Another day of derby misery but our time will come

By Lyndon Lloyd 02/12/2018 90comments  |  Jump to last

The Merseyside derby has thrown up its share of late drama over the years and it's almost always at Everton’s expense.

Gary McAllister’s 90th-minute free kick in 2001; Graham Poll’s gutless decision to disallow Don Hutchison a last-minute winner in 2000; Andy Carroll’s late winner in the 2012 FA Cup semi-final; Virgil van Dijk’s winner in the same competition earlier this year; Daniel Sturridge stealing two points away in Roberto Martinez’s first derby; Sadio Mané in the Goodison derby two years ago… the list goes on.

Only Phil Jagielka’s stoppage time bolt from the Blue at Anfield and the Dan Gosling winner in extra time at Goodison in that FA Cup replay have really favoured Everton in terms of at-the-death mayhem; generally, it’s been a tale of all-too-frequent misery for the Blues in the games we are increasingly desperate to win given how depressingly lop-sided this fixture has become in since 2010. Unfortunately, a combination of misjudgement and tragic-comic bad luck means that Jordan Pickford's name will go down in derby folklore for all the wrong reasons this afternoon in the most "Everton" way possible.

Is there some innate, resolute quality that reds sides are infused with that the Blues need to find or does it speak to the fact that, over time, the quality that our closest rivals are able to acquire because of their massively superior resources is bound to be reflected in the results? Or is it simply the pact with Satan that we Blues love to joke that Liverpool made some time in the 1970s? Whatever it is, Everton need to discover some of it or this derby torment is going to continue.

The good news is that while it wasn’t reflected in the result at Anfield today, the Toffees are making significant progress under Marco Silva and they were desperately unlucky to lose. In the last edition of his fixture in January, the visitors under Sam Allardyce mustered a pathetic 29% of the possession and scored with their only shot on target all game, a penalty converted by Wayne Rooney.

This time, Everton set their stall out early and really should have been 2-1 up at half-time. Yerry Mina showed the first evidence of his renowned threat from set-pieces when he got on the end of a third-minute free kick but bounced a free header wide when he really should have scored.

And André Gomes must have felt like he had opened his Blues account with 20 minutes gone but was foiled by a combination of goalkeeper Allison Becker and Joe Gomez. Theo Walcott had headed Bernard’s lofted cross back inside the six-yard box where Gomes stooped to head in from close range but Becker made himself big to make the block, the ball bounced back off Gomes towards the net but Gomez intervened as it was crossing the line to prod it to safety.

Richarlison had a couple of exciting bursts through the reds’ defence but overran the ball in one instance and was tackled as he shot in another while Walcott looked to be in later in the first half but Becker got a hand to the ball as the winger tried to take it round him and it bobbled behind for a goal kick.

The tragedy of the final result was that Klopps’s side were there for the taking if Everton had just been able to get their act together long enough going forward after the interval. In a pattern established on the trips to the Emirates, Old Trafford and Stamford Bridge, though, they let themselves down with a poor second-half performance that failed to match the promise and enterprise of the first.

Seamus Coleman had one promising but rare run behind Andrew Robertson but elected to cut the ball back rather than fizz it across the face of goal and found only a red shirt. Bernard then engineered space for a shot from 20 yards out but failed to get any curl on the effort and it drifted wide.

That shortage of clear chances for Silva’s men in the second 45 minutes was indicative of a drop-off in their collective performance going forward even if they continued to look strong enough at the back. After an excellent performance when he was arguably the best player on the pitch in the first half, Gomes was a little disappointing after half-time. Bernard was often dangerous, tricky and incisive but slipped over and took the wrong decision in other moments and while there was a feeling that on balance he had done enough to warrant his initial selection, he probably should have made way for Dominic Calvert-Lewin 10 minutes earlier than he did and that is, perhaps, a knock on the manager. Idrissa Gueye, so imperious in his last two outings, was similarly profligate with the ball, while neither Gylfi Sigurdsson nor Walcott ever really got into the game.

On the other side of the ball, for all the acknowledgement from the Blue side of Merseyside before the game about this being Liverpool’s best team for a generation, for the most part Everton made them look pretty ordinary. Everton found another way to lose a derby rather than the reds winning it on their own merits.

Mohamed Salah had a sight of goal and whipped a shot just wide early in the second half but he was largely kept quiet until he was substituted in favour of Daniel Sturridge with about 20 minutes left. Roberto Firmino was pretty ineffective as well after he had had Liverpool’s first genuine effort on goal in the 19th minute when he curled off target having turned Idrissa Gueye in the box.

Apart from a couple of moments from Xherdan Shaqiri, the best of which was foiled by Pickford who came off his line to divert the Swiss forward’s shot past his post after Gueye had given the ball away in midfield, Sadio Mané was the home team’s most dangerous player after a quiet first half.

The Senegal international had a gilt-edged chance to break the deadlock following an error by Michael Keane in the 55th minute but side-footed wide and he had another “sighter” a few minutes later that also missed from around 20 minutes.

Those chances early in the second period signalled a more dominant Liverpool after half time but they failed to cause Pickford or the Blues’ defence many problems until the last few minutes when Divock Origi slammed a shot off the crossbar and then that last-gasp calamity gifted the Belgian the winner… as about as sickening a way to lose a game as there is.

There will be plenty of hand-wringing, analysis, condemnation and frustration over what was going through Pickford’s head in that incident six minutes into stoppage time with the match heading to a goalless conclusion. Virgil van Dijk had skied a clearance from a free kick back into Everton’s six-yard box and it looked to be dropping just over the crossbar. Rather than push it over to be safe, Pickford tried to catch it a foot above his bar, his arms hit the woodwork, the ball bounced off his gloves and, cruelly, onto the face of the bar before dropping to Origi, the only player following it up, to gratefully nod it over the line.

The reality is that the same psychology and eccentricity that makes Pickford as great as he is 95% of the time — so good at anticipating situations and making outrageous saves — is also what lies behind the 5% of what some will regard as ill-judgement that can cost him so dearly. While he learns — and he will — from these errors as he matures, Evertonians will have to accept the downs with the ups, the sublime with the ridiculous (unless or until his manager decides it’s not worth it) as a trade-off for having a goalkeeper who, on his day, is among the best in the world.

For supporters who have become so accustomed to heartache at the hands of our local rivals and who must endure the taunts and gloating from reds fans until the next derby, this was another agonising result… although in some ways it was the failure to win and end this interminable winless sequence at Anfield rather than the all-too-familiar taste of defeat that hurts the most.

In the context of Everton’s season, however, having failed to deliver on the promise of their first-half display, this merely represents a point lost, albeit in horrible circumstances. Successive home games against a struggling Newcastle and erratic Watford represent quick opportunities to pick up points to consolidate the Blues’ position in sixth place.

The need for more quality up front, where Richarlison appears wholly at home as a striker at Goodison Park but has struggled to consistently make an impact away from home, remains a priority in the January window on this evidence. This game also highlighted that while the expectation of being able to beat the so-called “big six” sides in their own back yard has been heightened, it is still too early in Silva’s reign for it to be a truly attainable.

There is no question that, having gone from coming to places like Anfield and surrendering possession like they did under Allardyce to coming looking to not only attack but to win, Everton have made great strides under their new manager in just a few short months. Our days in the derby will come; fingers crossed they start in March… God knows we’re due.

Reader Comments (90)

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Jim Bennings
1 Posted 02/12/2018 at 21:25:46
If the money is there then the next port of call has to be a genuine top class centre-forward. The rest of the pitch is relatively okay at the minute but you just feel that with a quality goal scoring striker it would take this team to new places.

The fact Richarlison is our best bet despite not being classed as an out and out forward really says it all and it does show at times that the lad doesn't hold the ball up well enough.

Silva has clearly seen enough to have made his mind up on Niasse and Tosun and I wouldn't be at all shocked to see both leave for the Turkish league in January.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin isn't up to that level yet, again he will run and work hard but you can't say that he's the answer to beating the sides at the top of the table and enhancing our chances of finishing in that top 6.

We need more goals, you feel if Sigurdsson or Richarlison don't score, then where are the regular source of goals coming from?

James Stewart
2 Posted 02/12/2018 at 21:25:53
While I accept this was an improvement, ultimately we squandered two sitters, displayed some truly dreadful passing (Gana, I am looking at you!) and were lucky on numerous occasions not to concede. Progress... yes, but it's hard to stay positive after another defeat to Liverpool. There is still not enough character in this team for me.
Jim Bennings
3 Posted 02/12/2018 at 21:34:05

I've said for many a year now that we don't win this fixture (or any of the top 6) because we are rarely clinical in front of goal.

Look at the games at Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea, in each one of them we were presented with numerous really good chances that at Premier League level you'd expect to be taken.

The sum total of our goals scored from the four visits so far to the top 6 is one penalty by Gylfi Sigurdsson at Old Trafford.

Until we find a clinical edge and ruthless streak in front of goal, then the same problem which has held us back for years will simply persist for another bunch of years.

Kunal Desai
4 Posted 02/12/2018 at 21:39:56
It's the manner and timing of the defeat which hurts moreso and the opposition being them.

It is a freak result but, when looking at the bigger picture, look how far the club has come in a short space of time. Brands and Silva have only been at the club for a few months. They have already brought in quality players and will do so again in the summer.

We are heading upwards; with the addition of another two or three players, we will look an even greater force. Who would have imagined that, after the shite from the last two seasons of Koeman, Walsh, and Allardyce, we'd be in this position already?

Let's not forget, we are still in 6th place with two home games to come. Onwards and upwards.

Chris Watts
5 Posted 02/12/2018 at 21:41:28
Good article pointing out we were so much better than last season. Cruel end to the game but all keepers make mistakes and Pickford has made World Class saves earlier in the match.

Gana has his worst game of the season and we continue to waste chances. Any of the strikers in the top 5 would have pushed us further up the League. 1 point away against Man Utd, Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea with 1 goal scored says it all.

Mal van Schaick
6 Posted 02/12/2018 at 21:43:12
A good appraisal of the match, Lyndon.

In my opinion, the manager chose the correct starting line-up and his understanding of match tactics was good (not perfect, but good). The players understood what was required from them and performed admirably. We created good chances and we were unlucky not to have converted our chances.

In a cruel twist of fate, and in typical Red Shite luck, we were undone. Pickford is young and exuberant; he did make some irrational kicking decisions, but also made some superb saves. He is still learning.

I am pleased with the effort and application of the team, they look like they're pulling together, and this is a good sign of things to come. Well done on team effort; learn from it and move on.

Ian Jones
7 Posted 02/12/2018 at 21:55:36
All is not lost. We won a derby today.


Jim Bennings
8 Posted 02/12/2018 at 22:04:56
When all is said and done we can talk about it until the cows come home but we are probably in all likelihood going to finish 7th or 8th.

We could finish above Man Utd but it's again unlikely.

As an Evertonian, as usual, the most satisfaction we can get before Christmas now is praying we avoid a top 6 side in the FA Cup Third Round draw tomorrow... and then hoping Napoli knock those smarmy flag-waving knobheads out of the Champions League a week on Wednesday.

Anything else involving Everton really isn't going to do an awful lot to make up for that gut-wrenching feeling from today.

Ellis Talbot
9 Posted 02/12/2018 at 22:06:22
I don't know about anyone else but I feel the points seemed irrelevant today compared to our performance. With my positive 'blue head' on (I only have two), that performance today was a massive step forward for us in terms of development. To them in terms of progression it was stagnant at best.

They are not going to catch Man City, whereas we are developing at a rate I have never witnessed. I truly believe that under this coach and the backing he seems to have, by the end of the season, there will only be Man City that are in a different class than us.

I get the feeling that the whole set up including our fans cant wait for the Goodison derby and all that comes in between. Okay, I'll calm down but there is something about today's derby defeat that is different and I refuse to be disappointed by it. Roll on Wednesday!!!

Andy Williams
10 Posted 02/12/2018 at 22:11:57
What you said, Ellis.
Tony Duffey
11 Posted 02/12/2018 at 22:20:07
I still can't believe we lost that game! While I agree with all the above, I can not see how Walcott continues to be selected. He has done nothing for the last six or so games (and possibly more!). He seems to have lost both speed and penetration. Lookman should be a starter on the right.

I would still prefer Richarlison on the wing – he is not a centre-forward, and I still think that with the right service Tosun would be a better option at the moment; however, we need a proven goal-scorer ASAP and games like that will go our way!

John Pickles
12 Posted 02/12/2018 at 22:21:01
Maybe we always concede at the death because the last few minutes are spent in our half trying to hang on rather than in their half going for the jugular. Our players seem delighted if they get a point, their players believe they fail if they don't get 3. It's been like that for decades.
Simon Crosbie
13 Posted 02/12/2018 at 22:41:27
Great summary as usual although there is one point I would pick you up on. I think it does Jordan Pickford a disservice to rate him as 95% competent. All great players make mistakes, including keepers.

If you follow the Premier League stats for the 2017-18 season, Pickford comes in behind De Gea and Nick Pope for errors leading to a goal. Out of the 58 goals conceded, two of Pickford's goals came from errors (3.4%). The error percentage for Schmeichel, Cech and Lloris were 4.2%. 12.5% and 14.2% respectively. Pickford, of course, was forced to make more saves than the other keepers mentioned.

Just imagine if we applied the same percentages to strikers and shots on goal or midfielders and passing efficiency? Pickford is a first class keeper and we are fortunate to have him in our club.

Jerome Shields
14 Posted 02/12/2018 at 23:23:48
The goal was Pickford's mistake. Everton's finishing could be better and we still need a centre-forward, though Richarlison played well. The whole back line played well, including Coleman, and the midfield trio where superb.

Overall, Everton have improved beyond recognition. I think that Klopp's Liverpool are at their limit and on their way down. I think Everton are on their way up.

Lawrence Green
15 Posted 02/12/2018 at 23:53:14
I haven't seen the whole game, only the highlights, and it was a gut-wrenching defeat particularly as Pickford was the man at fault for conceding such a needless goal – yes, it was a catastrophic error of judgement, but hardly the worst ever mistake by a goalkeeper in the top-flight as many of the TV pundits would have us believe. Has not De Gea the man who has saved so many points for United not made similar gaffes throughout his career?

I also saw Andy Gray and Richard Keys attempting to say that Allardyce would also have got an Everton team under his tutelage to play as well as we did today at Anfield given more time and more money – really?

Which brings me to my main point, compare and contrast this current Everton side and the one we were watching barely 12 months ago. I'm confident that if the team continue to perform to such a high level over the next few months and become far more clinical in front of goal, then the future is bright for us as Everton supporters.

The need for a striker – isn't it always the case at Goodison? – is paramount, not just any goalscorer but a top class finisher who can turn all of the good approach play into goals and points. Not cheap, not easy to find, but without one we are destined to be good to watch but lacking in that most expensive and rewarding of commodities – goals!

As for today's opponents, I couldn't give a monkey's about their prospects or what they may or may not achieve, it's all about Everton FC and nothing else for me, until the reverse fixture next year.

One notable point from today's derby was there were five Brazilians involved and only three Scousers in the squads.

Onwards and upwards Blues!

Kase Chow
16 Posted 02/12/2018 at 00:08:36
Gutted. Absolutely gutted.

I know we played very well and contained them and could have even won it but, once Gomess' header didn't go in, I feared we wouldn't get better chances and thus would struggle to score.

I totally accept and respect the transformation that M&M have made and had on this team. And I really really believe in the project I know they can and should achieve more with us.

Definitely need a striker;
Definitely need Richarlison back at left wing;
Definitely need to rest Walcott (or try him up top instead of Richarlison);
Definitely still unsure about Bernard (seems to regularly fluff his lines at the important moments);
Definitely need to give Lookman a go;
Definitely still feeling gutted.

John Raftery
17 Posted 02/12/2018 at 00:12:29
John (12),

You correctly hit a nail on the head in your first sentence. Near the end when we had a good attacking situation on the left, instead of looking for a cross into the area we were content to start messing around, eventually losing possession and seconds later found ourselves conceding a corner from which Origi nearly scored. Attack is usually the best form of defence.

This was a game in which our players rode their luck at times but held their own for long periods. Ultimately they, and we the fans, were badly let down by a bizarre, calamitous error by our international keeper. He let us down with his indecision when Van Dijk scored from a corner late in the January cup tie. He makes brilliant instinctive saves but lacks a cool head in key moments.

His early slice to concede a corner undermined our effort to gain a foothold in the game. At the same time, we must acknowledge his superb first-half save from Shaqiri kept us level. With Pickford we are forced to take the abject with the excellent.

Given his experience at international level it is worrying that he shows little evidence of maturing into the safe pair of hands we need him to be. Hopefully he will recover quickly. If not, he may be in for a few difficult weeks; once opposing teams perceive any poor decision-making, they will certainly seek to exploit it. He may also be in for even more critical scrutiny from a media which is always looking for ways to undermine high-profile players.

Amit Vithlani
18 Posted 03/12/2018 at 05:11:04
From my perspective, I cannot wait to play them again. We played really well, gave them a game and showed we do not give an effing hoot. Add a goalscorer to our ranks (or better still a centre-forward who will frighten their back line) and, like Royle's and Kendall's sides, we will prevail.

This is an extremely good RS team – not a bunch of clobbers. Two goalkeeping howlers cost them the Champions League last season. This season, they are matching Man City stride for stride and they had to rely on some outstanding saves to keep a clean sheet.

We gained an inferiority complex over the years and have been done over by inferior teams in the past. The 2012 Semi-Final was the embodiment.

But we shed that and went up and attacked them. That lack of fear is surely the first step toward redressing the balance.

Jim Harrison
19 Posted 03/12/2018 at 06:11:05
The big lesson to learn from today’s game, play and concentrate until the final whistle.

They did. We were hanging out for the final whistle.

Paul Tran
20 Posted 03/12/2018 at 07:54:49
The big thing I'll take from yesterday, apart from the disappointment, was that it should mark the end of 'poor little Everton'.

Yes, we matched them, we worried them, but we lost to them. But, like the other games against the bigger sides, we look like we belonged there.

The pattern was the same yesterday. Started well, missed chances, faded a bit in the second half. Like the Chelsea game, I didn't think we'd concede. You can't allow for an error like that. One thing I would like to see from Pickford is him developing some presence when the ball is in the air close to his goal.

Yesterday and for the past few weeks, we've looked like the 6th/7th best team in the Premier League. Capable of playing good football, well-organised and falling short against those above us.

Light years ahead of last season, but if we're going to get some joy, we need to start cuffing the teams below us, while sourcing reinforcements to get us up the table. For starters, we need a goalscorer desperately and a right back as good as Digne.

As Mark Wilson says, it's all about winning. To get there, a team needs to develop and start playing like a team that wants to win. For the long-term, yesterday's performance made me feel better than that embarrassment at Anfield last year, point or no point.

This next step is the biggest one. I think we can do it!

Thomas Lennon
21 Posted 03/12/2018 at 08:41:17
We can all see the gaps we need to fill, this job is half done and yet we parked no buses and made a lot more important points than we conceded. Remember Klopp leading a lap of honour at Anfield when they got a draw against West Brom at about this time in his first season?

Solid defence – tick (Coleman & Pickford still need a top class backup), significant midfield now all tried and tested against Champions League opposition (still need squad strengthening, backup for Gomes). We need goals (one in three games now?) – possibly via a big aggressive striker but that seems a bit out of date to me (still useful though) to free up Richarlison. We need goals from the right too, the clock is ticking on Wallcot unfortunately. We need to take more of our chances.

I'm really pleased the way we are containing top-class teams now, but we need more composure and game management in the last 15 is important.

Considering where we were in May, I give it a remarkable 9 out of 10. Plenty of scope for consolidating that this month though – a huge squad test and ours is relatively weak for the top level.

Sam Hoare
22 Posted 03/12/2018 at 08:42:50
Jim B @8 bit of nonsense there to go with your post yesterday saying you'd rather RS lost all of their next games rather than us winning ours. Such a mentality is the core of the problem. Let's concentrate on us.

They may be our neighbors but ultimately they are just another team. Winning our next 4 or 5 matches would make me far happier than having got a draw yesterday.

As for how they do, I pay little notice. Of course I'd rather they don't win any trophies but they are still a fair way from doing so.

I focus on Everton. My Xmas is not ruined or any nonsense like that. Beat Newcastle and Watford, get results against Man City and Spurs and I'll be happy. I don't see 8th as our destination this season, I think we've got a real shot at 6th maybe even 5th and either would represent a very decent first season for Brands and Silva and a platform from which to really challenge next season.

John Boswell
23 Posted 03/12/2018 at 09:26:01
Has anyone else mentioned the part played by their goalkeeper in the late winning goal? By racing out of his penalty area to take the free kick from wide right in their half, he allows their outfielder to run into our half with the ball and alters the whole defensive set up. We cleared that danger but conceeded another free kick, this time in our half on the left. From this, we eventually lost the goal.

On the goal itself, my memory tells me that in the eighties our title winning team gave away corner kicks like they were toffies. We defended them very well, preferring a corner kick to open play when defending our goal. Neville Southall claimed high balls into his box and would take out anyone in his way, even his own teammates!

We are not there yet but our new management team is clearly taking our club in the right direction. Not half of one season yet, only one transfer window, wow what a difference!!

Jerome Shields
24 Posted 03/12/2018 at 09:31:12
Kase #16,

I agree with you regarding the forward line. What it all boils down to is better quality in the final third; better pass completion (though it has improved); better decision making; better positioning; and better finishing. Tosun and Calvert-Lewin out of consideration. Shooting practise on the training ground would not go a miss.

Mike Doyle
25 Posted 03/12/2018 at 09:34:13
I'm with Sam, #22. Our focus should be on ourselves and our progress. In just a few short months, Brands & Silva have worked wonders and we have a team who don't appear to be intimidated by the Sky 6.

Watch the highlights of Arsenal v Spurs to see the difference an elite level striker (or 2) can make. Of course these guys are in short supply, but I'm confident Brands & Silva will rectify this area of weakness – although it may not happen until the summer.

I expect us beat the likes of Newcastle and Watford. Against Man City, I wouldn't be surprised if we play very well but fail to score again.

Mike Gaynes
26 Posted 03/12/2018 at 09:54:51
I'm sitting here at Heathrow waiting for my flight home and, despite the sickening end to the game, I feel really good about this club. We had the Reds so completely frustrated and fearful that the fans were almost silent much of the night, and they were leaving in droves around me by the 80th minute. I predicted to Dave Abrahams that it would be decided late by an accidental goal, but I really thought it would be ours.

I agree with the sentiment above that Wolcott has to yield his place. Lookman absolutely electrified the game when he came in.

All I can say is we scared the shit out of them last night, and I am certain we are going to rip them a new one at Goodison.

Rick Tarleton
27 Posted 03/12/2018 at 09:55:07
I'm 72 and yesterday I wanted to cry over a football match. They say luck evens itself out over the years; against Liverpool, luck never breaks our way.

Yesterday, the first half, in particular, was so good. We didn't outplay them, but both sides had two very clear chances which were missed or saved by the respective keepers.

In the second half, they had more of the ball but we defended well and still looked dangerous on the break. Mina was excellent and Gomes had a great first half. I wish Lookman started games and we used Walcott as an impact sub, rather than the other way round.

The great keepers have a degree of coolness that at the moment Pickford lacks. Southall would have simply tipped it over. Pickford is brave, anticipates well and is a very good shot-stopper, but he is inclined to panic under pressure. He'll learn, we hope.

I'll try and be positive: it was our best display at Anfield this century and, being old, I can still remember when an Everton team lacking many of its stars went to Anfield in September 1965, led by a brilliant Colin Harvey, and won four-nil. Such memories can help beat the tears, but younger fans have known no success at Anfield for a generation.

Brian Harrison
28 Posted 03/12/2018 at 09:59:28
How different we would all feel this morning if Pickford had done what every other keeper in the Premier League would have done in that situation and pushed the ball over the bar for a corner. But what is becoming a recurring theme this year is us creating chances and failing to capitalize on them. Just as yesterday, we did the same against Arsenal and Man Utd could have been 2 up in both games but wasted good chances and ultimately lost the game.

Gomes was outstanding and for me the best player on the park which is worrying, because he will not be here next season as understandably Barcelona have told Everton they are not interested in selling him. So we are building a team with him as the main focus point but what happens next season when he is not here?

Then there is also the worrying fact that again Barcelona have built in a guaranteed buy-back clause for Mina which they can activate in the next 2 years. As they did with Deulofeu and they recalled him inside the 2-year buy-back clause. Also, Zouma is also only on loan and has given no indication that he wants to stay long term.

So I would say to Silva and Brands if we want to break into the top 6 then top 4 then start acting like that. To my knowledge none of last year's top 6 clubs had a player in their first team that was on loan, and also don't allow agents to write in release clauses.

You can't build a firm foundation when players are only on loan or have a guaranteed buy-back clause in their contract. My worry is we will have a very good season but we could lose 3 regular first teamers in the summer.

I would also suggest that Lookman starts against Newcastle and keeps his place for a run of games just like Walcott and Bernard have been given a run of games despite their poor form. As I fear, if he thinks he is only going to play cameo roles from the bench, then maybe asking for a transfer may be something he might consider in the summer.

Jim Bennings
29 Posted 03/12/2018 at 11:01:20
The positives are there throughout the last few months but I said prior to yesterday that a concern of mine is our lack of goals.

It is an issue for me that we don't score enough goals and the reason we don't score enough goals is because, outside of Sigurdsson and Richarlison, we have had no real regular source of goals.

Our striking options are bare minimal and no matter how people dress up Tosun or Calvert-Lewin, whenever they start a match they look pretty restricted in terms of being Premier League class; they do a job as late subs and might pinch the odd goal every now and then but they aren't enough.

Walcott hasn't scored a League goal since August and after a good start he has cut a very frustrating figure and has missed numerous sitters over the last few weeks, and it's time to consider the change for Lookman to find out if maybe he can add some much-needed goals from wide areas.

Bernard hasn't scored yet despite getting into many good positions so that's another concern.

From central midfield, we have only had one player contribute this season, Gylfi Sigurdsson, so again that's another disappointing return.

The challenge is to produce more goals from other areas of the pitch on a more regular basis.

John Raftery
30 Posted 03/12/2018 at 11:16:09
Brian (28) I don't think Brands and Silva had much option but to sign those players on whatever terms Barcelona and Chelsea would agree to. That was because, having assessed the capability of the squad they inherited, they concluded they would struggle in much the same way we did for much of last season.

One thing is certain: if they had not signed those players on the final day of the transfer window we would not be playing with the attacking style we are now seeing. Obviously, if we cannot secure these players on long-term deals replacing them with permanent signings will be a challenge for next summer.

I suspect Silva has had in mind for a few weeks a full game for Lookman against Newcastle. I will be amazed if he is not selected on Wednesday in the starting eleven. Whether or not the young man can deliver over 90 minutes, or even 75 minutes, remains to be seen.

Mike (26), Safe journey. I look forward to meeting you again on your next trip.

Rob Halligan
31 Posted 03/12/2018 at 11:39:24
I was in no mood to speak to anyone last night. Got home about 8.45 last night and just read through all the posts following the match.

To say I'm gutted we lost is an understatement. To me, the least we deserved was a draw. Okay, they had 2 great chances to score in the first half, but so did we. And, while I don't think we had any clear cut chances in the second half, the Bernard shot which went wide apart, we defended well, so well that their feared front three was reduced to one.

For me, we played the better football without having that final cutting edge, which needs rectifying in January with the purchase of a quality centre-forward.

I've seen some posts saying Richarlison was not at the races, but how many times was he hacked down? For me Gomes, again, and Bernard were our two stand out players. Please Everton, get Gomes signed up permanently.

Regarding Pickford, whilst it's hard to accept his error, we need to remember the points he's saved us, including some great penalty saves.

Finally the celebration by Klopp. The only words to describe him is a classless piece of shit, a prick and one big gobshite. Should he be punished for his antics? I seem to remember a ruling whereby no manager was no longer able to celebrate a goal by running along the touchline. If that's the case, then this piece of shit should get at least a minimum 5-game touchline ban for celebrating in the middle of the pitch.

Finally, finally, to Mike Gaynes. Go home with your head held high, mate. The team done you proud yesterday despite not getting the result you wanted. Have a safe flight home and hope to see you again soon.

Brian Harrison
32 Posted 03/12/2018 at 11:53:07

I accept that with such a short timescale for transfers after the World Cup they may not have had a choice in how they acquired the players that we desperately needed. But my worry is that these players become very central to the way the team plays; then, come the summer, these players go back to their clubs and we are back to square one. So the problem with acquiring players through this system, is it becomes a short fix to a problem rather than building for the future.

Jim @29

I have been saying the same things for months, Bernard and Walcott don't score enough goals, and Gueye very rarely has a shot in a game so the pressure on Richarlison and Sigurdsson is huge. Last season Spurs front 3 scored 20 goals each, Liverpool had a similar goal return from their front 3 as did Man City. So if we hope to bridge that gap to the top sides then we have to have people in the wide positions who score more than our wide men do.

I think Gomes will add goals but our defenders don't score a lot either. I am sure Marco Silva is more aware of the problem than we are but I accept these things can't be fixed in 1 transfer window. But, until we do produce more goals, then 6th or 7th might be the best we can achieve this season.

Mark Taylor
33 Posted 03/12/2018 at 12:05:50
I rang my Dad, a lifelong Red, after the match — yes, we're another of those split loyalty families.

It is sometimes revealing to hear what an outside view sounds like. As he said, he is not inclined to watch very much of Everton but felt we were close to being the best team they've played at home this season. He thought Gomes was world class and that, if we keep the current side together, we should be candidates for a Champions League spot, not just top 6.

That sounds ambitious to me, but it is encouraging if that is what others see in us. Hopefully, Marco has the players believing in that too.

Aside from Gomes, who has certainly had a big impact on our playing style, it was good to see Bernard getting back into some form. In addition to clearly being highly skilful, he has a work ethic and a bit of narkiness about him I like.

I think we've seen enough of Lookman to believe he would add more than Theo currently does. Walcott did not have a dreadful game but he always looks a bit lightweight, whereas Lookman, despite his size, seems a much more powerful, forceful player.

It was an awful mistake by Pickford, truly shocking technique or more likely, simply a bad misjudgment in trying to catch the ball to prevent a corner. But I don't think we should be on his back for that; he is still a good keeper – just needs to judge situations better.

Dave Abrahams
34 Posted 03/12/2018 at 12:17:15
John (17),

A good sensible post, John, we are not there yet. The game reminded me of the 1-1 draw at Goodison when Alan Harper scored and Graeme Sharp missed a penalty to clinch the game, we only draw but Liverpool and their fans knew they had been in a game and we were no longer soft touches. Yesterday's game was letting them know we are on the way back; give Brands and Silva time, they have only been here five minutes, they will get it right.

Still sick over yesterday's result when we lost to a ridiculous error by Everton's goalkeeper, watched it a few times this morning, still can't believe how stupid he was. There was no bad luck involved yesterday – we lost in the end to a very poor error of judgement by the goalkeeper.

Steve Brown
35 Posted 03/12/2018 at 12:17:27
Wish Pat van den Hauwe had been on the bench when Klopp ran on the field! He'd have had three Adam's Apples by the time Pat had finished with him.

Liverpool were understandably elated because they knew how lucky they were winning the game, but you either have class or you don't. And they don't.

I don't recall Zidane acting like an over-excited tosspot when Karius shovelled the ball in his own net in the Champions League Final.

Paul Kelly
36 Posted 03/12/2018 at 12:21:38
It's been many a hour since the match, I've had a sleep but I still feel sick to my pit. No word of a lie, I could honestly puke thinking about that game.

I don't think we'll ever have our day against that lot, I can't see it happening. There was positives, yes, but so hard to be positive after such a gut-wrenching finish.

Someone pass me a bowl.

Steve Brown
37 Posted 03/12/2018 at 12:25:45
On Pickford, it is easy to make excuses for him and point to key saves he has made in the past and even in the game itself. But it is about professional standards. The rest of the team met those standards and he didn't.

Unless we call such terrible errors what they are then we will never become winners again. "My bad", "hold my hands up", "we win and lose as team" are all excuses for the mediocrity that has summed us up for decades. So I hope Silva told him clearly that he has to improve or he will get dropped.

Tom Bowers
38 Posted 03/12/2018 at 12:30:38
As I keep saying if you don't score you don't win.

Everton continue to leave the back door open for RS to win these derbies and no team in the history wins more games at the death than RS.

One mistake and all the good work counts for nothing.

Another sad day but surely Everton's turn will come.

Brent Stephens
39 Posted 03/12/2018 at 12:33:59
Steve #37,

"On Pickford, it is easy to make excuses for him and point to key saves he has made in the past and even in the game itself. But it is about professional standards. The rest of the team met those standards and he didn't."

Steve, I didn't see any player on the pitch have a game without errors.

Rob Halligan
40 Posted 03/12/2018 at 12:38:19
Steve, you're right – that club does not have one ounce of class in it from top to bottom. Apart from Klopp yesterday, you only have to think back to them backing Rat Boy and wearing tee-shirts in support of him following one of his biting episodes on the Chelsea defender, whose name I can't remember.
Rob Halligan
41 Posted 03/12/2018 at 12:39:22
Correction, was it his racist remark to Patrice Evra where they supported him?
Ralph Basnett
42 Posted 03/12/2018 at 12:42:10
Whilst gutted about the result I don't feel as bad as previous years when we would roll over or the ref would give a penalty that wasn't whilst not giving a penalty that was. He would send one of ours off for breathing and the Red Shite can scissor kick our lads all day.

We had an excellent team called the Red Shite, who are yet to lose at home, playing our ever-improving blues, and pipped us at the post.

I think his pitch invasion is a testament to how lucky Klopp felt with their winning goal.

If previously we had gone to Anfield and one of our players was MotM, it would be a defender or 'keeper and not our midfield general!

We were bloody unlucky and now need to keep this sort of form running to our next game.

The irony with us is we will probably get our first top-six away win at Man City and do them a favour!!!!!!!

Keep it Going COYB

James Marshall
43 Posted 03/12/2018 at 12:47:58

My point exactly, the rules are daft. In my view, they should let the game be run by human beings. All these rules, VAR, all of it, not my bag. The only one I like is goal-line technology.

It's all over sanitised as far as I'm concerned. I couldn't care less if Klopp runs on the pitch. Good luck to him. As Marco Silva said, I might well have done the same thing.

James Stewart
44 Posted 03/12/2018 at 12:52:36
Agreed, Jim, but being clinical has been the elephant in the room since Lukaku left. He has still not been replaced and £50m was wasted on the likes of Tosun and Walcott; neither offer a goal threat, not against those above us at least.

We need to spend big on a quality striker – even sides BELOW us have better strikers than we do.

Steve Brown
45 Posted 03/12/2018 at 12:54:00
Brent #39, I understand what you mean and I am tolerant of errors in general. But when it is a fundamental failure to meet the minimum standards of your job, then the individual needs to be told clearly that it is unacceptable. For me, that is what Pickford did.

And his attitude wasn't right from the start. He sliced a clearance in the first minute of the match that resulted in a corner and put us under immediate pressure. He walked back to his goal laughing and I remember thinking "What is so funny?" Set the tone for his whole performance.

James Lauwervine
46 Posted 03/12/2018 at 13:40:49
I couldn't disagree more, Brent (#39). You are falling into the trap of blaming him for a minor error of judgement that happened to have major consequences. Every player makes mistakes – Gueye made at least two serious ones in the game and was lucky to get away with them.

The incident you refer to where he grinned (he wasn't laughing) after slicing the ball was obviously directed at the RS fans who were ridiculing him for the miskick. I saw it as showing that he was calm and in control and not bothered by them trying to give him stick. I was pleased with how he handled that.

He went on to have a good game and made a number of saves, including an excellent one in a 1-v-1 with Shaqiri.

I believe it is critical that we get behind Pickford and show we support him and forgive him for the error. Your comments, along with the many more more critical and even abusive ones I've read, serve no purpose whatsoever.

Jim Bennings
47 Posted 03/12/2018 at 13:50:25
James #44,

I agree Lukaku has never been replaced which is still a disgrace considering he left in summer 2017.

I'd much rather not have wasted the £50 million on Tosun and Walcott and bought one elite striker like Lacazette but he was only ever going to choose Arsenal over us.

We bought Richarlison for £45 million and he has bundles of talent but he's not what you'd call a true striker and I believe if we had a Kane, Lukaku, or Lacazette in our team, then Richarlison would be on the left with Bernard as a more than able backup.

Attracting that top striker is the hard part and I don't think fishing around in Turkish, Greek or Dutch Leagues will really serve us well.

Mark Taylor
48 Posted 03/12/2018 at 14:10:58
James #44,

That's a regular lament on here. In fact, I've said it myself that we are lacking a top striker.

On the other hand, we're not alone there. The team we played yesterday effectively don't play with a striker because they don't have one good enough. Arguably neither do Chelsea at times. And Man Utd aren't exactly blessed there – is current Lukaku any better than what we have? Arsenal have some quality in that area, but they seem to be the exception.

Who would you put on your list, either already in the Premier League or abroad, bearing in mind, a la Morata, they often struggle in English football? Whenever I'm asked who this striker would be, I struggle...

Jay Harris
49 Posted 03/12/2018 at 14:17:56
Totally agree, Jim, and that is compounded by the fact we havent got a midfield player who can score goals.

Even Bernard for all his silky skills goes to pieces when he gets sight of goal and Gomes and Gueye are not goalscorers.

Even when we had Lukaku, we relied too much on him as, apart from the declining superKev, we didn't have anyone else with a decent eye for goal.

But for Sigurdsson and Richarlison, we would be in the shit.

John Raftery
50 Posted 03/12/2018 at 14:24:21
Dave (34) Cheers. Funnily enough, I bumped into Peter Mills this morning and we were talking about the similarities between where we are right now and where we were in the early 80s.

As you know it takes time, usually two to three years to build a team. Finding the right pieces, fitting them into the jigsaw, learning to win, being mentally strong, turning bad luck into good luck are all things which develop gradually. They require patience as well as ambition.

As regards Klopp, I was not overly bothered about his antics. He just looked a bit immature. Unlike Phil Thompson and Emlyn Hughes in the seventies, he did not direct any abuse at us. Not that I am one to bear grudges for too long; only up to 50 years!

Tony Abrahams
51 Posted 03/12/2018 at 14:35:05
Good point being made by quite a few people that we don't have enough goals in this team.

We are improving, but we still need more quality to be added to the team. Maybe pair Sigurdsson with Gomes and push Lookman or Bernard into the Number 10 position?

I think Gueye has improved lately but quality on the ball is everything, especially when you're playing against the teams at the very top end of the league.

Klopp couldn't contain his emotion; hard to take if you're a blue, but better than the way he was laughing at us near the end of the Martinez reign.

Tony Abrahams
52 Posted 03/12/2018 at 14:39:25
So that's you John, Peter, Dave, and myself who can all see the similarities from all those years ago?

We lost the game yesterday, but we also lost “our fear” and that is the most important thing that came out of yesterday's game for me.

John G Davies
53 Posted 03/12/2018 at 15:47:12
Tony, #51,

Interesting post there. I would keep Sigurdsson in the No 10 position.

His ability to see an eye-of-the-needle pass means he stays there for me. One pass he made to get Walcott in yesterday was unbelievable. I have watched it back 3 times and still can't see how he got the picture to play the pass.

And you're dead right, mate, about the gap closing. They know we are catching them and it frightens the life out of them.

Steve Brown
54 Posted 03/12/2018 at 15:50:46
James #46, don't blame Brent. He was of your opinion! My comments were critical but certainly not abusive, I hope.

Every Everton fan including me will get behind Pickford as that goes without saying, but I hope Silva told him clearly that his error was unacceptable if this club is returning to levels of competitiveness and standards that we all hope for.

If Southall had made such a calamitous error in the team that featured Reid, Ratcliffe and Grey, 'support and forgiveness" would have been lower on the agenda. That team were winners.

Pickford's standards have lowered this season. I hope he builds back up but another clanger like that should see him dropped.

Brent Stephens
55 Posted 03/12/2018 at 16:08:26
James #46 – please see Steve's post at #54.

Grateful, Steve. Good man.

Jay Wood

56 Posted 03/12/2018 at 16:24:01
Both yesterday, in the immediate aftermath of a bruising last seconds defeat, and again today, a few posters continue to lament that we continue to have an appalling record at the 'Big Six' and still lag far behind them.

Mark Wilson encapsulated this view with the following hit list:

You get no points for travelling in the right direction;
You get no points for making progress;
You get no points signing a few decent players;
You get no points for being unlucky;
You get no points for nice midfield passing;
You get no points for working hard;
You get points for a draw or a win, end of.

With respect, the above represents an over-simplified reductive view: namely, it is only ever about gathering points.

Very, very rarely in any field or walk of life does an individual or the collective – which Everton FC is – make a quantum leap from mediocrity to excellence in a single bound.

Mark may have a point that we are not getting points now against the very best opposition in the league, but by lumping all together the listed items as he does, he makes the mistake of heavily implying it is a worthless pursuit to even attempt to achieve them. That there is a magical and mystical quicker route to achieve his stated desire: 'I want a win at any cost, any way, any how. Winning is all that really matters. It honestly is.'

In writing in this dismissive way, Mark (and others) are failing to take into consideration our entire history since the formation of the Premier League; the mismanagement at every level; the paucity of our bank account; the damage done in the first two years under Moshiri by poor managerial appointments and a wreckless transfer policy which blew the first truly big wedge of money the club has had in the Premier League era.

To take Mark's own check list, I think it is reasonable to acnowledge the following:

You cannot arrive at your desired destination without first setting out to 'travel in the right direction.' For 3 decades now, we have not dared to look towards the horizon, let alone take a step towards it. We have stagnated, even regressed to the point where our mediocrity became our comfort zone.

Moshiri, Brands and Silva are daring to journey and are following a map. There will be pitfalls and wrong paths taken, but... at least we are moving forward, rather than navel-gazing or looking back nostalgically.

We are 'making progress'. We have played four of the top six away and seriously competed on equal terms with all four of them. Did we get the 'only thing that matters' to Mark in every game — points? No. But both the performances and the results were far better than just last season when we lost 4-0 at United, 5-1 at Arsenal, 2-0 at Chelsea and (what Mark claims to want to prioritize) a mind-numbing 1-1 draw against Liverpool.

Hands up those that think long-term Sam Allardyce's tactics in the drawn Derby game at Anfield would bring us sustained success in such fixtures? Now, hands up those who think Silva's 'no fear' tactics is a more productive route to follow?

Next, who thinks 'signing a few decent players' (of the right age and calibre, as Brands and Silva have done) has, and will, continue to improve the team, as opposed to our previous transfer policy of signing the aging and aged, the 'never-beens' and 'has-beens', by shopping at Poundland?

Each and every one of our summer recruits have added considerably to the squad and the quality of our football. Given the bloated unbalanced make-up of the squad they inherited, Brands's and Silva's first transfer window was stellar. There is a plan and structure in place, which can only benefit us, long term.

On 'being unlucky'. As in life, you make your own luck. And if you recruit well, if you train well, if you apply yourself well on the pitch – guess what? 'Luck' comes your way. As the oft-quoted golfer Gary Player said: 'The more I practice, the luckier I get.'

If Mark believes you get 'no points for nice midfield passing', I suggest he takes a look at all modern-day football teams that have had success applying that very strategy. That is what Silva is instilling into his team; not a game of aerial tennis from front to back to arrive at the POMO – the 'position of maximum opportunity' popular in its (very distant) day.

Likewise Mark's next claim: you get 'no points for working hard.' Oh yes, you fuckin' do! All successful teams have this essential element in their game. And the numbers are showing Everton, this season, are right up there as one of the hardest working sides in the PL.

Mark is right in one fundamental thing: you get points for a draw or a win. Ultimately, that determines whether the manager, the team, the players, the club, have been successful or not.

Silva is a mere 14 games into his managerial career at Everton. By just seven games into his league career with us, he has given us a solid, mean defence; got us playing proper passing and possession football, from back to front, on the ground and far more rapidly than anything under Martinez; sprinkled proper footballers throughout the team.

To express delight and to feel encouraged by how things are developing at the club – particularly on the playing side – is not a passive acceptance of continued mediocrity, of knowing our place' (among the also-rans), or of 'lacking ambition'.

I want my team winning trophies and sticking it to our leading rivals on our own patch.

Taking everything altogether, like others, for me there is a wee tingling, a growing belief, that we are on the cusp of something very, very good happening at Everton FC.

James Lauwervine
57 Posted 03/12/2018 at 16:28:25
Woops, sorry, Brent and Steve, for getting you mixed up. Your comments certainly weren't abusive, Steve, I was referring to yours and then mentioning those other comments I've seen which were 'more critical and even abusive'. There have been quite a few of those, most in the heat of the moment in the hour or two after the game ended.

We were all fuming then of course, but I wasn't fuming at Pickford, I was fuming at the tiresome inevitability of yet another derby crushing my footballing soul.

I still disagree with your idea that Pickford should be told he didn't perform to the standards of his job and that it was unacceptable – that serves no purpose. He knows the mistake he made and I'd say he understands the impact of it on his teammates and the supporters.

I also disagree with your assessment of his miskick early in the game and his reaction to it setting the tone for his performance. But so be it; we all want the same thing really and the world would be very boring without differences of opinion.

Gerard McKean
58 Posted 03/12/2018 at 16:29:10
Rob #31, I think I need to take you for a pint (or two).
Brent Stephens
59 Posted 03/12/2018 at 16:37:46
James #57 — no problem.
Rob Halligan
60 Posted 03/12/2018 at 16:41:29
Hi Ged. Anytime mate. You've got my number. Though do you need to tell me I'm talking bollocks or talking sense? 😕😕😕
James Stewart
61 Posted 03/12/2018 at 17:02:39
@47 & 48.

It is a disgrace considering nearly 4 transfer windows since he left. Plenty out there, it's been well documented we are looking at Barbosa. I'm sure the likes of Marega, Belotti etc will be on the radar too. I have confidence in Brands to sort it out.

Henrik Lyngsie
62 Posted 03/12/2018 at 17:23:50
A number of people on here are suggesting that Lookman should start instead of Walcott. I am not a big fan of Walcott and it is a pleasure to watch Lookman on the ball. His technique, his dribbling and his offensive skills are beautiful.

However, Silva is a manager with focus on tactical details and we play very tactically disciplined with the wingers tracking back defending in a 4-4-2 and the wingers in a key role protecting the full-backs. Walcott is doing that. Bernard is doing that and Richarlison when playing wide is doing that.

I was watching Lookman closely yesterday and he did not track back on a number of occasions. He just switches off and on done occasions got lost in the middle and suddenly Gomes had to cover his area. Robertson exploited that in the last 30 minutes and we will be targeted in that area if we play like that against the top teams.

No way Silva will start Lookman against a top team as a winger unless he improves that part of his game. I then hope that Lookman will be given a start in a home game against one of the non-top-6 teams. But I suspect that Silva is having high expectations when it comes to tactical awareness also defensively.

Russell Smith
63 Posted 03/12/2018 at 17:30:49
Whilst absolutely gutted to lose in such a bizarre way, I can't help but think that this team is developing a little like Kendall Mk1 back in 1983-84, where again we played really well against Liverpool in the League Cup, got robbed of a win at Wembley when Hanson took the lace out of the ball but the ref didn't see it, and then lost to a Souness goal in the reply.

Kendall's team were just beginning to take shape, and starting to perform at a consistent level that year, resulting in the FA Cup win at the end of the season, but they weren't quite there at the time of the League Cup final. The next three seasons they were undoubtedly the best team in Europe.

I think Silva's Everton are developing along similar lines and I think he will deliver silverware sooner rather than later. Let's hope that, when it does, our Satanic neighbours don't balls it up for us again.

Stan Schofield
64 Posted 03/12/2018 at 17:31:41
What happened was extremely disappointing, but that's all it was. We lost a game of football.

The point is, we're now a very good side, so much so that we anticipate a win against any side. But things can and do go against us, and shit happens.

We just need to get on with it, focus on the next game, then the next, and so on. We now have a winning mentality. Onwards and (rapidly) upwards.

Colin Glassar
65 Posted 03/12/2018 at 18:01:50
24 hours later. A few hundred pounds lighter. Still knackered and gutted after such a stomach wrenching loss. I’m still at a loss for words.

Oh, Walcott is still shite and shouldn’t start again. Lookman ffs!!

David Pearl
66 Posted 03/12/2018 at 18:17:01
Oh, come on now, Colin. Walcott is not shite. He did a lot good yesterday, they all did. A few times they let themselves and us down because they are not robots.

That final ball sometimes missing, and a few lost balls but, all-in-all, we kept them at bay and matched them all over the park. We've come a long way.

Is it time for Lookman to start a game? Yes, it is.

It's also time for Silva to experiment formation-wise up top, a bit of tinkering. We also have Calvert-Lewin, Davies, Dowell and Holgate in much need of game time so they don't stagnate, January is coming.

What a way to lose a derby. What luck. Up to us now to keep our momentum and win the next couple games as we are up there.

David Pearl
67 Posted 03/12/2018 at 18:30:16
Henrik, maybe Lookman will start in a 3-4-3, or variation of, so he gets more freedom to support Richarlison.

It's up to Silva now. He's steadied the ship and got a shape that we lacked last year. He can push on, I hope.

Pat Kelly
68 Posted 03/12/2018 at 18:30:56
Three words from the article sum up why we will remain behind the top teams: "massive superior resources". You can buy success in football. That's why the likes of Man City will triumph again.

We're all gutted because of the late late goal. But for that, we'd have drawn, not won.

You can't win without scoring. We don't do that enough because we can't afford those players who can. Get used to it until we can afford to attract the best.

Stan Schofield
69 Posted 03/12/2018 at 18:42:57
Pat, what you say is true, we need to score more. We're either having a 'lean spell' in terms of the 'scoring form' of the front players, or we need one addition to the strike force.

It really is 'fine margins' now in terms of the results (all away from home) against Arsenal, Man Utd, Chelsea and Liverpool. In none of those games were we outplayed. In each of those games, we rattled the opposition with flair, skill and high pressing. We now put fear into the opposition.

We're creating chances, the midfield is as good as anyone's, and we just need to score more goals. Unlike in the past, we no longer have a systemic problem, but a problem that can be righted quickly, either with a change in form, or with the acquisition of a single player. That's a measure of where we now are under Silva and Brands.

Henrik Lyngsie
70 Posted 03/12/2018 at 18:48:31
Maybe, David @67, but I think no matter which formation we are playing Silva is expecting hard defensive work and tactical discipline from all players. Look at the work Gylfi and Richarlison is putting in.

And look at the defensive work rate Pep gets from his wingers and offensive players. They are very tactically disciplined (and making tactical fouls to stop any counterattack).

Lookman will have to step up on that side to be a starter (or make a hat-trick every match!).

Brian Murray
71 Posted 03/12/2018 at 19:10:46
Theo has had a charmed life for a while. The likes of Arsenal rarely let top players go. If Lookman can't or won't do the tracking back well we need to see what Henry Onyekuru is like, the loanee.

A pacy striker and a right back as good as Digne and we would really be in business.

Colin Glassar
73 Posted 03/12/2018 at 21:08:48
David, Walcott is going through a bad patch and needs a rest. He's the weak link in the side as he's either always slipping, getting knocked off the ball or just not anticipating a pass as he should be.

I don't know if it's Walcott's fault but Seamus has been crap as well. I know he's loved by most Evertonians but he's not the same player, meaning our right side is weaker than the left (Digne and Bernard).

Seamus no longer goes past players to whip in great crosses. Gone are the days when he would cut into the opposition box and cause havoc. Even his passing has become average. I love the lad's spirit but I think next summer we should find a replacement (if Kenny isn't good enough) as he's not at the same level as some of our more recent arrivals.

The same goes for Walcott, Tosun, Schneiderlin etc... Good players for a mid-table team but not good enough for a top-4 seeking side.

Brian Hennessy
74 Posted 03/12/2018 at 21:40:04
"The best Everton team in decades" — That is how Pat Neven has described us on Newstalk here in Ireland tonight after yesterday's game. Silva getting massive praise for the job he has done.

Yesterday still hurts, but we have come a long way in a short space of time. Maybe, just maybe we are on the verge of a new era.

Stan Schofield
75 Posted 03/12/2018 at 23:09:48
Brian, it's definitely the best Everton side I've seen since the 80s. No opponent will relish the thought of playing against us at the moment.
Bobby Thomas
76 Posted 03/12/2018 at 23:35:25
Add a Costa type who has hold up play, aggression, and can go in behind and that side is a serious proposition for the top 4. The options would be immense.

I say this with a very heavy heart but, long-term, Coleman needs replacing. He's lost a yard, or more. It can't be helped, he got that injury at his peak when he was bang at it. He was flying. But you don't come back from that injury in your late 20s as the same player. I knew it would be this way. You can recover and rebuild your career in your very early 20s, but not at this point.

Seamus is trying manfully and I think he has done very, very well to get back and be playing regularly at this level – look what happened to Oviedo, he was totally done as a top-flight player. Contrast that with how Coleman managed to get back and block that near post cross yesterday when they were breaking.

In a way only a man like Seamus Coleman, that I totally respect, could recover from that injury and, at 30, get back to playing and captaining the side. But he's lost about 20%. The old Seamus Coleman has gone and, deep down, he will know it.

I think he can maybe do another season as first choice. Maybe. But long-term we need a new right-back, same profile as Digne.

Aside from those two positions, right-back and striker, tie Gomes down and that side is ready to go.

Jerome Shields
77 Posted 04/12/2018 at 00:49:33
Walcott had the least amount of touches than any other outfield player, but his value is in his positioning and helping Everton keep their shape.

He could be better at finishing and attacking, but because of his dual role – particularly the offensive contribution aspect – he is ahead of Lookman, who is an out-and-out attacker. The offensive aspect of Lookman's game needs developing.

Jim Harrison
78 Posted 03/12/2018 at 01:02:51
Colin #73,

Bernard gave the ball away as much if not more than Walcott. He also fell over twice when running.

Tony Abrahams
79 Posted 04/12/2018 at 08:22:29
Fair point, Jim, but that was probably because he was trying to involve himself in the game a lot more than Walcott, which is what seems to be most people's biggest gripe against Theo.

Bernard looks like he has got a lot more desire; if you have got this, then you usually find people give you a lot more patience in return.

Jimmy Salt
80 Posted 04/12/2018 at 09:23:55
I haven't read all the above but has anybody noticed how well Mina has slotted in at centre-back? He was awesome in the derby.

And no calls for Zouma to come back in speaks volumes.

Aidan Wade
81 Posted 04/12/2018 at 09:43:57
It's only now I'm emerging from a self-imposed sports news blackout. Gutted to lose as ever but that stung bitterly, so late, so needless. So let's dwell on the positives instead.

A fantastic defensive display had limited one of the top ten attacks in Europe to a handful of chances and they needed a rare mistake to prevail. It's nothing short of sensational how well the new signings have gelled together and the new balance they provide – 5 new signings combined with a rejuvenated Gylfi and Keane. It's a huge credit to Brands and Silva.

Revenge in Goodison please.

Derek Thomas
82 Posted 04/12/2018 at 09:52:34
Bobby @ 76; 'Bro' you're spot on... as far as you go. Luke Shaw at 23 is only now getting back to his pre-break form.

Sunday, Lookman excepted, showed we lack true game changers for the last half hour or so. Calvert-Lewin might come good in a few years.

The fact that Tosun didn't get on and Silva went for Zouma to see out the draw rather than go for the win.

Are Sturridge and Origi any better as a pair on the whole, than Calvert-Lewin and Tosun?... No, not really.

I think Silva knew this – hence he played the Zouma percentage card. Klopp knew, with Man City 4pts ahead, only a shit or bust Hail Mary go for it would do him any good.

So, as far as you go, a right-back and Costa type is spot on but, until we get more depth and one of either Bernard or Walcott are fighting for one spec on the bench, the side is not ready to go.

Stan Schofield
83 Posted 04/12/2018 at 10:20:20
Derek, any side is 'ready to go', because it is 11 players ready to play against 11 other players.

In our case, not only are we 'ready to go', but we can beat anybody. Well, that's what I believe, and I think it's what Silva believes. He's making the team believe it too. It's called a 'winning mentality'.

Matthew Williams
84 Posted 04/12/2018 at 11:05:16
I'm sure we can bounce back from this and our players will learn from it. We need wins from our next two at home to keep the momentum going and keep the pressure on the big six going into the New Year, with a home tie in the FA Cup to look forward to.

As for the derby, painful yep, but I believe that we'll do the spawny, jammy, flag-waving, penalty-loving fuckers at Goodison Park.

Some of our big players failed to show on Sunday, we need a new front three, change it around and give others a go... we need goals, badly.

Jim Harrison
85 Posted 04/12/2018 at 13:20:33
Tony 79,

I get you, but conversely perhaps it encourages people to overlook the negative aspects?

I thought Theo played well. He didn't set the world on fire but kept trying and ended up coming off because of injury.

Bernard played well too... but, as I say, fell over twice, I think, just running with the ball, miscued a very presentable chance, and gave the ball away a fair few times.

I just feel Walcott has become the new scapegoat.

Derek Knox
86 Posted 04/12/2018 at 16:38:45
It is so obvious to everyone, that recently Theo Walcott has been a shadow of the player who first came to us; but I am equally surprised that Marco hasn't either dropped him in favour of the under-employed Lookman, or at least tried him up front, which in turn would allow Richarlison to resume his more effective left wing role.
Michael Kenrick
87 Posted 04/12/2018 at 16:51:11
Jim, is it really necessary to throw out that "scapegoat" label?

As Derek (#86) and others have posted, he's nowhere near his best, he's not producing, there is zero end product.

It's true. That's not scapegoating.

Similarly Bernard. I love his movement... until he trips over his own feet. Not scapegoating, just what we can all see when we watch him play.

[ps: I consolidated a few posts on this thread that were focused on Klopp over to the Silva thread. Let me know if any thread-post cross-ref numbers are not right here.]

Alan Bodell
88 Posted 04/12/2018 at 17:12:01
After years we have a team now capable, them loveable gobshites know that full well, the gap is narrowing after years of them having the financial muscle we haven't, even Slippy G. said we deserved a point today on his presser, we have done well in all our recent away games at the so called top boys but it's just a shame we dropped it against teams we should have beat at Goodison, futures bright, the future is Blue.
Paul Birmingham
89 Posted 04/12/2018 at 17:34:21
Let's stay upbeat and positive for the next game. Forget the RS, forget the gobshites on Sky, forget Merson, they know they are the most biased and unprofessional bunch of ex pros there is. We don't need the Sky circus.

Barcodes tomorrow and we move on. Hopefully M&M can do a deal for Gomes and, as a priority, buy a proven centre-forward next year, sooner than later.

Not an easy ask but key to getting this squad to the next stage. We have genuine hopes and let's start with doing the Barcodes and the Spanish waiter tomorrow night.

Dan Davies
90 Posted 04/12/2018 at 17:38:48
Game after game, Walcott just hasn't produced the goods, he's struggling. We have other options to play so let's give them a crack. It might give Walcott a kick up the backside too!
Paul Traill
91 Posted 04/12/2018 at 22:57:53
I don’t know about you but I really can’t accept Sunday’s Anfield defeat. No team ever wins a game like that, and no team ever loses like that. It’s just… impossible, and the only team who would ever beat us like that is… THEM!!! They sure have some curse over us. I don’t need to reel off some of the ridiculous ways we’ve managed to lose or not win these games; we all know them.

I don’t blame Jordan Pickford. Yes, I get that people say he should have tapped it over, or left it completely, and yes, that would have meant a draw most likely but that’s easy for you and me to say when not faced with the pressure of that situation. I think Jordan could do the exact same thing 100 times and the outcome would never be the same as what happened. It was ridiculous luck, and would only happen against us, against them.

And you have to move on, and it’s just as well we’ve got two fine-looking home games coming straight up. Win those two and with six more points on the board and the derby will feel rather distant.

While I can’t accept defeat, it’s easy to be positive. We weren’t just good at Anfield, we were REALLY good. The best I can ever remember us playing there (bearing in mind my Everton diet has largely been Walter Smith, David Moyes, Roberto Martinez, Ronald Koeman and Sam Allardyce). For the first time, I can recall we were a match for them, as we have been at Chelsea and Arsenal.

It reminds me of a quote from the great Neville Southall, about the 1984 Milk Cup Final when we were cruelly denied a clear penalty for a goal-line handball by Alan Hansen which stopped a certain goal. The referee didn’t give it and, as you’ll know, typically enough, Liverpool went and won the replay 1-0. Neville’s words about that game are something which rings a little true for me:

“Although we would eventually lose it after a replay, for me the 1984 League Cup Final represented a turning point in Everton history. Because we matched Liverpool every single step of the way. It confirmed my conviction that we were the best team in the league.” — Neville Southall, The Binman Chronicles

Now the “best team in the league” we are not... but “match Liverpool every step of the way” we did. Surely Sunday’s game in particular will give our lads that belief they can kick on from here. We’ve got nothing to fear and I hope Marco and his team are quick to instil this into the lads to keep on doing what they are doing, and don’t fear anyone.

Heads up, Blues. Exciting times are on the way back.

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