Theo Walcott has spoken of the improved morale at Everton thanks to the influence of new manager, Carlo Ancelotti, and an impressive uptick in form since Marco Silva's dismissal two months ago.
Walcott netted a dramatic 90th-minute winner at Watford on Saturday as the Blues came back from 2-0 down to win 3-2 despite having been reduced to 10 men following Fabian Delph's sending-off after 71 minutes.
The former Arsenal man admits that he has been doing extra gym sessions in recent weeks to ensure that he has the stamina to last the full 90 minutes and it came in handy as he kept pace with team-mates Richarlison and Moise Kean as they raced away on the counter-attack to score the decisive goal at Vicarage Road.
Walcott puts Everton's uptick in form down to Ancelotti and an improved spirit in the camp after the players arranged a get-together at Christmas in lieu of an official club event.
“We ended up not having a Christmas party,” Walcott said in The Telegraph, explaining that the players ended up having a lower-key affair of their own. “Things weren't great at the time, so we made the right decision. It was a sort of private event and it worked so maybe we will do more.”
The winger explained that with the calming influence of Ancelotti, things have been less intense at Finch Farm and the players have been able to relax a little and get to know each other a bit better.
“He is a winner,” Walcott said of the Italian, who has lost just one Premier League game in seven since taking over on Boxing Day. “Our manager gets a sense of calmness around the players. He brews confidence in you. He is so relaxed when he talks to you, he just talks to you like a human being, he doesn't treat you any differently.”
“[We'd] not had a game for 10 days, so we have been working on the training ground and the manager has been able to get his message across to the players. Not just that. We have been able to socialise off the pitch as a team.
“It's nice to see each other outside of football. That brought us together a little bit more; we are very together anyway but you could see people coming out of their shell a little bit more.”
“We want to be together. If we want to push on and go somewhere we have to all be together, players, staff, fans everyone in the community. I feel that is really important to the club.”
Reader Comments (110)
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1 Posted 03/02/2020 at 07:13:35
2 Posted 03/02/2020 at 07:15:54
Thing is. It shouldnt take £12m per year to suggest getting to know your colleagues over a plate of vegan shashlick and decaf lattes might improve morale.
3 Posted 03/02/2020 at 07:27:17
4 Posted 03/02/2020 at 07:34:23
Yes, I am an optimist (and sarcastic). COYB
5 Posted 03/02/2020 at 07:40:45
6 Posted 03/02/2020 at 08:02:20
Everyone knows you run the extra mile for your mates, so to see this headline, it shows exactly what has been missing at Everton for years? We have all read about DNA, and what do Evertonians want, and without being able to properly put our fingers on it, hopefully now we have got our solution?
Paul Tran, has been going on about us having “a manager” for years, and this is exactly what a good manager does, he brings everyone together, ably assisted by his number two, who showed everyone how much you can achieve when you actually pull together, so this title is music to my ears, and hopefully the start of a proper Everton revival.
Watching on Saturday, when Delph, was sent off, and Keane, came on for DCL, I thought we were going to three at the back, especially because thats what would have happened under Silva.
But no, it was much simpler than that, and to have three players sprinting forward, to try and get us a 90th minute winner, is all about desire, which is something Everton have lacked for years, especially away from Goodison Pk, and the result, should only help to “pull everyone together” even more!
7 Posted 03/02/2020 at 08:14:57
I have been a bit of a critic myself of Walcott's performances of late and even in the early part of the game against Watford.
Whereas when he first came to us I thought there may still be a decent player, and his early performances produced a few goals, but recently he has proved he still has pace but his finishing has been woeful verging on schoolboy.
It looks like if fit, CA is eager to employ him in the first team, let's just hope that his 90th minute winner at Watford may just kick start (sorry) his scoring again.
Good to know that there is a camaraderie in the camp and off the pitch too, but these guys are on fantastic wages, it's about time the high earners started earning their corn. Most recent good performers have been from those on lower wages, coincidence or what?
8 Posted 03/02/2020 at 08:39:22
9 Posted 03/02/2020 at 08:51:56
10 Posted 03/02/2020 at 08:53:50
Not exactly the Crazy gang.
11 Posted 03/02/2020 at 09:02:10
12 Posted 03/02/2020 at 09:04:45
17 Posted 03/02/2020 at 09:39:46
Were I do agree is the calmness I can imagine Carlo brings to the club, he isn't under any pressure to prove how good he is, the amount of trophies he has won tells us how good he is. More importantly the players respect him and despite being a calming influence they will know not to cross him or Ferguson. I have to say that the pictures coming out of Finch Farm when Silva was there looked like a happy bunch of players, but seems Walcott is painting a different picture. All to easy for under performing players to blame their ex manager, and trying to suggest that he was part of the disharmony. Sheringham and Cole never spoke for seasons while at Man Utd, but it didnt stop them winning things as they were both professionals, maybe its that professionalism that was missing from the players under Silva.
I know they have all they need at Finch Farm, but maybe they need to install some large mirrors so these players can take a real look why results have been so poor prior to Duncan and Ancelotti taking over.
18 Posted 03/02/2020 at 09:39:58
And Silva was lauded early days for putting his arm around players and getting them all to learn English etc etc. as a big change from Koeman. Can't see Ancelotti being more sociable than Silva,
This article is all stuff and nonsense.
20 Posted 03/02/2020 at 09:45:53
21 Posted 03/02/2020 at 09:52:44
Walcott was a hero for the last minute goal but had been fairly mediocre for most of the match. I expect we will need a better option on the right if we are to push forward next season.
22 Posted 03/02/2020 at 09:56:12
Did anyone tell Prince William that the reason the club is so proactive in this area is because we have the highest number of supporters in the Premiership suffering mental health problems and depression - for obvious reasons.
Also, has anyone considered extending the mental health support programme to our players and support staff - or is that now Ancelotti's job? Maybe Steve Ferns has knowledge in this important area.
24 Posted 03/02/2020 at 10:11:10
I would imagine Moise feels more at home now with a few Italians around the place and as players improve their English I would expect the camaraderie to improve too. Anyone who has played the game should remember dressing rooms where you got on well with a certain group and never really spoke to others. A good night out would often sort that out where people relaxed and allowed their personality to come out and bonding naturally happened. These guys are no different even if they see each other every day. I had 62 partners in my business most of whom I rarely spoke to as we were spread over eight offices throughout the West Country. Twice a year we had a conference over two days and the most important part was the meal and night out after it in whatever city we were in. Thats when we all got talking, bonded with people we had never really met before and good business ideas came out of those drunken nights out. Footballers are, as Theo says, human beings and the same happens on their nights out as indeed HK, as mentioned above, believed passionately.
Common sense really and Carlo seems to have oodles of it.
25 Posted 03/02/2020 at 10:16:54
Over my working life I have worked under many bosses and from my experience if the boss knows his job from A to Z with a bit of fire in him then it takes a good un to pull the wool over his eyes when you get a boss who wants to be everyones mate then human nature tells us the gobby joker in the pack usually rises to the top and the quiet grafter gets pissed off wondering why should I bother if that scally gets away with everything. I think Carlo is getting them into line as some surprises have emerged from the pack that people thought should be gone a few weeks ago.
26 Posted 03/02/2020 at 10:26:27
The difference between success and failure for all but two teams in the current Prem (maybe one after yesterday) is very fine margins.
Long may our "lucky" general rule.
27 Posted 03/02/2020 at 10:37:32
They did all celebrate like mad when Walcott banged in the winner last saturday. Big Dunc started that against Chelski, showing them passion was not just ok but expected.
The only one who stayed calm was Carlo.
28 Posted 03/02/2020 at 11:04:25
On one hand is it just a player sucking up to the new manager after scoring a last minute winner or were they really not used to going to Mecca Bingo under SIlva every Tuesday night?
Silva was so arms over the shoulder with the players he was literally kissing them on the cheek, cant see the Big Don getting down at Bongos bingo and hitting the Karaoke. Strange comments.
29 Posted 03/02/2020 at 11:06:46
We were very lucky to 'Newcastle' Watford in the first half added time.
Agree though, that there does appears to be some newly discovered steel and character in the side. Still chasing a win with 10 men in the 90th Minute is evidence of that.
30 Posted 03/02/2020 at 11:16:48
Team spirit is very big in my other sport of rugby league. When a player makes a mistake, or does a good play, every one of his team-mates will come across and console or congratulate.
31 Posted 03/02/2020 at 11:25:41
They're contracted to take part in a number of interviews and media meetings and they're usually "advised" on things to say.
It's basically meaningless waffle to meet their contractual requirements.
32 Posted 03/02/2020 at 11:28:03
33 Posted 03/02/2020 at 11:29:51
Carlo however, will almost certainly have his own ideas on Theos future!
Making public statements doesnt appear to be the Carlo way, because he doesnt have too.
If it wasnt for Sky press conference commitments, I doubt very much that he would be giving any interviews at all.
He would communicate through his programme notes.
34 Posted 03/02/2020 at 11:36:04
2-0 down going into added time; what odds on Everton going in level?
I had my doubts when the first one went to VAR for handball- that decision could've went either way, depending upon who's watching the game; thankfully and for once, it went Everton's way.
35 Posted 03/02/2020 at 12:01:22
I'd buy a Happy Clappy on E-bay, if I could be arsed to haul myself from this crusty old sofa.
36 Posted 03/02/2020 at 12:05:12
But more annoyingly is the implication that things are more relaxed and less intense. On Saturday with ten men we looked really fit and having Ricky and Theo flying like the red arrows in the dying embers I was hoping to hear how they had been working harder than the previous regime during the 10 day break and the hard work had paid dividends.
The fact that Theo is putting this down to recognising his own shortcomings is a little puzzling.
37 Posted 03/02/2020 at 12:47:14
We werent punished by VAR when, possibly, Silva would have been. Could it be that Ancellotti has a higher profile, is more respected by officials and consequently can “get away “ with decisions in the same way that Ferguson or Klopp do/did. Dean, Atkinson, Oliver etc may think a 50/50 might be better off going the World famous managers way than the way of the “ Nice but dim” manager who wont complain. Just a thought.
Fitness. I dont think we have been as fit since Moyes left. Osman blew the whistle on Robertos lax training methods. And Koeman couldnt see because he was always playing golf. Lucky get. And getting paid millions too.
Ancellotti appears to be addressing the fitness aspect.
38 Posted 03/02/2020 at 12:56:09
As you've said this 'loving up' to the father figure happens nearly all the time, but implicit in what you've said is 'let's wait and see'. I'll personally judge him this time next year.
Very (very) true is that if a few more of these VARs had gone our way and one or two of the players had decided to have some professional pride and pride in badge and it's supporters and play instead of hiding then Silva would still be our manager.
I'm with you totally we are still consistantly inconstistant, but now lady luck isn't being so cruel on us. And that's about the greatest difference between Silva & Ancelotti.
39 Posted 03/02/2020 at 13:01:13
Theres a certain somebody at west ham, who some think would manage this group of players better than Carlo because theyre below his usual standards, who would love our “luck”.
I hope we stay lucky till my dying day. My 9 year old son has never seen our team win anything. How many of us have kids like that?
40 Posted 03/02/2020 at 13:05:24
What a wonderful man he is, and what a club we support
We were the only 3 evertonians in Hereford growing up! Weve doubled the number with our children!
41 Posted 03/02/2020 at 13:15:43
42 Posted 03/02/2020 at 13:15:58
43 Posted 03/02/2020 at 13:17:44
44 Posted 03/02/2020 at 13:19:07
It's a contractual obligation to speak to the media. The players, still muddied, sweating and breathless, in the main answer the bland questions put to them with cliched answers.
Very rarely are they insightful or revealing about the inner workings of the club, the manager, the player, but some claim pseudo-psychic powers into interpreting public statements and arriving at some imagined interpretation and profiling of the same.
I'll stick to the numbers. Both Duncan Ferguson and Carlo Ancelotti got, and continue to get, a tune out of what were serial and seriously underperforming players under Silva.
Although a very narrow database to draw on, Carlo has 14 points from 7 league games - averaging 2 points a game.
To put that into perspective, in the entire history of the PL era, Roberto Martinez in his record-breaking 1st season when we won the most points in a PL campaign averaged 1.89 points a game.
By further comparison, our average points-per-game ratio in the 28 seasons of the PL is 1.37.
In their whole term as Everton managers, this is the average points return per game of full-time managers dating back to Moyes:
Moyes 1.5 points per game exactly
Silva (worst of the lot) 1.28
Carlo 2.0 - a full half a point per game better than the next best. Over a full season, that adds up to 19 extra points.
A simple reading of the above is to conclude we replaced the worst performing manager in our PL history with the best performing one.
Good things are happening. Hell, if some are to be believed, we're also getting 'luckier'.
Long may it continue.
Whatever Theo or anyone else says.
45 Posted 03/02/2020 at 13:25:51
46 Posted 03/02/2020 at 13:39:37
That is not a quick 'photo-op-for-a-good-news-story' visit.
That is a man very much giving of himself and his time.
Good for him and very good for your mates, other patients and the hospital staff who no doubt Andre chatted with.
47 Posted 03/02/2020 at 13:46:23
48 Posted 03/02/2020 at 13:51:18
49 Posted 03/02/2020 at 13:55:20
BTW, how good is young Mason looking? The lad just keeps improving game after game... real quality in the making, folks.
50 Posted 03/02/2020 at 13:55:26
With hair like that, he's got to be worth it.
That is brilliant, Carl.
I imagine watching the game with Andre AND being the game and result it was, was as big a pick-me-up than any treatment your mate has received (as wonderful as I'm sure it has been).
51 Posted 03/02/2020 at 14:04:16
52 Posted 03/02/2020 at 14:06:55
53 Posted 03/02/2020 at 14:09:13
54 Posted 03/02/2020 at 14:11:04
Clearly we have played most of the poorest teams in the league under Carlo except for City so it's no surprise we have improved from a manager who was clearly underperforming. That's not to take anything away from Carlo as all games in the PL are difficult but drawing ridiculous conclusions from a handful of games is meaningless.
Hypothetically if VAR rule our first goal out for handball we probably would have lost that game and Carlo's percentage would have dropped to 1.57. Carlo would be back in the same ball park as previous incumbents.
After we play Palace,Arsenal,Man Utd, Chelsea and Liverpool and we are averaging 2 points a game then we can take those stats with a bit more credibility.
55 Posted 03/02/2020 at 14:32:55
56 Posted 03/02/2020 at 14:40:34
I hope you are right regarding the fitness levels because we looked improved in that department on Saturday.
57 Posted 03/02/2020 at 14:41:27
58 Posted 03/02/2020 at 14:46:28
But I haven't attempted to draw 'conclusions'. Just presented the data and noted good things are happening.
The numbers remain impressive, no matter how much you wish to poo-poo them. Add to the mix 1 away win all season before Carlo arrived. He has already chalked up two away wins on the road. More than 2 seasons since Everton have won after conceding the first goal. Carlo has got that monkey off our back in 7 games and after barely a month in the job.
Throwing in the three PL games under Dunc makes it 19 points from 10, averaging 1.9 points per game. That is above Roberto Martinez's and Everton's PL points record high which averaged 1.87 points per game.
Ten games out of 38 constitute more than 26% of the entire season. Or, to put it another way, 10 of our 25 games to date this season equals 40% of the PL games played.
So whilst an admittedly narrow database, it is not an insignificant one. All the more so that it is being achieved with EXACTLY the same set of players that Silva ultimately failed abysmally to get a tune out of.
Not that you seemingly wish to admit it, what with you seemingly having Marco Silva on speed dial knowing what he is thinking. What was it you said in the match day thread?
You can 'guarantee' that Silva watched Saturday's events ruing (your presumed) poor summer recruitment and failing to land Dacoure as a mitigating circumstance of Everton's poor early season form under the Portuguese.
If you did but notice, but Dacoure ended up on the losing side against 10 men, thanks to our current manager's selections, formations and in-game tactics, using players ALL available but never properly utilised under Marco Silva.
As I said, good things are happening. Some evidently don't wish to admit it.
59 Posted 03/02/2020 at 14:49:23
Great to hear the players socializing from their own initiation! They must do that again before too long, for sure.
60 Posted 03/02/2020 at 15:13:16
Perhaps you missed what I wrote about Carlo on Lyndons thread or maybe that just doesn't fit your narrative of my views. Some evidently have their own blinkers.
Regarding my comments about Silva he will no doubt be blaming this summer for our season especially because he kept throwing it in opportunely in his pressers and then followed it by he won't be making his excuses. Let's be clear I wanted Silva as manager a lot less than Ancelotti and agree he was rightly dismissed but if anyone thinks that these players will be taking us to the Champions League next season because Silva is gone are in for a surprise. Brands needs to deliver for Carlo this summer.
Why are you throwing in Duncan's record with Carlo's? More pointless nonsense to glorify reality.
61 Posted 03/02/2020 at 15:15:11
We cannot get carried away however as this was Watford and the first half performance was awful yet again.
Still, some performances overall were notable and it was nice to see Mina contributing up front and Holgate getting better every game.
I must confess seeing him at fullback for West Brom wasn't inspiring and his return to Everton in the centre left me thinking he wouldn't be the answer but he has steadily improved.
Delph was disappointing and didn't help matters when he was red carded but Everton's tackling overall is wayward at best.
Walcott is past his best and doesn't look comfortable playing deep but he can still finish and showed it when it mattered.
It would be nice to dent Liverpool's record come the derby match but we still have a ways to go to match up to them.
62 Posted 03/02/2020 at 15:33:19
Walcott talks about getting himself more fit, why not before!
Footballs about very small margins and events can go either way, when they go your way at the right time everything is hunky dory.
I think Carlo is a good manager his record is top class, he's right for us at this time but, in the end, he's still reliant on how good his players are.
63 Posted 03/02/2020 at 15:39:07
I put up the numbers of average PL points return by all our full-time managers since Moyes.
I clearly qualified on the matchday thread Carlo's numbers are too narrow a database to draw any deep conclusions from.
I harmlessly, not maliciously, highlighted that in his 7 PL games to date is averaging 2 points a game, a full half a point per game higher than the next best, Moyes.
Again, I harmlessly, not maliciously, demonstrated that over the course of a full season that equates to an additional 19 points a season.
That's it. Continue believing as much as you like I am being deviously Machiavellian in my posts, if it comforts you.
Why did I throw in Duncan's record with Carlo's? Simple. Because I'm concerned with the TEAM, not personalities. I did so to demonstrate how, in their own different ways, that BOTH Duncan and Carlo IMMEDIATELY got a response and results with the VERY SAME PLAYERS you try to imply Silva was burdened and hamstrung with.
Finally, I did read what you wrote about Carlo's subs on another thread. But that wasn't part of what YOU chose to discuss here, is it?
Rather, you offered an extremely whimsical notion about VAR ruling out our first goal and fabricated a resulting consequence whereby we lost the game, thus denting Carlo's numbers that I put up.
Fixating much, Conor?
Fantasy. It didn't happen. What did happen was the extremely unjust dismissal of Fabian Delph, leaving us with 10 men for the final 25 minutes played.
With XI men on the pitch, we looked good to win it. How any poster, as many did, can contemplate the notion that having a player dismissed was beneficial to us...well, words fail me.
As you yourself noted, Carlo used his subs well and reshuffled his 10 men to ensure at least a point. Having three speed merchants up top and alert to the situation is what won us the game.
Exactly as Carlo himself predicted in his Friday presser when he said counter-attacking will be important for us in the Watford game.
64 Posted 03/02/2020 at 16:15:13
Strange why you used other threads to misrepresent me but I drew a clear comparison between Carlo and Marco which you were aware of yet you ignored it to try and win an argument and presenting me as an apologist for Silva.
I didn't think you are being Machaevellian on this thread with regard to your stats, just a little premature in differentiating Carlo from the pack. I hope you are right and he can continue with this very difficult fixture list.
I think your points about the two away wins, the spirit which has been engineered and coming from behind for the first time in two years are much more valid at this time.
65 Posted 03/02/2020 at 16:45:27
However there are "lucky" managers and "unlucky" managers. We now seem to have the former.
I don't believe the "socialising" has made a significant difference I think its the belief that comes from winning and the finger pointing that comes from losing.
Players are no different from supporters in that they are happy when we win and looking for scapegoats when we lose.
66 Posted 03/02/2020 at 16:53:15
I hope we are getting fitter but, until we get better players in midfield, our ball retention will remain awful, and that's exactly how it was at times on Saturday.
The win should do us the power of good, though, and the first thing this team needs to learn is to play better away from home, because certain players always look more comfortable at Goodison for some unknown reason. Maybe it's because they get less time on the ball?
67 Posted 03/02/2020 at 17:09:19
'Jay don't be arguing with yourself and continually attributing it to me.'
Do-what?! I genuinely - but genuinely - haven't the foggiest idea what you are alluding to here, Conor.
I acknowledged and attributed to you what YOU said in various posts. That's it. Or, are you now retracting some of what you said? It appears so.
In your latest post you now categorically say that you 'feel this summer had a negative impact on this season with regards to challenging for our targets' is another discussion altogether to what you wrote in our earlier exchanges.
Anyhows, I'm pleased to see you have come around to my way of thinking by now saying (regardless of whether either of us thinks that the summer recruitment was good, bad or indifferent) that:
'I [Conor] believe you [Jay] are quite right that doesn't excuse Silva who clearly mismanaged the team. The fact we have improved under Dunc and Carlo is understandable and full credit to both...'
'I think your [Jay's] points about the two away wins, the spirit which has been engineered and coming from behind for the first time in two years are much more valid...'
That was my key point, if you did but look Conor, before coming in swinging and dissing the raw numbers I put up.
That good things are happening (under BOTH Duncan and Carlo) with EXACTLY the same squad of players that Silva failed to get a tune out of.
68 Posted 03/02/2020 at 17:24:23
And condolences to you, your friends and their families for the tragic recent events.
69 Posted 03/02/2020 at 17:42:48
Going back to the OP, we haven't had togetherness on the field for years. I put that down to a lack of real leadership. Our previous 3 managers, (not including Fat Sam) have all been 'Head Coaches' and now we have a real manager, with some old school ideas. I remember reading about the Leicester title winning year and Ranieri used to take them out as a team on numerous occasions.
70 Posted 03/02/2020 at 18:12:15
If you want to rake up stuff like that, I can point to your argument with me when I was last on that Lukaku was the biggest waste of money because he couldn't trap a ball... or last season, when you were declaring Michael Keane as the best player at the club. You also have continually defended Schneiderlin and Sigurdsson when they downed tools.
As Evertonians, hope is our best friend. And I will gladly eat humble pie over Ancelotti if he brings us silverware.
71 Posted 03/02/2020 at 18:19:44
I emigrated to Canada in 1963 at a time when we were Number One. During the past 57 years, Everton has always remained my top priority, other than my family. I have two sons John "Everton" and Andrew "Goodison". I also have a daughter but my Scottish wife refused to allow me to call my daughter "Gwladys". That was fine because I was never really sure how to spell it.
I will be bringing my eldest son and my son-in-law over to Goodison for the derby game in March. I was able to convert my son-in-law to become a fanatical Evertonian. That was 20 years ago. He is of Italian heritage so it was a significant challenge beating out the likes of Juventus, Milan, etc. However, I was successful, although he wouldn't have been allowed to marry my daughter unless he had become a True Blue.
To Everton as a team: Walcott talks of unity, togetherness and grit. "Please Please Me", as the Beatles said. On 16 March 2020, We must beat that much-despised bunch of red despicables. Spoil their season.
If so, I promise to make you more than famous throughout Canada than any team in history. I would even streak across Goodison, other than that would turn off even the most loyal of fans. Particularly my wife, who will be watching on TV.
A win would so make my day and I will never ever ask for anything else again. Well... until we play them again.
72 Posted 03/02/2020 at 18:29:37
The Blues kiboshed Liverpool's pursuit of Man City last season and although they have had the title sewn up for some time already, it would be nice for Everton to be the one blot on their season... if there is only one.
73 Posted 03/02/2020 at 18:41:05
74 Posted 03/02/2020 at 18:50:20
75 Posted 03/02/2020 at 19:00:43
Let's hope the Blues give him some happy days before he leaves us.
76 Posted 03/02/2020 at 19:11:35
Deary Lord, 'hold it against you for wanting to give Siva a chance?'
My, you do have a persecution complex.
Attributing to me traits I don't think and don't engage in.
As with every manager, including Sam Allardyce, once they are appointed they get my full support. And I very much supported Silva and said as much when good things happened. Why? Simply because if the manager does well, Everton is doing well. And that's what interests me.
And it gets more bizarre! Lukaku?! He left 3 seasons ago! I have ZERO recall of 'arguing' with you over the player.
Seemingly, you believe there is 'history' between us. Trust me Conor, on my side, there is NONE. I genuinely don't recall your name or your postings before you started addressing me directly following Carlo Ancelotti's appointment.
Sorry if that dents your (simultaneously) inflated and fragile ego.
Back to Romelu.
I was consistent in my defence of Lukaku against all-comers, so put away the vanity card and stop thinking you were the only one I disagreed with on the player.
In Stones, Barkley, Deulofeu and Lukaku I consistently stated they were of the right age and the right profile upon which to build a team. The type of players we should look to recruiting and retaining, not moving on.
I stand by that opinion and the reasons why I defended Lukaku. A player sorely missed at Everton, never adequately replaced.
Not content with imagining a 'grudge match' between us, you compound it further with the following LIES!
I have NEVER claimed that 'Michael Keane was the best player at the club'. On the contrary, in his 1st season I commented many a time that it looked as if we had been sold a pup. That he quickly went from a 7-8 out of 10 performer in his early games, to a 3-4 out of 10 rating.
What I did praise him for in his 2nd season was how markedly improved he was - and he did play damn well. My respect and compliments increased when we discovered how serious a foot injury he suffered in his poor 1st season and how he continued to play through the pain, doing further damage to his health and reputation as a result.
As well as highlighting his shortcomings then, I also praised his qualities - AS I PERCEIVE THEM, Conor. Tough Titty if you don't concur.
As for me 'continually defending Schneids and Siggy', again - out-and-out lies.
When Schneiderlin first arrived and was getting praise, I took a contrary view. I highlighted the times he was out of position or too easily beaten, exposing our backline which even led to goals. That with time became the popular view which venomously took hold last season and carried into this.
Comically, I started taking a contrary view about Schneiderlin. I recall joking with Andy Crooks I confuse myself about the player and my 'bipolar view' about him.
Still not the greatest option in midfield, but I genuinely believed he was not the worst performing midfielder either last season or this. And that reflected more on the paucity of how the bulk of our players were performing, because any mildly competent midfield should displace him in our team easily.
As for Sigurdson, as did many others, I expressed bewilderment at our pursuit of him given the earlier recruitment of Davy Klaassen and Rooney and definitely thought we should have walked away and never paid the price we did.
But - as with the managers - once signed, I support a player. I always hope new players play well as that means it's good for the team. Like most players the Koeman-Unsworth-Allardyce season, no player really covered themselves with glory.
He was excellent last season with his goal return and assists. He has been poor this season. I have consistently said as much, my opinion reflecting how he has performed in any given game. NOT on some preconceived notion as some are prone to do.
ME unreal, Conor? No mirrors in your house, I'm guessing.
77 Posted 03/02/2020 at 19:31:58
I certainly think the Europa League place is up for grabs, as Sheffield Utd, who have out-performed even their own fans' wildest dreams, are, like Wolves, only 3 points ahead of us.
Although not playing brilliantly, the team is picking up points and only Liverpool and Man City have fared better over the last 10 games. Surprising how much confidence they will have got from those 10 games – even more so when you think of the setbacks they have had even since Carlo Ancelotti took over. Losing to Liverpool's youngsters in the FA Cup and throwing away 2 points to Newcastle.
Quite often, the test of a side is how quickly they get over a bad result, and we have done that since Carlo and Duncan have been in charge, so long may that continue.
78 Posted 03/02/2020 at 19:41:31
79 Posted 03/02/2020 at 20:01:01
What a refreshing post!
At a time when a noisy minority are dismissing our youngsters with side-splitting rehashed put-downs, like "He couldn't hit a cow's arse with a banjo", just one post from a top fan like you restores my faith in Evertonia.
Enjoy the game when you get over here.
80 Posted 03/02/2020 at 20:03:18
I said something similar in the Watford post-match thread.
The Blades and the Wolves are said to be having good seasons, and yet we are just 3 and 2 points adrift of them respectively. A Europa League place very much remains up for grabs, IMO. And welcome, as far as I'm concerned.
The fact, as Joe says @ 78, that Wolves started their competitive season in July may also work in our favour as we go into the final third of the season.
The number of games won in the league by the teams around us also makes interesting reading.
The teams with 9 wins include ourselves (5 of those in the last 10 games since Silva's dismissal), the Blades, United, Burnley and Southampton.
Wolves are the draw specialists - a league high 11 - but only 8 wins. Same as Newcastle.
The mighty Arsenal has a paltry 6 wins from 25 games.
Keep up the higher ratio of wins that we have achieved under Dunc and now Carlo, and we can still overhaul a number of teams currently above us.
81 Posted 03/02/2020 at 20:06:46
He appears to be saying he is putting in extra work to last 90 minutes, rather than 60, and to get up to the pace of the game. He is also admitting he wasn't part of the team in spirit and that he likes Ancelotti, because he doesn't have to work as intensely as before at Finch Farm, which I find it hard to believe ever happened a Finch Farm before this.
So what was he doing before this? Seems like he is saying he was going through the motions and lifting his wages.
By the way, Theo, you were pretty crap against Watford and should have been subbed. Delph saved your bacon and you put in a good run, scoring from a wonderful assist from Kean.
The biggest asset was your pace; glad you are working to keep it at last. Glad your social life has taken off.
82 Posted 03/02/2020 at 20:11:46
Even those who have been living on the dark side of the moon can always take a quick look at the Premier League table...
83 Posted 03/02/2020 at 20:35:18
Make sure you give your crack a good wash. I think we will give it a damned good go in March and will get that long awaited win.
84 Posted 03/02/2020 at 20:35:48
I get criticised as bitter and twisted when I tell people I have only ever supported two teams... Everton and whoever is playing Liverpool.
The thought of any 80-year-old streaking across the hallowed turf brings back the old joke about the pensioner running around the old folks' home naked seen by two onlookers. One said, 'What is Doris wearing?' The other replied, 'I don't know, but it needs ironing.'
85 Posted 03/02/2020 at 21:11:47
86 Posted 03/02/2020 at 21:25:28
87 Posted 03/02/2020 at 21:28:56
Lucky he decided to go to the gym, so he could get on the end of the assist.
88 Posted 03/02/2020 at 21:42:44
89 Posted 03/02/2020 at 21:52:42
Less pasta with yer mates and practice your first touch, it's like you are kicking a balloon... 🎈
90 Posted 03/02/2020 at 23:12:00
91 Posted 03/02/2020 at 23:25:35
92 Posted 03/02/2020 at 23:27:47
My condolences to your friends.
Your story of Gomes is simply awesome. TY for sharing, and again, best to your friends and their families.
John Boon @ 71 -
It's got to be a win now. Your trip will be an amazing one, and we won't let them win it on that day. No way. Enjoy.
93 Posted 03/02/2020 at 23:30:13
We duly did this on Saturday before the game. My son brought his mate from school. There were 11 people there in total, 9 adults and 2 kids. The team bus wasnt parked in its usual position at the front of the hotel where all the Premier League teams stay though. It was parked at the back of the car park with a rope set up between the hotel and the bus. Nonetheless, we waited by the ropes, it never entered my head that the players wouldnt stop for 30 seconds, at least for the 2 9 year old boys.
The players emerged and my boy was excited at seeing his heroes. Carlo Ancelotti was at the front, he came over so that my boy could have a picture. Every single player then walked past at a hundred miles an hour, not making eye contact and ignoring us as they scampered onto the bus...except Theo Walcott, who posed for a photo with my boy.
These players are gobshites. They dont give a damn about the fan base. I hate these players, some of them have been stealing a living these last few years. To pretty much all walk past 2 9 year old boys who were looking at them starry eyed and just scamper straight on the bus was disgusting. My boy was in tears going home. Thankfully, Theo Walcott had posed for a photo. When Theo got the winner, my lad was made up to have got a picture with the player who had got the winning goal for us. Theo had the decency to pose for a picture for 30 seconds, when none of the others did. This is the reality guys. They come out with sound bites in the press, and I have to say that Theo Walcott seemed a truly decent fella. I know from previous times that Baines and Coleman have been decent guys also. But the players, on this occasion, couldnt wait to get past us and onto the bus, completely ignoring the 2 boys waiting to see them. I am absolutely disgusted.
94 Posted 03/02/2020 at 23:58:21
Well done to the manager and Theo Walcott who did stop and give the two young boys a few precious moments, to the young lads, which they will remember for a long time, they will also remember the ignorance of the rest of the squad.
You would have been entitled to have had a little go at the players who walked past a few fans when it would have cost them next to nothing to spend a couple of minutes talking and getting their photos taken with fans, especially the young boys, who help to pay their wages.You have every right to feel the way you do.
Manners cost nothing, but mean a lot.
95 Posted 04/02/2020 at 00:14:47
What a day you will have if we beat them bastards, as you would call them. Whatever happens on the day, I truly hope that you enjoy your time back in your old sparring days, very best wishes.
96 Posted 04/02/2020 at 00:21:33
I joined Twitter yesterday, first of all, to thank Theo and Carlo for being decent guys, and secondly to make the club aware that pretty much the whole squad blanked two 9-year-old boys. You know how they couldn't get off the pitch quick enough after the derby? Well, that is how they boarded the team bus on Saturday.
97 Posted 04/02/2020 at 00:43:30
To put it in perspective, I shouted over to Rhino, as he was crossing the road (outside the Hot Wok at the junction of Walton Lane and Spellow Lane and I was near the statue of Dixie) and asked him would he have a pic taken with my daughter. He crossed back over the road to us, we didn't even have to move, plus you could see he was in a rush which made me appreciate it all the more.
Just a few seconds out of his time made my daughter's day (until she saw the pic, as I must've moved my hand as it was blurry, but that's beside the point).
98 Posted 04/02/2020 at 08:10:50
The train had quite a few kids on it, (I love it that both Everton and Liverpool always have loads of kids in the away end) and I was asking the Everton bouncer/commissionaire/ gobshite, could he take a few of the kids into the carriage to see their heros?
“Not possible, the players are resting” was his pathetic reply, and even when I told him that this would be better than any Christmas present, they would get the following week, and the players wouldnt have to get out of their fucking seats, he just looked at me like I had two heads.
Hopefully things are going to change though Danny, but my guess is, that a lot of players will not be aware that they are in a privileged position, until they go to the bank, unlike André Gomes though, because that was a magnificent gesture, him spending so much time with Carls mate Ashley and his family, which must have been very uplifting, even for a man in Ashleys very sad predicament, God-bless xx.
99 Posted 04/02/2020 at 08:46:13
100 Posted 04/02/2020 at 08:51:09
101 Posted 04/02/2020 at 09:09:10
102 Posted 04/02/2020 at 09:30:27
When Everton trained at Bellefield the players would go to a little cafe on East Prescot Road. They would all be in there. Roy Vernon would be smoking away like mad.
He looked like HMS Ajax laying smoke.
103 Posted 04/02/2020 at 10:47:31
104 Posted 04/02/2020 at 12:24:23
Not trying to disrupt any plans you may have already made but would be good to meet up with another 'familiar name' from TW.
Maybe with Dave and Tony Abrahams we could arrange an impromptu 'get together' as I'm sure they too would like to meet you too. Anyway, food for present and future thought!
Martin @84, lol!
105 Posted 04/02/2020 at 18:53:34
Hi John, I would be delighted to meet up with and you and your family on 'Derby Day', but if your plans will allow it, I would be prepared to meet you on the day before the game, Sunday Match 15th at the Central Hotel.
For my 80th birthday [July 15th 2018], the first 'ToffeeWeb' get-together was held at the Central Hotel [Pub] at 12:00am, the reason I chose that venue was because it was immediately opposite Central Station which serves Liverpool and Wirral lines and proved to be an ideal location, being on a non-match day.
Although the World Cup Final was on TV. We relied on updates from the bar staff, some of us were there long after the game finished, contrary to medical advice I consumed one or two bottles of Guinness too many. I bailed out at 9:00pm, I'm not suggesting that a meeting if it took place, would be anything like that, but I'm 100% sure that it would be just as enjoyable if there is sufficient interest from fellow 'Webbers', if not you would be stuck with me.
I have submitted this post hoping that it may create a bit of interest, and apologies if it causes you any problems.
106 Posted 04/02/2020 at 19:45:41
Hope TW staff do not mind me using the Site to make. CYOB arrangements. For me and my two family Blues this means such a lot.
107 Posted 04/02/2020 at 20:28:18
Is it any wonder I don't have a current or recent player as a hero?
I can't remember my last hero who was a player, since the great '80s teams, I mean.
Probably Duncan. After that, Arteta possibly?
108 Posted 04/02/2020 at 20:38:25
Isn't it a 12:30 kick off? You'll have to make it a swift one!
109 Posted 04/02/2020 at 20:43:54
110 Posted 04/02/2020 at 20:47:42
111 Posted 04/02/2020 at 20:56:25
112 Posted 05/02/2020 at 10:58:03
Had the pleasure of meeting him once. To say he had a dislike for our neighbours from across the park is putting it mildly.
113 Posted 06/02/2020 at 01:18:20
"You having a drink? Who are you ,by the way?"
"Right. You wear the number 8?"
"Okay, I know I've had a couple but I've had this mad idea. No! Don't laugh! We could start going to the gym! Get fit. I know. I know. You don't have to tell me. We might even score a few goals!"
"What d'you mean? I'm boozed?"
114 Posted 06/02/2020 at 14:18:30
I see comments around how we're not playing very well, etc. but that only makes me ask again, what did one expect after 7 games with the same squad? Near as I can tell from reading his book, Carlo has never used a magic wand as part of his strategy.
Also, everything is still Brands fault, eh Conor? 😂
115 Posted 07/02/2020 at 11:54:13
With regards to the Ancelotti debate I'm not criticising him and have actually been more complimentary than critical but would just like to see a little parity. If everyone was being unfair to Carlo I would be on the other side of the fence, that's just my nature. If we lost our next seven I won't be putting up stats showing Carlo is the worst manager in our history.
With regards to Brands I'm still of the belief I was accurate. Delph and Iwobi weren't great signings, the loss of the spine has derailed our season and Kean and Gbamin will prove astute long term. The improvements generated by Carlo have mostly been to Walsh players so I'm surprised your bringing Marcel into the debate as it only lessens your case.
116 Posted 07/02/2020 at 12:15:40
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