Blues win the points if not the accolades

By Michael Kenrick 08/02/2020 237comments  |  Jump to last
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Morgan Schneiderlin comes back into the side to replace the suspended Fabian Delph
EVERTON 3 - 1 CRYSTAL PALACE

It was a poor and error-strewn game at times but Everton under Ancelotti are nothing if not effective, and they scored the goals required for a decent win that takes them up to the dizzy heights of 7th in the Premier League.

With Fabian Delph sitting this one out following his double yellow card last time, Michael Keane is recalled in defence, along with Coleman, Schneiderlin & Bernard getting starts. Holgate, Sidibe and Kean start on the bench.

Former Blue James McCarthy starts for Crystal Palace, but no Cenk Tosun, who is ineligible on loan from Everton, while Wilfried Zaha, who was heavily linked with interest from Everton last summer, makes his 350th Eagles appearance.

The Blues came close early on, Digne powering a free-kick through the wall to test Guaita in the Palace goal. The early exchanges after that were a little cagey, Everton looking ofr a path forward but doing a lot of sideways passing in the process. McCarthy and Digne went in for a 50/50 ball, the ex-Everton man earning an early yellow card as he caught Digne. Mina's header from the free-kick was at best directionless.

Keane was forced to give away a corner and in the afters, Van Aanholt dug out a shot which deflected onto the post and then behind for another corner. Bernard then committed a soft foul, from which Richarlison is shot by a sniper as he bounces off Cahill.

But some great work on the right by Sigurdsson and others to dig out the play saw Walcott cross beautifully for Bernard whose low-struck volley simply flew into the Palace net, a finely worked and executed opening goal for Ancelotti's Azzurri.

However, Walcott picked up a problem and needed treatment, but finally came back on, only to go down again, this time Sidibe eventually replacing him, after buzzing off down the tunnel pick up a missing sock, much to Carlo's annoyance!

Bernard almost became feeder, returning a glanced cross back for Calvert-Lewin to throw himself at and miss making contact by a hair's breadth. But it was not one-way traffic for Everton by any means, Palace looking to do their best to get back into the game. Sigurdsson saw a chance to feed a good direct ball to Richarlison's feet but the Brazilian couldn't really dig out a worthwhile shot.

Everton were applying some pressure but it was pretty scrappy and formless until Richarlison tried to play in Coleman. Everton were trying to find crosses but digging them out was hard work as Richarlison collapsed under the touch of a feather on his back, ignored by the referee. Some lively play from Palace ensued off a free-kick, McArthur finally lashing the shot wide of Pickford's goal.

Everton were not really imposing themselves on the play, which was erratic and saw possession lost repeatedly. A lot of silliness ensued after Digne and Zaha fought for a ball that it seemed Pickford had claimed but he lost as Coleman came in and the Palace man went down, looking for a penalty that VAR denied. Richarlison collapsed again on feeling a hand on his arm...

Zaha, Benteke and Van Aanholt looked to create something around the Everton defence but the Dutchman's wild strike was well off target.

Everton's defending from the restart looked rocky at best and Benteke would expose it with fearsome alacrity, firing under Pickford's body to equalize with the Blues looking like they had already gone on the Winter Break. Really really poor from Pickford.

Everton gave up a couple of corners to further encourage the Palace attack, the ball so close to going in off the second as it bounced off Benteke onto the post, Everton all over the place. But then Richarlison saw daylight off a nice feed from Calvert-Lewin and ran at pace, firing superbly just inside the post. Blues back in business.

But Palace were not beaten yet, a cross coming to Benteke for him to power in his header only for it to hit Pickford, who had made himself big, advancing out of the Everton goal to prevent what seemed to be a certain second equalizer.

Sigurdsson then produced some impossible magic to get through 4 defenders and scoop a shot that Guita somehow parried away for a corner, Davies replacing Bernard. And immediately Everton's movement looked better, Davies always looking for the forward ball.

Sidibe tried to find Calvert-Lewin with a volleyed crossfield ball from deep that would have been fantastic finish if it had come off. But this was not a game for the purist, apparently spoilt by the swirling wind. Calvert-Lewin tried the Richarlison "blow me over with a feather" trick to win a free-kick but the ref was having none of it.

The scrappy play resumed with the game hardly a classic for long spells as each side took turns to show how poor they were, Place again coming close with a shot driven just wide. Holgate replaced Sigurdsson with 5 minutes to go.

A fine Richarlison header from a Digne corner came back off the bar for Dominic Calvert-Lewin perfectly positioned to tap the ball in for what must be the winning goal.

Calvert-Lewin, full of confidence now, ran in on Guita and fired over off the keeper's fingertips. More pressure from the corners, then Richarlison stinging Guita's hands and dropping the ball perfectly for Calvert-Lewin to rifle home the fourth goal... only he whacked it high and not so handsome — well over the bar! What a miss!!!

Kick-off: 12:30pm, Saturday 8 February 2020

Everton: Pickford, Coleman, Keane, Mina, Digne, Walcott (24' Sidibe), Sigurdsson (86' Holgate), Schneiderlin, Bernard (65' Davies), Calvert-Lewin, Richarlison.
Subs not Used: Stekelenburg, Baines, Iwobi, Kean.

Crystal Palace: Guaita, Ward (79' Kouyate), Tomkins (61' Dann), Cahill, Van Aanholt, Ayew, McCarthy [Y:8'] (68' Meyer), Milivojevic, McArthur, Zaha, Benteke.
Subs not Used: Townsend, Hennessey, Mitchell, Riedewald.

Referee: David Coote
VAR: Stuart Atwell

Attendance: 38,987


Reader Comments (237)

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Dave Williams
1 Posted 08/02/2020 at 11:37:07
Why no Holgate?

I can understand Seamus coming back to deal with Zaha but Mason should be one of the first on the team sheet?

A slow midfield again and slow back four.

I'm not fussed on this side but Carlo knows best I hope!!

Phil Sammon
2 Posted 08/02/2020 at 11:38:53
Dave,

You took the words out of my mouth. I feel exactly the same about Holgate & Coleman.

Dave Williams
3 Posted 08/02/2020 at 11:43:07
The CM is in danger of being non-existent with both players having a tendency to absent themselves from where the serious action is. Mason would have been perfect for this game in CM and I can see an early substitution if Palace get control.
Jason Pullen
4 Posted 08/02/2020 at 11:43:26
Very surprised there's no Holgate.
Bob Parrington
5 Posted 08/02/2020 at 11:43:53
Smart to bring Seamus at right-back for this game. Carlo is one smart dude!
Conor McCourt
6 Posted 08/02/2020 at 11:44:37
Dave, I like that back four. Delighted to see Seamus start as Sidibe would neglect Zaha and that's the key to their success. The two big lads will have no problem with Benteke as they did at Selhurst. Should they move Zaha to the centre in the second half then we will see Mason.

The midfield is obviously a worry but Carlo doesn't seem to have faith in Tom and in his presser spoke of 3 from 2 so doesn't see Mason there either. I think he is just resting him and sees this as the ideal game.

Dave Williams
7 Posted 08/02/2020 at 11:47:52
Seamus will be better against Zaha than Sid but leaving Mason on the bench is bizarre unless he has a knock.

He would have been decent in CM today. Our CM players both have a tendency to go missing and if they do I can see an early substitution. The S-men must be ripping it up in training to merit selection and we can only hope Carlo has got it right.

Derek Knox
8 Posted 08/02/2020 at 11:50:58
Jason @1 yes me too, he's been probably our most consistent player recently.

Bob @ 2, I could understand that with Sidibe in front of him, maybe Walcott has been rejuvenated, since his goal, but dropping back is not his forte, but as you say I trust Carlo knows what he's doing.

Mark Guglielmo
9 Posted 08/02/2020 at 11:56:57
Someone pointed out to me that: 1) Keane may very well be better suited to handle the long balls and not be bullied by Benteke...

And: 2) it allows for Holgate to come off the bench not just for a centre-back, but also for a defensive midfielder. Could be very smart.

Robert Tressell
10 Posted 08/02/2020 at 12:03:13
Could be tactical – looks like a low block defensive position to guard against Zaha having space to run in to – or a bit more height v Benteke (as if Mina isn't tall enough). Could be a case of Carlo exploring how different players fare in combination. Some sense in trying to get a tune out of S&S as they'll probably be here next season.

ps: I know we collectively dislike Schneiderlin but he's played okay since Silva was sacked. Sigurdsson also playing quite a disciplined role too at times – albeit more off the ball than effective with it. Still fancy us to win what is likely to be a crap excuse for a football match because of how Palace will set up.

Jay Wood
[BRZ]

11 Posted 08/02/2020 at 12:03:52
Well I rather like having a manager that keeps springing surprises with his selections.

And no, that is not necessarily an endorsement of today's selections.

We've had years of managers who were very easy to predict their starting XI and default line-ups and tactics, to the point of the timing of their like-for-like substitutions.

Carlo continues to pick an XI best suited in his mind to the opposition to both nullify their threat whilst enhancing ours.

Zaha is their danger man. Sidibe is defensively more of a liability than Coleman. Coleman comes in. We don't have much cover at centre back, what with Gibson and Feeney (already injured) loaned out last week. Wise to protect the three we have by rotating them.

That he has opted for the two S's in midfield is more of a concern and does not augur well for Tom Davies. But then, in Duncan's first fire and brimstone game v Chelsea they were excellent. Cringeworthy v 'them' in the cup.

Iwobi not yet 100%. Bernard increasingly does his best work at Goodison, so an easy switch. Bernard's difference in home to away form both a blessing and a concern.

Plenty on the bench to change the game at any point.

There is a lot of brawn and muscle in that Palace midfield compared to our own. Can we play sufficiently enough football around them rather than get into a scrap with them? That could well be the key to the game.

George Cumiskey
12 Posted 08/02/2020 at 12:09:21
Unless Holgate is carrying an injury, it's mind-boggling to play Schneiderlin in midfield before him.
Derek Knox
13 Posted 08/02/2020 at 12:14:57
Hi Jay, agree with the surprise element of team selection, midfield looks a bit slow to me, and a lot on the shoulders of Seamus, Walcott has rarely been very effective dropping back, to help out.

Seems to work with Sidibe in front of Seamus, but I trust Carlo knows better than we do. Holgate being benched, unless it's due to a knock, is puzzling, if not in defence he's certainly a lot quicker than Schneiderlin in midfield and better defensively too.

On a side-note, Jay, any words of encouragement as regards Cebolinha and a possible Summer move?

Jerome Shields
14 Posted 08/02/2020 at 12:25:54
Carlo has a mind of his own.
John Davies
15 Posted 08/02/2020 at 12:30:46
I'm not liking Schneiderlin & Sigurdsson together for today's game. Neither of them have the "belly for a fight" and Palace will be up for one. I would have thought Holgate would be in there but maybe he's not 100%. Hope I'm wrong & Carlo puts another 3 points on the board. COYB!!!
Jay Wood
[BRZ]

16 Posted 08/02/2020 at 12:32:28
On Cebolinha, Derek, nothing to report. All the noises are coming from the player himself and his club.

Something very amiss in a player and his club president claiming Everton's manager and star player – Richarlison – have been in direct contact with him about a move to the club, but absolutely zero confirmation from us.

Tony Twist
17 Posted 08/02/2020 at 12:34:07
Schneiderlin and Sigurdsson, what a midfield combination! Managers come and go but still miss the bleeding obvious.
Justin Doone
18 Posted 08/02/2020 at 12:40:34
Err.. good luck.

Palace like to mix up with attacks down the wings and lumping it to the far post.

They may be an average team in a poor run but it only takes Zaha a few seconds to unlock a defence and he'll love trying to have a run at Keane when Coleman disappears up the other end. Likewise Benteke is capable of bullying both of our central defenders.

Big questions will be asked to our right sided defenders and the lack of pace within the centre of our defence and midfield doesn't provide much confidence.

Wouldn't be my team selection but hoping for a win by any means.

Jay Wood
[BRZ]

19 Posted 08/02/2020 at 13:26:08
Started the game well, rewarded with a fine goal following good play in a tight situation on the right from 4 much-maligned players – Coleman, Sigurdsson, Schneiderlin and Walcott.

Excellent control, turn and escaping from his marker by Walcott. Superb cross. Top drawer finish by Bernard. A dropping ball on the volley not easy. The Brazilian steadied himself and ensured a clean strike before the ball fell to him.

Then it all got a bit scrappy. Pity Theo got injured, because he was playing well in all aspects. Carlo evidently exasperated at Sidibe not being ready to come on. Sidibe played as if he hasn't woken up yet.

Palace really not offering a lot, but one goal is never enough. Just need a bit more quality and composure on the ball and take the chances when they come.

Ciarán McGlone
20 Posted 08/02/2020 at 13:34:26
Fairly bog standard fayre. Poor all over the pitch.

Carlos selections will attract limited scrutiny while he continues to win... but this constant rotation reminds me of Benitez or Ranieri.

Surely he knows his best eleven by now?

Paul Setter
21 Posted 08/02/2020 at 13:44:15
I think you would struggle to find a worse keeper than Pickford – he is absolutely muck.
Glenn Williams
22 Posted 08/02/2020 at 14:26:27
Is this real? I'm still afraid to buy in. I did like the NBC commentator's line that Everton's Italian renaissance continues. But is it truly real?
Ciarán McGlone
23 Posted 08/02/2020 at 14:27:53
Patches of decent stuff in a game mostly characterised by poor play and errors.

We continue to win though. Can't complain. Stormy set of fixtures coming up. Need to up our game for those.

Jamie Crowley
24 Posted 08/02/2020 at 14:31:27
MotM: Morgan Schneiderlin...

Just let that sink in for a bit.

Carlo is making a massive difference.

We've got some table-jumping games coming up. Let's go for a ride.

Jay Wood
[BRZ]

25 Posted 08/02/2020 at 14:32:28
Not pretty, but still a win.

Our own incompetence allowed Palace a way back into the game.

I personally think that is the poorest goal Pickford has conceded in an Everton shirt. That is the goalkeeper's all day long.

Thankfully, before they could get a lift from that goal, out of nothing we re-took the lead with a brilliant individual effort from Richarlison. The key was the final touch to open his body and almost immediate shot which caught their keeper out.

We improved marginally, but there was still so many basic errors all over the pitch which could have allowed them back into it.

Great header from the corner from Richarlison which merited a goal, but nice that Dom gets on the scoresheet again. Same combo should have given us an even more flattering scoreline minutes later.

Carlo will not be happy with the performance, but take the result.

Schneiderlin – MotM, anyone?

Jim Harrison
26 Posted 08/02/2020 at 14:34:41
Happy with the win, a tough game against a very committed Palace

Still missing that midfield lynch pin. Morgan and Siggy acquitted themselves well enough, but it will be of highest importance to get in some quality over the summer to help compliment Gomes when he is back

Pickford. Well... he needs to sort his shit out.

Kieran Kinsella
27 Posted 08/02/2020 at 14:35:37
Character has totally changed under Dunc & Carlo. Previously, any time we had a setback, the players seemed to assume it was "one of those days" and throw the towel in. Today and last week, we responded to setbacks very well.
Steve Ferns
28 Posted 08/02/2020 at 14:36:26
Not read the comments yet. Just walking out now. It wasn't a vintage performance, but we got the points and three goals.

Sigurdsson was poor but I think Morgan Schneiderlin is getting better every game and is the best of our fit central midfielders. Richarlison was great. Dom laboured but, aside from the goal, wasn't great. He was up against some big lads and the ref didn't help him.

Shame Walcott went off because that was a brilliant cross for the assist. Bernard did well but was kicked out the game. The defence was much poorer without Holgate. Also, Keane went left to Digne, so that answers the recent debate on that one.

Two weeks off now. We need to work hard as there's some tough games coming up and “destiny” to prevent.

Steve Brown
29 Posted 08/02/2020 at 14:39:52
Errors leading to goals since 2018 for Pickford = 8. Higher than any other keeper in the Premier League. His lack of composure was evident in the first half when the team nearly conceded a penalty after he dropped the ball and he got more rattled as the game progressed. The defensive confidence and cohesion suffered as a result. We need to address this in the summer.

On the positive side, Richarlison was magnificent and Schneiderlin had an excellent game. His diagonal long balls were top quality.

Paul McCoy
30 Posted 08/02/2020 at 14:40:46
We saw both the best and worst of Pickford today. I still don't think we need to replace him in the Summer, there are other more pressing positions.

Richarlison though... he gets better and better with every game.

Joe McMahon
31 Posted 08/02/2020 at 14:42:07
We cannot expect anything, no matter who comes and leaves in the Summer, if Jordan Pickford is still first choice. A mistake (often a conceded goal) every game is not acceptable.

Honestly, Tim Howard was better and so was Joel Robles. Pickford may be England keeper (why I don't know), but he's no Nigel Martyn, and never will be.

Eric Paul
32 Posted 08/02/2020 at 14:42:42
And an assist, Steve.

3-1 and people still moan... WTF?

Derek Knox
33 Posted 08/02/2020 at 14:47:13
Thanks Jay @12, not a great game but three points before the break, still too many stupid lapses of concentration, and sloppy play.

The passing in the first half started off crisp and direct, but after their goal it all went to panic stations, with schoolboy blunders.

Pickford always seems to have that brainfart in nearly every game, but luckily today we managed to end the game with 3 undeserved points, but I'll take them.

Steve Brown
34 Posted 08/02/2020 at 14:47:15
Eric, that game was a stroll until he blundered. And he has done it repeatedly, so why try to hide from reality?
Jamie Crowley
35 Posted 08/02/2020 at 14:49:06
Carlo was asked about Sidibe’s sock.

Priceless facial gestures from Ancelotti. If you’ve not seen it, find it and watch. Hilarious.

Derek Knox
37 Posted 08/02/2020 at 14:56:16
Jamie C, at least he didn't put his foot in it! :-)
Carl Manning
38 Posted 08/02/2020 at 14:56:36
Schneiderlin, when he first arrived, was pinging the ball around for fun. Slowly, as his confidence went, he became sideways and backwards. He is obviously regaining his confidence and slowly showing signs of the player we first bought.

Another 2 weeks of fine tuning and training and another step forward expected! Arsenal will not be looking forward to the next game as they are in a bad position. A win at the Emirates and it's game on!

David Hallwood
39 Posted 08/02/2020 at 14:57:34
To quote the old cliche, if you play poorly and win...

A truly horrible game, but maybe it's indicative of how poor the Premier League is; if we had beaten Newcastle, we'd be 5th in the table!

So if (and it's a big if) we keep this run up, who knows?

[Get a grip, Dave, we're talking about Everton, so we probably do know!]

Robert Tressell
40 Posted 08/02/2020 at 15:01:30
Glad Schneiderlin is getting some recognition. He's been an important part of good form since Silva got the boot. We are shaping up very nicely without buying anyone (except a 17-year-old centre-half) in January.

This is very, very impressive from Carlo. I thought he'd become a cheque book manager and massager of big egos but he's showing impressive coaching and motivation.

Carl Manning
41 Posted 08/02/2020 at 15:02:09
Plus, David, if we'd beaten Norwich at Goodison, added to the 2 extra points we should have had against the Barcodes, we'd be level 4th!

Depressing how this season has gone. Such fine margins have killed what could have been a major breakout season. Every game under Ancelotti is showing how poor and inept Silva was.

David Ellis
42 Posted 08/02/2020 at 15:03:33
Three moments of quality... three goals — it's all you need.

A few six-pointers coming up after the break. A real chance to make further progress... or sink back into obscurity.

Ray Jacques
43 Posted 08/02/2020 at 15:06:12
We have some awful players, we know who they are. I was happy that we didn't buy anymore in the window.

Ancelotti is assessing what we have and will be deciding over the rest of the season who to get shut of and who he can improve or coach to play in his team next season. Hopefully already identifying targets to bring in. Players that will improve the team would be nice and who possess a strong mentality.

In the interim, we don't look good but are picking up excellent results. 6 points from the next 4 games would be acceptable.

Tony Everan
44 Posted 08/02/2020 at 15:12:16
Is it better to play a below-average game and get three points, or play well and get nowt?

Points in the bag are what matters, it gives us the chance to pull out a show stopper or two against Arsenal away next time, and then at home to Manchester Utd.

Both below us in the league and inconsistent. Those matches are winnable and European football is firmly on the table to play for now. I also expect Chelsea to drop some expected points, so who knows?

Credit to the manager and his team for putting some spunk back into the club and us fans. It's miraculous our season is alive and kicking still after the way it started.

Mark Guglielmo
45 Posted 08/02/2020 at 15:14:37
While not the toughest run of fixtures since he took over, he's got the exact same group of players to produce 5-2-1 and 17 points out of a possible 24. Anyone think Silva could have/would have done that? 2 away wins (of 3), and our 1st come-from-behind win in 43 years (it seems).

Every single guy on the pitch looks revitalized to one degree or another.

I gave Richarlison MotM, but Morgan was spectacular. I also thought that was Coleman's best match since at least the home loss to Man City, but more likely since last season.

Eric Paul
46 Posted 08/02/2020 at 15:17:08
Steve @34,

What does that mean?

Steven Astley
47 Posted 08/02/2020 at 15:21:15
Eric, it's pretty obvious what Steve means.
Eddie Dunn
48 Posted 08/02/2020 at 15:22:28
Schneiderlin spraying the ball Hoddlesque and Richarlison increasing his value. Pickford got caught in two minds and had nothing behind the ball when he failed to parry, got to boot it in those situations. He did pull off a super reaction save shortly after but he had worryingly already blundered when Zaha may have had a penalty in the ensuing mele.

It's tough for keepers, the little errors are jumped on whereas Calvert-Lewin missed a tap-in at the death which could have been the difference had we not got the third. Still a bad mistake... but it will be forgotten.

The next run of games will be ones where a daft goalkeeping error, or a simple tap-in missed, will cost us the points. Sockgate will hopefully be enjoyed on MotD (if they still bother with it with no Red Shite).

Neil Bowman
49 Posted 08/02/2020 at 15:24:40
6 goals in the last 2 games. 10 over last five... We are scoring again, lads!

When Dunc took over, a reporter asked him how the dressing room had taken news of Silva's sacking and his answer was: "It was a mixed reaction" – lack of togetherness – but now they are starting to look like a team.

Yes, there are a few passes going astray but Carlo is rotating a lot to a) counter the opposition's strengths; and b) give the players a chance to impress. Healthy rotation breeds alertness which was sadly lacking under Silva. We're going in the right direction so let's enjoy it!

George Cumiskey
50 Posted 08/02/2020 at 15:35:36
I agree with everything Steve Ferns said, I'm shocked to say. Lol.

It's okay to rotate your team but to leave out the player who's been MotM for the last 6 weeks (Holgate) is very strange and could've cost us dearly.

Sigurdsson was the worst player on the pitch again.

Ajay Gopal
51 Posted 08/02/2020 at 15:38:09
If I have to say 3 words that describe Everton all season, it would be “Lack of Composure”! From back to front – the top teams have it; Everton don't have it... yet.

Pickford knows now that he has 12 games to save his career. I don't think Ancelloti will think twice about getting rid of him if he doesn't pull up his socks big time.

Mina and Keane were poor... a really mystifying decision by Carlo to sit out Holgate. Sidibe was horrible, his coming on really altered the dynamics of the game.

Sigurdsson and Schneiderlin formed a decent central midfield partnership. Bernard and Calvert-Lewin, apart from their goals, were nothing great. In fact, I think only 2 players can hold their heads high – Schneiderlin and Richarlison, who was poor in the 1st half, but he grew into the game after Ancelotti must have told him at half-time to cut out his antics.

I think Schneiderlin and Richarlison in the 2nd half, were the difference between two poor sides. Lots of work to do for Carlo in the break.

Brian Williams
52 Posted 08/02/2020 at 15:40:01
I was talking at the game about Evertonians' (in general) negativity. I hear it around me at every game, from the constant moaners to the panic merchants who mutter "Oh shit!" every time the opposition get over the half-way line, to those who can't wait to berate a misplaced pass when the player was trying something to get a teammate in on goal or set him away in attack.

Then you see it on here with those who choose to ignore Pickford's world class save (a certain goal) and concentrate on his error(s). Evertonians didn't used to be like that!

Tony Hill
53 Posted 08/02/2020 at 15:41:42
They're going to be waving money at us for Richarlison in the summer. That was a brilliant goal and it saved us from embarrassment; we were all over the shop before he scored. He is taking the next step and becoming a game-changer, at least against teams like Palace.

Schneiderlin also played well but we missed Holgate badly at the back. Keane and Mina were poor.

An important win because, on that form, we will get nothing from the next 4 games. Our lack of care with the ball is sometimes astonishing and I'm sure Ancelotti will have that at the top of his list of problems to solve.

Alan J Thompson
54 Posted 08/02/2020 at 15:42:35
What an awful game between two quite poor sides.

Everton looked the better side until Walcott went off and I was a bit surprised when he was replaced by Sidibe. I was pleasantly surprised by Schneiderlin for the first 20 minutes when he became his usual "didn't want to know" self and Sigurdsson was awful. Again, I was more surprised when he subbed Bernard rather than one of those two but Davies showed a lot more effort than either of those two in a midfield that seemed to fail to realize they were playing for the same side.

The quicker Mr Ancellotti can get them working as a complete team, the better... but, at the moment, I can see more I'd like to move on than keep... and this after a game we won! For me, Mina was our best.

Steve Mink
55 Posted 08/02/2020 at 15:51:45
Walcott going off unbalanced the side.

I thought Schneiderlin had one of his better games.

David Pearl
56 Posted 08/02/2020 at 15:52:28
Brian, agree... although a mistake will always be more highlighted than a good save.

Funny as always to read all the negative remarks about selection before the game has even kicked off. The changes Carlo made were quite obvious really, and especially bringing Coleman in.

Schneiderlin has been our best midfielder all season. It's about time people noticed that. Use your eyes. I'd like to see how him and Gomes look together. Sigurdsson is also playing in a different role... so again, let's give him time to acclimatise. Schneiderlin is benefitting from not having to sit in the hole between the central defenders and his confidence is growing. I'm pleased for him.

All-in-all, another win and within touching distance of a European spot. I've even read on here that this squad isn't good enough for Europe. Of course, if we finish in a spot, then we quite obviously are. The idea is to finish as high as we can and attract a couple of quality players in the summer.

We've allowed certain players the room to keep improving and now it seems to be working out. If we can keep this momentum going, I'm looking at 4th. We have to play all the teams around us next... who'd've thought it?

Andrew Keatley
57 Posted 08/02/2020 at 15:52:49
Eric (46) – I think your original post at 32 was to Steve Ferns (about Calvert-Lewin) – and Steve Brown intercepted it and assumed you were talking to him about Pickford.

It's confusions like this that mean I generally number my replies...

Kieran Kinsella
58 Posted 08/02/2020 at 15:59:17
Brian Williams @52,

I agree. It gets a little tiresome. Sooner or later you concede a goal or make a mistake. That makes it easy for people to say "So-and-so is shit" because, at some point in the season, said player will have a moment for them to say "I told you so."

Eric Paul
60 Posted 08/02/2020 at 16:01:51
Thank you, Andrew @57.

Sorry for any confusion to Steve, Steve and Stephen.

Jerome Shields
61 Posted 08/02/2020 at 16:05:53
I thought that Everton did not impose themselves on the game. The midfield played deeper, which suited Schneiderlin, but Sigurdsson is not good enough.

Everton's threat was mainly from the wings, with very little through the centre. Calvert-Lewin did not play well. Richarlison was the main threat. Walcott, when he was on, played exceptionally well. Bernard was good, but seemed to be carrying a injury.

Sidibe was off sorts after Sockgate. Coleman played Zaha off the pitch. The defence was good, but Keane still shaky. Quality ball in from set-pieces was the difference. Pickford had that headless look on him for most of the game.

I still think midfield are not getting on the ball enough, surrendering space and the ball too much. Very little quality ball through the centre.

A good win, though, and suberbly played first goal.

Tony Hill
62 Posted 08/02/2020 at 16:06:50
You can see how much Richarlison expected Calvert-Lewin to win that ball to set him free for his goal. He was running at full pelt.
Michael Williams
63 Posted 08/02/2020 at 16:11:15
Brian #52 – I have only been here for about five(?) years and people here are definitely "like that". There are too many supporters here who just feel better when they are ripping someone.

In our previous 11 games (not counting today's win!): We have the third-best record in the Premier League. Yet we are "shit" and a "poor side". If we are a poor side, then what is the form of the 17 teams who have done worse than us over this long string of games?

This team is playing hard, for each other, and trying to play attacking football. Can we get better? I hope so. I, for one, am enjoying this spell.

Tony Abrahams
64 Posted 08/02/2020 at 16:12:28
I echo what everyone else is saying because I also thought Schneiderlin was our best player today, even if Richarlison was the difference between the teams, imo.

Best part, though, was when Schneiderlin gave Sigurdsson the eyes and a facial gesture, because he gave Morgan the ball straight back (instead of turning) in the period of the game that Everton were all over the place, just after Palace had equalised.

The crowd were rightly fuming at Sigurdsson, but the irony was Schneiderlin's face, because all's Gylfi had done was give him the type of ball he's been constantly playing for the last 2 years, and how much better and calmer did Schniederlin look, now that he's finally trying to expand his game again!

A poor match, Calvert-Lewin never got hold of the ball anywhere near enough. Bernard wasn't in it much apart from his goal, and Sigurdsson also struggled badly, whilst Sidibe just looked like he hadn't prepared properly, obviously not expecting to get onto the pitch so early, which shows how important Schneiderlin was in the midfield today.

Conor McCourt
65 Posted 08/02/2020 at 16:14:44
Great day for me — Everton win, Ireland win and Seamus head and shoulders Man of the Match.

I don't care about the performance today as it's the next fixtures we will need to perform in.

Ray Smith
66 Posted 08/02/2020 at 16:15:08
Tony @53,

I agree with your comments; however, we have a break now where Carlo will get the sloppy play we saw today sorted.

As for our next 4 games, we will pick up points.

Arsenal away: draw
Man Utd home: win
Chelsea away: draw
Liverpool home: draw.

I'd settle for that now.

Steve Brown
67 Posted 08/02/2020 at 16:19:00
Eric @ 60, no worries! There loads of Steves on here.
Mark Guglielmo
68 Posted 08/02/2020 at 16:19:04
Ray 66 - there's no reason we can't win at least 1 of the Arsenal/Chelsea away matches. I know it's been like 200 years since we've won at those 2 grounds, but they're vulnerable (Arsenal moreso for me).

Also, it does appear likely we'll have Gomes back! Never thought I'd say this but I'll take a Gomes - Schneiderlin midfield duo and, dare I say, be happy about it.

Tony Hill
69 Posted 08/02/2020 at 16:21:35
Yes, we can get points from those games, Ray @66, but we must play a hell of a lot better. If we give the ball away like we did today, we have no chance.
Eric Paul
70 Posted 08/02/2020 at 16:22:29
Steve @67,

I'm with you all the way on Pickford.

George Cumiskey
71 Posted 08/02/2020 at 16:23:03
Give Sigurdsson time to acclimatise???

He's been crap for the last two seasons!!!

Steve Brown
72 Posted 08/02/2020 at 16:23:38
Ray @ 66, two wins and a draw is my prediction from that lot! I think that this squad matches the level of the opposition. So I am hoping for a better set of performances as a result.
Ray Smith
73 Posted 08/02/2020 at 16:24:37
Tony @69,

On that I do agree.

However, I trust in Carlo to get it right.

Stephen Meighan
74 Posted 08/02/2020 at 16:34:30
Not the best of games but another 3 points... looks like we're moving in the right direction.

Just a pity we threw away points at Brighton, Leicester and at home to Newcastle. We could've been up to 5th but that's Everton for you. COYB.

Ciarán McGlone
75 Posted 08/02/2020 at 16:35:13
Interesting 'discussion' between Schneiderlin and Mina... Mina was getting told off by him. Ironic from the man who puts a reasonable shift in after sauntering about the pitch for two years. Hopefully he continues to put a shift in and earns the right to tell others off.
Brent Stephens
76 Posted 08/02/2020 at 16:36:49
The wagon keeps rolling on, despite a few square wheels. A bumpy ride but Carlo is getting the wagon to a safe destination this season. We'll sort things more at the end of the season.

In the meantime, what a solid performance from Richarlison and (!) Schneiderlin. Richarlison's goal after a long run was superb. Calvert-Lewin keeps scoring (but oh that missed chance). And I could see Bernard's similar chance going into Row Z but he did well to stay over the ball.

Why do I / we have to keep saying how deplorable the refs are?

Anyway, I'm happy. I'm clapping.

Tony Hill
77 Posted 08/02/2020 at 16:44:03
A couple of lovely, deft passes from Tom today. Looked nice and sharp.
Mike Oates
78 Posted 08/02/2020 at 16:45:11
A hard-fought win, it was always going to be with Palace: tall, tough and some quick players. Still, I'm sure this was a game Silva would have lost once they equalised... so far better mentality in the squad now, if not the quality we need.

Ancelotti must be giving game time to assess all his squad, why else leave Holgate out, other than to look at Keane again?

I think he has problems with a few, most notably:

Coleman, whose first touch and passing are very poor;
Sidibe, who is just not consistent enough;
Keane, who creates panic;
Sigurdsson, who is neither a good 10 or a good defensive midfield player;
Pickford will stay as he's normally a good shot stopper, with excellent passing qualities, but he will cost you 5-6 goals a season with his mistakes.

I think the rest, including Schneiderlin, are good enough as squad players. Clearly he wants another right winger to give Walcott a challenge, and a central midfielder, and if he can get one. I wouldn't be surprised to see Gilfy and possibly Davies leave, and also a right back, maybe Kenny will return but I'm not sure he's got the height required to be a back four defender.

But anyway, the real tests are ahead with Arsenal and Chelsea away, Man Utd and Liverpool at home. Tough challenges and I think 6 points would be a good return, anything more would be a real bonus on our road to the Europa League.

Paul Birmingham
79 Posted 08/02/2020 at 16:59:03
A win is a win, and possibly flattered but at least we scored a couple of great goals, and could have had at least 4.

Pleased for the squad and Schneiderlin in fairness kept the midfield together.

Always tough versus Palace and hopefully we've got the grit and belief now to face up and embrace the next four games.

All very tough, but all games we can get a result, barring no daft lungs, and stray passes and soft goals.

Arsenal away, I fancy us, despite it being a bogey ground. We are due some luck there. Deny there forwards space and we can beat them.

Carlos toughest run of games, but we have got belief and hopefully can get a decent run going.

Not arsed about what the RS do, leave them to do the spouting.

Sam Hoare
80 Posted 08/02/2020 at 16:59:33
Pickford is not a good shot-stopper!! His save percentage this season is in the bottom two in the Premier League. It hasn't been top class since Sunderland.
Dave Abrahams
81 Posted 08/02/2020 at 16:59:59
I didn't expect much from the game but was very pleasantly surprised by the energy, movement and rhythm I saw... that was from the Brazilian style band before the game, brilliant! I never saw much of those three attributes from either side, when the game started. The first half was a dreary, boring game of countless throw-ins, and yet Everton got clapped off at half-time.

I would love to ask Ancelotti what he saw in Sugurdsson's performance that possessed him to keep the Icelander on the field for 85 minutes? When Holgate came on for the last 8 minutes, he brought a calmness and authority to the midfield that wasn't there with Sigurdsson. He also won some headers that were constantly lost by Keane and Mina, besides putting some good passes forward.

Schneiderlin played well, and Richarlison scored a great goal that brought him to life. He looked like a good player where previously he was as poor, as were most of the players around him, from both sides.

Another good result, which is the most important thing to take from the game, but performances will have to improve and maybe Ancelotti can get those performances to match the results in the next few weeks. I would be made up if he got that band to perform again that played today; now that was entertainment.

Peter Neilson
82 Posted 08/02/2020 at 17:01:48
Carlo is managing to turn us into a team. It was not a great performance today but what a turn around from the days of Silva.

Exceptional goal from Richarlison and Pickford showed us the good and the bad in his game. Well done on keeping Zaha pretty quiet, other than his cross for the goal. His frustration showed late on with a tantrum aimed at Seamus.

Presumably Gylfi is still in the team due to lack of options as he offers very little now. Anyway, on to Arsenal with confidence.

Tony Hill
83 Posted 08/02/2020 at 17:05:40
We shouldn't lose sight of what a fine goal the first one was. Beautifully worked and finished.
David Pearl
84 Posted 08/02/2020 at 17:06:21
Sigurdsson scored 13 goals last season, in the Number 10 role. Not too shabby under Silva's tactics.

This season, he's playing in a different formation and obviously a different position. He hasn't been playing half as bad as is being made out.

Paul McGinty
85 Posted 08/02/2020 at 17:08:44
Richarlison scores one, makes another, plays wherever he's told to play. Our best player today for me by far.

Schneiderlin I can't see as MotM; okay performance. Didn't he watch Benteke run off him for their goal? Maybe my eyes deceived me.

We won a game that could have slipped away but, for me, the difference was our young Brazilian.

Darren Hind
86 Posted 08/02/2020 at 17:09:58
Schneiderlin has a cheek, having a go at anyone, but Mina deserved his talking to.

If we are going to challenge the big boys, Mina will need to be replaced. His hacks out had something of the Zingaris about them... And that attempted overhead kick which nearly gave Palace the lead shortly after they equalised... Dear me. I thought I was watching a dying daddy-long-legs.

Anyway, another win over a team we should expect to beat is good news considering we haven't been doing that for years. If we can continue the run through the next 3 or 4 fixtures, things might get very interesting.

Calvert-Lewin had a poor game but he got his goal and the deftness of the header to send Richarlison on his way was a delight.

I didn't agree with the team selection, but we won. A winning manager never has to explain his selection. So it's a 'Well done' to Ancelotti! No player can say he isn't giving them their opportunity to secure there place here next season. He's giving them all a fair crack.

The "dead" season may have a fair bit more life yet...

Jay Harris
87 Posted 08/02/2020 at 17:12:03
Tough, scrappy game that, in the past, we would have struggled to get a point... but today, I thought we were always looking like winning that game.

We always seem to struggle against the bottom teams who come for a point and play well against the top sides.

Let's hope we get quite a few points out of the next 4.

Europe here we come.

Rob Dolby
88 Posted 08/02/2020 at 17:17:44
Did anyone expect a classic today? Palace play with 11 men behind the ball away from home and have done for 2 years now. They don't entertain, it's about survival with them nicking away points.

Richarlison proves yet again that he is our best player by some distance.

The range of performance levels from Schneiderlin is ridiculous. Today, he was fantastic... but, when he has a poor game, it's usually a right stinker.

Playing Keane from the start proved to be the right thing to do against the aerial power of Benteke.

Sigurdsson again was missing for most of the game. I would rather have Holdgate in there.

Hopefully Walcott and Bernard are not too seriously injured.

From my seat, it looked like Pickford dived over the shot though he did redeem himself minutes later with a good point-blank save.

A win is a win, Ancelotti seems to be making a habit out of winning with a typical Italian style.

Alex Parr
89 Posted 08/02/2020 at 17:18:24
Just bumped into Yerry Mina and Richarlison at Manchester Airport. Both happy to have a few pics. Yerry was really friendly. Gave Richarlison one of my "Kopites are Gobshites" stickers and he asked to keep it. Good lad!
Kieran Kinsella
90 Posted 08/02/2020 at 17:21:16
Paul @85,

I think Richarlison has matured this season. Last season, when things went wrong he would get sulky, remonstrate with refs etc. Now he just gets fired up and makes sure he makes or scores a goal. He is using his passion as a strength instead of a detriment.

Ray Smith
91 Posted 08/02/2020 at 17:30:25
Steve 72

Who do you see us losing too in the next 4 fixtures?

I’d take 7 points though.

Dave Evans
92 Posted 08/02/2020 at 17:40:28
Schneiderlin was immense. Calvert-Lewin just keeps going throughout. He is a nightmare for defenders who want their rests. Richarlison:- "£80 million, bite their hands off"?

Our play wasn't great today but the players seem more engaged and confident. The big difference from the previous managers — no one was hiding.


Ciarán McGlone
93 Posted 08/02/2020 at 17:41:08
Darren.. spot on about Mina.

Absolute liability... like Keane.

Colin Malone
94 Posted 08/02/2020 at 17:46:50
Sigurdsson was awful again. I don't doubt he's skillful but he is not doing what he should be, ie, supporting the front two when we attack. Instead, staying square alongside Schneiderlin, is he under orders to stay deep? Not making himself available; instead, pointing to someone else to give the ball to, ie, throw-ins, playing out of defence.

I watched Derby County, old Wayne was pulling all the strings from midfield, he was pivotal in everything they did... Why can't Gylfi?

Dave Evans
95 Posted 08/02/2020 at 17:54:01
Mina and Keane absolute liabilities? We are almost top of the latest form league. What does that say about the other 18 Premier League teams' centre-halves?

Get a grip.

Kim Vivian
96 Posted 08/02/2020 at 17:58:16
Don't know what Steve's talking about.
Ian Riley
97 Posted 08/02/2020 at 17:59:26
Today showed we can fight for the win against a club that does well against us. The squad should be fighting for 5th place. Carlo has got the energy levels up and was very honest in his analysis of the game. He is no idiot and won't protect the players.

The guy is a class act and feel so fortunate to have him at my club. We are second in the form table, unthinkable in November. Confidence and winning brings higher standards and players shouting at each other is a good thing.

Not buying players in January allows Carlo to assess the squad in its fullness. No player is safe from being shown the door in the summer.

Must go!! Off to Skegness for my winter break!!

Derek Knox
98 Posted 08/02/2020 at 18:03:15
Ian @97, you lucky sod I can envisage you on the beach now, hypothermia is over-rated anyway. :-)
Brian Wilkinson
99 Posted 08/02/2020 at 18:10:10
Sorry to go off topic a little but, with Everton being close to the FFP limits, who does actually own Goodison Park? I know we have a mortgage type loan taken out.

After seeing Derby County escape punishment by their owner buying the ground for twice its original price, any posters know if this is a way we could sneak through the loophole?

Anyway, back to today's game, not pretty at times, but again no heads dropping after we concede a goal, we seem to have found a way of getting results.

Even at 2-1 there was some nice one-touch football between Digne, Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin.

Even with bringing Holgate and Davies on to nullify any threats, we continued to counter-attack. Carlo has built belief in the team and is not afraid to change things and rotate, teams are finding it harder now to work us out, less predictable.

Long may it continue.

Paul Tran
100 Posted 08/02/2020 at 18:14:52
A bits and pieces performance, with two great goals and the obligatory Pickford clanger. He's the one I'd like to replace in the summer.

These days, I expect us to win, which tells me an awful lot about Ancelotti and his predecessor.

Hope he's flying the plane I'm catching tomorrow!


Mike Gaynes
101 Posted 08/02/2020 at 18:24:11
Paul, have a nice flight, and think about the save, not the clanger.
Ciarán McGlone
102 Posted 08/02/2020 at 18:26:54
Dave,

None of the two of them are assured about anything they do... positioning, covering, pace... and dare I say it, tackling.

Mina is better than Keane, who is one of the most slow-witted centre-halves I've ever witnessed... but I'd have them both replaced so I don't have to watch them through my fingers.

The recent form table really has no relevancy to that analysis.

John Pierce
103 Posted 08/02/2020 at 18:33:37
The goals had some real quality about them but, in general, we made a pig's ear of this game.

Selection was eyebrow-raising but, given we didn't play well last week, a lack of options and a tactical tweak (Coleman), I think fair dos. I still wondered with a long break upon us whether it was worth the changes, especially Holgate, but the end does justify the means.

Playing two centre-halves who are carbon copies of each other is bound to have an effect but, I guess, against a side who barely threaten to score, Ancellotti figured it worth the risk.

Keane was caught out on the halfway line for the goal. Mina is just a whirling dervish without any grace. His judgement is erratic and, whilst he's better than last season, I just cannot see a player there. Chuck Pickford in the same bucket; in time, he will be replaced. His save percentage is down there with the bottom dwellers. It happens too often to be coincidence.

I think, despite my gallons of ‘Carlo Cool-Aid', his changes in the second half were very good. In changing the shape to 4-5-1 and a half-pitch press gave Palace the ball and cut the supply to Zaha, forcing them back or long. A canny move since Palace are a one-man team and, Zaha apart, are terrible with the ball. We had the players to spring the counter-attack when required. We saw the game out with control.

Ancelotti's showing the difference in quality to every manager we've had since Big Joe.

Mike Gaynes
104 Posted 08/02/2020 at 18:40:33
Brian #52, spot on. Pickford made one of the howlers of the season and one of the saves of the season (Hodgson's comment: "Fuck me, what a save!"), and only the former gets mentioned. I've read several gripes about Coleman's problems on the ball today. Not a word about how he efficiently took Zaha right out of the game. Zaha kept going to his favorite spots on the pitch and finding Seamus already there. It was a positional masterclass.

Alex #89, that's a great anecdote. Any idea what sunny beach they were headed for?

Ciaran #102, Mina is a very assured tackler -- on the rare occasions he goes in for a tackle. One of the things I like about him is that he generally stays on his feet, doesn't go to ground until it's absolutely necessary. But when he does go in, he goes strong and rarely fouls.

Colin #94, I think you can be assured that Gylfi is playing exactly where and how Carlo has told him to play.

John #103, Mina doesn't have an ounce of grace, but I think his positional judgement is actually quite decent for a centre-back of his limited Premier League experience (only 36 games), and I think it will only get better with time and Carlo's outstanding coaching.

Dave Abrahams
105 Posted 08/02/2020 at 18:43:08
Ciarán (102),

I thought Mina did the impossible today, he played worse than Michael Keane. Between them, they made Benteke look like a quality centre-forward today. Those two, with Pickford and Sidurgsson it really was the dope squad, and nothing to do with drugs.

John Pierce
106 Posted 08/02/2020 at 18:44:25
Mike, I tweeted the following about Seamus.

Cheeky word for Seamus today. Without the ball extremely good, Zaha barely got touch. With the ball, well it's over for him, not good enough technique. Expect to see him play against the better sides though.

I think that sums up where he is at. He's regression to Hibbo is all but complete!

Steve Brown
107 Posted 08/02/2020 at 18:48:28
Ray @ 91, Liverpool unfortunately.
Mike Gaynes
108 Posted 08/02/2020 at 18:53:44
John #106, I predicted last week that, of our three right-backs, the one most likely to leave us this summer is, sadly, Seamus. Jonjoe Kenny plays the same game as Seamus, only faster. And Sidibe has vastly superior talent to either, although his defensive positioning needs lots of work.

Paul Tran
109 Posted 08/02/2020 at 18:59:08
Thanks, Mike. I'll try to focus on the save, which was great. I like solid, reliable keepers, so I hope at some point, we have one. And I bet our back four does, too.

I think we're on stronger ground focusing on the two great goals and a performance of great effort that should be a pre-requisite for each game.

Peter Mills
110 Posted 08/02/2020 at 18:59:10
There were two teams on the pitch, and the other one made it a very tough game for us.

Carlo is taking a look at all his players, trying different things, weighing up who can play a part for him in the future. Meanwhile, he is under weekly pressure to win games. He is doing rather well.

This was no classic, but we won 3-1. Pickford gets slated for letting in a goal, perhaps justifiably, but he also made what looked like a great save. Seamus dealt well with Zaha. Schneiderlin did some nice things. Richarlison's goal was superb. Calvert-Lewin fought hard, and played a major role in all 3 goals. Gritty substitutes were brought on to see out the game, and this time they did so.

A very satisfactory afternoon as far as I'm concerned.

Ciarán McGlone
111 Posted 08/02/2020 at 19:00:36
Mike,

I've seen you have this argument previously. Suffice to say, I don't agree that he's 'very good' at tackling. His timing is suspect.

However it's not the day for a prolonged debate on it. I'll simply welcome your suggestion and faith that he'll improve. He's certainly the more likely long term Everton player between him and Keane... so improve he must.

John Pierce
112 Posted 08/02/2020 at 19:04:15
I’d near as damn it guarantee if Pickford keeps his concentration and saves Benteke’s shot Palace don’t get a foothold, we don’t get spooked and he doesn’t have to make the save.

However I will say Keane got caught badly on the halfway line and the ball went to Zaha who slid it through to Benteke. Consecutive mistakes get punished.

Dave Evans
113 Posted 08/02/2020 at 19:08:40
Ciaran,

It's irrational for you to say the form table is an irrelevance.

When will you consider Mina and Keane not 'absolute liabilities'? When we are 5th in the league? When and if we are challenging for European places?

The point is: How would you be judging the centre-halves of the teams who now are performing consistently worse than we are? I suspect you would be calling them more of an 'absolute liability' than Mina and Keane.

Martin Berry
114 Posted 08/02/2020 at 19:09:04
Carlo giving everyone a run out to keep them involved before the break and getting a result.

The man is as savvy as his suit!

Ciarán McGlone
115 Posted 08/02/2020 at 19:13:57
I judge by watching them, Dave. Disagree with my analysis... that's fine. Just don't use our 'recent' form stats as a pivot for that argument.

Form guides don't uncover individual mistakes... to argue otherwise would be irrational.

Mike Gaynes
116 Posted 08/02/2020 at 19:17:46
John #112, obviously, mate. If he makes that save, everything that happens subsequently in the game is different.

Ciaran #111, I think I posted elsewhere that Mina has played only 36 Premier League games. (By contrast, the "youngster" Holgate has 57 appearances.) He didn't play at all well today, but he's got a great work ethic and a legend for a manager, and I'm confident in his improvement.

As to Keane, he has value against sides that play lots of high balls into the box, and today he was more asset than liability, but you're right, he simply doesn't have the talent for where this club wants to go.

Mark Burton
117 Posted 08/02/2020 at 19:37:06
From 17th to 7th, long may Don Carlo rule.
Colin Glassar
118 Posted 08/02/2020 at 19:48:34
4 more points and we’re safe!
Raymond Fox
119 Posted 08/02/2020 at 19:51:51
The effort and urgency is 100% better than it was when Silva was manager.

Yeah, it was a scrappy sort of a game but that is what you get when defenders don't give the attack any time and space on the ball.

I agree that Schneiderlin played well; so did Digne, the lad has that bit of class when he's fully fit. Unfortunately, him and Richarlison will have the very best clubs sniffing around come the summer.

I don't know what to make of Pickford; you can hardly call him reliable, he's very up and down.

Anyway, the ship's on still waters now, thanks to Ancelotti and Furguson – long may it last.

Julian Wait
120 Posted 08/02/2020 at 19:58:01
John #112. A friend of mine has a saying: "Don't do two stupid things at the same time" I think that sums up the impact of consecutive mistakes.
Tommy Carter
121 Posted 08/02/2020 at 20:15:59
Many people on here do not agree with me on a number of issues. And I accept most of them.

But someone, and I forget who, tried to make the point to me on here that Ashley Barnes was a better player than Richarlison and that Ashley Barnes would outscore Richarlison this season.

These points were made less than 6 months ago.

For me, it was simply a microcosm of how everybody has an entitled opinion on this game, but also, how little about the game some people know.

Ultimately, that person's opinion is worth exactly the same as mine. For whatever that is worth.

Mark Williams
122 Posted 08/02/2020 at 20:16:57
Can anybody help me to like Gylfi? Colin @94 sums him up to me: our most gifted player who never shows for the ball.

Mike @104: you say that he is under instruction from Don Carlo; he was just the same under Silva... he flatters to deceive.

I really would like him to be our best player. He is almost flawless in tight situations and nearly scored today in a pinball of a move in the second half in their penalty area. However, in patient build-up, either he manages to hide behind opposition players... or, if he is given the ball, he invariably gives it back to whoever dared involve him in the play.

I have never seen him turn and run at the opposition (like Tom Davies tries to do but is not as gifted), like players such as James Maddison, Jack Grealish and Mason Mount. Our very own Gylfi posesses just as much technical ability as these players but he is not playing to his full potential. It frustates me to an inconsolable level.

So, ToffeeWebbers, please offer me an explanation that allows me to 'love' our most expensive player.

Brian Williams
123 Posted 08/02/2020 at 20:25:09
Mark, the three players you mention have seven or eight years of youth on Sigurdsson. They possess the pace he never ever did.

He may be as technically gifted as those mentioned but he's slower, a lot slower.

Danny Baily
124 Posted 08/02/2020 at 20:25:47
You can't argue with the Premier League form since Ferguson and Ancelotti have come in. Plenty of points on the board ahead of some tough fixtures.

Priority for the summer has to be finding a way to replace Pickford without unduly harming the morale of the squad.

Jay Wood
[BRZ]

126 Posted 08/02/2020 at 20:44:10
Ouch! Anyone remember João Pedro Sousa, Marco Silva's assistant who jumped ship to return to Portugal with lowly Famalicão who topped the Portuguese league early doors?

They are now on a long winless streak and got tanked 7-0 AT HOME to middling Guimaraes today.

Porto-Benfica just kicked off for anyone interested. Porto need a win or Benfica will start disappearing over the horizon.

Catching up with other Blues, Lewis Gibson has played the full 90 minutes in Fleetwood's last two games, winning both. On the bare facts, that looks a good loan placement.

Less happier news on Jonjoe Kenny. Last week he missed his first game for Schalke going down with a virus. On return to training, he tore his ankle ligaments. No news on how severe it is.

Dave Abrahams
127 Posted 08/02/2020 at 20:51:35
Julian (120),

I like them old-fashioned sayings. I had a good mate, gone now, he used to say when in company and two or three people would start talking at the same time “One fool at a time”. I thought of that today, a couple of times, when I was watching Keane and Mina trying to perform... hilarious but not funny.

Dave Williams
128 Posted 08/02/2020 at 20:58:10
We were third from bottom a couple of months ago and didn't look like we would find a win. We've not played very well since but Carlo has turned us into a team which doesn't want to lose and which will now fight in adversity rather than chuck in the towel.

The fine-tuning will come in the summer with a couple of class players arriving, plus the return of our best right-back from Germany. In the meantime, he continues to work on what we have.

Calvert-Lewin has been transformed; Mason Holgate is international class and a leader; Bernard is improving, Moise Kean likewise, and Morgan Schneiderlin is showing glimpses of what he was like when he first arrived.

Mina is fine with Holgate alongside him as we need that combination of physical power and pace with good ball skills. Gylfi continues to disappoint but could have scored a fantastic goal – not a team player.

Darren Hind
129 Posted 08/02/2020 at 20:59:37
Lighthouses
Jay Wood
[BRZ]

130 Posted 08/02/2020 at 21:02:31
Just like to say, Dave Abrahams, thanks for the laugh from your intro @ 81, that you were '...very pleasantly surprised by the energy, movement and rhythm' you saw today, with the punchline that you were referring to the pre-match Brazilian Samba Band!

February is Carnival month here in Brazil. It's only meant to be over a long weekend, but the Brazilians do like their parties.

Trust me, after a month of near 24-7 Samba music – even in the shortest month of the year – you wouldn't be so well disposed to it!!!

Roman Sidey
131 Posted 08/02/2020 at 21:02:33
I wasn't able to watch this match but, from the reports, it looks like I'll be watching a replay, which I rarely do.

One thing of note which may have been mentioned already: another player breaks his drought against Everton. There's gotta be some science behind this.

Simon Smith
132 Posted 08/02/2020 at 21:04:31
I had a peruse of the Palace fans' website. Quite a few of their fans were very complimentary about us today. Particularly Richarlison.

Always interesting to hear the other sides perspective on the game.

Oliver Molloy
133 Posted 08/02/2020 at 21:28:42
John @ 106 and Mike @ 108.

I don't think Seamus Coleman will be leaving Everton at the end of the season (unless he himself wants to) which I don't think he will.

Another welcome three points from a poor performance against a struggling side, the next four games should give us all a real indication what Ancelotti has about him.

Mark Guglielmo
134 Posted 08/02/2020 at 21:34:16
What a predicament Pickford leaves us in. I need to see the "brilliant" save again, because it happened so fast on TV and I don't believe they showed a replay (or I sneezed). Part of me is wondering if he was simply in the right place and Benteke hit into him.

But even so, he's conceded 37 goals on 100 shots on target (I didn't count the 1 penalty he's allowed). That's terrible; it's actually bottom table terrible.

I've read some defenses of him saying that we give up better quality chances so he's unfairly judged. Except his xGA says he hasn't. That he "should" be around 34 goals conceded. The big issue is that 3-4 extra goals conceded is going to play a huge role when it comes down to our Goal Difference. A big enough role that it could be the difference between 6th or 9th.

We need more than 1 clean sheet, desperately.

Rob Dolby
135 Posted 08/02/2020 at 21:53:15
#94, I think Sigurdsson is the Icelandic Ross Barkley.

Undoubted ability and talent. The odd flashes of brilliance. Dubious positional sense, non-existent off the ball. No bottle for big lads, Bernard would beat them both in a 50/50.

Under Ancelotti, there isn't room for a Number 10. I can see us trying to offload him in the summer but, like so many of our players, they are on stupid money making them almost impossible to move on.

Nicholas Ryan
136 Posted 08/02/2020 at 22:07:57
Nice bit of Scouse humour before kick-off today. The teenage Drum Band were playing their hearts out on the pitch, and a guy behind me shouts: 'Jesus, even the shit ones are better than Ringo'!!
Jerome Shields
137 Posted 08/02/2020 at 22:13:13
Mark #122,

I can't. You described him as I see him myself. He is the weak link in Everton imposing and controlling midfield, in my opinion. Just plays as a link man.

I thought that, if Sigurdsson played deeper, it would have him more on the ball and would have stopped him becoming annoymous. Though Ancelotti is playing him deeper, he still is not on the ball going forward or making attacking passes.

He is also still prone to losing possession and making negative back and side passes, inviting pressure. There is no chance keeping momentum going with Sigurdsson in midfield.

Palace had too much room in midfield in the first half and got to dominate it in the second half up to just after their goal. It was the same in the first half against Watford.

Jay Evans
138 Posted 08/02/2020 at 22:30:09
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls - breathe.

Carlo has got this.

Allan Board
139 Posted 08/02/2020 at 22:32:24
Decent win and more confidence gained. Steady progress is the key at the moment. All players are being given a chance, which I think will be repeated till the season finishes.

The results speak for themselves and, for those still finding room for a moan, I offer this: with Silva, we lost games to Norwich, Aston Villa, Bournemouth, Brighton, Burnley and the player's looked woeful. Silva was out of his depth and had no clout with the players.

Ancelotti is a class operator who wins football matches whatever the circumstances. He just seems so relaxed about it all, as if he knows his teams will win far more than they will ever lose, it's just the expected and accepted way.

Everton are, for once, in the best of hands.

John Keating
140 Posted 08/02/2020 at 22:32:56
Great result but extremely poor performance both team wise and individually.
Fact is though we are churning out results.

Surprised at the team announcement before getting in but, as per the last few games, for whatever reason it has worked out.

I still think Carlo is giving everyone a chance in slightly different formations to see how they perform before he makes season-end decisions on everyone.

Extremely surprised to give Schneiderlin my MotM. He not only was the best midfielder today but he was giving everyone stick when they didn't perform. He's doing his transfer options full justice, long may it continue, well to the end of the season that is.

I have given Pickford stick recently and nothing he did today has altered my opinion. He is just not up to scratch I'm afraid.

When I look at the points we threw away under Silva, I could cry. We would be well up there if not for his incompetence.

Mark Guglielmo
141 Posted 08/02/2020 at 22:36:56
John @140 - "When I look at the points we threw away under Silva I could cry. We would be well up there if not for his incompetence."

Put another way, we would not have Carlo Ancelotti as manager if not for Silva's incompetence.

Justin Clark
142 Posted 08/02/2020 at 22:42:35
So happy with the turnaround that has happened the last few weeks. Love to see the lads play with some belief and at the very least graft. Also grinds my balls at the start we had to the season, as if we had beaten two of the promoted teams and not shit our pants against Newcastle we’d be top 4. Looking forward to seeing how we measure up the next few games. Anyone know if Everton are doing the warm weather break that has become common?
Simon Smith
143 Posted 08/02/2020 at 22:52:50
138 and 139, love reading the positive posts. For the first time in a long time we appear to have a manager we can trust.
Derek Knox
144 Posted 08/02/2020 at 22:53:17
Mark @ 141, something I have often thought about myself, but if those 'should have got points' games happened under Silva, he wouldn't have been sacked, and we probably wouldn't have Carlo Ancelotti.

However, there was the Newcastle game which blew two points in a farcical minute and a half, among others where we should have had all three points, but I suppose it's those sort of games we learn from.

I would love to know who Carlo would get rid of if they weren't tied into ridiculous contracts, and he could more-or-less, within reason, create his own team. I know it's all hypothetical, and we will probably never know, but I do believe we are eventually going in the right direction.

Robert Tressell
146 Posted 08/02/2020 at 23:10:59
With Pickford, I completely understand the criticism. But I'm increasingly open-minded about the scope to get good / formerly good players back on track. Pickford has had spells of being v good but he is prone to howlers and was at it again today. That said, Carlo (and Dunc) have rehabilitated quite a few players who looked out the door.

There's a good player in Pickford – but he's almost like the goalkeeper version of John Stones. Worth seeing what Carlo can get out of him over the course of a season and with a proper stand-in to provide competition. Wouldn't be getting rid just yet. He's got time to mature.

Brian Wilkinson
147 Posted 08/02/2020 at 23:39:16
Ancelotti is at least getting a tune out of the players.

I think Duncan Ferguson deserves some credit for starting this off, especially when you think he had almost a non-existent midfield through injuries.

At one point, Holgate was the midfield general, the bench had either strikers or defenders that we had to call on, such was our crisis in midfield.

I am glad we did not bring anyone in during the transfer window, except for Branthwaite.

Ancelotti is trying players in different areas. Silva's team was so predictable, but Ancelotti is mixing it up and teams are now struggling to read how we play.

Confidence is back with a few players, heads are no longer dropping.

What we need now is stability and a step forward in the summer.

Paul Birmingham
148 Posted 08/02/2020 at 23:40:12
Capo Dei Capi!

It feels close to early 1983s, football matters in life were changing, in the balance of law and life in football and life.

I'm happier these last 40 days, than the previous 25 years. The club has a manager, and a proven manager.

Carlos man management, coupled with Duncan's passion and inspiration, will see us get into the Europa League this season.

Everton's, slowly on the up and up.

We will beat Arsenal.

Small beginnings but a great start under Carlo. Big fixtures, due soon, this squad can get good results in the next four games.


Graham Hammond
149 Posted 08/02/2020 at 00:14:25
Great to get three points today but let's not lose sight of the big picture here: without Richarlison right now, where would we be? How many of the current crop of players are good enough to take us forward? How many are 'keepers'?

Richarlison was MotM for me, Schneiderlin next... then probably Coleman. I was disappointed in Calvert-Lewin again, his movement and desire and willingness to seek the ball and find space and show for teammates seem lacking still. I feel he could be so much more and give more too.

I've seen enough of Pickford; come back, Joel Robles and £30M, get rid in the Summer.

Bill Watson
150 Posted 08/02/2020 at 00:28:08
How unprofessional for Sidibe to be unprepared when called on to be a sub. It left us with 10 men and was totally avoidable.

Unforgivable; he should be fined by the club.

Mike Gaynes
151 Posted 09/02/2020 at 01:00:20
Good point, Mark #141.

I wouldn't have it any other way.

Bill Gienapp
152 Posted 09/02/2020 at 01:53:55
I don't have any problem with people posting what they want... but if your first impulse after a win is to come on here and fixate on who our worst performer was, that's a good example of what people mean when they refer to the "exhausting negativity."
Ajay Gopal
153 Posted 09/02/2020 at 04:57:11
I think Pickford needs to work on the low shots – I can think of many soft goals he has given away low down to his left or right. From the top of my head (apart from yesterday's howler), I can think of:

● The Greenwood goal that allowed Man Utd to equalise;
● At least 1 free kick (can't remember against whom) that went in very low;
● The 1st Watford goal last week, which was actually quite close to his body.

We need a very good backup goalie in the summer – Stekelenburg is getting old, Virginia is too raw to be given a chance this season. The Lössl saga was very strange – was he even on the bench for any of the games this season? A very strange in and out.

Darren Hind
154 Posted 09/02/2020 at 06:34:59
Dave,

When Ciaran says Keane and Mina are a liability, he's not saying they are one of the worst partnerships in the league (although there is an argument for that). He's saying that in terms of us taking the next step.

The claim that Mina stays on his feet made me laugh out loud. I've lost count of the number of times he is sitting down as the ball hits our net.

Keane can't judge the flight of a ball and Mina heads it with his ear. They are a disaster waiting to happen.

You point to the position in the league as some sort of evidence that there are worse defenders... who cares, Dave? The fact is, we need better ones to go to the next level... and let's not forget that the improvement we have seen since Silva departed has happened largely as a result of that partnership being broken up.

You won't find me arguing against selection between now and the end of the season. Between himself and the big fella, Carlo has ground out enough results to earn himself a few free swings. Nobody expected European football. That would be seen as a bonus. So he is in the position to experiment all over the park. Everyone is getting a shot.

Holgate's benching proves good form will not prevent the Italian from sitting you down so he can have a look at others. Nobody is guaranteed a game.

Ancelotti is a football manager. He is not a magician. He can't be expected to turn this ugly duckling into a very fine swan. It's gonna take sweeping changes to turn this disjointed mishmash into a consistent coherent football team. Everton Football Club is now winning the games we expected them to win – a huge step in the right direction.

Carlo Ancelotti (and to a degree, Duncan Ferguson) will have to do more next season than simply not be Marco Silva. They will both know that. If they are going to prove themselves, they need better tools. There needs to be a cull, too many in this group are simply not good enough.

Either Keane, Mina or both will need to be moved on and replaced by genuine quality. I personally would keep Mina if we had to keep one of them because I think he has the greater scope for improvement. But if somebody offered us our money back...

Derek Knox
155 Posted 09/02/2020 at 06:56:11
Darren @153, while there is some substance in what you are saying, I don't think it's quite that bad with individual players.

Okay, we don't have the best squad, although I do agree we do need some new tools, but a cull is not practicably possible due to both FFP and the ridiculous contracts that some are on.

I do however expect a few quality signings in the Summer as far as we are allowed to; there will be some going due to expiration of contracts, and possibly a few offers for those in the last year or so.

Having said that, I feel we will not recoup much by virtue of those who do move on.

Anthony Jones
156 Posted 09/02/2020 at 08:19:53
Champions League qualification?

Arsenal are still adapting to Guardiola's Fanboy. Man Utd are hot and cold. Paranoid Mourinho is pouting again at Tottenham. Lampard's young team is a work in progress. Sheffield United will be undone once sides realise that their centre-backs are often out of position. Wolves are knackered from putting in the effort in Europe.

We aren't the best side but look at who we are up against.

Rob Halligan
157 Posted 09/02/2020 at 08:31:26
The next four games: Arsenal (A), Man Utd (H), Chelsea (A), and Liverpool (H), are exactly the type of games Carlo thrives on. They are the type of games he looks forward to the most. The teams he would like to play against every week.

I remember last season when we had the four same teams in a row, albeit they were home games, yet we took 10 out of the 12 points. Arsenal and United are nowhere near the force they have been, although still dangerous sides, and we can beat them. Chelsea have been unpredictable at home recently, so a draw would be seen as a great result for us. The RS. well say no more We need to beat them bastards. So prepare yourselves for a pleasant surprise in the next four games: 10 points out of 12!!

Finally, talking about the RS game, I'm hearing rumours of Everton fans selling their tickets to RS fans for the derby match. Trust me, any RS fans in any other part of the stadium other than their own section, will be ejected and if it's a season ticket holder whose seat they are in, will have their season ticket taken off them. The less there is of them bastards in the stadium, the better, so please, think twice before you consider selling your ticket for the derby match.

Jerome Shields
158 Posted 09/02/2020 at 08:39:51
I watched MotD last night, Gareth Southgate in the stands, beside Brands. Maybe this is why Pickford looked so nervous and agitated?

Obviously playing for England means a lot to him and having Southgate with the bosses adds more pressure. He's a guy that needs more support, especially after that game. His save on the line probably laid the foundation of Everton pulling away.

Some will say he needs a cooler head, but a player needs his mentality to achieve the heights he achieves.

Ajay (#153), I think you are right about lower shots; I am sure Alan Kelly will be working on that with Pickford this week.

Gerry Ring
159 Posted 09/02/2020 at 08:57:03
It's obvious from watching the game & reading the comments how we rate players on our expectations of them. I thought Schneiderlein was very average until the last 20 minutes when he improved a little but did very little. Because we expect nothing from him we accept this as “MotM” stuff.

On the other hand, Seamus plays Zaha, their best player, valued at £100M, off the pitch & the feeling is that he's “past it”.

Baffling!! One thing for sure is that Gylfi was absolutely pathetic. I'd like to see his stats... 2 tackles??

Tony Abrahams
160 Posted 09/02/2020 at 09:19:24
Funnily enough, Rob, one of my red mates asked me for my ticket weeks ago, and I said yes! I hope he still fucking believes me an' he comes to get the ticket! (I really hope they have got a chance to claim the title by winning at Goodison.)

Reading this thread and people talking about Ancelloti giving everyone game time has also given me another theory, because I'm sure it will be easier to get rid of some players if they are part of the squad and still playing every few weeks.

This might change over the next few fixtures and, whilst we all love positivity, I'm still worried about what a good team could do to Everton, because our midfield is just not good enough, especially away from Goodison Pk.

That rumour has also come from Liverpudlians, Rob, because they're the ones who sell their tickets to the Scandinavians, and they have also been known to snatch them back once they've been paid. Everyone has heard about Ticket-Master, but only Liverpudlians, know about Ticket-Snatcher!

Phil Rouse
161 Posted 09/02/2020 at 09:21:18
Graham @ 149. I agree 100%, Pickford needs to go in the summer.
George Cumiskey
162 Posted 09/02/2020 at 10:15:16
Gerry Ring spot on.
Darren Hind
163 Posted 09/02/2020 at 10:16:29
Rob

I'm gob-smacked by what you are reporting. Any Evertonians selling their derby tickets to Kopites should be horse-whipped.

If you can't make it or simply don't fancy it, there are thousands and thousands of blues brothers who will buy your ticket.

Give them nothing

Richard Mason
164 Posted 09/02/2020 at 10:18:35
I think the negativity is over the top, overall Everton are now playing to a plan, looking fitter, scoring from set pieces and looking really sharp on the counter.

Individual mistakes will be made, but this squad has improved immensely

George Cumiskey
165 Posted 09/02/2020 at 10:21:52
Does anyone else think Holgate is stalling on signing a new contract?

Because I can't for the life of me think of any other reason why he was on the bench.

Richard Mason
166 Posted 09/02/2020 at 10:22:30
Gerry, I am Irish myself and a fan of Macca, the player you keep talking up. It's a sad state of affairs when, as you say Schneiderlin only played for 10 minutes – and he still outplayed James yesterday.
Terry Farrell
167 Posted 09/02/2020 at 10:36:56
Finally it looks like we have a lucky general! Not the team most would have started and not the best performance but 3 points. Brilliant goal by Richarlison and lovely flick on to him by dcl. Seamus did a great job on zaha.
Bill Watson
168 Posted 09/02/2020 at 10:39:40
George #165

My thoughts exactly!

Carl Manning
169 Posted 09/02/2020 at 10:56:30
Why would Holgate stall on a new contact. Even in January the clubs mentioned In Regards to wanting him were Newcastle and Sheffield United! Like all Italian managers Carlo plays the other team. We are not good enough yet to know we can play our way and the other team will have to deal with us like city and Liverpool do. He probably expected palace to go a lot more aerial than they did so went for Keane and Mina.

I don’t buy Carlo is giving all the players a runout either to assess them. All Italian managers change system and line ups regularly! Try and predict the juve or inter teams every week, it’s impossible bar 4/5 players. He wants European football! He is desperate for it! I think he has players already lined up who have said they will come ( e.g Allan ), but have stipulated we must be in Europe.

David Hayes
170 Posted 09/02/2020 at 11:03:28
George C, please give up the ever present Siggy bashing we got the message you don't rate him the no matter if we win or lose the first twenty times youv'e said it. Many others have bad games from time to time and frustrate all of us, but to single one out every post I don' understand. At the moment as a team we are playing some quality stuff, with mistakes bad passing mixed in. But overall winning and improving along the way. There is no such thing as perfection in a game of football, the opposition will have attacks and shots on goal and periods of pressure and even score against us. That's why its a contest our job is to limit thir efforts and increase ours giving us what we all desire a hard fought victory and the wonderful feeling when we win and celebrate it. We all wan't to celebrate, or do we ?
Kevin Molloy
171 Posted 09/02/2020 at 11:13:04
Thank god Moshiri was crazy enough to think he could get Ancelotti. If I had been him, I wouldn't have bothered, I remember saying when we were first linked 'never in a million years'.

Like all true Evertonians, I was banging the Moyes drum a few weeks ago, but I may have been mistaken on that one, all things considered. In fact, I've just read a piece with him drawing parallels between Everton and the Hammers, and this is what he said:

"When I got to Everton, they were just happy as long as we stayed outside the bottom three. And I hated that." — the cheeky cheeky bastard.

Gary Willock
172 Posted 09/02/2020 at 11:19:02
“Like all true Evertonians, I was banging the Moyes drum”

Don't think many of us expected Carlo, but to think any but a tiny few wanted Moyes back is drivel.

Daniel A Johnson
173 Posted 09/02/2020 at 11:24:00
I don't want to go overboard with praise for Ancelotti as this is Everton FC and as soon as things start looking up they can suddenly unravel.

I do get the feeling though with Ancelotti we have a manager who knows what they are doing and we haven't had one of them for a very long time.

With Martinez his fanciful ideas, philosophy and a lack of a Plan B undid lots of Moyes hard work in terms of getting the squad organised, disciplined and fit. It was season after season of decline under him.

Koeman was half arsed at best (put the bare minimum of time in), thought he could flash the cash and speed up his promotion to Barcelona. The hammering by Arsenal and then him being seen out laughing and joking with friends that night summed him up, the result was he got the sack.

Silva again was all slick image and big ideas, for every 2-3 wins then came a long run of bad results. The team had a lack of fight and no backbone.


Now with Ancelotti ably supported by Ferguson we seem to have some know how about the place. I think for the first time in years the players now trust the manager and believe in his methods, hes a winner after all and knows how to get things done. Duncan Ferguson is no mug and when he says Ancelotti is World Class I'm willing to believe him.

Ciarán McGlone
174 Posted 09/02/2020 at 11:25:27
"Like all true Evertonians, I was banging the Moyes drum a few weeks ago"

By "true evertonians" I assume you actually mean "awful bloody eejits"..

Ray Roche
175 Posted 09/02/2020 at 11:28:17
Kevin, I read the same comments and thought the same. Cheeky bastard was all about getting to 40 points and whipping his Swiss Army Knife out.

He's become such a self-publicist. But he's a “winner“ because “that's what I do“. Unless it's a Sky Six team where his away record (I recently read) was one win in fifty.

Trevor Peers
176 Posted 09/02/2020 at 11:46:59
Cairan @174.
No one knew on here we had a chance of getting Anceoletti, so many thought the only choice was Moyes or Eddie Howe, hobsons choice in other words. Remember Moyes was the bookies favourite so it's stupid for anyone to suggest it was idiotic thinking.

Thankfully I think Moyes chances were blown away after Ferguson did so well and we now have a managerial team to be proud of and we can all get behind them at long last.

Dave Williams
177 Posted 09/02/2020 at 11:50:22
Re Holgate I think he was rested so he didn’t pick up an injury with our next four games being against teams with less physical strikers where we will need Holgate’s pace and game reading ability. Palace are big and physical and Keane was well suited to their game.
Raymond Fox
178 Posted 09/02/2020 at 11:56:30
We are going through a purple patch since the managerial change and you have to credit it to first to Dunc. and then Ancelotti.

If we cannot become the real deal in the next two seasons with the set up we have now, I give up.
We are in the best state we have been in for a mighty long time.

We will need to sign a couple of worldies to bridge the gap between where we are now and where we want to be, but I can see it happening.

As far as the rest of the season is concerned we are doing well, but we are certain to hit some rocky patches, maybe sooner than later.

Graham Mockford
179 Posted 09/02/2020 at 12:04:43
What Carlo brings to the dressing room is authority earned by actual achievements and what appears to be an element of calmness. Although Sidibe seemed to test that yesterday.

His reaction to the Newcastle game was particularly telling. It wasn't the end of the world in the same way as when we've scrapped some wins without playing well enough; it isn't yet a sign of a glorious future.

Martin Berry
180 Posted 09/02/2020 at 12:05:19
Daniel #173
Spot on assessment of the previous managers and the current state of affairs.
George Carroll
181 Posted 09/02/2020 at 12:07:51
Interesting to read the match report by Michael Kenrick and his many criticisms of Richarlison and then read the comments of the Fans who in the main make Richarlison MOM.Was that objective reporting or a rather biased view by MK?
Jerome Shields
182 Posted 09/02/2020 at 12:08:04
If Moyes made those comments it confirms the mentality if certain Directors and his own mentality when managing Everton. To think he got ten years Premier League Managers wages on our backs. Should have been gone within three years, Everton would be better off now.

I never considered a Moyes return in any shape or form viable.

Ciarán McGlone
183 Posted 09/02/2020 at 12:11:04
Trevor,

Theres a significant difference between considering it as a potential shitshow of a reality... and 'banging the drum' for it... nevermind labelling those same people as 'true evertonians'.

It was daft to even consider it was a good idea.

Kevin Molloy
184 Posted 09/02/2020 at 12:20:16
the thing about that quote is, Moyes knows it's not true. He knows full well what Everton's ambitions were. it was him who was talking us down all the time, 'knife to a gunfight' et al. What it shows to me is that half the time he is chatting stuff he just doesn't believe in, he's just blowing smoke up people's arses cos he thinks that's the way to get ahead. It may work short term, but you get found out eventually Davey.
Terry Farrell
185 Posted 09/02/2020 at 12:24:26
Stop wasting time and air even mentioning the ginger pessimist
Brian Williams
186 Posted 09/02/2020 at 12:33:16
Kevin#171
Like all true Evertonians, I was banging the Moyes drum a few weeks ago

Give us a shout when you revisit earth m8!

Mark Murphy
188 Posted 09/02/2020 at 13:04:46
“Like all true Evertonians”??
Those that are from Offaly perhaps!
Les Moorcroft
189 Posted 09/02/2020 at 13:17:41
Kevin 171 — most wanted Moyes back? Get a grip... do you live on Mars, lad.
Tony Abrahams
190 Posted 09/02/2020 at 13:19:38
Even though I know you both won’t tell lies Kevin and Ray, but if David Moyes said that, he’s genuinely got to be heading for a break-down?

Just read you next post Kevin@184 and agree with every word. The shite he was talking about trying to replicate Leipzig and another club, who have brought loads of kids through, when he got the West Ham job again, had me thinking who David, was genuinely trying to kid.

I haven’t stopped thinking since I’ve been out the game, was another thing he said, so thank god for Duncan Ferguson, because it’s quite possible Moyes, would have came back to Everton, if Duncan hadn’t steadied the ship!

I’m sorry I criticised you Duncan, because you definitely saved my career as a match going Evertonian, so thank you very much mate!!

Ray Roche
191 Posted 09/02/2020 at 13:29:42
Tony, a direct quote from Moyes in an interview in today's Sunday Times.
Ray Roche
192 Posted 09/02/2020 at 13:35:23
Incidentally, what have Sean Long, Charlie Austin, Gray Cahill, Mooy, Wilfred Bony, Scott Dann, Benteke and Joe Allen got in common?

They have all been deemed good enough to join Everton, according to various posters on ToffeeWeb. At some point earlier in the pre season and since they have been suggested as potential players to "do a job" for us.

Add to that sorry shower of journeymen Benitez, Howe, Dyche and, ahem, Moyes who,again,were up to the task of sailing this once great liner in the opposite direction of the iceberg.

That the Lord that Ancelotti was available.

Ray Roche
193 Posted 09/02/2020 at 13:37:32
Shane Long, not Sean. Predictive fingers.
Rob Halligan
194 Posted 09/02/2020 at 13:43:40
Off topic here, but just seen a clip of Speedo Mick on SSN battling the extreme weather conditions as he makes his way to Lands End. I think he said only another 186 miles to go, but couldn't really make it out due to the howling wind. What a hero he is. Well done Mick. 👍👍👍
Denis Richardson
195 Posted 09/02/2020 at 13:51:27
Think that’s 17 points from 8 league games for Ancelotti since he joined. That,I guess, is what difference a world class manager can make.

Another win on the board and 3 goals to boot. All heading in the right direction.

Long long way to go but dare I state a quick fact? We’re actually only 5 points off a CL spot...yes I know but it’s theoretically possible and we’ve currently got the second best form in the league and one of the best managers on the world.

Fk EL - let’s aim for CL.

Steve Carse
196 Posted 09/02/2020 at 13:53:34
George (181), seemingly the latter, as it has been evident in quite a few of MK's match reports. The continual references to Richarlison's going to ground are commonplace in them. On yesterday's game we read:
- " Richarlison collapsed under the touch of a feather on his back"
- "Richarlison collapsed again on the feeling a hand on his arm", and
- "Calvert-Lewin tried the Richarlison 'blow me over with a feather' trick".

We get the point. But the repetition in the match reports is getting rather tedious. And did I detect an edit to the original draft of MK's report? I may well be wrong but I thought that in reference to our third goal the initial match report description alluded to Richarlison being unmarked. He most certainly wasn't unmarked. He made the ground to first elude and then outjump his marker. Again, a somewhat negative pronouncement on a Richarlison contribution, and a contribution which every other spectator in the ground would have said was a fantastic header.

Robert Tressell
197 Posted 09/02/2020 at 14:00:05
We will do very well to hang on to Richarlison this summer. Fingers crossed he'll be falling over so easily for us next season as he guarantees a lot of goals + work rate from left wing. I'd have said only sterling and mane are as good / better in the Prem in that position. As we've seen with Suarez, Bale and Lukaku - its all very well getting in a big fee, but spending the money to improve the team is extremely hard to do.
Mark Guglielmo
198 Posted 09/02/2020 at 14:00:34
Denis 195 - I'm constantly guilty of looking ahead and becoming naively optimistic, but I can't help myself haha.

We've all heard about the "tough run of fixtures" coming up, but I'd ask, are they historically tough, or this year tough? The 7 more challenging (I guess) matches we have coming up are Arsenal (A), United (H), Chelsea (A), the RS (H), Leicester (H), Spurs (A), Wolves (A).

Under Silva (and Dunc for 3 of them), we earned 9 of 21 pts in the first leg of those exact same matches. Granted, more of these are away, but why can't we match those same 9 pts, if not better them? Let's say we do (match them).

Our other 5 remaining matches are Norwich (A), Southampton (H), Villa (H), SHU (A), Bournemouth (H). Why can't we pull 12 of those 15 pts?

9 + 12 = 21. That would be 57 on the campaign, and highly likely in a Europe spot. I've now ruined everything lol.

Dave Abrahams
199 Posted 09/02/2020 at 14:01:00
Jay (130), maybe I’d get fed up listening to a month of samba music, but yesterday watching that band really was very good and entertaining, it lifted my mood, I can’t dance a step, to be honest, but if I could, I would have swayed to that music in The Upper Bullens, the game really was, mostly, a boring turgid affair,lifted by Everton’s first two very well taken goals.

To those who look on the positive side of the game, fair enough, each to his own way of looking at football games, but most of those fans would have to agree there was a lot, I mean really a lot, more to moan about than to praise, so do I/we forget all about the dross and just talk about the good things that happened, I can turn a blind eye to the occasional bad move and mistake but that game was littered with them.

Tony Abrahams
200 Posted 09/02/2020 at 14:05:41
I wish you would stop turning a deaf-ear though Dave, and don’t say ff/ing what!
Dave Abrahams
201 Posted 09/02/2020 at 14:16:33
George (181), I’d say it was objective reporting, because until Richarlison scored he had done next to nothing and for me, he still played with his blinkers on, shooting when there are teammates in better positions, running into blind alleys, then he scored an excellent goal and came to life.

Truth was it was such a poor game and performance by Everton for most of the game, there wasn’t many to pick from for man of the match, and as usual a goal scorer is always in the running, witness Mina last week, so I wouldn’t begrudge Richie getting the award, but it most certainly didn’t mean he was a star for ninety minutes.

Players become crap for one game and also absolute stars for the same one game, truth is Richarlison, along with others, has had a lot more poor games than good ones this season.

Darren Hind
202 Posted 09/02/2020 at 14:19:10
What an Ambassador for this club Speedo Mick is.

Fans all over the country have a huge respect for his efforts.

Top, top man

Dave Abrahams
203 Posted 09/02/2020 at 14:32:52
Tony (200), how about “I beg your pardon”?
Tony Hill
204 Posted 09/02/2020 at 14:34:29
I know what you mean, Dave @201, but that's what the very best players can do, isn't it? They suddenly come to life and alter the course of a match in 10 minutes.

He's a long way to go at 22 but I think he's starting to show that he's a major talent, and more importantly that he's going to fulfil his talent.

Tony Hill
205 Posted 09/02/2020 at 14:46:00
PS I've just had another look at that cross from Walcott. It truly is a thing of beauty.
Dave Abrahams
206 Posted 09/02/2020 at 14:46:16
Tony (204), as you say, he has a long way to go, and I hope he fulfills his potential, he still has a lot to prove to me to be honest, but at the moment he is with the right club and looking like the right manager to continue to improve, consistency is what I’m looking for, although to be honest he has been playing in a poor team with low morale, things are getting better and when we get a proper midfield that should help him and the rest of the squad of course.
Michael Lynch
207 Posted 09/02/2020 at 14:52:51
Enjoyable day at Goodison for a change, though Palace might feel a litle unlucky not to come away with a point. Through my blue tinted lenses though, I reckon we just about edged it.

Richarlison did very little until he won the game for us - which is the mark of a £100m footballer I suppose. His goal was magnificent, and his header that led to DCL's goal was superb. Without him, we would have drawn at best.

Can't knock the results since Carlo took over, even though it's been a relatively easy run on paper. Sunday Times report got it just about right though - "best league in the world"? You're having a laugh.

Mike Gaynes
208 Posted 09/02/2020 at 14:54:09
Dave #199, I don't care if you can dance or not, I'd pay to download a video of you swaying to the samba.

Thanks for the perspective of the match-going fan. I had a similar view playing the match back on my DVR... lots and lots of mistakes. But I would give Richarlison somewhat higher marks, because some of his awkward decisions were partly due to the lack of coordination around him. It's appropriate that some individual brilliance won this game, because the team cohesion was utterly absent.

John Pierce
209 Posted 09/02/2020 at 15:00:12
Ajay. Pickford’s save percentage is terrible. It’s down in the mid 50s percentile. The very best sit in the high 70 to mid 80’s percentile. He and Kepa of Chelsea are the bottom dwellers.

He is of course hostage to the type of chances we concede, under Silva we often gave teams grade A chances so that skews things a bit. Under Ancellotti far fewer and poorer attempts from the opposition.

But to your point, the Messina goal last week had less than a 5% chance of being scored, Benteke’s yesterday less than 2%.

His main strength is said to be his shot stopping. Yet Everton cannot drop him. Hmm

Richard Mason
211 Posted 09/02/2020 at 15:11:40
Dave, the positivity is there because there are improvements and the results are better. We were dross under silva without results which merited the team being slated.

With Everton improving (a little) and getting positive results why take the goodness out of it by slating and belittling players

George Cumiskey
212 Posted 09/02/2020 at 15:48:25
Will people please use full names on ToffeeWeb as I'm getting roasted for George Carolls posts.
As I've got enough critics of my own. LOL.
Ray Roche
213 Posted 09/02/2020 at 15:48:35
Mike, Dave,
Yes, the game was littered with mistakes yesterday but it’s worth remembering that there was a strong swirling wind which made passing and controlling difficult. One attempted through ball actually appeared to be accelerating away from the intended recipient.
Sam Bowen
214 Posted 09/02/2020 at 15:52:52
Complete myth that Pickford is a great shot stopper. Yes, he makes the odd worldie save but as many have rightly pointed out, he lets so many in that top goalkeepers should get to. Look at both goals last weekend, neither of them are rockets and he escapes scrutiny because they’re not mistakes as such, it’s just that he doesn’t really stop many shots.

He may get better but he’s currently a hologram. I’d snap anyone’s hands off if they wanted to buy him.

Tom Bowers
215 Posted 09/02/2020 at 16:02:27
The bottom line is that goals matter even if all the stats. are against you and as Everton are now getting some goals they are getting much needed points ahead of the apparent tough games coming up.
Yes, Palace are a decent team on paper and yes they did have more of the possession but it meant nothing in the end.

Everton are quietly extracting themselves out of the doldrums and it's no coincidence since Carlo took over.

We shouldn't worry about Euro qualification just yet, more that we should be concerned about maintaining the momentum that Carlo can develop the squad into one that will be serious contenders next season and in that regard I would be quite content to see the return of Gomes and Gbamin be delayed until the Summer to make sure both will be totally fit and raring to go.

Dave Abrahams
216 Posted 09/02/2020 at 16:14:11
Richard,I’m not belittling players, I’m telling it like I see them, the same players who were poor under Silva are no better under Ancelotti, but he’s stuck with them for now, that’s why we have only improved a little bit, as you say. When better players come in, which has to happen, then under Ancelotti they have more chance of improving both individually and as a team/ squad, and consequently less miserable supporters but happier ones.

Ray (213), yes the wind didn’t help the flow of the game and it was strong, but a lot of these players know how to make useless passes with or without the wind, one player made a five yard pass out for a throw in attempting to find a teammate who was yards away, it’s happened for the last few seasons, very poor basic passes from professional footballers, continually, I trust it won’t occur too often under the present manager.

Danny Baily
217 Posted 09/02/2020 at 16:24:15
Sam 214, Pickford would be dropped sharpish if he was an unknown at a league one side.

He's somehow established himself as a regular starter in the premier league.

Ray Roche
218 Posted 09/02/2020 at 17:41:26
Dave, I know the pass to which you refer and I won't attempt to defend the indefensible!
Rank amateur attempt at the simplest of passes.
Richard Mason
219 Posted 09/02/2020 at 18:28:51
Dave, I completely agree the squad needs quality additions, and I also agree that these senior pros need to be able to pass the ball better.

I suppose I'm just seeing the squad being damned if they do and damned if they don't at the minute. For me I'm just delighted with points on the board and confidence rising.

Dave Abrahams
220 Posted 09/02/2020 at 18:50:55
Richard (219),no Richard I understand you completely, you love Everton and are happy that there is now a turn around in our fortunes which looked, if not hopeless a couple of months ago, pretty desperate, I share that with you but felt a lot of frustration yesterday at the performance, maybe I expect too much too soon, but whatever we feel for the Blues and how we feel it, we are definitely both on the same side.
Andy Crooks
221 Posted 09/02/2020 at 18:51:23
What is left for us this season? Europa League and West Ham relegated. I always had a soft spot for the Hammers but the current regime is vile. That would be a nice double.
Andy Crooks
222 Posted 09/02/2020 at 18:57:17
Dave, I agree. I only saw the highlights but it looked poor. Good goals, though. I know, Dave, that you really do see the big picture. How optimistic are you right now?
Dave Abrahams
223 Posted 09/02/2020 at 19:18:28
Andy (22), I think with Usmanov on board, one way or the other, things will continue to move upwards, we will get better but let’s get this season over with and then Brands and Ancelotti can really start working together to improve the squad and gradually, don’t know how quickly, we will be a club near the front fighting for trophies.

It’s going to cost you Andy quite a bit of money getting to Wembley and other arena’s in the next few years.

John McFarlane Snr
224 Posted 09/02/2020 at 19:23:57
Hi all, I haven't read every post, but I appreciate that we all have our opinions of affairs on and off the pitch. In recent weeks the team have been slated by quite a few, following the Newcastle draw, [despite an improvement in their play] and in their victories against Watford and Crystal Palace, which lacked finesse.

Like any Evertonian, I would love to watch performances of first class football, but those performances can only be provided by players of the highest quality, which we lack at this time. I have always maintained that the average football supporter wants his team to [1] play well and win, [2] to play badly and win, he will tolerate a draw in any event, but a defeat in any guise is unacceptable.

I have learned through experience that anything can happen in a game of football, and I now attend matches with an open mind, a couple of months ago some fans would have travelled to Goodison with the view that a victory was guaranteed, because it was only Norwich City [0-2] and a few weeks later would have thought, 'There's nothing down for us, after all it's Chelsea' [3-1]

I am as disappointed as anyone when Everton play poorly but I've learned to live with it, my philosophy is, 'If you can't lose don't play, and if you can't watch your team lose don't go.' As important as football is to us, there are far more important things in life. Best wishes John.

Peter Mills
225 Posted 09/02/2020 at 20:05:37
Dave, your post #223 is much better than your earlier ones!

We’ve had a bad team for a long time. You know better than anyone that is not going to change overnight. But what has been re-introduced over the past two months are organisation, fight and resilience. I’m happy to give the team a free run over the rest of this season, there will be some good and some bad. I happen to think there may be a bit more of the former than the latter.

For now, I’m made up that the team, and I, have got their mojo back. It’s great to be looking forward to matches, and really caring about the results. And Marine won 7-0 away yesterday!

Paul Birmingham
226 Posted 09/02/2020 at 20:22:06
John@224, well summed up and spot on.
George Carroll
227 Posted 09/02/2020 at 20:41:21
Sorry George CUMISKEY Ican assure people he has no connection with me sorry mate
David Hayes
228 Posted 09/02/2020 at 21:20:23
DId we win 3-1 or not with quality goals, or did we stage " spot our crap player competion" for the benifit of " It's the same dross as under Silva spotters. Some of you people make me weep. Maybe I am missing the point, and maybe the point of football is to moan and misery make regardless of the outcome, if that's true I really feel sorry for you, Me I will take the pain and the pleasure but always be back to sing my heart out for the blues.
Dave Abrahams
229 Posted 09/02/2020 at 21:49:22
Peter (225), most of my earlier posts were about yesterday’s game, and while I was happy with the result found the game mostly disappointing.My last post was about, hopefully, the future.

I’m made up Marine also made your day brighter yesterday, and as you said not too long ago, you get a lot of pleasure watching them with their honest endeavour, or words to that effect. I hope both teams continue to improve, it will make life easier and happier.

Hope you are doing okay Peter, still haven’t paid you for the Harry Catterick book, which I thoroughly enjoyed and learnt from. Best wishes.

Don Alexander
230 Posted 09/02/2020 at 22:03:13
Like most TWers who have hair that's grey, white or imaginary I'm pleased we won but like Dave Abraham's I really pine for our next rip-roaring performance. In truth I can't remember the last one. That said, cautious optimism is starting to sprout, yet again.

I just hope to acquire the robust sensibility of John Mac Sen. as I near my pension!

Toffees, what are we like!?

Neil Copeland
231 Posted 09/02/2020 at 22:04:53
Speedo Muck -what a legend

If I buy a red scarf will someone sell me their ticket for the Derby please so I can my daughter to the game?

Neil Copeland
232 Posted 09/02/2020 at 22:08:16
Ha ha - Speedo Mick (sorry Mick!)
Peter Mills
233 Posted 09/02/2020 at 22:20:06
That was a gift, Dave, but I will be happy to accept a pint off you sometime.
Ray Roche
234 Posted 09/02/2020 at 23:19:18
In recent seasons we would have provided a performance like yesterday or even last week, and we would have lost. That's the big difference. Now, we are winning these games. Successful teams can play badly and win. We can become a successful team under Ancelotti.
Christy Ring
235 Posted 09/02/2020 at 00:05:02
Flew back today from the game, and just flicked through the comments, and how some say that Schneiderlin was better than Richarlison, is unbelievable, in my opinion. He actually had a good 2nd half, nothing spectacular, kept passing the ball backwards, but had one great pass, Richarlison was special, with, and without the ball, I will say, when Carlo brought on Davies, and switched to one upfront, it helped Schneiderlin, because I thought, Sigurdsson was pure muck, and couldn't wait to get rid of the ball, and couldn't understand how he stayed on, as long as he did. I have to give a special mention to Seamus, never gave Zaha a sniff, there biggest threat, and have to credit Carlo, for starting him, ahead of Sidibe, and in my opinion, Coleman's performance on Zaha, was the deciding factor, and he wasn't far behind Richarlison, for MoM.
Rob Marsh
236 Posted 10/02/2020 at 00:43:11
A win, is a win, is a win!

I don't know how many times I've said myself that when the likes of Man City and now that lot over the park play badly or lack lustre, but still manage to get the win then that's generally the sign of a team that will lift silverware.

We start doing it and there's complaints?

Newcastle was just one of those games, we weren't great, but still good enough for to win that one also (leaving out the last mad minute).

A few new players in the summer and playing like we're playing now, well have a few of these Sky babe teams looking a bit nervously at us!

John Boon
237 Posted 10/02/2020 at 04:54:07
John (24) Great post, realistic and to the point. Hope all is right for 12.00 noon Sunday before the Derby. It certainly is for my Trio. Hope you got my message.
Paul Cherrington
238 Posted 10/02/2020 at 10:09:08
I think that any win is a good one, regardless of how you actually play. It is nice to win with a barnstorming performance but that is not always possible. It is far nicer to just win at all – surely the first half of this season taught us that?!

There seems to be an obsession with how we play rearing its head again when people should just be happy we have won. Look at where we are at in the table now and the run we have been on – that is to be celebrated when you look at life before Dunc and Ancelotti.

I had my reservations about Ancelotti when he first came but I am happy to be have been proved wrong. What his appointment does show is how key the manager is to any team. He is getting a better tune out of the same players as Silva and winning games with them – something that Silva could not do the majority of the time.

Let's just be happy for once that we are winning and climbing the table – not miserable because we didn't have 90% possession or win 10-0.

John Hammond
239 Posted 10/02/2020 at 10:40:28
If we're this poor and still winning, then no complaints from me – particlularly with all that's happened this season. I mean, look at the table and compare where we were with Silva with the exact same players. Arsenal, Chelsea and Man Utd next and who'd argue at us getting 5 points from those games?

I just have to say, Schneiderlin was excellent today, tackles and interceptions all over the place and far more forward passes than backwards. If only he could keep this up rather than reverting to type.

John McFarlane Snr
240 Posted 10/02/2020 at 13:03:08
Hi John [237], I'm pleased that you enjoyed my post [224]. I used to dwell on football setbacks in my younger days, an Everton defeat would ruin my weekend) but, in my dotage I have come to the realisation that if Everton losing a football match is the worst thing that is going to happen to me this year, then I will have had a good year.

Of course I would like Everton to win every game playing like Barcelona in their pomp but, in order for that to happen, it requires Barcelona type players. I have also come to terms with the fact that even players of the highest standards make schoolboy mistakes, but obviously not as many as less talented individuals, the common denominator being the fact that they are human.

I favour some players more than others but I don't castigate individuals, I tend to consider that they are not good enough collectively, and disappointment is my main emotion. Granted that approaching the age of 82 my passion may be somewhat diminished, but I still experience delight and dismay... unfortunately more of the latter in recent seasons. I feel sympathy for the youngsters of today who have witnessed mostly inferior performances, but I would say to them "Keep the Faith, nothing lasts for ever".

Regarding your planned visit from Canada, it would take something monumental to prevent me from meeting you at the Central Hotel on Sunday March 15th @ 12:00 pm. It looks as though you will have to put up with me as I haven't noticed anyone else expressing an interest.

Dave Abrahams
241 Posted 10/02/2020 at 13:12:03
Peter (233), we’ll sort it out over a pint, it was a very good read anyway and made me appreciate Harry Catterick more than I did, which was a lot.
Nicholas Ryan
242 Posted 10/02/2020 at 18:26:07
Jay [138] .... I do believe he has!
Jay Harris
243 Posted 10/02/2020 at 18:41:38
John #239,

It's not quite the same players. Marco Silva had Gomes for much of his tenure this season and Gbamin for a couple of games which makes the recent resurgence all the more remarkable.

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