Stars new and old point the way forward as Everton deal with Lincoln

By Lyndon Lloyd 28/08/2019 55comments  |  Jump to last
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Everton discovered their shooting boots and quadrupled their scoring tally for the season as they progressed to the third round of the Carabao Cup at Sincil Bank this evening. 23 shots, eight on target — including one that was inches away from securing Moise Kean what would have been a deserved goal on his full debut — and four goals were enough to put paid to Lincoln and send the Blues into third round.

Granted it was against League One opposition but thanks to the probing link play of Alex Iwobi, the direct running of Moise Kean, a stunning goal from Lucas Digne and an altogether more coherent display to the one they put on at Aston Villa, Everton were able to avert potential disaster after conceding a goal after just 21 seconds.

Amid the possibility that Everton’s morale was at a low ebb after last Friday’s defeat in the Premier League and given the various banana skins that have seen the Toffees’ exit early in cup competition down the years, Harry Anderson’s strike from the first attack of the game could, on another day, have been a blow from which Marco Silva’s team wouldn’t be able to recover. In truth, however, it merely gave Everton plenty of time to compose themselves, get a grip of the game and set about first regaining parity and then going on to win.

And that’s what they did, even if Bruno Andrade’s rocket temporarily set the cat back among the pigeons by evening the contest again at 2-2 with 20 minutes to go. That, too, could have been an inflection point where the visitors might have teetered and faltered but thanks to Iwobi’s first goal for the club and an emphatic header from Richarlison, the favourites won out on the night to set up a date with Sheffield Wednesday in the next round.

The mis-step at Villa Park may have heightened the need for changes in the line-up but this probably always was the fixture that Silva had pin-pointed as the one to give Kean, Iwobi and Djibril Sidibé their debuts while it’s likely that Fabian Delph would have already made his first start were it not for the injury he sustained against Werder Bremen at the start of the month.

All four made their Everton bows and while the French fullback was solid without really turning any heads, the other three had the kind of impact that the travelling Blues fans hope they will have on the league campaign as well.

André Gomes may have played with the same energy and purpose as Delph did this evening at times last season but it’s been a while since he did so with the same authority. In that sense, the former Manchester City midfielder looks like he could be a very important player if he can stay fit.

Delph played conductor in the middle of the park for the majority of the first half, leading the Blues forward from the back whereupon Iwobi would often take over with his trickery, neat footwork in tight areas and ability to work between the lines.

After Lincoln had stunned Everton when Jack Payne had sliced through their defence from a badly-defended throw-in to get to the byline and cut it back for the untracked Anderson, it was Iwobi who first really tested Grant Smith after Gylfi Sigurdsson had seen a close-range volley parried and then lashed a 20-yard shot high over the crossbar.

Lucas Digne was the recipient of the latest in a succession of balls flighted over the Imps’ right back and he laid a square pass to Iwobi who tried to bend a shot around the keeper, only to see Smith palm it behind.

Michael Keane had an effort cleared from under the Lincoln crossbar at one end while his central defensive partner Mason Holgate wasn’t punished for a slip at the other before Everton’s near total dominance of the ball was rewarded when a free-kick was awarded for a heavy foul on Sigurdsson 30 yards from goal. Digne assumed the honours for the dead-ball situation and swept a quite brilliant, picture-perfect shot into the top corner to make it 1-1.

If that was to be the platform from which Everton would go on and win the game, Kean took up the challenge with a mazy run at the Lincoln defence that ended with him accelerating past his man and hammering a shot that, disappointingly, thumped off the woodwork rather than fly inside the near post.

A few minutes later, Richarlison was teed up by another inviting square ball from Digne but he couldn’t drive his first-time effort on target, the ball whistling a yard wide of the upright. That meant the two teams went into the break level but it felt as though all Everton needed to do was keep playing the way they were and the goals would come. And so it proved in the second half.

Kean had a chance early after the restart when a corner dropped at his feet around six yards out by his way to goal was blocked by a number of red shirts and his shot was charged down. Jason Shackell, meanwhile, might have done better when he got around the back unmarked to meet a Lincoln corner at the other end but he failed to get proper contact on the ball.

Five minutes later, the visitors took the lead. Kean held the ball up impressively as Morgan Schneiderlin made a rare burst into the box where the Frenchman tumbled to the turf after being upended by Michael O’Connor and referee Darren Bond pointed to the spot. Sigurdsson stepped up and despatched a confident penalty high into the goal before a spate of “handbags” erupted in the goal as the Icelandic international went to claim the ball and Aaron Lewis tried to wrestle it out of his hands. Inexplicably, Sigurdsson and not Lewis was yellow-carded, although the Imp would be booked in stoppage time for a horrible tackle on Richarlison.

As expected, Everton pressed for a third but they were pegged back in the 70th minute by Andrade. Lewis eased his way past the tiring Delph and flighted a ball into the box that Keane couldn’t head clear of the 18-yard line and Andrade smashed it past Jordan Pickford with some aplomb from 15 yards out.

Silva’s side stuck at their task, though, and when Richarlison and the increasingly effective Sigurdsson combined down the right and the former chipped a cross from the byline, Cenk Tosun, who had come on as a substitute for Kean, had the presence of mind to head it back across the six-yard box to Iwobi who steered a header of his own into an unguarded corner of the goal to make it 3-2in the 81st minute.

There was time, too, for Digne to put another indelible stamp on the game two minutes from the end of the 90 as he skinned Anderson down the Everton left and whipped in a tempting cross that Richarlison met with an unerring header that flew past Smith and bulged the net in front of the jubilant away fans.

Ultimately, while they scored a couple of fine goals and refused to lie down, Lincoln were unable to match or live with Everton’s overall quality and it was that superiority that told in the final reckoning. Again, the calibre of the opposition needs to be taken into account but there were many pleasing aspects to the performance that bode well for the resumption of the Premier League programme.

Delph looks like he can bring a drive in midfield that isn’t always there from the more sanguine Schneiderlin or mercurial Gomes, while Iwobi and Kean offered the kind of invention, strength and movement that Evertonians were hoping they would up front.

If there were concerns, they largely centred around the lack of organisation at the back for the first goal in particular, Holgate’s obvious rustiness and, until the very end, more profligacy in front of goal from Richarlison. On the whole, though, it was job done and a very instructive exercise that demonstrates the options at Silva’s disposal starting against Wolves on Sunday.

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Reader Comments (55)

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Adam Fenlon
1 Posted 29/08/2019 at 02:50:45
Quintupled I think actually.
Derek Knox
2 Posted 29/08/2019 at 05:06:57
Encouraging signs after a gloomy and stuttering start to the Premier League, albeit that the opposition were from 2 divisions below, in a one-off Cup Tie. I had feared the banana skin pre-match discussions were to be realised, after 23 seconds, but it set the tone for a typical David and Goliath possibility.

Gladly the unlikely biblical homicide was not to be emulated on this occasion. I would imagine it was a pulsating and entertaining match for those of a neutral disposition, but for a good portion for us it was a nail-biting affair for us Blues.

I think on reflection both sides can take credit for entertaining on the night, but I think bizarrely, it will have galvanised Lincoln into being a formidable opponent for the rest of their campaign, although they have no further part to play in this Cup, they will benefit in the long run.

I think too it has been a lesson learnt for us too, as there clearly were signs of a united squad with fire in their bellies to achieve a result, after a rude awakening.

Jakub Kollar
3 Posted 29/08/2019 at 06:58:35
After the Villa disaster, I was glad to finally watch an entertaining match with both teams playing great football. Some fantastic goals on both sides.
John Raftery
4 Posted 29/08/2019 at 07:53:45
I thought Delph was immense in that first half. He played a big part in helping the team settle into the game after a terrible start. His vision, movement, readiness to receive the ball and his quick passing reminded me of Gareth Barry. He also made one or two big tackles. Until he tired in the second half he very much looked the part. On that form and providing of course he can stay fit it will be a question of which midfielder will earn the right to play alongside him.
Lev Vellene
5 Posted 29/08/2019 at 08:48:58
I really liked what Delph did in the final third, and I hope he'll tell our forward players in no uncertain terms that "When I get that ball outside the box, it will most likely end up well inside the box, so you better be there to pick it up!!! Or else..." :-)
Stan Schofield
6 Posted 29/08/2019 at 09:00:58
Encouraging and entertaining team performance.

There were no surprises in this performance and result, just as there were no surprises in the first three league games. We know we have the quality of players, and better strength in depth, to be challenging realistically for both cups and top places in the league. But our main problem is consistency, and if only we can start getting better consistency then this season should be a marked improvement. The better strength in depth, current injuries notwithstanding, can only help achieve this consistency.

Dave Abrahams
7 Posted 29/08/2019 at 09:30:09
Digne was Everton’s best player by a long run but very impressed with Delph, with and without the ball, vocally and physically if Lincoln’s alehouse players wanted it.

There in front of us last night was Everton’s new captain, a voice on the field at last, and he isn’t match fit yet.

Jerome Shields
8 Posted 29/08/2019 at 10:52:01
I know Lincoln City are in League One, but Everton shows that they can create chances, when the midfield is more mobile and moves the ball quickly (Delph helped a lot), particularly through Sigurdsson.

There was more of a central threat. The new additions certainly helped, Iowbi in particular. Tosun does what he does well, laying off the ball and moving into position to do so. I recently had a look at his stats and that is what he is good at. He is not an out-and-out striker and never has been. He can score if provided a clear cut chance, but has always lacked pace. Calvert-Lewin also played well, coming on as a sub. Holgate was a little rusty to start with, but played a lot of great long passes.

Richarlison was reinvigorated with the play around him. It's only a matter of time until Kean will score.

I knew Everton where playing well when I saw Schneriderlin in the opposition penalty area. Digne is a world class footballer, better than Gueye. Hope we don't get a big offer in for him in January.

Matthew Williams
9 Posted 29/08/2019 at 12:08:13
We can do away games... and coming back from a very early goal down too.

All the goals were well taken on the night,a real old-fashioned Cup tie from the brief highlights I saw on Quest after listening to the live commentary.

Magnificent away support again, let's finally win this Cup, eh!

Onwards Blues.

John McFarlane Snr
10 Posted 29/08/2019 at 12:17:11
Hi Dave [7] I didn't see lat night's game I listened to it on Radio Merseyside, and I can't believe that so many posters are saying "it was only Lincoln City" – they obviously don't share my philosophy of "Anything can happen in a game of football".

The record throughout the history of football is littered with "Only teams" that triumph over more fancied opposition, the most recent one of note being, Wigan Athletic's victory over Manchester City in the FA Cup Final.

My outlook is 'Enjoy the moment' no matter who the opposition may be.

Tony Marsh
11 Posted 29/08/2019 at 12:49:39
In the end, a decent enough but a flattering result for Everton last night but still with plenty of worrying issues to address. I suppose being in the next round is all that mattered so we can't moan.

I think the gesture by Marco Silva sending the players over to the away end to give their shirts away was the highlight of the night for me. Showed a great appreciation towards the the supporters.

Keeping hold of Digne is going to be the big test for Brands. Digne has to easily be the best buy Everton have made since the Premier League started.

Si Cooper
12 Posted 29/08/2019 at 13:52:54
Credit to Fabian Delph for attitude and application but I actually thought he was poorer in quality than I'd hoped but I expect those things will improve.

In particular I don't think he took on the majority of the role of distributor and I have distinct recollection of others such as Holgate and Schneiderlin being the ones clipping the ball to the flanks from our own half. I also felt that the ball went back to the central defenders and goalie more than it has of late.

Delph certainly tried some adventurous balls further up the pitch but none really hit their mark. I'm not trying to knock his performance as I think he played sensibly and deliberately to steady the ship, but I have the sense that his contribution is being puffed up quite a bit.

Kevin Molloy
13 Posted 29/08/2019 at 14:13:22
I'm very pleased with the rehab of Schneiderlin. Even without looking at his performance levels, it is plain to see he is now fully committed to the cause. Credit has to be given to Silva for motivating a senior pro who is already on his last big contract.
Kevin Molloy
14 Posted 29/08/2019 at 15:18:05
Tony,

I don't think we will or should be looking to hold onto Digne. We should be looking to maximise the profit we will be making from his sale.

I think we went down the wrong road with Baines, we should have let him go to Manchester United, and brought in the dosh.

Keeping players when they have the chance to go to much bigger cliubs never works, and in fact, selling well is the only real way we are going to survive and prosper. Them's the rules — not just for us but everyone except Madrid and Barcelona.

Eric Paul
15 Posted 29/08/2019 at 15:43:52
So selling our best players is the only way to prosper? I would have thought keeping your best players and building a team around them would be a better method.
Darren Hind
16 Posted 29/08/2019 at 15:45:59
John Mac,

Spot on. The day when you play lower league team littered with players barely above semi-professional level are long gone.

Right down through the leagues you will find players of great skill who, although don't tick all the boxes to play at the top, tick enough to give anyone a game on any given day.

As you rightly point out, there was always somebody who would come a cropper, but these days it's even more likely. Teams down the pyramid are ultra-professional.

I think we as a club have been guilty of not respecting lower teams enough, our managers have taken liberties, certainly with team selection. I think we all know how that has gone.

Teams from the top flight are favourites, of course, but you have to show these lower league teams 100% respect, do that and you will probably win. Approach these games thinking you only have to turn up and you are asking for trouble.

Only Lincoln? I don't think there`s an "only" anybody anymore

Rob Halligan
17 Posted 29/08/2019 at 15:57:10
Eric # 15. Fully agree with what you're saying. I'm sure there is some logical reasoning behind Kevin's post @ # 14, but like you say, we should be keeping our better players and building a strong squad capable of breaching the top 4/6.

What's the point in building a strong squad, only to dismantle it every couple of years, and then start all over again? Doesn't make any sense at all.

The best way to keep our best players is to win a cup, AND finish in a European qualifying position via the league, this season. This would then enable us to make the squad stronger come the next summer transfer window. Players will want to join us, not want to leave us.

Jerome Shields
18 Posted 29/08/2019 at 16:05:35
I agree Everton should be keeping their better players. But Everton need to be progressing all the time and be challenging to get as far as possible in all competitions. A player's football life is short.

At least now we can bring in younger transfers, bar a few strategic older buys. Hopefully our days of buying obvious has-beens are finished for good.

Alan J Thompson
19 Posted 29/08/2019 at 16:20:17
I think it has always been a football truism that you may be the better, more skillful side but it counts for little if you don't put in at least an equal amount of effort as your opponents.
Mike Gaynes
20 Posted 29/08/2019 at 16:29:45
Darren #16 and John #10, so true. The fact is that the difference between a Premier League player and a League One player is often just a small percentage of talent or a fraction of a second of pace. And we all know that, in one game, that difference can be overcome by effort and passion. In the long run, the greater talent will win out. But 90 minutes is just a blink in time, and an inspired team can raise itself to the heights for one day.

The American expression is "on any given Sunday..." which comes from the NFL and says any team in the league can beat any other on a particular day.

Stan Schofield
21 Posted 29/08/2019 at 16:42:32
Kevin@14: That is true if you are a middling club happy to stay that way. When we were a top club, we got the very best players in their prime, and let them go when they were past their prime. Since we're not happy to remain a middling club, and wish to be the best, we must try to obtain and keep players in their prime, otherwise we will not get to the top.

Of course, in order to do this, we need to get some consistency under Silva. If we can't get this consistency, and remain midtable, then of course the best players won't come here, and our best players will leave to win medals elsewhere.

So, we MUST keep hold of players like Digne for the foreseeable future, and to do this we must get consistency, otherwise we will remain midtable.

John McFarlane Snr
22 Posted 29/08/2019 at 16:58:28
Hi Darren [14], the difference between Premier League and lower division sides is diminishing rapidly, obviously the top class teams will always be favourites to win games against lower league opponents, but there are no longer [what we used to refer to as], 'Kick and Run' sides. To tell you the truth, I would sooner play Arsenal than Accrington Stanley, defeat to Arsenal [disappointing], defeat to Accrington Stanley [catastrophic].

Hi Mike [20], in days gone by we would have said, "On any given Saturday" unfortunately thanks to the Premier League selling its soul to Sky Television, we now have to say, "On any given day, and any given time".

Jim Harrison
23 Posted 29/08/2019 at 17:01:08
The beauty of cup football. Lower ranked teams get a chance to play the big boys and make a game of it. Lincoln did that, hats off.

To win a cup a team has to simply keep winning. Performances don't matter too much as long as the team do enough to beat the opponent and move on.

To us Lincoln are cannon fodder; to them, Everton are Goliath!! And every team outside of the Premier League will see the same, so up the game.

Win, move on. If at the end of the season it ends up at Wembley, no one will remember that in the 2nd round Lincoln made a decent game of it.

Colin Malone
24 Posted 29/08/2019 at 17:24:19
Richarlison must be given a chance to play up top again.
John Pierce
25 Posted 29/08/2019 at 17:25:54
Some encouragement for Silva with the performances of Delph, Iwobi, & Kean.

Delph feels a touch ‘Gareth Barry’ with his introduction. The overall package is clever, intelligent and he will put his foot in.

Iwobi demonstrates amply how just passing and moving creates space and allows him to maximize his ability. Others in the team could learn a lot from it, Siggy & Richarlison especially.

Kean will create things for himself, he did tire but unlike the other forwards we have who are way too reliant on the system.

Sadly the biggest disappointment was the decision to stick with the formation and approach. Until the Digne special we persisted with the very predictable out from the back, down the sides and cross. League one centre backs love that shit, and well they lapped it up.

The absence of variety, and bodies in the box will make Sunday very tricky. Wolves play 3-5-2, so crossing the ball into a heavily packed box is stupid.

It’s going to need a change and formation that plays in between, got to go 4-3-3.

Some improvements but Silva needs to get a wriggle on.

Paul Curwen
26 Posted 29/08/2019 at 17:58:53
Good start to a good run in the Cup hopefully. Nice to see a bit of fire in their bellies for a change. But, Pickford running the length of the pitch to get involved still shows a lack of maturity. And did anyone notice the sly right hook thrown by I think it was Moist Kean in the goalmouth handbags ?.
Eric Paul
27 Posted 29/08/2019 at 18:11:23
there is a massive difference between prem players and first division players, it’s not that evident when there is a full team of them working their balls off but put one in any prem side and you would soon see the difference
Raymond Fox
28 Posted 29/08/2019 at 18:13:48
Even someone with poor vision can see Digne is top class, it wont have gone unnoticed elsewhere I'm sorry to say.
The quicker the club can offer him a better extended contract the better, whether he would sign it is another matter.
We will never progress if we cant keep hold of our top players, its a recurring setback we suffer most seasons.
How we overcome the problem I don't know, its a downer.
Jack Convery
29 Posted 29/08/2019 at 18:45:45
Delph has a football brain no doubt about it - calm and concise is how I would describe his performance until he tired, which was to be expected. Digne is an absolute gem - what a buy but something tells me we'll get an offer next summer we won't be able to turn down - I do hope I am wrong. Brands really needs to consider upping his contract to protect us from getting done as with Gueye - £28m was a joke.

I now hope we can take confidence into the Wolves game and give a really good account of ourselves, against a very good team. If Gomes is still suffering from that foot injury he got at Palace best to give him a rest and we may see the real Gomes whens hes fully fit.

Annika Herbert
30 Posted 30/08/2019 at 06:54:56
I was one of the people who was against the purchase of Delph, I had never really like him as a player and worried about his injury record. However, if he can stay fit and play as he did against Lincoln, then I will be pleased to eat humble pie!
I thought he looked quality and he will only get better as his fitness improves. Despite my doubts, he could prove to be a very shrewd purchase. Fingers crossed he stays fit.
Sam Hoare
31 Posted 30/08/2019 at 08:06:08
Stan@21, I agree with Kevin. It’s not about settling for being a ‘middling club’ it’s about running yourselves as an efficient business and backing your scouting team to find good players to replace. Look at the likes of Dortmund and Leipzig who have raised themselves up by buying young talent and funding new purchase by selling. Spurs have done the same to a degree and have sold the likes of Bale, Trippier and Walker to help fill the coffers.

Obviously you don’t want to be selling constantly or more than one of your starting XI every season or two but if someone were to bid £80m+ for a 27 year old Digne next summer I would feel confident in Brands finding another, younger option who’d do a similar job. Some very good left backs around, easier to replace than a goalscoring striker for example.

This squad still needs work and with the stadium incoming I don’t think Moshiri will be blowing big net spends. We saw that this summer with a much lower net spend than last summer. Selling the occasional player at their peak before their value drops is good and necessary business for any club without endless financial backing that wishes to continue investing in the best young talent.

Stan Schofield
32 Posted 30/08/2019 at 08:19:19
Sam, I agree with much of what you say, but we really shouldn't start talking about letting our best players go until we have sufficient in reserve to negate the loss. There's no point in gaining money from selling someone like Digne if we cannot attract a replacement of equivalent quality. By 'equivalent', I don't mean a mirror of that player but someone for whom the club is very confident they will ensure that the team performance is maintained or enhanced.

When you sell without a clear equivalent replacement in mind who already agrees to come here, then it is the mark of an habitual 'feeder' club that maintains its position as midtable and never really gets to the top. All clubs of course lose good players, but the Cities and Real Madrids of this world, like Everton when we were elite, don't habitually get rid of players in their prime. Instead, they attract them. That's where we want to be.

You say there are plenty of good left backs around who we could get. There are, but there aren't many of the quality of Digne. What you've said has been said before, about strikers when there was all the talk about Lukaku leaving, implying it was easy to find replacements who could give the equivalent goal return. It was idle talk, as is the current talk regarding Digne.

Sam Hoare
33 Posted 30/08/2019 at 09:16:25
Stan, I’m sure we would not sell without a replacement lined up with this new, improved hierarchy. That was the case with Gueye and Gbamin who I think (injury aside) will prove a good replacement.

I’m in no rush to sell Digne of course, or any of our starting XI but if we wish to keep buying exciting young player like Kean, Mina, Richarlison etc then we will (I think) have to make some money from outgoing sales. Picking the right player to sell at the right time for the right value and crucially with the right replacement lined up will of course be up to Brands and his team. I was not entirely convinced by his work this summer, felt like we sold a few players cheaply and there were some holes unaddressed, but he’s definitely a big improvement on what we had.

Phil Greenough
34 Posted 30/08/2019 at 09:19:51
Whilst agreeing with the sentiments about wanting to keep our best players, I think a touch of realism is required about our status as a top club. We may have history, but the last time we won anything was twenty four years ago.

Yes, before Sky TV and the Premier League, Everton were thought of as one of the top clubs, but this is no longer the case. If Barca, Real, Chelsea, Tottenham or even Man Utd come knocking, it's going to be hard keeping any player, that shows promise.

An example of this is Leicester. They won the Premier League league and instead of the players thinking, let's stay in a winning team, some of them jumped ship to the more fashionable clubs.

Leicester may have been able to offer them comparable salaries, but I don't think this would have mattered a bit. They had a chance to play for one of the Sky six and took it.

Methinks I'm teaching you how to suck eggs, but the way some people think players will remain at Everton, I'm not sure. Yes, Ambition and love of your club is essentially part of being a supporter of any club, not just Everton, but it's got to be tempered with the fact that football has changed since the last time we were successful.

Recent history has proved, that having local allegiances to Everton, does not deter you from wanting to join Chelsea or Man city. So we can't remonstrate again foreign players who have the same ambition.

The agents will have their toxic effect on the players. Even if Deigne, wanted to stay at Everton, do you think his agent would allow it?

Finally, Sky, the BBC and money, do I need to say anymore? They manipulate to keep their Sky darlings at the top, so that the revenue is maintained. No amount of success from Everton will change this.

Look at the way Sky and the BBC changed the way they displayed the top of the Premier League, when Everton got to sixth place, suddenly it was relevant only to show the top five.

You may think I'm a defeatist, posting this, but I'm not, even after fifty years of supporting them! I'm just realistic about about Everton and their standing in a modern money dominated, football league, and the shallow people that run it for their own greed, the FA.

Brian Harrison
35 Posted 30/08/2019 at 09:46:29
Phil

Sadly you are right in as much if any regular Champions league team come calling on our players it will be very difficult to keep hold of them. But this has gone on for a very long time, as you and I can remember when we were the club who could buy any player we wanted when John Moores was in charge.

Many Premier league clubs are owned by billionaires but they cant match the money that the top clubs in world football can offer. You only have to look at Spurs were Pochettino has done an amazing job, but their spending on players and transfer fees don't compare to what City,Liverpool and Chelsea spend. But I think this reluctance to spend money will see Pochettino leave before December. Arsenal are another club who again cant or wont compete with the very top clubs. Now in light of what has happened at Bury maybe these clubs are doing it the right way in keeping spending to an affordable level. I think the Sanchez at Man Utd sums up the crazy situation in football, Man Utd are prepared to pay a staggering £8 million a year as PART of his wages just to get some of his salary off the books for a season.

So lets hope that more realism regarding transfer fees and wages, but I doubt it very much. Clubs now selling their ground to stay in the Premier league and others at the top end spending fortunes in wages on a weekly basis.

Stan Schofield
36 Posted 30/08/2019 at 10:07:34
Sam@33: Again I can't disagree with what you're saying there. I think my central point is that, yes, it's great to get a wad of money for a good player, but there's a big difference between how a small club does it and how a top club does it. The former, like we've been for too long, apparently sell without a targeted and specific business plan for an identified replacement, as per the striker situation and many situations before that. In contrast, a top club sells only when they know there's an equivalent or better replacement in the offing. That's where we want to be.

I think you're right that in Brands we seem to have a more targeted business-savvy plan for improvement.

Phil@34: You're right, unfortunately! But we were a very top club not that long ago, have won 8 trophies in my lifetime, are not in the category of Leicester and that isolated trophy, and do have much greater 'brand image' through history than clubs like that could only dream about. The potential here for exploiting that 'brand' is surely massive, and our ambitions must be in kilter with it.

Clive Rogers
37 Posted 30/08/2019 at 10:08:21
DCL looks more and more like a midfield that he really is. I thought he looked better on Wednesday without the burden of being the lone striker. He should perhaps be returned to his true position in midfield. He is not a striker.
Phil Greenough
38 Posted 30/08/2019 at 11:00:21
Stan, do you not see the relevance of your statement 'Leicester and that isolated trophy"? It reinforces my contention, that even if Everton won the Premier League, what's to stop Moise, Deign, or even Keane, signing for one of the Sky Darlings?

EFC are viewed by the media as a stepping stone to something better. Evertonians, obviously disagree with this contention, but I feel it's blind faith, not a bad thing, when you say that you have witnessed Everton winning eight trophies, which will influence players to stay.

It's patently obvious that it's irrelevant to Sky, the BBC and the media. Therefore, it's not beyond the boundaries of imagination, especially with the influence of their agents, that top players, feel the same way.

Stephen Davies
39 Posted 30/08/2019 at 11:04:06
Clive #37...its a good shout that.
There have been numerous examples over the years of players switching positions and being succesful.
A good example is Ray Kennedy who was converted to a very succesful midfielder from a forward at the Arse. ( and no I'm not claiming any similarities with DCL).
Alan J Thompson
40 Posted 30/08/2019 at 11:54:37
So, next season we are offered 80M for Digne in the belief that selling him is not only good business but that Mr Brands will find not only an as good as replacement but a replacement for the left back back up as the current one is only on a one year contract which expires after this season.

There's a young left back at Wigan, an international as well.

Thomas Lennon
41 Posted 30/08/2019 at 12:55:15
What attracts good players to a club? Partly money but a big part is knowing if they will be in the mix to win big trophies.

Everton aren't in that category yet but we can attracts young players on their way up as a really good proven stepping stone. If we can attract enough, develop them quickly and improve our standing while they are here then we benefit and we build our finances, especially when BMD opens.

None of those players will stay if a CL club comes calling, so forget about players staying with us to become 'legends' until we are up there, and as Leicester have found out if success is not underpinned by the structure to support a doubling (or more) of finances success will be fleeting. BMD is a vital part of this and we are getting there. Until we achieve that transition we will not be bracketed with the top 6 regardless of where we finish.

Stan Schofield
42 Posted 30/08/2019 at 13:06:00
Phil@38: Leicester supporters will be dining out on that single trophy for eternity. Simply being in the Premier League was a bonus for them, and winning the league was beyond belief. It's difficult to imagine them expecting it to happen again.

Everton, on the other hand, are different. There are many Evertonians who've never seen glory, used only to mediocrity. But there are many for whom Everton being at the top is as natural as the Sun rising in the East. Such Evertonians are never happy being midtable, they are hungry and thirsty to be top dogs again. Clubs like Leicester haven't won 8 trophies, whereas many Evertonians have experienced it.

The media have never been friendly to Everton, ever since the days of Catterick and his apparent disdain of them. He played games with them, such as when he told the Echo that Liverpool were signing Kendall when in fact he was joining us. We've never been in kilter with the media, and perhaps never will. But that didn't stop the 8 trophies.

Many on ToffeeWeb write as though they feel continuing mediocrity is a law of nature. It comes across as a fatalistic mentality that sees any attempt at returning to glory as futile, and it manifests itself in a fatalistic belief that we will lose players as soon as they become outstanding. This is not a problem in itself, since we don't run the club. But it is a problem if the people who do run the club are also of this mentality, because such a mentality is self-fulfilling and likely transfers onto the field.

Phil Greenough
43 Posted 30/08/2019 at 14:00:16
I can understand your opinion on the fatalistic attitude, some fans have taken, Stan, but it's a fine line between fatalism and realism. Yes, we all hope, that the nigh on quarter of a century wait for league/cup success, will soon be over, but where is the proof to support our dreams?

I can't think of many great players, that have stayed loyal to EFC. Even after we won the FA cup in 1995, Gary Speed, fucked off to Newcastle. The last 25 years are littered with players who have thought they are better than Everton, many of them falling flat on their face in the process.

As I said at the start, we all hope and dream of Everton getting back into the big time, but let's keep a bit of perspective at our chances. I personally don't think our opinions transfer to the players on the field, only Jim White's and the players family and agents. 😡

The offensive term Phil used (referred to below) has been removed from this post – Mods

Stan Schofield
44 Posted 30/08/2019 at 14:16:10
Phil, during most of that quarter century the money hasn't been there to give any hope, let alone expectation. It is different now, not only is there hope but also reasonable expectation of real progress from midtable. Since Moshiri came here progress has been stuttering to say the least, but I would say there are now signs of light at the end of the tunnel.

Beyond that, if the people who run the club don't have the mentality to aim for the top, if they readily let the best players go without a clear business plan to replace with comparable or better, then that light will be an illusion and we'll remain at midtable.

At the extremes you have optimism and fatalism, but between those extremes there can be a reality of substantial progress only if there is belief.

John McFarlane Snr
45 Posted 30/08/2019 at 14:44:35
Hi Phil [43] I find your description of Gary Speed, both disrespectful and offensive, and I would like to know why you refer to him in that way. In your closing sentence you write," I personally don't think our opinions transfer to the players on the field, only Jim White's and the players family and agents"

I sincerely hope that your opinion of Gary Speed is not conveyed to his family. Best wishes John.

Dave Abrahams
46 Posted 30/08/2019 at 15:20:17
John (45),agree entirely with your comments John,regarding Phil’s (43) comments on Gary Speed.

If you ‘wasn’t at it ‘ Phil, you were well out of order having a go at our former player like that.

Gary was a dedicated supporter and player of Everton, well before he came and long after he left, in circumstances that shouldn’t have been allowed to happen.

Gary had to sign a non disclosure document before he left when he could have opened up and explained what had gone there.

Booed, disgracefully, by Everton fans every time he came back to play at Goodison, he took it on the chin, and kept quiet. A good solid man Gary, a credit to the club while he was here, and loyal to the club after he left. Rest in Peace Gary, I think you held in high regard by most Everton fans now.

Christopher Marston
47 Posted 30/08/2019 at 15:31:12
Phil, Gary Speed will always be my favourite ever player. He was captain fantastic at a time when no one wanted to know or be associated with Everton.
James Hughes
48 Posted 30/08/2019 at 15:51:04
Dave #46 A great post and I have fond memories of Gary Speed and his time with us. Will we ever know the truth about his departure?. When he left it was reported he had to sign a NDA and that very unusual at the time, always thought the agreement was to protect the club, not Gary.
Phil Greenough
49 Posted 30/08/2019 at 16:00:29
I wasn't at it, Dave and my apologies to anyone who found my comment offensive. Although half of Goodson, including me in the Park End, must have been having a go, when we were singing it, in 1998. I'm not going to be hypocritical and say I never sang it. Does it make it right? Maybe not, but I'm not going to try and rewrite history.

Obviously I never, John, why would you think that? The sentiment was of the time and although it's what was thought at the time, who in the right mind would write to a players family? Are you going to ask me if I wrote to the ref's family, calling him a bastard? Once more, I'm sorry for any offence, none was intended, if Michael or Lyndon could edit it out, it would be appreciated.

Kieran Kinsella
51 Posted 30/08/2019 at 16:15:20
I feel like the Gary Speed departure is one of those things I would preferred be swept under the rug like a grim family secret. The initial events made Speed out to be a villain although other versions of the events reflected very poorly on Kendall. Both men were great Evertonians and both have sadly passed. I don't like to see either one denigrated. I see it as an unfortunate situation ultimately caused by mismanagement of the club at board level. People in stressful situations some times have to make snap decisions that in hindsight may not be the best. But we are all human and they're both legends.
Dave Abrahams
52 Posted 30/08/2019 at 16:19:40
Phil (49), what irked me most was you said Everton have been littered with players over the last twenty five years and have left thinking they were better than the club, but you only named one player, so I thought that was a personal verbal assault on Gary Speed.

However you have apologised and said your comments were based at what you knew at the time so best to leave it at that, I can assure you though Phil that many fans knew the real events at the time including many at the club.

Kieran Kinsella
53 Posted 30/08/2019 at 16:28:44
Dave 52,

Changing tack slightly, I know there have been a few who left Everton thinking they were "better" than the club in the last 25 years. But the two that really crack me up are Carl Tyler and Craig Short. I remember reading interviews with both after they left for Charlton and Derby (if memory serves me correctly). Both said something along the lines of they'd left to join "better" clubs. Hilarious.

John McFarlane Snr
54 Posted 30/08/2019 at 16:52:05
Hi again Phil [49] it appears to me that you have misinterpreted my reply, I never suggested that you had written to Gary Speeds family, my words were, "I sincerely hope that your opinion of Gary Speed is not conveyed to his family"

I have no intention of asking whether or not you wrote to the referee calling him names, what I expected from you [and what you have offered] was an apology. Best wishes John.

Phil Greenough
55 Posted 30/08/2019 at 20:40:16
I'm Sorry I misunderstood you, John. With me having ownership of the comment, I wrongly thought that no one else would send it, or inform the family of it.
John McFarlane Snr
56 Posted 30/08/2019 at 23:38:24
Hi Phil [55] I respect you for acknowledging that your comment was in the public domain, and could have caused distress to Gary Speeds family. Best wishes John.

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