As if it wasn’t bad enough that since Roman Abramovich took the helm at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea have been able to bank on significantly superior financial might, it seems as though they’re also in the process of making a stunning success of their youth development programme – something that was, for a brief time, a potential key to Everton finding a route back to competing in the upper echelons of the domestic game in the absence of a billionaire benefactor of their own.
(That has changed, of course, since Farhad Moshiri came along but with Ronald Koeman, Sam Allardyce and Steve Walsh having squandered millions on over-age mediocrity and Financial Fair Play restrictions in place, Everton still don’t have the leeway to spend their way back to the top.)
As much praise as the Blues have received for first having blooded Wayne Rooney, brought through potential stars like Ross Barkley and Tom Davies, and then made some strategic investments in the likes of John Stones, Mason Holgate and Dominic Calvert-Lewin, the Academy programme at Finch Farm appears on the evidence of today to be some way short of the one at Cobham (now that they appear to be moving away from the model of stockpiling foreign players), a fact that was ruthlessly exposed at Stamford Bridge this afternoon.
Afflicted by a number of injuries to first-choice starters, Frank Lampard was forced to hand 18-year-old Billy Gilmour his first Premier League start and, together with 21-year-old Mason Mount and the much-maligned and oft-booed Barkley, the teenager was instrumental in destroying an Everton side that was almost as unforgivably shocking as they were at Anfield against Jürgen Klopp’s kids in the FA Cup in January.
Truth be told, Gilmour looked a little nervy in the early going as Everton pressed feverishly in the opening five minutes before the home side began to take advantage of the extra man in midfield, a decisively costly miscalculation by Carlo Ancelotti. Too often, the teenage Scot, all 5' 6" of him, was that extra man, showing in space, collecting the ball, moving it on, and the contrast with Ancelotti’s comparatively invisible mid-section was stark. He showed up his older, more experienced opposite numbers badly.
Much like Seamus Coleman on his return from a long lay-off following a broken leg in which he returned with a barnstorming, adrenalin-fuelled display that quickly fell away in subsequent appearances as his lack of playing time caught up with him, André Gomes looked lead-footed and unfit. Gylfi Sigurdsson was, as is so often the case, invisible for long periods; a captain in armband only, hiding from the pass at times and gesticulating at team-mates at others in a vain attempt at leadership.
That the Icelander, 30 and with his first-choice prospects hopefully diminishing next season, has become a passenger will be news to no one but when viewed against Gilmour and Mount, it was Tom Davies who paled in the comparisons. He wasn’t helped by being out-numbered in the middle of the park and the traffic cone around which Chelsea played their triangles, particularly for the opening goal, but he looked ponderous and lost, devoid of inspiration or any ability to influence the game.
Whether Everton have failed him by not farming out on loan is a debate for another time but Mount, with the benefit of a season under Lampard at promotion-chasing Derby, has emerged as one of the most exciting prospects for club and country around and it was he who opened the floodgates for Chelsea with a quarter of an hour gone.
He might have got on the scoresheet as early as the seventh minute but he was foiled by a good Jordan Pickford save but he beat the England keeper with a drilled shot inside the near post. Whereas Everton were abysmal in their distribution and pedestrian in their approach play, Chelsea were quick, slick and penetrating and when Davies was caught between Gilmour and Mount causing him to lose track of the latter, the ball was worked to Pedro who found Mount’s run around the edge of the box and he did the rest with a smart finish.
Four minutes later, after Richarlison had reminded Kepa in the home goal that he was there with a strong but ambitious shot from the angle, Everton were opened up by Barkley’s ball down the channel to Willian who out-stripped Holgate for pace and fired across Pickford and the keeper palmed his shot away.
It only delayed the inevitable by a couple of minutes, however. Preferred to Yerry Mina for a second successive game after performing impressively against Manchester United last weekend, Michael Keane, ill-suited to playing a high defensive line, made for an awkward partnership with Holgate on this occasion and when the ball was played in behind him in the 21st minute, Pedro expertly beat the offside trap, racing into a one-on-one situation with Pickford that was only going to end one way. 2-0 Chelsea.
Any hope that Everton might have had in changing the direction of the contest effectively evaporated five minutes after that when Dominic Calvert-Lewin missed as good a chance as he could have hoped for to halve the deficit. Richarlison did well to play him in behind the defence but with just Kepa to beat Calvert-Lewin badly scuffed his attempt to clip it over the keeper and it bobbled disappointingly wide.
It might have provided a catalyst for the Blues but, in all honesty, it’s unlikely. Bereft of any fight, they were that bad.
Bernard, playing in a less familiar role wide on the right looked all at sea and was unable to dictate anything. He picked up a knee injury on the stroke of half-time which might have influenced his manager’s decision to withdraw him at the interval but he was as poor as he was at West Ham when he was hooked after 45 minutes.
Meanwhile, for 75 minutes at least before he improved somewhat in the closing stages, Djibril Sidibé put in one of the most atrocious displays by an Everton player in living memory. Clumsy, wasteful and ineffective, the Frenchman will, if there is any sense in the corridors at Goodison, have written off any hope he had of staying beyond the end of the season.
Still, there were glimmers of a way back into the game for Everton late in the first half but, as is so often the case, they let themselves down with poor decision-making in the final third. Richarlison seized on Kurt Zouma’s sliced clearance but ignored Sigurdsson next to him even though the midfielder had a clear sight of goal and ended up running down a blind alley. Then Chelsea gave the ball away cheaply in their own half but instead of charging for goal, Calvert-Lewin played it backwards and from a promising position, the ball ended up in Everton’s half with Holgate.
If Ancelotti had hoped to have inspired his charges at half-time and given Chelsea more to think about in the second half with the introduction of Theo Walcott for Bernard, he was to be sorely mistaken because the pattern of the first period continued into the second.
This time, it took the hosts less than six minutes to score. Everton stood off as Chelsea worked a patient passing move across the edge of the visitors’ box and with Holgate and Keane drawn to one side leaving Lucas Digne caught in two minds whether to close Willian down or cover the run of Cesar Azpilicueta on the overlap, the Brazilian took advantage of the gap that opened up ahead of him and rifled home from 20 yards.
Then, after Pedro had easily drifted past Sidibé and seen a clipped shot deflect over, Everton failed to close down a short routine from the resulting corner and paid the price. Willian crossed dangerously from the Chelsea left, Holgate lost a physical duel with Olivier Giroud who lunged to meet the ball and steered it home from close range.
It could have been worse than 4-0. Pickford did brilliantly to deny Pedro after Kepa had spilled a Richarlison shot at the other end. Then, after Walcott had wasted a perfect chance to put a goal on a gilded platter for substitute Moise Kean, Gomes lost control of the ball in midfield and was robbed by Gilmour, goal number five only being avoided by Sidibé’s saving challenge.
Azpilicueta would force one last save from Pickford, a one-handed stop to turn the ball behind but Everton were just praying for the final whistle and the chance to get back on the bus to Liverpool where, hopefully, a good deal of soul-searching and introspection will be had before the Merseyside derby in eight days’ time.
Not that it was needed, but this latest embarrassment on the home turf of the so-called “big six”, a psychological millstone that gets heavier with each passing season, was another unforgiving reminder that too many players in this Everton simply aren’t good enough. Not even close.
On those all-too-rare occasions when everything comes together, as they did in the reverse fixture against Chelsea amid the unbridled passion and inherently short-lived inspiration of Duncan Ferguson’s first match in charge, this team can give the illusion that they’re capable of taking Everton where we want to go but it’s days like this that expose the size of the task ahead of Ancelotti and Marcel Brands.
The harsh reality is that while Ancelotti will acknowledge that his faith in the 4-4-2 system that has served him pretty well at Goodison so far was misplaced today, at least half the team that took the field today isn’t good enough. There are key signings that need to be made down the spine of the team and some decisions have to be made about players who come in and out of the line-up without consistently delivering.
The reality check that was delivered today should put paid to any thoughts of Europe for another season. Take stock, blood some of the promising younger players like Kean and Anthony Gordon and continue plotting the summer transfer business that simply must ship out some of the dead wood and bring in the quality required for this club to make the step up within the timescale Ancelotti envisages.
Reader Comments (111)
Note: the following content is not moderated or vetted by the site owners at the time of submission. Comments are the responsibility of the poster. Disclaimer
1 Posted 08/03/2020 at 19:36:17
And it's probably a blessing in disguise we don't qualify for Europe as we'd be further embarrassed with this set of players.
2 Posted 08/03/2020 at 19:43:16
Ancelotti got it badly wrong against the darkside in the FA Cup derby game and he got it wrong again today. Is he past it now?
Brands has brought in Gomes, Sidibé and Kean, none of them are floating my boat.
I'm concerned about next season. If Usmanov does not turn up, I'm predicting the same old next season.
3 Posted 08/03/2020 at 20:27:07
I watched the Brighton away game, when Gomes just did not want to know, and he was much worse here. We lost this game appallingly in the centre of midfield. No heart or fight. You can see why Roy Keane would have scorned them.
Everton are just a mystery, they make no sense. They can look good one week, and then utter fucking shite the next. I just don't understand it.
4 Posted 08/03/2020 at 20:39:11
I didn't think it was possible for any player to perform as badly as Sigurdsson but Gomes equalled his very poor display, along with the rest of the squad. Mind you, Kean at least looked like he was breathing when he came on and looked like he was interested.
When the derby game starts next week, you know already that Liverpool will bully Everton and most of these players will let them.
Definitely another day to remember for all the wrong reasons.
5 Posted 08/03/2020 at 20:55:28
How as a player can you look at yourself in the mirror when you have not won your individual battle?
Today was not about lack of skill, it was about a lack of intensity and fight.
6 Posted 08/03/2020 at 21:07:21
7 Posted 08/03/2020 at 21:26:16
8 Posted 08/03/2020 at 21:33:31
Gomes looked spent; Davies, his headless chicken of a partner, was popping up everywhere... so he could lose the ball in any area of the pitch.
So the shape was wrong, the personnel was wrong. I mean, we have two up top and give nothing to them. Then there's the glaring Calvert-Lewin miss. He should've scored and we could've got some confidence from that. It really was awful.
I remember a poll taken a couple months back on who was the best summer signing. They have all been a pile of shite. And yes you have to look at Brands.
I also don't get the treatment of Kean. He played really well against Newcastle, his best game for us. His reward has been to scrap for minutes since. Iwobi... I mean what a mess, find his position.
There is talent in there, it's up to Ancelotti to start improving this team because, as far as I can see, he has started to be lazy and predictable in his tactics. He has to drop Davies. I know Sigurdsson gets all the stick but he's twice the player Davies is, even if he's not at his best.
If my memory is correct, we were very close to Man Utd a few weeks ago. They get a couple players in and it's changed their season. Why didn't we get a midfielder in? I'd like to know why we didn't go for it.
We have now taken 1 point from the last 9. That fact, along with dropping stupid points against Norwich (etc etc etc) and once again we've missed the boat. This was the year to do it, more or less handed on a plate to Leicester because we stuck with that guy Bronze for too long.
So what now? Ancelloti has the rest of the season to try a few things. For me, that includes bringing in a few kids and giving them a go. They can't be any worse. I'd be starting Kean, Calvert-Lewin, Richarlison and Holgate and build my team around them. Play to their strengths. Throw them a frickin' bone.
9 Posted 08/03/2020 at 22:17:03
I mean, if you played for a half-decent amateur team, would you be shitting yourself playing against our midfield? No. You would think you could out-battle them and out-fight them mentally.
Our midfield always seems like a bunch of diverse characters just thrown in there and hoping for the best. It's never a proper midfield, always a mishmash of wingers and No 10s, with the odd natural midfielder struggling like hell to cope with the dysfunctional situation around him. This perennial situation has to change.
It's about time someone got to grips with it and delivered a proper organised midfield of winners and fighters. All of whom know their roles and responsibilities. Until we get that, the club will tread water.
10 Posted 08/03/2020 at 22:29:25
Defensively awful... Keane & Sidibé were piss poor & simply not good enough... Ancelotti now knows the task at hand, 3 goals conceded against Arsenal & 4 against Chelsea need no further comment.
Midfield created nothing & Barkley looks a vastly improved player since joining Chelsea...
Unfortunately Roy Keane is right: Everton are a long way from any serious European involvement.
11 Posted 08/03/2020 at 22:29:43
We got players injured, and potentially promising lads out on loan. No first-team signings in the winter window (scratching my head, have I forgotten anyone?).
I am struggling to see where we get a spark. For the derby, we gotta get behind whoever Carlo puts out there. We have to be the spark.
12 Posted 08/03/2020 at 22:47:30
I'm thinking mainly about Sigurdsson but, after another typical Everton display, pick any of the squad...
Or even managers that can't win matches.
13 Posted 08/03/2020 at 22:48:06
14 Posted 08/03/2020 at 22:49:52
The gulf in class was most evident in midfield where incisive passing, impressive speed and high energy left our pedestrian unit in shreds. If Carlo needed evidence to support his recent assertion of the need to add greater energy to our midfield, that evidence was here aplenty.
Only three weeks ago, some of our fans and Carlo himself had hopes of qualifying for European football. That was before this run of fixtures which Carlo had described as pivotal to those hopes. Now he has seen his team is nowhere near good enough to be anywhere near the European competitions.
We have seen some dire performances in recent seasons. This one was right up there.
15 Posted 08/03/2020 at 23:07:21
Do they hand in transfer requests?
Not when they're being paid an absolute fortune by a club that doesn't know what it's doing. Sigurdsson would have to take a significant pay cut to go elsewhere.
Money, money, money!
16 Posted 08/03/2020 at 23:51:02
Meanwhile, a few weeks of decent performances and we put two average youngsters on superstar contracts, instantly turning them into liabilities that we can't shift for the next 5 years.
Apparently they're on more than Trent Alexander-Arnold across the park. Utter morons running the club.
17 Posted 09/03/2020 at 00:04:37
I agree, I was just wandering if there ever has been a case of player(s) leaving if a team is about to get relegated or playing really bad all season... Like us?
18 Posted 09/03/2020 at 05:55:33
Bernard shouldn't be starting games like this. He's far too much of a luxury and doesn't protect his full-back. Walcott should have played there instead, he at least works hard and tracks back.
I'm glad we have a big name in as manager in Carlo, but my, some of his decision-making leaves me baffled. As Duncan showed us, this doesn't have to be difficult. Just play to the team's strengths and get into them. Come on lads!
19 Posted 09/03/2020 at 06:13:57
Sigurdsson should never be seen in an Everton shirt again. If we can't sell him, give him away.
20 Posted 09/03/2020 at 07:14:36
What If Marco Silva had gone with that team selection and left the dire Sidibé and Sigurdsson on the field after half-time? There would be blood on the keyboards, and steam coming out of the hard drives.
With our midfield options, Carlo has got his work seriously cut out. No matter what, he has to try something to create an actual midfield that can function as one.<>Sometimes our 4-4-2 turns into a 4-2-4; it's just the natural positional sense of the players thrown in there. Our central and defensive midfield then are massively exposed, overrun and don't stand a chance.
In our 4-4-2, the right- and left-midfielder needs to be much more of a midfield fighter. Only this will help the middle two. Think of a James Milner type character at right-midfield and similar character on the left.
We are perennially exposed, unbalanced and weak in midfield because of this deficiency. It was as clear as day to see it against Chelsea yesterday.
Until those crucial midfield players can be found, against most clubs away, the 4-4-2 has to be ditched or we'll get many more embarrassing results heaped upon us.
21 Posted 09/03/2020 at 07:20:26
22 Posted 09/03/2020 at 07:24:40
In all honesty, the match was almost 30 minutes old before I realised that Sigurdsson was playing. Such was his contribution. I have said all along, the man is an imposter. What anyone has ever seen in him, apart from his occasional ability from dead-ball situations, is totally beyond me.
Think about it: when we signed him from Swansea, his transfer dragged on for many months. We paid a ridiculously inflated price, for a Spurs cast-off. Did any other club chase after his signature? No, just us mugs. Fans have fooled themselves into believing he is something that he is not, never has been, nor ever will be, a footballer. We couldn't give him away, if we tried to offload him now.
I have been banging the drum for Holgate to be employed as a defensive midfielder, ever since big Dunc successfully used him there. Surely Ancelotti must see the need for that change now. Obviously, this would mean a central defensive pairing of Mina and Keane. Coleman, when fit and Baines must be restored as full-backs, at least until the end of the season, to provide some stability.
Gomes looked sadly off the pace yesterday, perhaps games such as this have come too soon, after his awful injury. Although his predicament wasn't helped by Davies, who ran around aimlessly, like a child in the playground, ball watching, with zero positional sense. Chelsea played triangles around him, as if he wasn't there.
We were non-existent down the flanks, our two forward men, starved of any real ammunition. Richarlison did well to put Calvert-Lewin through, when sadly he fluffed a golden opportunity. That aside, I felt sorry for our two frontrunners. They continually had to come deep, or rely on set pieces, for any service.
Kean's late substitution was a desperate measure doomed for failure. People live in hope for the lad; in truth, nothing he has done thus far convinces me that he has any sort of future for us.
I was never a big Barkley fan, but he played well yesterday. He spoke of his affection for us when interviewed after their Liverpool game. Everton fans who booed him yesterday were out of order.
Chelsea were well drilled, passed quickly and accurately with sharp finishing. We, by contrast, were simply abysmal. Back to basics Carlo, the welcoming party is over.
23 Posted 09/03/2020 at 07:38:13
As for Bernard, Iwobi, Walcott and Delph, the least said. To be kind, some of them are has-beens, some have moments. The loss of Barkley was emphasised yesterday with his excellent display.
Ancelotti will know this, he'll know what he needs, whether he can sign what he needs is another matter. Everton's financial priority may be the new stadium and top signings may be a hope rather than an expectation. If Ancelotti and his team can provide the current squad with the wherewithal to compete with the better midfields in the Premier League, it will be miraculous.
I am not hopeful, we need a proper holding midfielder, not the ageing Delph or Schneiderlin, a constructive, creative force with legs (I know that's asking a lot) to help Gomes and a wide man who can swop flanks and provide defensive help when necessary. Davies could be assimilated into such a set-up; as it is, he is lost and floundering.
It's a challenge, Carlo.
24 Posted 09/03/2020 at 08:08:35
But, at the end of the day, the man Carlo Ancelotti is just that – a man – and he is only human.
I said even when Silva was here, the manager is the scapegoat for the most stupid bunch of players we have ever harboured.
I say our players are stupid because they never learn; some may be more talented than those teams we had in the '90s, but even those struggling sides back then were savvy and clever with dirty dogs that knew how to grind out a result. The crop we harbour now are just a bit thick really.
Ancelotti has made mistakes – don't get me wrong, notably the selection for the FA Cup derby, the Sigurdsson situation, and the removing of players against Newcastle at 2-0 when we were running the show, thus handing the Geordies the initiative.
But primarily Ancelotti won't be able to do anything different with this crop of players than Marco Silva did last season, for example.
The glass ceiling that was there under Moyes is still there – it's just moved from what was then regular 5th place finishes and no big away wins or Cups to present day about 8th place or lower and no big away wins and Cups.
Unless we can attract players like James Maddison, Riyad Mahrez, Mason Mount, Adama Traore... (just a few examples), then it's hard to see this team finishing any higher than where it has over the last 3 years.
25 Posted 09/03/2020 at 08:33:32
IMHO, Schneidelin in particular has taken far too much criticism on these pages. If he was available, it would have made a big difference.
I was actually surprised by how good Chelsea looked. Pre-match, I thought we might have actually done okay. Maybe Ancelotti underestimated them too. I am sure lessons will be learned. Hopefully in time for next Monday!
26 Posted 09/03/2020 at 08:42:10
Our goalie is a brilliant shot-stopper but fails at the basics.
Our four starting full-backs are decent going forward but can't defend, eg, stop crosses.
Our three centre-backs are inconsistent, hesitant and lack communication skills.
Our midfield is nonexistent. Lacks energy, pace, leadership, physicality, nouse, passing ability etc – in short, our midfield is shite bar Gomes.
Our two forwards are very good but, without decent service from midfield, they are easily neutralised.
In other words, a major rebuild is in order – and that could take years. All the on-loan players need to be moved on ASAP and if that means cancelling contracts, so be it.
We also need any new signings to have some leadership qualities as well as ability. We haven't had a decent captain since Dave Watson, someone who is not only vocal but leads by example. Oh for a Vieira, Keane, Toure or, dare I say, Henderson.
Lastly, the midfield is the engine of any team and for that you need players with not only skill but mental and physical strength. Apart from Gomes, and possibly Tom Davies, none of our lot have anything to offer in that department. The likes of Iwobi, Walcott, Sigurdsson, Schneiderlin, Bernard etc are all either too slow, weak or both.
Like I said, major surgery is required but it will take time. Carlo already knew, after the humiliation of losing to a bunch of snotty-nosed kids in the FA Cup, what was facing him. We have no alternative but to trust him and be patient.
27 Posted 09/03/2020 at 09:11:13
The following to be moved on: Sidibé & Sigurdsson.
Kenny to return
A centre-half with presence
An additional central midfielder to provide help Gomes
I am not sure if yesterday was as big a humiliation as the FA Cup tie in January but it was up there with it. In the short-term, Baines has to come back in as he is our best left-back.
28 Posted 09/03/2020 at 09:12:01
I totally agree about Schneiderlin, he takes some underserved stick. I think the team looks weaker when he's not in it. One thing's for sure: he wouldn't have let Mount etc waltz through unchallenged, even if he had to take one for the team.
And we looked a bit better when Walcott come on cos at least he can stretch defenders with his pace instead of just playing the ball backwards.
29 Posted 09/03/2020 at 09:27:02
We are on 37 points, not safe, and with the sixth-worst defence in the league and it's hard to see where the next four or five points are coming from.
Our next three games, if we carry on defending like dummies, then the end of April might see more than a few twitchy arses.
30 Posted 09/03/2020 at 09:44:32
It was a day to forget, terrible performance, "write it off and start again" stuff. But just because Roy Keane spouts some crap, because that's what he gets paid for, doesn't mean we all have to fall in line and start slating the manager and players.
I can't believe people are digging out Gomes, do you really expect him to be up to speed after such an injury and lay-off?
Carlo's not daft, he knows the score, and he's trying things out to get a better idea for next season.
31 Posted 09/03/2020 at 09:56:53
The majority of these players were shite for Koeman, Allardyce, Silva, and Unsworth. You cant make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.
We have finally got a World Class manager but I'm telling you now, not even Alex Ferguson would get a consistent tune out of these frauds.
Nobody can deny we haven't improved under Carlo, so FFS don't start slagging him now until he has been able to put his own stamp on the squad. If nothing else, it's fucking embarrassing.
For what it's worth, the only players I would want to keep from that 11 are Pickford (at a push!), Holgate, Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison.
32 Posted 09/03/2020 at 10:02:40
Ancelotti has had to work with the dross that has been accumulated by Koeman, Allardyce and Silva, so let's see what happens in the summer when hopefully he can bring in some much-needed quality.
33 Posted 09/03/2020 at 10:16:40
The big issue is midfield. Especially central midfield. I've been bashing Gomes for a while and yesterday he showed why. Dribbled past umpteen times and very little positional sense; if he is going to play, then you cannot pair him with Davies who is similarly poor positionally. The amount of times they passed or ran through our middle was startling. I'm not a huge fan of Delph but I actually think he's our best centre-midfielder currently; he makes almost as many tackles per game as Gomes and Davies combined (!) and is sensible if unspectacular with the ball. For me, he has to start the derby with Gomes.
Gomes, Delph, Davies, Schneiderlin. None of these is close to a top 6 midfielder and all are unbelievably slow. When combined with the equally immobile Sigurdsson, it makes for an
incredibly inflexible midfield that is far too easily bypassed and struggles to recover.
We really miss Gbamin!! Central midfield is a massive priority this summer. We might have to buy two.
For rest of the season, I don't think we can play 4-4-2 against decent teams. We really lack the spine.
34 Posted 09/03/2020 at 10:19:52
I believe that Carlo planned for Chelsea's 3 in midfield and that's why he played Sigurdsson and Bernard, 2 players who should drift inside and help. Instead, both players predominantly stayed out wide. However, they didn't play advanced enough to trouble the full-backs, they didn't play defensive enough to cover for our full-backs and they didn't tuck into the centre to help out. They just stayed in no-man's land.
Sigurdsson especially should not be doing this. He is a natural central player, so should have been tucking into the middle straight away to help Davies and Gomes. This would have meant a 3 vs 3 in the centre of midfield and would have prevented us from being overrun. I believe that Sigurdsson, much like Schneiderlin, just hasn't got the heart for the game. He might run a lot, but doesn't get involved where he should.
I don't think you can blame Gomes and Davies that much, although both were too indecisive. Playing 2 vs 3 was just too much. Barkley constantly drifted beyond the midfield into the gap between midfield and defence; Gomes and Davies couldn't decide whether to pick up Barkley, or pick up the other two. In the end, they did neither. We needed a more compact midfield, or one of the centre-forwards dropping back to help – which would have limited us up-front.
I think that Carlo did plan for this, but it was poorly executed. I also believe that this should be a lesson for the derby as Liverpool will also have 3 more central midfield players so, if we play the same formation, the wide midfielders have to remain compact and help out in central areas. Ferguson did this in his games, he let the opposition have the ball wide; however, made sure that they couldn't work the ball inside through sheer weight of numbers.
We do still have a good team – we just got battered this time. Carlo is proving that we always stand a chance of a win against teams below or around us, even if he is struggling against some of the better teams. Don't be surprised if we win 20 games next season, but none come from games against the big 6.
35 Posted 09/03/2020 at 10:39:17
Sigurdsson huffs and puffs but what does he actually do? His contribution to the game yesterday was nil. He doesn't make tackles, win headers, close the opposition down, make telling passes and his deadball delivery is inconsistent. Worst of all, he disappears totally for long periods of the game.
Putting Sigurdsson on the same side of the pitch as Sidibé was a disaster waiting to happen. I cannot think of a full-back as poor as Sidibé, he has no positional sense at all and yesterday his passing was woeful. Digne is only slightly better.
Davies and Gomes have come in for a fair amount of criticism but they were outnumbered in midfield. In their defence, they didn't hide; they continued to ask for the ball. Gomes was totally spent and shouldn't be expected to play the full 90 minutes at the moment following his horrendous injury. Davies has his limitations but he is a decent player and the team should play to his strengths rather than expose his weaknesses.
I feel particularly sorry for Keane and Holgate. They play in-front of a suspect goalkeeper, have two full-backs who lack any defensive nouse either side of them and a midfield trying to cope with superior opposition numbers. Everton do have some very good players but whose own game is suffering as they try to make up for the deficiencies of others.
36 Posted 09/03/2020 at 11:19:59
I have to confess that I gave up on this outfit in the days of Koeman, so I am merely writing off my lifelong team as going rapidly down the shitter. Aston Villa and Newcastle set the trend. Everton are next.
37 Posted 09/03/2020 at 11:32:07
Geoff @35 – agree with the Sidibé comments, these days it seems that full-backs are bought for their attacking capabilities first, defending second. As much as Seamus is losing his legs, I'd have him before Sidibé all day long.
38 Posted 09/03/2020 at 11:48:56
We all know the weaknesses, but this is the hand Ancelotti has been dealt. If there is a magic money tree, then we may be able to solve the problems in the summer. But the new stadium must be a focus of our financial resources.
Pochettino at Spurs and Wenger at Arsenal managed to keep their teams in the top four while financing their new grounds. Wenger lost Henry and Van Persie amongst others while doing so. Ancelotti may face a similar scenario over the next few seasons.
Ancelotti knows what he wants and needs; whether he can get them is another matter.
39 Posted 09/03/2020 at 11:51:59
Our failure to bring good players through the ranks to be first-team regulars is there for all to see. Please don't tell me there's anyone keeping faith with Tom Davies, a Championship squad player at the very best; the delusional belief in his ability to be a top-level Premier League player is simply based on a misjudged sense of loyalty of him being "one of our own" .
40 Posted 09/03/2020 at 11:57:47
41 Posted 09/03/2020 at 12:04:03
1. We won't go down. Not this season anyway.
2. It's not the players who should be putting in transfer requests, it's us fans. I'd like my season ticket transferred to a club where the players put in a shift at a minimum. Sheffield's a bit of a shit hole but at least their supporters are getting value. Ditto Wolverhampton.
42 Posted 09/03/2020 at 12:21:03
43 Posted 09/03/2020 at 12:24:00
44 Posted 09/03/2020 at 12:28:14
I suggest you keep your gobs shut until we beat a 'top sixer', perhaps next Sunday would be a good time to start.
[Er... I am only kidding about next Sunday.]
45 Posted 09/03/2020 at 12:29:52
47 Posted 09/03/2020 at 13:13:34
We know that we need 3 midfielders of the highest quality. Our team will be transformed then. Look at Man Utd with the signing of Fernandes. They have been rejuvenated.
48 Posted 09/03/2020 at 14:03:28
I felt sorry for Gomes and Davies yesterday, neither is a defensive midfielder, but they tried, and were overrun by Mount, Barkley and Gilmour, with no help whatsoever from Sigurdsson and Bernard.
I agree with Annika @19; Sigurdsson shouldn't be given an Everton shirt again. We have to give Baningime a game next Monday, he's the only defensive midfielder we have, with Schneiderlin injured.
Holgate would be the obvious choice, but I'd play him at full-back, because Sidibe, whose defensive game is so shockingly bad, with Coleman injured, Mane would have a field day.
49 Posted 09/03/2020 at 14:05:58
Ancelottis record vs big 6
P 5. W 0. D 1. L 4
Ancelottis record vs everyone else
P 7. W 5. D 2. L 0
If he continues this into next season well be right up there challenging for 4th or 5th. Moyes used to get us to 5th by playing well against 13-14 teams in the league - I believe Ancelotti will do the same.
Beat the 13 smaller teams and try to get anything from the big 6 is a good starting point.
50 Posted 09/03/2020 at 14:13:57
Pickford needs to really improve otherwise he will lose his spot in the "Deliveroo" adverts to England's keeper from the ladies team.
Since we've had Walsh & Brands, the choice in investments has rivalled that of those who crashed the financial system. I suppose their next career move will be in "flood defences".
I can see Goodison Park being well empty before the final whistle against Liverpool. Who would have thought Moshiri would end up being the next Doug Ellis??
51 Posted 09/03/2020 at 14:26:11
The one alarming thing was Sigurdsson and Davies. I'm sorry but both are awful players, Sigurdsson is stealing a living; Davies lacks everything a midfielder requires to play in the Premier League.
He is pedestrian, lacks fight and spirit, has no awareness of his surroundings and cannot pass a football when under pressure.
Sigurdsson has some qualities – he can pass a ball and has a decent shot – but, other than that, see above.
52 Posted 09/03/2020 at 14:47:56
Don't forget we were also robbed last week, Kevin, against the very in-form Man Utd!
Sigurdsson mustered 4 sprints in 89 minutes, is what I've just read on NewsNow Everton? Even the subs who never got on must have each managed a few more sprints than that.
53 Posted 09/03/2020 at 14:51:02
Those players may improve our performances and results but unless they are truly world class we are unlikely to be anywhere near ready to challenge teams in the top six. It will take two or three years of steady recruiting and team building to do so.
54 Posted 09/03/2020 at 14:56:48
Why have a world class manager when all the board have to do is read the wisdom of comments on here??? You experts think you have it sussed and write as though it will make a difference.
Let's not kid ourselves, Liverpool will beat us and finally win the Premier League. Oh the irony of it all. We all gloated when Steve G done his famous slip... well now, once again, it's coming back to haunt us...
Let's all be humble and take a bow to Liverpool FC who once again out shine the blue half of the city.
Kenwright out... it's all his fault. Morshi out... he has bad money and zero knowledge of how to run a football club.
55 Posted 09/03/2020 at 15:09:33
The only way we'll get a draw or keep their score to single digits is if we turn this into to a dog fight some of their Fancy Dans won't feel like taking part in.
If they get knocked out of the Champions League they'll come at us, like Mike Tyson in an ugly mood, if they beat Atletico, they'll be relaxed and stroke the ball around like Brazil at their best.
Either way, before the game, it might worthwhile taking that valium pill you forgot you had or downing a (good) few beers to numb what's unthinkable.
56 Posted 09/03/2020 at 15:23:14
How you managed to watch that through twice is astounding to me... but you provide sadly accurate characterizations, unfortunately, although such honest judgements have already been condemned by self-proclaimed wise counsel on here as 'bile'.
Funny how that works. You give your honest assessment of players and, because you dare to critique a protected species, it's therefore classed as 'bile'? Never understood this fear of being honest amongst ourselves about our shortcomings. Surely only by recognizing and accepting such determinations will you have any chance of improving on them?
57 Posted 09/03/2020 at 15:57:59
Paul, it's easier on the eye when you play it back at double speed or faster. You almost feel that Holgate etc are going to catch Willian.
A lot of praise in the media for young Billy Gilmour. A very tidy player. The vast majority of his play was recycling the ball through easy passes. I think I only saw him make a couple of tackles. But he maintains the speed and rhythm of Chelsea's game, and picked some lovely passes between the lines - only possible if you have other players who quickly give you those options. Gomes looked frustrated for so much of the time, looking for movement of our own players.
How many Chelsea players would you swap for some of ours? Would you prefer Zouma or Keane? Azpilicueta or Sidibe? Willian or Bernard / Walcott? Rudiger or Holgate? Mount or Davies? Barkley or Sigurdsson? etc. We've got a lot of players to shift.
58 Posted 09/03/2020 at 16:03:25
It's not all bad news, Brent, Sandro scored again in Spain, that's 4 in 21 games, two or three more and I can see Real Madrid and Barcelona casting their nets.
59 Posted 09/03/2020 at 16:10:36
60 Posted 09/03/2020 at 16:16:01
Im a traditionalist & purist and like to move with the game. 4-4-2 is not currently a model on which to build success. I appreciate the manager only has the players he has be dealt and that in future, the game could go through another tactical evolution that sees 4-4-2 come back in (like flares & Doctor Martins right?). However, for now it leaves us exposed and puts the defence under pressure. I could go to town on the defence, but will leave it there as they are being put under pressure by us not dominating midfield.
Ill finish my rant by stating that whatever formation, whatever latest football “fashion”, whatever generation, games have generally always been won or lost in midfield in my opinion. A solid defence & world class keeper will buckle eventually if not protected. You can play 3 forwards, but if not served by the midfield, they wont score. We were overmatched & overrun in midfield yesterday and that was because they had an extra player. We may have had an extra forward, but it mattered not as they controlled the game where it mattered by outnumbering our predictable 4-4-2.
61 Posted 09/03/2020 at 16:24:52
62 Posted 09/03/2020 at 16:34:38
63 Posted 09/03/2020 at 16:34:54
Ancelotti had Davies over to the side of the pitch, but nothing changed, so hopefully he does change the system next Monday, and we dont have to face the irony, or take any Valium pill?
The only positive I can take from yesterdays game, is that the bookies might now push Everton, out a couple of extra points, and if its going wrong, from the off again next week, then Carlo Ancelotti might have learned he can actually do something about it.
64 Posted 09/03/2020 at 16:37:13
Look, there were many other things wrong with yesterday. Ability, desire, mentality Im just saying persisting with a rigid 4-4-2 is not the way forward.
65 Posted 09/03/2020 at 16:40:09
There was very little criticism on these pages for losing. A lot of valid critique for the way we lost, players who cannot step up and connect with the fanbase will get destroyed. However, unless we, as a collective, are going to have a diocesan conversion for a different style of play, the manager and players need to be consistently reminded that's what we want.
Does it have to be all the time, every minute? No, because frankly we know it's unsustainable. There's no way we could continue the effort we applied under Ferguson without looking like the Black Knight from Monty Python, down to three players and the kit man.
So where's the balance? I'm not sure but I know Sunday is wholly unacceptable at any point, under any regime. Ancelotti may have overworked his tinkering and even his tactical tweaks didn't stem the flow, but the players were a disgrace from 1-11. I could question the effort of every player.
We have one game in three weeks, the strongest team must be picked and maximum effort must be applied. If we lose and lose badly, the fall-out without a game to move on from will make it a very dark time.
Let's hope the message gets through.
66 Posted 09/03/2020 at 16:41:47
That is possibly where Carlos hands are tied. A worse approach is to make the players fit the system you want to play regardless (which is what happened to our previous recent managers in my opinion).
As Ive just said, there were many things wrong with yesterday. Im just picking up on one but there were many.
67 Posted 09/03/2020 at 16:43:15
68 Posted 09/03/2020 at 16:50:11
The ref, VAR, Frankie Lamps, even the home crowd were all against us. We bossed that game and only due to some poor refereeing and bad weather we lost that one.
Then I woke up screaming and in a cold sweat.
69 Posted 09/03/2020 at 17:01:28
I've been a massive critic of late, but Jordan Pickford is probably one of the few (one) to come out with credit. He saved us from further humiliation.
I can reluctantly accept defeat when I know I've given everything and the other team were simply better. I think over the years, Evertonians have been of that mindset. Yesterday, we were beaten before we walked on the pitch.
The irony is, the league is of such a poor standard (Liverpool & Man City aside) that, with a bit of a clear out & the right signings, we might not be that far off. That sounds ridiculous on the back of yesterday, but hopefully most will know where I'm coming from.
70 Posted 09/03/2020 at 17:05:30
I honestly could not believe what I was seeing 2nd time around, it was even more heartbreaking.
71 Posted 09/03/2020 at 17:05:47
Gomes is only back, but we have no physical presence beside him. Gbamin is a massive loss, and Schneiderlin and Delph, nowhere near good enough.
Our wide players, Sigurdsson and Bernard, offer absolutely nothing, when we're on the backfoot, as they showed yesterday, and Iwobi and Walcott no better.
Big changes needed in the summer.
72 Posted 09/03/2020 at 17:09:51
JP might have a point that it was the work-rate, that needs changing the most, but I said after yesterday's game that I think we will get ruined if we play the same system next week. I even went as far as picking a five-man midfield, with Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison occupying the widest areas of the pitch!
If Ancellotti has got a free-hit until the summer, I don't think it extends to next Monday. We have got to ditch the Valium, and stay off the ale until 10pm, unless it makes you get behind the team even more. I'm hoping to win my holiday money, even if they're closing the airports for a bit!
73 Posted 09/03/2020 at 17:15:15
I've said for longer than I care to recall, they have no different dynamic, it's all one-paced.
Gomes is just back but even before his injury he was a very inconsistent player, has been all his career, capable of playing brilliant one week then two or three games pass him by like he's not on the pitch.
Davies, I won't even say he's Championship class because, having watched that league closely, it would do a disservice to some of the very good technically gifted hard working lads in that league.
Bernard has got good feet but he doesn't deliver anything like enough, too much breaks down in the final third and he's another that endlessly relinquishes possession.
Sigurdsson and Walcott are both yesterday's men and have no future going forward at the club.
Iwobi, just read Bernard, supposedly good feet but nothing at the end of it, again relinquishes possession too much, doesn't seem to be trusted by Ancelotti.
Gbamin I'm fearing is another that, when he does play, will just sit deep a bit like Delph and Schneiderlin, from what bits I seen of him in Germany he's not really that energetic dynamic presence we think he is.
Defensively I don't care what people say, we miss Zouma. He was our best defender in the last three months of the season and gelled well with Keane when we were keeping those clean sheetsfrom early Spring onwards, muscular and athletic, the closest thing we've had to Distin.
Holgate might look good on the ball when teams don't press us but you'll never keep many clean sheets with him partnering Keane or Mina for that matter, none of them are what you'd call heart-on-the-sleeve players that love defending.
74 Posted 09/03/2020 at 17:58:18
First to everything, contesting every second ball. That grit was absent Sunday. You might argue they, Chelsea, had a poorer side out than first time around?! They played to their level in both games. Did we?
So why would I stick with 4-4-2? Well despite the clear deficiencies in midfield it gets the best out of arguably our two best players up front. Both are thriving off each other taking defenders away from them and creating space.
I'd say that what we didn't do on Sunday which we have done recently is go long, direct and make it a battle. Is bringing Gomes back slowing the tempo down?
I know that sounds crazy but he hogs the ball and the front two thrive off quick ball. Mix in Sidibé who also needs a quick decisive pass or is caught too high if we attempt to retain the ball in midfield and probe. Our players simply aren't good enough for possession footy. So let's not eh?!
I think of you play that way the system is perhaps redundant? Until we get better players, exploit the strengths you have, the front two.
The temptation is to put Richarlison wide right and pair Kean with Calvert-Lewin. I think that's a risk to break up a pair which has troubled every team we've played.
What other system retains that strength but minimizes the weakness, 3-5-2?
75 Posted 09/03/2020 at 18:06:27
76 Posted 09/03/2020 at 18:56:04
Yesterday was the latest meltdown over the last 30 years against the top 5 teams. I question the mentality and professionalism of the Everton first-team squad, and the lack of any natural leader with guts and the verbal nous to command the park. How the hell Sigurdsson is spouting in the Red Echo, is beyond me; how many times has Captain Fantastic preached this the last few years?
Yesterday's Sunday-morning ale-house type performance, sums up the demise of the club, but hopefully was final proof to Farhad, Marcel and Carlo, that it's time to rebuild with only a few, players worth keeping and a few as Squad players.
Surely next week, they'll put in a shift against Liverpool?
Any one know the odds for this game of an Everton win?
77 Posted 09/03/2020 at 18:58:56
I suppose I blame Makele for this obsession with holders in midfield, but I'd point out that the 3 Chelsea midfielders were all attack-minded, or rather a throwback to the pre-Makele days when centre-mids did a bit of, well midfielding; win the ball, chase and harry the opposition when you haven't got possession, and carry the ball forward when you've got it, and – wait for this one – get into the opposition penalty area occasionally.
For years, I've commented on holding mids, in that they rob us of an outlet in attack, and looking at our goals against, do very little to stop them going in, and I would like to see us sign strong athletic midfielders that can get about the pitch.
As for yesterday, it's yet another chapter in the life of an Evertonian, and our hilarious game show – Which Everton is turning up this week??? Maybe as we're getting a new sponsor, we should look for offers from a schizophrenia charity. But I think some of the comments are a bit over the top.
In an ideal world, Gomes would be on the subs bench having 20 minutes here, 30 minutes there... but, as Lyndon pointed out, in his first games back, he was running on adrenalin and now he looks horribly, but understandably short of match fitness.
And Tom Davies: awful 1st half vs Man Utd; great 2nd half; and just plain awful vs Chelsea. What should happen, pack him off to the Bundesliga or just get shut.
I think major surgery is not possible given FFP and, given the fact that we tried that 2 seasons ago and ended up where we are, not helpful. Let's hope that Carlo Ancelotti is given the time to build a team. Even though Chelsea was a horror, Arsenal and Man Utd less so... in fact, I felt cheated in those games.
Who knows, maybe we'll beat Liverpool (yeah right) who have been struggling of late, and speaking of schizos, everything will be sweetness with us ToffeeWebbers!!
78 Posted 09/03/2020 at 19:08:30
Zero tackles, zero interceptions, and only four sprints... 😱
Fuckin' £90,000 a week for that — he should never play for us again!!
79 Posted 09/03/2020 at 19:08:47
Your last point is interesting. For me, if you have the right players, 3-5-2 is the most potent system. It can also be the one that leaves you most exposed on the flanks if you dont have the right wing backs or central holding midfielder.
Likewise, the most complete system is 4-2-3-1 as the very successful Germany 2010 - 2014 team demonstrated; you always have 4 attacking players but theoretically 6 defending. Key theme is you have to have the right players regardless of the system.
It comes back to playing to the strengths you have with the players at your disposal and the ability of those players.
I revert back to my previous points; we unfortunately dont have the ability against the better teams and sadly, 4-4-2 is defunct at present. Whatever way you set up, you cannot allow yourself to get overloaded in midfield. In the modern game, most successful teams dont play a rigid 4-4-2.
80 Posted 09/03/2020 at 19:23:09
It's only my opinion but against Liverpool I would break up that front two, and possibly start them both on either wing, and play Delph, Gomes/Beni/Davies, or even Iwobi, in a three-man central midfield.
Plug the gaps, and put strength and pace out-wide; it is the only system I can see working against the more technical aggressive teams. I hope Carlo Ancelotti and Duncan Ferguson are already working on a system to beat our horrible neighbours this time next week.
81 Posted 09/03/2020 at 19:40:15
82 Posted 09/03/2020 at 20:05:00
No pace, no threat, not interested. What a waste of money!!
83 Posted 09/03/2020 at 20:21:08
84 Posted 09/03/2020 at 20:28:44
85 Posted 09/03/2020 at 20:33:06
It was compounded on Sunday watching Barkley look dangerous, energetic, creative and generally a much better player than Sigurdsson! Whilst being 4/5 years younger!!
86 Posted 09/03/2020 at 20:44:55
My question is though, what benefit is there in the suicidal level of negativity? We are what we are and being negative is the least helpful thing that we as fans can do and it is absolutely pointless. We can do nothing as fans and only the club can do the things needed to get us out of this which is ridding the club of its forest of deadwood and to make some buys approaching the quality of Fernandes.
I use the term 'irrational negativity' a lot and the level shown in comments after results like this is as irrational as it can get. Yes, a comment that Everton were crap on Sunday is very valid but it is a waste of the effort used in typing it because it adds no value, anybody who saw it knows that so it's a statement of the bleeding obvious.
Breathe deeply and accept that there may well be other days like this before we get better including next week. The club knows what is needed and they deserve our support and positivity to help them resolve it. Everton should be made a perfect example of managing a football club at its very worse and how poor quality purchases can destroy a club as many have proven. We just did it worse than anybody else, as only Everton can.
87 Posted 09/03/2020 at 20:54:45
And remember that Chelsea beat Liverpool almost as easily as they beat us recently. We're not going to be as bad again, we're at home, and we have a reasonable chance of getting a good result. Positivity please.
88 Posted 09/03/2020 at 21:09:50
If Carlo admits it was going wrong from the first minute why did he not change the formation early on? Chelsea were on top from the off and nearly scored within the first 5 minutes.
There seemed to be a change to a diamond midfield after we went 2-0 down with Bernard at the tip but then he was subbed at half-time. For the second half it was 4-4-2 again and they scored twice immediately.
4-4-2 can be very potent if you have the players and play to your strengths as we have seen since Silva left. Neither was evident yesterday. So why not change things? Even in games were we have been on top we have reverted to a 4-5-1 late on with Richarlison either subbed or moved out to left – Chelsea home and Palace home for example. Against the better teams we will get destroyed using a 4-4-2.
Roy Keane nailed it yesterday when he said we were a million miles away from European football. Not so long ago, we had a team that some would say lacked skill but what they did not lack was bottle and grit when the going got tough and, as a result, the team was consistently in Europe. Away from home you rarely get the rub of the green but there does not appear to be anyone in this team who will get stuck in which has been the issue for too many years now and shows in our terrible away record.
Carlo needs to start planning for next season and try a few ideas in Premier League match conditions, not against the Blackburns or Tranmeres of this world. At least 5 of the team yesterday are not good enough and never have been.
If you have 5 poor players in your team you are not going to win many matches. Get rid of the dross players that we are can all identify and bring in a few kids and/or try a some different formations. Playing the same underperformers has not worked for multiple managers now.
I am hoping that yesterday was a tactic to lure the Koppites into a false sense of security ahead of next Monday. I stress 'hoping'.
89 Posted 09/03/2020 at 21:16:34
I'm still positive though, because I'm not sure Ancelloti has picked our strongest team and formation yet, and other than Chelsea at home, we are yet to have a really good result this season, and we all know Everton can beat any team at Goodison Park, so I'm hoping that the bookies are giving us a decent price, so I can earn some money, because I'm definitely putting a few quid on Everton next Monday night!
90 Posted 09/03/2020 at 21:23:36
But I was surprised, Ancelotti is not choosing Delph or Iwobi, because both players have pace 'to burn'.
91 Posted 09/03/2020 at 22:02:57
92 Posted 10/03/2020 at 00:20:19
I can't have that we can beat Liverpool. They would have to have a really bad day to get turned over by us.
Our players don't have the belief or work rate to beat top teams. I'm all for passing it around but it's what you do without the ball that is our problem. Where are the tackles? In their faces? Pressure high up the pitch? None of it!
I'm not having its the players we have. Set the stall out to be hard to beat. Win the battle first. Too many of our players walk off as if they have just kicked off.
Just for a moment, we thought we had a chance of European football. Then we play the top six teams and there you go. This month has told our manager, Welcome to Everton.
Until we become hard to score against, forget success. Top teams make it difficult to score against them. Do this and we can move forward. Don't... then leave your keys at reception.
93 Posted 10/03/2020 at 03:40:00
Right now there are 60-odd million in lock-down in Italy, among them family members, friends and neighbours living in fear of getting this virus, potentialy killing many people. I think we should look at the bigger picture here and show Carlo and crew a bit of respect and sympathy, after all, surely no-one expected us to get into Europe so soon into his tenure.
Cast your mind back to November – we were facing Championship football for a long time to come. We have to lower our expectations till this time next year and see where we are then. We have to have hope – tempered with a bit of realism. COYB
94 Posted 10/03/2020 at 08:09:30
95 Posted 10/03/2020 at 08:30:33
96 Posted 10/03/2020 at 08:32:35
When I think of Ball, Harvey and Kendall, they must have been a dream to play behind as they were fast tracking back, demon tacklers and fast breaking away from the danger zone.
Our current midfield seem to block the ball being cleared as it forever seems to be coming back after being lost in midfield.
97 Posted 10/03/2020 at 10:46:52
98 Posted 10/03/2020 at 11:47:15
Our back line is bang average, with question marks over Pickford, Mina, Keane and Digne, plus Coleman and Baines are a bit long in the tooth.
It's our midfield which is diabolically bad. We must easily on current form have one of the worst midfields in the Premier League. Gomes simply isn't fit; as for Sigurdsson??? (There must be something badly wrong there...) His form has fallen off a cliff.
Bernard remains an enigma. Delph represents your typical injury-prone journeyman player. Walcott continues to be in and out and lacking in end product. Then throw Davies into the mix, not a kid anymore at 22 and simply not good enough. Schneiderlin is arguably the only useful midfielder we currently have and he's injured. Iwobi has been in and out and hasn't really looked the part for £40M+.
As others have said, we need a new spine and they don't come cheap. But, despite the obvious crapness of half our team, you have to acknowledge that, on Sunday, Ancelotti's tactics set them up fail, which they happily did. I expect better with a manager with so called obvious know-how, who used to manage Chelsea himself once upon a time.
But, as Man Utd have shown with their recent new signing, Bruno Fernandes, get the recruitment right and you go places. Once upon a time, they were reliant on Jesse Lingard; now they have this guy who is simply a better player. We need to buy and we need to buy well.
99 Posted 10/03/2020 at 13:39:19
SIGURDSSON: WE MUST LEARN FROM CHELSEA DEFEAT
It's about as inspirational as his football!
100 Posted 10/03/2020 at 14:12:28
Pickford, Coleman, Sigurdsson, Schniderlin, Davies, Keane are simply not good enough, were never good enough, yet Carlo Ancelotti cannot see this fact. I see no difference in Ancelotti or Silva. Carlo has a nice CV but that was a few years ago now. Carlo was sacked from his previous 3 Jobs yet we rush out to employ the man?
I was under the impression that Carlo Ancelotti was a legendary football genius? Well, it didn't look like that at Anfield in January's FA Cup tie, did it? Klopp absolutely schooled Ancelotti and, for me, this was when I knew the club had made a huge mistake. Football moves on and managers and players get left behind. We have Carlo Ancelotti 2020 – not the 2010 version.
Like Spurs under Jose Mourinhio, Everton are learning the hard way. Past reputations count for nothing. The likes of Klopp and Espirito Santo are the new breed of manager type that EFC should've been trying to bring in. The Dinosaurs have had thier day.
101 Posted 10/03/2020 at 16:15:11
102 Posted 10/03/2020 at 16:23:24
Or is there somebody out there who is Godlike and can get this squad to play like Brazil at their best going forward and defend like Italy at their meanest? I can't wait for this new arrival, it's almost worth losing a few games.
103 Posted 10/03/2020 at 16:33:53
The saddest thing about Everton having a result like Sunday's is that it gives you a platform to spout your nonsense. Sorry, and nothing personal, but that is what it is. Unlike you, who adds nothing, I believe that the club is trying very hard to unload the deadwood and purchase replacements.
Ancelotti didn't get the club where it is, he inherited the problem and it's a problem that I doubt any manager alive could solve in a time frame less than several years.
104 Posted 10/03/2020 at 16:57:55
105 Posted 10/03/2020 at 17:12:03
I firmly believe Carlo – nice guy that he is – was a bad fit for Everton. Managing Europe's elite clubs that win trophies regardless of which manager is in charge is one thing... building a club from top to bottom is another. Chelsea, Real Madrid, PSG, Juventus etc – a piece of piss compared to this job.
You say I don't understand football but I tell you what I understand: What Klopp did in the FA Cup tie... yet Ancelloti didn't? Carlo got his arse smacked and it was embarrassing. Taken to school and humiliated.
Also, the first thing Carlo should've done is make sure Sigurdsson and Schneiderlin were nowhere near the first team again. But no... we have to suffer these wasters now under 4 different managers. If you are so clever, Martin, please tell me what you think has changed, since the worst of Marco Silva, to Sunday at Chelsea?
Since Duncan Ferguson stepped down, we have been shocking. Got some wins under Carlo but nothing even remotely convincing. In the Watford and Palace games, we were very lucky. Newcastle at home: pathetic. FA Cup at Anfield... embarrassingly woeful; a lucky point at home to Spurs and, as usual, twatted away in all the big games.
So tell me, Martin where is the improvement? Before you say "These are not Ancelloti's players, Lampard hasn't signed anyone yet; and Arteta likewise. Surely a genius like Carlo should get the same, if not more, out of our squad than Big Duncan did? Compare the performances against Chelsea under both men with the same players... you will find an answer in there somewhere, mate.
106 Posted 10/03/2020 at 18:59:51
107 Posted 10/03/2020 at 22:45:06
108 Posted 11/03/2020 at 08:37:42
Clearly Leipzig are doing something vastly superior to us from academy level to first team.
It's no coincidence all the players we sign or bring through the ranks run like old men, I'm still having nightmares of Tom Davies at 21 years old being run a merry dance by Chelsea youthful exuberance on Sunday.
We seem to comatose our players not get them fitter.
109 Posted 11/03/2020 at 09:20:56
I fear Ancelotti may be lumbered with his ageing squad until many of their contracts run out. Who is actually going to take on Sigurdsson, Schneiderlin, Delph or even Coleman, Keane, Mina given their ages, wages etc?
Ancelotti is used to managing clubs where targets are identified and bought, because they are anxious to join the clubs he has managed. This is not true of Everton, who are a club with history, but whose short-term future looks distinctly vague. He may have to prove what a great coach he is by getting this squad to perform on a long-term basis at a much higher level than they have done for a long time and to persuade some of them that the injuries are not always the best way to endear themselves to the club's long-suffering supporters.
It's a long haul, I'm sure Ancelotti knows what he wants, just as ToffeeWeb correspondents know, but getting it or them may prove quite challenging.
110 Posted 11/03/2020 at 11:02:28
The only good that can come out of Sunday's debacle, is that it might just be the wake-up call to everybody concerned with the club. I can't recall such a pitiful display.
Countless millions of pounds has been lost investing in substandard players. Rash signings on deadline days. Signing cast-offs. Misguided information on potential 'Stars'. (I'm certain some of our foreign imports must have been signed on the strength of their 'YouTube' highlights.) Their agents deserve medals for obtaining such lucrative deals for their talentless clients.
For Ancelotti as far as his entire squad is concerned, it is more a case of who is worth keeping now, if any sort of success is to be achieved. At present, maybe six current players offer that promise. Personally I would start the clear out from goalkeeper, as Pickford will never be the answer. The others can't go soon enough.
111 Posted 11/03/2020 at 12:10:41
112 Posted 11/03/2020 at 12:45:14
Of course he should be selecting Messi, Salah, Allison, Van Dijk, Aguero.
Course Ancelotti knows most of our players are crap, he just can't do anything about it because no one will buy the players we all know aren't good enough.
We will have to sit it out for a couple more years until our worst players are no longer here.
Add Your Comments
In order to post a comment, you need to be logged in as a registered user of the site.
Or Sign up as a ToffeeWeb Member — it's free, takes just a few minutes and will allow you to post your comments on articles and Talking Points submissions across the site.