Everton 1 - 1 Southampton
If the mantra of “football is nothing without fans“ has become a bit of a cliché in recent weeks it's with good reason because these behind-closed-doors matches, at least where Everton are concerned, are becoming something of a chore. And if this evening’s performance was any indication, the players cannot find the drive within themselves to produce anything more than the lacklustre which leaves you at the final whistle wondering why you bothered tuning in.
For the final half an hour of this game, having hauled themselves back to parity with a brilliant goal, fashioned by Lucas Digne and finished emphatically by Richarlison, Everton had the platform from which they could go on and win this game.
Instead, they ambled their way through the final stages of a contest that was officiated abysmally from start to finish and which deserved its billing as a meaningless end of season affair.￼￼.. because in the context of the Blues’ season and the now vanished hopes of Europe, that’s what it was.
The goal aside, the only thing that raised any passion among Carlo Ancelotti’s players was typically horrendous refereeing from Lee Mason, who seems to be in a perennial race to the bottom with Jon Moss to see who can be the single worst official on a PGMOL roster stuffed full of incompetence and inconsistency.
Mason awarded a penalty that shouldn’t have been at one end — thankfully, James Ward-Prowse missed — waved away a stone-wall shove on Anthony Gordon at the other, had both decisions upheld by Video Assistant Referee, Andy Madley (seriously, what is VAR for?), and then gave a questionable foul against Jan Bednarek on Richarlison but mystifyingly only booked him when his decision was based on an infringement that denied an obvious goalscoring opportunity.
Had Bednarek been given his marching orders and Southampton been forced to play the final half hour with 10 men, it’s possible that Everton might have won but given how insipid they were over the preceding 60 minutes, it’s not something that was all that likely or that it would have been deserved.
On balance, Southampton were quicker, sharper and more coherent than their hosts; the hours that Ralph Hasenhuttl has spent on the training pitch since that 9-0 humiliation at the hands of Leicester in November were obvious in the passing patterns and movement that skirted around Everton’s ponderous midfield with ease at times, particularly in the first half.
The home side were, by contrast, almost as lifeless as they had been at Tottenham on Monday evening, with the exception of their left flank where Gordon, rightfully reinstated to the starting XI, and Digne were energetic and purposeful until the teenager was withdrawn with 15 minutes to go having outshone the majority of his more senior team-mates.
Gylfi Sigurdsson was the only player dropped following the debacle against Spurs as André Gomes and Tom Davies kept their places but the Portuguese spent much of the first half chasing shadows while his younger midfield partner was unable to dictate the game in any meaningful fashion.
It became clear, though, that Gomes wasn’t fit — truth be told, he may not have been fully so at any point since the post-shutdown restart — and it was little surprise when he sat down on the turf in the 41st minute unable to continue and had to be replaced by Sigurdsson.
Everton were trailing at that point and deservedly so, although Alex Iwobi did warm the palms of Alex McCarthy mid-way through the first period with a half-volley after a nice interchange between Gordon and Digne.
The Toffees had come close to conceding the opening goal when Stuart Armstrong turned the ball in from close range after only seven minutes but he was, correctly, adjudged to have been offside when Che Adams fired the ball into the six-yard box.
And Danny Ings came within inches of scoring in the 27th minute after Jordan Pickford had tipped a Ward-Prowse free-kick over. The striker glanced the resulting corner on with his head, the ball hit the bar, Pickford appeared to bat it back onto the woodwork and then away to safety.
The danger wasn’t cleared, however, and when the ball was worked back into the box to Ward-Prowse and the midfielder collapsed into a challenge that Gomes was clearly pulling out of, referee Mason awarded a penalty. Justice was done when the same player rattled his spot-kick off the top of the crossbar but there was injustice just seven minutes later when Gordon was flattened in the Saints area in what was more than a mere shoulder-charge. The officials were having none of it.
In between, Southampton had taken the lead and it was with the kind of incisive running through the centre of defence that Everton seem incapable of consistently producing. Armstrong was allowed to drive just inside the area, cut the ball to the unmarked Ings who managed to drag it with one foot to wrong-foot Pickford and then stab it home with the other while the Blues’ defenders appealed in vain for offside.
Everton did equalise, though, shortly before half-time with what was far and away their best moment of the match.
Michael Keane Sigurdsson found Digne near the halfway line with a pass out of defence, the Frenchman spotted Richarlison waving for a knock over the top and he raked a precision ball to the Brazilian who took one touch before belting it off the advancing keeper’s glove and high into the Park End net.
Ancelotti withdrew Iwobi at the interval and introduced Djibril Sidibé as a more orthodox wingback but it was Southampton who continued to look the more dangerous after the restart. Adams tried to bend one around Pickford but he pawed it away and then the Blues survived a seemingly interminable schoolboy-esque goalmouth scramble before Dominic Calvert-Lewin had a golden chance to put Everton in front.
Davies picked him out with a lovely flighted ball but the striker lost track of the trajectory and with him only needing a sure contact to guide it past the stranded McCarthy, the ball ended up bouncing off his hip and out of his control.
Five minutes later, Richarlison was put into the clear and looked odds-on to score when Bednarek slid in to toe the ball away from him with a last-ditch tackle. Television replays suggested it was a legal challenge but Mason, having decided it was a foul, was duty bound to send the Pole off but only showed him a yellow card.
Sigurdsson hit the wall with the free-kick, Sidibé’s follow-up shot was easily saved by McCarthy and despite a really promising moment when Everton found themselves with space and superior numbers but Gordon’s pass was too weak to find Digne, the Blues ran out of impetus and ideas in the final 30 minutes.
Bernard and Moise Kean both came off the bench offering hope that they could make something happen but while the Brazilian was, like Sigurdsson, tidy enough, he wasn’t able to create anything and the young Italian striker was a wasted presence up front.
Instead it was Armstrong who had a chance to pinch the points for Saints but he blazed over the bar with four minutes to go.
Ancelotti blamed fatigue and a lack of energy for his team’s lethargic display and if playing a second game in three days was the issue, it showed. In that sense, the fact that the manager only made one change that wasn’t forced upon him by injury from the team that started at Spurs was a little surprising.
There was a case for starting the likes of Kean and Bernard and, perhaps, giving someone like Beni Baningime a run-out but Ancelotti has retained faith with a core team these past few weeks. It’s not clear much is being learned, though, from this bunch other than the fact that the team is desperately lacking in quality.
Again, thoughts turn to the transfer window and the fervent hope that a couple of real difference-makers can be added to the squad but you find yourself fearing for the standard of entertainment if, as looks likely, 2020-21 kicks off in empty stadiums. The Goodison “12th man” was conspicuous by his absence this evening.
Reader Comments (95)
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1 Posted 10/07/2020 at 03:05:51
Our ponderous midfield paring means we can rarely impose ourselves in any meaningful way. Credit indeed to our left flank and Richarlison's tireless effort to keep us in the game.
I cannot see any reason we cannot experiment a bit now with the centre mid paring in these final few games as our faint Europa league hopes are now gone. Certainly if some of the other youngsters can perform as creditably as Anthony Gordon then its worth trying out.
2 Posted 10/07/2020 at 03:11:25
If we played like that nobody would moan...well yes, obviously they would, we'd want them to play better - this is Everton after all.
What ever Evertons problems are, lack of Fans is not on top of the list...just ask the teams that are playing well.
3 Posted 10/07/2020 at 05:52:53
And I would consider Digne's ball to be the finest pass of the season by any Everton player. It was sheer brilliance.
4 Posted 10/07/2020 at 06:42:33
This is the worst blandest most characterless Everton team throughout the Premier League era.
Worst side since the likes of Madar and shovel foot Farrelly stepped out wearing pale blue in 1998.
Absolutely nothing at all there worth getting excited about.
5 Posted 10/07/2020 at 06:48:58
I completely disagree that it should have been a penalty to us. If you watch it back the camera angle from behind shows Gordon actually leans towards and tries to barge into walker Peters but is just not strong enough and gets knocked over. My view anyway. Slightly better performance. Still pedestrian. Thought Keane played well. Not sure what pickford was doing for their goal.
6 Posted 10/07/2020 at 07:19:42
Both incidents not penalties.
Unless the rules have changed about the last defender fouling a player clean through on goal, Bedneraks's foul on Richarleson was a stone wall red card.
Their goal had a touch of luck. Armstrong tried to shoot and scuffed it straight to Ings for their goal.
Our goal was as probably our goal of the season and pass of the season.
The refereeing at this level is abysmal. Every game the refs and var seem to get it wrong and create a spectacle that is killing the game. The pundits by and large don't want to upset the apple cart. Players shrug their shoulders as they are still getting paid and the fans get a shit sandwich.
The evidence is starting to stack up with the amount of favourable decisions that the big boys are getting via var. Some of the pens Man U have had this year are a joke.
7 Posted 10/07/2020 at 07:23:46
Switching to 352 gave us at least a modicum of control in the middle and perhaps well see more of it until the time when we have central midfielders able to pass and tackle consistently.
Calvert-Lewin was poor again. All effort but not enough substance from him currently and seems to be struggling to get into games properly and to link up with Richarlison, can barely recall a pass the two played to each other last night; though of course their service was minimal.
8 Posted 10/07/2020 at 07:27:56
All those supporters who complain over Everton player's getting round the referee and objecting decisions. Well, that's what he did...and he got carded. Could only happen to an Everton player.
9 Posted 10/07/2020 at 07:28:22
Obviously a tactic to try and protect the back four and make us more compact and harder to score against but its massively crucifying the midfield. They are awful and it does need a massive overhaul but these tactics certainly arent helping. Theres such a massive area in there for teams to exploit and we know we havent got the legs in there to cover it. Weve got Iwobi playing as a second full back, Gomes and Davies chasing shadows and the the odd bright spark in Gordon.
Its no coincidence that Keane has stood out since the restart as were playing the game he likes, defend the edge of the area and hes very good at it but its not helping the team at all. Thats not a criticism of him at all by the way.
I understand why Ancellotti is using the current tactics but I think its time to move on and start planning for how were going to play next season now. Time to ditch the 442 and plan for a proper 433.
10 Posted 10/07/2020 at 07:49:43
11 Posted 10/07/2020 at 07:58:55
12 Posted 10/07/2020 at 08:03:27
Ref bottled the red because I think he realised he'd made a mistake by giving the foul, so did VAR so they didn't overturn.
I thought Sigurdsson put in a better performance when he came on, give him some due after all the stick, but still not anything special.
As for Iwobi, don't get me started.
13 Posted 10/07/2020 at 08:08:32
The worrying thing is that Ancelotti appears to be resigned to keeping the bulk of this squad, when we need a clear out, if we have any real intention of a top four place next season.
As for the game, they dominated it, until 60 minutes, and looked like the home team, until we were able to get some possession and build some attacks. Ward Prowse should have been sent off.
We are missing a team leader with passion for the club and fans. We havent had once since Ratcliffe. This needs to be sorted
14 Posted 10/07/2020 at 08:08:58
Having said that, here are my comments about the Refereeing, Southampton, and finally, Everton:
Referee: That was one of the worst refereeing performances that I have ever seen in my life, and that is saying a lot. Richarlison got absolutely NO protection from Mason, who I honestly believe has an agenda against Everton. How Ward-Drowse did not get booked for 3-4 bone crunching tackles on Richarlison, I will never know. I am firmly of the belief that referees award a penalty based on the reputation of the player (I hear many mutter 'no shit') - Gordon was fouled 2-3 times, but he did not get the foul because he is a 'rookie'. Horrible, horrible - unless the PL changes the way they select, train and hold accountable the referees appointed by them, the PL's credibility will gradually erode, which would be a real shame.
Southampton: What a transformation Hasenhuttl has brought about in the Saints! From that terrible 9-0 thrashing, he has completely turned things around, and as Lyndon correctly points out, it is obvious that they have put in tremendous amount of work in the training ground to become a team who are very comfortable on the ball - something that I have only otherwise seen in the much more expensively assembled Liverpool and Man City teams. No wonder they call Hasenhuttl the Austrian 'Klopp'. My respect for Southampton and Hasenhuttl went up several notches after yesterday. With a few god additions, I believe they could seriously threaten one of the European spots next season.
Everton: I think I saw for the 1st time, Ancellotti looking frustrated after coming here and I think he now realises the enormity of the task in front of him. However, I don't want to go down the road of getting too down on our boys. If you look at the mitigating circumstances - 3 of whom Silva/Brands thought would be our main midfielders - Gbamin, Delph and Gomes were either out or unfit for a majority of the season. Schneiderlin, Iwobi, Bernard, Walcott have all been unavailable for parts of the season. Silva, Ferguson and Ancellotti have had to shoehorn Davies and Siggy into the defensive midfield role when clearly they are more suited to a more attacking role. It is no wonder that we have struggled to impose ourselves or dominate ANY game this season (as far as I can recall). On the other hand, I consider the emergence of Holgate, DCL and Gordon as VERY positive for Everton. The rediscovery of form by Keane, Coleman, Digne and the continued maturing of Davies are also positives. I see some green shoots of optimism that we could see the emergence of Moise Kean next season. Richarlison is blossoming into a megastar, and I wouldn't be surprised if a MONSTER bid were to come in this summer from the likes of Barcelona/Real Madrid/Man United. I am afraid if Everton do not (1) fight for him to get more protection from the referees and (2) do not significantly strengthen the squad, I can see Richy wanting to move away, and I wouldn't blame him for that. The goalkeeping and defence are not the priority in need of strengthening this season, IMO. Ancellotti and Brands should put in all their efforts to find 2-3 gems to drastically overhaul our midfield - and offload at least 2-3 out of Siggy, Bernard, Walcott, Delph. From my limited PL television viewing this season, I like Buendia of Norwich and Hojberg from Southampton (out of the names mentioned by Sam Hoare in his excellent clouting report a few weeks ago). I think they could significantly improve our midfield. In the meantime, I like what Ancellotti is trying to do with our rag-tag squad and hopefully, we can see 1-2 more academy boys being given a few opportunities - I am still hopeful on Beni Baningime, and maybe Branthwaite will get a run around as well.
Sorry about the long post, thank you for your patience in reading it.
15 Posted 10/07/2020 at 08:21:59
He was adamant that there should have been a sending off and then naively said " VAR will award a penalty for this".
He was shocked to see it denied.
Needless to say I wasn't and when he questioned this I merely shrugged and said " it's Everton I fully expected that"
The only explanation is that where Everton are concerned there is a hidden agenda regarding VAR.
As for the team, the time to judge Carlo is after a couple of transfer windows when hopefully we will have some players in midfield that can pass and run.
16 Posted 10/07/2020 at 08:28:27
The two forwards were starved of any service, and I have to say, DCL seems unable to create or fashion any chances for himself. Both Richarlison and DCL literally had only two clearcut opportunities during the game, one finished like the natural striker he is, and one lacked any sort of basic control.
Maybe DCL just had an off night. Although Moise Kean shows plenty of pace, and energy, he hasn't convinced me he can become a regular goal scorer and I'm not sure we have the strength in depth in that department to allow him the time to develop.
I'd cash in if there are any suitors in Italy and use the money to add real quality to the squad.
No quick fixes with this squad I'm afraid, I see a couple of years of slowly rebuilding a team bereft of real talent, and of us having to wait for the 'high earners' to run down their contracts.
One final word, the £35m spent on Iwobi was an act of criminal negligence, slow, can't tackle, creates nothing, and shows no stomach for a fight.
17 Posted 10/07/2020 at 08:37:26
I suppose we are better able to get results while playing badly since Carlo arrived, unfortunately we are getting plenty of practice at perfecting this particular art.
After 34 games the table does not lie!
18 Posted 10/07/2020 at 08:53:20
Let Anceolliti buy his own players or we will never move forward as a club. The director of football role has been a total failure at Everton.
19 Posted 10/07/2020 at 09:35:10
Director of Football doesn't suit Everton Football Club and quite clearly nor does having bucket loads of cash to piss away on other teams rejects that are laughing all the way to the bank having joined Everton.
Moyes scoured the league's and brought in canny signings more often than not for cheap fees, even the potshot he took on Fellaini at 15 million seemed like a lot at the time but he more than paid that fee back and was sold on for a good profit.
We should be scouting the Championship clubs for hungry eager players that want to play in the top level.
Too many risks on unknowns from abroad or rejects from other teams, players that couldn't make it at those clubs for a reason.
20 Posted 10/07/2020 at 10:06:58
We can only suspect that desperate to get a return on his generous investments, Moshiri has moved to a 'tried the rest now try the best' policy in his appointment of the proven expert, Ancelotti. Quite possibly influenced by his old partner, Usmanov, our man has 'gone for broke. 'And so far, it just ain't paying off - almost certainly because our DoFs have not been up to the job and have signed a load of shite just because the price tags attaching indicated they were 'STARS'.
So what's to be done ? All I can think is that if Carlo can't fix it, we are done for. Personally, after more than 70 seasons, I'm about to give up on Everton - football's perennial Jolly Promisers - more because of the leaving of Goodison than the teams' constant failure. But my heart will be with you whatever !
21 Posted 10/07/2020 at 10:09:57
22 Posted 10/07/2020 at 10:13:53
OMO Gomes is going deeper to try get on the ball. In games he is that deep he is on the back defensive line. This is dragging the whole midfield line deeper and leaving both Iowbi and Davis under pressure and isolated, with limited options. Clubs are tactically taken the decision to pressurise Gomes, seeing him as a weakness. This also causes the two wing backs to stay as backs with few options in front of them.
What Ancelotti did in the second half was to sub Gomes and change from a 442 formation to a 352 formation bringing the midfield line back into central midfield. The goal resulted from this. The perennial weaknesses of Everton pass completion in the final third prevented Everton going on to win the games. Calvert Lewin and Richarlison are both poor at this, in that the rarely attempt a forward pass or complete one. . Kean contribute was to run to the races, rather than his customary trot, but never looked like getting there. The only now recognised Everton striker in terms of goal attempts is Richarlison.
If Ancelotti had have started with a 353 Everton would have got beat, the opposition needs to tire themselves out in the first half against a 442 formation, for the 353 formation to be have the space to be successful, due to the lack of pace in tackling and forward movement in midfield.
I just seen highlights of the game, but the pattern is the same as previous games, the difference is the increasing successful tactic of pushing Gomes deep, which he is prone to do under pressure, that all opposition teams have learnt.
23 Posted 10/07/2020 at 10:20:37
I think Brands will be more effective with Ancelotti in charge and may have more control over contracts.
24 Posted 10/07/2020 at 10:21:30
25 Posted 10/07/2020 at 10:28:13
Yes, my outrage at the free-kick not leading to a red is tempered by my (and your) impression that it wasn't a foul in the first place. Whichever way, Mason really has missed school lessons during the pandemic.
26 Posted 10/07/2020 at 10:35:59
I couldn't agree more but with Ancelotti and Brands in charge we won't be looking at championship players.
It's a big 2 transfer windows for Brands and Ancelotti. If we keep buying expensive cast offs and passive nice footballers we are only heading one way.
27 Posted 10/07/2020 at 10:40:03
28 Posted 10/07/2020 at 10:49:30
In many ways we resemble Newcastle from around 2005, when they were nicking in ahead of us to sign the likes of Emre, Scott Parker, mercenary type players that Moyes arguably had lucky escapes from.
That's us now, signing players on astronomical wages and fees but they come here with baggage or off-field issues.
We need the go back to the days of careful signings and ones that want to wear the shirt with pride.
29 Posted 10/07/2020 at 10:52:08
30 Posted 10/07/2020 at 10:55:32
I'm loathe to get on the back of Tom Davies as at least he was trying and showing for the ball but his pass completion last night was 57%. Even worse than that was Calvert-Lewin's whose completion was 41%! By contrast Ings managed 91%. I know DCL is suffering from lack of service but he's got to hold the ball up better than that. His completion rate for the season is 63%. Contrast that with someone like Joelinton who has played lone striker alot in a similarly mediocre team but has managed 77%; Calvert-Lewin works very hard but if he can't retain possession for our team better its a real issue, especially if he's not scoring either.
Southampton pressed us hard and we had no answers really. Depressing stuff.
31 Posted 10/07/2020 at 11:09:09
This non-midfield simply cannot go on. Yesterday and against Tottenham only Anthony Gordon looked like he should be a starter next season.
The numerous others may improve massively alongside the new signings, may rise to the challenge, or may sulk like a spoilt kid. Who knows? well see.
Whatever happens we need quality signings and a midfield worthy of the name.
Carlo is long in the tooth with peerless experience. He will know more than anyone whats needed. We have to give him his head and let him sign who he wants.
I want to see a new Everton next season. A new look midfield and a new mindset.
Good luck Carlo, and dont let Brands off the hook, bang on his door at 9 am and bang again at 5pm everyday. Make sure he delivers.
32 Posted 10/07/2020 at 11:21:55
33 Posted 10/07/2020 at 11:39:10
34 Posted 10/07/2020 at 11:39:10
Pickford - No he would give the position away as he arsed around
Coleman - Yes Deffo
Digne - Yes
Keane - only in a siege
Holgate - Deffo
Siggy - No way
Gomes - would deffo try to help even when wounded
Davies - No
Iwobi - No way
Richy - Deffo ( He's lead the charge )
DCL - sort off
Sidibe - No
bernard - No
Walcott - No
Delph - No
Baines - yes Sir.
Gordon - appears to be a trooper and ready for battle
Kean - ?????
Now remember these ?
Ratcliffe - every day of the week
Reid - He'd pick off the enemy if they got one of yours
Gray - He'd take half a dozen of the enemy with him as he lay down
Southall - none shall pass
Watson - over my dead body
Get my drift.
35 Posted 10/07/2020 at 11:46:54
We were the polar opposite, slow and poor passing, our players were contstantly about 1 metre away from theirs when they had the ball, and our strikers (principally Richarlison) was isolated and made to come backwards to receive the ball, giving the opposition plenty of time to get 2-3 players in him. Only once was a forward pass made for him to run on to and we scored.
Sidibe showed how much we need a winger. We improved with him giving an option down the right and stretching the opposition, but he is not good enough. I actually believe we miss Walcott, and he'd be a heck of an improvement in Iwobi who is too slow, and incredibly lacklustre in possession. But a winger (or rampaging full back should 3-5-2 prevail) must be too if the shopping list.
Then replacements for Gomes, Delph and Siggy in midfield. Davies can still improve.
And Kean is a lost cause. Sell him and go for someone who can really compete with DCL.
36 Posted 10/07/2020 at 11:53:50
37 Posted 10/07/2020 at 11:54:52
352, of course.
38 Posted 10/07/2020 at 11:55:31
Sunday I'm not even bothering, decided on a day out with my wife instead. Everton just drains you without fail.
39 Posted 10/07/2020 at 11:58:26
Our movement off the ball is shockingly bad and I dont understand why as Southampton showed last night that this can indeed be coached into a team. I can only surmise that it is because Gomes, Siggy and Iwobi do not work hard enough or put in the grit and determination required in order to be allowed to play at this level. Certainly what the last two games have shown is that we cannot play a midfield four as we have too many passengers and get swamped.
40 Posted 10/07/2020 at 12:12:00
Certainly having a more mobile midfield and being able to play a slightly higher defensive line would help give our forwards options but even so I think their hold up and retention skills since the restart have been poor. Richie and DCL look on a totally different wavelength, sometimes going for the same ball and often failing to read each others flicks ons etc.
41 Posted 10/07/2020 at 12:24:15
Another fair point as someone pointed out, the gap between DCL and the midfield is huge, so where are these easy passes going to come from? Him and Richy aren't going to be playing neat 1-2's.
42 Posted 10/07/2020 at 12:31:08
I'm a big fan of Dom's and of course the service and movement from midfield has not been good enough but equally his use of the ball needs to improve if he's going to become a top level striker. Part of it may well be coaching as it looked to me like him and Richie were not sure exactly where they should both be at times. Ancelotti has said in the past that he likes to let forward players have freedom rather than set systems but maybe that freedom is not helping them currently.
43 Posted 10/07/2020 at 12:38:17
Anyways, we're talking about the attack which as we know, is not the problem area.
44 Posted 10/07/2020 at 13:02:18
But his pass completion is poor because of how deep we defend. The balls he gets are not into his feet but to battle for. Any duel he wins is a generally a flick on, and as we sit deep with no breaking midfielders it goes to opposing side almost all of the time. Even if he retains the ball, the lack of support means he has no short passes but more difficult ones to attempt.
Richarlison is much better at bringing the ball down, technically better and can dribble so often creates a foul or draws support because of his ball retention. However ultimately sitting deep is the reason, over protective of our slow back line and passive midfield, is draining the life from both our forwards.
Equally the lack of spark from Kean is exactly the above, he can finish, but how many opportunities does he get? In the last two games has he had one clear chance? I believe because hes starved of the ball, because we sit so deep is to dribble and power his way through, he almost did moments after coming on. It makes him look callow and greedy.
Until Ancellotti moves the average position of the team at least 10-15yds upfield its this fayre until we get new players in. Our creativity therefore comes from Digne and only him, forced to do 70yd doggies, take the corners and free kicks. Hes looking fatigued too.
We are due a walloping playing like this because the team gets no respite because we dont hold the ball and dictate tempo. I think Sunday we will get our ass handed to us unless hes changes formation and personnel.
45 Posted 10/07/2020 at 13:09:33
We did look a bit better in the 352. It allowed Digne and Sidibe to get forward and crucially for one of the central players, usually Davies, to move forwards trying to support the front 2. As awful as he's been in the last two games i'd be tempted to try Iwobi in that sort of a role, a box-to-box 10 hybrid; not that he deserves it but we've got to find some way to get the best out of player we invested so much in. Him and Gordon could maybe play the forward thinking midfielders whilst Davies (or Gomes) sits.
It could be that this is the way forwards till we can get a midfielder worth the name.
Something crazy like this:
Mina Keane Holgate
Sidibe Iwobi Davies Gordon Digne
At least on paper that team gives us a little more energy and athleticism. Relies on Iwobi and Gordon working hard but i think they can do that.
46 Posted 10/07/2020 at 13:15:17
Let's get something out of these games, PLEASE
47 Posted 10/07/2020 at 13:20:39
That team you mooted has enough energy to complete and the back three could include Baines or Coleman. Id play Baines for balance, and ability to pass out. We lack good passers, so Id find a way to shoe horn Leighton in without putting a huge physical toll on him. That can only help Iwobi and Gordon to the on the ball, in turn get the forwards into the game. Change it he must!
48 Posted 10/07/2020 at 13:20:50
49 Posted 10/07/2020 at 14:32:47
I don't think it is that crazy. Something's got to give and the 442 isn't working with the players at our disposal. We may even get a tune out of Sigurdsson in a no10 role instead of Tom in the middle. He has to try something different it is a complete waste of time otherwise.
50 Posted 10/07/2020 at 14:40:11
I like your suggested team in a 3-5-2 and it should suit Iwobi in particular
51 Posted 10/07/2020 at 14:46:26
52 Posted 10/07/2020 at 14:53:44
I would play Holgate defensive mid in a 4-3-3 (4-5-1) with Sidibe and Davies, front 3 of Richy Gordon and DCL.
53 Posted 10/07/2020 at 16:00:46
It seems that the whole football side of the club are resigned to just turn up and see out the rest of the season regardless of results. Southampton have a team that early in the season were very poor and at 1 time had 9 goals put passed them but with a couple of signings and a manager who has given them what Everton have not got and that is a desire to win.
they turned it around.
What happens at F.F. are the players coached in mini games with no contact unless they hurt themselves,? why after all the managerial changes it was D.F. in a temp position who was able to fire up the players to fight for every loose ball and win the 50-50 exchanges.?
I was, and most probably quite a number of other supporters, was surprised when Everton signed Ancelotti as manager, and thought finally we have a manager who can compete with the best.
I realize that he needs time and another couple of transfer windows to show what his team will look like, but at the same time, a manager with his reputation that supporters have read about, should be able to show, instead of reading about it, he has the ability to at least have the players fit and have the desire to wear the Everton shirt and badge and install some desire and effort in their games.
He picks the team, he provides the tactics and formations, he works with the coaches and he is responsible when the players play with no desire or effort.
We have about 5 players who are willing to fight for their places, so that leaves 6 to be replaced, so next season is going to be interesting as we also have at least 2-3 players that the club maybe pressured into selling.
The 1 thing that supporters have no time for, and that is what has been on display for the last couple of games, that is lack of effort and desire to win, change that until the end of season' it is at least Ancelotti and his coaching staff can do to get the supporters back on their side,
54 Posted 10/07/2020 at 16:21:53
BTW, Sam, what do you think of Marc Roca as a possible transfer target for our midfield? Espanyol just got relegated and will have to sell him. Doesn't score much but a lovely distributor (sorta like somebody we have who isn't getting it done).
55 Posted 10/07/2020 at 16:35:38
56 Posted 10/07/2020 at 17:10:02
Is there a malignant force at work behind the scenes at Goodison?
I can fully understand the team being inconsistent and for some players being out of their depth, but I cannot understand a lack of appetite or determination shown by the vast majority of the squad - not only for a couple of games, but for almost their entire Everton career.
The owner, the board and the management have to sort out whatever lies behind this issue, because it's beginning to get on supporters nerves.
Football with or without fans seems to mean too little to too many of the current Everton squad.
57 Posted 10/07/2020 at 17:15:12
C'mon... what's with all these excuses? With or without crowd we bottle it even when just one goal in it. No character and very little talent or challenge to the top four.
"Kenwright Out" would be a great statement of intent.
58 Posted 10/07/2020 at 17:22:24
We've seen some proper dross off the rest of them since the restart. Sigurdsson, Davies, Iwobi, Gomes have been awful. Some fans say Gomes would be good in a 3-in-the-middle midfield but I don't go along with that. Although Gomes is a good footballer, he doesn't get about the pitch enough and the game just passes him by.
Ward-Prowse of Southampton would be a good addition to our squad. He's full of energy, not afraid to put a tackle in, and got a bit of bite in him – something our entire midfield is totally lacking.
59 Posted 10/07/2020 at 17:33:44
60 Posted 10/07/2020 at 18:03:29
So maybe we need to cut some (not all of them) a bit of slack and hope that when life returns to normal, they'll be a different beast.
Just trying to grasp a few straws of reality folks!
61 Posted 10/07/2020 at 18:09:17
That being said if I could choose between Roca and Gomes; well Id tend to go for the youngster.
62 Posted 10/07/2020 at 18:25:50
You can't replace 4 unsuccessful Managers and the players they have brought in for there various systems and expect a proven Successful Manager in three quarters of a season to turn things around and challenge for a top six place, with the same players. The problems of pass completion are not new. What Ancelotti has done is sort out the defence helped by the emergence of Holgate, who could not get a start under Silva. He has made the Schneiderlin holding position in front of the back four redundant , and given Gomes enough rope to hand himself by playing too deep, and probably make him more responsive to what He wants. He
has shown the type of player he wants in the emergence of Gordon and also shown that when players like Davies and Iowbi are pushed forward in th final third they can beat markers they can play to quite a high standard. He also has shown the weaknesses of our forwards in doing the simple things that a good forward should do. Richar!iron has learn't, though because others haven't, especially Calvin Lewin, he is being targeted for special attention, with a impact on Everton s attack.
Ancelotti is doing a good job and he is leaving no hiding places in the Everton team he puts out, where as before there was.
Since the restart due to his team management he has got two draws and a win. I doubt the previous managers could have done it. He has done it with their players.
63 Posted 10/07/2020 at 19:09:54
64 Posted 10/07/2020 at 19:15:01
Will be very interesting to see who comes in this summer. Will it be the likes of Allan and Thiago Silva or Todibo and Sangare. Maybe a mix of energy and experience. At some point next season we will expect to see Everton move beyond ‘organised towards hopefully playing some coherent football the likes of which we saw from Southampton last night.
65 Posted 10/07/2020 at 19:40:02
Soton had a lot more desire to win that game yesterday and how they didn't is beyond me, They are not world beaters but they made Everton look stupid at times.
Carlo has big decisions to make and hopefully he will get the financial backing to move this club forward.
66 Posted 10/07/2020 at 19:42:38
Compariing to Zidane would just be unfair.
67 Posted 10/07/2020 at 19:50:02
68 Posted 10/07/2020 at 20:52:35
Ive also no doubt he knows what needs to be fixed - and the players who can be brought in to improve things.
My concern is that if the assurances we all suspect he was given before signing on are not delivered he may decide to walk. He doesnt strike me as they kind of manager who will hang around waiting for a pay off while flogging a dead horse. The pressure therefore moves to Brands. I hope hes listening to Carlo as most of his recruitment hitherto has been dire - comparable to Walsh.
69 Posted 10/07/2020 at 21:28:18
I will readily admit to not watching one single game since the restart.
However, I have read the match reports and spoken to my family, all Blues, to get their take and reaction.
Everton is my team and in a way my life.
I was without doubt either up in the week after a win and down in the dumps after a loss.
The last few seasons I have felt neither up or down after a result.
Does this mean I am becoming less of a fan???
Less passion or drive??
I really don't know.
I was, and still am pissed off with the Club and players since the season was curtailed.
After all the intimations about what players should and should not do for the Club, NHS and community, what really have they done? Does anyone actually know?
The Club were only interested in one thing, follow the herd and chase the money.
Anyway next season I will be reading and maybe contributing to the live forum.
I have just purchased a season ticket for my second Club, Hibernian.
They're shit too by the way, but at least they know it!
I always have a good time when I go there as all the wife's family are from Leith and I am sure it will be far more enjoyable than Goodison, until Ancelotti gets to grips with this lot.
Oh yes, the pies are better too!
70 Posted 10/07/2020 at 21:35:29
I expect Ancelotti to keep working on the players he has and try to improve them. They will be very aware by now that Ancelotti has a overall playing objective and he is prepared to let players sink or swim within it. Obviously this is Ancelotti way of getting those egoed and highly paid players who where brought in for different systems to do what he wants. The players that have not played well, have had a torrid experience even without howling Everton fans at them.
There will be a few players brought in, as Brands has said, but I think they will be more in terms of your list, rather than the media speculation. More players will be moved on though. I think Sigurdsson will be quaking in his boots after the Schneiderlin transfer. Ancelotti will be also looking for emerging player from within like Gordon.
The test I will be watching for, is when Moshiri releases money at the end of the transfer window as he has done in this past two seasons. This will let me know how much Ancelotti and Brands have control over transfers. I do believe Brands is good at his job, but he has to follow the Managers instructions and it seems he was not given contracts responsibilities, which has lead to interference in transfers from other parties, making his job more difficult.
Ancelotti has to have a midfield line that stays within the parameters of midfield with mobility and pace and is able to link up( as you have pointed out). I expect someone to come in, with this objective and existing players, including Gomes to worked on to accommodate this objective. I also think he will want more interplay in the final third. He will want players like Iowbi and Davies to engage more in the final third. In attack he will be looking for improvement. Richarlison and Bernard (prior to the break, seems to have personal issues ) did improve. Calvert Lewin looked promising, but has regressed imo. It will be interesting to see what he does with Kean, he needs a lot of work.
The defence has really improved and this is Ancelottis biggest achievement and is the source of a good points tally. It was pointed out by a very observant Poster how Colmans play had changed and I think other defensive players have also developed.
Your Coherent Football is a wise objective and will gradually take shape over the coming season.
I hadn't thought of the players Ancelotti had managed. I get the impression he is actually challenged and that he had being eyeing Everton for some time. I am certain that Ancelotti tenure will be remembered by Evertonians for years to come.
71 Posted 10/07/2020 at 22:45:11
72 Posted 11/07/2020 at 07:16:03
All you have to do is look at the new trim and fit-looking Ancelotti. He looks younger and as if he means business.
73 Posted 11/07/2020 at 11:12:43
It's all very well the VAR people saying he & we got it wrong about the Ward-Prowse penalty and the Richarlison decision (or lack of). What if Ward-Prowse had scored the 'penalty.' How do they compensate us for that? What if Richarlison had got a penalty when chopped down en route to goal and we scored the pen. I believe that many of the comments on here may have been less critical if the scoreline had read 2-1 to us. I know the performance still wasn't anywhere near good, but a win and 3 points does ease the pain of watching.
As for the folk calling for a wholesale clear-out... I used to look at Southampton in the first part of the season and think: Why are they down at the bottom of the league? They have some good effective players, yet can't seem to quite get it together. Now they are on a roll. Same group of players, but hugely improved performances and results.
Let's face it, Klopp took over a pretty average group of players and made them into a pretty efficient squad over the 4 years he has been there. I know he bought in some, but those he bought in were not ready made superstars. The backbone and many players are those he inherited. Pochettino took over a group of players at Spurs which under-performed season after season and look what he achieved with them. Now, the same group of players are once again under-performing under Moanreen.
So, I guess my point is, that while we don't have all the best players on the planet, much more can be done with the squad we do have. Despite all the disparaging remarks posted on here, on just about everyone in an Everton shirt, at one time or another, there are some decent players in this squad. Clearly, they are in need of more help, and a big dose of confidence. Perhaps some confidence may have been gleaned with a 2-1 win vs Southampton, but Lee Mason put paid to that. Did we not see just a glimpse of what these players can do when Big Dunc was at the helm?
It's such early days for Carlo, and we have all known, all along, that the vision is to build our club into something good, strong and sustainable. I think that gaining Euro football for next season would have come a season too early for us. Having a clear out every time things are not going well, in my opinion, is not sustainable. I would much prefer to see a Manager who can transform the group he has into a squad that is valued by the Everton fans and feared by other teams. I am a wishin' and a hopin' that Carlo is the man to do just that. COYB.
74 Posted 11/07/2020 at 11:43:24
I don't think that a win would have reduced the reaction on here and elsewhere, it was a dismal display albeit against a team running into good form.
A victory would have papered over the cracks that have been evident for a very long time. I agree that Lee Mason is inexplicably poor as an official but there seems to be no officials that meet the standard we should expect.
As for a manager it's his job to try and improve the existing players in the squad and slowly but surely replace some of them with better quality.
Klopp inherited a squad which had come close to being champions before he arrived, therefore his starting position was far better than what Carlo has to deal with.
We probably won't know until Christmas time whether Carlo can turn this club around or not - many of us would accept defeat in some games if we could see a steady improvement on the pitch, it's not completely about results, if a discernable improvement can be seen, but positive results can buy time and lift the pressure.
75 Posted 11/07/2020 at 17:30:47
A decent direct right winger wouldn't go amiss either.
76 Posted 11/07/2020 at 17:49:36
That's where our hope lies, as you suggest. If we played with the style and spirit and speed of Southampton then we'd all be happy even if some bad results happened along the way. Leicester and Wolves have shown similar.
It can be done; the last two Richarlison goals have shown that we can do it too. We're miles away from where we want to be but let's start behaving like a proper team: get fitter, get a few hard and skilful players in and get some momentum. You're right, Karen, there can be transformations. We all have to believe it, however distant it may seem.
77 Posted 11/07/2020 at 18:07:42
78 Posted 11/07/2020 at 18:36:19
79 Posted 11/07/2020 at 18:45:28
80 Posted 11/07/2020 at 19:09:09
81 Posted 11/07/2020 at 19:11:09
82 Posted 11/07/2020 at 19:12:56
83 Posted 11/07/2020 at 19:13:23
84 Posted 11/07/2020 at 19:15:19
We need to get that team spirit magic back somehow.
85 Posted 11/07/2020 at 19:18:25
86 Posted 11/07/2020 at 19:32:44
87 Posted 11/07/2020 at 19:42:10
88 Posted 11/07/2020 at 19:50:42
Everton don't seem to have these kind of players throughout the team and that makes them an easy mark, as Southampton showed the other day. Wolves will be another serious examination of the Blues character tomorrow so I am not expecting much.
89 Posted 11/07/2020 at 19:57:32
Sheffield Utd, Leicester, Wolves, the RS too. When you have good ownership and are run well at the upper management level, you can put together a first-rate team.
It's never easy, but we can see it's not THAT hard.
90 Posted 11/07/2020 at 20:03:54
Players will always take easy money and that's what they receive at Everton we have no standards or disipline anymore. It's all too cosy. Supporters are being sold short, the end product is devoid of entertainment.
91 Posted 11/07/2020 at 20:21:57
Kenwright has lowered all expectations, and just being in the Premier League is enough for him (and still being at Woodison). Now we have seen a new rise of teams acting like professional units and overtake us. Leicester, Wolves, Sheff Utd and even Burnley (at the moment).
Only on a thread yesterday someone was praising Bill for being our chairman stating he is a true blue and continues to support our club and fans" – Exasperated is an understatement, why do we bother eh, just why!
92 Posted 11/07/2020 at 20:30:59
What separates really good players (there are always exceptions like Messi, Ronaldo etc who are on another level) is how strong their minds are. Sadly we seem to have more than our fair share of weak-minded players. Happy to be professional footballers and all the trappings it delivers.
Give me a Reid, Gray, Ratcliffe, Southall type of player above a technically good player. We need winners who will bollock team members who are not performing. These snowflakes wouldn't hack it playing in that mid-80s team.
93 Posted 11/07/2020 at 20:32:46
94 Posted 11/07/2020 at 21:11:10
Wilder has neither players nor the money to have such lofty aspirations – he is in the situation that Moyes was faced with at Everton. And adopts the same approach by fashioning the tactics within the skills (or lack thereof) of the players he can trust to put in a good shift for him. Jagielka typifies the breed and still showed it in his cameo tonight.
To be frank, I doubt if more than 3 or 4 of our current team would meet Wilder's criteria – or cost a tenth of what they are robbing at Goodison!
95 Posted 11/07/2020 at 21:44:21
The manager must get two midfielders to drive the team. A player who does the dirty work. Keeps the back four protected, never ventures into the opposition half. A Carsley, Horne, or Parkinson. Then a player who can press going forward, link midfield to attack. At present, we don't have such players.
I want my friends to say "Bloody hell, Everton Saturday..." I want us to be difficult to play against. If this doesn't happen, then mid-table is all we can expect and nothing else. If boring means a win comes from one-nil and a last-minute goal, then so be it. No desire equals no success in any industry. At any level of football, hard work is a starting point. Going back to basics would be a start.
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