What are you made of?

Evertonians were let down wholesale by their team last Sunday but by the older, more experienced heads in particular. The backlash against them has been righteously indignant but now it's time for them to front up as men in a way they didn't at Anfield and set off on the path to redemption and a possible road to the top six

Lyndon Lloyd 08/01/2020 145comments  |  Jump to last

The argument has been made more than once in the aftermath of Sunday’s debacle that there are very good reasons why players like Gylfi Sigurdsson, Morgan Schneiderlin, Theo Walcott and Lucas Digne are no longer at Tottenham, Manchester United, Arsenal and Barcelona — it's because they failed to make the grade and, as was amply demonstrated at Anfield, they appear to be fundamentally lacking in the kind of mental fortitude common among winners.

In Digne’s case, he used last season to illustrate the fact that, Barça being Barça, there is fierce competition for places at the Nou Camp and that even top-class players can struggle to hold down a place there. He was deservedly named Everton’s player of the season for 2018-19 but what has happened to him this season is a mystery. The Frenchman’s form, like a few others at Everton, has fallen off the proverbial cliff and the way in which he was run ragged by a teenager against Liverpool was, frankly, alarming.

Sigurdsson has flattered to deceive for much of his time at Everton. A dubious candidate for shattering Everton’s transfer record at the time, the Icelander has weighed in with important goals and occasionally looked the part in the No.10 role but there has been no sign this season of the player who is a Talisman for his country and did perhaps more than anyone to keep Swansea in the top flight before they were relegated following his departure for Goodison Park.

Arsenal and United were only too happy to offload Walcott and Schneiderlin respectively and it’s been patently obvious why for the majority of their time with the Blues. Fabian Delph, meanwhile, has struggled with injury since arriving from Manchester City in what appeared to be a sensibly cut-price £8m deal last summer but the steady influence and captain-esque leadership we thought we would be getting has been in very short supply.

That quintet were the “elder statesmen”, the experienced heads upon which Carlo Ancelotti should have been able to rely against half a team of kids in that ill-fated cup derby. Old enough and travelled enough, they should have taken that game by the scruff of the neck, brushed those teenagers aside and enjoyed doing it. Instead, they were complicit in and largely responsible for what was arguably the most embarrassing result in living Evertonian memory.

It’s worth acknowledging that Everton’s Festive programme was a gruelling one, particularly for those older legs (with the exception of Schneiderlin who might try to blame rustiness after three weeks out) but that does not excuse their dereliction of duty against Liverpool. They should have had the strength of character and presence of mind to show for the ball, get on it and move it forward, dominate possession and ensure that every possible pass found a Blue jersey. Instead they hid, were weak in possession and bereft of any control of the contest and paid the price when Curtis Jones dipped the winner over Jordan Pickford.

Even ignoring all that had gone before, Everton still had 20 minutes to find some kind of response, to mount an assault on Liverpool’s goal like their cup lives depended on it — which, of course, they did — and at least force a replay. Instead, they produced next to nothing; no shots on target after the 27th minute and barely a whimper by way of response to the reds’ goal.

To cap it all off, when the final whistle went and those among the 8,000 dejected and stunned away supporters who still remained might have expected some expression of contrition, all bar Djibril Sidibé, a player who isn’t even a full-time Blues squad member, and Mason Holgate scuttled off down the tunnel.

Yes, it would have been uncomfortable and they probably would have been given dogs’ abuse by a significant portion of those Evertonians in the away end but, as professional players literally earning millions of pounds per year, it's part of the job description. To face the music, front up to the fans and acknowledge the impact of that result on a fanbase that has, particularly in recent years, backed this team with sell-out attendances home and away but been dealt mostly pain and frustration for the best part of three decades.

So what now? Well, given that the impulse to simply “bin” half the team that was so humiliated by Jürgen Klopp’s kids isn’t logistically possible; that the injuries to André Gomes and Jean-Philippe Gbamin in particular mean that at least three of the players maligned above will have to be involved to some degree in the coming weeks; and that the club look unlikely to do any significant business in the current transfer window, many of the answers will have to come from within. From within the squad and from within the hearts and souls of the players.

It shouldn’t be forgotten that, thanks to the response from almost all of the same players, first under Duncan Ferguson and then Ancelotti last month, Everton currently occupy 11th place in the Premier League and they sit just six points behind erratic Manchester United with a run of favourable fixtures to come. Nor should the fact be overlooked that the club has just employed one of the most decorated managers in the game, a man of European footballing royalty.

The dream of a trophy may have gone for another season but, quite apart from simple professional pride, there is still plenty for these players on the wrong side of 30 to play for this season and there are roles to fight for in the Italian’s setup for next term as well, particularly if they are able to qualify for Europe. There's also time for them to prove, to the fans and the watching football world, that they're not washed-up and irrelevant and that they have a part to play in the revival of one of England's greatest clubs.

Evertonians might not ever forget Sunday — we won’t be allowed to — but we have the capacity for forgiveness which might be forthcoming if the team can regroup, rediscover its heart and spirit and put together the run of results required to vault the club back into top-six contention. They’re all talented players; they wouldn’t be here if they weren’t. Now it’s time for them to pull themselves and show us what they’re made of; as club employees, representatives of the shirt and the badge, and leaders by example to the younger players, and as men.

The path to redemption begins on Saturday against Brighton at Goodison Park and, honestly, the club could do worse than line the players who participated in Sunday’s humiliating defeat up around the centre circle prior to kick-off to offer a joint show of apology to the supporters. Then, instead of rancour, disillusionment and a return to the toxic atmospheres that became a feature of Roberto Martinez’s last season in charge, as a collective, we could put the whole sorry episode behind us and move forward as a club.

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Jakub Kollar
1 Posted 08/01/2020 at 06:38:30
I don’t remember when I last felt so much sadness watching Everton play. I was not even frustrated or angry, it was just pure sadness.
Jack King
2 Posted 08/01/2020 at 07:21:28
Ive felt that sadness every game for 30 years bar a handful. 'We don't care what...' well we obviously do because we sing about them every other minute. Screw our history. Depressing, laughing stock and joke of a club.
Annika Herbert
3 Posted 08/01/2020 at 07:29:29
All of those senior players mentioned by Lyndon should never play for this club again! Now is the time to give the kids their chance and see what we have got.

Can they possibly be any worse than Sigurdsson, Delph etc? Even though we have been stripped of some important players through injury, I would still prefer to see the likes of Gordon, Beningime, Adeniran given a run out. Get the likes of Gibson on the bench too.

I am sick of seeing these overpaid bums embarrass us week after week. If Digne can rediscover his form of last season, then I am willing to give him another chance. The rest can be given away!
Neil Cremin
4 Posted 08/01/2020 at 08:03:12
My conspiracy theory. Did Ancelotti play Sneids, Sigggy Walcott deliberately to find out what they are made of. The reason for this thought is that when we needed to make a change he brought in Delph (another sideways passer) instead of Davies. Now he knows who has the stomach for the fight. Key will be will he focus more on youth for Brighton match.
A second thought is my usual criticism of Pickford. As a footballer he is brainless. They say that the definition of insanity is repeating the same mistake over and over. Pickford played the ball out from the back and due to the Kids high pressing game continued to do this throughout the game eventually with the ball coming back to him to hoof it up the field. This he persisted in doing. One example of this madness was when Coleman was left stranded surrounded by three kids due to this tactic with no option but to try to hoof it up the touch line. When Pickford is not putting our back four under pressure he is launching a Exocet up to DCL more in hope as he has no accuracy with his kick out. (How many go out of play. Signs on every time we played the ball back to Pickford the Kop raised a derisory cheer. Who is coaching this guy. He is a good shot stopper but only that.
Brian Williams
5 Posted 08/01/2020 at 08:35:40
The main midfield players mentioned: Sigurdsson, Delph and Schneiderlin are just too slow for a team hoping to succeed in the premier league.
They were run ragged on Sunday simply because they couldn't keep up with younger, fitter, faster and
I have to say braver opposition.
Walcott was receiving plaudits from the commentators in the first half but if you watch him carefully you'll see his approach work looks good but when it comes to the crunch be that a shot (which he continually bottles) or an important pass (which he tends to fuck up) he flatters to deceive.
There's four weak points in the team already.
You can't afford one let alone four!
I watched City last night and their midfield interplay between the lines and more importantly often through the middle was an absolute joy. I can't remember the last time an Everton team played through the middle and created chances.
It's a simple fact though that the majority of our midfielders are too slow and not mobile enough to keep up with these young fearless athletes, and not skilled enough to play anything like City's midfield.
Sigurdsson may have some good skills but they're rendered useless by a player knocking it past him and leaving him for dead.
Once our midfield realised they couldn't compete, they gave up!
Jack Convery
6 Posted 08/01/2020 at 08:37:49
My team for Brighton would be

Pickford, Sidibe, Keane, Mina, Baines, Richarlson, Davies, Holgate, Gordon, Kean, Calvert Lewin. Subs Lossl, Coleman, Gibson, Delph, Bernard, Niasse and Tosun. I'm assuming the ineffective Iwobi is still injured.

I do not wish to see Siggy, Schneids, or Walcott in a Blue Shirt ever again. I would say let them train with the kids but that's obviously beyond them now. Leave Digne out for a couple of games it may do him some good.

In this transfer window we need to bring in a CB, 2 midfielders and a Forward. Given the money situation, something else we seem to have cocked up, they will almost certainly be loans, unless by some miracle we get half decent offers for the deadwood.

John P McFarlane
7 Posted 08/01/2020 at 08:39:33
Well this isn't good is it? Whether we see it from the players perspective or the manager's view - it doesn't augur well.

After the Liverpool game on Sunday, Duncan Ferguson gave some home truths to the squad. Some senior players argued that they had put in the effort in the second half and denied that they threw in the towel. These individuals instead blamed the tactics. (Source: The Athletic)


Derek Thomas
8 Posted 08/01/2020 at 08:55:11
What are they made off - by the look of it, not much is the answer. With a side order of too much money and a gold bentley, but the true colour is not gold but yellow.

An old term comes to mind...LMF - Lack of Moral Fibre.

Koeman; Sigurdssen, £45M. Schneiderlin, £29M.

Allardyce; Walcott £30M. Tosun, £25M

Brands; Kean, £30M.

£150+M or half a team, that if they never kicked a ball again, we wouldn't miss them.

You can't go on giving multiple 'last chances'. So I can see Davies and least 2 more kids in the starting 11. Kean might just make the bench, but I doubt the rest will...or is that a step too far for Ancelotti?

One thing in our favour is Brighton might be over confident.

Kevin Prytherch
9 Posted 08/01/2020 at 09:08:55
Jack - I agree with that team.
Out of the players remaining (in your team selection) from the Liverpool game...

Pickford (kicking aside) played well.
Sidibé was shocking - but deserves some respect for acknowledging the fans.
Mina and Holgate didn’t do bad defensively (it was only their passing about that was poor)
Richarlison was poor but at least tried
Calvert-Lewin was ok when he got the service.

Martin Mason
10 Posted 08/01/2020 at 09:11:02
I won't pass judgement yet on Digne as it must be difficult to shine in any way in such a rabble of a team. Messi would look like Rod Belfitt on a bad day if he came here.
Julian Exshaw
11 Posted 08/01/2020 at 09:21:01
No matter where we work or what we do we all have the odd bad day. This lot, however, have the odd good day. It was always my belief that Marco Silva and indeed Koeman before him were heavily criticised when the players themselves seemed to get away with bad performances, allowing the managers to take the abuse. The managers made mistakes of course. Silva himself seemed to be a nice guy and not a ranting and raving type and the players took advantage of this. Now it's a different story. Ancelotti won't put up with this. I don't care who he drops as long as we never have to witness such a shambles again.
Bill Watson
12 Posted 08/01/2020 at 09:22:58
John # 7.

There's some truth in that argument. I posted on another thread that Ancelotti must take his share of the blame for the debacle; firstly for his team selection and secondly for the way the side was set up and his subsequent failure to change the shape and tactics.

The subs were warming up straight after the second half kick off but no changes were made for about 20 minutes and no change was made in the way we played.

As late as the 89th minute we were still fannying about trying to work the ball across the back line when the crowd was screaming for them to get it down the other end.

That must be down to the manager.

Peter Neilson
13 Posted 08/01/2020 at 09:24:06
Hopefully Carlo makes significant changes on Saturday particularly focussed on dropping Morgan and Gylfi. With our midfield injuries options are limited but anything is better than those two. We’ve been cramming Gylfi in the team for months, even making him captain, when his performances showed he shouldn’t even be on the bench. It’s going to need a winning and aggressive performance to stop a toxic atmosphere. Here’s hoping, as ever.
Alan J Thompson
14 Posted 08/01/2020 at 09:30:01
Isn't this just the tip of the iceberg? It's not as though this, for some of them, was a one off, a blip, as for Schneiderlin it has been going on for a while, so much so that he even had a piece where he swore he was trying which would suggest it's our fault that we haven't noticed it.

As for Digne, he seems to be missing Bernard in front of him but is that because he isn't good enough, Bernard puts a lot more in or the opposition noted that Everton, under Silva, liked to attack down that flank so previously avoided playing out through that side until Traore was it and/or a Watford player showed how Digne could quite easily be brushed aside.

The only other consideration, hinted at by John #7, is that they followed the manager's instructions to the letter but nothing more, the not my fault syndrome, without any thought as to if that was giving the club and fans their monies worth.

To me it is now a matter of hoping Ancellotti can turn these players around or if we would be better off playing those kids who will at least put the effort in. I know which path I'd prefer.

Bill Griffiths
15 Posted 08/01/2020 at 09:46:47
I'd be happy to start with Jack's (#6) team but hope to see both Davies and Gordon in the starting eleven.
I'm still in a state of semi shock over Sunday and though I usually really look forward to games in the run up, I am really confused with regards to Saturday. At the moment I don't know how I feel or how to react at the game.
Part of me wants to really rip into them and let them know the hurt we all feel but guess that may be really counter productive. I'm dreading the stadium announcer spouting "and now for the mighty Blues of Everton".
I think I will take my seat and will not clap of cheer until the game kicks off.
Brian Harrison
16 Posted 08/01/2020 at 09:56:55
Ancelotti has said that because of the amount of fixtures he has had very little time on the training ground with these players. So I guess so far for him he really hasnt had any time to have an impact, but these last few games will have told him a lot. He must be wondering exactly were to start with this squad, but given time and yes money I believe he will sort this mess out.

This season is all about staying in the Premier league, and planning for next season, expecting anything else from this squad is just fanciful. After Sundays game Ancelotti said our build up was to slow in the 2nd half, something that Silva said repeatedly. I cant understand why Silva having identified a problem didnt rectify it, but I am sure Ancelotti certainly will.

When things are going badly the cry from some supporters is play the kids, but the reason clubs in trouble don't play the kids is this is not the environment to bring young players into a side. You introduce them gradually and let them develop, bring kids into this side and it might destroy their confidence forever.

Sam Hoare
17 Posted 08/01/2020 at 10:01:55
We must learn from our mistakes.

Alot of people, when we bought Siggy in for a huge fee and on big wages, came up with the repeating argument: "WHO CARES, ITS NOT OUR MONEY!!"

Well this is what you get. If you overspend on players in their late twenties who do not then excel then it becomes almost impossible to get rid of them; partially because no-one can match their wages and partially because the money men don't want to take a huge hit on transfer value.

For me the biggest issue is midfield. If you have two slow players like Sigurdsson and Schneiderlin who do not show for the ball and seldom move it forwards then the whole team lacks people to pass to. Holgate and Mina are both very capable passing the ball out but their job is made impossible if they have a statuesque midfield in front of them, scared of receiving the ball and simply hitting it straight back to them.

Sigurdsson, Schneiderlin, Davies and Delph. I don't believe any combination of this 4 constitutes a top 7 team midfield. Gomes is a little (but not alot) better. Gbamin is untried but appears to have qualities we very sorely miss ie athleticism and dynamism.

We have missed Gana Gueye more than even his biggest fans could have imagined and desperately need to find a central midfield that can get around the pitch, find space and do the basics well.

Clive Rogers
18 Posted 08/01/2020 at 10:02:13
To be fair I would never criticise Siggy for lack of effort. The fact is that his legs have gone and he is finished at the top level. He should never have been signed. I doubt very much that anyone will take him off our hands as it is painfully obvious that he is struggling on the pitch every game.
Bring on the youngsters.
Dave Williams
19 Posted 08/01/2020 at 10:02:14
Good article Lyndon. In firing back at Ferguson the players are missing the point. Players of their experience should have squashed that Liverpool side regardless of whether or not they felt comfortable playing the ball out. The problem was caused by the midfield hiding rather than trying to find space. Their lads showed how to do it, their game plan was so simple- one touch to control the ball and a simple short pass to a man in space. Regardless of age this can be achieved against younger and fitter players. The great Alan Ball carved a second career out for himself once he became too old for his perpetual motion game. He made himself into the best one touch player the English game has seen and the younger opposition couldn’t get near him because the ball was instantly controlled and moved on. Stand still or hide next to an opposition player and you’re stuffed,as indeed we were.
I’m afraid these excuses just sum up the characters involved ie.they don’t have any! This wasn’t even their second team for heavens sake!
Pickford has taken his share of stick but I felt sorry for him. Time and again the ball was passed back to him when he was under pressure from a red, and if you look back at the game most of the time it was on his right foot so it’s hardly surprising his accuracy suffered.
Many of us on here have said all season that we can’t play two of S,S and Delph in midfield at the same time because they are too slow. Hopefully Carlo has seen that now and has understood that they do not have the desire or fight to be in our team.
I am seriously worried about where we go now. Carlo seems very much a last throw of the dice in that IF he persists with playing out from the back with these players then we are in big trouble, as we can’t get rid of him and his team without giving them time by which time it may be too late. My hope( and surely this is correct?) is that he will have no patience with the woeful “ senior pros” and will not see them as part of his team. He has Pickford,Mina,Holgate,Digne/Baines,Davies,Richi and DCL all of whom will give fight and effort (once Digne sorts out whatever is bothering him ). Sidibe will also do that though I am not convinced by him and would like to see Kenny back in ASAP. So that leaves four places up for grabs. I too would play Holgate in CM with Tom on Saturday with Richi and either Bernard or Gordon out wide. Give Kean a start alongside DCL, Sid and Baines with Mina and I suppose Keane ( though I would prefer Feeney- another fighter) at the back. Put Adeniran and Evans on the bench- either would give a lot of effort which would immediately be an improvement and who knows? Sometimes lads go stale in the reserves but will take to the first team and we will only know if we allow them to try. Just the sight of a mainly young team prepared to give their all will sort out the dissidents in the crowd and stop the atmosphere from affecting the team- we badly need a win. There is enough experience there to cope with one or two young lads and rather than being negative about them, they might actually play well!!
John Zapa
20 Posted 08/01/2020 at 10:03:53
The entire liverpool 11 cost £43.9m while sigurdsson alone cost £45m. Too many poor decisions in the transfer market over the last few years and now we see the results of it.
Dave Trickey
21 Posted 08/01/2020 at 10:13:47
Sam #17 - excellent post, you saved me writing it! It is impossible to progress forward anything but slowly, if your players aren't showing for the ball. This leaves the player on the ball to dither and either pass backwards/sideways or get dispossessed, because he has no pass on!
Tony Everan
22 Posted 08/01/2020 at 10:17:32
Every single Everton player has to be focused 100% now on getting this club into the top 6 this season.

There's no distractions and no fatigue issues. It's time to prove to themselves and us they are good enough. Most importantly the teams competing for that spot are often as poor as we can be , very inconsistent too , it's wide open and achievable.

On a slightly different note, I watched Leeds Utd against Arsenal on Monday. They were unlucky in defeat but the sharpness, aggression and workrate from them was fantastic, Bielsa has transformed that team. Motivated and fighting to the limits of their capabilities. Leeds were undone by luck and a marginal differential in class but attitude-wise were everything we need to be.

If Ancelotti can get a Bielsa type attitude permeating our team we will be a different proposition. If not watch out, Leeds will be doing the double over us next season.

Steve Ferns
23 Posted 08/01/2020 at 10:21:27
I try to be as positive as I can be about all things Everton, but I have some grave concerns. I have embraced the Ancelotti regime, knowing how pivotal this is to the club in the short and medium term as I cannot see how we could recover if it turns to disaster. There's no contingency plan here, Moshiri is effectively doubling or even tripling down on his investment.

So, in order for it to work we need a top class coach to do the heavy lifting for Carlo. As Brian #16 said Carlo has had little time to effect changes on the training pitch. But Carlo Ancelotti is not the type of manager who does effect changes on the training pitch. He's usually the one stood to the side overseeing all but leaving it to a top class coach, such as Paul Clement and Hermann Gerland at Bayern, or Paul Clement and Zidane (who Ancelotti brought into the first team) at Real Madrid. I cannot work out who was the main coaches at Napoli and so I suspect that it was him and his son.

This is in fact how it is playing out at Everton. You see Ancelotti, Ancelotti junior and Duncan Ferguson running the sessions. Sorry, but we need better than that. Sure Davide might have lots of ideas ingrained into him by his dad, he might have been to all the coaching seminars and picked up loads of tips, but is he really now a first class coach?

Does Carlo himself keep up to date with the latest innovations and thinking so he can stay ahead of the game? He's the same age as the innovative Sarri, so it's nothing to do with age and everything to energy. Sarri is now in the peak of his career, this is what he has aimed for his entire life and he is singularly focused on it. Carlo Ancelotti has been at the top for over 20 years. Does he have the same energy, not on the touchline in game, but on the training pitch. In the past, he has clearly thought that perhaps he doesn't and taken a hands-off approach and got young coaches in with big ideas and let them do it all. This approach was the same as the one that brought trophy after trophy to Carrington for Alex Ferguson.

But it seems now, after years of taking the Alex Ferguson approach, that Carlo Ancelotti thinks he can step back in as a hands on coach. and lets make no mistake about it, this team does not need to maintain fitness and benefit from the wise old tactical fox on the sidelines, they need intensive hands on coaching to eradicate so many flaws that we see from one game to the next.

Now, I concede that Carlo Ancelotti has every right to think that he can be just that coach. If he keeps up to date, puts the hours in, and has the energy for it, then fine. In my experience, people who have been at the top of their profession like Carlo, for so long, are able to stay at the top when they utilise younger more energetic people to do the daily grind and instead leave the intense match day, with the judgement calls that 20 years experience gives him such an advantage, to the man himself.

I hope we do bring someone in, and someone in soon, otherwise lets hope that one of the reasons that Carlo took this job is that he fancied a big change from what he has been used to, and this change was to get his hands dirty with the coaching side of things.

Christopher Timmins
24 Posted 08/01/2020 at 10:27:21
Lyndon, all members of the squad are now fighting for their careers, however, for some it is already too late, not that many who fall into this category give a toss. It will be no easy task moving them on but that is what must happen. We have to take more pain before we can move forward.

Saturday should be viewed as a new beginning and I hope the fans get behind the team, not easy I know, in the weeks ahead.

Tony Everan
25 Posted 08/01/2020 at 10:27:38
Steve, Bielsa is an old fart and he has Leeds playing out of their skins. His backroom staff seem to leave no stone unturned. Everything will depend on the quality of Ancelotti's backroom approach and his ability to effect and organise it. Maybe he will recruit one or two more first class, hands on trainers, to execute his direction.

More of a question will be , Has Ancelotti got the motivation for the job? He has chosen a difficult path and the alternatives to him failing are sunny european jobs beachside villas and alfreso seafood dinners overlooking the med.

Has he got the motivation and desire to get his hands dirty making Everton a success?

Mal van Schaick
26 Posted 08/01/2020 at 10:28:52
When Silva was sacked and Big Dunc took charge, the fans got behind the team and they responded with some feisty performances and reasonable results.

When Ancellotti took over the players have ‘ downed tools ‘ and disrespected the fans with their performances. Their only reward can be to sit on the bench or find another club.

Aside from this * Sam 17 is correct. The quality of the midfield is poor. They are unorganised, slow and have little quality. I believe the defenders aside from Coleman can improve with coaching, and in Richarlison and Calvert Lewin we have goals, so I return to the midfield as a rebuild job.

Colin Glassar
27 Posted 08/01/2020 at 10:28:59
I don’t see us doing too much in this transfer window so we’ll basically be stuck with these clueless cowards for the foreseeable future.

I’ve spoken, a lot, about my disdain for players like Walcott, Iwobi, Keane etc... players who are talented but weak mentally and physically. But for me the biggest disappointments have been Sigurdsson and Schneiderlin. Both were superb at former clubs Swansea and Southampton, respectively, but so so average for Everton.

I continue to support the likes of Pickford, Holgate, Digne, Davies, Richarlison, DCL, Bernard, Kean etc... as I think with proper coaching (not 1-2 days a week) they will form the basis of a very good team.

Summer will define us for a generation to come. We either make the right signings, and offload the deadweight, or we face another 30 years in the wilderness, so god help us.

James Stewart
28 Posted 08/01/2020 at 10:31:59
First off I don’t think Ancelotti should be let off the hook, the tactics were just as disgusting as the players. Had Ferguson been in charge that performance would have been very different. Hopefully he learns from it.

Secondly I think this article, while well written is moot because there is NO redemption for most involved in “that” derby. To lose that game in the manner they did was such a severe and capital crime that the likes of sigurdsson, schneiderlin, Walcott, Delph will never have the support from a lot of us again. They need to be moved on even if it’s at a sizeable loss.

It is an utter delusion to think these players will ever have the mentality and ability to get us into the top 6. And even if they did I wouldn’t forgive them for Sunday. It’s over for them at Everton and rightly so.

Steve Ferns
29 Posted 08/01/2020 at 10:44:05
John McFarlane, I saw that, it was very interesting.

It makes me think, complete supposition on my part, that this is why Silva failed. I heard Curtis Davies, among others, talk very highly of Marco Silva in the post mortem after he was sacked. His only take on why it went wrong as that at Hull they were ready to do whatever Silva asked as they were dead and buried and had nothing to lose. So if Marco Silva wanted to do a throw-in 35 times and then said, right now from the other side, the players did it. And this actually happened. Such was Silva's eye for detail.

Curtis Davies had no insight into what happened on the training pitch at Finch Farm, but he could only concede that perhaps the Everton players were not as willing as he and his teammates were at Hull, that Everton players must not have bought in.

So here we are, being told that the Senior players are blaming the tactics and not themselves. The tactics of a 3 time Champions League Winner, and not themselves. It's like they do not realise that going through the motions can make perfect tactics fail. They have to give everything to make tactics succeed.

And that's just it. This is what I have seen all season long. They go around where they are meant to, they run about like they are meant to, the pass in the general directions for players like they are meant to, but it never looked as smooth as it should. The ball never zipped about, it was always laboured. The runs were not disguised like they should have been, the passing lacked conviction, the pressing lacked conviction, the efforts to make tackles when we lost possession were half-hearted.

These players sold their last manager down the river. I said about the passing around the back being down to the players, and not Ancelotti. This is another example of "it's not me it's the tactics". Scared football I like to call it. I saw this under Martinez, under Koeman, under even Allardyce, and under Silva. I think Darren Hinds called it Zombie football, which is a great description. It's football without thinking.

If the right back passes to the right centre-back, who stands still and waits for the ball to come to him, which trickles to a halt as it reaches him, then he passes sideways to the left centre-back and again it trickles to a halt as it reaches him. He then puts his foot on the ball and looks up and around, and then hits another slow pass to the left back. Do you really think ANY of our managers have ever coached our team to do this? The ball is meant to zip from one side to the other. Silva loved to switch play, his teams always did it, he would get the deep lying midfielder who just won a tackle to ping it to the left winger, who would then be swarmed and would instead hit a full length cross field pass to the opposite winger, beating the press and he would then charge into the box for the shot or to play in the striker. We saw this loads of times for Watford when they were doing well, not just at the clubs where he had success. But yet, it's like Silva thought screw that, I am going to coach them to pass the ball slowly around the back and let the opposition recover shape.

Ancelotti will not stand for this. Silva lacked the personality or the reputation to win that battle with his players. They cannot with Ancelotti. It seems like he has told Moshiri to "bin off" Sigurdsson when it seemed like Moshiri was telling Silva to play him, something like "you're meant to be a top coach, coach him, I spent a fortune on him and you're here to make him effective". Ancelotti has the gravitas that he can just say Sigurdsson is crap. He passed to Jordan Pickford more than our front two in the Derby Debacle, which tells you everything you need to know about him in that game.

These players have got away with too much, for too long. Hopefully Ancelotti can get the rotten apples out of the club. There is still a good team in there, if they can only cut the poisonous parts off, and bring some quality replacements in.

Tommy Carter
30 Posted 08/01/2020 at 10:59:29
@ John McFarlane and others

How do you feel about those players, whom spoke out blaming the tactics never play for the club again?

Because the faults that I saw were pretty basic and not at all tactical.

It was a collection of cowards who took to the pitch in the second half. Scared and spineless.

Men being bullied by teenagers. Crippled with fear.

It was an absolute disgrace and I am at a loss as to how it can be explained.

John Raftery
31 Posted 08/01/2020 at 11:01:13
The questions about Ancelotti are legitimate. We will not know the answers for some while but Sunday’s game did not augur well. His appointment feels like a last throw of the dice by Moshiri in a do or die effort to turn things around.

We have gone backwards in the last two games. With any bunch of players a manager must recognise their limitations and organise them accordingly. Duncan did that by keeping things simple; consigning the short goal kick tactic to the dustbin being one obvious example. That continued in Ancelotti’s first two games before he had much opportunity to work with the players.

Sunday’s performance suggested the players have returned to the befuddled, confused state they were in before Duncan took charge.

Brian Harrison
32 Posted 08/01/2020 at 11:03:23
I cant believe that some posters have already started to blame Ancelotti, for the first time in our history we have a world class manager in charge. And we all know that this squad lacks quality and belief, so this is the biggest job that Ancelotti has taken on in the last 20 years. Some suggesting he got his tactics wrong, well in the first half we should have scored 4 goals, so not much wrong with his tactics first half. Even the brilliant Guardiola came to Goodison with a team that the previous year won the title and conceded 4 goals. So it takes time for coaches to get their ideas across, Ancelotti has been here a few weeks and has had very little time. Surely at present we need to be supportive of Ancelotti, but if in 12 months there has been no improvement then by all means criticize.

Now unlike Steve Ferns I don't know how hands on Ancelotti is on the training ground but you don't win as much as he has without your message getting through to players. As Steve says Alex Ferguson changed his head coach every couple of years, because he realized that when you have been working with a group of players for a number of years they have heard everything before. So he brought in coaches who would no doubt be preaching the same thing but said in a slightly different way. I am sure Ancelotti will asses his coaching team and if he thinks it needs some additions he will make them.

But come on lads we need to cut him some slack, this isn't a manager who had previously got his team relegated like Martinez and Silva, or someone who had eyes on the Barca job, or heaven forbid an Allardyce style manager. This is a man who has won more Champions league trophies than anyone at present managing in the Premier league.

Brian Harrison
33 Posted 08/01/2020 at 11:03:23
I cant believe that some posters have already started to blame Ancelotti, for the first time in our history we have a world class manager in charge. And we all know that this squad lacks quality and belief, so this is the biggest job that Ancelotti has taken on in the last 20 years. Some suggesting he got his tactics wrong, well in the first half we should have scored 4 goals, so not much wrong with his tactics first half. Even the brilliant Guardiola came to Goodison with a team that the previous year won the title and conceded 4 goals. So it takes time for coaches to get their ideas across, Ancelotti has been here a few weeks and has had very little time. Surely at present we need to be supportive of Ancelotti, but if in 12 months there has been no improvement then by all means criticize.

Now unlike Steve Ferns I don't know how hands on Ancelotti is on the training ground but you don't win as much as he has without your message getting through to players. As Steve says Alex Ferguson changed his head coach every couple of years, because he realized that when you have been working with a group of players for a number of years they have heard everything before. So he brought in coaches who would no doubt be preaching the same thing but said in a slightly different way. I am sure Ancelotti will asses his coaching team and if he thinks it needs some additions he will make them.

But come on lads we need to cut him some slack, this isn't a manager who had previously got his team relegated like Martinez and Silva, or someone who had eyes on the Barca job, or heaven forbid an Allardyce style manager. This is a man who has won more Champions league trophies than anyone at present managing in the Premier league.

Steve Ferns
34 Posted 08/01/2020 at 11:04:04
Spot on Tommy.
Sam Hoare
35 Posted 08/01/2020 at 11:04:05
Steve@23, yes this sums up alot of my fears. Who will be the one actually coaching these players to get to their best?

Coaching is not Ancelotti's strong suit historically and thats why I would have preferred Arteta. Though obviously Silva was very much a coaching manager and that did not work out.

Some days I honestly think we could pull Klopp or Guardiola in and They'd struggle to get a tune out of us. It's not that the players are awful (though they're not great) but something just seems off. Is it just lack of confidence? Does it come from higher up the ladder (Moshiri, Kenwright)? Perhaps fitness has something to do with it. I know we covered alot of ground under Silva but the players often seemed a bit knackered. Perhaps thats more of a confidence, head down issue. All sort of problems!

Steve Ferns
36 Posted 08/01/2020 at 11:10:58
Sam it seems to be a culture issue. "This is how things are done here". You can go to some places and the same people behave differently in different environments.

I think Moyes had a very disciplined and regimented setup at Finch Farm, then in came Martinez and he changed it (for the worse) and made it much more relaxed. This was great the first season as the players were still disciplined and regimented from the Moyes days and it took a while, and personnel change, for things to go soft.

We know Koeman then made significant training ground changes, erecting the fence, and making training start an hour early and finish two hours earlier so he could go play golf in the afternoons.

Only someone who is at Finch Farm on a daily basis can truly comment on what it's like there. But everything I have heard is about how soft it is there. Everything is nicey-nicey. Hence Duncan Ferguson not being allowed to tear a strip off the players.

And to go back to was it Ancelotti's tactics or was it the players, then why would Duncan Ferguson have been wanting to tear a strip off them it was Carlo's fault? I know who I blame for Sunday, and it was not the manager.

Fran Mitchell
37 Posted 08/01/2020 at 11:20:05
If some of the players (would be interesting to know who exactly...we can all probably hazard a guess) did indeed blame the manager and tactics, one would assume they have already written their Everton career off.

And it shows how pathetic they are. The misplaced passing, the lack of closing down, poor first control, and an absence of any intensity whatsoever are what cause the humiliation of Sunday.

The starting line up, and bench, on Saturday will speak volumes.

Colin Glassar
38 Posted 08/01/2020 at 11:31:35
Steve, how many days has Carlo actually had them on the training ground since he took over? I believe it’s been a day or two between games, correct me if I’m wrong.

Carlo said after ‘The Disaster’ that he’d now have time (a week) to work with this bunch for a few days to start getting his ideas through their thick skulls.

So for the embryonic “Ancellotti out” brigade at least give the man a week or two before you start building the gallows.

Brian Harrison
39 Posted 08/01/2020 at 11:33:32

This was the same players who a couple of days ago were saying how Ancelotti had made some things simpler and easier to understand, now they want to blame the manager for his tactics. Also I would like to ask these players well what did he fundamentally from the first half when we could have scored 4 goals, to the 2nd half were we didnt have a shot on target. Couldnt possibly blame the players for that can you ?

Mark Andrews
40 Posted 08/01/2020 at 11:35:24
My God! If people think Tom Davies is the answer, I don't think they've understood the question. I don't doubt the lads passion or commitment, I just don't think he's anything more than a championship player. If I was being generous, he could make a PL squad player.

Oh how we miss Gana.

Wanted, a midfield. Apply within.

Steve Ferns
41 Posted 08/01/2020 at 11:36:37
Fran, the issue is the injuries.

We all know the players will include Sigurdsson and Schniederlin. Going off Fabian Delph's misguided interactions with fans on social media, I would throw him in there too. Perhaps he did not say too much that you could say was wrong, but it was extremely ill-advised, and you have to query how he can properly represent our fans on the pitch. And that's the point these guys seem to miss. That's what they are doing, representing us. Which is why, I always want the representatives to include as many players from Liverpool, Merseyside or England as possible.

Anyway, back to the changes, if you bin off S & S, then you have to pick from the following:
- Delph - is he ever fit, what about the social media stuff, was he not also to blame as he was in fact on the pitch (not Sigurdsson) when RS scored
- Davies - knee has been more and more heavily strapped with each game and his performances have suffered as a result
- Gbamin - injured
- Gomes - injured
- Baningime - injured
- Adeniran - played wide midfield these days
- Iversen - not long back from bad injury but not impressing
- Onyango - only 16 and looked lost in last few games for u23s
- Markelo - tends to play wide or up top these days

So who exactly comes in to shake things up? I expect Davies will declare himself fit. So of all of the above, I would probably select Delph to play with him as he is slightly more mobile than S & S, and has a better range of passing from deep. I hope Gordon might play against Brighton as it would give the crowd a lift and Walcott was so bad in the second half that he needs dropping. I think we should still go with the 343 formation as that would give Gordon support as the right forward and have less responsibility defensively with Sidibe and Coleman down that side too. He is also likely to come inside and can drop into the middle as well.

Clive Rogers
42 Posted 08/01/2020 at 11:38:41
Steve, #36, the daughter of a friend of mine who is studying sports psychology spent a few months last year at Finch farm and described it as an old fashioned shambles. She told how a fitness guru who was involved with the Olympic team was brought in and tried to update the fitness training. The coaches didn’t like his ideas, complained and he was shown the door. Our players never seem 100% fit to me. They were shattered 2nd half on Sunday.
Ari Sigurgeirsson
43 Posted 08/01/2020 at 11:39:43
For what it's worth Gylfi has been very poor for Iceland since he joined Everton. He more than anyone us the victim of the stupid/crasy transfer fee Walsh/Koeman put up for him.
Steve Ferns
44 Posted 08/01/2020 at 11:39:58
No idea there Colin, very little time. Even if there was a few days between games, there was so many, so fast, that all the "training" would really be recovery work. I suspect that any tactics based work would have been done in the classroom.

I would say that this week is the first week that Carlo Ancelotti has had to coach the team.

Rob Halligan
45 Posted 08/01/2020 at 11:42:33
Brian # 33. If people are already moaning about Ancelotti, then I honestly don't know where we go from here? One of the most respected and successful managers in world football, and some already want him out? We will probably never get another manager as good as him, so we might as well just go down to Clubmoor Rec and ask any Sunday league manager to do the job.

Do people on here moan, just for moaning sake? "Listen to me, I know everything" when in fact those those constantly moan know Fuck All.

Derek Taylor
46 Posted 08/01/2020 at 11:44:21
So according to Post 7 above, we blame the players and the players blame the manager's tactics. If that is the case then we are in greater trouble than even the most critical amongst us envisioned.

Certainly many of us were concerned to see that our new man had seemed to re-introduce the 'play out from the back' approach that had been such a failure under previous managers. Truth is our lot aren't up to it and if persisted with it will soon see a decline towards the danger spots Moshiri is paying him a king's ransom to avoid.

Like many others, I suspect the new manager is already rueing his decision to take on a challenge like none other he has faced since early days in management. In his favour is that just like Big Sam, his only immediate challenge is to see us maintain Premier status as we prepare for the Usmanov financed dockland project. My view is that he will do that with ease as long as he cuts out the so-called pretty stuff although he will already have learned it will be in spite of the flotsam and jetsam he has to do it with !

Stephen Brown
47 Posted 08/01/2020 at 11:44:50
For what it’s worth I’m 100% behind Carlo and Dunc! Even if there were mistakes on tactics!

We’ve all played football and if it’s not working on the pitch a captain or a leader adapts the play accordingly! No more chances for many of these cowardly players!

100% behind the manager we should be! Let the clear out begin !!

Steve Ferns
48 Posted 08/01/2020 at 11:46:56
Rob, there is no where to go from here. If we turn on Ancelotti, and I don't think the fans will this season, but say they do next season, and Moshiri feels forced to sack him, isn't the danger that he then says he's had enough? If he decided to sell up, he'd want all his investment back, he'd want to sell us for profit, and he'd probably pull the plug on the stadium unless someone came in fast. If Moshiri gives up on us, then we are in Aston Villa / Randy Lerner territory and going over the cliff into the abyss.

There is no where to go, Ancelotti is it. I support him 100%, but I would feel a lot better about it if he brought in a coach of renown, like Paul Clement.

Colin Glassar
49 Posted 08/01/2020 at 11:48:35
Agreed Steve. This is why I reject (so far) the OTT criticism of Ancellotti. Give the man at least a few weeks to work with the squad before you make up your mind.
Derek Knox
50 Posted 08/01/2020 at 11:49:14
" What are you made of "

I think the answer has to be lemon jelly, if Sunday's embarrassing defeat is anything to go by. I am not going to laboriously go through each player, and either pick up on their good points, if there are any there in the first place, or denigrate them.

Having said that we can't continue with the main culprits, and gradually build on what we have, and if the remaining ' Last Chance Salooners ' continue to show LMF, and are bereft of improving the team, they can also go.

I have generally believed that we had a nucleus of a good side, and with a couple of astute additions we could start to show signs of being the real deal. It's down to the survivors of the inevitable cull, to show that they have changed, had a backbone implant, or silicon/botox injection, and vow never to repeat those acts of cowardice.

Colin Glassar
51 Posted 08/01/2020 at 11:59:42
Great posts from Steve, Stephen, Rob et al. Don’t panic! Don’t panic!

We have to trust Don Carlo. He’s one of the greatest managers of all time. He’s up there with Guttman, Herrera, Santana, Michels, Paisley (yes, I know), Ferguson, Mourinho, Guardiola etc.

If Carlo can’t turn us around can the last one to leave please turn the lights off? This is last chance saloon people. So get behind Ancellotti and fucking pray!!

Brian Harrison
52 Posted 08/01/2020 at 11:59:55
Rob 45

I know you go away with the team, I only go to the home games now, so what are the lads who go away saying about Ancelotti. I agree with you if appointing Ancelotti fails I don't know how this club will recover. I read this morning that Abramovich has paid £100 million in compensation to managers since he took control of Chelsea, I think if Moshiri gets rid of Ancelotti within 2 years he will have paid out about £40 million in compensation in 6 years. The big difference is that most of the time Abramovich still appointed managers who won trophies, so far under Moshiri despite him spending a fortune on redundancy packages he hasnt been able to replicate what Abramovich has done at Chelsea.

Steve Ferns
53 Posted 08/01/2020 at 12:00:10
Clive, you mean this fella: Link

But this was the Koeman era, and it seemed a fanciful idea to get this American guy in with no knowledge of football. He was quickly binned off during the Koeman era. Silva or Brands then brought in Bruno Mendes from Benfica. It was probably Silva as he left with Silva, but Silva had never worked with him before. Mendes was the brains behind what was dubbed "Benfica Lab" which was supposedly the most innovative approach to fitness and injury prevention in football. It was a holistic approach that was meant to encompass the players entire lives, nutrition, sleep, off the field activities and make sure they were in tip-top shape. That we had a number of injuries and that he left with Silva tells me that Brands was not too impressed.

Instead we now have Francesco Mauri as fitness coach. Carlo Ancelotti worked with Giovanni Mauri at every club he coached at up to and including Bayern Munich. At Bayern Francesco Mauri joined the setup. You may have noticed the surname is the same, well that's because Francesco is the son of Giovanni. Giovanni retired after Ancelotti left Bayern. The criticisms of Ancelotti at Bayern were really criticisms of Giovanni and this must have led to him retiring. Carlo Ancelotti then appointed Francesco Mauri as his fitness coach at Napoli and he has brought him to Everton.

No idea if Francesco is any good or not, but Carlo obviously rates him enough to give him his Dad's old job. He has all the relevant coaching credentials and he has a degree in Sports Science.

Derek Knox
54 Posted 08/01/2020 at 12:00:56
Rob @ 45, Last paragraph there mate, nail-head-spot on! :-)

We all have the right to express our genuine feelings on TW, and many say things in the heat of the moment, or the aftermath of a defeat, which they later regret, and in most cases they apologise accordingly.

On the other hand there appears to be a few, albeit and thankfully in the minority, seem to relish in being derogatory and harbingers of doom, before an event has even happened.

As far as Carlo Ancelotti is concerned, the man's CV speaks for itself, and if he can't turn things around, there is something drastically wrong with our Club. Apart from the one big problem most are aware of anyway!

Peter Neilson
55 Posted 08/01/2020 at 12:04:41
Brian (33) that sums it up for me. We've had Ancelotti in charge for 19 days. He now has the task of clearing up the mess of the past 6 plus years. With the squad he has available that's one tough task for the rest of the season and until players can be shipped out and brought in.

Daniel A Johnson
56 Posted 08/01/2020 at 12:08:57
I’ve always had the feeling in Silva we had a great young forward thinking coach. He was thrown under the bus this season by the players.

If the same happens under Ancelotti then these players will need to be called out and held accountable. We need to shine a spotlight on the players now not the manager and tactics.

Andrew Ellams
57 Posted 08/01/2020 at 12:16:10
I think with Ancelotti we should be more worried that he turns against Everton. If Moshiri doesn't deliver the goods off the pitch, and the recent signs aren't good re the finances, then Ancelotti won't be able to turn things around off it and he'll take the next offer that comes his way.

I do genuinely worry that Richarlison may have to be sold to fund the rebuilding of the midfield.

Steve Ferns
58 Posted 08/01/2020 at 12:18:08
Daniel, the problem was that the players were able to throw Silva under the bus, he lacked the force of personality to have battered down Moshiri's door and demanded Sigurdsson (for example) be sold immediately or sent to train with the reserves. It seemed like he picked players that did not suit his way of playing (Sigurdsson) and ultimately he never actually introduced his preferred formation. When a stronger personality (not necessarily a bigger name) might have just gone with his preferred formation and picked the players for those positions and if that meant no position for Sigurdsson (as there would be no number 10) then so be it.

Ancelotti is the star now. He's the biggest name at Everton. He's the one that Moshiri needs to keep happy, not Sigurdsson. So if it means taking a massive hit on Schneiderlin and Sigurdsson (if they are indeed the bad apples that need to be out of the dressing room for things to improve) then Moshiri has little choice.

So perhaps, this is in fact what Everton needs most right now. The Big Man for the Big Decisions. No one can question him. Especially the tactics:
"Sorry Gylfi, you think my tactics are wrong? Can you tell me what trophies you have won, and then I can defer to your expert knowledge".

James Marshall
59 Posted 08/01/2020 at 12:18:20
The problem as mentioned, mental fortitude, is actually more about consistency. The best players in world football, are the best players because they're consistently good.

Even players with less talent are worth more to teams (at every level) due to their performance levels being consistently up there.

Our problem, in literally every department, is exactly that, a lack of consistency. We have players who have the ability, they just don't produce the performance level required in every game. Theo Walcott is a prime example of this - shows flashes of brilliance, has one good game in about 10 (pick a number in truth) and the rest of the time is bang average/awful - ask any Arsenal supporter. Iwobi is the same - and sold by the same club, for the same reason.

If you were to list every player we have, you could write 'inconsistent' next to every single name, without fail. Tom Davies shows consistency in his work rate, and application. He's the exception, not the rule.

This is the reason we've had the same shit performances under many different managers, in my view.

Steve Ferns
60 Posted 08/01/2020 at 12:21:04
Andrew, that's why Gedson Fernandes on loan looks very likely. We get a player in now, pay little, and worry about finding £34m in 18 months time. This would then mean we can sign a centre-back (as they are always cheaper) as well. I would expect the club to hold off on anything else until the summer. We need more central midfielders, but come the summer we will know if JP Gbamin and Andre Gomes will be able to make full recoveries.
Derek Knox
61 Posted 08/01/2020 at 12:30:02
Peter@ 55, not an enviable task by any means, but something has to change in the wording of contracts for players.

By that I mean, the dice are completely loaded in their favour, once they have a lucrative contract, they can basically sit back, and are made for life.

What other profession offers such generous terms, where if the individual simply, in a clever way downs tools, he doesn't get selected but still gets paid, to the end of the contract.

We all like to enjoy some sort of 'job security' but most (who are not in football related jobs) are on short-term contracts, which get renewed or not, after a specified term, Doctors, Teachers etc.

Daniel@ 56, I dare say you may be right about Silva being forward thinking, but personally I didn't rate him at all. (There's probably a brick with SF on it headed my way :-))

The main reason he got the sack, was his stubbornness, arrogance, lack of leadership and total resistance to try anything different.

Rob Halligan
62 Posted 08/01/2020 at 12:30:42
Brian # 52. As far as I can tell, it's only been positive from the away fans regarding Ancelotti. Obviously everyone was buoyant after Newcastle, singing his name during, and certainly after the game. There was no negativity after man city, and last Sunday it was the players who took all the abuse. Considering Ancelotti has only been with us less than three weeks, and as pointed out above, he's barely had time to walk through the gates at finch farm, never mind working on the training pitch. In my opinion, I think he's been studying video footage of previous games and trying to get his points across from them.

This is also just my opinion, but I think he sent out a team last Sunday believing he was going to face a far stronger RS team than he did. Why would he have played Sigurdsson and Schneiderlin if he had known the RS team beforehand? Ancelotti has a good record against the RS and knows how to set up against them accordingly. If that was the case, then I know you cannot change your starting eleven once the team sheets are in, but I guess he could have made early substitutions to remove either Sigurdsson or Schneiderlin.

It's all water under the bridge now, and I'm 100% certain Carlo will not be making many more mistakes in the future.

Derek Knox
63 Posted 08/01/2020 at 12:37:52
Without being accused of sticking up for Sigurdsson, I feel he is rightly being slated BUT he is not the only one. What about the BIGGEST MAGGOT of the lot Schneiderlin?

At least Siggy has on occasion produced something scored goals and orchestrated play. (not recently I admit)

I can recall Schneiderlin having one decent game, in the time he has been with us, the 4-0 game against City, and that was probably because they all gelled on that day. What has he done since?

Peter Mills
64 Posted 08/01/2020 at 12:51:01
Like everyone else, I’m still smarting from Sunday’s performance, it will not be forgotten for a long time. But there’s bugger all we can do about it now, so we have to look forward.

I like Lyndon’s idea of some kind of acknowledgement of the display. It could be as he suggested, or it could be a statement from Carlo to the effect “We have had a week of training and discussions, we move on, but the staff and players take collective responsibility for Sunday and apologise for it”. It would be an act of leadership on his part.

We have just appointed one of the great names in world football as our manager. I was taken aback by the passing around at the back against City, I was horrified by it against the rs, but I’m not going to criticise the man. He knows a great deal more about football than us, I suggest and hope we give him great support, as the consequences of him failing would be disastrous.

Gerard McKean
65 Posted 08/01/2020 at 12:51:41
Break the bank and sign Ben Stokes! I don’t know whether the lad can play football but he sure as hell has the right attitude to win at anything.
Stan Schofield
66 Posted 08/01/2020 at 13:18:44
If any player criticises Ancelotti's tactics, especially at this early stage of his tenure, then that player's days are surely numbered. If Ancelotti doesn't have the player in his plans, then that player criticising tactics is falling right into Ancelotti's hands, perfectly justifying why the player should be sold sooner rather than later. The Board will surely be quite happy to get rid of that player pronto and sign a better replacement according to Ancelotti's wishes. Otherwise, there's no point in Ancelotti being here.

Rob@62: It's possible that Ancelotti had a fair idea that Klopp would field a very weak side, as he did against Villa in the league, and knowing that the FA Cup just isn't taken so seriously anymore. He might also have had a fair idea that Everton would screw up as usual despite the weak opposition, or at least that there was a very good chance of it given our renowned mental fragility. In this case, the 'not unexpected' outcome of defeat against a very inexperienced side would provide Ancelotti with the perfect starting basis for quickly getting rid of players who are not in his plans. It's only a thought, but Ancelotti is no doubt a wise old owl and nobody's fool.

Bill Fairfield
67 Posted 08/01/2020 at 13:23:04
There will probably be a reaction on Saturday but there is no future in these senior players enough is enough it's time to show them the door.The atmosphere v Brighton could turn very ugly,hope i'am wrong
Rob Dolby
68 Posted 08/01/2020 at 13:30:04
I watched the Manchester Derby last night and although it was pretty one sided I thought Kyle Walker's comments post match where spot on.

They where along the lines of if you can't get motivated for a local Derby game then you shouldn't be a professional footballer.

How many of our lads where up for the game on Sunday?

Ken Kneale
69 Posted 08/01/2020 at 13:30:40
Steve F as ever some very knowledgeable and insightful posts. Do you honestly feel Ancelotti has the personality to take on this challenge.
Jay Wood

70 Posted 08/01/2020 at 13:38:50
As an eternal optimist, Sunday's pathetic and meek surrender to Liverpool's babes left me so despondent I took a 'timeout' from Everton and TW and opted for watching a cracking cricket test match between the Saffers and England for my sporting fix.

I was well rewarded. Oh for footballers at Everton who showed the obdurance, the belligerence, the courage and the ability to stand up in adversity and key moments in the match as the likes of Anderson, Sibley and the genius that is Ben Stokes did for England.

It was far more rewarding and uplifting than wading through the plethora of articles and posts since Sunday here on TW which, quite justifiably, are scathing of the team. I didn't need to feel even more despondent by reading reams of doom-filled messages.

Like Dave Abrahams in the match-day thread who first described Sunday's defeat as the most shameful in the club's 142 year history, that loss cut deeper than any other I have experienced on my watch.

Duncan Ferguson in his brief 4 game tenure immediately re-connected the club, the team, the players with the fanbase again. Carlo Ancelotti continued the good feel factor with two victories, an expected defeat away to City but a catastrophic loss to the Red's kindergarten team.

The abysmal second half no-show completely torpedoed the growing 'good feel' factor the supporters were feeling following Silva's demise. Now, their favour must be won over anew. The mood of the Goodison crowd and their reception for the team this weekend is going to be an interesting watch.

It's not going to be a quick fix.

It is one thing, as many have done, to scream on a fans' forum 'x, y and z should never wear the shirt again'. As Lyndon expresses, given our current resources, that is logistically impossible. Ancelotti doesn't have that many alternatives available to him to do just that.

So, deep breath time.

Carlo Ancelotti was appointed on Saturday 21 December, the day of Dunc's final game v Arsenal. We played 'them' on Sunday 5 December. In the 15 days between his appointment and that game we played 4 matches. Throw in the downtime for Xmas and New Year and Carlo has had virtually zero time to work with the squad beyond preparing them for the next game.

Even so, he affected changes to the playing style Duncan had introduced. Playing out from the back was re-introduced. The defensive line was higher, allowing the opposition little space to attack in behind or risk being caught offside. Quicker transition through midfield to attack was evident. The main striker was supported, rather than isolated. We created more chances and had more shots on goal.

Even the defeat at City was not as forlorn as some paint it. We comfortably held them at arm's length in the first half, but the transition forward was not getting onto their backline quick enough. Two defensive errors contributed to give them a two-goal cushion. Ancelotti was not passive in his substitutions. We pulled a goal back and were pushing for an equaliser until the final whistle.

The players spoke positively of the clear and simple instructions Ancelotti had given them which benefitted individuals and the team. And then Sunday happened.

Carlo now has clear water in front of him until the end of the season. 17 games in 130 days. A full week (and more) to prepare between each game.

Moshiri has clearly fully committed to Ancelotti by giving him a four and a half year contract. Brands is cemented into the set-up as Director of Football and, unusually, a place on the board.

On Brands, some people tend to focus on what he hasn't done. Get a centre forward, midfield dynamo, a centre back, rather than what he has done. Sign some good players, but equally necessary and important, clear away an awful lot of deadwood that was not of his making (a task still not complete), which in turn continues to hinder our options in the transfer market.

Like it or not - and clearly, some don't like it - but Carlo Ancelotti and Marcel Brands are contracted long-term to oversee the transformation of Everton.

For that reason alone, as an Evertonian, I have to hope and believe that they get it right. Because if the 'I-told-youists' prevail, we are fooked!

Philip Bunting
71 Posted 08/01/2020 at 13:39:35
Schneiderlan makes Nyarko look like Pele would play Bernard on the right, Richarlison on the left, Davies in the middle and give Sigg on last chance as there is no one else lol. DCL up top along with Tosun then swap one for Niasse to mix it up. If we can't get a tune out of that 6 by seasons end then play the kids
Jonathan Tasker
72 Posted 08/01/2020 at 13:47:29
Why is Everton so bad at buying players ?
For years we have been a retirement home for old players. Consider how many old Manchester United players we have bought who have been happy just to take the money.
What were we expecting of someone like Walcott who has been on the decline for years.
What’s at fault is the system at Everton that just keeps buying in old, not good enough players and hoping they will magically blend together.
This is the weakest first team squad for a generation.. Brands and Walsh have a lot to answer for. Brands needs to be fired as he is clueless. This is far too big a problem for any manager to fix.
Jay Wood

73 Posted 08/01/2020 at 13:51:03
Gerard @ 65.

I was writing my post @ 70 in which I referenced Ben Stokes (and others) as typical of the attitude I want to see more of from Everton players, so hadn't seen your post.

I along with others have been saying for years, we have signed some talented footballers in recent times. Few, if any, had sufficient nark in them, the belligerence or determination to put their hand up and say:

"Fer fook's sake! Give me the ball and I'LL win the game on me own!"

Absolutely paramount in future new signings for the club is that they are driven manic winners, willing to kick their own grandmothers into touch and slide through the back of their three-year-old child to win the ball.

Andrew Ellams
74 Posted 08/01/2020 at 14:07:46
So was anybody on here amongst the group who confronted Brands at the gates of Finch Farm as reported in the Times?


Alan J Thompson
75 Posted 08/01/2020 at 14:12:49
I can't believe that a comment made that some players blamed their own poor performances on the tactics is being used to say that this was the probably the reason for Silva's failure. He failed at Hull whom he got relegated. he had Watford in a similar position when they got rid and he was in the same relegation position at Everton. The man was just not good enough at places where they spent hours on throw-ins and/or where the players may or may not have listened to him. Talk about clutching at straws! We then have that Ancellotti's selection was wrong because he doesn't take training sessions but just stands watching, another bloody Harry Catterick then? We should be so lucky,eh, and his record apart from his couple of weeks at Everton is better than Harry's.
Kieran Kinsella
76 Posted 08/01/2020 at 14:18:56
A delegation of Everton fans angrily confronted Marcel Brands today at Finch Farm. Group leader Tony Marsh called the club an "embarrassing sh!t house" while fellow fan Richard Dodd asked if Brands could have Kenwright sign his "Tommy Steel at the London Palladium" program. Brands explained that the players were unavailable to talk. He offered them some cake at the behest of Gylfi Sigurdsson.
Benjamin Dyke
77 Posted 08/01/2020 at 14:28:47
I'm frankly ashamed of the sums of money that have been thrown around since Moshiri came. I hate it. Sigurdsson etc. It's an absolute joke when you've got us fans earning less over a year than they get a week...and to think they're so cosseted they may not be happy being bollocked when they've played like shit.
I'm so angry still.
Who authorised this pile of spending on shite
Dan Parker
78 Posted 08/01/2020 at 14:40:42
Ricky Gervais’ speech at the Golden Globes very much applies to Premier League footballers too, they’re in no position to lecture the working class.
Fran Mitchell
79 Posted 08/01/2020 at 15:11:43
What is the latest news on G'Bamin? Will we see him this season?

The sale of Williams, for a measly 1million, has come back to bite us. He may not be world-class, but he'd sure be of more use than S&S.

Whatever came of Ryan Ledson? He was the next big thing before we flogged him to Oxford.

When you see the likes of Lundstrom and Duffy thriving in the PL, maybe we could look back to some of our previous academy products.

There is some quality in the Championship, surely better than what we have now. Brendford, Leeds, QPR, WBH, all got quality midfielders we should be in for them.

Peter Neilson
80 Posted 08/01/2020 at 15:13:46
Derek (61) its a nice idea that re. the players contracts. I was going to reply that it would need all the clubs to adopt it otherwise we would just end end up with cast offs, then thought, but that's what we've already got!

Maybe more thought should be given to how contracts are structured re. playing time/wins etc but I think that this is already the case. The huge amounts being paid are often the basic with other additions on top. Players/agents hold all the power and I cant see a way out other than better negotiating and better personal profiling to try and get some with a winning mentality. Re. the negotiating the average salary of a Prem player is now £3m but our standard model appears to be pay circa £25M and then £100K+ per week. We're a soft touch.

Thomas Lennon
81 Posted 08/01/2020 at 15:20:17
If any one of those three chances in the first half had gone in things would have been very different. We had looked very uncomfortable, rushed into bad passing, pushed back and yet STILL they didn't look like scoring, and we did. It didn't look pretty, but it was effective in part.

We mostly seemed to come into the game as they tired and their work rate slowed, so I hoped that the second half would be a different story, we just had to up our work rate in the face of an increasingly tiring opponent - assuming that they would tire of course.

I have to confess I too gave up shortly after half time and switched off. Just when we needed to step up we stepped down. Even then we were only beaten by a great shot from outside the area - was it a young Ronnie Whelan who scored a similar goal against us in the '80s?

1. We need a midfield engine room we can rely on to push back
2. We need to play as a team
3. We need a solution to why we don't pass & move well enough
4. In time we need to be pressing like those young lads can, credit where it is due. Every man was challenging or blocking all available passes.

Then we can start talking about expensive marquee signings

Fran Mitchell
82 Posted 08/01/2020 at 15:30:37
It appears Baningime is fully fit again. I'd rather him on the bench to Schneiderlin.
Alan J Thompson
83 Posted 08/01/2020 at 15:32:55
Peter(#80); There are other not so nice ways of getting rid of players and I don't mean by violence. Tell him to report for training at 10AM then fine him 2 weeks wages for being late as he should have been there at 9AM then the next day get gate security to not let him in and fine him again. Or do a Niasse and take his locker off him and give him a hook in the corridor. The message gets through sooner or later and the only problem is that it sometimes comes back to bite you when word spreads.
Simon Dalzell
84 Posted 08/01/2020 at 15:55:54
We need to spy on Leeds training. What a breath of fresh air watching their relatively inexpensive team being everything we're not. Pep says Bielsa is THE man. I can see why.
Steve Ferns
85 Posted 08/01/2020 at 16:27:59
Simon, there's no need to spy, type Bielsa training into YouTube and you can see lots of his training sessions filmed. When he was at Bilbao they were attended by fans every day.

There's nothing ground breaking there. It's lots of effort and repetitive movements to create "spontaneous" passages of play. Here's a video of Bielsa coaching the coaches: Link

This video shows you passages of play by his team (then Marseille) and then shows drills that were run to make this happen. It's because of the likes of Bielsa that I wanted a hungry young coach with similar ideas. Who will run these kind of drills over and over.

Here's some more links to other videos, not sure if they still work as they are from 2013 when I campaigned for Bielsa to get the job ahead of Martinez. If only that had happened eh?

— One for the Spanish speakers - but listen to tone - here the great man is speaking to Bilbao after they have just lost finals, but there is no cup throwing or blow ups and he is able to address them in a way to build them back up and so get back out there. (Or so I'm told by a Spanish speaker!)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6lJ8SUGhF3I — Typical one hour press conference - the great man never speaks to the press outside of press conferences and so never shys away from them, instead he will sit there and field every last question even if he has to sit there for 4 hours. He will even answer questions in depth from the most minuscule of papers.

Peter Neilson
86 Posted 08/01/2020 at 16:40:58
Fran (82) I'd rather the bench to Schneiderlin.
Conor McCourt
87 Posted 08/01/2020 at 16:44:48
Peter if we play the bench a few others may want to sit on it it's a tough call.
Des Farren
88 Posted 08/01/2020 at 16:46:25
They are (mostly) Men of Straw. The idea that this bunch of players who were the main reason why Silva lost his job are now trying it on again with Ancelotti is incredible. That some on here are following this line by blaming Ancelotti is risible.
What I would like to see first and foremost in any new signing is character and I trust C.A.'s judgement in this regard.

Peter Neilson
89 Posted 08/01/2020 at 16:49:33
Conor, they'd have to catch it first. Don't think they have the legs.
Jerome Shields
90 Posted 08/01/2020 at 17:06:46

That can happen with players. They feel they need live up to the transfer fee, rather than to the football on the pitch. This is especially the case after they are 27, with family commitments and life after footbal! becomes within sight. Their contract rather than the football, becomes more valuable.

Gavin Johnson
91 Posted 08/01/2020 at 17:06:56
Kieran #76 Your post made me laugh. In seriousness, fans going down to the raining ground is justifiable in the circumstances. The players, particularly our central midfield need stripes tearing off them. Apparently Duncan rightly did this, and they argued and blamed Ancelotti's tactics.

The cherry on top was Delph mocking and calling a supporter a gobshite on social media. The Daily Star have published the screen shots today. The guys been here 5 minutes and seems to have developed an attitude like Samual Eto'o after winning a couple of trophies at City. I never want to see him, Sigurdsson or Schneiderlin again. All three are shithouses as far as I'm concerned

Kieran Kinsella
92 Posted 08/01/2020 at 17:19:51

Clearly tactics are to blame. Same problem with Koeman who’s been a disaster with the Netherlands. Carlo has never won anything. Not like Silva had any success in Greece or Allardyce ever had teams punching about their weight. Players like Schneid and Sig had individual and team medals popping out their ears until they were unlucky enough to work with these terrible coaches.

John Pierce
93 Posted 08/01/2020 at 17:20:37
So we’ve known or been deeply suspicious of several players for some time. Yet the managers we’ve had have neither the gravitas nor balls to handle them or manage them out.

Essentially the previous managers have needed those players more than the players needed them.

One thing is clear. We have a decorated, well credentialed manager, not one player in that side comes close to him as a player let alone as a coach. Ancelotti is not an authoritarian, so their ability and character is what’s left. It’s there for all to see. Ancellotti clearly has enough of a reputation to manage upwards, so you would think time has run out for those players?

Francis van Lierop
94 Posted 08/01/2020 at 17:22:24
Neil @ 4
That same thought crossed my mind.
Surely Carlo was (made) aware of S+S not being at the races most of the time this season.
His case has been made for fresh faces.
Clive Rogers
95 Posted 08/01/2020 at 17:24:08
Steve, 53, no, this was definitely last summer.
Fran Mitchell
96 Posted 08/01/2020 at 17:31:30
Anyone seen the messages by Delph?

Jesus. I thought we'd made a smart move when signing him in the summer.

But my oh my, and more than anything, it shows how thick he is

a) to respond in that manner

b) the number of errors, I mean he uses 'where' to say 'where fuming'. He also says 'your a disgrace' and 'your better' - two times the same mistake.

I mean jesus. Shit at playing football. Shit English. Woeful communication skills. Yet makes 100k a week.

Clive Rogers
97 Posted 08/01/2020 at 17:36:54
Fran, #79, it is unlikely we will see Gbamin this season. He has had a bad injury which often is career ending. He was already struggling with the pace of the PL, so to fit him in after his injury would be difficult. It will be put back to next season after a full preseason.
Ledson is at Preston, div 1 and has made 28 appearances, but no goals.
Brent Stephens
98 Posted 08/01/2020 at 17:40:01
I'm stunned by the social media output from Delph in response to criticism of the Anfield performance. I've not been impressed by his on-field performances but this is beyond the pale. He's got no stake in this club and should be gone.
Simon Dalzell
99 Posted 08/01/2020 at 17:40:08
Thanks Steve # 85. I know you've had the Bielsabug for quite some time. It restored my faith in football generally a bit, watching them.
Mike Gaynes
100 Posted 08/01/2020 at 17:47:52
Brent #98, the fan started the exchange with Delph by posting "fucking disgrace you". I realize that in today's social media atmosphere, that's standard abuse, but low class is low class. That said, Delph shouldn't have responded as he did. In fact he shouldn't have responded at all.

Fran #96, those misspellings are not necessarily a sign of of poor English. When you talk-respond instead of typing your answer, the phone will frequently transcribe "you're" as "your". My iPhone does it all the time and I have to constantly go back and correct it.

Derek #63, Schneiderlin in fact had a string of very fine games in the spring of '17 -- best player in the club for about a 10-game stretch. Went into the shithole subsequently and never came out. And you're right, it's just plain wrong to categorize him with Siggy, who at least gives maximum effort every minute he's out there. Schneids' jersey doesn't even need washing, unless he falls over for some reason.

Brent Stephens
101 Posted 08/01/2020 at 17:51:01
Derek #63 "Without being accused of sticking up for Sigurdsson, I feel he is rightly being slated BUT he is not the only one. What about the BIGGEST MAGGOT of the lot Schneiderlin?"

Derek, I posted after one of the game's last season that for some reason I'd closely watched where Schneids positioned himself in relation to the ball when we were in possession in that game. For most of the game he actually positioned himself with an opposition player between him and the ball so that a pass to him was never on. At first I thought it was just coincidence or whatever but the more I watched the more it confirmed my view that he was hiding,

A disgrace to the badge.

Bill Gall
102 Posted 08/01/2020 at 17:58:30
We can shout and complain and try to offer some excuses for the shambles of what was an Everton first team but one excuse we cant come up with is injuries. According to Everton F.C. main site there were only 2 players on the injury list and they were Gbamin who has yet to really have played a full game for Everton, and Gomes.
The blame is solely on the players and the manager as he should have shown what he thought of it, and dragged a couple of them off at half time as an example, with a rocket of a speech.

What makes this defeat sickening is that a couple of weeks before this group of players had run Chelsea ragged to a defeat. We have to hope that no professional would go out with a mindset that this game is going to be easy, and they don't have to put a lot of effort into the game, but it seems that we have some so called professionals who do, and it spreads through the rest of the team.

The major problem it seems is, we may now have the finances to bring in some new players, but we have a real problem in getting rid of some players that do not perform to the standard that the fees and wages they are paid demands better performances and attitudes from them.

Eddie Dunn
103 Posted 08/01/2020 at 17:58:47
It seems to me that it is possible that with the new big time manager, many of the old guard know their days are numbered.
Therefore they will be very hard to control as they are all millionaires and getting towrd the end of their careers.
Some of the others might want to learn from one of the greats.
As for Digne -the only explanation for his form is injury. Is he getting injections in the groin before each game and how much is it affecting his mobility. He has previously been positionally at fault but his speed and agility have been very good. This season he has been caught for pace in defence and not had the pace to get to the byeline.
Walcott had always been inconsistent. He had a good first half but was awful second half. As Brian said, his final pass or shot is often woefull.
As for Sigurdsson, I think he really does do his best but needs pacy runners to pick out with his passing. He can't cope with a quick game and Schniderlin is a carbon copy without the work ethic.
At least Richi and Dom look up for a battle and if we put Holgate in midfield, we will be a better unit.
Sounds like a lot of shit has hit the fan. About time to.
Mike Gaynes
104 Posted 08/01/2020 at 18:31:28
Eddie #103, re Digne I have been suspicious of the same thing. No player of Digne's clear quality drops off a cliff in form without a reason, and I too suspect that he's playing hurt.

All the more reason to give Baines a couple of games.

Peter Neilson
105 Posted 08/01/2020 at 18:55:00
Brent (101) Gylfi does exactly the same and marks himself out of the game. Very rarely makes himself available. The pair of them are passengers.
Tony Abrahams
106 Posted 08/01/2020 at 19:10:39
That’s it in a nutshell Brent with Everton trying to play out from the back with a midfielder who hides because he doesn’t want the ball, I actually feel sorry for some of those Liverpool kids right now, because they have definitely been lulled into a false sense of security!
Paul Birmingham
107 Posted 08/01/2020 at 19:26:39
If true this in my view shows an under current of players whom have no care for the club, the coaches and the fans. They believe they are above the manager and coaches. Tactics or not these players have no nous and never will. They are cast always and must be shifted out the club asap, accepting that’s likely in the summer, for most of them.

Maybe Silva was too timid, soft and lacked the courage and assertiveness that any good people manager needs, amongst other qualities.

Carlo Ancelotti is no mug, and is being dignified and respectful in the early days of his mission to see EFC, into better days.

Let’s hope there’s shrinks, priests etc hired to suss out future potential transfer targets and restore belief.

Such is the rotten demise of Everton football club.

Is this the bottom of the barrel, for EFC?

Hope eternal.

Darren Hind
108 Posted 08/01/2020 at 20:01:30
Lets be clear here Ancelotti fucked his team selection. . BIG time. He has to shoulder his share the blame for much of the unrelenting misery most of us have been feeling for the past three days

I don't think there is a single poster on here who would have played that fucking useless midfield partnership.

I don't want to hear people claiming I'm talking in hindsight. The dogs around Stanley park could have told you before a ball was kicked that we were fielding the most pedestrian of midfield against a team we knew would have an abundance of energy if nothing else. TW alone has been inundated with posters calling for them to be shipped out. . He didnt just play one of them. He played them both

There are people on here who don't seem to have the abilty to understand Ancelotti's CV was not created by playing with the dross we have here. They are treating his appointment as some sort of second coming. . . Hold your horses.
Ancelotti will need wholesale changes in the playing staff before he can begin to think about bringing this club success. Those who couldnt handle that brutal truth are now being faced with reality.

When you gamble the clubs future on a manager who has known great success though having the best players. You don't call for his removal until he has enough quality within his ranks to demonstrate he can do it here too. . . but Those who think he should not be held accountable while we assemble a squad of similar ability to the ones he has managed in the past are living in cuckoo land.

Ancelotti wont just become our manager AFTER or even IF we sign top talent..He hasnt been asked to wait in the stands until we can bring on the dancing horses. He is responsible NOW!. He is accountable NOW ! He is being paid 11.5m a year to manage the squad he inherited NOW !

Every manager is entitled to make a few mistakes in a new job. but that doesnt mean we have to pretend they were not mistakes. He made a couple of howlers on Sunday

It makes me laugh to hear people who were outraged at the suggestion that he would struggle with this caliber of player, now demanding others turn a blind eye to his errors. while he waits for the cavalry.

Its not happening. He will be judge on his performances after EVERY game from now on in

Kevin Prytherch
109 Posted 08/01/2020 at 20:05:33
Darren - in defence of Ancelotti’s team selection - it was the same midfield that played against Chelsea (barring Iwobi), so he could well have looked at the game.

However I can’t defend his tactics and the pussy footing around at the back instead of going direct to Calvert-Lewin and concentrating on winning the second balls.

Mike Gaynes
110 Posted 08/01/2020 at 20:14:55
Darren #108, do you really think Ancelotti was reading TW and scanning through previous managers' lineups and listening to the punters and poodles in the park before he took the job?

Not a chance. Nor should anyone want him to.

He's going to assess the players himself in training (which he's had no chance to do) and on the pitch. And he's going to try various players in various positions in various alignments, and decide for himself what works and what doesn't.

So he played that crap partnership. He had to see for himself. And now he knows. And if he's as smart as we think, he won't do it again.

Blame? Yes, of course. That disaster was everybody's fault, his included. But he's gonna do lots more things we don't agree with, and some will work out and some won't.

Judge him after every game if you want. I'll judge him on where we are a year from now.

John Pierce
111 Posted 08/01/2020 at 20:22:41
Darren - it’s absolutely fair to say he was out coached and out thought from the beginning on Sunday. I turned pale when I saw their team sheet. To flip the pressure onto a psychologically weak opponent was fair dos.

It’s less relevant to tall about his previous clubs and the quality of player. Madrid and Bayern weren’t JUST made up of peerless world class players they had good to average ones too, some differs as well. He is just as experienced in dealing with the variety of player we have at our disposal as he was handling Ronaldo.

What he’s not used to dealing with is a culture of cowardice and inferiority, & self sabotage. It’s that which dictates how much you can get out of any player good or bad.

Look no further that our neighbors, every player who didn’t get on board was shipped out. The entire club is on board.

Ancelotti is the first manager in years we’ve had that has the standing in the game to dictate what he wants and the culture that drives it. Both the players and the board will I believe get on board or leave. He may not be the second coming but he’s damn close.

Neil Cremin
112 Posted 08/01/2020 at 20:25:25
Thanks Francis.
We will see how Ancelotti picks his teams going forward.
And I still cant believe that nobody seems to agree with me that the problems start at the very back.
Kick out to our defenders/midfielders who don't want the ball or in a position where they are immediately under pressure and only options is pass back to the keeper who then hoofs if forward in hope often out over the sidelines. This repetitive pattern of play is demoralising not only for the team but for spectators to watch and must be addressed urgently. Not even the worst teams in the premiership play like that.
Des Farren
113 Posted 08/01/2020 at 20:30:14
Maybe not hindsight Darren, but selective, always. I don't know you but I can see you like to have both sides of an argument covered. Just in case. Your posts on and following Ancelotti's appointment being classic examples.
Btw who would your two midfielders have been Sunday?
Mike Gaynes
114 Posted 08/01/2020 at 20:30:35
Agree, JP.
Conor McCourt
115 Posted 08/01/2020 at 20:32:51
Kevin 109- no offence but this is the problem I have with the appointment of Ancelotti is that he is totally at odds with what the fans want from their team.

Now I hear TW going mad over Sunday's debacle because he won't play direct. I've seen him for the last twenty years and he's never played direct. He will and he should continue the way he has been playing whether pain in the short term because that's how he will think we are going to compete at the top table. Any deviation from that is an admission he is the wrong appointment. You don't hire Fat Sam if you want tiki taka.

Secondly my big worry even before the match was his calming nature both in the presser and in his pre-match interview. Yes those fuckers should have been motivated of their own bat but the only time these muppets have lifted a leg is when they were shit scared of Dunc. Again we will soon hear our fans criticising Carlo but this is his way, he will face the same accusations as Silva.

We have to back him with how he sees the game played or sack him, we want your pedigree but we don't want your philosophy

Brian Harrison
116 Posted 08/01/2020 at 20:42:44
I have to say reading some of the latest posts, we should have hung onto Allardyce he liked his team to hit long balls to his striker. How could he be out coached they should have gone in 3-4 goals up after the first half.

I don't see what options he had in picking the team that started the game, Gomes and Gbamin are long term injuries and Davies is carrying a knock so who could he have played in central midfield.

Darren most fans knew that Ancelotti would need wholesale changes to this squad to gain any success, how could anybody build a successful team with the dross he has inherited. His CV is 2nd to none so lets not go down the road of kicking the most prolific trophy winner this club has ever appointed. And if he made such a mistake in selection and tactics then how come even with this side we could and should have scored 3 or 4 in the first half were I don't think they troubled Pickford.

Francis van Lierop
117 Posted 08/01/2020 at 20:43:19
It is terrible to watch, as I was Schneiderlin with the deepest suspicion.
Twice in the first half hour, he had the ball, and was closer to the centre-circle than to his own penalty area.
Yep, and twice the ball went back to Pickford while he was under no pressure at all.
He's a coward and a fraud.
Darren Hind
118 Posted 08/01/2020 at 20:46:47

The big fella was down to the bare bones against Chelsea. The injury list was chronic. Mina's absence meant he could'nt push Holgate into midfield as he did on other occasions. So yes it was the dreaded partnership, but Ferguson knew they would get murdered by chelseas promising youngsters, so for most of the game. He simply by-passed them. He played two up top and instructed his team to go back to front in a much more direct approach. Worked a treat.


I didnt say he should listen to anyone. I only pointed out that the dogs (and the cats for that matter) knew he was making a howler. without the benefit of hindsight.
Its going to be a long year for you if you are going to wait until the end of it before passing judgement on Ancelotti. Especially when you see most posters doing it game by game.
I suspect you and a few others have already indicated which way you will go. Your trumpets will blast when he wins. . and you will plead for more time when he doesnt.

Brian Williams
119 Posted 08/01/2020 at 20:48:29
Who would your two midfielders have been Darren?
Darren Hind
120 Posted 08/01/2020 at 21:12:07
Holgate and Davies should have been the partnership.

Klopp was allowed to heap a mountain of pressure with his no lose plan. It should have been countered.
Holgate and Davies are vastly more experienced than their kids, but both are young enough to be considered their peers. They coudnt possibly have done worse than S&S.
I would also have played Kean up top. We have given him no chance by persistently putting him up against two vastly experienced center halves in the league. Yet when the opportunity comes where he can boost his confidence by showing what he can do against inexperienced younger defenders He sits on the bench

Kase Chow
121 Posted 08/01/2020 at 21:20:52

I can forget and I can’t forgive

I hate them

Paul Corbishley
122 Posted 08/01/2020 at 21:29:53
Everton have been a soft touch for players for a number of years now.

As supporters we all assume that the players want to be playing in Europe and winning cups when the reality is it’s the last thing some of them want.

I get the impression that there is a player culture at Everton where they know they are good enough to finish mid table but can’t be arsed really trying to be successful as playing in Europe and with international games means they will hardly spend any time at home.

They would rather play weekends and train through the week so they can be home each night. Still pick up massive wages an don’t get grief off the Mrs for never being around.

As Darren said Carlo did fuck up with s&s. Before the team came all the lads I was with wanted Davis an Holgate for their energy against what we thought would be a stronger Shite team.

But that second half, yes the midfield were shite and I never want to see them in an Everton shirt again but where are the leaders on the pitch, telling Pickford to stop playing it short, knock it long to DCL and get around him then play from there, not the greater at football but necessary.

It all screams an it’s not my fault attitude from the players with no accountability. If that means fans rocking up at finch farm then I’m all for it. Maybe Carlo can explain what would have happened at the training ground if they had been playing for Milan

Mike Dolan
123 Posted 09/01/2020 at 02:34:17
I would play against Brighton.
Sidibe. Mina ? Baines
Bernard, Holgate. Ritchie Gordon
Keane, DCL.
I would pray to God that Lossi can pass the ball to an Everton player. I would never from this moment play Michael Keane or Mason Holgate as a center half. And I would not play Digne unless he is ready to actually play. Seamus, Delph, Keane, Pickford are all bench players at best. So they are my subs. Yes I do know that I don’t have enough players but then neither does Ancellotti.

Mike Dolan
124 Posted 09/01/2020 at 02:49:38
I should have said Lyndon that I enjoyed this article as brilliant almost as much as I found ‘ The Shirt Article’ well written but exploitative. I was really disappointed that you did not recognize the power of your own words. It’s hard to be a reporter and a supporter I guess.
Lyndon Lloyd
125 Posted 09/01/2020 at 05:32:19
Mike D (124). Is that a compliment or a reprimand? I can't tell!
Mike Gaynes
126 Posted 09/01/2020 at 06:21:43
Darren #118, you know perfectly well I neither blast or plead. I call 'em as I see 'em according to my own views until it's time to reach a conclusion. I was skeptical of Silva from Day 1, but I gave even that klutz a full year before pulling the pin and tossing the grenade at him.

I will admit that, based on his past record, I am more optimistic about Carlo's eventual success than I have been about any of our previous manager hires since Moyes, but I'm not committing yet. For example, since we have only given up one corner kick goal in four games, Ancelotti is clearly the most brilliant manager we've had in years. However, as I said on the Forum, Carlo was to blame for that one goal because his defensive setup resulted in Siggy hopelessly man-marking Telephone Pole Carroll.

I want to see him through a couple of transfer windows, the long grind of games with 9th in the table at stake, and maybe some tough Cup ties before I decide whether he was the right manager signing or not. But after Martinez, Koeman and Silva, I will cheerfully concede that Ancelotti's hiring is the first to actually make me smile in a very, very long time.

Darren Hind
127 Posted 09/01/2020 at 07:05:50
Fair enough Mike.

but you have to accept that he will be judged after every single game.
This site runs 2-3-4 after match threads every time we play, Imagine those threads if everyone was to declare they are reserving judgement ? It`s not going to happen and I have a bottle of rest breast that says you will not be able to keep out of it

For what its worth I agree with you. Overall judgement should be put on ice. Assessment of his suitability after 3-4 transfer windows would be fairer and more accurate.

There are few things that could make us an even greater laughing stock than Sundays performance, Sacking Ancelotti after a season would be one of them. This is the route we have gone down. no backing out now - Not for any of us.

Des Farren @113.

"Both sides of the argument covered" ? wouldnt that be nice. I would argue I have neither side of the "argument" covered.

The article I submitted before Ancelotti was appointed amounted to no more than foolish crystal ball gazing. A "what If" scenario I put up to generate debate.
I gave my opinion (which hasnt changed) and invited others to give theirs. . . but now we are in the real world.

The proper "arguments" don't start until AFTER the games. Before we can argue about a result or a performance we need to have seen it.

I'd like to claim my - praise good performances/Criticise bad ones, was a novel approach, but I cant. Millions of fans have been doing it since the game began.

You should try it. It knocks spots off trying to tell others what they REALLY mean

David Thomas
128 Posted 09/01/2020 at 07:24:27
Bloody hell just goes to show how crap our options really are either Gylfi and Morgan in midfield or Davies and Holgate.

All 4 of them not good enough.

Paul Tran
129 Posted 09/01/2020 at 07:55:45
His first mistake on Sunday was picking Schneiderlin and Siguurdson in there. The only thing I could think of was some good advice I got as a young manager inheriting a team. 'See what theyre like working for you before you judge them'. My judgement at seeing the reams on Sunday was to take the 9/5 for Lpool - sorry folks, business is business!

I hope Carlo judges them accordingly now. Why Davies wasn't in that starting line up is beyond me.

As for tactics, I saw the much-publicised methods he used against them at Napoli. Defend deep, hit them on the counter. Three missed chances doing that in the first half. If you pass from the back you keep the ball moving and need people from midfield seeking the ball and taking it forwards. Nobody did that. I think Davies would have at least tried it.

For me, poor team selection, dreadful performance by the players. This could pan out very well if the club play it right. Here's hoping.

Dick Fearon
130 Posted 09/01/2020 at 10:38:05

In TWeb posts one of the most common questions you see is 'What the effin hell do they do at Finch Farm?'
I am one of those posters and after posing that question dozens of times I am none the wiser.
I wonder at the mystery surrounding the place. Was it really neccesary to stop a group of our own fans from watching some of the training.
Here in Oz the most popular spectator
sport is Aussie Rules and most training is open to supporters free of charge. In fact
clubs encourage it.

Craig Walker
131 Posted 09/01/2020 at 12:52:25
"Turn on Ancelotti" after losing to Man City and the RS' kids? That's ridiculous! We deserve to be called "bitter Blues" if we are going to turn on one of the world's best managers when he's been at the club a matter of weeks. The rotten core at our club is the players who don't give a shit with their consistently poor attitude and performances. These same players have seen the back of 3 managers now. Schneiderlin (along with Mirallas) was sent home from training by Ferguson for a poor attitude years' ago. How is he still on our wage bill?

THE problem at Everton is that we have too many players who can put in a decent performance every now and again. We are so desperate for success that a few positive results get us fans fantasising about top 6, cup wins, Europe. Some of us even utter phrases like "bring on the derby". Remember under Silva when Pickford gifted Origi a winner? I still have nightmares about it although last weekend's performance has replaced it as my all-time derby horror show. A lot of us on these pages consoled ourselves after the Pickford fuck up by stating that the way we played would result in us finally turning the RS over the following season: we got beat 5-2 and they rested 6. We then lost to their kids after they rested 9. We got excited about 1 performance which was a defeat. This is the crux of the issue. The likes of Sigurdsson will score one "worldy" and that buys him time. I've read comments on these pages about Bernard being a great player and Sigurdsson being class. Pickford will make one good save every now and again. DCL finally takes a few chances and he's talking about playing for England. Hold on lad, you need to consistently start banging in goals for Everton first. The problem is that these players aren't good enough but our standards have gradually fallen. The Colin Harvey era would be looked on as a successful few seasons these days.

We need players who deliver week in, week out. Home and away. Players who roll their sleeves up when going a goal down not players who can't wait to get down the tunnel, into their Ferraris and home to their trophy wives. Not mercenaries who can choose when they turn up and regularly put in gutless performances and then spout platitudes in the local newspapers about how they'll turn things around for the next game. We need to start standing by our motto. This manager IS one of the best. The players are nowhere near the standard this club should accept and it's time we started letting them know.

Rob Halligan
132 Posted 09/01/2020 at 13:12:50
Craig, totally agree mate. Ancelotti is one of the most respected and successful managers in world football. Fuck knows how we got him, but we did, and we need to make sure we keep hold of him.

When I read of players unrest, arguing with big Dunc after last Sunday, fans turning up at finch farm wanting to speak to certain players,the £100M loss in the financial year 2018/19, (it does make you wonder what guarantees Ancelotti was given regards any transfer budget), I really do worry that Ancelotti will think "What the fuck have I done", and call it a day. He needs time, at least five transfer windows, to turn things around. We just got to hope and pray that he's up for the challenge?

Jeff Holt
133 Posted 09/01/2020 at 14:55:45
Any team that sees Sigurdsson, Scheiderlin and Walcott facing them know they are in for a restful 90 minutes!
Eddie Dunn
134 Posted 09/01/2020 at 16:08:56
Paul 129, the reason Davies didn't start was his leg problem. It was strapped against City. He was on the bench but probably was wrapped in cotton wool for Brighton.
Paul Tran
135 Posted 09/01/2020 at 16:13:32
Cheers Eddie, wasn't aware it was that bad. I already assumed Delph was on the bench because he was deemed unable to last 90 mins. Does that mean Schneiderlin & Siguurdson were the last two standing? They didn't do much else on the pitch!
Ray Jacques
136 Posted 09/01/2020 at 21:23:26
At last we have a world renowned manager.
If these gobshites can't do it for him then there is only one option and that is for them to piss off.
I have no affinity or affection towards any of them and there is not one player at the club that I would be sad to see go.
Not one of them has the standing in the game to even lace this man's boots based on his record as either a player or a manager. He must be given time to sort the mess and remove the dross from our club.
It will take years to change the ethos and mentality.
Jamie Crowley
137 Posted 09/01/2020 at 21:51:34
Superb article.

I read until Annika @ 3, and then just stopped.

All of those senior players mentioned by Lyndon should never play for this club again! Now is the time to give the kids their chance and see what we have got.

Can they possibly be any worse than Sigurdsson, Delph etc?

Nope. They can't. And none of those senior players should start (or possibly ever play) again.

I'd like to see Everton bring in a midfielder this January, and play young and for the future. Start building something while we watch the clock tick down on the veteran's contracts.

If they don't bring in a midfielder in January, I'd move Holgate into midfield and play Keane at CB next to Mina. Our problems are down to Theo, Siggy, Delph, and Schneids. Yup, that's midfield. Bin them, put Holgate in midfield, and let's see how motivated the veterans become after weeks of splinters in their ass.

Carl Manning
138 Posted 09/01/2020 at 22:57:04
Not a single leader on the pitch. Not a single one of them has any fire In their belly. They accept each other’s mediocrity and lack of fight. What would we give for a Barry Horne now to give them all a good going over!
Jamie Crowley
139 Posted 10/01/2020 at 01:16:43
By the way, these reports of players having an issue with Big Dunc yelling at them (poor fucking fragile souls!!!), what about this angle?

You have the temerity to yell at a man who walked into an IMPOSSIBLE coaching situation, fraught with peril, negativity and toxicity brewing? A man who took that situation on, rekindled the soul of Everton Football Club, and had us playing some of the most inspiring football I personally have ever seen in my 14/15 years?

Just who in the holy fuck do you think you are?! Talk about THE NERVE!

Fuck every single one of the whiners out of Everton pronto.


TY, rant over.

This Club needs very brave leadership, and a pruning. Step up Carlo, this is why you have the reputation you do, and why you’re paid a disgusting amount of money. You’re worth it, grab your nuts and do what must be done.

David Thomas
140 Posted 10/01/2020 at 07:35:03
Craig 131, best post I’ve seen on this site for a long time. I agree with every word.
David Thomas
141 Posted 10/01/2020 at 07:35:03
Craig 131, best post I’ve seen on this site for a long time. I agree with every word.
Jeff Spiers
142 Posted 10/01/2020 at 11:48:19
Some cracking posts, especially Craig131. BUT think, those players who don't give a fuck, get dropped, will still watch their bank balances grow. Now that is obscene. The blame lies solely with the contracts. Time for a radical change.
Matthew Williams
143 Posted 10/01/2020 at 14:02:38
For me we have only three options...

1. Stay as we are and plod on.
2. Accept our fate and go down,hoping a new Blues team will be reborn playing in the Championship.
3. Buy a ready made team (International side folks,you know who,they play at home in Cardiff),then flesh it out using our youngsters and loaned out players.

Just pick one Blues!.

Paul Burns
144 Posted 10/01/2020 at 17:24:30
Everything wrong with Everton FC emanates from the lack of direction and focus from the boardroom. We've been run as a personal game by a few people – one in particular – and dissent, even at AGMs, has not been allowed.

The total lack of openness and ability to operate on anything even approaching a professional level, in all aspects of running an elite level sporting business, was always going to result in the sorry, pathetic mess we are now in.

Not enough pressure has been put on the protagonists involved in the decline of standards at the club, it's been ignored or accepted for too long. Don't expect any help from the media, this has to be done by what's left of our support.

I only hope that we can stay up this season, not a given by any stretch of the imagination given the depths these clowns are plumbing, and hold a full and proper inquest into the events of the last 20 years of Everton.

Make no mistake, this is the worst crisis in the history of Everton Football Club – it's not a blip, bad luck or a run of poor form, it's sheer, unadulterated incompetence from the amateurs at the top running the club into the ground at every level. It's that serious.

Dave Downey
145 Posted 10/01/2020 at 21:46:41
The bright spots have been few and far between for us over the last three decades and more. Most of us were probably at Goodison in November 82 when five went in our net and none went in theirs.

I was in the Enclosure with my oldest mate (a red) that day and I was 15. I remember on the 68 on the way home feeling really inconsolable that we had been so easily torn to shreds, that we'd chased shadows for 90 minutes and not caught one of them. But I was little more than a child, and Liverpool were in their pomp, and they didn't field a combination of unknown teenagers and fringe players. And we had ten men. So on reflection it was fair enough that I was upset.

On Saturday evening, at the age of 52, I was close to tears at what I honestly believe to be Everton's lowest moment in a long history of low moments. Instead of answering the insult (which I for one took personally) that was casually thrown our way when the opposition team sheet was delivered, with a four or five goal hammering of those arrogant bastards, we proceeded to make a reserve team look like Brazil circa 1982. And we lost without even a hint of a fight.

Tomorrow (against Brighton) now seems irrelevant, to my mind at least. When acquaintances with only the barest knowledge of football are themselves embarrassed to mention Saturday evening's game to you for fear of causing further upset, you know the barrel is being well and truly scraped.

Even mediocrity looks to be well beyond the reach of the current crop of "stars" but then if ever a football club revelled in making a virtue of incompetence it's Everton. I will hold onto the memory of Reid, Steven, Bracewell and Sheedy to cheer me up, and try to imagine the havoc they would have wreaked last Saturday evening.

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