Telling you what we all know after going through the last 7 days

Phil Roberts 02/02/2021 91comments  |  Jump to last

Well, that was a pretty awful week and it summed up perhaps the biggest frustration with our club. Just when we have a chance of taking a huge leap forwards or even just one step, we stumble and trip. Rather than sitting 4th with a chance of going 2nd if we won the games in hand, we remain 8th with wins in the games in hand not even taking us into the top 4.

But I would contend that our optimism was not founded on solid ground.

The Wolves match was also the 38th game since Carlo Magnifico first sent out an Everton Team.


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So how much better are we performing under Carlo Magnifico?

If we look at the performance this season for the 19 fixtures we have played and compare them directly with the results from the same fixtures last season, we are only 1 point better off:

Results so Far — Compared to Last Season's Fixtures




Same Result











Spurs (a)

Leicester (a)*

Wolves (a)

Palace (a)*

Arsenal (h)

Burnley (a)*

Leeds (h)

WBA (h)

Fulham (a)

Brighton (h)

L’Pool (h)

Chelsea (h)

Sheff U (a)

United (h)

Newcastle (h)

Leicester (h)

Saints (a)

Newcastle (a)

West Ham (h)

Plus 14


Minus 13

Still To Play – Grouped by Last Season's Results




Burnley (h)

Palace (h)

Wolves (h)

WBA (a)

United (a)

West Ham (a)

Spurs (h)

Villa (h)

Southampton (h)

Man City (h)

Man City (a)

L’Pool (a)

Chelsea (a)

Arsenal (a)

Villa (a)

Leeds (a)

Brighton (a)

Fulham (h)

Sheff Utd (h)

For Comparison: Leeds = Bournemouth; West Brom = Watford; Fulham = Norwich

  • I have underlined the fixtures from last season where Marco Silva was in charge and you will see that we have played 6 of those fixtures so far this season. Under Silva, we obtained 10 points; this season, we have gained 10 points.
  • Our games now are perhaps more exciting – or at least have more goals. So far we have scored 29 and conceded 24. In the 19 fixtures of last season, we only scored 20 but only conceded 18.

I would argue that, if we have not significantly out-performed the results of last season in the first half, then should we really expect to out-perform them in the 2nd half?

What do we need to do to meet Carlo’s target?

Using the same system for the rest of the division, the top 4 are at 71 points or above.

  • That requires us to improve by 21 points above the 17 we achieved last season
  • Assuming that both cups are won by teams in the top 7 and so European Football goes down to 7th, that requires us to improve by 9 points compared to last season.

Will we get this improvement – and where?

Three defeats do stand out as being places to improve. Fulham and Sheffield Utd at home and Brighton away. So there is the 9 points we need! Simples! But that does require us to keep the points we did get such as a draw at Man Utd.

It is going to be tight to get into a Europa League place.

The fixture list can lie and is confidence everything?

The conclusion from the above is that we have played the easier fixtures so far. Our first 19 fixtures last season put us on 22 points. This season, it is 33 points. How much of the improvement is because we have faced the teams we beat last year (easier fixtures?) and now we face those where we lost. And winning games gives confidence.

This does work the other way. Burnley’s 22 points are the same as they got in the same fixtures last year. Their remaining fixtures brought them 32 points last season. Arsenal’s 31 points is actually 3 more than the 28 they achieved last season in those 21 games. And yet we all feel they are doing badly.

How different is this season?

There are two numbers which are interesting:


Away Wins

Same Result



















There is a significant increase in the number of away wins. Perhaps showing the impact of having no home crowd.

Also, the unexpected nature of this season with a lower number of games producing the same result as last season. The 2015-16 season was the year that Leicester won the Premier League; since then, things have returned to “normal”.

Gives us something to chew over while we worry what will happen if Dominic Calvert-Lewin gets injured.

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Reader Comments (91)

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Barry Rathbone
1 Posted 02/02/2021 at 09:01:37
The one important stat remains in spite of our legendary Italian manager: -

We continue to bottle important games.

Optimism in the face of stark reality borders on the edge of delusion.

Martin Mason
2 Posted 02/02/2021 at 10:29:53
Negativity too, Barry, almost certainly worse as in humans it's a serious character flaw? Optimism drives development.
Steve Carse
3 Posted 02/02/2021 at 11:13:59
Tactically, Carlo has got things as good as he can get them for away matches, but at Goodison Park, we are using the same approach. Get on the front foot at home and we'll have a great chance of a top 6 finish.
Dennis Stevens
4 Posted 02/02/2021 at 12:24:37
We had optimism?
Tom Bowers
5 Posted 02/02/2021 at 12:41:01
It's been a roller-coaster so far this season as we have all experienced.

Hard to know why they have played so poorly in some games against teams such as the Barcodes and we really never know what to expect from one game to the next. Leeds up next and they had a good win over the Foxes so they may be feeling good to complete a double over Everton – I hope not!

We need a big turnaround and it would be nice to do it at Elland Road with Richarlison scoring again but our optimism always seems to fall on deaf ears.

The signing of King can't be bad but they needed some back-up after Tosun went and this guy may have been second choice after Zirksee went to Parma.

It all comes down to midfield though and, whilst Everton have plenty of options, it just seems – no matter who plays – they cannot become a tightly knit unit. Certainly they should have protected at least a point against the Barcodes.

Another defeat will just plant us in mid-table... where we probably belong.

Tony Everan
6 Posted 02/02/2021 at 13:01:26
The signing of King will help in the second half of the season; his pace and goals will rescue and win a few matches. The points tally will be higher as a result of this signing.

More important than King signing is, as Tom says above, the midfield function. Allan and Gbamin start training on Monday all being well. Their return to fitness could be a real game-changer for our season.

Also, lessons learnt from Newcastle last Saturday. If James Rodriguez is playing, there needs to be some bite, toughness and aggression in midfield to counterbalance him or our midfield gets overrun and our whole organisation breaks down.

We need to win battles then let the genius of James Rodriguez's left foot do the damage. Win the battles and chances will be created to win matches. We must be aggressive, competitive and patient; we have the players to win games.

There's still reasons to be optimistic, even though Leeds tomorrow will be a real test... but I am expecting a lot better from us. A win there could well kickstart our push.

Joe McMahon
7 Posted 02/02/2021 at 13:12:43
I'd rather have Iwobi in the team than Sigurdsson anytime. There is a reason why Spurs sold him to those giants of European football... Swansea City. And how Swansea fought off Real Madrid and Bayern Munich for his signature still remains a mystery.
Barry Rathbone
8 Posted 02/02/2021 at 14:01:40
Martin Mason

You're wrong.

Negativity, I prefer "realism" when talking facts, is an equal bedfellow to optimism.

Identifying flaws is the prelude to finding answers – otherwise, people would still be trying to attach really long feathery wings to their arms in an effort to fly.

Frank McGregor
9 Posted 02/02/2021 at 14:17:08
Why can't the club take a chance and play some of the U23 players rather than sending them out on loan? The obsession of finishing in the top four and playing in Europe is killing the club.

I recently watched the Brighton versus Tottenham game and was really impressed with the way the Brighton Manager, Graham Potter, has the team playing. Despite only winning 1-0, they gave Tottenham a football lesson.

I would like to see Graham Potter given a chance at Everton as he has the ability to take Everton further than the present set up.

Jonathan Tasker
10 Posted 02/02/2021 at 14:48:35
Does anyone seriously think the owners want us to finish in the Top 4? Spending the last few days desperately getting rid of players would suggest that the only aim is saving money.

I rate our chances of top four as zero. This club is going absolutely nowhere.

ps: I expect we are due for an update on the fictional new ground soon.

Thomas Richards
11 Posted 02/02/2021 at 14:50:15
Did you expect a top 4 position this season, Jonathan?
Andy Crooks
12 Posted 02/02/2021 at 14:52:25
Martin, surely you must, now and again, appreciate the dark joy of negativity.

The pure spirit-sapping awfulness of a half-empty glass.
The magnificent 4-am realization that one's life has been wasted.
Rain, day after day.
Sam Allardyce.
The indescribable feeling of let-down after a performance like Saturday's.
The injury-time penalty that puts us out of the cup.
The unrelenting light of a hotel bathroom mirror, when one sees the oul fella that one has become.

It is, Martin, why we get up in the morning. Have a good day, everyone.

Rob Halligan
13 Posted 02/02/2021 at 15:09:47
Jonathon, for the last couple of years I've been reading your pathetic posts on the new stadium. You're like a fucking stuck record.

There's no new stadium, there's no new stadium, there's no new stadium, there's no new stadium, there's no new stadium, there's no new stadium, there's no new stadium, there's no new stadium.

It just goes on and on. If you're so adamant there's no new stadium, show us the proof, other than your constant fucking drivel of "There's no new stadium"

And don't come out with all the shit about Kings Dock, Destination Kirkby or Walton hall park, because we all know they never materialised... but, at the same time, it's not evidence that Bramley-Moore Dock is not going happen.

So, until the club announce either way if the stadium is going ahead or not, SHUT THE FUCK UP!!

Bill Gall
14 Posted 02/02/2021 at 15:47:54
Rob #13

There is no need to be nasty to Jonathan because you will not get invited to his street party... he is going to throw a big party when Ancelotti is fired and the new stadium doesn't get built and you never know – there may be free drinks.

But telling him to shut up is a waste of time; it's his opinion and, whether we like it or not, it's better to ignore it, as you will keep getting responses.

Martin Mason
15 Posted 02/02/2021 at 15:56:19
Barry, what facts are causing you to be so irrationally negative about the club? Are these starkly real facts or opinions? We have strong finances now, we're taking action to address the shortcomings in the squad and we have all approvals necessary to build a new ground.

Do you feel that you are in a minority being able to identify flaws (you certainly are not) and, in identifying them, what do you, as a mere fan who can do sweet fuck-all, propose to do about them – other than whingeing on TW? You call that realism?

Kieran Kinsella
16 Posted 02/02/2021 at 16:06:06
Phil Roberts,

Interesting read. The thing that sticks out to me is where we have improved: Away at Spurs, Leicester and Wolves. Three theoretically difficult games. While we have lost points in three theoretically easier games: Saints, Newcastle, West Ham. So can we read anything into that...

Do we have "big-time" Charlies who only show up when it matters?
Do we have arrogant players who think they can just show up and win against lesser opponents?
Are we just inconsistent and it happens our bad days fell on days when we played the weak?
Is Carlo adept at setting out his stall to get results against the best and inept at dominating the weak?

I don't know the answers but I think we will have a clearer idea by the season's end.

Rob Halligan
17 Posted 02/02/2021 at 16:06:37
Bill # 14. I couldn't really give a toss about this site anymore. If Michael or Lyndon want to ban me then they can, cos, as I say, I am sick to the back teeth of utter garbage being posted on here.

The negatively is unreal, the constant moaning about this, that and the other. I've apologised to some posters in the past for probably going overboard on them, but trust me, there won't be one here.

So, if I'm banned, nice knowing you all and have a happy life.

Kieran Kinsella
18 Posted 02/02/2021 at 16:10:39

I think the thing that irks some is that there seem to be some folks who are relentlessly negative about everything: the stadium, the manager, the players, the owner, the city planning committee, the flood risk at Bramley-Moore Dock. Sometimes it feels a bit like the bloke with the umbrella in the Sahara insisting it will rain... yeah one day it will but why not try to enjoy the sunshine in the interim?

Kieran Kinsella
19 Posted 02/02/2021 at 16:13:20

You seem to me like a proper fan, committed, passionate, optimistic but pragmatic. I haven't seen anything you've said that crosses the line. We need balance on here from folks like you who have endured the Everton journey, home and away, year after year.

Brent Stephens
20 Posted 02/02/2021 at 16:14:03
Rob, don't bugger off. The site will be worse off without you. I don't just say that because I usually agree with your posts - you bring an informed and measured tone to the site. I understand entirely your point about the negativity. It gets on my tits as well. But going just leaves the negativity to stand out more.

Stay, man, stay and give us your positive vibes!

Martin Mason
21 Posted 02/02/2021 at 16:14:15
Andy, I really try to be positive and this is based on advice given when I was sailing in the Manilla area with typhoon activity to the North making conditions dreadful. The skipper, noticing my discomfort, said "Don't worry, don't be negative, there is absolutely nothing you can do about this weather so there is no point."

That is why it is so irrational being negative about Everton; as fans, there is absolutely nothing we can do to influence things.

I am disappointed when Everton play badly but not negative and I look forward in the belief that the club is being run very well now (it is) and in every respect improving. As I say, negativity is an illness that nobody should carry, it is a vexation to the spirit to see it displayed on here, a supporters forum, is it not ironic?

Rob, I completely agree – it is poison in the heart of the site.

Colin Glassar
22 Posted 02/02/2021 at 16:17:36
Bring back the old live forum, eh Rob? A place where we could kill each other in peace and have a good laugh at the same time.

The memories of Paul Ferry, Brady/Brody et al warm the cockles of my frozen heart.

Brent Stephens
23 Posted 02/02/2021 at 16:18:08
Free Rob Halligan!
Thomas Richards
24 Posted 02/02/2021 at 16:20:20
It can be tiresome Kieran, on and on with constant negativity.

Whether that is a reflection of a person's negativity in their everyday life I know not. Perhaps it's solely all things Everton that gets them down and they are as happy as Larry.

If it's annoying a lad like Rob, something is not right. That post from him is totally out of character. In general, a "glass half-full" personality beats a "glass half-empty" one every single time.

Brian Murray
25 Posted 02/02/2021 at 16:21:52
Well count me as an in-betweener as in I'm far from a happy clapper but still a bit blind and hopeful, more for my kids' sake that the good times are on the way back.

I still say Carlo doesn't really understand or maybe doesn't care about the ineptitude he's surrounded by. Let's hope he is enough to turn this club around. Although that normally happens starting from the top. Ask any Arsenal fan what happened when David Dein left...

Kieran Kinsella
26 Posted 02/02/2021 at 16:22:43

Whatever happened to Brady/Brody and his Colchester scouting reports on Luke Garbutt?

Martin Mason
27 Posted 02/02/2021 at 16:27:45
Brian, yes, that mythical creature, the happy clapper.
Robert Tressell
28 Posted 02/02/2021 at 16:34:43
Really good bit of analysis. Reading on phone so probably not digesting it all.

Highlights our current status really well. There is fear factor at the club still to be overcome - but that will be easier to do with better players.

We all know about the limitations of Pickford, Mina, Coleman, Davies, Gomes, Sigurdsson, Iwobi and others. These are regular first team players who are often considered shit. Until these players are replaced with absolute top quality, we will struggle to make progress.

Bill Gall
29 Posted 02/02/2021 at 16:59:33
Rob # 17

Rob, leaving the site is just providing more ammunition for the negativity provided by some supporters. There are a number of supporters on here who agree with you and like the articles you write.

It's okay to let off steam now and again; what is not okay is to allow these people – who mostly write to annoy other true supporters like yourself – to stop doing something you believe in, and that is your support of Everton.

You have been on this site long enough to know who they are... so, when you see their names, even if they include you, just ignore them and read on.

There are people on this site, and I am not going to name them, who deliberately want to annoy people, and the more people like yourself who stop giving their opinions makes them happier. As the movies said... "Carry On".

Andy Crooks
30 Posted 02/02/2021 at 17:01:10
Top posts from Martin and Rob. I am a miserable bastard and my post was only kidding. Everton, this site and all on it give me more pleasure than I can say.
Martin Mason
31 Posted 02/02/2021 at 17:22:11
Andy, I always had you down as a great Evertonian and I don't believe that you're a miserable bastard. I did enjoy your post though.
Tony Everan
32 Posted 02/02/2021 at 17:22:47
“The magnificent 4-am realisation that one's life has been wasted” has got me chuckling away; nice line, Andy.
Tony Abrahams
33 Posted 02/02/2021 at 17:27:45
Andy, you can tell that misery plays a big part in your life, because those real life descriptions that you have just described were sadly absolutely flawless mate!

Martin, that was an equally brilliant description mate, “optimism drives development” – it was worth suffering at sea to learn that mate!

Michael Kenrick
34 Posted 02/02/2021 at 17:42:24
Sorry, Rob, I'm still looking, but I can't find good enough reason to ban you just at the minute.

Take a cue from Martin whose positive spin on things now extends to lies about the new stadium: "we have all approvals necessary to build a new ground" – except the most important one, Martin. Planning Permission.

However, Rob, I have you down on my naughty list as posting far too much on here about Liverpool at times. But perhaps that's just me being overly negative.

Barry Rathbone
35 Posted 02/02/2021 at 17:44:30
Martin Mason,

"We continue to bottle important games"

That is a fact. If it wasn't, we would have at least one trophy since the days of "Big Joe" to illustrate otherwise.

Kieran Kinsella,

May I suggest the relentless excuse mongering of those trying to convince the more critical to enrol in the "optimist" brigade is equally tiresome?

Not that either camp worry me I say it as I see it and encourage everyone to do the same.

Bill Griffiths
36 Posted 02/02/2021 at 17:48:43
Rob, don't leave the site, just ignore the morons who post all the crap and bile like I do.

If I responded as I want to to many posts (especially on the live forum), I'd be banned for life.

Brendan McLaughlin
37 Posted 02/02/2021 at 17:51:03
Now there's a thread for a quiet weekend footballwise "Who's made it to Michaels Naughty List?"
Martin Mason
38 Posted 02/02/2021 at 17:53:51
"We continue to bottle important games"

Barry, that is absolute nonsense. Every game is important.

Brent Stephens
39 Posted 02/02/2021 at 17:58:51
Bill #36 "just ignore the morons who post all the crap and bile like I do."

That's a lovely post. Does that mean ignore the crap, like you do? Or morons who post crap like you do?

If you're not sure, then that post is... and you are...

Just joking! The fact I didn't ignore you're post says it's not crap.

Mike Gaynes
40 Posted 02/02/2021 at 18:06:29
Rob, your banning would trigger an uprising that would make the Trumpies at the Capitol look like the Moonies at the airport (remember them?). You are the TW-est TWer of all. Ain't gonna happen.

After your post #13, however, the site will bill you for the costs of recovering the digital version of Jonathan's mortal remains.

Tony Abrahams
41 Posted 02/02/2021 at 18:06:40
We can all be critical, but constant criticism is very tiresome.
Kieran Kinsella
42 Posted 02/02/2021 at 18:15:01
I was on the naughty list a few years ago, all my posts went through some sort of screening process. Not sure what my exact offence was but most likely it involved debates with Tony Marsh or Richard Dodd who had either end of the happiness spectrum well covered.
Darren Hind
43 Posted 02/02/2021 at 18:19:26
I have absolutely no doubt whatsoever that most negative people on this website are the self-proclaimed positives... the most hypocritical too.

I look at the pre-match threads in disbelief sometimes. People who have spent the week triumphantly claiming we have a world class manager, who has used his pulling powers to sign world class players to add to the players he has improved beyond recognition, suddenly make a dive for the back of the couch.

The very mention of a match (even against poor opponents) and all that empty bravado evaporates... Those threads are all still up there for anyone who cares to check them out.

"We got out work cut out today"
"We are going to struggle without (insert your own)"
"This ref'll give us nothing"
"This lot haven't scored for 12 years, I bet they get a hatfull today..."

It's relentless and it's fucking bollocks. All those players they claim Carlo has improved dramatically, suddenly become shit again on matchday. Only last Saturday did we get one moron claiming Carlo was responsible for the vast improvement in Davies before the game... only for him to single Davies out after it. The fact that he had played well meant nothing – still up there too.

Here's another thing: Anyone who criticises the manager for the Zombie Football we are served up is being "negative"... those who excuse it and even applaud it are being positive... Fuck off!

It gets better... Many of those who express outrage for the "negativity" of those who rightly criticise cowardly spoiling tactics, think it okay to murder the players... "They're shite"..."They're spineless"... "They're Championship at best" "They want fucking off"... "It's their fault, they let the manager down"

It's absolutely priceless. They will blame the club cat before the manager... And they think they are the positive posters???

Carlo Ancelotti seems a likeable man and, although his CV will not help him in the here and now, there is no doubting his pedigree. I don't think he would get a tiny fraction of the stick he gets on here if people were not pissed off by the sycophantic pap spouted about him.

There are several posters among the "indignant positives" who have really short memories. Posters who have thrown the white flag up. wanted us to lose all the games after Chrimbo because they didn't want Silva here. Posters who could barely hide their frustration when we didn't... People who have attacked previous managers in an almost frenzied manner. People who have openly prayed for us to lose semi-finals because they wanted the manager sacked.

They didn't think it was negative to bash away at the manager then... They just think it's negative to bash away at the manager now.

Total hypocrites. They fool nobody.

Dale Self
44 Posted 02/02/2021 at 18:22:10
Getting the banned back together Rob? Keep it going, you have good material especially the parrot routine.
Neil Copeland
45 Posted 02/02/2021 at 18:26:59
We all love ya Rob, please don’t go!
Barry Rathbone
46 Posted 02/02/2021 at 18:29:55
Martin Mason,

Willful ignorance is never sensible argument, e.g. if an Evertonian is asked to choose between beating Liverpool or Burnley or most any club they will choose Liverpool every day of the week. Ditto semifinals compared to midtable end of season games with nothing on them.

It is an unassailable fact that some games are more important than others and they are the ones we make a habit of bottling. You have no argument.

Kim Vivian
47 Posted 02/02/2021 at 18:30:11
I don't know if it's lockdown brain atrophy, the time of day or simply the wine - but I haven't got a fucking clue whats going on with that top chart. Sorry.
Thomas Richards
48 Posted 02/02/2021 at 18:31:23
I don't think he would get a tiny fraction of the stick he gets on here if people were not pissed off by the sycophantic pap spouted about him."


Do you give him stick for football reasons? Or because of your annoyance at the supporters who are supporting the manager?

," I don't think he would get a tiny fraction of the stick he gets on here if people were not pissed off by the sycophantic pap spouted about him"


Do you give him stick for football reasons?
Or because of your annoyance at the supporters who are supporting the manager? ,,,1,18:30:41,,,ok,23848,02/02/2021 18:30:41,,reader,,,no 1127121,40418,toffeeweb,02/02/2021,David Currie,,"He only ever came for the money and had no love for the club, was a lazy sod as well.

Kieran Kinsella
49 Posted 02/02/2021 at 18:34:08

Wasn't the win at Spurs our first away win at the Big six in something like 42 tries? I'd say being the opener, setting the tone for the season, that was a "big game".

Also in terms of momentum, the wins over Chelsea and Arsenal (albeit at home) snapped our losing streak and helped to spell the end for Frank.

Granted, we were poor against Man Utd in the cup. But equally well we were in other lesser "big" games such as on Saturday. For this season specifically, I would argue we aren't habitually bottling big games.

Colin Glassar
50 Posted 02/02/2021 at 18:34:11
Kieran 26, he’s still trying to fix his boiler which still gives him only 5 minutes of hot water a day. Every time Brady/brody got rogered on the (old) live forum he’d run off to have a bath.

Let’s start a petition to keep Rob on TW. #saveourrob !

Stu Gore
51 Posted 02/02/2021 at 18:48:09
Someone was always in the bath. We used to score when they were in it? I thought it was you Colin but memory plays tricks. Or did you always nip for a smoke? Someone used to miss the goals dammit and I want them to start washing/smoking again during games.
Kieran Kinsella
52 Posted 02/02/2021 at 18:49:40

Colin was the ciggy guy. I believe he has since packed it up, which could explain a lot about our goal glut

Brent Stephens
53 Posted 02/02/2021 at 18:51:52
100 fags for Mr Glassar, please.
Mark Murphy
54 Posted 02/02/2021 at 18:55:41
I was gutted after the Leicester game and absolutely furious after the Newcastle game but I can’t wait for tomorrow night and I don’t give a shit who the ref is or how our record at that shit hole is - I’m optimistic that Carlo will turn this around. If that makes me a hypocritical happy clapper then smack my arse and call me Boris!
Derek Taylor
55 Posted 02/02/2021 at 19:00:24
Optimist or pessimist it matters not a jot,
It gives us chance to vent our spleen,
And talk a lot of rot.

Cos what we say about our team it`s all just idle chatter
Cos Carlo doesn't give a damn
It' really doesn`t matter.

Barry Rathbone
56 Posted 02/02/2021 at 19:01:09

There was a purple patch at the start with the intro of James and co but it was never a true gauge and certainly not a portent of genuine change as we see from our return to mid-table nothingness.

I think it was Shankly who coined the term "fizzy pop" teams to explain lesser lights exploding to the top of the table early on before predictably going flat, we are this seasons fizzy pop.

Additionally, we predictably failed in a domestic cup when Utd were being decried as poo and dropped points against equally poo teams when the chance to return to the top 4 was on offer.

We have been for decades and still are, on the whole, a bottling club.

Mark Murphy
57 Posted 02/02/2021 at 19:17:04
Darren I reread your post and the bit about wanting to lose all the games after Christmas and the semi final etc conjures up one poster in particular and he’s certainly not a “happy clapper”. I know him as misery arse.
I personally have Never Ever wanted Everton to lose a game. I’m gutted if we draw, no matter who it benefits. I loved it when Barkley poked the wasps nest of ManCity when loads wanted them to beat us to prevent the Shite winning the league.
I’m Blue through and through and I want Carlo to do what no manager in recent memory has come close to achieving - getting us back to the top.
And yes, before anyone asks, I DID want Sam Allardyce to succeed and I DID think he should have been given another season. I just absolutely do NOT think he would have got us close to where I think Ancelloti can. Clap clap fucking smiley clap!
Tony Abrahams
58 Posted 02/02/2021 at 19:20:00
Barry, you say it as you see it, but United being decried as poo, and then dropped points against equally poo teams, when the chance to return to the top 4 was on offer?

Although it was a cup game United, were flying and went top of the league around this period, whilst Leicester, have also been around the top 4 all season.

Maybe you’re right, maybe they’re all shite, but none as bad as Newcastle though, who have took six points from Everton, which shows me, it’s more than just bottle that we lack, because I’d say losing twice to such poor opponents is unforgivable, and will bite us on the arse as much as losing any game.

Mark Murphy
59 Posted 02/02/2021 at 19:36:47
To be fair Tony, Carlo also called it out as lack of bottle!
Let’s hope the players got the message.
Cos if they didn’t I hope the lot of them are f@cked off in summer!
Mike Doyle
60 Posted 02/02/2021 at 19:37:29
Colin #50] #saveourrob is a cause I’ll be supporting. A lifelong blue who (in non Covid times) attends home and away - and of course has specific responsibility for making sure Mike Gaynes (& other USA blues) get to sample the delights of establishments such as The Grafton. Rob must stay!
Dave Abrahams
61 Posted 02/02/2021 at 19:53:49
Rob (17), just reflect on how most other posters think about you on here, you give your point of view, I always read them with interest, especially your European away games stories, you know the game and express your love of football, amateur and professional very well.

Most of all you love Everton, team and club, home and away, you love to see them win and follow them win, lose or draw, you will always be there, you can’t now obviously, but the thing I know about you, but only you can agree with, is that when Everton lose I doubt if any Evertonian feels it more than you, but you never moan, scream or shout about it, like some do, including me, you just start planning for watching Everton’s next game, brilliant, you don’t need me to tell you that you are boss Blue. I look forward to your next post, hope it’s soon.

Brent Stephens
62 Posted 02/02/2021 at 19:55:52
Amen to that, Dave.
Barry Rathbone
63 Posted 02/02/2021 at 20:17:24
Tony 58

I thought you were trying to disagree then got to the end and realised you weren't

Rob Dolby
64 Posted 02/02/2021 at 21:44:08
Barry following your logic. In a game of football someone will generally lose, does that mean that they have bottled it?

Southampton will get beaten tonight by Man Utd. Does that mean that they bottled it? Or is it just a case of the better team won and probably bookies favourite won?

Does Shankley have any other catch-phrases that you can quote to us Evertonians just to rub our noses further into the shite?

I can take Optimistic, Pessimistic and Realistic Blues on this fabulous site. I struggle with gobshite Shankley quotes having an indirect dig at the club. Fizzy Pop my arse!

Barry Rathbone
65 Posted 02/02/2021 at 21:52:47
Rob Dolby,

If you don't understand the difference between losing games when not giving your all and losing games when going balls out for it, I can't help you.

This explains why your assertion of "my logic" is as incorrect as your spelling of "Shankly".

Tony Hill
66 Posted 02/02/2021 at 22:03:45
Yes, Dave @61 says it perfectly about Rob.

I think we've got a serious chance of doing unexpectedly well this season. It's still there for us, you know; it really is. We should concentrate on that.

Martin Mason
67 Posted 02/02/2021 at 22:04:33
The "lack of bottle" thing is another of football's ridiculous myths, almost as stupid as happy clappy Evertonians. It always looks like a badly losing side has lost due to this non-existent phenomena. It is a catch-all reason for those who don't really understand what actually happened in a game.

A sign of lack of knowledge not any possession of it. Barry is a true great in football analysis in that he knows the psychology of players. Remember that, unlike Barry, these players actually know how to play football.

Barry@46, you didn't answer my question, all league games are 3 points for a win all cup games get you to the next round, how are any more important than others? More important to you perhaps but not in reality but you struggle with reality?

Andrew Grey
68 Posted 02/02/2021 at 22:08:16
Sorry but this season is totally mad. Nothing makes sense.
Martin Mason
69 Posted 02/02/2021 at 22:15:27
Darren, what are you doing about the problems with Everton Football Club and its positive supporters other than whine? You do understand hypocrisy?
Jerome Shields
70 Posted 02/02/2021 at 22:46:14
I still think that Ancelotti will achieve a top-six finish. King should help the attack, both Richarlison and Calvert Lewin are not consistent attackers or goal scorers.

Midfield should improve with Allan. Gbamin is a unknown quantity, though he did look a useful footballer and was brought in to replace Gueye. Sigurdsson nor Gomes never would have that accolade. Pickford is apparently injured for the Leeds match. I expect his recovery will be slow.

To get into the top six, Everton needed an improvement on their away form. Ancelotti will have to rethink how Everton play at home. I am sure he is working on it, especially against teams tactically set up like West Ham and Newcastle.

So achieving a top-six finish will be an achievement this season. Everton have too many players who are not up to top four standard. After Brands has finally reduced the wages bill and moved out the deadwood, I expect there will more competition for places and some players will be looking out as the good times they have had will come to an end.

It will be a very different Everton this coming September. King is the start of this process that will continue right through the Summer transfer window.

Well thought out article, Phil.

Barry Rathbone
71 Posted 02/02/2021 at 23:13:44
Martin Mason 68

You still seem to be indulging in willful ignorance via your refusal to accept some games are bigger than others. Can you clarify your position?

Is it your contention that taking 3 points from Liverpool would be no different to taking 3 points from Burnley in the minds of Evertonians?

Ricky Oak
72 Posted 02/02/2021 at 23:33:17
Thanks for the laffs, am insisting on Everton working it up em all from hence forth. JK will be the catalyst, big love all, ETID.
Tony Abrahams
73 Posted 03/02/2021 at 08:08:41
I don't think many people would disagree with that last paragraph, Barry, and you're right mate, I was disagreeing with you when you described both Man Utd and Leicester as poo, although I do think Leicester will lack a bit of bottle when we get to the business end of the season.

I'm also not stupid (I hope), I know that beating Liverpool will bring a lot more joy to Evertonians than beating Burnley, or anyone else for that matter, but it's still only three points at the end of the day.

I hate Liverpool but I'd settle for never beating them again if it meant we started winning things, because my answer would be “fuck Liverpool” but that's probably because I understand those bastards as much as I understand Everton.

Martin Mason
74 Posted 03/02/2021 at 09:49:52
Barry, have you ever been accused of being boring and repetitive? It's couldn't be clearer or more correct what I mean about no matches being more important than others.
Barry Rathbone
75 Posted 03/02/2021 at 10:12:38
Tony, 73

Thank you for your considered response and I agree that being regular trophy winners would mollify the shameful record against Liverpool. But the point I make is we are bottlers and have very little chance of doing either.

Since winning the FA Cup in 1995, our annual involvement in the 3 domestic competitions has given us 75 failed campaigns.

Prior to this season, not a single trophy crossed the Goodison threshold (yes, I know Man Utd were presented with the title here). It is an era that created the term "Everton that" to describe dismal failure at almost every big game. Wigan or Shrewsbury in the cup, Liverpool in the league or Newcastle when a top 4 position beckons – it matters not a jot. The common feature is – when faced with a rigorous challenge, we fold.

Moyes's European effort "going down fighting" plus his 4th place can be mentioned in dispatches alongside Martinez's record-breaking season but they are exceptions proving a rule. A rule that has predictably seen another tepid exit from one cup and a return to mid-table obscurity.

Our legendary manager opined about the Newcastle game that it was down to a "lack of spirit" seemingly surprised at the matter – he might want to do a bit more research.

Martin Mason @74,

Never had that tantrum thrown at me but, then again, most people painting themselves into a corner like you have enough intelligence to admit they were wrong.

Do calm down; spitting your dummy like a spoilt child is unbecoming.

John Cook
76 Posted 03/02/2021 at 10:26:00
Can someone let know how the fuck did Southampton play last night reportedly with 9 men out when Man City gave us 4 hours notice not to play with only a couple out? Manchester running the FA alright.
Jay Wood

77 Posted 03/02/2021 at 12:59:43
Phil, this is an interesting study and take, comparing the results of last season to the same games thus played this season.

I can understand how you use it as a comparison guide to see if we are 'progressing' or not. But for me, it is fundamentally flawed.

Content of the respective conditions as to when the games of last season were played to this season is relevant too, IMO.

Most Evertonians were delighted with the fixture list when it came out last season. 'On paper' it offered us a chance to get off to a flyer. Instead, we got (in the exact order played) the following:

A Palace d 0-0
H Watford w 1-0
A Villa l 0-2
H Wolves w 3-2
A B'mouth l 1-3
H Sheff Utd l 0-2
H Man City l 1-3
A Burnley l 0-1
H WHU w 2-0
A Brighton l 2-3
H Spurs d 1-1
A S'ton w 2-1
H Norwich l 0-2
A Leicester l 1-2
A Liverpool l 2-5

The axe fell on Silva following the latest Anfield debacle with his PL record for the season reading:

P 15 W 4 D 2 L 9 F 16 A 27 Pts 14 GD -11

We were going one way with Silva. And it wasn't up.

This season we have got some outstanding results against better teams. Some dreadful ones against lesser teams. As such, it is hard to draw the direct conclusions you attempt in your season to season comparison. We should be better off but for some dreadful lapses.

For example, comparing Everton results against the Sky Six - City, United, Arsenal, Chelsea, Spurs and 't'other lot - based on results played between these clubs only, in that mini-league table it reads:

L'pool P 7 Pts 15
Spurs P 7 Pts 10
EVERTON P 5 Pts 10
City P 5 Pts 8
Arsenal P 7 Pts 7
United P 7 Pts 7
Chelsea P 6 Pts 2

Let's hope the team has learnt from the Newcastle game that they need to be 'on it' from the off against ALL opposition. If that happens, there is no reason not to believe we can have as good a second half to the season as the first.

Phil (Kelsall) Roberts
78 Posted 03/02/2021 at 13:25:18
Jay, Yes it is not perfect. A few years ago Southampton were bottom 3 for most of the season on this basis which I consistently told my Southampton mate. They signed some manager we had never heard of who only spoke Spanish and never did an interview. Ended up staying up and the manager ended up taking Spurs to the Champions League final.

Taking yours and mine it shows an interesting set of numbers. 4 points of our improvement are against the Sky 6. Are our problems are against the less favoured teams. Back to Kieran's reply about playing well against big teams and coasting with the rest.

Typical Everton! Aargh!

Martin Mason
79 Posted 03/02/2021 at 14:39:45
John@76 They started with 11 and had 2 sent off.
Martin Mason
80 Posted 03/02/2021 at 14:42:22
Barry@75, how many points do we get for beating Liverpool? How many do we get for beating Sheffield? Which is the most important game in terms of winning?
Brian Murray
81 Posted 03/02/2021 at 15:30:05
Modern footballers from what we have witnessed can’t or won’t take the initiative and think for themselves unless they play for a top team. Everton players in particular don’t really learn a lesson and are only say three or four weeks away from another Newcastle showing then a good spell then repeat with the odd exceptional run. I always say it’s the Everton mentality from top to bottom or probably because of ability and or proper belief in themselves. Don’t want to find all doom and gloom because it’s took me a good few decades to bite my tongue and sadly except that’s what we are. Hate them more than I love them really. Coyb let’s at least have a go tonight eh !
Barry Rathbone
82 Posted 03/02/2021 at 15:55:28
Martin Mason 80

Delighted to see your tantrum has subsided but I'll let Tony @ 73 answer in case you have another paddy with me.

" I know that beating Liverpool will bring a lot more joy to Evertonians than beating Burnley, or anyone else for that matter"

Seems it is more important to beat Liverpool rather than the blades irrespective of the 3 points . who knew?

Not you apparently.

Tony Abrahams
83 Posted 03/02/2021 at 18:55:08
I can still remember the last time we beat Liverpool, like it was yesterday, because I must have been the only Evertonian, who went home from Goodison with a proper cob-on.

Evertonians were dancing in the streets, but I was privately cursing my team, and especially our manager Moyes, (shows how long ago it was) for not absolutely destroying a very poor Liverpool side that day, because we simply eased off.

So whilst beating Liverpool is nice, it’s not the be all and end all, unless we happen to show them no fucking respect whatsoever, and only then will it be worth more than 3 points to me.

I think Ancellotti used the word spirit Barry, because he was saying the reason we have been on a good run ourselves, is because of the spirit the players have been showing, so let’s just hope they show some tonight🤞

Barry Rathbone
84 Posted 04/02/2021 at 09:56:46

But we got the 3 points so why be pissed off about not killing them?

(rhetorical question)

Answer: Because it was Liverpool.

It means more to rub their noses in the dirt than, say, Burnley. The circumstances around that game are different making for a bigger, or more accurately, a more important game.

It is avoidance of reality to try and pretend all league games are the same because of the 3 points as the boy Mason seems to think.

And as for the cups interest grows the further a club goes because opportunity for silverware increases, ergo, the games become more important.

Unfortunately, our record since '95 can be characterised as bottlers in chief in these bigger, more important, games and until resolved the Purgatory will continue.

Chris Williams
85 Posted 04/02/2021 at 10:14:39
Phil and Jay,

Another variable this season is home and away results. We've just completed 4 away wins on the spin for the first time in the Premier League, but have not won in the Premier League at Goodison Park since October, at least when no crowd was present.

Many teams have had shock defeats at home this season, not just us, and I think there are more away wins than home wins in total this season, so it's a trend, but we seem to be an exaggerated case relatively.

It's not a case of just being bottlers, I suspect, or we'd be bottling away games too.

Jay Wood

86 Posted 04/02/2021 at 10:31:55
Yes Chris. All season across all clubs, the number of away wins has kept ahead of the home wins every weekend.

In his Leeds presser, Carlo was asked why the discrepancy between Everton's home form against their away form.

He laughed and turned the question around to the reporter. 'What do you think?' And the reporter supplied his own answer. The absence of home fans.

In expanding, Carlo also noted, like you, how our last home league wins came with a boisterous 2000 Everton fans in the stadium.

Not only is this the first time in Everton's Premier League history that we have won 4 consecutive away games. It's also the first time in 35 years since we have done so under Howard Kendall during the 1985 Championship year.

Astonishing, really.

Thomas Richards
87 Posted 04/02/2021 at 10:36:35
It's indicative of the impact Carlo has had, Jay.

Ahhhhh but...

Chris Williams
88 Posted 04/02/2021 at 10:43:01
Hi Jay,

The absence of home fans is surely part of it, and erosion of home advantage is also part of it, as is less home pressure on referees.

But that's the same for all teams and doesn't fully explain the seeming exaggerated swing in our case.

We were one of a couple of teams only allowed to have 2,000 fans in so maybe an advantage then, and people who attended certainly felt so. The results seemed to bear it out.

Maybe we need to adopt the away tactics at home more, since it seems to work seeing as how the benefits of playing at home have been diminished?

It's not cowardly if it works in these exceptional circumstances.

Jay Wood

89 Posted 04/02/2021 at 12:50:13
Morning Chris.

Personally, I don't think there is a huge difference in how Carlo has set up the team at different times of the season, home or away, depending on available personnel.

Of the 4 home losses this season, only United took us to the cleaners IMO. Against Leeds, it was a basketball game in which post-match Holgate admitted the team didn't play to the manager's orders and got caught up in a slugfest with the opposition, losing out to a single goal as a result.

Home to WHU the circumstances should have been to our advantage as our previous game had been called off during the busy festive period whereas der 'ammers had played twice since we last played.

How we performed on the day you would think the exact opposite was the case. Extremely lethargic and sloppy across the park. WHU edged it in the dying minutes.

The Newcastle loss was just criminal. A case of players thinking they just needed to turn up to win. Not in this league. Ever. No matter what the form of the other team.

Carlo evidently got his message across based on last night's performance, because if we had played the 2nd half like we played v the barcodes, we'd have lost.

The six points lost v Newcastle is expensive. Four extra points - even just 2 from a couple of draws - could be telling in the final reckoning.

But if valuable lessons have been learnt from Saturday's loss, then there might be longer term benefits for our overall progression.

I hope Phil continues updating his data! It could get interesting.

Chris Williams
90 Posted 04/02/2021 at 14:20:38
Thanks Jay,

We’re currently third in the ‘Away League Table’ and 12th in the ‘Home Table’, by some way the biggest disparity. Only Villa come close to that difference. It’s not a marginal difference. So why?And why is it more common against teams below us in the table?

I think Carlo changes his tactics every match, and several times in a match too, depending on who the opposition is, which is absolutely the way it should be. But I’m not sure why for example he changed personnel and formation from Leicester, a good team whom we very nearly beat, to Newcastle a poor team in poor form, unless he thought they would be easier to beat, with a more attacking set up. Wilson attacked us from out wide, which was a deliberate tactic according to Bruce, and he could have had 4 on another day. We were second best by an embarrassing margin that day.

Of course he may well have felt the need to rest and rotate players, but it has happened too often for me.

If home advantage has been so diluted, as it seems to have been across the League, why not accept that and use the successful tactics that work away from home, maybe up to a point? Maybe a different mindset, for the players and for Carlo perhaps?

Maybe not a great spectacle, but if it gives better home results than currently I’d be ok with that, although many may not, I accept.

Chris Williams
91 Posted 05/02/2021 at 06:57:20

On reflection, if we had beaten West Ham and Newcastle, we wouldn’t be having this discussion, I suspect. I think there was a fair unanimity in the expectation we would win both, pre match.

The fact that we did not win either, can be explained away, by this stuff is happening all over the PL in this singular season, which it is, every week. But this does not explain the abject performance in both games. This is what I find perplexing. How we can be committed, disciplined, controlled and successful away from home and capable of such poor performances at home?

Is it overstretched players, struggling with the schedule, or coming back after injuries? Why just at home?

Bottling it doesn’t adequately explain it, because we don’t seem to bottle it away, at least so far. Also, we don’t operate in a vacuum so You also have to give credit to WHU for a disciplined, Moyes performance, and Newcastle for a successful tactical approach which made them the better team on the day, with an attacker giving an excellent performance. But still

Maybe our success away is our equivalent of WHU and Newcastle beating us, and it is just how it is this season, and we need to adjust our expectations. Or we need to adjust our tactics, mindset etc to ignore ‘home’ and ‘away’ and just think ‘match’.

It’s a conundrum, and I’m probably overthinking it all. Too much time on my hands!

Now we have to rearrange 2 postponed home matches, which will need to be shoe horned into an already relentless schedule.City rearrangement means 4 matches in 10 days, or something like that.

It’s a unique challenge all teams are facing this season. Management and players alike.

I’m not so sure comparisons with any other season are very helpful., and in most cases the form book is out of the window, and results are hard to call. Fascinating really, if we were academics, and not Everton supporters.

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