Just so... Everton

By Paul Traill 19/12/2019 60comments  |  Jump to last
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Everton 2 - 2 Leicester City [Penalties: 2-4]
It was already pretty dark as I left work at about 4:15 pm. I picked up Dan, Alfie and Ste on the way, and hit a fair amount of traffic around Birkenhead. Nevertheless, we parked up and were in the pub at around 5:15 pm. We sat down with a cold one in front of the TV only to find Liverpool were about to kick off against Monterrey in the World Club Championship. Just what we needed!

I make a point of practically never watching Liverpool as it’s no good for my blood pressure but to be fair the game was an entertaining one and passed the time quite nicely as we feasted on free hot dogs in the boozer. Monterrey caused Liverpool no end of problems and it was only in the closing stages when their legs had gone that Liverpool sneaked a winner. That will sound familiar no doubt.

Onto ourselves and it was no surprise that, other than Leighton Baines in for the injured Lucas Digne, the team lined up the same as against Manchester United on Sunday. None of the injured players were able to recover in time and our depleted ranks were tasked with taking us into the semi-final of the Carabao Cup. Alas, we faltered.

I was a little surprised to see Leicester City putting their best foot forward in this one given they play Manchester City on Saturday, as they named a strong team. Walking through the Gwladys Street concourse was pretty noisy with the crowd expectant. The teams took to the field, Everton losing the toss and attacking the Gwladys Street in the first half.

We had a fairly bright first 10 minutes when Richarlison nearly got in a couple of times, but Leicester City soon got a grip of the game and showed why they are 2nd in the Premier League. They did a good job of killing the pace of the game yet keeping the ball moving. This quietened our supporters somewhat as Everton struggled to match Leicester City’s rhythm.

The Foxes had already let us ff the hook once when Ayoze Perez skied over the bar when well placed. Leicester City continued to knock on the door however and it was of no surprise to anyone when James Maddison waltzed through and placed the ball easily past Jordan Pickford to give the visitors an advantage.

This was soon doubled only 3 minutes later when Jonny Evans stabbed home from close range following a corner kick. We conceded two quick goals too easily and had really struggled to get any foothold in the game by this point. For a few minutes at least, the boys tried to press Leicester City back and force a response, and had Yerry Mina (I really wish he would just for once score one of these headers by the way) placed his free header better we could have gone in at half time at 1-2.

The sight of Moise Kean warming up at half-time was welcomed by all as Duncan removed Bernard, presumably with some sort of niggle as he wasn’t doing too badly, to bring on the Italian. Despite a good effort from most of our jaded players, the goal never really looked like coming. Being two goals to the good, Leicester City were more than happy to sit back and hit us on the break. So while Tom Davies and Alex Iwobi et al tried to make a play, they were met with snarling Foxes scrapping away and making life difficult for them.

As we had to gamble, Leicester City got in a few times and in all fairness, had they have been more clinical we could have found ourselves 0-3 and totally out of the cup. Marc Albrighton hit the crossbar with a great curling effort, and Jordan Pickford had to make two fine saves to thwart Ayoze Perez and Dennis Praet and keep the Foxes at bay.

To their credit, the lads kept plugging away and on 70 minutes Richarlison’s cross was well swatted home by Tom Davies to give Everton hope.

It’s funny how goals change games as, despite a good effort from Everton, Leicester City had looked well in control by this point. The goal swung the momentum wildly and with Cenk Tosun sent on to help out Moise Kean up-front, Leicester City added Caglar Soyuncu to help bolster the defence.

Everton huffed and puffed and as the clock ticked into stoppage time and you began to feel all hope was lost, up stepped Leighton Baines who majestically drove at goal from 25 yards, beautifully finding the top corner to bring us level. It was noticeable that Leighton was wanting to get back quick to restart as you felt Everton might still have had time to build more momentum in the remaining time, but his team mates mobbed him and we couldn’t force a quick restart.

I somehow never fancied us on penalties but, when we got a corner kick at the very death I did fancy us, and really felt the roof was to be blown off Goodison Park when the ball hit the net. This never happened, of course, and on to penalties we went.

The shoot-out took place in front of the Park End with Leicester City presumably winning the toss and opting to shoot first. Jordan Pickford brilliantly saved James Maddison’s spot-kick and you dared to dream for a moment. Cenk Tosun then ran up quickly and confidently. Maybe he was put off by Kasper Schmeichael’s nobheadness (I think referees should really be looking to clamp down on that sort of behaviour, by the way, as it's really against the spirit of the game for me, but that’s for another day), as his direction-less penalty was easily saved by Kasper. I feel this was key because, had Cenk have scored, it would have switched the pressure on the penalty taker, putting Leicester City on the back foot somewhat.

As it was, Leighton Baines, uncharacteristically, also struck poorly from the spot and that was effectively it. It was a shame for Leighton as this rendered his wonder strike effectively worthless. Though Mason Holgate and Dominic Calvert-Lewin fared better with their spot-kicks, so too did Leicester City’s players, and Jamie Vardy finished the job for the visitors.

On balance, the better team won; however, you can’t help but feel that frustration of another cup that has got away from us and, for the second year running in the Carabao Cup, we have bowed out on penalties. Though second best for most of the game, I was proud of the effort of some of the lads, particularly Leighton Baines, Seamus Coleman, Mason Holgate and Tom Davies.

We really are down to the bare bones of our squad and Duncan hasn’t had the luxury of freshening things up. I think that if you take the best players out of the midfield of most other teams in the league they would similarly struggle, so it is with credit to Duncan than we have competed well these last three games.

All eyes on our Board then. Though Carlo Ancelotti seems to become a more real proposition by the day, and certainly one well worth getting excited about, until it actually happens I somehow expect it won’t happen. It’ll be an interesting couple of days between now and Arsenal. Let’s hope for a few more players available, and confirmation on Carlo before then.

Player ratings:

Pickford: I don’t think he could have done much with the goals. Otherwise he made some very good saves in the second half and it’s a shame for Jordan that his penalty save counted for nothing. 8

Baines: What a class act. A great professional and we best come good at Anfield next month because it’s criminal to think that, like Phil Jagielka before him, he will finish his Everton career with no medals to show for it. A phenomenal strike and a great performance. No blame from me for his botched penalty. He’s well in credit with penalties scored for us, and it was his wonder goal that gave us a chance with the penalties. Well done, Leighton. 8

Mina: Poor. Very poor in fact. Timid when he should be dominant and some of his distribution and clearances were so brain-dead. I really don’t know what he was playing at. 3

Keane: Showed a few good moments but got caught out a bit too often for me. 5
Coleman: Seamus was outstanding and seemed to have a determination about him to not give this one up. I’m convinced this drove some of the others on and he didn’t deserve to be on the losing side. Unlucky Seamus. My man of the match. 8

Holgate: As a centre back playing in holding midfield, not everything is going to work and he made a few bad decisions. However, he covered so much ground, was sharp in the tackle and didn’t take it lying down. A great effort from Mason. Great penalty though! 7

Davies: Not everything he did worked, but he took responsibility and the players kept looking for him as he was perhaps the only one in midfield with any nouse for finding a forward pass. He took his goal well and will be gutted to lose this one, I imagine. Well played, Tom. 7

Bernard: I thought he had a reasonably good first half but he didn’t come back out for the second. 6

Iwobi: A bit like Yerry, he doesn’t think enough for me and often gives the ball away or makes the wrong decision when it seems easier to do the opposite. Poor in my opinion, both on the wing and in No 10. 4

Richarlison: Kept on going and it was a bit of a surprise he was substituted but maybe he was a bit spent. Good cross for Tom’s goal. 6

Calvert-Lewin: Kept on plugging away, albeit without much reward. 6

Kean (for Bernard): Not bad in flashes but didn’t show enough for me to suggest he should be in the team. I guess we have to hope that Carlo can get the best out of him, assuming he joins us of course. 5

Tosun (for Iwobi): Full of running but hardly saw the ball. He will be devastated about missing the penalty, especially given what limited time he gets on the field. 5

Gordon (for Richarlison): Even though I’ve only seen a few clips of Anthony banging in a few screamers for the Under-23s, I was pleading for his introduction in place of Alex Iwobi when the game was at 0-2. Credit to Duncan I suppose for sticking with what he had, as it might not have worked out doing it my way; I just felt something different, with the way the game was going, couldn’t have hurt. Anyhow, Anthony got involved and had a productive 10 minutes on the field. It’s a shame his evening was soured by the penalty shoot-out loss. 6


Reader Comments (60)

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Derek Thomas
1 Posted 19/12/2019 at 04:15:23
Given what he has to work with Ferguson has done wonders and full credit to the players for the effort. One win and two draws is a decent return.

If this Ancelotti thing just turns out to be one possible ghost of a Christmas Future that might be, I'd be happy for him to carry on.

One game at a time, while we filter in returnees from treatment room and sick bed.

Arsenal next and we can get something from this before Arteta gets his feet properly under Wenger's desk.

There are times now and again when Arsenal don't seem to relish a trip North of Watford in the cold and wet.
This present incarnation is nowhere near the ones that had us, literally, at 6's and 7's.

If we can continue with our...'they don't like it up 'em' spirit - then who knows.

Bob Parrington
2 Posted 19/12/2019 at 04:48:08
This is a case of "shit happens"! -- just when you're trying to crawl out of the pit! As always, it's how you respond to the set-back. For me, it would be exciting to win one of the cup comps but it is staying in the EPL and getting as close to the top as possible that counts more than anything, particularly this season.

So, Everton, pick yourselves up, dust yourselves off and start all over again. You earned a draw vs the second in the league having done the same with Man Utd and you beat Chelsea. Get on with it and beat Arsenal! I reckon that would help all us fans get over this disappointment and get back the feel good factor.

Rahman Talib
3 Posted 19/12/2019 at 06:28:24
We badly need to get rid of the deadwoods: Iwobi, Sirgudsson, Martina, Keane, Niasse, Tosun, Steklenberg.

Promote Lewis Gibson, Anthony Gordon, Matt Foulds etc

Jim Harrison
4 Posted 19/12/2019 at 06:39:29
Well, given the players available that was good. Losing on pens is harsh, but at least they proved they can come back into a game when it seems lost

Rob Young
5 Posted 19/12/2019 at 07:19:21
I like Holgate in midfield.
Far from perfect yet, of course, but very encouraging.

He covers ground, tackles and wants the ball. PuttIng his foot on it and looking for the pass.
Most importantlly, he seems to be moody enough to play in the middle. He's got the anger in him that so few in our team have (including Davies).

Liam Reilly
6 Posted 19/12/2019 at 07:27:52
Personally I thought that Keane and Iwobi were awful and as Paul points out Leciester should've been out of sight if they'd not hit the bar or found Pickford in good form.

Cant see many players in that side getting near an Ancelotti 11.

Paul Hughes
7 Posted 19/12/2019 at 07:42:22
Liam (6). Completely agree, Keane and Iwobi stank out the gaffe.
I thought Leicester were far superior to us, we didn’t lay a glove on them until young Tom’s goal out of nowhere.
There is a lot of work to do for whoever the next manager is.
Jim Bennings
8 Posted 19/12/2019 at 07:51:59
It was so Everton yes but we are use to it by now.

We can moan about the injured we have but the players who are out, most people have used as whipping boys this season anyway, only Gomes would add class (when he’s on form that is) but even he hadn’t really set the place alight this term prior to November.

The glaring thing about us for me is we lack a truly class player to influence games when the going is tough.

Richarlison cant, doesn’t get into the game enough playing out wide, the last two games were tailor made for a big performance from him but he’s wasted out wide.

Bernard always looks tricky until he reaches the penalty area then more often than not fails to pack a punch.

Davies and Holgate try hard but Tom’s goal aside, he’s not a massively creatively class influence.

Iwobi has been god awful on the ball for months now, don’t get me wrong he works hard but his end product and final ball is abysmal, another player that we have paid tremendously over the odds for.

It’s a sad way to again go out, a glorious opportunity to reach the Final but hey ho, does any club out there do heroic failure better than Everton?

Always the bridesmaid and never the bride.

Ancelotti or whoever takes it on full time will have the biggest job of their career to date.

Rob Young
9 Posted 19/12/2019 at 07:52:06
You look at a player like Maddison and try to remember te last time we had someone who can play like him.
Arteta before his injury?

We sign the likes of Minna, Iwobi, Sidibe and Kean who can' t even run properly.
All suffering from JordanHenderson-disease (referring to his gait, not being a shithouse).

Steve Ferns
10 Posted 19/12/2019 at 08:20:36
Cracking report as ever Paul.

I’d swap what you said about Keane and Mina to the other way round. I’d also say no one deserved an 8, and I’d give Davies a 7 and man of the match. He was the one who forced the comeback, even if he wasn’t at his best. He’s got that winning attitude and he’s only 21.

If Duncan can get something out of the arsenal game, then he will have had a successful caretaker spell. He seems to have done the hard part for Carlo and arrested the slide against tough opposition.

Gerard Carey
11 Posted 19/12/2019 at 08:39:38
I agree with your ratings, Paul. I think Mina, Keane and Iwobi were awful. We have two of the slowest centre-backs in the Premier League. And that includes slow in thought, no awareness.

Both our centre-backs have little threat from set-pieces. Mina had a couple of gilt-edged chances and wasted both. Keane has no conviction when heading the ball. He lets the ball play him instead of attacking it.

Iwobi just seemed lost, again his awareness of what's happening around him is poor, his control was poor also. Very frustrating to watch.

Onwards to Saturday, and Arsenal are struggling too, so maybe with Duncan's buzz, we can get something, fingers crossed.

Ernie Baywood
12 Posted 19/12/2019 at 08:41:40
Sometimes I watch Michael Keane and think "played the right way, to his limitations, there's a player in there".

Other times, like now, I wonder if there's anything between his ears coordinating his actions on the pitch. Some of his decisions are unfathomable and his actions completely uncoordinated.

I'd score him as lowly as possible on this performance. It's never lack of effort, it's just lack of absolutely everything else.

Jim Harrison
13 Posted 19/12/2019 at 08:43:36
Jim 8

You don’t half talk guff sometimes!!

Players out:

Sibide, been one of our best performers of late, a couple of assists

Digne, not been at his best but still a danger going forward.

Gomes you have mentioned, but what a big miss.

Next up, well, the entire midfield!! First second and one third choice!! No team can play to their potential with that many players out. And it’s a credit to those who were fit enough that they made a game of it.

Now, if big Dunc could have that effect on a patched up team you have to wonder whether he could motivate the first team players in the same way?

Anyway, of course the only injuries Played a part. Credit to Dunc for turning the game around, credit to the players for sticking at it and not giving up.

Eddie Dunn
14 Posted 19/12/2019 at 08:48:34
Thanks for another good report Paul. Like Steve I think the marks for Keane and Mina should be switched. Mina did do a ridiculous air shot after Davies gave him a hospital pass but generally did ok.
Keane obviously did put in some good clearances, as you'd expect but was caught for speed several times and his passing was also poor.
Worst of all was Iwobi. I like his movement off the ball and his willingness to get involved, but there it ends. He is a feather in the tackle and makes wrong decisions all the time..a liability and I was willing to wait and see with him.
I also thought that Bernard was terrible, another guy who can't tackle, coughs-up possession and has no goal threat.
Also I think Duncan made a mistake putting Kean on, as DCL was less dangerous out left and young Moise seemed to need an extra touch and was snuffed out accordingly.
I also watched the Monterray game. Heard that idiot Warnock refer to them as "Brazillians" at one point, but what imptessed me was to speed of thought and technical ability on the ball. Even their centrebacks were comfortable in possession.
Liverpool won purely because of better fitness.
Let's hope we can replicate our second half form against Arsenal. They make us look like a team going places. And beating them will take us within a point of them and push us up the table.
Joe McMahon
15 Posted 19/12/2019 at 08:57:25
From what I've seen already, we would have been better of with Duncan being no 2 to Moyes at the time, then becoming manager. We wouldn't have gone 11 years then without a win at Anfield. Duncan is not as cautious, and its refreshing.

Yes Jim sadly it again is Bridesmaid.

Jim Bennings
16 Posted 19/12/2019 at 09:02:01
JIM Harrison

Didn’t Gomes and Digne play at Bournemouth, Brighton and the home game against Sheffield Utd, the awful defeat at Burnley?

I’m sorry Jim H but Digne has had a poor season compared to last.

Gomes is a big miss when he’s at it, but he’s one very inconsistent player always has been.

Sidibe is great going forward defensively not so much.

Let’s not pretend we were really pulling up trees with these players.

They are a miss yes, but not enough clearly to challenge the top six or seven.

Bill Fairfield
17 Posted 19/12/2019 at 09:05:05
That was as bad a first half performance than I've ever seen and cost us this match.Big job ahead for Carlo sorting out this inconsistent,substandard squad
Eddie Dunn
18 Posted 19/12/2019 at 09:11:38
Jim B, agree about Digne. He has been cut a lot of slack due to his performances of midway through last season. I actually think his form went off towards the end of last season. Because he is capable of a good cross and free kick, he has escaped the kind of criticism that the likes of Davies gets. In my opinion he isn't a patch on Baines defensively, and so if he doesn't get forward with some end product, he simply opens us up to counter-attacks.
Jim Harrison
19 Posted 19/12/2019 at 09:14:52
Jim 16

Yes, Digne has not played as well as he can, but he is still a shoe in first team player. Baines did incredibly well yesterday but you can’t seriously say had Digne been available he shouldn’t have playing?

We all know they were underperforming. Every player at the club arguably. But since Silva has gone, all be it only 3 games to look at, the level that virtually every player has performed has been higher than before. So, given the turn around I don’t think it unreasonable to expect that the most talented players who are currently injured would improve the overall performance of the team if they were available

To highlight one area. In central midfield we had Holgate. A centre back who struggled for games. We could have had Gomes,Gbamin, Delph, Siggy or even Morgan S in there.

Sorry chap. With the squad at full strength and being utilised correctly then yes, they should be challenging for top 6 and above. They were not being managed well enough. Do you seriously think Sheffield Utd or Wolves have better squads?? It’s debatable whether Utd do and we held them with a depleted team. Arsenal have two top notch strikers and a bag of average behind them.

Jim Bennings
20 Posted 19/12/2019 at 09:30:24
Jim H

I work on what I see.

Do I think Sheffield United have a better squad than us?

No on paper they don’t, but they do however have players that can do the basics pretty well.

Too often this season (last night another) our players turn up like they’ve never seen a football in their lives.

We still had enough international footballers on that pitch last night but the passing was as bad as I’ve seen.

Big Dunc has galvanised them to a a decent extent, he’s put a bit of oomph there but still the same schoolboy errors are there, defensively we still can’t cope with corners/set pieces.

I dearly hope Ancelotti comes in and does a world class job, but he’s a wise man, a man with years of footballing know how and knowledge, so I hope he doesn’t try to start playing fancy football with limited players.

If we invest in better players, and I mean proven better players, not just “supposed to be” lads, then maybe just maybe we can evolve the style of play.

Jim Harrison
21 Posted 19/12/2019 at 09:45:58
Jim 20

I can’t disagree with your last sentence!!

But there is enough quality in the squad to be doing much better, and injuries have had a significant effect, but as yesterday’s result proved it’s not just down to injuries. Had the players dug deep On a couple more occasions over the season some of those losses could have at least been draws. But when/if Carlo comes in, he will be looking at getting the best players the club has fit and in the pitch

Steve Ferns
22 Posted 19/12/2019 at 10:06:09
Michael Keane is like a child playing in a bruiser's body. He's so timid for a big guy. He doesn't use his strength, and if he's lacking strength he needs to get down the gym. Also, he comes across as articulate and seems intelligent, but he has no real football intelligence at all and makes stupid mistakes. He looks the part in a backs to the wall defensive display, but when he's required to turn, to move or to use some strength, he's woeful.

As for injuries, we have our entire midfield wiped out. THE ENTIRE MIDFIELD. Just to confirm these are the midfielders:

Gylfi Sigurdsson - ill
Morgan Schniederlin - calf
Fabian Delph - broken fingernail
Andre Gomes - savagely attacked
JP Gbamin - surgery on his tendons in his knee
Beni Baningime - brutally hacked down in the EFL trophy match by Barton's butchers

Tom Davies has also been carrying a knock, going back to before the Derby, and has played on regardless.

Steve Ferns
23 Posted 19/12/2019 at 10:09:31
This Lucas Digne that you guys are arguing about, is he the same Lucas Digne who has 30 caps for France, and is their first choice left back? And is this the same France that are the current World Champions?
Phil Greenough
24 Posted 19/12/2019 at 10:19:26
Come on, Steve, don't let facts like that stop you from jumping on the short term memory, negativity fest, bandwagon.
Peter Mills
25 Posted 19/12/2019 at 10:24:56
Paul, I would’t argue with your report too much.

But I left the ground pretty annoyed that after getting back into the game having been the poorer team overall, and getting into a winning position by Pickford saving the first penalty, our players then failed their task of getting us through to a semi-final for which we might have been in better shape than we are now.

It’s a great opportunity wasted.

Daniel A Johnson
26 Posted 19/12/2019 at 10:31:48
The signing of Fabian Delph still boggles my little brain.

Injury prone at Man City and guess what he still is.

His tub thumping I'm a winner Mantra annoyed me from the get go. He only won what he did by riding on the shoulders of giants.

Until he's managed to string together 5 consecutive matches he should just shut the f**k up. Given our injuries to Gomes and Gbamin his constant niggly injuries prove what a joke signing he is/was.

Eddie Dunn
27 Posted 19/12/2019 at 10:34:05
Yes Steve, the same guy who was omitted from the WC 23 for Benjamin Mendy!
Steve Ferns
28 Posted 19/12/2019 at 10:37:24
Eddie, Digne was a Barcelona reserve at the time. Once he got into our team he recovered his place and kept it. Mendy had an excellent season under Leo Jardim for Monaco and then joined Man City for £52m. I wouldn't scoff at him.
Kevin Prytherch
29 Posted 19/12/2019 at 10:37:49
I’m afraid that the last couple of months aren’t doing much for Brands reputation

Mina, Bernard, Kean and Iwobi (all Brands) have been poor. Other than Sidibe, (and to some extent Digne, but he’s been poorer than last season and suspect defensively) there hasn’t been much contribution at all from Brands signings.

Some of our best players recently (Davies, Holgate and DCL) have all had significant time under the waste of space that is Unsworth. While other performers such as Coleman, Baines and Richarlison weren’t Brands signings.

Even the likes of Walcott, Sigurdsson and Schneiderlin played well against Utd.

I’m yet to be convinced by our white knight director of football.

Barry Rathbone
30 Posted 19/12/2019 at 10:42:15
Everton remind me of an old truism in the farming community - apparently if a way exists to get killed or maimed a sheep will find it.

Our multi faceted approach to losing is equally brainless and predictable - Baines scuffing a pen????

Stan Schofield
31 Posted 19/12/2019 at 10:50:25
Barry@30: Can't disagree. I'm in two minds. On the one hand, I think, we've been unlucky with injuries, and have only recently been fairly well organised (with Big Dunc), and there's reason to be optimistic. But on the other hand, when it went to penalties you just knew it would be a disappointment. It's not very often that Everton don't disappoint us.
Bob Parrington
32 Posted 19/12/2019 at 10:51:18
Intrigued by the heading "Just so Everton". Pisses me off to be honest. Just not the attitude we need if we are to drag ourselves from the depths and move on upwards.

So effin' what. We failed on the penalties. But we did come back from 2-0 down at HT to 2 - 2 at FT.

Of all people, you Paul, should be looking at the positives. You post and so you must be a leader. I like your posts. But see the good where it is. We beat Chelsea 3-1, drew with Man U and the drew with 2nd in the league Leicester 2 - 2.

So effin' what, we lost on penalties. I remember being Chef de Mission for the Australian women's Ice Hockey team in the World Championships div 2 in England. The major game was GB vs Australia and it went to penalties. We (Aus) won on the 8th peno when our youngest player stuck one past the fantastic GB goalie. We got the gold medal in Sheffield, of all places. the differences between winning and losing was the width of a gnat's dick.

So let's not get too pent up at losing to Leicester on penalties. Allows us to concentrate on staying up and getting up higher in EPL particularly as we seem to be subject to a massive nr of injuries.

well done Ferguson and well done depleted team.

Barry Rathbone
33 Posted 19/12/2019 at 11:07:24
Stan@31 You are right of course but having watched this movie for decades I now just scroll to the end then marvel at the various "bad luck" stories.

What's that old saying "cynics are right 9 times out of 10"?

I'm just waiting for #10 these days

Gary Reeves
34 Posted 19/12/2019 at 11:11:22
4 for Iwobi? I know it's Xmas and everything but that's pushing it a bit far.
David Midgley
35 Posted 19/12/2019 at 11:15:30
Good read Paul.
Since Marco left the players effort, running and perseverance has improved tremendously. What a disgrace !! Shame. Shame.
Shame on you. Obviously they could do it why not before ? There is the DF factor but it behoves you to do your best at your job. Yes your job. You should be thoroughly embarrassed with yourselves. Taking the money and not putting the effort in.
I would think that probably 99% of readers and posters on TW have played football, some to a high standard and some like myself, enthusiastic.
However when I did play I gave it everything.

A recurring theme from the commentators throughout the match was how easily Everton turned the ball over and the poor quality of their passes. They don't seem to know that we play in blue.
This is not a new thing it's been going on for a long time now and must be addressed.
James M. was at Norwich. People could see how good he was. Leicester bought him.
I don't like criticising individual players but we only seem to be able to spot the Iwobi's.

Steve #23.
Yes, it is the same one. Watch to see how many times he gets caught up field, not tracking back and leaving us exposed.

George in New Brighton will you post a bit more often please ? I love a good read.


To all the ranters, moaners, shouters, Swearers, deep thinkers, tacticians,financiers, doom mongers,eternal hopers, those who've been followers for many years and have seen better days. To those newer followers who have just started taking the Everton drug ( you can't get it on prescription) and are like me just an Everton supporter. I look forward to hearing from you ALL in the coming year.
Good wishes to you and our club.

John Raftery
36 Posted 19/12/2019 at 11:16:53
The much weakened squad has turned in much better performances than they did when we were almost at full strength. I don’t think we have missed the injured players at all although possibly they might have performed better under Ferguson than they did under Silva.

In the two previous matches we had seen all the players working to a clear plan, simple tactics and accordingly putting in maximum effort. Last night in the first half physical and mental fatigue seemed to set in. As Paul says the performance, especially in the first half, was jaded with players making errors and poor decisions in all areas of the field.

Leicester, who had had an extra day to recover, looked an accomplished side with pace and power in their ranks and in Maddison a genuine number ten able to control the ebb and flow of play while providing a goal threat. It is to their credit that our players eventually made a game of it.

As regards the penalties it was disappointing to see our more experienced players miss while two relative novices at penalty taking, Holgate and DCL, converted with aplomb. For Baines it was a re-run of his experience at Chelsea in 2011 when he scored a superb equaliser three minutes from the end of extra time and then missed his penalty in the shoot-out. One wonders if scoring such a great equaliser so late in the game leaves a player so emotionally drained that he finds it difficult to re-focus for penalty taking.

Christopher Timmins
37 Posted 19/12/2019 at 11:19:00
We need to keep things in perspective, given our injuries it was another miracle to draw the game in the ninety minutes last night.

We were second best for most of the game, as the current placings in the table suggest we should be. The big positive from the game was that we never gave up and that never say die spirit that Everton once had and which has been lost for so long is starting to return. When was the last time we were two down at half time and got something out of the game.

Hopefully, we will have a few of the injured players back on Saturday morning, as the 11 who started last night have put in some shift over the past two games.

Finally, I am so happy for Baines, that was some strike and rolled back the years. He was one of the best strikers of the ball throughout his career and he gave us a glimpse of that last night.

Stan Schofield
38 Posted 19/12/2019 at 11:27:03
Bob@32: Good post. You're right, getting down about it achieves nothing.
Jer Kiernan
39 Posted 19/12/2019 at 12:14:22
@Steve 22
Your analsys of Keane is right on the money for me, when he is standing in the D with our goal behind him and the opponents in front of him he can look competant,

However a clever player he is not, while watching him engage in the latest of a long line of Buffonery last night, I believe he was challenging with the leicester lad, he was favourite to win the ball but decided in a lumbering cumbersome slouch to try to muscle the opponent off but ended up on his ass without the ball ,the lad was half his size

It crossed my mind at the time WTF is Carlo going to make of this lad after managing Baressi /Maldini et al ?? Probably what Koeman thought when he saw Niasse I would suggest

To note I was proud of the lads last night, First half we were awful but looked tired and came back well, Is it just me or is it always the team that fights back to earn the penos ( with late equalizers etc) tend to lose the shootout ? I have no stats to back this but just something that feels familiar is all

@Barry 33
"What's that old saying "cynics are right 9 times out of 10"?" - An early xmas pressie- I hadnt heard this one previously, If you don't mind, I will be using that to defend myself when I am engaging in my fav pastime, Cynicism :)

Eddie Dunn
40 Posted 19/12/2019 at 12:17:46
Steve, Mendy is over priced.

If caps were anything to go on, Mamadou Sakho has 29 of them, and he is crap.

Steve Ferns
41 Posted 19/12/2019 at 12:34:53
Eddie, fair comment on Sakho. I watched Mendy a handful of times for Monaco in 17/18 in the Champions League and in Ligue 1, he was excellent. I know he has struggled at City, but he's not a bad player, although you're right that he's not worth £52m.
Andrew Keatley
42 Posted 19/12/2019 at 12:52:03
Horrible form and cohesion under Silva. New unproven caretaker manager comes in. Underperforming squad gets depleted even further by injuries and illness. 3 games, against Chelsea, Manchester United and Leicester - and we're unbeaten (over 90 minutes anyway).

It's not necessarily been pretty, and perhaps we've been fortunate, but I'd say that the last two weeks have been a very welcome upturn in energy, attitude, and results. Keep on as you are.

Paul Tran
43 Posted 19/12/2019 at 13:49:42
'Just Everton' is a mindset we have to change. We've had underachieving managers and players because of poor recruitment. We miss penalty shootouts because of inferior technique and mental strength.

Duncan has given the team some purpose. I'm sure if Carlo joins, he'll carry that on and add some skill and nous. But that purpose has to run right through the club. No falling back on plucky Everton or EitC when we lose. No 'Everton, that'.

Moshiri is showing good commitment and mindset in bringing us a proven, winning manager. The rest of the club has to be equally committed. The only curse we have is our lack of commitment and winning mentality.

Craig Walker
45 Posted 19/12/2019 at 14:30:03
In defence of Jim Bennings, pundits keep going on about "quality" in our squad. I might be on drugs or something but I don't see much quality in our squad based on this season and a lot of last season. I don't need to look at players and what they did at other clubs. I look at what they've done in an Everton shirt. I could name every player and they will have been slated on this site for not being good enough.

I think Richarlison is the one player who has talent and can produce the goods. We have far too many players who are not good enough. We have a couple who have been brilliant servants but are now, unfortunately, past it, despite playing well last night. I like Gomes and when he's good, he's very good but he can stink the place out. He was really poor away at Villa, for example.

I think Digne is a good player but he has been slated for his lack of defensive discipline and he hasn't been anywhere near as good as he was last season. I'm still not a fan of Pickford. I don't think he's good enough and I don't like his cockiness.

We have one of the least effective sets of forwards in the division. Missing players include Schneiderlin, Walcott and Delph – not massive losses. Sigurdsson is a good player on his day but his day is pretty rare these days. What quality are we talking about?

Dunc has done an amazing job getting any positive results from what he's been given. I absolultely worship the guy. Ancelotti, if he comes in and please God, make it happen, needs a massive clear out and proper "quality" players need signing because we have wasted most of the money we've shelled out since Moshiri took over.

Nicholas Ryan
46 Posted 19/12/2019 at 14:49:57
The difference from a few weeks ago, is that we now have options. If Ancelotti comes, that will be fantastic, and beyond our wildest dreams; but if Dunc has to soldier on to the end of the season, that will be fine, and no-one will relish coming to Goodison with him in charge. We have at least bought ourselves some time... in the most unexpected way!
Eddie Dunn
47 Posted 19/12/2019 at 14:50:11
Very good points, Craig. One thing to bear in mind is how good Holgate has been in defensive midfield. When one compares him to Schneiderlin, Delph and various others he was up against some good players and held his own, and even had one or two shots. Now that is something we have forgotten that a holding midfielder could do.

Part of me wants Ferguson to continue till the end of the season, although I know Ancelotti is a super lucky appointment. I would like to see what Duncan can get out of the likes of Sigurdsson and Walcott. He has shown us that some of the guys who have irritated us all at times, can put in a shift.

Scott Ewers
48 Posted 19/12/2019 at 15:59:30
The first half of this game was an absolute disaster. They couldn't string more than 2 passes together, constant turnovers by essentially every player, and everyone just looked slow. I'm sure fatigue has a lot to do with it, and yes, they are down a ridiculous number of players, but I just don't see how anyone earned an 8 given what we saw in the first half.

The 2nd half was much better, especially after the Davies goal, but not so much better to forgive the first half performance. If they had won, then yes, all would be forgiven. But they did not, and that was due to the performance in the first half. I remember in the live chat many folks saying that the Duncan bounce had worn off, and it sure felt that way. Obviously the 2nd half alleviated that concern.

Mina should have scored at least one of his chances, and should have been better on defense. I have no idea where Keane was, or why he was just so slow - I normally like him, but yesterday was awful. And I keep waiting for Iwobi to show us why he deserves his spot in the team. I haven't seen it yet.

Now - the positives: they fought back, which never seemed to happen under Silva. They played VERY aggressively from behind, bringing on goal scoring threats in substitution rather than simply like-for-like. Silva would never have done that. They got us to believe that they really could pull off the comeback, and they very nearly did. I was truly convinced they were going to score from that last corner. The pens were disappointing, but such is life. On to the Arsenal match, then life with Carlo (and maybe Zlatan!)

Terry White
49 Posted 19/12/2019 at 15:59:43
Eddie (#18), "Digne isn't a patch on Baines defensively". I agree that Digne is no Ray Wilson defensively. But, were you watching the derisory effort Baines made to cut out the cross that led to their first goal? He waved a leg at the ball.

Baines has always been a question mark defensively and has regularly been rightly criticised for his inability to block the cross. Not to take anyhtng away from his fine career with us but he has never been that great as a defensive full back, his career having been largely driven by his understanding with Pienaar.

Eddie Dunn
50 Posted 19/12/2019 at 17:24:49
Terry, Luca Dugne is 26 and Baines is 35. Digne may be quicker but when Baines failed to get his geriatric leg up to block that cross, in a parallel universe Digne was back on the halfway line watching the player cut inside to score!
Also Terry, I know the partnership was very productive but Baines was the one Moyes wanted at United, which suggests he(David ) thought he could do a good job with other players.
It's worth noting that when Pienaar was missing the attack with Martinez's EFC had Osman looking to ove play on more directly than the more patient Pienaar, and the Barkley/Lukaku axis had attacks in more central areas.
Baines scored(like Digne) some wonderful free kicks and was lethal(last night excepted!) from the penalty spot.
I hope Digne gets back to his best. Perhaps the groin problem has been niggling him for a while?
Nick White
51 Posted 19/12/2019 at 17:39:44
Terry White - behave😉
Peter Mills
52 Posted 19/12/2019 at 18:18:10
Nick#51, there is an opportunity here to correct some spelling and grammar!
Tony Abrahams
53 Posted 19/12/2019 at 18:33:11
Why should Terry behave? Baines, has been a great servant, but he's never been a great defender, and will definitely be remembered more for his contribution to our attack, than he will be for his defensive duties imo.
Dave Abrahams
54 Posted 19/12/2019 at 18:48:15
Tony (53), Tony, I might be wrong, but going by Peter’s post (52), I think Nick and Terry are related and a bit of banter was going on between them.
Terry White
55 Posted 19/12/2019 at 19:01:38
Thank you, Tony (#53) and Dave (#54), you are correct and I'll have to have a word with young Nick. And I had better check the spelling and grammar of my original post to satisfy my good friend, Mr. Mills.

Peter Mills
56 Posted 19/12/2019 at 19:02:49
Dave#54, as usual, you’re not wrong.
Tony Abrahams
57 Posted 19/12/2019 at 19:13:01
I just think Peter, sounds like "old Nick" Terry!
Steve Hogan
58 Posted 19/12/2019 at 23:53:52
A couple of points from last night. I had a great seat in the Upper Bullens right on the front row behind the camera gantry.

I understand players can have 'off' days but Iwobi was shocking, I mean truly shocking. Slow, lethargic, can't tackle, can't pass... Who on earth saw anything of note in signing him from Arsenal.

Would introducing Anthony Gordon for him at halftime improved us? He couldn't have done any worse.

Another player having a nightmare was Michael Keane, Vardy 'bullied' him all night long without any response. Dave Watson would have kicked him up in the air a couple of times.

Finally, and I know people may disagree with me on this one, his goal apart, I thought Tom Davies was poor throughout. Slow, caught in possession a number of times, which very nearly led to Leicester scoring twice.

If and when Ancellotti gets the job, there will be at least five players in that team last night who simply have no long-term future at Everton.

Eddie Dunn
59 Posted 19/12/2019 at 00:04:03
Steve, Tom gets caught in possession, and is slow. However, the lad is a battler and put plenty of good passes here and there and his goal, if scored by Vardy or Mane would have had the commentators creaming their knickers.

Give Tom a decent, quick partner (like Maddison) and he will make progress. Tom Davies, Domenic, and Mason have all come on leaps and bounds this season, and I have loved how they have blossomed under the tutelage of Ferguson. It's like their blindfolds have been taken off!

Jim Harrison
60 Posted 20/12/2019 at 07:55:07
Sorry guys, Dignes strength is as an attacking left back. We want him getting forward and hurting teams. He was previously at Barca not Bolton.
Baines was at his best when paired with Pienaar and attacking down the flank. On the other side, Coleman at his best was bombing down the line, Sibide now is the same.
The squad that has been assembled wasn’t meant to be a sit back and pinch one outfit. It’s meant to attack and press high up the field.
You want a Hibbert, who was solid in the extreme in defence but next to useless going forwards? Not for me. Against all but maybe 6 teams we should be attacking more than defending.
Paul Kelly
61 Posted 20/12/2019 at 18:52:28
Dan? Alfie? Where's Sue and Gaz? Do they know your cheating on them Mr Trail?

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