It’s 82 years since an Everton team last won its first five games of the season and yet here Carlo Ancelotti’s improved outfit sit, on top of the Premier League table for another night at least and starting to fulfil the promise and pre-season optimism engendered by those three close-season signings. If they can rack up a sixth straight win in all competitions on Wednesday they will find themselves in the quarter finals of the League Cup; match the achievement of the 1938-39 edition of the Toffees by winning their first six in the League and they will not only have notched a first Merseyside derby win in a decade, they will also surely still be sitting atop the table with that 100% record intact.
Such things were flights of fancy just a few weeks ago when Everton sleepwalked their way through the last few matches of 2019-20 and finished 12th. As has been seen, the addition of Abdoulaye Doucouré, Allan and James Rodriguez have transformed the side into a team with all-round abilities; capable of the finesse with which they carved out their opener this afternoon and the resilience to keep Crystal Palace at bay in the second half despite facing a succession of dead-ball situations which were, truth be told, the only time Roy Hodgson’s men looked all that threatening.
The decision for the penalty that ultimately proved to be the difference in terms of the scoreline has dominated the post-match discussion among pundits but there is no question that the better team won on the day and that Everton were deserving of the points.
Palace may have hustled and harried in spells, making for as difficult and occasionally nervy a second-half as Everton will have expected against a physical and uncompromising side but they managed just one shot on target all game. Tellingly, Wilfried Zaha was kept very quiet on the day and it marked the first time in four seasons that the highly-regarded winger has failed to dribble around an opponent at Selhurst Park.
Seamus Coleman, Yerry Mina and Michael Keane combined to snuff out the winger’s threat and on the one occasion Zaha did burst into space heading for Jordan Pickford’s goal, he was thwarted by magnificent covering by Abdoulaye Doucouré 10 minutes into the second half.
Indeed, this was a collective effort where no one could claim to have had a complete game but all played their part in the kind of gritty encounter played in changeable conditions that isn’t made for 10-out-of-10 displays. Importantly, though, no one allowed themselves to be dragged down by individual lapses and as a unit they were hard to break down and resilient when they needed to be.
Doucouré’s passing was sloppy at times and two ill-advised balls inside that went straight to Palace players in the first half went unpunished; Mina and Allan were guilty of clumsy fouls that put the defence under unnecessary pressure from free-kicks in the second half; and there will be questions asked of the defending for the goal that the hosts did score but none of it mattered in the final reckoning. Good teams find a way to win difficult matches.
As expected, Ancelotti restored his first-choice line-up following the changes he made in midweek against Fleetwood Town and while the “Blues”, playing in their new amber away kit for the first time, initially found it difficult to play their way through Palace’s lines, they did have the first chance of the game in the ninth minute.
Doucouré was foiled from close range in that instance by Vicente Guaita when the ball bobbled up and he tried to force it in from the angle but a minute later, the visitors made the breakthrough with a move that illustrated perfectly the match-winning talents that Rodriguez brings to the team.
Coleman had collected a sweeping cross-field pass from André Gomes and handed it off to Doucouré who in turn found James who pinged a beautiful first-time reverse pass into the area to meet the Irishman’s run and his simple square ball across the six-yard box was tucked away by Dominic Calvert-Lewin via the goalkeeper.
It was the striker’s fifth goal of the new campaign and one that means he is already a third of the way to matching last season’s tally in all competitions.
Nothing about playing Palace on their own turf is easy but Everton made it more difficult for themselves than it needed to be by conceding a soft goal from a corner a quarter of an hour later. Andros Townsend had wasted an earlier corner by sending it sailing over everyone and out for a goal kick; this time his delivery found Cheikhou Kouyaté at the back post who out-jumped between Keane and Richarlison and planted a header past Pickford to make it 1-1.
A quick counter-attack from another corner almost yielded a second goal but Richarlison was closed down by covering defenders and a check by Video Assistant Referee, Anthony Taylor, quashed appeals for a penalty for handball against Joel Ward on the half-hour mark.
The defender wasn’t so fortunate 10 minutes later. This time, Lucas Digne’s downward header looking for Richarlison in the box struck Ward on the hand and referee Kevin Friend deemed his arm to have been in an unnatural position and, after a Palace attack had been repelled at the other end, a penalty was eventually awarded to Everton. Richarlison stepped up and confidently banged his spot-kick into the top corner to restore the Toffees’ lead.
A tame direct free-kick by Rodriguez was the last action of the half but the second began with the home side pressing forward from the off and winning a couple of free-kicks that were comfortably dealt with before James came close to weighing in with another assist.
The former Real man swung in a dangerous corner that found Calvert-Lewin stealing in ahead of his man but his finish lacked conviction and he could only prod the ball wide from a central position in front of goal. The striker rose to meet another corner from the same side shortly afterwards but he and Keane got in each other’s way and ended up heading each other as much as the ball.
Palace had a couple of moments as they stepped up the pressure in the middle part of the second half. Jordan Ayew caused a brief panic when his cross deflected off Coleman and flashed across Pickford’s goal and Kouyaté planted another header off a set-piece the wrong side of the post but the longer the game wore on, the more assured Everton became and they largely stifled any attempts Palace made to bludgeon their way back to parity.
Gylfi Sigurdsson came on for Gomes and slotted in seamlessly, keeping the ball and laying it off efficiently in midfield and Tom Davies was thrown on in the 90th minute as the last time-consuming substitute in place of Richarlison. In between, the more questionable introduction of Alex Iwobi for the tiring Rodriguez resulted in the Nigerian gifting the ball to the opposition on more occasions than was comfortable but Hodgson’s side weren’t able to capitalise.
In terms of the stand-out players on the day, it’s hard to look past the front two who grabbed the goals and put in magnificent shifts leading the line. Again, as a collective the midfield and back line were very good overall, with Everton’s blend of silk and steel evident in players like Gomes who relished the physical battle whilst also being able to spread the play and move the ball intelligently when space allows.
James, meanwhile, glided through this game with all of his class, injecting urgency with his passing all while barely breaking a sweat – he didn't need to; often he makes the game look effortless. Calvert-Lewin had a difficult task against a big defence but worked his socks off from start to finish and Richarlison was his combative, unrelenting self wide on the left.
Three successive home games now provide Everton with a real chance to push on and not rest on this terrific start to the campaign. West Ham will come to Goodison with plenty to prove, Brighton have demonstrated already that they have plenty in their locker with which to hurt teams and the derby on 17th October will be the acid test for Ancelotti’s transformed team. Onward and upwards, Blues!
Reader Comments (84)
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1 Posted 26/09/2020 at 21:05:47
As for Pickford, he has been reasonably solid for England, no matter what his stats say, and there is the possibility that, under Ancelotti, he could improve. I don't think Neville will look beyond this. Ancelotti may bring in back-up, but he will support and coach Pickford in the meantime.
During the match, I was about to post how well Keane was playing with his passing and distribution. I held back to see how he was defending when challenged. Having said that, he met the next corner with the perfect clearance header.
It was obvious that Doucouré and Rodrigeuz where being marked and harried. Doucouré succumbed a bit, but Rodrigeuz was well fit for the attention. He did get his first introduction to high intensity Premier League Football, particularly in the second half.
I did think that Everton did get too much involved in Crystal Palace's tempo. It did take the introduction of Sigurdsson to take the heat out of the situation.
Gomes for me was superb. He seem to have time and space on the ball and able to get into positions to do so. His pass to the right wing set up the first goal. He rarely succumbed to pressure and actually fulfilled the Doucouré role of box-to-box midfielder, with great distribution. Our forwards were threatening all the time and both Colman and Digne where outstanding. Allan was the anchor he always was.
The Penalty was the right decision. Digne's headed pass to an onside Richarlison was deflected by a hand. The penalty was taken legally, because Richarlison, after he stopped, put down his standing foot and kicked the ball with the other. If he had of stopped on his standing foot and then kicked with the other, it would have been illegal. The commenter on Amazon read out the rule.
Moise Kean and Richarlison worked it all out on the training ground. Not such a silly run-up after all. Though it's just as well that the Gwladys Street End isn't full when they do so.
2 Posted 26/09/2020 at 21:10:00
3 Posted 26/09/2020 at 21:12:53
Thanks, Tony, for the reassurance.
4 Posted 26/09/2020 at 21:23:25
Don't you just love the professor!
5 Posted 26/09/2020 at 21:29:21
I thought Gomes was much better but still drifted in and out the game. I thought Pickford was very nervous and indecisive on crosses, and I thought Richarlison had strayed into an offside position when Digne headed the ball.
I thought Doucouré was wasteful or careless with too many passes but I also thought his physicality was very important when Palace began to get on top, and just like you, I thought both our full-backs were outstanding!
I'm going to bed happy that Everton won again. I think that professional footballers are vastly overpaid, but I've been impressed by their intensity, desire and professionalism. I just wish this could be matched by the officials, which is another obvious contradiction, when I consider how many cheats there are on the pitch in the professional game!!
6 Posted 26/09/2020 at 21:30:03
The difference is probably Doucouré and particularly the wonderful Allan.
Also a joy to see Coleman revelling in having James at his side.
7 Posted 26/09/2020 at 21:52:51
I watched the game and for me the improvement was the mental belief and resolve.
Last season I reckon wed have got done, but it was a hard earned victory.
Good days, and heres to more for Evertonians.
Hopefully if.. we can get some good deals on before the wondow shuts, then, I reckon this year, we can do well.
Top 6, too early but the resolve and belief, is so different from 2 months ago.
A fine start to the season, now for West Ham.
8 Posted 26/09/2020 at 21:55:03
There will be the obvious criticisms of Mina and Doucouré not being on top of their games, Pickford making everyone a bit shaky, questionable defense on their goal, and a lack of energy at times with Gomes — but today was all about James, James, and James... Coleman continuing to be huge, Calvert-Lewin turning into a star (despite missing a few chances), Richarlison's superb efforts, and more than anything, our ability to see out the game defensively and not give up any real chances from open play. Palace didn't test Pickford the entire game other than the goal, and that's pretty damn impressive.
About the handball, every team will have some of those go their way and some go against them this season. It's how the rule is written, and people can argue all day about whether the rule is correct, but it was done to make it easier for refs to make the call objectively, and that's generally a good thing for all the referee haters out there.
But to be top of the table, scoring goals, seeing out games defensively, and watching James's brilliance. What a feeling!
9 Posted 26/09/2020 at 22:08:34
I think the reason why Gomes was so good, was that Palace had so many Everton midfield players to contend with. Gomes did not get the attention he would normally get. But he was fit to step up to the plate and Crystal Palace found they had a lot more to contend with than they normally would against Everton. a Everton that had more options.
There is merit in your opinion, Dourane was rushed , but Pickford did ok.
10 Posted 26/09/2020 at 22:11:40
This season he has been a major asset, he has stepped it up defending well. Also, there have been a few great recoveries tracking back to block or tackle. Im loving his desire and enthusiasm, he is a player who hears the criticism and says, right, Ill prove the bastards wrong . He is certainly doing that.
Another point Lyndon rightly flagged up was the graft DCL and Richarlison put in , contributing to the collective team effort. Theyll both have a few cuts and bruises tonight .
Overall I dont think there was a standout MOTM , just a good solid team performance. We could not be bullied into submission , stood firm as a proper team and allowed our bit of extra quality to ultimately bring home the three points.
11 Posted 26/09/2020 at 22:26:45
Of course, given my mental acuity you may not be reassured by that.
12 Posted 26/09/2020 at 22:31:04
13 Posted 26/09/2020 at 22:38:14
I thought he started really well, looked focused and involved himself in the game as much as anyone, but then I felt he began to drift, although it was probably the best game I've seen him have since his awful injury.
Dacoure looked like a player who has stepped up and finds himself playing with much better footballers, and was maybe thinking he might just have to change slightly, because there is suddenly a lot more thought in the players around him, especially because hes also not playing quite so centrally, which is effectively, also a different position?
But Pickford needs to improve because Im not sure ok, is good enough for such an important position, but hes short on confidence at the minute, and it really showed imo, especially when crosses came into our box?
The most pleasing thing was that we looked like a real team, and its a very long time since I thought like this. Well played Everton, and hopefully the sign of things to come👏
14 Posted 26/09/2020 at 22:50:01
15 Posted 26/09/2020 at 23:42:47
I am usually one of Gomes biggest critics and advocated leaving him out today but I have to say I thought it was one of his best games in a blue shirt.
He was of course given less attention because they were trying to mark Rodrigues and Richarlison out of the game which left the space for Gomes to play and he was helped by having the security of Allan and Doucoure around him.
The thing that has pleased me most so far this season is that we are holding onto the ball more and fighting to get it back instantly when we do lose it. Our passing and movement and organisation has also improved 100%.
Just need a quality GK and top class CB and we could be challenging for the league.
16 Posted 26/09/2020 at 23:49:24
17 Posted 27/09/2020 at 00:54:52
I thought Doucoure was caught out by the tempo of the game in the first half. . Palace where in on top of him at every opportunity. In the second half he was more defence and necessarily so, . Maybe Everton where two deep. Maybe Ancelotti wanted no spaces between midfield and defence. If the defence pushed up, they are prone to getting caught out, especially with Palace players
like Townsend and Zaha. . Gomes was better pushing forward and has the passing ability. I think Gomes made the difference and kept Everton contending, capitalising on the availability of Rodriguez, Colman and Digne. Maybe Allan and Doucoure where kept deep so this two players could get forward. But you need a p!ayer like Gomes as the play maker, which he did well in this game.
What you said is normally right about Gomes, but he did not play that way today. . I am normally critical of him for the reasons you say , but he was the main playr maker and did very little wrong.
18 Posted 27/09/2020 at 01:07:45
At the times that we've actually needed him this season, he's stood up. He was as responsible for the Spurs win as DCL was.
DCL and Richarlison have missed a few sitters, Doucoure misplaced a few passes. Everyone makes mistakes.
Yet we're talking about Pickford again.
19 Posted 27/09/2020 at 01:12:39
20 Posted 27/09/2020 at 01:29:13
Like Jay Im not a Gomes fan but I thought today we saw a few very nice long range passes of the type Steve Ferns said he has in his Arsenal. I thought he worked pretty hard too. Not a MOTM performance but good nonetheless in my view
21 Posted 27/09/2020 at 01:41:38
22 Posted 27/09/2020 at 01:42:22
23 Posted 27/09/2020 at 01:55:54
Ancelotti is changing us. 4 awesome signings and I mean awesome, since he joined. 2 more transfer windows and lets see. We look impressive already after just 1 transfer window.
Not yet top 4 maybe. or are we?
I love what is happening.
24 Posted 27/09/2020 at 02:00:53
That said, Dave is absolutely right that his worst weakness, fouling around the box, started to drive me crazy late on. But Gomes wasn't the only offender. Mina, Richarlison, James and Iwobi were guilty too. They all need to take fouling lessons from Allan, who steps up and makes his fouls near the halfway line where they're harmless.
And Tony, spot on with your comments about the Duke. He was immense defensively, making another spectacular tackle (Zaha) and positioning beautifully. But damn, was his passing awful. Five flat-out giveaways, including one near our 18 in the final five minutes that gave me a flippin' heart attack.
25 Posted 27/09/2020 at 02:03:32
I thought the defenders opted not to hit back passes to Pickford on a number of occasions where they would have weeks ago, obviously told not to put the keeper under pressure.
I think Carlo is well pleased and so he should be, but I also think he knows that there are areas of concern defensively that need addressing (CB to be honest neither Keane, Mina, or Holgate inspire my full confidence as their consistency fluctuates like the weather and is far more likely to cost Everton points than the odd Pickford howler) But right now there is nothing better to be on the top of the pile. That's worth its weight in gold for the confidence of the players and supporters alike.
26 Posted 27/09/2020 at 02:36:31
If they're trying to take some pressure off him, then I'd applaud that.
27 Posted 27/09/2020 at 03:20:17
28 Posted 27/09/2020 at 03:40:59
Hope all the Everton fantrolls rushed on to twitter to apologize for all the abuse a season or 2 back.
29 Posted 27/09/2020 at 03:47:06
30 Posted 27/09/2020 at 04:13:34
Youd go down well in Oz with a name like that, mate.
Totally agree with you regarding Keane. I nearly made the same remark to a WhatsApp group Im in last night...then we conceded the goal.
Hes been good though. Im glad hes settled and having a good run of form. Im more concerned about Mina. I just dont think hes any good - thats before we get into the money he cost. Also really disappointed with the non-existent threat he poses offensively.
31 Posted 27/09/2020 at 04:21:16
32 Posted 27/09/2020 at 04:46:01
Same here! Currently locked down and bored senseless.
33 Posted 27/09/2020 at 05:00:02
Hard to single out one player for MoM but I would go with Seamus as my selection.
34 Posted 27/09/2020 at 05:42:00
35 Posted 27/09/2020 at 05:57:27
36 Posted 27/09/2020 at 06:14:28
A good passing header by Digne was diverted.
37 Posted 27/09/2020 at 07:02:44
Good point regarding Sigurdsson. He actually dictated play at a critical stage and brought the tempo of the game under Evertons control. I felt that before that Everton had rose to take on the dogfight tempo of Palace, Shows how competitive Everton have become, Sigurdsson made a essential contribution.
38 Posted 27/09/2020 at 07:17:24
39 Posted 27/09/2020 at 07:26:49
Gomes did well today. Iwobi on the other hand
40 Posted 27/09/2020 at 07:32:47
41 Posted 27/09/2020 at 08:01:17
42 Posted 27/09/2020 at 08:27:50
Away to Tottenham saw James at his very best, thereby lifting all his teammates a notch higher, instilling confidence in them that we can do it away at a Sky 6 team.
Home to West Brom, newly promoted, going a goal down early, showed tremendous character as a team to romp home with few to spare.
Away to Palace, always a difficult game, Zaha in form, Mina and Pickford not so much... but everyone worked their socks off to help each other out, showed nerves of steel, in the end, we are all Happy ToffeeWebbers!!!
Well done, My beloved Blues!! Everyone of them would be counting the scars on their bodies after such a difficult scrappy game. And finally for once, VAR was on our side. We were due some luck after some of the shockers we had last season when nothing seemed to go our way...
One game at a time. COYB
43 Posted 27/09/2020 at 08:46:24
44 Posted 27/09/2020 at 09:03:52
IMO, in terms of comparison, they are just about identical. In neither case was the hand/arm moved towards the ball by the player. However, this is the rule they are using this season so far and it goes 100% against the original rule, which sensibly made a clear distinction between hand-ball and ball-to-hand.
So, I think the argument is with the idiots who made this latest rule, which is clearly wrong and unfair. Who are they trying to protect? The referees, VAR? because certainly they are not helping the players and so are not helping the game. Back to the drawing board for the rule makers and maybe back to the school of football.
45 Posted 27/09/2020 at 09:26:58
I think what this showed is that we can deal with teams who are physical and will give us a game. Palace have already proven that they are a decent team and won't park the bus. We have shown likewise, but now we have seemingly ridden ourselves of the mental and physical fragility that has cost us so much over the past seasons.
Doucoure I thought was wasteful in possession early on, but was immense in covering ground, breaking up Palace attacks and protecting the defence. In particular, his tracking back and dispossession of Zaha down our left in the second half was fantastic. Yes, we have a midfielder who can outpace a player like Zaha from a trailing position!
I said late last season or pre-season, that Gomez will benefit from having players around him who can afford him the time and space on the ball that allows his obvious talent to flourish. He seriously missed Gueye last season. Great first time ball from Rodriguez and interplay with Seamus for the first goal but look at that 40 yard spray pass from Gomez that started the move. Seamus looked almost startled to have received it before waking up and shifting it to James!
Special mention to Calvert-Lewin. Not just for getting another goal, I thought the possibly un-noticed aspect of his game was being available, holding the ball and drawing fouls to take pressure off us in the second half when Palace were putting inevitable pressure on us to seek the equaliser. Proper centre forward outlet play from the young man.
Their goal; yes Keane could have judged the flight of the cross better. Richarlison could have made it more difficult as he was marking the scorer. And I think Jordan could have done better as it was almost straight at him. I don't want to dwell too much as he had a better game, but I wish he will stop this one-handed flap thing. I know in real time that will have been fast moving and it was close, but two hands and a possible standing catch? And also, let's give credit to the quality of cross and movement by the attacker. If we'd have scored that, we'd have been purring about both.
All-in-all, we showed we have character. We can match teams when they mix it, can shrug off the set back of conceding, dig in and grind out a result when we don't get it all our own way. In reality you rarely will in most matches. Well done Everton. I'm actually no longer going into matches feeling nervous; I look forward to watching us!!
46 Posted 27/09/2020 at 09:35:14
47 Posted 27/09/2020 at 09:35:18
There has to be Irish blood there, with that name.
48 Posted 27/09/2020 at 09:42:03
My take on Gomes is that he is too languid in possession (as he seems to love having time and space on the ball, even if it comes at the cost of slowing down a promising move). There was one moment where he was idling on the ball and got closed down mid-way in our own half, and was fortunate that a ricochet enabled him to retain possession – before another Palace player tackled him, and he got a second lucky ricochet – and then a third Palace player fouled him.
It's moments like that which make me worry about Gomes, as the way he carries the ball invites opposition players to make a challenge, but lacks the pace and power to recover from any mistakes.
49 Posted 27/09/2020 at 10:39:53
He's a class player, and Carlo recognizes that.
50 Posted 27/09/2020 at 10:51:33
I grew up in Aussie and married a Cork girl. In the family home in Youghal Christy Ring more revered than the pope or JFK.
51 Posted 27/09/2020 at 11:24:45
My only slight disappointment was watching Doucouré for Watford he got forward a lot for them and kept popping up in the box, where he seems to be sitting slightly deeper for us. So at times it leaves us a little short in attack, as Gomes hasn't got the pace to join the attack and neither has Sigurdsson when he replaces Gomes. But I am sure if we are having to chase a game then Doucouré will be asked to join the attack more often.
Nice to see Michael Keane keeping up the level of performance he turned in when we returned after lockdown, many including me wondered how we would cope without Mason Holgate's pace at the back, but so far so good.
I am not always convinced about Mina as a simple ball over the top sees him struggling from time to time. I wonder in time if Carlo will play James more central when he gets fitter and more use to the tempo of the Premier League. His passing is a joy to watch, and if he can play more central I think he will create more and score more.
I was disappointed that Gordon wasn't given a run-out as I think he is far more effective than Iwobi. But I guess Carlo intends to start him on Wednesday against West Ham in the Carabao Cup.
What is also important is not just how good the first team is but just as important is what quality is there in the fringe players, and in Nkounkou and Gordon we have 2 lads who I think could quite easily fit into the first team when called upon. Of the senior fringe players, it will be interesting to see which ones are still here when the window closes.
So Brighton at home next in the league, I have to say I have been impressed with what I have seen from them so far, and they didn't deserve to lose to Man Utd yesterday, in fact with hitting the woodwork 5 times you could say they were unlucky not to have won the game.
52 Posted 27/09/2020 at 12:11:11
Yesterday I thought Gomes was excellent for 60 or so minutes. He isn't the quickest of players but he is skilful and has vision. He is often the 'out ball' for teammates under pressure. Everton are a better team with him in the side.
53 Posted 27/09/2020 at 12:29:13
He got nowhere near it and did one of his delays flap attempt to stop it.
The lad is going to cost us this season. Definitely shouldn't be in goal on Wednesday.
54 Posted 27/09/2020 at 13:34:55
55 Posted 27/09/2020 at 13:39:29
I have mellowed somewhat since those days and I have looked at football in a different way. For example, I read that Keane and Richarlison are being criticised for the Crystal Palace goal, whereas if a carbon copy goal had been scored by Calvert-Lewin, he would be praised for his ability to lose his marker, and I find now that I don't find football as frustrating as I used to.
56 Posted 27/09/2020 at 13:46:29
57 Posted 27/09/2020 at 13:48:16
In this respect, although I might mutter under my breath when a player makes a mistake, I've never really been able to criticise that player openly. I always think, the manager has picked that player for a reason, and if he wears an Everton shirt he will get my support come rain or shine.
58 Posted 27/09/2020 at 13:50:03
I think many of us are on the same page with the Palace goal John. Sometimes you have to look through the blue-focussed glasses and frustration to acknowledge a great delivery and good movement from the attacker, even if it was the opposition.
59 Posted 27/09/2020 at 13:52:46
60 Posted 27/09/2020 at 13:55:02
I think Ancelotti is very professional by always supporting players publicly, as opposed to what he might say to them behind closed doors.
61 Posted 27/09/2020 at 14:11:44
I hadn't thought of it that way. Doucouré was good in the second half, but he was a different player in the first half, which I could only explain as being targeted by Crystal Palace. Gomes seemed to adopt Doucouré's role going forward.
62 Posted 27/09/2020 at 14:15:57
Over the past couple of seasons, they could just take either Gomez or Richarlison out of the game and we had nothing else.
63 Posted 27/09/2020 at 14:21:57
I agree totally with your point. Doucoure isn't used to that type of attention. Rodriguez is well used to it and just shrugs it off. Gomes obviously enjoys not being a target.
64 Posted 27/09/2020 at 14:24:47
65 Posted 27/09/2020 at 14:48:48
I think Gomes needs to be doing a much much more than just being the 'out ball' for his teammates to justify his selection and usefulness to our success this season.
Unfortunately Gomes neither adds goals or assists in making goals, something Sigurdsson can and has done regularly but is treated with contempt on TW.
Gomes is often carried by our new midfield players and manages to slip through the net without any criticism at all, probably because he's a nice guy.
66 Posted 27/09/2020 at 14:59:12
Yesterday, Seamus got the "assist" for the first goal. But that should not exclude the brilliant interplay between him and Rodriguez, who's first time return ball calved open Palace to allow Seamus to deliver the officially accredited assist. But it was the initial 30-40 yard beauty of a ball from Gomes that started the move.
All 3 "assisted" in making that goal, in my opinion.
67 Posted 27/09/2020 at 15:05:06
I'll always recall him absolutely bossing the midfield in that Anfield Derby two seasons ago, to an extent that shut up all the reds I know.
68 Posted 27/09/2020 at 15:11:47
If I remember correctly, you have coaching experience, my experience is that of an unremarkable Sunday League inside left, but it appears to me that football appreciation is not confined to any one group.
I wish I had a pound for every time I have praised an opposition player, and received dirty looks from supporters in my vicinity in the Park End Stand. It's an involuntary reaction on my part, but you would think that I had committed a serious crime.
I think that anyone who appreciates good football would possess the same attitude. I'll get back now to the second half of the Spurs - Newcastle game on Radio 5.
69 Posted 27/09/2020 at 15:25:22
70 Posted 27/09/2020 at 15:32:34
I agree, and I always grew up knowing Evertonians as a group who would acknowledge good play, even if from the opposition and even if begrudgingly. As Howard Kendall once described us; the most knowdgeable fans in football.
I appreciate it may be a generation thing, that times change and it is harder for the younger generation in particular given what we've endured the past decades (they know no different - easy for me to clap the opposition when you're watching a team win league titles & a European trophy.
That said, I was at an Everton v City match some years ago. Can't recall the exact year without looking, but it was just as they were on their upward spiral, prior to them winning the league and the season Lescott joined them I think. We beat them 2-1, coming back from being a goal down. Osman got the winner with a great header from the edge of the box.
I recall an aimless high ball being lofted into our box as we defended the Park End. Hibbert done everything right. Text book defending; tight, showing the player away from goal etc, but David Silva somehow plucked it out from the skies, took it down on the proverbial sixpence and took Hibbert out of the game. It wasn't poor defending, it was sheer brilliance from Silva. Goodison in almost unison applauded; all for sides of the ground.
71 Posted 27/09/2020 at 15:34:22
If you go back a little bit further in the build-up to that goal, Michael Keane, who for all the time he's been here, very rarely uses the five and up to ten yards space in front of him, got the ball and did use the space and found Gomes with a very good pass to start the move.
Seamus finished it off by looking up, something he rarely does, and pinpointed Dominic with a perfect pass to slot the ball home. They all played a part. James stood out because he knew what he was going to do before he got the ball.
72 Posted 27/09/2020 at 15:42:44
Love your point about James. One of the hardest things to coach is anticipation, both attacking and defending. It can be taught, but situational awareness and knowing what the next pass / move is (thinking ahead) is often and instinctive gift in my experience.
73 Posted 27/09/2020 at 15:43:16
This is the first time in God knows how long where I have made every effort to watch all 5 games in a row. A lack of enthusiasm and general apathy towards the way we have played since that first Martinez season have led me to drift away from watching football altogether. I have the buzz back at the moment. Long may it continue!
74 Posted 27/09/2020 at 16:02:23
From what I have seen so far, I love it. There will be wobblies ahead but sticking with belief in them and support come what may can only bring positives. Enjoy what we are seeing. COYB
75 Posted 27/09/2020 at 18:16:00
76 Posted 27/09/2020 at 19:03:51
Gomes is nothing less than a Rolls-Royce in a sea of Minis, a superb player and, for me at least, a joy to watch. Once a passenger but, with good players in midfield with him, he is sublime.
77 Posted 27/09/2020 at 19:08:01
We could be though and I see what is happening now as the dawning of the Everton era where we become a big club. Evertonians deserve it.
78 Posted 27/09/2020 at 19:23:47
That consistency from him has been elusive but now it is taking root. There's more to come from André Gomes this season.
79 Posted 27/09/2020 at 22:45:09
80 Posted 28/09/2020 at 01:36:14
81 Posted 28/09/2020 at 09:24:06
Bored with the Pickford whinging, give it a rest boys.
82 Posted 28/09/2020 at 12:35:50
83 Posted 29/09/2020 at 11:18:21
84 Posted 30/09/2020 at 12:45:39
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