Everton 1 - 0 BrightonEarlier in the week I was still licking my wounds from the Merseyside derby debacle you kind of questioned if you could really be bothered going along for Everton vs Brighton.
For my money, as I was too fed up to write about my Anfield experience last Sunday, while the players were woeful in the second half I can’t accept the notion that Carlo Ancelotti is devoid of criticism. We all know how Liverpool play, and he must surely have known we needed more legs in midfield. Why Tom Davies wasn’t involved beggars belief for me. We didn’t have a single local player on that pitch when they probably had a fair few.
Why Richarlison was deployed on the wing rather than up front was also a mystery to me, given the success he and Dominic Calvert-Lewin have enjoyed under Duncan Ferguson. With our inability to play it out from the back against a very high Liverpool press, going direct would have reaped much greater rewards. The players take responsibility for it, and quite rightly, but I did expect better from Carlo.
I needed to get that off my chest. Sure enough, however, as we approached the weekend, I began to look forward to getting back to Goodison Park and seeing how the lads could respond; come Saturday afternoon, I couldn’t wait to see the boys in blue. We’re Evertonians. We support our team through thick and thin… mostly thin. It’s what we do.
That said, Dan was not quite as enthusiastic as we journeyed through the tunnel and towards Goodison Park. He, like many, had not forgiven the players from the previous weekend and was struggling with motivation. Dan drove to the game and my biggest stress of the day was in getting to the rendezvous point, as I somehow hit every possible red light between leaving mine and arriving, so much so that I made everyone about 10 minutes late.
We weren’t exactly pushed for time however and, though a bit behind schedule, it was nice to relax in the pub for an hour or so before making our way to Goodison Park. I’d had a boozy evening in Manchester the night prior. “This could go either way, this” I said, referring to my first sip of beer. Thankfully it went down well.
The team news showed only three changes to the XI which were downed at Anfield with Yerry Mina, Seamus Coleman and Morgen Schneiderlin all making way, replaced by Michael Keane, Tom Davies and Bernard. Richarlison was this time back where he is more effective — in attack. Ex-Evertonian Shane Duffy featured at centre back for the Seagulls alongside his doppelganger Lewis Dunk.
A player who really caught my eye out there for the visitors was their Brazilian winger Bernardo. He looks a very intelligent and hard-working player and one to keep an eye on. He won’t remain at Brighton for long one wouldn’t have thought.
I’m always interested to see who the referee is at games and am always keen to see how new referee’s who I haven’t heard of get on. I always assume they can’t be worse than the current mob; however, I’m disappointed to say that David Coote stunk the place out throughout and doesn’t seem to be an upgrade at all.
It was clear to us at the other end of the pitch in the Gwladys Street that Theo Walcott was impeded by Lewis Dunk early in the game and we certainly should have received a penalty there. You shouldn’t need VAR to confirm this but it got referred for a lengthy period… and STILL wasn’t given much to the dismay of the Goodison Park crowd.
It comes to something in football when players are getting punished for staying on their feet. This decision was especially galling given the outrageous penalty awarded against us at the Amex Stadium back in October.
Though Brighton weren’t playing badly, Everton maintained a measure of control throughout the first half with our Brazilians, Bernard and Richarlison, central to most of our attacking play. In midfield, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Tom Davies did everything that Gylfi Sigurdsson and Morgen Schneiderlin didn’t do at Anfield, while I was particularly impressed with Michael Keane at the heart of our defence.
We played pretty well in the first half and, as it wore on, you felt that all it was missing was a goal. This thankfully arrived on 38 minutes and what a goal it was too. Richarlison came short to collect a pass and carried the ball forward towards goal before laying it off to Bernard. He fed Lucas Digne whose ball in will go down as an assist I suppose but blimey, Richarlison had an awful lot to do and essentially assisted himself, leaving Adam Webster and Lewis Dunk a merry dance before curling the ball in exquisitely with his right foot. A goal of beauty from Richarlison and we got to the break 1-0 ahead.
At half time, Speedo Mick’s brother attempted the crossbar challenge and came mighty close to hitting the bar from the edge of the penalty area. The wind really began to pick up at the break and it got pretty cold. I for one had underestimated the weather and spent a lot of the second half pacing on the spot to try and keep warm.
The wind certainly had an impact on the football in the second half, but while it lacked in quality at times, it became a very closely fought contest as Brighton upped their game somewhat after the break. I felt we still had the better of it, and we should have made the game safe long before our nervy final 10 minutes when Carlo went gung-ho with the changes.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin came close to scoring when a punt forward found him through on goal under pressure from Lewis Dunk, and Matt Ryan was forced into a good save. Dominic also should have scored when excellent anticipation from Bernard resulted in an opportunity for our number nine, but his effort went straight at Ryan.
The controversial moment of the half came when Everton had the ball in the net but it was disallowed for a Dominic Calvert-Lewin handball. It would have been a strange goal. Firstly the wind nearly carried the ball all the way in from Lucas Digne’s corner kick but it unfortunately came back off the post. It then popped back to Michael Keane who really should have scored but his header came back off the crossbar and out. Dominic then bundled it in on the goal line, and it looked like he may have used his arm in real time, and so it proved, the goal was disallowed following a VAR check.
I thought the then subsequent booking of Dominic was ridiculous. I mean, we watched Trent Alexander-Arnold when already on a yellow card in the Merseyside derby back in December, clearly, like very clearly, reach out and handle a ball which stopped a pass for us. Lucas Digne, and other players, made Mike Dean and the linesman very aware of what had happened but they just ignored it. They wouldn’t want to upset them lot now, would they?
However, in this game, the referee, who initially hadn’t seen the handball, then decided to book a player for something he hadn’t seen. Having watched it back, though it is a handball, it’s impossible to say with any certainty if Dominic deliberately handled or not. The goal was rightly ruled out, but the yellow card was a disgraceful decision by a referee who never had control of the game.
The final 10 minutes with a reshuffled back line was as nervy as it gets but thankfully we got ourselves over the line, and on the balance of play, deservedly so. Brighton weren’t without opportunities though and will rue missing them. Leandro Trossard had earlier rattled the crossbar when he took a dip from distance; and Mason Holgate’s wayward clearance dangerously looped over our own crossbar with Jordan Pickford stranded.
However, it was their substitute, the veteran Glenn Murray, who twice came close to scoring, firstly heading goalwards and forcing Jordan into a fine save away to his right. And then, in the closing stages of the game, Glenn came even closer when he got on the end of an opportunity inside the penalty area, though his deft flick swished just beyond the far post. One of the fellas in front of us suggested that the wind may have carried it wide; he could be right. Glenn didn’t get much contact on the ball and the wind may well have saved us there.
We got the full time unscathed… just. But it was a deserved win and the most important thing is that the effort was there. It’s not enough to erase the scars of last week’s Anfield horror, but a reactive win certainly helps ease the pain. Effort from the players should be a given. It’s not much to ask, is it?
On the face of it, three wins out of four league games for Carlo Ancelotti (with the one defeat away at Manchester City) isn’t anything to be sniffed at. Though the black mark at Anfield remains. On we go to another old acquaintance… it’ll be interesting to see what David Moyes has up his sleeve for us at next weekend's trip to the capital.
Pickford: I thought he did well. Saved what he had to and his penalty box command and distribution were both good. 7
Digne: A bit better than he has been of late. He will be made up to register an assist. His form has been under question for some time now, some excusing it with a groin injury, others feeling his head has been turned. Looking at his social media, he has had a personal issue recently, perhaps that has been hanging over him somewhat. Either way, let’s hope for a return to form for Lucas Digne in 2020. 6
Keane: I thought Michael was excellent, a bit like his form of last season. There’s an opportunity there for him to cement his place in the team. I’ll be interested to see if he takes it. 8
Holgate: Did quite well also. I’d never have believed you if you’d told me at the start of the season that Mason would be a mainstay in the team this season. 7
Sidibe: Did okay. Carlo seems to rate him over Seamus Coleman. 6
Davies: Tom had a very effective game in the middle, full of fight and always looking forward. I read a stat somewhere that Tom has played a higher percentage of forward passes in the league than anybody else. It can get us in trouble sometimes such is his over-eagerness, but I’d rather have that than someone playing it safe all the time. I’m staggered he didn’t begin the game, or at least get on the pitch at Anfield. 7
Sigurdsson: Particularly as he was given the captain’s armband and following the raft of criticism he received from supporters following the Merseyside derby, there was a lot of pressure on Gylfi to perform in this game, and he certainly stood up to be counted. He worked hard and dictated a lot of the play in midfield. A good performance. 7
Walcott: Theo did pretty well. He got involved and caused them problems down the left-hand side before he was substituted with 20 minutes to go. You can never really question Theo’s attitude. His decision-making can be poor, but he does work for the team, and there are precious few alternatives to playing him currently so we might as well get behind him. 6
Bernard: Bernard had a very effective first half, and was having a good second half before he was substituted. Let’s hope he can stay fit and get a run of games now because he does make a big difference when he’s in the team. 7
Richarlison: Richarlison had a splendid game. He was busy throughout, productive, slippery, aggressive and won us the game. A great effort. I still can’t believe he didn’t play up front at Anfield. My Man of the Match. 9
Calvert-Lewin: Did some good things and carried the fight but he probably needed to be more clinical with his opportunities. Still, a good effort. 6
Delph (for Bernard): I’m not for booing players onto the pitch. Yes, Fabian got in a barney with a supporter on Instagram. No, it’s not ideal. No, I’m not a big fan of his, but let’s get behind the lads. Booing our own players is futile. Fabian did okay from a defensive aspect and that was about it. 6
Coleman (for Walcott): Seamus was brought on as part of Carlo’s staggered shutting-up-shop attempts and got involved quickly. 6
Mina (for Holgate): Also brought on as part of a late reshuffle. Also got involved and didn’t do badly. 6
Reader Comments (50)
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1 Posted 12/01/2020 at 21:46:26
There was little or nothing to report, apart from all the wrong and negative reasons. Like I said on another thread, maybe it was the 'kick up the arse' that was needed for everyone. Apart from the fans of course.
We have a chance to get a few points on the board in the upcoming games, let's hope they do.
2 Posted 12/01/2020 at 21:57:17
3 Posted 12/01/2020 at 22:16:37
We all hope C.A. succeeds but there is no harm in dishing out a bit of criticism when needed. I also cannot believe the treatment Davies gets from some quarters. For sure he makes mistakes but name a player that dosen't. I have often mentioned the great Alan Ball who comes into that category. He was a World Cup hero who regularly topped the list of passes and tackles yet caught an awful lot of abuse from the Goodison crowd when he made a few mistakes.
Tom has got a long way to go before he reaches Alans level but is on the right path with his attitude and effort and time is on his side.
I would also suggest that he would be Klopps first and possibly only pick from our entire squad.
I agree with your marks you gave.
4 Posted 13/01/2020 at 01:49:08
That said, I like what he brings to the team - honesty, endeavour, character. All qualities lacking at Anfield. Hes also brave - always wanting the ball, trying to pass forward, never hiding. Id much rather have Tom in the team than Schneiderlin or Sigurdsson.
5 Posted 13/01/2020 at 03:22:29
6 Posted 13/01/2020 at 04:13:42
7 Posted 13/01/2020 at 07:01:04
The introduction of VAR has achieved something I thought impossible: lowering the standard of refereeing in this country even further. You know it cant get much worse when they put Old Mother Riley, one of the worst ever, in charge of the whole show, but make it worse they have!
On a day when the RS are given the benefit of the doubt because VAR pictures were “inconclusive” as Henderson inadvertently handled in the immediate build up to a goal, equally inconclusive evidence about the players intent brought us a cancelled goal and a yellow for an incredulous DCL. Theres something rotten in the state of Denmark.
8 Posted 13/01/2020 at 07:43:57
The DCL handball I can accept, though the yellow card was harsh.
I feel like two penalty incidents arent getting talked about much outside of the Everton community. It just makes no sense how either one could be waved away. Its really annoying that nobody seems to be discussing it. I was even a bit miffed by Ancelottis understated response to it. I thought he should have been screaming from the rooftops that we have been unfairly treated.
9 Posted 13/01/2020 at 09:07:33
Keep the reports coming Paul.
10 Posted 13/01/2020 at 09:37:47
We havent had a player run with the ball since Barkley but he didnt have a football brain to work with the talent.
Maybe Bernard can at least on the short term work in the middle?
Theres nobody else at the club that can pick the ball up with close control and look comfortable gliding across the ground whilst moving forward.
11 Posted 13/01/2020 at 10:50:48
The lad has so much quality. If he played for Man City he would be lauded in the same bracket as Sterling and Silva.
12 Posted 13/01/2020 at 11:03:05
On the Richarlison goal, for me what was really pleasing was to see an Everton player fashion a chance for themselves and finish it. A bit of flair and vision
13 Posted 13/01/2020 at 11:03:20
Bernard our Motm by some way in my book.
14 Posted 13/01/2020 at 11:15:30
15 Posted 13/01/2020 at 12:03:43
It is criminal that "certain" teams get everything their way even dubious claims yet "others" get nothing there is a very bad smell that the FA/PL should sort out before some £Billionaire owner cleans them out in court.
If every ref who has shafted Everton be it on the field or in the VAR room were made Persona Non Grata at Goodison there wouldn't be a PL Ref left to officiate.
16 Posted 13/01/2020 at 12:17:45
So you have to ask why if the ref didn't give it why did VAR not overturn his decision. I understand that Michael Oliver was the VAR for this game, and I consider him to be one of the better referees in the Premier league. So given that everyone says definite penalty, I can only offer one possible reason Oliver didn't overturn the decision.
I think that Oliver knows its a penalty but he has thought David Coote is a new referee to the Premier league, and this has happened in the first couple of minutes of the game. So not only have I got to overturn his decision but I will also have to instruct him to send off the Brighton player as he was the last man. So he has decided to rule no penalty because it was a new young ref to the Premier league, I believe had it been an established ref Oliver would have overturned the decision and sent off the Brighton player.
17 Posted 13/01/2020 at 12:22:20
I made Bernard man of the match. Richarlison also had a very good game but his fellow Brazilian brings something different to the team in terms of his ability to control possession and move the ball in tight situations. He is definitely at his best in central positions rather than out on the wing. It is a pity he cannot add a few more goals to his game.
That touches on a major problem with the current squad. Of the 34 goals scored in league and cup this season, 20 have come from Dominic and Richarlison. We need more from other parts of the team.
18 Posted 13/01/2020 at 12:24:00
Gallagher did say it was a pen, but he said the Brighton defender was to strong for Holgate, (honest) instead of saying he got hit in the back just as he jumped, but was maybe a bit to theatrical, (the truth) and he also said that the ref was right to book DCL? A stupid program if Im honest, but I wish I had time to watch it every week, to highlight how much certain teams can make these refs change their minds.
19 Posted 13/01/2020 at 12:29:57
20 Posted 13/01/2020 at 12:30:19
21 Posted 13/01/2020 at 12:38:07
VAR needs ditching at the end of the season because these gobshites wont alter the way its used, its ran by the Muppet Show and its spoiled the season as far as Im concerned, and it will spoil next if its allowed to carry on.
22 Posted 13/01/2020 at 13:00:35
23 Posted 13/01/2020 at 13:22:31
David Coote was promoted to the list of football league referees in 2010, so I wouldn't say he is inexperienced at all. His first premier league game was in April 2018, and to date he has done around 21 premier league games, showing 72 yellow cards and only one red.
24 Posted 13/01/2020 at 14:04:41
I was absolutely furious at the game first to think the ref just didnt award a penalty, but then for Michael Oliver the VAR official not to give it made me even more angry. My post earlier was to try and think why Michael Oliver didnt give it, especially that every television pundit plus ex refs and ex players have all said it was a nailed on penalty which it was.
Why else would Oliver not given it, as it happens I think he is one of the better refs in this league, it just makes no logical sense. So I could only think he has thought more about the implcations it might have on a young ref rather than making the decision on what he saw, which he patently didnt.
So I am not making any excuses for Oliver, he was totally wrong not to award the penalty and if he was thinking about the young ref he was wrong on that count as well.
25 Posted 13/01/2020 at 14:24:30
26 Posted 13/01/2020 at 14:32:40
Although VAR is still effective in most cases, it is still vulnerable to human error and interpretation of the laws. VAR is supposed to be reviewed at the end of the season and that is no use to teams i.e.Everton who have dropped points in its initial season.
27 Posted 13/01/2020 at 14:32:51
28 Posted 13/01/2020 at 15:02:50
29 Posted 13/01/2020 at 17:25:58
Good report anyhow Paul including particularly your comments on our set-up for the Cup game last week.
30 Posted 13/01/2020 at 19:20:28
31 Posted 13/01/2020 at 19:23:34
I felt sure I read/heard somewhere that you would no longer be punished twice, too - pen, no red card.
Mind you we got neither, so I guess it doesn't matter now
32 Posted 13/01/2020 at 19:53:27
I think Carlo Ancelotti will use him more and more in the middle of the park.
33 Posted 13/01/2020 at 19:57:27
"Bernard: This lad was only on the pitch for 72 minutes but the impact he made on Everton against a resilient Brighton side was clear. Bernard buzzed around Goodison Park like the legendary Colin Harvey used to - and he had to do it without players of the calibre of Alan Ball or Howard Kendall supporting him. That's the problem for new manager Carlo Ancelotti - Everton lack quality in midfield, Bernard apart.
Did you know? No Everton player made more passes in the opposition half (38) or created more chances (four) than Bernard against Brighton in the Toffees' 1-0 win."
34 Posted 13/01/2020 at 20:05:36
The rules are as follows:
If a Liverpool, Manchester United or Chelsea (sometimes Spurs, rarely Arsenal these days) hacks another player's legs away in the aforementioned team's penalty area, the correct decision is "Offside".
Conversely if a player from those teams receives a ball kicked while the player was in an offside position but they fail to score, the correct decision is "Penalty", perhaps adding a red card for an opposition player if they have sought to get involved in play at all. If they do score the correct VAR decision is "Not offside".
There are certain special rules for Everton. If an opposition player sticks his hand in the air and handles the ball in the penalty area the correct decision is "Goal kick". If an Everton player is fouled but fails to fall over the correct decision is "No penalty", if the Everton player does fall over the correct decision is a yellow card for diving. If an Everton player accidentally stands on another player's foot even if he is facing the other way, it is a penalty.
In slightly older non-VAR related special rules, a goal scored by Everton before the final whistle can be disallowed if a) it is against Liverpool, b) the referee feels like it. Other goals scored by Everton can also be arbitrarily cancelled and if the referee feels like it. Other rules can also be applied to Everton in an experimental manner and never used on other players of teams. The "Niasse Dive" and the "Jagielka Takes the Ball Cleanly but Bumps into the Opposition Player" sending off are two of these.
35 Posted 13/01/2020 at 20:30:23
36 Posted 13/01/2020 at 20:35:01
37 Posted 13/01/2020 at 20:57:42
I think you're my hero.
38 Posted 13/01/2020 at 21:21:58
Was very encouraged by Bernard on Saturday though.
39 Posted 13/01/2020 at 21:24:24
40 Posted 13/01/2020 at 22:56:23
Brilliant, perhaps someone could put all of these together on film and ask the FA for an explanation? Honestly just a genuine " can you explain this to us please" type enquiry.
A few posters have made a very good point of the possibility of the VAR ref ignoring the obvious to save the face of his incompetent colleague.
If this was proven to be true then surely Oliver would have to be sacked, not for making a mistake but for bending the rules for his own agenda.
This sounds melodramatic but if every professional and every referee asked thinks it was a blatant penalty then surely Oliver needs to be asked the question?
How did you come to that conclusion?
Of course he would answer, "I just didn't think it was a penalty."
He should then be told he isn't fit to referee at this level. I honestly have no faith that the referees are accountable or even have any discussions on calamities like this.
Why isn't their employer the FA asking questions? Relegate 1 high profile referee and then all these strange "inconsistencies" may stop.
41 Posted 13/01/2020 at 23:04:12
The only exception would be a dangerous foul in the area that would be a red card anywhere on the pitch, like a hack tackle or an elbow to the face.
But Charles' answer is perfect.
42 Posted 14/01/2020 at 01:09:57
One thing I am sure of is that he would have slotted in really well with any two of the three that formed our greatest midfield. My logic being that he has a football brain comparable with all three of them.
That may raise a few eyebrows among my fellow blues but I feel Bernards quality is not recognised by many of us.
I am really hoping that Gomes makes a full recovery and that we see an Ancelloti mid field three of Gomes, Bernard and Davies
43 Posted 14/01/2020 at 07:55:00
When the incident came up for review, Michael sneezed, and the snot settled in the middle of the screen. He tried to wipe it with his hand kerchief, but only succeeded in goo-ing up the entire screen. With the Ref in his ear, asking him for a decision, he said "No Penalty"!
By the way, I am a big fan of Mr. Bean :-)
44 Posted 14/01/2020 at 09:50:52
Charles #34 Cheers for giving everyone a laugh. Despite being relatively new on here, I now feel like a true ToffeeWebber, having been branded "a disgrace" (hopefully just tongue-in-cheek!)
45 Posted 14/01/2020 at 10:29:53
46 Posted 14/01/2020 at 10:43:56
47 Posted 14/01/2020 at 11:03:10
48 Posted 14/01/2020 at 16:43:54
49 Posted 15/01/2020 at 13:34:47
50 Posted 15/01/2020 at 17:43:56
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