Everton press on with another goal glut

Dominic Calvert-Lewin and James will have grabbed the headlines but this was another game that featured strong performances in almost every part of the team

Lyndon Lloyd 03/10/2020 52comments  |  Jump to last
Everton 4 - 2 Brighton

Prior to this season, the last time Everton won their first three league games of the season, they came within a hair’s breadth of going down. The last time they had won four straight, in 1969, they went on to lift the title. Early season form often isn’t a barometer of anything, particularly in these strange times of protracted pre-seasons and congested fixtures and when you take into account just how poor the Blues were at times last term, it should be enough to keep even the most unbridled of optimist’s feet fairly close to the ground.

The increasingly loud refrain among Evertonians, however, is that this feels different and it very clearly is. How could it not be with a player of James Rodriguez’s world-class quality? If anyone doubted the Colombian’s appetite for a game against an, at-best, mid-table side in classically autumnal Merseyside weather, he swept those concerns away with a match-winning display before, bedraggled but beaming, he made way for Theo Walcott with 12 minutes to go.

Everton were 4-1 up by that stage and had largely taken their foot off the accelerator — which, given their hectic schedule over the past three weeks and the mounting tally of injuries in their ranks, was probably understandable — but what preceded it was another impressive exhibition of drive, tenacity, guile and lethality in front of goal.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin, who scored his ninth in goal all competitions in only his sixth game, and James will have grabbed the headlines but this was another game that featured strong performances in almost every part of the team. That was important, because two of the starters would likely have been on the bench had Carlo Ancelotti’s squad been fully fit but, in what is becoming a feature of this wonderful start to the season, the rising tide of quality in the ranks has lifted all boats.

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Gylfi Sigurdsson, derided and written off for his lackadaisical offerings last season but now playing with the fire under his backside that stiff competition gives you, is getting better by the week. Tom Davies, asked to fill the opposition-pestering boots of excellent new signing Allan, had his best game in a long while and even performed admirably at full-back after another rejuvenated Blue, Seamus Coleman had been forced off with a hamstring twinge. And Alex Iwobi, who played three quarters of the game after Richarlison limped out of his second match of the week, has started demonstrating what he is capable off with a wonderful “pre-assist” for the third goal before directly serving up the fourth for Rodriguez.

An assist and two goals were enough for James to snag the official man-of-the-match award but he was run close and perhaps edged in many supporters’ minds by Yerry Mina and Abdoulaye Doucouré. Much was heaped on the Frenchman’s shoulders when Allan was ruled out and he responded with a display full of energy and running that took him seemingly over every blade of grass with some really intelligent use of the ball as well.

Mina, meanwhile, scored the importantly-timed second goal and was generally a rock at the back, particularly in the last half hour when Brighton were mostly on top despite the scoreline, making brilliant blocks and dominating in the air.

In Ancelotti’s estimation, Everton played a “complete game” but, unfortunately, there was Jordan Pickford. His manager refused to throw him under the bus after the game but privately England’s No.1 — how much longer that will be the case remains to be seen — must be causing him serious concern. Brighton had failed to lay a glove on their hosts for 40 first-half minutes and were trailing 1-0 when Pickford dropped another unforgivable clanger to gift Neil Maupay and equaliser; thankfully, such is the belief in this Toffees side, parity only lasted four minutes. The debate over the goalkeeper situation at Goodison Park, however, will rumble on for some time if no urgent moves are made before Monday’s transfer deadline.

Of course, Ancelotti could afford to be sanguine about the situation because that one negative hadn’t affected the outcome of the game and his free-scoring team were comfortable winners on the day. Again, the foundations were laid by a strong start and a goal inside the first 20 minutes, scored, somewhat predictably by the on-fire Calvert-Lewin. Both the striker and Coleman had warmed the hands of goalkeeper Matt Ryan with shots in the first three minutes but it was via his head and in very Duncan Ferguson-esque fashion that the striker gave Everton the lead.

Rodriguez took a short corner with Sigurdsson who turned back towards the byline to loft an inviting ball to the back post where Calvert-Lewin leapt high over Adam Webster and despatched his header into the net. It was his sixth in the Premier League, putting him almost halfway to last season’s tally with only four games played.

The work that Ancelotti has done at Finch Farm in recent weeks is plainly evident in the speed with which Everton move the ball now in contrast to the ponderous manner with which they played for much of last season. The soaking rain added zip to their passing and while their control of the contest from an attacking perspective, that was tempered somewhat when Richarlison was forced off following a heavy tackle by Tariq Lamptey, didn’t immediately translate to more goals, there was always a sense that more could follow.

Graham Potter’s side, meanwhile, are committed to a similar ball-playing style, sometimes to the exclusion of more rudimentary tactics that might have tested Pickford more in the wet conditions. When they weren’t trying to kick lumps out of James (a transparent directive that they eventually abandoned once it was clear it was pointless) Brighton occasionally threatened through Lamptey, their exciting young wingback, and Solly March on the opposite flank but hadn’t managed a shot on target until Pickford served up the equaliser on a platter.

Leandro Trossard’s mis-hit volley at the end of an admittedly well-worked and persistent Brighton move kicked up off the turf but at a comfortable height for Pickford to pluck it out of the air but, instead, the ball bounced off his open gloves and dropped to the feet of Maupay who swivelled onto it and fired through Michael Keane’s legs on the goal line.

Briefly, with Richarlison and Allan now sidelined, a number of last season’s “culprits” on the field and the Seagulls coming forward looking to capitalise on any uncertainty in the Everton ranks, the mind wandered to the collapses of last season under both Ancelotti and Marco Silva and you wondered if this might be a moment when the bubble burst. Old habits die hard!

But, again, it appears to be different now. Just as they did against West Brom, they responded to the set-back by simply scoring themselves in fairly short order, this time with a goal brewed up by the resident Cafeteros. Coleman was tripped by March wide on the right and James took charge of the free-kick and pitching-wedged it perfectly onto his compatriot Mina’s head who just had to guide it unerringly past the goalkeeper in first-half stoppage time.

If there is more purpose in how Everton move the ball, they can be relentless in the press, hunting the ball down in packs and closing down passing lanes and though Rodriguez saw one chance get snuffed out following Doucouré’s smart interception, it was from the former Galactico’s own cut-out of Trossard’s attempted ball out to the flank that the Blues scored their third goal.

Calvert-Lewin collected the rebound and fed Iwobi in the box, he took it towards the byline before cutting it back behind three yellow shirts where James arrived to steer it home from seven yards out.

As they would do after conceding the fourth, Brighton responded to adversity by playing better, more uninhibited football and after Coleman had departed for Delph and Davies had moved to fullback, March attacked that side of Everton’s defence and sent a low cross skidding across the face of Pickford’s goal that Sigurdsson very nearly diverted into his own net.

From the resulting corner, a high ball was deposited right onto the Blues’ goal line where Mina was on hand to head it over, getting clattered by Pickford in the process. Seven minutes later, the Everton keeper escaped further inquest when he could only push a cross from the Brighton right straight to Maupay but Davies threw in a crucial block to stop the striker bagging a second goal.

Three minutes after that, Everton made things safe. Doucouré and Calvert-Lewin exchanged passes in the centre-circle following a mis-placed pass by Brighton and the former found Iwobi who held things up nicely for Doucouré to continue his run before finding him with a slide-rule pass.

Doucouré clipped it back across goal where James was lurking again unmarked and once again he found the empty net with a controlled finish to make it 4-1.

As impressive as the first 70 minutes were, Everton were perhaps a little sloppy over the final 20 but Mina stepped up to ensure that any dent to the lead wouldn’t come until it was too late for the Seagulls to affect the result. Davies and Delph were both guilty of giving the ball away in dangerous areas but the shots that resulted were deflected behind by Mina and the Colombian was there again in the 90th minute after Doucouré had uncharacteristically lost possession to deny Maupay.

He could do nothing about Yves Bissouma’s injury-time consolation, although Walcott’s rather disinterested demeanour as the young Malian chested the ball down and smashed a volley into the corner of Pickford’s goal wasn’t in keeping with the defensive diligence shown by his team-mates. It gave the scoreline a more respectable look where Brighton were concerned, one perhaps supported by the possession stats that favoured Potter’s men but there’s no telling if Everton might have added to their tally had they not eased up.

What was so encouraging about this latest win was that this wasn’t Ancelotti’s strongest team and despite the manager’s post-match praise, you get the sense that this still wasn’t Everton firing on all the cylinders they now possess.

They go into a break where many of their stars will be dragged far and wide for internationals but they will return knowing that they have the ability and the potency to take on all comers this season, including Liverpool, their next opponents at Goodison Park in a fortnight’s time.

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Reader Comments (52)

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Jack Convery
1 Posted 04/10/2020 at 04:38:57
Spot-on report. There were parts of the match that had me drooling we were so good. Then came the gifted goal and we were shaken but stirred to go and get the second. The first 24 minutes of the 2nd half was good but at one point I thought Pickford looked like he'd gone; however, he seemed to gather himself and took a couple of high balls comfortably. Mina gave a great display of defending in the last 20 minutes when we eased off and some players looked leggy - hardly surprising given the games we've played.

James was MotM for me – quick thinking on the corner for the first, perfect free-kick for the second, interception and finish for the third and another finish for the fourth. What a player What a team.

Adam Lallana became the first RS to get a taste of this Everton side – now for his former team mates. COYBs.

Dave Evans
2 Posted 04/10/2020 at 05:19:22
Still playing Everton songs here. Wife threatening to walk. Neighbourhood ASBO likely being penned. Who cares.

Good report. Calvert-Lewin and James rightly getting media attention but Mina, Tom and Iwobi all had good games. Doucouré immense and my Man of the Match.

We are looking slick in the final third but we have improved most in what we are doing all over the pitch, when we don't have the ball.

Pickford needs to stop kicking and flapping the ball back into dangerous areas. I would imagine he's in Carlo's last chance saloon.

Sam Bowen
3 Posted 04/10/2020 at 07:16:35
Great report on a great result.

Fantastic game from all of the fringe players who all massively contributed and so pleased for them. I've always thought that Sigurdsson would be a hugely valuable squad player this season and would regain some form. Pleased for Davies and Iwobi too who both had very good games. Amazing what confidence and competition can do.

Mina and Doucouré were both outstanding, as was Coleman until he pulled up. Keane and Digne continued their good form without being spectacular and as for Calvert-Lewin, just unbelievable. I've always rated him highly but I honestly never believed that he'd be more than a 15-goals-a-season player. Amazing form, what a man.

The real Jewell in the crown however is James. What a sublime footballer. Everything he does is pretty much the right thing and at the right time. He's involved in everything positive that we do. Look at the interception for the third goal, if he doesn't pass it first time like he does or try and control it, that goal probably doesn't happen. He knows what to do though, first-time pass and we're in and that's exactly what he does, follows up and a nice easy tap in. What a player.

Anyone else think there may be a surprise or two before the deadline? Godfrey obviously coming in but I wonder if there might be another forward coming in re replace Kean who I do think is a goner. Maybe Romero on loan too

Phil Lewis
4 Posted 04/10/2020 at 08:20:17
Excellent piece, Lyndon. Carlo is masterminding this transformation all over the park, except for one position, goalkeeper. How much longer can he possibly keep faith with 'Calamity Jordan'?

You pinpointed the improvement of several players, whose previous performances have been rightly criticised, yet now they have raised their game to the high standard set by the new arrivals. For me, the key to our magnificent start is as you mentioned, the speed and accuracy of our passing game. The build-up is a joy to watch. That monotonous backwards sidewards going nowhere attempt at a possession game, thankfully a distant memory.

My very real fear is that all of this good work will come to nothing unless Ancelotti immediately addresses the goalkeeping problem. It is not going to improve without radical change. Pickford must be replaced, he is not up to the task. He will cost us matches when the opposition is stronger than the teams we have faced so far.

We have competition for every position in this team now. That is crucial for success. Carlo cannot pretend any longer that the same principle does not apply to the position of goalkeeper.

Danny O’Neill
5 Posted 04/10/2020 at 09:04:42
Nothing to add Lyndon, pretty much as I saw it.
Mike Benjamin
6 Posted 04/10/2020 at 09:24:29
Spot on report with the key point being we no longer fold when faced with adversity. We look like creating good chances at any time and most importantly, I no longer feel the need to watch games through gaps in my fingers. It’s sad that we are not able to see them from my GP seat but even sadder that there will be some who never will again.
Barry Rathbone
7 Posted 04/10/2020 at 09:34:31
Unquestionable progress but forgive arl arses like me for keeping our powder dry when we have a gaping hole where a goal keeper should be.

As ever the challenge of the RS will reveal the truth

Jamal Paktongko
8 Posted 04/10/2020 at 09:34:36
I think sitting on the bench, Davies glued his eyes on Allan and actually learnt a great deal.

So, when it was time to step up, he did the job so well that people hardly noticed Allan is missing.

Sitting on the sidelines and watching is not a bad thing if you do it properly.

Neil Cremin
9 Posted 04/10/2020 at 09:38:02
What Carlo has done is not only identifying where we had major problems but he has also brought out the best in our established players. Coleman, Keane, Mina, Sigurdsson, Calvert-Lewin and Davies. But we are still a work in progress.

I have never been a Jordan fan even from the very first season. Yesterday, he showed the same frailties which he displayed in the first season. Not being able to claim and catch the ball in the 6-yard box. Parrying ball back into play, clattering into own player, kicking the ball directly out of play, and berating his own players when we concede a goal and the more than occasional clanger. Jordan is a great shot-stopper and really know how to spread his body which help him make fantastic saves but it is not enough if we have aspirations to compete at the top level

On a more positive note, to me watching the game yesterday was James. Firstly, the physical attention and the rain didnt phase him and more importantly the first thing he did when scoring was to gio and give credit for the assist. Great attitude, great professional. Jordan take note.

Tony Everan
10 Posted 04/10/2020 at 09:42:29
Thanks Lyndon, Any criticism seems unwelcome doesn't it, 7 wins out of 7, Quarterfinals in the cup, top of the league! The lads have been fantastic especially considering the tight schedules. We have to remember criticism doesn't have to be negative, it can be constructive.

Is it a bubble or is this sustainable for an entire season?

It's definitely not a bubble waiting to be burst, but I do question the top four sustainability as things stand.

1. Goalkeeper: Pickford is regressing and that worries me, he is trying to put things right but it is still no better. I keep wanting him to step it up but now I don't think it is going to happen. Too much poor decision-making, too many errors. A quality mature keeper on loan for a year could be good for us, and may even spur on Pickford if he is dropped.

2. Allan back-up, The team looks and operates better with him in it. We look more balanced, stable and in control. We handle the defensive phases of games in far better, more organised and controlled way. I think we need to be watertight in this capability to finish top four. Can Delph step up and be reliable? Or failing that, Godfrey? I think there is a bit of an imbalance as we have too many attacking, non-tackling midfielders, that imbalance needs tweaking. Ideally, I would like Brands to find a young Allan, Jorginho, Kante, Gana. Just like he has found the superb Nkounkou, to step in as Allan's deputy.

3. Striker back-up, for rotation, injuries. Kean wants to go back to Italy so this will be essential if we let him go. We shouldn't allow it until a replacement is sorted.

Neil Cremin
11 Posted 04/10/2020 at 09:43:42
Just an addendum to Jordan issue. Ian Wright pointed out the obvious on MotD. He couldn't understand why Brighton didn't put Jordan under pressure when he was so vulnerable. You can be sure, as long as Jordan is our 'keeper, other managers will see that opportunity.
Alastair Donaldson
12 Posted 04/10/2020 at 09:56:26
Outstanding grammar and creative use of the English language Lyndon.

Particularly enjoyed Sanguine, not often you hear that one and challenged by the use of Lethality... definitely going to try and slip that into daily use!

Oh yeah, the footy wasn't bad either.

James has started incredibly well, I wondered if he would be fit after the year we have had so far, but without seeing a whole 90 minutes yet, his style of play doesn't need a doucoure diesel engine. The assuredness of his two finishes made them both look so easy, they weren't!

Pickford though, I hope Carlo has a cure for him. Great shot/peno stopper but far too inconsistent with catching/punching. Big Nev would have let 0 goals in so far this season.

Another good weekend, long may it continue!

Peter Warren
13 Posted 04/10/2020 at 10:16:47
I’m not a massive fan of Pickford but believe he has potential. The easy option and perhaps correct option is to replace him.

Personally, whilst against the grain and very risky and could undermine everything Carlo is doing, I would keep faith for this season. My concern is our number 2, does Carlo have no faith in him as he isn’t even playing in league cup? We need our number 2 to be a genuine challenger.

I think we ought to have a number 2 who can come in as number 1 if Pickford’s howlers OR erratic behaviour continues. I would put pressure on him and say unless he is 7/8 out of ten each match, he will lose his place. As Carlo said himself, we need a squad that embraces pressure just like DCL has stepped up so should Pickford.

Martin Davies
14 Posted 04/10/2020 at 11:03:31
A great report as ever Lyndon. To compliment it, and the excellent discussion above, here are a few miscellaneous thoughts that tripped through my mind:

* Tom Davies had his best game for months, perhaps for 2 years. He played with discipline and bite in midfield. Whilst we missed Allan's creativity and calmness, young Tom's performance was important in plugging the gaps and protecting the back four. And notably, when pushed into right back, he actually defended pretty well I thought. Of course we didn't see him bombing up the wing like Seamus, but as a defender I thought he did pretty well. It was actually quite refreshing to see a defender playing as a true defender - not something one sees often these days in this world of wingbacks.

* Pickford is just too unpredictable mentally to be considered "elite" at the top level. It's a credit to his physical prowess that he's been so successful. But unless he can get a grip of his mental frailties he's an accident waiting to happen; over and over. Just look at the way he reacted after the goal: pounding the floor with his fist, then pummelling the goalpost, sucking on his water bottle like it was the very fountain of youth. Most 8 year olds would be embarrassed by that behaviour, as would their parents. I wonder what Carlo thinks of it? The best goalkeepers are calm, unflustered. Can you imagine Alisson behaving like that? No, he'd just grimace, and collect himself and make sure it didn't happen again. Pickford needs some serious help - if he can learn to control his emotions he could go to the next level. But I'd personally like to see him taken out of the limelight for a few games, and give Lossl a few games.

* Sigurdsson: was this the same Sigurdsson that wandered through games ineffectually for most of last year? Credit the lad, he put a shift in, harried and worked as hard as anyone.

* Lastly Coleman: some of the moves he showed on the right wing in the first 30 minutes were truly beautiful; I was shocked that none of the commentators picked it up. If he played for Barcelona it would make headlines and the pools of drool would threaten to drown many a journalist. It took me back to that wonderful Cruyff turn and keepy-uppy-on-the-run-skills that he displayed in that game against Arsenal in 2014. If you have't seen it, search on YouTube for "Seamus Coleman Skills vs Arsenal"

* Lastly, like many I was worried that we might have acquired a beautiful but wasteful lemon in James Rodriquez? Why on earth would be come to Everton from Real Madrid - was he permanently crocked? Would he disappear after 3 months in a whirl of Instagram pictures, deflated by the league, the team, the football. But seeing his face after the goals, that board, honest, unfettered smile of joy, and the all over effort (such as the sliding hook tackle to dispossess a Brighton player on the edge of his own penalty area) - I cannot doubt that he is loving it at Everton. In a way it's probably good that he's played these first few games without crowds, without that weight of expectation on 40,000 faces. But my God, when Goodison is full again, and James is in full flight - can you imagine the roar, the joy, the delight?

C'mon you blues.

Mark Taylor
15 Posted 04/10/2020 at 11:33:38
Bringing in 3 very good players, one bordering on world class, has had a transformative effect on the team. Davies and Siggy are a step down from Allan and Gomes but the feelgood factor of new faces and the competition that now exists appears to have brought their game up a bit, at least to the position of adequate stand ins. Not so convinced that Iwobi is at that point as a Richi back up. Two assists, yes, but otherwise he was unimpressive. I would have liked to see Gordon yesterday because I feel he shows much more penetration than Iwobi but clearly Carlo is not seeing what he wants in training.

Having just signed a very promising young central defender, that seemed to push Mina, who I am otherwise doubtful about, to his best game in a blue shirt. Where we are somewhat exposed, the goalie issue aside, is right back, with the 3 players who operate there all injured. That is bad luck though the law of sod always tends to mean that there will be one position will be where you get your injuries all at the same time. And up front because if Kean has had enough, we will be in trouble if DCL gets injured and in any case, he will need a rest at some point.

I think the other change I perceive this year is the level of fitness of the players, they appear ready to hit the ground running far more than in previous years, where we have tended to plod lethargically. Has Carlo changed something this year? It is especially surprising and pleasing because talent aside, I never expected someone of James' reputation for injury and lack of game time to adapt so seamlessly to the EPL. There have been players equally as talented who have taken months if not a whole season. We all had our reservations about his ability to do this quickly or even at all, but it appears he has a lot of pent up impatience to put his mark on football matches again. Like others, it is so exciting to see such class, the last one near this category was Duncan McKenzie. Let's hope James optimises his talents a bit more than Duncan, who was sublime at his best, but also inconsistent.

Brian Harrison
16 Posted 04/10/2020 at 11:44:07
A great start to the season 7 wins from 7 games, and confidence in the whole squad is very high. I never for a minute doubted that we had at last appointed a world class manager when we appointed Carlo, unlike some who thought he was washed up and only here to top up his pension pot.

His 3 signings have that quality that we have been missing, many questioned his signing of James, saying he was still living on what he did in the 2014 World Cup. Allan again some questioned why are we signing a 29 year old, and Doucoure some questioned his signing. But thankfully Carlo knew exactly what he was getting in all 3 players, and to think they have settled into the team so quickly is a big bonus. Not only are they excellent signings they also seem to have galvanised the rest of the squad who all look really motivated. Mina yesterday gave his best performance in a Blue shirt, no doubt sending the message that you may have signed Godfrey, but he isn't taking my position. DCL couldnt buy a goal after lockdown, now banging in goals for fun, Richarlison has always looked a very good player and more so now he has a great rapport with James.
Michael Keane looked poor but since lockdown and the return of the new season looks a completely different player, even Sigurdsson and Davies were both very good yesterday, and it looks like Seamus has turned the clock back 5 years.

But as Carlo said this is only the start and the season which has a long way to go, and I think he is absolutely right to say to the players that's all it is a good beginning. To be honest with the signings we have made apart from the Spurs result I would have expected us to have beaten all 3 of our Caraboa cup opponents and would have expected to have beaten Brighton and WBA and on a half decent day beat Palace. I think our next 2 league games will tell us a lot more about how much we have improved since last season. But I cant remember the last time we went into a derby game having just won 4 league games on the bounce.

Obviously the only downside yesterday was Jordan Pickford, who for me makes to many silly avoidable mistakes, and unlike every ither position on the pitch if a goalkeeper makes a mistake it usually ends up in a goal. Even the very reliable Ediison gifted Leeds a goal yesterday. Every keeper will make mistakes but Jordan makes to many for my liking. When the great Brian Clough signed Peter Shilton for a World record he said he is worth every penny as he alone will save us 10 points a season and so it proved. Whether Carlo has the money for a top goalkeeper this window I am not sure, but if Jordan keeps making silly mistakes its only amatter of time before he is replaced.

Danny O’Neill
17 Posted 04/10/2020 at 12:47:14
Mike @6. On the fans in attendance thin, I notice positive signs coming out of Germany yesterday, with stadia taking in between 10 & 25% of capacity. 14,500 in attendance at Dortmund.
Charles Brewer
18 Posted 04/10/2020 at 13:16:00
I think the most impressive performance yesterday was from. Iwobi.

He wasn't the best player on the pitch, that was James, or maybe Mina, but yesterday I saw a player whose confidence seems to have returned and who was superb in the penalty area while setting up two goals.

Most players, when they get to the goal line, blast it across the front of the goal and hope that it hits someone and goes in, or some Andy Gray type will stick his head in among the flying boots. Iwobi, by contrast, looked up, evaluated the situation and passed to ball to the one player who was on his own, on the far side of the penalty area and whose pedigree virtually guaranteed a goal.

True world class players appear to do things slowly - they look as though they are in Matrix-style bullet time. They have time, economy and appear to know exactly what is going on all round them. Pele and Cruyff, and perhaps George Best and Alex Young used to do this. Rodriguez sometimes does this, and yesterday, Alex Iwobi did it.

I hope it was something we shall see much more of. Maybe he'll turn out to be another talent liberated by Carlo Ancelotti.

Yesterday, that was what Iwobi did.

Charles Brewer
19 Posted 04/10/2020 at 13:17:49
Oops, I can't edit my comment! The last two paragraphs are the wrong way round.
Joe McMahon
20 Posted 04/10/2020 at 13:23:02
Charles, well said.
John McFarlane Snr
21 Posted 04/10/2020 at 13:27:36
Hi Danny [17] as a season ticket holder, I won't be going back as a part time supporter watching games on a rota system, it's all or nothing for me. Assuming that Everton have 30,000 season ticket holders,10% equals 3,000
meaning that 27,000 have to wait their turn. I would think that such a system would cause enormous administrative problems, for example my grandson sits next to me so he would require access to all the games I attend.
Darren Hind
22 Posted 04/10/2020 at 13:28:02

I know how desperate you are to be right, but you need to try to suppress your desperate urge to scream I told you so. It does you no favours

Your first paragraph is incredible "I never doubted Ancelotti was world class"... What ???? You do realise that 99% of the posters on this website thought that too ? That You are not unique with some kind of incredible knowledge into the things Ancelotti has won.
To my knowledge there is only 2-3 of us on here to express reservation and I have seen nothing to suggest they have changed their minds.

Calm yourself down. The only thing that has been proved so far, is how wrong you were when you exonerated Carlo of all blame for last seasons nightmare by claiming the players were simply not good enough.

Marcel Brands made a bold statement (before Carlo even got here) saying that we had youngsters who would be the envy of football. Those words ring truer every day as one by one they have started to establish themselves. To a reasonable judge of a player, they were always going to come good.
Seamus, Mina, Digne, Keane are amongst others who are showing Carlo was NOT getting the best out of them in the 19 games he was in charge. Why cant you just admit that ? instead of crowing I told you so. You cant just say players are not good enough as an excuse for the manager, then give him all the credit when they prove you wrong. They were ALL established internationals ALWAYS better than their critics made them out to be. They simply lacked purpose and direction

The gods are smiling on us at the moment, even to the point were we dodged bullets when our original targets in the transfer market turned us down and enabled us to bring in the players we did

Carlo is looking impressive in interviews. He is getting the credit he deserves for making a much better fist of it than he did last year. The signings he has made may not be the sole reason we are top and in a quarter final, but they have been magnificent and a huge factor. The football is easy on the eye and we are top of the league.
Whats not to like ?

We none of us expected this and we none of us know how long it will last.
So reverse that open top bus back into the garage and take the I-told-you-so's with them. (especially seeing as you didnt).
This is a time to just enjoy the place we are in now.

Tony Heron
23 Posted 04/10/2020 at 13:48:59
Some of the football from the blues yesterday was breathtaking. The movement of the ball from defence to attack was, at times, of the highest quality. I haven't seen an Everton team play like that since "The School of Science ", in the 60's. It's been a long time since we lived up to the line in our song which goes, "Everton's the team that plays beautiful football"! I remember watching the great Alex Young and not being bothered about what was going on in the game, but just wanting him to have the ball so he could do his magic. Now I'm feeling the same about Rodriguez. What a player, what class! Brands should be done for theft for what he paid for James( Hames).
John Cook
24 Posted 04/10/2020 at 14:18:03
Heard some shite on line yesterday about the "Merseyside rule" coming around again blues and reds together.Well speaking for myself,the redshite can fuck right off! I don't want anything to do with all that crap.Didnt go much for it in the 80's and want even less to do with the c**ts now.Forgive the language but seething to think they are trying to steel the limelight...don't need this shit at my age,just loving the fact that it's the best football I've seen by Everton since 69/70
Don't want anything to do with the r.s.spoiling it for me.
Bitter blue ? Fuckin A !!
Danny O’Neill
25 Posted 04/10/2020 at 14:22:32
That's understandable John. I guess I was just pleased to see it as a positive sign of some fans being allowed back.

I get ypur administrative point. Germany is a country renowned for its discipline and organisation. We'd probably royally make a hash of it!!

Danny O’Neill
26 Posted 04/10/2020 at 14:25:34
That's understandable John. I guess I was just pleased to see it as a positive sign of some fans being allowed back. Gradual shoots of returning to normality.

I get your administrative point. Germany is a country renowned for its discipline and organisation. We'd probably royally make a hash of it!!

Danny O’Neill
27 Posted 04/10/2020 at 14:27:11
Excuse the double tap. Like others reported, edit doesn't seem to be working
John McFarlane Snr
28 Posted 04/10/2020 at 14:57:35
Hi Darren [22] I have given a great deal of thought on how to address this post, I have thought for a number of years that as team we haven't been good enough to make any significate impression in the Premier League. My view was that the weakness was not necessarily in individuals but was a collective problem. I believe in the old maxim of 'Confidence breeds success' I have no idea where or when the players rose to the challenge. I would however hazard a guess that Carlo Ancelotti would appear to have played a part. On a previous thread that seems to have run it's course, I stated that I agreed with most of your posts, but I encouraged you to give Ancelotti time to prove himself as a manager because everyone deserves a settling in period. I'll repeat, I find your enthusiasm and loyalty for Everton FC, and the quality of your posts, but recommend patience and tolerance of alternative views.
Stan Schofield
29 Posted 04/10/2020 at 16:05:40
Darren@22: It's my belief that football mirrors life in general, in that most things cannot be realistically analysed. It doesn't stop people analysing ad infinitum, but at the end of the day I believe most analysls leads to a kind of mental paralysis, in that nobody is any the wiser (analysis leading to paralysis).

In this respect, our struggles over the Moshiri era are so difficult to pin down, but probably boil down to a lack of 'gelling', of the 'machine' not working efficiently because of some unknowables, of some lack of 'chemistry' or 'alchemy' necessary for success. We can identify specific contributing factors, and many on here have identified problems in individual players 'not putting a shift in'. For myself, I always tended to blame the management rather than the individual players, because it's the managements job to sort out the 'collective effort', to create the necessary gelling of a team of individuals. So that the whole, the team, is somehow greater than the collection of individual parts. In particular, I always definitely avoided blaming younger players who had to perform in crap setups.

The current apparent renaissance of Everton this season (albeit after only 7 games) seems to result from a combination of the talent we already had in the squad before Ancelotti, the three new high-class signings under Ancelotti, and Ancelotti himself. Of the three new signings, Rodriguez appears to be a potential talisman in the mould of Young and Ball, but of course only time will tell.

Something seems different now, to a degree that must be exciting to young Evertonians. I remember when we got Ball, when I was 12, I was so excited, it was so cool supporting Everton, the club that signed the World Cup final MOTM. If were 12 now, I'd probably be similarly excited. I'm actually 66, probably too cynical, but recent events have given me the same type of excitement I had at age 12. I can't believe the quality of our football, it reminds me of the late 60s Everton, and it makes me well up at times, particularly when I think of all the Evertonians who've supported through thick and thin, mainly thin.

How did it get like this? For me, impossible to say, apart from knowing (as well as I know the Sun will rise in the East tomorrow) that it's due to Ancelotti, to our individual players who have so often struggled, and to the presence of the three new signings, particularly Rodriguez, who truly looks world class.

The current team spirit seems to be embodied by the look of joy of the face of Rodriguez, which reminds me of Alan Ball saying "I love this place".

Dave Ganley
30 Posted 04/10/2020 at 16:39:56
Enjoying the posts on here, especially John #28 and Stan #29.

Currently there's a real feel good factor going on, not just because we are winning, although that's great, but also how we are playing. It's silky, incisive, scoring goals for fun, all players playing to potential and with a smile on their faces.

How did this come about and how long it continues? Well, who knows... but I haven't felt this giddy since the mid 80s and the fact that Stan compares them with the 1969-70 team (bit before my time) speaks volumes.

Darren #22 succinctly puts it into perspective: "This is the time to enjoy the place we are in now".

Well said and I'm doing just that.

Mick Davies
31 Posted 04/10/2020 at 16:44:04
Anyone remember the Man Utd game, when Manny Fernandes scored 'that goal?' Well there we were, coasting at 2-0, when a clown called Ian Turner did exactly what Pickford did, dropping an easy catch at the feet of O'Shea, who gave them a lifeline, demoralised the whole team, and we went on to lose 4-2.

The moral of this tale is; that's how damaging a dodgy keeper can be to a good side. Turner was quickly offloaded and we never had to endure such amateurish antics between the sticks... until now. I have defended Pickford, even as late as Friday to a relative, but yesterday was the final straw.

It wasn't just 'that' incident, but the panic and bad decisions, like pushing the ball towards their players more than once, and the childish display of petulance that was embarrassing. Since he came to the club, he's played every Premier League game under all managers, and he knows he owns the position, however he performs.

I believe he must be dropped, otherwise this malaise could spread through the squad, where morale is at it's highest for decades.

Michael Barrett
32 Posted 04/10/2020 at 17:31:09
Mick Davies..that's the best article I've read on pickford, echoes my thoughts...quite a few on here reckon he is a great keeper, just unlucky, it's ok to say that when we pick up maximum points, they will go into hiding if he throws one into his own net in the last minute against the shite in a few weeks.
Danny O’Neill
33 Posted 04/10/2020 at 17:37:15
Darren, Brian & Others.

I agree with the sentiment all around. This isn't about being right or wrong, nor is it about "I told you so" had this gone either way and may still do so.

We all have a particular view at given points in time. Sometimes our view is proven right over time, often it turns out different. Regardless of how educated and experienced we consider ourselves, none of us can truly predict the future; short or long term. It's usually a speculative punt right?

My personal view point was that I was pleased with the Ancelotti appointment at the time. It was (in my opinion) a statement in comparison to the bizarre appointments of Martinez and Silva. I'll be honest, I initially ate humble pie over Martinez after that first season only sadly to be proven right. I also initially thought the Koeman appointment was a great one, but I now appreciate that I got that one wrong as I probably got sucked in by my childhood view on Koeman the player, not Koeman the manager.

I hoped that having someone of Ancelotti's standing in the game would put Everton on the map again. That his influence could attract players of a higher standard despite our current (yes still current) position in comparison to those we have lost ground on since the 80s.

So far, this appears to be coming to fruition, so I am pleased. That doesn't make me right. Doesn't make me "told you so". Doesn't make me a Carlo "happy clapper". I'm pleased the way it has gone so far in addressing what we all knew was wrong last season. But the key there is "so far". As Darren says, those players were not all lost causes, they just needed surrounding by the introduction of a couple of higher standard players with midfield in particular the critically ill patient. Carlo has done that and is now getting more return out of those who looked average at best last season. All I will say, is we don't get those players who have made such an immediate impact if Ancelotti or someone of his standing is not our manager.

I'm not getting carried away. I don't for one minute think we have fixed the wrongs of decades of neglect and negativity. But my god, there is a marked and immediate difference in approach, mentality and positivity around the club. However long this lasts, we haven't had this for a long time.

Now we can judge Ancelotti on his Everton team, which is a combination of those he keeps from the previous regime and those he brings in himself.

Barry Rathbone
34 Posted 04/10/2020 at 17:42:05
John Cook @24

I'm with you brother

Mike Gaynes
35 Posted 04/10/2020 at 17:51:02
I just watched our game again on replay, we're unbeaten and top of the table, and now I'm watching United being humiliated.

I guess I'm a Happy Clapper, because I'm literally smiling and clapping.

John McFarlane Snr
36 Posted 04/10/2020 at 17:54:01
Hi Dave [3o] I can't believe that I typed 'significate' when it was supposed to have been 'significant' I may have invented a new word, but I hope you knew what I meant.

Hi Stan [29] your post is far more eloquent than mine, but if I have read it correctly it appears that we have both expressed the same opinion.

Brian Harrison
37 Posted 04/10/2020 at 19:45:11

I know that you always like to twist everybodys words to try and give a false impression to what posters are actually saying. If you had bother to read the whole post I said that it was early days and apart from the Spurs game, I would have expected us to win the games we have, so I hardly think I am as you suggest calling for an open top bus parade. As for last season I didnt exonerate Ancelotti I said before you embark on crucifying yet another manager at least lets see what happens when he brings his own players in. And even you have grudgingly admitted that his 3 signings have had a significant impact. As for the claim of me shouting I told you so, I leave that sort of stuff to you as you are so good at doing that, just like your idea of a debate is to try and insult other posters a bit like Trump.
So rather than throw insults at people try to address the points you wish to make without insulting people with your holier than thou approach. I could imagine if T/W had been around when Kendall was struggling in his first spell you would have been one of the first asking for him to be sacked. Sorry that being a big fan of Ancelotti seems to go against what you think, but you see I havent seen another manager of our club get us to a Champions league final let alone win 3 of them, and I have been watching Everton since 1958 so maybe when we get a manager who has won as much as he has it makes me a little excited that he now managers OUR great club.

Charles Brewer
38 Posted 04/10/2020 at 20:14:41
Well at least ManU were doing better than the RS at half time! Anyone want to swap Pickford for Alisson?
Michael Barrett
39 Posted 04/10/2020 at 21:50:01
All this crazy football and no fans to watch it...my lad is on holiday in Turkey and the bar he is in have wall to wall red shite scarves...and right now they are all crying there fecken eyes out...hahaha
Jerome Shields
40 Posted 04/10/2020 at 22:39:46
Everton are currently facing a great opportunity to progress this season. What Everton do in the next two days in the transfer window and what Ancelotti can achieve in the next two weeks will be critical to the outcome. Glad Everton have a experienced Manager insitu.

'Goal glut' was never more appropriate.

Stan Schofield
41 Posted 04/10/2020 at 23:31:29
John@24: Absolutely. We have nothing to do with any other club, especially another club who's culture is so marked with being poor losers, ungracious winners, and (especially these days) habitual cheats.
Tony Hill
42 Posted 04/10/2020 at 23:49:42
Stan, that post @29 is superb. You speak for a lot of the older Blues (Tony @23) who remember what it was like, but also you identify the pure pleasure we’re all taking in this exciting side.

It’s wonderful that we’ve found ourselves.

Darren Hind
43 Posted 05/10/2020 at 01:21:28

Nobody needs to twist your words. You have typed them clearly enough. Read your own opening paragraph. All the following caveats in the world don't hide your intentions

After constantly shouting down and moaning that people have no right to judge after 17/18/19 games. You could not contain yourself with the I-told-so's. After four league games.

When you spoke about "some" saying Ancelotti was here to top up his pension. You clearly had one person in mind. Unfortunately, for you. I don't accept your I-told-you-so. I'm still not convinced on that front, but If you think he earned his five million or so quid last season, then thats your prerogative. I sense he is enjoying his time here now, but It'll take a bit more to convince me.

As for all that guff about what I would or wouldnt have said and done in the eighties. Why would I respond to that ? Its simply you telling me how I feel and what I would say - Yet again.
I've insulted nobody and I wont be drawn into an argument when things are finally going so well. I have tackled the point you clearly directed at me.

As for me "grudgingly admitting" the three signings have been a success. Thats just more nonsense. You wont find anything from me that hasnt been ultra positive about any of them. I think there is a risk, but I didnt believe we were going to be able to spend money on anybody without selling.
Maybe I had read the wrong articles about Fair play, but Moshiri and his accountants have really surprised me by finding the cash and I'm delighted they could.

Now. Like almost everyone else. I will concentrate on enjoying the good football. We've waited long enough

Kieran Kinsella
44 Posted 05/10/2020 at 01:37:45
Fact check on aisle one:

“Brands said we had youngsters who would be the envy of football.”

He actually said “DCL, Richarlison and Lookman were the envy who of the premier league.”

“One by one they’ve proven themselves”

Richarlison had already “proven himself” with better goals/assists ratio at that point than he has in the current season. Lookman has this far proven Brands Wrong. So on the bold statement front Brands gets one out of three.

Andrew Keatley
45 Posted 05/10/2020 at 02:13:00
Isn’t it interesting that the people who really love to say “I told you so” are also the people who really seem to hate hearing it from other people?
David Currie
46 Posted 05/10/2020 at 04:22:28
John 24, Totally agree with you, also will the RS get fined for breaking covid rules after letting in more than 6??? Also anyone got any 7up??
Nicholas Ho
47 Posted 05/10/2020 at 04:51:00
What a strange week of football
(1) Everton alone at the top of the EPL...scored about 23 goals in 7
magnificent (all competitions)
(2) RS got dumped by Villa 7 goals... RS goalie Adrian made Pickford
looks good. OMG
(3) Man Utd hit by 6 and got criticism from all over
(4) Leicester dumped by West Ham at home by 3 goals...
(5) Everton & Villa only 2 unbeaten teams left in EPL


David Ellis
48 Posted 05/10/2020 at 10:02:45
Kieran – not disagreeing with your post but Lookman really caught the eye when he came on for Fulham yesterday (as did Antonee Robinson who started at right-back – they had a great combination going on).
Jeff Hough
49 Posted 05/10/2020 at 11:57:44
Great article Lyndon, as usual, but James came off looking "bedraggled". Fuck, wish I looked like that when I am bedraggled, which is most of the time.
David Cash
50 Posted 05/10/2020 at 17:43:53

In the full interview, Brands mentioned a number of players, including Holgate and Dowell. He was speaking about younger players as a whole, but he was spot on about all the ones he mentioned.

Richarliosn, Calvert-Lewin and Holgate are collectively worth 4 or 5 times what we paid for them. And, if memory serves me right, we made a healthy profit on Lookman too.

Ray Roche
51 Posted 05/10/2020 at 18:00:34
David @50

You say that, collectively, Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin and Holgate are worth 4-5 times what we paid for them. Richarlison is worth maybe £20-£25m more than he cost? The other two, though, must be worth many times what they cost.

Calvert-Lewin, I think, cost £1.5m. What would he be worth now, when a Liverpool reserve, Rhiannon Brewster was valued at £23M? – Now he is a Championship player.

Darren Hind
52 Posted 06/10/2020 at 05:12:00
Is right, D.

The interview with brands was a long one and although one part of it focused on the forwards. He was indeed talking about Youngsters as a whole.

Holgate, Davies, Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin, Gordon have one by one proven themselves, Branthwaite was in the process of doing so, until he got crocked.

Richarlison was a very good signing and Silva must be given due credit, but I'm loving seeing Unsworth's work finally getting the recognition it deserves, not just as a coach, but as a talent spotter.

Brands was spot on, even to the point of some needing loans to get experience. If he can keep up the good work, we will not only climb the table, but we will save fortunes.

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