What is our best team at the moment? Or rather, based on the back end of last season, what would be our first-choice starting XI at the moment? My guess would be:
Pickford, Digne, Mina, Keane, Coleman, Gbamin, Gomes, Bernard, Sigurdsson, Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin.
It’s a proven team; it works against the top teams and produced our best football towards the back end of last season (obviously replacing Zouma and Gueye with Mina and Gbamin).
Our problem is, this is our best team against the likes of Man City, Man Utd, Chelsea etc; however, it’s also our best team against Burnley, Watford, Newcastle etc. Why should this be the case? – Well, it worked last season against the best, so it should surely work against the worst teams, right? Wrong, we’ve seen already in 2 games that we don’t look even half the attacking threat against teams who sit back and defend.
This is undoubtedly our favoured formation and it has proved to work; however, with a few simple tweaks, we could set up differently depending on the opposition, play different styles and slightly different personnel depending on what we expect the opposition to do. I’ve seen plenty of radical changes offered by fellow posters; false 9s, inverted wingers, 3 at the back etc… The problem being, that radical changes often disrupt the team.
The following are a few tweaks that wouldn’t alter the set up much, but could give us different options against different teams. Please note that this is a very simplistic generalisation (I am making some assumptions about our new players, that Gbamin is basically a replacement for Gueye, that Iwobi is a direct, fast player who also helps out defensively, and that Kean likes to make runs beyond the defenders):
Our Current Setup
This has proven to work against good opposition who look to attack us, or look to at least play against us. It relies heavily on Calvert-Lewin doing a lot of the donkey work upfront and Sigurdsson supporting him with a high press. When we turn over the ball there is space between the midfield and defence which Sigurdsson, Bernard and Richarlison exploit, break quickly and create quick goal-scoring opportunities with the space afforded by our pressing game.
In addition, Bernard and Richarlison drop into midfield when not pressing, effectively creating a 4-4-1-1 in defence. This shores up the midfield and, in turn, ensures that we have a tight defence. It works.
I would guess that this is ideal against the better teams, especially at home when we would be expected to play some degree of football.
4-2-3-1 – Iwobi for Bernard
If Iwobi is more direct than Bernard then this could be an option away against some of the very top teams, such as Liverpool, Spurs and Man City. We wouldn’t be expected to have as much of the ball so the directness of Richarlison and Iwobi on either wing would enable us to counter at a rapid pace. If Iwobi is decent defensively, it would also allow us to fall back to the 4-4-1 when defending. Again, Calvert-Lewin would be preferred to Kean due to his ability to hold the ball up and occupy defenders.
4-2-3-1 – Kean for Sigurdsson
I would use this against teams who would prefer to sit back, however, can still play a bit, such as Watford. For Sigurdsson to play effectively, he generally needs space and runners around him. Against the better teams, his work rate is vital and, when turning the ball over, the likes of Richarlison and Bernard quickly make runs into the space afforded by the turnover. Against teams who play defensively with their midfield and defence close together, Sigurdsson isn’t afforded this space and his game severely diminishes, hence the general debate about him at present.
By playing Kean, we would effectively be playing Calvert-Lewin in Sigurdsson's role as a deep-lying striker, which is pretty much what Sigurdsson plays anyway against these teams. The difference here is that the opposition centre-backs, who previously are occupied with Calvert-Lewin, now have 2 players to concentrate on. This could result in either the opposition defence dropping even deeper to compensate for Kean's pace and movement, therefore opening up space between the midfield and defence that Richarlison and Bernard can exploit.
The other option is that they could play with an extra defensive midfielder or an extra defender; this would open up more space in midfield that Gomes could exploit, attempting to bypass both layers if Kean's movement and Gomes vision are good enough. Again, Calvert-Lewin would be a vital cog as, for want of sounding harsh, Sigurdsson just doesn’t represent a threat to the opposition centre backs in the same way that Tosun doesn’t. There is no pace or physicality to scare them. There is with Calvert-Lewin.
By keeping with Gbamin and Gomes in midfield, as well as wide players who can defend, we still have the defensive solidarity that we currently have.
4-2-3-1 – Kean for Sigurdsson and either Delph or Davies for Gbamin
I would use this against the very weak teams who offer little or no attacking threat. With this tweak, Gomes would sit deep where Gbamin would normally be. This should hopefully allow Gomes to attempt to pull the strings from deep, again relying on Kean's movement to open up opportunities for the type of passes that could take out both banks of the opposition's defence. We would still have Calvert-Lewin doing the donkey work; we would also have Kean stretching the defence and either Davies or Delph in and around the forward areas. I wouldn’t play Sigurdsson here as we would still need players who could revert back into a defensive shape if needed and I don’t think Sigurdsson is that type of player.
4-3-3 – The alternative – Kean for Calvert-Lewin and Delph for Sigurdsson
I believe this is the reason that Silva bought Delph. Based on the current state of posters, it would also appease both sides. Here we have a midfield 3, 2 attacking wingers and a goalscoring centre-forward, not too dissimilar to the way that Man City and Liverpool like to set up. I don’t see where Sigurdsson fits into this formation as he often plays too high upfield to play as part of the midfield 3, and Calvert-Lewin simply does not get into enough goalscoring positions to be the fulcrum of this attack. Decide yourself about when this would be an ideal formation.
There you go – simple tweaks depending on the opposition – not persisting with the same team and the same setup regardless. Horses for Courses.
Reader Comments (126)
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1 Posted 22/08/2019 at 05:56:02
2 Posted 22/08/2019 at 07:33:24
But Calvert-Lewin is a donkey, and Silva would be an ass to continue with him.
3 Posted 22/08/2019 at 08:07:22
A Number 9 should keep defenders at full stretch but they deal with Calvert-Lewin same as a parent worries about a toddler.
Whoever it is that is paid good money to show him the ropes does so under false pretences.
4 Posted 22/08/2019 at 09:02:15
Calvert-Lewin's hold-up play was excellent and praised several times on MotD, he allowed space and really occupied the opposition's central defenders.
The lad will come good, he is still so young and in Moise Kean we have a star in the making that will give us so many options.
5 Posted 22/08/2019 at 09:18:27
6 Posted 22/08/2019 at 09:33:41
7 Posted 22/08/2019 at 09:44:57
8 Posted 22/08/2019 at 09:47:08
I think the new signings should give us the flexibility we need. And, as you indicate, Calvert-Lewin can have an important part to play in it.
9 Posted 22/08/2019 at 09:54:21
Every bit of it talks about us in attack, with zero focus on defending and what Sigurdsson (and others) bring in terms of work-rate and defensive help.
Saying we should use Kean in the second striker role, and dropping Sigurdsson, fails to address the fact he runs more miles than anyone else in the team, thus putting a huge amount of responsibility on Kean – an unproven 19-year-old.
The OP seems to fit your personal agenda, without really addressing the overall issues. That said, we've only played 2 games this season, so I'm not really sure why we're having this 'overhaul' type conversation already anyway!
10 Posted 22/08/2019 at 09:55:07
11 Posted 22/08/2019 at 09:59:30
12 Posted 22/08/2019 at 10:00:37
Brothel. Couldn't. In. Score.
13 Posted 22/08/2019 at 10:05:25
14 Posted 22/08/2019 at 10:28:17
We should persevere with the lad. We got rid of Kenny and, given a chance, many would get rid of Calvert-Lewin and Davies. I reckon both would get snapped up.
15 Posted 22/08/2019 at 10:58:04
16 Posted 22/08/2019 at 11:02:20
17 Posted 22/08/2019 at 11:56:40
A striker who can't score goals is easy to replace, hard-working etc etc etc etc... excuses, excuses — where are his goals???
Simple fact: For a team with top 4-6 aspirations, he's not good enough. Not good enough now and won't be good enough in the future.
DCL would be nowhere near the Man Utd, Liverpool, Chelsea, Man City, or Spurs teams, so why should he be a starter in ours?
18 Posted 22/08/2019 at 12:31:44
We should be looking for top class players, the ones who would be picked by the top clubs as you mention. We require a shift in fan-thinking to go along with the slow shift in the way the club is being run. Way too many of our fanbase are happy with mediocre footballers who 'put in a shift' and 'play for the shirt'. I find all that to be a bit of a joke to be honest - I don't want crappy players who run about a lot of appear to 'care' about Everton, whatever that means.
I want winners, goal scorers and players that are going to win trophies before I die.
19 Posted 22/08/2019 at 12:51:06
20 Posted 22/08/2019 at 12:57:08
Watford 1-0 home win
C. Palace 0-0 away draw
Burnley 2-0 home win
C. Palace 0-0 away draw
Man Utd 4-0 home win
Fulham 0-2 away defeat
Arsenal 1-0 home win
West Ham 2-0 away win
Chelsea 2-0 home win
Newcastle 2-3 away defeat
Liverpool 0-0 home draw
Cardiff C 3-0 away win
(he did not play against Spurs due to injury)
So that's 12 games, 7 wins, 3 draws, 2 defeats, 24 points. He only scored 2 and got 1 assist. Not easy games either. It would be good enough for 72 points if trebled and with 2 games to spare.
So you'd dismantle a winning side, displaying the form of a top 4 / 5 side? Just because the man front and centre of that side is not scoring enough?
Why can't you guys wait for the inevitable loss of form and save all your detritus for then? Meantime, let the guys who want to be positive actually enjoy being Evertonians for once?
21 Posted 22/08/2019 at 13:03:13
Because people keep writing articles about him, and TW keep publishing them. DCL should score more goals. Fact. I won't argue with your point or your results above. I will argue with your point about simply trebling that points tally. You & I both know that's fanciful at best, and not based on any sense of reality over a season.
As for your lasp gasp dig, hidden in your final sentence – we're all Evertonians here old boy.
22 Posted 22/08/2019 at 13:12:03
For myself, I have a feeling of Evertonian entitlement and desire for elitism that stems quite naturally from being brought up on 1960s Everton sides, the School of Science and all that great stuff. I'm extremely unhappy about being midtable, and have been for three decades.
I believe that Calvert-Lewin is a good player, but not elite, just as Everton are not currently elite. He fits in Silva's developing system that HOPEFULLY will see significant improvement in our performances and results. DCL has been asked to perform within a setup that has been habitually dysfunctional, including during several months of last season. Given this dysfunctionality, he has performed well. It will be interesting to see how he will perform if and when Silva's system, with the new signings, provides significant and consistent improvement.
Many players begin to prosper when the system in which they play improves (just look at the likes of Coutinho and Firmino from our loveable neighbour's, and dare I say our own Michael Keane).
Until then, it's difficult to assess how good a player like DCL is, impossible to assess their future prospects, and a bit daft to make assertions about his chances of getting into top-6 sides.
23 Posted 22/08/2019 at 13:14:22
I will have to repeat myself (not alone on here): The run we put together at the end of last season was fantastic, DCL was not lacking in that run. He kept defenders occupied every game.
He needs to develop a bit more composure and he will be fine. On another thread his record against Kane was compared. Major difference for me Kane has played under Pochettino only. DCL has played under 4 different managers! Koeman who couldn't give a flying fuck about us and Allarshite. The latter with his anti-football approach wouldn't help anyone develop.
24 Posted 22/08/2019 at 13:27:00
But you get right back to sticking the boot in. I'm sure a slip up is right around the corner and you can go right back to getting the boot into more than just Dominic. The negativity on here is an utter disgrace.
25 Posted 22/08/2019 at 13:31:23
I think we all want the same for the Club, however, there are certain players picked out and slagged off and have been since I can remember.
You mention we should only be going for top players who would be picked by top Clubs. So let's take Everton's starting 11 for the two games so far this season. Can you name one who would be snapped up by Man City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Man Utd, Arsenal??
Pickford? Digne? Doubt many more.
So why don't we slag off all of them, why just Calvert-Lewin?
26 Posted 22/08/2019 at 13:50:20
Jesus wept, Barn door, banjo, cow's arse, DCL – have you ever seen a top team that has a hard working main striker that can't score or even get a shot on target or create a goal for his team?
I watch the guy pass a ball straight in to touch on more than a few occasions from just a few yards away.
27 Posted 22/08/2019 at 13:54:06
28 Posted 22/08/2019 at 13:56:23
Until Marco changes it up, it doesn't matter. DCL does many things well - in fact he does it ALL well except putting the damn ball in the back of the net!
What I don't understand for the life of me, is the raw anger some people have at this kid starting. He's 22. I don't expect him to come in, snap his fingers, and start bagging 25 goals a year. It doesn't work that way.
Why rip the kid to shreds when he clearly has 2 or 3 years left to develop? All the while doing a pretty damn good job for us in the main.
Argue away. This kid's about to tear opinion, and possibly get crucified.
29 Posted 22/08/2019 at 13:57:37
Have I "ever seen a top team that has a hard working main striker that can't score"? Yes - The World Champions. Lots of sides get goals from other places than the central forward. How many goals did Firmino score in his last 12 Premier League games? Does it even matter when Mane and Salah score so many?
30 Posted 22/08/2019 at 14:00:16
Put him with Kean and I think you'd see more product. But that would probably involve dropping Sigurdsson, which is a crime apparently.
31 Posted 22/08/2019 at 14:00:42
Who was Lukaku's backup? Does anyone remember? Did anyone even care? Not really, because Lukaku scored a load. but yet people got on his back too. And all the things that Lukaku supposedly did not do, are all the things that DCL does do.
People want perfection, and life ain't perfect, and neither is football.
32 Posted 22/08/2019 at 14:02:54
33 Posted 22/08/2019 at 14:10:19
Would he even get in their League Cup squad? Not a chance.
I'm actually with you on a lot of your points, but DCL now get in their League Cup squad?
Making overly brash statements, simply with the intent to piss people off, is something I've tried before on this site about 4-5 years ago. It didn't go over very well. Just sayin'.
Surely you see some good traits in DCL, even if you consider him Championship level at best?
35 Posted 22/08/2019 at 14:18:27
The thing is, he has not just come in – he has played for Everton 83 times!
He is not a kid of 18 or 19... he is 23 next birthday. He should be sent out on loan to the Championship or League One and let's see if he can put the ball in the same size net as we use in the Premier League.
As far as picking on DCL only, if a player is not good enough IMO, I will say so, as will other posters who are all entitled to their opinions as we all are. I want Everton to be up with the best and, for that, we need to pick the best players.
36 Posted 22/08/2019 at 14:19:26
You're both whinging about me being negative, and both whinging about me whinging about DCL, on a thread ABOUT DCL.
Do you see the fly in the ointment here?
I have nothing against the kid, but I don't think he's very good at putting the round thing in the square thing. If you bothered to take notice of anything else I say on here, rather than having your own opinion out on a fucking great big stick at all times, waving it vigorously in everyone else's face 24/7, then you'd also know that I'm one of the more positive people on TW.
That last bit is really aimed at you, Steve Ferns. You're a smart guy, but you do not react well to other people's opinions.
37 Posted 22/08/2019 at 14:25:33
From your point of view can you evaluate Dom's part in that by harrying defenders and the like?
38 Posted 22/08/2019 at 14:25:49
None of the other players (Maybe Seamus is an exception), including DCL, would anyone bet on scoring regularly.
I have no doubt the whole team works hard, which in itself is a big turnaround but we have always lacked that decisive goalscorer since Lukaku left.
Now there is no argument about Moise Kean replacing DCL because unlike DCL his record suggests he will score goals... and that, my friends, is what being a centre-forward is all about.
39 Posted 22/08/2019 at 14:32:37
Premier League Record, Calvert-Lewin:
Premier League Record, Firmino:
And he didn't score in the last 12 games... Wow.
40 Posted 22/08/2019 at 14:38:14
Hardly affecting games with his goalscoring, is he?
41 Posted 22/08/2019 at 14:44:53
James 36, I think you're being a bit dramatic. I never mentioned at all that you were whinging. I just replied and asked a question to what you stated in your post.
You, like everyone else, are entitled to your opinion; I only asked what top class players we have would be snapped up by the top 4-5 just now apart from maybe Pickford, Richarlison and Digne.
At present, the rest are all mid league players to be honest but we hope Silva can get the right tactics to suit them to improve them and our league position.
Last 2 games there are a couple of players not exactly lighting us up and singling DCL out to me seems a bit harsh.
42 Posted 22/08/2019 at 14:48:24
43 Posted 22/08/2019 at 14:48:37
We have all seen enough of DCL to realise he isn't a Lukaku but he does link up play well. It's a shame the days of 2 strikers have gone as he looks like he would benefit from playing alongside another striker.
44 Posted 22/08/2019 at 14:49:12
He is not, in my opinion, the root of our problems as such, he just doesn't score enough goals, which is pretty fundamental for a decent striker!
Also, I don't disagree with you about various other players not being that great either, but I do agree with you that we're a mid table team these days and have been for many years. We should however, be aiming higher than DCL as our main striker – we have to think bigger & better as a club, and as supporters. In my view.
45 Posted 22/08/2019 at 14:53:54
And, again, goals are not fundamental for the central forward in Silva sides, where the goals come from elsewhere.
Don, I think that goes without saying. Pretty basic stuff the work that DCL does for the side which enables others to hold position and the defence to assemble quickly and so make us less susceptible to a quick counter attack. Not just Dom, but Richarlison and Bernard too. All three forwards get back quickly and track all the way the back, which does not happen as much at most sides.
46 Posted 22/08/2019 at 14:57:58
More to the point, would you take him out of the side to find out for sure?
47 Posted 22/08/2019 at 14:57:59
Played 2, scored 0 = shite.
48 Posted 22/08/2019 at 14:59:24
49 Posted 22/08/2019 at 15:01:46
50 Posted 22/08/2019 at 15:12:33
He has played as a right-wingback and also as a winger, so the boy has been moved about a bit.
51 Posted 22/08/2019 at 16:14:10
Having spent a lot of time on the Live Forum last season, I noticed there was one particular poster who was quite literally obsessed. Every away game, he would post repeatedly – and I mean repeatedly – singling out Calvert-Lewin. That would have been fine... but here's the bizarre part: he Never mentioned any other player. He didn't see their mistakes.
He would constantly batter away, often posting over a dozen times... even when DCL was not playing. If he came on as sub with 10 minutes to go, he would blame him if we didn't score. Anyone who logged onto the live forum last season will know the poster I'm talking about. The really funny thing was, whenever DCL did score, he would simply disappear.
Looking at the two current threads on the main forum debating DCL, it would appear that a similar thing is happening. At first, I thought DCL was taking a kicking. then I realised the same people were coming back and basically saying the same thing every time they post: "He's shite." "End of" – insightful.
For me, at least, Steve Ferns has finished this debate. He's thrown the winning dart. Landed the knock-out blow, served the unreturnable match point – I`ve never seen that done on here before.
Everyone who argues on this forum has one thing in their heart. The good of Everton Football Club. After years of searching for a winning formula, years of trying to get the right balance, years of humiliating defeats against top teams, years of seeing Everton's attacks treated with utter contempt...
Silva finally put a stop to the foolishness of playing DCL on the wing. He stopped bringing him on late when the game was already up. He gave him a starting position and asked him to lead the line. The results, as Steve points out, were staggering. They have been better than anything we have seen for years. Top teams have been outplayed and humbled.
Until Silva took his decision, we had many many fans doubting if we could get a result against any of these teams. Not only were we transformed... not only did we get results... We twatted them. The only REAL radical change to our line up was giving DCL an extended run.
Those who only ever really surface to hammer away at this guy would do well to ask themselves one question: If DCL is our problem – why, when he was sitting on the bench, did all the other players have us feeling so pessimistic, worried and downright miserable? Why couldn't we buy a fucking win?
I would like to think Silva isn't a complete moron. I would like to think he knew who his best player was when we were twatting Chelsea, Arsenal and the Mancs. I would like to think he is reading TW at this moment, pissing himself laughing at some of these comments.
"DCL will never make a Premier League forward" – side-splitting. It's like saying a 30-year-old would never reach 29.
52 Posted 22/08/2019 at 16:40:25
53 Posted 22/08/2019 at 16:48:03
If the hierarchy have been reading your comments about the sale of a certain young full-back to Wigan, you've already taken your last penalty at Goodison Park!
54 Posted 22/08/2019 at 19:42:03
55 Posted 22/08/2019 at 19:45:03
To date, this season, he has been bang average and needs to improve, simple as that. If he doesn't, he will lose his place.
I think he will improve, score goals and continue to be a valuable team player.
56 Posted 22/08/2019 at 20:15:21
The bulk of the team improved over the course of the season. Keane and Zouma improved immensely and new signings like Digne, Gomes and Bernard got used to the Premier League. Richarlison was more comfortable on the right and Seamus took time to recover from his broken leg.
DCL's build-up play did improve a little, but he was still only average at best, while he failed to score in the last 8 games. There were a lot of factors.
57 Posted 22/08/2019 at 20:57:46
I agree that he needs to be more clinical the few times he has an opening, and I think the signing of Kean will put some much needed pressure on him to start adding more goals to his game. But his attitude is great, he gives us a different option to the other forwards at the club, and the worst-case scenario is that he loses his place to the likes of Kean.
Kevin's article quite rightly flags up the fact that we have options, different ways of playing against different kinds of opponents. That's a positive thing. Yes, in an ideal world we'd have a first time squad and bench like Man City's but our squad is looking a lot healthier than it has done, particularly when you look back at the players we had in reserve under the likes of Martinez.
58 Posted 22/08/2019 at 22:17:05
If Calvert-Lewin continues to be our starting forward for the foreseeable future will everyone still be happy if in a couple of seasons time he is scoring 5 or 6 league goals a season?
He's doing a great job with the rest of it. But he does, indeed, need to contribute via goals. Take his game to the next level, as it were.
I'm prepared to give him time to do so. But, as the prayer goes:
God, grant me patience, and be quick about it.
59 Posted 22/08/2019 at 22:24:12
The bottom line is we need to be winning. Right now, we are doing alright. Reserve the criticism for when we're losing every game and we need goals and he's still in the team and you can't see where the next goal is coming from.
He's in the side for now, but the spectre of Moise Kean is looming large for Dom... it's only a matter of time.
60 Posted 22/08/2019 at 22:35:25
Jamie, how about if none of our forwards score a goal, and we win every game 1-0 with Yerry Mina scoring them all. Would you be happy then?
But there always needs to be an eye on improving as a team.
I'd not define my analysis of Calvert-Lewin as criticism, but as a cautious eye towards what's best for Everton moving forward.
I hope the kid comes good in all facets of his game, including scoring goals.
61 Posted 22/08/2019 at 22:48:09
62 Posted 22/08/2019 at 23:02:28
I'd be very happy. I always have Mina as 1st scorer at odds of 33/1.
63 Posted 22/08/2019 at 23:03:02
However Del Piero, Zidane and others were more frequent scorers (allowing for the fact Serie A has fewer goals) than our support cast. Consequently, I imagine we will sacrifice Calvert-Lewin to get goals from Kean.
64 Posted 22/08/2019 at 23:07:23
Continuing from last season, we are going very well right now, and let's hope that continues tomorrow night with 3 points in the most played fixture in English football.
65 Posted 22/08/2019 at 23:30:14
Dominic Calvert-Lewin is top drawer. He runs himself into the ground carrying out a thankless task for the coach. To be judged as a striker would necessitate him being more Tosun-like. Well...
66 Posted 22/08/2019 at 23:34:12
There is an option that Kevin has left out of the mix in his article – Kean for Bernard, Richarlison to the left and Kean to the right.
I love Bernard as a footballer but if it's more goals we want and, at the same time, to keep Calvert-Lewin in the side, then that looks the option to me.
From what I can see, it's that or Calvert-Lewin or Kean start on the bench.
67 Posted 23/08/2019 at 00:49:14
We defend well, and imo Calvert-Lewin starts that defence from his non-stop hard work along the top line.
We are seeing Silva develop a young team that is winning; Calvert-Lewin seems to be a big part of it. I don't see the issue a lot of people seem to have with his lack of goals.
Dom will improve on his goal scoring; he seems to be getting better at every aspect of his game apart from his finishing. I'm very sure he will get a goal soon; once that happens he will score more goals. I'd mark him down as a double-figures player by the end of the season.
68 Posted 23/08/2019 at 07:30:37
If we continue to get the results we have been getting since he was asked to lead the line, the fans will care about as much as the French fans did about Giroud not scoring as they paraded the World Cup around Paris.
I think the nastiness a section of our fan base reserve for young players is probably the reason I will eventually call it a day with this club. It's born out of total fucking ignorance.
I was going to list the youngsters and local lads who have been systematically hammered by clueless morons down the years, but I'd be here all day.
No player is above criticism, even the youngsters, but the non-stop batterings of youngsters trying to make a step up to the toughest league in the world (saving the club millions in the process) merely demonstrates the moronic nature of the critic. The really strange thing about it is, these players can NEVER win their attackers around... Not even if they move on or retire.
Barkley doesn't play for us any more and he still gets it. So does John Stones. At no stage were we ever behind when Tony Hibbert was on the field in the FA Cup Final... but to this day he still gets more blame for that defeat than all the players who did actually lose the game put together.
Breaking news... Tom Davies is not going to be Zinadine Zidane. That seems to be his crime. Instead of listening to non-stop applause for the way he has earned so many appearances against world-class opposition at the tender age of 21, all I hear is abuse. It's as if his critics think they are impressing with their ultra shrewd judgment for spotting that he isn't world class... and because he isn't, he is dismissed as "Championship at best"... ridiculed and abused from the stands. It embarrasses me just typing it.
For years, the fans of this club have been subjected to a really poor standard of football. The club have spent millions upon millions on so-called creative midfield players and strikers. Under Martinez, it was purposeless possession obsession. Under Koeman, it was dull zombie-paced shite, and under Allardyce, it was just fucking gutless.
The multi-millionaire superstars who so badly let us down got away virtually scott free. Most of them disappeared from the squad so they were not even in the firing line. We could not sustain an attack. We would go weeks without even having a shot on target.
In all that time, I didn't see many articles on TW put up in "defence" of these "superstars". There was no need... as I said. They were getting away with it. Nobody was attacking them, why would they need defending?
Before long, Silva found he had the same problem as his predecessors. He tried everything, but he was sinking. As a last resort, he finally gave Calvert-Lewin a run in his real position, leading the line.
We now sustain attacks, we now create chances, we now take the game to the big boys instead of cowering from the off. Centre-halves leaving the pitch after a game against Everton now KNOW they had been in a game. We have a young player who is frightened of NOBODY.
Lord knows DCL has his short-comings. He is not top class (another brilliant observation from the shrewdies) but he is improving and considering he was seen as a £1.5M stop-gap, he has acquitted himself quite brilliantly. He has shown all those failures before him how to take the fight to the big boys. Yet he takes more stick than all of them put together. What The Fuck is that all about?
"Yeah but he doesn't move like Aguero".... "Fuck the fact that we are winning, our striker hardly scores"... "He's not 22, he's nearly 23"... "Robbie Fowler was..."
"Husband is shite"
"Wright is shite"
"Reid is shite"
"Radcliffe is shite"
"Sharp is shite"
"Hibbert is shite"
"Osman is shite"
"Barkley is shite"
"Stones is shite"
"Davies is shite"
Different eras. Same dumbfuckery
69 Posted 23/08/2019 at 08:00:42
70 Posted 23/08/2019 at 09:19:21
I can imagine someone coming back with 'Sigurdsson has been shite this season'. But you have to distinguish between form, which comes and goes, and quality.
The question itself perhaps points to an inferiority complex of some Evertonians when comparing our players with others, and it's manifested itself many times in the past, particularly asking whether Barkley, Stones and Lukaku would get into top-6 sides, which of course they each did quite easily, with Stones already collecting a haul of top medals.
The Club seems to be changing for the better, and perhaps some supporters need to change with it. Frustration at slow and halting progress is one thing, but a defeatist attitude is another.
72 Posted 23/08/2019 at 09:51:46
His critics need to remember what they were like at his age. He's a very young man playing in the most difficult position, hasn't got a settled attacking unit around him to create chances, hasn't got a hard-man in the team to sort out the hairy- arsed defenders who will be threatening him with all sorts of GBH if he goes near them, and to cap it all there are sections of the support who slag him off despite him working his nuts off for the club.
How many on here were the finished article in their chosen profession etc at his age? Were we all a lot better at our job when we were say 25 with a few more years of experience behind us? He converted to a centre-forward late and has some catching up to do but the time to judge is when the side is settled and playing well, not the first two games of the season when in my view he has played well.
Maybe he will never be an instinctive scorer like Kane but the likes of Sharp, Alan Smith, Peter Withe, Frank Stapleton – there are loads of them – we're not instinctive scorers but developed into top-class centre-forwards who scored their share but contributed far more to the team than the likes of Cottee for example who could score goals but did very little else.
Heavy and consistent criticism will ruin most young players. Yes, it's a fact that he isn't a prolific goal scorer yet. It's also a fact that he leads the line very well and has still to develop more.
Sigurdsson hasn't scored yet and has missed more than Calvert-Lewin, and the same applies to Richarlison.
Give the lad a chance!!
73 Posted 23/08/2019 at 09:54:24
74 Posted 23/08/2019 at 10:08:36
With regard to Calvert-Lewin, I will bow to Unsworth's opinion, a link to which I provided on another thread.
Unsy basically said Calvert-Lewin's doing well but needs to add scoring regularly to his repertoire. I don't think, IMO, it could have been summed up any better.
And like Unsy, I think once he starts scoring, he'll continue to score.
75 Posted 23/08/2019 at 10:21:29
76 Posted 23/08/2019 at 10:35:04
77 Posted 23/08/2019 at 10:42:18
78 Posted 23/08/2019 at 11:01:40
79 Posted 23/08/2019 at 11:44:17
I know Hibbert couldn't pass or cross but he really did improve over the years and people just ignored it, along with the fact he could've scored so many goals for us... if only he was on free kicks. I'm guessing he was banned from them, so as not to cause a riot.
80 Posted 23/08/2019 at 13:19:38
Get a life, I have witnessed lads and I mean lads (not Bentley-driving football players that live in multi-million pound houses with model girlfriends or wives) losing life and limb and taking shit night and day – now that's abuse for you.
I won't stop watching my beloved Everton because of these keyboard warriors. but might just find somewhere else to read and discuss all things Everton.
81 Posted 23/08/2019 at 13:27:55
I've never understood this continually knocking down of our players. It's most likely frustration being vented.
On a previous site, there was this Ulsterman with an ominous nick-name of Sharpattack... At least two-thirds of his posts could consist of slagging Leon Osman. Really absurd.
At least the Spurs fans understand it better when singing about Harry Kane about him being "one of our own".
82 Posted 23/08/2019 at 13:38:27
And agree very much with your post.
83 Posted 23/08/2019 at 14:11:05
84 Posted 23/08/2019 at 14:16:12
85 Posted 23/08/2019 at 14:24:24
86 Posted 23/08/2019 at 14:30:57
87 Posted 23/08/2019 at 14:51:42
And did you call people ‘girls' as an attempted insult? This isn't the playground in 1973.
88 Posted 23/08/2019 at 14:52:45
89 Posted 23/08/2019 at 14:53:17
That was a bit rich coming from a guy who now runs his own lucrative fisheries business in France, not a bad lIving earned off the 'punters' who watched him regularly for all those years when we never won a silver pot to piss in.
90 Posted 23/08/2019 at 15:06:12
How could you possibly know that?
Why would there be a silent majority? Why would they be on the side of nastily slagging off one of our players whilst the team is on a reasonably successful run?
How does this mindset even work? It makes no sense to me. Do you watch the game tonight hoping Calvert-Lewin doesnt score?
If theres a silent majority at all, its people that think Calvert-Lewin is decent, partially effective but they wish he scored more. Its not the ridiculous, sarcastic, angry, venomous nonsense spouted by Geoff.
91 Posted 23/08/2019 at 15:07:39
92 Posted 23/08/2019 at 15:13:56
Of course we all hope Calvert-Lewin scores lots of goals — that's his job.
But if he doesn't, we're entitled to criticise — why would anyone get angry about that?
93 Posted 23/08/2019 at 15:21:49
He is wearing the shirt, works his nuts off, and brings value to the team.
Come on, you Blues.
94 Posted 23/08/2019 at 15:24:30
I think it's about balance. Yeah I agree generally about "the poor little rich boy" mentality versus the average Joe. But, personally I watch football because I enjoy the support – not because I want to abuse people.
If someone says "Calvert-Lewin did badly because his technique was wrong, he didn't make the right run, he was slow to react etc" – that is constructive criticism that is interesting to read and to discuss. But what we tend to see is constructive defences of him on here versus "he is shite".
95 Posted 23/08/2019 at 15:24:54
96 Posted 23/08/2019 at 15:34:38
97 Posted 23/08/2019 at 15:37:26
They think we're getting these results playing 10 men against 11.
98 Posted 23/08/2019 at 15:43:34
I'd say goalscorers and goalkeepers are more likely to come under the microscope than the rest, and maybe that is unfair, but hey, that's life. I'm sure they know it's all part of the job — and you're either a villain or a hero.
99 Posted 23/08/2019 at 15:46:48
It seems this site is more and more a vehicle for people to unleash their anger on a chosen player, and then state he's fair game because of how much he earns. I could understand the criticism when we are not winning, but guys don't even wait for that now. If you're angry with Everton and our players right now, then maybe it's not for you, because we all know that with Everton there's always a slump around the corner. Why not keep your powder dry for then? Or is it so you can say, "I told you so", which Darren perfectly observed when he wrote this:
"It's as if his critics think they are impressing with their ultra shrewd judgment for spotting that he isn't world class... and because he isn't, he is dismissed as "Championship at best"... ridiculed and abused from the stands. It embarrasses me just typing it."
100 Posted 23/08/2019 at 16:33:08
101 Posted 23/08/2019 at 17:01:55
What annoys me is the hypocrisy on here. Moise Kean was on for a short while against Watford and posters were fawning over him big style. Now I know nothing about him other than what I have read on TW and the Red Echo Site. What I saw when he came on was a lad who ran a lot and worked hard. He created one chance which was well off target and missed another that he really should have scored. DCL is pilloried for the same.
I know it was only Kean's second outing but lets treat everyone the same.
102 Posted 23/08/2019 at 17:06:21
I personally know a couple of people who don't ever talk about other players Other than Davies and DCL (they have eased of JJ recently)
There are several people on here, some of whom are revealing themselves on this thread who don't seem to realise we have 20 odd other players. I have never seen them mention any of them. They seem totally oblivious to the fact that dozens of players have represented this club over the past 5 years and the overwhelming majority have been crap. . .
Is battering away at the same player all the time mere opinion ? not for me it isn't, it's a clear demonstration of ignorance.
I suspect these people think they are the only people who recognise that Davies has no pace and Calvert-Lewin is not a natural predator. They post the same thing so often in the hope of showing everyone else how sharp they are for spotting the blindingly obvious,
Hammering of the same player/s every time says more about the so called critics than the player/s they are hammering.
All they will ever achieve is draw the inevitable defence from people who can see the shortcoming in EVERY player. Not just a couple of whipping boys
103 Posted 23/08/2019 at 17:17:25
Sigurdsson will continue to be vilified by some because he isnt creating chances or scoring - when we are playing in a way that doesnt suit him.
Calvert-Lewin will continue to be vilified by some when the team isnt creating much - because weve nullified one of our biggest threats in Sigurdsson.
However we could tweak how we play, look at creating more, then these hounding might stop and we could get back to being behind the team - like we were at the back end of last year. Its no coincidence that the atmosphere and the team performances went hand in hand, if we let the negativity creep back into the games then we risk it affecting the performances again.
I dont know how to expect Villa to line up tonight, if they genuinely look to attack, then I would continue with the same line up and would hope that we produce enough to silence these threads.
If they look to defend deep and hit us on the counter, I would start with Calvert-Lewin and Kean at the expense of Sigurdsson, look to keep the midfield tight and hope that Keans movement and Calvert-Lewins generally nuisanceness (dont think thats actually a word) will create enough gaps for our more creative players to exploit.
104 Posted 23/08/2019 at 17:19:27
105 Posted 23/08/2019 at 17:34:57
106 Posted 23/08/2019 at 17:42:43
Would we be so supportive of Pickford if he was catching well, giving great delivery and taking exceptional goal kicks if he was conceding goals every game? I don't think so.
We have players for positions, his is the striker and this position is a goal-scoring position, he is not scoring and it's as simple as that.
107 Posted 23/08/2019 at 17:42:48
You've intrigued me though, how could we get even more from him? How'd you change it around? Who'd you play and what position?
108 Posted 23/08/2019 at 17:54:43
109 Posted 23/08/2019 at 18:05:10
Are you sure that stat is right? Im pretty sure Sharpie had scored over 30 odd goals before he turned 23.
110 Posted 23/08/2019 at 18:12:21
Sigurdsson seems to me as a player who is better when theres a bit if space either in front of him or around him, he is one of the prime reasons why we were so successful against the better teams towards the end of last season. The better teams always looked to attack us, thus there was space when we turned over the ball. The pressing from the front that he does also benefitted is, theres probably not many advanced midfielders who put the yards in that he does. However I dont think he is effective when that space is taken away, usually by teams that look to park the bus in front of us. We still seem to have an issue of breaking these teams down and Sigurdsson is often anonymous in them.
If we go a goal or 2 up and the opposition then have to attack more, we would probably play to his strengths again. Thats why, if we believe that Villa will sit back tonight, I would leave Sigurdsson on the bench, however if we go a goal up and Villa start to attack a bit, I would then bring Sigurdsson on to offer us more in attack and defence.
111 Posted 23/08/2019 at 18:14:21
I dont dislike the lad as his effort is admirable and would never go to a match and just slag him off for the sake off it.
However on a site like this were we are all evertonians discussing matches and players etc all Im saying is DCL is not a player who is capable of helping Everton become a top club again in my opinion.
I dont think that is being negative its just a personal opinion.
Anyway Im on route to Villa Park now so lets all hope he scores a hat trick and proves me wrong.
112 Posted 23/08/2019 at 18:22:07
But as you say, a slower possession based game is not great for Gylfi. But it doesnt suit many but the world class players that city have who face it, week in, week out and so have developed the game to beat the “low block”. I think Gylfi should be able to adapt though.
I think youre right that silva is trying to adapt and maybe that might see Gylfi watching more often from the bench. However, I think that will be as hes taken off for a tactical switch than hell just be sub.
Id like to see how things would go with Gylfi on the bench, but if I was picking the side, I would find it impossible to leave 13 goals on the bench, particularly when he can just produce some magic out of nothing. Its a complete contradiction but thats Gylfi.
113 Posted 23/08/2019 at 18:28:00
The point is, DCL is good enough for now. We are winning now, so surely we give him a pat on the back and tell him to keep going. Meantime, patience with young kean who will come off the bench and bag a goal or two and then will get his chance.
Kean and DCL can be an effective double act without playing together. DCL to wear a defence out and soften them up for Kean who can then come on and score.
No one has said DCL is brilliant. Its that the relentless criticism is ridiculous. What ever happened to the old adage that you dont break up a winning side?
114 Posted 23/08/2019 at 18:42:10
I would give him a pat on the back as I thought he had good games in some big matches at Goodison at the end of last season.
However, I still think he is a player we need to improve on and whilst I appreciate Kean is the future star I still think a club chasing the champions league positions over the next few years will need someone better than DCL as their second choice forward.
Doesnt mean Im saying he is crap or I hate the kid etc its just an opinion based on seeing live almost every competitive game he has played for the club.
115 Posted 23/08/2019 at 22:13:09
To think we had people above claiming all fans criticising DCL to not be Evertonians nail on head and all that bull.
Not good enough and never will be, I await the ToffeeWeb mafia to turn up and tell us were all red idiots not worthy of their insight tick tock .....
116 Posted 23/08/2019 at 22:16:22
117 Posted 24/08/2019 at 07:22:47
I think there will be great concern that anyone marking our players out of ten would have been hard-pressed to give any mark whatsoever to Schneiderlin, Sigurdsson, Bernard. Richarlison and Gomes. I mean those players cost over £200M, right?
On a thread where it has been claimed that a few footballing Einsteins constantly single out Calvert-Lewin and turn a blind eye to the shortcomings of the rest, I find it astonishing that we have people who will come on TWO minutes after the match to offer irrefutable proof.
You couldn't make it up.
118 Posted 24/08/2019 at 10:21:31
119 Posted 24/08/2019 at 11:37:41
On a different post relating to last night's abysmal performance against Villa, I have suggested Bernard as a Number 10. Mainly because I believe Sigurdsson to be vastly overrated.
However, your plausible variations have prompted me to consider Calvert-Lewin in that role. I think he could surprise many. Clearly his critics bemoaning his lack of goals, is certainly justified, although nobody could fault his work rate. Playing him deeper, with Kean up front, could prove to be a masterstroke.
120 Posted 24/08/2019 at 12:29:33
121 Posted 24/08/2019 at 12:59:10
Yes, he should have scored, it was a golden opportunity. But that's football. Had it gone in and we had not conceded two silly goals, then we would probably be giving him the Man of the Match award. But as the old saying goes, 'If me Aunt had balls she' d be me Uncle'.
Unfortunately, it just wasn't to be. It took Graeme Sharpe a good while at the club before he developed into the class act that he eventually was. Perhaps the same will be said of Calvert-Lewin. The boy is still learning. I hope so, because he doesn't hide. He is an honest hard worker. Which can't be said for some of the others.
122 Posted 24/08/2019 at 19:27:04
123 Posted 24/08/2019 at 19:28:13
And numerous other posters you are aware that there are another 10 players in blue on the pitch? Young Calvert-Lewin is one of a front line of 3, one cost £45m who has found the net exactly the same amount of times as Calvert-Lewin, who works half as hard and sulks his way through games, not to mention the midfield who are not doing their jobs who also cost a king's ransom.
But it's the youngster who cost £1.5m who is to blame for everything. It's only a matter of time before Trump blames him for starting the fires in the Amazon.
124 Posted 24/08/2019 at 19:56:04
125 Posted 24/08/2019 at 19:59:17
126 Posted 24/08/2019 at 20:09:26
127 Posted 24/08/2019 at 20:21:11
128 Posted 26/08/2019 at 02:49:01
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