Silva has Everton back on track with fourth win in six

By Lyndon Lloyd 07/04/2019 128comments  |  Jump to last
Everton 1 - 0 Arsenal

Prior to Everton’s stirring 2-0 win over Chelsea last month, you had to go back two years for the Toffees’ last win over top-six opposition. Under Marco Silva, they have now beaten one of the current elite clubs twice in the space of two weeks.

Before today, it was also more than two years since an Everton side earned three successive clean sheets but thanks to a solitary Phil Jagielka goal and a laudably resilient performance against a team looking to leapfrog their neighbours, Tottenham, into third place, they have now seen off three London teams in a row without Jordan Pickford’s goal having been breached.

The England international was one of the talking points in the lead up to this clash with Arsenal at Goodison Park given his “come to Jesus” meeting with Silva and Marcel Brands in the wake of the altercation in which he was involved in Sunderland that was caught on video. His participation in this contest was relegated to a footnote, however, thanks to an impressive performance by Everton’s outfield players that meant Pickford was barely troubled.

A wild punch straight to Aaron Ramsey early in the second half might have been punished on a different day but, thankfully, the Welshman volleyed over and apart from a couple of tame efforts on his goal, Pickford’s role mostly centred around his distribution from the back which was, pleasingly, hugely improved.

Instead, the focus was, rightly, on a Blues display under-pinned by determined and impressive defending, phenomenal work-rate throughout the side and the hit-and-miss nature of Everton’s counter-attacking which, if they could get right, would make them a seriously dangerous team.

This could and should have been an even more handsome victory but Silva’s men have found turning those quick transitions and interceptions into goals a challenge all season. Whether it’s technique or a lack of confidence, there is a shortage of clinical attacking in the final third that will either be solved by coaching or the recruitment of top quality players but the resolution of that problem is a tantalising prospect.

Everton racked up 23 shots over the 90 minutes but only six on target and while good goalkeeping by Bernd Leno was partially responsible for the fact that the home side only managed to score once, poor ball control and decision-making also prevented this from being a hiding for an Arsenal team that hasn’t travelled well all season.

The Gunners certainly seemed up for the challenge of registering what would have been just their second away win of 2019 as they came out of the traps in purposeful mood. It quickly became apparent, however, that they were going up against an obdurate and indefatigable Everton side that has rediscovered the pressing and harrying posture that made them so strong before everything derailed last December.

And the Blues took just 10 minutes to make the breakthrough via the somewhat unlikely source of Phil Jagielka, a player who wasn’t even supposed to be on the pitch. Silva had named an unchanged XI but with Michael Keane unable to shake off the effects of a virus, the club skipper stepped into the team and was on hand to tuck home what would prove to be the winning goal.

There was a note of controversy in the assessment of the game afterwards ( redundant in the grand scheme of things, even if it had any merit, given how richly Everton deserved the win), with some observers of television replays suggesting that Lucas Digne had stepped over the touchline in delivering one of his tomahawk throw-ins but it was rightly deemed legal by the officials as Jagielka flicked it on and then profited from a fortunate ricochet when Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s header fell to him in front of goal and he couldn’t miss.

From then on, it was a question of Everton suffocating the visitors with tireless closing down — Idrissa Gueye defied belief at times with his relentless tenacity and the amount of ground he covered, André Gomes was robust and uncompromising alongside him, while Calvert-Lewin ran the Gunners’ back three ragged throughout — remaining on the front foot for the majority of the first half but just lacking the killer instinct to extend their lead in the way that their overall performance warranted.

Richarlison was picked out by a quite brilliant cross-field ball by Lucas Digne but failed to make the most of it, a show-stopping heel flick from Bernard – the Braziilan gets better and better by the week in a Blue jersey – was inches away from putting André Gomes in but Sokratis Papastathopoulos nipped in ahead of the Portuguese while Gueye skewed a shot well wide and Gylfi Sigurdsson planted a fairly tame 25-yard curler into Leno’s arms.

Frustrated by his own team’s lack of impetus during the first 45 minutes, Unai Emery made a double switch at the break, withdrawing Sead Kolasinac and Mohamed Elneny and introducing Ramsey and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Initially it appeared as though it would have the effect the Spaniard had desired as Pickford fisted an awkward, high cross straight at the Welshman but his side-foot volley flew over while Alexandre Lacazette might have done better when he connected with a ball over the top but his header was comfortable for Pickford.

As the game opened up, however, a slew of opportunities would open up for Everton at the other end that they just couldn’t convert into further goals. Bernard latched onto Ainsley Maitland-Niles’s poor backwards header but eschewed a lobbed attempt and saw his shot blocked by the goalkeeper who had closed down the angle.

Sigurdsson then volleyed over, Richarlison drove a left-footer wide, and Calvert-Lewin held onto the ball too long as Everton attacked with superior numbers and with Bernard free in the left channel, the young striker ended up running into traffic and was dispossessed.

Henrik Mkhitaryan went as close as Arsenal would come when he cut across the box and fizzed a shot a couple of feet past the post while back at the other end, Everton were getting their players into some promising positions with some excellent passing but a second goal remained elusive.

Richarlison galloped down the right flank once more but his square pass to Sigurdsson was, perhaps, a fraction too far back and the midfielder could only despatch a first-time shot straight at Leno. Sokratis blocked another effort from the Icelandic international, Richarlison sliced arguably the best chance wide when he popped up in space in the box and Leno foiled Bernard a final time by beating away his shot in the closing stages.

Arsenal made sporadic attempts to find an equaliser as full time approached but Everton were able to fairly comfortably see the game out with a flurry of late substitutions.

Having looked so bereft of answers at times this season, Silva finally looks as though he is finding his feet again at Goodison Park now with some real signs of progress. As galling as the defeat at Newcastle was, that second-half collapse at St James’ Park (and, perhaps, 45 shaky minutes before half-time against Chelsea) stands as an aberration in a six-match sequence that has yielded four wins, a goalless draw in the Merseyside derby, and progress back up the table to the point that the Blues are back to within a point of seventh place, albeit having played a game more than two of their rivals for that slot.

Defensively, with the form of Kurt Zouma in particular but supported also by consistency at both full-back positions and the Eveready battery that is Gueye in front of them, Everton are back to being a team that is difficult to break down and which has only conceded goals in one of those last six fixtures.

That is an important platform on which Silva and Marcel Brands can build this summer and it has restored optimism that after a turbulent season of setbacks and discovery, this Everton team is back on track and moving in the right direction.

Reader Comments (128)

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Julian Wait
1 Posted 07/04/2019 at 19:54:19
The throw in was legal, his foot was on the line, as even if part of it was on the field, it's still legal if you are touching the line.
David Pearl
2 Posted 07/04/2019 at 20:03:17
We were helped today by Emery’s team selection but that apart we were up for it. Pity we can’t kill teams off but the signs are good. Richarlison and Sigurdsson both very wasteful. I’m hoping Silva can get that performance from the whole squad so he can rotate and get some of the others into form.
Stan Schofield
3 Posted 07/04/2019 at 20:25:33
Talking about the throw-in is academic in relation to the consistently appalling officiating, and the constant cheating and biases towards certain teams, that occurs in the Premier League.

We won simply because we were far better than the opposition.

Dave White
4 Posted 07/04/2019 at 20:36:47
Best performance of the season for me that. Totally delighted! No doubt the papers will say (like with the West Ham game) that the opposition were poor, but the tenacity we are showing to win the ball back MAKES the opponent look poor.

Bernard was the pick for me. From looking light weight he is turning into a real scrapper and making a huge effort with his defensive duties.

DCL is another who is finding his feet. Those Arsenal defenders just couldn’t live with him. I’m gonna be devastated if we loose Gana, that lad has some engine!

Good to hear Goodison roaring again. Absolutely positive that the crowd bring more out of the players.

Gerard Carey
5 Posted 07/04/2019 at 20:39:02
Well said Stan, definitely the better team, with better finishing, we could have got three or four.
Two wins against the sky darlings in last three games. Read somewhere that previously it took 41 games against the top six to get two wins.
Jimmy Hogan
6 Posted 07/04/2019 at 20:45:57
The ref had a decent game. We were wasteful but we won. That's the reality.
Rob Halligan
7 Posted 07/04/2019 at 21:00:07
As far as I'm aware, as long as any part of the foot is either touching the line, or behind it, then the throw is legal. For anyone who watches cricket, it's akin to either a no ball, or a legal delivery, providing any part of the foot is touching the crease line. Most football fans don't seem to understand the fundamental laws of the game. You see fans bawling when the opposition have a corner, and the ball appears to be outside the quadrant, but providing the ball overlaps the quadrant line, then it's a legal corner.

That was a perfectly legal throw in by Digne for the goal.

Malcolm Bell
8 Posted 07/04/2019 at 21:11:34
Lucas has been stepping over the line on his run up to a throw in all season. But he pulls his foot back before he throws. I'm sure all the linesmen know it and rule accordingly. Another great performance against a team going backwards.
Adam Carey
9 Posted 07/04/2019 at 21:18:43
We've beaten another 'Top 6' side, so of course our goal must have an element of rulebreaking to it. Also, Arsenal must have put in a shocking performance. We aren't allowed to batter one of the big teams, not plucky little Everton...
Today we outplayed and bullied a team fighting for third. We made them look very ordinary. If not for some decent keeping and poor finishing we could have had a Hockey score. This has got to be the standard of effort and application for this Everton team. Now we need to start believing we belong back at the top table.
John McFarlane Snr
10 Posted 07/04/2019 at 21:33:56
Hi Rob [7] I have written on another thread regarding Law 15, Throw-ins.

[Procedure] At the moment of delivering the ball, the thrower, "faces the field of play, "has part of each foot either on the touchline, or on the ground outside the touchline, uses both hands, and delivers the ball from behind, and over his head" I sit in the Park End and I had a perfect view of the incident I have no doubt that it was a foul throw, and in fact it was the second time that he had entered the field of play...

Mike Gaynes
11 Posted 07/04/2019 at 21:36:33
Rob and Julian are correct... if your foot is touching the line, it's legal. From what the TV replay showed, the back of his foot was on the line at the moment the ball was released.

I actually made that unique call last year during a playoff game -- first time in 40 years of officiating that I actually had a player step all the way into the field on a throw-in. It took me a good 45 seconds of flag-waving to get the center ref's attention when it happened, because nobody had ever seen it before.

Philip Ashton
12 Posted 07/04/2019 at 21:48:15
The ref, Kevin Friend, had a very good game today. I know there were a couple of decisions that were questioned, but he refused to be bullied by the Arsenal players constantly mobbing him. They very rarely get any praise, so well done ref.
Jamie Crowley
13 Posted 07/04/2019 at 21:51:40
It was 100% legal throw in. The fact the American commentators Robbie Mustoe and Kyle Martinez got it wrong was embarrassing.

They normally do a very good job. Fucked that up today.

Anyone saying the goal should be disallowed because it was an illegal throw in, well, they're pissing in our gene pool. No brain!

Mike Doyle
14 Posted 07/04/2019 at 22:02:43
Jamie 13] the UK commentators got it wrong too - one of whic was ex-red Jim Beglin
It was discussed on BBC radio later and their analysts agree with Mike 11]
also I think it was Mike Gaynes who months ago predicted that it would take until about now for Seamus to fully recover from his broken leg. On recent evidence that prediction looks correct.

Mike do you predict lottery numbers too?

Andy Meighan
15 Posted 07/04/2019 at 22:02:58
How is it when we win – and we won well today – the media with their idiotic bias complain about how one of their babes never performed, etc? How the other side defended resolutely?

Well, I've got news for them. Our keeper never had a save to make. We could have scored 5 or 6 without reply and it wouldn't have flattered us. Not a chance.

Everton you push me to the limit but I love you x
Jamie Crowley
16 Posted 07/04/2019 at 22:09:22
Mike @14, yes on all counts.

Especially the one about Gaynes' prediction regarding Seamus.

And thank God Mike G. read those tea leaves correctly.

Love Seamus. Great to see him playing well, bombing up the right.

Jeff Armstrong
17 Posted 07/04/2019 at 22:11:14
I hope his foot was on the pitch! It's about time the Sky 6 media bitches were on the end of a bad call.

Welcome to our world! COYB.
Rob Halligan
18 Posted 07/04/2019 at 22:13:38
John, # 10. I sit in the upper gwladys street, so obviously at the time couldnt really tell if it's a foul throw of not, by Digne. I have since seen the goal a few times and, in my opinion, part of Digne's foot is on the line, so therefore it is a legal throw.
Jimmy Hogan
19 Posted 07/04/2019 at 22:43:07
Bloody zonal marking blah blah blah.
Kiern Moran
20 Posted 07/04/2019 at 23:09:39
In the style of Private Eye apologies. I want to put it on record that I was wrong. Mid-season I lost faith with the manager and demanded their immediate exit. I now realise my error.

We are starting to look like a decent side. Need to sign up the loan signings. Clear out most of those on loan now. Strengthen in close season and keep on, keeping on.

Don Alexander
21 Posted 07/04/2019 at 23:20:15
Having just watched MOTD on a night where they have little content and loads of time, and therefore went on at length about our game, I just thought DCL came across impressively. Yonks ago I said he reminded me of Sharpy and according to Glenn Roeder, an England defender when there were a lot of good un's to choose from, Sharpy was his most difficult opponent because he "always takes positions which are most difficult for me to deal with". Today DCL alone harassed Arsenal's back three, repeat, back three! That's awesome in itself. His bravery and growing physicality also made our goal. If DCL, through way more opportunities created by the team, which he deserves, adds 25 a season to his CV we'll have every club from Malaga to Mars trying to sign him.

Well done to the lad, and the team!

David Pearl
22 Posted 07/04/2019 at 23:21:24
... and get Delboy back
Mike Gaynes
23 Posted 07/04/2019 at 23:22:58
Mike Gaynes
24 Posted 07/04/2019 at 23:22:58
Mike #14, wish I could even predict our game results. Every time I post one, I'm wrong. Had us with a draw today.

But I do take great satisfaction in being right about Seamus. Every time in the past year somebody posted that he was done, finished, couldn't keep pace etc. etc. -- and it happened a lot -- I wrote the same thing: Wait till next spring, he'll be fine. So glad he is.

David Pearl
25 Posted 07/04/2019 at 23:26:30
Some fans are always quick to write players off. 6 years ago people were saying Jagielka was finished. I said we wont see him at his best till he reaches 38/40.
Don Alexander
28 Posted 07/04/2019 at 23:51:03
Keirn (#20), hopefully you mean you'll be bowing down before Silva's august organ by, erm, August - hopefully!

And as regards Del boy, he's now 25 but only made the bench today despite possessing sublime skills and pace. He, after a plethora of managers, still has a lot to do between the ears I'm sorry to say before he becomes anyone's "main player", even Watford's.

Kase Chow
29 Posted 07/04/2019 at 00:08:29
What a great win

Gana superb

Gomes sublime

The full backs looking great

Zouma dominant

DCL - a real handful and held the ball up superbly

Well done to the team and Silva

Getting frustrated with Bernard though. Brilliant defensively but he just can’t get it together going forwards. Falls over, can’t beat a man. 1st half a long pass was on to Richarlison and Bernard messed it up. I’m hoping this is a ‘first season in England’ thing cos it’s winding me up no end

But well done Everton. Buzzing!!

Mike Gaynes
30 Posted 07/04/2019 at 00:10:10
There are many here who would have Geri back, but I'm not amongst 'em. Full props to the lad for his brilliance today, but it's important to note that even in this his best season ever, he has driven his manager and fans crazy with his inconsistency -- just as he did with us, Inter and Barcelona.

There's a reason that today, for his club's most important game in many years, he didn't start. And Gracia apparently brought the best out in him by leaving him on the bench for an hour.

Fran Mitchell
31 Posted 08/04/2019 at 00:22:06
Those goals from Geri were a thing of class, absolute footballing beauty.

He is inconsistent, which is what will stop him (or has stopped him so far) from being an abolsute world beater but the talent is there.

That first goal by him today just gets better and better every time you watch it, and it is such a shame we didn't get that from him.

He is special, has the potential to amongst the best. And we got rid, and got Walcott in his place .

Don Alexander
32 Posted 07/04/2019 at 00:29:23
................... and also in regard to DCL's interview on MOTD apparently the "legend" that some consider to be Duncan Ferguson came into the view during the interview of a proper, but prolific, narky goal-scoring striker, namely Ian Wright, who alluded to our "coaching" eejit's propensity for, albeit unspecified, violence.

DCL made all the right noises about Ferguson given they're fellow employees, but I just hope he forgets everything the self-centred shit-house tells him about how to become a better player. He squandered his career and our aspirations as fans/supporters to boot, for years.

That said, if DCL has a penchant for the shit-machines that are pigeons I'll try to cut him some slack on the "value" of Ferguson as a coach though.

Clive Mitchell
33 Posted 08/04/2019 at 00:51:17
Kase, 29 - were you there? I was, and in the Bullens Road stand after the match the delighted and energised debate was about whether DCL or Bernard was our MotM in a team performance where every player deserved at least 7 out of 10. Apart from Walcott, of course, who put less effort in during his ten minutes on the pitch than you would have believed possible.

Loved Match of the Day tonight. Darren Fletcher, for whom I have the utmost respect, expressed surprise that Ozil, who he had considered Arsenal's best player, had been substituted. Then we got MotD stats whcih showed for Ozil: Duels won 0%; Balls Lost 14. What were you watching Darren? Everyone else in GP saw that Ozil was a disgrace to his profession.

Bob Parrington
34 Posted 08/04/2019 at 03:09:30
Enjoyed watching this live on Optus Sport. Good time 10pm Sunday.

Literally, we didn't allow Arsenal in to the game. Outstanding performance again but we should have scored a few more goals.

Once again, Bernard showed that he is settling in to EPL. But, once again, this was a great team effort.

Darryl Ritchie
35 Posted 08/04/2019 at 05:28:52
It must be getting bloody boring for Pickford. We keep this up and he will want to leave just get some action.
Jerome Shields
38 Posted 08/04/2019 at 07:15:51
Everton outplayed Arsenal.
Tony Everan
39 Posted 08/04/2019 at 08:04:27
Lyndon, A humorous headline would have been;

''Wasteful Everton only win 1-0 against a top 6 club ''

This team now is becoming a well oiled machine. A precision instrument that has all its moving parts working in synchronicity.

The midfield of Gomes Gana and Sigg is too much for any team at the moment and our defence is solid and assured .

It seems a shame that everything is clicking into place too late for this season . Coupled with the critical players Gomes, Zouma and Gana probably only 50/50 to be here next season.

If they were to be convinced to stay, with maybe the addition of one more player in June . A Dzeko, Vardy type proven striker for a year or maybe two to share duties with DCL we would be serious top 6 and trophy contenders .

It's all positive at the moment but it is only the start for things, the bigger challenge is for this form to become the norm .

Jags and DCL deserve a special mention for yesterday's performance. Jags, coming into the team after only playing once or twice at the age of 36, was exemplary . At the other end of the pitch DCL had another impressive game at his young age. The strength, desire and determination to battle, win headers hold the long ball up, was superb yesterday and contributed to the win.

One more thing is the way Bernard and Richarlison have embraced their defensive duties . The message from Silva, that this is critical to the team with our formation, has got through. Bernard and Richarlison really fought to get back behind the ball and challenge when we lost possession . This is one of the biggest things that is helping us control games and break down play this last 6 weeks . It is a joy for me to see their work rate in those wide positions and willingness to fight for the team.

John Atkins
40 Posted 08/04/2019 at 08:36:52
To be fair we were playing well and with confidence prior to the game at Anfield, we also dominated at Arsenal and played well at Old Trafford. We deserved more out of all those 3 games that result across the park and Pickford’s error knocked us for six and we are just recovering now. Silva will need to install a mentality that all top clubs display when you have unfortunate results, bad luck and don’t play well as no doubt the quality of the players we have are on paper as good as we’ve seen for a long time. Of course we will also need to strengthen with the right players especially up front
Ray Roche
41 Posted 08/04/2019 at 08:43:25
Well, according to the Koppite trout Sally Nugent on BBC it was a “narrow victory “ won by Jags “poked” goal.
The BBC bias really needs reviewing.
Paul Birmingham
42 Posted 08/04/2019 at 08:44:51
Just seen the morning BBC news who stated Arsenal had a narrow defeat.

King Edwards summary, it shows that within the BBC Sports media, MOTD, and the cowboy morning summarisers are not joined up.

It galvanises us for the next big game at Fulham, this Saturday.

Liam Reilly
43 Posted 08/04/2019 at 08:48:54
DCL was excellent again - just gets better with each passing game. If he was to add goals then we'd have some player there.

But the responsibility for goals needs to be shouldered across all attacking players; a little more composure in the box yesterday and this would've been a rout.

Sign the loan players and a couple of additions (striker & box to box midfielder) and next season could be our year.

(Jaysus - I sound like them lot across Stanley Park).

Colin Glassar
44 Posted 08/04/2019 at 08:55:45
The BBC’s drooling over their beloved reds winning the title again. Proof? Just look at their football homepage it’s all about them and what a title win would mean for football and world peace. Even Gerard’s Rangers get more coverage than most teams in the prem. it’s disgusting.
Peter Warren
45 Posted 08/04/2019 at 09:09:12
Yet another great team performance. Very very pleasing and exciting.
Kunal Desai
46 Posted 08/04/2019 at 09:19:35
A top performance and everyone one of these players have raised their game over the last month.
Made to eat humble pie and rightly so, didn't think we would get any points from the four home games (RS, Chelsea, Arsenal and Man.U) infact I was certain we wouldn't register a single home win after Cardiff in November. We appeared to look so poor at home.
Well done to Silva and the players, turning it around.
The team is better balanced with Bernard on the left and Richarlison on the right and DCL upfront. It works well so hopefully we will pick up more points in the remaining five games playing a similar system.

I still think Silva has alot to prove, he will have to turn around a blip next season in three or four games, he won't get three months to turn it around so next season is big. I also think he'll need to be more pro active with his substitutions. Right now the starting eleven are able to pretty much see out the 90 mins and his changes are made in the last 10 mins but he'll need to think about changes alot earlier when it's not going to plan. I want to see what he has learned from the run we have had in those middle fourteen odd games.

Aside from a mad 45 mins at Newcastle the last 6 games has seen some of the best football played since Martinez first season. Long may in continue. Being an Evertonian it's another season of what if.

Rahman Talib
47 Posted 08/04/2019 at 10:34:22
Not worried about losing Gana to PSG.

IMHO our boy Benny is way better than Gana cause Benny can created chances in addition to being able to do what Gana can do

Benji Learman
48 Posted 08/04/2019 at 10:47:04
Rahman, what are you basing your opinion on? Personally, I think your opinion is ridiculous! Not worried about losing him? I am worried about not being able to replace him!
Rahman Talib
49 Posted 08/04/2019 at 10:55:16
I say let Gana go to greener pastures. He needs Champions League football next season and he should go to PSG.

We have our own Benny Boy to take his place and I believe Benny will be better then Gana.

Mark my words, gentleman.

Mark my words.

Rahman Talib
50 Posted 08/04/2019 at 10:57:19
Been singing this song in my head since the referee blew the full time whistle:

I can see clearly the rain is gone

I can see all obstacles in my way

Gone are the dark clouds that had be blind

It's gonna be a bright bright sun shiny day

Kim Vivian
51 Posted 08/04/2019 at 11:01:17
Better?...Way better?.... Absolutely do NOT agree with that Rahman. And Gana, imo, is actually getting better. One of Steve Walsh's good results with us. We must try and keep him for at least next season.
Tony Abrahams
52 Posted 08/04/2019 at 11:13:45
Keep singing Rahman, but don’t take your eye off the ball though mate!

I hope “little Benny” becomes a better player than “little Ghana” but Gueye, has been unbelievable since January, and he’s doing that much running for the team, that you could be excused for thinking Benni, is already playing next to him!

Daniel A Johnson
53 Posted 08/04/2019 at 11:18:52
Worried that our two central midfielders in Gana and Gomes could be off next season.

If Spurs come calling one trip to their new stadium and Gomes will be off.

Gueye is likely off to PSG next year.

Zouma will be recalled by Chelsea.

Thats 3 first teamers that we could lose before we even try and add to the current squad

Thats a massive hole over £150M worth that we could lose.

I hate loans dont see the point, if a player does well then bigger teams will just snap them up

Rob Halligan
54 Posted 08/04/2019 at 11:34:20
Daniel, from what I've heard, it seems a deal for Gomes is done and dusted. I've heard he's been house hunting in the Merseyside area, and he appears to be making all the right noises with regard to signing permanently with us. Obviously we will have to wait and see for concrete evidence, but to say one look at Spurs new stadium and he will be off is a bit absurd. Obviously the bigger pull will be champions league football, which spurs aren't guaranteed at the moment.

We shall wait and see.

Joe McMahon
55 Posted 08/04/2019 at 11:35:22
Rahman, I thought the lyrics were, " I can see Deirdre now Lorraine has gone ".

Dan @54 no need to worry about Gomes and Spurs stadium, BMD will be finished in approx 15 years time.

Rahman Talib
56 Posted 08/04/2019 at 12:00:02
Gana is leaving.

There's no stopping him

We have to learn to live with the fact that he wants to go to greener pastures.

And we have our boy Benni to replace him.

It's that simple

Kim Vivian
57 Posted 08/04/2019 at 12:16:39
Rahman - he may or may not leave, but whatever he does - in the meantime, you need to get that knock on your head checked out.
Mark Wilson
59 Posted 08/04/2019 at 12:41:48
Rahman I’m assuming your just doing this to count how many of us can express gentle surprise at your bonkers view that Beni is better that Gana ? But I admire your dedication to travelling all those thousands of miles following Beni, who, incidentally, is a fine prospect but some way off playing for Everton regularly .let alone attracting PSG bids of £35m.

Don Alexander, wow, you REALLY dislike Duncan Ferguson don’t you. Given the massive long list of utter shithouses who’ve played in our attack for the last few decades it does seem interesting that you can pick out Ferguson and his pigeons for a bit of venting. Have to say I’m not surprised that his record in terms of coaching seems iffy. He’s managed to stay on as three managers got sacked and part of that has to be Bills influence but it will be just as interesting to see if, after a season with Brands running the show, Duncan survives the summer. Clearly you think he’s worthless. Me? I think he’s an aggressive totally committed Evertonian ex no9 who was often a bit of an idiot with his gob but for the most part would literally bleed and bleed for us, the supporters. Oh, and he was a decent enough No9 compared to many forwards. Still you probably prefer Sandro or the nice chap Tosun ?

Ferguson is a rare thing at Premier League clubs these days. He’s a really decent, incredibly generous guy still working hard to help local charities and individuals despite his own financial issues. DCL appears to me to changed his game this last six months. He’s far more aggressive, far more in the face of defenders, much more about the creative knock down and his overall awareness feels better to me, and Ive not been his biggest fan. He has to score more but I’m thinking Ferguson has had a part to play in DCL’s improvement.

Ah, nearly forgot. Saturday. Top top performance. Excited the supporters from the off and was one of hardly any 90 minute performances this season. Gana immense, Gomes brilliant tho still gave ball away too much, Digne just superb and no idea where Jags pulled that performance from but it was well appreciated by the crowd. Bernard ? great to watch but he has to finish better, tho on Saturday I was constantly bellowing my support for his defending of all things.

We had our wonderful six year old great nephew with us and he was soooo excited. Get that, excited at watching us .didn’t see this coming after a terrible season. Well done boys, let’s go undefeated now until the end of the season. Seventh and euro still very unlikely given fixtures and needing city to turn up for another cup final when they have to focus on beating the shite to the premiership. But it’s been fun to watch us recently. Amazing.

Brent Stephens
60 Posted 08/04/2019 at 12:50:19
Rahman #48 - there you say Benni IS better than Gana.

Later on you say he WILL BE better than Gana.

Is Benni going backwards but might recover his skills?

Peter Gorman
61 Posted 08/04/2019 at 12:50:33
Rahman, I loved young Beni when he made his start under Unsworth and put his colleagues to shame, but that was a long time ago and Gana has been excellent throughout. Would love to see Beni come good as he is one of our own but he obviously has next to no experience at this level.
Chris Sikorski
62 Posted 08/04/2019 at 13:19:16
Obdurate and Indefatigable are my words of the day. Good review and UTT!
Craig Walker
63 Posted 08/04/2019 at 13:19:25
Don @32. Don't get me wrong, I thought DCL played superbly yesterday and I'm pleased for the lad. He deserves praise but he does need to add more goals to his game.

I know Duncan Ferguson has his critics amongst Evertonians but for me he was a hero in our shirt when playing in some teams where he was the sole reason for being proud to be a blue. His hat-trick on Boxing Day against Bolton effectively kept us up that season. I'll never forget watching that first derby goal in a room full of RS-supporting fans. The goals against United at the Gwladys Street End. The two he got at Old Trafford to stun them. He was unplayable at times during his first spell and he never lost a derby match during that first stint. I used to argue with my dad up until he passed away. I loved Duncan and my dad couldn't stand him.

Bob Parrington
64 Posted 08/04/2019 at 13:53:07
James #37. Thanks but I get something like "Not available in your location on it". Crazy stupid blocking of rights for no real reason whatsoever.

Thanks for trying

Jay Harris
65 Posted 08/04/2019 at 15:05:40
You need a vpn adjuster that will tell sites that you are viewing in the UK not Australia. Google it and you will get familiar with how they work. There are some free ones but they do come with ads.
Mike Gaynes
66 Posted 08/04/2019 at 16:08:50
Bob #65, here ya go:

As to this: "Benny is way better than Gana cause Benny can created chances..." Gotta be kidding.

Beni started two Prem games for us last season. He was subbed off at halftime in both. He had six more league appearances as a late sub. Never once created a single chance. (Also started three Europa games, and I don't recall any chances created there either, but I could be wrong.) This season he was injured, then we loaned him to Wigan, which played him in exactly one game. He's never again been named into their squad.

Kim Vivian
67 Posted 08/04/2019 at 16:10:11
Final comment (from me) on this thread re Gana - Just seeing the PL tackling stats which show top 5 as
1 - Ndidi, Leics 122
2 - Gana 121
3 - Wan Bissaka, CP 115
4 - Pereira, Leics
5 - Moutinho, Wolves 98

That's it in a nutshell, really.

Gerry Quinn
68 Posted 08/04/2019 at 16:30:52
Am I wrong in stating that Mustafi, as last defender (definitely was), by taking down DCL should have seen a RED, and not a yellow?
Ray Roche
69 Posted 08/04/2019 at 16:47:34
I agree Gerry. Dangerous play without a doubt.
However, I think Kevin Friend had as good a game as any ref I’ve seen in ages so we can maybe overlook that one.
Dave Abrahams
70 Posted 08/04/2019 at 17:11:18
Gerry (70), as he was already on a yellow he should have walked, the referee never even blew for a foul, but agree with Ray (71) Friend had a good game, he dropped thre “r” for this game.
Fran Mitchell
71 Posted 08/04/2019 at 17:26:15
Didn't see the game yesterday, but things do seem to have turned a corner. I wouldn't have expected more than 1 point from the last 3 games after the Newcastle mire, so fair play to Silva.

Gana and Gomes seem to have really developed a great understanding.

While it is very possible PSG, or even a team like Juve, Bayern, or Man Utd come in for Gana this summer.

Forgetting the ridiculous statements above, Gana is without doubt our player of the season, our most consistent performer and he has upped his game since January, he is much the reason we won at Chelsea and it seems yesterday. Why? The midfield battle is what wins and loses matches, and Gana is a midfield machine. Selling him would be a huge loss, leaving a Lukaku sized hole, and it is not an easy position to fill.

Look at Utd, 52million Fred a flop. How long did it take Arsenal to find a player, before Torreira (and how much did they miss him yesterday?). Even City are dreading the loss.of ageing Fernandinho.

Gana would get maybe 40/45 million, and if he pushes for the move no one could blame him, but I do hope we offer him a contract extension and substantial pay rise (Gana 60k a week whilst Walcott is on 110k - crazy).

N'didi would be a good replacement, but would be 50+ million and would he move? Doucure at Walford, similar situation. So we'd need to take a punt on a Brands find - which is a huge risk.

We need to add a striker/forward, secure Zouma (another player who is improving with every game) and Gomes, Plus some midfield reinforcements (replacing Schneiderlin, McCarthey, and possibly Davies who is very much out of the reckoning for now).

Great to be positive again, and should we win at Fulham, it would be 4 straight wins against London teams - must be some sort of record for us.

Mike Gaynes
72 Posted 08/04/2019 at 17:46:50
Gerry, probably not. He may have been the "last man" but it was probably too far from goal to be considered a "DOGSO" (denial of a clear goal scoring opportunity) which is the official rule.

Dave, the ref did give a yellow for that foul. Mustafi was not already on a yellow, that was his first.

Ray Roche
73 Posted 08/04/2019 at 17:49:51
Mike, correct, not a DOGSO, but dangerous play, or even violent conduct.
He clearly took the man out with no attempt to play the ball. No "mistimed tackle" etc. a clear red to me when I saw it later on tv from a better angle than my spec in the Gwladys St.
Dave Abrahams
74 Posted 08/04/2019 at 17:50:15
Mike I’m talking about the second incident not long after the yellow, the centre back and another Arsenal player completely blocked Dominic from running onto a free ball,Dominic landed on the floor, Friend had a look but turned his back and let play go on.
Andrew Keatley
75 Posted 08/04/2019 at 17:52:08
Dave (72) - Unless I've misunderstood Gerry's post, Mustafi was booked for the foul on DCL. He didn't already have a yellow, otherwise he would have picked up a second booking and had to go. The issue was whether DCL was in on goal, and Mustafi (as the last man) should have seen a straight red.

I think the fact it was on the touchline made it easier for Friend to go for the yellow, but it seemed to me that DCL was flying and would have been in on goal. Could easily have been a straight red. As for whether the foul from Mustafi was "dangerous play" as Ray (71) suggests - we'd truly be seeing six or seven reds a games if that constitutes dangerous play...

Andrew Keatley
76 Posted 08/04/2019 at 17:54:03
Dave (76) - that makes more sense!
Rob Halligan
77 Posted 08/04/2019 at 18:03:02
The tackle on Digne by Guendouzi was far more dangerous than that of Mustafi. He went right over the top and caught Digne full on. I sit in the upper gwladys street but I'm sure I heard the screech by Digne.
Ivan Varghese
78 Posted 08/04/2019 at 18:10:55
Great game. Perhaps providence that Keane was ill and Jags took his place. Arsenal attack suited Jags, they would have run circles around keane. Jags did so well picking up and squelching runners. Experience count.
Mike Gaynes
79 Posted 08/04/2019 at 18:11:50
Ray #75, yes, could have been. Borderline in my view. At the high school level where I now referee, it would be an instant straight red, no question, but in my pro days I would have given a yellow and a lecture.

Dave #76, thanks for clarifying, sorry I misread you. I did see that, but they just don't give obstruction fouls anymore. Definitely not a second yellow for me.

Brent Stephens
80 Posted 08/04/2019 at 18:12:06
No, Rob, that was me screeching from the Upper Bullens.

Yes, a nasty tackle on Digne that could have "earned" a red. DCL was able to "ride" his tackle (I often invite my wife to do so but she's not interested!) but, as you say, Rob, Guendouzi's tackle was full on - a potential leg-breaker.

I love Digne for the way he gets the job done (defending and attacking) without being a flash-harry. Seems a really likable guy.

Paul Birmingham
81 Posted 08/04/2019 at 18:18:25
Colin@45, spot on.

The Bulk of the press are brainwashed with the RS, and have no genuine knowledge of their history and events that impacted English football 34 years ago.

EFC never recovered and has been in pegatory since.

Yep it makes you to the teeth. I’ll be praying for Good referees and correct descisions to the end of this season.

Last will be flushed, hopefully soon, in context of ridiculous basic descisions by officials being over seen, and not given.

They have had more luck than any team in recent times?

Ray Roche
82 Posted 08/04/2019 at 19:17:24

DCL was running flat out 8 ft from the advertising panels and the concrete wall. He’s lucky he didn’t collide with them. If you see tackles like that “6/7 times” in a game you watch a different league to the Premier League.
It was reckless, dangerous and worthy of a straight red. No attempt to play the ball.

Kevin Prytherch
83 Posted 08/04/2019 at 19:37:27
Don 32...
Do any of us actually know how good a coach Duncan Ferguson is??

We often hear that he is the only common person who has stayed at the club through Moyes, Martinez, Koeman and Silva, and that he must be shite because of it. After all, we’ve been crap with all those managers.

However, we’ve also had good spells with all these managers and not a single one has let him go - does that point to him being a good coach?

I know he divided opinion as a player, but basing his coaching on his playing ability is folly. Arsene Wagner and Jose Mourinho weren’t exactly world class players, but no one said that Arsene can’t coach because he wasn’t a very good player himself.

Terry Farrell
84 Posted 08/04/2019 at 20:02:00
Personally I love the fact that big Dunc is part of the coaching team and on the bench match day. He installs passion and steel and this is showing on the pitch. Dcl Bernard Ricky Siggy Digne all working their socks off and throwing the tackles in. Didn't mention Gana because his work rate and consistency is a given and we probably take him for granted. What a pro he is
Don Alexander
85 Posted 08/04/2019 at 20:08:09
Kevin (#85) and other posters querying my disdain for Ferguson, if you google "Duncan Ferguson Observer" you (bizarrely) are taken to a detailed piece published in the Guardian in 2003. all about our "legend". It's libellous if not true and those truths emerge from some who are named and Everton employees who aren't. It literally spells out the reasons for which I'd already started despising him by 1995. He had massive talent but chose to squander it all apart from about four games from the 230 he played in for us whilst taking every club he ever played for to the cleaners financially, serially selling short the clubs' fans year after year after year. I've no time at all for that type of shite and it dismays me that Kenwright would take him on with no credentials at all, but if Razor Ruddock had also played for us Kenwright would probably have re-employed him too, on the cheap of course.
Darren Hind
86 Posted 08/04/2019 at 21:02:17
Despite the usual ill informed gibberish from the resident Einstein. Duncan Ferguson has spent many hours working with DCL on his hold up play. Whether you see Ferguson as a saint or a sinner. that is a simple fact.

I'm not really sure what people think DCL is. He is not a twenty+ goal a season man, However, like a certain Andy Gray all those years ago, he most definitely enhances our goal threat.
If Memory serves me right Gray scored around 15 goals in about 50 matches. Calvert Lewin has already scored more than that and there is much more to come.

Gray played in a far better team than DCL and was already a very experienced player by the time we got him. I don't recall anybody complaining about his lack of goals.

Calvert Lewin has a much harder job than Gray, he does not have a Graham Sharp to partner him, he is being asked to do it all himself. He doesn't have a Sheedy or a steven firing in pin point crosses for him either.

You don't have to score 20 odd goals to be a top class line leader who will create panic for opposition defenders.

He has played many of his games out of position and he's also played many a game where the service ranged from shit to non existent. He may not be scoring freely, but he is most definitely contributed to most of our goals recently. He has established himself as the focal point. The catalyst for most of our attacks.

Mark my words, It wont be long before this boy is drawing interest from the big boys.

John Pierce
87 Posted 08/04/2019 at 21:22:51
Darren, whatever the reason for the improvement, it’s very welcome and I posted in match day thread that those around him are beginning to believe he will win or at least disrupt any aerial challenge.

Richarlison is beginning to gamble off him and possibly because Pickford generally kicks left to right tends to see him drift out that way.

He actually reminds me of Sharp, who at a similar age was no where for a spell after he joined us. A scraggy and lanky lad but superb in the air. Sharp was 10-15 goals guaranteed but generally had a partner too, a luxury Calvert-Lewin isn’t afforded.

I still have my doubts because I don’t see that ruthless streak for a goal, which in modern football I think, you need. Despite the mitigation you cite, he has had chances that I think he could have done better with.

Yesterday, West Ham and other games we’ve had periods of good play that rarely this season have been furnished with the goals it the play merits. We will be in for a good striker this summer, so we’re does that leave Calvert-Lewin? Brands and Silva would be brave chaps to gamble on him and spend the money elsewhere. But maybe?

Andy Crooks
88 Posted 08/04/2019 at 21:22:54
Darren, I have little time for Duncan Ferguson but agree with totally about DCL. This is not, as some have said on here, a Championship player, this is a good player who will, in my view, be a great player.
Terry Farrell
89 Posted 08/04/2019 at 21:33:44
The tide of opinion has turned for Dominic because he is playing well following big surprise a run of games and he is maturing as a player on the coal face. Those who previously suggested this were called misguided or worse. Whilst instinctive finishing is a gift he will definitely improve at controlled finishing as he's already proved at younger levels. He will score the numbers. Now let's give other youngsters and Silva the same backing
Brian Harrison
90 Posted 08/04/2019 at 21:40:22

I know someone who is at Finch Farm and I asked did DCL work with Ferguson a lot and he reckons not, make of that what you will. I know Mark Chapman on MOTD said I guess you learn a lot from Duncan and he replied yes I have learned a lot from him, but maybe the lad didnt want to say no I hardly work with him at all. I hear Ferguson is very much a peripheral figure at Finch Farm.

But you are absolutely right about the improvement in DCL and I am sure the run of games has helped. Probably the hardest position on the field for a young player, and if he can add goals on a regular basis then other teams will start to take notice.

Kevin Prytherch
91 Posted 08/04/2019 at 21:48:02
Don 87
Like I said, he spilt opinion as a player, however we shouldn’t judge his coaching ability based on his playing career.
Mike Gaynes
92 Posted 08/04/2019 at 21:51:28
Darren #88: "Duncan Ferguson has spent many hours working with DCL on his hold up play."

How do you know? I've seen no media reports to that effect. Got a source at Finch Farm?

Andrew Keatley
93 Posted 08/04/2019 at 21:52:04
Ray (84) - I didn’t really take the hoardings and concrete wall into consideration. I was thinking about the foul itself, which was a sly kick/trip; late but not dangerous in any truly obvious way. I think dangerous play is more about about the intent with the foul itself than proximity to hoardings and the pace that the player is running - otherwise any foul at full pelt down the touch line would be in danger of being classed as dangerous play because of the possibility of a player going into the hoardings.
Joe McMahon
94 Posted 08/04/2019 at 21:54:34
Brain, Lukaku didn't work much with Duncan either. We will never know what he does do, but we don't have many strikers to work with and haven't since the 80s.
Brian Williams
95 Posted 08/04/2019 at 22:08:22
Mike DCL said so in an interview pitchside after the game.

Just seen thats been touched on in an earlier post.

What I would say about DCL's lack of goals, a point I think has been somewhat overlooked, is that his goal scoring chances don't exactly come thick and fast.

It's not as if he's fluffing three or four chances a game.

He doesn't receive the sort of service that affords him that many chances to be fair.

Whatever your opinion I don't think anyone can argue against the fact that he played a blinder yesterday.

Ray Roche
96 Posted 08/04/2019 at 22:40:47

" dangerous play because of the possibility of a player going into the hoardings."


Mike Gaynes
97 Posted 08/04/2019 at 22:55:15
Brian #97, thanks, hadn't heard about that. Good for him! May have to alter my opinion of Dunc as a coach. (Nah, probably not.)

But like you, my opinion of DCL continues to elevate with every game. His commitment and willingness to accept coaching are evident every time we see him do something -- be it a certain run off the ball or a more confident touch -- that he didn't do the week before.

And I too can't wait to see if his scoring improves with consistent service.

Tony Hill
98 Posted 08/04/2019 at 23:52:59
What's interesting about DCL is that he sometimes looks absolutely clueless. He doesn't move like a natural footballer. At other times, increasingly frequent, his touch is spot on and so are his lay offs. I still recall his lovely flick for Sigurdsson's goal against Huddersfield last season.

He's a right old mix, which is the sign of a developing talent. Someone is coaching him in the right way and he's a clever lad. I've said before that he reminds me in some ways of Lineker in that he's a footballer who is in the process of making himself excellent, despite not always looking the part.

Oh, and he has the best leap in the Premier League - which will become ever more potent.

Phillip Warrington
99 Posted 08/04/2019 at 23:54:40
I can't believe it’s the same team who have really struggled all season and yet, if they do win their remaining games, could end up in the Europa eague.

Only downside is clubs will be after Gana, Gomes, Zouma... Wow! What an up-and-down season — and, for all the crap that happens in the season, we are always one or two places off European football.

I know everybody wants Champions League but I would like Everton to play European football every season — even if that means the dreaded Europa League — and we do a Seville!

Tony Hill
100 Posted 08/04/2019 at 23:59:32
Mike @68, Baningime is a truly class player. He's gone off beam, I agree, and I hope he has the right temperament. But in terms of talent, he's a proper Everton player, distinguished by an instinctive touch, timing and positional awareness. A long way for him to travel, but I think he could be a very good player indeed.
John Daley
101 Posted 09/04/2019 at 00:42:46
Calvert-Lewin on Duncan Ferguson and how he has helped his progress:

"I work a lot with Duncan Ferguson during– and after training – doing finishing drills and how to become a better player”


"I’ve got Duncan Ferguson every day on the training pitch helping me on my game. They are big boots to fill, but it’s a pressure that I like to have because it’s only going to make me a better player. Over the last year, having filled out and naturally grown a bit more, with the physical side of the game there’s nobody better to go to than Duncan. I have been receiving the ball to feet this season and been more reliable – and I’ve got to thank Dunc for that.”


As for those who (again and again and again) love to try and paint Ferguson as purely and simply a professional shirker, shy of getting a bit of sweat on his brow, half-arsing his way through his entire Everton career and eagerly missing games at a drop of a hat, I would suggest that is a very myopic view that makes light of the debilitating injuries he had to contend with for large parts of his playing career.

Adrian Heath (for example) holds him in the highest esteem after working with him during HK's crazy third spell in charge and his words certainly don't paint a picture of a player perceived, behind the scenes, to have possessed zero commitment to the cause, or to have been milking the club/coasting along on easy street on Everton's coin. The opposite in fact:

"He could not train Monday to Friday that season and he virtually single-handedly kept us up through the sheer force of his personality, by being a talisman for the rest of the group. I know Howard always said that without the big fella we wouldn’t have stayed up. I think that was his finest hour for Everton. I don’t think people quite realised the pain he was playing in. I knew, because on the Monday morning coming in, he could barely get out of the car. A couple of injections later on the Friday we’d wheel him out again."

Now, I certainly don't consider him 'a legend'. The last player deserving of that label to ply his trade for Everton was Dave Watson. Ferguson was far from perfect, had plenty of baggage even before he came down from Scotland on loan, was inconsistent, capable of losing the plot and acting a balloon, but I would still swap him for the majority of the players in our current squad in a heart beat.

As for his post playing career and oft alleged lack of contribution? Off the top of my head I can think of Velios (yeah, yeah, I know), Naismith, Lukaku (who "didn't work much with Duncan either" vs "I work with Duncan all the time. I go with him after training on Tuesday, Wednesday and sometimes Thursday or Friday. At least three times a week"), Niasse, the already mentioned Calvert-Lewin, Tosun and Fraser Hornby, who have all in the past made repeated mention of the extra work Ferguson put in with them to try and help improve aspects of their game. Even Cuco cocking Martina mentioned he assisted him in his attempts to acclimitise to playing on the left: “I do some extra training with Duncan [Ferguson] to train my left foot so I can use it more..."

The fact some of the above remained undeniably shite can't be used as a stick to beat him with. Coaching can at most expand and augment natural talent, it can't fucking imbue it.

Sheedy, Moyes, Martinez and Koeman have all in the past, spoken highly of his work on the training pitch and his aptitude and enthusiasm for coaching.

Kevin Sheedy (as honest as they come and not a man prone to blowing smoke up sphincters) had this to say:

"Duncan has done very well and worked extremely hard. In my opinion he is a good manager in the making. He’s a very committed and passionate guy who loves being out on the training ground working with the lads who certainly think very highly of him. My era as an Everton player was a long time before them but they can really relate to him as a Blue icon so he’s very well respected but it’s as much for his ability as a coach as for his playing reputation"

As for the suggestion he's merely a glorified dogsbody whose presence is countenanced by multiple managers as long as he's kept well clear of the 'inner circle' or "the man in charge of putting the cones out" as ToffeeWebs own coaching dilettante (soz Steve) once put it? That certainly doesn't mesh with what the man himself or ex-manager Koeman had to say on the matter in an article in The Times during the tubby truth-teller's time at the club:

"At the club’s Finch Farm training headquarters yesterday morning, the 45-year-old first-team coach took the initial session as Ronald Koeman and his brother, Erwin, looked on. The need to engage a group of players who have mustered renewed momentum in their season and are intent on infiltrating the top six again, was uppermost in his mind as he constantly introduced new ideas to motivate them."

"As a coach you are constantly trying to come up with new methods, racking your brain, because you have a responsibility to the players. Keeping them interested and enjoying things is the skill of the job.

"You will tweak things, one day something will work, another day it might not, but it is all about putting on the best session you can.

"Under the present manager [Koeman] there are less staff than before — there is him, his brother and me — and so there is more work for me to do. He’ll give me free rein at times.

“He has been very good to me and given me responsibility which is helping me progress as a coach. For him to allow me to be so close to him is credit to him. Other managers might not have wanted that.

"I came back and went into the academy system and worked there for years, really learning how to be a coach. The first years I didn’t get a salary. I just worked as a coach to make myself better and that was great for my development.

“I took on an apprenticeship, if you like, and worked my way up. I just wanted to learn the hard way. I believe as a coach you cannot cut corners. Some people can go in at a higher level and use their name to get a job and then they are quickly out of a job.

“Don’t get me wrong, just because you put in years of development as a coach doesn’t mean you are going to keep your job longer. But it gives you a greater knowledge of how it operates. My grounding has been second to none.

“I never had an official age group. I would just tag myself on to any coach that would take me that particular night. I would work with under-12s, 14s, 15s, 16s, 18s, so I know the likes of Tom Davies from coming up. He was always rated.

“Eventually, I fell in with Kevin Sheedy with the under-18s. He was unwell for a period and had a hard time. I took over until he came back.”


"He lives and eats Everton. He is the first here in the morning and maybe the last to go out. But nobody stays at a club because they are Mr Everton or Mr Arsenal. He contributes a lot. He is one of the staff.

"He is improving his experience as a coach. He is involved in the technical stuff and discussions about the players, the team. We have a good understanding and I am really happy with him.”

Obviously, things could be completely different under Silva and Ferguson's involvement may now be more miniscule. I wouldn't know, but I do know I wouldn't be making my mind up on the basis of such myopic hoopleheaded bleating as what he did or didn't do decades ago as a player, how many bookings he picked up, our prolonged failure to buy a quality finisher since Lukaku left, or the fact he had the 'bare-faced cheek' to be declared bankrupt. Then again, I hadn't "started despising him by 1995".

Of course, if Dull Alexdowner says Duncan is simply a fucking shirking, money-hungry, "self-centred shit-house" without a decent bone in his body and defo deserving of 24 years of pathetically bitter 'hate' then I suppose, given his eerily Clouseau-like track-record for calling it right, there really should not be any room left for doubt:


Probably cancelled the cheque the very next day and proper battered the bus driver, before robbing all their dinner money and taking the week off work on full pay.

Rahman Talib
102 Posted 09/04/2019 at 01:28:45
In case the worst happened, here's what we could do:

1) Loss of Gana:

Not to worried. We have a litany of replacement of equal or slightly below ability in the form of:

a. Jamie Mac (proven talent and ability equal to Fana if not better

b. Morgan S ( also proven and reliable)

c. Besic ( to me he is as good of a replacement but others might disagree)

d. Beeni (Unsworth thinks so highly of him)

2. Loss of Zouma :

a. We already have Mina

b. Holgate is more experienced and mature now and can replace Zouma except against more superior opponents

c. Besic can play here too

d. Old Jagielka can still contribute betweeb 5 to 10 games

e. Plus we can bring others in

3. Loss of Gomez

a. Tom Davies will have to step up

b. Nikola Vlasic will have to remain and step up

c. Hard to bring anybody in with that quality of Gomez

d. Maybe we can persuade Rooney to come back

Fran Mitchell
103 Posted 09/04/2019 at 01:41:31
Rahman. Lost. For. Words.

Share some of what your smoking at the meet up on the 21st, should make for a fun event

Andrew Keatley
104 Posted 09/04/2019 at 01:55:02
Rahman #104: Morgan S is proven and reliable at what exactly; sleepwalking through games of football?
Rahman Talib
105 Posted 09/04/2019 at 02:48:58
Fran #105

Haven't smoked anything for years.

Had some antibiotics, though.

Darren Hind
106 Posted 09/04/2019 at 06:11:43
John @103

You need to kick that taking-it-from-the-horses-mouth lark into touch lad. You'll learn nothing by listening to the likes of Sheedy and HK. You need to start listening to what people who have never been near finch farm in their lives have to say. They know the REAL truth.

Lukaku, DCL Heath and all those former managers are clearly lying. so is that fucking children's hospital - Bastards

Lets be clear here, Ferguson has never even got close to turning Niasse or Tosun into a Sergio Aguero - Proof, if it were needed, that he is not only evil. He's fucking crap.

Tony Abrahams
107 Posted 09/04/2019 at 08:08:17
Some good stuff there JD, with Aidrean Heath’s words being the most interesting ones for me.

It’s obvious Duncan loves Everton, it’s possible that he knows he could have been a much better player if he had just concentrated on the football, and this is why he might also have a lot to offer right now?

It’s always opinions, but my biggest gripe with Ferguson the player, was that he never got hold of the ball enough for me? Look at his goal against Liverpool, he stopped it, he turned and he smashed one into the bottom corner, and the similar one against United, was even better.

Duncan was v.good on the floor for a big man, but he laid it off first time too much imo. I prefer my centre-forward to really get hold of the ball, and Lewin looks as though he’s going to be excellent at this?

Peter Mills
108 Posted 09/04/2019 at 09:34:57
Duncan Ferguson has admitted making mistakes in his life and his playing career.

If he can impart those lessons-learned, as well as passing on his his footballing skill and knowledge, to DCL, we will have some player.

Brian Harrison
109 Posted 09/04/2019 at 09:50:09

Like me you are a big supporter of David Unsworth not being given longer in the job, rather than appoint Allardyce. So maybe you can tell me why you think Unsworth chose John Ebbrell as his assistant and not the first team coach that had worked with Martinez and Koeman. Surely if he was such a good coach Unsworth would be mad to ignore him?

Rahman Talib
110 Posted 09/04/2019 at 11:21:42
We are not giving Besic enough credit.

The man has intensity. He has passion.

The last time anyone has that type of trait is our Mad Dog Gravesen. And he got us to 4th place.

We need to keep him and play him more.

He scares the living daylights of every opponents we play.

He will replace Gana seamlessly should Gana decides to opt for Champions League with PSG.

Bill Gienapp
111 Posted 09/04/2019 at 11:27:14
Rahman, I like your optimism and I've always gotten a kick out of Besic's weird cult following, but I'm pretty sure the ship has sailed on his Everton career.
Sandra Bowen
112 Posted 09/04/2019 at 12:01:33
Darren's comments on Calvert-Lewin are spot on. I, like many have doubts that he will ever be anything more than a 15 goal a season player but there is absolutely nothing wrong with that at all. He brings so much more than goals and is absolutely crucial to our recent resurgence in form. His hold up play, aerial ability, channel running and willingness to lead the line has improved so so much and has enabled us to play much higher up the pitch and play a higher tempo.

I think he is a perfect number two striker and by that I don't mean that he should be a back up striker coming off the bench, just that he's ideal for some games and maybe just as good coming off the bench in other games should we mange to get new striker in this summer. I love him and like Darren says, it wont be long before big clubs come sniffing and it's only a matter of time before he's in the England squad.

Tony Everan
113 Posted 09/04/2019 at 12:48:30

Fully agree with all that, and the type of striker that he is means he will improve further and get stronger over the next 2 or 3 years . Goals will come,
appx. 15 per season, but his contribution to the team winning is just as important.

Jay Wood

114 Posted 09/04/2019 at 14:25:12
Brian @ 109.

As you note, Ferguson worked under both Martinez and Koeman. Big Dunc returned to Everton as a coach in 2011, first working voluntarily before then being assigned to work alongside Sheeds with the under-18s.

He was promoted to work with the first team under Martinez as long ago as 2014. David Unsworth only joined the coaching staff in 2013 - two years after Dunc - as Alan Stubbs' understudy to the U-21s. Rhino took over from Stubbs when Alan became manager of Hibernian in 2014. Shortly after this, Martinez promoted Ferguson to the first team.

In one sense, it could be argued that Ferguson is senior to Unsworth, so why would be 'step down' a level and work under Rhino as his assistant?

Furthermore, John Ebbrell - who is much less qualified than Duncan coaching-wise - only returned to Everton in 2015 and was promoted to be Unsworth's assistant in 2016.

I'm really not sure what you are trying to imply when you write "if [Ferguson] was such a good coach Unsworth would be mad to ignore him". The timeline I've laid out and the different positions held by the 3 coaches, plus their respective experiences, suggests nothing untoward or sinister here.

Brian Harrison
115 Posted 09/04/2019 at 15:24:27

I am well aware of when people joined and left the coaching set up, what I am implying was that if Ferguson was so good a coach and having worked with the first team under Martinez and Koeman, how come the club gave the job to Unsworth the least experienced of the coaches.

Also when they appointed Unsworth he chose to appoint Ebrell as his assistant rather than Ferguson, for me that says a lot. Also being at the games there was very little or no interaction between Unsworth and Ferguson. I would just add that at the Southampton away game, which was sadly to be Unsworth last game, Joe Royle ( a proper legend) came from the stands to have a word with Unsworth, yet at no point did Ferguson speak to Unsworth.

Dave Abrahams
116 Posted 09/04/2019 at 15:43:00
Jay (114), it’s very interesting, from your post, that Alan Stubbs appointed Unsworth as his assistant rather than Duncan, who was already there,maybe just a personal choice?
Mike Gaynes
117 Posted 09/04/2019 at 15:54:13
John Daley #101, thank you for that compilation. That took quite a bit of research. And I didn't know any of it. I hold up my hand in salute, sir.

Duncan's own quote and the one from Sheedy, along with what DCL said the other day and the obvious improvement in his game, DO make me re-think that aspect of Dunc's coaching career. As Peter points out, if he's passing along the lessons he learned in his life on and off the pitch, more power to him. I was never a fan of his as a player. Never gave him much thought as a coach. Perhaps I should have.

Jay #114 and Brian #115, do you know what coaching badges have been earned by Unsworth, Ebbrell and Ferguson? I know nothing about this specific situation, but wouldn't those credentials, rather than time with the club, determine who was "senior" in the coaching structure?

Mike Gaynes
118 Posted 09/04/2019 at 16:05:06
Rahman #110, intensity and passion are no replacement for lack of talent.

At the moment Besic can't stay on the pitch for Boro. After having spent the past three months as the first player subbed off, he has now lost his starting position. The press is reporting an extended run of poor form.

He's not scaring anybody these days. Bill's right, not only has his Everton ship sailed but IMO he's been tossed permanently overboard.

Jay Wood

119 Posted 09/04/2019 at 16:11:42
Brian @ 115.

So is it fair to say your implication is based on speculation that assumes Ferguson cannot be - what exactly? - as good a coach as Unsworth or Ebbrel because he was neither appointed as Unsworth's assistant, or given the U-21s/23s manager's job?

You seem to be presenting your assumption as the only logical answer, when it could be any number of other things. And I rather think Ferguson being promoted to first team coach five years ago rather trumps Ebbrel's promotion to Unsworth's assistant one year after returning to Everton as a coach.

Me? I'm not offering any comparative presumptions on the respective qualities of the 3 coaches because I have no information on which to do so.

Nor am I denigrating any one of them, nor intent on promoting any one of them over the others. I genuinely wanted Unsworth to make a success of it when he stepped in as caretaker after Koeman was sacked, was not to be.

And one reason Rhino didn't land the gig was due to the Southampton away game you reference. Not having a camera on the Everton dugout the whole game, I have no idea (again) if your claim that Ferguson didn't speak to Unsworth is true or not.

What I did see, as did any live or TV spectator saw, was what you report: Joe Royle leaving the stands to console Unsworth in game. A very kind act on Joe's part, but for me it only highlighted how bad things had got, because I have never ever seen the like of that at the highest level of the game before. I felt nothing but sympathy for Unsworth at that moment.

I'm guessing Brian you don't care for Ferguson much, thus your reference to Big Joe as a 'proper legend'. FYI I have posted on here previously Big Dunc doesn't get into my top 3 or 4 all-time great Everton teams and in no way do I think he merits the moniker 'legend'. But I can certainly understand why, to a generation of a certain age, he is viewed as such.

Dave @ 116. Yep! It could be that simple, Dave.

Dave Abrahams
120 Posted 09/04/2019 at 16:15:33
Jay, yes it could be, although one person got very annoyed and two didn’t.
Jay Wood

121 Posted 09/04/2019 at 16:30:19
Mike @ 118.

I know the answer for Ferguson Mike. He got his UEFA B licence in 2011, the A licence in 2012 and enrolled for the Pro licence in 2013. I can't find any info if he has attained that yet. He has expressed the ambition to one day be Everton manager.

Unsworth, I can't find any definite info on what badges he has, but I presume they must be of the highest level as before joining Everton one of his previous coaching roles was to be a course tutor with the Scottish FA on their coaching courses.

Ebbrell, again, I can't find anything definite. On retiring from the game he was briefly a scout at Everton under Moyes before becoming a footy agent. Given it is 10 years since he started coaching (with Tranmere), you would have to presume he has some level of UEFA badges, but nothing confirmed, as I say.

The 'senior' reference I made was in respect of two things, Mike:

1) chronology - the timeline the three coaches have been at Everton

2) the level of the teams they are coaching

On both counts, Ferguson can be reasonably regarded as 'senior'.

Brian Harrison
122 Posted 09/04/2019 at 17:34:12

I am not speculating on anything I am stating facts. Everton sack Koeman and his brother, but they appoint Unsworth as manager not the man who had been actively helping coach the first team, under 2 previous managers why?

Unsworth appoints Ebbrell as his assistant why not Ferguson?

Everton move Unsworth back to look after the Under 23s but Ferguson still with the first team squad.

I think the timing of Joe Royle leaving Everton may or may not have something to do with the treatment of Unsworth, I wont speculate as I know you don't like speculation.

Jay Wood

123 Posted 09/04/2019 at 17:56:53
Brian, you are merging facts with speculation.

Nothing wrong with either. You may be right in your speculation about the facts, but other than a very small 'in-the-know' minority, neither you nor I can categorically say what constitutes the 'absolute truth' of the matter.

Why all those 'facts' you ask? Dunno definitively, Brian. Maybe Unsworth has the necessary badges required to caretake the first team and Ferguson hasn't...maybe Ferguson is best suited to coach the first team than academy players...and vice-versa for Rhino...lots of speculative maybes you can throw in besides your (still implied) single one.

Nor do I have a problem with speculation, which amusingly you state you KNOW I don't like: does that charge count as fact or speculation, or simply what it is?


Paul Bernard
124 Posted 09/04/2019 at 18:21:04
Couple of points on Sunday's game:

My first reaction to mustafi's tackle wasn't about being the last man but more about the nature of the tackle. Some will say there are ways of taking your man out without being dangerous such as a shirt pull or clipping the ankles. When a player goes in like mustafi's did then it is intentional risk there - he knows he will hurt the man.

I also agree above that Silva could do with making changes earlier, I would of subbed Gomes and DCL for Davies and Tosun 10 minutes earlier, but we won so it's easily forgiven.

I also think the Ferguson bleeds blue idea has worn thin, this coming from a huge big Dunc fan. When the scuffle kicked off on the bench I didn't see Ferguson being well Ferguson. I'm hoping I missed the moment we're he throttled Ozil for being a big coat throwing cry baby! Maybe I just have the wrong idea of what we want from Ferguson as in some active role and ensuring everyone gives 110%.

Great win that could of been 5 or 6.

Stan Schofield
125 Posted 09/04/2019 at 18:22:26
John@101: Good post, a good detailed defence of Ferguson against the criticism he gets on here.

To me though, it's simpler. When we're playing badly, of which we've done a lot over the past five years, all at Everton get vitriol, from the Chairman to the incumbent manager, to the coaching staff, to the players, including the younger players who've had to play in dysfunctional set-ups. In contrast, when we're playing well, like at the moment, there's much less of it, the future's bright, and all's right with the world.

Ferguson just happens to be an ever-present whipping boy on here.

Everton have repeatedly done our heads in, but it's impossible to pin down the root causes of it, and the habitual criticism of certain individuals is ridiculous.

Don Alexander
126 Posted 09/04/2019 at 18:57:00
Wow, John (#101)!

Have you read the 2003 Guardian article I cited? It's lengthy (but not to the extent you again are) but several sources are cited and some named. That makes it difficult for Ferguson to dispute. None of them speak well of him and several allude to his brooding/threatening off-pitch presence at Everton even when he wasn't actively assaulting opponents in seeking out the next of the nine red cards he earned in his Premier League career, incurring the welcome rest the suspensions gave him of course.

Nobody's been sent off more than him in the Premier League but the other two on a par with him (Viera and Dunne) took well over a hundred more matches to do it. In fairness he takes the top award for football thuggery given his three-month in pokey for headbutting the much smaller (all his victims are much smaller than him though) John McStay in a match, the only player ever to be sentenced for in-play assault as far as I know.

But all that aside it was his abject level of commitment that made me despise him. Nyarko takes gold for me for lack of commitment but there's a place on the rostrum for Ferguson too as far as I'm concerned.

But that's only my opinion.

Darren Hind
127 Posted 09/04/2019 at 18:59:23

TBH I don't know the answer to that question. Maybe Rhino simply had a stronger bond with Ebbrell. Managers (even stand ins) tend to surround themselves with people they know and trust.
I don't even know if Ferguson is "such a good coach" I dont see his sessions.

What I do know is that some people regularly come on and spout utter, utter shite about a man/coach they clearly know nothing about.
I would rather take the words of the people in the know - like those John Daley quotes - than give any credence whatsoever to spiteful ignorance regularly spouted by one guy in particular on here.

I'm old enough to know what a proper legend looks like, but I have no problem whatsoever with the younger fans hanging that Label on Ferguson - He gave many of them the finest moments.

Heres another thing I know; Duncan Ferguson's generosity and willingness to give up his time and hard earned is well known amongst residents of this city (most of them anyway) That incredible donation highlighted above, is most definitely not a one off. Sniveling accusations of him being a "self-centered shithouse" merely expose the total ignorance of his accuser.

Brian Harrison
128 Posted 09/04/2019 at 19:19:13

Living fairly near to Alder Hey Hospital I have heard from many who work there about Duncan Fergusons generosity in time and money, and for that he has my total admiration. Only on the football side do I differ from some of our posters.

Fran Mitchell
129 Posted 09/04/2019 at 19:20:03
Well said Darren. There seems a certain group on herehave emerged to label Fergurson as a 'leeche', or some sort of Kenwright 'infiltrate' to hold the club back. Why? I have no fucking clue.

Is Fergie a good coach? Couldn't say, i'm neither a footballer, a coach, a manager, nor do I have any contact with the work he does at the club.

But is Fergie a blue? No fucking doubt. Have we or have we not lamented the lack of players who 'give a shit'? We have to no end.

Was Fergie a world class striker? Not even close. Was he our best player for many a year? most celrtainly. Did injuries prevent him from being better than he was? true also.

From his playing style, he was a big man, unfortunatly, our woeful team at the time limited our style to 'lump it forward to Fergie', but he had a great first touch, decent control and unbelievable strenght. He is a great guy for DCL to learn from, Fergie will certainly give hints, and also inform him of the mistakes not make that he did.

And remember, Stubbs, for example, when 'mentoring' Rooney recommended him to go to Utd. Would Fergie do that?

At the end of the day, DCL is getting better and better with every game. He is proving many a ToffeeWebber wrong, and it is these same commenters, who just 2 months ago would claim with all their knowledge and expertise that DCL was 'the worst striker in to ever wear the shirt', are now deciding that DCL is not Pelé because Fergie 'is the worst coach to ever walk on a training pitch'.

Mike Gaynes
130 Posted 09/04/2019 at 19:25:38
I take second place to no one here when it comes to my contempt for Ferguson's conduct during his playing days. He was my most disliked Everton player ever.

However, a newspaper article published 16 years ago, which describes misconduct as much as a decade before that, is not remotely relevant to a discussion of his coaching capabilities today.

I believe in second acts, and second chances. If what DCL and Sheeds say is any indication, Ferguson is taking appropriate action to rebalance his life and give back, and he's worthy of respect for that. Knowing nothing of his current coaching and charitable activities, I declined an opportunity to meet him when I visited Goodison. Now I'm thinking perhaps I was wrong.

And it would seem Ferguson is also clearly admitting that he got a lot wrong back in the day, and is trying to set it right.

Andy Crooks
131 Posted 09/04/2019 at 19:28:55
John Daly, I have been pretty scathing of Duncan Ferguson on here. You know what, though, if you take part in a supporters site that is about debate then you really do need to have an open mind or else not bother.
We all like to have our views endorsed but your post has made me reconsider mine Really fine post.
Don Alexander
132 Posted 10/04/2019 at 01:41:06
Well given the eminently expressed "let's give the guy a second (only "SECOND", really??!) chance" mantra by several other posters I've re-appraised Ferguson's worth at Finch Farm.

So, admittedly, when he allegedly intervened in the recently reported head-to-head between Schneiderlin and Mirallas at Finch Farm for being inept in training, both being sent home for being a pair of wankers as a result, his judgement on the basis of his personal exploits cannot be questioned.

And I'm sure the average 20 year-old professional footballer at Finch Farm notes absolutely everything "that bloke Ferguson" maybe goes on and on about regarding squandering a career.

Yeah, right.

Steve Ferns
133 Posted 10/04/2019 at 15:28:49
@101 John Daley. Excellent post, well researched and presented. Certainly makes you rethink.

I'm not a big fan of Duncan Ferguson. I was 16 when we won the cup. Duncan was a big hero of mine, and for the coming seasons. But, I felt he let me down too many times. He missed too many games, he went missing in too many games, and he got sent off in too many games. There was a lot of rumours about him, and I have no doubt that many were either untrue or exaggerated. I do not believe that they were all untrue. One thing that is undeniable is that he liked a drink.

One of my best friends at school was a type of character that I expect many would recognise. The George Best type. All the ability in the world, could dribble past everyone for fun, but lacking dedication and often injured. My mate took a long time to get over injuries and one time he was at physio and he was told off for turning up hungover. The physio had a right go at him and lectured him on the effect of alcohol on the body's healing powers.

Now I probably transferred my own experiences onto Ferguson using supposition and conjecture. I accept that, but you won't persuade me otherwise that Duncan Ferguson did not hinder his recovery from injury by his use of alcohol. I accept I could be wrong, but all the signs were there for me, and ultimately that came down to a lack of dedication. Yet here was "Mr Everton", our big hero. And for me, no, I was fed up of him. He just did not deliver enough. On his day he was unplayable. I actually do not like the term, but it does describe Ferguson. That trademark goal, the type he scored in the Derby for his first goal, you cannot stop that. You cannot defend against it. Opposition tried, and that's why he had so many back issues and other injuries. No doubt that was hard for him. That's not all Duncan was though. He was much more than "unstoppable in the air". The goal against United, that spin and finish, wow, there's very few players of his height capable of that. But how many times did we see that? Certainly not enough.

I don't care whether he was a nice guy or not. I would never describe him as a "shithouse". I don't question his love for Everton. I thank him for his time here, and he gave me a lot of hope in some dark times supporting the blues. And he probably did more for the club than anyone else in Kendall's last spell. A player who was held in the regard that I myself and all my friends needed to deliver more, and I always felt he should have delivered more. More goals, more games, more big performances.

As for Duncan the coach. Yes, I was being facetious when I said all he does was put the cones out. I also said we should ask the now departed Romelu Lukaku what Ferguson did for him and how good a coach he was.

Coaching is not hard. It pisses me off when I read people on here attacking the likes of Jeffers, Ebbrell, and other ex players and questioning their appointment. Any ex-pro is capable of being an assistant coach, as long as they take it seriously. They've been the recipient of such coaching and participating in sessions is not particularly difficult. If I can be an assistant coach, then anyone can.

The difference is between an assistant and the head coach. And then there is different types of head coach. Some treat coaching as a means of keeping fitness ticking over, work on some weaknesses and try to make the side more organised. Being in charge of such a coaching setup really just requires knowledge and experience, both of which can be gained. The question is when you have a visionary, like Marco Silva hopefully is. If we put Silva to one side and think about Guardiola or Pochettino. These guys study everything and try to coach the team to exploit certain things.

Now, of course Sam Allardyce will say that he does just that, as well. For example, he would work on getting his big men to crowd a small keeper on set pieces to stop him getting to the ball and increasing the chances of someone getting a free header.

What I'm getting it is the free-flowing beautiful football that City play at their best. This is done through careful drills on the training ground to get the side to work as a team and for players to make certain, pre-programmed runs, without thinking, and pull the opposition defence apart. One example is when we played City recently. Did you notice how City purposely left no one in the middle and pulled even the central midfielders to both flanks, trying to expand our very narrow formation and create gaps, which City then ran into. They try to cause confusion in the hope of creating space.

Is Duncan such a visionary, I simply have no idea. Silva is meant to be. His coaching sessions are all about pulling teams apart, creating space, and getting players and the ball into this space. The fruits of which we are now starting to see. These training sessions are not repeated time after time after time. They will do set movements for 15-30 minutes every day for a week or two at the most, then that session will be archived. There will be other such sessions being coached at the same time, and then they will be archived. Coaches keep coming up with new fresh routines. They do not want to become predictable. Which is why the head coach, or at least one of his chief lieutenants in the case of Klopp, needs to have his visionary ability. You cannot run such a session unless you have the vision of how this will play out on the pitch.

That's only one small part of the training. There's other elements too. Fitness training run by Goncalo Pedro or Bruno Mendes. But the main bulk of the coaching is done by Marco Silva himself and his right hand man Joao Pedro.

After the main coaching session, they will break off and do other things, such as shooting practice, and why not let Ferguson do that? There's also lots and lots of meetings. Before training and after training. No doubt Ferguson will be working with the likes of Calvert-Lewin in these meetings to impart his knowledge and experience.

As fantastic a coach as Guardiola is, or Silva might be, you would rather Duncan Ferguson was giving Calvert-Lewin guidance on the best way to jump, to hang in the air, to power the headers, to direct the ball on target, where to target, how to (legally) brush off the marker, how to shield the ball, and so on. This is what Lukaku on a sky sports interview said Ferguson did with him, and that it was after the main sessions.

The main sessions are the most confidential. the type that journos are not permitted to see. They let them in to see the warm-ups and the warm downs, the five-a-sides, and the Rondos (players in a small circle with one or two in the middle) you see them doing this often. It works on short passing in tight spaces. Assistant coaches usually run these drills, such as seen in the Everton training videos over the pre-season when they split into 5 different groups doing Rondos with a coach with each group. This even included Hugo Oliveira (the GK coach) taking a group. I didn't see Ferguson doing it, but there was a young lad who looked to have his own group too.

So sure, I accept Ferguson does far more than put the cones out. I do not believe that under the current regime, or any of the previous ones, that Ferguson was devising coaching sessions to work on attacking movement, which is the most technical and difficult aspect of coaching.

Anyway, great article John. Plenty of food for thought.

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