With no live Everton games to watch for 3 months, the 5-minute highlights of our inter-squad game at Goodison Park on Saturday was gold dust!
Having watched it 18 times now, trying to get back into the swing of watching a full game, I started playing “Spot the Player” and hoped I could glean some much-desired insight into Carlo’s restart philosophy.
My initial thoughts were that the game was played at a very fast pace or I had set my iPad to fast forward! Apart from that, I struggled to work out if we were playing 3-4-3, 4-1-4-1, 1-2-3-4 or 3-3-3-1. Where are our tactical experts when you need them?
So, going back to the title of this epistle, who did you spot? I guess I have been spending too much time doing online quizzes! But naming the players without stopping the play is a good challenge.
These are who I spotted in both blue and yellow. I started naming the players in each team but got the impression that some may have swapped shirts. The more eagled eyed of you will correct me!
Schneiderlin (in track bottoms!)
Sigurdsson (I think cos I heard his name called out but didn’t actually see him do much. Nothing changes!)
Keane (great headed goal to finish but why wasn’t he marking himself?)
Niasse (looked the sharpest, fastest, keenest but still could not hit the target)
Richarison for some of the game
I think that leaves me a few short. Digne and Kean must have been there? Obviously the following are already injured and did not appear:
Reminds me of taking attendance for my PE classes many years ago “Where are those 4?” “They are all absent sir!”
Well, that’s my attempt at playing Spot the Player! Can anyone beat 20 and fill in the missing 2. Answers on a postcard please!
Reader Comments (60)
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1 Posted 15/06/2020 at 09:05:25
Keane looked sharp with his heading – I hope he can bring that threat to the derby game. The forward players all looked pretty sharp – the midfield was pretty anonymous.
I predict a midfield 4 of: Sigurdsson, Davies, Sidibé and Iwobi or Bernard. Will Ancelotti risk playing Schneiderlin when he is on the verge of a transfer? My predicted starting XI:
Coleman Keane Holgate Digne
Sidibé Davies Sigurdsson Bernard
Subs: Virginia, Gibson (or was that huge lad Branthwaite?), Baines, Baningime, Adeniran, Gordon, Schneiderlin, Kean, Iwobi.
2 Posted 15/06/2020 at 09:11:36
Don't really understand why we didn't do a friendly against a local lower league team. Seems like we are underprepared, especially considering the opposition and significance of the first game.
3 Posted 15/06/2020 at 09:36:48
4 Posted 15/06/2020 at 10:24:42
But pick any combination of those 5 and the confidence levels don't rise dramatically. Highlights just how badly we need a central midfielder.
I would advocate two, a safer bet (the more I think about Allan, the more I think he maybe is too old now for a long-term contract at his likely fee and wage demands). Carlo needs backing if he wants him but I would rather we invested in a younger quality midfielder on the up. Who we could lure? ... I will leave that to you, Sam, to offer some names. For the second midfield signing, a more speculative buy (Sangare?)
With Gomes as a starter, then Davies, Delph, and Adeniran giving us backup and who knows, stepping up, it gives us some alternatives.
I think we have to factor Gbamin out of the equation all-together and view him as a bonus if and when he returns.
5 Posted 15/06/2020 at 10:53:17
The "not as bad as we make out" Schneiderlin would ordinarily be our best bet in front of the defence but motivation at the present time may be even more of an issue than usual.
Unfortunately, any variation of your side, plus 4-4-2, involves throwing someone in at the deep end or a very unbalanced formation.
Any result will depend on good tactics, discipline and tremendous hard work. Aren't we also due some luck too?
6 Posted 15/06/2020 at 11:16:34
Heaven help us if that is the pairing on Sunday. That would surely be the slowest pairing you could possibly have. I think Ossie would lap both of them in a race.
7 Posted 15/06/2020 at 11:29:22
Hundreds of millions spent and we still have shite like this in the squad. Surely our owner, Chairman and Director of Football cannot be satisfied with the low quality??
8 Posted 15/06/2020 at 11:31:22
Their midfield is not super talented but, unless ,he chooses the players who will make us most compact, they will run us into the ground.
We are looking pretty ramshackle I'm afraid to say, but we simply must stay in the game, then let's see if their desperation to win leaves a couple of doors ajar...
9 Posted 15/06/2020 at 11:34:23
10 Posted 15/06/2020 at 11:48:04
Gomes holding with Davies and Iwobi either side and Sigurdsson behind the front two where he is best. If he really doesn't fancy Iwobi, then perhaps use Sidibé there for his energy.
11 Posted 15/06/2020 at 11:53:42
Coleman Keane Holgate
Sidibé Davies Sigurdsson Iwobi Digne
Baines could also maybe be an option as a deep-lying midfielder.
12 Posted 15/06/2020 at 11:57:25
13 Posted 15/06/2020 at 12:42:14
Their full-backs do hit superb long diagonal balls, but any team thinking that's all they do, or that's all you have to stop, is in for a fearful hiding.
The best way to deal with the long diagonal is to stop it at source – in midfield!
14 Posted 15/06/2020 at 12:42:27
Without those three, it doesn't matter what formation he plays.
15 Posted 15/06/2020 at 12:45:51
The obvious danger is up front and they do launch it, but that midfield does all the simple things I expect, and rarely see, from ours. The basics.
16 Posted 15/06/2020 at 12:52:02
Calvert-Lewin and Anthony Gordon both looked very sharp. Dominic bagging a couple as well as running well with the ball. Tidy runs and finish by Gordon also.
Iwobi and Bernard switched off for a short corner between Baines and Gordon, giving the latter time to put it on a plate for a thumping header by Michael Keane who also got a second header later.
Of the fringe players, I think I identified the likes of Feeney, Markelo, Baningime, Adeniran, but no Gibson or Branthwaite, both of whom I would have expectred to feature.
It was confusing because the players appeared to swap bibs also.
I liked one scene when you can hear Baines instructing Gordon about positioning following an attack from the other team.
The crumbs we live on, eh?
17 Posted 15/06/2020 at 12:54:10
The option is to let our midfield sit and play long balls of our own to three pacy attackers, say Calvert-Lewin, Richarlison and Iwobi. This is probably our best option with what we have available. But to do this effectively we need to win the ball from Liverpool in open play when they are over-commited.
18 Posted 15/06/2020 at 12:56:29
Were that to turn out to be an accurate appraisal, I can see the highest severance pay in the history of the Premier League being paid out by our clueless owner!
19 Posted 15/06/2020 at 13:29:13
Trust me, I know nothing.
20 Posted 15/06/2020 at 13:42:13
I'd jump at that right now.
21 Posted 15/06/2020 at 13:49:34
22 Posted 15/06/2020 at 13:51:37
Watching the games, he appears slim due to his height. But that boy is all muscle. No wonder opponents have such problems handling him.
23 Posted 15/06/2020 at 14:03:34
24 Posted 15/06/2020 at 14:13:34
We are jostling with Burnley and Palace due to dreadful and awful additions to the squad on crazy high contracts. The additions of Lukaku and Barry seem a long time ago.
Somehow Carlo and his team have to build a team around Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison, whilst keeping the big boys with there Champions League football carrot away.
25 Posted 15/06/2020 at 14:18:15
26 Posted 15/06/2020 at 14:38:27
Yes, Liverpool, Spurs, Wolves and Leicester are stronger now. However, Man Utd, Arsenal have really fallen away since then. Chelsea are in transition. Also, Aston Villa were our top 5 or 6 rivals for a period. They were very strong back then under Martin O'Neil.
I think it's a measure of how average we've become. We're no longer best of the rest (or close to).
27 Posted 15/06/2020 at 16:07:37
Acid test, do we think our best, fully fit first 11 could beat either of these 2 sides:
An approximate Moyes 11:
Howard, Coleman, Baines, Jagielka, Distin, Arteta, Fellaini, Cahill, Mirallas, Pienaar and Saha.
An approximate Martinez 11:
Howard, Coleman, Baines, Jagielka, Stones, McCarthy, Barry, Barkley, Mirallas, Deulofeu, Lukaku
Apart from Richarlison, I'm not sure who from the current set up would get into either side.
28 Posted 15/06/2020 at 16:21:42
If Brands would have had a decent window last summer, then who knows what would have happened this season? We had 8 clean sheets out the last 11 games, that was definitely something to work on, so let's hope the recruitment improves... otherwise, we won't improve nowhere near enough for where we want to get to.
29 Posted 15/06/2020 at 16:46:56
30 Posted 15/06/2020 at 16:52:42
31 Posted 15/06/2020 at 17:20:06
32 Posted 15/06/2020 at 17:35:26
That said, however, Robert's point is a solid one. I've been watching some of our "classic" games on NBCSN, including the Man Utd game from 2010 this weekend, and our 7th-place lineup then was much better than today's. Cahill was so damn good... Arteta just left Gomes in the dust..... on and on.
33 Posted 15/06/2020 at 17:50:55
In Moyes's team, you could only really count Fellaini as a big money signing, whilst in the Martinez one there were only really Lukaku and McCarthy who would be considered “big money”.
Now we have Pickford, Digne, Mina, Keane, Schneiderlin, Sigurdsson, Gomes, Gbamin, Iwobi, Walcott, Kean and Richarlison who have all been bought for north of £20million. Barring Richarlison, every one of these still has question marks next to their name. That's one hell of an expensive incompetent first XI.
34 Posted 15/06/2020 at 18:00:34
Those teams who are energy based, pressing units surely cannot keep it up in a schedule which is extremely demanding. I think those who rotate the best will do the best, even if you are taking a better player out for a lesser but fresher player, I think that's the way forward. Almost like an extended Christmas schedule.
I think younger players who often find the atmosphere tricky might prosper too. These games have a reserve or youth team feel to them and, as such, maybe Anthony Gordon might benefit? Mix in the inevitable slower pace and lack of contact I've seen in the Bundesliga games, it furthers my instinct that even Sigurdsson and Iwobi might find a niche for the last 9 games.
35 Posted 16/06/2020 at 03:39:30
36 Posted 16/06/2020 at 07:00:08
37 Posted 16/06/2020 at 08:31:26
38 Posted 16/06/2020 at 08:55:06
On a related note, is Bolasie now back with us and available to play? Presumably that ship has sailed but interested to know.
39 Posted 16/06/2020 at 09:41:00
This wont be easy, logic says they will be mentally sharper than every other team, but if a player knows he can be replaced after an hour, then this should help them to run their bollocks off, knowing they might not have to play a full 90 minutes, first game back.
40 Posted 16/06/2020 at 10:25:30
I don't particularly like that team but I don't think Bernard is strong enough to compete against their athletic players and, whilst I think Iwobi may still come good, he too could go missing in this one.
An option would be to play Kean in a front three but withdraw the two wider strikers to sit deep and break. Trying to select a team really hammers home how poor our midfield players have been this season and, with no crowd to help, I am fearing a rout. Time for Carlo to show what he can do.
41 Posted 16/06/2020 at 11:31:36
42 Posted 16/06/2020 at 11:51:07
43 Posted 16/06/2020 at 11:59:26
44 Posted 16/06/2020 at 12:09:07
Whether we like it or not, this is a fucking good side they have. They would be delighted to think we would be naive enough to go with a simplistic sit deep and knock it over the top plan.
The main reason they, as a team, are so much better than us is, not because the likes of Henderson and Milner are more skillful than the likes of Sigurdsson or Gomes. It's because they play with so much more energy than we do. More hunger and desire... There is only one way to counter that.
Whoever Ancelotti selects has got to be prepared to match or better their lung-bursting efforts and whilst a long ball to Calvert-Lewin could be the key to unlocking them, we can't afford to be too predictable and rely on it or they will murder us. We have got to mix it up.
Sorry, but there is no easy solution; if we sit back, they will abandon their long diagonal and simply overwhelm us. There is no short cut, no lazy way to spare us a midfield battle.
It would be nice to think they will be sympathetic to our plight and play a seven-a-side game, leave the midfield out of it, but if we know we are vulnerable in that area, you can bet your life that they will too.
If we are to have a realistic chance of beating the fuckers, we have got to have and win the unavoidable battles all over the park.
45 Posted 16/06/2020 at 12:09:41
46 Posted 16/06/2020 at 12:33:18
47 Posted 16/06/2020 at 13:29:38
48 Posted 16/06/2020 at 13:37:44
49 Posted 16/06/2020 at 13:52:36
Full-blooded commitment will see us get a result, IMO, the main difficulty being the corrupt FA appointing red-nose Mike Dean.
50 Posted 16/06/2020 at 20:12:32
We have great players in attack and there is a goal or two in this game for us. So there are threads of optimism. Also, the break may have done Sigurdsson the world of good. Since the summer, he has been a different player, distracted and not enjoying his football. A bit of introspection over the last three months could put him back on track.
0-0 until the last five minutes and Sigurdsson scores a screamer from just outside the box. Final score: Everton 1-0 Liverpool.
Yes, yes, I know. I've been locked down too long.
51 Posted 16/06/2020 at 20:29:27
52 Posted 16/06/2020 at 20:37:45
It's been a long break from football for all teams, the Sky RS propaganda machine will be going into overdrive the next few days as is likely BBC and ITV.
Let's hope the players fight like wolves and get stuck into them. For me, more shooting from 20-30 yards, and let's steam the RS. That's the dream, always is, but EFC is over due a home win versus them.
No VAR, 5 subs, it will keep their officials on their toes, let's hope Everton prevail, and they don't win the title next Sunday.
53 Posted 16/06/2020 at 21:03:35
For the first two minutes, it's the 5-a-side game. It helpfully flashes up the goal scorer. And who was mustard in his finishing in this game was... Michael Keane!
After the 2 minute mark, you see 3 separate windows with Richarlison, Kean and Calvert-Lewin doing impressive movement and shooting drill practice.
Richarlison and Kean clinical in their finishing, Calvert-Lewin scuffs a couple but still good. Joao Virginia in goal is made to look a mug!
A good watch.
54 Posted 16/06/2020 at 22:05:29
55 Posted 16/06/2020 at 22:15:40
Thanks for posting that – at least Carlo is looking to give them good shooting drills.
Who was the baldheaded player that looked like Delph?
56 Posted 16/06/2020 at 22:46:37
His name flashed up when he smoked one home.
So either this footage was before his injury, or he isn't badly injured.
57 Posted 16/06/2020 at 22:49:37
58 Posted 16/06/2020 at 23:27:58
Let's hope it's the latter. We need all the reinforcements we can get.
59 Posted 16/06/2020 at 23:47:16
60 Posted 17/06/2020 at 10:23:10
It would be a massive bonus if Moise Kean has come on further since the lockdown. Before that, he was just beginning to show what he can do. He looked sharp in the wee clip there so it will be interesting to see if he can make more progress.
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