Everton given bracing reality check as Saints burst early-season bubble

Lyndon Lloyd 25/10/2020 195comments  |  Jump to last
Southampton 2 - 0 Everton

As magical as Everton’s start to the season has been, there were always going to be setbacks and bumps in the road but as reality checks go, this one perhaps came sooner and more brutally than expected. With a first-choice XI as good as most teams when firing all on cylinders, Carlo Ancelotti’s side stormed to the top of the Premier League with four straight wins but if cracks had started to emerge in the derby last weekend, a wedge was driven into them on the south coast this afternoon.

Richarlison’s unnecessary sending off against Liverpool last week felt like it was going to be costly and, in combination with the loss to injury of Seamus Coleman and fitness concerns over James Rodriguez, that proved to be the case as the Toffees put in their worst performance since the final day of last season. In retrospect, that shouldn’t be surprising because Ancelotti was forced to turn to some of 2019-20’s under-performers and the lack of depth in quality of his squad was disconcertingly exposed on a chastening afternoon at St Mary’s.

It would be remiss not to point out at the outset that Southampton were excellent and, in many ways, were everything Everton have been up until now but patently weren’t today. Quicker, more energetic, more imaginative and more incisive, they were full value for the victory. A year ago today, seven of Saints’ 11 starters today they were crushed 9-0 on this ground by Leicester and it was only a few weeks ago that they lost 5-2 to Tottenham, so credit must go to Ralph Hasenhuttl for continuing to work with his players to engineer improvement.

However, Spurs’s victory was notable in that they ruthlessly exploited Hasenhuttl’s high line with the pace in transition of Son Hueng-Min, scoring three more goals than Everton managed shots on target today; with no Richarlison and with Southampton playing a far more intelligent game this time around, there simply weren’t the opportunities for the Toffees to do the same.

Instead, it was an examination of how weak this Everton team can be when the “second string” players like Alex Iwobi, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Bernard simply aren’t able to step up and provide what their hosts’ midfield, all of them supposedly inferior players, offered, particularly in the first half.

Like Marco Silva before him, Ancelotti’s challenge with all three players is that they are best playing centrally behind the striker(s) and, as such, they are luxuries, particularly in a team that doesn’t really accommodate a “No 10”… and if it did, James Rodriguez would be the one to fill it.

True to his erratic form since joining from Arsenal, Iwobi endured a torrid 45 minutes and was rightly hooked at half-time by which time Everton were trailing 2-0 and had barely laid a glove on Southampton. The problem was that, also shoved out on the left flank, Bernard was only marginally better and it wasn’t until Anthony Gordon came on just short of the hour mark that some of that pace, direct running and unpredictability that Richarlison provides was injected into the side.

Unfortunately, any hope that Everton could retrieve something from the game vanished when Lucas Digne became the second recipient of a straight red card in the space of a week. The debate will run over whether it was accidental or a “dangerous” challenge worthy of a straight red card and a three-game ban — don’t hold your breath on the club’s appeal against the decision being successful given the narrative that has been playing out since the incident with Jordan Pickford and Virgil van Dijk — but the Frenchman was always risking contact and “taking a yellow for the team” by running so closely behind Kyle Water-Peters in the way he did.

With James then being forced to amble his way through the closing stages with a hamstring strain because Everton had no more substitutes available, it really was just a case of keeping the score down and getting back to Merseyside to regroup ahead of the trip to Newcastle next weekend.

In what frame of mind Everton will travel to the northeast will be down to Ancelotti’s motivational and inspirational powers because this defeat and the manner of it does raise questions over whether this team is as far along as we thought. When the increased competition was spurring those players who had lost their first-choice roles to operate at 100%, it felt as though the depth was there but the performances of Iwobi, Sigurdsson and even André Gomes last week will give the manager plenty to think about in the days ahead.

Southampton making a strong start to the game wasn’t unexpected. Coming off a stirring 3-3 draw at Chelsea, their tails would have been up but it quickly became apparent that Hasenhuttl’s men were moving the ball more effectively through the lines than Everton who were having trouble playing past the Saints’ press.

The Austrian manager had clearly done his homework, instructing his players to push through the gap behind James on the right to target Ben Godfrey who made a full debut to forget, struggling out of position at right back. It was down that avenue that Ryan Bertrand almost served up the opening goal after 11 minutes but Nathan Redmond scuffed a great chance wide and 12 minutes after that, Stuart Armstrong air-kicked another low cross from the same position.

In between Sigurdsson had come within inches of opening his Premier League account for the season with an almost brilliant strike from the corner of the box following a typically sublime Rodriguez pass but the shot bounced off the top of the crossbar. Little did they know it then but apart from a Rodriguez free-kick dispatched straight at Alex McCarthy, it was as close as the visitors would come to scoring on the day, although there was a case for a penalty when James got around Che Adams and the striker shoved him over the byline with no attempt to play the ball. (It makes you wonder how penalties are given for unintentional handballs and the like but not for obvious fouls like this.)

Back at the other end Oriel Romeu had space to test Pickford from distance but the England ‘keeper pushed his shot away but only a minute later, the hosts took the lead. This time, the attack came down the right and rather than be the goalscorer, Danny Ings became the provider with the first of two assists on the day following an admittedly clever piece of mis-direction from a throw-in.

James Ward-Prowse and Armstrong switched positions allowing the former to ghost away from Sigurdsson, flick the ball over Allan and collect a return pass from Ings before slamming a shot across Pickford and into the far corner.

Eight minutes later, Everton were 2-0 down and facing a mountain to climb if they were to keep their unbeaten start intact or even get back to winning ways. Adams found Ings down the left flank where he drove past Godfrey and flighted the ball to the back post and over the head of Sigurdsson as the only player in “sea foam green” in attendance. That left Adams time time to line up a shot that deflected off Sigurdsson and past the keeper from the angle.

Had Armstrong’s “goal” six minutes before half-time not been ruled out for offside, this would have been over as a humiliating contest by half-time but, as it was, Ancelotti had time to try and engineer a comeback with his changes. The way that Southampton were now set up — compact in defence of their two-goal advantage — made things that much harder for Bernard who often found himself boxed in by the touchline and Dominic Calvert-Lewin, who wouldn’t end up registering a single shot on target all game, remained isolated.

There were occasional moments where Doucouré’s determination threatened to force a mistake which was why his withdrawal in favour of Fabian Delph in the 58th minute was a somewhat perplexing one. The French midfielder had provided the only box-to-box presence for Everton and with Allan looking out of sorts and less than 100% fit, it seemed like the Brazilian would have been the more obvious candidate to make way.

Gordon came on at the same time and the two new introductions looked as though they might give the Toffees a platform from which to mount a challenge over the final half hour but Digne’s dismissal 14 minutes later put paid that. The French fullback had already clipped Walker-Peters’s ankle as the Saints man pulled away from him but in attempting to chase him down, Digne caught his foot when planting his own down, stopping the run and prompting referee Kevin Friend to brandish a red card. Video Assistant Referee, Simon Hooper, didn’t disagree and Everton were forced to play the final 20-odd minutes a man down.

Thankfully, the scoreline remained the same, with only Jan Bednarek coming close to padding Southampton’s lead with a header that Pickford palmed over from a corner.

So, unless the Football Association elects to overturn Digne’s ban, it was another damaging afternoon for Everton and Ancelotti but not a catastrophic one if they can find focus on the training pitch this week and formulate a plan and team selection that could usher back in some of the free-flowing passing and movement that has under-pinned their strong start to the campaign.

The manager will, unfortunately, have learned who can be relied upon to come in and affect things and who failed to take their opportunity but an overall lack of quality options means that he will have to struggle through for the next couple of games until Richarlison, in particular, is available again.

The Brazilian offers so much in terms of work-rare, power and space-creation that he is always a massive miss but without him, the team needs to find other ways of playing. That didn’t happen today.

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Reader Comments (195)

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Geoff Williams
1 Posted 25/10/2020 at 19:44:50
Please no more Iwobi and Sigurdsson only to come on as a late substitute. Please add Simms to the 1st team squad for match days.

Gomes gets a lot of stick on TW but Everton play much better when he is in the team even he appears to be off the mark. He is the oil that keeps the engine running.

Paul Birmingham
2 Posted 25/10/2020 at 20:20:49
Today’s a reality check, and the test Soton, poised, was today, was sadly failed abjectly.

Defeat comes to every football team today, aside for the first 23 minutes and about the first 6 minutes of the second half, Everton weren’t seriously playing football with a purpose to win this game. Desire, etc, the same old today haunted the team, but the energy and guile wasn’t there.

Today has proved the squad lacks the strength in depth and for me, there’s no space for statues in any team, and in my view Siggy today, dire apart from a good shot and a few decent passes that continued the flow forward, went missing.

I’d say also that Andres Gomes, as much as I want him to be the player, whose potential, we saw two years ago, I just don’t see happening. Too slow and a couple of 60 yard under no pressure switching passes, doesn’t warrant a place, in the starting line up.

These players in my view are a luxury you can only play in testimonial games, and I hope they prove me wrong.

Desire, fight, and game management and two self inflicted howlers sealed Everton’s, first defeat this season. Jordan, also at times, was playing chicken, and got away with it.

More than ever this week, is massive but I'm looking forward to Newcastle. Another massive game, but sadly today, abject failure, and the pressure point game, effectively the team didn’t turn up.

Is the teams set up, now sussed, I’m not sure, but today Soton, picked us off, on the counter. One player doesn’t make a team, but Richarlisons, role, it seems is gonna be tough to replace, as the work he does across the park, literally attack and defend from the back, can’t be replaced by any player, in this Everton squad.

Today in my view no driving force and inspiration, it was like there’s no command on the pitch, may be there was, but the verbal and visual grit needed to galvanise a team under the cosh, wasn’t really there, in my view.

I seen Kean, and Digne, mix a few words, which showed some care, but Everton, we’re guilty of consistent standing off for the first two goals, and the game was always tough, to recover from at 2-0, down,

Still top of the league on GD, we didn’t concede in the second half but a massive concern in that we didn’t get a shot on goal in the second half.

A massive week at FF, and hopefully the players available, can put a shift in and get a good result at the Toon.

Still top, shit happens, like today, so we move on and bounce back next week, at The Toon.

Steve Hogan
3 Posted 25/10/2020 at 20:49:42
Going to be interesting to see how the team and the manager react to this (fairly comprehensive) defeat. We started the game off off badly and slowly got worse.

The much improved midfield since the start of the season, simply never got going and gradually fell apart as the match wore on. On a number of occasions, my Evertonian pals say to me on a regular basis about Iwobi, 'there's a player in there somewhere', if that's the case, would they be kind enough to point out exactly where?

In a nutshell, he was dreadful throughout, can't tackle, has no pace to think of, seemingly can't pass the ball either. Sadly, Sigurdsson wasn't too far behind him. Apart from one impressive long range shot when the score was still 0-0, that was his sole contribution to the game.

Carrying one passenger in Iwobi was too much for this Everton team, doubling up the burden with Gylfi was a step too far.

Later on, the manager tried to stop the Southampton flow through the centre of the field, but made a mistake I believe in substituting Doucouré, who I at least thought was having a reasonable game, compared to Allan, who looked well off the pace and distinctly one-paced.

I felt for Calvert-Lewin who didn't have a modicum of support all afternoon, again I would question on this occasion the tactics of Carlo in operating Calvert-Lewin as the lone striker with such poor players operating as his 'wingmen'.

The players drafted in as direct replacements for those missing through injury and suspension didn't do themselves any favours, including the substitutions.

I exempt Godfrey from this criticism as he was hung out to dry playing at right back, a decision Carlo might have regretted with hindsight.

I wonder whether he will promote the young Nkounkou to left-back next week as I can guarantee Digne (in the current climate) will not win his appeal against his sending off, clumsy or not.

Hope we see the right reaction.

David Cooper
4 Posted 25/10/2020 at 21:00:45
When we are all having an off-day, which was bound to happen once our shape was changed due to the absence of Richarlison and Coleman – especially when we have no like-for-like replacements, I was hoping to see Doucouré really step up.

Now he didn't have a bad game compared to everyone else but I don't feel we have seen the same Doucouré who was so effective at Watford, regularly out ran and out tackled when we played them.

Obviously he is playing according to Carlo's wishes anchoring the midfield with Allan who once again couldn't get close to Southampton's quick passing and moving midfield. So, like Lyndon, I was surprised to see him subbed.

Maybe he is carrying an injury that we don't know about but if he was 100% I thought he could really step up today and makeup for our missing players but it was not to be.

It is also clear that the desperate attempt to get Godfrey to play right-back must be shelved. Southampton attacked down his flank and he was often caught out. Not his fault when asked to play somewhere he does not know.

Hopefully Kenny is fit next week. And what's happening to Holgate? No news at all recently. We really need a much better performance next week with players playing in positions they know.

Dick Fearon
5 Posted 25/10/2020 at 21:14:52
Lyndon, had I your skill, this was exactly as I'd have put it. For a side at the top of the table to use just a single striker against the Saints was mistake number 1.

To play an obviously semi-fit James was mistake number 2.

Number 3 was using far too many backward passes. when we were chasing the game.

Mistake Number 4 was that awful wishy-washy sickly green strips with scruffy grey shorts. Royal Blue shirts and white shorts are a most important part of our brand. Southampton's Red and Black strip did not clash with ours so why or who decided on the change???

Brent Stephens
6 Posted 25/10/2020 at 21:30:49
" Southampton's Red and Black strip did not clash with ours so why or who decided on the change???"

Filthy lucre (money not Digne) - shirt sales.

Paul Birmingham
7 Posted 25/10/2020 at 21:40:34
David@4,and Steve@3, very good points about the squad set up, performance today and tactically what Carlo can do next.

Let’s hope that a rock solid mindset and spirit seen at the Spurs match, can be taken to The Toon.

For me it’s Richarlisons, selfless running, dragging defenders and midfielders, out of position that creates space for god deliveries from the middle of the park and both wings, which has made Everton, a good team this season.

But if I'm honest, we are shipping too many lazy goals, and like v the RS, and Brighton, and Soton, today, the concentration, and team work must be total.

As in life, it is how you react to a difficult situation, and bounce back positively to defeat, and grow stronger and get better.

Today could be the key to strengthening the resolve in this squad.

Last week Everton played and didn’t lose with Old Nick, today, Everton, lost to The Saints.

In my view, today, th team lost believe, but I also think that part of the dynamic, was lost and defeat self inflicted as the team, didn’t adapt well enough to the loss of key players like Charlie, Seamus, and the other midfielder issues persists, as both Siggy, and Gomes, in my view, sadly cant do the business at the business end any more.

But in both of these players cases, I hope I can be proved wrong. Bar a miracle I don’t see it.

Lessons learned and we need a RB, - square pegs in round holes, for Godfrey, whose not gonna excel as a makeshift RB, and at least another CAM, in lieu of Gomes, and Siggy, and another striker, as I don’t see, any of the youths, in fairness, being close to step up.

Massive week, ahead, but EFC, has done great, so far this season,, but now for a show of proper true grit, for Evertonians.

EFC, Evertonians, we can do it.

“Whats Our Name?”


Jerome Shields
8 Posted 25/10/2020 at 21:41:08
Lyndon your identification of the second string is spot on. These players are not good enough to put in the necessary performance when required.

They where easily strifled and nullified. What is more, the final third play was as woeful as it had been under Silva. As a matter of fact, everything went to the wings and Southampton were able to push up to support their midfield and attacking play. Both goals were poor defensively due to lack of tracking back and poor marking.

I thought Pickford played well and neither goal was his fault. I agree, Digne running behind the attacker was asking for trouble.

Jonathan Tasker
10 Posted 25/10/2020 at 21:49:59
An absolutely awful performance with no redeeming features whatsoever.

I thought Pickford could have done better with the second goal.

How is Brands still in a job? The amount of money wasted on second string rubbish like Iwobi proves he cannot do the job.

Calvert-Lewin without Richarlison was totally impotent.

An absolutely wretched performance which exposed how awful we are beyond the first eleven.

John Boon
11 Posted 25/10/2020 at 21:53:58
Such a great analytical report which accurately described a very poor display by Everton. It is now nearly four hours after the game and far more easy to write something that doesn't reflect anger.

In retrospect, we have the basis of a "good" team that still has a long way to go. Bad as it was, it was not enough to make me jump overboard and desert ship.

Initially I felt the whole team played badly, which is usually the case when a 2-0 loss could have been more. I never like to give individual marks to each player but I would like to point out a few of my observations to be agreed with or disagreed with.

(1) I hope we have bought the right player in Godfrey. I think he has lots of speed and potential to play centre-back or even midfield but not right-back.

(2) Mina never inspires me with confidence. He always seems unsure just what to do.

(3) Gordon has lots of potential and speed; he needs confidence and a chance to start.

(4) I was disappointed to see Doucouré taken off. He at least is able to bring the ball out. Personally he seems to pass just when he has a good run going. He should be encouraged to continue his runs.

(5) Rodrriguez still made some great passes but he was obviously injured and should have been withdrawn earlier; he is still a brilliant player.

(6) I think Delph could offer this team something. I like his movement... still think there is more.

(7) We were given to believe that Allan was another in the mould of Peter Reid or Bobby Collins (for older fans). Up to now, I have just not seen that. My high expectations have dimmed somewhat. I hope I am proved wrong.

(8) Keane is still playing well. I am just not too thrilled by his current partner.

(9) Pickford is Pickford... Brilliant and Dreadful. May need a rest.

After today's game, for me, nobody else deserves to be mentioned. I think we needed at least seven subs after the first half. [I must have calmed down because I originally felt we needed eleven.]

James Head
12 Posted 25/10/2020 at 22:25:05
Let's get real – we will never finish top four or even top six with this squad of players. As several people have already pointed out, once you go beyond our first-choice eleven, there are no viable alternatives to bring on.

We are, without stating the obvious, behind Arsenal, Spurs, Chelsea, Liverpool, Wolves and Leicester. With more injuries and suspensions, we could be back to the listless shameful performances we've had to endure over the previous seasons, and struggling to see where the next points are coming from.

What worries me is that we struggle to win away from home and where, in previous years, we've had the crowd at Goodison to get us over the finish line. In these strange times of empty stadiums, without our supporters, too many of this current squad, as we know, just roll over. The January transfer window can't come quick enough!

James Head
13 Posted 25/10/2020 at 22:27:29
PS- I forgot the two mancy clubs from the list of teams we're way behind.
Paul Jones
14 Posted 25/10/2020 at 22:28:49
My heart sank when the team was announced. Iwobi and Sigurdson who seem to be two of the preferred clothes horses for the on lines shop could not even find work as a panto horse for Christmas as you would only need one for the arse end.

Brent Stephens
15 Posted 25/10/2020 at 22:41:53
Jonathan "How is Brands still in a job? The amount of money wasted on second string rubbish like Iwobi proves he cannot do the job."

What about the recent "rubbish" he's got in for us? Or was that Carlo's influence?

John Boon
16 Posted 25/10/2020 at 22:58:36
James 12 and 13

We played badly.Really badly !!! We lost 2-0. We were the only unbeaten team until today. In the last few week RS lost 7-2 Man U 6-1 and Man C 5-2. If you expect PERFECTION do not support Everton because you will never have a constant continuos 'Football Heaven. I know from seventy years of loyal support and many many ups and downs.

Jerome Shields
17 Posted 25/10/2020 at 23:15:31
Everton have improved on our expectations before the start of the season. It is obvious that Ancelotti needs another season to bring in players and coach particularly the young players.

I don't think there will be any more transfers this season in January, maybe a few transferred out. This was always the case.

Everton will get a top six place and have reasonable cup runs. Expectations higher than that are premature.

Everton are still top of the League. They lost by two goals, not five.

Carl Manning
19 Posted 25/10/2020 at 23:25:36
Brands to my knowledge was brought in to steady the ship after that goon from Leicester blew a fortune on inferior players! Farhad tightened the strings a little and it wasn't until Ancelotti came that Brands was told he could deliver who the manager wanted: Branthwaite, Nkounkou, Allan, Richarlison, James, Digne, Gomes.

I'd say the future with the rubbish he's bought is looking okay...

Dave Pritchard
20 Posted 25/10/2020 at 23:49:15
Of course today was bad... but be honest, if we had thought we would be top of the league after 6 games and in the quarter finals of the League Cup before a ball was kicked this season, we would have been happy. It may still come crashing down but let's not get too despondent yet.
Christine Foster
21 Posted 25/10/2020 at 00:14:04
Some obvious criticism of certain players is warranted as it was a game as bad as the end of last season. Whilst there are injuries and suspensions I did not expect (at least I hoped I would not see), Everton stopped running and walked. Sigurdsson in particular at one point just stopped and let players pass him by: no chasing, no desire, no effort.

James for me is the luxury player as his work rate and effectiveness in chasing down players is zero. This puts pressure of at least two players everytime on the Everton right-back and, when you have a centre-half playing full-back, you are in trouble from the first while. It happened against Liverpool last week and again today – no doubt Klopp made a phone call before this game! I agree the James needs to be in at 10 or we set up by giving him a free role and still having a half-back cover for the back four.

This team still needs changes in personnel and, whilst the veneer looks great when everyone is fit, it is paper-thin and cruelly exposed under pressure.

Teams have sussed out James on the right as a real hole that's not been plugged and exacerbated with no established right-back.

Ajay Gopal
22 Posted 26/10/2020 at 07:36:42
The performance was poor, no doubt, but the behaviour and attitude of the Southampton manager and players was the worst I have ever seen - constantly trying to con the referee, who himself seemed to be a man on a mission, working under instructions to punish every single misdemeanour by Everton’s players with a card. Probably, our players sensed that very early and went into a shell.

Moving on, I wouldn’t mind Carlo changing tactics and sacrificing flair for some steel and resilience - like some of the classic Moyes’ “keep it tight and pinch 1 (KITAP1)” tactics, just to regroup until Richarlison, Digne and Coleman come back. Play 3 at the back, pack the midfield, give James a free role, and bring some control and composure to how we play. Replace Mina with Branthwaite, who I believe is now training, and is more composed on the ball.

Pickford
Godfrey Keane Branthwaite
Davies Doucoure Allan Gomes Delph
James
Calvert-Lewin

Yes, the above team has almost zero width, but James (and to some extent, Gomes) can provide the crosses, with Davies, Doucoure and Allan doing most of the running and Delph and Gomes doing the switches in play. A couple of 1-0 wins coming off James’ corner or set play deliveries met by DCL/Keane would do for me.

Darren Hind
23 Posted 26/10/2020 at 07:55:06
Quite a few across threads seemingly unwilling to talk about the poor show's from the latest recruits.

We can all point the finger at usual culprits like Iwobi (I'll get to him) but the four signings this summer were all simply out played. Godfrey was hung out to dry. James didnt fancy doing the ugly stuff and Doucoure and Allan we simply outplayed, out muscled and and out desired.

Then there's the manager. In half a century of watching the game I don't think I have ever come across anybody who has been given such a free reign by so many people. What a job he's got. When we do well he is "Carlo Fantastico" working his magic. When we do badly its always the players fault. They are not good enough.

Lets call a spade a spade here. Ancelotti has had a shocker. It would take too long to list all the things he got wrong, but a few of them defied belief. What was he thinking playing a center half at right back behind a man he knew would offer zero protection ? The Southampton manager must have thought Chrimbo had come early.
Why on earth did he render the leagues current hottest striker toothless by asking him to play in the role he suffered for so long under Marco Silva ?
If James wasnt fit why play him ?...The list just goes on.

I know the excuses for this performance will come thick and fast, But I will continue to praise/criticise on a game by game basis and in this game the manager was as bad as any of his players.

The editor of this site asked a very pertinent question on the live forum on Saturday. He simply asked why Iwobi is still getting a game, when virtually everyone else can see he doesnt have it ? Good question.
Iwobi was poor on Saturday, He nearly always is, but it was saddening to hear the stick he was taking. I never quite understand the mentality of hammering players simply because they are not good enough.
At what point do we stop hammering a player who doesnt have it and start blaming the guy who keeps picking him ?

I'm happy to give Ancelotti his share of the credit when we win, but we wont paper over these cracks by blaming players for his errors when we lose so comprehensively.

We are all gutted that our run has come to an end, It has been a fantastic few weeks, but if we are going to get straight back to winning ways. its not just the players who need to be better next week.

Jon Wit
24 Posted 26/10/2020 at 08:11:10
Really poor - as bad as anything last season - with the midfield neither providing protection or probing.

It's hard not to get depressed about it as that looked like a lower mid-table team again to me - not one that will compete for anything.

And that was with Doucoure and Allan in midfield, so not encouraging - did Ancellotti get it wrong ? Was it an off day ? Are we just hopeless without Richarlison ?

Lyndon gives some optimism but now we have neither our best left or right backs nor our pace up front thanks to poor discipline along with a little bad luck.

Southampton played well and hurried us all over the pitch and completely snuffed DCL out of the game - he even started dropping back.

Not sure what we do for the next couple of games - I'm glad Gordon did ok and I'd rather Gomes on the pitch than Siggy.

Across the back line and protecting midfield seemed poor again so they need to figure that out.

Martin Berry
25 Posted 26/10/2020 at 08:15:51
The first half display did us in, I think the problem we had was an outlet to get the ball forward, normally Richarlison is that outlet, both wings struggled yesterday and the lack of DCL's touches proves the point there was no supply
Despite yesterdays disappointment who would not take our league position,we will learn from the defeat and move on.
Credit to Southampton who thoroughly deserved their win.
Jerome Shields
26 Posted 26/10/2020 at 08:22:42
Christine #21

I do think that Bernard needs to feature more. He consistently had one of the highest tackling rates in the team when he played before the lockdown for both Silva and Ancelotti. It would help with the weakness you have identfied. Sigurdsson won't do it as you say and will sideways pass when under any type of pressure. Gomes would be better that Sjgurdsson with his through ball passing ability, but can get caught in possession deep. Sigurdsson allows the opposition backline to push up compacting midfield, forcing play to the wings. Rodriguez as you say is a luxury player.

Southampton played as they would have against a Silva team, pushing up into midfield. I even think that with Richarlison, the same thing would have happened with a injured Rodrigeouz and Sigurdsson.

Analysis of Southampton prior to the game was poor , as was the team selection. Ings was kept relatively quiet, but tracking runners was ignored.

Eddie Dunn
27 Posted 26/10/2020 at 08:25:04
Darren, you are spot-on. Why was James not hooked ? Godfrey clearly is a total rookie at right back and knowing that James does little tracking back, (and even less with his own fitness issue) then why wasn't Doucoure tasked with drifting right to cover him. It was obvious what Saints were doing after 5 minutes but Carlo sat on his hands as Godfrey was tatgeted continuously. Ironically the goals came from our left as the team floundered leaderless leaving runners behind. Sigurdsson was left to jump for their second goal as our centrebacks had been drawn out and Digne was elsewhere.
A scoreline of 5-0 would not have flattered Southampton.
I presume that Allan has been playing with a niggle since he pulled -up at Goodison a few weeks ago. He is one player who needs a rest and Delph would be the obvious replacement. James is patched-up but I wonder if he will be fit for newcastle, after all we don't need another half-fit stroll from him.
Hopefully JJK will be back as I certainly don't want Seamus rushed back.
On our left, the loss of Digne will at least give the promising Niels Nkounkou given a run out.
As for Iwobi it seems that he has no confidence at all. Hhis few chances with the ball were ruined by dithering or taking an extra touch.
Indeed our midfield had no idea how to play between their lines as our worrying lack of running off the ball gave them an easy day.
It's a good job we have the Geordies next and not one of the so-called top six.
Bob Parrington
28 Posted 26/10/2020 at 08:48:28
There were various stand-outs from the game, some of which haven't been mentioned here, and some have.

When Bernard came on we saw immediate action almost as quickly followed by exasperation, shrugs of the shoulder, lousy "give up" body language etc to the extent that IMO we must sell him.

From the moment Anthony Gordon came on, he showed a massive class difference, enthusiasm and the rest compared to most of the Everton players. He MUST be given more game time.

Allan and James looked tired. Why? - International break/travel what?

Doucore looked good. Wh take him off. Delph looked Ok but indecisive at times. Godfrey was out of his depth doing the wing back role with little support and a number of times having no pass options available.

Some players started to lose their "cool" and some of these should have been leaders - Allan for one and Siggy another.

I hate to have to criticise the referees but Kevin Friend has never been a friend to Everton. The decision to send off Lucas Digne bordered on Friend losing his cool. Crazy decision, backed up by the crazy non-committal VAR comment. I hate this VAR rubbish and would like to see it "VAR" ed out of the game.

Two inclusions for the next starting line-up must be Nkounkou and Gordon. Antony Gordon is ahead of his years and should be given a more permanent starter spot.

Bob Parrington
29 Posted 26/10/2020 at 08:50:12
Sorry, I forgot to mention that Iwobi looked less than useless and it was right that he was hooked.
Robert Workman
30 Posted 26/10/2020 at 09:15:08
I feel that yesterday's performance revealed something that we all realised beforehand. Carlo Ancelotti now has a good/very good First X1 (plus Holgate). However as soon as a couple of key players - Seamus Coleman and Richarlison - are absent, along with James Rodriguez not being fully fit, it will be a struggle to stay near the top of the league and compete in the cups.

I must add that I was surprised that our visibly tiring Colombian play maker was not substituted - for the energetic Anthony Gordon - when the second half changes were made. Having then been reduced to 10 men by the referee, it felt more like we were playing with only 9 men.

Nicholas Ryan
31 Posted 26/10/2020 at 09:19:07
Oh well; at least we've got a few points in the bag for the relegation dogfight!!
Tony Everan
32 Posted 26/10/2020 at 09:20:21
Iwobi and Sigurdsson are easy targets because of their repeated shortcomings, but there was a bit more to it. Not least us being very exposed defensively down the right.

James to me looked tired and not 100% injury free. The international exertions have burned him about a fraction. Should an 80% James be selected?

Another problem going forward is that Hasenhutl done his homework well . Every time James tried his trademark switch to come inside the door was closed to him . James will have to be aware now that managers are trying to work him out and stop his creativity. It will be a test going forward for him , consistent success will be really hard earned and won’t come as easy. It’s a challenge he has to embrace.

Godfrey bought as a CB, who has done well at DCM, was forced by necessity to play RB. It’s a big ask for the young lad to expect a top class RB performance. He tried admirably but he is not a Premier League RB, we need Coleman or JJK back.

If allowed Newcastle can play as well as Southampton. They have some hard grafters and the likes of Saint-Maximin can rip through decent full backs, never mind inexperienced or makeshift ones.

It will require a fully fit, organised team ready to fight and repel Newcastle in order to win the match. You can’t carry passengers against any club in the PL. Nkounkou can fill in for Digne and hopefully JJK or Seamus is back.

Mike Corcoran
33 Posted 26/10/2020 at 09:44:59
Hammered down the wings were Iwobi and James could not offer much protection. Seems to me James needs a free role to roam where he likes behind DCL. We then need industry on the wings. For now that has to be 2 from Gordon, Bernard and maybe Nkonkou if Digne gets his red overturned. If James is unfit then Doucoure partners Davies with Allan holding in front of the back 4.
Christy Ring
34 Posted 26/10/2020 at 10:06:55
Yesterday's defeat showed our squad isn't good enough. We had a centreback playing fullback, and yesterday showed yet again, Sigurdsson and Iwobi are two passengers. I still think Bolasie, was worth a place in the squad. Richarlison is a massive loss, Calvert-Lewin was alone figure upfront without him, our attacking threat was non existent. We have no striker on the bench, Simms is the only backup, we have now. I don't know if it was Carlo or Brands decision to offload Kean, who scored 2 on Saturday, but letting him go, and not bringing a replacement, was a shocking decision, god forbid if Calvert-Lewin gets injured. I know Richarlison can play upfront, but his best position is leftwing.
Kevin Molloy
35 Posted 26/10/2020 at 10:09:01
I think it would be a mistake to blame that on last season. I think Darren is right, insofar as Ancelotti played two players who were not fit, Allan and James. Why would he do that, well, look at how replacing Richi and Seamus has gone. Our second string is just light years away, for which Brands needs to be fired. The idea of giving that guy another three years just makes me weep.
Dave White
36 Posted 26/10/2020 at 10:09:04
Darren #23, thoroughly agree. This was more than just the players underperforming, Carlo made some big mistakes.

Also there were two teams out there, and I thought Southampton were superb start to finish.

Steve Brown
37 Posted 26/10/2020 at 10:14:32
Styles make football matches and that was why I said I was worried on the Everton v Southampton thread ahead of the game. At Goodison last season, they were more intense and quick, played between our lines and were able to outnumber our full backs and get overlaps and inside runs.

Sound familiar? Unfortunately, not to Ancelotti who had a bad day at the office. I understand that you should be confident in your own system of play, but when you have key players out or half fit then compromises need to be made.

The changes that were made didn't work and were never going to. The introduction of the static Sigurdsson robbed us of the passing interchanges that characterised us so far, iwobi did not get close to DCL leaving him isolated and then a half fit James was played ahead of Godfrey.

Hopefully lessons will be learned ahead of next week.

Robert Tressell
38 Posted 26/10/2020 at 10:20:36
Bad luck with injuries and suspensions. We need another transfer window (not January) to further develop this squad. But look at the table, look at the results. Every good team has already had an off day. One bad result away to a good side. Let's see what Ancelotti can come up with next.
John Davies
39 Posted 26/10/2020 at 10:21:47
Darren #23. The most reasoned and accurate post I've read on TW for a long time. Spot on mate.
Derek Thomas
40 Posted 26/10/2020 at 10:22:34
Darren @ 23; fair points mate. This is not just hindsight, but game was crying out for a tighter approach, some sort of Christmas Tree with DCL at the top...not that there is anybody else...defend from the front and catch them on the break...or just plain soak it up

Plus plenty of endevour, running, effort, hard work, not things you associate with Iwobi, Siggi and, sad to say, Bernard who is only a shadow of his debut effort.

I think Delph and Davies, if Coleman and JJK arent ready...and don't ffs rush them back either...will be fullbacks. Spaces must be found for Nkounkou and Gordon.

Nothing less than a Ferguson / Chelsea attitude will do...should ever do.

Anything less and its a gentle sink to the 7th-ish Trophy levels.

Brian Harrison
41 Posted 26/10/2020 at 10:23:22
I think that we need to give James a free role, as he hardly ever tracks back and that leaves whoever is at full back exposed, Ancelotti knows James doesnt track back and needed to give Godfrey better protection. To ask a young lad new to the club to play out of position is asking a lot to give him no protection was poor. Now whether Ancelotti had asked Doucoure to help Godfrey I don't know but if that was his role then he didnt do it very well.

I don't know if some players were carrying knocks into the game, but it looked like it as most were well off the pace for one reason or another. I noticed Digne hardly overlapped at all probably because he doesnt trust Iwobi to cover if the moves break down.

I think we should remember that we had 3 regulars missing from the starting line up Richarlison, Coleman and Gomes, I know Gomes was on the bench but strange that he wasnt brought on. So like everybody else in the Premier league we have lost 1 game, and unlike the rest of the premier league we are still top of the league, so disappointed yes but we have seen how well we play this season when we can field our best side so we need to not get too disheartened after 1 defeat.

So a bad day at the office for players and manager alike, lets hope we show a much better response for our next game at Newcastle.

Joe McMahon
42 Posted 26/10/2020 at 10:28:59
Derek @40 I kind of agree there. I feel it was a huge mistake not going for King with Kean leaving. This squad has still way too many passengers on huge contracts and players that deliver are only a few. Even if with got a Europa spot I still don't feel next season we will have enough quality in numbers to manage the extra games.
Jay Woods
43 Posted 26/10/2020 at 10:40:17
We lost primarily because Carlo misjudged his team selection.

Godfrey is plainly not a fullback, so it was a mistake to burden him with that role, especially given the defensive shortcomings Rodriguez has on that side. Even more so if it's true the latter wasn't 100% fit.

The other colossal error was starting with Iwobi on the left, as he offers almost nothing in attack; he's a terrible player at the moment, nowhere near the standard required for a team hoping to finish in the European places or better.

So with those 2 selection errors, we were weakened on both flanks and by the time Carlo tried to remedy the situation, we were 2-0 down and morale and energy were sapped.

Rennie Smith
44 Posted 26/10/2020 at 11:01:58
Apart from the obvious problem of missing vital players, I think these international breaks can be a blessing when you're getting battered and need a reset, or in our case this time a hand-brake grab which stops the momentum.

Credit to Southampton, as much as we let them play, they were excellent. Godfrey at right-back is clearly exposed but you can't blame Carlo for putting him there with the lack of options.

So it's a setback, but let's not get carried away. This is going to be a crazy season, everyone will drop points. Funnily enough, I think it's better to play Newcastle away rather than at Goodison because they may be inclined to come out a little and play, rather than sit back and look to counter. The number of teams winning away games this season seems to have gone through the roof.

James Head
45 Posted 26/10/2020 at 11:07:51
John Boon#16- I've been following my family club, home, away and abroad as a third generation Evertonian since the early 70s so don't tell me not to support Everton, I've also played football all my life so I think i'm able to observe whats going on at the club and come to my personal opinion that we are currently, due to a lack of quality in the squad a mediocre team with absolutely no chance of breaking into the top four.
I don't expect perfection from our players but I do expect energy, effort, cohesion and a will to win none of which was on display yesterday and if you can't see that any injuries in key areas, to say DCL or Richarlisson or James, that will have them out of the team for any sustained period, will totally derail our season well thats your problem.
Brian Harrison
46 Posted 26/10/2020 at 11:08:20
Jay

I said much the same in my post, I totally agree that Iwobi offers us nothing. Yesterday wasnt the first time Carlo Ancelotti has taken Iwobi off at halftime, so he obviously has doubts about him. Maybe he wasnt quite sure whether this was the game to start Anthony Gordon, but when the lad came on he more than proved he was ready. I cant see Iwobi or Bernard getting to many outings especially when Richarlison is back from suspension. Probably yesterday his 3 signings for the first time didnt have good games, but they all look very accomplished players, so I have no worries on that score. But I think we will need more than 1 window for Ancelotti to repair the damage other managers have done to this squad.

Geoff Williams
47 Posted 26/10/2020 at 11:25:12
It is when a manager doesn't have all his players available to him that he really earns his corn, sadly Ancelloti failed on this occasion. All the pundits said that they expected Southampton to play on Godfrey's inexperience surely Ancelloti should have anticipated this too. James at the best of times offers little support to his fullback so playing an obviously unfit James left Godfrey totally exposed. Even playing the totally inept Iwobi on the right wing would have been a better option. Southampton completely nullified James as a creative force and that should also have been expected.

Ancelloti has been at Everton long enough to have seen that playing Sigurdsson and Iwobi in the same team puts tremendous responsibility on the other two midfielders. Had Gomes, Davies or Delph started instead of Sigurdsson then Allan could have given Godfrey more support. Gordon on the left would have given some Digne backup.

Why risk playing players who are unfit when there is always the possibility of making the injury more serious? Why play players out of position? What is the point of the U23s if the players aren't good enough even as stop-gaps?

Dissapointment doesn't describe how I feel today. I am angry. Yesterday was a huge missed opportunity to draw clear of the competition and make a statement of intent. I feel let down by the 'Usual Suspects' and by the manager.

John Boon
48 Posted 26/10/2020 at 12:27:24
James (45) getting a little touchy. I actually agree with your assessment of the game. I just think it is too soon, after one game, to come to such dire conclusions. Everton of the last twenty odd years have been chronically disappointing and therefore the previous seven game have given supporters a glimmer of hope. Perhaps I am grabbing at straws.

I always try to stay on the positive side of what we MIGHT achieve. If you don't have hope why bother following. Out of 142 seasons {minus the War years} we have spent all but 4 of them in the top flight. Not bad when you consider that the likes of Norwich have been relegated 5 times from the Premier League. As Evertonians we have not really done too bad.There are many other clubs who have similar yo yo histories.

Yes I know we are not Norwich etc etc and we have far greater expectations. What you said in your post makes me realise that you must indeed be a staunch Evertonian. I am just as disappointed about losing THE WAY WE DID as I indicated. However I am prepared to HOPE there are better things to come. Anyone who supports Everton has to be slightly masochistic regarding football.

Somehow I try to adjust logically to defeats, even if there have been too many of them of late.I also rant and get really annoyed when we play so badly.But I just love being an Evertonian. I always have high expectations but I have learned to accept that there will always be bad games and bad times. If I cannot accept that I would probably go out of my mind. Regarding Everton my wife thinks I already have.

Michael Jones
49 Posted 26/10/2020 at 13:11:06
Rennie(44) I don't think it will make any difference to Everton or Newcastle where the game is played. Home advantage In these strange times is non existant
Andrew Brookfield
50 Posted 26/10/2020 at 13:32:15
Some of the comments on here are hilarious.

Questioning Carlo? We're top of the league!

Questioning Brands? Look at the signings this season, all without exception look like an improvement on what we had.

Godfrey at right back wasn't ideal, as many have said playing rb behind James leaves you exposed, but our first three choices are all out injured (Coleman, JJK, Holgate). Who did people want? Tom Davies? Because he'd be better suited to playing defence than a defender?

For whatever reason the team just did not click, be that injuries, tactical sharpness from Southampton, missing key players, tiredness, most likely a combination of all.

But please, lets not lose all the positivity after one bad performance. We are still top of the league, and performing much better than most of us hoped for at the start of the season.

Rennie Smith
51 Posted 26/10/2020 at 13:53:05
It's a standard TW response I'm afraid Andrew. Some people go from top of the league to the bottom in the blink of an eye.

It also makes me laugh that some question Carlo's tactical ability, he's only won the Champions League three times so I suppose he's still learning 🤐

Rick Tarleton
52 Posted 26/10/2020 at 14:30:08
I think Steve Hogan in post 3 hit the nail on the head. It is how Everton react in their coming games that will show us just how they are progressing or not. Everton in recent years tend to have runs of wins and runs of defeats. Better teams can have a bad game, and Sunday was a poor performance, but they come back in the next game.
The always perceptive,Christine Foster, points out that the energy levels were too low. Sigurdsson and Iwobi in any midfield makes this inevitable and Gomes won't help raise this. We do have to make it possible for Rodriguez to have an effect, so we need the players round him to be the engines that he lacks. Playing both Iwobi and Sigurdsson made that impossible.
Teams will man mark Rodriguez if our midfield is lower on energy and effort than theirs. Gbamin remains on the sidelines and that really is a major problem. I'm not convinced that Godfrey was the man we needed to buy. We have two right backs in Coleman and Kenny, a spare centre back in Holgate, two good left backs. Kenny and Holgate are injured, but Godfrey looks a central defender rather than a full back or wing back.
It may be that Ancelotti will when(and if) all his players are fit play three at the back with two wingbacks to support the midfield and provide the missing energy.
How we shape up in our next three games is the sign of where we are. Let us hope Southampton was a one off blip.
John McFarlane Snr
53 Posted 26/10/2020 at 14:33:16
Hi all, although I have maintained my boycott of 'live' televised games, I have occasionally viewed 'recorded' sections of interest. It's possible that I have mellowed in my expectations, and I give way to those who have witnessed Everton's games in their entirety. I took the opportunity of watching yesterdays game on Match of the Day, and while I admit it wasn't particularly inspiring, I can't accept that it was Dross. It's my belief that fans of all clubs take the highs and lows of football to extremes, a couple of wins and it's Championship form, an off day and it's a relegation scenario. It's a well worn quote from managers and players, but experience has taught me to take "One game at a time" I still get pleasure from a good performance/result, and disappointment from a poor performance/result, but my suicidal days are things of the past. I'm looking forward to resuming my seat in the Park End, to enjoy? football the way it should be staged 'in a packed stadium'.
Dave Abrahams
54 Posted 26/10/2020 at 14:38:25
Michael (49),

I'm sure where the game is played doesn't make a great deal of difference, these days. One paper giving a report on Saturday's game of Liverpool v Sheffield Utd started by saying the game was played at Bramhall Lane!!!

Bill Gall
55 Posted 26/10/2020 at 14:55:54
Boy what a fickle group of support we have. 2 weeks ago we were being touted for a possible premier champions, I bad game and suddenly some our supporters believe they know more than a proven experienced manager with more experience and trophies than any other manager in the league. You must have been at F.F. all week to judge what players should have played and what ones shouldn't have played Sunday.
2 weeks ago the Premier league, European and world champions with just 1 of their regular players missing lost 7---2..
Sunday we were with a make shift R.B. missing one of our most attacking players Richie, and on the left wing Hamed with a questionable injury. Yes we played poor but I am not blaming individuals as I believe you win as a team and you loose as a team.
The start of the season most of us, and I believe so was Ancelotti, where looking for a place in Europe, with the hope it may be in the European Championship but realistically in the top 6.
This game and their might be some more later on, has proved that when say the regular 11 are either injured or suspended, we need better backup. It is no use complaining about who we should have signed or let go, fact we didn't,
I support Everton and believe that all the recent signings are both an improvement for this season and the future, and recognize there are going to be ups and downs before I will be surprised not to see another game like Sunday.
There are no easy games in the Premier, some teams will start slow, other teams will start fast, and it will take another couple of months to see if we have progressed from last season , and what we need to do to gain European competition next season.
Graham Hammond
56 Posted 26/10/2020 at 15:24:39
Carlo got it wrong yesterday by selecting Sigurdsson and Iwobi to play where they cannot and where they are not suited. He got his tactics wrong last week too against the RS. Richarlison is our best player and a huge miss. We need Godfrey for his pace his other qualities and he needs to be in the starting eleven somewhere even if it is not at Right Back, hopefully, Seamus can return soon and pick up where he left off. Yesterday, we looked like the team from last season and I think we will struggle to beat Newcastle and Fulham with the personnel available. Both yesterday and against the RS, we didn't look fit enough or sharp enough or intelligent enough. Letting Moise Kean go was a mistake in my opinion too.
John Pierce
57 Posted 26/10/2020 at 15:25:11
For me it’s not a reality check or anything of the sort. If anything it was the complacency of the manager. The defeat is squarely on Ancelotti. Despite one doubters thoughts that other are making light of the defeat that not the case if you read the threads. There are plenty who recognize the fault here was a failure to set the team up correctly.

Remember this almost the sameSouthampton side we played away last year after their 0-9 under Silva and won 2-1. Perspective.

As a match on its own, rotten from 1-14, set up poorly and tactically naive. The failure to recognize the balance of the team had changed and a need to be more cautious. Placed in context it’s a bump in the road, it’s one defeat in 9 and to date all the players even the ones who came in have deserved a chance.

The underlying issues can be dissected to the cows come home, but Southampton, well their manager out coached Carlo. Fair dos. The main tactical noose was nullifying our flanks, which was our only way of servicing Calvert-Lewin. That attracted our central midfield pair to the fray arriving too late on most occasions, leaving the middle and our defense exposed. In open play Mina and Keane are stuck in treacle. The second goal is a great example.

Potentially I think the reasons behind the selection simply came down to a lack of forward players to make it work. Hindsight tells us letting Kean go was ultimately a mistake, the workload of the season and likelihood of injuries should have been accounted for. It’s said he pushed for the move but we should have kept him.

In the same way we made Spurs look very average on the opening day, Southampton knocked us into a cocked hat.
I’ll expect a change in formation to account for the absentees at Newcastle.
I’m happy to see a more solid, cautious approach. A defeat is useful, if you learn from it. A win a Newcastle like last year will be just fine, in a successful campaign not every win can be laced with goals and flair. Our very own ‘85 team scrapped its way to many unedifying wins on their way to glory.

Brian Williams
58 Posted 26/10/2020 at 15:27:35
Graham #56.

I'm interested to know who you'd have picked and to play where?

Mike Gaynes
59 Posted 26/10/2020 at 15:46:10
Andrew #50, great post. I too have noted that nobody has made a reasonable suggestion regarding who should have been playing right back instead of Godfrey. The suggestion of Davies yesterday on the Forum caused me to spit coffee. Out my nose.

Criticism may well be due whoever didn't get a right back in before the transfer deadline (not to mention a replacement for Moise)... but not to Carlo's choice at RB. He had none.

Rennie Smith
60 Posted 26/10/2020 at 15:56:48
John@57, "Remember this almost the sameSouthampton side we played away last year after their 0-9 under Silva and won 2-1. Perspective." I'll give you some perspective, Southampton have accumulated more points than Leicester, their opponents since that day.
Rather than trying to trash Carlo's performance, maybe you should give their performance more credit than they're getting?
Agree with Brian and Mike, can the tactical geniuses on the site suggest who to have played where?
Dave Abrahams
61 Posted 26/10/2020 at 16:03:14
I don’t think it matters who plays at right back while James plays on that side of the field,they will get little help from him, same as in the Derby game, Doucoure was doing the best he could, Allan didn’t look fit, neither did James, then we had Sigurdsson and Iwobi dong their impersonations of footballers, the whole team looked dysfunctional and to be honest if Southampton hadn’t taken their foot off the pedal the score could have been much worse, no player, for me comes out of that game with much credit, perhaps Gordon, he produced two or three decent moments.

I haven’t given up but don’t think the results will get any better until everyone is fit and over their suspensions, January will not come quick enough and hopefully the transfer window will bring the reinforcements that are urgently required.

Michael Kenrick
62 Posted 26/10/2020 at 16:12:43
Ah, the self-proclaimed 'Man of Principle' finally relents! Modern technology has a function after all that goes beyond his own selfishness. It's not all about stale nostalgia for bygone days. Football is being played in the here and now in empty stadiums – and being watched by hundreds of thousands on the miracle that is television!

Pity you didn't learn much from what you watched, Old Fella, if you're still persisting with this 'Dross' nonsense. How many posts is that now that you've called me out on it? Well, I've finally risen to the bait, but I know that won't stop you from droning on and on about it, repeating ad nauseam what you've already said a hundred times. (Why do old people do that, I wonder?) Go on, tell us again, how old are you now?

Perhaps if you had watched the whole game, rather than just the sanitized 'hilites' on MotD, and not made a prejudgement through listening to soft and biased home commentary on the local radio, you could have provided a more relevant analysis. The game started off fairly even but pretty soon descended into dross from Everton. As many others have said on this and other threads, who actually took the time to watch the game, it was a reversion to some of the worst... err, dross from last season. But of course you didn't watch half of that either because of your infantile 'boycott', so you really had no base of reference to judge it from.

I think I'll stick with my own instant judgements on the game that I form as I'm watching, and I write in the match summary. It may not be to your liking... but then what I was watching on Sunday wasn't to mine either.

Colin Battison
63 Posted 26/10/2020 at 16:14:46
It was always going to be difficult against The Saints. They are a well-drilled organised side and they got their tactics spot-on against us.

As many have said, you can't play Sigurdsson and Iwobi in the same team. Iwobi frustrates the hell out of you, he can't trap a bag of cement and runs like a headless chicken.

I would bring Gordon in now and take Iwobi out, he offers nothing at all to the team and it shows how much we miss Richarlison.

Hoping Coleman or Kenny are fit for the Newcastle game as Godfrey is definitely not a right-back but that's not his fault.

We need to learn from this defeat and any good team puts it right straight away so Newcastle now is a massive game for us: nothing less than 3 points will do.

Frank Crewe
64 Posted 26/10/2020 at 16:15:53
I do not like the phrase "reality check" since it appears to infer we have gotten above our station. Losing a game doesn't mean we have somehow become a poor side. We are still top of the league and we got there on merit. We have been the best PL side this season and if it hadn't been for the hysterical reaction of the RS and their media camp followers after the derby undermining our players confidence I have no doubt we would have won this game as well. We played poorly and rightly lost. But it was not a "reality check" at all.
Sukhdev Sohal
65 Posted 26/10/2020 at 16:16:19
Iwobi is the worse signing on our history if you consider value for money. Enough said.
Mike Gaynes
66 Posted 26/10/2020 at 16:18:15
One thing more that I haven't seen mentioned on this thread. Amidst all the blame doled out to Ancelotti and Iwobi and Siggy and Bernard and even Pickford (should have done better with the second goal??? Really???), there's another guy who carries responsibility for this loss.

Richarlison.

If yesterday's game showed us all one thing, it's how important Rich is -- with his attacking skills, his drive, his relentless energy, his tracking back and defensive awareness. All were desperately missed yesterday.

I won't say his mad moment against the RS cost us this loss -- we might well have been beaten anyway, because Saints were up for it -- but what we lacked most was what he brings to every game. Let's hope he's learned his lesson about how important he is, and how not to make such an important mistake.

John Pierce
67 Posted 26/10/2020 at 16:27:11
Rennie, try reading again there, you may have not gotten the gist.

The credit is all Southampton’s. All my musings, post game and live forum say that. This post is more reflective and looking at the reasons why, and saying it’s a bump in the road. I certainly haven’t trashed him. I’ve given my opinion with a rationale why I think it went wrong. Mostly citing Southampton’s manager with the credit.

I used Southampton’s win last year as perspective as to highlight with better players this year Carlo should have done better. In isolation it’s a poor effort from him, he’s not above criticism. I suggested the set up was wrong not the players, indeed I clearly say those who came in deserved the chance.

A quick look over my posts will show in a huge fan of Carlo. I think you’ve jumped in too footed there! 😊


Mike Gaynes
68 Posted 26/10/2020 at 16:28:23
Michael, what the hell was that?
Darren Hind
69 Posted 26/10/2020 at 16:29:22
It wasnt the decision to play Godfrey at right back that had the Southampton manager pissing himself. It was the decision to play James in front of him.

The world and his dog knows how good James is going forward with the ball, but they also know how limited he can be going the other way. Not something lost on the Saints manager when he looked at how to get at our make shift RB.

James should have played No 10. He should only ever be played out wide when he has an experienced full back behind him.


John Pierce
70 Posted 26/10/2020 at 16:39:55
Darren, I'd agree with that. A far more functional approach with the hand he had too play would have protected Godfrey, also probably benefit a semi-fit James.

We know James can decide a game single-handedly so a more compact 4-4-2 would have felt like the way to go. A set play etc.

I'd image Davies right midfield and Bernard left midfield might have given us the protection we needed. Potentially Nkounkou instead of Bernard to give a left-footed balance.

Danny Broderick
71 Posted 26/10/2020 at 16:42:47
Our back up players aren’t good enough, it’s as simple as that. If you replace Gomes and Richarlison with Sigurdsson and Iwobi, the midfield simply won’t be as strong, regardless of formation.

The young lad Godfrey is one for the future and he’s not a right back. Remember Seamus getting a chasing on his debut in Portugal many years ago, and he has gone on to have a great career with us.

Southampton away is not an easy game nowadays. Disappointing we lost, but we are not quite the finished article yet, especially when we have a few first choice players out.

Tony Everan
72 Posted 26/10/2020 at 16:46:31
It makes sense Darren, and I think we will see something different against Newcastle. If we go for more of the same we will get the same outcome.

We may see a formation change, 4-2-3-1

Godfrey Mina Keane Nkounkou
Allan Delph
Doucoure James Gordon
Calvert-Lewin

(assuming Kenny and Coleman are still out)

John Pierce
73 Posted 26/10/2020 at 16:48:15
Mike, nice post that. It’s worth looking at things from the other end of the telescope. We were handicapped from the start.

Given the time of Richarlison’s red and the overall nature of the game, it was naive, nah it’s was stupid, and he’s lucky the Pickford thing has taken all the air time.

His absence completely screwed the balance in the team. He stretches teams vertically, the four Southampton defenders won’t need to clean their kit for next week because they never got beyond walking pace.

Mike Gaynes
74 Posted 26/10/2020 at 16:50:04
Yeah, I'd buy that, Darren. I'd have liked to see James shifted into the middle of the pitch around the middle of the first half. The thing is, he doesn't usually stay there. He naturally tends to slide out towards the touchlines.
Jerome Shields
75 Posted 26/10/2020 at 16:52:34
In my opinion, Ancelotti will have to do something about recovering the ball when possession is lost in the final third, particularly in midfield. Sigurdsson is not committed to trackng back and when the opposition defence pushes up, he is relatively useless.

As stated by Darren #23, James is not interested in tracking back. Godfrey had the look of a right-back that knew he was being exposed, which must have been a nightmare in his first full Everton game. Walcott tactically knew how to keep defensive shape, which explained his selection under successive managers and Sidibe did help out and got tackles in.

Gomes in midfielder does most of his best defending on the right. I never like to see him deep centre where he is a liability. Steve Ferns is right the Gomes is better for this reason and the balance of the team. Against Liverpool's pace and high press, that had him hounded and under real pressure, which he cracks under. We do miss Gana who, with Allan, would sort out all our problems. Maybe Gbamin is the answer.

Darren Hind
76 Posted 26/10/2020 at 17:26:22
Yes Mike,

But I also agree with Lyndon when he says the set up doesnt really accommodate a number 10.

James is one of those players who come along every blue moon. He's got soul, but he's not a soldier. There's absolutely no point in giving him a "Job". Give him a shirt and tell him to enjoy himself

Mr Ancelotti has flirted with the idea a couple of times this season. I guess thats why I don't understand what happened on Sunday

Mike Gaynes
77 Posted 26/10/2020 at 17:41:33
Jerome #75, that's the first time I've seen the words "Gomes" and "best defending" used in the same sentence. But you hit on a key point regarding tracking back -- most observers missed the fact that it was Sigurdsson's failure to track Ward-Prowse off the throw-in that was most responsible for the first goal. He just stood there and watched him go, and Digne had no prayer of getting over in time.
Andy Crooks
78 Posted 26/10/2020 at 17:49:22
I really don't believe there has been an overreaction to this. No matter how well Southampton played, we were poor and badly set up.

We will lose games but it is disappointing to lose them like that. After the second goal heads dropped. The attitude stank. Our players seemed interested only in getting off the pitch. Winners battle on to salvage some pride at least. There didn't look a winner among that lot.

Disappointing how fragile the mentality is. I see nothing wrong with supporters lavishing praise when we are excellent but calling out shit and lack of application when we see it. A well-beaten side who battle to the end don't get stick; outfought teams do.

John McFarlane Snr
79 Posted 26/10/2020 at 17:55:16
Michael Kenrick, [62] I anticipated a response from you, and the ill mannered way in which it would be delivered, but what I didn't anticipate was the exaggeration regarding the number of times I had [to state your words], "Called you out". I have always thought that it was impossible to dislike someone you have never met, but it would appear that I've been wrong.
Martin Mason
80 Posted 26/10/2020 at 18:03:18
JMS, that needed to be said about MK's rudeness and well done for saying it.
Stephen Brown
81 Posted 26/10/2020 at 18:15:10
I certainly don't want to get involved in any disagreement particularly with the editor of this site I enjoy and read 20 times a day but I also want to speak up for John McFarlane Snr. I've never met John but personally I feel a higher level of respect for an ‘elderly' (no offence) Evertonian is in order even if your views are totally different.

I enjoy your posts, John, even if you've only listened on the wireless!! Keep it up, John, Evertonian views from different generations should be encouraged. All the best, John!

Rob Dolby
82 Posted 26/10/2020 at 18:28:39
Hindsight is a marvelous thing. Most people would have picked the same team knowing what type of injuries and suspensions we have.

Did any of the substitutes used yesterday show hunger, desire and enough will to win to convince Ancelotti that they deserve a starting place?

Ancelotti must think that a half-fit James is better than what we had on the bench and I totally agree with him.

Barry Thompson
83 Posted 26/10/2020 at 18:44:38
Seems to me MK should read his own disclaimer- talk about leading by example.
Steve Shave
84 Posted 26/10/2020 at 18:55:45
I'd like to see 3-5-1-1 vs Newcastle:

Pickford
Godfrey Mina Keane
Kenny Nkounkou
Allan Doucouré Gomes
James
Calvert-Lewin

Danny O’Neill
85 Posted 26/10/2020 at 18:56:55
Some pretty good and mostly, in agreement analysis of yesterday.

I don't think it was a wake up call. I think it is what most of us knew. We may have a very much improved first 11, but still lack depth in the squad. Any injuries or suspensions will impact us more than the Sky proclaimed top 6. But then, let's get back to our realistic targets this season. It is not to win the league, it is to qualify for Europe. Top 6 is very much achievable, top 4 a possible outside bet.

Southampton done their homework on us yesterday and to be fair, played well on top of sticking to their game plan. We were off sorts at best, which was compounded by performances from the likes of Sigurdsson and Iwobi reminiscent of last season. I've tried to defend Sigurdsson over the seasons but yesterday he was particularly poor.

Picking up on a couple of points. I agree, would like to have seen (and would like to see) Rodriguez play more of a roaming role as it makes us less predictable and takes away opposition focus on the right side. I think this team will eventually settle down into a 4-2-3-1. And for their second goal, yes, Sigurdsson was at fault, but let's not forget that Michael Keane, having initially been tight and knocking the eventual goal scorer off his balance, did not track same player and got sucked into ball watching. As Keane drifted towards our right back, the player he had just been tracking drifted to our back post on our left from where he scored.

Look, there are far more positives to take from this start than negatives. Yesterday was a bad day at the office and we were beaten by a team who performed much better on a day when we didn't show up. Hopefully there will be less of those days than last season and the signs so far suggest that will be the case.

Jerome Shields
86 Posted 26/10/2020 at 19:02:18
John Snr #79

Are there two Michael Kenrick's? The one who writes articles and the one who writes posts. I can't believe they are one in the same. Such a contrast.

By the way, I fully support your posts.

Brian Dagnall
87 Posted 26/10/2020 at 19:42:26
Oh dear, I am an old git also, so maybe my opinions are as dross as my beloved blues apparently were.

I watched the whole match and thought Everton were clearly second best. Unfortunately, I did predict the result and even the score, so no after-the-event wisdom here. My reasons were basically that we haven't really played anyone yet although Spurs was a good win, well deserved, but West Brom and Brighton each scored 2 against us. Mostly down to our midfield, whoever they were, losing the ball.

Inspired forward play on those days enabled us to win convincingly and thus the criticism on these pages disappeared. Generally on TW, posters exaggerate how good we are when we win, and exaggerate how bad we are when we lose.

So my reason for admitting I'm an old git is to explain how I spent many years watching the greats of the past, Alan Ball, Howard Kendall, Alex Young, Bobby Charlton, Denis Law and Georgie Best (sorry I can't think of any Liverpool players). And you know those teams and those players played many dross games. I can never remember any fan accusing them of not trying though.

Accept defeat with good grace and let's hope the club can fix what was so poor on Sunday. I didn't like some selections myself. Carlo set a target to compete, not to never lose. Liverpool crashed 7 times, their team even including the fallen madonna, Van Dijk.

Jerome Shields
88 Posted 26/10/2020 at 20:38:20
Mike #77,

You where the one that spotted Sigurdsson's inaction during the game. I do think part of the reason for Digne tracking back was to try to do what had not been done. Of course, being late starting, he was going to be behind his man, which is always a problem if you do anything, especially with a professional footballer at full tilt. Sigurdsson, with his bit of 'lack of effort' makeup which stops him from achieving his potiential, is never going to change.

Gomes does not like being under pressure and I never like to see him central. But on the wings he is defensively useful, presenting himself for a pass and passing out of trouble. He also puts tackles in, and doesn't foul to the same extent as when central. He is not a sole defender but makes a contribution in a pack. It was this that was missing on the right and just changed the balance of the side, as Steve Ferns said.

I was very critical of him during the Liverpool game, but think his absence was more the reason for the Everton performance against the Saints, rather than Richarlison. In the Liverpool game, he was a playmaker that Liverpool targeted as having to be dealt with, but he still made a contribution in the first half to Everton's shape, and the fact he had to be dealt with by Liverpool. .

Paul Tran
89 Posted 26/10/2020 at 20:43:32
Carlo gambled with James' fitness. The question I'd like to ask is about the fitness of Allan & Doucouré. Both looked sluggish and off the pace. Neither protected, nor set up anything.

As Darren rightly says, James is no soldier, so whoever is behind him, wherever he is playing, needs protection.

Blip or 'back to normal'? Well find out on Saturday.

Danny O’Neill
90 Posted 26/10/2020 at 21:15:01
Allan in particular looked jaded in the last 20 minutes, Paul.

I think in hindsight we missed Gomes yesterday. I thought he was poor against Liverpool but, in all honesty, we probably shouldn't judge too harshly when you play the best team in the league (feel sick). I think yesterday Gomes in for Sigurdsson makes a difference but, like I say, that's hindsight.

Tony Everan
91 Posted 26/10/2020 at 21:17:00
Jerome, Also Gomes is better at retaining the ball and allowing the midfield to regroup. (On a good day.)

Sigurdsson isn't as good at the midfield basics and we are nearly always under pressure when he is involved. These days, I see him as a useful (£45M!) sub for the last half-hour of games when there is a bit more space for him.

Brian Murray
92 Posted 26/10/2020 at 21:23:37
Sigurdsson, Gomes, Davies, Iwobi – whatever formation we try, this level of player can't be involved in the first team. We need to somehow gel Nkounkou and Gordon into the first team.
Trevor Peers
94 Posted 26/10/2020 at 21:35:44
Richarlison would've made a difference had he been available, we may've grabbed a draw. We are woefully short up top, Kean was never the answer and this problem should've been addressed in the last window. If anything happens to Calvert-Lewin, we'll be knackered, the midfield did have a day off but we just don't have enough strikers and never looked like scoring.

Looking at the Spurs team tonight, they have multiple options up the front, we are down to just one at the moment and I think we will pay the price for it until Richarlison gets back.

Barry Jones
95 Posted 26/10/2020 at 22:04:51
The press said that Ancelotti wasn't too upset with the performance or the result. They didn't mention that I was.
Barry Jones
96 Posted 26/10/2020 at 22:07:19
Maybe they said that Klopp was not unhappy with the Everton performance.
Bill Gall
97 Posted 26/10/2020 at 22:13:21
John McFarlane Snr #79,

I don't understand the comments made to you as I always thought your comments were well-founded from an experienced supporter and regular spectator whose views and opinions were not vindictive to anyone.

I am 80 years old and if my life had not gone in another direction, I would most probably be in your position o having followed Everton from an early age to becoming a regular season ticket holder.

On age, I just come across a saying from Confucius – "Old age to me is a good and pleasant thing, it is true you are gently shouldered off the stage, but then you are given such a comfortable front stall as a spectator."
You can't get experience unless you have lived it to experience it.

Barry Jones
98 Posted 26/10/2020 at 22:14:02
"It's about ­marrying the individual ­qualities of the player into the team and if you feel that player can't press or doesn't want to press in the game, it has an effect on your attacking structure and your defensive structure. If one person doesn't do their job, then you can suffer."

The words of Brendan Rogers. This should be a reflection on the Southampton game where we had several players in that mode.

Tom Bowers
99 Posted 26/10/2020 at 22:16:42
Trevor Peers, you raised a good point regarding Spurs. They do have scoring potential which can always win you a game even if you don't play well.

This is the only blip on Carlo's record this season in that another goalscorer should have been brought in before the deadline. He knew Tosun was out and Kean wasn't up to snuff, add to that Walcott being sub-par and you had a situation that could arise which it now has thanks to Richarlison's red.

It could have arisen anyway with an injury to either of the front two but Carlo may have thought that James, Iwobi, Sigurdsson and Bernard could pick up the slack but that won't happen if they are too preoccupied by midfield chores especially against a decent side like Southampton.

Another test coming against the Barcodes so we all hope they are up for it this time.

Jerome Shields
100 Posted 26/10/2020 at 23:56:59
Tony #91,

That's exactly the benefit of Gomes, his involvement and playmaking ability, both Allan and Doucouré needed him in front of them. They have far too much to do with the work-shy Sigurdsson in front of them, who is not interested in playmaking.

Sigurdsson is useful as a sub to change the pace of Everton, to see a game out. With the present squad, when their tails are up, they will trade play for play with the opposition. Starting him just adds sluggishness. Everton will just look off the pace and him not helping just adds to the problem. That's the influence he can have when selected.

Sigurdsson knows full well what he is at. I noticed him, like Mike, against the Saints standing back and not engaging in a game in the Carabao Cup. Gordon covered the situation correctly, doing what Sigurdsson should have done. Sigurdsson shouted instructions to Gordon to take up a certain position just after that. I just thought to myself he was just showing his authority after Gordon showing him up. When younger, I have been in that type of situation at work and recognised it straight away.

Sigurdsson managed to make Everton's midfield look like they were being managed by Silva, with wing-play stats to match.

Barry #98,

A very apt and definitive quotation.

Will Mabon
101 Posted 27/10/2020 at 00:30:54
Reading everything written about Sigurdsson on TW since the game, it occurs to me that to compose the opinions, whether given in good grace or more critically, paints a picture of a player that is essentially useless.

He can't run, he won't tackle, he won't press more than once or twice per game. He can't dribble past players, he won't show for the ball (and still hides). His famed quality deliveries and visionary passes have long gone, after never quite living up to their billing.

He somehow manages to clock up a high distance covered in some games but it's all invisibly, at jogging pace, in the wrong place. And he points. He stunned me by hitting the bar, Sunday. I think he makes Iwobi look good.

Can anyone tell me what I'm missing?

Nicholas Howard
102 Posted 27/10/2020 at 01:03:49
What a strange week we got...

Senior squad, U23... U18 – all lost their matches respectively.

Don Alexander
103 Posted 27/10/2020 at 02:09:42
The game to me was so redolent of USMFF for the past seasons in terms of lack of nerve, enterprise and basic skill. The fact that our junior teams also got rodgered is concerning.

If you didn't know better you might think USMFF is still stuffed with highly paid mercenaries who are advised by their leech agents to just screw us to the max before they, the agents, have to seek the next best lucrative contract for their uncommitted client/s.

To me, Carlo Ancelotti is a breath of fresh air, as is Marcel Brands, but with a long road in front of them.

Their/our problem is exterminating the psychological mediocrity within USMFF, and Bellefield before it, that was inspired and promoted by a bog-standard West End theatre producer who's masqueraded for decades as a football eminence-grise, to our huge cost.

If he was a plant, Kenwright would be Japanese Knot-Weed, now needing total extermination by any sane person, after a period of official indifference. And no, I'm not wishing him exterminated but his removal from any role in the club is required.

Hell, as a gesture of "thankfulness", I'd even support Moshiri paying for a season ticket so that the teary-eyed conman could continue watching the club he says he loves (and why wouldn't he after trousering fabulous wealth on our backs?), providing it was right at the front of where the Boys Pen used to be, the bit that was always swirling with piss and gozz, and a smattering of blood on occasion.

Not that he remembers any of that, of course.

Steve Brown
104 Posted 27/10/2020 at 07:32:36
Some really interesting points on here. Play James as a No 10? Why not.

He won't stay there and nor should he if he is going to be the creative magician we love. But, at least we can move to a tactical set up that allows cover for our flanks, where he leaves the right-back exposed and forces Doucouré to move across. That then creates opportunities in the midfield space he has had to vacate.

Rooney's Sunday Times article identified the need to add two more quality players into the squad in January as cover for Calvert-Lewin and Allan. Can I suggest we emulate the redshite in asset stripping Southampton and target Danny Ings and James Ward Prowse? They are always excellent when I watch them.

Will @ 101, one thing you are missing about vastly overpaid Special Teams No 10 Sigurdsson. He is a crap role model who tries to tell young players like Gordon what to do, but never does it himself. Given his love of standing and pointing, I would suggest we loan him to the Merseyside Police to help direct traffic.

George McKane
105 Posted 27/10/2020 at 07:44:40
Hey MK - not very cosmic of you - don’t know how old you are - don’t really care - thought your post was dreadful - if you think that by calling John names because of his age somehow illustrates your coolness - then just illustrates that old adage that youth is wasted on the young - incredibly disappointed in your childishness - from Old Man Mc Kane.
Mal van Schaick
106 Posted 27/10/2020 at 08:10:22
We don’t have the quality on the bench when we are injury affected, and to me it’s a priority to keep building the squad with quality, and off load the remaining weak players, if Moshiri wants success for the club and fans. We missed creativity in central midfield against Southampton.
Christopher Timmins
107 Posted 27/10/2020 at 09:09:10
A very poor performance at the weekend, we have to put it behind us and get back on track at Newcastle next weekend.

We have to accept that we are nowhere near where the manager want's us to be. You can't cure all ills in one transfer window. It was obvious last summer where we were particularly weak and come June 2021 other obvious areas requiring improvement will be identified and hopefully acted upon.

Rennie Smith
108 Posted 27/10/2020 at 09:14:37
It took a little while but Don@103, you win the prize this week in the Blue Bill Bingo. I knew this site couldn't go one week without someone blaming Kenwright for something, I'm surprised he hasn't been blamed for stopping free school meals at half term!

John@67, fair enough, a bump in the road as you say.

Brian Murray
109 Posted 27/10/2020 at 09:18:52
Don. Post 103. Il have a street party the day that buffoon is removed or moved from his position
Ray Roche
110 Posted 27/10/2020 at 09:19:06
Will Mabon,

He’d make Stephen Hawking look good.

Brian Harrison
111 Posted 27/10/2020 at 09:44:32
I think our lack of decent options up front will be something that I am sure Ancelotti will address either in Jan or the summer, depending on finances. I thought it was interesting to hear Guardiola say he wanted another striker but they couldnt afford one. So if they are having problems financing player purchases then no wonder we didnt replace Kean. Although he can come back at the end of the season so maybe that is clouding the issue.
Stan Schofield
112 Posted 27/10/2020 at 09:57:54
Michael@62: That post is very disappointing. I'm only a young up-and-coming Evertonian, aged 66, but despite my youth I will offer you some advice:

Don't make personal comments, because there's no point in it, it can make you look foolish even if you're not a fool, and it's unnecessarily unpleasant. There are enough unpleasant things in the world as it is.

Clive Rogers
113 Posted 27/10/2020 at 10:00:50
Brian, 109, Don, 103, can I come? I’ll dance all the way there.
Clive Rogers
114 Posted 27/10/2020 at 10:06:01
Rennie, 108, never thought Kenwright would stoop so low. Stopping free school meals, disgraceful!
Brian Harrison
115 Posted 27/10/2020 at 10:09:09
George105 & Stan 112

I am sure when Michael reflects on his post to John, he will be disappointed he sent it. We all know that sometimes on this forum we all hold passionate views and thats a good thing but when it spills over into personal attacks then it massively detracts on how good this site is.

I would just urge all who contribute here on TW not to indulge in personal attacks at fellow posters, yes you can disagree fervently with another poster but put your alternative view without making it personal. As we all know this is a great site for Evertonians and thankfully we are a pasionate lot, just lets make sure our passion doesnt lead us to make personal insults.

Jim Lloyd
116 Posted 27/10/2020 at 10:29:19
Michael, You should withdraw that post and apologise. I can understand you losing your rag after what you see as a prolonged period of criticism; but your post doesn't only attempt to trash JMS, you then go on to be an ageist with your "why do old people...etc."
You write good reports on every match and the comments from fellow Blues make ToffeeWeb a great forum.
Even if you felt you'd been goaded enough, that's not the way I'd have expected you to react.
We can all lose our rag, and it happens almost as an bad itch that's got to be scratched. I'm sure most of the Blues understand how a reaction can just explode. But it was wrong, mate.
Steve Brown
117 Posted 27/10/2020 at 10:47:21
John @ 79, your comment did not merit that response at all. Like man, I respect and enjoy your contributions a lot.
Tony Everan
118 Posted 27/10/2020 at 10:52:35
Brian 115 , I fully agree with you. This cracking website is more than the sum of its parts. It gives a bit of an escape and respite, especially so nowadays. It contributes in some small way to better mental health for a lot of us.

For this reason it’s better to have a passionate and respectful exchange of views even when they’re at the opposite ends of the spectrum.

Patrick McFarlane
119 Posted 27/10/2020 at 10:52:39
It was inevitible that Everton would lose at some point, but the manner of the defeat was hard to explain, and it was as one Twitter wag noted 'as if Everton had put the clocks back twelve months and not the hour that everyone else did.

Obviously Richarlison was missing and that is a major factor as every league game that he's missed whilst being at Goodison, Everton have failed to win.

Clearly that points to how integral Richarlison is to the set-up and there isn't a natural replacement for him within the squad. As Mike Gaynes alluded to earlier in the thread, Richarlison's work on and off the ball is invaluable to this team.

James, Iwobi, Siggy, Bernard et al are all what I would call luxury players, sometimes capable of bits of magic - James at least is capable of producing many accurate simple passes as well as being a regular creator of goals - but generally they are unable to influence the tempo of the team and none of whom could be described as hard-workers or tennacious in the tackle.

How Everton have managed to purchase quite so many players who are only able to do positive things one game in five or cannot do the basic things adequately so often is beyond my comprehension.

I'm hoping that Sunday's performance isn't repeated anytime soon, but fear that it will be because without Richarlison we look both impotent and defensively vulnerable, that isn't what we'd hoped for a couple of weeks ago, but it is what it is and we'll have to suck it up, unless Carlo decides to change the way we line-up whenever Richarlison is unavailable to him.

Given that Richarlison will be wanted by other clubs and he will likely want to join them from next summer onwards, Carlo should be trying to adopt a system that will work without Richarlison as the likelyhood of finding a like-for-like replacement is minimal and probably beyond Everton's budget.

Tony Abrahams
120 Posted 27/10/2020 at 11:13:38
I had to look that Japanese knotweed up after reading that description Don, but I think you’ve been a little bit to tame in describing uncle Bill, because Giant Hogweed might have been a more apt description!

Take no notice of Michael K, John Mc, because it sometimes feels like he hasn’t watched the game either, when you read some of his match reports mate!

Each to his own I say, I’m just glad I’ve got rid of that squeaking hinge headache, the red mafia in the media, gave me all last week.

Instead of arguing amongst ourselves, surely we should be making videos of Mike Dean’s face, the minute he realised he’d been overruled, and gave a penalty against his beloved reds, and then watch in despair when he gives a penalty, for the two he turned down to the blades before the middle of December!

Barry Rathbone
121 Posted 27/10/2020 at 11:24:00
Bit naughty the MK post I've long suspected the vino gets the better of him at such times. Just hoping he keeps booting the elderly if he starts on the handsome and charismatic I'm in massive trouble.
Brian Williams
122 Posted 27/10/2020 at 11:26:12
Nah Barry you'll be fine mate. 🥘
David Cash
123 Posted 27/10/2020 at 11:49:37
I think Michael is taking an unfair kicking here
Yes his post was OTT, but I think those who feel a persons age should exempt him from a response when he has repeatedly looked for it, are confusing age with an inability to hold ones own in an argument.

John is a fine and much respected Evertonian, but he knew what he was doing.
He and Michael have been grinding each others gears since I first logged on to this site. They would be better off avoiding each other.

Some good debates across the threads at the moment. Thats what makes this site a must visit

Dave Abrahams
124 Posted 27/10/2020 at 11:50:26
Brian (109), can you book a place for me at that party, I hope it is a very large street, think you’ll need it.
Brian Williams
125 Posted 27/10/2020 at 12:02:09
David Abrahams!!! tch tch tch.
Tom Bowers
126 Posted 27/10/2020 at 12:10:43
Have always thought that in recent years Everton have lacked real leadership on the middle of the park, not necessarily the captain but someone who will kick some ass when needed.
Just seems to me that in some games like the Soton game some players go through the motions thinking only of the paycheque and need a Peter Reid type to bully them.
Everton had far too many games just like this last season and one hopes it's a one off after the RS brouhaha.
Tony Hill
127 Posted 27/10/2020 at 12:28:10
I think that's a real problem, Tom @126. I hope Allan may yet perform the role but he and Doucoure have been out of sorts recently. We're in trouble if they don't raise their games. In Allan's case injury may be a factor. We often look feeble against quick, strong midfields. Pace is so important - pace in moving the ball and moving bodies.

Dave Abrahams
128 Posted 27/10/2020 at 12:42:53
Brian (125), Brian I thought you’d be a nap to attend that party, I’m going to bring a crate of Desperado’s to settle that debt once and for all and celebrate at the same time, come on mate, you’ll enjoy it.
Danny Broderick
130 Posted 27/10/2020 at 12:49:03
I think it’s fair to say that Ancelloti was hoping for better from the players he brought in. We know they are not as good as the players they were replacing - but you have to give them an opportunity at some point.

Godfrey is capable of covering at right back, he has all the attributes, but like DCL when he was playing up front a season or 2 ago, he hasn’t learnt the position yet.

Sigurdsson was Sigurdsson. He has had a couple of cameos where you think there is a player in there somewhere, but he reverted to type again on Sunday. Giving the ball away too much, poor pressing, missing in action - except for his shot that hit the bar.

Iwobi was Iwobi. Again, he has had some good cameos this season and probably deserved his chance, but as he always does, he didn’t take his chance.

Personally, I thought Delph did more in 15 minutes than Sigurdsson did the rest of the game. I’d be glad if he came in for Sigurdsson for the Newcastle game - stiffen up the midfield a bit and allow Doucouré to help out on the right hand side a bit. I think Gordon has earnt his chance ahead of Iwobi and Bernard now on the left.

Rodriguez has been a revelation this season on the right - he’d created more chances than any other player in the top flight, in addition to his 2/3 goals. Why change a winning formula? I say keep him on the right and let’s hope for a better midfield performance without Sigurdsson and Iwobi...

Brian Williams
131 Posted 27/10/2020 at 12:56:03
Hey Dave. I didn't say I wouldn't come lol.
Stan Schofield
132 Posted 27/10/2020 at 13:05:50
Danny@130: Good post. We knew that the fluent football that we saw before the international break, influenced by the much better midfield with Allan and Doucoure, was liable to be disrupted by injuries. And that's what's happened, but it's compounded by sendings off.

It's difficult for any team to maintain momentum when key players are below-par, injured or suspended. Liverpool were very fortunate with injuries last season, as were Leicester when they won the league. Look at how Liverpool are crying like infants now that van Dijk is injured.

Sometimes, international breaks can be a benefit in giving a break during bad form, but equally they can upset a period of good form. It strikes me that's what's happened, and if so it is surely a temporary blip that we're seeing.

John McFarlane Snr
133 Posted 27/10/2020 at 13:38:45
Hi all, and a 'thank you' to those who defended me in the latest attack on my character, I have no intention of prolonging this issue because it's a fight I cant win, [it's not my finger on the delete button]. I will end by quoting an old adage "Manners make'th the man" and trust that it's not contentious.
Ray Robinson
134 Posted 27/10/2020 at 13:59:44
John, I too think that MK's reply to you was rude, disrespectful and uncalled for. However, I do think that you need to stop banging on about how your principles prevent you from watching televised football with no crowds. All regular TW readers will know this by now. I'm 67 and also find football in empty stadia soulless and sterile. However, I accept that it is a necessary evil, a step towards being able to see my beloved Everton live again from my seat in the Park End. For many clubs the current arrangement are a matter of survival. After all, if I'm starving of hunger, I take what's on offer and don't expect my favourite curry dish. Best wishes to you John.
Jay Harris
135 Posted 27/10/2020 at 14:00:59
One of the things that bothered me was the lack of team spirit and covering for each other.

In the first 4 games we all remarked how the new boys had transformed the atmosphere at FF.

However I noticed on Sunday that there were a few arguments going on, now that may be because we now have players that don't like losing but it doesnt help if players are calling each other out on the pitch.

It was also strange that all levels lost at the weekend.
Maybe the gobshites put some poisonous gas in FF following the derby.

John Boon
136 Posted 27/10/2020 at 14:09:38
I only recently read all the posts John. I am sure you have lots of support as you give lots of good opinions regarding Everton. You should not be castigated for standing by YOUR principles even if they may seem irrelevant to others.

Age should never be a factor in giving your opinion. Hopefully old age comes to all those lucky enough to achieve it. Along with old age comes wisdom, experience and most of all compassion.AS another 80plus oldie I always try to stay honest to MY values. I also try to stay young in spirit, mind and attitude. I rarely use my age in posts but today I will. Because it is a factor.

John Pierce
137 Posted 27/10/2020 at 14:25:23
The utter hilarity of posters on here taking the moral high ground over ageism. Are people really defending the poster or feel upset themselves due to their own age? I do wonder.

Moreover, the volume of posts on this site which cross the line for sexism, chauvinism and utter toxic masculinity under the tenuous guise of humor are ten a penny. Where is the outrage here?

The name calling and continuous feuding of an extreme personal nature that dominate and ruin threads? I do see some push back here, but it’s hardly an avalanche of protest.

I will say the people who run the site might reflect why such an environment has been allowed to flourish?

I’m sure the site would be even more enjoyable and attract more posts if people weren’t put off by the posters debating the football rather than the poster.

Neil Cremin
138 Posted 27/10/2020 at 14:38:02
Just popped in to see what TWebbers were saying.
Firstly, I believe Sunday was a reality check. Looking at results to date:
Spurs Good performance
Brighton: Good performance
West Brom: Win against 10 men eventually
Palace: Thank you VAR
Liverpool: Reasonable performance and thanks you VAR
Southampton: Poor performance and verification that w/o Richie we are damn average.

Godfrey, is no right full and lacked experience not to be so exposed especially when James doesnt track back.
Alan, looked tired already, wait until mid winter and games pile up. Would have taken him off before Dacoure.
Iwobi: Doesn’t have the ball skills or vision.
Siggy: Is at best a good replacement but did have the only realistic chance of goal of his own making.
Bernard: Lacks presence in role he is best suited.

In summary we were disjointed on right at the back on on the left up front with two “luxury flair players” and a Rottweiler without teeth in midfield.
Don’t see any improvement against Newcastle,
On the position of right back, Hope you didnt do too much damage with your coffee at the suggestion of Davies at right back Mike, do you have a suggestion or just like to comment (Smiley)

Mike Gaynes
139 Posted 27/10/2020 at 14:55:15
JP #137... "...the people who run the site might reflect why such an environment has been allowed to flourish?"

I would point out that what struck me as a disproportionately nasty personal attack -- one that specifically jeered the elderly in a way I haven't seen here before -- was delivered by one of the "people who run the site" and who therefore enjoys immunity from bans or suspensions for misconduct. That just ain't fair.

David #123, I take your equivalency argument, but in addition to the basic inequality I just mentioned, there is a striking difference in tone and tenor between John's and Michael's posts. I've never seen anything remotely like that from John, even in gear-grinding mode.

I'm not exactly a paragon of etiquette myself sometimes, so accuse me of hypocrisy if you wanna, but I really did think that post was inappropriate.

Danny Broderick
140 Posted 27/10/2020 at 14:58:57
Good luck to you John @133.

To use the word ‘dross’ to describe Everton’s performance on Sunday is simply fickle. We are not the best team in the world when we win, and we are not the worst team in the world when we lose. Every team can have an off day, and if Sunday was ours, it comes after our best start for 100 years.

There’s a sense of entitlement if you are using words like ‘dross’ to describe our defeat away at Southampton. No team plays well every game.

Southampton away is not an easy game, they will give any team a game. Our defeat on Sunday should be kept in perspective. We are still top of the league, we had a couple of players missing and we finished the game with ten men.

Let’s not beat ourselves up about one defeat after a brilliant start to the season...

Mike Gaynes
141 Posted 27/10/2020 at 15:05:23
Neil #138, thanks for your concern. I did notice that my sinuses were unusually active yesterday, no doubt due to the direct injection of caffeine.

Regarding the grim RB situation, there's no real choice in my view. Godfrey is bigger and swifter than Davies, and as a defender he at least understands the fundamentals of man-marking, tackling and winning headers in his own box far better than a midfielder like Davies.

My first suggestion is that Godfrey spend this week taking a crash course in right back positioning at the University of Ancelotti, hopefully to improve this weekend. My second suggestion is that we all paint ourselves, dance, chant, sacrifice small animals and burn incense for the quick return to health of Seamus, JJK or Holgate.

(I'm kidding about the small animals.)

Eddie Dunn
142 Posted 27/10/2020 at 15:14:03
On the subject of the depth (or lack of it) of quality in our squad, there are undoubtably many "average Joes" out there who may not be supremely gifted but are very athletic and work their socks off.
Watching both Leeds and Sheffield Utd last week I was impressed at the workrate. Some of the skill was also very good too.
Against Liverpool, Sheffield seemed ready to put bodies on the line, superb aggression was on show without fouling. Perhaps this is because those men were fitter than our lads and therefore able to control themselves.
For me our combatents such as Doucoure and Allan were both off the pace, (especially the latter who looks injured) and Sigurdsson, we all know is only usefull in the last 25 mins when everyone else is tired. Then we had our James who was also injured. The tactical shortcomings and lack of cover on the right were obvious, but only Gordon had serious pace when he came on. Bernard is as weak as a kitten and rarely has chance to pass or shoot and as for Iwobi, well I hope I never see him again.
The recruits we need are out there. Leeds and Sheffield found them and trained them while we bought overpriced jokers from the Russian league or cast-offs from our rivals.
I honestly think a couple of young fit kids from the under 23's could do better than Iwobi, Bernard or Sigurdsson.
Kevin Molloy
143 Posted 27/10/2020 at 15:14:10
It's funny the spat between MK and John M. Obviously some of the language from one of the parties was beyond rude.

Having said that, I am so heartily heartily sick of the current 'you can't say that' atmosphere that has pervaded our national consciousness this last five years. And the virtue signalling that has gone along with it.

Imagine if the current generation had been the ones to actually fight real nazis, we would never hear the end of their tales of derring do, In some ways, I see ToffeeWeb as one of the last bastions of people getting on the intranet and saying what they think without fear or favour. There is a lot to be said for that.

Stan Schofield
144 Posted 27/10/2020 at 15:14:25
John@137: It is a fact that when posts cross the line for those issues that you list, there are always strong counter-opinions or protests. But that is a different matter from the one being discussed now, which concerns making personal comments. Personal comments should NEVER be made unless they are friendly ones that come under 'banter'. ToffeeWeb is a great site, with civilised debate, not typical of so many social media platforms where slanging matches and mob mentality seem to be prevalent.

Kevin@143: Yes, you're right, but personal responsibility and common sense must enter into it. It's not a free-for-all, nor should it be.

Mike Gaynes
145 Posted 27/10/2020 at 15:25:44
Kevin #143, you made me Google "virtue signalling" -- had no idea what it was.
Kevin Molloy
146 Posted 27/10/2020 at 15:29:56
Google aint gonna forget that in a hurry Mike.
you'll be listed as 'subversive'
Stan Schofield
147 Posted 27/10/2020 at 15:36:17
Mike@145: I had to look it up too. It seems to mean the act of overtly showing supposed compassion for others, which some celebrities do. Because the person dislaying the compassion might not be doing it for unselfish reasons (for example, if it were not genuine compassion but an attempt to be centre of attention or gain positive publicity), the 'virtue signalling' can be seen in a pejorative light. Seems to be a new term.
Mike Gaynes
148 Posted 27/10/2020 at 15:45:05
I try to learn one new one a week, Stan. Last week it was "throwing shade."
Tony Abrahams
149 Posted 27/10/2020 at 15:50:14
To be fair to Michael K, he also takes a bit back at times, so I’m not sure the delete button really comes into it John Mc. Please don’t that as virtual signaling though, I’ve had enough of that listening to some of the phoneys in the media over the last ten days!

Stan Schofield
150 Posted 27/10/2020 at 15:52:28
Mike, I just looked that one up too. Best of luck learning these new phrases, if you're anything like me you'll remember the phrase but forget its meaning.
Andy Crooks
151 Posted 27/10/2020 at 15:59:58
John @ 137. I think the site is remarkably tame compared to what it once was. I think it would be a shame if it became any tamer.
Mike Gaynes
152 Posted 27/10/2020 at 16:09:20
No danger of that, Andy, as long as arsonists like us are still around!
Jamie Crowley
153 Posted 27/10/2020 at 16:09:49
I’m stunned people hadn’t heard of “virtue signaling”!!

I’ve been waging a one-man war against it in 2020.

I digress.

Everyone hug. And everyone needs to realize it’s Michael’s site, he can say as he pleases.

When you’re under someone else’s roof, it’s their rules. If you don’t like the rules or the application of the rules, you leave the house.

Having said that, and also someone who’s not known a tussle or two with John Mc Snr, I’d hope he sticks around.

Sir John:

Moreover, the volume of posts on this site which cross the line for sexism, chauvinism and utter toxic masculinity under the tenuous guise of humor are ten a penny. Where is the outrage here?

There is none. TW isn’t full of snowflakes. 😜😜

^^ a joke. Fairly funny for me. Decaf, decaf.

Ajay Gopal
154 Posted 27/10/2020 at 16:20:27
I really wish we have used the money spent on Ben Godfrey on another forward, someone like Sarr at Watford or some up and coming star. Now, Ben could turn out to be a fine buy, but when everyone of Keane, Mina, Holgate, Branthwaite, Gibson and Godfrey are fit, it is a bit too much for 2 starting positions. Hopefully, Gbamin and Tosun get fit soon and can show Carlo what they can do.
Steve Brown
155 Posted 27/10/2020 at 16:21:02
Kevin @ 143, to be fair if you were of the generation who fought the nazis then I would respect your point about comparing them to the current generation more. But you weren't, so I don't.
Mike Gaynes
156 Posted 27/10/2020 at 16:44:13
Jamie, what are "snowflakes"?
Kevin Molloy
157 Posted 27/10/2020 at 16:44:14
fair enough Steve. Yes, if I had been at the Battle of Britain my post would be of the 'knocked it out the park' variety. But I can still see the difference between nazis in 1939 and 'nazis' in 2020.
Jamie Crowley
158 Posted 27/10/2020 at 16:47:25
Mike -

Ask me when I leave my safe-place, please.

Chris Williams
159 Posted 27/10/2020 at 16:48:01
Digne only 1 match suspension just announced
Chris Williams
160 Posted 27/10/2020 at 16:48:55
Excessive punishment seemingly
Mike Gaynes
161 Posted 27/10/2020 at 16:50:51
Glad it's not three, Chris.
Jamie Crowley
162 Posted 27/10/2020 at 16:53:07
Fantastic news.
Chris Williams
163 Posted 27/10/2020 at 16:55:36
Me too Mike.

Upheld Everton’s appeal of excessive punishment.

Still a dumb bit of play though. Justice probably done given the circumstances

John Pierce
164 Posted 27/10/2020 at 16:58:05
JaC - strong points there, I see what you did with the tenuous use of humor too!

Very droll. 🙄 *1-0 Crowley*.

“Your house, your rules” can’t really agree with that JaC. I was brought up like that, it’s exclusive and hierarchical. I ran a million miles from it.

“Lead by example” I’m sure that might be a more fruitful way to run any enterprise?

However you’ve taken a challenging subject, given an strong opinion and not resorted to personal insults.

I will say what you don’t see is the people who post less because of the behavior outlined or don’t post at all fearing a response from those who can’t be civil.

Andy, the site may have become tamer, that’s still no excuse for personal insults. Any point, however good is almost expunged from memory if the poster is rude or insulting. I was taught if you resort to insulting people, it’s generally because you’ve lost the argument. I think there’s merit in that.

Plenty of posters say very strong things about club, players& tactics without losing their head.

Mike Gaynes
165 Posted 27/10/2020 at 16:58:59
Agreed, Chris, seems appropriate. And I won't mind seeing Nkounkou get a game. That kid is a hell of a lot of fun to watch.
Chris Williams
166 Posted 27/10/2020 at 17:01:00
He might need a bit of help with St.Maximin though Mike.

Add to the attacking effort though.

Jay Harris
167 Posted 27/10/2020 at 17:01:26
Chris that's as good news as we were likely to hear and if Nkoukou has a good game against Newcastle I wouldn't be opposed to him playing in front of Digne against Man U.

Let me close in saying I have the utmost respect for Sir John ( always a gentleman) and Michael ( whose work and dedication to the Blues and ToffeeWeb goes largely unrewarded and underappreciated) so its a shame a little spat has spiralled into a talking point.

Brent Stephens
168 Posted 27/10/2020 at 17:10:02
Jay #167 really good comment about the merits of both Sir John and Michael. Good man.
John Pierce
169 Posted 27/10/2020 at 17:30:05
So it looks like we didn’t appeal the card itself but the level of punishment applied to it.

It’s a good outcome but weird, as he wasn’t going for the ball it can’t be serious foul play but only violent conduct, which it wasn’t.

They must have done some odd deal.

The FA “Look you lot, you need a suspension, your a bunch of hackers...we need blood for all the ‘cryarsing’ teams in the league.

Us “How about one game?”

The FA “Sure that works for us. Deal”

Paul Smith
171 Posted 27/10/2020 at 18:47:03
Kevin @143

4 years of Trump saying exactly what he likes is not a censored society scared to open their mouths. We lap up all things US of A in Blighty, we’re just a bit behind so you might get your wish very soon.

I wonder how many ppl suffered with PTSD after the war due to a stiff upper lip.

Barry Thompson
172 Posted 27/10/2020 at 19:24:50
A re-visit to the site ‘conditions of use’ could be the order of the day. Points 3, 4 and 8 being particularly appropriate given the JMS / MK spat and associated comments running throughout the thread. If they no longer apply then why not just remove them.

Anyhoo, gotta go now as my nightly cocoa is about ready

Christine Foster
173 Posted 27/10/2020 at 21:07:58
Alas Barry your observations are trumped by clause 11 in the same set of t&c's.
Barry Thompson
174 Posted 27/10/2020 at 21:14:13
Fair comment, Christine, it's my ball and I decide whose in goal.
James Flynn
175 Posted 27/10/2020 at 23:43:18
Meh, Kenrick's always had a drop of poison in his pen. Not enough to hurt someone.

Anybody's apt to get called on something in here. Anybody.

For his own reasons, John has repeatedly insisted on us knowing he's boycotting watching the games. Repeatedly. Same as John mitigates his postings by mentioning his age. Repeatedly.

For HIS own reasons, Kenrick had had enough and said so. I thought it was funny and had a laugh. Nothing for our against either of them. It's a discussion board.

Derek Thomas
176 Posted 28/10/2020 at 00:37:10
Eddie @143 "I honestly think a couple of young fit kids from the under 23's could do better than Iwobi, Bernard or Sigurdsson."
I think you may get your wish with Nkounkou and Gordon...I look forward to it.
Jay Harris
177 Posted 28/10/2020 at 03:02:22
Derek when I started reading your quote from Eddies post I honestly think a couple of young fit kids from the under 23's could do better"

I thought you were talking about Sir John and Michael.

Come on fellas lets put it to rest now and call a stressful 10 days to a halt.

John McFarlane Snr
178 Posted 28/10/2020 at 11:41:27
Hi all, this post has taken at least four years in the making with a few pauses along the way, I don't expect many will have noticed the occasional insinuation and thinly veiled insult directed at me, as there was no reason for you to do so. I have drawn back from making this decision on several occasions but I feel now is the right time for me to cut my ties with ToffeeWeb. I would like to end this association by expressing my gratitude to those who stood by me during this period, and to everyone else for their tolerance of an old man [I don't think I need to tell you exactly how old] I apparently overstepped an acceptable amount of times on that count, for which I now apologise, but I don't think that reached the level of the F word [and one or two others] that I found objectional. I'll close now by wishing everyone [friend or foe] all the best for the future. John.
Michael Kenrick
179 Posted 28/10/2020 at 12:11:32
John, it was entirely your decision to pick on the word 'dross' that I used in my matchday headline.

I ignored it the first time...

And I ignored it the second time...

You came back with it a third time and, yes... I ignored that too. Obviously much to your displeasure.

Because you came back a fourth time with the same by now exceedingly boring observation. But this time bringing it over to a different thread. There was absolutely no need for that.

Hopefully I didn't disappoint you in the end as I reacted to this delightfully passive-aggressive behaviour.

If you wanted to go out with a blaze of glory, you certainly succeeded. Well done!

Will Mabon
180 Posted 28/10/2020 at 13:21:20
When I was 21, I got into a fight on a petrol station forecourt one morning. I wasn't the one that started it but I finally rose to the bait. The other guy left and I fuelled up my car.

A very wise, successful and wealthy old gent (that I later grew to know very well) witnessed it. He said to me; "You failed. I watched you. You nearly walked away but you failed."

I said I couldn't turn my back on it. He kept going at me 'til it was too much.

"No", he said "The anger in you grew too much. We give anger to ourselves. We can choose". He was right. Not saying I can always stick to it, but they were wise words.

That was in real life. I have to say it, Michael and John; you are now basically arguing with words on a screen, not each other. Seems neither will back down anytime soon, seems you both understand each other's point by now, so job done.

It all looks a bit unnecessary to us lot watching. Put it behind you, and carry on enjoying the pain of Everton. In no time at all, it will all be forgotten and no-one will care, 'cos we've all done it.

Andy Crooks
181 Posted 28/10/2020 at 16:49:06
John, I'm not sure whether your exile is from contributing only and if you will continue to read the site. I would urge you to re-think. I know how exhilarating it can be to depart any situation in a wonderful state of high dudgeon. I have done it many times, and I can honestly say that I have regretted it every time. Your spat with Michael is part of the cut and thrust of a lively site which sometimes gets out of hand.

Anyway, I'm sure we will meet up again, hopefully soon. I'd like to think that you will keep writing and submitting articles. Which have always been published and always been enjoyed.

Jay Harris
182 Posted 28/10/2020 at 17:09:06
Sir John,

May I echo Andy's post and say we've lost too many regular posters over the years – Doddy (who I think took more abuse than anyone), Gavin Ramejkis, Eugene (who does pop back now and again).

It would be a shame to lose you too. I guess you are a very sensitive and principled man but don't let that get in the way of enjoying Evertonian banter, frustrating though it may be on occasions.

Darren Hind
183 Posted 28/10/2020 at 19:10:28
Johnny Mac

Where was you brought up? Shaw Street wasn't it ?

And you are going to walk away from a site you love because of an ongoing minor spat? I would really like to think not.
Where would we be if your sparring partner decided to do the same thing?

This is a footy forum, John. If you don't fall out with somebody, you're not doing it right.

Get yourself back here man. You've still got things to say and articles to write.

Dave Brierley
184 Posted 28/10/2020 at 19:23:14
John (jeez, just stopped myself from swearing then). You are being overly sensitive here. MK is just a youngish twerp. I've been thrown off this site by him on two occasions, once for mistaken identity.

Bottom line, you're both good guys, just diametrically opposed.

Darren (for once) is right. it's just a minor spat.

Have a couple of beers/cocoa tonight and get back on here.

Life's too short. As is Don Alexander.

Tony Abrahams
185 Posted 28/10/2020 at 19:47:35
Don's posts put years on some people, Dave, I suppose everyone's do at times, but I also think the lockdown is getting to people. Hopefully Johnny Mc is sorting out the next ToffeeWeb get-together soon enough, because I think everyone is starting to feel the pace of this lack of excitement in life, and people can't wait to start having some real uninterrupted fun again.

By the way, Don, they don't put years on me, although I can't say the same about the fella you constantly mention!

Don Alexander
186 Posted 28/10/2020 at 20:12:48
I hope John reconsiders. His articles and comments are good to read. Even Dazza and I still put our opinions on here (agreeing as we do on most things Everton) but yes, there's an occasional spat and we move on.

And sorry to disappoint you Dave (#184) but I'm 6" tall. Ah well.

Dave Brierley
187 Posted 28/10/2020 at 20:21:21
Bet you tell that to all the girls, Don.
Darren Hind
188 Posted 28/10/2020 at 20:23:13
Talking of spats. Where is John G Davies?

Boxing fan, Racing fan. Proper Evertonian who talked constant shite?

Hope you are well lad... I miss you

Don Alexander
189 Posted 28/10/2020 at 20:31:23
They're generally more interested in 6 inches Dave!
Dave Brierley
190 Posted 28/10/2020 at 20:34:15
I know. Bill Kenwright told me, Don.
Paul Birmingham
191 Posted 28/10/2020 at 20:35:42
John, your views and feedback are always respectful, well written and genuine.

I respect all views and opinions as expressed on TW, and with all contributors to this website, there’s some whose views, I agree with, many I don’t, but that’s the world of matters Everton. It’s good stimuli and learn from reading the articles and it’s a great source of relaxation. Good also there’s such a loyal and passionate set of Evertonians, who make time to express their views and feedback.

The fortunes of Everton, have ebbed, and flowed over time, and through thick and thin, the common bond we have and are proud of till we part this world is being an Evertonian.

Substance, strength and belief often in adversity.

Like life now, we improvise, adapt and try to overcome the challenges that life brings.

Your input and feedback, I always appreciate, and I’d not let website, altercations and skirmish’s, stop your written feedback and reading of this website.

As Evertonians, we stick together, now more than ever, and I respect any descisions, you make John, but sincerely hope you change your mind.

Hopefully may be next summer, there could be a well over due ToffeeWeb Fest, and a chance for TWrs, to meet up and talk all matters Everton, over a few drinks.

Hopefully John, if the COVID19, situation, changes and a vaccine is found, this will happen, you’ll be there.

Dave Brierley
192 Posted 28/10/2020 at 20:39:38
Fuckin ell Paul.

I feel like riding into battle!!

Paul Birmingham
193 Posted 28/10/2020 at 20:46:48
Nice one Dave, that’s the spirit!

My kid brothers going in for a tumour to be taken out tomorrow, so my view is make the best of every day, there’s always some poor sod, whose generally, got worse challenges to face and as a Evertonians, we know as good as most, the trials of life

“What’s Our Name?”

Dave Brierley
194 Posted 28/10/2020 at 21:00:49
No offence meant, Paul.

Hope it all works out for you and your Brother.

Brent Stephens
195 Posted 28/10/2020 at 21:14:52
Hope it goes well, Paul.
Paul Birmingham
196 Posted 28/10/2020 at 21:18:54
Seriously Dave, none taken, thanks for your great banter, which is welcome and I appreciate.

Cheers for our kid as well.


Paul Birmingham
197 Posted 28/10/2020 at 21:24:59
Cheers Brent, appreciated.
Don Alexander
198 Posted 29/10/2020 at 02:23:32
Dave (#190), you know me well enough to expect me to say this, but here goes;

The one thing Bill Kenwright can identify and employ is a proper prick.

Over to you! :)

Jerome Shields
199 Posted 29/10/2020 at 11:33:51
John Snr#178

Very sorry to hear you have made this decision. Hope you will reconsider, since your posts where always balanced, well mannered and of principle. On top of that they made a valuable contribution to ToffeeWeb and kept some of us right, including myself on occasions.

Good Luck, Good Health and Best Wishes. You will be sincerely missed.

Jerome Shields
200 Posted 29/10/2020 at 11:42:54
John Snr#178

Sorry to hear that you have concluded to take this decision. I have always found your posts, well mannered and have often kept some of us right, including myseif, reading all posts. I hope you will reconsider, you will be sincerely missed.


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