now to register my complaint but it will probably have the same impact as my attempt to get Robbie Savage dismissed from R5 Live. Whoever told this guy he's a comedian and a DJ?
It's all rigged from top to bottom.

Jamie Crowley
67 Posted 29/10/2018 at 21:53:38
Colin mentioned Jamie Vardy, as have a few other posts.

I realize he's aging, but I've always been a big, big fan of his.

I think, if we can get him for 2-3 years, we should move heaven and earth to sign him.

He never strolls. He's a high octane player who's runs are simply fantastic.

I think Vardy would absolutely thrive in Silva's system. And he'd solve our situation up top.

Can you imagine Bernard, Richarlison, Vardy, Theo, Sigurdsson, and Lookman as attacking options? We'd be deadly.

We're missing the tip of the spear right now. Vardy solves that problem.

David Ellis
68 Posted 30/10/2018 at 02:23:07
I'm disappointed we didn't win. I think we have a team that can. They just need a bit more time to gel.

Yes, I think we have some issues on the right-hand side and the tip of the spear. We need another option at No 9 and perhaps at right back to kick us up a notch, but I think the problem is more about fluency of the team as a whole than individual positions. We have decent players in every position.

Jim Harrison
69 Posted 30/10/2018 at 03:12:50
Completely off topic, but reading an article on BBC, Bobby Brown Shoes is considered a serious option as the next Real Madrid coach if Conte doesn't take the job.
Mike Keating
70 Posted 30/10/2018 at 07:10:48
Myself at 66 – I should have read the papers before complaining to the FA. According to some the Diving Panel found no case for Martial to answer while others suggest the claim by Silva, Clattenburg and a million Blues worldwide were not even deemed worthy of investigation by the FA – so that's clear then.
Tommy Surgenor
71 Posted 30/10/2018 at 08:12:53
It's hard not to draw comparisons to the Arsenal defeat.

Lacazette's (although 10 yards closer) was almost a carbon copy.

I am happy that we are now competing against these teams and “going for it”. It's only a matter of time before our luck changes and kick-starts a momentum change against these clubs.

Anyone fancy us to beat 2 of last seasons top 6 away this season? I know we are 0-2 at the minute but we are getting there.

Jim Bennings
72 Posted 30/10/2018 at 08:21:23
Jamie Crowley

I'd have Vardy here tomorrow. 31 or not,he's still lightning quick and he's just horrible to play against and I could well imagine that Evertonians would love him.

Why we didn't go for him last summer when Lukaku was first sold beggars belief; we should have thrown money at Leicester instead of waiting for Olivier Giroud's wife to make a decision.

I think it helps that Vardy needs a fresh start from Leicester now, he's seen it and done and now is the time to move for him.

Jerome Shields
73 Posted 30/10/2018 at 08:40:54
Richarlison did well; he had two shots on target, up from one in each of the two previous games. Walcott had fewer touches than any other outfield player. Lookman had more touches than him as a sub.

The fact that Silva is not playing either Tosun or Calvert-Lewin as centre-forward means he is saying that they are failing his assessment criteria for that position and need to be replaced. I think that Coleman and Walcott are heading in the same direction.

Rick Tarleton
74 Posted 30/10/2018 at 08:44:33
Living in the Leicester area, may I say that local Leicester City fans are very dissatisfied with Vardy this season and that he lives in a village near me and his lifestyle is not exactly conducive to a long career, especially as speed is such a key part of his game.
Paul Tran
75 Posted 30/10/2018 at 08:52:17
We 'should have gone for Vardy? How do you know we didn't? And why would the Vardy who turned down a Champions League Arsenal sign for us?

I'd rather we looked for the next, younger Vardy rather than sign the old one who isn't going to get better.

Sam Hoare
76 Posted 30/10/2018 at 09:32:24
No chance on Vardy and rightfully so. We finally have a smart director of football who is able to build for the future rather than making short-term signings with Premier League experience (see Bolasie, Williams, Schneiderlin etc).

Vardy will be 32 in January and his greatest asset, searing pace, is already in decline. He's a player with his best days well behind him who would still be expensive. He's not even playing that much for Leicester this season. I trust Brands to find a 25-year-old with a similar profile and his best days in front of him.

Jim Bennings
77 Posted 30/10/2018 at 11:09:31
I don't see an awful lot of options out there available other than punts on players from abroad and we have seldom ever had success on foreign strikers coming in with no experience.

Callum Wilson of Bournemouth I would seriously consider (vastly underrated and cruelly robbed of 12 months through injury). He has proven that he can score goals in the Premier League.

Mike Keating
78 Posted 30/10/2018 at 12:10:28
Spot on, Sam. Vardy would cost a fortune, be fucked in two years time, and have no sell-on value.
James Marshall
79 Posted 30/10/2018 at 12:46:17
I only skim-read the OP but are we really still whinging about referees? Gana was lucky to be on the field then Moss gave us a penalty, and no second yellow to Smalling. Seems like a fair trade to me.

Very few people ever have the balls to say it, but our shortcomings were of our own doing. Walcott scuffed shot, Bernard weak into the side netting, 2 unmarked headers straight at de Gea. I make that 4 clear cut opportunities missed yet everyone says it was all the referee's fault.

And all that before even getting onto the subject of Walcott not tracking back for their second goal...

I mean, come off it.

Jamie Crowley
80 Posted 30/10/2018 at 15:01:43
James you are correct in that our shortcomings were our own undoing.

But to say the penalty called against Gana didn’t have an effect on the game isn’t accurate. So to me it’s worthy of legitimate discussion.

Couple both together, and we were unlucky to not come away with some result, be it a point or three.

Harry Hockley
81 Posted 30/10/2018 at 15:09:11
At least we went there and gave it a real go; for that I thank you Mr Silva. It's been a while since we had a manager with that mentality.

Moss was a prick that didn't help us one bit but that's what you get at the big clubs, never a penalty on the diving Martial.

As for a new striker I'm not sure why people are saying Vardy at 31 and not worth anything soon enough; plenty of other strikers out there like Welbeck or Josh King and that's just here.

That Sociedad striker Willian Jose might be worth a look; he is playing well and would fit in to our system nicely, being the physical type that I think we need.

Tony Everan
82 Posted 30/10/2018 at 15:50:10
I watched a bit of a Sociadad game a few weeks ago and Willian Jose looked like a very good player, one that stood out. I would like to hear what others thought as I have not seen that much of him.

He will go on to bigger and better things, I am sure he is one that is on Brands's radar.

Harry Hockley
83 Posted 30/10/2018 at 17:08:33
Tony, I just mentioned him?
John Keating
84 Posted 30/10/2018 at 17:25:45
I am a great believer in keeping the same team, if possible, especially if they've been doing well.

However, as much as Keane and Zouma have been playing well together, I think Mina has to come in next game in place of Zouma.

Mina is obviously ready after being on the bench for a couple of games and Brighton seems the best game over the next few weeks in which to play him.

If Keane and Mina are to become our future defensive pairing, the sooner we get them playing together, the better.

Tony Everan
85 Posted 30/10/2018 at 18:33:53
Yes, sorry Harry, You inspired my reply. An impressive player.
Don Alexander
86 Posted 30/10/2018 at 19:27:42
Willian Jose is 26 with only 220'ish appearances to his name in ten seasons. Maybe having scored only 62 goals makes him less than a regular choice?

Richarlison by way of contrast is 21 with 110 appearances in four seasons with 27 goals. I hope M&M are looking for better than Willian Jose.

Mike Keating
87 Posted 30/10/2018 at 19:46:31
James @ 79,

I was not drawing attention to Moss's performance as an excuse for the result (Pickford the busier keeper).

However, it is important to ask questions about the FA's rules on diving, the process by which players are investigated or not (I take it you do not accept it was the correct decision) and which teams are to have their players subject to post-match scrutiny and which ones get away with it.

Have another look at the Niasse v Watford decision and tell me he deserved a two-match ban and Martial did not. It stinks.

Jack Convery
88 Posted 30/10/2018 at 19:55:29
When Kendall was on thin ice, he said, "I believe in these players and as a team we are making chances. When we learn to take those chances, we will be okay" – and the rest is history.

Put the ball in the net and we can stop worrying about refs like Jon Moss, of which I agree there are far too many. Anyone know what happened to that ref Bradley?

Clive Rogers
89 Posted 30/10/2018 at 20:19:48
It is time for Lookman to be given a run in the team instead of Walcott, who is far too hot and cold for me. Mina should be introduced on Saturday also.
Harry Hockley
90 Posted 30/10/2018 at 22:44:11

Yeah, I thought he looked good when I watched him a few weeks ago and thought he'd look good in our team, a certain upgrade on Niasse anyway!

Ajay Gopal
91 Posted 31/10/2018 at 14:35:50
A few comments, which I don't believe has been touched upon by others before:

1. Why weren‘t our players anywhere near the ball from the Pickford block of Pogba's penalty? I saw 3 red shirts swarming the penalty to pounce on the blocked shot and not a blue shirt within 5 yards. I think that is what pissed off Pickford – that there weren't enough Everton players to save the goal.

2. I would like to try Holgate in the right-back position; he offers speed, height and better ball distribution.

Also, good shout about starting Mina for Zouma for the Brighton game, so that he will have some game time before the Chelsea game for which Zouma will be ineligible.

My team for Brighton (4 changes):

Holgate Keane Zouma Digne
Gueye Gomes
Lookman Sigurdsson Richarlison

Subs: Stekelenburg, Baines, Coleman, Davies, Bernard, Tosun, Walcott.

Bernard Dooley
92 Posted 31/10/2018 at 15:02:05
Ajay; your team for Brighton includes Zouma with Mina not in your sqad?
Clive Rogers
93 Posted 31/10/2018 at 16:26:19
Ajay, Holgate has played right-back before under Koeman, but I think his distribution is his weakness at present rather than his strength.
Jay Harris
94 Posted 31/10/2018 at 16:36:36
I can't see much wrong with Kenny myself and he would integrate well with Lookman and Calvert-Lewin.
Tony Everan
95 Posted 31/10/2018 at 19:08:52
Seems to be a growing consensus to give Lookman a starting berth on the right in place of Walcott. The time is right, I think, and Walcott is still an option off the bench later in the game.

I thought Kenny was showing signs of improvement; I would prefer a specialist right-back to play. Whoever plays, they will need to be on their game big time because it is that side that will be targeted as a perceived weakness.

I would rather have Richarlison on the left and bring in Calvert-Lewin or Tosun through the centre. Maybe Calvert-Lewin edging it for me with his strength and better heading ability.

Whatever the line-up, clear chances just have to be taken; we have to be far more ruthless in front of goal. The creative department did well against Man Utd; an Aguero in the box would have had 3 goals.

Ajay Gopal
96 Posted 01/11/2018 at 04:58:29
Bernard (92), my mistake. Mina instead of Zouma to give him game time before Chelsea.
Steven Jones
97 Posted 31/10/2018 at 09:05:26
Some are missing the issue when they are asking Theo to cover Seamus. This is not how it works. Theo has to track and cover Luke Shaw… it is the defensive midfields role ie Gana or even Keane or Gomes…

Theo also had two really good chances and his movement is difficult for the opposition to track – Bernard should have passed it to Theo for a tap-in.

All-in-all we have a lot of good things… just need to gel and get the rub of the green ref-wise.

Tony Abrahams
98 Posted 01/11/2018 at 09:12:53
So you want to pull a central midfielder or, even worse, a central defender out wide to help his right-back, Steven, because Walcott is more interested in their full-back?

I thought Bernard's legs went just before he got the ball to go round De Gea, and this little buckle is what sent the keeper? Once your legs go, then so does your composure, which is Bernard's only excuse imo!

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