Everton 2 - 0 Burnley
Sometimes it feels like a bit of a blessing when the curtain comes down on a season - last season certainly felt like a relief to get it over with. Our current momentum however has brought much-needed life back into Goodison Park and smiles on the faces of supporters. Such is our form it’s a shame the season is simmering to a close. As we sat in the pub pre-match we reminisced about how quickly the campaign has flown by, and couldn’t resist a “what if…” moment in relation to Jordan Pickford’s Anfield howler of course.
At that point of the season we were in great form - five wins, one draw (at Chelsea) and a solitary defeat (thanks to an Anthony Martial dive at Old Trafford). Following that blooper we won only three of our next 13 games, in a run that included poor defeats against Brighton, Southampton and Wolverhampton Wanderers and a wretched 2-6 Christmas hammering against Tottenham Hotspurs. We were dumped out of the FA Cup by Millwall and on the way back from an unfortunate defeat at Watford my fellow Blues on the train were scratching their heads on if Everton could even muster enough points to stay in the league this season. Conversely, this kickstarted Liverpool’s campaign and they won their next six games handsomely and could now still win the league.
Having got back on track following a lengthy break between that Watford game and our comfortable win at Cardiff City, it’s largely been a joy to watch Everton these last few months. With home games coming up against Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United, Evertonians would have been forgiven for looking at them games with some angst but aside from our goalless draw against Liverpool which, let's face it, was satisfying, we have won them all without conceding anything. Eight clean sheets in 10 games is terrific, and I really wish the season had another six games to go. We really have to make sure we carry this momentum into the 2019-20 campaign.
Having finished our drinks in plenty of time, we walked onto Goodison Park, stopping to take in the fabulous new statue of The Holy Trinity — Kendall, Harvey and Ball. We were then into the Gwladys Street and I can’t emphasise enough what a great job the guys are doing there to generate pre-game atmosphere. It’s probably no coincidence that there has been such an uptick in performances while this has occurred. The sirens are a hit and as the team comes out the atmosphere is buzzing.
We lost the toss and so attacked towards the Park End in the first half. Everton unchanged from their draw at Crystal Palace. We began on the front foot and took the game to Burnley from the start, Sean Dyche looked rather agitated on the touchline as Everton pressed early doors, and the pressure told when Richarlison’s distance drive was deflected on target by the very impressive Ben Mee. Tom Heaton couldn’t readjust in time and Everton had an early lead.
We doubled our money just three minutes later when Tom Heaton could only parry Lucas Digne’s effort from outside of the penalty area into the path of the lurking Seamus Coleman who headed in well. Everton 2-0 ahead and good value for it. Tom Heaton may feel he should have done better.
Everton were pretty comfortable from then forth. Ashley Barnes did have the ball in the back of the net but it was ruled out, rightly apparently, for offside. Come the break you had to be satisfied with the effort.
In the second half, Everton were disciplined and saw the game out well. It was a bit of a ‘David Moyes’ win in that we got the job done and finished the job while preserving the clean sheet. What I liked about the game was that it was played in the right spirit - no rolling around, no trying to get players in trouble. Jack Cork took two tough blows to the head in quick succession but there were no complaints - just handshakes and getting on with the game. It’s what I much prefer to see. The referee helped as well in that he let the game flow and wasn’t too whistle happy.
Burnley should have had a penalty when Matej Vydra was pushed in the penalty area by Michael Keane - I’d certainly have wanted a penalty for that - but it was waved away. That may have set up a grandstand finish. There was time for two significant Everton substitutions. Firstly Ademola Lookman was unlucky not to score when he rasped the crossbar from distance. That was a touch unlucky.
And in the dying minutes, Phil Jagielka was given the opportunity to get out on the Goodison Park turf, presumably one last time, and he received a richly deserved reception from the Goodison Park crowd. What a player he has been for us over the years. I don’t know if that’s it for Leighton Baines also, who has also been sublime for us for a long period of time. I certainly wish both of them all the best.
I’d have liked to have to have stayed around for a bit of the lap of honour, but my pub plans were too important and I was away. That’s it for Goodison Park for one season. The most impressive players of the evening for me were our three French lads - Lucas Digne, Kurt Zouma and Morgan Schneiderlin. They all did ever so well. I wasn’t convinced we should sign Kurt, but given how well we have defended these last 10 games I now feel it would be foolish not to.
A good start, a terrible middle and a fantastic end to the season has left me ever so optimistic for the next one.
Pickford: He didn’t have much to do but I was a bit disappointed he didn’t come for quite a few crosses. It’s certainly an element of his game he can improve on but he’s young enough to do that. 5
Digne: An excellent game from a player who’s had quite the début season. Criminally overlooked for the PFA team of the year, but you’re always going to be if you don’t play for the top 2. 8
Keane: A bit lucky not to have conceded a penalty, but it will have been a satisfying win for Michael against his old club. Interestingly, the fella who sits near me was telling me that before the game he was chatting to some Burnley supporters and they were saying that Michael Keane and James Tarkowski have a lot to thank Ben Mee for with how their careers have gone as he has done a great job of nurturing them through and sweeping up behind them. 7
Zouma: Had a very good solid game. 8
Coleman: Good and solid. Great to see him back to his best. 7
Gueye: Spot on defensively as ever. I really hope we can keep hold of him this season. His performances tell me that teams will be in for him this summer, and at 29 he won’t get many more opportunities for a big move left. 7
Schneiderlin: A great effort from Morgan who has had a challenging season. My man of the match. 8
Richarlison: Was very good in his 49 minutes. I expect him to carry on where he’s left off next season. 7
Bernard: Has got better as the season has wore on and I expect him to hit the ground running next campaign. 7
Sigurdsson: Was always a threat in the penalty area but I thought he laboured through the game somewhat. Still, a good solid season from Gylfi. 6
Calvert-Lewin: If only he could add that killer instinct into his game he’d be an awesome player. But he’s more than doing the job currently and we’re winning games. It’ll be interesting to see what the future holds for Dominic. 7
Walcott (for Richarlison): A solid contribution from Theo. 6
Lookman (for Bernard): A lovely cameo and he was unlucky not to score. 6
Jagielka (for Sigurdsson): He was only on for a few minutes so it’s hard to really rate him. However if I was to rate him as a player for Everton over the years I’d give him a solid 8. He’s been exceptional for us and always seems respected by his colleagues. Just a shame he was never able to bring home that trophy for us. Thank you and good luck Phil.
Reader Comments (26)
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1 Posted 04/05/2019 at 16:42:18
2 Posted 04/05/2019 at 17:12:33
As far as the game went, it is exactly the type of game we have been crying out for against teams below us, a run of the mill victory without really getting out of 2nd or 3rd gear. Very satisfying.
I'm very pleased that we have brought some kind of meaning to the back end of the season. I was fearful the season would wither and die but fair play to Silva and the players, they have finally found a formula for entertaining, winning and more to the point, defensively sound football. Like you, I wish that the season could go on now. I'm very cautiously optimistic for next season now. Keeping Gana is a must for me and with a couple of shrewd signings we could be a real threat next season.
3 Posted 04/05/2019 at 17:12:38
Zouma would be top of my recruitment wish list for the summer. Apart from his obvious physical strength, pace, skill and reading of the game he plays every minute as though it really counts. I expect however he will be staying at Chelsea. In the unlikely event they are able and willing to sell him I would empty the coffers to get him.
4 Posted 04/05/2019 at 17:46:11
At several points during the game Fulham even looked like the most likely team to score, but poor finishing, which has been their downfall since their brief spell in the Prem started, was their undoing yet again.
Alas Wolves scored near the end and that signalled that our faint hopes were well and truly dashed. I was one of the many TW'ers who would have welcomed Europa League Football for next season.
At the end of the day in all sincerity, it should never have come down to this, hoping other teams deficiencies or score-lines would get us over the line. We have wasted so many points this season with lacklustre displays, maybe it was a wake-up call, but all too late.
We must remain focussed next season and put this season down as a learning curve, and build upon it, starting with retaining the services of definitely Zouma, and to a lesser degree Gomes, and we must get a striker on board.
I do like DCL and can't fault his general play and effort but he really struggles when presented with clear chances, either a balloon from distance or a tame shot straight at the keeper.
Hopefully good times and signings/clear-outs ahead for the new season.
5 Posted 04/05/2019 at 18:48:29
A massively bloated squad needs to be cut drastically and Brands in particular will have a really difficult job on his hands moving on some of the high earning non-achievers like Sandro, Mirallas etc.
I've heard Silva say many times in his weekly 'presser' that him and Marcel already know the player's they want? That's very comforting but I'm a little concerned that the club has the financial clout to spend heavily for a third consecutive season without off-loading first.
I watched DCL for 90 minutes last night and whilst we have seen a massive improvement in his overall game, I'm not sure at 22 he will ever become the prolific goalscorer the team needs (I hope I'm proved wrong). If we persevere with him next season, I can only see his confidence levels dropping as his goal drought continues.
I've also heard claims for Schneiderlin to be given another chance, why?, three good games and suddenly people are forgetting the season's of mediocrity we have had to witness as well as his inability to pass the ball forward.
If we are to see real progress next season, Brands and Silva must be absolutely ruthless and move out those player's who cannot take us to the next level.
6 Posted 04/05/2019 at 22:08:21
7 Posted 04/05/2019 at 00:14:19
The defence rests your honour.
8 Posted 05/05/2019 at 01:48:14
Derek K @ 4; Without getting all RAWK and alternative league table-ish just how many points have we threw away? While we were mentioning Wolves, lets start with them and the very first game of the season. Short answer - too many.
But put the flip flops and sun glasses away for the moment, the season's not over yet. The recent set of results and red card shenanigans from Spurs make for a very interesting Sunday afternoon.
Silva will, if required, have to crack the whip to keep the recent efforts up. We can't get 7th now and tbh, I'm not too fussed, but oh those possible 2pts we threw away (and all the others, eh Pickford) on the first game of the season Vs Wolves...this seasons none top 6, just to show we don't concentrate on the top 6 media. darlings.
I don't particularly mind Wolves as such, but they've had an almost textbook perfect newly promoted season, no major injuries and they've only used 19 players. Roll on a bad case of 2nd season syndrome, thursday / sunday hangovers, players and agents heads turned by big money offers etc. and see how they go.
Is it just me or has somebody had a word with Richarlson, he doesnt seem to be rolling around so much now?
OK Silva, you've done big teams at home, now do one away. Remember that 6-2 and, assuming they don't beat Ajax, put another nail in Spurs poor finish to a season.
9 Posted 05/05/2019 at 08:23:07
They don't have Kane or Son, (injury and suspension), and they looked rattled against the Cherries throughout the match.
It's effectively a dead rubber for us now but I just hope they turn in a majestic performance and wreak revenge for the fixture at Goodison, where they hammered us good style.
10 Posted 05/05/2019 at 09:00:17
Thanks for your comments re Schneiderlin and his Everton future, but do you honestly believe he is the player to take us to the next level?
Who would you prefer to lose in the summer, Gueye or Schneiderlin? When did you see him exert real influence on a game either home or away, even now in the game against against Burnley he was passing sideways or backwards.
I bet if you were to conduct a poll amongst fans, of which Everton player contributes most to our midfield function, Schneiderlin, Gomes or Gueye, I'm pretty sure who would be rock bottom.
Sure, I have some sympathy about him losing his father etc, but you forget to mention him and Mirallas being sent home from Finch Farm for 'lack of effort' in November 2017, selective memory I guess.
The verdict stands.
11 Posted 05/05/2019 at 09:35:05
Which beggars the question, why the sudden upsurge in performance? Excuse my skepticism, but as you so succinctly alluded to, how many games has he had where he has been woeful?
Is this just a crafty move on his part, they are having a summer clear-out, so let's put a shift in and I will be overlooked, and continue to get my Lottery style wages on an uninterrupted weekly basis?
Any player who can just turn it on, or off, at will, in my book is not worth a blow on a ragman's trumpet, and should be shown the door.
Look at that Pogba at Man U. if he was a cake he would f...ing eat himself, I think most of the problems there stem from him, and I believe he was pro-active in the dressing room at getting Jose Mourinho sacked.
Ole was like a breath of fresh air and the turn around was of Fairy Tale proportion, now he has the job permanently the same problems are re-surfacing.
I have almost unwavering faith in Marcel Brands, who more than Silva has had a massive impact on our club already, look at his first Transfer Window, not one regrettable signing, apart from Zouma and Gomes not being permanent.
I hope Marco Silva is the man to take us to the next level, but there are such indelible marks in his short tenure that defy logic almost, kept picking and playing a side and system that evidently was not working, like for like substitutions, when either consolidation of a potential win, or increase in attack was required.
Anyway I digress, I just hope, and I know it's not easy, that we have a proper assessment of who's worth keeping, including the youngsters, and those who should go in the Transfer Window (if homes can be found) add a few proper quality players to the nucleus we already have and we should be good to make a serious assault on the Prem and the Cups.
12 Posted 05/05/2019 at 09:45:43
13 Posted 05/05/2019 at 11:24:38
You see Koeman and Walsh surrounded him with a car crash of a team and he found himself covering for everyone else, and with no speed ahead of him, and of course no speed behind him he got lost. Zero confidence can destroy players and groans from Goodison as everyone looked for the scapegoat, doesn't help. Or does it? Hearing our own player getting booed onto the pitch was the low point of the whole season for me.
We also had Gana at that time who was not much better and the two of them together didn't work. I think Gana came back from AFCON with a lippy on. You could argue maybe that Gana is playing better now because he is playing for a move. Where was this Gana then? Not that I'm blaming Gana, I'm blaming the redshite obviously.
Do you think Gomes or Gana can read the game like he does? The reason he doesn't look like he's breaking his neck is because he is always in position and anticipates the flow of the game. And yes better than anyone else we have on our books.
"Euewwww... we don't need to play two defensive midfielders" even though they occupy different areas with different responsibilities. We've all read that shout a thousand times and it's complete shite, your honour.
When a team starts to click, it's because of a sum of its parts. It's because of balance, it's because I say so. And really that's all that counts.
Being sent home for lack of effort? I think that was down to a misunderstanding with Big Dunc and that other Belgian prick on our books that thinks he's too good for the club. I wasn't there and neither was anyone else we know. Lack of evidence, all circumstantial and once again he deserves more credit for coming back.
Match rusty yet looks effortless. He will get better and start to spray the ball about better still. He should be a part of the squad next year especially with the future for Gomes undecided.
How many comments even yesterday, as the team was announced, picking on Schneiderlin before a ball was even kicked? It's the ToffeeWeb way though to have a few players to bemoan and chastise. This after the way he's played. I admit it's not so easy to see what he does on TV. But go the game and watch him play. I support anyone who wears that blue shirt.
I'm representing Walcott also by the way. Only I need a break first.
14 Posted 05/05/2019 at 13:56:37
I'm happy to concede this 'case' to you. Anyone who believes Schneiderlin can 'read' the game better than Gomes or Gana Gueye simply has a better football brain than me. I'm not sure whether your a massive 'wind-up' merchant to be honest, "Schneiderlin is always in position and anticipates the flow of the game"... honestly, you make him sound like bleeding Zidane!!
Coupled with 'he's better than anyone else on our books'..really.
For the record, I haven't missed a home game for three seasons so I believe that gives me some credibility on a player's value to the club.
Finally, so being sent home from training by Big Dunc was a 'misunderstanding', perhaps he didn't understand Scottish for "You're a couple of idle bastards"?
You've won the case hands down, David.
15 Posted 05/05/2019 at 14:07:31
I think his upsurge in his performance this year, despite not being match ready, deserves credit.
And Martin Mason (#12) has made a good point re the possibility of losing all three (Gomes, Gueye and Schneiderlin) if we are not careful.
By default, we are already losing one (Gomes), and highly likely to lose two (Gomes & Gueye).
Losing all three will set us back, regardless of the youth (Davis and Baningime) that we are want to bed in.
16 Posted 05/05/2019 at 14:12:40
Myself, and those around me on Friday evening, couldn't believe our eyes when we saw him actually throw himself into a tackle — yes, you read it correctly — "a tackle"!
He was very good when he first arrived but soon played as though he couldn't give a shit. As I said, three decent games don't make up for lots of exceedingly bad ones.
Bail denied. Take him down! Down the road, a very long road.
17 Posted 05/05/2019 at 14:41:47
Either way, at a point when we may lose Gana, not keep Gomes and have to offload unwanted players before buying, it seems daft too offload a good player that has rediscovered his mojo.
Credit to Silva. Him, Allardyce & Koeman kept trying to play him back into form and Silva's found the key.
It's not about whether Schneiderlin will 'take us to another level', it's more about the balance in the midfield when he's in there. Well spotted, Mr Ferns!
18 Posted 06/05/2019 at 10:18:41
I think he has his deserved flak over the years, mainly due to his limited play on the ball. When he was at Southampton, he was the playmaker of that team alongside Wanyama and I always thought he could do that with us, which is why I am so frustrated with him. He seems to lost a lot of confidence so he doesn't see t
19 Posted 06/05/2019 at 10:25:08
I was going to say so he doesnt see those passes anymore.
However his role has changed and now he is a proper anchor man in midfield. He probably is our best midfielder in reading the game defensively and positionally. He is different to Gueye where he has the speed and stamina to run across the pitch.
I would argue to keep Schneiderlin as a squad player. He is different option to what we have. But it is imperative we keep Gueye. Hes made Schneiderlin look better because he has improved so much going forward. In the Koeman/Walsh era when they both played together they both were far too defensive which affected the whole team. Now Gueye has improved a lot going forward it makes a difference. I think PSG will come in again though.
20 Posted 06/05/2019 at 10:52:41
How much would it cost to replace him and how much would we get for him? I see him very much as a keep for next season at least and good business too.
21 Posted 06/05/2019 at 11:35:39
I don't believe we should hold grudges for past performances. He plays his specific role better than anyone else in our squad. It isn't just his last 3 performances that have been good. He's been solid whenever called upon this season. In his last 6 appearances, we haven't conceded a goal.
22 Posted 06/05/2019 at 12:37:29
There's a video I saw on another of our sites which showed Busquets against the RS and which highlighted his lovely reading of the game and his off-radar contributions. I think Morgan has some of that, quite a lot of it actually. If he can come good now after his falling off (for whatever reason) then it will be a massive bonus.
He's the sort of Everton player we should all relish.
23 Posted 06/05/2019 at 14:02:03
I was impressed with Schneiderlin which surprised me but also saw the importance of Gana as the one in midfield who consistently drove us forward and carried the ball.
During the second half I was still concerned with the languid style and body language of Morgan and Gylfi. Good job we weren't 1-0 down as I still think we lack someone with the ability and the personality to really take the game by the scruff of the neck.
Maybe my last time at the Old Lady?
Interesting that Mina sort of ambled around on his own for the lap, well after everyone else had gone by.
24 Posted 07/05/2019 at 19:34:19
Apologise for my late reply. I do have a sense of humour but I was actually serious and not trying to wind you up. I haven't got that type of humour to wind up, especially another blue.
However I'm sorry but l do stand by my assessment of Schneiderlin. The crowd turned on him, they have done the same with Walcott. I'm very happy for him. I was in the crowd when lots booed him coming on and I was ashamed. Maybe the next time you are at goodison keep your eye on his movement. He was a bit tentative at first but is improving steadily. A comeback up there with Oumars... hopefully it will last longer though!
And.. Steve. Surely this is what ToffeeWeb is about. Two blues with 2 opinions and a bit of banter. That's fine.
I've been a bit disappointed with Gomes actually after a promising start but if we sign him l hope he can fulfill his potential here because a lack of confidence put him in a bad place too last season at Barca.
And talking of Barca, Come on Messi another brace tonight!!
25 Posted 08/05/2019 at 21:24:30
Can I point out your one too many pre-match beers? as being the reason you state we kicked towards the Park End in the first half. It was deffo towards the Gwladys pal, as from my Park end vantage point I saw Richies' shot fly in the corner at the other end. My winnings on him for first goal and 3-0 at 35-1 looked a cast until I learned it was an oggy, and the chances we spurned late on made it academic.
We leave Goodison for the season in very rude health, a few Brands quality signings (Zouma and Gomes please included and a scorer) and the promotion of a couple of our outstanding youngsters, and the future is Blue.
I watched the U23's tonight, and Josh Bowler must be in the 1st team squad next season, and I would actually put him before the eternal sulk Lookman, and Walcott. He tore Newcastle apart tonight, often facing 3 markers, and mugged them virtually every time.
Keep up the good work Paul, hopefully you are at Tottenham, and look forward to your contributions next year.
27 Posted 13/05/2019 at 22:27:16
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