Digne rescues a point for shabby Everton

Monday, 10 December, 2018 163comments  |  Jump to last
Everton 2 - 2 Watford

Lindsey Parnaby/AFP/Getty Images

Lucas Digne helped Marco Silva avoid a painful defeat against his former club with a brilliant stoppage-time free-kick but the draw masked a poor Blues display that contributed to two more dropped home points.

Richarlison scored in his first game against Watford since leaving them for Goodison Park over the summer with a goal after a quarter of an hour that was controversial for what appeared to be a missed offside against Theo Walcott.

It looked to have set Everton on their way to a much-needed victory that would have helped banish their post-derby blues but the Hornets responded in increasingly robust fashion while Silva's men lost their way and eventually conceded two goals in as many second-half minutes.

Roberto Pereyra hit the post with a shot that bounced in off the hapless Seamus Coleman and before the Blues could regain their composure, they went to sleep at a quickly-taken free kick, Pereyra crossed and Doucouré towered over Coleman to head Javi Gracia's side in front.

Gylfi Sigurdsson missed a penalty that would have given Everton plenty of time in which to grab a winner and they needed some magic from Digne to salvage a draw at the death.

Silva reverted to his most favoured line-up of recent weeks, recalling Michael Keane, Bernard and Walcott and moving Kurt Zouma, Ademola Lookman and Cenk Tosun back to the substitutes' bench.

Pereyra had the first effort on goal, a prodded shot from the left side of the area that was comfortably saved by Pickford before Walcott tried a tame header aiming for near post from deep Digne cross that was also easily gathered.

Overall, it was an untidy start to the game but Everton began to settle and a couple of attempted interchanges between Sigurdsson and Walcott almost came off before Mina steered a header from a free kick well off target.

Everton took the lead with a quarter of hour gone with a beautifully-worked goal. Coleman came inside and stabbed a pass to Andre Gomes who skipped past his man and into space occupied by Walcott.

The winger was in an offside position and touched the ball forward slightly but wasn't flagged, leaving Gomes to centre for Richarlison to ram home with a first-time finish.

The Brazilian came close to doubling the lead five minutes later when Digne swept a cross in from the left but Richarlison was just edged by his marker as he strained to make contact in front of goal.

Watford were undeterred and were trying to move the ball around quickly in front of Everton's back four. Isaac Success' trickery drew a foul from Gomes outside the box setting up a direct free kick in the 22nd minute for Holebas but the Greek drove it into the defensive wall.

Walcott won a corner from the right in 27th minute that was initially cleared and when Sigurdsson delivered it back towards the six-yard box, Mina went for it with his hand and was booked for intentional handball.

That was followed by another corner, won by Coleman, from the same side but Digne smashed the loose ball over after the delivery had cleared everybody in the centre.

Success then drew another foul in a dangerous area with 10 minutes to go before half-time. This time it was taken short and repelled again by the Blues' defence.

Watford kept coming, however, and when Sema evaded Bernard on the edge of the area and crossed for Pereyra, the forward glanced a free header wide, something of a let-off for the home side.

Mina was forced to put a cross behind a couple of minutes later but the corner was safely cleared from the mouth of Pickford's goal.

Everton had been subdued for a long stretch of the first half but when Bernard's flick sent Sigurdsson away and he exchanged passes with Digne, only a terrific covering block by Cathcart prevented the Icelander from making it 2-0.

Richarlison, who had been taking a battering from Kabasele, was felled by the defender but again didn't get a decision from referee Kevin Friend and Watford played on. The ball was hefted into the box for Troy Deeney but his effort bounced just wide with Pickford stretching.

The Hornets had a strong claim for a free-kick right on the edge of the penalty area turned down on the stroke of half-time when he appeared to trip Success but the Colombian escaped a dangerous free kick and a second yellow card.

The pattern established in the latter stages of the first period continued into the second with Watford doing all the probing and when Mina was harshly penalised for a supposed foul on Success on the edge of the box, the visitors thought they had levelled but the resulting free kick hit the side-netting.

A corner soon afterwards saw the ball fall invitingly to Doucoure in front of goal but Mina blocked it superbly and it cannoned behind off Bernard. Everton couldn't get the subsequent corner clear and it fell to Kabasele who drove goal-wards and Pickford turned it to the side with a low save.

Gomes went down during the build-up to that chance and required treatment for an apparent knock to the knee that had Evertonian hearts in mouths but he was able to continue.

Everton's luck ran out with 62 minutes gone, however. Digne and Bernard suffered a communication breakdown, the ball was crossed to Pereyra who side-footed off the post and it bounced back off Coleman and into the goal.

Silva was preparing to respond with two changes when Watford came forward again, got down the right flank once more and Pereyra's deflected cross was headed home powerfully by Doucoure.

Lookman came on for Walcott and Calvert-Lewin replaced Bernard and within seconds, a chance to equalise was handed to the Blues when Kabasele flattened Mina in the box and the referee awarded a penalty.

Sigurdsson stepped up and drove it off Foster's legs.

Everton tried to increase the pressure and a wonderful back-heel by Sigurdsson put Coleman in on the overlap. He crossed for Richarlison but the forward couldn't dig the ball out from under his feet in front of goal and he was closed down.

Richarlison tried to bundle the ball through following Tosun's control but it ran to the keeper and Sigurdsson then mis-kicked a volley attempt as Everton tried to force something.

Coleman's cross with five minutes left earned a corner that Lookman wasted and a decent move presented Sigurdsson with a headed chance but he couldn't get enough power on it to unduly concern Foster.

Mina won a corner in the 90th minute, Richarlison tried to steer home a volley but it deflected over. The second corner, this time from the right by Digne again failed to beat the first defender.

A handball deep into stoppage time gave Silva's side one more chance to grab a point and while it looked as though Sigurdsson was going to get an opportunity to redeem himself, it was Digne who curled a beauty inside the post.

Full details: Match report page

Reader Comments (163)

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Lev Vellene
1 Posted 10/12/2018 at 19:05:38
Starting XI - Everton: Pickford, Coleman, Mina, Keane, Digne, André Gomes, Sigurdsson, Gueye, Walcott, Bernard, Richarlison.

Watford: Foster, Kiko Femenía, Cathcart, Holebas, Kabasele, Quina, Doucouré, Sema, Pereyra, Isaac Success, Deeney.

David Connor
2 Posted 10/12/2018 at 19:09:28
Why still no McCarthy in the squad. I thought he was fit weeks ago. Unless we are wrapping him in cotton wool with a view to offloading him in January... Maybe...

I can't complain about the starting 11 though.

Jon Ferguson
3 Posted 10/12/2018 at 19:27:50
Whenever I see Watford's badge, I have a little flashback to my Panini sticker album from the 80s, and see the badge on a shiny backdrop. Not sure why them more than anyone else. Anyway...

Should be able to win this with that side.

Ciarán McGlone
4 Posted 10/12/2018 at 19:43:34
I'm happy enough with Silva... but his persistence in playing Richarlison up top is not working.

Send Walcott up there.

Chris Gould
6 Posted 10/12/2018 at 19:56:44
I disagree, Ciarán, Richarlison is doing a very good job. It's the service into him that's been poor. We've had great build-up play but poor final passes/crosses. Richarlison is top 3 in the league for shots/shots on target and shots on target/goals conversion rates. He is far better than Walcott at finishing and is an all-round better player. Walcott up front would frustrate the hell out of us. It didn't work for Arsenal and it wouldn't work for us.

Silva will keep playing Richarlison there because he knows that he'll develop into one of the best in the league. How many chances has he missed? Not many. He just needs better service. I bet he'll get 20 league goals this season.

Jim Bennings
7 Posted 10/12/2018 at 20:23:16
Richarlison — yessss!!!

Have to laugh when people go on about putting Calvert-Lewin or Tosun up top when neither are in the Brazilian's stratosphere.

Ernie Baywood
8 Posted 10/12/2018 at 20:53:54
Considering he's only on his feet 60% of the game, Richarlison's strike rate is exceptional.

Not the best game so far. Obviously Gomes has been exceptional again.

We've also had luck. Walcott should never have touched the ball but it's a clear offside. As bad as the one Arsenal scored against us.

Commentators were adamant Mina didn't get the ball at the end. If that's the case then we would definitely be down to 10 men.

Jay Wood

9 Posted 10/12/2018 at 20:56:10
Tasty and testy game.

We are standing up well to the physical challenge Watford presents.

Very impressed how Jordan is coming out under the high ball with some big units honing in on him but clearing his lines well.

Got lucky with the goal. Walcott's touch before Gomes took it back off him should have seen the play stopped for offside, but another thumping finish by Richarlison.

Walcott, Bernard and Digne much better tonight.

It will be three very hard points if we get this over the line.

Kevin Friend is having a blinder, isn't he..?

Colin Glassar
10 Posted 10/12/2018 at 21:31:10
Outmuscled, outthought, outplayed. Everton back to their very worst.
Phillip Warrington
11 Posted 10/12/2018 at 21:33:12
False dawn: typical Everton.

Bernard and Digne – mistake... goal.

Pickford stays on his line – mistake... goal = another loss.

Ernie Baywood
13 Posted 10/12/2018 at 21:38:59
Goal aside, has Richarlison taken a single good touch tonight?
Christy Ring
15 Posted 10/12/2018 at 21:40:30
Shocking 2nd half performance, and why let Sigurdsson take the penalty, considering he also missed his previous penalty?

Gueye off with a groin strain, from bad to worse, and Man City next.

Richard Mason
16 Posted 10/12/2018 at 21:53:33
I'm disgusted.

Everton really know how to put someone in bad form.

Everything was so poor tonight.

Colin Glassar
17 Posted 10/12/2018 at 21:56:22
Totally undeserved draw. Everyone, manager included, should feel ashamed of themselves after that, whatever it was.
Craig Walker
18 Posted 10/12/2018 at 22:00:26
Why oh why can a succession of players not beat the first man on a corner? I’m 44 and can do this with both feet as an amateur. Yet a player earning £40k a week can’t. It’s like a pro golfer not being able to tee off. Maddening!
Jamie Crowley
19 Posted 10/12/2018 at 22:00:59
Funny how, after a loss at Mordor, most posters were confident we'd played well.

After this draw, I'd be stunned if the majority of the posts aren't entirely negative – and deservedly so.

That was a dire, dire half of football. Embarrassing.

Outplayed, second to most balls, headless chickens for the most part.

I don't know what the answer is moving forward. In three games I've gone from completely positive to suspicious and negative about the immediate future.

Max Murphy
20 Posted 10/12/2018 at 22:01:11
Garbage. Excruciating to watch.

2 points from a possible 9 – 2 games of which were at home against crap teams, but we're just as chronic.

Is Silva really better than Allardyce? Check the stats.

Watford deserved the victory.

Roll on, Man City – and a cricket score.

I've just had enough of living this >30-year nightmare.

Frank McGregor
21 Posted 10/12/2018 at 22:02:55
That game was an absolute disgrace by Everton.
Watford were robbed of well-earned victory.
I cannot see what the fans are so excited about in Marco Silva.
The defense was terrible; I cannot see the value of Mina.
Mark Andrews
22 Posted 10/12/2018 at 22:03:54
Watford will feel robbed! They were best all over the park tonight and deserved a win.

Silva has been worked out. Sit deep, disrupt, then hit on the break.

We threw everything at the derby and now look spent. Digne out of form, ditto Sigurðsson. No senior striker. Walcott keeps starting, lord knows why?

A very worrying dip in form; at least the next game is a simple one...

Drew O'Neall
23 Posted 10/12/2018 at 22:04:54
Over-reactions abound.

We played alright, Watford played out of their skins. We should have sealed it in the first half.

We're never satisfied unless it's a win, especially at home, but credit to the opposition.

Colin Glassar
24 Posted 10/12/2018 at 22:05:03
Poor team choice from Silva. Watford are a big, strong physical team so the likes of Bernard, Walcott and Richarlison were in for a beating and the ref let them beat the shit out of them.

Since Zouma was dropped, our defence looks shaky again... Plus, it's time to plan for life without Seamus.

Roman Sidey
25 Posted 10/12/2018 at 22:05:31
I've put off making any/many comments this season as I just think there's so many variables to consider with this Everton team. However, tonight, from the final 55 minutes that I saw, was awful. The sad thing is, in the 16 years or so I've watched Everton, that type of performance isn't in the least bit surprising.

I know Watford were pushing hard to equalise, but they got it down to poor football from Everton. Pickford was given a pass back, and as good as he is, he is dreadful at kicking a moving ball. His clearance did nothing, and what the hell Coleman was thinking for the rebound is anyone's guess.

I love Coleman, and I know the leg break was always going to change him at his age, but it seems like he's not really paying attention lately and is on a much lower level than most of the team.

Winston Williamson
26 Posted 10/12/2018 at 22:06:25
Out fought and bullied in our own back yard! Lucky draw!

The team look like they underestimate teams below us and think turning up is enough! No steel!

Has that last-minute fluke at Anfield caused even more damage than initially thought?

This team needs to buck its fucking ideas up!

Jay Wood

27 Posted 10/12/2018 at 22:06:39
Very, VERY grateful of the draw. Totally unmerited.

We were totally bossed for the opening 15 minutes of the 2nd half and nobody had the guile or the courage to win us a foothold in the game.

Their first was unfortunate for Seamus. We were totally undone for their second. Even then, we were given an immediate lifeline to get back into the game, but once again Siggy failed big-time.

Penalty taking duties definitely need a review.

Silva – not for the first time at Everton – went too gung-ho, too early, and the shape and set-up of the team was a mess as a result.

Watford looked more likely to get a third than us an equaliser, so thank you the Watford defender who coughed up the soft handball at the death. (Was it the same player that gave away the penalty?)

A sublime strike by Digne. But we have truly shot ourselves in the foot in the last week.

Jamie Crowley
28 Posted 10/12/2018 at 22:07:15

After the first half, if you were negative, I'd have argued that was a bit over the top. I didn't think we played poorly first half.

But the second half was abject. It was awful.

I'm usually a happy-clapper. Any negative comments about this game are justified. Terrible, terrible second half, and not near good enough on the whole.

Ian Lloyd
29 Posted 10/12/2018 at 22:08:24
That was putrid, papering over some very big cracks — and Watford were by far the best team

We've now drawn with Newcastle and Watford at home and lost to the obvious.

I still have my doubts and always will — I've never seen Silva get animated on the sideline or bark out any instructions when it's going pear-shaped — very strange indeed?!

Tony Twist
31 Posted 10/12/2018 at 22:10:29
Looks like we have peaked and now we are on the way down! Didn't Silva do this at Watford! Very worrying. Which teams can we beat if we can't win games against the likes of Newcastle and Watford at home?
Tony Heron
32 Posted 10/12/2018 at 22:12:23
I really, really don't understand Silva and his use of subs. For 20 mins after half time Watford dominated. I was screaming for Silva to change things.

Personally, I thought we needed an extra man in midfield to get back control. I would've taken Bernard off and brought Davies on. When eventually he changes things he goes same old, same old. Lookman for Walcott, Calvert--Lewin for Bernard. Even when Gueye's groin goes, it's Tosun who gets the nod.

If he's only ever going to use the same subs, the others may as well not bother getting changed. I wish Silva would be more imaginative and proactive rather than reactive.

I don't think I'll be watching on Saturday; I think it may be a cricket score.

Steve Mink
33 Posted 10/12/2018 at 22:15:42
I thought Doucoure was tremendous for them.
Stan Schofield
34 Posted 10/12/2018 at 22:16:48
We were shite for the last two games. It looks like what happened in the derby has messed us up a bit, shaken our confidence, or whatever.

But remember, up to the goal in the derby, things were very positive: we were on the up, playing some great football, looking like we could beat anybody, looking vastly different from last season.

It's still the same team, still capable of being vastly different from last season, still capable of sparkling football.

There are two possibilities here:

(1) We've regressed, our confidence has gone in the typical Everton style. We'll stay midtable, and we'll find it impossible to keep the best players.

(2) This is just a blip, a hangover from the derby, a loss of momentum, from which we'll recover soon, and be back on track, even more so if we get a striker in January.

I think (2) is far more likely than (1), based on what we've seen so far this season, but I can imagine what will happen, that most posts on here will assume (1) has happened.

I think we need to stay positive, to support the team through this, because if we don't, it sure ain't gonna help.

Simon Dalzell
35 Posted 10/12/2018 at 22:20:33
Mina was particularly poor tonight. Very much at fault for the first goal. It shouldn't have been a dangerous situation, but he just left his man to get the shot in. He lumbered about looking like he may get sent off any minute.

The majority of this lot aren't good enough to take us to the Europa or above. I had no confidence the penalty would go in. Just not acceptable.

George Cumiskey
36 Posted 10/12/2018 at 22:21:37
We absolutely stole a point, out-played for most of the game. I didn't think they could play any worse than against Newcastle but they did.

I didn't think Siggy could play any worse than he did in the first half but he managed it. He must be the worse value for £45 million in the history of the Premier League.

We didn't seem to have a game plan: it was every man for himself. If I was Moshiri, I would be asking Silva some very hard questions about that performance.

Jamie Crowley
37 Posted 10/12/2018 at 22:22:38
I feel terrible for Seamus Coleman.

Awful luck on the own-goal, no chance on the other goal – only to find a 30 something growth-spurt of 6-7 inches.

Poor guy needs Lady Luck to smile on him.

John Voigt
38 Posted 10/12/2018 at 22:23:43
A lucky point.

Everton outplayed for most of the game.

Gerry Ring
40 Posted 10/12/2018 at 22:24:41
We're getting completely overrun in midfield. Sigurdsson and Gueye were well off the pace and Walcott is not putting in enough effort.

No point in blaming Seamus, he was on the ball more than most and was involved in most of our attacks. Gueye appears to be carrying an injury. Is it time to give him a few games to recover and get McCarthy back.

Not looking forward to Saturday.

Danny Baily
41 Posted 10/12/2018 at 22:29:57
Hard to get too worked up about tonight's result. There's nothing to play for in the league.
Roman Sidey
42 Posted 10/12/2018 at 22:31:03
Gerry @ 40, fair enough Coleman was involved in a lot of our attacks, but how effective have his attacks been?

Simon @ 35, bang on about the penalty. If you pay attention to the player before he takes a penalty, you start to pick up little things that give you an idea. I had very little confidence in that one tonight as Sigurdsson kept moving his focus from the ball to the goal and back again, then had that god-awful run up that, in my opinion, should be banned.

Brian Murray
43 Posted 10/12/2018 at 22:31:11
Gerry Ring. Gueye carrying an injury or not doesn't explain him being colour blind and being able to pass or god forbid have a shot now and again. There is such a thing as a creative holding player! Apparently.
Gavin Johnson
44 Posted 10/12/2018 at 22:32:16
Any aspirations of breaking into the top 6 are highly optimistic after the last 2 games. We'll finish 7th but we're a million miles away from the teams above us – even Man Utd – who are awful.

Fingers crossed we off-load Niasse, Schneiderlin, Tosun if we get a decent fee and bring in a striker. I'm sure Man Utd would sell any one of Rashford, Lukaku, or Martial if they got a good fee. Looking further afield, maybe Andrea Bolletti from Torino who Man Utd were looking at last season.

Ralph Basnett
45 Posted 10/12/2018 at 22:32:23
Gerry (40), what game was you watching.

Coleman was far from involved in our attempts, he receives the ball, slows everything down and passes back.

A good servant but, like Jagielka, Baines etc needs putting out to pasture.

Unfortunately, he wasn't the only one not to turn up. Gomes was quiet, Mina looks better with Zouma, Gana seems off the pace, and maybe needs a rest for Tom Davies, Richarlison spent too much time protesting to the ref and Sigurdsson was just shite!!!!

Which means we go to the Etihad and beat Man City to do them a favour.

Oh to be an Evertonian.

Mal van Schaick
46 Posted 10/12/2018 at 22:39:17
Watford fought hard and were the better team. Everton were lucky to get a point.

I couldn't see the game plan or tactics. You can't play without the ball, and we were sloppy in our passing. I'm hoping things will improve for Saturday.

John Hammond
47 Posted 10/12/2018 at 22:39:41
Horrible game to watch. They could've been 1-0 up after a few mins had Pereya got a better shot away and we were second best for most of the second half.

Is this what happens when you play mostly the same players over and over again? Eventually it goes a bit stale while the players on the bench don't get enough game time to come in and make a difference. Same thing happened with Wolves.

Just have to say, again Walcott got into some good positions but, as soon as it comes to taking a shot, he half-arses it. Zero confidence.

Weirdly I'm looking forward to the Man City game. We'll more than likely lose but I think we'll see a much better performance.

Tony Marsh
48 Posted 10/12/2018 at 22:40:19
The result tonight is no surprise. Before the loss at Anfield last weekend, we reeked Goodison Park out against Cardiff, we reeked against Huddersfield, were absolutely shite again against Newcastle, nicked a draw at Chelsea few weeks back but, all-in-all, we've been utter shite all season.

We threw away 3 points at Wolves, threw away a 2-goal lead at Bournemouth, only team to lose at Man Utd for months before they beat us... etc etc etc.

We carry too much deadwood in the team, regardless of who we've shipped out this year. Coleman's terrible injury playing for Ireland has ended him as a top-flight player. Would Seamus get in any of the teams above us in the table? No is the answer. Same question about Gueye, Sigurdsson, Walcott and Pickford — again, the answer is No.

That' is 5 players who aren't good enough to play for top level teams but they're guaranteed to start for Everton every game. Simply mind-numbing.

There are no certainties in life but I am certain Gomes won't sign on permanently for Everton. I also think, if the money is right, Richarlson will be gone. Never rains but it pours.

Ed Prytherch
49 Posted 10/12/2018 at 22:41:45
Watford had a plan to play tight on us and it worked. Gomes in particular had no time on the ball and he was much less effective. Zouma was unlucky to be left out of the 11 after his excellent performance against the Barcodes and he should be back in for Man City.

None of our players had a very good day today. Bernard was sharp in the first half and Richarlison worked his socks off but he is starting to pay the price for spending so much time on the turf and he is not getting the call when is genuinely fouled.

Lookman was fine for the first three minutes that he was on the field. Calvert-Lewin and Tosun had no impact.

Our squad looks thin and I wonder how we will cope when we pick up injuries to Richarlison or our first-choice midfielders.

Ernie Baywood
50 Posted 10/12/2018 at 22:48:03
It felt like we completely missed the point tonight.

Early on, Watford were disciplined. Teams will do that against us at Goodison — the key is getting the first goal to open the game up. Then we (very fortunately) did that and sat back! We gave Watford all of the initiative and they played well. How do we expect to win home games if we don't take the initiative after scoring?

Second half, we didn't show up whatsoever. Even Gomes, who I thought was our best player in the first half, had a quiet second period.

A couple of players have me baffled. Richarlison looked brilliant off the wing early in the season. Now I can't figure out what he is. His touch is awful, decisions dreadful, he can't run at a man, doesn't really compete and spends the game crying and moaning. What the hell did we do to him? It's not just tonight, he's been like this for weeks. Goals are masking his performances... which is a debate I feel like we've had before on here.

Bernard is just far too lightweight. Capable of the sublime, but then fails at the basics. How is he getting game time?

David Connor
51 Posted 10/12/2018 at 22:49:35
That second half can be described in one word... GARBAGE!!!
Alex Gray
52 Posted 10/12/2018 at 22:50:20
Still not overly worried although I don't expect anything from Man City whatsoever. I didn't expect us to be this high in December and there's still a lot of positives.

For me, we desperately need a new right-back soon. Coleman has been a great servant but his strengths were always going forward. I don't feel like he offers this team much anymore.

The real concern for me is Gana. He can win the ball back brilliantly on his day but his distribution is often pretty poor. I'm still really frustrated that we made the three changes against Newcastle. Bernard was just finding form and Keane was playing out of his skin and, for me, it was the wrong time to rotate them although Lookman for Walcott I could understand.

Keep the faith lads this is still a new team learning to play with each other and, with a few more signings, will only improve.

Shaun McGough
53 Posted 10/12/2018 at 22:52:25
That's Wolves, Bournemouth, Huddersfield, West Ham, Newcastle and Watford — not to mention Southampton in one of our only two chances of silverware — that we have come up short and no wins against the big guns.

Let's not get carried away blaming what we have got on pitch as we are just bang average. We need big investment again in January and I for one am only 50/50 about Silva (but he is a step up from Koeman and Allardyce).

Close our eyes as what is on the horizon in the next few games isn't pretty. Bring on Lincoln, get our 40-odd points and please bag silverware to shut the RS up.

Paul Birmingham
54 Posted 10/12/2018 at 22:52:37
Shocking and lacklustre again. Out-psyched and bullied all over the park. I'm fearful for the next couple of games as we are making it too easy for opponents.

Pickford's kicking, and our midfield over-ran and smashed up by Watford's today.

All is not lost but back to basics and a few players need to decide if they want to put the Everton shirt on.

I thought Keane was very shaky and not convincing today, but so we're so many others.

Maybe Silva shouldn't have tinkered with the side, but the bad signs are there and we should have been put to the sword, so a very lucky point.

Interesting to see who starts at Man City.

Dave Williams
55 Posted 10/12/2018 at 22:52:52
I thought we tried hard but were too often second best to a very physically strong team who seemed to win the ball all the time in the second half.

We nearly played well in the first half but too often our final pass was played at such speed that players lost control of the ball. Breaking at pace is great but, when playing the intricate stuff, I think we need to slow down a bit.

Sigurdsson works hard but doesn't convince me and Gana is too small against teams like Watford and Newcastle. I thought Seamus was decent- far better than I have seen him of late, Mina was fine and Digne much better than last time.

We just didn't get going in the second half but to suggest that Silva has now peaked is pure nonsense. There will be ups and downs in his first season but I think he will get there.

Man City will be difficult but we may be better on the counter with a bit more space to play in. I'd be tempted with three centre-backs!

Paul Kelly
56 Posted 10/12/2018 at 22:54:50
I've said this before, but I think Silva has a starting eleven and that's it, no confidence in back-up players (not that we've got a world class squad).

He benched Lookman after last week, he was no worse than his replacement. But it's the same most weeks, would that make it easier for other managers to play against? Sure it would?

Pat Kelly
57 Posted 10/12/2018 at 22:55:25
As the season progresses, the cracks are widening. The next window won't sort this mess of a team out. The usual injuries, suspensions and exhaustion will take their toll in the New Year. And there's nothing in reserve.
Steavey Buckley
58 Posted 10/12/2018 at 22:56:12
Everton are shockingly lightweight and were being pushed around with ease.

At least Everton should have a new penalty taker in Digne, whose superb free-kick was out of this world. Sigurdsson's last 2 out of 3 penalty failures is not good enough.

Jim Bennings
59 Posted 10/12/2018 at 22:57:50
It all feels very much Groundhog Day with Everton.

We've been here before under the last manager, the manager before that and the manager before that.

We hear that we have a plan but the plan seems to be never learn from mistakes made in the past.

We can't beat top 6 sides home or away and we then hear people saying “It's okay we'll easy beat Newcastle and Watford.” Errr... no, it doesn't work like that with Everton, never has.

We finish roughly in the same place every season because we can't win enough matches to finish any higher, it's hardly rocket science.

Our away form each season is poor and now even our home record has become patchy.

We have an early exit in the League Cup every season, nice to see we kept up appearances this season anyway with that record.

Two final things as well: I love Seamus Coleman but we need to stop being sentimental; at the age of 30 and on the back of a horrible injury, he's not the player he was, the daredevil bull-in-a-china-shop running has completely gone from his game. And why the hell have two successive summers been and gone and no decent striker been signed?

Terry Farrell
60 Posted 10/12/2018 at 22:58:40
Mark, Digne was brilliant all night — you must have seen a different game to me and great goal. Well in Lucas love him. Same old moaners on here expecting miracles and it's only December. Even Klipperty said what Silva has done in a short space of time is amazing.

We all need to stay on board and back the team and stop the bollocks. We are making progress. It's not happy clapping, it's reality, and Rome wasn't built in a day.

I despair at the negativity — it sucks the life out of me. This season is about taking a step forward and entertaining surely?

Jerome Shields
61 Posted 10/12/2018 at 23:01:36
As I feared, the Newcastle game showed how to counteract Silva's tactics and where to apply pressure in Everton's weak areas (well documented on ToffeeWeb). Watford learned from that. Silva didn't.

The past two games have shown how far Everton. are off the standard.

Christy Ring
63 Posted 10/12/2018 at 23:02:34
Doucoure for his goal ran at least 30 yards, with all our midfielders standing still, as Neville said, Coleman had no chance.

With Gueye probably out for the Man City game, will Silva bring Schneiderlin back into the squad, or will he be tempted to bring back McCarthy, who is probably fit, but lacking match fitness?

Darren Hind
64 Posted 10/12/2018 at 23:05:32
Bernard and Digne want their arses kicked for that first goal. It was a nothing ball which they should have dealt with between them. A simple call from Bernard, Digne leaves, danger gone. I also think Seamus is labouring and needs sitting down for a while.

This wasn't a bad game at all. I thought we payed well in the first half and Watford out muscled us in the second.

We still could have gone on to win this but for yet another I'm-a-good-player penalty from Sigurdsson. Is that 3 of his last 4 missed? When you strike the ball as well as Sigurdsson, you put the ball down take a PROPER run up and batter it past the keeper, job done.

Fuck knows what that soft-shoe-shuffle is meant to achieve.

Len Hawkins
65 Posted 10/12/2018 at 23:06:32
It looks like Baines is surplus to requirements so let him coach taking a penalty!!!.

I'm not going to blame Seamus for the equaliser but how the hell can a player at this level not convert a free shot one-on-one with the goalie? I'm not a Premier League level coach or even a Sunday League level coach, or any level come to that, but when an International Player can't score from the spot, then we're goosed.

Andy Meighan
66 Posted 10/12/2018 at 23:08:12
Was I the only one in that ground tonight that thought Pickford was at fault for the 2nd goal? He's got to be coming for these crosses — not stay rooted to his line.

An awful performance and not one single player in that team came out with any credit tonight. Ernie got it spot on about Richarlison and his antics; his going to ground easily does my fucking head in. That said, 8 goals in 12 games is one hell of a return.

Doesn't bode well for the next 2 games and even the most optimistic of us can't really see us taking anything from them. I'm a big fan of Silva but it's going to take him 3 seasons at least to get this right.

The football at the minute is quite honestly no better than under Allardyce or Koeman; we just huff and puff... and while I'm still fuming — How the fuck does Sigurrdson manage to not get himself hooked is beyond me! Bullied easily by Watford's midfield and actually looked cowardly from where I was sitting.

As for the penalty... well, let's not go there. Same old blues — love to let you down. Very very lucky to escape with a draw.

Brian Murray
67 Posted 10/12/2018 at 23:09:01
Jim Bennings. Expect torches and pitchforks with peasants revolting at your door, suggesting Seamus be replaced!!
Kunal Desai
68 Posted 10/12/2018 at 23:10:48
Poor, no movement off the ball and too much tippy tappy shite with passes going amiss, reminded me the days of Martinez.

Bottom line is this side still severely lacks quality in the first eleven.

Coleman needs replacing next summer, the entire midfield needs breaking up and rebuilding again; we need a midfield around Gomes if we are to retain him, Gana, Sigurdsson and Bernard should be used as squad players and Walcott should be moved on.

Two quality strikers in and I think we may compete challenging for the top six. I'm happy to see what Silva and Brands deliver next summer.

Dave Abrahams
69 Posted 10/12/2018 at 23:12:41
Referee Friend had a very poor performance as did the linesman on the Bullens Road side of the ground but neither were any near as bad as Everton. We stole this point.

I don't know who was our best player but there was plenty in the running for our worst — I made it a dead heat with eight of them. Never rains but it pours.

Terry Farrell
70 Posted 10/12/2018 at 23:13:52
Darren, spot on.
Marcus Taylor
71 Posted 10/12/2018 at 23:16:24
"Even Klipperty said what Silva has done in a short space of time is amazing. We all need to stay on board and back the team and stop the bollocks."

Am I missing something? We've beaten 1 team in the top 12 so far this season (Leicester, 9th). We failed to score a single goal from open play against Liverpool, Man Utd, Chelsea and Arsenal and taken 3 points from home games against West Ham, Huddersfield, Newcastle and Watford.

Yes, the football has been better than last season but that's not exactly difficult. A few half-decent performances and some fans think we're Brazil circa-1970. Results & performances have been nothing to write home about. We could (and should) be doing better. NSNO.

Eddie Dunn
72 Posted 10/12/2018 at 23:18:19
I only caught the last 40 mins but was appalled by our play. We stole a draw.

Lots of these guys are running in treacle, even golden bollocks Gomes is like a VW diesel.

We would have been better with a back 3 and big Kurt helping to counter their monsters – never mind Steve Ferns!

Dave Abrahams
73 Posted 10/12/2018 at 23:19:36
Christy (63), Doucoure ran thirty yards to score his goal, you say? Well, Pickford only had to run three or four yards and punch it away... Stuck on his line again.
Jim Bennings
74 Posted 10/12/2018 at 23:21:09
Marcus @71,

I've said that for a couple of weeks.

Since August 18th we have beaten Cardiff, Crystal Palace, Leicester (who were down to ten men) Brighton and Fulham.

It's hardly anything to get carried away about in all honesty and probably not really any different than what Sam Allardyce wouldn't have bored his way to.

The football at times has been easier on the eye but it's also at times very Martinez 2014-15 like in that it's too slow and laboured.

And we still don't look a fit team either.

Jim Bennings
76 Posted 10/12/2018 at 23:24:06
The worry for me is we still only look capable of playing one half of football and Silva doesn't seem to have them any fitter than day one.

One thing I'll say for Klopp: within three weeks of taking over in 2015, that bastard had Liverpool running more miles than any other team in the league and it took him no time to get their endurance levels bang up there, so why do we always look knackered?

John Boon
77 Posted 10/12/2018 at 23:25:20
It is to be expected that when we lose the posts become more negative. However I refuse to be too critical of Silva. After Koeman and Allardyce anything is better. I just think it will take time and patience before this team jells for more than short periods.

I don't even like being too critical of individual players. We play as a team and lose as a team. It was accurately pointed out that we were bullied in both midfield and on the wings. Their first goal was a total fluke but it was expected and deserved.

Please surprise your loyal fans at Man City. Why do we seem to put on a better effort against the better teams? Mind you, we never beat any of them. But we are still far better to watch than last season.

Kunal Desai
78 Posted 10/12/2018 at 23:38:25
Only 2 points from Newcastle and Watford at home. We'll need to get our act together fast as the next 9 home league games are made up of the top 6 sides plus Leicester, Bournemouth and Wolves.
Michael Long
79 Posted 10/12/2018 at 23:39:08
We might have got a point. However, I am very unhappy by this result and performance tonight. 2 games on the bounce we should have collected 6 points but no, typical Everton, baulk under pressure when there is a chance to move higher in the league, close towards the big boys.

Why does this happen? Is this club scared of the pressure it will be under if we start winning games and competing with the big boys? Sometimes I just think to myself the mentality at this club is rather than "Nothing but the best is good enough" instead it is "See what we can do".

As much as I hate them. Liverpool have become a completely different team under Klopp. They look dangerous, forward thinking and actually want to compete. And will give their fans something to get excited and shout about. Our club is just happy to be close to the top 6. Typical Kenwright mentality. Man's a loser.

If you cannot beat Huddersfield, West Ham, Newcastle and Watford at home then what chance have you got with getting in the top 7 let alone top 6 or top 4. It's frustrating. Nothing changes, Nothing at all. Never known a team to be so inconsistent in all my life then Everton Football Club.

Sad thing is though. I have never seen my club win at Stamford Bridge, Arsenal or Anfield away, let alone seen us lift silverware and, to be honest, I don't think I ever will. Because the mentality of the club from head to toe is a shambles and sometimes humiliating. These last 8 days have just summed Everton up. Build you up the knock you down.

I'd love nothing more than to see Everton prove me wrong on this one but sadly I cannot see it.

Gordon Crawford
80 Posted 10/12/2018 at 23:49:25
The problem is that we start nearly every game with only seven or eight players playing:


The others do try but are just not delivering at this minute in time and may never deliver.

Bernard needs a season or two to get up to speed, but might never make it.

Sigurdsson, I'm still not convinced about him. Yes, he can produce something sublime, but more often than not he is found wanting.

Walcott can be electric on his day, but that's very rare now.

Tosun not good enough.

Calvert-Lewin might come good, but I'm not convinced he will.

The same for Tom Davies and Lookman.

Niasse tries hard but ain't good enough.
Schneiderlin – well, he just ain't good enough.

Baines and Jagielka are just back-up and will probably be gone next summer.

I could go on, but I'm not going too. So this for me is the problem.

Raymond Fox
81 Posted 10/12/2018 at 23:49:52
Very Everton, build you up and then let you down.

We are still lacking class up front.

Far from a disaster but disappointing.

Steve Ferns
82 Posted 10/12/2018 at 23:51:11
It's a tough one. Where we unlucky in the last three games? Certainly against Liverpool. Newcastle and Watford the ball wouldn't drop for us. The ref didn't help in either game (Friend might have given us an offside goal but he was hell bent on making up for it). But, you make your own luck.

We need to roll our sleeves up and scrap harder as we didn't scrap enough against Watford. Troy Deeney's comments were telling. They knew how to manage the game better than us, and that's exactly what happened.

We were too nice, too naive. Richarlison might dive, but some of them were fouls and our players didn't go after the ref. Watford's did. They even did so to the detriment of Sigurdsson for the penalty. God knows what Friend was up to as he then made it worse. How can a ref put a player off like that. Disgraceful.

But no excuses, we should be winning those last two home games and we need a result fast so all the progress made could really evaporate.

A big couple of weeks or so coming up. A real test for Silva now.

Stan Schofield
83 Posted 10/12/2018 at 23:55:23
Jim @76: That simply is not true regarding Klopp. He took a while to get players used to his 'gegenpressing', and he explicitly said (in response to players visibly tiring and some terrible results) that they would get used to it because they are young professional footballers.

Also, his defensive management has not been good until this season after they put massive resources into new signings. He's been given time, often in the face of criticism from their supporters (who've called for his head at times).

So please let's not be unrealistic about Klopp. He's had big resources, and hasn't won anything yet.

Regarding Silva, he's been here 5 minutes, he's made good signings with Brands, and he's changed our style of play and potential threat beyond recognition. Like Klopp, let's give him a chance, eh?

Lawrence Green
84 Posted 10/12/2018 at 23:58:31
I'm so annoyed by tonight's performance: the team take the lead fairly early on in proceedings, have Watford on the back foot and ready to crumble. But once the Hornets began to apply some pressure, the Everton team folded and failed to inspire for the rest of the game. A very fortunate point given the run of play from midway through the first-half to the last knockings of the second.

Earlier in the season, I could see a pattern of play emerging, which was both effective and easy on the eye; however, the last month has seen the team looking laboured and lacking in most areas of the pitch.

Older players seem lacking in confidence and the younger players are lacking guidance from the older ones. It's just another season of misplaced optimism and likely another mid-table finish without much hope that future season will be vastly different.

Comparisons with the top four teams are so ridiculous when we can't even take advantage of Manchester United's lack of form whilst simultaneously failing miserably to put away sides such as Huddersfield, West Ham, Newcastle and Watford on home turf.

I hope we put this mini slide to bed sooner rather than later, but I can't see this current team in its current form adding too many points to the tally this side of Christmas.

As for Klopp's verdict on Silva and Everton, he was always bound to say those things after his side had secured three points against us. It helps him in giving his own team self-belief, a thing that this current Everton team is sadly lacking. Hence a very quiet fan-base at Goodison who recognise the real deal when they see it.

We have much road to travel before we will see the side we all yearn for, but I'm running out of years and patience and can only hope that we see a team that can regularly make games like the last couple at home routine victories and not hard-to-gain-a-point type matches.

Paul Hughes
85 Posted 10/12/2018 at 23:58:50
Second half was an embarrassment. I couldn't get to the game, so was watching on Sky. After 15 minutes they showed a stat: 1% of play in the Watford final third.

I can't explain what was going on with every single one of the outfield players and the management staff. But all of them need to take a bloody good look at themselves.

Sigurdsson should not be let near a penalty spot again. Isn't there anyone, apart from Baines, in the entire squad who can effectively take a penalty?

Eddie Dunn
86 Posted 10/12/2018 at 00:00:54
By the way, Mr Success fraudulently got them a free kick on the edge of the box with a dive as outrageous as you will ever see. No one touched him.

Now the authorities really need to take a retrospective look at this kind of thing, as it brings the game into disrepute. Cheating.

Steve Brown
87 Posted 11/12/2018 at 00:12:20
I agree with Stan @34, looks like the derby defeat has killed our confidence and momentum. Pity as I thought this team had more steel but obviously not.
Neil Copeland
88 Posted 10/12/2018 at 00:14:24
I really can't believe the negativity on here, unbelievable. We have the most talented squad we have had for years and a couple of poor results does not make us bang average all of a sudden.

There will be dips in form, it is to be expected for a team in transition but overall we are streets ahead of the Koeman and Allardyce days and mostly Martinez also.

The team and manager needs our backing; slating them after every setback does not help. So let's stop the “we are crap” shite and get behind them.

Rob Halligan
89 Posted 11/12/2018 at 00:14:31
I'm not defending Sigurdsson in any way over the penalty miss, after all any professional footballer should be able to score from the spot.

What I will say is this though, Jordan Pickford made an identical penalty save from Milivojevic when we played Crystal Palace, and everyone says it was a great save. Ben Foster makes the same identical save and everyone says it's a shit penalty by Sigurdsson.

So come on, what's it to be, a great save by Pickford and Foster, or two shit pens by Milivojevic and Sigurdsson?

Jim Bennings
90 Posted 11/12/2018 at 00:17:46

As you yourself put it, Goodison is such a quiet place these days, the atmosphere for night games used to be bouncing but it's just placid these days.

Fans still don't have an “up an at em'” type of team that gets things rocking straight away, it's all slow and laboured.

Under Moyes, it would always be an early Cahill aerial challenge won or a Phil Neville crunching tackle that would get the ground bouncing and a quick succession of early crosses causing a stir but nowadays we just don't make enough happen in the opponents penalty box.

The fans don't sing players names anymore; years ago it was the names of Cahill, Arteta, Yakubu or Phil Neville “superstar” and even Moyes had his song roared out Martinez got similar love in his first season and so too his players (the loudest noise tonight was saved for Geri)

These days, it's just as dead as a doornail; no wonder away fans from all these no-mark clubs take the piss. We need to start doing something to seriously wake up our rapidly withering fan base that continue to see a team in transition but not ever actually going anywhere.

Joe O'Brien
91 Posted 11/12/2018 at 00:19:42
Neil @88 — everything you said, mate.
Charles Brewer
92 Posted 11/12/2018 at 00:28:47
I'd like to apologise to any Watford fans who visit this site. You were robbed.

The first Everton goal was offside, there was no reason at all for Walcott to touch the ball, but he did — so no goal.

The second was after an absurd amount of injury time, two minutes would have been fine. Even the penalty was dubious.

A horrendous spineless display.

Simon Smith
93 Posted 11/12/2018 at 00:39:36
A game of two halfs if there ever was one.

We dominated the first, but we didn't score enough goals for the tidy football we played, we lack a cutting edge.

Bernard shouldn't have been subbed, he looked good and imo dragging him off was a panic decision.

We never started 2nd half, we have to accept that teams don't just roll over, in this league you have to earn the right to switch off by scoring 3 goals, not 1.

We are still building but today's game showed what we lacked, a top goalscorer to lighten the load on Richalison, and a top level right back as Seamus seems to be having more bad games than good.

Brian Porter
94 Posted 10/12/2018 at 00:41:37
My observations on tonight.

1. Siggy should NEVER take another penalty for us. His conversion record from the spot is atrocious. Don't forget, he also missed one for Iceland recently too. Let Digne or Richie take them. Powder puff effort tonight, not good enough.

2. We allowed Watford to bully us in the second half. They were sadly first to virtually every loose ball and gave us no time on the ball when we did get hold of it.

3. They were aided by an appalling performance by the referee, Kevin Friend. He allowed Watford to get away with lots of niggling and at times quite cynical fouls which the whole crowd could see but he was blind to. Just what has happened to the standard of refereeing in the Premier League this season? I've never seen so many poor referees making so many poor or simply downright wrong decisions on such a consistent basis.

4. Gueye is not as good as some people seem to believe. Apart from being a good 'spoiler' in midfield, able to get in a few tackles to break up the opposition play, he offers very little in terms of creativity going forward. I was literally groaning at the sight of so many misplaced passes from him tonight. We need a more positive foil beside Gomes if we hope to improve our offensive play.

5. Finally, it was mentioned during the (very one-sided) commentary on Sky that Silva has had a tendency to do well early in each of his new appointments but then his teams' performances tail off after 15 - 20 games. Are we seeing that sad scenario being played out before our very eyes? I hope not but 2 points from the last 2 games where we could realistically expected 6 is not good enough from a team supposedly on the up. In fact, we have only 2 points from the last 9 available with an away game at Man City up next. It could be 2 points from 12 by the end of that one — hardly something to warm the cockles of your heart over Christmas is it?

In short, tonight was pretty much a train wreck of a performance apart from showing us how good Digne is with a dead ball.

Goodnight all.

David Pearl
95 Posted 11/12/2018 at 00:46:56
Well we had a couple of patches in the first half but never got a grip on the game. Didn't keep the ball, and I think tried to pass the ball too quickly forward. Our shape up front needs adjustment but I'm not sure Silva knows how.

Apart from the game nice touch from Delboy, the only Watford player not to celebrate either of their goals and stayed behind to give his shirt to the Gwladys Street and his shirts to the paddock... not sure what Watford fans will think of that.

We need a striker. We need a striker. If we don't control the midfield, though, nothing will help us

Kevin Tully
96 Posted 11/12/2018 at 01:04:48
The bogs are lit up blue at Finch Farm. Who cares about footy? The city's all ours. Those fuckers challenging for the League and Champions League are sick as fuck. Blue lights everywhere. Wind them right up tomorrow, eh?

The pigeon is ours... the pigeon is ours! Fill in the rest as we celebrate our last two draws, fellas.

Gavin Johnson
97 Posted 11/12/2018 at 01:06:58
Maybe we should just bring on Baines for penalties now. We've been blessed over the years for great penalty takers. Baines is one of the best in football and David Unsworth was just as good.

My gut feeling was that Sigurdsson wasn't going to convert it tonight. The guy is a great footballer but is very average from the penalty spot.

Kevin Dyer
98 Posted 11/12/2018 at 01:08:18
The team looked tired – mentally as much as physically – again. Same as vs Newcastle, difference being Watford are a much better team and we were very lucky to get a draw in this. Officials blew 2 huge calls in the first half with Walcott interfering with play whilst offside and clear penalty from Mina.

As with Newcastle, a slow first half and no response in the second; in fact, deterioration. I think the problem is we have a good first 11 with very little competition presented by the bench. Arguably only Lookman is threatening for a start and he's hardly pulling up trees.

Some of our players (Gana, Gylfi) bust a gut every match; they need pulling out once in a while to recharge. Others are inconsistent (Walcott, Bernard) and need rotating. We have no depth.

If we are going to make a challenge for 6th, we may need to introduce some fresh faces, even if just to spell our preferred starters. Assuming we can't land an upgrade striker in January I think maybe a couple of additions may be necessary, even if one is a loan (Loftus-Cheek etc).

Right now we have (players who have not flopped, been sidelined or aren't ready) Zouma, Kenny, Davies and Lookman, that's pretty much it for depth. Is this enough to secure 6th? I have my doubts.

Kevin Tully
99 Posted 11/12/2018 at 01:10:59
Screaming out for a sub, we got Madame Toussades brother on the touchline. (I haven't bothered to check the spelling.)

Silva — you waxwork — paid £5M a season.. .fuck me.

Derek Knox
100 Posted 11/12/2018 at 01:19:12
Let's not get ahead of ourselves here. We all knew we weren't the finished article but, having said that, I do think we need an explanation from the Management Team.

We have been so fortunate in many respects having a wealthy owner and investor, what other Clubs would crave for, but we still fail to produce on a regular basis.

Please tell me, where we are going wrong? Is it the Manager, the players, or what?

What is going wrong? Please tell me.

Mark Wilson
101 Posted 11/12/2018 at 01:41:10
Yes, but, at least we are going in the right direction...
Will Mabon
102 Posted 11/12/2018 at 02:33:35
There isn't much to add, mostly covered above. The biggest thing for me, still, is what I believe has been the biggest problem for this team for some years: team spirit and self belief. It's the hardest thing to repair and build and it takes the longest time. Doesn't matter that so many players have been changed, it transcends that. I do think we may've lost both the Newcastle and Watford games last season once behind.

We need to continue in this much improved vein for the rest of the season and further, including riding out the inevitable lows. Until two weeks back, everything we could see was a noticeable improvement (whatever the comparable points at whatever stage last season). It will return. We are now entering a tough phase - hopefully, we come out the other side, stronger.

As mentioned above, the atmosphere at Goodison is now almost shameful. We were known for the atmosphere, and proud of it. What the hell has happened – is it because Millenials don't speak when offline?

Kevin @ 96: you forgot the little blue lights in the lampposts on Edge Lane. They've been holding the RS back for years.

Mark Andersson
103 Posted 10/12/2018 at 02:35:47
As predicated in other posts, Everton never fail to disappoint...

Onwards and slowly downwards.

Paul Kelly
105 Posted 11/12/2018 at 02:44:08
Two shit penalties Rob, I'd digress. Any professional should make it hard for the keeper to save.

Experience? Faliraki 'Shoot to win', hit a target inside of either post, a "foot" wide, floor to cross-bar height from distance and you won a prize. Point being, I could hit either target with either foot, barefooted too, most of the time. Now if I can do that, professional togger players should at least.

We had the pleasure of many a premier league player try, never acknowledged I knew who they were (but they were all sweet to be honest), Mathew Upson missed three in a row; David Dunne smashed the target (top lad by the way, met him on several occasions and he always went out of his way to say hello to you). On his last go and at speed too, 50 mph plus and some lad from Leyton Orient-Steve 'something', quiet good to be honest and they were the ones that I remember most.

Met several more players out there, Stephen Hughes was sound too, but point being, if a piss head wearing flip flops in a Greek resort can slot a pen with both feet, how do these professionals miss (and woefully too) so much when it's all that they do!!!!

Bill Gienapp
106 Posted 11/12/2018 at 03:00:08
For the record, Sigurdsson has been pretty close to automatic from the penalty spot over his career. He converted 23 of his first 25 attempts and never missed one with Swansea.

He made one and missed one at the World Cup, and has made one and missed two this season. I'm not sure if his confidence has dipped slightly, but it's not clear who the alternative would be.

Baines hasn't sniffed the pitch since August. I've heard Tosun actually has an impressive track record, but he mostly comes off the bench these days. Richarlison would be an obvious choice, being our leading scorer, but the one he ballooned in the shootout with Southampton (complete with overly-cutesy run-up) gives me pause.

I have no idea if Digne takes penalties, but he at least seems to have a cool head about him.

Andy Osborne
107 Posted 11/12/2018 at 03:06:06
I haven't read all the comments, so forgive me if this has already been mentioned.

Tonight, I lost count of the number of times Pickford turned over possession. Goal kicks, that should/could be played out from the back, went to a defender on the edge of the box, then straight back to Pickford who punted the ball up long and we lost possession. The "fast break" kicks that he is becoming "famous" for, didn't work tonight, again possession was lost.

Our midfield was being overrun tonight, so maybe it was a deliberate tactic to bypass the midfield, but I think this is an area that needs to be addressed. Watford were strong in possession today and we gifted it to them far too many times.

Paul Kelly
108 Posted 11/12/2018 at 03:33:58
I can be the worst, but sod the negativity (for this post anyway) — what a free kick by Digne!!!!!!
Paul Ward
109 Posted 11/12/2018 at 06:03:06
After last night, the answer to Andy Osbornes recent article "Are the pundits right to tell us to keep our expectations low?", is a resounding YES.

The attractive football so far has conned us into thinking we are much nearer success than we are. No wins against the top 6 and inept at breaking down mediocre or poor teams, whose only plan is defense and thuggery.

Watching Everton last night was like a rerun of one of Martinez's last games.

Andy Osborne
110 Posted 11/12/2018 at 06:07:23
Sadly, Paul (109), I think you are right about the answer to my recent article.
Jamie Crowley
111 Posted 11/12/2018 at 06:24:51
Three games ago I was thinking:

A point, possibly three at Mordor; six points at home against the Barcodes and Watford. Probably none, being honest, against Man City. A point, possibly three against Spurs.


No points at Mordor. Two (rather shit) points at home against the Barcodes and Z Cars thieves.
No way we're getting a point against Man City
No points against Spurs.

That's 2 points from 15, thinking previously possibly 8 to 12.

We're sinking, and I don't see any relief in the next two games.

The last 3 and the next 2 games have probably destined us to finish 7th - 8th. I still believe we're moving in the right direction overall but, as so many say, it's a results business. We need results. Fast.

We were so, so shit today in the second half. I mean absolute, unadulterated shit.

Kenny Smith
112 Posted 11/12/2018 at 06:29:23
Paul @109,

I don't know what you expected. We were poor all last season for a variety of reasons. The main one being through negative or terrible management but half the players who turned out in the starting 11 were regulars last season and some are not up to it.

You're obviously right in saying there's been no wins against the top 6 but we've played very well away to the sides we've faced and could easily have gotten wins at them – all but for the main reason why we are where we are now: the lack of a proper centre-forward. Come January, this has got to be the priority, allowing Richarlison to play wide and dropping or selling Walcott.

Brian Murray
113 Posted 11/12/2018 at 07:29:42
It's been said on here that half the players we have from last season are still hovering about the first team. I know it sounds dramatic but they all need to find other clubs that suit their mentality and level; otherwise. this new Everton will just amble on for another 3 years.
Gerry Quinn
114 Posted 11/12/2018 at 07:45:08
Based on recent results, anyone else think that Silva may have been tapped up by the RS?
:) :) :)
Paul Tran
115 Posted 11/12/2018 at 08:04:23
This is the reality of this league at the moment. 5 very good teams, the rest much of a muchness.

Like the 6th, 7th, or 8th best team in any league, we put in some good performances, put in some shockers, have some talent that gets us out of trouble now and again.

We look good, then we flatter to deceive. I've been expecting this; doesn't stop the disappointment... doesn't stop me noticing that the big picture is improving... doesn't stop me noticing the need for a striker, right-back and physicality in midfield.

Joe McMahon
116 Posted 11/12/2018 at 08:24:33
This overpaid and overpriced squad is gonna take at least another 2 seasons to move on the Championship and League One level players.

As the article the other day asked about pundits and media ignoring Everton. They are right to do so – until the day comes when Everyone can beat Watford and Huddersfield at home. Never played in Champions League, no trophy for donkey's years.

We were awful last night. Marco has to take some blame, I would prefer Zouma back and the substitutes are all Blackburn Rovers standard; that said Bradley Sack is better.

Martin Berry
117 Posted 11/12/2018 at 08:45:27
Despite the disappointment of the last two home games we are light years ahead in terms of football than we were 6 months ago.

Watford bullied our midfield in the 2nd half which shows we need an enforcer of size there, also up front we need a target man. Calvert-Lewin must start; he is not the finished article and at his age that is obvious but he is going to be.

We also need Aaron Mooy – he is the nearest player to a Peter Reid I have seen in a long time, he would be ideal for Christmas!

Dave Ganley
118 Posted 11/12/2018 at 09:03:36
Stan #83 – probably the most rational post here.

Silva has only been at it 6 months. The last couple of seasons have been dire, turgid and laboured. We knew the squad wasn't very good and Silva and Brands have brought in some good players. I don't think anybody can say to date Gomes, Digne, Richarlison and Mina haven't been quality additions. Bernard is taking a bit of time to find some consistency but will get better.

The remaining players are performing better also. We have a decent 1st 11 and a couple of decent reserves but we can't do everything in a single transfer window. I'm quite sure that Silva wants a centre-foward and I'm also sure that will be addressed sooner rather than later.

The top 5 are there for a reason. They have better squads so players who need a rest or not performing can be replaced without diminishing the quality of the team. We don't have that yet. We have played better football this season than we have done for a while and it will get better.

As others have pointed out, we probably would have lost both the Newcastle and Watford games last season. We stuck at it and while both games should have produced wins, we didn't lose so should take heart from the fact that heads didn't drop. I know that sounds pretty defeatist but it's not. It's perspective from where we were last season. The squad is better, the performances are better and we are not losing when we are not playing well.

No it's not acceptable to be happy with 2 draws at home no matter who we're playing but we need to see the overall picture. It's always feast or famine on here depending on results. I see a lot of improvement this season and we are going in the right direction but we were never going to crack the top 4 this season.

As it is, we have performed well away from home albeit without getting the results we have probably deserved at some of the top 6 grounds, more than most would have thought. So let's keep a bit of perspective can't remember where we were this time last year.

I've enjoyed going to the game this season which is more than I can say for a few years now. The last 2 results haven't been great but not catastrophic either. Let's just see how the rest of the season pans out before we slate the team and manager as not good enough.

Martin Clark
119 Posted 11/12/2018 at 09:08:05
Funny how quickly the mindset of an Evertonian changes to negative in these comments.

It was a poor performance, I was particularly disappointed we couldn't just hold onto the ball as failed to put three passes together in the second half, or after we scored. I think Theo's confidence is gone as he just had no idea last night as he repeatedly tried running through everything and lost possession, I found him incredibly frustrating.

But those saying it's the same as with Fat Sam are crazy! That guy put me off football, and as bad as the last couple of performances have been, I'm still a 100% happier this season.

I feel we are progressing and are always going to have a few blips. We haven't truly clicked yet but I feel, once we find our gear and stop the nearly stuff with end product of assists and goals, we will compete and hopefully destroy some teams! (We might need a natural goal scorer first.)

Marc Hints
120 Posted 11/12/2018 at 09:13:29
The negativity on this site is horrendous – back the team! This is the best team I have seen for a long time; yes, we have had two results that didn't go our way but this is so much better than last year.

What Marco Silva, Marcel brands have done in a short space of time is a massive step forward, this is one step at a time and we should not have too much high expectation as yet. Let's judge next year with more new quality signings.

As Klopp said this is the best Everton side he has faced and we are moving in the right direction. It takes time; Klopp is what three years into his tenure.

Colin Glassar
121 Posted 11/12/2018 at 09:24:46
You are right about so much, Marc, yet the main concern is that, suddenly, the players look lethargic, clueless and lacking fight and confidence.

If players need to be rested (dropped), then so be it but too many players went missing last night and this needs to be stopped now. They need to stop moping about the derby result and get on with it.

Kim Vivian
122 Posted 11/12/2018 at 09:32:10
Fortunately, my link went down last night so I missed most of the second half but it would have been nice to see Digne's goal in real time.

I actually don't think the loss to the RS should have affected confidence as many are saying. It was shattering to lose, like 7 mins after normal time, but we played well and if anything, after that I was expecting us to continue in that vein.

As someone said earlier, they're playing these lower teams with the complacency that a win is given. I feel worse after the last couple of games than after the derby if I'm honest with myself.


We drew with Chelsea, Chelsea creamed Man City. We can win on Saturday. Eh?

You're right, I have lost it... Pass the happy pills, please, Alex (52).

Joe McMahon
123 Posted 11/12/2018 at 09:39:35
As an observation: why is Allardyce referred to as Fat Sam, when Unsworth (who was was also a disaster) is a lot fatter than Sam?
Eddie Dunn
124 Posted 11/12/2018 at 09:43:22
The main problem is our lack of a proper centre-forward. We simply have failed to replace Lukaku. We haven't got enough goals from the rest of the players to make up for this shortfall.

We therefore don't put teams to the sword and they eventually fight back and either equalise or give us a jittery last 20 mins.

Pickford has saved our bacon many times this season, and we would be languishing lower down if it were not for him.

Until we sign a decent striker, we will continue along the same vein.

James Marshall
125 Posted 11/12/2018 at 09:47:30
I thought we were alright for most of the first half, then Watford got a bit of a foothold before half-time. Second half, we coasted and didn't pose them any problems at all.

Digne and Mina tried hard and spent plenty of time cajoling others – they both play like they care. Gueye quite obviously has a groin injury and it showed, because he was lacking which meant Gomes had less freedom to play, which in turn made it harder for Sigurdsson who spent too much time chasing shadows. Beyond that, Bernard & Walcott spent a lot of time tracking back which they did well in my view.

It's all very well pointing fingers at individuals but football is more than that, and a team is exactly that, a team. One player's problems in a game can have a far reaching effect as we saw last night – our midfield struggled because Gueye wasn't as mobile as he normally is and we got overrun. Doucoure is a very good player, a beast in midfield for Watford.

Form and results tend to go in peaks and troughs so I'm not overly concerned at the moment. We're working with a new manager, new system and new players remember and while our expectations are high we do need to manage them and temper them a bit with the above.

A lot of supporters seem to just go crazy and call our players every name under the sun because it makes them feel better, which is fine –people are entitled to express their disappointment, I just wish people would be a bit more balanced and look at the bigger picture, even if only for their own sanity!

The live forum is painful viewing at the moment – even when we were winning last night people were spitting vitriol. Maybe it's just a minority of support. Who knows, but it doesn't do anyone any favours.

Eddie Dunn
126 Posted 11/12/2018 at 10:46:28
James, the Live Forum is always that way apart from the week everyone was making fishing remarks. I look in on it but it is usually depressing.
David Hallwood
127 Posted 11/12/2018 at 11:54:05
Eddie (#126) I think they were fish puns, which happens when there isn't much to look at.

I think we're at the same stage as the RS 3 seasons ago albeit they had better attacking players. In that Silva like Klipperty wants a high pressing game and teams need to be superfit; if not, you get one game in three that it works.

The RS would start the season like an express train but run out of puff round about Christmas. Last season, Klipperty tried to overcome this by rotating his squad like a maniac, and this season they're a lot more measured.

IMHO, games against both the Barcodes and Watford energy levels were way down and Watford outmuscled and outfought and we looked tired.

God knows what's going to happen to the high press after the Christmas fixtures...

James Marshall
128 Posted 11/12/2018 at 12:25:11
David – that's a good point, one made by Sky last night. We're number 1 in the league when it comes to nicking possession from the opposition in the final third which tells it's own story. We press hard from the front and so far it's working.

As you say, we lacked energy last night and Watford looked fitter than us so we lost a lot of ground. Richarlison is also shocking playing target man, which isn't his fault since he's really a winger being played up top because Calvert-Lewin & Tosun are both shite (my simplified term).

Graeme Beresford
129 Posted 11/12/2018 at 13:13:31
The problem is, we have become accustom to failure. I've just been listening to Talksport and they are saying it's going to take four-five years for us to even consider breaking the so-called top six. This to me just isn't good enough.

By then, what are we going to have? Another new manager, players coming and going? Will we spout the same old ‘we are rebuilding' ‘we are in transition' ‘it's a project' nonsense? Truth is, we are accustom to failure.

We play Liverpool and we lose, fact. We lost the game, good performance or not – we lost the game. Jordan Pickford failure to deal with the shot.

We play Newcastle at home and draw, failure to secure all 3 points. We play Watford at home and again fail to secure 3 points because we are a failure of a team. I don't know what's happened but I feel like the term Everton seems to of become lost.

We've probably got the best team we've had since the 80s yet nobody looks bothered, the name and brand of Everton is being muddied and it's not coming out in the wash.

It all seems problematic to me. Let's look at Liverpool: I hate to say it but the team is full of winners. I thought Bournemouth would give them a hard game but Liverpool wiped the floor with them, it was hard for me to watch in a room full of reds. But I remember thinking how easy it must be to support Liverpool as everything goes for them, every bit of luck, every jammy defelection or rebound but the truth is they make their own luck by having players who are winners. They want to win. Their game plan everyone knows but can't stop because their players want to win. Our players seem to be happy to pick up their pay and draw two home games which you know Liverpool would've won. It's the difference in mentality, will and the difference between being a loser and winner.

TalkSport are saying we will finish 7th and it's going to take years for us to even challenge the top 6. I argue, this just isn't good enough. We have spent a fortune, we have messed around with poor managers and poor signings, isn't it about time we started unearthing some winners. Mina and Digne look like good signings and winners but the rest of the team look lazy, not bothered and poor.

Where are the winners? Where are the players who will give everything in order to win? I don't see many so far this season. We seem to be accepting failure from the top down. We now have Man City next game and let's see how many winners stand up perform; I'm not counting any chickens yet.

Tony J Williams
130 Posted 11/12/2018 at 13:25:12
Looking for a silver lining?

We played shite and nicked a point!!

Joe McMahon
131 Posted 11/12/2018 at 13:28:21
David @127, sadly the RS when Klopp arrived had much better quality than Calvert-Lewin and Tosun. Their workrate is tremendous.

We'd be better off with the mega prolific Sam Vokes to Tosun, utter shite!

Sam Hoare
132 Posted 11/12/2018 at 13:31:06
Disappointing goals:

1. A poor cross-field ball by Watford was poor but a touch high for Digne, if Bernard who is behind him just calls for it then he clears it no problem. Digne slips and gives Deulofeu time to slide a ball through for Femenia who Bernard has not tracked. Femenia is then able to pick out Peryrya easily as Mina is ball watching and has totally lost his man. The rebound hits Coleman who might have done better but it was quite quick. Bernard and Mina definitely at fault in my book.

2. Quick free kick is not reacted to. Digne has tracked Femenia but he slips a ball through to Peryrya who Gomes and Sigurdsson have both left. His cross is deflected up into the air where no Everton players reacts or attacks it and a running Doucore can get above Coleman. Pickford could well have come to claim. A whole bunch of Everton players at fault.

The whole team looked tired, jaded and complacent. The 20 minutes at start of second half was worst I've seen us play under Silva, could not get or keep the ball. Not quick or strong enough around the park. No-one taking control. Must do better.

Brian Murray
133 Posted 11/12/2018 at 13:54:24
Graeme Beresford.

TalkSport and their kopite-inspired pundits can easily say it will take us four windows... yada yada.

The truth is Silva needs to at least get them super fit to last the 90+ minutes and eventually a winning mentality will seep through the club with the old guard gone and some astute known or unknown gems on board.

It doesn't have to take four years – just good management with someone who is learning from his mistakes. Mr Silva... are you listening!!!!

Anthony A Hughes
134 Posted 11/12/2018 at 13:57:17
Good points made, Graeme, and the acceptance of mediocrity after hundreds of millions of pounds spent is hard-wired into a lot of fans.
We were told it was a 3-year project under Martinez then it was another 3 years under Koeman and now patience is being called for yet again.

I'm sorry but the Premier League waits for no-one and, after all the money, we should be challenging the Champions League spaces. Another 3-year project and we'll be nine years down the line from Moyes and have we really moved forward?

Tom Bowers
135 Posted 11/12/2018 at 14:12:34
Everton have 2 players with zip but no end product: Walcott and Bernard; they have no powerful runners from midfield with some finish. Gana is average and Gylfi is not blessed with speed. Gomes does a good job in the middle.

Silva doesn't seem to want to replace these guys as yet and probably believes they would come good as a team until the last nine days turned everything upside down.

Even if they had held on in the derby match, it would have still only meant 3 points from a possible nine with 2 games at home against lower opposition. There was a notable lack of confidence from the outset which just got worse and if I were a Hornet player I would have been totally pissed at coughing up 2 points after outplaying the home side.

Where to go from here has to be on everybody's mind and the next game offers little hope of a revival with what they have at the moment.

January has to be a month of some big changes to make something of this season and we all hope they are positive changes that will give great optimism for next season.

If that doesn't happen, then it's 'Sayonara' Silva.

Jamie Crowley
136 Posted 11/12/2018 at 14:12:57
James Marshall -

The live forum is painful viewing at the moment - even when we were winning last night people were spitting vitriol.

Regarding the Live Forum, you know how that works.

Reasonable, sane people come on. It's generally an extremely friendly environment with hello's a plenty, some weather checks in various parts of the world, and sometimes some personal tidbits.

When the team plays shite, the Negative Nancy's come out. You never hear from them otherwise. They never say hello, never a nice word to say, never an introduction... they just wait for the team to start playing shite and the Liver Forum turns into one gigantic, toxic venting ground.

If you correct them or take umbrage to their jack-in-the-box based upon the team playing poorly approach, they spring up with, "I'm entitled to my opinion" usually followed up by, "you cunt" or in my case, "stupid American fucking cunt" or my personal fav from a guy I actually have come to love his contributions over the years and is one hell of a guy, "Go back to your barstool in America."

Then, what's truly grand is, despite it being a "Live" Forum, and 99% of the acid-strewn shit you read being ignored, if you take umbrage with "the Negatives", you'll find your comments copied and pasted on the posts here – damning evidence taken out of context so whatever "dickhead's" motivations were, they can crucify you in front of the whole community.

The Live Forum is my single favorite aspect of this site. Tough to believe reading the above, but it is.

But it is the Wild West of TW, and soft souls should simply steer clear.

James Marshall
137 Posted 11/12/2018 at 14:52:52
Are you calling me a soft soul, Jamie? I think we both know I can hold my ale on the live forum.
Jay Wood

138 Posted 11/12/2018 at 14:52:53
Re: the live forum.

It serves its purpose for many a TWer who enjoy the 'camaraderie' of watching and commenting on the game with fellow Blues.

Me? I don't go anywhere near it because my focus is 100% on watching and deriving pleasure from the game.

Unless you have the rotating eyeballs of a chameleon, it's my belief that it simply isn't possible to simultaneously watch the game attentively whilst reading, posting and reacting on the live scroll.

Having scanned the live forum post-match on a few occasions, I now pay little heed or credence to evaluations made during or post-match from those on the live forum. Oft times, it reflects pre-conceived notions, rather than the actual events of the game.

Jamie Crowley
139 Posted 11/12/2018 at 15:01:14
Lord no James, not at all.

Blanket statement for final sentence, certainly not applicable or directed at you.

John Pierce
140 Posted 11/12/2018 at 15:56:27
A sour game to watch. A reasonable first 20 minutes with a fortunate goal to get us on top but again our dominance isn't yielding us a killing blow.

As in many games at Goodison once the initial surge is over the opposition gains traction, however in most home games we get another spell in the second half. Last night Watford got a grip and kept it.

The pair of goals could be seen coming from miles away. I couldn't hold that advantage against Watford.

The penalty was never one I'd like to see given, especially since the ball was way over both players' heads.

Sadly, I cried ‘down the middle' before Siggy struck it. Subconsciously, I knew that's where he'd put it. It betrays his penalty travails dating back from the World Cup. Just not 💯 % confident, is he?

Anyhow, signs that against the poorer sides in the Premier League, Silva has to find an alternative way to beat them.

A lot of common threads in the performances at home vs the bottom feeders this season, hence huge frustration amongst the fanbase.

Walcott & Coleman stood out again as the pair who cannot establish a rhythm or chemistry. Sigurdsson for my money the poorest for some time. On Saturday we may well lose but probably we will play a lot better than the last two efforts.

Craig Walker
141 Posted 11/12/2018 at 16:52:43
Life as an Evertonian: we're only ever 3 bad games away from a crisis.

I'm still fairly optimistic that we are heading in the right direction both on and off the pitch. I'm as frustrated as everyone with people asking for patience again but I have never believed the hype on TW that we were going to spank the RS at Anfield and finish top 6.

There is one certainty with Everton and that is that they will let you down when it matters. One poster in the preview to the RS game said something like I don't just want us to beat them but I want us to put 3 or 4 past them. We need to get real.

The RS, unfortunately, are better than us by some distance. As Graeme argues above, they are full of winners. They've shored up their weak positions and have a forward line that is light years ahead of ours. We put in a good performance against them but ultimately, we weren't good enough, yet again.

The Pickford ricket has knocked the stuffing out of us. The way it goes for us it might even end up giving them the title. Goodison Park again feels nervy. Players like Bernard who started well in an Everton shirt are now looking less good. We aren't punishing teams when we're on top or taking our chances. It's the same problems that we see season after season.

I actually think we'll do better at home against the better sides, when Goodison becomes a bear pit again.

Craig Walker
142 Posted 11/12/2018 at 17:04:39
Andy @107. I've been saying for ages that I just don't see what others see when they go on about Pickford's quality distribution. The odd time, he sets our attacks up well but the vast majority of times, he shanks it out, puts it over someone's head on the touchline or gives it straight to the opposition.

I also don't understand putting a centre-half or full-back to the left or right of the box for Pickford to play it to them, they play it back and then Pickford kicks a moving ball. Why? Why doesn't Pickford just kick a dead-ball long in the first place?

The biggest frustration with me is corners. I keep saying it but how can a professional footballer not clear the near post or first man from a dead-ball, time and time again? They should be able to land a ball on a sixpence. We must be the worst team in the division for taking corners. We force a corner, the Street End gets excited and then we can't clear the first man. Bloody annoys the hell out of me!

Frank Crewe
143 Posted 11/12/2018 at 17:11:51
A poor showing. We were lucky to get a draw.

Personally I think whether we like it or not we have to play with either Tosun or Calvert-Lewin as centre-forward. We need a player who can play with his back to the goal. Richarlison can't do this. He is a winger. We are not getting the best out of him by playing him down the middle.

Also, I think the set-up needs tweaking. Silva seems to be another manager who is fixated on this 4-2-3-1 lineup. It plainly isn't working for us. The problem is without a really good centre-forward it doesn't work. The opposition just block off the wide players and that isolates the striker. I would go 4-3-3:

Coleman, Keane, Mina, Digne
Sigurdsson, Gana, Gomes
Richarlison, Tosun or Calvert-Lewin, Bernard.

Gana can sit in front of the back four while Sigi and Gomes can support the attack. Tosun or Calvert-Lewin (I don't care which) can give us some physicality up front and hold up the ball for the supporting wide men and midfield men.

Also, the extra man in midfield stops Gana and Gomes from being outnumbered.

Tom Bowers
144 Posted 11/12/2018 at 17:16:30
Maybe Everton should start going for free kicks just outside the box instead of penalties? LOL.

Yes it was ugly yesterday and on paper may be just as ugly against Man City. Anything else helps RS.

However, in realty RS are a far better team at the moment and have a strike force which is formidable.

It's looking like a two horse race between the super powerful billionaire squads so we can't worry ourselves about that fact but we can hope our beloved Blues recover soon and really start to get some decent performances together, not just results.

It doesn't seem it will happen given the current squad but they have new investment and a manager who has improved things somewhat over last season so let's at least wait to see what the second half of the season brings.

On the plus side, the RS game had a downright flukey ending which gave the Blues nothing from a decent performance considering the gap between the sides and the other two games, though poorly contested, did not end in defeat.

Brian Murray
145 Posted 11/12/2018 at 17:33:30
Tony Bowers. Small consolation being the nearly men again. If – and it's a big 'if' – we and this manager are learning fast and are on the right track, let it be after Saturday, then go on a great run until Marcel brings another 4 boss players in!!!
Gary Willock
146 Posted 11/12/2018 at 18:01:37
I agree with Frank @143 in the fact that even though he's getting the goals upfront, Richarlison needs to go back on the left (where he will still get goals!) asap.

The lad is being battered by big centre-halves, and the refs seem to think it's par for the course. Give Calvert-Lewin a month there to prove himself, he's got the physical attributes to take that battering a bit more this year, and give enough back.

I also agree the 4-2-3-1 has been sussed (like Bobby's was) even though I think this may be defense sitting too deep and attack sitting too far up. The ‘two' in the middle are then isolated and exposed too much. I think Zouma helps with this balance, and Gylfi being asked to drop into a 3 would also add more substance there too. Him and Gomes taking it in turns to dictate and go forward:

Colman Keane Zouma Digne
Sigurdsson Gana Gomes
Walcott Calvert-Lewin Richarlison

Bernard and Davies to fight for a place in the midfield 3. Lookman on for Theo on the 70 as usual.

Genuine competition for Coleman and, for the love of ALL THAT IS BLUE AND HOLY, a ‘Lukaku with the touch of Gomes' in a January deal, please Santa!

William Gall
147 Posted 11/12/2018 at 18:35:00
I started supporting Everton in 1952 and, although I emigrated to Canada in 1976, have spent thousands of dollars going back and forth to Liverpool and to European games. In all these years, the 1 thing I have learned is don't build your hopes up as you will be let down.

This season, my hopes were building up (again ) and unless money is made available for a couple of good players I feel I will be let down again.

Early on, supporters were speculating on a possible top 6 place but our results against the present top 6 is pretty dismal, and to reach the top 6 you have to be beating some of the top 6 and also beating the teams below you, especially at Goodison.

I believe Silva with assistance from Brands have the making of building a good top 6 side but Silva has to realize that other teams are watching, and if you play the same system, same players every game, other managers are going to set up to get a result.

My problem with the present set-up, and is being proven nearly every game, is Richarlison cannot play with his back to the goal with experienced central defenders against him. i agree with other supporters comments that is he is better as a winger running at people.

If we do not get a top center forward in in January then we should persevere with Calvert-Lewin or Tosum and allow Richarlison back on the wing and move Bernard over to the right side.

Stan Schofield
148 Posted 11/12/2018 at 18:35:15
Graeme@129: I think you're taking too much notice of TalkSport chit-chat and speculation, which is all it is. Nobody knows what the future holds, and pundits on TalkSport and any other broadcast media outlet are simply filling air-time with shite. They get paid to bullshit, and obviously people take it seriously!

Regarding Liverpool, I think you've got a touch of the grass is greener. Yes, they're better than us, but they've won fuck-all for years. And they make cock-ups just like us, like Gerrard's blunder leading to Man City's title a few years ago, plus we know what happened against Real Madrid. Liverpool have been the 'nearly men' for a long time, and are dining out on their history, not much different from us. Merseyside used to be the fulcrum of football, but that hasn't been the case for a while, and it's been Manchester and London for ages.

Football can change quickly. It's changed for us in the space of half a season in terms of quality of football and players, as evidenced by the massive difference in the tone of ToffeeWeb posts this season compared with last season.

We haven't had the consistent financial input that the top teams have had, but that's started. There will be bumps along that road to success, but you have to remain positive given the changes Silva and Brands have brought.

Brian Williams
149 Posted 11/12/2018 at 18:42:41
Graeme #129.

If TalkShite said the sky was falling in, would you rush and buy a tin hat, mate?

Peter Warren
150 Posted 11/12/2018 at 19:32:23
Graeme #129,

LFC with a team full of winners who have won fuck all as far as I can recall in last 10 years – although perhaps a League Cup. They also have had shit loads of money spent during that time and actually have had some brilliant players and still not won.

Don't get me wrong, their team has been and is far better than us but they are similar to Spurs yet Spurs have spent a fraction of what LFC spend. Their manager isn't a clown either and, despite getting pilloried and having loads of issues, they're going to have a great new stadium. Them or Arsenal in the past is what we're trying to get – not LFC which is media-fuelled bollox.

Anthony A Hughes
151 Posted 11/12/2018 at 19:59:47
Thing is, though, we've spent a shit load of money and we're scrambling around with the shit and the also-rans and the never-will-bes whilst them fuckers are having regular big fucking nights in the Champions League.
Derek Knox
152 Posted 11/12/2018 at 20:35:13
I wish everyone would calm down and remember that we have only had 6 months of Marco Silva and Marcel Brands, and one transfer window.

It is clear to see the improvement in comparison to last year and before, we are not the finished project far from it. I get frustrated as much as anyone else, but you have to take things in perspective.

As Anthony @151 alluded, yes a lot of money has been spent, mostly unwisely, but it is, unfortunately, water under the proverbial bridge. I think we have some seriously decent players and, with a couple of additions, it could be another positive move in the transformation.

Rob Dolby
153 Posted 11/12/2018 at 20:44:08
I thought we did okay 1st half and could have had a 2nd only for the ball to be kicked off the line in front of Richarleison.

The referee in the first half let loads go and played advantage. In the 2nd half, he blew everytime someone fell over. Success for a big man dived all night.

They got lucky with the equaliser as Coleman couldn't do anything with that also the cross for the 2nd took a deflection off Sigurdsson.

It would have been a half decent game for the neutral. Touch of class from Gerry at the end as well.

Let's face it, the best we can do this year is 6th but more likely 8th has our name on it.

It's obvious, that besides Sigurdsson and Richarlison we don't have any goal threat.

Tony Abrahams
154 Posted 11/12/2018 at 20:49:28
Craig @142, I totally agree with you that we should be clearing the first man at corners but, if you watch any amateur Sunday league football, if the first corner gets cut-out, then the scream goes up, and it won't happen again unless an attacking player gets out-jumped at the near post.

Put a fucking man at the near post when your team has got a corner, because I'd say at least 30% of corners taken don't get past the front post. (And at least 50% if you happen to watch Everton!)

Anthony A Hughes
155 Posted 11/12/2018 at 20:58:04
Why is 6th the best we can expect?

Silva is supposed to be a top coach with a multi-million-pound squad. Why can't we expect them to get it together and challenge the top 4, why do we keep getting "This time next year Rodney"; Why is it always jam tomorrow?

Sorry to sound pissed off and frustrated but we get fed the same shit every year... When can we expect to challenge at the top? Next year, the year after, another 3-year project and then what?

Max Murphy
156 Posted 11/12/2018 at 21:19:25
Graeme #150 "LFC with team full of winners who have won fuck-all as far as I can recall in last 10 years."

Give me a decent run in the Champions League, and reach the final – that would compensate for the 20 odd years of misery we've had to endure.

Like it or not, they are exciting to watch, and score some great goals.

Watching Everton is like having a bad attack of constipation while waiting for the paint to dry.

Neil Wood
157 Posted 11/12/2018 at 21:22:41
Just a quick shout out if I could to a fellow ToffeeWebber, David Pearl, who kindly offered me a ticket for last nights game.

He wanted nothing for it just an act of kindness as his dad couldn't make the game.

I picked him up and drove to the ground and we chatted football along the way and had a beer at the ground. (Well, I had a coffee as I was heading to work straight after.)

Being an Evertonian travelling from Brighouse (near Leeds) it's quite a trek on my own and, working shifts including some weekends (Police – don't hold it against me!!!), it's not viable to get a season ticket. I am trying to find alternative employment to get my Saturdays and life back. (If anyone is looking for staff!! Ha!)

So for this act of kindness and genorisity it reminded me why I am a blue and why we are the best fans in the land. I think it's a gesture that we should all try and reciprocate for each other. Simple things like this make me proud to be Blue.


Graeme Beresford
158 Posted 11/12/2018 at 21:23:22
@ Brian, keep it sensible mate.

@ Peter. Liverpool are most likely going through in the Champions League tonight. Got to the champions league final last year and are currently top of the league. I don't want to talk much about that shower but still the mentality is different. Playing with 3 midfielders whom I consider to be poorer than our midfield, yet the difference is their mentality: they want to win.

I do believe we will get better and we obviously have the money to offer better wages, hence players like Digne and Mina coming, but we definitely need some winners in there. I suppose I am being greedy and impatient but tbh I feel like I've waited 30 years for us to start showing signs that we can attract big players and start to climb the league. I feel like finishing top 10 or top 7 (as most expect us to) just isn't good enough for me, and a lot of Everton fans I know.

What really makes us so different to Tottenham and Arsenal? Forwards? Maybe... but really they have good players and we have good players. Yet, when you watch Spurs or Arsenal you always think they are going to win, and most of the time they do.

You watch us and you get no feeling of winning the game, professionally, comfortably. It's just frustrating. We should all be happy after the derby loss, going into the next game after two home victories over 2 teams below us in the league, yet we've taken 2 points instead of 6. Just does my head in.

Stan Schofield
159 Posted 11/12/2018 at 21:26:36
Anthony @155: I don't think that anyone at Everton has said that 6th is the best that we can expect. Individual supporters or 'pundits' might say it, but it doesn't matter if they do, because they are just personal opinions, and those individuals are simply engaging in idle speculation, which really should not be taken seriously.

In reality, Silva appears to be taking each game as it comes and trying to win it, which is what we want. He and Brands have signed very good players, and I for one believe we have a team that can beat anyone, or nearly anyone, on its day.

I think the problem is lack of strength in depth, and really we need two teams that can beat anyone (so as to rotate the team) in order to be able to compete consistently, given the physicality of the Premier League and intense high pressing, that is bound to take a toll on players who are played constantly.

All that said, it is perfectly reasonable, given what we now have, to 'expect' us to get higher up the table. We've already taken on Arsenal, Man Utd, Chelsea and Liverpool (at their grounds) in a manner that is vastly improved compared with previous seasons. It is fine margins that have stopped us picking up points, contrary to some of the pessimism (and daft predictions) on ToffeeWeb.

In other words, I expect us to be competing within the top-6 positions NOW, and then to compete consistently for 'the very top' once we've signed further quality players to give us the required strength in depth.

For me, and I suspect for Brands, Silva and Moshiri, we are trying to do this as soon as we possibly can. I don't see any evidence that there's any 'jam tomorrow' policy.

Peter Jansson
160 Posted 11/12/2018 at 21:48:46
To be honest. I think all Silva's new players are good. However, it seems that we do not have the total quality in the squad yet to compete with the top teams.

Apart from Gomes, I think our midfield is weak. Gana is just not good enough, he is a good ballwinner but that's it. And no one on the bench is good enough to put is as a gamechanger as a sub.

And what happened with Walcott? I think he was really good when he arrived, but now he looks ordinary and weak. Not using his head. He lost the ball dribbling about 5-10 times yesterday. Very, very frustrating to look at.

Also Digne, a good player and yes brilliant free-kick, yea. But his gameplay, corners and throw-ins have not had high quality lately. He can't hit a single corner at the right place... what is that all about? And his throw-ins never pass the first defender... why do the same over again when it clearly does not work? Also stressing out is defensive situations like for example before the 1-1 goal yesterday.

Chris Corn
161 Posted 11/12/2018 at 22:45:59
Graeme at 158. I agree totally with the mentality thing. I think it has been ingrained in the club for years except for the 84-87 period and the early part of Joe Royle's reign.

When we have had the opportunity in finals, semis, European games, derbies, the big away games etc in the last 15 years, we have just consistently failed and it's been accepted as the order of things. Doesn't matter who manages or who plays, it's always the same. The only thing Everton guarantee the supporters is disappointment.

I am hanging my hat on an away win on Saturday just because it may be part of the devil's plan to help the RS win the Premier League but, in reality, I know it will be another routine defeat with a few sob stories attached.

Laurie Hartley
162 Posted 11/12/2018 at 23:14:49
Tony #154 – putting a man on the front post for corners seems to be a tactic that has been forgotten. I seem to recall that years ago it was common for the man on the front post to glance a header on to the penalty spot. I would put Walcott there.
Tony Abrahams
163 Posted 11/12/2018 at 23:21:17
Put anyone there, Laurie, because it's very frustrating watching so many of our corners getting headed away without a challenge because we haven't got anyone there.
Justin Doone
164 Posted 12/12/2018 at 01:13:39
We go from looking like a top 6 club to a "Sam was too good for us" clueless bunch of individuals. In short, it's just like I and others have said: Martinez the Second!

Great forward play at times let down by poor defending and switching off at crucial times. ut I'm happy with another point and, in general, happy with the progress made.

I still think Richarlison is wasted up top. Sigurdsson should be taken off penalty duties for Digne (or Baines). I'm not sure if our best centre-back pairing; all five can look good one game and poor another. I think I would bring Zouma back in for his pace if nothing else against City.

To finish on a positive, we went for it and got rewarded for the positivity and attacking subs, that alone deserves a pat on the back, Silva.

Paul Kelly
165 Posted 12/12/2018 at 03:56:36
The Live Forum is a hotbed of emotions in real time.

If you don't like it, word to the wise: don't go on there.

Brian Murray
166 Posted 12/12/2018 at 05:07:41
Laurie Hartley. A man on the near post at a corner was not years ago. Lescott or Cahill had a lot of joy doing that. Once again, if Silva (like Martinez) can't or won't see it, he will be gone before long. Same as the fitness issues.
Marc Hints
167 Posted 12/12/2018 at 07:21:24
Hi Colin #121,

I totally agree with you, I think though the problem we have at the moment is not able to rotate one or two players to freshen things up as the top 5 can do.

Our bench and squad players are just not up to it at the moment, I feel, and this is why we see the same starting 11 every game. We have looked – especially in the last two games – lethargic, clueless etc... but who would you put in place of some players to rest?

Tuson doesn't seem to take his chance; Lookman at the moment seems to be better as an impact sub; Tom Davies is hot and cold — just to name a few.

I think, once we get a few more quality signings either in January or the summer, things may be different and, of course, there is still a big task of shipping out the loanees and Niasse etc.

Max Murphy
168 Posted 12/12/2018 at 19:04:27
Marc #167.

"I think, once we get a few more quality signings either in January or the summer, things may be different."

Do you really believe your own words? What you said, is repeated at least several dozen times a season.

Signings won't make any difference. We'll soon be in free-fall, starting with Man City on Saturday. Until we get the right managerial appointment, nothing will change.

Whoever thought Marco Silva was a solution to our dire predicament needs consigning to a psychiatric institution.

Jason Wilkinson
169 Posted 12/12/2018 at 00:24:27
Let’s have a look at where we really are. We have a good keeper in Pickford. He will get better but he is still very young in goalkeeping terms.

The back four: Coleman is on a poor run but by far the best right-back at the club as well as being the captain and leader on the pitch. Lucas Digne has shown to be a decent signing whom I think will improve. Keane, Mina and Zouma have all played pretty well for the most part. I am concerned that Holgate has not had a look-in as he was showing signs that he could step up to be a regular contender.

The midfield: This is where it starts to get a little tricky. Gana has improved this season and Gomes looks like a top player. Walcott has looked awful and disconnected from the team play. Bernard is skilful but he needs to learn when to hold the ball up and develop the play. Sigurdsson has been a breath of fresh air now showing why we paid so much for him. Richarlison has scored his goals and looked good in short spells but is only 21 and will get better. Beni Baningime, Tom Davies and Kieran Dowell are obviously not showing enough to give Marco a headache. Lookman has been okay but not really grasped the starter’s jersey he craves.

Forwards: Oh dear! Oumar Niasse (bless him) is never going to be the answer. Tosun likewise I'm afraid. Calvert-Lewin needs to come on, score a brace, and force the management’s hand.

Overall, we have a much younger squad with some added quality. It will take two to three seasons to get better than top half to seventh. Look at Man Utd. Billions spent, some of English football’s top youth and a multi title-winning manager struggling to keep with the pace at the very top.

I know Spurs haven't splashed the cash and Arsenal were supposed to be regressing and Chelsea were supposed to fall apart. The truth is these clubs along with Man City and the RS have been building and tweaking for the last 10 years while we were potless. We will only challenge them with steady leadership, a steady improvement in the squad and patience from the supporters.

Recent results have been disappointing but, apart from the second half against Watford, we could have got a lot more with just a little bit of luck. Would any of you bet against us getting something at Man City? I won’t be.

Marc Hints
170 Posted 13/12/2018 at 09:51:37
Max #168,

I take it you're not happy with Marco Silva?

I think he is a good manager but we all have our own opinions, I do think we are moving in the right direction with the manager and Marcel Brands, and the signings so far have impressed me. The football is even better to watch.

Not sure why you think the manager is not any good.

Brian Williams
171 Posted 14/12/2018 at 14:48:57
Graeme #158.

It was meant light-heartedly, mate, but the point stands. TalkShite is exactly that! Shite. They're paid to be contentious in order for people to listen and/or phone in.

You don't have to put stock in what they may say. Seems sensible enough to me. :-)

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