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Lyndon Lloyd
Editorial Team
1 Posted 08/08/2020 at 17:56:03
You endured it and possibly dissected it to death during weeks of lockdown and then despaired at Everton's weak performance over the final 9 games. This is intended more for archival/historical record purposes and as a set-up for a follow-up piece on recruitment to come in the next few days.
Mick Roberts
2 Posted 08/08/2020 at 18:10:49
I said when Ancelotti was first appointed he has been successful because he has managed already winning teams... Has he ever brought a club up from midtable to succsess? No.

Hope I am wrong but I have not got a great deal of confidence in Ancelotti.

David Currie
3 Posted 08/08/2020 at 18:57:20
It all starts from the top of any Football club and our recruitment has to get better. Moshiri got it wrong with Sam and what did Silva ever do to get the job as our manager?

We all know that Carlo has to make central midfield our priority, our recruitment of players in this position has been shocking. Sigurdsson, Schneiderlin, Gomes, Klaassen and Delph all signed for big money (with the exception of Delph) but all 5 were and are on huge wages.

None of them were ever going to take us to the next level, we need to get some speed and players with some nark and high energy into this area of the pitch.

Moshiri brought Walsh in who wasted a lot of money and then replaced him with Brands and he has to do better in the recruitment of players as this maybe his last season.

Jack Convery
4 Posted 08/08/2020 at 19:17:00
Sums it up perfectly, though I would have lingered a lot more on the FA Cup defeat by the RS. In all my years watching Everton, that has to be the most embarrassing defeat ever. Gutless and Pitiful.

Due to Covid-19 over half that team will still be with us come September. If that attitude continues then only a battle to stay out the bottom 3 will ensue. Leeds and WBA are no mugs so the competition in the Premier League will be more fierce.

Good luck Carlo you may well need it with this club.

Kevin Prytherch
5 Posted 08/08/2020 at 19:57:58
I have more faith in Ancelotti now than I did when we appointed him.

Although I accept that Ferguson managed to motivate them more for his brief tenure, and occasionally it irritates me that he will stick with certain players who might have finished a previous game well when they aren't suited to the next game (nowhere near as much as previous managers have)

He has shown enough flexibility in team selection and tactical tweaks to demonstrate that, when he has a few players with a bit of passion and desire, he should be able to field decent teams depending on the opposition. The likes of switching from 4-4-2 to 3-5-2 depending on whether we're attacking, or even deploying Davies to cover at full-back when attacking as our full-backs are more creative going forward show that he actually thinks about the game – and doesn't just blindly persist with the same tactics.

In addition, his willingness to put faith in some of our younger players will serve the club well. It's no coincidence that Calvert-Lewin and Holgate often look the most passionate – they weren't boyhood blues but have come here young and now love the club. We will either save a fortune, or increase the value of younger players to sell them.

I am optimistic about the coming season – I haven't been for the last few seasons.

Bill Gienapp
6 Posted 08/08/2020 at 20:12:04
The 3-2 win over Wolves in September was my first ever visit to Goodison. Turns out, with the obvious exception of the Ferguson win over Chelsea, that was probably our best home match all season. Imagine if I'd come all the way to England just to watch us roll over to Norwich City.
Anthony A Hughes
8 Posted 08/08/2020 at 21:02:52
I fear we're too far gone from the so-called "Elite" teams now that, without huge investment on proven class players over a period of time, we will never offer a serious challenge again.

The constant mantra of "bring the young players through" isn't playing out on the pitch. Holgate aside (who didn't come through our system) the rest are much of a muchness.

Kunal Desai
9 Posted 08/08/2020 at 21:08:19
We have wasted 20 plus seasons – what's another season? What are the expectations of a mid premier league table? We are in the same bracket as West Ham Utd and Newcastle Utd hoping we can fluke some silverware.

The aim next season will be European football, of course, but I see perhaps a climb of a couple of positions at best to the campaign just ended. Hate to admit it we have regressed since Moyes left.

I'm not sure Moshiri was the right man to bring in to take us forward. Yet another Kenwright masterstroke in bringing someone to the club who would work and fit into his agenda and criteria as opposed to selling up and giving up 100% ownership.

I've not seen any plan or strategy as to how we move forward since Moshiri came onboard. He may not have a footballing brain but I would have expected better from him in terms of recruitment at senior levels and those that he could bring onboard with the level of expertise to elevate us to the next level.

I've not seen any evidence of this in the 4 years he's been here and firmly believe we'll be in the category of laughing stock next season.

I suggest Moshiri treads very carefully to protect his investment here. Firing managers only gets you so far before eventually falling through that trap door one season by way of relegation.

John Keating
10 Posted 08/08/2020 at 21:20:12
I hate to say it but I doubt the coming season will see us do much more than this one. Until we free up some of the deadwood and are able to bring in some half-decent players, we will more than likely go with what we have.

I think Ancelotti has been surprised by the shite he has inherited. No doubt he can tweak things but, at the end of the day he can only do so much.

Doesn't matter who the manager is – if the players have no bottle, he's knackered. Ferguson got them up for a few games but the arseholes were running out of steam and effort by the time Ancelotti appeared.

Darren Hind
11 Posted 08/08/2020 at 21:50:00
I'd love one of these people who peddle the crackpot theory that Ferguson had the players on their knees, to come on here and explain how these "drained, spent, exhausted" players managed to pick up maximum points from the next two games.

It all started to go Pete Tong for Carlo when he allowed Klopp to put him on the back foot at Mordor.

Klopp was only the start. The wily old fox has been sussed by younger hungrier managers with fresher ideas ever since.

Kevin Prytherch
12 Posted 08/08/2020 at 22:20:40

I normally agree with a lot of what you say - especially when pleading for time for younger players and allowing them time. However, I do feel that you should follow the same approach with Ancelotti. If we get to the end of next season and still look like we do now, then fair enough, slag him off But give the man a chance before writing him off completely.

I've read your posts about wanting ex Everton players as managers (I would also love to see that again); however, even Kendall took a couple of years before we really started to see improvement.

Ancelotti has done many things that Silva, Koeman and Allardyce didn't in terms of tactics and trusting some younger players. Personally I think he should have been even bolder in the last few games and played even more younger players; however, Holgate, Branthwaite, Davies, Gordon, Calvert-Lewin and Kean all got some game time – that is a marked improvement on the previous regime.

Chris Leyland
13 Posted 08/08/2020 at 22:36:27
To be fair, since Carlo came in, we won 8 drew 6 and lost 7. Of all those defeats, only the last one against Bournemouth could really be seen as a shock as the others included Man City, Chelsea, Spurs, Arsenal and the shite (in the cup) all away; all of which have been par for the course for a long, long time before Ancelotti showed up.

The other defeat was a very good Wolves team away. Yes, I know the shite beating us with their kids was a low point but, let's face it, they could play their women's team at their place and beat us.

Given that he managed to only lose a third of the games since taking over with the shambles of a squad he inherited with basically no midfield to speak of, I think Carlo deserves be given the benefit if a full season with a few of his own signings before anyone writes him off.

John Raftery
14 Posted 08/08/2020 at 23:08:47
A fair summary of another disappointing campaign. I think at last the majority of fans have now stopped kidding themselves that we have a good squad which required only a capable manager in order to turn things around. The reality is the squad is largely comprised of a very average to poor bunch of players lacking ability, consistency and character. There are a few exceptions, mainly those in their early twenties who are trying to build careers amid the dross around them.

Given the abject state of the squad inherited by Ancelotti coupled with the financial constraints faced by the club, rebuilding in the narrow window before the start of the new season will likely be very modest. Nevertheless, one or two sensible additions, most notably in the midfield area, may go a long way to improving our prospects for a top-half finish in 2020-21. Qualification for Europe at present looks unlikely.

Lyndon, two very minor points of accuracy. Holgate was on loan at West Brom for only half a season. Koeman's final match was a 5-2 defeat but it was at Goodison not away from home.

Mark Andersson
15 Posted 08/08/2020 at 01:08:33
Is it a blessing that the start of the new season will be behind closed doors??

I use to think that the Goodison faithful were a bad influence with the moaning and criticism during match day... sure they can act as the 12th man on occasions and help win a game.

But the last 9 games shows that even Carlo can't motivate the shower of shite to up their game. So, like some posts above, I don't see much improvement next season.

Ed Prytherch
16 Posted 09/08/2020 at 03:47:28
It is a myth that Carlo has only coached great teams. After leaving the Italian national side where he was an assistant coach, he went to AC Reggiana, who were near the bottom of Serie B, and he got them promoted to Serie A in his first season.

He then went to Parma and, in 2 years, they were runners up in Serie A. It was only after that that he went to Juventus, AC Milan, Chelsea, etc.

Christine Foster
17 Posted 09/08/2020 at 05:49:28
Choose your manager, choose the best manager the world has to offer, it makes little difference if the quality of what he has to work with is crap.

For that's what it is, and has been for the past 5 years (or more). Turning a few players around is possible; turning others is impossible and we have a team that – no matter who is in charge – is nowhere near good enough to compete. We have individuals who are simply not good enough as squad players, but the manager(s) have to use what tools they have to get the best out of them.

Skill, motivation, desire, attitude, team mentality – that's what Carlo has to build upon but, in every aspect, we have players who fall short in more than one category, some in all. Yet there has been no alternative solutions to playing them, that's all we have. On a good day, they are barely okay; on an average day, they are dour and poor; on a bad day, disgraceful.

We have a legacy of bad faith, bad management, interference, and bad judgment. That's the legacy that Carlo has inherited. Like it or not, unless he can make sweeping changes and replace 5 or 6 players in the coming season, we will see fragmented displays for the year ahead.

It's like the old saying, "The road to hell is paved with good intentions." From the board down, be it the chairman, the owner, the Director of Football or the manager, no-one had a plan. It stinks of players brought in without due diligence or consultation with the manager (if they ever had a plan either) or each other. Who made the decisions? If I was Moshiri, I would have sacked the people responsible, not just the manager.

Years ago, the manager wanted certain players, the board went after them. Now, it's decision-making by committee, without accountability.

Ancelotti will have a plan. Moshiri will back him. It will be a better season.

Alan J Thompson
18 Posted 09/08/2020 at 07:15:44
It is a fairly accurate summary of last season which, owing to the intervention of Covid-19, should, in the main, be overlooked, particularly Mr Ancelotti's brief time.

I tend to believe that a good manager will improve any set of players but, if those players don't complement each other, then it won't be an improvement that will win anything and will more likely be an acceptance of a middle third, 8th-15th, league position, an acceptance of mediocrity that may be hidden by a couple or three winning matches in each of the cup competitions.

Thus it can't be stressed enough the need to improve the standard of player, particularly in midfield, and it should be not only more skillful but a lot more energetic players. Which brings us back to the ridiculous or safeguards (depending on your point of view) of FFP and Premier League financial rules.

But, if true as reported that Mr Ancelotti has told those players he will no longer require, then it has to be assumed that he and Mr Brands have consulted on those players – or at worst, on the type of player – that it is imperative to sign for next season – which is what, only 5 weeks away.

May we live in interesting times... and we know what the origin of that little saying is.

Steve Brown
19 Posted 09/08/2020 at 07:50:39
A fair and balanced summary from Lyndon.

This season was hugely disappointing but predictable. It began with the first issue that had dogged Everton for years, which is poor recruitment. We lost Gueye and Zouma and did not replace them properly or address the other weaknesses in the team. Brands has to take responsibility for recruitment during the summer, which was poor. But recruitment over the last 4 years has been a disaster, full stop.

The second issue is our terrible track record in hiring managers. Silva's CV should have put him nowhere near the Everton job, he'd just been relegated with Hull City and Watford had entered a slump. Our recruitment of managers has been dismal since Moyes left (and he was dull and dismal for 12 years). When you hire your managers from Preston, Wigan, Southampton, Crystal Palace and Watford you get mid-table performances. As for young managers being the answer – Solskjaer, Lampard, Arteta? – take your pick if they will be in their roles by the end of next season.

That leads us to the third issue dogging the club – the number of overpaid, demotivated and unprofessional professionals like Sigurdsson, Schneiderlin, Delph, Walcott etc who arrived on big transfer fees and have basically stolen a living from the club and set an atrocious example for the younger players. Until we have removed them, we will not progress, and that will be the top focus for Brands again this summer. If Duncan Ferguson or David Unsworth had been offered the job after Silva lost his job, these players would have got them the sack by now and they would have been lost to the club.

Since Ancelotti took over, he has done reasonably well. He has stabilised the club and given more opportunities to younger players – I am sure he has also made up his mind on those senior pros who need to be shown the exit door. His commitment to give younger opportunities is encouraging for the future – and by young players, I mean those promoted from the Academy and those signed. It is mystifying to doggedly praise those who came from the Academy and slag off the young players we signed. You either back young players or you don't.

Ancelotti has shown flexibility in his tactical approach to games that was never shown by our last four managers. He has made some mistakes – the defeats away to Chelsea and Spurs were down to his selections – but he has been assessing what we have and what we need. Let's see how he does with a proper pre-season and players he has actually signed. And perhaps give him a chance? He has probably earned it with 3 Champions Leagues and league titles wins in England, France, Italy and Germany.

Bob Parrington
20 Posted 09/08/2020 at 08:27:40
Anything that is said or written about next season for Everton is pure conjecture. Until we see whether we buy or which players we buy for which positions, it is just as bad as the media speculations about every player that might or might not be on the market coming to Everton.

Okay, it's good to have something to read on TW and the Official Everton site but we all need to take some big breaths and hope there is some real intent to do a proper job in the market over the next 3 weeks. Then it might be somewhat spicy on here!

Dave Abrahams
21 Posted 09/08/2020 at 08:47:02
One change I would make in the next couple of days that would benefit the club right away: I'd put Denise Barrett-Baxendale in charge of EitC and make Christine Forster CEO — just read Christine (#17) and see the sense she makes and how she would act.

I know you wouldn't come back home, Christine, and I hope you are settling in New Zealand, but you could still do the job better and more competently by fax and email than it is being done at the moment.

Mal van Schaick
22 Posted 09/08/2020 at 08:54:37
The persistent mismanagement of the selection of players coming into the club is aiding and abetting performances on the pitch. Okay, we had some injuries that haven't helped. Aside from maybe three players, last season's transfer policy has been a debacle.

We are top-heavy with deadwood who have hardly put the Everton shirt on, and are picking up whopping salaries. This is draining the club of finances that may give us a chance of signing better quality players.

What is concerning, is that these players are still on the books. We need a clear-out, especially in midfield, where we need to rebuild. A central defender and one or two strikers would give us options.

Christy Ring
23 Posted 09/08/2020 at 10:27:14
Brands has to get rid of Bolasie, Bernard, Tosun, Ramirez, Delph, Sigurdsson, and Iwobi, and let Carlo bring in players who are fit to wear the Everton jersey

NSNO – that's the only way forward... but I can't see it happening.

Ken Kneale
24 Posted 09/08/2020 at 10:39:09

I will second that motion.

Christine sets out a clear reasoning of why we are in the mess we are in and no person connected to the management of the club should escape – a little self-reflection on their own part in this mess would not go amiss also.

I do hope her last sentence is accurate – history seems to go against it being so sadly

Barry Rathbone
25 Posted 09/08/2020 at 10:44:36
Be the same report next year Ancelotti is CEO type not a dynamic leader of the front line which is what we desperately need. His success stems from players of the world eleven type not the cast off market we frequent.

A troubling lack of urgency pervades Goodison Park – as though Carlo is channelling Koeman to hit the ground strolling, rather than running.

The place is whimsical rather than dynamic; I fully expect Sergeant Wilson from Dad's Army to appear saying "Now, now, chaps. It will all be fine after a nice cup of tea."

Successful transformers of clubs in the recent past, Klopp and Nuño Espírito Santo, made their presence felt straight away; I see nothing of that here.

Jerome Shields
26 Posted 09/08/2020 at 10:55:04
I felt that the Silva project was going nowhere. In the previous season, recurring technical and tactical problems were never addressed. Part of the problem of the Summer transfer window was that Silva did not know what he wanted, the result being that Brands struggled then Kenwright & Moshiri interfered.

But the big problem with Silva was in basic coaching in defending; attack and final third play he hadn't a clue about. This was even more exasperated by average players who were prepared to put in a shift in his general system, without actually engaging in the challenge of the game.

Ancelotti concentrates on basic technical play and tactics on individual positions and varies tactics and shape throughout a game. This has exposed a lot of the squad as being very average in implementing technical and tactical prowess through the game. If they were able to do so, Everton would have qualified for Europe. It has also exposed those that are not prepared to work, adapt or change.

Ancelotti will be coaching and training to increase this prowess. He will have a fair idea of what each player is capable of and will be seeking hard work and application to do this during the Summer. He will bring in some players to fill the areas of underperformance, both as transfers and youth development. Depending on progress, some players will be tolerated till Xmas or the end of next season. Few players can be sure that they will be at Everton in the 2021-22 season.

I am optimistic with Ancelotti and Brands for the coming season and expect a Top 6 finish at least.

Fran Mitchell
28 Posted 09/08/2020 at 11:07:15
The absolute loss of any sort of form from Sigurdsson is possibly one of the biggest elements, alongside the sale of Gueye and injury to Gbamin.

Sigurdsson was always a threat in the previous season and, while I felt he's never truly fitted into the club, he was still a threat. This season, he became the invisible man, with neither a goal threat, nor any authority. This made it much easier for the opposition. Mark or foul Richarlison and boom, we are toothless.

Calvert-Lewin's burst of form coincided with a spell of good form for the team. A question of what came first, chicken or egg maybe... yet just by having another potential goal threat, the opposition had more difficulty in detoothing us. The defence had to think of 2 players, not just one, and thus more space was created.

Our midfield is still woeful, and Calvert-Lewin's loss of a goalscoring touch resulted in us being more predictable and easier to shut out once again.

So this shows how desperately the team needs another (at least 1) goal threat. Can that be Calvert-Lewin? Maybe, he has many good attributes but the jury is still well and truly out. Can it be Kean? Maybe, again he has shown flashes, but in general has been poor. He can only improve, so again, jury is still out.

Can it be Sigurdsson? A return to his 10 goals a season seems highly unlikely. His drop of form reminded me of similar drops from players like Torres, Shevchenko (clearly they were a level above at their respective bests). But it's rare to see a player return from such sudden and dramatic declines. The only player I can think of was Falcão, and that took a dynamic team and manager, and time.

The likes of Walcott, Iwobi, Bernard are very unlikely to get more than 2-3 goals apiece. So this is why, alongside a midfield general, we desperately need an attacking winger or forward who will contribute 10+ goals. Not an easy task (Berahino, Watkins, or Eze from Championship would do or could be worth the punt).

In terms of Ancelotti, I don't think we can expect any manager to come in and wave a magic wand. We need to give him time.

Silva was clearly inept, so had to go. But we need someone to have a good 2-3 years to sort this club out. We are currently a cocktail of 3 terrible managers.

Could that have been Big Dunc? Maybe. Maybe Dunc could have rounded the troops and got us performing. But that doesn't mean Ancelotti is a write-off. He is a manager of huge pedigree and will demand improvement.

I think our target is top 8 next season. Top 6 in 3. That is the reality. Any aspirations of top 6 or top 4 anytime soon are way off.

Personally, I'd take top 8 if we had a real good go at the cups and subsequently Europe.

Tony Abrahams
29 Posted 09/08/2020 at 11:22:41
The players had a longer rest period before Ancelotti's first game, Darren, but some of them were back on their knees at Anfield because the fixtures come thick and fast over Christmas.

Liverpool definitely exposed our weakness, and it was painful to watch the centre of our midfield that day. It was actually gut-wrenching painful, a sickening performance only matched by those against Tranmere, Rapid Bucharest, and the Glenn Keeley derby, with Adam Lalanna going past players at will.

Steve Carse
30 Posted 09/08/2020 at 11:23:47
Chris (13), I have to say I found your post one of the most depressing I've read for a long time. It encapsulates the whole 'small club' mentality that has seeped through our club over the last 25 years and has gradually infected our support.

Let's just examine some of it:

"Since Carlo came in, we won 8 drew 6 and lost 7. Of all those defeats, only the last one against Bournemouth could really be seen as a shock " – oh, that's alright then.

"... as the others included Man City, Chelsea, Spurs, Arsenal and the shite (in the cup)." – is that the mighty Arsenal side that finished the season 8th, and the RS side that should have been playing under the name Liverpool Embryos? You're right, outlandish to even think we can compete against such opposition.

"... all away..." – ahh, that makes me feel better then.

"... all of which have been par for the course for a long, long time." – I see, we shouldn't have been expecting any change.

"The shite beating us with their kids was a low point but, let's face it, they could play their women's team at their place and beat us..." – of course, we should just accept our place and certainly not put such massive hurdles in front of our manager just yet.

"Carlo deserves to be given the benefit of a full season with a few of his own signings before anyone writes him off."

Now this I totally agree with – but let's not be satisfied with what he has shown so far.

Brian Harrison
31 Posted 09/08/2020 at 11:32:24
I think the damage done by Koeman will take time to repair, the mind boggles at the money he spent on a bunch of very mediocre players. Trying to offload the mediocrity is an almost impossible task: average players on superstar money, where is the attraction for clubs to take these players off our hands?

We have had to go down the route of loaning out these players and also having to pay the majority of their wages, so it does little to help our FFP position.

I hear people suggesting that Duncan Ferguson should have been offered the job, but he clearly stated he didn't want the job at this time, and didn't think he was the right man now to take over. So, if the guy himself says he is not ready, there seems little point in going down that route.

We also had David Unsworth given the caretaker's job, but it was asking a lot for him to step up from Under-23 manager to first-team manager.

I would just suggest that, if either wants to be our manager going forward, they need to leave and become managers in their own right to prove they can do the job on a full-time basis. Both have been here a long time, and neither seems to show any ambition of moving away to manage.

Seems all have said, since Moshiri took over, this could be our most significant transfer window yet, and again as we go into another transfer window, the same thing is being said. Whoever we buy, I think it will take a couple of seasons to turn this club around.

But some are already saying Ancelotti isn't the man to take us forward. I disagree and his record says he can turn us around – just as he did with Reggiana and Parma – never mind what he did winning the Champions League 3 times. So the myth that he can only manage top class players doesn't hold water.

Tom Bowers
32 Posted 09/08/2020 at 11:48:58
The best teams have learnt how to keep possession and run the opposition ragged. Everton as yet do not have the players who can do that and they concede possession very quickly many times before they get in the opposition half.

Watching Bayern yesterday was amazing and Chelsea looked like amateurs at times. If you have quick players at the back, you can play a high line and press the opposition back into their own half, forcing them to play the long ball over the top which can usually result in conceding possession again when you have quick defenders and an alert keeper.

Here's hoping Carlo can get those players.

Trevor Peers
33 Posted 09/08/2020 at 12:19:59
It will be intriguing to see who Carlo buys in this transfer window, on limited resources. The midfield needs a complete overall but it's unlikely that will happen, it will probably be only a partial makeover. If Sigurdsson stays, his form will largely depend on who he has to work with. Iwobi, Bernard and Gomes represent the most feeble midfield trio in the Premier League. The need for a ball-winner has never been so obvious since Gueye left.

Gbamin and Delph were disastrous buys, Moshiri's decisions to hire Koeman, Silva, and Brands might have wasted our only financial opportunity of ever getting back into the Premier League's elite. The cash won't be flowing again for Carlo who's left to sort out the chaos created by his predecessors.

The team lacks goals but that has to take a back seat while the midfield is the overriding priority. Failure to secure the right players could see us really struggling next season. Good luck, Carlo!

Darren Hind
34 Posted 09/08/2020 at 12:26:15
I can't have that, Tony.

The claim has always been made that the players could not maintain the tempo, the passion and the energy Ferguson drove them too. I will always maintain that is nonsense. The players proved that by winning their next two games. The rest period would have been the same whoever the manager was.

The simple fact (and it is a fact) is: Ancelotti has not been able to instill the same passion in the troops that we saw from them when The Big Yin was in charge. If he can't inject a "new manager bounce" when he first arrives, he has no hope of doing it now they are familiar with him.


I don't blame Ancelotti for any of the mess he inherited. The club was rotten long before he got here, but I do blame him for the series of horror shows we have witnessed since he got here.

His defensive mindset against dross has been an insult to anybody who loves the beautiful game. The sight of an England winger playing right-back while a proper right-back sits in the stands will stay with me a long time. The sight of two left-backs (both trying to play left-back) will live with me even longer. Why should we give Ancelotti time when he doesn't even give us respect?

Another point of order: When the Dutch superstar – who had also "been there and done that" – was finally run out of town, we were 18th. We had 8 points on the board. It wasn't just Arsenal who had hammered us. Man Utd, Atlanta, Spurs, and Chelsea all did the same, racking up 13 goals. Burnley and Bournemouth also took advantage of Koeman's "managing from the golf course" piss-take... We went over the cliff.

We were in total free-fall when Unsworth took over. That wasn't helped by the defence being decimated before and during the Southampton game. Unsworth handed the team back to the Night King out of the relegation zone. He had taken us from 18th to 13th in a short space of time.

Allardyce had always been the panic stricken Moshiri's first choice. Moshiri wanted him until the end of the season; Big Sam held out for a longer contract. Moshiri blinked first. A dark day in the history of Everton, one which we were made to regret...

But it was most definitely not Unsworth who created the panic in the boardroom. He inherited an even bigger shit show than the one Big Dunc walked into. Accumulated more points too.

Funny how the club always go on bended knee, pleading with our boys when we are in the deepest of shit... Only to throw it back at them by appointing another disinterested mercenary to join the growing list...

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know... we have got to give this fella time too. So what if he couldn't motivate a teenager in a brothel. "He used to win stuff, you know."

Tony Everan
35 Posted 09/08/2020 at 12:40:44
Thanks for this, Lyndon, nobody writes about Everton better. I am looking forward to your recruitment piece.

We may not be playing football at the moment but next season's success depends on these next 6 or 7 weeks. Brands's contacts and Carlo's formidable lure need to be used to maximum effect.

Brands was talking about 2 or 3 targeted quality signings for this window and that is the absolute focus. I want him to not be deviated from that. Centre-midfield, left-sided centre-back and right-midfielder or right-winger. Allan, Gabriel, and Bailey would be a result.

It is all about these targeted signings. Get them 3 right and we are back in business.

Any other reinforcement work can be done as an extra, with player swaps, plus cash deals, loans etc. A right-back if Kenny is out of favour; player plus cash for Aarons would be good work from Brands. Further midfield strengthening, again player plus cash for David Brooks and / or Emi Buendia.

I wouldn't be surprised if Ancelotti brought in a more experienced front man to really push Calvert-Lewin. We have a very youthful front three and a Giroud or Immobile type of striker would give us another dimension.

It's possible that Moise Kean may be loaned to a good Italian side and we get an experienced striker in on loan as well for a year. Moise comes back ready to take over. Either that or a speculative player plus cash for Odsonne Edouard at Celtic. No harm in trying!

I think Pickford will be retained this window and will probably have a better season as part of a better functioning team. He is on borrowed time, though, and needs to up his game significantly. Maybe a change of goalie coach is worth trying and a much better level of competition from a new back up keeper.

Sorry, I forgot to put 'Dear Santa' before this lot.

Christine Foster
36 Posted 09/08/2020 at 12:49:47
Dave (21) & Ken (24),

Thanks for the kind words but, until this dreaded pandemic has burnt out, I am not going anywhere. (Even if I wanted too!)

Sadly, after many years filling those shoes around the world, I doubt I am even allowed back into Goodison after Destination Kirkby – some people have long memories.

However, if I ever did have the privilege to sit in that chair, no-one without passion would be employed. Whatever their position. If they have the skill, then the marriage would be a good one. Make it clear who is responsible for what, hold them accountable, no excuses.

Clear out the dross, those who undermine others, those who hide. Having done all that, we should have about 6 players, a manager, and half a board.

Moshiri may be a millionaire but he needs a right-hand who tells it the way it is, rather than those seeing through rose-tinted glasses or self-interest. He needs an utter ruthless lieutenant, a ruthless but smart-man manager, and a captain who dishes it out to anyone verbally on the pitch.

Only then can we truly start to make a plan.

Dave Abrahams
37 Posted 09/08/2020 at 13:06:51
Christine (36), your last paragraph is exactly the way it should be, and hopefully can be.

Christine, if your help stopped Destination Kirkby, you did us all a favour. I guarantee if you ever come back to see the Blues, you will definitely get in, one way or the other. If I can't get you in, Tony will, promise.

Brent Stephens
38 Posted 09/08/2020 at 13:16:23
Good posts, Christine (various). “On a good day, they are barely okay; on an average day, they are dour and poor; on a bad day, disgraceful.”

Sorry to say that's right. Carlo has a poor hand to work with. I'm worried thought that, while we might offload a fair number of dross players, we'll struggle to get much in that Carlo can work with.

And I hope we give any new signings longer than just half-a-dozen games to prove themselves. The first few games for new players and new managers mean little, whether they start with a bang or a whimper. Can't judge until much longer than that.

Martin Nicholls
39 Posted 09/08/2020 at 13:21:39
Barry #25 – you might well be right about Nuño Espirito Santo making his presence felt immediately but I'm not sure that same can be said about Klopp. Very quickly a significant number of red shite were hugely underwhelmed, concluded he was the wrong man for the job and wanted him out – a bit like some on here who can't wait to rush to judgement (or already have) on Ancelotti.
Martin Nicholls
40 Posted 09/08/2020 at 13:25:37
And don't forget that the team and squad that Klopp inherited from Brenda was vastly superior to the one bequeathed to Ancelotti.
Tony Hill
41 Posted 09/08/2020 at 13:38:21
Yes, the RS couldn't defend corners for ages, it became laughable. The Kopites' mantra was that Klopp didn't have a Plan B.
Christine Foster
42 Posted 09/08/2020 at 13:51:35
Dave, thank you for that. I had a derby ticket lined up after the suspension of games, so was really sad I never got to say goodbye to the Old Lady in style.

As for Destination Kirkby, whilst I was pretty vocal, there were others who were far more influential in the final months, thankfully.

I shall return and may take you up on that ticket as long as I can buy the drinks!

Billy Bradshaw
43 Posted 09/08/2020 at 14:02:10
Christine @, 36

You make it sound easy enough; not too long until top 4 then.

Paul Tran
44 Posted 09/08/2020 at 14:13:53
Good assessment as usual, Lyndon. Here's mine.

Off the pitch:

We need an owner who runs things like his life depends on it. Change the mindset of the club, demand and expect achievement and success. If Moshiri can't do that, he needs to bring in a ruthless so-and-so to do it.

We need a Chairman who stays out of the way and lets Moshiri do the above.

We need a CEO fully focused on developing and growing the business and football team. Let someone else run EitC.

We need a Director of Football who recognises the difference between talented players and effective ones.

On the pitch:

We need a manager who recognises that he's used up his free pass. Who realises that we want some energy, entertainment and character. Who is bold enough to rip the guts out of this squad and replace it with players who can tackle, pass and run forwards and score goals.

I've been unimpressed with all the current incumbents. Time for them to change their ways. What's on the pitch won't change until the club is run properly.

Tony Abrahams
45 Posted 09/08/2020 at 14:15:07
They might have proved it to you, Darren, but they didn't to me. They could barely raise a gallop against Arsenal, which was Duncan's fourth game, and they could barely raise a gallop at Anfield, which was also Ancelotti's fourth game in eleven days, I think?

Paul Tran
46 Posted 09/08/2020 at 14:39:50
Neither performance was anything to do with fitness, Tony. It was an imbalanced squad of lazy, mentally weak players used to getting away with murder, that couldn't sustain that level of performance.

For me, under Ferguson, we were very energetic first two games. I thought we were superb at Old Trafford, without looking like we believed we could win. Third and fourth games, we were as flat as a pancake.

There's a good argument that suggests Carlo has had little effect on most of the players. Whoever comes in, I'll be keeping an eye on that this season.

Barry Rathbone
47 Posted 09/08/2020 at 14:51:48
Someone mentioned Reggiana and Parma re Ancelotti. He had one season at Reggiana and his Parma team featured world-class players like Hernan Crespo, Zola, Hristo Stoichkov, Enrico Chiesa, as well as promising youngsters like Gianluigi Buffon and Fabio Cannavaro.

Not sure how that parallels Everton...

Darren Hind
48 Posted 09/08/2020 at 15:05:14
What you are forgetting, Tony, is that, between those games, they beat a very hard-working Burnley and went to Newcastle and won... Hardly a sign that Duncan was on the road to burning them out.

I don't think they were out on their feet at Mordor either. They were just victims of poor tactics and bad selection and the piss poor attitude which has dogged them for years.

I don't get this "out on their feet" lark. They are Premier League players. They should be completely empty after every game. That's what happens at successful clubs. They don't moan about fatigue due to fixture congestion or hard work. Despite playing more than our lot. They simply keep finding more.

Ancelotti cannot get our players to find more.

Mike Connolly
49 Posted 09/08/2020 at 15:32:37
Christine #36,

I was reading your piece thinking that sound brilliant and then realised that you're not on the board. What a waste.

If it was left to the fans, you would be on the board straight away.

Tony Abrahams
50 Posted 09/08/2020 at 16:05:16
I'm not forgetting nothing, Darren, and I also agree, the players should be tiring near the end of games. They were that tired against Arsenal, that it was tiring to watch and they wilted at Anfield because it's in quite a few of the players' DNA, imo, and, once Liverpool scored, there was no way back for a very tired and shell-shocked Everton team.

You don't buy players being tired – that's fair enough, but four matches in eleven days with very few changes to the starting eleven is very tiring for most teams, whoever the manager is.

Jerome Shields
51 Posted 09/08/2020 at 16:15:13
Fran #28,

This is the first season that Ancelotti as a manager has finished out of the top six in any league he has managed in. That is what I based my top-six prediction on next season.

Everton will be a fitter and better-prepared team next season from the start.

Paul Tran
52 Posted 09/08/2020 at 16:28:44
Tony, a squad of mentally strong players can thrive on games in rapid succession. This lot can't. I've seen enough managers try and fail with them. It'll change when we bring in some stronger players and when we have a manager that keeps them at that right mental state.

Hope it's Carlo. We'll find out in the coming months.

Ed Prytherch
53 Posted 09/08/2020 at 16:33:15
Barry #47

From Wikipedia of Parma:

Ancelotti overhauled the team and guided it to a record second place in 1997. Parma consequently made its debut in the UEFA Champions League the following year.

Parma never again finished as high as second.

Tony Abrahams
56 Posted 09/08/2020 at 17:16:59
I hope so Paul T. We all know a manager should always try and get more out of his players, but maybe Ancelloti is to long in the tooth for some of our current squad, surely experience has given him some knowledge.

Darren thinks differently, it sounds like he thinks Ancelotti is yesterday’s man, but hopefully Carlo has still got Darren’s passion and we finally have a manager that can prove him wrong!

Klopp inherited a good squad Paul, but alls he ever did was moan and moan about Christmas fixtures, probably because his team although fitter than most, still lost that edge when playing so many games over a short space of time.

The moaning worked, his team seemed to get a better rest between games, but I know what you mean because Wolves got off the pitch after beating Man City on a Friday night and were robbed at Anfield around 42 hrs later when they were the better team and showed tremendous endurance, I hope they win this seasons Europa Lge.

Ajay Gopal
57 Posted 09/08/2020 at 17:41:28
The season has been so forgettable that I found it quite depressing to read your article, Lyndon. But read it I did, and thank you for your insights – although you made me relive some painful memories.

I prefer to look at the bright side:

We got Carlo Ancelotti as our manager – in spite of many misgivings, I believe and trust this man to turn things around. If he cannot succeed, then I truly believe EFC are well and truly fucked.

The emergence of our youngsters – 4 of them: Holgate, Branthwaite, Gordon and Calvert-Lewin.

The maturing and continuing improvement of Richarlison and Digne.

That's it. Carlo has a huge task ahead – and it won't happen in one season, we need to give him time to slowly work his magic. Hopefully he and Brands can find some genuine quality – and that can make a big difference to our season.

I would like to address Darren Hind:

I agree with you 100% about Unsworth but disagree 100% with you about Carlo Ancelotti. Unsworth did wonderfully well to turn around our season after Koeman got sacked, but Moshiri did not give him the backing his results up until the Southampton game deserved.

When you consider that Unsworth's Back-4 consisted of a fast regressing Ashley Williams, a raw Holgate, a 2nd choice Southampton right-back who was being forced to play left-back, and Jonjoe Kenny who had just come up from the U23s, then you realise that what Unsworth did was nothing short of remarkable.

However, you repeatedly stating that Ferguson (who had himself indicated that he was not the right person for the job) should have got the Everton manager's job instead of Carlo, makes no sense. Yes, some of the performances have been bad, but surely you have to recognise that he tried to do the best with a bad bunch of players. Give him time, after all – you want the best for our club – like every TWer here; he may just win you over.

Steve Brown
58 Posted 09/08/2020 at 17:55:43
Man Utd 1- 1 Everton – our shots on target 3 and 33% possession.
Everton 0- 0 Arsenal – our shots on target 2 and 43% possession.

I actually think Dunc did a good job overall, but to claim that he got this squad playing a higher standard of more attractive, intense football is simply false. This group of players don't have three consecutive, competitive games in them. As Ancelotti has also discovered.

Mary Coleman
59 Posted 09/08/2020 at 18:08:43
#46 - Paul, flat as a pancake, are you being serious? The Leicester game was incredible, was you at Goodison that evening?

What I witnessed in the four games Big Dunc took charge for was a team motivated, the players giving it heart and soul. The teams we played were above us in the league and finished above us in the league, they are much better than us!!

Ferguson got the very best out of the players; unfortunately, they are just not up to it!!

Paul Tran
60 Posted 09/08/2020 at 18:22:13
I wasn't there, Mary. I watched on my laptop up here in the Highlands. An in-form, good Leicester side went 2-0 up fairly easily, we pulled one back, didn't look like equalising until Baines scored a worldy out of nowhere. We hung in there, but I couldn't say I was impressed. I thought the Arsenal game and performance were awful.

None of what I say on this is a criticism of Ferguson. It's a criticism of weak players who can raise their game a couple of times, then drop it like a brick.

Darren Hind
61 Posted 09/08/2020 at 18:52:08
"The claim that he (Ferguson) got this squad playing to a higher standard of more attractive intense football is simply false."

Only if;

A) You have been in a coma and are unaware of the series of shit shows we have witnessed since.
Or B) there is no excuse you won't make for Carlo.

I saw the valiant effort at Old Trafford against Man Utd. I saw Goodison rock as we mauled Chelsea, and I saw the place bouncing again as these "quitters" came roaring back against free-scoring Leicester – I just captured our season in three games.

I also saw these players put a magnificent run together for Silva in the final third of last season. They may not be world beaters, but everyone on here (including the apologist) knows they can play. Why? Because they have seen it.

"False"???... The only thing false around here is the hope that the "Wily old fox" has come to sign superstars and take us to the promised land.

I'm off. There are fairies at the bottom of our garden and they are getting a little impatient waiting for their ginger beer.

Steve Brown
62 Posted 09/08/2020 at 19:07:57
Haha Darren @ 61, over-belligerent nonsense as usual. I knew you'd bite because you are so predictable.

I actually respect Unsworth and Ferguson and their impact on the club, but reading your hyperbolic, happy-clappy drivel about them just makes me laugh.

You painted yourself into a corner by trying to attack Ancelotti before he'd even taken over the team and have undermined yourself on here ever since trying to justify yourself. Keep digging.

Tony Abrahams
63 Posted 09/08/2020 at 19:09:20
Don't keep them waiting, Darren, just ask them to sprinkle a little bit of dust over Finch Farm, to get our own fairies playing like men!
Barry Rathbone
64 Posted 09/08/2020 at 19:12:02
Ed Prytherch,

I'm not sure what your point is... Did Parma have a similar glut of world class players again or just drift once they sold them?

Steve Brown
65 Posted 09/08/2020 at 19:15:17
"Valiant, roaring, mauling, magnificent" – and you even praised Silva! LMFAO.

Better lay off the wacky backy, or was it that extra pint of mild that pushed you into delirium?

Darren Hind
66 Posted 09/08/2020 at 19:42:24
It was a valiant effort. Goodison was roaring and we did give them a mauling.

I choose my adjectives carefully so you apologist of anything that's served up to you, can see what it would be like if you stopped nailing your colours to rotten masts.

You won't, of course. You will simply fawn all over the next Kelly Maloney who bats her eyelashes at you... Then wonder why you keep seeing utter shite..

Can't learn, won't learn.

Jason Li
67 Posted 09/08/2020 at 19:44:55
A bit of geeky stuff. In this maths video with the esteemed Dr Hannah Fry, one of the guests is from the red side, 28:30 mins in, explains how they use stats to analyse and then recruit players.

Or search on YouTube Dr Hannah Fry, How to get Lucky.

Once we get a very quick center-back to play with Holgate, we can play from the halfway line and be closer to goal, get Digne in a position the final third firing balls in more often.

We've got clever people at our club who do the stats, and I'm sure this helps Brands find the right young players for us like PSV. The difference between all the stats teams at each club on recruitment? It's the quality of the manager who's telling them exactly what they want, and saying Yes or No. We've got with Brands (finds players the manager insists on) and Carlo (says what he wants and who to transfer out), two very good judges of players historically.

In Carlo we must trust.

Joe McMahon
69 Posted 09/08/2020 at 20:51:28
Paul Tran @60, it's the subject that won't go away – the 4 Ferguson games. But I feel you summarised it 100% with your post.

Everton's many failings do go back decades, but Kenwright, 11 years of Moyes (no wins at Anfield), Kings Dock, and now the Billionaire Frank Spencer spending £100 million on Sigurdsson, Pickford and Keane.

"The People's Club" — It's just not funny anymore.

Paul Tran
70 Posted 09/08/2020 at 20:51:48
Darren. If you're still here. Kelly Maloney?
Darren Hind
71 Posted 09/08/2020 at 20:58:58
Paul Tran
73 Posted 09/08/2020 at 21:02:29
Cheers Darren. That was bugging me!
Sukhdev Sohal
74 Posted 09/08/2020 at 21:06:13
Darren, the nonsense you spit out is almost like that of Darren Till. While I appreciate what Dunc did for us, it wasn't sustainable to run like that every match and just cross the ball.

Once we get better players to fit the 4-4-2 (if Brands does his job properly for a change), we'll look very good and hopefully better than we were for the majority of pre-lockdown.

Sukhdev Sohal
75 Posted 09/08/2020 at 21:07:53
Also, Brands needs to man the fuck up and get proper players for good prices – not average players for extraordinary prices (Sigurdsson, Walcott) and below-average players (Iwobi).
Paul Swan
76 Posted 09/08/2020 at 21:44:10
Interesting to bring this debate back to the issue about yet more wasted seasons. Let's be absolutely clear here: the stakes have never been higher. Put your faith in this guy that things will improve with better signings but be sure it won't be just a wasted season if it goes wrong, it will be relegation.

I completely agree with Darren here and have not seen anything from Mr Ancelotti to make me believe he deserves any of this blind faith. The levels of tactical naivety he has shown since he took over resulted in the embarrassment of the FA Cup exit, the throwing away of points against Newcastle in the home game, having had almost an identical dress rehearsal in another home game a few weeks before that.

His continued use of busted-flush players, week-in & week out, sent out to play in the same tried and failed style week after week, and just to add insult to injury, even picking the worst of the bunch, Sigurdsson, to be captain in several games. Where is the motivation in that?

I hope you are rewarded for your blind faith but I fear more than just wasted time coming up.

Joe McMahon
77 Posted 09/08/2020 at 22:11:19
Paul @76,

I don't have blind faith with Carlo, and I can't see him staying for the duration of his contract. This is going to take a long time to put right; that said, it's been going on since the late '80s.

However, the Newcastle game and many others included endless Pickford errors which cost goals and points every season. We paid £30 million for this relegation buffoon, christ knows what we'd get now. No wonder Liverpool and Newcastle fans love him.

Mary Coleman
78 Posted 09/08/2020 at 22:26:12
Joe (#69),

It really upsets me when people like you continue to knock Duncan at every opportunity. You agree with Paul (#60) that Ferguson only did well in two games and the players were flat as a pancake in the Leicester and Arsenal games?

I am sorry but that's just not true. Maybe the results weren't up to your high expectations but the effort was there. You could not have been at the Leicester game, it was an amazing experience. Unfortunately, it was the penalties what done us...

Why can't some so-called fans just get behind what Duncan did and applaud him? Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison up-front for example!! Joe, why do you knock Duncan? Jealous maybe?

It's just a shame why some of the supporters just can't bring themselves to support Duncan? I want Ancelotti to succeed, then I hope Duncan will be our next manager, he's a legend in my eyes and I will always support him!! COYB

Joe McMahon
79 Posted 09/08/2020 at 22:47:19
Sorry, Mary, ("people like me") I'm lost... where did I knock Duncan?

I just agreed with Paul that the energy from the Chelsea game wasn't sustainable for a long time – underlined by the Arsenal game.

If you must know, Kenwright is the person I want out of this club asap.

Don Alexander
80 Posted 09/08/2020 at 23:40:00
Mary, your blind faith in two, just two, games, for continued adoration of Ferguson is, with respect, baseless when it comes to the real world of Premier League players and agents.

Ferguson deliberately squandered his whole career as a player. Everyone, and I mean everyone, in current football knows this. He was the personification of the me-myself-I type of player who's stunk USM Finch Farm out in the last four years.

Physically intimidating sure, but so desperately does he seek ongoing employment that he'll kow-tow to anyone senior in the club through whom he sees continued employment.

If he had the guts to leave, or was sacked, he, like Unsworth, would not be employed as any sort of coach in a top-half Premier League club.

At Finch Farm, it's a very comfy existence for underlings though, regardless of lousy team performances through the different managers.

The one constant in hiring such yes-men is Kenwright.

Brent Stephens
81 Posted 09/08/2020 at 00:02:24
Mary, Duncan did very well as interim coach. We can’t say whether that would have been sustainable beyond the very few games he was in charge for, but that isn’t a criticism of Dunc.
Danny O’Neill
82 Posted 10/08/2020 at 00:12:33
Well written (as always) and pretty accurate assessment, Lyndon.

Darren; as on previous threads, I sometimes agree with your views, I sometimes disagree, but always respect them.

It seems you have made your mind up on the "Wily Old Fox" and don't wish to give him the time that you would appear to afford those with Evertonian backgrounds and what you call for (rightly) with the young players coming up from the academy.

Out of genuine curiosity, what was your position back in 1983 when the "Kendall must go" leaflets were being dished out at Goodison Park?

Jerome Shields
83 Posted 10/08/2020 at 00:18:49
Don #80,

Everton did put a performance in for those two games, but it was unsustainable. I agree that Fergusion did need the job, having squandered his career. He has kept his nose clean over the years under various managers to maintain continued employment, but I do believe he has used his time well and has become quite able.

In the culture of Finch Farm, you have to toe the line to survive; numerous managers have not. Something that Duncan is well aware of.

Derek Thomas
84 Posted 10/08/2020 at 01:32:49
Jerome @83 (and, tbf, Don @ 80) – why is it unsustainable? Talent is a god-given thing, so is having a 'football brain' to be able to get into the right spaces to make the tackle, head the ball as a defender, know when to shoot or pass... or, like Cahill, pop up to get the touch... you can't, as they say 'coach that'.

You can, however, encourage effort, attitude, intensity etc – albeit that the will to do it has to be there.

Our players have average talent, but no intensity, attitude or effort. Talent on its own only gets you so far; intensity, effort and correct attitude on their own will get you further than just talent.

Average talent and top attitude will see you into the top 3 or 4... this season's Leicester City.

Top, top talent and attitude gives you 99 or 100 pts... Man City, Liverpool.

Ferguson harnessed the latter for a few games. The RS harness it season on season... and it's no surprise that Rogers got Leicester where he did.

I'd rather see intensity etc, trying and sometimes failing, than good-looking talent like Gomes, flattering to deceive, strolling... and failing.

Bobby Collins, didn't stroll. Fast forward through 4 Championship winning sides... nobody strolled.

Fast forward through the vast majority of sides since then, with the odd exception... they all fuckin' strolled!!!

How do you motivate millionaires? That is the real question? Plenty of others seem to do it... even Bournemouth the other week.
So don't do down Dunc because he did it for a couple of games... nobody else has managed it!

(Clue: it has to come from within... and our players are without)


Terry White
85 Posted 10/08/2020 at 04:11:07
The only constant I read in your posts, Mr Alexander (#80), is your unnatural and unhealthy obsession.
Jerome Shields
86 Posted 10/08/2020 at 04:33:55
Derek #84,

Whilst the initial tactical change of two up-front and injection of passion sustained the team, it was obvious that there were technical and tactical flaws, even in the Chelsea game, in which Chelsea did play technically better than Everton. These came increasingly to the fore in future games as cup-type passion subsided and the usual facilities in ability, comittment and fitness started to surface.

Ancelotti initially continued but, in subsequent games, tactical changes during games were more necessary to keep Everton in contention, as teams got to grips with countering two up-front.

It became apparent that the current players where not up to the technical and tactical football that Ancelotti was asking of them, and some players could not sustain the technical improvements that were initially evident in their game under Ancelotti. The break exasperated and exposed this farther.

Under Duncan, the two up-front would have ran out of road and the tactical changes in-game wouldn't have happened. Just substitutions of perceived weak players would have happened with limited effect.

We all would have been thinking in terms of a new manager, not a new midfield and additions in attack and defense, as results wained. The Summer break would have been more uncertain, with no chance of the necessary change in spec on the footballing side, that only an experienced manager like Ancelotti is capable of.

Duncan, to his credit, knew the writing was on the wall for his tenure and said he was not ready for the demands of the job. I am sure Duncan knows this was the right assessment now and was looking forward to a happier Summer break.

Thank you, Duncan.

Christine Foster
87 Posted 10/08/2020 at 05:56:10
At Everton, we take to our hearts those players who give everything – even if they are short on skill; we take to our hearts those who have the flair to make us gasp; we take to our hearts those who wear their pride of the jersey... and damn those who cannot be arsed.

We can see through the players who coast through games and flatter to deceive or are critical of others before looking at themselves.

Normally we would have a number of players in each category and hence why ToffeeWeb is born to allow us to give an opinion and discuss performance or individual value to the team.

Occasionally like now, a team is collectively so poor that decent individual performances are lost in the mire. I am sure that is the case now, as we have a team that clearly doesn't have the skillset to consistently support any individual's efforts.

The few good players we have cannot hold up the rest – they are dragged into the pit with them. Ancelotti has to select who he can work with, and who to let go for the good of the team, not the individual.

The next step after that will be who he can use for now. Rome wasn't built in a day and 11 new players are not going to happen overnight, so a decision of the second tier of players who will or can support the 5 or 6 players he needs to build a team around.

Big questions in all of that: Can Ancelotti do it? Can the club afford it? Can we shift those who no longer fit the need? (Not just the deadwood.) Can we as fans see the wood for the trees in all of this?

Ancelotti has a massive job on his hands and, let's face it, what's the alternative?

Darren Hind
88 Posted 10/08/2020 at 06:37:34
I can just hear those kopites and Man City fans now: "Na, fuck this high intensity lark. It's unsustainable"...

I hate those fuckers with a vengeance, but you don't even have to leave this thread to see why they are where they are and we are where we are.

While other fans demand high intensity, passion and energy from their teams, we have fans shaking their heads and advising against it... "It's not sustainable" – Unbelievable!

After years of these debates, I have come to the conclusion that we have fans who enjoy this chronic mediocrity. It's their comfort zone. No expectation – no disappointment.

They don't like to see Goodison rocking like it did under Unsworth and Ferguson. It unnerves them, So they kick the arse out of it and actually make excuses for passionate performances. It's the only way they can apologise for and excuse, years and years... and years of Zombie Football played in front of a silent Goodison Park.

The Homer Simpson school of thought: "Can't win; don't try".

Tony Everan
89 Posted 10/08/2020 at 07:38:22

It is important to highlight that point; it goes to the core of the problems at our club.

High tempo, rapid closing down, high-intensity football, operating to within an inch of the law – has to become normal. Without it, we are going nowhere. An image of the 33-year-old James Milner comes to mind, still harnessing huge intensity and closing down and giving his opponent no space. You see it, week-in & week-out, when he plays. I am sure when Liverpool buy a player, they make sure he has the physicality to do that bolted on to his football talent. I think it is a prerequisite for them.

I also bet that they have strict gegenpress exercises in training to hone their closing down skills exactly Klopp wants. If you notice that they don't just close down, they strike fear into the man in possession with their momentum. More often than not, they will seek to imbalance the man in possession and make him lose the ball because of it. They use this intensity to within an inch of the law. These tactics are not a flash in the pan, they become the norm at the club, a metronomic standard. We need the same standards at Everton.

Compare it to say Sigurdsson, or any of our midfielders, they often do not get close enough to do this, standing off is seen as enough.

Ferguson brought more intensity and demanded more fight and physical presence. That most certainly should be sustainable. More than that, it should be the minimum we demand on a weekly basis. If it falls short, then the players have become soft, the training is wrong, their lifestyles are wrong. It all must change to make them hungry again. That has to be the default setting to build a proper team.

Ancelotti will know all that, he knows what it takes to build a competitive team. In some respects, he has been treading water and seeing what qualities (or lack of) the current squad has. He will have seen a very soft underbelly at Everton. Multi-millionaires going through the motions. Many players have become soft, directionless and dysfunctional – making us unfit to be called a football team.

Him and Brands will want to drive a bus through it. I think the players we will sign this window and next summer's window will have much more of that intensity and steel about them. Also, starting this summer, the training regime will be overhauled. We will start to get some pride back.

It has got to The point where a reset button has to be pressed, the culture within the club must change and we need to start doing the essential things right again.

Jerome Shields
90 Posted 10/08/2020 at 07:57:17
Terry #85,

Having watched Everton over many years, the cause of Everton's years of demise is down to the one fact, which still has an unhealthy influence today.

Kase Chow
91 Posted 09/08/2020 at 08:12:20
I agree that Carlo is the man. But I also agree that he needs to get a few things right that he's currently getting wrong: eg, why not drop Pickford? Lössl has played in the Premier League and done well (hence our move for him); start taking the big decisions.

After lockdown, Calvert-Lewin was out of form but only got dropped in the last game for Kean (who acquitted himself well).

Bernard literally is a waste of space: physically he's just too weak and again offered nothing post lockdown – but Carlo still played him. I'd genuinely have rather tried Baines there or a youngster. Neither would have done worse.

The exit at Anfield to the kids was atrocious. At half-time, despite the fact we had made a couple of chances, we could see the ‘play it out from the back' wasn't working so change tactics. He didn't and we were embarrassed

Same again versus Bournemouth on the final day: we don't have the players to play out. But we do have the players to hit it long. So do that... needs must; I'd rather be boring and winning rather than boring and losing.

I trust in Carlo but the trust isn't unconditional – nor is it unending.

Joe McMahon
92 Posted 10/08/2020 at 08:45:55
Tony and Darren, we unfortunately also have to factor in that Sigurdsson is so slow... Captain Tom Moore would beat him over 100 yards.

Paul Tran
93 Posted 10/08/2020 at 08:46:38
Just for the record, I don't think Ferguson's energetic tactics were or are unsustainable. I actually think they're a pre-requisite.

To make them sustainable, you need mentally strong players, playing with purpose. We don't have enough of those right now.

I don't support Duncan Ferguson, I support Everton. If anyone thinks honestly describing the four games as two energetic, two flat is 'putting the boot in', well, what can I say?

I call it as I see it.

Trevor Peers
94 Posted 10/08/2020 at 09:00:57
Let's face it, Everton just haven't got the players to use a high tempo pressing game for a long spell of games, so that's never going to happen.

Brands and Silva brought in, at a huge cost, players who regularly get injured and are lucky to complete half a season: Mina, Delph, Bernard, Gbamin and Gomes being the obvious examples. They are also amongst our top earners on long contracts.

Carlo is now faced with adding his own players in the hope he has the gumption to buy players who are naturally fit and can complete a full season, as well as having good technical ability.

Whatever tactics he uses, the present squad just hasn't got the physical attributes or skill levels to play winning football, week-in
& week-out. It could take several transfer windows to assemble such a squad. As usual, we just have to be very patient and hope he gets it right. It's a huge job.

Derek Thomas
95 Posted 10/08/2020 at 09:19:22
Jerome @ 86; You made me chuckle and, I think, rather made my point for me, with...'in which Chelsea did play technically better than Everton' not withstanding the fact they lost 3-1

I understand the theory behind the statement... but saw the ludicrousness of it, as Chelsea looked shell-shocked and lost.

That's the whole point of intensity, effort and attitude... no matter how good you are, talent-wise. If you don't match it, you go under.

'You have to fight... for the right... to paaaarty!'

You win the 'Fightball' then play your Football... and other trite but true sayings.

Dave Abrahams
96 Posted 10/08/2020 at 09:57:06
That Chelsea game, Duncan set the tone. We were not going to lose. Pregame, the atmosphere was electric, with the sirens, Z-Cars... Goodison and its supporters were “In the mood". Duncan started it and we took it up and kept it up, made the team understand that we were not in the mood to lose this game.

We won 3-1 and I was made up with the performance and the result because we were desperate for it. Who was the better team? Chelsea, in my opinion and recollection of the game; they made the most chances and had a few young players in their side. They were a bit naive in their defending, and never converted their chances. It was still great to be an Evertonian at Goodison Park that day and be a big part of that victory.

The next game was also a very good performance but mostly defending, although a makeshift team did very well and could have even won. The shot from the young Man Utd player could have been dealt with better by Pickford, I thought.

The Arsenal game stunk with both teams serving up a really terrible game and poor performances, with no chances missed because none were created.

The Leicester game should have been out of sight for Leicester, 2-0 up and good chances missed either side of half-time by them. Tom Davies pulled a goal back mid-second half and then again we the fans took over the game, urging the team on with Duncan orchestrating from the sideline. The roof nearly caved in when Bainesie scored that screaming cracker of a goal and took us to penalties which we unfortunately lost.

Could Duncan have sustained this way of playing? Well it stalled, badly, in the Arsenal game, revived brilliantly in the last 25 minutes or so in the Leicester game but, to be honest, with this squad of players, it couldn't and can't be sustained; it's impossible – not enough bottle, heart, effort or willpower.

Christopher Timmins
97 Posted 10/08/2020 at 09:58:54
Paul #93,

You called it spot-on in respect of Duncan's four games. We can't maintain the level of intensity required to be successful. All the successful teams work hard with and without the ball. Most of the players at our club are mentally weak. They would not be tolerated by Pep, Bielsa or Pochetinno.

I never felt so downbeat ahead of a new season!

Jerome Shields
98 Posted 10/08/2020 at 10:08:51
Derek #95,

The word I prefer is 'relentless' rather than 'passion'. The relentless proper implementation of technical and tactical play by a team going forward.

Passion only gets a team so far. But, not attacking the near post or finishing, the worst record for pass completion in the final third in the Premier League, a midfield that is slow to pass forward or available for forward link play, poor passing and possession, a defence that gets caught on the turn or often unable to get first to the ball, and a goalkeeper who makes one error per game, soon drives the passion out of a team.

In the much-heralded Chelsea game, Chelsea were technically and tactically better, Everton where fortunate they took their chances. In the return game, both teams went out with the same intention, but Chelsea had the Everton midfield and two up front well sused. The passion proved unsustainable and had eventually been whittled away in the in-between games.

Everton at their best were relentless, not passionate. The manager that Everton need is one with proven experience in technical and tactical development of players. Ancelotti has tried to coach these players in these two aspects and has found them either lacking in ability, or lacking in motivation to try.

The manager has to be an outsider as well, since the changes necessary to achieve the right level in these two areas, have to be implemented deep within the Club. Resistance to such change is normal and more difficult for an insider.

No question Duncan has the passion, but does he have the ability to produce a relentless team? He himself has said he is not ready. At least he knows that. I am sure he is learning and happy working with Ancelotti. He has been through many frustrating years at Everton.

Hope this clarifies where I am coming from, Derek.

Barry Rathbone
99 Posted 10/08/2020 at 10:19:06
The empire across the park still operates on the basics of energetic running installed in the late 50s. Clough operated the same way with Derby County and Nottingham Forest – even Man Utd, threatened by Wenger's "invincibles", took to harrying and getting stuck in to prevail.

It is integral to success in English footy. Only in the warmer less competitive climes of mainland Europe do clubs enjoy the luxury of success by technique alone.

Whether Ferguson is the man is almost incidental – he showed the way... and I might add, a way not foreign to Howie's boys.

Tony Abrahams
100 Posted 10/08/2020 at 10:35:33
If you read the debate properly, Darren, people are saying this intensity lark is unsustainable with our present squad.

"On their knees" is a phrase used when lacking energy, and this is how I saw Everton, after their third game in seven days at home to Arsenal.

I thought Richarlison should have come off at Anfield in the cup after twenty minutes because he never ran the young Liverpool fullback once and it was obvious he had nothing in the tank.

Read the thread, look at the names of some of the players mentioned and, if you genuinely think they are good enough to be consistent at this level then I'd definitely be surprised, mate.

Ancelotti won his first two, a week between games after playing three the previous week doesn't half help the recovery, but I'd go along with the theory that he hasn't coached them as much as he should have done, because it's embarrassing just watching our goal kicks.

Look at how close the players are to Pickford, with that famous saying about actions speaking louder than words never being more true.

No belief and yet they still persist. I know football is all about the players, but this is baffling to watch and we surely must have a better long term plan, especially with two forwards on the pitch, and players looking like they have been caught between the devil and the deep blue sea at times.

Derek Thomas
101 Posted 10/08/2020 at 10:40:05
Jerome @ 98; Eminently mate, eminently. Also, I'll take Relentless all day long.

Plus, the fact that Duncan knows he's not ready is in his favour. I would guess that, if he has ambitions for the future as a successor, every week will be a lesson learned. Hopefully soon, but not too soon, he will be good to go... Howie's watch and wrist band at the ready to make every game a 'Chelsea Game'.

Tony Abrahams
102 Posted 10/08/2020 at 10:50:49
The Nottingham Forest I remember got eleven men behind the ball, Barry, closing down the space. They had skill or pace out wide, but discipline was key, and it was a team that was never really stretched defensively.

Liverpool play from the front, and this is why I think they can be vulnerable to a ball over the top, because no team wants to make the pitch big out of possession, and this is why Kendall's Everton relied so much on Ratcliffe, because it helped them to play with a high line.

Ancelotti really surprised me when he never changed it early at Chelsea, because Everton were completely over-run, the hole in the middle of the park was massive, and Chelsea's running from deep also exposed our lack of defensive pace.

Once a team becomes stretched, it's vulnerable, and I'm sure this is why Ancelotti has concentrated on this more than anything else since the restart, because we've been very defensive, and this requires a discipline that too many of our players don't possess.

Darren Hind
103 Posted 10/08/2020 at 11:17:23
If I read the debate properly???

I read the debate and all I can see is a steady stream of feeble excuses for the low-energy shite Ancelotti has served up.

Time and time again, we saw our midfield swamped by greater numbers. The manager surrendered ground, possession and initiative before a ball was even kicked. He was terrified to play in case another young coach – like Lampard – took him to school on how the game is played today.

We brought in yesterday's man. He doesn't begin to know how to counter teams playing with intensity. The solution is staring him (and everyone else) in the face.

There are going to be an awful lot of disillusioned people down the excuse factory next season... yeah-but-no-but-yeah.

Mary Coleman
104 Posted 10/08/2020 at 11:18:29
#80 - Don what are you talking about? Very sad and bitter tirade about Ferguson's career and coaching. He captained our club under three different managers, he gave hope to fans when there was no hero.

Don, you sound like another jealous and sad supporter, holding on to the past! You are obviously someone who never attends games home or away, you probably don't even live in the city.

The man saved our season, he gave me and my family a fantastic experience. He's a hero to many many fans. He's the second top goal scorer in our Premier League history and he coached the guy who took his record.

It's bitter people like you that drag our club down. Also, Bill Kenwright has been fantastic for our club and city. What have you done for our city? Nothing I bet!!

People just can accept that Ferguson saved us this season, to bring up a playing career is so very sad!

He saved us, we believed again, we loved again. 5 points against top top teams, that's a fact and to the few so-called fans on here who continue to knock him, I would love you to meet him one day and get to see who he really is. I've met him a couple of times, he is a legend in my eyes and a beautiful humble human being!!!

Patrick McFarlane
105 Posted 10/08/2020 at 11:21:54
Perhaps Duncan is far too intelligent to have his name directly associated with this group of players and that's why he spurned the possibility of becoming manager full-time?

Whatever Roberto did to the culture of the playing side of this club in his time here, the bad bits have stuck. Prior to his arrival, we had a limited but honest group of players who could manage themselves according to David Moyes.

Now, we have a mish-mash of players who don't complement each other, a complicated jigsaw with missing pieces and some pieces that don't belong.

Whatever picture the various managers have had in mind, they constantly fail to solve the puzzle, because the club swaps ill-fitting pieces with replacement ill-fitting pieces.

In the Championship play-off final Brentford managed to play out from the back regularly and whilst they looked uncomfortable at times doing it, they didn't look as bad as our team does playing the same way.

I'm dead against playing this type of Russian roulette football because it puts unnecessary pressure on the team and defence, particularly on a team that has many issues and one that lacks confidence.

If Carlo persists in allowing or insisting his team plays this way, the whole 'project' will end in tears.

Duncan recognised this issue and consigned it to the bin; Carlo must follow his lead.

Antony Kelly
106 Posted 10/08/2020 at 11:43:01
Post ref 104 - Mary great that you had such a wonderful experience at the Chelsea game. I was there also; it was unbelievable and emotional all at once.

But I had to laugh when you suggested for Don Alexander to meet Big Dunc... don't be daft – he would brick himself!!

Robert Tressell
107 Posted 10/08/2020 at 11:43:31

I like the phrase "relentless proper implementation of technical and tactical play". It suggests there must be a tactical plan in place. The problem is that we haven't had a consistent plan for a while which leaves us trying to play chess with about 4 bishops, no queen, one rook and only half of our pawns.

Recruitment can fix some of that. But what are the tactics? We all want to see quick passing and hard running. I don't think that's going to be our identity this coming season (although there should be some encouraging signs). It is much more likely to be a return to the "keep it tight and nick one" approach of the Moyes era – because we are, once again, plucky upstarts with an inferior playing staff trying to become the best of the rest.

Ancelloti has taken this approach after the Big Dunc novelty had worn off. He is a good manager but he can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.

Once our mythical 3 signings have settled in, Kean and Iwobi have settled in and Gbamin returned from Lourdes, we should be in good shape. Then, after another summer window, we can look forward to something more progressive in the 2021-22 season.

Ken Kneale
108 Posted 10/08/2020 at 12:44:11
Hi Mary,

What has Bill Kenwright done for Everton?

Ian Horan
109 Posted 10/08/2020 at 13:34:58

In my opinion, Kenwright has done very little to benefit Everton or the City... so much so he doesn't even live in the City.

He cost us Kings Dock because he would not stand aside when the funding was guaranteed by Paul Gregg.

He cost us the best years of one of England's greatest talent with the sale of Rooney to Man Utd.

He cost us millions in wasted money on the farce in Kirby.

He cost us Mansour buying us instead of Man City.

He then moved in to dictator role, cancelling AGMs and shareholders meetings because he refused to answer any questions on why the club constantly went cap in hand to banks – don't mention the most expensive lawnmowers in history – as he asset-stripped the club, selling off Bellefield.

Oh yes, even Finch Farm was purchased under a PFI agreement that eventually Everton can't afford to pay – so much so that Liverpool City Council had to bail us out and buy the training facility so EFC became tenants on an asset we used to own.

Now let me see... NTL investment, Sports Fortress Fund? "the money's ring-fenced" etc etc... So, as in Monty Python — what has Kenwright done for Everton?

Oh finally he bought Everton with Peter Green's 💰. Then, when the banks foreclosed, he borrowed from Peter Green's British Virgin Isles funding facilities at extortionate interests rates when interest rates were at a historical all-time low.

Even the much-maligned Peter Johnson actually improved Goodison Park with the building of the Park End stand!!! Kenwright has milked Everton dry. As I said this is my opinion, I respect others have different views so let's not paint BPB as a Saint...

Jerome Shields
110 Posted 10/08/2020 at 13:53:13
Patrick #105,

That's Duncan. He originally volunteered to help out in the youth side, eventually getting a coaching start. Working over the years getting his coaching badges and progressing to first team coach and now assistant to the manager.

Duncan knows Everton inside out and the reasons why there has been stagnation at the club for so long. He needed a job to bring up the family and has seen how those that try to change things have been worked out of the Club.

In the meantime, he has been gaining more knowledge and is learning from a manager with vast experience at the highest level, who has the backing to implement change. Duncan is biding his time, having worked diligently and with whatever manager he was under, always at the back of the dugout. He is nobody's Yes-man.

Robert #107,

Under Ancelotti, there are various tactical plans with the formation changing according to the opposition and even changing during a game. When Ancelotti does a substitution, it is to alter either or both. He rarely substitutes a player on performance, only if necessary.

It's the ability and the motivation of the players to take on board the technical abilities and awareness to adapt Ancelotti's tactics and changes that is the problem with this current team. That's why it is difficult to recognise tactics.

Patrick highlighted how well Brentford are able to p!ay out from the back in comparison to Everton's ponderous and slow distribution and players in midfield not making themselves available for a pass. All the basics of play in all positions need to step up to a high level at Everton.

There is also a question over fitness levels. To implement tactics in the Premier League, the first priority is high fitness levels. I agree that there will be strategic changes in players and the other players will be judged on their progress in responding to Ancelotti's coaching.

At the moment, I doubt if most of the current team will be playing for Everton in the 2021-22 season on their current response.

Pete Hughes
111 Posted 10/08/2020 at 13:57:14
Ian Horan, well said mate! Creases me up when deluded people tell us Kenwright has been 'fantastic' for the club! And – the funniest it the lot – 'fantastic' for the city!
Jerome Shields
112 Posted 10/08/2020 at 14:23:33
While now I think of Duncan as being nobody's Yesman, I for years thought he was a Yesman (like Dave and a lot of other supporters), but I now see him in a different light.
Joe McMahon
113 Posted 10/08/2020 at 14:23:59
Ian H, fantastic post, Sir!

In my humble opinion, the Kings Dock failure has had the biggest impact, along with Sheikh Mansour knock back. The future of Everton FC would/could have been so different.

Paul Turner
114 Posted 10/08/2020 at 14:24:00
Wasn't it Philip Green that Kenwright went to for funding? Certainly wasn't the original Fleetwood Mac guitarist (RIP).
Ian Horan
115 Posted 10/08/2020 at 14:27:25
Peter Hughes, the sad thing is, we all want what's best for the club. If people took a step back and evaluated Everton FC as a business, totally no emotional connection, it can clearly be identified that, during a time of Sky gravy train riches, we haven't benefitted. The industries I work in would ask why have we not made a profit? Why have we not sustained or improved our position with our competitors?

A root-and-branch review would be carried out and the leadership and business plan would be changed to address the failings. Kenwright was in the right place at the right time, he benefited from 2 major issues: Johnson was seen as a Kopite agent. Give me strength... he threw money at Everton.

The second issue: the Football League refused his claim that his wife ran Tranmere Rovers FC and I don't have an opinion on that as I am a Toffee.

Kenwright should have read the signs when Moshiri arrived. Kenwright should have ridden off into the sunset with his bounty. Sadly, his ego is hanging around in the hope of a statue or stand named after him.

Phil (Kelsall) Roberts
116 Posted 10/08/2020 at 14:37:49
The phrase "milked Everton dry" and "asset-stripped the club" would usually relate to a person who has taken money out of a company they own and into their own personal bank - like Philip Green did with BHS.

Despite all the vitriol towards Kenwright and the last ~20 years of him as Chairman, I would dearly love Paul the Esk to lay out how much money has been removed to his own account.

Because unless he has taken money out of the club for his own personal gain (over and above what could be considered normal for the role) then we cannot use these phrases.

Not provided the funding requiring the club assets to be sold to provide on-going cash or mortgaging the future can be levelled.

And my memory is that Paul Gregg wanted to take all the money from additional revenue from Kings Dock in return for his funding. That would have meant the club not benefiting from the stadium being used and therefore the additional revenue being restricted to just matchdays. Perhaps others would confirm whether that is true.

Tony Abrahams
117 Posted 10/08/2020 at 14:38:41
I think the team that has given Klopp's Liverpool more problems than most is yesterday's man Ancelloti, when in charge of Napoli, but obviously with better players.

Patrick @105, get paid mate. If Duncan wanted the best manager, he will also know that too many of our current squad are not good enough. They've done him proud, but could barely run by the end of his short tenure.

I think he will be learning everyday off “the wily old fox”, possibly now believing managing Everton is something he's definitely going to do in the future.

Darren Hind
118 Posted 10/08/2020 at 14:48:23
Ian 109,

Peter Green did survive it. They said he's a man of the world.

Ian Horan
119 Posted 10/08/2020 at 15:07:44
Phil, you are correct on the revenue of non-footballing activities; however, Paul Gregg was open and transparent on his return.

The asset stripping part, I will rephrase as more robbing Peter to pay Paul. Kenwright sold off almost everything that had a value, to keep his trainset, at no point did he use his own money to keep Everton ticking over. I would suggest that selling off the assets was for Kenwright's own long-term gain.

I appreciate your response; however, you or I would not get away with that approach to running a business in essence it is asset stripping via the back door to meet your own needs. Notably keeping the toy until you find some sucker to invest but leave you to keep it.

Ideally Kenwright should have took a step back and sold to a person who had the wherewithal and know how on how to develop and expand the business.

You can't do that with the approach of the last 20 to 25 years.

Mary Coleman
120 Posted 10/08/2020 at 15:12:05
#108 Ken - I do recall Mr Kenwright doing a lot for this City and for the official charity.

Back in March, I saw he donated £140k to support Speedo Mick after he had accomplished his epic walking challenge.

I saw he authorised a £50k donation to the club's appeal to support vulnerable people within the City during the Covid-19 crisis.

I saw again he and the owner had match-funded the donations season ticket holders pledged which accumulated to £400k.

That's just a couple of things he has done to support this City within the last couple of months...

Darren Hind
121 Posted 10/08/2020 at 15:13:49
It had already been widely reported that Ancelotti had been contacted. Here's what Ferguson had to say to the BBC when asked if he wanted the job.

"That's my remit, to get a result tomorrow."

"It is a dream of mine to be the Everton manager, but let's be realistic."

"This is a fantastic job, who wouldn't want to be the Everton manager?"

The thoughts of somebody spurning the Everton manager's job because he didn't fancy the players? Or the thoughts of somebody who already knew he wasn't going to be offered it?

Tony Abrahams
122 Posted 10/08/2020 at 15:36:53
Does it really matter? My own view is that Duncan Ferguson is in a much better place to learn. He's closer to Ancelotti than he's ever been to any Everton manager since Howard Kendall, and the one thing anyone who knows Ancelotti comments on, is usually about his great wisdom.

The one thing that surprised me most about Duncan is that he seems to be all ears, and this is a great thing to possess, a sign of knowledge I'd say!

Ian Horan
123 Posted 10/08/2020 at 15:50:57
Mary, the recent donations are all tax deductible, and the miniscule value is quite minimal in impact. So, in 20 to 25 years, Boys Pen Bill has contributed £300k of note!!!! Equivalent of £15k per year – again all tax-deductible.

I will leave it there as I am more interested in Everton FC than the community arm of the club — although EitC should not be our only claim to fame!!!!

Darren Hind
124 Posted 10/08/2020 at 15:52:51
Yes, Tony it does matter when you are responding to suggestions that he swerved the job.

I would dearly love to know what all those who claim Ferguson is "learning at the feet of the master" is actually picking up watching this dross.

The staff at Finch Farm must be wondering if we will ever get out of the frying pan without landing in the fire.

Paul Hewitt
125 Posted 10/08/2020 at 16:01:34
Darren @124. It's plainly clear you don't rate Ancelotti, but let's give the guy a chance. The dross football you talk about could be because we have dross footballers. Let's see where we are in 6 months time.
Jay Harris
126 Posted 10/08/2020 at 16:09:41

I totally agree with you about Duncan. He loves the club, the city and the supporters and has done much for quite a few. However, your rose-tinted view of Kenwright is as far off the mark as can be.

The man is a compulsive liar and a parasite who has conned friends and aquaintances to fund his plan to get rich out of Everton while controlling the club on his ego trip.

When Kenwright took over the club from the much-maligned Peter Johnson, the club was in a net asset position – that is, we owned a much higher value than we owed.

Within 2 years, that situation reversed to a negative £20m and has continually declined since. We have made a loss for most of the years under Kenwright whereas we regularly made a profit under Johnson.

That alone should start the alarm bells ringing but, when you consider that Paul Gregg, who had been a close friend and assisted in the purchase from Johnson, stated that he would finance Kings Dock as long as Kenwright resigned as Chairman, it should tell you all you need to know.

That followed by the lies about Goodion Park in pursuit of Destination Kirkby, which would have profited Kenwright and his cronies and significantly damaged the club, tell you even more about this excuse of a man.

Don't you question why a top finance man joined Everton and left within 6 weeks? Don't you question why Phil Green and Robert Earl sailed halfway round the world to buy Keith Wyness's silence?

Don't you question why unexplained operating costs ra'n at about £1 million a year before Kenwright took over, then rocketed to over £20 million a year?

Why do you think there is a standing joke about how many lawnmowers there are at Finch Farm? It's because Kenwright had said one of the reason other "unexplained" costs had risen was because of lawnmowers purchased for Finch Farm.

His "generous" donations that you mention were not out of his own pocket – they were out of club funds. Classic tactic – use other peoples money to buy yourself a name.

Jay Wood

127 Posted 10/08/2020 at 16:10:59
On the question of Duncan Ferguson's four games as manager – for which he was overwhelmingly admired and respected by the majority of fans - and for the levels of intensity the team played at, I think I'll take the word of the man with the best seat in the house to comment on such matters:

Duncan Ferguson himself.

This is his full post-match presser following the exit from the League Cup on pens to Leicester:

Ferguson post-match presser v Leicester

Looking and sounding clearly gutted, he says the 2nd half was much better than the 1st in which we were too passive in shape and play, put no pressure on the ball, weren't aggressive enough or making enough hits. Saying it was disappointing, but offering the (reasonable) cause that he virtually picked the same team as v Man Utd 3 days earlier.

Second half improved by putting on Moise Kean as central striker supported by Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison, switching from 4-4-2 to 4-3-3. Duncan says this put more pressure on the ball and gave us more belief, but still came up just short.

He repeats it was understandable given that he picked virtually the same team as the last game, but hopes we can take the aggression of the 2nd half into the next match.

When asked about the potential of the squad for the new manager coming in, Duncan says we have fantastic potential, but we are down to the bare bones at the moment with 8 injuries.

He thanks the team for putting every ounce of energy they have into the last 3 games, saying it's players, not coaches, that win football matches.

He concludes by saying how both he and the players, having put in so much energy, are devastated not to get to the semi-final for the fans.

Next, his post-match presser v Arsenal@

Ferguson post-match presser v Arsenal

Of course, on the day Carlo Ancelotti was presented to the fans before kick-off, with Arsenal's new man Mikel Arteta also sat in the stands whilst their respective caretaker managers took charge on the touchline.

First journo question, "Not the best of games. What did you make of it?" Dunc is very honest in his reply:

"Yeah, probably that. The positive things are we got a point and kept a clean sheet... it was a bit of a struggle out there. I think fatigue had set in a little bit. But I can't fault the effort of the players. They were unbelieveable again... the players have restored the passion and pride in the team."

On the question of Carlo's appointment, Dunc replies: "I said from day one the club needs a world class manager and we've got one... I can't wait to continue my education working under him."

Asked about his experience in the manager's chair, Dunc says the biggest thing he's learnt about himself is "decision-making. I'll make decisions. I'm not scared to do it, but I do it for the benefit of the team."

When asked about Everton being a top six team, again he replies very honestly:

"The league table doesn't lie. No point in kidding ourselves. We're near the bottom of the league. So we've got to work extremely hard to get to the 6th or 8th or 10th position. Maybe we can strengthen in January, but the league table doesn't lie. We are where we are."

When asked about chatting with his opposite caretaker manager towards the end, Dunc beams a big smile and says "it was just a bit of banter. It's not been a great game, so let's hope the whistle blows soon so everybody can be happy with a point."

Kinda echoes what others have acknowledged that the performances in both games were not great, that fatigue played a part in that, that he couldn't freshen the team up playing so many games on top of each other due to the long injury list.

Jay Wood

128 Posted 10/08/2020 at 16:26:36
Ferguson's pre-match quotes v Chelsea

Duncan actually says in reply to if he wants the manager's job permanently: "I'm a coach at the moment. It's not something I'm considering at the moment. I think the club needs a really top manager. Of course it's a dream of mine to be Everton manager, but I'm also realistic."

Pretty emphatic, methinks, that he didn't deem himself ready or even adequate to take on the role full-time.

Robert Tressell
129 Posted 10/08/2020 at 16:31:45
Jerome – I realise I didn't express myself clearly. I was trying to agree with you at #107 but then rambled.

I totally agree that Ancelloti has a tactical plan. In fact that, and managing people as human beings, seems to be his great strength. My analogy to chess was to highlight that there are limitations on what his tactics can reasonably be expected to achieve.

Where I think we as a club have gone wrong is not in tactics but a wider strategy / identity / purpose. Ancelotti has inherited a mess (albeit in much better shape than it could have been thanks to Dunc). So my point really is that we can't expect our world-class coach to get us playing world-class football any time soon.

There should be improvements – as you say, Brentford can do it. But Ancelotti is primarily tasked with getting us up the table, not making us an eye-catching side. So there are two things going on in parallel – Ancelloti imposing a tactical framework on the players (and getting them fitter, more motivated) and Brands turning over the playing staff.

The two together should improve things. But I'm fairly confident we're a season away at least from seeing entertaining football. However, I could see us pushing top 6 next season by playing effective (but dull) football.

That's fine by me. The only success I can ever remember is the 95 FA Cup and finishing 4th under Moyes. The most fun was watching Martinez's first season.

I can handle two boring seasons if it is all about building to be genuinely competitive in the 2022-23 season and thereafter.

Patrick McFarlane
130 Posted 10/08/2020 at 16:34:05
Ancelotti was sacked by Napoli on the 10 December 2020, Duncan spoke about the Everton job on the 6 December prior to the match with Chelsea as Jay has just linked to.

In relation to last season: Everton were the dirtiest away team in the Premier League last season according to new research.

In data compiled by, Everton conceded 293 'dirty offences' on opposition turf, 91 more than 'best-behaved' Liverpool.

The statistics were compiled by totalling the number of fouls committed and the yellow and red cards received by each club across the campaign with Southampton boasting 284 offences – 250 fouls and 34 yellow cards – to narrowly finish behind the Blues on the naughty list.

The win over Sheffield United in July brought 22 'incidents' alone for Everton as Watford, Tottenham Hotspur and Aston Villa made up the top-five dirtiest teams.

If we are to compete at the right end of the table next season, we'll have to legislate for quite a few suspensions if the statistics for the game at Bramhall Lane is to be the guide as to how officials will respond to our team battling for points.

Jerome Shields
131 Posted 10/08/2020 at 16:51:33
Jay #128

Thank You for your post.

That's the way I remember it.

Patrick #130

Those stats are interesting.

Robert #125

Hopefully I am right. That is my opinion on what I have seen, with no special insight. Of course I am not a know all, before Jay posts that I am.

Darren Hind
132 Posted 10/08/2020 at 16:57:52
"It is my dream to be manager of Everton, but let's be realistic. "

"This is all my remit is. To get a result tomorrow."

Nope Doesn't get any more emphatic than that.

You can twist turn and slice that up whichever way you want. But those are the words of a guy knew before he had taken charge of a single game that he wasn't getting the job.

The suggestion that he swerved it is ludicrous. You have an opportunity in order to be able to spurn it.

I love it when somebody does hours of research to prove you wrong... only to confirm what you said.

Tom Bowers
133 Posted 10/08/2020 at 17:01:34
Many of these statistics are a waste of time. England has become like the US with the obsession about numbers.

Sky Sports News keep posting numbers which don't really mean much. For instance a keeper with number of clean sheets? This could just mean that he has an excellent defence in front of him. Number of goal-bound saves is a much more creditable number.

The only numbers that really matter are the wins and points gained at the end of the season. So, if one team has 20 yellows that could just be mainly one player which doesn't make the team a ''dirty'' team. Grealish is the most fouled player but that doesn't make him the most dangerous player in the league.

Tony Abrahams
134 Posted 10/08/2020 at 17:09:04
I’ve learned just as much in my life by watching and listening to idiots as I have off anyone Darren. It’s probably why I’m round the bend, and it’s why we need to have that pint mate, because anyone not prepared to give Ancelotti a little bit of time is definitely round the bend, I’m sure we will empty the boozer between us!

Jay Wood

135 Posted 10/08/2020 at 17:16:51
"You can twist turn and slice that up whichever way you want. But Those are the words of a guy knew before he had taken charge of a single game that he wasn't getting the job."

"The suggestion that he swerved it is ludicrous. You have an opportunity in order to be able to spurn it."

That is your hypothetical interpretation. Not a definitive, incontestable one.

I'll take the words from the actual fellah's mouth over the spin you try to make of them and leave it up to each individual to make up their own mind how to interpret his words.

Antony Kelly
136 Posted 10/08/2020 at 17:22:02
Ref post 131 – Jerome your talking bullshit. You say the job is currently way above what Ferguson is capable of. What's the evidence to back that up?

He was undefeated in 4 games, the team made more tackles in one of those games than any other Everton team in ten years, yes ten years! He dragged us out of relegation gaining 5 valuable points. He changed the hole tactical set up to 4-4-2.

He paired Calvert-Lewin with Richarlison. He put Mason Holgate in midfield; he was a miracle worker. And you say he's not capable — unbelievable!!

Jason Li
137 Posted 10/08/2020 at 17:34:52
Plenty of speculation on who Everton are interested in. A bit worrying not much specualtion on Everton players we want to sell? Currently it feels like no sell: no buy is the boardoom standoff?
Brian Williams
138 Posted 10/08/2020 at 17:40:52
Jeez, the skin on that drum must be wearing thin!
Fran Mitchell
139 Posted 10/08/2020 at 17:59:48
The debate over Ferguson is pointless. He is not the manager, he is part of the management team, but he is not the manager. So this debate is redundant posturing.

Ferguson managed for 4 games, he benefitted from a 'no Silva boost' and, more importantly, got the rather disillusioned fans on board with his enthusiasm. This changed perception of him, he was largely seen as a pointless Yesman who put the cones out, a Kenwright lacky, all this was said, and worse.

I remember one poster on here actually placed him as a root cause for all the club's failures. That perception changed, and he is once again a much loved Evertonian. But he is not the manager, and Ancelotti will be for the foreseeable future.

This endless crusade to control debates around this is pointless, there is so much more to discuss than this.

Darren Hind
140 Posted 10/08/2020 at 18:05:24
When asked if he thinks this is a chance for the job he replies.

"This is all my remit is. To get a result tomorrow."

He actually says the words..

If somebody. anybody, can come on here and give me the quote from Ferguson or anybody else at the club which will remotely suggest that Ferguson had an opportunity to spurn, I will happily concede the point... Otherwise, I will just move on and treat post 135 as the latest false claim made by TW's very own Brazilian correspondent.


Okay, I'll move on.


If we were having this debate the way we would like it, over a bevy, we would both be bladdered by now.

I am going to pen a piece talking about our energy levels. If it gets published, you can rip it to shreds.

Jay Wood

141 Posted 10/08/2020 at 18:39:47
Play your 3-card trick on someone else 'Dazza.'

Your hypothetical post @ 121 can't even get the timeline right.

Silva was sacked on Thursday 5 December following the previous day's debacle and 5-2 loss to 'them'.

After a long day, late that night, Kenwright and Moshiri ask Dunc to be caretaker manager. 'For how long?' Duncan asked. 'For now, one game' came the reply (which fits in with the Duncan quote you repeat 'my remit, to get a result tomorrow').

Friday 6 December, Duncan holds the presser you referenced, still sweating/soaked in rain having trained with the team, saying what he said, less than 18 hours in the job, totally preoccupied with preparing the team vs Chelsea in the little time available to him.

Saturday, 7 December, Duncan's Everton stirs the soul, beating Chelsea 3-1.

Tuesday 10 December, Naples sack Ancelotti.

On that timeline, in the very, very few hours between Duncan's appointment and that pre-Chelsea presser, how can you claim as you do @121 that 'It had already been widely reported that Ancelotti had been contacted' when Carlo was still very firmly in place at Naples?

A week and more passed before the reports – not speculation – started to firm up that Everton had a chance to land Ancelotti.

You're evidently wrong, but can't admit it.

Par for the course.

Jay Harris
142 Posted 10/08/2020 at 18:42:00

If you want to hang on every word Duncan says. He also says "We now have a world class manager."

I don't know why you can't accept this and park the anti-Ancelotti rhetoric until you give the man a chance.

Many of us, including Duncan himself, believe he is as good as we can get and significantly better than Duncan, so let's see where we are at the end of next season; then the conversation would be more valid.

Joe McMahon
143 Posted 10/08/2020 at 18:46:25
Wow, I see Dunc is still the ongoing topic. Everything has been said on this thread, including a mention of Everton fans not actually from Liverpool! Well, I'm one of them.

The reason being in the 70s all the kids supported Liverpool! I decided to be an Everton fan from age 6, I've stuck with them through mainly shite years, I'm now 50 but still a fan.

Sukhdev Sohal
144 Posted 10/08/2020 at 18:50:00
I'm the one that said the Dunc's style of play was unsustainable, not Paul, you blind fools. Read the thread properly.

And Darren, I feel sorry for you if you doubt Ancelotti's ability already after the points he has amassed.

Sukhdev Sohal
145 Posted 10/08/2020 at 18:50:59
Whoever questions the appointment of Ancelotti (ahem Darren), look yourself in the mirror.
Brent Stephens
146 Posted 10/08/2020 at 19:09:46
As per Jay, Duncan says "we now have a world class manager."

Wise words, Duncan. Now let’s give him time. And some dosh to replace the dross we have.

Jerome Shields
147 Posted 10/08/2020 at 19:33:10
Anthony #138,

He was wise enough to know that he wasn't getting it and to know the level of manager that was needed. It was a wise move to say what he said. His career will progress and he will keep learning for a future opportunity.

Darren Hind
148 Posted 10/08/2020 at 19:34:25

I knew you couldn't put up a quote or a fact to back up your ill-informed nonsense. It was idiotic to claim it came out of Fergusons mouth. Did you honestly think nobody would see through that inherent nonsense?

Your "time line" side show fools nobody either. Ancelotti's situation at Napoli was widely known and there was plenty reports of Moshiri's interest in him when he was still there. Just as there were reports about Southampton's manager before Moshiri brought him and the Watford manager before Moshiri brought him. The only difference this time was the press were scoffing at the idea. They thought we should have Mark Hughes or somebody.

You have no idea what Ferguson knew at that stage, none of us do... but I bet he knew more than you.

Deflection aside. You have been challenged to come up with something, anything to support your claim that Ferguson spurned a job he was never offered. You can't.

You'll feel better if you just admit it.

Jay Harris,

I wonder if Ferguson thinks he is still world class having witnessed the performances?

I will make a deal with you right now. I will stop drawing attention to Ancelotti's shortcomings just as soon as you and others stop telling me how lucky were are to have someone who will attract top class players and will soon be delivering top class football, or exonerating him for anything remotely attached to the shite we are seeing.

At least I have something to back up what I say, but I'm more than happy to strike that deal right now... even if it does kinda kill debate.

But if you, or one of the other people who so hate hearing opinion which doesn't match your admiration, comes on talking about our good fortune in landing him, or the superstars he will attract, then all bets are off.

Debate works both ways, if you are going to make annoying statement like "We are lucky to get him", or that "he will attract top class players", you can be certain somebody will come back with a counter which you will find equally annoying.

Jay Wood

149 Posted 10/08/2020 at 19:50:11
Oh, 'Dazza'...titter verily much.

Me deflecting?

"You have no idea what Ferguson knew at that stage, none of us do... but I bet he knew more than you."

Exactly. Such irony in your own words is evidently lost on you.

"Ancelotti's situation at Napoli was widely known and there was plenty reports of Moshiri's interest in him when he was still there."

Looking forward to you "putting up a quote or a fact to back up your ill-informed nonsense" as I was able to.

In your own time, 'Dazza'.

Jim Jennings
150 Posted 10/08/2020 at 19:52:44
“I'd love one of these people who peddle the crackpot theory that Ferguson had the players on their knees, to come on here and explain how these "drained, spent, exhausted" players managed to pick up maximum points from the next two games.

It all started to go Pete Tong for Carlo when he allowed Klopp to put him on the back foot at Mordor.”


If it all started to go go “Pete Tong” (seriously?) after the 0-1 defeat at Mordor, can you explain why it was followed by a five-game unbeaten run, with 11 points amassed from a possible 15? And why we didn't lose again until six weeks after that defeat at Mordor?

Or is this another crackpot theory of your own?

Jerome Shields
151 Posted 10/08/2020 at 20:01:07
Sukhdev #144,

I also said and thought it was unsubstainable.

Brent Stephens
152 Posted 10/08/2020 at 20:25:57
“You have no idea what Ferguson knew at that stage, none of us do... but I bet he knew more than you.' “

That's an absolute cracker! Nobody knew what Ferguson knew, except Ferguson and Darren Hind!

Darren Hind
153 Posted 10/08/2020 at 20:45:56

I do love to watch you wriggle when you have done your Stan Van den Buys routine.

You have been challenged three times to put up the quote where you heard from Ferguson's mouth that he spurned the opportunity. You were never going to manage it, because you made it up.

You then come back with a minor classic by asking for a quote when I told you there were reports that Ancelotti may face the sack from Napoli and that reporters were saying he may be coming here. There are no quotes, simply reports. Some dating back into November when the "mutiny" took place. They may be only reports, but they proved to be unerringly accurate.

Educate yourself. Look them up.

Brent Stephens,

Durrr, We didn't know what Ferguson knew, but we did know he was not offered the job full time. Why? ... Because he told us, he told the BBC, he told the world.

Jay Harris
154 Posted 10/08/2020 at 20:46:20

I agree that the football has been shite since the restart but I also appreciate the points on the board amassed by the team before the closedown.

There are a number of factors pointing to the poor performances and results which include injuries, tiredness, having nothing to play for, and a very poor squad to choose from.

I have maintained for years that Everton's midfield was poor... and the response to that was to sell Gueye, making us devoid of any quality defensive midfielders.

In addition, I have gone on about the lack of goalscoring options throughout the squad with only Sigurdsson (fading fast), Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin (rising thankfully).

Even God, if he managed Everton, could not get a proper tune out of this misfit squad with no grit or goalscoring ability.

Combine that with the disruption of the pandemic (I know all teams were affected but it hit some harder than others) and you will find my reasons for wanting to give Carlo more time.

Oh and the pedigree he has also helps.

Nobody will succeed unless we get behind them – a point you often make about the youngsters.

Darren Hind
155 Posted 10/08/2020 at 20:53:36
Jay (154)

I already know your points, but you can't expect me to agree.

You have my word that I will not discuss Ancelotti until ten games into the season.

It wont do anything for debate, but it seems to be what you guys want.

Brent Stephens
156 Posted 10/08/2020 at 21:06:01
Darren says 'You have no idea what Ferguson knew at that stage, none of us do... but I bet he knew more than you.' “

So nobody knew what Ferguson knew except you?! Yeh, right on. And you now want to bet on something that nobody knows anything about! Now then, how does that work?

Jay Wood

157 Posted 10/08/2020 at 21:07:49
Deary Lord 'Dazza'.

It's like teasing a kitten to pounce on the circle of light from a flashlight.

I have five posts in this thread. Now read the following sentence very, very slowly so you understand. You can even move your lips as you do so, if it helps:

Clear enough for you?

@ 128 I link to and quote verbatim what Duncan said on the eve of the Chelsea match in which he clearly states he doesn't consider himself ready or a realistic candidate for the job full-time.

Absolutely zero reference, as you attempt to falsely attribute to me, that he had been offered but refused the job.

Now, where's that flashlight again...?

Here, kitty-kitty!

Darren Hind
158 Posted 10/08/2020 at 21:15:11
Brent Stephens,

I didn't claim I knew what Ferguson knew, I claimed I knew what he said.

It's only an "absolute cracker" to you and your tag team partner because it appears beyond you to comprehend that.

Tony Everan
159 Posted 10/08/2020 at 21:22:40
Thread has gone beyond the event horizon, everything is now being sucked into the Dunc’s 4 game black hole.

Lyndon, hurry up with your recruitment article!

Fran Mitchell
160 Posted 10/08/2020 at 21:28:28
Tony, that will then turn into a 'Ancelotti won't attract the world class players everyone says he will' (even though very few people affirm this) thread, with repeated claims that Ancelotti will only play crap boring football and doesnt matter who we sign, because Big Dunc proved the squad is of the same level as liverpool, just our hapless Italian blablabla

Brent Stephens
161 Posted 10/08/2020 at 21:43:08
Darren 'You have no idea what Ferguson knew at that stage, none of us do... but I bet he knew more than you.' “

If you didn’t know what Ferguson knew, how can you lay a bet about what he knew?!

Bobby Mallon
162 Posted 10/08/2020 at 22:08:31
Paul Swan, Darren Hind, who the fuck do you both want as manager?

Big Dunc got a tune out the players at the beginning but he is not the bloke to take us forward. Unsworth the same.

We have one of the top 3 managers in history, won everything in many countries and you both would have him out tomorrow (fucking mind-boggling as he hasn't had a single transfer window) so who would you have?

Jason Li
163 Posted 10/08/2020 at 22:10:54
Tony @159...

Einstein probably wouldn't touch the Duncan 4 game masterpiece subject – take too long to solve. ROFL.

Steven Bencz
164 Posted 10/08/2020 at 22:17:20
We need a like/dislike button on this site, Lyndon. Some of these comments are amazing.

Carlo Ancelotti needs a full year to be fair and he was a good signing. We can only hope he gets some of his players in.

Such disappointing season yet again. The worst thing these few years for an Everton/Edmonton Oilers fan. FML

Oliver Molloy
165 Posted 10/08/2020 at 22:21:56
Hire Ancelotti and Everton would attract better players was – is the plan, the only problem is that Ancelotti was also hired to get us into Europe this season and he failed, so these better players are not going to be interested unless Moshiri throws loads of money around again.

Since being appointed, the Italian has hardly got a decent rise out of the current squad and many of the performances while he stood on the touchline have been pathetic, to say the least.

He needs time but the buck stops with the manager and this up-coming season will show us what he really is all about. I hope he finds a winning formula, but personally given the state of the club and the obvious mess we are in, for me I would not be surprised if it all goes pear-shaped.

To be competitive at the very least, new players are badly needed. Recruitment this time round is so important, Brands has got to get it right and needs to deliver talent that will make the difference – no more of these guys looking for a final big pay packet.

Personally I would like the club to sign young hungry players looking to make a name for themselves and wanting to earn the big bucks – the likes of Allan isn't going to cut it, I can see another Schneiderlin scenario right here.

Brands was brought in because of his so-called expertise in South American players, he has failed miserably to date. We need more of the likes of Richarlison.

Sukhdev Sohal
166 Posted 10/08/2020 at 22:36:09
Cheers Jerome, great minds think alike. Can we have a conversation on Brands? Do we honestly think he will get the right players (like Allan, Sangare and Chukwueze) for the right prices?

I'm really worried after we pursued an average player in Højbjerg and purchased more average players last summer in Delph and Iwobi for extraordinary amounts.

Bobby Mallon
167 Posted 10/08/2020 at 22:42:45
Oliver, in my honest opinion, Ancelotti would have got us into Europe if not for Covid-19 and the break in the season. Once we got back playing, it felt like certain players had their minds elsewhere.

We got safe and some players threw the towel in. Maybe it was fear of catching the virus, worry about loved ones, I don't know... but next season, I think we will shine.

Allan Board
168 Posted 10/08/2020 at 23:06:02
Rather than fall out about Ancelotti, guys, why don't we all just wait for 12 months? He will have had a full season in charge with hopefully some of 'his' player's in the side. Then, if you wish to judge the man, then there is more credence to any issues raised.

As far as I am concerned, if the club don't shaft him over transfers, which is quite possible, he will without doubt have us top 6. Form is temporary, class is permanent.

Tom Bowers
169 Posted 10/08/2020 at 23:22:08
The Covid-19 problem certainly had an effect on the season for all teams except for RS who had it all but wrapped up before then. but really guys, some of Everton's performances since the restart were positively abysmal and, apart from Norwich, we were playing as poorly as any team in the league.

Carlo obviously needs more time to get this bunch on the same page and we all fervently hope that it is now sooner than later because I couldn't stomach any more games like we saw in July.

Jerome Shields
170 Posted 10/08/2020 at 23:33:56
Sukhdev #166

As a rule, I don't get involved in transfers speculation, preferring work from Sam Hoare, well-researched lists and, Lyndon's recruitment article.

I expect Ancelotti and Brands to do a better job this Summer after Brands has offloaded what he can. Hopefully interference from Kenwright and Moshiri is of the past.

Kase Chow
171 Posted 10/08/2020 at 23:46:17
This thread has become more tedious than our football...

That's saying something!

Paul Birmingham
172 Posted 10/08/2020 at 23:49:19
Regardless of the Covid-19, as a club we have been rank for so long, it's a fact and the truth.

The club has got a former world class player and proven manager, who's done the business in Italy, across the range. We can't complain and let's give Carlo a fair crack. Ten games in next season, and let's see.

Time more than ever to unite for the common good as it's going to be vital very soon, once the season kicks off, to be together.

We all have our views, which are respected, and who is right and who is wrong in respect to their views, but we are Everton.

The club needs a Phoenix, now, and this season improvement must happen. No more sub-rate Sunday alehouse team football. To be honest, this season, the Sunday ale house teams would have put more effort and commitment in.

This season is the point. It's a chemical monster, but EFC must get success in tangible terms, but there can't be allowed no more lazy arse crab football, and lack of initiative.

No team has to press Everton, they can save all their energy, and as we know, we generally get led a merry dance, and get done.

If the fear of God and this global pandemic can't inspire, the players, then, the odds are we will fall this season.

The stagnation of EFC can't go on forever, as in life nothing lasts forever.

Sense of purpose, fight, passion and desire and then win the right to play.

The style of play is limited by the players and aside to a new midfield, bar two perhaps, we need a new solid spine.

I'm not gonna consider the rest but the clock is ticking and each day the odds rise against us getting what would be potentially the best fit in transfers goes by. Marcel Brands, will be knowing this will be his time. Let's hope he can deliver.

This preseason is massive. I'm a thimble half full these days with matters EFC, but there's no slow start this next season.

Scary days, down in Soton, and Pompey, the last few days, and going past Fratton Park, was a warning sign.

Won a few, we lost a few, but they have over the last 15 years slipped away.

Time for belief and optimism, and fight, from the EFC, as time knows no boundaries, and waits for no one.

Jay Harris
173 Posted 10/08/2020 at 23:52:31

"You have my word that I will not discuss Ancelotti until 10 games into the season."

I appreciate that and you know it makes sense.

We all want Everton to be successful and play entertaining football but we must also appreciate how far we have fallen. Sir John Moores must be turning in his grave at how bad we have become.

But, like I told another friend of mine when he asked what he needed to do to improve his team, I said "better players". When we have got better players, I am sure Carlo will come good.

The real job is can Moshiri and Brands live up to expectations. I can't remember one player bought in the last few years that we were all excited about and in that time we have let Lukaku, Gueye and Zouma go.

That sums up the recruitment.

Kevin Prytherch
174 Posted 10/08/2020 at 23:58:23
People are saying that Brands's main requisite is to get rid of the deadwood... who has he actually got rid of so far??

Mirallas with 12 months left on a contract? Schneiderlin for a £22 million loss?

Our great DOF saviour has lumbered us with Bernard, Mina, Delph and Gomes, all on over £80k a week, whilst producing little in the way of people who actually care about the club.

Ian Horan
175 Posted 11/08/2020 at 00:08:10
Darren Hind, on the 14 June you penned an article for TW; a great deal of debate and discussion took place.

Comments were respectful, challenged when necessary but very little calling out or belittling others views or opinions!!!

My question to you is: Why can't you conduct yourself in the same manner on other people's threads and posts??

Don Alexander
176 Posted 11/08/2020 at 00:27:35
Ian, Darren is as credible as BoJo, end of. In love with his own voice regardless of anything else. It's a Brazilian trait apparently, but I've no idea as to how Dazza is linked to the land of fabulous nuts.

Moving on, I am subjectively sure that the comfy ethos permeating our current squad is as inbred at Finch Farm as the very grass they train on. The grass is inanimate. The coaching staff are not. Wittingly or not, they have been completely subsumed by the mediocrity of Kenwright and, sadly for Evertonians, I believe that the whole world of football sees the club as soft touches off the field and, as a direct result, on the field too with our consistently piss-poor performances.

Moshiri has shown the world he's a football numpty, just as Kenwright has long self-done. Why the owner has always courted the input of his mediocre chairman is worthy of a thesis from the likes of the estimable David France or, failing that, our Lyndon.

Alex Gray
177 Posted 11/08/2020 at 00:31:32
We had a short bounce under Ferguson because that's normally what happens when managers change. If Ferguson had stayed in charge, it would've faded fast.

I can't blame Ancelotti for our post-lockdown form. These players have played under a lot of different managers and have failed each one. Recruitment for all these different managers wanting different styles of football has left us with a completely unbalanced squad with absolutely no identity.

I fully believe Carlo is an excellent manager. His CV proves that beyond doubt. What worries me is that, if we don't get our recruitment right (ins and outs), then we will have the same issues as the last few seasons, regardless of what manager we have in charge. For the sake of the club, we need stability.

It's clear as day that in this window we need a right-back, a pacy centre-back so we can play a higher line, a midfielder that can win the ball and turn defence into attack higher up the pitch, and a right-winger.

If we get that right then further down the line we need possibly a new keeper and, dependant on Calvert-Lewin and Kean another forward. But with one or two midfielders of genuine quality, we'll see more chances created and hopefully a different side. It's a massive summer for us.

Gavin Johnson
178 Posted 11/08/2020 at 02:38:14
Just imagine Darren's lunacy if Dunc hadn't have had a few games in charge. He would be proposing David Unsworth or Eddie Howe as the man to replace Ancelotti right now lol

I bet Darren was made up the day Mike Walker got the job. He was a lifelong Evertonian.

Rob Hooton
179 Posted 11/08/2020 at 09:30:41
Some great (and bizarre) posts. I think our team are so unfit, unprofessional and unmotivated that this is the reason they could not continue to play a high intensity style of football – it's not like we had Europe and later stage cup competitions knackering them out ffs.

Ancelotti – I will give him time (a full season at least) but have not been impressed so far, though he did inherit a crock of shit. Sticking with 4-4-2 when our midfield is being overrun makes me agree with Darren's ‘yesterday man' analogy, though he has shown that he can be flexible, so things may change with different players at his disposal.

The players have still been unmotivated and shite since the initial new manager bounce – and the passing about from the back from goal-kicks infuriates me as we get it so wrong and then hoof it long anyway, usually under pressure and then with our defence deeper than the Titanic.

I can't see us buying anyone decent, even with Carlo's ‘allure'; time will tell.

All-in-all, a thoroughly depressing season.

Fran Mitchell
180 Posted 11/08/2020 at 09:46:12
We started playing 4-4-2 under Ferguson, and this proved to get a tune out of the front 2.

Ancelotti stuck with this, again because it was working, Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison were in form and working well together and this meant we could bypass the totally inept midfield.

As Calvert-Lewin lost his scoring touch post-lockdown, the 4-4-2 clearly became less effective. Problem is, the midfield was still shit. So change the system or continue with 4-4-2 and hope Calvert-Lewin regains his form – Ancelotti chose the latter and it didn't work. But anyone who thought we'd challenge for Europe was kidding themselves.

I don't think 4-4-2 will be the system we go for in the long run. But it does depend on who we manage to buy.

If the midfield is still having the likes of Davies, Sigurdsson or Gomes as first-teamers, we're in trouble either way.

I have a hunch Ancelotti may move towards something of a 5-3-2/3-5-2 formatiom. This way, continue with the 2 men upfront. This would require 1 new midfielder, 1 full-back or winger, and 1 defender (at a minimum).

But we must wait and see.

Tony Abrahams
181 Posted 11/08/2020 at 09:52:27
That's the biggest conundrum for me, Rob, the fact that Ancellotti could see we were getting outnumbered or over-run in the middle of the park but chose to do very little about it.

After a couple of terrible performances, he changed the formation at Sheffield Utd, and the team responded by giving a much more solid and professional display, so maybe yesterday's man, was just finding out a bit more for himself about yesterday's players?

Even third-rate managers usually know how to respond when their players are getting passed to death, it's why most teams just flood the midfield nowadays!

Robert Tressell
182 Posted 11/08/2020 at 09:56:58
I agree, Fran. 5-3-2 would:

1. Give more game time to the many centre-backs we have – and explain our keen interest in left footers

2. Make sense of our interest in Dalot (not really an orthodox right-back)

3. Make the most of Digne on the left

4. give us 3 in the middle where we too easily get overrun (hopefully with some class act like Allan)

5. Play with Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin together up-front.

But I'm not sure Carlo will be that dogmatic about any formation. I think he sees formation as variation on a theme which he tweaks to outmanoeuvre the opposition.

Darren Hind
183 Posted 11/08/2020 at 09:59:04
Reading chapters 2,3+4 of post 135 gave me a right old chuckle
Tony Abrahams
184 Posted 11/08/2020 at 10:01:59
This thread has been interesting, and it proves that – even in with all the madness – you never stop learning on ToffeeWeb!

I didn't realise Ferguson changed the formation against Leicester, whose passing and movement completely destroyed us in the first half of that game.

Maddison was strolling it, but this changed once Davies scored, and although we never had much craft, we were definitely a different team once the change in formation was made. It stopped Leicester running rings around us and finding those little pockets of damaging space, so kudos to Duncan and his staff!

Brian Harrison
185 Posted 11/08/2020 at 10:02:48
I know that we have enjoyed our most successful times when an ex-player has been in charge, but surely are we that inward-looking that we cant appreciate that having a manager who hasn't played for the club can be successful. To listen to some views, you would think the club lacked some ex-players on the staff.

Well we have Ebberel, Jeffers, Unsworth and Ferguson on the coaching staff but, maybe because non of the players mentioned ever won a league, maybe that's why expectations are so low.

Tony Abrahams
186 Posted 11/08/2020 at 10:24:23

John Ebbrell and Franny Jeffers, both went to the National School of Excellence, which means that they have both been involved in full-time football from a very early age.

When Kendall left Everton, he said he was going to miss playing 5-aside with a very young Ebbrell and, whatever anyone thinks about Jeffers, his off the ball movement was a god-given talent imo. I just hope he's good at passing on this skill to the kids.

Darren Hind
187 Posted 11/08/2020 at 10:24:47
Ian Horan

Allow me to answer your question.

There are several senior posters who conduct themselves immaculately on this website. People like Johnny Mac. Rick Tarleton. John B are just a few names that spring to mind. There are quite a few others and I would not dream of disrespecting them. I don't even question them.

There are plenty of others who I agree with sometimes, but also have fierce debates with. Looking down this thread, People like Paul T, Dave and Tony A. Others around the world who have not posted on this thread, like Derek in Oz or Derek in NZ. Or Jamie C over in the States – again to name but a few. Do I show them respect? Ask them.

I'm a bit like everyone else really. Show me respect and it will be returned.

I have never been shy about taking the alternative view, but by doing that, I have to accept that I will be pissing people off. Some have long memories and will always want to settle old scores. This isn't the first manager I've been hyper-critical of. Do I care? What do you think?

You question my rhetoric, but you say nothing about what is aimed in my direction. I'm not complaining about it, but you may want to take a look at this thread and balance that out a little. You will find lots of times where I have responded, but I think you will find very few where I have attacked another post first.

You will also see lots of posts I have blanked. These are usually people I have blanked for a long time. I don't see the point in answering posts like 176 and 178. I like to leave them there and let people draw their own conclusions.

As for yourself. I don't remember ever responding or addressing a post to you before 118. That was meant to be a little gentle humour. Sorry you didnt see it that way.

This thread has been particularly depressing for me. Not because of daft-arsed point-scoring. I take that with a pinch of salt. It's the constant carping from some posters because I am expressing a completely different view to theirs.
I don't subscribe top the view that we should all exonerate this manager of everything simply because he has only been here six months. He gets paid a fortune to be accountable. Now if everybody happy clapped and overlooked all the shortcomings he has already displayed, debate would be dead. Threads would quickly become sterile if everyone stopped thinking for themselves and simply toed the line.

I don't believe "it makes sense" to stop criticising the manager, only people who want to silence you believe that.

So be it. Let's see how long the honeymoon lasts. Let's see if the positive thinkers turn on this fella too.

I'm out of these threads about Ancelotti. I will put together articles. If the guys who own the site publish them, then those who are offended by criticism of the manager will know to avoid them.

I simply don't see the point in debating with people who think it's okay to claim we are lucky to have Carlo, before he has done anything, but not okay to criticise him because he has only just got here.

BTW Ian; Perhaps you can answer a question of mine now. You do know who Peter Green is?

Fran Mitchell
188 Posted 11/08/2020 at 10:56:36
In the best performances under Ancelotti, it was more of a 4-4-2 out of possession, 3-5-2 in possession. This allowed for Digne to push forward, with Coleman slipping into the right of a 3-man backline.

However, our poor midfield and poor right-wing options made this a short-lived thing that wasn't at all seen post-lockdown. And Coleman, much as he's one of our recent heroes, is just not up to it, especially defensively.

But a back 3 of Holgate, Mina or Keane, and other (left-footed), with Digne and a high quality attacking right full-back on the flanks could really benefit. When 'out of possession', Holgate could easily sit at right-back with the full-back ahead of him.

Gordon could certainly be an attacking midfielder in the midfield 3, and could slip to the left side in-front of Digne.

We would just need 2 excellent central midfielders (No 8s), both imposing and dynamic. I fear none of our lot are that, but let's see what the window will bring.

Keeping 2 of Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin and Kean up top I think is necessary. We will never be able to play a 4-3-3 like the top teams, not without signing 7 new players. And when we attempted this (under Silva) it just proved to isolate the central attacker and in reality worked as a 4-5-1.

Ian Horan
189 Posted 11/08/2020 at 11:05:35
Darren, thank you for your response. I've taken on board your point on healthy debate, I also appreciate all contributors of articles and the TW communities engagement.

With regards Peter Green? My error as we all know it was Sir Philip Green!!! He of contempt of BHS staff and pension scheme.

Going forward, let's enjoy the debate, banter in good humour, and hope our beloved team actually performs to the level of a professional, business-driven entity we as supporters deserve.

Conor McCourt
190 Posted 11/08/2020 at 11:47:06
Darren, I agree with all the other posters that you are a fool. I'm sick of you attacking my Carlo, do you not know how many medals he's won?

And when will you realise that our current problems are down to everyone from Kenwright, to our DoF's, our last four managers and everyone at Finch Farm and even the physios deserve a mention but not my Carlo.

What you don't understand is that when we were winning all those games by the odd goal early on that was all down to Carlo, he masterminded everything because he is a winner. He is absolutely world class.

Unfortunately though after eight games the players showed how crap they are as they have been under the last four managers and you can't blame Carlo for that, it's only when we win he's culpable. Yes only Coleman played under Martinez when he was the best right-back in the country but it's still his fault too somehow, not my Carlo's, because these players are serial losers.

Yes I know the whole of ToffeeWeb told you after Duncan's Arsenal match that we had a better squad than our opponents that this was the worst Arsenal team they had seen in their lifetime. Yes, I know they too were described as weak, serial losers and have been transformed since Mikel walked through the door – but that is now because they have such a good squad apparently and nothing to do with their managerial appointment.

My Carlo has only shit players like Sigurdsson whereas Arsenal have top players like Xhaka. Yes, I know he was as maligned as Sigurdsson before Arteta came but now suddenly he has been one of the best midfielders in the Premier League since the turn of the year as all the Arsenal boys have improved without transfer signings but they aren't like the Everton players because poor Carlo has such paucity here.

You obviously haven't got a clue Darren because Carlo unlike our previous managers has tactical flexibility, he can play 4-4-2, 5-3-2, 5-4-1, against Wolves he even played with 9 players in our own six yard box in a clever 9-0-1 formation. He's a tactical mastermind.

Yes I know we unbelievably played Digne as a left centre back though he can't defend, costing the goal and bizarrely negated our best creative outlet and we played Baines as a wing-back yet he can no longer run to get forward but that wasn't Carlos fault it was the players who didn't understand his brilliant tactics. Once we get better players things will be different.

Carlo has inherited the worst squad since football was invented. Yes, I know they are all internationals and there has been no improvement in performance levels but this is a massive job facing him. He is going to need 3 years to clear the deadwood, another two years to tighten that shit defence, the midfield is woeful that Tom Davies is worse than my granny so it will be 5 years before Carlo can fix this area.

Also Burnley and Sheffield Utd are brilliant so he will need another 10 years to get past those but, in 50 years time, mark my words, Hind, you will be singing from your grave as Carlo will have us top six by then.

I know you and other fools like you talked shit about problems at other clubs like fitness, injuries, motivation, professionalism and negative football and yes I know all those problems have reared their ugly head but that's nothing to do with Carlo, it's just a coincidence and once again it's all down to our weak players and their losing mindsets and don't forget Covid.

So what if he doesn't know some of our first team players? I find his lack of attention to detail really funny and so does he obviously as he's still coining it in regardless. Personally, I'm just so grateful to him for coming here, I just feel so lucky like I've just won the lottery but I would urge you to stop this criticism as I live in fear that you will drive my Carlo away and then we will never win another game in our lifetime – he's our last hope.

Darren, I know you said that these players can play with guile and confidence as you seen it under Silva last spring, that they can play with intensity because you seen it under Ferguson and even Koeman produced moments of class against Man City. But what you don't realise is that Carlo plays winning football not pretty football.

Yes, I know there is no team at the top level currently winning with this outdated football so even though it's an unbelievably poor template now for success I still believe in Carlo, I trust him implicitly, even with my life which is logical because of his pedigree in a different era.

You are really stupid, Darren, because once we buy all these top players who all want to work under Carlo, we will see a majestic transition to us suddenly start playing brilliant football. They won't question his lax methods like Delph has done after working with Guardiola and will magically be able to form their own identity and develop patterns of play rather than look like strangers because Carlo's focus is aimed at the opposition.

Once he gets these mythical stars he is going to abandon his life's work even though he showed unable at Napoli and then you will then look really silly, Mr Hind.

Unlike you, I won't judge Carlo until there is no excuse in the world left. However, should we win a few games in the meantime believe me you will hear me shouting it from the rooftops. I just hope Brands doesn't sign that aged Messi because if we fail next season I'm sure I'll be pointing the finger at Marcel's direction.

ps: Kenwright out. I just hope that all these gutless players don't let my Carlo down next season as he may be forced to walk away and we will lose him forever.

You really are delusional, Darren. In Carlo we trust.

Joe McMahon
191 Posted 11/08/2020 at 12:05:20
Conor, my worry is can Carlo manage a not already made squad. Likewise could Pep, Klopp manage the financial restraints, and work with our entire midfield, Pickford and Strikers who wont get you 20+ goals a season (that may be linked to the midfield though).

There is no Pirlo, Seedorf, or even Frank Lampard at Everton.

My concern is no manager would be able to achieve even top 6 with this mainly awful squad. Sadly, we needed Carlo instead of Koeman.

Tony Abrahams
192 Posted 11/08/2020 at 12:43:03
That was a bit long, Conor, but I couldn't agree with people who said Everton had a better squad than Arsenal, who got to last season's Europa League final.

Arteta has found a way to lift a squad of players which had very little motivation and was probably helped by playing behind closed doors, but were is tactics much different to Ancellotti's?

I'm asking because I watched them get totally outplayed against Liverpool, until mistakes got them back in the game, and the only other time I saw them was in the last 15 mins against Man City at Wembley when they defended with eight players inside their own box.

Not a criticism, by the way; I'm made up for Arteta, who has beaten the best three sides in the country since the restart. I'm just curious to know if he also played a defensive game and relied on his two forwards to take their chances.

Ray Robinson
193 Posted 11/08/2020 at 13:07:03
Conor, don't try to become Darren Mk 2 – you'll never achieve it!

Surely this "debate" could be summarised:

It is not unreasonable to criticise Ancelotti for some of his tactics and team selections;

It is totally unreasonable to blindly expect Ancelotti to be the magic bullet just because of his history as a successful manager at other clubs;

It is unreasonable to expect him to sign world class players given our finances, league position and lack of European football;

But it is even more unreasonable to damn him as a failure even before he has had chance to re-arrange the furniture and sign some different players

As for the Duncan Ferguson argument, that's history.

In Ancelotti I Hope!

Steve Brown
194 Posted 11/08/2020 at 13:18:51
Jay @ 127, thanks for sharing Duncan Ferguson's post match interview comments.

Duncan was sadly confused in saying that the games against Man Utd, Leicester and Arsenal were a bit of a struggle and your verbatim comments from the Big Man are fake news. I shared the match stats for the Man Utd and Arsenal games - Man Utd shots on target 3 and 33% possession/ Everton shots on target 2 and 43% possession. But these are not actually facts, as alternative facts exist that we are not aware of.

Equally, when Duncan commented, "I said from day one the club needs a world class manager and we've got one... I can't wait to continue my education working under him", he was really thinking: "It should have been me and I'll learn nothing from this aged footballing anti-christ."

However, it appears that the Donald Trump of ToffeeWeb is actually planning to shift his alternative reality on Ancelotti to dedicated articles for his disciples like Conor and, er... no-one. If you are not a devoted follower of the true Everton spirit (Duncan, Unsy, or The Academy must be the default answer to all questions raised about our club), then you are a happy-clapper and not invited to join the 'debate',

And the Donald does not entertain that Duncan could possible think anything other than what he is stated to believe. Hope that is now clear.

Jerome Shields
195 Posted 11/08/2020 at 13:43:01
Tony #181,

I do think that Ancelotti at times lets players sink or swim. . . probably, as you say, to test them. He also, in my opinion, is more tactical in preference and demands that a players has to be at the technical level that fits in with his tactics.

I also think he will let players take a pasting. In the FA Cup game against Liverpool, he did this in the second half and even sat down through it. Another example is when he subbed Kean in the Bournemouth game, who was performing well. He wanted to compare with Calvert-Lewin leading the attack. This why I say, for any player in an Ancelotti team, there is no hiding place.

Ancelotti has done the much-heralded Silva player assessments by playing players in various formations and testing them. That's the reason why we all are fully aware of the flaws in the players we have. Very few of them impress.

I am sure all the players have felt stretched playing for Ancelotti. Ancelotti now knows the capabilities of all the players available and how they are able to play in various formations. He will try to bring in the players he needs to upgrade the performance level of the team. Those remaining will be expected to work hard to achieve an improvement in their game according to Ancelotti's coaching. I also expect that a higher level of fitness will be demanded, and the training to be harder than previously.

Things are going to get real for this Everton squad. Though Ancelotti talked of Europe, it was only lip-service. Ancelotti knows dam rightly what this squad of players are capable of; he made it his business to find out.

Robert Tressell
196 Posted 11/08/2020 at 13:48:38
Joe @ 191,

Carlo can, I expect, very ably manage a non-ready made squad. That means improve morale and coach them into a more cohesive unit, each with clear roles and responsibilities. What he can't do is turn a very average squad into world beaters. No-one can.

He and Brands need a couple of summers before we can expect to compete for top 6 / top 4. We might, through sheer defensive dullness, manage to squeeze our way into the top 6 next season. But that is the ceiling.

Tony @ 192,

I agree Arsenal have a better squad. That is primarily down to Aubameyang and Lacazette. They can score goals against any opposition. Other than them, player for player, we're probably not miles apart.

But the strikers make them a completely different proposition. They also benefit from the aura of being Arsenal. Our aura disappeared about 30 years ago. Certainly it will be a much bigger ask to get us into the top 4 than it is to get them into the top 4.

Derek Thomas
197 Posted 11/08/2020 at 13:58:48
Jerome @195;

"Things are going to get real for this Everton Squad." Too right they are, probably in the sense that most of them will be... have been, found wanting and so won't be here.

Brands, with 12 months(?) left on his contract, has to prove he is the man for his job. To then allow Ancelotti the chance to prove.. .fancy record and all... that he is also the man for his job.

If the Board, FFP or whoever actually is running this club at the moment, don't give them enough money to bring in players. Then who knows.

Rob Birks
198 Posted 11/08/2020 at 14:00:32
I see the shits are at it again. I know it's only paper talk but this
Liverpool have put a £20m valuation on midfielder Harry Wilson amid interest from Leeds, Newcastle, Crystal Palace and Southampton. (Mirror)

We sell our lads for a fraction of the price!! Makes my blood boil

Michael Kenrick
199 Posted 11/08/2020 at 14:08:38
Kevin @ 174,

Re Brands, you asked "Who has he actually got rid of so far?"

Kieran Dowell
Leighton Baines
Djibril Sidibé
Maarten Stekelenburg
Fraser Hornby
Cuco Martina
Oumar Niasse
Luke Garbutt
Matty Foulds
Morgan Feeney
Alex Denny
Korede Adedoyin
Kieran Phillips
Manassé Mampala
Morgan Schneiderlin

That's the complete list of professionals leaving Everton in the last month or so – before the transfer window opened. Let's hope there's more to follow but it won't be easy to add many more, I'm afraid.

Dave Abrahams
200 Posted 11/08/2020 at 14:28:04
Michael (199), not bad work at all, I reckon about £18 to £20 million off the wage bill per year and £5-6M in transfer deals. Keep it going, Marcel.
Patrick McFarlane
201 Posted 11/08/2020 at 14:33:55
Likely my view on tactics comes from having an old school mentality but I really can't remember coming out of any ground during our glory years and thinking to myself "Wow! Howard really got his tactics spot on today!"

I do remember thinking how well the team had played regardless of the result or if the team hadn't played well, how lucky they had been to claim a point or three. Aside from the Bayern Munich away game when Howard decided to keep things tighter than normal and defend for large parts of the match – the team usually performed in a simple yet effective way.

I realise that the game was far simpler in those days and largely each team employed similar line-ups, but the game, even today is very simple, the object being to score more often than your opponents.

I do think that managers and staff have over-complicated the game to such an extent that players need a degree in maths or physics to fully take on board their instructions. Perhaps that's why Duncan managed to motivate the players in his brief period as caretaker, he kept things very simple.

Simple can be beautiful; complicated can lead to a mess. Let's hope to see a lot more simple stuff next season.

Rob Hooton
202 Posted 11/08/2020 at 14:41:27
Ray, 193 - summed it up beautifully!
Jerome Shields
203 Posted 11/08/2020 at 15:04:15
Derek #197,

I don't expect most of this squad to be at Everton in the 2021-22 season. Some of them are not technically at the level Ancelotti would like and whilst some have responded to his coaching, in the main they have fallen back. Others are not able or motivated to respond. A lot depends on how coaching and training goes this Summer.

My advice to an Everton player is to arrive to the first day of training early, be prepared to put the work in, and think 'Ancelotti'. Others will know the writing is on the wall when new team mates join them. It could be surprising who Brands shifts out in the last week of the transfer window. Schniederlin went early, Ancelotti is not going to let anyone sit in front of the back four, especially a mouth.

Patrick #201,

Those players were at a very high technical level and understanding of what was required, so tactics weren't noticed. I would have described having seen them as being tight all over the pitch. All we've seen was a relentless performance and an opposition under pressure. I count myself lucky to have seen them in action.

It's like Pele scoring a goal – you can think you could do it yourself, it's that simple and natural.

Brian Harrison
204 Posted 11/08/2020 at 15:15:36
Michael @199,

I think you will agree that it wasn't so much as Brands getting rid of these players, most of the first-team players were coming to the end of their contract. So it was very much did Carlo want to extend their contracts, rather than Brands being successful, also you include Baines in that list Everton offered him a 12-month extension which he refused, so this had nothing to do with Brands. Now should he get rid of some of the deadwood who have still got a bit to go on their contract, then he will have done a good job.

But getting rid of mediocrity who are on superstar money will be nigh impossible. Just think: come to training 3/4 days a week, the weekend off and anything between £50,000 - £100,000 being put in your bank every week.

Jay Wood

205 Posted 11/08/2020 at 15:16:42
Deary me, Conor, talk about dumbing down the debate.

The TW readership is a bit more nuanced than the 'one-size-fits-all' as you try to present it.

Each individual holds a variety of views on every aspect of the club. As such, they may agree with you on some of your own opinions, disagree with you on others.

Everybody has the right to agree, challenge or contest the views of others. You seem to resent that whilst granting yourself licence to mock others.

Nobody is denying you or 'Dazza' the right to express your views. Both of you chose recently to 'mute' yourselves and cease posting, as is your right.

Join the debate or not. TW will continue with or without you, 'Dazza', me or anyone.

Mike Gaynes
206 Posted 11/08/2020 at 15:20:43
Michael #199, Baines was not a "got rid", he was a "walked away"... he was offered a contract for next season but decided to retire.

But you're right that Brands has done a much better job of clearing out the deadwood than some here have given him credit for. So far he's been better with "outgoing" than "incoming", and even a little overeager on the former for my taste, particularly where Vlasic and Robinson were concerned.

Incidentally, it looks like we're going to be seeing Robinson this coming season. Sky reports that Sheffield United has snapped him up for £2M, the same amount Wigan paid us for him.

Brent Stephens
207 Posted 11/08/2020 at 15:26:39
Ray #193. Well put. I can’t understand the need to post a particular opinion over and over, especially if it’s not with decent regard to the views of other posters. Repetition doesn’t win an argument. I say, repetition doesn’t...
Mike Gaynes
208 Posted 11/08/2020 at 15:28:01
Brent, you can say that again!

John McFarlane Snr
209 Posted 11/08/2020 at 15:28:22
Hi Darren [187]

Forgive me if I'm a little presumptuous in thinking that the 'Johnny Mac' you refer to is me. I have lived my life in adopting a "Do as you would be done by" attitude, and I have never posted an intentionally offensive or abusive contribution. You are no doubt aware that I revel in the events of yesteryear, and tend to avoid controversial issues. I read your comments and although I don't agree with all of them, I respect your right to express yourself. I feel sure that the other gents you refer to, will share the same opinion, we're all different and react in different ways to certain issues.

Hi John [aka Patrick], [201],

Like myself, you appear to have mellowed with age, and I hope you don't mind the fact that we in the family still refer to you as 'Young John'. Old habits die hard.

John Pierce
210 Posted 11/08/2020 at 15:38:54
Michael K.

What you can say about that list is that the majority are players we would by and large as a fanbase agree with moving on. I'm sure some might argue to retain one or two. However, by that yardstick Brands is clearing space for wages, if not bodies to come in.

Social media is awash with ‘Brands bashing' at the moment, whilst there is room for improvement, elements of the clubs are in their infancy of change under him. I hope with his own contract up soon he's not chucked overboard as of yet.

Brent Stephens
211 Posted 11/08/2020 at 15:40:12
Sorry, Mike. Come again?
John Pierce
212 Posted 11/08/2020 at 15:48:47
Brent, I think that’s pretty fair. I’ve long held the view that it’s the style of poster rather than its content that causes the threads to become dominated and exclusionary.

I’m not exempt for sure but it’s a huge factor in whether I post to try and engage or not.

Jerome Shields
213 Posted 11/08/2020 at 16:00:08
Mike #206

It's probably easier for Brands to shift out, because he has to buy in what the manager wants and he knows how it will reflect on him. Some of them hadn't a clue what they wanted. He has done a good job of reducing the wages bill and did better in transfer fees, when you look at the way payments are scheduled over time.

Good luck to Robinson, he will. progress.

David Cash
214 Posted 11/08/2020 at 16:39:11
I think we have to stop thinking Carlo is only here to steal the family silver. Especially when he probably already knows Kenwright got there years ago.
A really good tread which went off on a bit of a tangent when somebody made the seemingly innocent throw-away comment about Ferguson spurning his opportunity.

The only thing that marred this thread for me was posters coming on to takes cheap shots without having a point to make. Not sure what that's all about.

Conor McCourt
215 Posted 11/08/2020 at 18:04:26
On this occasion I certainly agree with posters like Ray, Jay and Brent about their views that it can be a little unnecessary to mock other posters in order to get your point across but my intention was at least to question their argument and logic rather than than to attack posters personally.

I accept this as fair critique and will try to be mindful in future and I think my record shows that I always at least try to concentrate on football but I would please implore ToffeeWebbers to please show the same level respect to those like Darren who we can be as personal as we like about even when unprovoked without one word of condemnation. Indeed it's why I posted as it's fair game to attack him as everyone does because it's easier than dispelling his arguments and not very often do I see our fan base offer much support to him in his alternate view.

Then there's Jay Wood who wrote an article which I found really provocative and unnecessary. I should have posted in defence of him as I was so annoyed at the pile on from our readership in slating his character. But he's another who's fair game also despite contributing so much to this site and has more resilience than our entire squad but he uses big words so let's all dive in.

What's good for the goose is good for the gander

Tony and Robert, again those arguments in downplaying Arteta's work are silly. Lacazette has played in less than half of his matches and is not rated by the best little Spaniard we know – with Nketiah, who couldn't get a game at Leeds, often preferred.

If you look at how he has dealt with key players like Ozil and Guendozi and preferred players like Maitland-Niles, who he doesn't seem to rate, and Saka who's not a midfielder but must both be buying into his methods, then Marcel and Carlo cannot hide behind being forced to play the likes of Sigurdsson when we have Gordon and Iwobi as alternatives.

Tony, Arteta has adopted a range of tactics against different opponents which is what has impressed me most about him; he has not just been a mini Pep. I think they, like us, need the right players this summer. I do agree with you about the squad merits but my point was about their obvious improvement as individuals and as a team as they have numerous flaws also.

Brent Stephens
216 Posted 11/08/2020 at 18:19:15
Conor “my intention was at least to question their argument and logic rather than than to attack posters personally.“

That’s exactly the way I read it, Conor. It was a good post because it took a humorous approach to questioning some views without being personal.

Daniel A Johnson
217 Posted 11/08/2020 at 18:33:05
I'm very much worried about the future under Ancelotti.

Since he's arrived despite the hyperbole he's looked very much out-dated and, dare I say it, out of his depth. Sure he's won a trophy or two but how long ago was that now? Time moves on and so does football.

The football has honestly been mind-numbing and almost cowardly in the way he has set his team up.

Sure, you can argue he inherited a squad lacking in motivation and quality with nothing left to play for, but he's had a key involvement in some shockers already. Let's not forget about arguably the most shameful performance at Anfield probably ever against the Liverpool C team and also the way he was seriously outmanoeuvred away at Chelsea by the arrogant smug lump Lampard in his first season as Premier League manager no less.

Ancelotti was a vanity signing by Moshiri – no more, no less. I will be supporting Ancelotti 100% and hope he proves me wrong but the warning signs are already there.

Duncan Ferguson should have got the gig full time but Moshiri likes to play fantasy football.

Sam Hoare
218 Posted 11/08/2020 at 18:49:05
Carlo is an extremely successful and experienced coach but I was pretty alarmed with how poor we were after the restart.

Yes, of course the players are not his but good managers get the best out of what they have and we seemed to get worse rather than better. The Wolves and Bournemouth matches we're especially horrendous.

He's not really had a challenge like this before but I'm hoping he'll rise to it. At the time, I would have preferred Arteta and, though Ancelloti started well, I think I'd probably still take the Spaniard now if I had a choice. Which I don't.

Carlo has never finished worse than 6th in a full season. I'd be happy if he could continue that record. But I have my doubts.

Tony Abrahams
219 Posted 11/08/2020 at 19:47:01
Sound, Conor, I never downgraded Arteta. I asked a simple question based on the limited amount of time that I have seen his Arsenal team play.

I agree about Lacozette, but the other forward is as good as any in the league, and fair play to little Mickey, because he's a fast learner, getting one over on Man City at Wembley after his team were absolutely destroyed by them in their first game after the restart.

Football is about doing the best with what you've got, and Arsenal won the cup whilst Everton badly limped to the end of the season, so no way was I downgrading Arteta's achievement because he's had a great start imo.

I know Darren is doing a thread about intensity, but I'd honestly prefer defensive discipline to begin with. But, whatever the formation, I just hope the players return with more zest!

Michael O'Malley
220 Posted 11/08/2020 at 20:01:33
Daniel @217 absolutely agree 100%. I'll give Ancelloti my support but I'm not convinced he's the man for us. I also would have preferred Artera but that ship has sailed. Let's hope with a few of his own players he can get us playing better stuff and give us a team to be proud of.
Joe McMahon
221 Posted 11/08/2020 at 21:06:28
Daniel @217,

Why is Frank Lampard, an arrogant smug lump? As an Everton fan I can take the "Blue Shades" off and appreciate great players within the game, and Frank Lampard is one of them.

He was a top player for England, Chelsea and has won multiple titles, domestic cups, Champions League and I think Europa League as well. From midfield, he has scored well over 100 Premier League goals (probably more top flight goals than Graeme Sharp did as a striker, and he was good).

He learnt his managerial trade at Derby, giving them the best season they have had in years. In many interviews I've seen, I've never thought of him as a "smug lump". For the record, our current manager also included him in his top choice players he's worked with.

Sukhdev Sohal
222 Posted 11/08/2020 at 21:24:06
220 Michael,

If we'd have gotten Arteta, you would say "Why aren't we showing ambition and getting the best manager out there?" Some people can never be pleased.

Derek Taylor
224 Posted 11/08/2020 at 21:45:51
Whilst the fires are lit under Ancelloti, so few people seem able to accept that he inherited a crap squad which are hard to motivate as they can't see past the wealth that Brands/Board rewarded them with as the only attraction to sign.

Of course, most of us would be delighted if the manager could make something out of this nightmare group of players - a task which seems to me to be impossible given that most of those signed during previous regimes were reserves at best at their previous clubs.

What amazes me is that so many fans on this thread seem to believe that just a couple of foreign players will transform Everton into challengers for honours in 2020-21. Stop kidding your selves and be prepared to accept another 12th the next time!

Daniel A Johnson
225 Posted 11/08/2020 at 22:06:31
Opinions Joe McMahon, I just don't like the guy.

Never particular liked the way he always scored against us and despite an impressive debut season as manager the strutting peacock routine he's suddenly adopted on the touchline has got up my nose.

Yeah, a great player but a great "Chelsea" player... so yes, he is a smug arrogant lump.

Sukhdev Sohal
226 Posted 11/08/2020 at 22:14:47
I think we are going to get the Allan deal wrapped up. Hopefully we get a younger central defencive midfielder like Sangare or Soumare along with him.
Tom Bowers
227 Posted 11/08/2020 at 22:18:17
Everything is about ands, ifs, buts, and maybes when it comes down to choices of players, managers and tactics.

We all have our faves for the job and see some as crap and some as an excellent choice until it comes down to the actual performances and Everton have had more than their fair share of disappointments all over the show in recent years.

Even today across the media we are being connected to this player and that player, most of it just trash speculation.

I agree Carlo needs more time to get things right so let's be patient.

Gavin Johnson
228 Posted 11/08/2020 at 22:31:22
A good point made by Sukhdul #222. Correct, most of the same people now yearning for Arteta would be saying he was a just a rookie and we needed a proven winner if Arteta was the man we'd have appointed.

Sukhdev Sohal
229 Posted 11/08/2020 at 22:41:12
Gavin @228, I'm made up we got Ancelotti and didn't go for the next young promising manager with little accolades as with Silva and Martinez. Now the focus is on Brands to get a winger, right-back and hopefully a couple of centre-midfielders.
Danny Broderick
230 Posted 11/08/2020 at 22:55:34
We all agree that recruitment is key for football managers. That's why Klopp is currently the best boss out there – the signings of Alisson and Van Dijk catapulted them to Premier League Champions. Before Klopp, everyone raved about Guardiola's Man City team, mainly after the signings of De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva, Ederson etc. Football has always been the same. Pick a good team, and recruitment will be at the heart of it.

We have been crap since Martinez's first season. No prizes for guessing why – our recruitment had been terrible. I am not a fan of the DoF model, but it's clear now that Steve Walsh and Marcel Brands have not recruited well.

We have to be fair to Carlo and give him a chance to bring players in before we judge him, because it would have been a miracle if we had finished in the top half of the table with that squad. The problem at Everton is that recruitment is not solely down to the manager. Unless Brands agrees, Ancelotti will not be able to bring in his players.

For me, I think this Everton team would be transformed with 2/3 decent midfielders. I say the word 'decent', because we don't need superstars. If we had the midfield of say Sheffield United or Southampton, this would have improved our team no end and we would have been challenging for top 6.

My point is that Ancelotti was a top class midfielder. He could clearly play, and he can clearly manage. Transforming this Everton team is an easy task in my opinion. Go out and buy centre-midfielders who are better than the ones we have, and the transformation will be enormous.

Can Brands perform though? If he doesn't come up with the goods again, then Ancelotti may we'll pay the price. But it should not be too difficult to bring in some midfielders to improve this team. I trust Ancelotti's judgement. Can Brands come up with the goods? The clock has started ticking...

Gavin Johnson
231 Posted 11/08/2020 at 23:27:47
Sukhdev, Yes, it's a massive summer for Brands. If we bring in 3-4 players who are the right players for a 4-4-2, in particularly the midfield, I think we could be transformed.

We have a good nucleus of players but, if we get a tackle machine like Allan who can protect the defence and dictate the tempo of play, and have an athlete like Sangare, or a fit Gbamin playing alongside him, the whole team will improve because our attacking players won't be receiving the ball in their own half because the right midfielders will make quick transitions.

Laurie Hartley
232 Posted 11/08/2020 at 23:38:12
Daniel # 217,

I am glad you are going to back Ancelotti 100% – so am I. Where I don't agree with you is this comment:

“Ancelotti was a vanity signing by Moshiri – no more, no less.”

On the contrary, I think he signed him for two reasons:

1. He wanted to stay in the Premier League;

2. He wanted to see if any manager could get a tune out of the squad he has spent a fortune on.

Unless things go horribly pear-shaped, and I know certain people think they will, I think Senor Ancelotti is here for the long run.

I am also hoping Moshiri can back him in the transfer market because, if he can't, we will be in for another very disappointing season.

Don Alexander
233 Posted 11/08/2020 at 23:58:36
In terms of fabulous signings, Marcel Brands has yet to tear up trees, admittedly. That said, he has a task that'd daunt Goliath himself in ridding the club of all the deadwood developed in the dysfunctional Finch Farm, signings or not.

Clearly he has to dispose of the huge amount of spineless characters who infest the place before he and/or Carlo can even begin trying to fill it with confident, ambitious staff, rather than the forelock-tugging wasters who depend on Kenwright and his coaches alone for their gilded existence at a so-called professional Premier League football club.

It irks me and then some to point out, again, that our charmless neighbours have achieved their huge current success by long-since abandoning their management via the boot-room philosophy (which delivered trophies that at the time were the envy of the world, by the way) and have instead appointed top pro management and coaches with little or no connection to the club beforehand.

Gavin Johnson
234 Posted 11/08/2020 at 00:17:35
Having had a scan through this thread, I think Fran (#139) makes the most pertinent point about how certain individuals try to control the debate and just focus on Duncan Ferguson vs Ancelotti when there's other important issues to discuss.

I would love to log in to TW and read what these individuals think about perspective signings, the director of football situation, or anything else Everton-related, instead of the tiresome re-tread of the same subject, over and over again. It was David Unsworth vs Big Sam or Silva before that. There's been 30 years of rubbish with Evertonians at the helm. Surely everyone knows it's just a bit bigger than that?!

Jerome Shields
235 Posted 12/08/2020 at 01:18:58
Sam #218,

Ancelotti did inherit a poor squad who have been poorly recruited, coached and trained, under successive managers, leaving them individually poor, disjointed, unadaptable, unmotivated and unfit. Ancelotti has tested them in various formations, coached them in what he expects from them, and even let them sink or swim in games. He now knows everything about the squad and why the players are as they are.

Arteta would have struggled with this squad and would have ended with less points than Ancelotti and not have known as much at this stage. At Arsenal, Arteta took over a squad that was properly recruited, coached and at a high level of fitness.

In the transition from Wenger to a new manager, Arsenal had in place a Recruitment Manager and Performance Manager – all recruited by Wenger. The result is the players and fitness we now see. Areteta arrived in as manager with the results of this available to him. All he had to do was to bring in what he learnt from his time at Man City.

But he now has a problem going forward: Emery sacked the Recruitment Manager and the Performance Manager a year ago, that laid the foundations that this squad was built on.

At Everton, Brands has slowly been sorting out Everton, firstly by successfully reducing the deadwood and transforming recruitment, at youth level, and youth development. Recruitment has been according to Silva's input, which has now changed to Ancelotti's input, which we will be grateful for.

On fitness, the installation of a Physical Conditioning Coach between Head of Medical Services and Head of Therapy Services has changed the emphasis to high-intensity training and injury prevention. Other changes in performance management have been installed strategically in the Finch Farm structure. Training and coaching of the first team is being done directly by Ancelotti, assisted by two assistant coaches.

So similar changes are being targeted at Everton as at Arsenal. The difference is that those who are behind the changes to performance management will be in place, but not at Arsenal. Someone will say Arteta will now have his replacement in, but Wenger will not have had any input. Arsenal remind me of Everton in Martinez's first season.

I am looking forward to the next two seasons with Ancelotti as manager.

Don Alexander
236 Posted 12/08/2020 at 01:47:06
Conor (#215), you mention Dazza and Jay (BRZ) for good reason but to most of us, as is evident from many, many posts over plenty of time, the two of them are so obsessed with themselves it usually gets to the point where it produces a genuine comedy on this site.

For the record, you two chaps, I remain, though, very much on side with what you each sound off about when it comes to discussing the club and its problems, rather than denigrating the opinions of other genuine fans (but please continue to rip each other to shreds on matters of negligible significance though. It's hysterical!)

Michael O'Malley
237 Posted 12/08/2020 at 07:15:24
Sukdhev @222,

I'm glad we've got Ancelotti but would have preferred a younger manager like Arteta. But, as I've said, I will support Carlo 100%.

Sam Hoare
238 Posted 12/08/2020 at 07:36:31
Jerome @235,

I'm in no doubt that Arteta inherited a far more balanced and talented squad than Ancelotti. What concerns me is that Arsenal showed noticeable signs of improvement under Arteta's short tenure whereas Everton did the opposite. We seemed to get worse and worse the more time Carlo had with them.

There could be a multiplicity of reasons for this: eg, we had nothing to play for... or perhaps Carlo was experimenting to prepare for this season. But football has much to do with momentum and confidence. And right now, we have little of both.

But of course it's early days. I expect Carlo to be given lots of time and hopefully a full season with some new players that he's been involved in choosing will see a better reflection of what he's capable of. Bringing some more energy into the middle would work wonders.

I heard last night on Twitter that Allan Saint-Maximin might be one of our priority targets, which could be interesting.

Joe McMahon
239 Posted 12/08/2020 at 07:43:09
Daniel, harsh but fair enough.
Joe McMahon
240 Posted 12/08/2020 at 08:54:57
Sam, exactly. Arsenal's forwards (Aubameyang in particular) no Pickford in goal = more points and victories. Not even considering midfield.
Paul Tran
242 Posted 12/08/2020 at 09:12:52
The best comparison between Everton and Arsenal is to look back to the dreadful, dreary goalless draw, with the the two new managers sitting in the stand.

Look at the two very poor teams then and look at them now. Arteta has clearly had more of an effect on his players.

That's not to say things can't/won't improve, but the evidence is clear to my eyes. Carlo has some catching up to do.

We'll see.

Trevor Peers
244 Posted 12/08/2020 at 09:57:05
Arteta has played to Arsenal's strengths, he has forwards, in Pierre-Emerick. Aubameyang
Alexandre Lacazette, Nicolas Pép who can actually hit the target when put in front of goal. Our forwards pale into insignificance compared to thier line up. No wonder Arteta chose Arsenal over us. Only Richarleson is at the same level technically.

Arsenal defend deep and hit you on the break, something Carlo has tried, largely unsuccessfully, because we just don't have the players gifted enough to make it succeed.

It's all down to years of bad recruitment, now we are hampered by the fact that we are no longer an attractive proposition to the very best players, despite our willingness to pay top salaries. We can only hope Carlo can unearth a few gems this summer, it's a tough call.

Brian Harrison
245 Posted 12/08/2020 at 10:05:34
I am a big fan of Ancelotti, and am I disappointed at what we have seen so far, absolutely. Do I think he will turn us around and improve this team? Yes, I do.

I know some posters have said he is past his sell-by date, and certainly as managers get older they probably, as well as being wiser, may lose some of the energy they had when they were a young manager.

Ancelotti has never been a cup throwing manager, but don't for a minute believe he doesn't get his opinion over to players. Just that he does it behind closed doors rather than putting on a show for supporters. You don't win what he has without knowing this game inside out and, given the right financial backing, he can get us to the top end once again.

I really don't see any mileage in discussing whether Ferguson or Unsworth should have got the job; for whatever reason, they didn't get the job and they are both – according to their quotes to newspapers – very happy to be working under in their words "a world-class coach". I have never heard them describe any other managers they worked under in such glowing terms. So, if they're happy, surely it's time for everybody – coaches, managers, players and fans – to get behind Ancelotti.

Now, at the end of next season, we will all be in a better position to say whether his appointment has been a success or not. But to make those predictions without him even buying a player is a bit presumptuous.

Jerome Shields
246 Posted 12/08/2020 at 10:12:21
Sam #238,

We have seen all of these characteristics from Everton sides before Ancelotti arrived. There could be underlining resistance to the changes that Ancelotti is bringing in. According to Darren, after the Liverpool FA Cup game, Ancelotti was blamed openly for wrong tactics by players in the dressing room. Ancelotti made no comment, his eyebrow didn't move. This is a classic wrong attitude situation of blame others and not yourself, from players in a team who are confident enough to express their opinion, with support.

The ruthlessness and extent of Brands's off-loading deadwood policy and young players coming through means that, with the Summer Transfer window coming up, no player can currently be sure he will be at Everton next season or the following season. What's more, Everton have not fully paid the transfer fees of a lot of incoming players so the hit that they take in off-loading them is not as great as we think. None of the players are confident they have the transfer value they once had, with Covid-19 hanging over proceedings as well.

On top of this is a Summer of hard training and demands for improvement, something new at Everton. Ancelotti has fully exposed the players abilities and attitude and where it gets them in terms of results. They are now fully aware of the performance level that is expected.

Arsenal haven't been tested yet. It will be next season we really find out what Arteta is made off and Ancelotti as well. Ancelotti and Brands have laid and exposed the foundations. It's the only place to start from at Everton, so deep and ingrained is the problem. Nothing remains hidden with Ancelotti.

Good players like Allan will be brought in, but the culture at Everton has to be changed as well. Only a Manager with the capability of doing this can achieve this at Everton. It's a job for Ancelotti rather than Arteta. If he can do it at Everton, he will be guaranteed immortality.

Michael Kenrick
247 Posted 12/08/2020 at 10:37:36
A number of posters say one of the reasons Ancelotti can't be exposed to the sharp sword of criticism just yet is that he hasn't bought any players.

I know I'm a bit of a literalist at times, and a stickler for obvious facts... but I'm curious how the future success of players like Branthwaite and Nkounkou will be treated by posters hoping to use this for or against Ancelotti when it is time to proffer judgment?

So, in the interests of future prolonged argument on here, I think we need to get some consensus established: They definitely joined since he became manager, that is a fact. Did he or did he not approve of their purchase?

Perhaps only Jerome Sheilds can tell us the definitive truth.

Dave Williams
248 Posted 12/08/2020 at 10:53:41
This is a very interesting thread. I really can't see how Carlo can be judged before he has had a transfer window and a pre season. Sure, some of his selections have been baffling and his failure to try out one or two more youngsters in the last couple of games was perhaps contentious, but we have to give the guy a chance to show whether he can do this job.

It is clear to me that he will not turn us around by splashing a load of cash, even if we have it to splash?! We have a nucleus of good players who should get a lot better. Kenny, Digne, Holgate, Branthwaite, Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin, Kean, and Gordon are all young and will improve immeasurably if we can give them a decent midfield.

A strong and combative defensive midfielder will improve the defence and a creative midfielder who can dictate a game will transform the strikers who, let's be honest, have had such poor service that it is a miracle they managed 30 goals or so between them.

I think we're okay for defenders with Branthwaite and Gibson coming through. I think we're okay for strikers with Simms hopefully coming through this coming season. Our desperate need is for at least two centre-midfielders with a wide player too. If we can start to control midfield in games then I am convinced that the team will improve beyond measure.

The young players I list above will also provide a nucleus of lads who will fight and scrap and newcomers will hopefully be swept along with that. Tom may also develop if he is given a defined role – the poor lad has been messed around something rotten by a succession of managers and not given the chance to establish himself in his best position (whatever that may be).

Holgate should be made skipper with Kenny vice-captain – two narky players who will drive the team on. Three new midfielders is all we need – simple!!

Now... who the hell are they??

Tony Everan
249 Posted 12/08/2020 at 10:58:37
Interesting comments about Arsenal. They have been very poor this year. A bang average team on a par with us almost – apart from Aubameyang and Lacazette.

Having that killer goal scorer in Aubameyang that can win matches out of nothing is the difference. He is like a Jack-in-the-box and just springs into action when he gets a sniff. A natural goalscorer.

That quality of goalscorer has been the only difference between being mid-table also-rans and winning the FA Cup and qualifying for Europe.

Can Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison be our Aubameyang and Lacazette? Is Moise Kean ready to match that?

Once the midfield issues are addressed and the left-sided centre-back, the team will be stabilised and we will have a foundation. Much more focus will then be on our forwards to produce the necessary firepower.

It is a guess but I think Carlo will want more experience up front and we may get a loan or short-term quality signing to give us more options and goals. As much as I love Calvert-Lewin, he needs serious competition for his spot. If he starts to take it for granted he will be picked, he is finished. Direct competition will only improve him.

In this respect, Carlo has a big decision to make with Moise Kean. Does he trust him enough to start games right now? If not, send him out on loan for game time and get someone in who can be a dangerous, goalscoring starter.

I think Moise really needs games and a loan with guaranteed games could really bring him on rather than bench-warming for us. Bringing in a quality mature proven goal-scorer for a year or two would further transform us and give us more threat.

Interesting to see what Carlo decides to do.

Dan Nulty
250 Posted 12/08/2020 at 10:58:41
Agree Dave to a certain extent. I'd say rather than nucleus of good players there you've named a nucleus of excellent potential. They aren't all good players yet and they have to become consistent.

Midfield and keeper are key for me. At least 2 central midfielders required.

Phil Lewis
251 Posted 12/08/2020 at 11:10:26
Inquests, what ifs and if onlys only serve to further frustrate and confuse our present predicament.

The fact remains that Ancelotti needs time and money to convince. He has inherited an enormous amount of dross. Many of whom no amount of coaxing, coaching or other wizardry will procure performances that meet the required standard. That is the sad truth.

So where do we go from here? Simple: brutal honesty and ruthless rebuilding. Nothing short of that will do. It starts with the goalkeeper. He is simply not good enough and has to go now, while we still may recoup some of his purchase. An experienced dependable keeper is a must. The foundation stone of every successful team.

As far as outfield players are concerned, look no further than the very few with the potential to improve. I reckon that to be no more than half the squad as a charitable estimate. Dispatch the rest of these useless highly paid imposters, at the earliest opportunity.

Jerome Shields
252 Posted 12/08/2020 at 12:34:19
Micheal #247,

I can only give my opinion. But there are some ToffeeWeb posters who actually attend youth matches and follow the development of youth players. They have noticed a marked change in youth development since Brands has taken over recruitment and letting go at all levels in addition

Everton now recruit in young players like Branthwaite and have internally developed youth players, who train with the first-team squad. Ancelotti has shown a willingnesses to do this and play such players in the first team. Players like Branthwaite, Gordon and Kean (in his last game) exhibit the technically ability to implement Ancelotti tactics. Another youth player training with the first team is Adeniran. Bar Kean, they are all midfielders.

I would say that Ancelotti does have an input into the recruitment of the players you mentioned. I expect to see Simms and Baningime playing games in the first team next season. Going by the policy, these players will be at their prime age in the 2021-22 season. The average age of the Everton first team squad is reducing.

Allan Board
253 Posted 12/08/2020 at 14:02:18
Midfield is woeful in this squad, the problem clearly lies there. No bite, no durability, no leaders. I hope Gomes can get fit again because he has passing quality, but he is no ball winner.

A decent scrapper, a real fizzer and a spreader is what our midfield needs. Always been the same, footy doesn't change. Think Reid as the scrapper, Bracewell as a spreader and Steven as the fizzer. That trio also had the wand of Sheedy on the left. All about balance too.

Retain Gomes and Gordon, the rest are subs or sold.

Ancelloti knows who to buy, don't fret!

Raymond Fox
254 Posted 12/08/2020 at 14:07:54
In my opinion, the making of a successful team is approx. 20% the managers ability and 80% the quality of the squad he has to pick from (Seems about right me, you might disagree.)

Without players of sufficient quality we will never make the jump from being season after season nearly men, to be a top six fixture.

Theres only two ways I believe we can obtain the players we need:

1. Spend a ridiculous amount of money (way above what we have spent on individuals before).

2. Get unbelievably lucky and produce six or seven top six quality youngsters.

We have tried buying good players, but it's not good players we need it is top quality ones.

The problem is both of those solutions are very unlikely to occur, so we start another season on a wing and a prayer!

Jay Wood

255 Posted 12/08/2020 at 15:37:36
I think it's a legitimate – and interesting – comparison to make between the respective managers of Arsenal and Everton as some are doing.

Personally, I don't put much credence in media gossip surrounding managers or transfers but, at the time of recruiting a new manager, both Arteta and Ancelotti were associated with both clubs.

My impression is that Arteta, having just missed out to Emery previously, he was always Arsenal's first choice and they pursued him vigorously. Indeed, Man City and Pep Guardiola himself complained openly at Arsenal's pursuit of his assistant without having the courtesy to speak with City first.

It was widely reported that, following City playing at Arsenal, an Arsenal official travelled back to Manchester the same day to continue speaking with Arteta. He was duly appointed.

Naturally, being an ex-Everton player, the way of the media is to make lazy and simply linkage between Arteta and the club, but there was never any suggestion that Mikel was even interviewed for the post, so great a jump Arsenal had on recruiting him.

The dour 0-0 draw at Goodison with both incoming managers, Ancelotti and Arteta, sat in the stands makes for an interesting timeline as it was game 19 of the Premier League, exactly half-way through the season.

At that point, there wasn't a great deal between the two clubs. Arsenal sat 11th and Everton 13th with the following records:

W 5 D 9 L 5 F 25 A 28 Pts 24

W 6 D 4 L 9 F 21 A 29 Pts 22

Pretty similar records, although Arsenal recording more draws whilst Everton – largely under Silva, remember – lost a woeful 9. Arsenal slightly more potent in attack – as they should be with the players available. Defences pretty much equal.

In the next 10 games up to lockdown, the respective records read:

W 4 D 4 L 2 F 15 A 11 Pts 16

W 4 D 3 L 3 F 16 A 17 Pts 15

Again, very similar records. Superficially, it could be said Arteta tightened up Arsenal's defence compared to the games under Emery, whilst the 4-0 surrender at Chelsea – Everton's last game before lockdown – badly dented our defensive record under Carlo.

In this block of fixtures, we played away to Arsenal; I'll come back to that game later.

In the Premier League form table of these 10 games, Arsenal sat 5th and Everton 7th. In the full Premier League table, Arsenal were 8th, Everton 12th.

In the final 9 games played out post-lockdown, the records read:

W 5 D 1 L 3 F 16 A 9 Pts 16

W 3 D 3 L 3 F 7 A 10 Pts 12

The telling numbers here are Arsenal getting two extra wins instead of draws, being far more potent in attack but on a par defensively.

In the Premier League form table of these 9 games, Arsenal sat 7th and Everton 11th. In the final Premier League table, there was no change from the previous block of results. Arsenal finished 8th, Everton 12th.

To this it must be added that Arteta won the FA Cup with Arsenal, so an excellent first (half) season for the best little Spaniard we know.

As for impact and playing style by the respective managers, whilst I have watched all of Everton's games, I have seen only four of Arsenal's games under Mikel. These were:

Arsenal 3 Everton 2 (PL)
City 3 Arsenal 0 (1st game back after lockdown PL)
Arsenal 2 City 0 (FA Cup)
Arsenal 2 Chelsea 1 (FA Cup)

Now some Blues don't wish to admit it but, when Carlo first took over, there were some very good performances and results up to lockdown. Mostly poor after the return.

In the one game played against each other since both were appointed, even though we lost 3-2, I would argue we were largely the better team that day in Arsenal's own backyard. The game stats back that up:

Equal possession. Everton 17 shots, 5 on target, to Arsenal's 9 shots, 4 on target, but losing 3-2.

We took an early lead through Calvert-Lewin and were bossing it. Around the half-hour mark, poor defensive play down our right by first Iwobi then Sidibé allowed Arsenal to score twice in 5 minutes. Richarlison equalised for us on the stroke of half-time.

Immediately after the interval, dozy play again by Sidibé allowed Aubameyang to get his 2nd and Arsenal's 3rd.

When the returning Gomes came on with 30 minutes to play, we totally dominated the rest of the game and had Arsenal on the rack. Arteta's substitutions in this spell were both defensive – Torreira for Ceballos and Guendouziat for Ozil – as Arsenal sat deep to repel us. Carlo's subs all offensive – Gomes for Schneiderlin, Bernard for Iwobi, Kean for Delph.

The BBC report said: ''Everton showed resolve and positivity as they strove for another leveller during the second half, albeit this time in vain... They had more than enough chances to leave London with at least a point."

Head to head, the match result credits Arteta and Arsenal with the victory. But there was much to be positive about how Carlo set up the team and how they played in what has long been a graveyard for Everton.

Now, more specifically about Arsenal and how they play under Mikel. And I have to say, in the 3 games I saw other than our own game against them, I saw an awful lot of deep sitting 11-behind-ball defensive play and quite a bit of long-ball football.

They do it well. And it's interesting to see such an artistic midfielder as Mikel is giving such attention to the defensive side of the game as it has been an aspect of City's football that has found them wanting at times.

Away to City in the Premier League, initially the compacted defensive lines stifled the tik-tak football of Man City who like to play through the lines, but eventually they were swamped.

It was very evident that their out ball was to lump it upfield to the likes of the speedy Aubameyang and Nketiah, but without result.

It was a similar dour defensive tactic in the cup semi-final v Man City, only this time Aubameyang had his shooting boots on to finish the chances that came his way whilst City were poor.

And again in the final. For the opening 20 minutes, Arsenal were swamped by Chelsea. Only one result looked on the cards. Until a long ball over the top saw Aubameyang get the run on Azpilicueta who coughed up a penalty.

Arsenal got some control of the game, Chelsea suffered injuries to Azpilicueta and Pulisic, had Kovacic wrongly sent off, and Aubameyang showed again his importance and class to Arsenal with the winning goal.

To conclude. Yes, Arsenal won the cup. And with an ex-Blue managing them I certainly rooted for them over all other semi-finalists. But league wise, there really wasn't a great deal of difference between us and them.

Some talk up the improvement of Arsenal's team and individual players under Mikel. Carlo did similar in cementing the likes of Holgate and Calvert-Lewin into the side. He also blooded the likes of Gordon and Branthwaite and frequently fielded the youngest Everton teams seen in years, debunking a charge that he won't give youth its chance.

Aesthetically, we were mostly poor post-lockdown. Arsenal's football that I saw was not that of the school of Wegner. It was far more pragmatic and played very much to the strengths of one man in particular.


Everton – and few other teams in the Premier League - have such an impactful, influential player.

Every sensible Blue knows what the issues are with our squad. This window will go a long way in determining how next season will go. As it will for Arsenal should they lose such an influential player as Aubameyang, set up as they are to play under Mikel.

Jerome Shields
256 Posted 12/08/2020 at 16:20:01
Jay, an informative post and excellent comparison. I realised I got the Aubameyang goal mixed up as being the first goal rather than a penalty in a previous thread, though I did watch the match.

Obviously Aretata is going to have as much work to do as Ancelotti, with the added high expectations following an FA Cup win. Of course, we would take any Cup we got.

Your post confirmed they are not the Arsenal of Wenger, though comparisons of Arsenal and Everton are always worthwhile, especially when so well presented, since for so long, games against Arsenal have been a barometer of Everton's progress.

Barry Rathbone
257 Posted 12/08/2020 at 16:34:13
If the day comes for Micky to come back, I have already transformed "Viva Las Vegas" for the greatest Arteta song ever. Well, it's par with my Tim Cahill and Landon Donovan numbers that no-one remembers – bloody philistines.
Patrick McFarlane
258 Posted 12/08/2020 at 17:17:43
Poor old Arsenal – just a few FA Cup victories in the last six or seven years and an unbroken run of 26 seasons in Europe but hey let's compare our club with them.

We haven't even hung on to their coattails for far too long – using Arsenal or indeed any of the established winners in the division as a barometer of our 'progress' is bound to result in much gnashing of teeth.

I want Everton to be right up there challenging as much as anyone, but we have been in decline since Martinez's first season and we are as far away now as we've ever been – but things can and do change and hopefully that happens this coming season.

Who would have thought back in 1996 how important Everton's failure to finish above Arsenal would be and result in such differing fortunes for each club.

Jay Wood

259 Posted 12/08/2020 at 17:31:50
Patrick, I don't think posters in this thread are using Arsenal per se as the barometer of how we compare to them, but rather comparing Mikel Arteta with Carlo Ancelotti.

Because as you say, in truth, we haven't been anywhere near them or their achievements in the Premier League era.

However, given the state of both clubs, the timeline of their respective appointments, and the possible scenario – that either manager could have ended up at either club – I think how each team has performed since that dour 0-0 at Goodison is a reasonable and legitimate comparison to make.

Bill Gienapp
260 Posted 12/08/2020 at 18:40:49
Both Ancelotti and Arteta have their own sets of strengths and weaknesses – I really don't think we'd be any better off right now if we'd hired Arteta.

Arsenal do seem to be tilting in the right direction, but their form was pretty spotty after the restart (some nice wins, but also losses to Brighton and Aston Villa), and their 8th place finish would be seen as a pretty sizable disappointment if they hadn't managed to salvage things with their FA Cup win.

We hired Carlo, so the creeping sentiment is that we needed someone younger and hungrier. If we'd hired Arteta, the creeping sentiment would have been "Why can't we ever go for someone with an actual pedigree?"

Bottom line is that the fortunes of either manager would hinge on the sort of business we end up doing this window.

Patrick McFarlane
261 Posted 12/08/2020 at 19:04:41
Jay #259
I agree, and perhaps I should have addressed my post directly to Jerome #256 who wrote:

though comparisons of Arsenal and Everton are always worthwhile, especially when so well presented, since for so long games against Arsenal have been a barometer of Everton's progress.

I desperately want Everton to compete with Arsenal and the like, but we just haven't for most of the last couple of decades and unless we have a huge uptick in luck and outstanding performances it will take a litle while for the club to be in that position.

Mike Gaynes
262 Posted 12/08/2020 at 19:08:42
Off-topic for my fellow music lovers here...

Trini Lopez has died of Covid-19.

Brian Harrison
263 Posted 12/08/2020 at 19:10:55

Did he sing If I had a hammer?

Jerome Shields
264 Posted 12/08/2020 at 19:15:54
Patrick #261,

What you say is correct in relation to my post, but every season I have been hopeful that Everton would have crossed that line that Arsenal seemed only to define in relation to Everton every season.

Chris Williams
265 Posted 12/08/2020 at 19:29:12
Saw that Mike. If I had a Hammer was a good track, and he had a few hits here in the UK.

Good in The Dirty Dozen too.

Terry White
266 Posted 12/08/2020 at 20:42:31
Not sure about his performance in The Dirty Dozen, Chris (#265).

"Lopez's acting career was essentially still-born when he walked off the set of The Dirty Dozen (1967) at the urging of Sinatra (who supposedly thought his music career would stall if he continued to work on the movie, which had gone over its scheduled shooting date) or was fired by director Robert Aldrich for being disagreeable." Per IMDb.

Chris Williams
267 Posted 12/08/2020 at 20:54:44

Just my recollection of the film I guess, which I thoroughly enjoyed. And the book too.

Sinatra had signed him to his own label, Reprise. So maybe he had a vested interest. Hard to argue with Sinatra either way. Horse heads and all.

Did nicely with a Peter Paul and Mary song though.

Paul Hewitt
268 Posted 12/08/2020 at 22:12:26
Why are we comparing ourselves with Arsenal. They are crap.
Terry White
269 Posted 12/08/2020 at 22:15:13
Pete Seeger song, originally, Chris (#267).

The film recognition is murky. Sinatra had an interest in his music career and so it is certainly possible that he encouraged Trini to leave the film. However, he is listed in the credits I have seen online as playing in the film. Yet, I have also read that the director was so incensed that he cut all the parts of the film in which he played and the only reference to him in the film itself is he died during a parachute drop!

Make your own choice on all the options. A decent film, nevertheless.

Mike Gaynes
270 Posted 13/08/2020 at 03:10:57
Terry and Chris, there's a documentary coming out on Trini next year that will reveal what happened to end Trini's participation in The Dirty Dozen -- the script was changed so that he was "killed" off camera in the parachute jump, but exactly why has never been confirmed. But he did definitely appear in all the relevant scenes up to that point, if only in the background.

The documentary producers say that of the guys in that film -- Marvin, Bronson, Borgnine, Cassavetes, Sutherland, Jim Brown and Savalas -- at the time Trini was actually the most famous of all.

The Sinatra connection is fascinating, because Sinatra was known to fight for minority performers like Sammy -- and Lopez, who was not only Mexican but rumored to be gay, which would have been a tightly guarded secret in that era.

Personally, I loved his "Lemon Tree".

Phil Lewis
272 Posted 13/08/2020 at 09:56:54
What a sad indictment of the merits of Everton FC when it's supporters are reduced to discussing the history of Trini fucking Lopez.

Still more astounding is that I found the details of his illustrious life more compelling than numerous ToffeeWebbers' analysis of our current crop of shite.

Michael O'Malley
273 Posted 13/08/2020 at 10:38:21
I saw the reports in some of today's papers that Carlo is unimpressed with Pickford and is looking to replace him; please let this be true
Derek Knox
274 Posted 13/08/2020 at 10:57:48
Mike G,@270, links to gaydesertguide, "The Lemon Tree" ... I'm seriously getting worried about you, Mike.

Good job I know you! :-)

Derek Taylor
275 Posted 13/08/2020 at 11:42:09
So boring is the debate on Everton's future that TWers are reduced to gossip about the sadly departed Trini Lopez. If contributers feel the need to go so off football, perhaps the 'New Musical Express' would offer a more relevance platform

Two news items on TS aroused concern this morning. The first that Ancelloti had run out of patience with Pickford and was considering a replacement (rather than using his not inconsiderable number of coaches to improve our exellent shot-stopper's concentration!). The second and even more concerning was that the manager had been told that there was no longer money for transfers apart from that raised by sales.

Cynic that I am, I had the feeling that 'they' had settled on the eventual sale of Pickford to raise the multi-millions needed to get us back in the top half. So much for the genius of Ancelloti whose influence has reduced the motivation of the squad to zero.

I suspect that he knew all along that there was no money left because of Bramley-Moore Dock stadium and that he's only here to improve the family fortune, all his glory days long behind him!

Patrick McFarlane
276 Posted 13/08/2020 at 12:12:16
Is it true that the composers of If I Had a Hammer (The Hammer Song)" Pete Seeger and Lee Hays exclaimed "Nailed it!" when they completed the composition?
Conor McCourt
277 Posted 13/08/2020 at 12:14:19
Jay, Jay, Jay... back again with more drivel:

Firstly you now claim Aubameyang is an elite player whereby Richarlison is not. This is some turnaround from as recently as late February when you were telling me Richarlison was better than Aubameyang because he had similar numbers but a better all-round game. You argued Silva had him doing more work defensively or his goals would be better and pointed to the Brazilians strengths in the air in both boxes and even spoke of heat maps and all. Now suddenly Arsenal are lucky to have an elite player? So were you wrong initially, has Arteta improved the player or has Ricky regressed or stagnated under Carlo? Very confusing.

Now lets deal with your numbers and your latest kidology; Arteta's win record as Arsenal manager is 57% as opposed to Carlo's 38%. I appreciate that you are trying to compare like with like but you must factor in Arsenals games in the Cup and Europe because they will still have a bearing. Your numbers are also inaccurate and pointless as Carlo and Mikel have both managed 20 Premier League games with Arteta playing the tougher Chelsea twice and Carlo Newcastle. From these 20 games Mikel accumulated 33 points with Carlo getting 30 but you have to watch a bit of football to understand what has happened under both managers.

Carlo had inherited a fit team by his own admission and with a kind run, the bounce factor and Carlo's wiliness in addressing Silva's deficiencies, we managed a thoroughly impressive 17 points return from 8 games. From that point we have struggled and managed only 13 points from our remaining 12 games.

Arteta conversely struggled early because he had inherited an unfit team low in confidence and he tried to introduce intensity and accountability to their players while getting them to the level needed to play his way. They picked up only 8 points in the first 7 games throwing away games due to fading energy levels and mistakes despite clear progression in performance levels. In the next 13 games, when Arteta had them physically and tactically where he wanted them, they picked up a massive 25 points.

Now linked to these results is Arsenal's style of play. In those first games Arsenal were largely the dominant team, playing a similar brand to Wenger and even with the same deficiencies. Take the first Chelsea game which they lost as the perfect guide. For 60 mins they were clearly the better team but then Chelsea countered and Mustafi ballsed up, the game swings and Arsenal look leggy before Leno concedes another howler. They get nothing from the game. Arteta soon realises that this defence will never be good enough to go toe to toe with the better sides.

Arteta seemed to change strategy. Against weaker teams like Newcastle and West Ham they played the Arsenal way; against the likes of Southampton and Leicester he was worried about their strikers so went with a hybrid with playing progressively until they scored and then playing on the counter as a means of attempting to see out the result. Against Man City and Liverpool were the ONLY two games in the Premier League where they surrendered possession and attempted to play on the counter.

Now onto performances; Arsenal tanked Newcastle, Norwich, Man Utd and Wolves and were excellent against the top teams. His only embarrassing performance was against Man City in the league. I have plenty of ink for Carlo's top performances but not enough for the embarrassing ones.

Again, Jay is back to his old selective tricks with the aim to downplay Arteta. His recollection of our fixture doesn't factor in that they didn't get out of Partizan's stadium until after midnight Friday and spent the Saturday travelling before our earlier kick off Sunday. I believe we started well the first 15 mins and then they were clearly the better team. They were in control until they emptied and for the last 30 mins we pulverised them as they were out on their feet with players like Xhaka and Saka struggling to run. I agree we deserved at least a point on the day.

Again your account of the Chelsea game is strange. Yes, they were brilliant initially and could have been a few up but for the rest of the game there was only one winner. You spoke about the injuries but Pulisic hadn't touched the ball for twenty minutes before he went off while Chelsea improved defensively after 'Dave's' injury as Arteta had clearly targeted both himself and James. Both Arteta' and Lampard's verdict greatly differs from yours with the latter stating "We started well for the first 10-15 mins and we can only blame ourselves from that point. We were slow, played back on ourselves and invited pressure". "We didn't play well enough today to win a final, a lot of it is on us".

You conveniently watched four games to assess Arteta giving a false impression of a counter-attacking side against Man City twice, Liverpool and Chelsea. As Tony has pointed out the Liverpool game was similar to ours where Carlo got plenty of praise from me though they did look sharper against Arteta's men and, like against us, the longer the game, the game went away from our neighbours. Against Man City, Arteta out-thought his master in a tactical masterclass after getting schooled in the league and thoroughly deserved their win.

There is a reason why guys like Sam who watch a lot of football can see the progression under Arteta and how he has dealt with his squad's shortcomings. No doubt this summer he will try to sign players so that he can be more expansive against the better teams.

Alan McGuffog
278 Posted 13/08/2020 at 12:34:16
Patrick...Pete Seeger was screwed over the royalties. Offered an amount on a like it or lump it basis. Years later he managed to claw some back.. Shame he wasn't a toffee really
Chris Williams
279 Posted 13/08/2020 at 13:35:01

He was and I think he also repaid the royalties he got for traditional songs and for songs like Wimoweh, to the original writers.

A decent guy who tried to do the decent thing.

I’ve got an album Roger McGuinn did with Seeger and others of some of the traditional songs that were such an influence on him early in his career. Called From the Folk Den, which was a website set up to feature these songs and a whole lot more besides

Tony Abrahams
280 Posted 13/08/2020 at 15:45:01
I remember that Arsenal v Chelsea game around Christmas, Conor, and remember being very impressed with Chelsea that day. A young team kept going, got that little bit of luck they deserved and eventually turned it around.

Physically fit is only half the battle when you play a counter-attacking game, because it's the mental side that's so important. Keeping shape and plugging the gaps is draining, and only becomes effective when you have belief, and we have a team that have been short of belief and mentally draining for years.

Michael K, in his match report was fuming that we never took the game's best chances after the Liverpool game, and these are the type of victories that can give a team real belief when playing a counter-attacking system.

It's how I hope we play next season but with a bit more savvy, a lot more professionalism, and hopefully a striker that can sicken teams. That's the style I'm hoping for anyway, although it's too hot for football at the minute!

Jay Wood

281 Posted 13/08/2020 at 17:37:13
Erhm…have you got a stutter Conor, or just a slow internet connection? 😉

You do get yourself worked up over nothing Conor.

‘Firstly you now claim Aubameyang is an elite player whereby Richarlison is not.’

Nope! False. My post made absolutely no such claim. I don’t even mention Richarlison AT ALL.

Methinks you are mischief-making by attributing to me something you believe I said in February in the manner you do.

I have a sound memory Conor. I never claimed Richie was better than Aubameyang. I have certainly never called him an ‘elite’ player. I don’t buy into the hype of some Blues that our Richie is world class. He isn’t.

What I did say to you previously was that arguably he contributed more to the team because he most definitely does do more defensively than the Arsenal man. And he is an excellent header of the ball in both boxes. Under Carlo’s far sounder zonal marking system around our penalty area, Richie’s positioning is such that it is often he making the initial headed clearance.

Furthermore, what I did say, and this is I something I noticed and commented on in his very first game v Wolves when he bagged a brace, is that he does more chasing back then is possibly good for him and the team. Why? Because it expends energy that could best be reserved and applied more productively for himself and the team at t’other end of pitch.

I still have a vivid memory of him in that 2-2 with Wolves on his debut. Playing wide left forward, down to 10 men with Jags sending off, he popped up deep in our territory in the right back position fighting for the ball.

Admirable on one hand, but as I mentioned after his very first game, someone needed a quiet word in his ear as to how best to conserve and apply his energies.

Given how tippy-lippy you got over a ‘claim’ or comparison I didn’t even make, makes totally redundant this ‘humphing’ conclusion you reached:

‘Now suddenly Arsenal are lucky to have an elite player? So were you wrong initially, has Arteta improved the player or has Ricky regressed or stagnated under Carlo? Very confusing.’

The only true thing in that paragraph is you admitting you are confused.

Next, you accuse me of ‘kidology’ and then indulge in exactly the same yourself. Both managers had exactly half a season of PL games – 19 fixtures. Both clubs had ‘easier’ and ‘more difficult’ fixtures to play, yet you focus on Arsenal playing Chelsea twice and Everton Newcastle twice.


You yourself also put up the numbers that Mikel accumulated 33 points with Carlo getting 30. Very little in it then, is there? You yourself reference the Arsenal 3 Everton 2 match and you yourself agree we deserved at least a point that day. You expressed similar in the live match day thread Conor. Like me, you thought it was a good performance by Everton that deserved more, but for defensive lapses, principally by Sidibe.

THAT, my friend, was as direct a comparison as you could wish for between the two managers. We dominated for long spells. Our manager threw on attacking substitutions as we kept the home side penned in their own half for the final 30 minutes. Their manager put on defensive subs.

The records show Arteta and Arsenal won on the day. But those of us (to paraphrase your own words) who ‘watch football’ and further ‘understand’ football know they got lucky that day. Going back to your own numbers, a draw would have reduced Arteta’s points tally over 19 PL games to 31, whilst Carlo’s would have risen to 31. Parity. An Everton win would have promoted us to 33 points, reduced the Arse to 30 points. Small margins, eh?

Next to claims of ‘fitness levels’. Goodness me you do go through mood swings as well as having a gift of fabrication.

Remember the exchanges we had when you wanted to pass off that Carlo neglects physical training and so his teams are not fit for purpose? That was quickly dispelled. And I have to correct you when you claim Carlo said the team was extremely fit. I never saw any such quote. What you might be confusing here is he has always said the spirit and attitude of the players in training was always positive.

Sadly, the petulance you are given to Conor raises its head once more.

‘Jay is back to his old selective tricks with the aim to downplay Arteta.’

Deary me, you do inflate things.

You have seemingly read my post with a pre-conceived notion that I will promote the virtues of Carlo over Mikel. I do no such thing. I don’t even attempt a check list of comparing the two. I simply compiled the data as per games pre and post their respective appointments and leave it to each individual to conclude what they like.

Indeed, the only praise I offer is to Mikel. Having presented the PL data I comment:

‘To this it must be added that Arteta won the FA Cup with Arsenal, so an excellent first (half) season for the best little Spaniard we know.’

To that I can add I clearly stated: ‘… And with an ex-Blue managing them I certainly rooted for them over all other semi-finalists.’

Goodness. Bristling with resentment me and looking to do down Arteta at every turn, eh?


Then we have this gem: ‘You conveniently watched four games to assess Arteta giving a false impression of a counter attacking side against City twice, Liverpool and Chelsea.’

Conveniently? No Conor. Honestly. Whilst I will do everything in my power to ensure I watch every second of an Everton game, unless it’s a big game or a fixture of interest, I don’t go out of my way to watch other clubs. I watched 4 Arsenal games live under Mikel.

Our game. The City PL game as it was the first fixture of interest following lockdown. The cup semi-final and final games. That’s it. Dunno why you throw in Liverpool. Haven’t as much as seen the goals, never mind the highlights, ‘cos I don’t bother with MoTD or the like.

So, soz Conor, but a lot of false claims laced with misdirected indignation and humphing at attitudes or statements I have neither displayed nor made.

Jerome Shields
282 Posted 13/08/2020 at 19:49:31
Jay, an interesting point is the amount of defensive work that Richarlison does. I think there are still remnants of Silva in this team under Ancelotti. Forwards coming deep to tackle and lay off the ball. Silva always for me had players once they got the ball in the final third shoot on sight or run with the ball into a position where a shot could be taken. I remember him saying that Everton need different players to score from different positions.

The problem with this is with a midfield with little pace and a tendency to pass the ball back and sideways the forwards have to come really deep to get into the play and then struggle to make the runs to get into a challenging position. If they are further out and have to carry the ball they will be tackled more. It also leads to a deficiency in the final third interplay. This was reinforced by Silva's preference for wing attacking play which further slowed down an attack allowing the opposition to trot back into position with the attacker they marked.

Silva was Richarlisons mentor, he didn't do him any favours. Neymar as a mentor isn't much better, I think he will do a lot better under Ancelotti.

Zouma was poor in the Cup Final getting caught too far forward on more than one occasion and losing Aubameyany in the process. In Aubameyang's goal he got caught ball watching. Aubameyang is a good finisher, but he is not going to get space like that often.

Read Connor's post, I thought he just loves Arteta.

Danny O’Neill
283 Posted 13/08/2020 at 20:11:56
Total random change of track as I'm watching the Leipzig v Atletico match. I reported back in February after going to watch Schalke v Leipzig to keep an eye on Sabitzer (Leipzig number 7). And oh to have the defensive intensity of Atletico. This will be an intriguing match.
Joe Corgan
284 Posted 13/08/2020 at 20:37:34
Two and a half weeks since the end of the season. Four and a bit ‘til the beginning of the 2020-21 season.

One would have hoped that the absence of football for three months earlier in the year would have given Ancelotti, Brands and the board adequate time to come up with a realistic shortlist of players they wished to bring in. Perhaps they have, perhaps they haven't.

It all seems very quiet on the transfer front at the moment. The new season will soon be upon us so let's hope we start to see some transfer movement soon, lest we leave it til deadline day yet again and end up with another Alex Iwobi.

Tony McNulty
285 Posted 13/08/2020 at 21:00:57
There could be any number of reasons for the inactivity on the incoming transfer front.

But after a series of Directors of Football/Managers telling Moshiri, "Trust me", it may be that he is pushing back a little on some of the choices before finally committing cash to more Iwobis and the like.

Patrick McFarlane
286 Posted 13/08/2020 at 21:11:35
It's unlikely that the agents of the players we'd like to see in royal blue will see Everton as the best destination, unless we offer ridiculous wages and long contracts, given our recent history in the market it would be foolish in the extreme for the club to repeat the same errors – like it or not patience is a virtue.

Enjoy the sunshine and just hope that whomever arrives and whenever Everton sign them that it helps to improve the current squad.

Clive Rogers
287 Posted 13/08/2020 at 21:12:54
It’s been reported that a deal was agreed for Gabriel at £30M and he was willing to join us, but since the pandemic we want to pay less. So it’s not a surprise that other clubs are now interested and he is considering all his options. Some things never change. Assuming the report is true of course.
Brian Williams
288 Posted 13/08/2020 at 22:08:50
Which it more than likely won't be!
Don Alexander
289 Posted 13/08/2020 at 22:31:12
Moshiri and everyone in the boardroom could not have foreseen the government's instructions surrounding Covid-19. That said, they appointed Carlo surely realising it'd be pointless unless they/he give him money to sign players of the quality to achieve top six for starters.

After all, you don't hire Gordon Ramsey and then give him a sliced loaf and a tin of beans whilst still demanding he provides a gourmet meal.

Unless you're led by an idiot, a shyster, and a couple of yes-men/woman of course.

Phil Lewis
290 Posted 13/08/2020 at 23:24:11
Re: Trini Lopez's 'Hammer' Song...

If I had a hammer, I'd use it on Gylfi Sigurdsson's ankles, to ensure that we never had to suffer his pathetic impersonation of a footballer ever again.

Bill Gall
291 Posted 13/08/2020 at 23:43:43
Joe #284,

Are you not worried about who we will be able to get during this transfer window? Starting with trying to get rid of some of the deadwood on exorbitant wages in their contracts, to reading about players we seemed to be genuinely interested in not wanting to come here.

My belief is the only plus we have to attract players is Ancelotti. We can't offer European football; a new stadium, when it is agreed upon, is 3-4 years away; and having a billionaire owner is not as positive as it was years ago, as at least 8-9 of the teams above us have richer owners, plus the anchor around our neck with the FFP rule.

The latest rumor makes me want to laugh when we are hearing that a central defender we have been listed as wanting for a few weeks will be going to Napoli because of a gentlemanly agreement. No disrespect to Naples but it hardly has the tradition of being gentlemanly.

I don't know what to expect in this transfer window. I hope for the best with at least 2 quality midfielders but Brands and Ancelotti have a real problem on their hands to get us out of the mess that the last few seasons have got us into. I would rather they spent money on younger players with potential than more Iwobi or Walcott type of established players.

Enjoy the rest of summer, people – it is going to be a nervy Autumn.

Gary Hughes
292 Posted 13/08/2020 at 00:24:23
Our club has a chairman who I can only describe as a happy-go-lucky, smiley-faced, romantic affable loser. As a result, our club is currently in the midst of its longest-ever trophy drought and its longest-ever period without a derby win.

Until this happy-go-lucky, smiley-faced, romantic affable loser is removed from the club and his legacy of happy-go-lucky, smiley-faced, romantic affable loser mentality is ruthlessly cut away, like the malignant tumor it is, then we will never break out of this cycle of happy-go-lucky, smiley-faced, romantic affable loser culture that has suffocated our club for over 20 years.

It's not Silva or Brands or Walsh or Koeman or Allardyce or Ancelotti... it's Kenwright!!!

Wake up, for fuck's sake... Wake up!

Jerome Shields
293 Posted 14/08/2020 at 00:37:48
Can't remember it being so quiet going into the last two weeks of August transfer wise at Everton. Maybe it's the delayed end of season and the fact that next season may start later, but the transfer window rules have not changed.

From what I can see, most rumours are clickbait and unsubstantiated. Those that appeared originally real, Everton were second choice according to the media, but few of these type players have moved.

Derek Thomas
294 Posted 14/08/2020 at 01:18:52
Phil @ 290; I think somebody already has taken a hammer to his ankles, him and a few others.

With all the 'he said, she then said' stuff I think this thread has developed into a 'how many angels can dance on the head of a pin' thing now...the answer being, according to my SJ mole – there is no wrong or right answer... as many can dance at any given time as want to.

Tony Hill
295 Posted 14/08/2020 at 03:11:43
Of course, none of us has a fucking clue about next season. Doesn’t stop us talking bollocks to each other though, thank goodness.

On the basis of precisely no evidence, therefore, I think we’ll do well. I think Ancelotti will come good and that the ghostly outline of a young side, reinforced by judicious additions, will solidify. We might astonish ourselves.

Probably, as I say, bollocks.

Robert Tressell
296 Posted 14/08/2020 at 05:12:39
Tony, totally agree. I thank ToffeeWeb for the privilege of talking bollocks.
Joe Corgan
297 Posted 14/08/2020 at 06:45:37
Bill #291 - I'm not overly worried about our ability to attract players which would improve the side.

It may be difficult to find a top-level centre-back to improve upon the Keane & Holgate partnership. It's always difficult to find a 20-goal-a-season striker (assuming we're even looking). It shouldn't be difficult, however, to find a midfielder or two that could improve on Gomes and Davies.

I know some ToffeeWeb posters know every player in Europe and around the world. I do not. But I do expect Brands, Ancelotti, and his scouts to have already found the players they want and be making moves to bring them in. I've never understood leaving it ‘til the last minute. Surely any club would want to get their signings done early and give the new arrivals a good month of preparation and settling in.

Eric Myles
298 Posted 14/08/2020 at 06:47:49
Tony #285,

the usual reason for our inactivity and late dealings in the Transfer Window was not wanting to pay the wages of players while they are sunning themselves on the beach.

It still smacks of Kenwright's business model as he's still Chairman.

Eric Myles
299 Posted 14/08/2020 at 07:06:13
For those musicologists on TW I can heartily recommend the biography of Alan Lomax.

The Man Who Recorded the World

Derek Taylor
300 Posted 14/08/2020 at 07:18:29
Yes, Eric, I suspect that having failed so badly for so long in influencing signings, Mosh has gone back to the Kenwright model which, at least, regularly saw us top eight.

The Money Man will concentrate on Bramley-Moore Dock stadium whilst Bill tries to re-establish "the Moyes cheapo model". Ancelotti will coach the players whilst the disappointing Brands will be a pure functionary in charge of sales and paperwork.

Back to the future, in other words!

Paul Tran
301 Posted 14/08/2020 at 08:18:40
Twitter is full of stories possibly linking us with possible players who may be interested in speaking with us. All guesswork.

Imagine you're a foreign footballer interested in the Premier League. Do you:

Play & live in London for a team playing in Europe?

Move to NW England to play for a trophy-winning team?

Move to NW England for a club you might've heard of, that neither wins trophies, nor plays in Europe?

It's a hard sell. Our biggest selling point is that any decent player with character would walk into our team, rather than win medals from the bench elsewhere. I think that why we end up buying late – we're generally not a player's first choice.

Conor McCourt
302 Posted 14/08/2020 at 09:02:04
Jay, I haven't got the inclination to go into your semantics.

If you are genuinely accusing me of fabrication, that's poor. You did a comparative little piece between the two players and said a conclusion along the lines of 'I know who I'd lean towards'. If I'm not exactly accurate that's fine.

I remember suggesting that Aubameyang was the most underrated striker in the division because he's just a pure assassin and I replied that I wish we had both.

Again, you don't need to correct anything. Ancelotti said in one of his first pressers that normally when you walk into a struggling team the first thing you have to do is address fitness and said something like 'Here I found the physical condition of the players to be really good'. His priorities were clearly the tactical side.

As for the exchanges we had about fitness and Carlo dispelling that myth, pure comedy gold. I'm still laughing five minutes later. Even Jerome is not that deluded though he doesn't attribute it to Carlo.

And all these great performances you watched prior to Lockdown. So why is someone like Daniel who is 100% behind Carlo summing up the feelings of many of our fan base. Jay when you said you don't watch a lot of football, I'm now thinking that includes Everton.

I wonder if there's posts like Daniel's on the Arsenal fan sites. My guess would be no but you continue all you like to produce nonsense work dependent on those initial results, I won't say a word.

Jerome Shields
303 Posted 14/08/2020 at 09:04:23
Everton are reportedly interested in Antonee Robinson which does make sense. Ancelotti probably has been talking to someone at AC Milan.

Everton need a back up for Digne, Robinson has been medically overhauled, he should never have been sold in the first place, and Brands was probably forced to sell him in favour of the aged Baines, meaning he would be glad to get him back. I now think Kenny will be back rather than go out on loan.

Gabriel will probably end up at Everton, after he gets off the media merry-go-round. Then all Everton need is Allan.

I do think there will be a surprise sale of either Sigurdsson or Pickford if there are any reasonable offers. Ancelotti can look pissed-off when he sees these players antics.

Jerome Shields
304 Posted 14/08/2020 at 09:23:00
Moshiri normally splashes the cash at the end of the third week in August, in the Summer Transfer window.

Changed times though.

Tony Everan
305 Posted 14/08/2020 at 11:40:39
Paul 301

''I think that why we end up buying late – we're generally not a player's first choice.''

There is truth in that, it is also a recipe for getting mercenaries who do not really want to be here, but we are the best pay day left on offer.

Not good for commitment or motivation. Good players on paper will not perform as we would expect.

There was a conversation with Sam yesterday discussing our transfer strategy of lengthy pursuits of players the Champions League clubs are after. Only to be played off and discarded at the last minute.

In some ways it is admirable for us to be pursuing players like Gabriel and competing with Man Utd, Arsenal, and Napoli for his signature. But while we are doing it the likes of Southampton are signing up Salisu for £10.9M. There is a very big risk that Gabriel will not happen; all that time and effort and scouting is down the pan. Then the pool of players to choose from has diminished.

It is possible we need to re-calibrate our recruitment policy to target more up-and-coming players like Salisu, rather than going for the hottest properties in the marketplace. A more realistic approach to transfers would see us better balanced and stronger overall.

Tony McNulty
306 Posted 14/08/2020 at 11:42:54
Eric (298),

Anyone who has ever read your comments on here will know that, along with others, you aren't a great fan of the Chairman.

I wonder how operationally involved he actually is now? He has turned into a latter-day Snowball in "Animal Farm": if the milk is sour at Finch Farm then it's Bill's fault.

Earlier this year, at the London showing of the Howard Kendall film, a fellow Evertonian reminded me of something. A number of years ago Bill had come to the Supporters' club meeting in London and said that he needed to find a billionaire. What is sad is that when he finally found one, we then wasted an awful lot of cash on the mediocre.

It was hard to disagree with that.

Sukhdev Sohal
307 Posted 14/08/2020 at 12:39:17
276 Phil Lewis – you're part of these so-called 'ToffeeWebbers' you thick fool.
Brian Murray
308 Posted 14/08/2020 at 12:59:40
Gary Hughes post 292. You can see it like we all can but, for some reason, Boys Pen Bill has kidded people around him that his weak inept strategies are the staple diet of EFC while he still has a pulse. Sad and frustrating but, if a so-called savvy billionaire can't suss him out, well this will be long drawn out mentality until he leaves.
Jerome Shields
309 Posted 14/08/2020 at 13:25:34
Tony #305,

I think that is already happening, though a lot of agents and clubs try to inflate the value of such players, thinking that Moshiri will come up with the cash, as he has foolishly in the past.

Jay Wood

310 Posted 14/08/2020 at 17:46:43
Tell me Conor, should I be flattered or concerned at your close attention to my posts?

Let’s deal in and distinguish between facts and opinions. I’ll leave the semantics to you.

Fact: in your post at 271 replying to my post @ 255 you accuse me of two things:
1) Claiming Aubameyang is an elite player, whereas Richarlison is not
2) That I attempt to downplay Arteta

I have very, but VERY clearly, demonstrated to you in my post @ 281 that I do nothing of the sort on either point. With regard to Aubameyang, I don’t make any evaluation of him as an elite player. I make absolutely zero comparison of him to Richarlison. How can I when I don’t even mention our Brazilian?

Evidently, you leapt to that presumption on nothing at all within my post on this thread, but linked it to some exchange we had 6-7 months ago. You clearly reiterate that in your latest post, so let me quickly address that.

Opinion: I’ve no exact recall of the full context or flow of the exchange in February that seemingly still angsts you so Conor. I certainly didn’t diss or dismiss Aubameyang’s qualities. He is a game changer and game winner. Without him, Arsenal would never have reached the final, never mind won it. I opined that he is an out-and-out forward whereas Richie isn’t and as such offers more to Everton then just goals. Having a player of Aubameyang’s quality and finishing at Everton would be brilliant.

However, Aubameyang has just turned 31. He is in his prime. Richie turned 23 just 3 months ago. There is a greater uptick to the Brazilian because he is still honing his skills and has a good 10 years ahead of him. As I clearly mentioned Richie could greatly benefit from playing a similar role to Aubameyang rather than burning up his energy in the admirable defensive duties he does take on.

WTF has that historical exchange got to do with the false claims you attributed to me based on my post in THIS thread? I’ll answer for you Conor. NOWT.

Fact: Same with the second false charge you lay against me. No need to belabour what again I very, but VERY clearly demonstrated @ 281. I PRAISE Arteta rather than downplay his achievements as you allege.

Opinion: it is increasingly evident to me Conor that you have a real issue having your own opinions challenged or countered. Indeed, a month or two back you muted yourself and announced you were withdrawing from TW because you were frustrated by those who maintained a more positive outlook for Everton under Ancelotti.

Now if you are honest (which you really haven’t been in your exchanges with me in this thread) you will know in the past I have complimented and praised you for your contributions, whilst not necessarily agreeing with them. I have also told you not to be so silly and petulant on one occasion which you acknowledged you had been and apologized for.

I’ll make it clear to you now Conor. I won’t be like you, resentful of alternative opinions to my own of all things Everton on TW and slinking away and muting myself. If the fancy takes me, I will engage, agree, disagree or even ignore posts and posters.

So be prepared to be further offended by my ill-informed nonsense. I ain’t going nowhere.

Phil Lewis
311 Posted 14/08/2020 at 00:05:58
#307 Suckdiv, sorry but 276 wasn't my got the wrong thick fool.
Don Alexander
312 Posted 15/08/2020 at 00:27:29
Jay, give it a rest please. On a recent very long, again, and again, and again, post on another thread you resolutely stated you never partake of the Live Forum because, as a proper football fan you said, all of your attention was concentrated on the broadcast of the match.

On this thread though you cite Conor's input into the Live Forum to try to denigrate him, a fellow fan, as is your habit.

So, to me, your integrity comes into question, not least because you seek to further demean Conor by alluding to the huge amount of research you assume he must have done into your previous posts to construct a response to you.

Question; if you're denigrating Conor on that basis, just how are you aware of his input into the Live Forum, which you say you don't use?

It seems a best that you're either a liar or a hypocrite when it comes to fellow fans, or a bloke so in love with himself that he prematurely gushes all the time.

Like Dazza.

Conor McCourt
313 Posted 15/08/2020 at 11:33:55
Wow Jay always taking things away from football. Now let's deal with your claims of fabrication, falsehoods and dishonesty.

Aubameyang is an elite player-Now to anyone reading your post "Aubameyang..Everton and few other teams in the PL have such an impactful, influential player". That sounds like you are describing an elite player to me.True
Richarlison on another thread during the week you described as not an elite player. True
Previously you preferred Richarlison to Aubemayang True.

After a previous exchange I came away with the belief that you thought very highly of Richarlison, comparing the two players and favouring the Brazilian. During the week I'm shocked (though agree)with your statement that he wasn't an elite player, similar to if you heard me say Sidibe was a good defender or Steve Ferns say he didn't think Gomes was that good. Then in post 155 I hear you gushing about Aubameyang, crediting him chiefly with the success of Arsenal and commenting that Everton let alone the top teams don't have such a player. This was a clear contradiction to me and it was legitimate to ask for an explanation. No deceit whatsoever.

Now to my next fabrication and this ones a pearler
"And I have to correct you when you said that Carlo said the team was extremely fit. I never saw any such quote". The irony of all ironies is that it was unbelievably YOU who fucking told me.

Jay Wood on the Liverpool presser I was worried about before playing Liverpool's kids
"Usually when a new manager arrives he says the physical condition is not good. I found the players physical condition really good".

Now to my next apparent falsehood that you don't downplay Arteta in post 155;

1-Let's for one moment take you at face value that you decided to watch a dead rubber between 2nd and 9th, when you don't watch much football usually where Arsenal were poor, and more understandably the Semi and Final of the Cup where they were excellent.

2- In the second of those 3 games you had watched they had just beaten one of the best teams in Europe. Contrast your verdict to when we played them and couldn't get out of our box and you spoke about a great half. In the final they dominated another superior team the entire game except for the first 15-20 mins and you use every excuse to imply an element of luck.

3-For a man who loves language your account at 155 is telling in those 3 games " behind the ball" "defensive" "long ball football" "lump it upfield" "similar dour defensive tactic" "poor City" Chelsea"one result looked on the cards" "long ball over the top" "injuries" "poor red card" "reliant on one man". They had just beaten City and Chelsea in these games with a squad in as much as disarray as us when he arrived and I have never heard you use such negative connotations in all of your posts during Carlo's entire reign. Indeed you are still passing off pre-Lockdown as great displays.

I won't engage with you again as clearly you are not man enough to stand by your convictions. This little boy innocent routine is wearing very thin.

Bill Gall
314 Posted 15/08/2020 at 13:18:21
Conor , Jay why don't you 2 either act like grown ups or exchange emails to continue with your disagreements.
I used to read both of your comments at one time as both of you had interesting things to say, but now like most probably other toffee webbers I pass on what either of you say. This is a site for supporters to exchange views not to dissect every word for criticism we all make mistakes no one is perfect get over it.
Jay Wood

315 Posted 15/08/2020 at 13:44:24
Once again Conor, I’m greatly flattered that you take such forensic interest in my posts.

I do not intend to belabour the point I have already made very clear on the fabrication of the two charges you made against me in your original reply to me. The first charge is not based on the content of my actual post in this thread, but relies totally on an exchange we had 6-7 months ago. The praise for Arteta is clearly stated. You contrive to interpret my words as negatives.

You understand and acknowledge that or you don’t. No skin off my nose.

Next, I’m genuinely grateful to you for linking to that Carlo Ancelotti presser before the Liverpool cup game. Why? Because it highlights how negatively inclined you are towards Carlos Ancelotti. You expressed a concern at the negativity expressed by our manager in the presser. I was not the only one in that thread pointing out to you the many positives he actually did express.

Finally, again, you effectively accuse me of deceit or lying about my honest statement that I watched Arsenal live 4 times and each time they played a similar way.

I don’t give a fig if you believe me or not. Either way, you agreed with me that in the four games I truly did see live Arsenal set up to play the same way: sit deep, play on the counter, hit the ball long for Aubameyang to chase.

I reported what I saw. You agreed. I made no critical assessment of such play. You interpret that I did.

Your choice to engage with me or not in the future. I won’t put such restraints on myself with regards to your posts.

Oh! And Conor. As for this beaut:

‘Clearly you are not man enough to stand by your convictions.’

Probably terribly rude of me to point out, but I have never flounced off TW because I resented the opinions of others that didn’t conform to my own world view.

But I know a man who, rather than stick around and stand by his convictions, declared just that here on the Live Forum in the last couple of months.

Paul Tran
317 Posted 15/08/2020 at 14:22:44
Tony #305, I'd say its best to mix established quality & up and coming. Our problem is that we've over-spent on could be good/not really proven players.

I've seen plenty of derision about Arteta handing a three-year contract to the 'old' Willian. That'll prove a shrewd bit of business. The kind of proven, experienced Premier League player I'd like us to get.

Karl Masters
318 Posted 15/08/2020 at 14:27:19
‘Thick fool', ‘ liar', ‘hypocrite', ‘denigrate', ‘flounced off', ‘not man enough' such a plethora of positive language on ToffeeWeb this afternoon.

What's causing all this bitching on here? Mental fragility' worsened by lockdowns? Just egocentric contributors or perhaps another slow start by Everton (like almost all other clubs) to a transfer window?

Whatever it is, it's not much fun for the rest of us to read.

Eric Myles
319 Posted 15/08/2020 at 15:56:03
Tony #306, from reports I posted links to on another thread Kenwright is variously described as; a transfer strategist (along with Brands), THE negotiator, and a powerbroker (along with Brands and Moshiri).

That sounds pretty influential.

Paul Tran
322 Posted 15/08/2020 at 16:35:20
Agreed Karl.
Mike Gaynes
323 Posted 15/08/2020 at 16:35:49
And now, for your dining and dancing pleasure, the 25 best goals of the season as selected by NBC Sports.

Everton does not appear, either as perpetrator or victim. Apparently we scored no great goals and gave up none.

Mike Gaynes
324 Posted 15/08/2020 at 16:42:40
Karl #318, I think it's a medical issue.

Note that most of the nastiest comments come from the UK, Brazil and the US... the three countries where the coronavirus is worst.

And it's already known that one of the symptoms of the virus is loss of... taste.

So there ya go!

Dave Ganley
325 Posted 16/08/2020 at 11:26:51
Totally agree Karl
Christine Foster
326 Posted 18/08/2020 at 07:19:02
Okay, indeed not only a wasted season but fragmented management leading to disgraceful performances of players who frankly could not be bothered. Never again must this be allowed to happen, I cannot recall a season like it in the past 50 years.

Setting the disruption of Covid-19 aside for a moment, the combination of poor application and attitude of many players is unforgivable. Irrespectful of their capability, no excuse is worthy of such performances. Whilst this should rightly be at the doorstep of certain players, the manager's trust in certain players has been irreparably damaged.

Frankly, I believe many of them gave up on the arrival of Ancelotti because they knew their gravy train had just been derailed. They knew they were not good enough for a man of experience, no wool-pulling or passing the buck (it would go backwards) – there will be nowhere to hide.

It's like leaving the responsibility to someone else, players hiding, not putting in a shift and expecting others to cover. No-one stood up and bollocked them on the pitch; the manager was left between a rock and a hard place: drop players or motivate them.

Clearly the later did not work and hence the criticism of the manager. If they didn't pull their finger out for him then they are not going to, ever in a blue shirt. I doubt Ancelotti will ever trust certain individuals again. He had to find out who would run into the floor for him and he got his answer.

The real problem is how many can he replace quickly, how many can he get more out of, and how many can he get in to make a difference? I wish him luck; in Utopia, he would have his choice of players to start again. In reality, he has to work with what he has to keep, replace where he can, and go for a rolling improvement.

Tony Everan
327 Posted 18/08/2020 at 08:19:34
Christine, good points, especially the ‘nowhere to hide' one. The No 1 reason Schneiderlin was off like a flash.

It's the midfield for me where all this is polarised. A dysfunctional, disorganised mishmash of players, playing out of position and /or just not good enough. It results in the whole team suffering.

Selling Gana, buying Gbamin as replacement and Delph as cover has destroyed us. We need a reliable quality central midfielder and another to inject energy and goals into the midfield. Allan and David Brooks would do it (even though we would be paying over the odds). With Sangare or Buendia for strength in depth. Maybe Brands can work some magic with player exchanges or come up with better alternatives to these players.

These younger, hungry dynamic players will bring the holy grail of energy and a new mind to the team, emanating from the midfield. And that is what will transform us.

I think Carlo can turn this around quickly with the midfield sorted out. I hope they don't underestimate the extent of that.

Other much lesser weaknesses can be attended to as opportunities arise.

Tony Abrahams
328 Posted 18/08/2020 at 09:06:14
Sometimes you read a post on ToffeeWeb and pray that the person doing the writing is correct. This applies to Christine's post @326; I just hope she's right.
Sukhdev Sohal
329 Posted 21/08/2020 at 23:28:04
As soon as a girl comments on ToffeeWeb everyone is eager to reply. Pathetic.
Don Alexander
330 Posted 21/08/2020 at 00:09:39
Sukhdev, Christine is an astute supporter with a lengthy history of pertinent posts. That lengthy history probably negates your description of her as a "girl".

If you need a lead in denigrating other TW posters above all else please take a lesson from our Brazilian Jay Wood. He constantly chides other posters for their perceived research, according to him, of what they contend he'd posted yonks ago, and then in the same sentence cites historical posts by his critic to support his own stance (nobody apart from him being interested of course).

You couldn't make it up, but at least he's not as seemingly sexist as you are.

Have a nice day.

Jay Harris
331 Posted 22/08/2020 at 00:13:44

Christine is not just a girl, she is special.

Been one of ours for a long time probably since before you were born!!

Tony Ball
332 Posted 22/08/2020 at 01:11:09
A ‘girl’ comes up with the most astute and insightful post on the whole thread but she’s not allowed to because she’s a ‘girl’. Can someone remind me what year it is?
Mike Gaynes
333 Posted 22/08/2020 at 01:48:19
Sukhdev... Christine is one of the most universally respected posters on ToffeeWeb and has been for a decade or more. "Everyone is eager to reply" when she posts because she knows more about football in general and Everton in particular than you know how about tying your shoes, and because her opinions inspire intelligent conversation.

Kindly stuff yourself. Sideways.

Bill Gienapp
334 Posted 22/08/2020 at 02:06:19
Ha ha - wow. I cringe a lot on ToffeeWeb (often when re-reading my own posts!), but I'm not sure I've ever cringed as hard as I did at post (329).

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