Blues through unconvincingly after fine start

By Michael Kenrick 05/01/2019 270comments  |  Jump to last

Ademola Lookman made his first start for a month after recovering from an unspecified knock
Everton 2 - 1 Lincoln City

Everton's FA Cup campaign kicked off this afternoon against Lincoln City and they went into an early and very impressive two-goal lead with some great football, only to sit back and cede the initiative to the Imps through a series of set-pieces, one generating a reply when Bostwick prodded home Pickford's parried save.

Lookman, Davies Calvert-Lewin, Mina and Kenny started in a relatively strong team, with Richarlison, Gomes and Coleman — all who have been poor in recent games — on the bench with James McCarthy. Walcott — who has been terrible — was dropped; Keane and Digne were not in the matchday squad.

Lincoln kicked off but it was Everton who showed the first signs, a superb effort from Ademola Lookman zipping fractionally over the bar. Zouma was very sloppy at the other end, letting Akinde run at Pickford's goal.

Baines got wide left and delivered a fine ball to the far post where Lookamn got great height for a looping header to the far side of the goal, beating everyone. A great start for the Blues.

Then a finely worked goal, finished with a lovely chip by Bernard following a great through-ball from Calvert-Lewin after Sigurdsson picked him out. Very nice movement and execution.

Lookmmn fired in a fantastic shot that looked to be curling inside the far post but flew inches wide. Calvert-Lewin was gifted a loose ball and danced in on the keeper who got a vital touch to deflect the ball behind and the corner came to nothing.

But Everton continued playing good football, forcing the Imps to defend their area with an air of desperation. Lincoln did break out and had some fair possession but the shot from Frecklington was very wayward. However, Mina gave away another free-kick that O'Connor whipped in, spilt by Pickford, and it was easily prodded home by Bostwick. Poor from Mina, poor from Pickford, poor zonal marking.

A couple more set-pieces — corners — threatened the Blues goal, and had Everton rocking, the travelling Imps fans loving every minute of it as they made the Blues defence look laughable.

Another cheap free-kick given away in a dangerous area, but it was played short and the routine did not come off, an opportunity to test the Blues back four missed. Davies was very lucky not to be called for a poor piece of football after his first touch was threatened by O'Connor.

A dreadfully clumsy challenge by Zouma gave away the next free-kick, this one further out and flicked away by Yerry Mina, with Everton pinned back for an extended period of the first half, following a brilliant start, as if they thought it was game over at 2-0.

Silva decided, somewhat uncharacteristically, that changes were needed: Gomes and Tosun on for Davies and Calvert-Lewin, neither of whom had looked much good as Lincoln sought to control the majority of the first half.

Gomes restarted the game but the shape and intent was not much different, the Blues failing to create much joined-up football, conceding possession cheaply, totally failing to play out from the back with any conviction, they looked very unconvincing. Akinde looked to get behind the defence but inadvertently hand-balled.

Sigurdsson was not having a good game, getting dispossessed with ease. But he did get a sight of goal and half-volleyed it superbly goalward, saved very well by Vickers. At the other end, Gueye gave it away to Anderson but was rescued and Bernard looked to play in Gomes but his shot was a long way off target.

Kenny got forward but his cross only found a defender; likewise for Loookman's shot as Everton finally started to press forward with some meaning, but Lincoln were now well organized, forcing the Blues back to the half-way line. It opened up enough for Sigurdsson to shoot, blocked behind by Bostwick. Mina was close to the well-delivered corner but instead, Lincoln cleared.

Some better play from a fine cross-field pass by Zouma ended with Baines's cross headed away. Bernard tried to run in but laid off to Gueye, and the Blues were trying to walk in the third goal, shots being blocked too easily. At least it was a period of pressure mid-way through the second half, with Vickers not really being tested until Tosun got in but did far too little with a lame flick on the end of Baines's superb cross.

Lookman and Kenny combined and Kenny did well to get a corner, Baines finding the head of the first defender at the near post. Everton were passing the ball around well enough but not really getting anywhere near the Lincoln goal.

Baines got firmly bundled off the ball in the Lincoln area but no penalty. A corner saw Bernard lashing the ball high and wide as Richarlison replaced Sigurdsson for the last 10 minutes.

Another dangerous free-kick for Lincoln, delivered deep to the far post, needed the intervention from Kenny for the corner: that was delivered deep and Richarlison had to head behind the ball that came back in, almost out of Pickford's hands.

Richarlison then took a sniper shot to the mouth, probably grazed the back of Ardley's hand, and collapsed in a now-trademark heap, demanding treatment for his playacting that did not fool the referee. Richarlison then played with a big a man-size wet-wipe stuffed in his mouth until he finally got half a chance that he drove wide.

The Blues kept probing, Baines picking out Tosun with a low cross that he prodded goalward without much conviction. At the other end, Zouma defended well, Lincoln screaming for a penalty that never was. McCartan tried again to get Mina in trouble this time, winning a late corner kindly plyaed straight to Bernard.

Richarlison got in behind and ran in on goal but his touch was awful and he squandered any chance to shoot, in what turned out to be the final move of a poor showing really considering that they should have pressed home a much more convincing victory.

But the Blues are through to Round 4 of the FA Cup and that's really all that matters.

Scorers: Lookman (12'), Bernard (14'); Bostwick (28')

Everton: Pickford, Kenny, Mina, Zouma, Baines, Gana, Davies (46' Gomes), Bernard, Sigurdsson (80' Richarlison), Lookman, Calvert-Lewin (46' Tosun).
Subs: Stekelenburg, Jagielka, Coleman, McCarthy.

Lincoln City: Vickers, O'Connor (74' McCartan), Shackell, Pett (78' Chapman), Frecklington, Andrade, Toffolo, Bostwick, Eardley, Anderson, Akinde (70' Rhead).
Subs not Used: Slocombe, Gordon, Wharton, Mensah.

Referee: John Brooks

Attendance: 37,900

Reader Comments (270)

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Kevin Prytherch
1 Posted 05/01/2019 at 14:06:21
I hope, with Kenny, Davies, Lookman and Calvert-Lewin in today, we see some fight in the team.

This could be a chance to show that we have a future in these lot with them all on at the same time.

Neil Lawson
2 Posted 05/01/2019 at 14:08:02
Feeling smug. The team I forecast. Glad that, on paper at least, it is strong and should do the business but who knows?
Derek Knox
3 Posted 05/01/2019 at 14:14:12
Yes at last rotation with a feeling of strength and experience about it, I hope they play for their positions and don't think this is a walk in the park.

Lincoln have little to lose and everything to gain in a match like this, hopefully that won't be the case but don't treat them as no-marks and we should be okay.

Jay Wood

5 Posted 05/01/2019 at 14:17:57
Strong starting XI, strong bench... for a game against Lincoln.

Joe O'Brien
6 Posted 05/01/2019 at 14:19:14
At least Silva looks like he's taking it more serious than he did in the other cup.

We should win this comfortably with this team.

Jerome Shields
7 Posted 05/01/2019 at 14:23:24
The team looks good enough. Hopefully they step up to the mark. There should be better possession in the forward line, allowing Calvert-Lewin to get into position. It all depends on how Davies plays.

Three in midfield. . . I'm glad that experiment is over. I'm glad he has stuck with Kenny at the back and Baines is a good enough replacement for Digne. Hopefully no errors at the back and Pickford keeps his head on. Dead-end Richarlison and Touchless Walcott are definitely not needed.

Yes, I am slightly more relaxed, but only slightly.

Dan Davies
8 Posted 05/01/2019 at 14:30:10
I think it would do all of the youngsters good to get a goal of two here. Also it would be nice to see Tosun chip in too.
Jay Harris
9 Posted 05/01/2019 at 14:34:43
Far too many changes for me. A whole new back 4 playing together for the first time does not fill me with confidence.

I just hope Davies and Gana are on their A game.

Bit worried about Bernard as I'm expecting a physical game.

Kase Chow
10 Posted 05/01/2019 at 14:43:09
Well if we don't get a result we can't blame Silva's team selection. He's clearly taking it seriously.
Kieran Kinsella
11 Posted 05/01/2019 at 15:46:27
Proper team. You could argue it is form based as opposed to "rotation".

I think Michael is a little harsh saying Walcott has been "terrible." He hasn't been at his best but, in that respect, he is in good company.

Christy Ring
12 Posted 05/01/2019 at 16:03:16
Back four and Pickford still very shaky.
Clive Rogers
13 Posted 05/01/2019 at 16:34:22
Calvert-Lewin and Davies are just not good enough — even against League Two opposition.
Joe McMahon
14 Posted 05/01/2019 at 16:37:01
Clive @ 13, totally agree, but you can't say that, as they are only young, in transition, never given a run of games. Oh but I forget Spurs are gonna bid £30 million for the pair.
Gerry Ring
15 Posted 05/01/2019 at 16:42:49
I've had my belly full of Silva to be honest. He doesn't seem to know what he's doing.

Struggling against Lincoln!!

Ralph Basnett
16 Posted 05/01/2019 at 16:46:32
Didn't Silva say he can't think about transfers at the moment as he needs to concentrate on this BIG game???

Really... Lincoln City???

Ralph Basnett
17 Posted 05/01/2019 at 16:50:02
Seventeen shots only four on target, and where not looking for a striker,but this is the mighty Lincoln.
George Cumiskey
18 Posted 05/01/2019 at 16:55:55
Well I think I can say without fear of contradiction, that was fucking awful.
Dan Davies
19 Posted 05/01/2019 at 16:56:22
A win is win. We move on to the next round.
Michael Lynch
20 Posted 05/01/2019 at 16:58:01
Very lucky to come out of that one with a win. Once Lincoln scored, it was all about whether they could get one more set piece to count. Meanwhile we huffed and puffed and never really rattled them, despite the possession figures.

MotM for me was Leighton Baines, total class. His short passing and overlapping was a slightly depressing reminder of better days.

Davies and Calvert-Lewin not ready to play at this level – I mean, against decent League Two opposition.

Chris Perry
21 Posted 05/01/2019 at 16:58:42
Dire dire performance. Fucking disgrace. Time for fat Sam to return!
Peter Gorman
22 Posted 05/01/2019 at 16:58:44
That was frankly garbage on every level.

Quality lacking when it came to crossing, simple passes, running with the ball – how are these players earning a living at the top league.

Lack of imagination, drive and urgency – anyone in their right mind, let alone the fringe players, would have looked to make a statement against these minnows but not our lads.

Predictably shit football and they need to take a long hard look at themselves – which we all know will never happen.

George Cumiskey
23 Posted 05/01/2019 at 17:01:55
We all must admit now that Brands was right — we don't need a striker!
Lennart Hylen
24 Posted 05/01/2019 at 17:02:30
Too much sideways and backward play. No direct forward play. Pretty dismal display once more. Thru to the next round but faaaar from convincing.
Kieran Kinsella
25 Posted 05/01/2019 at 17:04:28
The FA Cup is a funny old thing. You get odd results so I think we need to sort of look at this match in isolation and be glad we got the job done. More significant to the bigger picture will be how we do in the up coming Premier League games.
Dermot Byrne
26 Posted 05/01/2019 at 17:04:30
We won?
Peter Gorman
27 Posted 05/01/2019 at 17:07:32
We did win, Dermot.

But, in Health and Safety terms, it would be logged as a 'near miss'.

Derek Knox
28 Posted 05/01/2019 at 17:09:29
Happy with the win but not convinced by the play for much of the game. But, like has been mentioned, a one-off game, against unknown opposition can be a banana skin; luckily it wasn't.

I know it's been mentioned many times but, for the money we have spent, we have very little to show for it, especially up front, where Calvert-Lewin started okayish, then faded; Tosun for £27M has to be the most expensive flop ever.

Gerry Ring
29 Posted 05/01/2019 at 17:11:07
The one thing that comes out of this game is that Sílva obviously doesn't have belief in either Davies or McCarthy! Gomes, to be realistic, will be outside our purchase price or won't be sold.

Seriously worrying times especially against a lower league side. The antics today have all the hallmarks of a manager in trouble!!!!

Stef Busby
30 Posted 05/01/2019 at 17:13:01
That was poor. The passing at key moments was woeful. Defending, woeful.

Calvert-Lewin, Davies, Tosun, Lookman need to be moved on. Only Baines and Kenny came out with credibility. And Gana's passing!?!?

Silva is not the answer and we need two top class strikers as soon as. But where from!?

John Audsley
31 Posted 05/01/2019 at 17:13:03
We just pass it around going nowhere. We have desperately needed a striker since Lukaku left and never come close to replacing him.

You can't win a cup or compete in the league without a striker, it's the 2nd season of this and it's piss poor management.

We are through but that was god awful

Mike Price
32 Posted 05/01/2019 at 17:13:50
Kenny, Calvert-Lewin and Davies are very limited and that's being kind. Why do we persist with players that are Championship at best!?

Allardyce really did a number on us with his 18-month / 6-month contract and then signing Walcott and Tosun. Tosun must pinch himself every day when he thinks how much he's going to earn from his life-changing contract because he's absolutely crap. It would be hard to give him away with the wages he's on.

Kieran Kinsella
33 Posted 05/01/2019 at 17:18:14
Mike Price 32

"Allardyce did a number on us."

Err... Walcott didn't even play today (though his goals/assists so far are better than anyone bar Richarlison and Sigurdsson). Tosun was a sub – and was apparently targeted by Moshiri before Sam even arrived at the club.

Conor Skelly
34 Posted 05/01/2019 at 17:24:08
Our players are everything that's wrong with professional footballers these days. A gang of losers who get paid like winners.

Not an ounce of humility between them. The contrast between Baines and the rest of them in both professionalism and quality there for all to see.

Richarlison and his constant diving. Lookman and his face like a smacked arse. Davies and Calvert-Lewin. Sigurdsson. Tosun costing £27M. Only men out there were Kenny and Baines. The rest would make you sick just thinking about it.

Colin Malone
35 Posted 05/01/2019 at 17:24:27
Sigurdsson is definitely a square peg in a round hole. The Number 10 role does not suit him at all.
Clive Rogers
36 Posted 05/01/2019 at 17:24:50
Joe #14,

They have had lots of game time. Calvert-Lewin has 65 appearances since his 2016 debut and is 22 in March. He is a worse player now than when he came into the team. Embarrassing today. Similar with Davies, 69 appearances.

Kevin Prytherch
37 Posted 05/01/2019 at 17:25:04
Don't know what everyone is complaining about.

When was the last time we could say we beat the team that was top of the league in January??


David Connor
38 Posted 05/01/2019 at 17:26:17
Absolute fucking garbage football again today. But we are through. 1st decent team we draw, we will more than likely go out. We need 2 goals at least to beat any team we play.

Massive problems seem to run right through our club and have done for years. No sign of things improving any time soon either.

A massive clear out needed yet again. Youngsters ain't gonna make the grade – that is glaringly obvious. They just aren't good enough.

Worrying times yet again. I would give Silva this window and next summer. But the signs are not great at the moment.

Is Silva the man??? Only time will tell... One thing is for certain: this massively expensive squad is nowhere near good enough for our club.

Clive Mitchell
39 Posted 05/01/2019 at 17:26:48
Gerry, 15 - that's a small belly you've got there! And presumably a poor memory too. Surely you remember last season? Sitting ten yards outside our own box at home to Huddersfield? Give Silva a chance - which has to mean a clear run at next season and, if we don't bomb, at the season after that too.
Frank Sheppard
40 Posted 05/01/2019 at 17:27:02
Was looking today for 1- a win, 2-a good performance that would build confidence, 3 - a clean sheet. So 1 out of 3, which sadly these days is better than normal. But a win is a win.
Paul Tran
41 Posted 05/01/2019 at 17:29:07
We played poorly, we won.

We moved the ball slowly, we tried to play round players slowly, instead of running at them.

If I had a selective memory, I would reference Shrewsbury, Wigan, Bradford, York, but I won't.

Allardyce bought Walcott because he had PL experience and was available there and then. Allardyce goes for the tried and tested, all he was interested in was 'saving' us, even after we were 'safe'. Tosun was a punt. The next striker we buy will be a punt. Punt rates for strikers are currently £25m+ to an English club. The proven ones will go to better clubs for at least twice that amount, you know, like the last good one we criticised.

Eric Paul
42 Posted 05/01/2019 at 17:30:37
The objective was to be in the hat which we are, it wasn’t the best performance but I think some posters are just targeting the young players for criticism when the players who should be stepping up weren’t the best but they get a free ride as always.
Kieran Kinsella
43 Posted 05/01/2019 at 17:32:10
Davies, DCL, Kenny bashers .

Anyone remember Aaron Ramsey at Arsenal a few years back. Roundly booed by fans. Said to have "gone backwards," favorite whipping boy at the club. Gained a little more experience, older and wiser and emerged into one of the best players in the PL. I am not saying it will definitely happen with any of our kids, but the point is that as RM pointed out, we do well getting kids developed to 19/20 but the 21-23 age range is where many fall off the wagon -- while some eventually make it.

John Keating
44 Posted 05/01/2019 at 17:33:41
Good report Mike. Spot on

We did everything righ for the first 25 minutes then hit a brick wall.

The only pluses were JJK and Baines. Oh yes and the win.

Not one creative bone amongst the midfield. How about a punt on Fabregas for a season?

Couldn’t really argue with the starting 11 except maybe Siggi- who is in transitional fatigue, as apparently is Gomes.

Gomes reminds me of a Portuguese Ray Wilkins, 2000 passes a game almost all sideways.

Grateful for the result. Another week to shake off this transitional fatigue that’s hit EFC and nobody else

Anthony Murphy
45 Posted 05/01/2019 at 17:34:56
Let’s give Lincoln some credit. They may be L2, but looked disciplined and hard working. I expected them to tire mid way through the second half but they kept going.

My big concern is the defence. Clean sheet needed next game. We are so poor from set pieces.

Dan Davies
46 Posted 05/01/2019 at 17:37:01
Aaron Ramsey - if he's available shouldn't Everton with their new found wealth and ambition be doing everything possible to bring that sort of quality player to the club?
Michael Lynch
47 Posted 05/01/2019 at 17:37:32
The thing is, most of us who are "bashing" the young players are also bashing Siggi, Mina and Tosun amongst others. No particular group is being singled out, and no individual player gets a free pass - if you're in the first team, you're judged by first team standards. Many of us want to see the likes of Davies and DCL loaned out, so they can get match experience at a level they are suited to before coming back to us and fighting for a place, or being sold on if they're not up to it.

But that's the key, right now they're not up to it.

Derek Taylor
49 Posted 05/01/2019 at 17:37:43
Seems we might struggle in Division Two. Can't believe the manager had much influence on that game. Many of these players are bottlers and Richarlison is a baby!
Steve Ferns
50 Posted 05/01/2019 at 17:39:35
I thought Lincoln were fantastic. A team full of confidence as befits their league position. They had nothing to lose. This was their big day out and they did everything to enjoy it. We’ve lost loads of these games over the years. We’re through. That’s all that matters.

We need to concentrate on Bournemouth now. We will have to play much better against them. We need better performances from everyone. I hope Lookman can start. God knows who’s going to be 9 though, they all look like that don’t want to play there.

Eric Paul
51 Posted 05/01/2019 at 17:42:32
Not really
Colin Wordsworth
52 Posted 05/01/2019 at 17:42:38
Since Gomes and Bernard became 1st team regulars our football has gone slow and predictable with very little end product!

How people on this website blame Tom Davies for many of our woes today rather than Pickford and our defenders is ridiculous... and what did Gueye contribute???

Where were Gomes and Bernard early season when we played with pace and excitement? Not in the team methinks...

[A bit simplistic? Perhaps... but.]

Jim Bailey
53 Posted 05/01/2019 at 17:43:25
John @44

"Transitional fatigue"?! FFS. He, or any other player is either good enough or not.

"Transitional fatigue", please say you meant that tongue in cheek.

Jim Bennings
54 Posted 05/01/2019 at 17:44:47
Well we won but that was utter dog shit let’s be brutally honenst and against a better team than Lincoln we’d be out now.

Silva made a statement by taking off Davies and DCL off at the break, both were utterly woeful and I wouldn’t shocked to see both loaned out this month, not good enough.

Only Baines and Kenny come out of that with credibility, the rest were pretty god awful.

Gerry Ring
55 Posted 05/01/2019 at 17:45:05
Clive #39. We are not far off where we were last season. We are struggling big time. I just hope that Silva’s response will not be to bring players on loan from Spain and Portugal. This would be a short term & dangerous ploy. We need players who will give their all for Everton and at present we have too many journeymen.
Steve Ferns
56 Posted 05/01/2019 at 17:48:33
Jim, they were all bigger and stronger than us. That was before they brought on that big fridge.

What concerns me is the lack of shape. We lack organisation and when we lose the ball there’s a big hole in the middle of the pitch for the opposition to race into. This has been happening game after game for a while now. Since Gomes got in the side really. Gueye chases the ball and so he provides no protection to the defence at all. We need one of the two to actually sit in. We need them to hold position. If we did this, we’d not be so open at the back and the defence would look a lot better.

Peter Jansson
57 Posted 05/01/2019 at 17:50:08
Ok for next game. Seriously we should play Bains and Digne at the same time. One of them should play on the right back instead of JJK. That is what I think, or put Digne as a left wing.

Then Richarlison need to play as a striker since all other options are useless.

As for the central midfielders. Gomez is good but Gomes and Gueye are not good enough. I don't know how there are rumors about PSG wanting Gana Gueye?? He can not pass a ball forward and he can not shoot. Gueye is never going to be a solution for anyting. If we go for beeing a midtable team in the premier league he is a good choice. But he will never be a man for the top clubs. He is a good ballwinner and he can pass sideways and backwards, thats it.

Once again 4-2-3-1 does not work. So please stop playing this formation. It can only work with a strong striker like Lukaku or Mitrovic.

Since our midfield is too weak the ball will enter the opponents penaltybox from the flanks. That require a strong striker for it too work. He needs to be good at positioning and rather be strong on his head.

We need a central midfielder that can pass the ball forward, we need a better striker and we need to change formation. We are way too predictable.

Paul Tran
58 Posted 05/01/2019 at 17:50:45
The shape's gone since Anfield, Steve. It's as if they've all deleted it. Teams can walk through us while knowing it's hard for us to get goals.
Kieran Kinsella
59 Posted 05/01/2019 at 17:54:06
Michael 47,

"The thing is, most of us who are "bashing" the young players are also bashing Siggi, Mina and Tosun amongst others. No paticular group is being singled out" ReallY? cause just today so far on ToffeeWeb I quickly came across these posts (and their are many, many, many more)

Calvert-Lewin's finishing... laughable

Davies is not good at this level either..

Tom Davies has gone downhill since that first season

Davies tried a 10-yard pass. It didn't work obviously since he only has a 5-yard passing range.

Calvert-Lewin is shocking

Solanke has a goal scoring record. Calvert-Lewin only has an extra surname.

Pretty sure Tom Davies is shit

Calvert-Lewin is class alright. Bottom of the class.

Davies, Calvert-Lewin both should be moved on – unfortunately they offer nothing.

what good would come from passing to Calvert-Lewin?

Sorry to say but neither Calvert-Lewin or Davies will never make it in the Premier League

Calvert-Lewin should be before the firing line

Davies is shit

Steve Ferns
60 Posted 05/01/2019 at 17:54:27
It’s hard for us to get goals because they all sit back nice and compact and block all the space and get tight to our players. We move the ball far too slowly and it makes it easier for the opposition to retain shape.

Whenever we play well we zip the ball about and pull the opposition out of shape and exploit the space.

I don’t know why we can’t get the tempo going. It doesn’t seem to matter who’s on the pitch, or who the manager is. We just can’t seem to get any sustained tempo for any period of time.

Dave Williams
61 Posted 05/01/2019 at 17:56:19
Excellent 25 minutes with sharp and accurate passing then we concede the type of goal fast becoming our trademark. The rest of the half was nervy when they had corners and half time came as a huge relief.

Once Gomes got going the second half got better as he knitted it together very well and we really should have scored a couple more.

Kenny has a good game and combined well with Lookman who could be very special if he gets a run in the team. I thought Bernard was very good and the centre-backs battled well against physical opposition.

No presence at centre-forward; Tosun had no impact whatsoever. Baines was fantastic for his first game in a while. Gana was good but Sigurdsson and Davies weren't!

I thought the effort was there apart from at 2-0 when we switched off.

Plenty of work to do but Bernard is looking sharper by the game now and Kenny and Lookman are a lot better than Coleman and Walcott.

Looking forward to 275 miles to get home!! We have a full 56-seater coach which had Baines MotM with Bernard second and thanks to the team here who organised it all.

Peter Jansson
62 Posted 05/01/2019 at 17:59:29
#61 I think Bernard is by far the most creative player we have. He is one of the few players showing progress at the moment.
Anthony Murphy
63 Posted 05/01/2019 at 18:03:40
We can take a breather this week after playing nine games in 35 days. Not making excuses, but I think the win today at least puts us into the next round and lets us focus just on beating Bournemouth.

Solanke will be out to prove a point, so we need to ensure it's not another Danny Ings scenario. We need a convincing home win and a clean sheet to reset Pickford and the defence generally.

Fran Mitchell
64 Posted 05/01/2019 at 18:05:05
We had no shape, no movement, and there seemed a real lack of any sort of game plan.

Davies was struggling to impose himself on the game, true, but I started thinking what is his role? You get no idea of what he is supposed to be doing, the lad is only 20 and has natural ability, but seems to be lost on the pitch

The interplay between the forwards after the Lincoln goal vanished. Lookman running and chasing, but no one moving, no one giving options. Then Bernard with the ball and the same thing. Siggy with the ball and the same. No movement, no-one pulling defenders out of position, no nothing. Just endless passing with no rhythm whatsoever.

Tosun came on and was isolated, and did nothing.

Gomes came on and was just as effective as Davies had been.

Baines' crossing seemed good, and Kenny did a good job.

Mina and Zouma didn't look comfortable together .

But what I saw, rather than look or blame individual players, was a complete lack of a game plan, a lack of ideas. That comes from the training pitch, that comes from the manager.

Silva has a lot to prove.

Mike Price
65 Posted 05/01/2019 at 18:08:05
Not too long ago we weren't too far behind them... now their 7th choice forward gets sold for £19 million. We wouldn't get that for Walcott, Tosun and Calvert-Lewin put together!

We don't have any presence, no one is imposing even our tall players are wimpy. Deeney, Doucoure, Mitrovic, Jonny Evans... we could have got them for less than our last January spend and we'd have better strikers and some steel.

John Pierce
66 Posted 05/01/2019 at 18:08:22
Ferns is right. Tempo and ball pace. The moment we turn it up we look far better.

Hopelessly fragile at the back, not having a centre back who can handle the ball hurts us so much in games like this.

Lincoln looked very comfortable at the speed we played.

The one player who wants to play with tempo, Lookman gets visibly frustrated when his teammates prefers safe and steady.

He’s always looking for one twos, round the corner. A game based very much on dribbling and movement.

I’d offer the rest aren’t up to it.
It came up on the live forum Everton don’t have defensive coach?
Is this true?
If it is, then that’s a shocking oversight from a manager who looks bereft on the defensive part of the game.

Paul Tran
67 Posted 05/01/2019 at 18:09:12
I think that's Davies's main problem, Fran. Under Koeman, he was willing to play anywhere to fill gaps. I'm never sure what his role is when he's on the pitch and I wonder how much of an idea he has.
Jim Bennings
68 Posted 05/01/2019 at 18:09:14

We already look like we are in the first week of May, we look fucked and with no Europa League, my question is Why?

They are so unfit – it's unbelievable for a team of Premier League millionaires with the supposed great fitness programmes etc.

Paul Tran
69 Posted 05/01/2019 at 18:10:19
They're perfectly fit, Jim. They're playing with no purpose. There's a huge difference between the two.
Kieran Kinsella
70 Posted 05/01/2019 at 18:11:59
Fran Mitchell

I agree. I think Silva is doing a bit of a Sven Goran Eriksson, eg, picking who he thinks are the best 11 players regardless of how they mesh together.

I think one issue is that Davies is good in and around the box making cute passes etc but I am not sure there is a place for someone to do that role if we have a Number 10. Similarly, I think Bernard thrives more in the territory the Number 10 occupies and isn't a real winger. So I think those 3 suffer to an extent because they are treading on each others toes or being played out of position.

At centre-half, I think it always takes a while for the centre-backs to build a good understanding. Also critical is their understanding with the keeper. At the minute, it doesn't seem as if Silva knows his best central defensive line-up, and partly cause we have new faces, partly because of chopping and changing, their is no understanding between them.

John Keating
71 Posted 05/01/2019 at 18:12:25
Colin 52
Early season pace and excitement

What games did you see that in?

We've been crap since the opener against Wolves; we couldn't see the game out. Bournemouth, we couldn't see the game out

Maybe it was against Huddersfield, Soton, Fulham etc that you saw this excitement? If so you were the only one.

Since Wolves we've been in transitional fatigue.

Apart from a few brief periods in games, we have been shite.

Jim Bennings
72 Posted 05/01/2019 at 18:13:05
Mike Price,

I'd take Deeney in a heartbeat and before people say it, yes it's that bad!

We have strikers that don't do anything at all, they don't run, they don't get involved in physical battles, the ball control is awful and the likelihood of getting goals from them is remote.

At least Deeney lets defences know they've been in a game.

Michael Lynch
73 Posted 05/01/2019 at 18:13:18
Kieran@59 - Just from a quick glance through 60 or so posts on this thread:

Tosun for £27M has to be the most expensive flop ever.

Richarlison and his constant diving.

Gueye is never going to be a solution for anything

Lookman and his face like a smacked arse.

Gomes reminds me of a Portuguese Ray Wilkins, 2,000 passes a game almost all sideways.

Many of these players are bottlers and Richarlison is a baby!

Since Gomes and Bernard became 1st team regulars, our football has gone slow and predictable

What did Gueye contribute?

Gana's passing!?!?

See what I mean? Everyone gets flack. You're seeing what you want to see. And if Davies and Calvert-Lewin are getting more flack than most, then it's because they've been more ineffectual than most. Silva must agree, he hooked both of them at half-time.

Tony Hogan
74 Posted 05/01/2019 at 18:16:23
Colin (52) you should have said, since Gana became a first choice regular our game has become slow and predictable. He has the most possession and gives the ball away most, vastly overrated and preventing better creative players from having any influence on the game.

Like Peter mentions a transfer to PSG, do me a favour, although it seems some here on ToffeeWeb think he is our best player.

Denis Richardson
75 Posted 05/01/2019 at 18:16:56
Only aim of this game was to be in the hat for the next round.

I’ll take a poor performance and win over vice versa any day.

Kieran Kinsella
76 Posted 05/01/2019 at 18:17:05
Michael 73,

It's imbalanced. You get one or two criticisms for 90% of the players but day after day after day Davies and Calvert-Lewin are getting crucified by multiple people.

Steve Ferns
77 Posted 05/01/2019 at 18:17:36
They are playing the same as they did at the end under Martinez, as they did under Koeman, and under Allardyce. The confidence is shot. They look lethargic and scared.

It's not a lack of game plan. They go out and run about and move, and then at the first sign of trouble they stop doing it. It's not the manager. It's the players. They're all terrified. The manager isn't telling them to stand around like statues, to take 4 touches and kill the ball to walking pace. It's the players.

If we get a head of steam, get the crowd going, then we play good stuff. But all it takes, and all it took, is one mistake and it's back to terrified football once more. At 2-0 we should have kicked up a gear and blown them away 7-0 like Spurs.

The manager can only do so much. It's not FIFA 19, he doesn't control the players. He was doing his nut in on the side-lines nearly all game long and screaming at them to move. He can only do so much.

Michael Lynch
78 Posted 05/01/2019 at 18:18:05
Kieran, as I just added to my post, Calvert-Lewin and Davies were both hooked at half time, which kind of suggests Silva wasn't impressed with their contribution either. It's hardly surprising they get the most grief.
Michael Lynch
79 Posted 05/01/2019 at 18:19:20
Steve, with all due respect, that's not what you were saying when Sam was in charge "it's the player not the manager". I think it must be the manager too. Both with Sam and with Silva.
Kieran Kinsella
80 Posted 05/01/2019 at 18:19:56
Paul Tran 67,

I think Calvert-Lewin suffers from the same thing. Happy enough to play out wide on the left or right, behind the striker, as the striker, wherever Koeman, Sam or Silva put him. It's hard to master your craft if you don't have a set role.

In a similar vein, I think Phil Neville would have been more respected if we used him as just a solid right-back. But Moyes would stick him in midfield, left-back, wherever. Then he started getting flack from fans because he was a Jack of all trades, Master of none. Kind of unfair to the player, in my opinion.

Christy Ring
81 Posted 05/01/2019 at 18:20:02
Steve @56,

Gueye is a defensive midfielder, I agree he should be sitting in front of the back four, and let Gomes and Sigurdsson, who aren't playing well at the moment, play with more freedom, and more forward.

Lincoln had nothing to lose today, you have to give them credit, but we do need a striker, and sadly, Davies and Calvert-Lewin, were poor and being taken off at halftime against a team 3 divisions lower, says a lot.

Colin Malone
82 Posted 05/01/2019 at 18:20:22
Half-way through the second half, the Lincoln sub ran out the dugout and told their goalkeeper to go down, which he did. Then all the Lincoln players were called over for directions from the coach.

First time I've seen this. Is it allowed?
Sam Hoare
83 Posted 05/01/2019 at 18:20:47
I expect us to play better when the team have some more rest and the coaching setup some more time in training.

We won today and, though it wasn't pretty or comfortable, neither was it lucky as some have suggested. We had twice as much possession, shots and shots on target. An inglorious performance but job done.

We've had a very rocky month or two. It's time to see what ability Silva (and Brands) possesses to get a wayward ship back on course.

Steve Ferns
84 Posted 05/01/2019 at 18:23:24
Christy, he is a defensive midfielder, but he is not a holding midfield. He never holds, he never sits. He leaves massive gaps. He's so easy to pass around. He's woeful in possession. ,P.We need at least one midfielder who does sit in there and protects the defence and can recycle the play. Gomes is trying to do this, but it's not his game, he needs such a player behind him so he can be the creative force we are badly lacking.
Colin Wordsworth
85 Posted 05/01/2019 at 18:23:45
John, how about Arsenal, Man Utd, Bournemouth away when we played well without the result. and had no luck whatsoever?

The incorporation of Gomes and Bernard, who scored a goal today and has provided one assist all season, have changed the forward motion and chemistry of the team.

Paul Tran
86 Posted 05/01/2019 at 18:24:55
Kieran #80, you're right about Calvert-Lewin. Both he and Davies need a defined role.
Brent Stephens
87 Posted 05/01/2019 at 18:28:38
Collectively far too slow and laboured. Individually not impressive at all, except perhaps for Baines and Kenny, and Bernard in patches.

Great away support from the Lincoln fans. Take a bow.

Striker, striker, striker – please. Calvert-Lewin tries but...

Steve Ferns
88 Posted 05/01/2019 at 18:31:38
Paul, Davies needs to play instead of Gueye, not with him. He and Gueye cannot play in the same team together.

We are missing a player who does everything Schneiderlin is meant to do. Someone who sits in front of the back four, breaks up play (but not by charging around the pitch and leaving gaps like Gueye), and moves the ball forwards quickly with one or two touches. He also needs to be tall to head the ball away.

Then you can implement Gomes and Sigurdsson (in a deeper role alongside Gomes) in a trio with said holding midfielder behind them. This player would give us the shape and the tempo we need. We also need a striker the ball can stick to, who can attack the crosses and put the ball in the back of the net.

We have enough quality elsewhere to run the top 6 close, and if we're lucky, to break into the top 6. But without these two players, we will leak goals and concede goals, and it doesn't matter what the game plan is, we will only win if we're lucky.

Dave Abrahams
89 Posted 05/01/2019 at 18:32:25
Well, we got through, but that zonal marking and Pickford at corners, free-kicks and centres give a big proportion of the crowd palpitations, Pickford (Rickford) is not learning at all, rooted to his line instead of going out and attacking the ball. At the moment, he is a handicap to the team.

I thought Baines, Kenny, Lookman and Bernard played well as did Gueye except for the obvious. Did Mina upset Zouma's game? He certainly upset my stomach, the team looks absolutely mentally fragile under the least bit of pressure.

A couple of strong (physically and mentally) players are needed in January. I hope Brands begs, borrows or steals them; we are in trouble otherwise.

Kieran Kinsella
90 Posted 05/01/2019 at 18:36:54
Mental weakness is an issue. You expect it with youngsters but Gomes and Keane have both spoken publicly about their fragile confidence affecting their home life. Maybe we have too many introverts and deep thinkers. We need a Jack the Lad with thick skin.
Paul Birmingham
91 Posted 05/01/2019 at 18:44:46
Credit to Lincoln, and they stuck to their game plan.

Glad to be in the bag for the 4th round and that's a step further than last season and let's hope for a home draw in the next round.

Baines slotted in well and looked like he's never been away. Overall it's the same as the games since the derby, bar Burnley, we are huff and puff and I see not enough, belief, stamina, desire, game plan and team work.

It seems the players don't have the fitness and desire to stick at the game and blitz the opposition.

Lincoln were always in it, another game where thank God, we weren't taken to, a replay.

The defence / team need to look at how they mark players, as it seems they are marking no one and inviting trouble at every dead ball.

Schoolboy marking and until it gets sorted we will lose more than we win, as until we find a proven goal scorer, we won't be scoring goals too many goals,

Seems Tosun has lost what confidence he had left, and is going down the Barndoor Barlow path..

Let's hope for a good draw as this could be our year.. it's about time!

Marco Silva will have learnt about his squad today and perhaps Marcel Brands too will know who'll be on the loan and outgoing transfer list.

Let's hope this is a base for a rapid improvement in Everton performances.

Enjoy the night TWrs, we've won which is something to savour these days, even though it was Lincoln..

Paul Tran
92 Posted 05/01/2019 at 18:48:27
Steve #88, I'd trade Gueye & Davies for that physically imposing passer in midfield, with Gomes & Sigurdsson in front of them. But if Man City can't replace Fernandinho, it's going to be hard for the rest of us!
Jerome Shields
93 Posted 05/01/2019 at 18:49:50
The same old weaknesses are giving us problems.

Lincoln had O'Connor and Shackell play a high defensive line to break up play in midfield and were successful; all play was forced down the channels. Davies and Gueye forced into inaccurate long passes, Sigurdsson isolated, Davies too lightweight.

Silva's substiutes just reinforced this problem as Richarlison and Tosun couldn't threaten and poor passing and possession added to the impass in midfield.

Three Everton players at the set pieces were way off getting to the ball first before Bostwick. Coaching for set-pieces is nonexistent. I am sick of crosses from that wing and opposition forwards stealing between two defenders, at least he didn't look a dwarf this time, but didn't have to jump much.

Silva is a poor coach; in the second half, Everton where lucky to hold on.

Colin Glassar
94 Posted 05/01/2019 at 18:51:34
I fell asleep at HT and have just woken and seen the final score. Was it that bad? It sounded (live forum) pretty grim.

I’m angry, and concerned, but we are going to have to stick with this guy. No more chopping and changing for at least another 11 months, please.

David Pearl
95 Posted 05/01/2019 at 18:54:29
I'd like to see Walcott up front next game please. Take away his defensive responsibility, apart from pressing. Wasted wide right.

Apart from that, it was nice to see Bainesy. I thought he was quite fluent. Silva has had enough time now so it's about time he knew what he was doing.

And for the record, I'd prefer Allardyce as manager if it meant we had more points. In no way is he responsible for our current slop. We find ourselves with the cup to play for and in no-man's land in the league. I trust Brands will shake things up early in the summer window so we can get off to a flyer... Ha!

John Pierce
96 Posted 05/01/2019 at 18:54:45
Steve, the players you say?

Silva bought or authorized the loan purchase of about half that team today against a League Two side. He is fully accountable for the team he picks. He has some admirable traits and the football can be good to watch but it's his own shortcomings which are killing the team.

He's trying to make a team who cannot execute his tactics play stuff that's beyond them. Throttle it back get some solidity and work from there. Until he either replaces them or coaches improvements into them.

He is slitting his own throat by his stubbornness to ignore the defensive frailties we have at set-pieces. That's key here. The players aren't comfortable with it; stop negating their abilities by making them play a system they both dislike and aren't very good at.

It might be unpopular but you did say something I think might help. Schniederlin, Gomes and Sigurdsson might be worth a look. But the man has to show us he can learn. At the moment, for me, he has a big spade and just is digging his own grave.

A shame.

Colin Glassar
97 Posted 05/01/2019 at 18:56:21
Paul, his name is Doucoure but he would appear to be bound for PSG. Dembele (Spurs) would be a good, short-term option.
Julian Exshaw
98 Posted 05/01/2019 at 18:56:40
Such negativity on here! Is anyone actually happy we won??

I thought we were okay for the large part but seriously lacking the final ball when we were in good positions. Gomes did a hell of a lot of work when he came on and Gana never stopped.

We badly need a striker and, as much as I like Kenny and Coleman, a new right-back.

Let's stay positive!!

Martin Nicholls
99 Posted 05/01/2019 at 18:57:17
Dave Williams #61,

I thought I'd been to a different game to the vast majority of posters on here but, if so, you did too, as I agree with your comments entirely. Many of the posts on here border on hysteria – yours is by far the most balanced and fair summary.

Paul Swan
100 Posted 05/01/2019 at 19:01:14
I think we started off with the correct attitude today and they could not live with us for the first 20 minutes. The passing and movement was good and we had them pinned back.

However, then it was either overconfidence or the usual suspects stopped showing for the ball and we let them off the hook. The passing went away but I really think this was because they stopped showing for the ball and started hiding again. This forces risky balls and we lost possession time after time.

Mina was bullied into conceding the free kick leading to the goal where he was actually the victim of the first foul from what I saw but this sort of thing should have been sorted out on the training pitch. We have enough coaches with FA cup experience to tell the likes of Mina what to expect from lower league forwards and also lower standard referees who let a lot more things go than they do in the Premier League. He was stupid to get caught giving a free kick in that area where it was a nap that the goalkeeper will watch the ball getting pumped into the box without coming for it and the defenders, as usual in the last few games, react slowly to the knockdown.

I thought we got back to some better possession and movement in the middle of the second half but we're so wasteful with the chances it was always going to be nervy at the end when we didn't take any of them.

I just wish we could get players who can maintain a constant level of good performance for 90 minutes rather than 10 minutes reasonable then the rest mediocre. Still... banana skin avoided!

Peter Jansson
101 Posted 05/01/2019 at 19:02:01
What about this? Schneiderlin in instead of Gana as a holding defensive midfielder. Then we could set the team up like this:

Kenny - Mina, Zouma or Keane (2 of them) - Baines
Lookman - Gomes - Sigurdsson - Digne

In other words 4-1-4-1 with Schneiderlin as a holding midfielder. Then maybe we could find more offensive solutions in the middle and get a clean sheet once in a while.

Dave Brierley
102 Posted 05/01/2019 at 19:02:15
This current side is one of the most, if not the most, frustrating we've ever had. There's so much ability and style in flashes and then we revert to a mind-numbing pattern of play that's infuriating by comparison.

The inability to pass to a teammate, which Gueye has always demonstrated along with many others, is now becoming the norm for quality players like Gomes who, in his earlier games, was a meticulous passer. It's almost like he watches the others and then thinks "Oh right, that's the way you guys play. I'll join in."

Hate to say it, but my natural enthusiasm is wavering for any success in the Premier League or FA Cup right now.

On a positive note, Bainsey was outstanding today and has to have a part to play in the future. I'd love to see him and Digne together in the same team with Bernard.

Jim Bennings
103 Posted 05/01/2019 at 19:03:18
Walcott does deserve a shot at playing up front, I mentioned that on another thread this morning.

This is a player that scored double figures every season at Arsenal and, no matter what people say, he's 100 times the player Calvert-Lewin or Tosun are.

It's just not happening for Walcott out wide where the expectation is on him to beat the full back, it's not working for him at all our on the wing also not helped by Coleman's disgraceful form for six months.

Do away with this stupid belief that we should “give a run” up front for Calvert-Lewin or Tosun, no no and no, they have had more than enough game time and they consistently show that they are NOT going to be good enough.

Peter Jansson
104 Posted 05/01/2019 at 19:05:54
#102: I agree, it might be a good option to play Walcott as a forward.
Charles McCann
105 Posted 05/01/2019 at 19:06:13
Some very poor individual performances today, particularly Tosun Sigurdsson and Davies, but very worrying is Pickford. He never commands his 6-yard box so we are so susceptible to crosses into the box. Doesn't help that there is no competition for his place because Stekelenburg is useless too.

Before conceding that goal we were actually playing some decent football. We then lost confidence dramatically after they scored. The introduction of our subs did nothing to strengthen us in fact I think we got worse.

Without doubt man of the match had to be Baines. A super performance — maybe Digne and Baines could play together on the left side? I thought Lookman played fairly well along with young Kenny.

Some positives in today's display but plenty of things for Silva to sort out.

Jeff Armstrong
106 Posted 05/01/2019 at 19:33:49
Yeh, let's play with two left-backs – that'll confuse the opposition.

Just cos Baines came in and played well, some on here want to shoehorn both him and Digne into the same team... Unbelievable!

[And some think Silva is a shit manager...]

Peter Jansson
107 Posted 05/01/2019 at 19:41:50
Jeff (#107) – spare the crap bullshit, man. It might work good with Baines and Digne in the same team.
Paul McGinty
108 Posted 05/01/2019 at 19:42:25
Pickford is a shot stopper but his lack of command is not improving. No wonder every defensive corner is an adventure. He has to help the defenders and come for crosses when it's his ball to take. His default position is on the goal line.

Thank God Lincoln made a balls of their corner in the 92nd minute. I was fearing the worst at that point.

Onwards and upwards.

Michael Lynch
112 Posted 05/01/2019 at 19:46:54
I agree, Jeff, Baines was head and shoulders above anyone else on the pitch in my opinion, but that doesn't mean we should re-arrange the formation just to fit him in.

The fact is, we were playing a fourth division team. I would have expected him to look good. For the same reason, I was disappointed with Calvert-Lewin, Siggi, and particularly Lookman, who I thought would look world class against such poor opposition.

And yes, Lincoln were poor opposition. Fine, praise them for the work they did – after the first 20 minutes their game plan was excellent and every player put in 100%, but our players should look incredible in this company; we should have totally destroyed them – in performance if not necessarily in the score. They are Fourth Division!

But some on here seem to think it was a decent result against tricky opposition. Nope, if we'd hit the bar six times and their goalie had played a blinder you might be able to make that case, but they barely broke sweat against £350M worth of Premier League squad.

Very poor stuff.

Clive Rogers
113 Posted 05/01/2019 at 19:47:33
Silva has put a lot of faith in both Calvert-Lewin and Davies, but today's woeful performance from those two shows that faith is misplaced. Having to be pulled at half-time against Lincoln is a disgrace.

They both made their debuts in 2016 and are approaching 70 appearances. They have had their chances. Both are worse players today than when they came into the team.

If Silva persists with them, they will cost him his job. They are not going to make it and we can't afford to wait any longer.

Charles McCann
114 Posted 05/01/2019 at 19:50:02
I don't think it's that outrageous an idea Jeff. I'd say Digne would quite comfortably fit in on the left wing. The way Sigurdsson played today, I'd be tempted to push Bernard into his position in the centre with Lookman on the right.

It was only a suggestion, Jeff. No need to be so fucking nasty in response.

John Hammond
115 Posted 05/01/2019 at 19:52:44
Jim #104: Walcott has had more than enough game time and has been largely dreadful when in on goal to the point where it looks like he knows he won't score so half-arses the shot.

He's been played as a forward before at Arsenal and it's mostly been a failure if my memory serves me correct. Regarding his stats, he's only reached double figures twice in the league and four times in all competitions.

Bill Watson
116 Posted 05/01/2019 at 19:56:53
Today's game proved, beyond any doubt, that Calvert-Lewin and Tosun will never hack it at Premier League level and neither will Davies.

A proven goalscorer is a dire necessity.

Jay Harris
117 Posted 05/01/2019 at 20:00:42
I looked at Lincoln today and thought to myself "They are all Heart and desire". That is exactly what we are missing.

The only players who put themselves about today were Baines, Bernard, Kenny and Lookman. The rest might as well have been rowing a slow boat to China.

It was embarrassing to see a so-called top Premier League side largely out-fought and out-thought by a League Two side. Never have I seen such praying for the final whistle.

We have conceded 11 goals from dead-balls this season — the worst in the Premier League — despite spending £60M on two new centre-backs.

If Silva cannot get a tune out of these players, he has to go.

Jay Harris
118 Posted 05/01/2019 at 20:03:02
On another note... What has happened to Gomes?

Does he have a split personality?

The other week, he was walking on water; now, he looks as if he is treading cement.

John Boon
119 Posted 05/01/2019 at 20:09:58
(1) Totally agree with Jim Benning 104. I would like to see Walcott given at least a chance up front. He couldn't be any worse than what we have.

(2) I have always felt that we need to give younger players their chance to prove themselves. Unfortunately none of those players have taken that chance after numerous opportunities. They all have the credentials to be able to play at a level below the Premier and we would be helping their careers by letting them leave.

(3) Lack of a decent Striker has significantly detracted from any chance of being anything but mediocre.

(4) We need a competent right-back. Professional football can be cruel, but Seamus is just not the exceptional player that he was and Kenny is a hard working lad with very limited skills.

(5) Despite the generally negative responses to today's game, we were miles better than Lincoln, as we should be. Without playing as a team, we still had some sublime moments of skill demonstrated mainly by Lookman, Bernard and Gomes.

(6 7 8 9 to infinity) We need a Striker (repeated many many times). As a stop-gap, try Walcott.

Eddie Dunn
120 Posted 05/01/2019 at 20:12:11
I totally agree with Steve Ferns. We did enough and Lincoln played really well to stay in it. We have struggled all season against massed ranks of defenders but I thought we showed patience and nous as we tried to prise them open. With a tiny bit of luck, we could have buried them.

Our achilles heel is ironically (with such big brutes at centre-half) our defence at set -pieces. Zonal marking has to be shelved at set plays, it is encouraging mis-matches and disaster.

And to the many howlers of how shite we were... I have witnessed in our glory years, many games of diabolical shite on our way to cup and league glories.

Peter Jansson
121 Posted 05/01/2019 at 20:18:14
Stop blaming Gomes for having ups and downs. He plays with Gana Gueye. A man simply not fit for playing football. He is only fit for hunting a football. How is Gomes ever going to have a good team with Gana Gueye? It will not work. Gana is simply not good enough.

If Gana is so good, how come he got relegated with Aston Villa? Our midfield problems start with Gana Gueye.

And where is the logic? Baines was maybe the best one on the field today so let's put him on the bench against Bournemouth? What kind of bullshit logic is this? Our best players should be playIng – not on the bench.

Steve Ferns
122 Posted 05/01/2019 at 20:23:21
Eddie, can you imagine ToffeeWeb in 1984 after the University College Dublin game? #KendallOut
Ed Prytherch
123 Posted 05/01/2019 at 20:24:40
Bill, I expected post #113 to be FUCK
Eddie Dunn
124 Posted 05/01/2019 at 20:26:05
Hahah Steve, indeed, Cup football is simply about getting through, not hammering teams 7-0.
Darren Hind
125 Posted 05/01/2019 at 20:27:50
I'm still laughing at the nonsense being spouted about Calvert-Lewin and Davies.

We were much better when they were on the park in the first half... you know, when we won the game. Funny that.

I think people claiming they are not Premier League players are making complete toby jugs of themselves. The facts would suggest otherwise.

Jon Ferguson
126 Posted 05/01/2019 at 20:28:40
I only listened to the game on the radio but it sounded like Baines played well. Digne has mostly been excellent, and whilst Gana is great at winning back possession he is largely poor with it.

There was talk under Martinez of moving Baines to centre mid. Do people think that would work, allowing us to get a couple of extra seasons out of him? I love Baines as a professional.

Tony Abrahams
127 Posted 05/01/2019 at 20:29:03
Baines should be playing first-team football for someone, in the twilight of his career. Never been the best defender but his “give and goes” and his running off the ball, have always been of the highest order, and it was a pleasure to watch him today.

I thought Bernard was very good in patches: always alert, always on the move, and every time he went out of the game, then I thought Everton went flat.

Back to Baines and if it's true that football is an easy game, then it's always been the players who do things that bit quicker, that are the hardest to play against, and I really enjoyed his football brain today.

Paul Tran
128 Posted 05/01/2019 at 20:29:08
Jay #119, Gomes has had little football over the past year and has come into an intense league with no 'gimme' matches. I'm not surprised he's looking knackered, especially as he's had a knock. I'd expect him, Mina & Bernard to improve in time. Bring physically fit is one thing, it's another to be physically & mentally match fit.
Ed Prytherch
129 Posted 05/01/2019 at 20:32:41
I hope that Silva at least gives Baines a run out at right-back in practice. His game today was better than either Seamus or Jonjoe have produced this season. I also think that Lookman was better than Walcott has been this term.
Tony Everan
130 Posted 05/01/2019 at 20:35:46
Gana Gueye is infuriating, a fantastic ball winner and then virtually totally incompetent at passing. To get to top 6 there can be no weak links. Constantly giving the ball away will result in being punished and being put under unnecessary pressure. I mean, whats the point of winning the ball, if you're going to give it back with the next errant pass?

If McCarthy is fit put him in the middle with Gomes.

It puts players out of position and saps confidence.

It's not just Gana, a few other senior men with more technical talent are guilty, Walcott/Bernard's passing needs to improve.

Kenny is a player I like, his enthusiasm is infectious, and he commits himself to the cause every game. With his inexperience and the odd error, I still prefer him to Seamus [at the moment]. Kenny will improve too.

Dont get me started on not having a striker, and Walcott as No 9 doesn't appeal, didn't appeal to Wenger, hasn't to Silva .

We need a proper striker; as has been said, the whole team has suffered for 2 years since Lukaku went. The reality is we are toothless up front since Lukaku quit. Without a top-class striker, we are treading water.

Mr Brands should be all over it, with the full backing of all who matter.

Dave Williams
132 Posted 05/01/2019 at 20:42:43

Baines and Bernard brought back memories of Pienaar/Baines today. Their interplay was some of the best football I have seen from us this season. Baines looked fresh and sharp and worth a look in training to see if he and Digne can work together on the left.

I'd leave right-back alone – Jonjoe Kenny had a good game and I'd persevere with him and Lookman.

Eric Paul
133 Posted 05/01/2019 at 20:48:39
Bill Watson @117

If you are using today's game as “proof “ none of them are good enough for League One as they struggled against a League Two side. As Darren @126 said Calvert-Lewin and Davies were part of the 11 that were winning.

Have you ever played or even watched football?

Peter Neilson
134 Posted 05/01/2019 at 20:54:40
Jim Bennings 103 - Seamus Coleman “disgraceful” . Get a grip.
Tony Everan
135 Posted 05/01/2019 at 21:01:20
Dave, I thought that Baines was a breath of fresh air today, especially as it was his first start for a long time. I too would like to see Silva including him. I see no reason why Digne won't be a success at left midfield.

Peter's team #101 has a solid look to it, but I would put McCarthy in there instead of Schneiderlin. There is a player in Schneiderlin somewhere, he just has never fully committed to EFC.

Neil Copeland
136 Posted 05/01/2019 at 21:05:10
Dave #133, I agree and I thought the same after watching Baines.

I never expected an easy passage today and all things being considered I thought we did okay. I didn't think that for all their effort, Lincoln looked like getting a second and we looked more likely to score. All that matters in a cup game is the result which went our way and deservedly so.

I hate the zonal marking, it invites forwards to come running in to meet a cross and gives them the advantage. Much prefer man to man marking. Really wish Marco would drop this approach.

Tosun needs to go, nice fella with a good work rate but not got the talent for this level. I would send Tom Davies out on loan and re-assess in the summer. Calvert-Lewin needs to stay as back up until we can get 2 decent strikers in, then, unless he suddenly improves, I would sell.

We have 8 days now until the next game so need to make the most of it and work on our link-up play and moving the ball forwards quickly.

Paul Birmingham
137 Posted 05/01/2019 at 21:10:35
Let's see which team starts v Bournemouth. The tempo, focus and desire will have to intense as they will punish us, for any self inflicted errors.

A good chance to look at their strikers, and set up, andthe recent games have been close. No doubt the ex RS forward and loaned RS right back, will be out to make a point, and Sod's law, ex RS, normally stick one on us.

I'm 100%, in support of the manager, 20 odd games is nothing, and I'm not taking the preseason games into the review to date, but at the same time the team needs to get some basic game plan and on pitch management.

Basic defensive duties aren't being done, and the zonal making isn't working and we invite trouble and free efforts on goal from dead balls.

Pickford looks like his confidence is fading by each game, but he's young and learning his trade, but Time to get back to basics. The defence today looked nervous and unbalanced and it showed with this goal.

But the team needs to form and stick to game plans, and show controlled fury and passion to go for the kill. The striker situation, is huge, so as Jim has said, try Walcott upfront, and let Mola have a run in the team.

Great to get a win, but let's pray for a good home draw, in the next round. Time to stand up and be counted and show professional pride. That's the minimum we should get as default every game.

Not all the players show this, and we need a captain with guts and the nark, to hold the team together on the pitch. Let's see if the January sales can deliver EFC, some salvation for the second half of this season.

Eddie Dunn
138 Posted 05/01/2019 at 21:11:07
Gueye is a bit of an enigma. He has incredible energy, covers lots of ground and destroys so many opposition attacks and yet he often can't put a simple pass to a teamate's feet. He often gives the ball away. His stats would have us believe he is in the Kante class, but stats aint everything.

It was noted many times last season how he and Schneids just couldn't play in the same midfield together. Now people are suggesting he and Davies can't combine. Perhaps Gueye is the problem? A conundrum for both us amature coaches and Mr Silva.

As for Gomes. He has technical ability (as does Schneiderlin) but he has been running on Velcro for weeks. He has no pace and no shot, yet looks great on the ball pushing it this way and that, and hitting some delicious 60-yard diagonal balls.

Our midfield still needs a player like Madisson, with "Go-forward" and a shot in his locker.

We are work in progress, for sure but not as bad as we all feared.

David Thomas
139 Posted 05/01/2019 at 21:13:30

Do you honestly think Tom and Dominic are good enough? Or are you just trying to back them to the hilt because others are questioning their quality?

They are by no means our only poor players at the moment but, in my opinion, they are nowhere near good enough.

James Doran
140 Posted 05/01/2019 at 21:19:02
I’ve said it before, but Gana’s inability to hit the vast majority of his passes and shots with the correct weight, direction and trajectory is all that prevents him from being labelled ‘the complete defensive midfielder’.
Brian Wilkinson
141 Posted 05/01/2019 at 21:25:45
We need to get rid of this zonal marking once and for all; we've had long enough now to give it time, but simply is not working and making our defenders look like mugs.

We certainly need a top class centre-forward if we want to make the next level, Tosun and Calvert-Lewin will never get into double figures, although Calvert-Lewin for most parts was more on the wing than in the box, for me, we need that centre-forward who can make those runs and get into the box and do some damage.

Gueye has taken some flack but for me Tom Davies is the one who slows play down, sometimes like a headless chicken, I would let the guy go out on loan for more game time.

Great to see Baines have a stormer today, best player by a country mile today.

So there you have it: scrap zonal marking, ditch Tosun, Calvert-Lewin and Davies, get in one or two centre-forwards and things should pick up.

Neil Copeland
142 Posted 05/01/2019 at 21:31:08
Brian #141, seconded (see post #136). 😬
Chris Jenkins
143 Posted 05/01/2019 at 21:32:33
Another very poor display where we scrape a result by one goal against a League Two team, admittedly a good one, where we had the home advantage. Compare this to Spurs performance against Tranmere last night.

It highlights the gulf in talent between two Premier League managers. Pochettino, who spent virtually nothing in the close season, a man who has proved time and time again, that he is arguably in the top three. Conversely Silva has achieved no real success whatsoever with three clubs in the Premier League and has spent very heavily in the summer.

The facts have to be faced, Silva was a mistake and we have to cut our losses and get rid before any more damage is done. I just can't see any progress if he continues – maybe that's why Brands says signings this month are unlikely.

The only positive from today was Baines's performance – hopefully he can carry on from here.

Neil Copeland
144 Posted 05/01/2019 at 21:37:33
Chris #143, and Spurs have won how many trophies with Pochettino?

Silva has had 20 or so games, give the man a break and time. It is ridiculous to suggest we need another change of manager.

Yes, Spurs were very convincing and we were not so but the end result is same - both teams are in the 4th round draw.

Anthony Dove
145 Posted 05/01/2019 at 21:41:58
Forgetting our shortcomings, which everyone is aware of, that was an entertaining game. Lincoln enjoyed their day in the sun. They didn't clog and they got a well-deserved reception at the end.

What was strange was their goalkeeper wasting time from the first minute onwards even when they were two goals down. The pre-planned cramp attack was one of the most amazing things I have seen on a football pitch. The referee had no idea what was going on at any stage in the game.

As I said, entertaining... but not necessarily for the right reasons.

Robert Williams
146 Posted 05/01/2019 at 21:43:31
They say it wasn't the manager's fault, it certainly was not Walcott's fault, nor Niasse, nor Coleman. Pickford perhaps could be at fault, as could Mina, Gana and Zouma.

It wasn't Baines's fault, nor Digne, nor Bernard and certainly not Lookman's. Was it Sigurdssons fault or Davies or Calvert Lewis?

Schneiderlin is always at fault but not this time - so who's fault was it; who exactly was responsible for this shite performance against lowly opposition?

It was and is MY fault for turning up week after week to suffer such mediocrity that is falsely marketed under the banner of 'Nil Satis, Nisi Optimum".

Mike Doyle
147 Posted 05/01/2019 at 21:45:24
In a game of extreme mediocrity Baines was the stand-out performer... and the best footballer on display.
Brian Wilkinson
148 Posted 05/01/2019 at 21:48:39
Spot on, Neil. I thought I was a minority of one.
Paul Curwen
149 Posted 05/01/2019 at 21:56:39
Anthony...Their goalie was only back from a calf injury... bit harsh to suggest he was time-wasting.
Don Alexander
150 Posted 05/01/2019 at 21:57:55
Displays like we're now seeing cannot be unseen by Moshiri. So what's the plan from him?

Hope that M&M can still transpose the huge pile of Finch Farm shite he now realises Kenwright palmed him off with, or dig deeper to provide funds to the two of them to really sign genuine top six players?

Jim Bennings
151 Posted 05/01/2019 at 22:04:21
Darren Hind

Are you related to Calvert-Lewin or is he pumping £10k in your bank account on a weekly basis?

The lad is painfully shite, he's 22 in March and I don't think I've ever seen him:

1) Hit a ball with any confidence or conviction;

2) Ever get his kit dirty.

As for Tom Davies?

Lived off the back of that goal vs Man City TWO YEARS AGO and has since offered all the drive and purpose of a tortoise going to feast on a Carolina Reaper.

Danny Broderick
152 Posted 05/01/2019 at 22:22:13

No doubt there were Spurs fans saying the same thing about Harry Kane when he was first put in the Spurs team. Not saying Calvert-Lewin will ever be as good as Kane. But he's a 21-year-old lad trying to make it in the best league in the world, and he definitely has something - he won the World Cup in his age range after all.

He hasn't had the loan spells that Kane had to sharpen up his game yet either. Maybe judge him after we have sent him on loan somewhere? Give him some time – and Davies, Kenny etc.

Bill Watson
153 Posted 05/01/2019 at 22:24:59
Ed #123

Certainly not! It was supposed to be 'first of all, well done to Lincoln for making a game of it.'

Eric # 133 I thought it was Premier League v League Two?

If it makes a difference to you yes, I have watched and played football. 61st season at Goodison but only played at works level so I suppose my opinion counts for little.

Darren is quite correct in that Calvert-Lewin, Tosun and Davies were playing for a side that was winning, albeit against a League Two side. The real question is if they are good enough to take Everton to a higher level and I'm afraid the answer to that is no. You don't need to have watched football for years, or to have played the game, to come to that conclusion. It's blindingly obvious!

Derek Taylor
154 Posted 05/01/2019 at 22:35:24
Maddison couldn't possibly be signed by Brands as he was only playing for an EFL team not Barca, Eddie @138! His favourite agents don't cover that league!
Jim Bennings
155 Posted 05/01/2019 at 22:37:16
Well he can try and make his way playing for someone like Cardiff.

He's not good enough for a club that's spending to try and finish in the top 6/7 let's be honest.

He's 22 in March, we can't be waiting 5 years just for another poor imitation like Anichebe, Cadamarteri etc.

At 22, he should be busting a gut but he doesn't even work hard enough to get in games anymore.

Anthony Dove
156 Posted 05/01/2019 at 22:41:24
He was told to go down and the team then had a 4 minute coaching session on the touchline. The ref still only added 4 minutes in total.

Sometimes people need to enjoy a different side to a game and give the constant player bashing a rest. We are in the fourth round so save the vitriol for another day.

Jason Wilkinson
157 Posted 05/01/2019 at 22:47:32
Can't please some (most) of you on TW. The majority were all for back to basics, win by any means to get the team back on to a more solid platform. Don't be fooled that Lincoln would be easier to play than Leicester or Bournemouth.

Into Round Four of the FA Cup. No apparent injuries and more work to do defending. 2-0 would have been far more palatable but with the shattered confidence of our squad (god knows why) a win is all that matters.

Marco must be ruthless with anyone not giving everything on the pitch. No more hoping for a miraculous improvement in the likes of Walcott or Richarlison as we have all hoped for in recent weeks. No show off you go and give someone else the chance to shine. Pickford included.

Mike Keating
158 Posted 05/01/2019 at 23:16:21
I watched Blackpool vs Arsenal (reserves) after the game and have to say, despite the final scoreline, that Silva should make our so-called stars see how players demonstrate their desire to win.

The Blackpool team never gave up. We showed no commitment and scraped a win. Blackpool lost by three clear goals but could have upset the Arsenal through sheer hard work.

I thought they were great – I thought we were pathetic.

John Reynolds
159 Posted 05/01/2019 at 23:18:00
When Seamie is holding the FA Cup aloft in May, all the hysterics will have forgotten that The Imps gave us a bit of a game in January. Believe.
Darren Hind
160 Posted 05/01/2019 at 23:19:03
Jim Bennings,

At 21, Calvert-Lewin has appeared in about 60 Premier League games. He has been fantastic filling in several positions in those games, but he is clearly not top draw. Anyone expecting him to perform like Kane or Vardy (you) clearly doesn't understand the game.

At 20, Tom Davies has appeared in nearly 70 Premier League games, He too has been fantastic filling in several positions. He is clearly not top draw either, so anyone expecting him to perform like Fernandinho (you) clearly doesn't understand the game.

The club has spent hundreds of millions on players, anybody who comes on here 2/3 times every day (you) to single out two players who cost nothing for criticism clearly doesn't understand the game.

At the ages of 21 and 20, the two players have appeared around 130 times in the Premier League. Neither know what it's like to finish bottom half. Anyone (you) trying to deny the facts and say they are not Premier League players clearly doesn't understand the definition of fact.

It's a go to criticism of yours, you don't quite grasp that we have senior players underperforming on an almost weekly basis so you hammer away at the same two kids.

It clearly bothers you to have it pointed out that they were on the pitch when we were playing so much better, when we actually won the game.

It would bother you even more if you had the sense to realise they had nothing to do with that abysmal second half, the goal we conceded, the mistakes at the back, the panicky clearances... luckily you don't. Like I said; You have no clue.

Neil Copeland
161 Posted 05/01/2019 at 23:29:27
John #159, I remember us beating the mighty University College Dublin 1-0 on aggregate on our way to lifting the European Cup Winners' Cup in 1985. We were poor in both games.

So yes, stranger things have happened and today may just be a turning point.

Mike Price
162 Posted 05/01/2019 at 23:32:20
It's sad and ridiculous that I'd swap our entire squad with Watford's! Our recruitment is our problem and it's going to keep weighing us down for years because you can't easily get rid of dross on £80k a week.

Unfortunately, they have unbelievable recruitment and that is what's fuelling a title push and seemingly routine Champions League qualification.

John Raftery
163 Posted 05/01/2019 at 23:41:47
It is interesting to note how a few of the peers of Calvert-Lewin, Lookman, Davies and Kenny are progressing with their careers at other clubs.

Walker-Peters at Spurs is making a favourable impression as is Maitland-Niles at Arsenal. Alexander-Arnold is a regular at the RS.

Why is it that these players are more highly rated by fans at their clubs than our young players are? Could it be they are in better teams with better coaches?

Paul Jeronovich
164 Posted 05/01/2019 at 23:43:16
Who gives a shit about the performance in the FA Cup? We're in the hat for round 4 and that's all that matters. Loads of smaller clubs raise their game anyway.

One scary thought though regarding Calvert-Lewin: in today's transfer market, he must be worth £30M-plus if Solanke has just been sold for £19M! Absolute madness.

Eric Paul
165 Posted 05/01/2019 at 23:55:39
Jim @151,

Were you one of the boo boys in the 80s who used to boo Kendall, Sharp, Reid and the lads?


Yes, 11 vs 11 but you choose to single certain players out for criticism: as I said, are you really watching!!!

Darren Hind,

Well fuckin said.

Michael Kenrick
167 Posted 06/01/2019 at 00:14:22
Good game, Darren, but you're in danger of making false statements that would, by your logic, suggest that you yourself don't understand the game.

Calvert-Lewin did not "cost nothing". Get your facts right, for fuck's sake.

And I would certainly dispute the statement that "Tom Davies... has been fantastic filling in several positions." He quite definitely has not been fantastic by any measure – and I'm pretty sure he only plays the one position.

From this, I conclude that you too don't understand the game. But better, please just give these ridiculous point-scoring battles a rest will you?

Christy Ring
168 Posted 06/01/2019 at 00:22:14
Steve @122

I remember it well, being Irish and an Evertonian, after the 0-0 draw in Dublin, UCD hit the bar late on at Goodison.We were so lucky, but thank god. They were some team, and the rest is history.... sadly because of Heysel.

Bill Watson
169 Posted 06/01/2019 at 00:43:31
Eric #165

I mentioned those three players because there's been a long-running debate, on TW, on whether they're good enough for where we aspire to get to.

This was their chance to really show us what they could do but they failed to show, so much so that Calvert-Lewin and Davies were withdrawn at half-time. Tosun came on for Calvert-Lewin but added little, if anything. Gomes, even operating below par, brings an assurance and calmness to midfield and has an eye for a pass that Tom can only dream of.

Darren mentions they've played 60-70 games but surely that's the point? They've had time to establish themselves but have failed to do so.

Ask yourself if any of the current top 6 would come in for any of them? If you're satisfied to jog along in mid-table, then fine; they'll do. If mediocrity floats your boat, then fine; they'll do... but I think we should be aspiring to more than that.

John Reynolds
170 Posted 06/01/2019 at 00:48:37
Jim Bennings - “disgraceful” and Seamus Coleman in the same sentence? Look it up in the dictionary and reconsider.
Roman Sidey
171 Posted 06/01/2019 at 00:52:07
Darren, that has to be one of the most hypocritical posts I think I've ever seen on ToffeeWeb. I would love to see some other things in your life you consider "fantastic". As Michael Lynch so fantastically said it earlier, "if you're in the first team, you're judged by first team standards".

I honestly think the opinions of some supporters would be better expressed if we weren't able to leave comments for 12 hours or so after the article has been published. The amount of crazy on this thread is astounding.

Baines has been going backwards since he was 29, and has a good game against League Two opposition and people think he should be "given a run" in the side. Yes, Baines has a good football brain. That is hard to lose. But, against Premier League sides, he's just not good enough any more.

My other gripe with Baines has been there for a very long time – he isn't a leader of men. He is in his 12th season at the club and he just seems to go along with things. Some of these players need a good dressing down for the way they're carrying themselves, and vets like Baines and Jags should be the ones to dole out said dressing down... yet you never see it or hear about it.

John Boon
172 Posted 06/01/2019 at 01:04:19
Darren (160) You are so often Be Hind on many of your comments. It is admirable that you are so supportive of our younger players. They need support, as does any young player. However, they will never progress if their faults are never pointed out.

At the present time, none of our younger squad have shown the kind of improvement that makes Everton fans feel confident that they have, or ever will have, the skills needed to play effectively in the Premier League.

I agree that they should not have to bear the sole responsibility for most of our losses. However, this season, there have been so few games that we can think of that they have been the main reason that we have won. Over many years of watching, I have seen Everton youngsters under the age of 20 show tremendous promise right from the start. Harvey, Royle and of course Rooney to name a few.

I agree that they should not have to put up with the anger vented towards them purely out of fans' frustration at our poor results. However, football is a cruel game, and, if things are not going well, poor play will result in valid criticism. It doesn't matter how young or old you are.

Let's not forget – they are being well paid. Far more than those supporters who have the audacity to disagree with your judgements of a game and the players taking part. Personally, I would be delighted if any of our younger brigade become superstars – or even very good Premier League players.

Why are you always so angry? We are all frustrated by poor results.

Paul Birmingham
173 Posted 06/01/2019 at 01:06:03
We are in the 4th round draw, which is a positive on last season. Let's see what the draw delivers, and hopefully we can progress. A home draw..

It's a tough time but we must live in hope, and every day is a good day. I'm made up we won, it's no mean feat, against the Champions elect in League Two.

But consistency is key; we need it... else EFC will not progress.

Well done, Baines, Kenny, Lookman, Zouma, and Gueye today — you gave your all.

To get the ethos of a proper and real EFC, turning up, week-in & week-out, is the target.

No more bullshit weekends; we live in hope. What now is reality?

Peter Jansson
174 Posted 06/01/2019 at 01:08:54
Tony #135.

Yes, I agree, I did not think about McCarthy. I think he is a good player. Everton with 4-2-3-1 has only worked with McCarthy on the field, never really at any other time. First season with Martinez.

I think we need a new striker, but don't forget that a team does not work until the defence and the midfield works. If you play as a striker and don't get proper support and passes, you simply does not score. You can run getting to good positions, but that does not help if you don't get the ball.

Begin to solve the midfield and more goals will come, even from half-decent strikers.


Stan Schofield
175 Posted 06/01/2019 at 01:37:32
I don't buy all the criticism of the younger players like Davies and Calvert-Lewin. We've been a dysfunctional side for a few years now, and these young players are expected to perform in amongst that dysfunction. I don't think it can ever work like that with inexperienced players.

I remember the great team of 69-70, most of the players having come through the youth ranks. But each of them was brought in to a well functioning team at the top, getting their experience playing alongside the very best players in the country who gelled brilliantly as a team. That's of course far from the case now.

Also, only a month or so ago, we had one of the best midfields in the country, so good it was called 'the 3 Gs' on ToffeeWeb: Gana, Gomes and Gylfi. But over the last month we've been shite as a team, with players not gelling and off-form, and now apparently the general tone on ToffeeWeb is that the midfield is shite. Suddenly it's questionable as to whether it's worth signing Gomes, Gana isn't a proper footballer, and Gylfi is a square peg in a round hole.

Yes, we've been shite for a month, but I think there's a big element of over-reaction when it comes to assessing individual performances within that overall shite. It seems that, no matter who we sign or bring through from the Under-23s, they suddenly become shite when the team fails to gel. Unless I'm missing something, I don't think football quite works like that.

Ed Prytherch
176 Posted 06/01/2019 at 01:38:05
Mike Keating - I cut and pasted your post to my son who is a Blackpool supporter and is in China for a short time. He will appreciate your insight.

What is even more impressive is that Blackpool play like that despite the owners that they have. We have a sugar daddy, for the time being.

Bill Watson
177 Posted 06/01/2019 at 02:20:09
Stan #175,

I agree with a lot of what you say but I don't think you can really call Tom Davies and Calvert-Lewin inexperienced and they certainly wouldn't have held down a starting place in the late 1960s side.

Also remember that West, Brown/Wilson, Kendall, Ball and Morrissey were bought in with players like Labone, Hurst, Wright, Harvey, Royle and Husband coming through the ranks. So, although most of the side did come from within, it was only just most. I think Keith Newton was also bought around that time, too.

Bobby Thomas
178 Posted 06/01/2019 at 02:23:59
If ever a player needed some time on loan it's Calvert-Lewin. I'd go as far as saying we need 2 strikers.

Anyone think Lorente from Spurs is gettable and can do something for us? I'm just throwing his name out for debate really. On loan or a 2-year deal, perhaps? He barely plays.

At least he knows the drill and can lead the line. Can get on the end of crosses as well, if the supply is right.

Long-term, a pacey bastard with movement and who nets is required. But that's for the summer. For now, any fucker that knows how to play striker will do.

Tony Williams
179 Posted 06/01/2019 at 02:24:04
I just cannot accept this zonal marking rubbish.

The goal is gaping, no-one on the posts, it's ridiculous.

Steve Brown
180 Posted 06/01/2019 at 04:26:34
I agree with Stan @ 175. Calvert-Lewin, Davies, Kenny and Lookman have been introduced into a team that has been dysfunctional for the last 4 years. As Stan rightly points out, integrating youngsters into a successful team where senior pros can support them is key.

At Everton, it is the senior pros who have been the problem – no accountability, delivery or leadership on the pitch and a collapse of standards. But somehow it is the youngsters who get attacked on here. I don't understand it and I don't respect it.

It it hard to ask for even more patience from fans when so many have clearly run out of it, but that is what is needed. There is massive turnover needed to reduce squad size and salaries, so we can bring in more players of the quality we signed this summer – who have all improved the squad.

First team squad players – Schneiderlin, Niasse, Tosun, Stecklenburg, Jagielka, maybe Baines and McCarthy.
Loanees – Mirallas, Martina, Pennington, Connelly, Vlasic, Onyekuru, Holgate, Dowell, Tarashaj, Bolasie, Garbutt, Robinson, Williams.
U-23s not on loan – Browning, Galloway ++

So 20+ players whose futures need to be resolved. That doesn't mean Silva can be absolved from blame – his zonal marking system is infuriating and results in full-backs marking the opponent's centre-halves at the front and back post. He is persevering with the same system when the squad's confidence had collapsed is stupid – they are nervous wrecks and terrified to take responsibility, so the manager needs to adjust the set up until that confidence comes back with results.

But the blame and responsibility for unpicking this massive mess does not lie with Calvert-Lewin, Davies, Lookman or any of the young players. They are learning their game under the worst circumstances. For the Klopp lovers on here, compare their challenge with the support Alexander-Arnold and Gomes get from being integrated into a well-functioning team. I don't regard either of them as being better quality than our youngsters.

Col Walker
181 Posted 06/01/2019 at 06:29:08
Bobby 178 - yes I'd have him.

Posted something on YouTube player ratings earlier about the standard of coaches and coaching.

To me, it seems that the Head Coach /Manager rarely sacks one of 'his team'. They seem to stay loyal to them even when it's blatantly obvious on the pitch that those coaches are not improving the players at all.

The obvious parallel is in business (non-sport). If you, as a Manager of people, have a weakness in your 'team', then the onus is upon you to train them better or ultimately replace them, as it's your name and reputation that's being dragged down.

Just seems to me that Everton managers don't seem to able to see that the coaches they employ are just not good enough and ultimately they will carry the can for it (but, with all the money involved plus another job almost certainly down the line, do they really care?) Look at Silva or Marinez — they took teams down and still got the Evertojn Job, so no pressure re failing!

I'd also like to see some stats on Everton before and after Big Dunc became first-team coach. He doesn't appear to be having a positive effect to me... but, then again, none of them do.

We need better players, yes, but we desperately need better coaches too! And I'd like to see an Everton manager do his job better in that regard, step up to the plate and be ruthless in the pursuit of better performances.

Darren Hind
182 Posted 06/01/2019 at 07:07:29

With regards to Davies; Read what I say, He is not top draw, but there are 4-5-6 different created by managers across midfield (depending on formations) and he has played in all of them. He's 20 and he already attacks better than Gana, or Schniederlin, already defends better than Sigurdsson and Bernard. That successive managers have been able to call on him to fill in in all areas because they trusted him more than highly paid senior professionals to do the job would suggest his contribution has indeed been fantastic. At least it does to me.

As for Calvert-Lewin, here's a couple of things I do understand.

1) Trying to play up top for a Premier League team is difficult for all but the very best players, but it's extra difficult at his age – where was Vardy and countless others at 21?

2) Playing up front alone, is possibly the most difficult job in the Premier League, very few (Costa springs to mind) can manage it. Even the world class strikers struggle in isolation – So why are people struggling to understand why a rookie, getting next to no service, isn't shining??

3) Calvert-Lewin is NOT a natural-born finisher. Wasn't, isn't, won't be. He is a forward, not a striker. He doesn't have a striker's instinct... If he does go on to fulfil his potential, it will be as a line leader. somebody to occupy defenders. He may not score the goals, but his presence will mean we will score more when he is on the pitch than we do when he's off it. That said, it is still reasonable to expect him to get into double figures.

I would be surprised if the overwhelming majority of posters didn't know we paid a fee of between 1+2 million pounds for Calvert-Lewin. However, given the cost of your average Premier League player (including so-called free transfers), I suspect anyone seeing me say him and Davies cost nothing would know I was speaking comparatively. I'll be more precise next time.

As for point-scoring, Michael, it wasn't me who went for another poster. I just responded. I feel very, very strongly about youngsters being continually singled out. I plan to pen a piece about it shortly. Hope you publish it.

Dave Abrahams
183 Posted 06/01/2019 at 09:01:45
I thought the Lincoln City manager and his brother utilised, organised and motivated their squad of players much better than the Everton manager and his huge squad of coaches.

There did not seem to be any plan or system to the Everton game; it seemed like when the Tower of Babel was getting built, all talking in different languages and not understanding each other, much like the last few weeks.

Paul Smith
184 Posted 06/01/2019 at 09:53:10
My twopenneth worth on calling out those that aren't up to it.

It's a travesty we have no centre-forward; those at the club should take the blame and Calvert-Lewin, as Darren said,is a rookie leading the line and getting zilch service from our myopic midfield. Is he good enough? Of course not, but neither are any of them and tbf to TW posters, everyone of the team has been called out on their inconsistantcies, even Richarlison with his diving shenanigans and Walcott who is one player who can actually score a goal.

As for Tom Davies, at the Burnley game, he walked straight off when the rest of the team milked (rightly so IMO) the plaudits for a good display. He was conspicuous through his absence, it was my mate who pointed it out to me, and I wonder if he was showing his contempt towards us fans for the criticism he gets.

Again, does he frustrate? Yes. Is he good enough? No, not for me, but he's surrounded by experienced players who are letting him down. Factor in the moans and groans of 30k Blues with "You're shite, la" bellowed at him, then it's no wonder he's got the needle.

This New Year, starting at Southampton, I will try and not let my frustration translate into defeatism into booing and abusing our own players at the drop of a hat.

Happy New Year, all.

Tony Abrahams
185 Posted 06/01/2019 at 10:03:42
Dave @89, Iagree we need a couple of strong physical players, both mentally and physically, one at centre-forward, and one in central midfield (maybe McCarthy?).

Who knows how Kendall's first term in charge would have ended up with Reid and Gray?

Mike Keating
186 Posted 06/01/2019 at 10:08:37
On a different issue – any explanation from the club regarding the cock-up at the turnstiles for hundreds of season ticket holders who couldn't get in?

There was no system in place – many were turned away and had to queue at the box office for tickets they already had but others let through by attendants showing a bit of initiative. A shambles.

Eddie Dunn
187 Posted 06/01/2019 at 10:15:29
It is clear that we need a striker. Having just watched the games on MotD, it appears that the lower leagues haves lots of guys who look quite handy. The boys Eaves at Gillingham for example.

Do our scouts look at domestic talent or only watch YouTube videos or agents showreels?

Stan Schofield
188 Posted 06/01/2019 at 10:23:28
Bill @177: Yes, as you say, it was most of the team that came through the young ranks. It was done gradually, generally bringing in each young player one at a time, for example, a 17-year-old Joe Royle playing in that great 1967 game against Man Utd at Goodison, alongside Ball, Young, et al.

So their experience was not the experience of the current youngsters, who generally haven't had much of a chance to be brought into a well functioning side.

When passes go astray, it can be as much about the team not working as a machine, players not being in the right place to receive a pass, rather than simply a player making a bad pass. When Colin Harvey made an instinctive and artistic pass, there was usually another player in the right place to receive it. That's too often not the case for Tom Davies. Don't get me wrong, I'm not comparing Davies with Harvey, simply contrasting the different situations in which they were blooded into the first team.

So I would say it's premature to say that Davies or Calvert-Lewin are not 'top-6' material. We just don't know at the moment.

Bobby Thomas
189 Posted 06/01/2019 at 10:23:43
Steve #180,

Alexander-Arnold & Gomez are no better than our youngsters?! You're watching through blue specs.

Both will be nailed-on top-class Premier League players for many seasons. Look at the left-back Robertson's rise, as well. I had to watch Gomez about twice to decide he had it. Alexander-Arnold is a cracking player. I mean, there is no comparison with Kenny in terms of ability and also mental toughness and coolness. Kenny will have a solid lower league career, and there is no shame in that. I wish I had.

It was the same with Harry Kane. After seeing him a few times, I knew he had it. I didn't think he would be as good as this, but I knew Spurs had a player with the talent, technique and ability to be a top-class performer for a long time.

To provide an example outside of a settled side playing and functioning consistently well, let's take the teenage kid playing in midfield now for West Ham. He's got it. Really, you either have it or you don't.

The endless debates about Tom Davies and, to a lesser extent, Calver-Lewin after three seasons playing first-team football tell you everything you need to know. It isn't going to happen. Personally I don't think there is a debate, all you have to do is watch them really. We can wish it as much as we want, but it doesn't make it so.

Derek Taylor
190 Posted 06/01/2019 at 10:30:13
Through all their time at Everton, home-produced talent such as Jeffers, Osman, Rodwell, Anichebe and Barkley were forced to suffer the slings and arrows of the Goodison faithful merely because – unlike Rooney – they were nowhere near the finished article right from their early days.

I have long believed that most of the cash expended on the academy and other development initiatives is totally out of perspective when the sum total of 'instant stars' produced is just one since the game went global and foreign players became so much in vogue.

As someone posted recently, the great 69/70 champions side boasted at least half-a-dozen 'local' lads who, today, would struggle to establish themselves as regulars. So, while I'm sure Unsworth has some 'good 'uns', most will never get a first-team game and the few who do will suffer dog's abuse for their efforts to make a mark.

Now, we have no time for players of promise – we want players whose skill set is fully developed and demonstrated consistently. The likes of Schneiderlin, Sigurdsson and Richarlison who must be good because they cost a few bob, didn't they?

ps: Do I think Davies and Calvert-Lewin are up to Premier League standard based on this season's form? No, I don't... but at least they run about!

Stan Schofield
191 Posted 06/01/2019 at 10:30:46
Bobby @189: Alexander-Arnold plays in a well functioning Liverpool side, a team gelling and playing with consistent confidence. I wonder how Kenny would fare in such a side? We don't know, because we haven't had a chance to find out. That's a fact, not an opinion, whereas you asserting he'll not be top class is an opinion, not a fact.
Bobby Thomas
192 Posted 06/01/2019 at 10:44:31
Stan #191

Which is exactly why I wrote this paragraph:

"To provide an example outside of a settled side playing and functioning consistently well, let's take the teenage kid playing in midfield now for West Ham. He's got it. Really, you either have it or you don't."

Top class is a high benchmark, Stan. I don't use it lightly or throw it about.

We will agree to disagree on Kenny, as I cannot be bothered wasting time justifying my opinion on a player that is so obviously not "top class" or has the tools to become so. Come back to me when he moves down the leagues.

Stan Schofield
193 Posted 06/01/2019 at 10:48:58
Bobby, you should really have said "if he moves down the leagues".
Bobby Thomas
194 Posted 06/01/2019 at 10:52:15
Have a cup of tea, Stan.
Andy Meighan
195 Posted 06/01/2019 at 10:57:27
Solanke won't be doing much damage to us next week...

He got injured in training and is out for a few weeks.

Stan Schofield
196 Posted 06/01/2019 at 11:14:31
Bobby, I've already had three cups of tea with my cereal. I might have a cup of coffee later, with a biscuit.
Darren Hind
197 Posted 06/01/2019 at 11:29:01
The legitimacy of criticism of Calvert-Lewin or Tom Davies isn't being questioned here. They are Premier League players getting great wages and are there to be shot at.

The problem I have with posters like Jim, is the daily singling out of the two rookies as if they are responsible for all our ills. Criticise the way they have played by all means, but there needs to be room for a bigger picture. There are senior players with much cushier more defined jobs, underperforming every week; they get nowhere the same criticism.

I believe a quick check on the current team-related threads will support that statement. Take this one for example: "They were not even on the pitch for the abysmal second half performance, but were on the pitch for the entire first half when the team played so much better." Where's the thought? Where's the logic?

Read Kieran's post (59)... and he's only talking about the first 50-odd posts.

It's perfectly legitimate for somebody to criticise a performance, or for somebody to say they don't think a certain player is good enough... but this is bizarre.

Jim Bennings hammers away at Calvert-Lewin before, during and after every game. He calls people who want to see him given a run "idiots" ... Yet, when he was dropped for the Brighton game and we were beaten, he came on the match thread to demand to know why he wasn't playing — you couldn't make it up!

Paul Tran
198 Posted 06/01/2019 at 11:45:13
Nobody's going to know whether Calvert-Lewin is 'good enough' until he gets a decent run of games. I actually think it would benefit Davies to go on loan to a club where he has a defined role – he'll come back a better player in my view.

For a few years now, one of our biggest problems has been too many 70% players. Strikers who hold the ball up but don't score. Midfielders who can tackle and can't pass. Midfielders with craft but no pace. Midfielders that can't shoot or score. Wingers who don't score. Goalkeeper that stops shots but can't dominate his box.

That's the main reason why, when we were playing well before Origi scored, we weren't able to finish teams off often enough. When we play at the ponderous pace we've watched the last few weeks, it looks worse.

Brian Harrison
199 Posted 06/01/2019 at 11:59:17
I spoke to a Lincoln supporter outside the ground, as he was showing his son all the pictures from the past that surround Goodison Park. Nowadays I never seem to come into contact with any away supporters, which is a shame; thankfully, I am old enough to remember going to matches with no segregation of fans.

Anyway, back to yesterday's game, we did the hard part which was to score 2 quick goals to quieten the opposing fans and knock the confidence out of the Lincoln players. Now whether that galvanized them or we took the foot off the pedal, I don't know... but from that moment on we seemed to lose the control we had on the game.

I think Pickford is a brilliant shot-stopper, but at the moment he doesn't seem to dominate the 6-yard box. He seems to want to always stay on his line; to be fair, he made a great reaction save initially to their goal. But I like to see goalkeepers take control of any ball played deep into the 6-yard box and sadly Pickford doesn't do that. I don't think their goal happens if he had come off his line a yard and punched the ball away.

There were some positives though, I thought Lookman and Bernard had good first halves; both looked dangerous when they had the ball. I also thought Baines was like he had never been away, a terrific 90 minutes from him. But I am afraid they were the only positives yesterday.

I, like Darren Hind, always try and support our youngsters, as it must be really difficult getting game time in the Premier League. But I don't think Calvert-Lewin or Tom Davies can complain on that score as both have been given plenty of game time by both Koeman and Silva. As much as it pains me to say it, I don't think either are good enough at present to play at this level.

The other problem is, because they have played so many games, it makes it near impossible for the club to send them out on loan, as I am sure both would refuse loan spells given the amount of games they have played.

We also have a problem, which is largely of our own making, by signing loan players. When you sign loan players, it causes long-term problems, because you are not in control of the situation. The club who loaned the player and the player themselves control the situation.

We have two loan players who are an integral part of our team at present. Seems obvious that, in my view, Silva prefers Zouma to Mina and Keane, and I agree with Silva – he is our best central defender. We also have Gomes who is a class act. I know he isn't used to playing so many games in quick succession, as happens here over the holiday period. But he is our best midfield player.

So what happens if both Gomes and Zouma return to their clubs in the summer? It means we are back to square one. I don't see any of the top 6 clubs taking players on loan for a very good reason.

Victor Yu
200 Posted 06/01/2019 at 12:13:33
Both Davies and Calvert-Lewin are not up to it. It should be very clear already. Don't let your blue-biased thoughts cloud your judgement.

As for Kenny, he has improved but I don't think he is good enough. The thing I dislike about him the most is his body language. Every time he makes a tackle, he acts if he is a super star. I like players with emotion and players with an edge. Tim Cahill is in a similar mode but I have never seen poor jerky body language like Kenny from him.

Sean Kelly
201 Posted 06/01/2019 at 12:16:11
All players develop through good coaching. As mention above, those Red Shite young layers were bang average but through Klopp and his back room team they are developing into top-drawer players.

Silva, Fat Sam, Koeman, Martinez and Moyes were shite at coaching – preferring to buy duds than develop players. It goes back to Kendall's first term to see players being properly coached. Even experienced players were being coached.

The onus is on Silva and his coaching staff to coach ALL players but, most importantly, to get the senior pros in the squad to mentor and guide the young lads through the games. A Gareth Barry type player is needed.

We are short of leaders on the pitch and have been for some time but it doesn't help when Silva doesn't know what he wants or how to get his points across.

Brent Stephens
202 Posted 06/01/2019 at 12:34:54
Davies and Calvert-Lewin might yet make it. I hope they (and others like Kenny) do. Young lads, still developing, playing in a side giving variable performances and showing variable confidence, getting used to new tactics from a new manager. I watch the U23s and love to see our young lads (or lads we signed at a youngish age) come through.

So let's have some perspective. Bizarre to say (so early) that they won't make it (given the roll-call of players who developed "late"). Bizarre to call them "fantastic". Bizarre to keep repeating either point. Make it once or twice and move on.

Stan #196, I like Yorkshire tea or Early Grey. Tea – the first drink of the morning; coffee or tea thereafter.

Chris Gould
203 Posted 06/01/2019 at 12:40:30
Brian, if we ever become a top 6 club, then perhaps we can behave like one. None of the top 6 would play kids who still require an awful lot of development, but we do. We don't behave like a top 6 club because we aren't one.

Our squad depth is awful. We have way too many players, earning far too much money, that aren't even in the squad. Our expenditure on wages is astronomical considering what we get back from these players.

Brands has a bloody difficult job as the previous few years have seen us spend too much money on an awful lot of mediocre players. We have given out huge contracts to players who simply don't deserve them, and we are now paying the price.

We are forced to play youngsters (not yet good enough) and take players on loan because we are in a bit of a financial mess. Until we clear out a dozen players or so, we will continue to play, and criticise, kids who really should be developing elsewhere on loan and out of the spotlight.

None of this is Davies's or Calvert-Lewin's fault, and they are absolutely giving their best, so we should be supporting them. I don't believe they will be in the team in a season or two but, while they're here and still required by Silva and Brands, we should refrain from so much criticism. At the very least, try and make it more constructive and fair.

Steavey Buckley
204 Posted 06/01/2019 at 12:46:00
Davies was a better player when Barkley was an Everton player, while Calvert-Lewin looked more promising when Lukaku was also still around because younger players have to bond with better ones they can get on with.
Bobby Thomas
205 Posted 06/01/2019 at 12:54:29
Stan #196

3 cups of tea with your cereal? Good grief! That would sedate me.

Start with a coffee. Toast & banana with a strong brew, maybe two. Then a green tea. Bingo!

Shane Corcoran
206 Posted 06/01/2019 at 13:00:02
Chris #203, good point.

We knew all this last summer and thought that Brands & Silva did well to get rid of so many, albeit on loan.

Until these are completely off the books, then Davies and Calvert-Lewin are needed and it's not their fault they're not good enough/not ready for this stage.

I'm as guilty as many for criticising and I just hope they don't read ToffeeWeb.

Shane Corcoran
207 Posted 06/01/2019 at 13:12:35
Oh, and Barry's tea by a mile.

Brian, when did segregation in grounds begin, do you know?

Derek Taylor
208 Posted 06/01/2019 at 13:29:30
I think most would agree Davies and Calvert-Lewin are not particularly to blame for the shortcomings of the current squad which seems to consist of no more than 14 players. Some of our number seem loathe to cast stones at the more experienced of that squad whilst even fewer cite the shortcomings of the latest manager.

True, Silva's apparent disdain for training for set-pieces mirrors that of Martinez but, to date, I seem to be the only one to believe that Brands is not without blame. Just like the guy he followed, he has landed us with some talented but faint-hearted non-combatants. Perhaps that common weakness is why they were released to join us!

So gather your stones and take aim... But whoever is to be your target, it's clear Moshiri (as well as us) has been taken to the cleaners and that the playing side is in its worst state since the very early days of this century. Calls for 'patience' ensue...

Frank Crewe
209 Posted 06/01/2019 at 14:39:55
"We need a leader" ... "We need a leader" ... "We need a leader" — How many times have I heard that? What is a leader anyway? How do get one? How do you get the measure of a man you have never met before? Can leadership be instilled into players? Does it require a manager like Pep, Klopp or Mourhino to fire up the squad?

Gareth Barry was probably the last leader we had. But he didn't arrive until well into his 30s so we knew what we were getting. Is it possible to know he would be a leader when he was 20? Because most players get into the first team or are bought around their early 20s.

I doubt you can buy a leader under 30. If you do get one, it's probably just more fluke luck than good judgement.

Stan Schofield
210 Posted 06/01/2019 at 15:07:52
Brent @202 & Bobby @205: It was Tesco Assam loose leaf, three decent-sized mugs of it, rather than a teacup where you stick your little finger out when holding it.

The way we've been playing recently, I probably need a pint mug of camomile tea, calm me down.

Paul Tran
211 Posted 06/01/2019 at 15:10:19
Shane #207, Barry's is the best tea by miles!
Nicholas Ryan
212 Posted 06/01/2019 at 15:12:29
On the question of whether our youngsters are 'up to it', the name of Harry Kane has come up quite a lot. I remember an interview with Kane, where he said that he had gone out on loan 8 times before he broke through. I can find evidence of him being loaned to, Leyton Orient, Millwall, Leicester and Norwich; but if he said it was 8, I presume he's correct!

He became part of the Spurs first-team squad in 2009, but did not feature regularly until 2014, on the arrival of Pochettino, when he was 21. Without 'Poch' he might still be in Spurs reserves!

Similarly, at Newcastle, Jamal Lascelles was in their Reserves; apparently, after 10 minutes of the first training session, Benitez said: 'He has to be in the first team' where he has remained ever since.

So, don't write off our youngsters, just yet!

Peter Jansson
213 Posted 06/01/2019 at 15:23:11
The leader is Marco Silva. The question is:- How does he lead?
Paul Jeronovich
214 Posted 06/01/2019 at 15:48:47
Davies and Calvert-Lewin could be sold tomorrow and we wouldn't miss them whatsoever.

I'm sure most people have had a new starter in the work place and their six-month probation starts. In the first few days, you get asked the same questions and after a while it sinks in. If it doesn't, you put extra support in place; if it continues to not work out, you part ways. You just know if someone's going to be good enough.

After a few years now, Davies and Calvert-Lewin are not up to the level we want to progress as a club. Time to move them on.

Jay Harris
215 Posted 06/01/2019 at 15:50:17
Darren Hind, I hope you do post a piece about the kids.

I don't always agree with your approach but I am sick of people singling out the kids for criticism when a poorly recruited manager trains, selects the team and decides the tactics and who is supposed to motivate them, stands on the touchline like a lost soul. On top of that, £40M+ players like Sigurdsson and Richarlison have been poor for weeks but hey, let's blame the kids because they are an easy target.

Most kids develop into better players by being integrated one or two at a time into a successful team of experienced pros who help them through their development. Most of our senior pros can't even help themselves.

Brian Wilkinson
217 Posted 06/01/2019 at 16:17:17
Jay, I do not think people are singling kids out in general; they are stating what they see. After a few seasons, I personally do not think that either Davies or Calvert-Lewin will take us to the next level. It has nothing whatsoever to do with their age.

Schneiderlin, Tosun, and Niasse are another three who we should get off our books.

John Stones had something, Barkley as well... along with Rooney, but I just do not see Davies or Calvert-Lewin having that same wow factor as the above three.

I watch these players week-in & week out and, only my opinion, I do not see them as future world beaters.

Stan Schofield
218 Posted 06/01/2019 at 16:33:05
Brain@217: Yes, John Stones has something.

However, when he was here, quite a few on ToffeeWeb were saying he was a rubbish defender, and wouldn't get into a top-6 side. In a ToffeeWeb poll asking should we sell him to City for £45M, 80% said YES. I was one of the 20% who said NO. He'd probably fetch double that amount now.

Even assuming it were valid to criticise young players when they're playing in a dysfunctional (ie, crap) team, it is certainly not valid to say how they will fare in the future. Some on here seem to think they're the football version of Nostrodamus, able to predict how players' futures will pan out. It's just utter shite.

Anthony A Hughes
219 Posted 06/01/2019 at 16:45:30
Calvert-Lewin and Davies aren't to blame for all our woes but can we please refrain from calling them kids? They're grown men in their twenties and first-team footballers and should be treated as such.
Jay Harris
220 Posted 06/01/2019 at 16:47:52
Brian, I beg to differ.

People were raving about Tom Davies when he first came onto the scene; now, after Koeman and Allardyce, the kid gets thrown in occasionally and gets slated. Gomes has been shite for weeks but we can make excuses for him because he's from Barcelona (Pardon me, Manuel).

Calvert-Lewin looks 10 times better than two experienced strikers that cost over £40M between them and he is playing in the most difficult position in the team. Even Richarlison has looked poor there recently and has no better strike rate from that position than Calvert-Lewin.

The kids need encouragement and support – not intimidating by constant criticism.

Jay Harris
221 Posted 06/01/2019 at 16:54:35
Anthony as an old timer who has been watching the blues for almost 60 years anyone 21 and under is still a kid to me.

Sorry if that offends you but it is just my expression for the rookies.

Dave Abrahams
222 Posted 06/01/2019 at 16:55:39
Stan (210) Golden Stream tea was the best, perfect.
Stan Schofield
223 Posted 06/01/2019 at 17:00:49
Dave, when I was kid we used to have Mantunna.
Anthony A Hughes
224 Posted 06/01/2019 at 17:06:07
No offence taken, Jay. I just think they should be judged on footballing ability and performance and not having their age as an excuse when it doesn't come up to scratch.
Bill Watson
225 Posted 06/01/2019 at 17:07:32
Dave # 222

Golden Stream wouldn't have even got on my bench! Co-op 99 is the first on my list but who am I to have an opinion as I've never blended tea at the highest level!

Stan # 223 Mantunna? League 1 at best!

Brent Stephens
226 Posted 06/01/2019 at 17:25:36
Stan, to dunk or not to dunk? McVities Digestive, dunk of course - though you need a mug (in both senses - in all senses!) for it to fit. But Williams Sonoma from Harrods?
Brian Wilkinson
227 Posted 06/01/2019 at 17:29:12
Jay, comparing Calvert-Lewin to Tosun and Niasse is a no-brainier, that does not make Calvert-Lewin a world beater, I would compare those two to Rod Belfit and Jim Pearson, hardly making Calvert-Lewin a top-notch striker.

Would you be happy to put our future on Calvert-Lewin, or try and sign an out-and-out goal scorer.

I can only go off what I have seen over the past few seasons – neither in my opinion have taken the next step up.

I will gladly hold my hands up if they go on to make it. For now, though, I just do not see it.

Len Hawkins
228 Posted 06/01/2019 at 17:30:15
At the end of the game, I posted the word "depressing" on the Live Forum because that is how I view the latest episode of Everton FC, the Big Sleep. I don't know what who or why is/are causing Everton to lurch from one bad game to the next.

That game was made for a resurgence in the Burnley mould and a kick-on but, after a bright half-hour, the team reverted to type. Clueless, wayward, incompetent, lifeless, brainless, uncomfortable both on and off the ball.

Someone, somewhere – be it a current manager, an ex-manager, a hypnotist, a sports psychologist, a phsychiatrist – must have an answer... please contact Mr Moshiri at Goodison Park ASAP before I have my apoplectic episode.

Justin Doone
229 Posted 06/01/2019 at 17:35:16
Anyone who knows anything about football and the FA Cup should know that Cup upsets and multi millionaire teams are made to look like fools each and every season.

As Everton supporters we have been in this predicament many times before and will be many times in the future.

Look at other results and be glad to be in the next round. Simple.

Back to the more important Premier league. We know we need to improve and play for 90 plus minutes. A good 20 minutes or so isn't good enough in one of the most competitive leagues in the world.

Still many questions remain on tactics and the defensive side of our game. A good cross into the box is hard for any team to defend against so we need to prevent the crosses and silly free kicks given away near our own box.

Chris Hockenhull
230 Posted 06/01/2019 at 17:57:15
It certainly was Mantunna in the 60s in our house before going off to see Harry's boys at Goodison... though I did persuade mum to switch to Typhoo for a while so I could get my colour team photo card and ones of Bally... Wilson and Labone which I still have 50 odd years later!!
Stan Schofield
231 Posted 06/01/2019 at 18:13:44
Brent@226: Or should I say Lord Stephens, with Williams Sonoma from Harrods sounding quite posh?

To dunk or not to dunk: McVities, yes: Rich Tea, yes: Ginger crunch, yes: Jammy Dodger, no: Walkers shortbread, no: Custard cream, yes.

Brian Williams
232 Posted 06/01/2019 at 18:22:56
Dave #222.

Jesus, I'd never drink any beverage with the name "Golden Stream". Sounds like one of those "specialist" movies... :-)

The Mantunna factory, by the way, still exists on the Wirral, I believe.

ps: For all the doom and gloom mongers after yesterday's so-called disastrous performance. Thank your lucky stars yer don't support Leicester. ;-)

Tom Bowers
233 Posted 06/01/2019 at 18:24:53
Well done, Newport!!! So how poor were Everton against Leicester when they couldn't score and Newport can score TWO!!!
Rob Halligan
234 Posted 06/01/2019 at 18:30:01
Tom, how poor are Leicester who can't beat a League Two team, which funnily enough, we managed yesterday.

Anyone know the Leicester equivalent of ToffeeWeb, as I'd like to go and read all the comments from their moaning bastards as well.

Brian Williams
235 Posted 06/01/2019 at 18:32:00
Forget the talk of Digestives and custard creams...

Tom's post takes the effing biscuit, ffs.

Tom Bowers
236 Posted 06/01/2019 at 18:33:02
Oh, Rob Halligan, you are so easily pleased.
David Greenwood
237 Posted 06/01/2019 at 18:38:12
Tom, is your post @223 for real?

Brent Stephens
238 Posted 06/01/2019 at 18:39:43
Well done, Newport. Lived there for many a year. Remember us playing them at their old ground.

Stan, I actually thought Williams Sonoma was a player. Crackers, I know.

Eric Paul
239 Posted 06/01/2019 at 18:41:18
How good are we?

We beat top of League Two; Leicester lost to 12th.

Brian Williams
240 Posted 06/01/2019 at 18:41:22
Soooo, Brent, you know crackers eh?
Well name the square-shaped salted cracker first launched in 1972 ........ errr thaaangyou!
Michael Lynch
241 Posted 06/01/2019 at 18:45:02
Proper cup tie that was at Newport. There was no doubt who the underdogs were there, throwing themselves in front of the ball while wave after wave of Leicester attacks were launched, clinging on by the fingertips due to bravery, luck, skill and some terrible finishing from the Premier League side.

Our game yesterday was tame in comparison - Lincoln played above themselves and we played below ourselves, it looked more like Championship v League One, as against today's League Two v Premier League.

And that is depressing.

John Wells
242 Posted 06/01/2019 at 18:45:45
I always think, if Rooney had have been kept this season, we would be in a better place. Those games where we were getting dangerous balls into the box where on experience alone I think he would have 10-12 goals by now.

Maybe completely wrong but I just felt he should have stayed and Calvert-Lewin could have worked and learned. I want to buy a top striker now and let Calvert-Lewin work and learn but make it clear to him that he has 12 months to get this potential into goal scoring.

Rob Halligan
243 Posted 06/01/2019 at 18:45:51
Sorry Tom, but you know fuck all about me. Have I come on anywhere on this thread backing up the performance yesterday? No.

I know things aren't going well at the moment, but it's comments like yours which want to knock the club for the slightest little thing which make me angry.

Brian Williams
244 Posted 06/01/2019 at 18:48:31
Rob #243.

Take it easy on him, mate, he's still getting over being let go from the Samaritans call centre.

Still can't work out why they let him go.........

Michael Lynch
245 Posted 06/01/2019 at 18:49:38
Talking of Rooney - you have to worry for him

John Wells
246 Posted 06/01/2019 at 18:51:50
Micheal, had no idea!! 😂

Maybe best he's gone!

Brian Wilkinson
247 Posted 06/01/2019 at 18:52:53
We are in the hat for the next round, Leicester paid the price for making so many changes.

Let's just hope going forward we play our near full first team, without making 5 to 6 changes to the team.

By the way, Vardy is not cup-tied.

[Stands back, waiting for the flack, with tin helmet on...]

Brian Williams
248 Posted 06/01/2019 at 18:54:18
Leicester are though, Brian, lol.
Rob Halligan
249 Posted 06/01/2019 at 18:55:14
Anyone know why Vardy wasn't involved today? I've heard he had a falll-out with the manager, but cannot find anything to confirm this?

If true though, could well be worth putting in a bid for him this month.

Brent Stephens
250 Posted 06/01/2019 at 18:57:52
Brian, I give in!
Brian Wilkinson
251 Posted 06/01/2019 at 19:01:52
Cheers, Rob. Nothing like having cover backing me up from all sides. I would certainly take a punt on Vardy.
Brian Wilkinson
252 Posted 06/01/2019 at 19:08:05
From what I heard, Rob, Vardy was still struggling from the knock he got against us and was rested as a precaution. I've not heard anything about a fall-out yet.
Rob Halligan
253 Posted 06/01/2019 at 19:08:16
Brian # 247.

Without giving details of my source away, but I knew the team for yesterday at about 12:30. The team was selected on Friday and Stekelenburg was due to play in goal, but Silva had a change of mind and picked Pickford instead.

The squad knew the importance of the game yesterday, and what it meant to the fans. Training during the week was geared towards the threat Lincoln would pose in terms of physicality and their threat from free kicks.

So, as you say, I doubt we will see many, if any, changes to the team in the next round and hopefully, future rounds.

Gerry Ring
254 Posted 06/01/2019 at 19:10:23
Brian #199.

I have to go along with your comments regarding players on loan. I would be very surprised if Gomes is with us next season and the fear I have is that we will end up with too many players on loan.

Generally players on loan won't invest as much with their new club. We need players dedicated to Everton & every time I see Shane Duffy I just think of how big a mistake it was to let him go. When you talk about leaders, Duffy is one & doesn't accept any shit from the opposition and more importantly from his own players.

Regarding Jamie Vardy, I'd offload a load of players & give them loads of cash for him. He's exactly what we need!

Peter Mills
256 Posted 06/01/2019 at 19:23:27
Rob #253, that's interesting. I fully expected Stekelenburg to be selected.

Mr Silva was at pains after the match to praise the attendance, and to stress the importance of the FA Cup. If he has changed his mind at the last minute about his team selection he is either learning or someone is having a word in his ear. Either way, it may be a small sign of progress.

Dave Ganley
257 Posted 06/01/2019 at 19:26:26
John #242,

Yeah I agree with you. I have to admit I thought it was good business when Rooney left but, with hindsight, he could have had a hatfull had he stayed and played up front. He takes a gamble and his experience in being in the right place at the right time could have been invaluable. He certainly wouldn't have been the long-term answer but, the way we play, he could have been a good stop gap until we found another striker.

Dave Ganley
258 Posted 06/01/2019 at 19:33:38
Michael #245 — I've only just seen that article, oh dear me...

Yeah maybe it's best he's gone then.

John Wells
259 Posted 06/01/2019 at 19:43:54
Gerry #254,

I completely agree regarding Duffy and have been slated on here for saying. He reminds me of those hardened centre-backs in those Man Utd and Arsenal teams that won. That man takes no prisoners and no striker would enjoy going near him.

Gary Willock
260 Posted 06/01/2019 at 19:52:21
Not sure if it would work, but perhaps worth a go (always swap Baines for Gana if it's not working):

Kenny Keane Zouma Digne
Sigurdsson Gomes Baines
Lookman Richarlison Bernard

A little discipline and graft from André and Siggy, and let's try to blow teams away by attacking fast and hard, like the Red Shite did last season. Gana and Mina on to shore things up if we get far enough ahead.

Jay Harris
261 Posted 06/01/2019 at 20:22:19
I wasn't saying Calvert-Lewin is the answer now nor in the future.

What I believe is that we should cut him some slack and give him some encouragement as he is the best we've got for right now.

We really need a "Costa" type who puts himself about, takes no prisoners, and can score goals.

Come on, Marcel, you know it makes sense.

Bill Watson
262 Posted 06/01/2019 at 20:27:31
Gerry #254,

Vardy is 32 next week. We'd do well to get two decent seasons out of him providing he stayed injury free. He'd demand, at least, a 4-year contract at £mega a week

Hopefully, we've seen the last of throwing money away on overpriced, overpaid (soon to be) over-the-hill players.


Rob Halligan
263 Posted 06/01/2019 at 20:52:38
Bill, what was your opinion on Olivier Giroud, when we came close to signing him? He is actually 32 now, and will be 33 in September.

I know 32 might sound old in terms of a footballer's age, but the way they are kept in physical condition nowadays, along with dietary etc, I think it's worth a punt on Vardy. You say he'd need to stay injury free, but a player any age can pick up a serious injury.

Interestingly enough, Giroud will be a free agent this summer, so is he free to agree a pre-contract now, or does that only apply if a player moves abroad? By the way, not saying we should go for him.

Rob Halligan
264 Posted 06/01/2019 at 20:56:27
Looking at your post properly, I'd guess you thought the same of Giroud as you do Vardy.
Gerry Ring
265 Posted 06/01/2019 at 21:29:00
Bill #262. I appreciate Vardy's age but his physical fitness belies his age. Anybody who can do round off backflips like he does is testament to his incredible physical condition.

A change of club would I believe, reignite his career & the Goodison faithful would love his honest & tenacious attitude.

As for Giroud, he doesn't score enough goals. His World Cup performance was poor as well. He's the last guy we need in our ranks.

Don Alexander
266 Posted 06/01/2019 at 21:55:18
Jamie Vardy did not spend his teenage tears, or even those of his early 20s, having smoke blown up his arse by anything called an agent or any club beyond non-league Halifax and Fleetwood.

The Fleetwood owner managed to prise another season's loyalty from him as an adult by merely buying him the car of his choice. Those were the days, lads.

That said, when it eventually dawned on Vardy that he did indeed have a rare talent he hadn't had to deal with all the major cosseting that'd for years surrounded every tenure at every big club. He'd blindly got used to life on what most us realise as planet Earth, hence his ability now to focus on cherishing every bloody week of his existence.

Sadly, they just don't breed 'em like that any more.

Or do they, Mr Brands?

Justin Doone
267 Posted 06/01/2019 at 21:58:51
We should all encourage and support all Everton players, staff and the club in general through good times and bad.

Forums like this are a great way to vent which is why in general there are more negative comments and opinions than positive especially when going through a bad patch or being unimpressed with the team.

I think that's better than at Goodison which has suffered from a quiet and somber atmosphere for many years now.

I find the phrase 'world class' overused, just like legend. It's become a very popular term. I tend to use 'top class' as in are they good enough to play for a team at the top which in this day and age is top 4 ie champions laeague teams.

I'd tag Richarlison, Gomes and Digne as top class. The rest are not.

Younger players could potentially be, eg, Calvert-Lewin, Lookman, Pickford, Kenny, but have to improve and bring consistency to their game. Pickford mainly because as a goalkeeper he should start to peak at 28, the others around 25 or 26.

So Keane, Mina and Zouma at 24 or 25 have this season and next to fulfil that potential. Problem being they are all at a similar level and no top class or experienced partner. Jagielka was but is no longer at that level.

I think they are all good on their day but none are top class and all inconsistent. I don't think our defense has improved for that reason.

Justin Doone
268 Posted 06/01/2019 at 22:17:08
Vardy is an athlete and perfect for a counter-attacking team. We are not one. He needs space to run into. Perfect when playing against us. He'll never do it consistently at a top club because teams don't give them the room and space to exploit and doesn't bring much else to the table.

He'd certainly improve us in some games, to take advantage of teams that push up on us ie vs Man City but we need someone with the vision and skill to play the ball to him quickly. Gomes or Sigurdsson maybe?

Giroud the complete opposite. He lacks pace and movement but has a great first touch and good awareness. He needs a strike partner to play with. We only play one up front and appear to have stopped putting crosses in. So he doesn't appear to fit Silva's style.

I think Giroud would do well under Allardyce, but let that be a million miles away from Everton.

So two no's from me. We could do worse but I want so much better.

Bill Watson
269 Posted 06/01/2019 at 22:39:56
Rob #253,

If there was a last-minute change of mind on the goalkeeper, it could be because Pickford is carrying a rib injury and wasn't expected to be fit.

Brian Hennessy
271 Posted 06/01/2019 at 22:41:20
I fear even a new talented/prolific striker will struggle to score goals in this team under the current system.

We play with one man isolated up front and the majority of the service that striker receives (be it Tosun, Calvert-Lewin or Richarlison), is from crosses into the box.

Problem is, with the exception of Baines, we have no players in the squad capable of delivering consistently good crosses or corners for that matter.

Yes, we need a new striker, but we also need a change in formation.

Michael Lynch
272 Posted 06/01/2019 at 22:50:54
Justin – absolutely. Vardy is the opposite of the kind of striker we need, as we don't sit back and hit on the counter. To be honest, we'd probably do better if we did play more like Leicester, as we simply don't have the players for Silva's preferred style. Tell the full-backs to sit, pack the midfield and stick Calvert-Lewin up front on his own, he's got bags of pace and good ball control. Pity he's such a poor finisher.
Brian Wilkinson
273 Posted 06/01/2019 at 23:30:57
Anyway, we are in the hat for tomorrow's draw, let's hope it is really lucky 7 for us, that is our ball number.
Jamie Crowley
274 Posted 06/01/2019 at 23:34:53
From the Brighton game picture on TW of Bernard after the Brighton game where he's throwing his head back in the air in despair wondering why he can't finish...

To the picture on TW of Bernard throwing his head back in that, “Thank you, Lord, I've scored” moment...

Doesn't that encapsulate our season?

As Paul Trail says, we're in the hat.

Let's keep progressing and finally win some silverware.

Roll on. We've won. At this point, I'm more than happy with that.

Peter Jansson
275 Posted 06/01/2019 at 23:40:30
Our strategy is flawed. That's why I wonder if Marco Silva is the right man. We play a style of football that does not suit us at all.

Just face the fact, we do not have Messi type of guys in our team. The only one close is Bernard.

What we have is speed and we do not use it to our advantage. Calvert-Lewin, Walcott and Richarlison are quick and fast players. Just like Vardy, they need space to run in. They are not well off playing ball possession type football that we try to play. At least not Calvert-Lewin, so of course he looks like shit with the type of football we play.

We should sit back and sting like cobras in coounter-attacks rather than let Gana Gueye and Gomes play sideways.

We are just way too slow. Our front 3 needs speed. When we get the ball we slow things down. That is just totally the wrong strategy, in my opinion. Lookman also wants speed and room to run in.

Change formation and strategy and get Gana Gueye out and put in anyone that can pass a ball forward. Then we might be able to score more goals and win some games again.

Peter Jansson
276 Posted 06/01/2019 at 23:45:50
I forgot to say that, even though I think we need a better striker, I still do not think our main problem lies here.

I doubt Ronaldo would do great with us at the moment. Yes he would score more than Calvert-Lewin, but I have a problem seeing any striker thrive with us as we play right now.

Derek Knox
277 Posted 07/01/2019 at 05:25:50
Good point, Jamie, regarding Bernard, I really like him and feel he could be our Silva (Man City) but always felt he was a bit lacking in the goal department.

Maybe that goal will do his confidence the world of good, and enable him to add to his tally. He does get in good positions often, but fails to produce the finish expected.

Stan Schofield
278 Posted 07/01/2019 at 08:58:16
Peter@275: Up to and including the Derby, we were playing fast, high-pressing, quick forward passing football, with the midfield of 'the three g's' working like an efficient machine. This created plenty of goal-scoring chances, but of course we didn't put them away.

We do have the right players for the style of football that Silva wants, and the clear evidence is provided as above. But since the Derby we've just ground to a halt, like a broken machine. The machine is still there, it just needs seeing to, and making more efficient by getting a further few new parts in the next several transfer windows.

Neil Copeland
279 Posted 07/01/2019 at 21:40:13
Our result against a Lincoln is looking better by the day with RS going out tonight.
Chris Hockenhull
280 Posted 07/01/2019 at 21:46:38
Neil... exactly. A post yesterday summed it up about if anyone knows football history, this thing is regular. And after they posted it... more cup "upsets". So get real. It's about being in the hat. Others aren't... we are... (well, for now)!!!

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